Sail Date: August 2019
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in ... Read More
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in Stockholm, and the following day you have to disembark. I can't understand why they don't add Latvia for example instead of docking for 2 days in Stockholm. Otherwise it would have been nice to have 3 days in Russia, but Stockholm is the least city that one has to see. Something about the ship, decor is very old, brown and orange everywhere, breakfast very poor, bacon and sausages are not even good for dogs...thanks God they offered meat in the grill section which I enjoyed very much for breakfast. In the evening we ate at the sit-in restaurant, food taste average, food decoration very nice. Entertainment during sit-in dinner ZERO neither some background recorded music except for the Italian night and the gala dinner where there was live entertainment which we enjoyed very much. At the pool area NO MUSIC except when there are organised activities which happen only when the ship is at sea...I find this so stupid as it is costless to put a nice music on through a CD...The pool slide on Costa Magica was delusive..it is opened only for 1 hr if you're lucky. So, we booked this ship for the slide and when we boarded we could'nt even use it, we had to wait until the last day to go on it 3 times as they did'nt advise its opening times and we encountered it open by chance....why? we presume so that they won't have to repaint it since the blue colour comes off on your swimsuit or because they don't want to waste human resources to guard the slide. As for the bar service, we bought Piu Gusto for all the cabin which was a family of 4. One of us went to get 2 drinks from the pool bar and the barman humiliated him by asking him for another card....why when our package included unlimited drinks? why ruin guests holiday experience with this approach?? as for children activities the Peppa Pig activities were great and the children had so much fun in the Squok Club...so well done to them. I was going to forget about this...this is unbelievable but true...guys forget that you will be getting an ice cream or a nice milkshake on the ship...if you want one you have to pay for it...this is our 5th cruise and we never encountered anything similar!! As for the Photos...when they will learn that if they reduce the price they will sell more? it's unbelievable how many photos they throw away after every cruise when if they sell them at least half the price many people will be encouraged to buy them...very greedy and stupid behavior in my opinion. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
First let me say that my wife and I are not active cruisers, having taken fewer than 8 in our 50 years together. We prefer to plan our own trips and see things on our own. We chose the Baltic cruise on RCI because of the 3 days in St. ... Read More
First let me say that my wife and I are not active cruisers, having taken fewer than 8 in our 50 years together. We prefer to plan our own trips and see things on our own. We chose the Baltic cruise on RCI because of the 3 days in St. Petersburg and we didn't want to try Russia on our own. It was a mistake we will not make again. If we ever cruise again, it will not be with RCI. Embarkation was smooth and painless thanks to the pre-cruise checkin process offered on the RCI website. The food and service on Serenade of the Seas were good. The food in the Windjammer was plentiful but if you dine there every breakfast, lunch and some dinners, it becomes somewhat repetitive and is often quite crowded. All the staff that we came into contact with were very friendly and helpful. The entertainment was acceptable but not exceptional. The ABBA show was very nice, but some of the entertainers in the Centrum were boring. The cabin facilities were nice but somewhat tired, especially the carpet and sofa and the in-room amenities were non-existent. Having said all of this, the cruise would have been enjoyable if not for the way Royal Caribbean operates. Everything is designed to sell, sell, sell. They start trying to upsell you the moment you step on the ship with upgraded meal packages, drink packages, photos, excursions, etc. The price for internet service was especially outrageous. Over $26/day for a single device. Very annoying. As for the ports of call, it seems that they berth the ship as far away from town as they can to encourage passengers to book their overpriced excursions. They provide very little information on where the ship is berthed or what transportation options there are to reach town. There were no port briefings on things to see so if you don't take their excursions you have little idea of what is available. If you don't want to use RCI's excursions at each stop you must do a little research prior to your trip. Try to find out where the ship will be berthed in each port and what types of public transportation is available. The daily tip sheet provided to the staterooms provided very little information. If you wish to explore on your, you must plan ahead. Before you leave home, print out a map of each town you will visit and decide what sites you wish to see. If you decide you don't want to do this and let RCI do it for you, that's your choice of course, but be prepared to travel with bus-loads of fellow cruisers and to pay RCI's exorbitent excursion prices. Prior to our departure we used the internet to pre-book our excursions in St. Petersburg and Warnemunde for far less money and with far fewer passengers. For the other ports we used the public bus system, taxis or our feet to get around. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , ... Read More
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , there what to eat everywhere. there 2 restaurants on the ship. We was on smeralda and it was an goodrestaurant but it was take the food a long to get. Costa having a show every day Evening. there a lot what to see on board and what to do. But Pizza on board is on additonal Payment. the service on board is good. on Information there staff that talking in multi languages. the loading and unloading was good and quick. and the shops on costa is quite good and recommanded to wait to last day for sales . very nice cruise maybe We'll go again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but ... Read More
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but bearing in mine the cost it was good value for money. The cabin staff, lounge staff and restaurant were lovely. What spoilt our experience somewhat was the aggressive attitude of the bar staff and some reception staff. We always treat all the staff with respect and a smile but some staff thought it was ok to be rude and aggressive. We did the Stockhol, Helsinki, St Petersburg, TAllinn stops and i would highly recommend these, take an extra day in Stockholm as there is plenty to see. At this point I am not sure I would book Costa again, purely due to the number of times I encountered rude staff and saw how they behaved towards other passengers, even on 1 occasion to an elderly and frail lady. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the ... Read More
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the itinery was fab and we have been on a couple of cruises before in eastern med with Royal Caribbean - so checked re package and location of cabin carefully - got a single bed sofa sorted rather than bunk bed - and chose Deck 9 as close to bars/buffet/pool etc. We had a fantastic week - and this is why I am writing the review (given the majority of very negative ones!) - as we really rated the following: - the dining room/food ! we were seated at an English speaking table and we had a laugh from the off. Hello Steve and Trish and John and Bev if you are reading this! - the staff - we found everyone helpful and friendly - far more than previous cruises - we enjoyed the gala night - it wasnt formal or stuffy and the whole set up is very relaxed and casual - if you want formal dont book this ship!! Norbert was excellent - the premium room - spacious and spotless all week - decent shower and loads of storage space. Decent bed including the single one - the sofa bed wasnt a hassle and just stayed down along wall all week which was ideal. - embarking/disembarking - all very straight forward - no waiting getting on or off and the same throughout at various stop offs. We got a public bus from central station when arrived at Stockholm - after gettting Arlanda Express from airport - takes 30 mins and cheap! - the itinery - we chose this primarily as we wanted to get as much time in St P and Stockholm as possible - we booked our own shore excursions in St P and did our own thing in other cities. We had a brilliant time in St P as we wanted to do more specific history and politics tours so used Ulko Tours to go to the Political History museum (fantastic - you could spend 5-6 hours there - ask for english speaking tour guide before you go) and also smaller KGB museum. Also did general city tour 1 day with Advertura - very good. These were costly - so it does add a lot to the overall cost of the holiday which we didnt realise when booking cruise. We booked our own flights to and from Stockholm separately so this gave us an extra day in Stockholm - otherwise we would have had to leave the ship by 4.30am on the last day. So this worked out for us and accomm in Stockholm was reasonable - stayed at Park Inn - a couple of stops on metro which was excellent. So overall we were impressed with Costa and would use them again. Yes - the majority of the passengers are Italian/Spanish (no surprise there then) and yes it was loud and noisy in all the public bars/spaces. The entertainment was as to be expected (!) and yes Costa makes the staff try to sell all sorts so there is too much selling at the info sessions - but we found the overall service and the dining experiences great. Just one thing Costa - please add water to the drinks package - its madness not being able to get a glass of water but as many spirits/wine/beer as you wish. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The itinerary and the suite determined our choice criteria. We were disappointed in the food. While it was incredibly presented. The quality and portion size were very average or just par. The service everywhere was fantastic, as was ... Read More
The itinerary and the suite determined our choice criteria. We were disappointed in the food. While it was incredibly presented. The quality and portion size were very average or just par. The service everywhere was fantastic, as was everything but the food. They would have receptions where the alcohol was plentiful but not serve food or you would see a few trays get passed that were consumed well before they got to you. It seemed stingy and surprising given we have only been on one other luxury cruise and never experienced the food being so guarded and ordinary. The spa staff were incredibly, Had one of the best massages ever. The fitness instructor was average but certainly good enough for a cruise. Entertainment was very good but didn't start until 10 pm which after a full day sightseeing was too late so consequently we only went to 1 show. It was excellent though. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are not normally cruisers but were travelling with another more senior couple who appreciated the practical benefits of cruising. In particular, we wanted to visit St. Petersburg and this cruise offered three nights there. So we ... Read More
We are not normally cruisers but were travelling with another more senior couple who appreciated the practical benefits of cruising. In particular, we wanted to visit St. Petersburg and this cruise offered three nights there. So we selected the Oceania Marina based on itinerary and its strong reputation for good food. The food was excellent across the board. The four specialty restaurants as well as the Grand Dining Room and the buffet-oriented Terrace Cafe offered outstanding cuisine regardless of venue. Service both in and out of the dining venues was 5 star day and night. Can't speak much about shipboard activities as we really didn't avail ourselves of much of that. The string quartet that played daily in the main lounge before dinner was very accomplished and a pleasure to listen to. The guest pianist one evening was outstanding although we were only able to catch the latter portion of his show because of the timing of our dinner reservation that night. Wish he could have played more than one evening. In every port except St. Petersburg we did not hire a guide or take any group excursions. Talinn, Riga, Helsinki, and certainly Klaipeda are all small enough to navigate on ones own. The long Sunday at Klaipeda we mostly spent on board. Most places are closed on Sundays and the Klaipeda downtown can be covered in about an hour. Everywhere we went people spoke English. The long day we were docked at Warnemunde, we went to Lubeck -- which was brimming with medieval buildings dating back to the 13th century. We rented a car but there is public transport that will get you there as well. In St. Petersburg we toured with Dancing Bear Tours. They were fabulous. They were flexible, accommodating, and our guide spoke perfect English and was a source of so much history and information. Our driver provided door-to-door service at every stop. Great value and pleasant people to deal with. We took a canal boat ride one morning which was a wonderful way to see the city. We saw a number of churches but our favorite was St. Isaacs without a doubt. We are also culture vultures so highlights for us included the Russian Museum, the General Staff Building wing of the Hermitage, and of course the Hermitage proper. Could easily have spent whole days or even weeks in them. We enjoyed our outing to Peterhof as well, although the weather was not the sunniest. For something completely different, check out the royal bath house there if you go. I have no other cruises to compare the Marina to but would definitely recommend Oceania to anyone who is interested in exploring this part of the world. Both the ship and port experiences were grand. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise thinking it would be lovely for my moms very first cruise. Honestly the ports of call sounded more appealing than a normal med cruise. And that was my main reason for picking this cruise line. I have cruised before but ... Read More
I chose this cruise thinking it would be lovely for my moms very first cruise. Honestly the ports of call sounded more appealing than a normal med cruise. And that was my main reason for picking this cruise line. I have cruised before but always with American ships (Carnival in particular)So was expecting high standards. In fairness the crew were very sweet and did everything they could to make the cruise enjoyable in particular the staff at embarkation and disembarkation very helpful to my elderly mother taking her hand on and off the ramp, Our waiter in the evening Dsilva Dolree did his very best to ensure our dining was pleasant. (The food was generally exceptionally disappointing) And our cabin crew lovely and helpful. My main complaints were food related. Bland at best and over salted at worst. The same Italian staples came out at lunch each day same sandwiches same hams cheeses etc. I understand its an Italian ship but they need to cater to those of us that are not Italian. We don`t all love tasteless over-salted pasta. Or a main course for dinner without vegetables. There was plenty of melon on board and plenty of apples and pineapple so I cannot complain about the fruit however a variety would be nice instead of same oh same oh at every lunch and breakfast. Most people go on a cruise for the food drink and entertainment. In all of these I`m afraid i found the Magica totally lacking. (I`m not a drinker so honestly didn't pay for a drinks package because it would have been a waste) hate to say this but will not use Costa again I think I will stick to the American cruises there is no comparison . they know how to entertain and how to put on beautiful edible meals. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new ... Read More
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new and amazing ships available? The entertainment was quite disappointing and especially compared to my other cruises where the entertainment was excellent. Activities on board could be better in comparison to other ships. Dining was OK but not excellent. A more sophisticated menu would be nice. . . . . .. . Service is excellent. The crew is great. Some of the ports were unnecessary. I could skip Frederica, less days in Saint Petersburg and more in Copenhagen where its beautiful. Shore excursions are very good but you can do as well if you go to town by yourself. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth in all places. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose costa magica 7 day of Baltic because sdate match for my daughter and wife holiday. I hope this ship is her first cruise made them happy. Last year I and my mother cruise with costa fortuna .We appreciated that ship but nor for ... Read More
I choose costa magica 7 day of Baltic because sdate match for my daughter and wife holiday. I hope this ship is her first cruise made them happy. Last year I and my mother cruise with costa fortuna .We appreciated that ship but nor for costa magica. First at embarkation the officer forgot to stamp complete in boarding ticket and I have to return after X ray. Lunch buffet are hot dog and hamberger but tomato ketchup and mayonaise are inadequate. Dinner no ice cream tea or coffee. Supper has only pizza veg/ham cheese. After midnight has only milk /tea. Entertainment nearly half are non english song but no asian. Gym has some malfunction equipment. inside cabin is small but clean.Port @ stockholm helsinki st peterberg tallin are good. I travel by myself I take uber is good. in St peterberg I takeTaxo vichof for service in hour based have a big problem because call center hot good in english. The last and the most not appreciated is before i disembarkation I check money credit on board gratitude and internet price. It is correct. But 3 day after the credit card officer phone me in midnight because someone try to use my credit card . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you to ... Read More
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you to eat in the specialty restaurants by offering repetitive menus when eating in the dining room. The dining service was excellent and the food was very good, except often the same choices each night. Our beds were comfortable, the room noisy and the ports of call great. We did excursions through the ship except for St. Petersburg where we went with a private company. All excursions were great except Helsinki. The entertainment was fair except for two shows, we didn’t like the ships singers..the Russian dancers and the Ukrainian circus pair. After two Royal CarribeAn cruises back to back, we are ready to try a different cruise line for something new. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, ... Read More
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, I'd say it was fantastic. There was something for all age groups - young kids, teenagers, twenties, thirties, young couples, middle aged couples, and elderly people as well! I'm telling everyone it was like being on floating 5 star hotel! All in all - here's what I thought were par excellence: -Staff: Everyone was friendly, professional, went out of their way to ensure they could help - whether it be bringing food for someone who couldn't walk well; or cleaning the room thrice a day. Also, if you're South Asian, the staff were more than happy to bring you a handmade roti/chappati at Windjammer Hall - all you have to do is ask! -Entertainment: evenings were fully booked! Theater, dance, drama, movies, dance nights, you name it - it was all there. -Sports: I loved the mini golf and table tennis/ping pong! Jogging track was great -- jogging while staring at the ocean, who wouldn't like that! -Serenity/ease: The ride was smooth sailing. Not a moment of turbulence AT ALL. At times I had to look outside to ensure we were even sailing, it was that smooth! -Timing: We were at every destination at the times promised. -Ease of embarkation and disembarkation at all ports: NO long lines, no waiting for ever - everything was smoothly handled thanks to the security staff throughout. -Views: Lovely Baltic Sea views throughout, to help you de-stress, unwind, and just enjoy the sea! -Food: Can I say food, food, food! The Windjammer Dining Hall (included in cruise price) has unlimited breakfast buffet, lunch buffet and dinner buffet. And the buffet was extravagant - 50 dishes (minimum!), salads, vegetarian, chicken, meat, sea food - gluten free, catering to whatever your dietary restrictions may be. They had a special theme every night, so we had Spanish food, Seafood, Indian food, French food night among others. -Snacks: No matter what time of the day - you will find unlimited tea, coffee, snacks, chips -- especially at the Park Café on Floor11 :) -Attention to cleanliness: We were really impressed by the attention to cleanliness - all public spaces, Centrum, public bathrooms were always spotless; and they had unlimited hand sanitizer there before you entered the Dining Hall. Really good initiative! -Lack of crowd: Although there were about 2500 passengers, 700 staff, at no point did the ship feel overflowing or crowded. This is thanks to all the space, and different entertainment areas they had, including multiple dining halls (Reflections Dining Room, Windjammer included in ticket price). -Cabin: We had an Ocean View Balcony view on Deck 7. This was ideal as since it is in the middle of the ship, it is very smooth and you can't feel the water. Having a balcony is recommended as it makes the room spacious, and allows you some air. Recommend. It was a double bed plus a bunk bed on top ( for the 3rd person); sofa; TV, bathroom, cupboard, mini fridge, AC etc. All in all, it felt a good size and not cramped at all. -Fellow passengers: Fellow passengers were friendly and nice. No large and noisy groups, no drunk people. Mostly families, singles, couples - everyone was decent and respectful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my 5th cruise with RC. It was about what I expected. The ship was clean and updated. We had about 2100 passengers and I think it’s just enough. We had the four night food package and one night at chefs table. We were a little ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with RC. It was about what I expected. The ship was clean and updated. We had about 2100 passengers and I think it’s just enough. We had the four night food package and one night at chefs table. We were a little disappointed in this Chops compared to past cruises but Giovanni’s was excellent and we ate there twice. Izumi had good food and we went there twice as well. Chefs table by far had the best food, great service and was well worth the extra cost. The pairing of wine was good and had one of the best and most original desserts ever. This cruise focused on music. The game show on song knowledge was really funny. The 50s and 60s night had a band and surprise visit with a British Elvis. It was hysterical and fun to sing along. There were two guys who sang reggae and were very good and another band of four members with softer sounds. There was also a pianist and guitarist playing background music in various dining and bar venues. It was nice to sit and relax to good music. Finland was pretty but our guide knew little about history and this week was unseasonable warm and they refused to turn on the A/C until everyone on the bus complained loudly. Two days in St Petersburg were fantastic but we shared the city with crowds from the World Cup. Our two guides, Alexandra and Andre knew tons of history and were really great. Both days were over 10 hours and were saw plenty but were totally wiped out the next day in Estonia. Our guide was good but I think insulted that everyone on the bus immediately fell asleep. The town was beautiful and I would go back there for a more leisurely stay. Riga, Latvia was not nice. We docked 30 minutes from town and drove through a depressed looking area. The best part was the small handmade items market. The other shop owners were downright rude and after three hours of feeling unwelcome repeatedly we went back to the ship for lunch. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and ... Read More
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and wonderful staff that are friendly mostly the filipino crews and staff on board for always being so helpful and always have that smile. The very accomodating kitchen staff sincr we have birthday for one of the kids , for the guest relation staff on the 4th floor and talented musicians as well as tye dance instructor on the vortex, even the kids had fun , to the staff on the ocean adventure where we know that pur kids are safe and having fun while learning. For the stewards where they always clean our room and have fresh towel. Thank u for the wonderful time for my family and the whole team. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been on 10 cruises and Costa Magica does not rate very well compared to the others. We booked this just to see what other cruise lines had to offer and were pleased with the price but overall disappointed. Embarkations was the ... Read More
We have been on 10 cruises and Costa Magica does not rate very well compared to the others. We booked this just to see what other cruise lines had to offer and were pleased with the price but overall disappointed. Embarkations was the easiest so far....flawless and no lines. The ships overall appearance seems to be nice and updated. The rooms are roomy for a cruise ship and we were pleased. We were assigned seating for dining and loved the family that we were paired with but we do not like the assigned seating and prefer the "Freestyle Dining". This allows much more flexibility and not such a rigid schedule while on vacation, The food was edible but not good. Several times we tried what they brought out but chose not to eat it or ate it because we were starving.. We were also disappointed that they do not serve coffee with dessert. Coffee is only served during breakfast and at the bar. Breakfast is good and we chose to go to our assigned dining room for breakfast because it was not as hectic as Deck 9 (which is a free for all). They do offer a menu and serve you coffee as well as a continental breakfast. We were usually off the ship during lunch so we do not know how that went. The service during the Dinner was below average. We constantly had to ask for water and very seldom would pour it for you. The server would just set it on the table. Entertainment was average. We never book shore excursions with the cruise lines because they are too expensive and the groups are too large. We did hear that the ship offered a really good program for the kids which is a plus for families. One of the big things we noticed was they were not require you to clean your hands prior to meals and did not offer warm wash cloths/sanitizer to clean your hands when you are coming aboard the ship after touring another country. Hand sanitizer was unavailable when boarding the ship in some ports and the one going into the dining area did not work properly. Also, we never saw them sanitizing the handrails, etc on the ship. The workers told us they work 8 months a year, 11 hour days, 7 days a week which I am sure this contributed to the poor service. Hopefully, they were given the gratuity that is automatically added to your bill. Our cabin as mid ship on Deck 2 and we could hear the crew working throughout the night most every night. Between the food/service/sanitizing I would not recommend this cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra ... Read More
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra Station and took a taxi directly to Frihamnen, where Costa Magica was boarding. Boarding went very smoothly, we had to wait for maybe 10-15 minutes before we could board the ship. Costa Magica's décor is rather lavish, with thousands of works of art onboard. Depictions of women, in various states of (un)dress, is a theme onboard, which some more conservative passengers could possibly find slightly shocking. The age is beginning to show (she was launched in 2003), and the colour scheme could be called gaudy by some (I rather liked it). The ship's slogan is "Cruising Italian Style", and the aim is to cater to European tastes. In practice, the great majority of the passengers were Italians, the rest seemed to be mostly Spanish, French and Russian. Consequently, most announcements are made in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Russian, which means that announcements tend to be rather long. Due to the large number of nationalities among the guests, Costa Magica staff makes an effort to seat people who speak the same language together at dinner, which is a very good idea. The quality of the food is OK, ranging from bland to tasty. Costa being an Italian cruise line, the food in the main dining rooms is heavily dominated by Italian cuisine. The buffet is more international, the food arguably tastier (!) than the main dining rooms, and we noticed as the week progressed that the number of guests declined in the dining room and increased at the buffet. Due to the variety of languages among the guests, the entertainment tend to focus on song and dance shows. These were rather enjoyable, but an acrobatic show that was on offer one night was not to our taste. We signed up for an organised excursion in St. Petersburg (if you join an excursion organised by the cruise line, you don't need to apply for a visa), while we explored Helsinki and Tallinn by ourselves. The all-day excursion in St. Petersburg was worth it, even though 2.5 hours at the Hermitage was a bit much. Service onboard was good, the staff was friendly, and especially our cabin attendant Hugo deserves a mention. I would not mind going on a Costa cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience ... Read More
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience after a couple of days, I can assure you that it was much better than I had expected. My wife shares this sentiment. I first learned about the ship and its facilities from the information provided by the agent with whom we booked the Cruise. I got more information provided by Royal Caribbean International on the Internet. Should you do something similar, feel sure that you can rely on the positive things you read. I must commend the ships' staff, and say lots of good things about the Ship, the Cabin, Dining , Entertainment Activities, the Service and the Ports and Excursions. Since these would be very positive words, I guess you can imagine what I can write. We travelled with members of our extended familiy, yet had the opportunity to meet and interact with lots of people (both staff members and passengers) from many different nationalities. The friendly and relaxed athmosphere encourages this interaction. This is also an outcome of the work done by the staff (those we came in contact with, and the large numbers who work behind the scenes). I strongly recommend this Cruise and hope you have a positive experience, too. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have never traveled this part of the world. A very enriching experience. Realized how much I need to learn about the history,culture of these nations. St. Petersburg, Peterhof -incredible, almost unreal.Every port was unique and ... Read More
Have never traveled this part of the world. A very enriching experience. Realized how much I need to learn about the history,culture of these nations. St. Petersburg, Peterhof -incredible, almost unreal.Every port was unique and beautiful. Interesting how the historical events intertwined and affected the people of all the surrounding nations. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in learning. Traveled on serenade of the seas- a really great ship. Enough entertainment to keep anyone busy and more. Shore excursions- absolutely wonderful. Food was fantastic! My only gripe was that the health club opened at 6:00. Wish it was 5:00 for the early birds. Service and friendliness of the staff just incredible! In Stockholm stayed at Victory hotel; a very nice maritime themed hotel with a delicious breakfast and very helpful staff. Took Stockholm archipelago boat tour- very informative and the salmon lunch was absolutely fantastic. The Vasa museum and Nobel museum- very informative. Definitely recommend St. Petersburg tour/2days includes surrounding attractions/Pushkin and Peterhof. Helsinki/Tallinn andRiga not to be missed- all unique. Too much to list. Well worth it!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at ... Read More
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at collection point and you go straight to the cabin. Your baggage is delivered to your cabin within next half an hour. As simple as is. Cabin: we had balcony one. 1 double bed and i single one. Both comfortable and well sized. Cabin perfectly clean. TV set might have been a bit bigger but was ok. Shower worked well. Dinning: we chose international breakfast option - enough variety of food - whatever you need. All fresh and tasty. Dinners were extremely good. No standing in queues nor waiting for service. Ship - Magica is quite big ship (apprx 110k tons) - means big enough to be stable but not crowded too much Service - as always staff was just perfect - smiling, speaking different languages, polite and well-skilled. Entertainment - we attended 2 events "Voice of the sea" and "Magic moments" - both worth of spending time. Excursions - we prefer organising trips on our own. Stockholm is stunning, packed and extremely expensive; St. Petersburg is incredible (mus see points are Peterhof, Tzarskie Selo, Hermitage, Nevsky Prospect, Issac's church and On Blood Church. All of them you can easily reach on your own using public transport. Value for money - J have no idea why people spend fortunes on other cruise lines whereas they don't offer anything better than Costa (maybe snobbery?). Long story short: take Costa, pay half of what other lines demand and have wonderfull holiday. Robert Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the ... Read More
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the entire duration of the cruise we had to avoid shrimp dishes because this crustacean was almost inedible. For the rest, average cuisine. As for the excursions, the two are excellent in St. Petersburg (although rather expensive), very bad that of Stockholm due to various disservices as well as an uneducated guide. It is opportune to emphasize that as an alternative to lunch, 90 minutes of free time have been "granted", from the most spent to bivouac on the steps of the buildings or on the benches of the main square of Stockholm, in order to consume the bad lunch basket, provided by Costa We have carried out, with an absolutely constructive spirit, the appropriate reports to the Customer Service, but finding a strenuous and sterile defense of office. La nostra quarta crociera con Costa ( la seconda con Costa Magica) e, purtroppo, abbiamo riscontrato, col passare degli anni, un progressivo calo della qualità. Si mantengono a buoni livelli sia la pulizia che i servizi; in calo invece la cucina. Per tutta la durata della crociera abbiamo dovuto evitare i piatti a base di gambero perchè tale crostaceo risultava quasi immangiabile. Per il resto cucina nella media. Per quanto riguarda le escursioni , ottime le due a San Pietroburgo ( anche se piuttosto care), pessima quella di Stoccolma a causa di vari disservizi oltre che di una Guida poco educata. Opportuno sottolineare che in alternativa al pranzo ci sono stati "concessi" 90 minuti di tempo libero, dai più trascorsi a bivaccare sui gradini dei palazzi o sulle panchine della principale piazza di Stoccolma, al fine di potere consumare il pessimo lunch basket, fornito dalla Costa, Abbiamo effettuato, con spirito assolutamente costruttivo, le opportune segnalazioni al Servizio Clienti riscontrando però una strenua quanto sterile difesa d'ufficio. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the Baltic area countries and a part of Russia. It more than met our expectations. The food and beverages were up to the highest Viking standards. The specialty restaurants were one of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the Baltic area countries and a part of Russia. It more than met our expectations. The food and beverages were up to the highest Viking standards. The specialty restaurants were one of the trip highlights. The buffet meals contained such variety from appetizers to entrees, to desserts that anyone could enjoy a gourmet meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The focus on regional foods plus local beer and wines with lunch and dinner underline the quality of the food//beverage service. (As a seafood lover, I was even more impressed.) .The included tours were well organized, interesting and informative. We also enjoyed many of the entertainment and educational programs on board. The staff throughout the ship was always friendly, helpful, and welcoming, and the local guides were also friendly and knowledgeable. We have already scheduled another Viking cruise for the last two weeks of April, Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a cruise to celebrate my Mother's 80th Birthday. Everything about the ship, staff, activities and food was top-notch. The cabins are spacious and very well thought-out. Every cabin has a veranda. The Cabin stewards are ... Read More
This was a cruise to celebrate my Mother's 80th Birthday. Everything about the ship, staff, activities and food was top-notch. The cabins are spacious and very well thought-out. Every cabin has a veranda. The Cabin stewards are attentive and thoughtful. The food was delicious, varied and plentiful. We especially loved the afternoon tea. the ship is so well thought out that you never feel as though you are among hordes of people--there are nooks to sit and read or nap. Bars and bartenders remember your name and beverage. The only advice we would offer is that if you are a person with limited mobility - for whatever reason - you have to be very very careful about the excursions you choose, and the excursion staff doesn't always have an accurate depiction of the walking involved on a particular excursion. Sometimes the buses are far away from the ship. Sometimes a shuttle from a town is a long walk from the city center. Sometimes the excursion itself has a description of "a short walk" that can be half a mile. My mother and I had to sit on the bus for over an hour during one excursion because the "short walk" to Grieg's home and a recital of his music was too far for her (after the first stop, which was also a "short" walk.) This was especially disappointing, because it was to be the highlight of her trip. I ended up losing money because excursions ended up being too difficult for her, and the 24 hour in advance cancellation policy prohibited a refund. All this being said, if you are able bodied, you will find this cruise to be exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The choice of ports, the small, Stavenga To the large St. Petersburg were educationable and memorable. Each experience was unique unto itself. We loved the continuous and varied choice of music. The spa and its amenities were truly a ... Read More
The choice of ports, the small, Stavenga To the large St. Petersburg were educationable and memorable. Each experience was unique unto itself. We loved the continuous and varied choice of music. The spa and its amenities were truly a treat. My wife loved the vmassage and I loved the snowroom and sauna.Even though you can't control the weather, it added to the cruise. Our weather was fabulous! The food choices were varied, and extremely well prepared. Every night, there was an area dish from the port we were in. The wine, red or white, was included with the meal and was complimentary, well chosen,and was different every night. As we are not drinkers, we did not take the baverage package. We made our own arrangements for some of the tours and found them to be more directed to what we wanted and less expensive. When all is said and done, this was our fourth Viking Cruise, and we are already planning our fifth... trophy Australia and New Zealand. When you get off a cruise for fifteen days, and have nothing significant to complain about. It's great to look forward to the next cruise on Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We took this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship is a great size - big enough to have all the amenities we wanted and small enough so that it doesn't take up your entire trip to find out where everything is. ... Read More
We took this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship is a great size - big enough to have all the amenities we wanted and small enough so that it doesn't take up your entire trip to find out where everything is. Our cabin was spacious and very comfortable. The food was excellent. So many choices to fit your mood - whether you wanted to eat in a restaurant or have room service. With the great weather we had, we did room service a few times and ate on our veranda. I would like to give a big "Thank you" to the medical staff on board. I had the misfortune to lose some of my medications and the doctor and nurses on board were a huge help in getting it replaced for me. The shore excursions were well planned - biggest wish would have been to have more time in some of the ports. Would we do this again??? DEFINITELY. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise