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20 Savona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

have been on lots of cruises and this was so bad I cut it short and travelled back to the UK as I was so desperate to get away from the horrific experience, The cruise was a rip off and everything was geared towards getting as much money ... Read More
have been on lots of cruises and this was so bad I cut it short and travelled back to the UK as I was so desperate to get away from the horrific experience, The cruise was a rip off and everything was geared towards getting as much money from you as possible No/little entertainment on board so we decided to play the daily bingo - no thanks it was buy 2 tickets and get 2 free at £40! Yes £40 for a game of bingo so gave that a miss and just wandered aimlessly about the ship with nothing to do. Husband decided to have a game of poker - £16 a hand so easily lost £100 in a couple of minutes once again could not afford to continue with that rip off activity, Trips were extortionate £112 for a ride into Rome when the train fare was only £13 return. No information on board the ship so we did not know what was going on - yes we understand that it is an Italian cruise line but could some things not have been told in English for the benefit of British customers? The ship was rammed to bursting, nowhere to sit in the evening and the drinks package was £175 each everyone in the cabin had to have the package even though I do not drink alcohol so it was expensive for me for a couple of soft drinks and coffee. The food was disgusting, portion sizes small and took hours for the food to arrive. I am a vegan and even though I was guaranteed vegan food, the most imaginative they could come up with was a plate of grilled vegetables and cold undercooked chips again and again and again and again.......Never again will I go on a costa cruise be warned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa ... Read More
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa Luminosa, a ship we really like but, the decor is very Italian. The design of the ship and the rooms is very comfortable and well planned. Moving about the ship is very easy; plenty of elevators and we particularly like the theaters on Costa which have space for accessing seating, cocktail tables for drinks, and moving within the rows is very easy. The cabins are spacious when compared to other cruise ships of this size. The food, usually 4 or 5 courses, consists of pasta/risotto and assorted sea food items and occasionally steaks. Meat served on this ship is not dry aged as one finds on ships attracting mostly US clientèle but overall, the food is very good. Those from the US may find many of the plates unusual, things such as octopus, mussels or cuttlefish may not be items one typically eats but all were very well prepared. The entertainment was generally good, albeit with difficulties in appealing to a varied audience which can speak up to 5 different languages. The is rarely any live music in the theater most all is recorded. After two voyages on Costa, we give it an overall favorable rating. Progression in their loyalty program, the Costa Club, is relatively easy and one can move up through the levels quickly. Costa offers a variety of drink packages and I would strongly recommend participating in at least one of them as drinks, even water, can be difficult to obtain outside of meal times. Costa charges significantly less for gratuities than do many other companies, even their photography costs much less, often at only 10€ a picture. For those from the US, Costa will be a different experience. Dinning is later in the evening and nightlife really starts at 11pm. Because of the late dinning times, breakfast is not as important as one may be used to and breakfast buffet offerings are limited to cold cuts, pastries, and fruit. However, full breakfast, eggs and other hot items are available in the restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our 9th cruise. First time in Costa. Food in dining rooms was nasty. Buffet was good, but too many people went there. Probably because they didn't like dining room food either. Beware of bread - it's rock hard, not ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise. First time in Costa. Food in dining rooms was nasty. Buffet was good, but too many people went there. Probably because they didn't like dining room food either. Beware of bread - it's rock hard, not edible!!!! Staff is stuffy, not friendly sa on carnival or Norwegian. Also, they don't know anything. We were lied to about the drink programs numerous times. We had our souvenir hard rock tshirts disappear from our cabin and found somewhere else on ship. My nieces tennis shoes disappeared also. People leaving and joining cruise at every port. Safety drill every day for newbies. Which was very disappointing for people already on cruise because bars were closed, and that's the only place to get drinks, coffee etc. Had cabins 2026 and 2024 ( had hair and dust in shower/ bathroom). Even so we had nice weather they never retracted the roof for the pool deck. It got hot and stuffy in there. Not much action anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Costa Pacifica 9th Oct 16.  Savona, Marseille, Ajaccio, Cagliari, La Valletta, Rome, Savona.  Some nice ports on this short cruise even we ventured ashore in two of them decent weather made my slow walking enjoyable.  Our second ... Read More
Costa Pacifica 9th Oct 16.  Savona, Marseille, Ajaccio, Cagliari, La Valletta, Rome, Savona.  Some nice ports on this short cruise even we ventured ashore in two of them decent weather made my slow walking enjoyable.  Our second time on the Pacifica not much had changed so we knew our way round, very easy embarkation  due to our Suite booking, was dreading the queues at Savona after the new club rules downgraded Gold Pearl to just priority boarding not preferential.   Enjoyed a really nice lunch in what was the Club Restaurant now set aside for Suite guests & Perla Diamante club members, but also for any paying guest who wish slightly nicer surroundings with mainly tables for two.   We elected to eat in the MDR for our evening meals as we enjoy a table for six with company, this proved to be a great choice as we met two from Norway, who told us a little more about that Country, & a couple from six Miles from where we live.  On to the food, in my opinion it is getting  un-expiring & very bland, limited in choice  to just two of each & very hard to understand what is being offered, surely someone should investigate why so much is being left on plates, I was glad however of the extras offered of Shrimp & Lobster even if being charged for them (15E) they saved the night at least twice after not finding anything to my taste on the Menu. A couple on our table were appalled by the menu's after cruising with Costa in the late 90's & telling friends about the wonderful food served to them then, I can relate to that as I still have most of those fabulous menus from those days.   Although mostly the same dishes were served to suite guests with perhaps one extra they did seem slightly better prepared & cooked, if fact I think we may just eat there on our February cruise, & least I won't have to pay for the Shrimp & lobster dishes.   The cabin was well appointed & nicely set out, spotlessly clean, choice of pillows was an added bonus as I do like a soft feather one beneath my head. A little about the difference between these suites & a premium balcony, they have extended the bathroom which now has a Jacuzzi bath, shower & a dressing room, bags of storage space both here & in the main cabin, overall just slightly larger than the normal balcony cabin, also being offered at the moment is the best drinks package the Intenditore (@ 49.95 euros a day free) for purchasing a suite. Not to sure that the so called Butler was of any use other than to serve breakfast, he never once asked us if everything was okay or if we wanted anything, I found him a little off-putting and would rather have had the cabin steward who was a delight.  Only went to one show but put off by the number of guests sitting on the stairs after show had started, chatting a blocking any chance of an exit should we need to leave. This practice should be stopped close the doors after the start, they were still coming in 30 minutes later, one even lent against my leg while sitting down, causing me some pain. However those on our table said they were enjoyable & mainly the songs were in English.  Booked this cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Blue Grotto in Malta having tried twice before with other lines & cancelled, pleased when tickets turned up and boarded the coach, only to be told boat out had been cancelled due to heavy waves & we were taken to top above the Grotto to look, oh dear I couldn't make it down the steps so had to sit up top till they all came back, so just going to have to book another cruise there, so I have another chance. (note to all wishing to see it, don't go while I am on board.)  It might sound that we did not enjoy this cruise, nothing could be further from the truth, Costa have proved once again what great value for the money their cruises are, & even with the falling standard of food choices, we still enjoy them overall, and look forward to our February cruise with them.  Marks out of ten, for service, cleanliness, value & perks we must give a good nine.  Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just back from a week on the Costa Diadema. Would suggest to everyone to go with another company as Costa made us feel like a burden on numerous occasions throughout the week. English was the fifth language on board after Italian, Spanish, ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Costa Diadema. Would suggest to everyone to go with another company as Costa made us feel like a burden on numerous occasions throughout the week. English was the fifth language on board after Italian, Spanish, French and German. The schedule, procedures etc. were chaotic and confusing for us and every query we made to a member of staff was met with eye-rolling and annoyance. The desk staff at reception on level 3 are particularly unhelpful and plain rude. With a few exceptions (in particular a very nice and helpful waitress named Leabel) we found the vast majority of the staff on board to be unconcerned with looking after guests and it seems that upselling, blowing off queries and complaints and doing the bare minimum for guests is the order of the day on board this ship. This was our first cruise with Costa and will definitely be our last. There is a serious attitude problem which usually starts with the senior staff and filters down and we feel this is certainly the case here. Initial cruise cost us 900 euro for the week for 2 which was very good value. Our extras bill at the end was 1580. So almost 2500 in total for 2 people for the week. We feel that for that we deserve better and can certainly get much better elsewhere. Aside from the attitude of staff which was by far our main gripe there were not many other redeeming factors for us. The buffet food was good but always cold. The sit down restauants which were included in the initial price were very nice but the food was not as good as the buffet which shouldn't be the case and again food was always cold. We upgraded, to the higher restaurant package (which we feel is Costa's aim anyway) and those restuarants were excellent, especially the Teppanyaki. The entertainment during the day was quite good with usual mix of quizzes, dance classes bingo etc. The evening/night was different with very little to do other than gamble in the casino, or attend poor music shows. We feel as it was set up so that most people would not be up all night making the most of the drinks package that they purchased for 200 euro per person.The pools are tiny. Again we had to pay extra to use a sauna, steam room & hot jacuzzi in the Samsara Spa which were beautiful. Simply you have to pay more for everything and if you don't you'll struggle to fill your time and will find it boring (again we feel this is not by accident on Costa's part). The excursions were all very overpriced so we did not book any of those, the wifi was expensive, there were two english TV channels in the cabin (BBC news & Aljazeera) and very poor selection of movies to rent which cost 9 each. Costa advertise their 4d cinema, scuderia simulator & star lazer as highlights of the ship but they are all terrible and should be included for free but again are extortionate. The ship itself is huge, lovely and clean and it's a shame that with some very simple changes by Costa this could have been an excellent trip for us and everyone else. Anyone who tells me they enjoyed their trip on this ship, trust me you can do much much better for your money. We could live with the entertainment and facilities not being up to much but when the staff including managers and senior staff are as rude as we experienced on this cruise it makes the whole experience feel terrible. Rant over, and if even 1 or 2 people read this review and decide not to travel with Costa we would be happy as losing business is the only way that this company will change their ways and look after the customers much better that do travel with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 24 th cruise and our second with Costa. The frist being many years ago and it was our second cruise ever. I've never written a review for the other cruises, but I felt compelled to do so this time , wishing to help ... Read More
This was our 24 th cruise and our second with Costa. The frist being many years ago and it was our second cruise ever. I've never written a review for the other cruises, but I felt compelled to do so this time , wishing to help inform other travelers about my expencience. Hard earned money and vacation time should not be wasted ,the selection of cruising with Costa , well I would advise people to do their homework before selecting Costa. I wittiness many things on this cruise that I have never seen before and perhaps what most stood out was the attitude of most of the crew and senior officers. Of course there were some members of the crew that did a great job, but they were the minority. Arrogance, bad attitude, lack of respect and un Professionalism was the norm. it's hard to pinpoint why this type of culture exits onboard, but perhaps one factor is now that gratuities are mandatory in the form of a per person amount daily, called a hotel service charge and no longer can it be removed from your account. ( gratuities always existed in some form,) what is different , you no longer can , as many passengers prefer to give their gratuities in an envelope directly to the people who served them during the cruise and I am sure that not all have given what was expected, therefore cruise company's are developing other ways to guarantee the crew members receive the amount requested.) I understand their predicament, but this has led to an unbelievable attitude on board. It seems that most of the crew have developed an attitude, we don't have to earn our gratuities , so if I'm arrogant, rude ,tell people to get out of my way, run them over ,throw things around and could not careless about any form of customer service, it doesn't matter, I will still receive my money anyway. Our room was the worst I ever seen, 5-6 feet of a soaken wet carpet in front of the bathroom for the entire cruise. Despite maintenance coming serval times it was never fixed, they gave extras towels to put on the floor and a fruit basket with their apologizes wow This ship is extremely ordinary and Poorly run, I would not recommend it to anyone, there is much more available out there for your money, chose wisely, cruising is a great way to travel- but never again with COSTA . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a 9-night "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules" Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Favolosa. It was our first cruise on Costa (we live in the US and previously had been on Carnival and Celebrity in the Caribbean). We enjoyed ... Read More
This was a 9-night "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules" Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Favolosa. It was our first cruise on Costa (we live in the US and previously had been on Carnival and Celebrity in the Caribbean). We enjoyed the trip very much. First, we chose this cruise primarily because of the ports (Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona) and had wanted to board in Barcelona, however that was sold out, so we booked the next day out of Savona, because we couldn't find any other cruises that competed with this one on ports. a bunch of great places to visit and we'd go back to any of them. (But come on Costa, leaving Barcelona at 13:00? That needs to be a longer stop.) First question we had: how to get to Savona? We took the transfer to and from Nice train station. They take your bags onto the ship right from the bus as you board, but during disembarkation you must claim your luggage and take it to the bus yourself. I would highly recommend Nice as an "extra" place to visit if anyone is wondering how to get to Savona. We flew to Paris, took the train to Nice, and stayed 3 days before and 2 days afterwards. We did a day trip to Monaco (25 minute train ride from Nice) and explored Nice itself and the beach. The transfer was US $34/person if I remember correctly. Cabin: we had an "inside premium" cabin, chosen for the important fact that it was the cheapest one. You don't get to choose your dinner time with this type of cabin, however we asked in the dining room to change (early to late) after the first night and they did. Cabin was fine, no complaints. Food: There are two main dining rooms, and they serve dinner half an hour apart, at 18:30 and 19:00 for first sitting, and 20:45 and 21:15 for second sitting. You can also eat at the buffet from 19:00-21:00. We had the 21:15 sitting and found that dinner took around an hour. We had table mates for two days and the rest of the time were by ourselves at a big table, mostly likely due to the lack of other English speakers. Dinner has a theme each night, based on food from a region of Italy, and then there are "standard" courses that you can always order. There are three courses that together make up the main meal, and then dessert. We both got to try quite a few things we hadn't had before and had some great stuff, figuring if we don't like one course, it's just one, however we liked the vast majority of food we ordered. There's an optional salad. Some things will be marked either vegetarian or made from previously frozen ingredients. We ate at the buffet for dinner only once (due to wanting to be up early for Barcelona the next day), the food there was fine and comparable to lunch but not as good as the main dining room. We really enjoyed the food at dinner in particular. There's a snack time with sandwiches (sometimes there's a vegetarian one, sometimes not) and pastries from 16:00-17:30 in the buffet (we had this every day due to the late dinner time), and breakfast and lunch are served in the main dining room and buffet. We ate one breakfast in the main dining room and every other breakfast/lunch at the buffet. When going to the buffet, always walk by ALL the lines (some are along the sides) as there can be ones with different stuff, and you risk filling your plate at the first line only to see someone walk by with something you like better that you didn't know was available. This includes the area with the pool and giant TV as they set up an extra buffet line here a few times. At breakfast, don't miss the egg/omelette station as the main buffet just has cold items. There, you can get an omelette to order, eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. Check the times for meals in your newsletter, because outside the times mentioned, there are plenty of times when no "free" (included) food is available. So, if you have just come back on the ship after a day of walking around and are hungry and it's 17:20, get straight to the buffet as it's about to close and you'll have to wait until 19:00 for it to open up again! This is different from the two previous cruises we have been on, but we didn't find it to be a problem as long as we were aware of the time and schedule. Drinks: If you booked through Costa USA (doesn't matter if you're a US citizen), you'll get "Waterusa" package included automatically, which gives you bottled water at mealtimes in the main dining room. If you don't have this package, you'll have to pay for water in the main dining room only. The buffet has water, regular and decaf coffee, and different teas included for everyone when it's open. Lattes, cappuccinos, etc aren't included and you'll have to pay for those if you don't buy a package that includes them. We bought the "Pranzo and Cena" (lunch and dinner) drinks package which was I think €15 or €16 each per day. We don't usually pay for drinks even when eating out, however we though that we could get our money's worth with this package (and we did). It includes house red and white wine, and one type of beer, during mealtimes only (not snacktime) at the buffet and main dining room. Note that the package description simply says "beer and wine" and does NOT specify that you only get to the three choices I mentioned, so don't book it intending to try several wines/beers. I suspect that this is also true of the "next package up" which includes drinks at any time at the bar and some cocktails, because another couple we talked to implied they also just got the house wine/beer with their package, but I am not entirely sure of this. Note that if you have late dinner, you can head to the buffet at 19:00 and it's mealtime there so you can have a drink with your Pranzo & Cena package. Dress code is in the newsletter (check the left hand side of the inside of the newsletter next to "Buona serata" written sideways). We had two "Formal/gala" nights, generic "informal" nights, and special informal nights: "Red/black", "all white", and "red/white/green" (plenty of passengers wore other colors on these nights, don't let that put you off). Even on the formal nights we saw a few people in the main dining room with shorts and t-shirts on (shorts are against the dining room dress code but I didn't see anyone turned away). There were also some people dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos, so it is really up to you. Buffet dress code is pretty much just "no swimsuits". I can't say anything about the entertainment or activities as we didn't go to any. I noticed several advertised shows were marked as being in Italian so that keep that in mind if you like going to shows / activities and don't speak Italian. Ports: Top notch. Great places. We booked on excursion in, you guessed it, Casablanca, after reading numerous other people's experiences online. We did the Rabat tour and enjoyed it. Our group was German/English and the guide repeated everything in both languages although the group was almost all German speakers. We saw other tour groups combined like this: "Italian/Spanish" for example. We ran into another couple who did a tour of Casablanca itself and they enjoyed that. In Valencia, we paid for Costa's bus which takes you into the city and thought it was worth while, even though we are usually the cheap do-it-yourselves types. You can wait for a free bus to take you to the port exit, but there was a big line for this and I'm not sure how frequently they ran, also the port exit is quite far from the city center itself. Our goal was to wander around exploring the city so the time savings helped. We walked from the ship and also took the metro in Barcelona and Lisbon. Time is very tight in Barcelona so the metro helped because the dock is some distance from the tourist parts of the city, and the 10-ticket combo is a good deal if you are going to buy more than 4 rides and multiple people can use it. In Malaga, Cadiz, and Lisbon the ship docked right close to everything and we had no problem walking to everything. Internet access is available for €0.19 per minute for unrestricted, if you buy the "social media" 24 hr package, that one will restrict you to the listed sites (facebook, twitter and so on). Both "at-sea" days took us close enough to shore to pick up internet for at least a half hour (and get a good view of Gibraltar). Now onto the "warning", if you haven't guessed it already, it's: Communication/organization issues. There are a lot of "oh, huh, didn't know that" moments. To help mitigate this: if you are unsure of something, have a question, or something seems "not right" (drinks package not correct on your card, no charge listed for excursion you know you booked), be very proactive and ask as soon as you notice there might be a problem so that they can fix it (which they did, for all the various small questions we had). It's entirely possible that things are explained a little more clearly or in more detail for the Italian speakers (who are most of the ship by far). Next most common are French, German, and Portuguese speaking passengers. I will say that EVERY crew member we spoke to spoke English, and on two occasions we overhead Italian passengers complaining about staff who didn't speak Italian. So despite being a tiny minority on the ship, when speaking to the crew we had no problems communicating, which was very fortunate. Examples of things to watch out for: The bus transfer from Nice train station says "in front of the station" but it actually is down the street a bit. Thankfully, the Nice Tourist Information Office *is* in front of the station, and they're well aware of this issue, and will direct you to the right place (we got the sense they're a little annoyed with Costa after doing this hundreds of times!). We pre-booked a drinks package online which wasn't printed correctly on our cards when we boarded. I booked this on the last day possible, and it was after midnight in Italy when I did it, so I don't really fault them for not having it on the cards. But, it did take several "back and forth" trips between the customer service desk and the bar (each telling us to go to the other to resolve it), before the desk printed us correct cards. Check your card for this problem when you board. Dinner on the first night was advertised as a half hour earlier than it actually was (due to dinner being advertised in both dining rooms as starting at the earlier time of the two, they're a half hour apart), leading to people hanging around by the door waiting. Then, later in the cruise, the newsletter advertised dinner at 21:30 (15 min later than normal), which we asked about specifically by stopping in the dining room in the afternoon, and were told, yes, it's 21:30. It turned out to be 21:15 after all, but fortunately we were not so late as to really miss out when we walked in. There are frequent time zone changes due to the various ports, and these are well documented ahead of time in the newsletter, announcements, and we were reminded by the waiter at dinner as well. However, we saw a few times that the time shown on the TV in the room (on the ship's info channel) was incorrect, so don't rely on that to check your watch. If you're not a European citizen, they will take your passport when you board and give it back to you at the end of the cruise. If you're a dual European/other citizen and you find out about this after you've booked, don't worry, you can change the citizenship information on the Costa website and hold onto your passport. There was a note telling people that if they want to leave the city of Casablanca on their own (not on a Costa tour), they need their passport for that time, so if that affects you (because they took your passport) make sure to find out what to do ahead of time. Hope this helps some people who are looking into Costa cruises - I tried to provide plenty of information (especially the "wish we'd known" stuff) as that can seem like the hardest thing to find when you're looking at cruises and trying to find what to expect on Costa! Again, overall it was a great trip and we would recommend it. Thanks for reading this far and happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first ... Read More
We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first day in Marseille, the ship docked at 9 km from the city and Costa took us 11 eur/person for bus transport (which was supposed to be free). When we returned to the ship, there was a huge queue at the buffet, people were hungry and have to stay in line over 30-40 min. to take the food and then wait for 10-15 min to find a free table. There are not enough tables at the buffet (which was open until 15:00), the service lines closed in front of us without any explanation (even there was plenty of food). In Casablanca the ship docked at 3km from the port exit and they provide no bus to take us out of the port which was dangerous enough. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. All the day-time shows were only in italian (without any translation). The food at the breakfast was poor, there were hours during the day (especially when the people returned from the cities) when no food was enabled. Any extra (eg. pizza, ice-cream, pancakes), had to be paid. At the end, as a "final gift" they charged us a "service" fee of 10 eur/person/night even this was not mentioned in our contract and informed them about this. Overall, I think that Costa is trying to maximize their profit charging anything they offer instead of focusing to customer satisfaction. Costa Magica=an experience we will never repeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are more expensive but much worse than at MSC. Every day we returned from the town to the ship there was a huge queue at the buffet and there are not enough tables at the buffet. Breakfast was poorly. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Water from the toilet was broken for 3 times. The balcony door was broken for every 3 days. Air conditioning made a loud noise and we can't rest at night. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. Crew did not seem very concerned about issues or complaints - they seemed indifferent to our concerns. We will never sail with Costa Cruises again and would not recommend it for any one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect ... Read More
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect match of itinerary and value for money. This Costa cruise included a number of interesting ports such as Tangier and Casablanca where we participated in excellent excursions offered by the ship. In Marseille, we walked about 900 metres and then took a local bus (no 38) to the city centre ( at 3.60 Euro for a day pass) - much cheaper than the shuttle bus offered by the ship. We then took another bus up to see the church Notre Dame de la garde from which there is a fabulous view of the old harbour. Furthermore, iif you do not mind walking, you can easily experience both !Lisbon and Cadiz on your own on foot. In recent years, Costa has limted the places where onboard smoking is permitted, which suits me fine. However, unless my memory fails me, they have also cut back on their buffet breakfast options, leaving out hot dishes such as scrambled egg and bacon. Consequently, you have to go to the restaurant in the morning if you want to have an international brakfast. However, if you choose to do so, you can both serve yourself from the buffet in the restaurant or order from a comprehensive menu of different types of breakfast items such as Belgian waffles, American pancakes and various omelettes. If you are back late onboard after having been ashore and are hungry, you will often have to stand in line for a long time at " The Grill" which on many days is the only place to get hot lunch options in the middle of the afternoon. On a more positive note, the various types of beef served in the main dining room in the evenings were all very delicious, and the menu never failed to offer something to my taste. I would, however, have welcomed "icecream" on the list of " always available" items. If you are a night owl you may be rather disappointed to find that the bars close rather early, and even the disco - which mostly semed tobe full of very young teens - stop serving the guests at 3 am. As on other cruises, many guests were up early hoarding sunbeds, but as Costa had limited the space between the sunbeds to sqeeze in as many beds as possible, I never had any problem finding a sunbed. Furthermore, unlike on MSC, no decks were reserved for frequent cruisers with special membership which again increased the possibility for finding a vacant sunbed. Costa is known as the budget cruise liner, but you should be aware that their service charges are as high as € 10 a day. Also, most cocktails cost € 7.45 (plus 15% service charge) which may make you consider opting for the Piu Guso beverage package ( € 29 a day). You can also get a beverage package of 40 softdrinks/ non-alcoholic cocktails for € 110. As on MSC, water is not offered for free in the restaurant, and coffee and tea is only available for breakfast and the afternoon snack. Furthermore, juice is only available in the morning. The fitness centre was larger than what we have experienced on most other ships, but unfortunately some of the machines did not work. We did not go to see more than a few of the shows in the theatre but instead spent several hours listening to a fantastic duo called "Gisele & Daniel" who performed each evening in the atrium on deck 3. Costa has really hit jackpot by signing on this charming and talented Brazilian couple who outperformed any duo we have ever listened to on our previous cruises. Weighing the pros against the cons, I think we got good value for money by choosing this Costa cruise. However, Costa is far from ever becoming our favourite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I chose this cruise thanks to its stops in many Mediterranean islands. Apparently some stops could be avoided as there was nothing interesting to do there. The ship is renovated with a modest but comfortable look. and so are the ... Read More
I chose this cruise thanks to its stops in many Mediterranean islands. Apparently some stops could be avoided as there was nothing interesting to do there. The ship is renovated with a modest but comfortable look. and so are the cabins. Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent, apart from Capri where it took 4 hours to disembark! In many aspects the cruise is "almost" ok, but only almost. It is nothing like the Carnival or RCCL style. The ship is relatively small and so are the two small pools and other dull facilities. Activities are dull to none (SAVINGS!). Almost no musicians in public spaces with no interesting performances during the free time.(SAVINGS!) Food- The evening dining sitting offers the same food as the uninspired buffet (SAVINGS!), but with slow service, less choice and they charge 3.5 Eur for 1L water, 5 Eur for a glass of beer. Half side of the buffet is closed and the rest operates for short hours (SAVINGS!) The food itself is made of cheap products, often tin food or frozen and defrost, which kills their taste.(SAVINGS!) it resembles more a local modest employee cafeteria rather than a cruise cuisine. No juices are offered for free, and the water machine is always broken.(SAVINGS!). No tea / coffee unless between 16-17 (SAVINGS!) The breakfast buffet offers no eggs. (SAVINGS!) If you want an omelette go to the dining room for a served breakfast where the other food items choice is smaller and the service is slow. water / juices are offered only by service in small glass.(SAVINGS!) Evening entertainment fits more a high school level than the Vegas level that is offered by other cruise lines (SAVINGS!). The crew was not presented to the passengers and there was barley a commitment for personal service from ANY of the personnel. Shore excursions are VERY expensive. You can manage on your own with a fraction of the price. All in all, you may expect a 3-star cruise for high bracket price. The impression is that Costa tries to save on its customers on any possible item. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on ... Read More
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on Cruise Critic and elsewhere because of the itinerary and because we previously had defied negative reviews of MSC and had a very positive experience with them. Embarkation was at Savona and was very badly organised. We waited for over an hour sitting around in a building in the port along with a huge crowd of other passengers before being allowed to board. Far less efficient than our experiences with Princess, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean. We had booked a suite and this gave us priority in boarding and when we were taken to our cabin we were very pleased with the accommodation. The quality of the accommodation was the most positive aspect of the cruise. However, when we looked around for the coffee machine which had been promised in the brochure and asked where it was we were told that the coffee machines had not been delivered and would not be available. Another disappointment was that our “private butler” turned out to be just another cabin steward serving a whole number of suites. Also, our daily bowl of fresh fruit was seldom really fresh with wrinkled peaches and plums and apples with rotten brown blemishes on them. The food in our private dining area was the biggest single disappointment. The dishes were poorly executed and over-elaborate Italian cuisine which were mostly tasteless and bland. Worst of all was that almost everything arrived at our table lukewarm or cold. One day we had fish with steakhouse fries which were actually cold ! Uneatable. Nothing tasted freshly made by the time it hit our table. This is the first cruise where we actually sent dishes back because they were so bad. Compounding this was the slow and disorganised service in the dining area. The waiters seemed to be badly trained and worked with no sense of urgency or commitment. Since one of the things we usually most enjoy on a cruise is the food, we were very disappointed. Also tea or coffee is available at no extra charge in the dining rooms only with breakfast, with lunch and dinner it is charged to your account. Another major disappointment was the lack of a decent day-time entertainment programme. There were no movies in the theatre, few interesting instruction sessions and little worthwhile music. The shows in the evening were OK. The on-board shops are the least interesting of any cruise we have been on – only two shops and none which sold pharmacy items such as asprin, toothpaste, sun tan oil etc. On the third last day of our voyage the toilets on our deck (I don’t know about other decks) would not flush. This was repaired but recurred. You can imagine the smells that permeated the cabins. Now, a warning to English-speaking cruisers. The language on this ship is Italian. We had pre-booked one excursion and planned to book others as we went along. However, the booked excursion with an English commentary was cancelled because, it turned out, we were the only English speakers among the whole of 3,000+ passengers. Rather than miss the excursion (to Avignon) we went along with the Italian language guide but it was painful not understanding the commentary. We did not go on any other excursions because none was available in English. Also, if you hate cigarette smoke as much as I do, find another cruise line. Smoke is everywhere even though smokers are supposed to indulge only in designated areas and on cabin balconies. Our cruise also had a number of families with young babies which cried a lot and on a couple of occasions woke us up at night. Also there were a lot of young children who were allowed to charge around the dining areas, disturbing diners. The only positives on the cruise were the quality of our cabin accommodation and the WiFi which was charged by size of download rather time spent online. Would I cruise with Costa again ? Definitely not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. ... Read More
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. What really stood out for me and made my holiday very special was the Hungarian Latin Dance Group. They were four outstanding professionals and kind human beings. The two bands playing in the Grand Piazza were superb. I would like to do another cruise with Costa mainly because of them and the Entertainment Team, formed by Italian, Spanish and Brazilian nationals. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The one disappointment was Ingrid, the Hotel Officer. My wallet was stolen in the Port of Savona just before starting the Cruise. She just was not interested in my problem and frustration. With the help of my son from Britain I could get money sent to the next Port: Barcelona. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign nationals. My one concern was safety. We attended the lifeboat drill, were actually some of the first there and led our line. It was disappointing to see some of the staff pay scant attention to what was going on and chatting during instructions in languages other than Italian. It also went on for 45/50 minutes, far too long. But hey when your most infamous ship is Costa Concordia why not? However, a day later we received curt letter asking why we hadn't turned up for the drill. We told reception we had been there and had time dated pictures to prove it (our family insisted we didn't miss it because of ship's reputation and we sent them pictures). They told us not to worry, but next day another letter asking why we missed a second drill and ordering us to watch something on tv and sign a form to say we had...and so it went on - and we got more and more cross. Repeated visits to reception ...to get off our backs, and while it might be considered admirable to pursue this - apparently staff should have swiped our cards on the day to show we attended. If it hadn't been an exercise they might needlessly be looking for us when we were on deck in line where we were supposed to be. Staff were very lax. So Costa clearly not learnt their lesson. Much to improve in safety marshalling. The rest was awesome and drinks package worthwhile. Really fab cruise, we managed Savonna, Milan on extra time plus Valencia (good), Palermo (dump), Naples (superb), Palma (lovely), Barcelona - speaks for itself. Entertainment was superb. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We were really looking forward to this cruise, especially since we took Costa for our honeymoon in 2012. Some things have changed, sadly not for the better. While overall it was a good trip, Costa is slipping. Some highlights: even though ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise, especially since we took Costa for our honeymoon in 2012. Some things have changed, sadly not for the better. While overall it was a good trip, Costa is slipping. Some highlights: even though we paid for the Piu' Gusto drinks package, we found upon arrival that it wasn't on our Costa cards (which were conveniently placed on our bed). So after a phone call and a trip down to Guest Services, we got new cards and headed to the bar. Second foul-up-we arrived at our room to discover that our excursion for Marseille (a trip to Avignon and the Palais des Papes) was canceled. They'd given us until 3 pm to contact them about it and fortunately 3 pm is when we got to our room. Turns out they didn't have enough English-speaking passengers (not uncommon given that 98% of them are Europeans), so we were offered the tour in Italian or German. Since we both speak Italian, we took that one. But I'd ordered 3 excursions as a package deal and saved 10% by doing so online. Since Costa canceled the excursion and offered a substitute, they charged us the extra 10%. Come on! So again we headed downstairs to sort that out and after initially rebuffing us, the lady at the excursions desk said "we'll take care of it." So 2 problems in one day and it’s only 3:30 pm. That night we arrived at the Filomena restaurant to discover that we were given a table for 2 instead of the 8-top we’d requested. Long story short: they thought we wanted English-speaking dinner companions and didn’t have any (which they did on our honeymoon, too) and after explaining this to the maître d’, they put us with Italians for the rest of the trip. The overall level of service isn’t what I remember from 2012. Wait staff at dinnertime seemed rushed, requests for ice in drinks and butter for bread often had to be made multiple times, sometimes after a hasty “just a moment” from a waiter rushing by. The drinks package didn’t seem as generous as the last time. Example: several tropical drinks priced at €7.45 on the menu were indeed included, while others on the same page and the same price were starred with an asterisk that indicated they weren’t included. Furthermore, contrary to what a Costa rep told me on the phone, the Piu’ Gusto package doesn’t cover drinks in ANY of the specialty bars. Needless to say, we avoided them altogether. Previously we had been told that if a premium drink cost X amount, we’d pay the difference (starting at €7 or so, so if the premium drink cost €9, you’d pay only an additional 2 Euros). Not anymore. If your drink isn’t included, you pay full freight. That’s just being stingy. Which reminds me: on our first trip, we got bottles of wine and mineral water. Now it’s by the glass only (and only 1 choice for the red or white wines, not a selection as before) We loved the gelateria and visited it often, even though there was an extra charge. Same with the pizza, which was PHENOMENAL-wish we’d gone there more often. But again, they make you pay €6.50, although it does include a dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. Many of the dinner items were previously frozen, and to be fair, it didn’t seem to have affected the quality too much. But it just seemed like they are going more for frozen and reheated foods than they did before. Can’t comment on the shows too much, we only went to the acrobatic one which was terrific, the duo were from France and did a spectacular job. Music in the bars was decent, we liked the Country Rock bar a lot. Drinks were generally good, but as before, it seemed to take a very long time to get served. It looked like the staff to passenger ratio was worse than before. Our cabin steward, Alexander, was cheerful, friendly and efficient. The room itself was fine except for a really annoying creaking sound coming from the balcony door that I think eventually got resolved-some nights I might have been too sleepy to notice. The TV remote control was iffy-sometimes it froze the screen and I had to turn the TV all the way off and back on again for it to respond. Tons of channels to choose from, most Italian or German. I am multilingual and I don’t go on cruises to watch TV, so wasn’t too disappointed in the English language offerings. We did use the spa once for a couple’s massage and it was really good, if exorbitant in price like most cruise massages tend to be. But overall I’d say the standard has slipped. The excursions we booked with Costa were great, especially our guides in Avignon and Florence. The guide in Savona (the tour actually went to Genoa) didn’t seem to take care to ensure all were together-at one point my wife and I stopped to make a quick purchase and the group went off without us. Luckily we knew where the bus was meeting us and found them again-the guide acted like she didn’t realize we were gone for 1 ½ hours! The ship was impeccably clean, the staff mostly friendly. I won a “guess the national anthem” contest and the presenter was fun, really hilarious actually and got everybody in a festive mood. Food at breakfast was good, not spectacular but above average. We had room service a couple of times and it was great. I think next time we cruise Europe we’ll look beyond Costa. They need to get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Sorry but this is the worst type of cruise, for us anyway. Too many people trying to get food, drink and onto coaches. The restaurant waiters are very good and food great, but at the buffet at lunch times the passengers pushing and ... Read More
Sorry but this is the worst type of cruise, for us anyway. Too many people trying to get food, drink and onto coaches. The restaurant waiters are very good and food great, but at the buffet at lunch times the passengers pushing and filling their plates so high makes you feel ill. Our main problems with costa is not having water available when needed without having to pay for it, and every day ontop of evrthing is the service charge at the moment is 9 euros. Then when you buy anything costa add another service charge. They even charge a fee of nearly 11 euros to get from the ship to the cities you are visiting, unless you have already paid to go on one of their excursions. The only saving grace is the staff not the italian main officers and staff but all the waiters etc who seem to be from the philloppines, they are very helpful. It's a shame because the places we visited where very interesting, and they seem to cater for children under 12 very well and from 16 upwards but our 12 year old was restricted to playing in the arcade to which that was over 3 euros a game. Our holiday is not about how little we spend we just like value for money, and with costa you felt as if you paid for the holiday, and then some more every day. If costa could just include water with their full board option, it would make a difference. We have had better cruises and have done many. Also having to leave your luggage outside your cabin by 01:00 for disembarkation and leaving your cabin by 08:00 is a little bewildering as the luggage is left on the quayside by the ship for you to collect and put on the coach for the airport journey. So will not put costa cruises at the top of our holiday list. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I really enjoyed my trip. The crew was nice and welcoming. There were lots and lots of entertainment. We participated in the Lotto draw and my brother in law, won a price i.e. a dinner in one of your esteemed restaurant. He was the one ... Read More
I really enjoyed my trip. The crew was nice and welcoming. There were lots and lots of entertainment. We participated in the Lotto draw and my brother in law, won a price i.e. a dinner in one of your esteemed restaurant. He was the one who took us on cruise. The ship is really beautiful. The service also was nice. The only problem is that being an Indian and pure vegetarian my choice of food was very limited. I would very much like to cruise again on your ship. Many of my friends and family members are very interested to come on board your ship on hearing how I had a nice time during my stay on your ship. I wish to thank you the Charming Captain and his crew and wish a belated happy new year 2016 may success crown your path. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This ship spoilt cruising for me,it is too big, too crowded and to expensive, example a bottle of water 3.75 euro plus 15% tax,water is not available when the dining room closes so if you have medication to takeover outside those times you ... Read More
This ship spoilt cruising for me,it is too big, too crowded and to expensive, example a bottle of water 3.75 euro plus 15% tax,water is not available when the dining room closes so if you have medication to takeover outside those times you need to buy water,not very nice but it is a way of getting money out of you. Lifts are slow and always congested , lengthy queus going to meals , embarking and disembalking First class shuttle bus rip off, 9.95 euro +tax return to travel 9 minutes into town on the Costa bus, local bus 3.00 euro return and drops off closer,Costa takes a grab wherever they can,you want a piece of pizza on this ship you pay for it,not on Holland ships Staff were great and so was most food. Previously sailed with Holland America and found that to be much much better in every way. Doing another cruise with costa because it is already booked but it will be my last. No english speaking movie channels on your room TV on this ship All in all spoilt by the Money Grab. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I have been on several cruises, from multiple companies and this is by far the worst one I have ever been on. We disembarked a day early and thankfully we did because 6 days was long enough! The ship isn't that nice, though it's ... Read More
I have been on several cruises, from multiple companies and this is by far the worst one I have ever been on. We disembarked a day early and thankfully we did because 6 days was long enough! The ship isn't that nice, though it's relatively new it already feels dated. The staff were miserable and not nice but I don't blame them because they work such long hard days and get yelled at all day by pushy, trashy customers. The dining options were limited. The buffet was open at terrible hours as was the breakfast. Customers in the dining halls were pushy, rude and didn't know how to wait their turn for anything!! The common areas were overcrowded and the amount of smoking was horrendous! The customers didn't adhere to the guidelines regarding smoking and the halls, elevators and even our room reeked like smoke! Disembarking at the ports was a nightmare. Again, everyone was pushing and shoving to get off. It was SUPER disorganized. Once on the port, we had to pay to take buses, organized through the cruise which was poorly communicated and very expensive. Everything on this cruise was poorly communicated. We had no idea what was going on half the time, it didn't hel that most of the announcements were only in Italian!!! The day we disembarked we were given ZERO information about the process. We had to stand in line at the information desk just to find out how to disembark! Like I said I've cruised with many other companies and have never had this disorganization issue. The entertainment is awful and again only catered to Italians. The food in general was subpar. All in all, this cruise was royally awful. Don't bother booking unless you're Italian. But even if I was Italian, I would save my money and book elsewhere! I basically hated every minute of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We had a beautiful cabin- but with finger breaking hooks to open drawers.The ship is 2 years old- ample time for management to correct this simple-to-fix defect. The cuisine was bad, even by Costa standards. We had table 385 in the ... Read More
We had a beautiful cabin- but with finger breaking hooks to open drawers.The ship is 2 years old- ample time for management to correct this simple-to-fix defect. The cuisine was bad, even by Costa standards. We had table 385 in the Gattopardo restaurant. Excellent waiter, a menu set out by its Chef which was sheer poetry. Only the food did not match it. Except for the standard tagliatelle bolognesi , potato puree, and ice cream, almost everything else was substandard. Why employ a real chef when any dishhand would do? Breakfast at that restaurant was absolutely chaotic. Waiters galore floating around doing nothing and trying to justify their presence. One had to block one to place an order. Chaos at its best. No coffe could be had with desert at restaurant tables, coffee being the preserve of the bars. And the self service restaurant obliged by closing its coffee machines throughout the day except for breakfast to herd the passengers to the bars to be charged for it. The port shuttles were not free but an expensive extra. And to make things worst one was forced to buy tickets beforehand and not when boarding the buses. To summarize : the management is not customer orientated or could not care less. So why does Costa put up with it? Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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