3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had a lovely onboard experience - we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the advantages which come with a suite. Loved the spa area! The service on Magnifica was very good and the staff really friendly, helpful and ... Read More
We had a lovely onboard experience - we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the advantages which come with a suite. Loved the spa area! The service on Magnifica was very good and the staff really friendly, helpful and multi-lingual. What we did find annoying though (and this is the reason why we could not award "Excellent" for the Shore Excursions Category), was that the English excursions which we booked in every port (English explicitly printed on our tickets) on a number of occasions were conducted in only Spanish and/or Portuguese and German. The guides could luckily understand English and give us some information when requested, but overall the situation was very unsatisfactory and at times quite stressful. There were only a handful of English speakers on Magnifica, so we did not expect to be specifically catered for, however one would expect to be able to feel included. Whilst the wait staff were excellent, the food was rather mediocre. We did expect more tasty and more of a variety of Italian cuisine. However, as we chose this cruise for the itinerary, we did not let it affect the enjoyment of our cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing and some of the ports. Having been on Rhapsody before the ship is in need of some TLC however the overall experience of the ship was good. Embarkation was a little slow with the girl ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing and some of the ports. Having been on Rhapsody before the ship is in need of some TLC however the overall experience of the ship was good. Embarkation was a little slow with the girl behind the counter more interested in joking and carrying on with a fellow worker than serving us and getting the job done. As soon as you got on the ship you realised that it was not set up for english speaking passengers and as we were in a minority a lot of information was not forthcoming. After some time consuming phone calls and attending the front desk we managed to get information in english. The cabin was not up to the normal RCL cabin standard which was a bit of a let down when we found a sticky substance all over the bench and also some form of tablets in a cupboard. The usual welcome gifts were not there and they turned up hours later. Our cabin steward was great and worked very hard and thanks go to him. As with most cruises nowadays dining is a very hit and miss thing. Some meals were good whilse some were not to a good standard. The fish on most days was overcooked and dry and also the meat even if you wanted medium rare. The wait staff are well and truely overworked but they try hard to keep a happy face on. The entertainment was at times good but again the english speaking passengers were kept in the dark as to what is being said during most shows. The PA system around the ship was way too loud which ruined the relaxation times especially if some thing going on at the pool and the PA blasted your ear drums. Only had the one shore excursion booked, done on the internet many months earlier, only to find a card with our tickets telling us that all the tours were in either Portugese or Spanish and that if we wanted any tours in english we had to go and join the long line of unhappy passengers who were trying to get their tours in english. Most of the staff were sympathetic as to the problem however the acting managers attitude was that it was too bad and you had to go on a waiting list to see if enough english speakers were wanting a tour then they would look at it. This was a huge mistake on RCLs side. All ports were great and despite what we felt was a lack of english speaking activities we had a great time and thank all the crew. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with ... Read More
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with beautiful decor, large wide hallways and elevator banks. We had an ocean view and an inside room which were both quite spacious. Because of the language barrier on this ship (probably 6-7) different nationalities, shows are a challenge to appeal to everyone. There were of course the ship dance and singing group which were good, very fast paced with lots of costume changes. Most other shows were acts that didn't require a lot of talking, quite a few small dance groups which after the first 5 minutes seems to be all the same and realize they were good at the chosen dance but maybe not adequate for an hour show. Lots of acrobatic acts which were all good but after 3 or 4 of them there's only so much they can do different. All in all we thought they were quite good. A few "magic" or illusionist acts which were disappointing as they were so far back on the stage and in the dark you could barely see - if they were as good as they proclaimed moved to the front of the stage. Really liked the Mime. However, we found there was nothing to do after the show of interest to us and could definitely have better entertainment in piano bars or other areas. - excursions - although we rarely take an excursion, we enjoyed a couple and found they are really well organized and you can book any of them right up to the time they are leaving. They just keep getting more buses to accommodate the people wanting to go - this is a great idea and certainly go the extra mile there. - ship was very timely. Cons Incredibly poor customer service - with the exception of our dining room waiter, Rex, we found on average there is immense improvement needed in this area. We realize this is a problem which needs to come from the top and don't wholly blame the employees, however, some tasks should be a given when it comes to dealing with paying customers. - buffets for lunch and breakfast were set up poorly - a separate salad bar needs to be set up away from hot meal items. Experienced long very slow lines with huge gaps after the salad options which resulted in people skipping ahead which is understandable - we boarded in Santos, Brazil. Brazil is a country blessed with beautiful fruit grown locally and you would think the ship would have stocked up with some tasty varieties of fruit but not the case. Fruit was sparse and selection was poor consisting mainly of pineapple, kiwi, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe and only got for breakfast. Where is the passion fruit, papaya, mangos to only name a few that we sampled at a local food market? What was there was devoured by those of us not interested in the huge variety of cakes, breads and pastries for breakfast. - in the lunch buffets especially, tables are piling up with dirty dishes with staff standing around, hence customers need to clear tables themselves. - we wonder if staff are happy in their jobs because it just seemed like they all went through the motions - even the bosses in the buffets were unfriendly and believe we were greeted one time in 20 days by a supervisor so it seems staff under them aren't taught those skills. - shower wasn't draining, reported it to the steward who in turn told her she had to go down to the main desk and deal with it herself - really!? - wasn't feeling well one night so ordered a juice at one of the main bars and was basically told I would have to go to one of the other bars for that. - first night on the ship after a long day touring without lunch, decided to go to the dinner buffet instead of getting dressed up for dining room, the only thing we found there was a couple pieces of dried out pizza - to our surprise there is was no large dinner buffet and to our knowledge there never was. - so, in the dining room we ordered a wine, first they opened the wrong wine and then we found out they did not have the one we ordered - the first night? - Our poor waiter, Rex, had a helper that obviously had "0" training in the dining room. From what we saw he was more of a hinderance than a help - Rex had to tell him what to do and when to do it, he had no self-starter skills and Rex was doing 90% of the work looking after all his tables - again, at least some training should be done before he serves in the dining room and again needs to come from above. Because of this, we were almost always still eating our desert when they were trying to get us out for the 2nd seating, service was incredibly slow because Rex had no help. - Costa for some reason uses all bottled water in the dining rooms. Unless your package included water, you had to pay for your water with dinner which we couldn't believe. Not to mention the impact all those bottles have on the environment, are they recycling? Because of this people were refilling water bottles at the water machines around the ship - understandable, then signs appeared on machines to not do this which of course people ignored. - had coffee, tea, terrible watered down juices and milk available for free at breakfast buffet but were not available at lunch - language barrier comes into play for English speaking clients, although they try the English announcements are still with an undesirable accent in most cases and hard to understand, if translation is done at all. No lectures on any of the ports telling you about the history on things you might see on excursions or giving you information on what there is to do if you don't want to pay for an excursion. We went to what we thought was going to be an information session on the ports but all it entailed was a gal selling just the excursions and absolutely no other information. Costa is also very happy to sell transports into the different towns at a much higher cost when there is usually free transport with a small walk from the ship (they don't tell you about that option) I have to mention the total zoo that is the disembarkation. We disembarked at Savona, Italy. Our time was supposed to be 9:45 and our color was orange, but after more than two hours later we finally decided we were getting off as we wanted to get on with our day - we'd go grab our luggage and catch a cab to our hotel in Genoa. Well, wow! We soon found they only set out the luggage for the colours having already been called. People were all getting very upset as they were missing flights and other timelines so were a lot of people like us who had gotten off so they could get on with it only to find the bags were only being brought in as the colours really called. We ended up standing around at least another hour waiting for the "workers" who are obviously Union to bring the bags in most taking one at a time. Very frustrating to watch the work ethic there. Our pain did not stop there. There were no taxis waiting for the hoards of people needing one and no attendant keeping the peace or ordering them which was badly needed as at this time people were getting majorly pissed and trying to jump the que as were missing flights and trains. The other problem was there was another Costa ship that disembarked before us so got all the taxis. This terminal is owned by Costa so they should be prepared for the influx of people needing taxis - just another example of the poor and almost non-existent customer service on Costa. Cleaning - where do I start! - walked into stateroom, on the main counter there were smudges of mascara leftover from who knows when. I left it there on purpose to see if our steward "Renata" would clean it - never did in 20 days and I bet they are still there today. The finger prints and smudges on the inside of our stateroom door were unbelievable - no cleaner had been used there for many cruises - ewwww! - my sister was sitting in the buffet dining area in between meals as was quiet for reading and was able to see first hand the lack of cleaning. Tables were not cleaned with any cleaner but crumbs were just swept off with a dry cloth. On other ships we've been on there is constant cleaning being done along with maintenance, not so much with Costa and that is why the whole ship was sick after about a week. Hand sanitizers were at the doorways, but I never saw anyone use them as no one was standing there making sure they were used - this should be a must especially when the silverware is not wrapped separately in napkins but is being touched by many dirty fingers in public bins. Sun decks would go days without being cleaned as spills were still evident from days before. Never smelled a cleaner and hardly saw anyone cleaning so.... Food Was absolutely terrible. First of all most everything is frozen and then cooked, nothing is prepared fresh and it tasted like it. Food is very bland and hard to find anything with spice of any kind. If you like a lot of breads, pastries, cakes, etc. You will be in heaven on this line. The menu in the dining rooms includes items as normal and then they have meals that would be offered by any other line for free, are charged for. For example, on formal nights you could get lobster that is a norm on other cruise lines for free, but here you had to pay for it - could not believe it. Had a gentleman we ate dinner with that had a restaurant meal for $35 US included in his package - he said to save your money as is no better than the dining room. Ports On the whole we enjoyed the ports as there is so much history in those parts of the world - always something to see and learn about. In our opinion there were too many ports in Brazil - Rio, Ilheus and Salvador were nice stops but Maceio and Recife are a waste of time as not much to see - and Brazil on the whole is not a safe place. As always when travelling, you must always be aware of those around you and who is watching you. My husband was approached in a few ports by people who told him he was being watched as he was carrying a backpack and to be aware - makes you kind of paranoid. But on the other hand we were also helped by locals who knew no English who tried to help us find our way and tried to keep us safe by giving us the best routes to take. Loved Gilbralter and Barcelona and hope someday to go back as more time can definitely be spent especially in Barcelona. We started to think maybe we were just being picky, but after talking with other cruisers, we soon realized it was definitely not just us. The standard we are used to with Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Carnival is just not there and Costa likes to nickel and dime you that is very apparent. I think you get the drift about our opinion of Costa and can make your own decision on whether to vacation with this line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa although this was some years ago and was excellent then( it was the first cruise we had ever done). I have to say the standard now is extremely poor, regretably this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. Even low budget cruise lines offer a better experience than Costa do now. It would appear that the line is so dedicated to saving money that customer satisfaction has been forgotten. If you wish to have tea/coffee with your meals (apart from breakfast) you have to pay for it, no water with evening meal unless you pay for it! Coffee and tea available only between 4.00 and 5.00 pm, unless of course you wanted to pay extra for it. The food in the dining room was very poor, and the self service restaurant rarely available in the evening. The waiter/ under waiter were very good. The food in the self service area was better although not as well organised as it could be. The area was so crowded that after you had secured a table one of your party could get theIr meal first whilst the other reserved the spot (therefore not really eating together). The evening shows were generally poor. The excursions are expensive but I think in line with other cruise companies, The staff were very good although we didn't have contact with many as we are not generally interested in the entertainment. I can see why the tips are compulsory - because a lot of passengers would be reluctant to give what is recommended after such a disappointing holiday, what appeared to be a reasonable priced cruise turned out to be quite expensive and not good value for money. I don't usually do reviews, I think this will give you an idea of how poor this cruise was. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING, WE WON'T BE TRAVELING WITH COSTA AGAIN. YOUR COST CUTTING WILL COST YOU CUSTOMERS. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed ... Read More
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed up just prior to leaving port), no room card give and no indication of where and when we would receive this. Once on the ship we headed to our rooms and there was the room unlocked and the card on the bed. We toured a little and then went to the buffet for supper as we had toured all day and were tired. To our surprise there was NO buffet, a few slices of dry pizza and wilted salad. We quickly changed and off we when to find our dining room - we had had no communication as to which one we were in or our dining time. Found a bar steward who directed us - got to the dining room, no one to seat you - just pointed in the general direction and left to find your table on your own. Ordered wine, charged the wrong price +$10 - had a great head waiter "Rex" and his NEW helper that was his first day and had obviously NEVER worked in any form of dining service! There were only 3 of us at our table for 8 that night and it took 2.5 hours to get our wine, water, main and dessert. The wine and water took 50 minutes. The helper didn't get any better over the duration of the cruise and had to be directed on every little task throughout the entire 20 days. The Food overall has no taste and meat very tough and usually over cooked. Menu undesirable, most nights unable to pick as nothing sounds appealing. Never vegetables served with main course. Breakfast buffet - terrible, mounds of sweets but fruit is almost nonexistent. Only time you could get coffee with a meal with out being charged extra for it was during breakfast out of the large carafes. Lunch buffets are disappointing, with tasteless food and lots if times food is cold and even still frozen. never changed generally offered the same every day. Costa is All about the extra $, no education about the ports to be visited, only about the offers through ship. Free transportation to town is offered 300m from ship but all that is told is transportation is $14. Ship has very poor cleaning standards, never in 20 days did I witness a table being cleaned and sanitized between guests or even between meals. Cleaning on the deck the same low standard, observed workers wiping and drying but in a 30, minute period never cleaning the cloth or using a cleaner of any sort. Shows had a great assortment and were very entertaining, but when that was done for the evening there was nothing else to do. Did one excursion off the ship - it was good and could purchase tickets up until the time to go as they kept adding busses as needed - EXCELLENT. Over all was very disappointed with the cruise and will not go with Costa again as all previous cruises have been with Princess and Costa can't compete. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Well, after all the worry after reading some of the reviews on this Cruise Line, we did actually go with an open mind. We where not dissappointed the ship was beautiful. After a very long flight we actually boarded just after 1pm plenty of ... Read More
Well, after all the worry after reading some of the reviews on this Cruise Line, we did actually go with an open mind. We where not dissappointed the ship was beautiful. After a very long flight we actually boarded just after 1pm plenty of time to unpack have lunch and a good look around. Everything on this ship is very expensively done the furnishings, decor etc are magnificent. Our cabin on Deck 12 was very clean and spacious and our cabin steward extremely good. We opted for the late seating for dinner as the early one was 6.30 a little soon for us, this was perfect as MSC did a show at 7.30pm for late diners so we saw the show before our meal. Every show was exeptional, we loved them all most could compare with a West End show they where so good. The Covent Garden Theatre is beautiful the nicest I have seen on any ship. We found the meals to be very good, plenty of choice and the Express Breakfast in the Main Dining Room was really nice. We have no cause to complain, yes the food on other ships is possibly better but for the price we paid the choice was very good and we enjoyed all. Our waiter Salvador was excellent. The Animation team worked really hard especially when we celebrated Crossing the Equator meaning that the pool had to be emptied and refilled and cleaned there was so much mess as people where Christened with Champagne, flour, milk, raw egg and last but not least Coco powder it really was quite a celebation!the ports of call where all good especially Rio and the Statue of Christ the Redeemer was magnificent. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and would have no hesitation in sailing with MSC again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2011
We were all hit by this company making a charge of nine dollars per person per day 'for our convenience as tips'. On top of this everything drink purchased had a 12% service charge. Add all that up at the end of the holiday and ... Read More
We were all hit by this company making a charge of nine dollars per person per day 'for our convenience as tips'. On top of this everything drink purchased had a 12% service charge. Add all that up at the end of the holiday and it amounts to a fair bit. Several people on our cruise had not funds to pay this, in fact two elderly ladies were not able to go on the trips (which again were very very expensive for what you got)but were then hit with these charges.The ship itself is very nice and clean. Should be every night one man alone is cleaning the brass on the stairs. Lots of times the public toilets had no soap. Very few toilets onboard anyway and several times just before going into dinner only two toilets and these would be shut for cleaning. I have never been on a ship with such miserable staff. Each morning when you went to the buffet breakfast the head man would stand hands behind his back. Never ever did he say morning or smile. This staff on the breakfast were all like this. While queuing for outside buffet lunch waiters pushed through without giving us warning or giving us chance to make way for them. They had trays of food at shoulder height which was very close to peoples hair and heads. On my last morning one waiter walked in front of me when I was going to the outside breakfast area and then let the door go in my face when I was carrying my plate of breakfast. How rude. I had a hairclip on my bedroom floor on my arrival and it was still there fifteen days later! On the day of the Royal Wedding not a thing - not even a mention in the newsletter. With no SKY News and being in the Atlantic Ocean they said they had no signal. Having been on holidays further afield and receiving SKY News it is obvious this ship is not geared up with any decent satellite technology. One passenger said he had cruised the Southern China seas and had SKY News all the time. Most days there was a 'theme' to the dining. ie. German, Indian, Italian foods, but nothing on the Royal Wedding Day. Could they not have had a British evening but in hindsight perhaps not or they would have spoilt any English menu. I will never cruise on MSC again even if they offered me a free cruise. This was echoed by lots of passengers on board this cruise. Its the first time I have wanted a holiday to finish. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
This was our second transatlantic cruise. We fell in love with the destinations: 3 stops in Brazil, 5 days crossing the Atlantic ocean, Canary Islands, Funchal, Malaga, Tunisia, Croatia and finally Venice. Cabin and dinner service was ... Read More
This was our second transatlantic cruise. We fell in love with the destinations: 3 stops in Brazil, 5 days crossing the Atlantic ocean, Canary Islands, Funchal, Malaga, Tunisia, Croatia and finally Venice. Cabin and dinner service was great. Breakfast and lunch were not so good. The staff was slow (almost sleeping), we never got hot toast in the morning and they never changed the breakfast menu. For 18 days, we had the same menu in the morning: scrambled eggs, fried, poached and plain omelet with either sausage or bacon. We are used to Princess or Celebrity where you get a different breakfast menu every morning. Lunch was so-so, not too bad but never delicious. Dinner was terrible. We stuck to pasta and soup, as they were decent. They had quite an extensive wine list but most of the wines were not available. On the first night, our first three choices were not available! Thank God there was an excellent japaneese restaurant on board so we had a few decent meals there. Of course you have to pay extra! One good thing though; drinks and available wines are quite cheap compared to the other cruise lines we have sailed with. The ship is beautiful, our cabin service was OK and our dinner servers were great. When we booked, MSC mentionned that this cruise was a Hobby Cruise. The only hobby offered was cross-stitching. Their advertisement specified jewellery making, etc. Nada! The Maitre D's were hiding. We never got to meet them to express what we thought of the food. At least we got to eat well at the different stops we made and we never took the organized tours for each destination, we went on our own, got to see more than those who took the tours for a third of the price. When all is said, we will definitely never sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Having made our own way to Sao Paulo, we caught up with the RCI rep at the airport and were advised when the bus transfer would commence. Although this was another hour to wait, the rep explained the choice was either to wait at the ... Read More
Having made our own way to Sao Paulo, we caught up with the RCI rep at the airport and were advised when the bus transfer would commence. Although this was another hour to wait, the rep explained the choice was either to wait at the airport or at the cruise terminal as boarding would not commence until 11am. The bus journey took just under a couple of hours but we were pleasantly surprised by some of the breathtaking scenery that appeared about an hour into the journey. They area is clearly busy, but the dual carriageway road network helped keep traffic moving well without impetuous drivers risking overtaking. This seemed commonplace throughout our various ports of call. Having pre-registered online, the check-in process was relatively quick and painless, although we had to fill in the credit paperwork manually, despite having done so online - one of those unnecessary frustrations after 18+ hours of travelling. We then were transported to the ship but could not access the cabins (or staterooms as they call them) until 1pm. Then there was the frustrating wait for cases to be delivered to the rooms. One suggestion would be to make sure that you access your cases before checking in and getting a change of clothes etc. We soon met our room attendant, who was very pleasant, as were all the staff. We reported a flickering light and were delighted to find it had been repaired by the time we returned later in the afternoon. We had a problem with the room safe later in the cruise, and this was sorted within 15mins. The attendant was always smiling, very efficient, and left varying towel decorations every other night. Wet/dirty towels were replaced twice a day whether you wanted then changed or not. Despite being due to go into dry dock next year, the 14 year old ship seemed to be well maintained, and there was always someone with a paintbrush in their hand! There was regular entertainment around the open air pool, and many people took part in the various games that the team arranged. The solarium pool generally seemed cool due to air conditioning, but at least it was guaranteed to be wind free. That said, it was popular and had its own bar and hot snacks area. We regularly used the aft deck for sunbathing, as it was generally shaded, and quiet, although the music was occasionally played when the climbing wall was in use. The top deck was well used by those undertaking their daily constitutional walk - 4laps/mile! There were several days when we were sailing into strong head winds which meant that there was a combined wind speed of 60+mph!! There was a good range of exercise equipment which was was very well used, especially on sea days. Each evening before dinner we enjoyed a cocktail in the schooner bar. The staff were very nice and chatty, and there was usually a guitarist, or pianist playing. Constantine arranged the my time dining table allocations wonderfully efficiently, and apart from the first couple of evening we just turned up as and when we were ready. We were free to choose to sit alone, or with English speaking guests. We were happy with the flexibility and with the people that Constantine sat us with, especially as we did sit with some of them more than once. The restaurant staff were very helpful and accommodating, the choice of meals fair, and well presented. One frustration that we had was having to sign for drinks as we ordered them, rather than waiting till the end of the meal. We commented on this on the mid cruise questionnaire, and were pleasantly surprised when it was commented on by Constantine and the head waiter. For the rest of the cruise we signed at the end of the meal! :) The meals in the buffet style windjammer restaurant were wide ranging and always freshly restocked. The biggest problem was finding a table at times, but turnover was quite quick. Occasionally there were lunchtime barbeques, or paella, around the open air pool and they always proved popular. The Captain made daily announcements about weather, sea conditions, and progress which were very informative. The six days crossing the Atlantic were not too bumpy, and broken up by passing archipelago Fernando de Noronha and Cape Verde. The only other thing we saw was a flock of albatross that flew alongside the ship till the equator. As for entertainment generally, it either suited or it didn't (a Spanish Elvis was not our taste!). It was always varied, and there was no show without Claudia, the cruise director! The shows in the theatre were always professionally presented. There was a lot of promotion of art sales, and bingo, neither of which appealed to us We did go on a couple of shore excursions which were well organised, but we did our own thing on Madeira, and enjoyed the experience much more cheaply. Tips were prepaid, and although there was supposed to be a 15% service charge added to each bill (we were still on Brazilian mode and didn't get charged), there was the opportunity to add a further tip when signing! All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and staff did everything they could to make sure that we did so. Read Less

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