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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport ... Read More
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport control is that Costa's staff starting from the point where our passports were collected, vessel's officers along the gangway up to the point where our photos were taken for the Costa Cards for use during the cruise, were less than friendly and welcoming. There was no smile whatsoever on their faces and nothing to suggest from their body language that we as paying passengers were welcome for this cruise. This I found out to be the norm for all vessel's offcers during the entirety of this cruise. My review now continues by bullet-points : 1. As Costa Venezia is less than one year old since it joined the Costa fleet, everything on the boat is very new and modern. Wife and I booked a cabin with balcony and the cabin is roomy and nicely appointed. The room was on deck 9 towards the rear of the boat and is very convenient to get to Deck 10, where a lot of actions and eateries are located. During our cruise, our cabin was looked after by a dedicated cabin steward. He was Star Serondo from the Philippines. He also greeted passengers with a big smile and is industrious. Every morning when wife and I went upstairs to deck 10 to take a quick breakfast, Star would have completed the cabin cleaning within the short time that we went for our breakfast, which was normally 40 min. from the time we left our cabin to the time we returned to our cabin. He comes with my high commendation. 2. One very important feature that I noticed is that a large number of the crew on the boat only speak Mandarin. This is undertandable as a large number of the passengers come from Mainland China and they only speak Mandarin. Unfortunately for someone like me who is not well versed in Mandarin found it hard to communicate with crew members when I need to. In one instance, I was asked if I can speak to them in Mandarin!! Their Mandarin speaking crew appeared to be inexperienced and went about their business by adopting Chinese custom and lacking in Internationally accepted mannerism and etiquette. This is a real disapointment for someone like me who is so adpated to Western culture and mannerism. 3. Tying in with my previous comments, a lot of the announcements made on the boat were made in just one language. Yes, you guessed it, mandarin only. This left me in the dark at most times and in particular, I was worried that I might miss any important announcemnt that is safety related. The only times that the announcement was made in both English and Mandarin was immediately before disembarkation when we arrived back in Shanghai. to remind passengers to go and settle their bills before they disembark!! All in all, the entire cruise was geared towards Mandarin speaking passengers and for those who do not speak Mandarin, best to choose other cruises not setting sail out of China ports. 4. In terms of food, those outlets that serve free food offered little varieties and their taste was poor to average. For me, there are only two categories of food, one being to fill you up when you are hungry and the other is looking for quality in the food that one takes. The food served at these outlets only qualify for the first category that I described. 5. I have also tried out four paid resturants during my cruise and they include Casanova, the Hot Pot place, the Teppenyaki restaurant and the BBQ outlet. The only place that comes close to my second category of food is Casanova. The place is quickly filled up and my best advice is to make a reservation for this restaurant as soon as you settle into your cabin to avoid disappointment. However, whilst the food in Casanova is okay to good, do not expect their service can complement the food. Most of the staff in this restaurant has no knowledge on how food should be served. This place is definitely not a fine dining outlet. For the BBQ outlet, the food served was cold and not sizzling hot as one would have expected from BBQ experience. The only consolation is the food served at the BBQ outlet is relatively cheap. The teppenyaki experience is more to attend a show dinner more than quality of the food. At any rate, the quality of the food is nowhere near the authentic teppenyaki restaurant that I have come across, be it in Japan or outside Japan. Hot Pot place is worthed a visit as the food does not require Chef's cooking and the price is again relatively cheap. The boat also has a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, Napoli Pizza and noodle house which i did not have a chance to savour. 6. We joined a shore excursion when the boat berthed at Kagoshima. Save for the lunch provided with the excursion, the experience was bad. The guide for our group made us stand in line to wait for all the execurion participants to arrive before she led us to our coach. When we arrived at one of the three designated sight-seeing locations, the guide just pointed to where we were suppose to head and did not actually show us the place. At one location, we had to resort to using Goggle Map to find out where we were supposed to be going. The worst part came at the end of the excursion when we were all asked to leave the coach to move into a supermarket like medicine store. We were made to stay there for over an hour. For those who were not interested to shop in the store was made to stand around and were not allowed to stay on the coach! The attendants in the shop were mainly Chinese and that shop can be mistaken as another shop found in Mainland China if we were not told that that was Japan. Better off saving your money by not joining the excursion and simply disembarked and explore the destination yourselves. 7. I want to complement a lot of the English speaking crew who came form India and the Philipines. They are all very cheerful, helpful, hospitable and ready at all times to make passengers to enjoy the cruise as it should be enjoyed. This contradicted sharply with the Western officers who not only appeared to be unfriendly, but also too arrogant in front of their mainly Chinese pasengers. They seem to have forgotten that all passengers are paying to come on board and we are not refugees!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The cruise from Shanghai to Singapore was a total disaster. It started with the embarkation in Shanghai which was a chaos ,people cumulating on each other to enter the ship ...no lines no staff to assist. When you enter the ship you ... Read More
The cruise from Shanghai to Singapore was a total disaster. It started with the embarkation in Shanghai which was a chaos ,people cumulating on each other to enter the ship ...no lines no staff to assist. When you enter the ship you recognize that this is a very old and out of date ship. Everywhere the signs are in Chinese...The staff is mainly from South East Asia not able to speak English even.... The ship and this cruise was mainly directed to the Chinese market but this time sold in Europe.. There was certainly no entertainment on the ship I do not know what the cruise director was doing!!!!Although there was a dancing and singing team on board they only performed twice during the 14 day cruise... Other nights it was either a tenor who sang the same song 5 times I listened...Or they have shown movies in the theater....Or the same buffoon three times.... The ship had o skip two ports due to a typhoon .Costa organized this cruise just in the middle of a monsoon season where the weather was terrible ,raining on every port and the ship rocking like a cradle... The food in the restaurants was acceptable but the buffet was joke... They serviced the same food from breakfast on lunch. The tables at the buffet area was very dirty- sticky since the staff did not intend to clean them properly, the same little cloth was used to clean the sticky dirty tables, leaving residue on the tables...If you call it cleaning...The coffee and tea machines were all in rust. And most of the time out of order.. They were very pushy to sell excursions and not providing any shuttles on the ports..In Phuket the ship anchored at a very distant place from Phuket main city forcing people to buy bus tickets..It was an hour trip to Phuket main area....Although other cruises anchored just across the main beach namely Patong Beach... I heard from most of the passengers saying "never with Costa again"..The ship was like a charter accepting passengers from most of the ports and people coming and getting out of the ship nearly in every port..Especially from Singapore the ship was full of Chinese yelling at each other and having rough behavior in the lifts and buffet areas.. As a conclusion I have never witnessed such a cruise before ,having 6 more cruses before with other cruise lines ...Never with Costa again.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The ship is old and only *** Embarcation in Shanghai: chaos, it took 3 hours from the scheduled time, only few persons got some water. Our cabin outside classic was small. Toilet facilities in public spaces: unsanitary For many ... Read More
The ship is old and only *** Embarcation in Shanghai: chaos, it took 3 hours from the scheduled time, only few persons got some water. Our cabin outside classic was small. Toilet facilities in public spaces: unsanitary For many situations that do not work. The information in loudspeakers deficient, special in critical situations as in the embarcation and when the comming tyfon is a reality. Entertainment in the theater was good, but in the pool area was not varied enough. The food was good at all restaurants. They did not give us enough time on the excursions. Disembarkation: it took 2 hours from the ship to the terminal in Singapore. Chaos in the disembarkation terminal. I lost my suitcase in that chaos, which I suspect approaching organized chrime, which Costa Cruise neglect. I do not want to spend more time to talk about the cruise. Only: never, never ever Costa Cruise Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Having sailed on numerous cruises some excellent, most very good, It needs to advised that I and my husband have just experienced the ‘Worst” cruise imaginable ‘Costa Cruises’ booked through Imagine Cruising. COSTA VICTORIA – ... Read More
Having sailed on numerous cruises some excellent, most very good, It needs to advised that I and my husband have just experienced the ‘Worst” cruise imaginable ‘Costa Cruises’ booked through Imagine Cruising. COSTA VICTORIA – ASIA- SHANGHAI – October 2016 After a tiring flight JHB to Shanghai we were booked in a hotel far from anywhere, with one English Speaking Manager, who was helpful, courteous and charming. The room was basic but comfortable, no soap or hand towels in the bathroom, no control over the air-conditioning, two teabags no coffee, sugar or milk. The restaurant service was horrendous, six of us ordered, the one male party received his food first, as he finished his meal, the next male member received his. His starter of 3 spring rolls arrived after his main course which was fish with steamed rice, they gave him 13 spring rolls, after eating a few of them the next male received his food, the three ladies received their food of Duck when he was half way through his meal, and the male with spring rolls then received his steamed rice. The Duck either died of old age or gave itself up. Let us move to breakfast, or maybe not, absolute disaster, they ran out of everything and it was all cold, the juice machine was cleaned by one of our fellow passengers and another passenger tried to fix it as the machine had given up. Tea, a tea bag in warm water, no milk, sugar or spoon, when asking for milk it came in another cup, no milk jugs and it was not cheap. Arrived at the docks at the specified time, luggage put through given a number 8 boarding indicator to board at 2.30 pm. We boarded at 7.00 p.m. that night, cold, tired, thirsty and hungry, not by number but by who could push and elbow the hardest. No explanation no apology. Many of us had to sit in the terminal shed as the terminal itself was over-crowded 1, 900 persons. On boarding two of our party had luggage receiving problems which were eventually sorted out. The cabins and ship were old but comfortable certainly below the normal cruise ship standard, they did have a kettle for tea\coffee making, but only one socket in the whole cabin. Try charging you cell-phones, ipads, tooth brushes and making tea\coffee not ideal and no extension cords were allowed, we managed. The cleaning of the cabin was perfunctory, make beds, sort of hoover, sort of dust, remove dirty cups plates etc. if spotted, no cleaning of balcony except once after complaining, and if you did complain you were called down to reception to ensure you were happy, this when a phone call would have sufficed, when the bathroom door fell off the rails and they then fixed it we did not respond to the ‘Come and tell us it is all better’ note, oh yes the air-con did break down but they fixed it along with the smell of blocked toilets. Do not get bored I am just getting started. The Entertainers in general should not have given up their day jobs, in respect of one female singer I had to close my balcony doors to drown her out. Quizzes aplenty, every single question as they were given was asked in German, English, French and Italian a very long process. Four Dance lessons every day on occasion five and once six, if you did not like being taught dancing bad luck. The theatre show was a video of Michael Bublé, oh yes plenty Ping Pong. You could go for lessons to learn, Chinese, French etc., are they serious, in one or two lessons? Elemis – if I did not know the product for ladies I do now, promotion after promotion a real selling pitch, along with come to the Spa pay a fortune and you will get a lesson on grooming your feet What Cruise Director. Food –‘Dare I’ The great thing about cruising is the fantastic cuisine and service, with smiling waiters and good wine. Hello did some-one forget to advise Costa Cruises. No exaggeration 90% of the staff were a sorry unhappy bunch with absolutely no training in service or public relations – or was it because they already had their ‘Tip’ in their pockets at twelve (12) American dollars a day per person, and therefore did not feel the need. On top of the tip there was a 15% service charge on all purchases of drinks etc. a total rip off. Any coffee other than the normal had to be paid for, plus water and cool drinks. Every night in the Dining room was Fish, Chicken and Pork ( Less choice for the Jewish fraternity) with the exception of about four nights when the pork was changed to ‘Dying Duck’, Rubberised Steak – and twice cardboard lamb. The desserts were nice, the fish tasted the same no matter what it was, the bread was good and if you like hot, soft poached eggs you can get hard cold ones. Sometimes the soup was good, sometimes dish water no soup spoons, only dessert spoons and no fish knives. The casual eating areas did not fare much better. Thinking about this I should stop as this subject could become a book. The Reason for all of this was that this boat for the last three years had been chartered by the Chinese, with Chinese cooks and Chinese food that had no idea how to cook western food, we were the test pilots and boy did it crash. The Captain had a meeting to tell us all about the Typhoon, when asked about the embarkation debacle he laughed, and said it was the Chinese passengers fault as they would not disembark due to money issues, then again laughingly apologised, the next day champagne in the cabins and at dinner, ‘Too little too late’, not funny Shanghai, so far out of town never had time to see much, Naha nothing to write home about, Hong Kong Great needed more time, Sanya and Da Nang did not visit due to Typhoon, no-ones fault, three and a half days at sea with nothing to do, Ho Chi Min they wanted a 125 American dollar’s to get from the port to town no further comment, Vietnam is beautiful if you go to the right place I have been before, not this way. Singapore, It was advised that the customs were very strict and would search all your suitcases and bags and there would be horrendous fines if you took alcohol, chewing gum or more than nineteen cigarettes and that there was nowhere to smoke in the cities, you would have to walk to find a smoking spot and that they had smoking police, what a load of rubbish, the customs were simple friendly and did not search all the luggage, even the hotel had a smoking outside and a little café. The area we visited Clarke Quay was super and just about all restaurants and bars had smoking facilities. I bring this up because it really put all of us off Singapore and no we are not all smokers, but we all felt intimated about staying there and it was Fabulous, Singapore Tourism should know about this. Arrived home needing a holiday, one with pneumonia, one with a dreadful cold and two feeling terrible. Costa not recommended. We should all be compensated for this we are not guinea pigs, for them to practise on, we are paying passengers. For those of the passengers that were experiencing their first cruise, please believe me cruising is wonderful not like this there are excellent cruise lines ‘Costa’ is not one of them This matter will be taken further there is a law in the Industry that clearly states that one can claim on a ‘Diminished Holiday Experience’ and that is what this was. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
My family had a great time, we really did, but we probably won't do this ship again. My kids are 8 and 6 and they loved it. This particular trip was organized by a local tourist company based out of Nanjing. Originally it was to ... Read More
My family had a great time, we really did, but we probably won't do this ship again. My kids are 8 and 6 and they loved it. This particular trip was organized by a local tourist company based out of Nanjing. Originally it was to go to Korea, but after MERS and the river cruise boat flipping, they've had to change courses. It's our first time with Costa, previously we have done Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Disney. Just trying to board the ship was a different experience. Very crowded. I've never experienced this before. Lines yes, but crowded lines, not really. Seems like they could have done a better job managing the flow of people. In the past we have always gotten our stateroom keys and paired our credit cards before heading on board. This was the first time where we had to go to our rooms first to get our stateroom keys. Our luggages were already there. Then we had to go to one of the few portals and pair our credit cards to our cards. There was something wrong with the machines. You have to leave a digital signature and we tried multiple times and it wouldn't go through. Finally we signed in Chinese instead of English and it was fine. Forgive me if my memory is wrong, but I believe in the past all drinks on cruises except for alcoholic drinks are basically free. Like your basic milk, juices, and cokes. Well not on Costa. They sell multiple drink packages. There's a drink package where you can have a limit of 10 drinks per day. Or unlimited beer per day. Then they sell this "unlimited" package, or that's how it's labeled. The kicker is everybody in the same room has to pay for the same package (it's a little cheaper for the kiddos). Which is fine, my husband and I don't like feeling restricted so we opted for that. Except apparently the staff didn't really know how to get it done. First one staff member tried really hard to convince us we didn't want this package and tried selling us another package. Then we were told we can do this at any bar, which we went to a bar on the 5th floor and the guy was obviously confused. Taking his time, calling for help. Once it worked and we tested it, we still ran into problems. At dinner for example, our waiter said he could not get it to work. Finally my husband went to guest services and were told we need new cards, and they would print our stateroom cards with the word "extra" on the back. This was also fine, except guest services was so incredibly rude. The lady at first refused to be helpful at all. My husband had to ask for the manager to come. And even the manager had to do some convincing for the lady to print four cards. So it's finally working and we find out, really it's not an "all-inclusive" or "un-limited" drink package at all. For example I can only have original margarita, can't have the blue or pink margarita. And they have this drink of the day deal, also not included. I remember all the other cruises had soft-serve ice-cream at the buffet. This one has a vending machine for ice-cream. The staterooms are decent. I don't remember which cruise I was on that provided on-board mobile phones, easy for staying in contact with other family members. This cruise does not have this. My kids had a bunk bed. We slept well in general. The TV was a nice flat screen. The bathrooms - they do not stock shampoo or conditioner like the other cruises. I had to go to the spa to buy some (but it was not expensive). The shower floods. Basically if more than one person needs to shower in a row, your bathroom well flood and it takes a while to drain. They use shower curtains. In general the staff members were great. Some spoke Chinese, most spoke English. We had a few more run-ins with guest services and always really really rude. Literally my husband got to the guest services desk and the guy at the counter just said "what?". There was no "how can I help you" kind of attitude at all. At the end of the trip they ask for everyone to fill out a survey, and they had it in Chinese only. Another thing that made us feel nickled and dimed was when we found our room service costed money. All the other cruise ships - it is definitely included. My kids tried out the children club and didn't like it. Said the staff was really cold and not nice at all. They wouldn't go back. Okay to the positives. Dining service was beyond compare. Of all the cruises this was the best dining service in terms of family fun. The servers put on a small show every night and it was always very funny. The food was excellent as well. The shows were fun. The casino is a good decent size, but the lowest bet is 25USD. The arcade is well done. Very well done. It was easy to play games by swiping your stateroom card. And the card keeps the points. Then there's a machine where you can pick our toys based on your points. This is my first time on a cruise where almost everyone is Chinese. It was fun. The dance floors were always full. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
Finally after some saving up I was finally able to take my mother on a cruise I promised her a whole year ago. We boarded the Costa Victoria in August and I have never seen my mom being so satisfied, she enjoyed the trip a lot. The price ... Read More
Finally after some saving up I was finally able to take my mother on a cruise I promised her a whole year ago. We boarded the Costa Victoria in August and I have never seen my mom being so satisfied, she enjoyed the trip a lot. The price of the Costa Victoria cruise was also much cheaper than I expected. So the trip started with us taking a flight to Shanghai for embarking and of course we took advantage of this side trip and did some sightseeing around Shanghai for 2 days. The route that we chose was a cruise from Shanghai to South Korea, which could not have been more perfect for us as my mom have always enjoyed historical novels and visiting heritage museums and I could bring her to all those places so effortlessly. I also realized that it is so convenient if you have a credit card to pay for stuffs on the cruise so you do not need to bring a lot of cash. But even if you do not own a credit card, you could just use the Costa Card they give out to pay everything on cruise then pay at the end of the journey at the counter. So at the first day of the cruise, when we were waiting to embark, Costa staffs came around with a round of drinks for us while we wait. That’s so heartwarming! It is quite embarrassing but I have to admit that I don’t have the strongest sense of direction, probably inherited that from my mom; we got lost on the way to our cabin. Fortunately for us a staff was there to guide us to the door of our cabin. Thank you Nicola! At the end of the trip, I found out Nicola is the best staff on Costa Victoria(Clap) After we settled down, it was almost 2pm and that was when we realized that we have not had any breakfast that morning and we can hear our stomachs rumbling. We immediately got to our feet and decided to go the restaurant on Deck 11 first. There was not a huge variety of food to choose from, but the dessert was an amazing finishing touch to our breakfast/lunch! We went to other restaurants in the remaining days and we found a burger joint which serves excellent burgers!! In terms of on-board entertainment, there were mini performances by singers on Deck 5-7. My mom was a quiet and self-contained woman so we went to library to pick up some books instead. On a few mornings my mom would just lay by the pool side while I swim. Be sure to take with you a cardigan or a sweater when you were on the deck though, it could get quite chilly when you step out onto the deck at night. At night, my mom and I went to a paid-restaurant to have our dinner. All of a sudden, the music started and the staffs were dancing to it. We were totally surprised and were invited to join the staffs. We were a bit too shy to dance in public so we passed but the children there were not. We were amazed and impressed by the Italian culture. We were also surprised when we went back to our cabin on the 2nd night. There were a couple of super cute elephant dolls on our beds! How sweet Costa is! Really a big thank you and we appreciated for Costa staffs to make our days on cruise! I could still remember how cheerful and patient they were when they taught us the way, because both of us have no sense of direction. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited ... Read More
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited budget. Both of us believed in an old saying in Chinese: a buck in exchange of a buck’s worth service. So we didn’t expect much. In contrast, the sea view turns out to be absolutely stunning!! We had a great time spending overnight in the balcony. We watched the sunrise with the dolphins swimming. The buffet area was filled with sea and sky view. In fact, we enjoyed the view more than the food. The food was not bad though. They was traditional Italian dessert called “Cannoli” which I love the most! If you like to eat dessert, you couldn’t leave without eating it in the Club Restaurant. Swimming alone was always a precious sport to pursue. I went to the swimming pool 30 minutes after the meal. I felt flesh and blood after exercises. So did my mind. I didn’t remember the route to get to my room! I got lost! Haha. Fortunately leading the way back to my room was part of the customer service. The staffs was nice enough to lead me until I set foot in the door. We went offshore and had a One-Day Tour in Nagashima. The atmosphere and clean environment in Nagashima were excellent. There were so much entertainments to we could do in the ship. Live music, Opera each night after dinner, art and craft sessions. We joined the Captains Night once. We got dressed up and showed off. LOL. This was our first taste of cruising. After all, we felt great and would definitely bring my parents next time and let them feel how relax I felt this time. After this trip, I concluded who suitable for cruising trip. 1. People who won’t have seasick: you could feel the cruise shaking 2. Family trip with seniors: you don’t need to spend too much energy on moving from one spot to another. Keep packing and unpacking the luggage is tedious thing to do.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We were for warned that the ship was older and that the cruise was geared for Europeans and that we would be one of the few Americans aboard. We booked the cruise for the itinerary. Dining room service was inconsistent. I didn't ... Read More
We were for warned that the ship was older and that the cruise was geared for Europeans and that we would be one of the few Americans aboard. We booked the cruise for the itinerary. Dining room service was inconsistent. I didn't get two of my entrees and was served wrong desserts on several occasions. The morning cappuicino and espresso were cold(probably made ahead of time) It was difficlut to get decaf coffee. The ice cream was runny and we actaully got hot orange juice out of the dispenser. It was not uncommon to clean our own tables off in the buffet Dishes were left everywhere. The selection in the buffet and the dining room were good. The cabin was clean..our room steward was a joy. The ship was very outdated and was in need of some major updating. Carpets looked dirty but were just worn out. There was lots of smoking on the ship and lots of people just pushing ...Again were were warned that the Europeans will just push you out of line. THE BIG LIE.......This is a very long story and I will try to condense it. We asked to have half our gratuity taken off of the bill We like to tip according to the service received(we are good tippers). We met with Micheal the English speaking host on five occasions. If he had said no you can't do this we would've said ok and dropped the subject. The first meeting he told us that it was possible and that he would contact the American consulate and they in turn would call the IRS. In Singapore we could be detained up to Six months if we didn't pay but he would proceed if we wanted him to. On the second meeting he said that he hadn't heard from our consulate yet. Meeting three he said everything was taken care of and the charges wouldn't be on our bill, however they were still on the bill. Meeting four he contacted us let us know that he called The US Consulate to advise them that they might need to pick up out luggage. He also said that our luggage would be scrutinized and that we should be frightened . When we asked for the phone number of the consulate he said the Singapore authorities would take care of that. Meeting five and hour before we got off the ship the charges were still on the bill. Micheal told us that they would be taken off as soon as we got through immigration... We didn't go to jail and they did charge us...Needless to say the whole thing was a lie. We felt threatened and harassed. On the positive side the whole itinerary was very educational. The ports were very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
I looked at Cruise Critic reviews prior to departure so wasn't expecting a great voyage. Only booked because good price and excellent ports of call. At least it partly reached my expectations. That was the price and ports of ... Read More
I looked at Cruise Critic reviews prior to departure so wasn't expecting a great voyage. Only booked because good price and excellent ports of call. At least it partly reached my expectations. That was the price and ports of call!!. I have never embarked on such a disorganised ship. There was little to no information available. We had booked a Costa package which included airport transfers. Out of about 30 people arriving on our flight they managed to lose 4 elderly ladies at Shanghai. Enough said about that because it just got worse. They "guide" only gave us information regarding trips nothing about procedures of boarding the ship. On arrival at the terminal we had to carry our cases a good distance without assistance okay for my husband and I but there were several elderly and very very tired passengers who like us had travelled from various destinations via Dubai. Enough said because I could write a great deal more! When we finally got to our cabins after chaos in the atrium. There was again no information! There is a person on board who is described as the English speaking host who is a total waste of space and makes information up as and when its suits him to do so. Again it is pointless in further describing the whole of his performance during the 16 days. Sadly my husband took ill and eventually had to seek medical treatment. The Doctor and two nurses on board did not have English as their first second or even third language! As there was a mixture of Australian English and Americans totalling over 400 travelling it was quite amazing. I am Not saying the competency was compromised but it was seriously uncomfortable. Food was not particularly good but given the price it was "okay" The waiters were excellent chefs...well certain dishes could have been "warmer" Drinks expensive not much in the way of packages..15% service was really over the top for such a class of ship. Too much smoking too! The small wine bar as it is described was above an open stairway leading from a huge lounge . As passengers could smoke there ...smoke rises so us non smokers got the smoke as well. This area also included the only "alternative" dining option which was a pizza place. As pizza was readily available at the Buffet from mid morning onwards it hardly offered a change of dining options! Also the buffet was in a miserable room although a good variety it was not a pleasant area! Utter chaos again on embarkation no information until late the day before and then utter chaos again in getting to the airport and checking in! To sum up as I am sure anyone reading this is probably bored..Ships Officers arrogant ships staff who make it happen friendly polite and undermined! For no cost whatsoever to Costa things could be improved. If they had an English speaking Host who was competent and didn't exaggerate and tell porkies a lot of passengers would be happier. Never again we shall put it down to a poor experience. Wonderful ports awful cruise line!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We have cruised on many other cruise lines but this was our first with Costa. We would be unlikely to choose Costa again because we prefer specific "english speaking" ships. The Costa Romantica is showing its age and its origins ... Read More
We have cruised on many other cruise lines but this was our first with Costa. We would be unlikely to choose Costa again because we prefer specific "english speaking" ships. The Costa Romantica is showing its age and its origins (probably designed as a cargo ship and then converted). However, the cabins are very spacious and very comfortable. The cabin staff are excellent but unfortunately the management staff tended to be rude and unhelpful. The embarkation process was chaotic and frustrating. There was no organisation, no assistance and no information about what was happening. The food in the buffet area was very average but in the dining room it was very good, especially at breakfast time and lunch time. The dining room staff were helpful but there was some difficulty with language (I ordered two eggs and got two servings, each with two eggs...). We cruise for the ports of call and this cruise had some excellent ports. There were no bad ports but some of the shore tours could have been better organised and should have had a crew member present to address any problems. We loved Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hong Kong and Saigon. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and we would recommend it to friends. Read Less
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