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3 Singapore to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We are both retired. I was a Regonal Manager for a multi-natioal company and my wife worked for a Insurance company.We have been on 3 cruises 1 on the Costa Classica. We flew from Manchester with Air France. We Departed at 19.45 to Paris ... Read More
We are both retired. I was a Regonal Manager for a multi-natioal company and my wife worked for a Insurance company.We have been on 3 cruises 1 on the Costa Classica. We flew from Manchester with Air France. We Departed at 19.45 to Paris CdG arrived 22.15. Departed at 23.30 for Singapore. Arrived at 18.05. (we booked with Virgin Cruises)the service was very poor and the plane was dirty and shaby. The food was the worced I have ever had on any flight.Because of the flight times we lost most of that day in Singapore as we just had time to get our bags on board and have a shower before it was time for our meal.Adivise cheak flight times and have them changed (might cost a little more) The cabin and en suite was good. The only problem was that the bed was under the window so we had to stand on the bed to look out. The food in the self service areas was very good with lots of choose from. The restaurant menu was very well written but the meal didn't live up to the hype. The gym was OK but the pools were very small. The large pool was full with 12 people in. The Staff were very good and helpful. This is because they would not receive any bonus if they did not receive good comments from the passengers. (form to fill in at end of cruise}We were told to give them all 5. The Officer on the other hand only spoke to the Italian passengers and ignored everyone else. The Entertainment was poor, with only 1 good singer Barry Ruth he was held the whole show together. Some of the singers in the bars were also very good along with the piano player. Shore Excursions are very expensive. You can do them for much less if you do your homework. We booked our own taxi with 2 or 4 other people and found it much cheaper. For Rome we got the train from Civitavecchia, station 5 minutes from the port gate. It cost 19 Euros return and run ever 30 mins. the time taken to St Peters square was 45 mins and the train was 10 times better than any coach very smooth and quite. Wine, beer, water and spirits very expensive. The say that you cannot take on board your own for heath and safety. This is rubbish it is for their profit. I took on board tins of beer without any problem. Yes the cruise was good value for money if you did not drink or go on any trips other wise could be very expensive.Also we had to pay 6 Euros each per day Hotel Service Charge and also,plus 15% on any bar purchases. Note Please add this to the review sent to you about the Tender Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This will only be a short review as I've already posted a long one last year on the Costa Allegra. This long repositioning cruise to Italy was our third on the Allegra in 12 months, so we knew what to expect as far as the ship is ... Read More
This will only be a short review as I've already posted a long one last year on the Costa Allegra. This long repositioning cruise to Italy was our third on the Allegra in 12 months, so we knew what to expect as far as the ship is concerned. Obviously we love it, or wouldn't sail three times. My ravings about it enticed a couple of our friends to join us in Mumbai for the second leg of the journey. They too had a lovely time and are now hooked on cruising! We were a bit disappointed with our cabin as it was a bit smaller than what we've had in the past, with very little bench space. (We had chosen it ourselves making sure it was in a good position without any noisy rooms above us) After a couple of days we were offered another one close by with a porthole and slightly more room. We took it until Mumbai, when it was occupied and returned to our original one. We asked for the beds to be separated and this gave us a lot more space. I think Deck 5 seems to have larger cabins and many now have plasma TVs as well (we were on Deck 5 last year). Anyway that didn't stop us enjoying ourselves as we spent little time in the cabin. The staff is wonderful. Always helpful, friendly, courteous and can't do enough for you. Also the Officers always greeted us in a polite fashion. The food is lovely. I didn't have one meal I didn't enjoy. There is so much to choose from, I really can't understand why some people need to complain. If you didn't like something it could quickly be replaced with another meal. The entertainment was sometimes a bit 'ordinary', with a few very good performances. Unfortunately for those of us who did the whole cruise the second fortnight was pretty much a repeat of the first with a few exceptions....and for those like us who had cruised Allegra twice last year it meant we saw some for the 4th time! We had about 17 ports along the way. The Asian ones we had already visited, but Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East were new to us. We were able to visit the Pyramids and Petra on a couple of the excursions. We left the Allegra in Civitavecchia and about a week later while touring Europe, we saw her sail past St Marks Square in Venice and we so wished we were still on board. She is small with no frills of the larger ships, but that's what we like. You get to meet so many passengers and the crew have more time for you and get to know you. We would very happily sail Costa Allegra again!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We booked this cruise as it was billed as a "luxury cruise", small ship and intimate atmosphere, with open dining nd visiting several asian and middle east countries.We were inviced with an additional US$ 12.25 per person per day ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it was billed as a "luxury cruise", small ship and intimate atmosphere, with open dining nd visiting several asian and middle east countries.We were inviced with an additional US$ 12.25 per person per day (!!) for their "Excellent service" provided by superb staff on board. No additional tips/gratuities need be paid, we were told. Upon questioning why this mandatory extra charge was being levied, when other lines either let you pay gratuities as you wish, or have a genuine "gratuities included, no extra charges" price, we were told quite firmly that they provide "excellent service" and this charge is to recgnise that. NO, it is a marketing method of increasing their prices but keeping the headline price of the cruise down.  The service was FAR FROM EXCELLENT! Dining room service was hampered by the fact that many of the waiters were nt trained properly, the service was not genuine "silver service", and there were too few waiters to cope (lots of "managers" and "head waiters" walking around with phones to their ears, but never doing anything, and could you catch their eye to complain?? No.The cruise is very American (no bad thing if that is what you want), but be warned, the bar area has no relaxing seats, but is packed with one-armed bandits and gaming tables. If you want a quiet drink, get your drink from the bar and go back to your room. Everywhere else on the ship there is loud music being pumped out of speakers, which in spite of many passengers asking for it to be turned down, never was.Excellent speakers told us very interesting facts relating to the areas we were visiting, and most evenings there was entertainment (of varying quality, but mostly quite good - singers, musicians etc), and a resident quartet in the Windows lounge which was excellent.Overall, a very disappointing cruise for the money. Swan Hellenic and others do this small ship cruising very much better and do have excelelnt service. That extra charge was just a con. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009

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