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28 Venice Costa Fortuna Cruise Reviews

1.I realize that these large ships have a difficult time logistically in loading all the passengers, however it took a very long time and this was probably exacerbated by the fact they arrived at the terminal about two hours late. 2. Our ... Read More
1.I realize that these large ships have a difficult time logistically in loading all the passengers, however it took a very long time and this was probably exacerbated by the fact they arrived at the terminal about two hours late. 2. Our cabin was not very clean, in fact my wife had to clean up the bathroom before we wanted to use it. Also there was a large black, greasy stain in the middle of the floor and no apparent attempt had been made to remove it. 3. The balcony area was very dirty and obviously had not been cleaned for some time - they swabbed it down on Sunday, the day before we disembarked. The coffee table on the balcony was scratched, dented, marred by cigarette burns and was something I wouldn't even consider having in my back yard. 4. Cleaning of the cabin during the week was cursory at best - we had spilled a few drops of wine on the coffee table in the cabin the first day and they were still there when we left a week later. 5. The ship was unkempt generally - it has a very garish decor however that doesn't mask the lack of maintenance that exists. 6. We were shocked at the demeanour of the crew - surly would be the best way to describe them. I guess we have been spoiled by the up-beat attitude displayed on the Princess and Holland America ships we have been on. This was definitely not a happy group!! 7. The food in the Buffet was sub-standard and service non-existent. If you wanted a knife and fork you had to go look for them - if you asked an employee for something they either ignored you or just waved a hand in the general direction where you should go to find what you wanted. 8. The restaurant dining was so-so and there is no option because there is no dinner buffet available on Costa ships as there is on Princess and Holland America ships. They had us scheduled for the late dinner sitting even though we had requested the early sitting. We did get it changed without too much difficulty. 9. When I checked my bill a couple days in, I was surprised to see a "Hotel Service Charge" for 21 euros. I went to the Service Counter and was informed that it was a standard charge by Costa for cleaning the room - refer to 2 & 4. Needless to say I was more than a little miffed and perhaps I missed that in the fine print. They may not comment on it to you as it is a pretty insignificant amount in the big picture and I am sure Costa counts on that! I think it is called "two-bitting" your customer - perhaps it has been introduced to help pay for their increased insurance premiums!! 10. Very little english is provided on loud speaker announcements, however I was constantly amazed at the command of several languages by a number of their people who were at the customer service counter and excursion desks. They should be commended for that as it is not easy to accommodate Italian, French, German & English along with an assortment of other languages. 11. If you didn't take an excursion then there was absolutely no information available as to other ways to see any particular port. I will give you one example: We didn't stop in Santorini due to weather issues and instead were diverted to Athens. As a result individuals like myself who do a fair bit of pre-cruise research had absolutely no info on transportation availability at the port. The ship hobbled together a couple expensive excursions at the last minute with nominal information. When I asked at the excursion desk what was available at the port, i.e. taxis, buses, etc. I was told that I would have to just get off the ship and see for myself. As it was, we did get off the ship with hundreds of others and found our way to a "Tour Bus" station about a mile from the ship - what a great service - $22. each for a tour of the Acropolis area and downtown Athens, plus $12. each if you wanted to tour the Acropolis. I know that cruise ships want to peddle their excursions, however in this case it would certainly have been a good marketing ploy by Costa to help people see something that was not on the itinerary. 12. I wish to provide a positive! We really enjoyed the evening shows - they were professionally done and the presenters were highly skilled. One other thing that was both amusing and yet disturbing. One day at lunch in the dining room we were seated with a couple from Germany and a couple from South Africa. The German couple ordered wine, she - red, he - white. When the wine came the German gentlemen tasted his wine and grimaced a bit - he then tasted it again and announced in german that it was definitely not the wine he had ordered. After some time and a couple more sips the waiter appeared at the table obviously realizing he had made a mistake, whereupon he picked up a glass of white wine from in front of a chinese gentleman a couple tables over and proceeded to exchange the glasses. I thought the german gentleman was going to have an apoplectic fit!! The chinese gentleman just sat there staring at the glass, perhaps thinking this was an European custom! After a certain amount of arm waving, etc. the waiter provided each person with a new glass of wine(we assume no one had previously drank out of those glasses) Needless to say, this was obviously not a highlight of our overall European trip and was very disappointing. We had planned it so that we would end up our trip on a luxurious cruise ship sailing the Greek Isles and not only did we miss the most important Island, Santorini, the experience did not meet the "luxurious" rating we had expected. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with ... Read More
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with either embarkation or debarkation. We arrived early to the ship to check-in so were in one of the first groups to check-in and get on the ship. Debarkation was also not a problem with about a 1 hour wait after having breakfast. The room was adequate with enough space to store our luggage and for us to move around. The bed was incredibly comfortable. The one odd thing is that irons are not allowed so you'd have to send out if you wanted your clothes pressed. There is only a generic bath gel in the cabin so bring you're own shampoo and conditioner if your particular. There is a mini-bar in cabin with enough room to store a few items. To ensure the best experience, be sure to sign up for one of the drink packages. J2 is the most expensive, running about $50 US per person, per day, however, this allowed us to order at will any drink up to $7 and not be concerned about racking up a big bar bill. This also then allows you to order from room service and have it delivered in cabin. Definitely spend the extra money for the balcony, it's worth it for the extra space. All of the staff was were super friendly and helpful. We had a chance to visit with both the wait staff in the dining room for dinner, as well as bar and casino staff. They were all amazing! All public areas were well kept and refreshing. Even the day at sea, when we strolled out mid-day we were able to find lounge chairs together. Meals in the dining rooms offered an excellent choice of options. The one area that could possibly use some improvement was the buffet if you decline to make your dinner time, as it was pretty much just pizza and salad the one day we chose this. Another upside is that this cruise is very much European travelers, so you have the international cultures to mix with. Options to get to from airport if you haven't signed up for the transportation with Costa you can also take a cab for the same price. If you want a cheaper option, select the ATVO which is bus transportation that runs non-stop into Piazzale Roma about 4 euros, and then take the People Mover 1 euro from there to the cruise terminal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and ... Read More
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and was a little apprehensive due to negative comments on some reviews. I needn't have given it a second thought! Costa Fortuna is a very large ship and very well appointed - We thought is was beautiful! It was kept spotless by the very hard working staff aboard. Our cabin was very spacious and was kept clean and tidy by our lovely cabin steward (from Bali). The staff in the restaurants were all very friendly and efficient. Particularly our waiter (Carlo Castro) and assistant waiter (Emmanuel Perillo) in the MichaelAngelo restaurant - nothing was a trouble to them and they were always smiling. They made each meal a pleasure. The food was great - always plenty of choice (even for me as a vegetarian). The evening meal was up to 7 courses but none of the courses were huge so you left the restaurant pleasantly satisfied. The drinks are very expensive so its best to buy a 'package' if you are planning to drink wine with your meal. There were 2 'formal' evenings. Although most people were smartly dressed every evening, these 2 evenings, people were dressed more smartly - I didn't see any men dressed in dinner suit except the captain and officers prior to the captains cocktail party and welcome speech. In addition to the 2 'formal' evenings there was also an 'italian' evening which involved dancing around the restaurant! A very happy atmosphere! There is iced water available the whole day (except in the evening in the main restaurants). There is also ice cream, tea, coffee available for most of the day. Breakfast was lovely, a great choice with something for all tastes. Lunch was also varied and good quality. Afternoon tea had plenty of sandwiches, fruit and cakes. I didn't try the midnight buffet. The ports of call were all very nice - we were able to walk ashore everywhere except Santorini which required a tender trip. This was well organised and there were plenty of tenders available to get back on board. We didn't do any of the organised tours, preferring to do our own thing. We were 'at sea' for one day of the cruise (Saturday) as we sailed from Rhodes to Dubrovnik and, although the ship was obviously busier as all passengers and crew were on board, there were only short queues in the buffet restaurant during the day and we managed to find a nice place to sunbathe. People were 'claiming' sun loungers (as happens everywhere!!) but this tended to be more on deck 9/10 where the entertainment was located. I read some negative comments in previous reviews about the 'problem' of having to listen to announcements in 5 languages - we didn't find this an issue at all - on the contrary it was quite nice as it gave the ship a really international feel. The majority of passengers on this cruise were Italian, followed by a lot of Spanish speaking passengers. There were also German, French and Russian. Only a few British and American. The staff on board are very international - Peru, Phillipines, Indonesian, Brazilian, Honduras, India, China etc. I can honestly say that I didn't come across even one member of staff who was not friendly and helpful (which is more than I can say about a lot of British workers!!) The only issue for us was the embarkation procedure in Venice. It was not very organised and took almost 3 hours - had we known, we could have spent a couple of hours in Venice then boarded with one of the later groups. On that note, if you are on this cruise, make sure you don't miss the departure from (or the return to) Venice - its absolutely fantastic. All in all, I cannot fault the Costa Fortuna and enjoyed every minute of the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We were 2 couples traveling together for a 7 night Greek cruise. I have always wanted to visit Greece and after reviewing other cruise lines, I decided on Costa Fortuna. We arrived in Milan on Saturday, and had time to explore the city. ... Read More
We were 2 couples traveling together for a 7 night Greek cruise. I have always wanted to visit Greece and after reviewing other cruise lines, I decided on Costa Fortuna. We arrived in Milan on Saturday, and had time to explore the city. Monday morning we took a train to Venice, arriving around 10:30 am. Costa allowed us to check in our luggage before embarkation for 5 euros each. We then proceeded to take a tour of Venice.Embarkation was not well organized. Only 3 people checking in all of these passengers! We were given a form to fill out and I was given number 16. I was told this number would show up on the TV screen and we could begin embarkation. We ended up standing for about two hours because they were on #11 when we arrived at the terminal.The ship is very typical of the Carnival Cruise Line ships. So I was not impressed. Our luggage was already inside our cabin which was convenient. Our cards and all information was displayed on the bed.No complaints about the cleanliness of our cabin. It was always nice and tidy!My dining experience was not pleasing at all. The first day in the Michelangelo restaurant the menu didn't have anything that was appealing so I went with the Chef's suggestion. I got an extra large chicken Mcnugget with french fries. WE HAD TO PAY FOR OUR WATER! And the cheapest wine was 25 euros.Lido deck food was not very good either. Bread was always cold and hard. Breakfast was the same day after day. After 4:00 pm the only thing available was pizza!A food manager was very rude to the employees. He actually yelled, waved his arms in rage because the napkins needed to replenished and the rack for the cups was almost empty. I had to watch this as I tried to eat my food.As the days went on the menu got better. I really didn't like waiting for a long time in between the courses.Entertainment was just OK. There were some outstanding moments. Forget about dancing unless you like to waltz or line dance. We only saw 3 shows in the Rex Theatre. Nothing was that entertaining and it was hard to listen to explanations in 5 different languages.The ports was the reason I decided on this cruise. Could not afford the excursions that Costa provided so I did it on my own.Overall, I saw what I wanted to see. But I won't be using Costa Cruise Lines again. I didn't get my money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper ... Read More
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper train and except for being delayed about 30 minutes and its kinda weird sleeping on the train it was a great way to travel. 9 May - Venice - Embarkation Day - We arrived in Venice at 5:30 am after a short sleep on the train. We find a pretty deserted train station with nothing open, not even the toilets. But just 30 minutes later everything opened and we dropped our bags at left luggage and explored the city as it was our first time in Venice. We explored the city for about 6 hours and really enjoyed it. We even experienced St. Marks's Square with no one in sight. We got a little lost in the city and somehow ended up by the port and saw the Fortuna for the first time. What a sight. We headed back to the station to retrieve our bags and drag them to the terminal as we did not have pre printed bag tags from Costa we could not drop them at the station. Venice has installed a People mover system from Piazzale Roma to the port which for a euro is great value and only takes a minute. Costa also provides a free shuttle from the bus stop in the same location. We arrived at the port and started walking to the check-in area where we were directed to the bag drop in a different building. As we arrived at about 12:30 this place was crazy and after getting tags and dropping our bags we were given number 14 and sent to the waiting area. Here we waited for about 45min to an hour and after a few passport and Security Checks we make it aboard and it feels great! After boarding we went straight to our room where our luggage was already waiting for us as well as our Costa card. We purchased the J2 package which is an all inclusive package. J2 includes all of your drinks up to €7 on the bar menu including cocktails, Wine and Beer. For us this was a great value. We had early seating and enjoyed a great meal. Our servers Marlon Bando (Not lying) and Billy "the kid" were amazing, after the first night we had a standing order of drinks waiting on the table and great service throughout. Costa now have a bunch of self serve credit card stations set up around ship so you can register your card for your onboard account. This is so much easier. They also have screens around the ship that let you book excursions, see how much you have spent and check your Costa Club info amongst other things. 10 May - Bari - We did Bari on our own and had a nice stroll around the city. Costa offer a shuttle bus (at €6 per person) but it's only about a 5 min walk to the city centre. Bari has a castle which looks pretty impressive on the outside but has nothing on the inside. I suggest you do not pay the €2 euro entry. After returning to the ship we had the life boat drill which is a real treat! 11 May - Katakolon - We have been to Katakolon before and really not much here so a trip to Olympus is in order. We ended up needing to tender due to the wind an Ibero ship was in port already so it must have just kicked up. We took a tender and joined the English tour to Olympus. After my previous ships tour on the Norwegian Jade I was a bit leery as it was horrible. I must say this was pretty good and we all really enjoyed it. As we were delayed arriving due to the weather and needing to tender we all arrived back at 5:30 which was all aboard. After waiting in a massive line for about 30 minutes we made it aboard the tender and onboard. 12 May - Santorni - We decided to go this one on our own and were really looking forward to it. However again due to the wind there was a real problem with the tenders. It took almost 3 hours for the tours to get off as it was unsafe. Once that happened we changed locations and for the next 3 hours they tried to get everyone else off stopping frequently. I was watching on deck and decided it was not worth the trouble to get off. It looked quite unsafe (I have video if anyone wants it) so we stayed aboard (Our tender number was called at 14:30 and with a back on board time of 17:30 it was not worth it and the seas were really choppy) and enjoyed a great day trying as many of the cocktails from the menu that we could. 13 May - Rhodes - This was also my second visit to Rhodes and I loved it. The old city is walking distance and well worth a visit we enjoyed a few drinks (Beer in a boot what more do you need) and walked around. There is some great shopping to be had and you can even haggle a little bit. There is Free Wi-Fi within the city and from the ship if you are lucky and the castle is well worth a visit if you have the time. You will notice cats everywhere. They are pretty friendly but I still would not get too close. There is also a decent duty free shop at the port. 14 May - Day at Sea - Quite a normal day at sea. A Kitchen tour was offered and it was pretty cool. It was lead by the English host who imho was not very good. She was very abrupt and kind of rude. She would not be my first choice for a host. We also visited the Casino and all played roulette and came out ahead. 15 May - Dubrovnik - This was a great port. Again due to the wind we had to dock a bit out if the city instead of tender. Costa provides a shuttle at €6 per person and whilst helpful I think it should have been free. A Visit to the wall is a must as is getting some KUNE as that is the only way you will see the wall. Whilst on the wall there are a few cafes that are reasonably priced and give you nice break from your stroll around the wall. Allow about 90 minutes for the walk and wear comfortable shoes. 16 May - Venice - Debarkation day We purchased the Costa Transfer to the airport for €20 per person. This also includes free left luggage at the terminal so you don't have to carry with you. We explored the city again and then returned for our transfer to the Airport. The Fortuna is a great ship that I think is just the right size. The biggest issue I saw is just how it is laid out there are several areas where there is just a bottle neck during busy times and as on 2 indoor public decks span the length of the ship you can get a bit turned around at first. I also wish that you could walk all the way around deck 3. If you enjoy your drink get the J2 and save a ton. The food was great in the MDR and the buffet was not too bad. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment as I never got a fully coked omelette. Overall this was a great cruise. If you can deal with an international feel and being a minority onboard (English was the fifth or sixth language in all announcements) you will enjoy Costa, I can't wait to book my next Costa Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went ... Read More
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went straight to our cabin , luggage already in the room and we where very happy with our I5 cabin . It had a huge queen sized double , two bedside cabinets , dressing table , mini bar and lots of wardrobe space . with a small table , chair and stool . The bathroom was fab , really big compared to our bathroom that we had in our aft balcony cabin on royal caribbean and much more modern .we where on deck 9 cabin 9243 . A great floor with the corridor leading us out past the lifts onto the main lido deck with the colombo buffet restaurant a 1 minute walk across the deck . There where not many cabins on our floor and at the other end of our corridor was a door that led out onto a huge balcony at the front of the ship OK it had no sunbeds but we found that it was very much like having our very own ...huge ..private balcony !! We where lucky to see 5 people a day venturing out onto it ! we just threw towels on the deck , got our pillows out of our room and had afternoon tea picnics there every day ! plus we could walk to and from the buffet with drinks etc without hiking up and down lifts .who needs to pay for a balcony then ? I loved the fact that your on board account was set up and ready to immediately use without any hassle . We just had to go to a machine within 48 hours of sailing swipe our debit cards and it was all linked up to our accounts . Dining arrangements where already done and dusted and Costa had put all English speaking people on our table which was a bonus as We cannot speak Italian of which Italians made up about 80% of cruisers , say 10 % Spanish and the rest Brits , Americans and Germans . The Italian people where quite good fun , really getting into the spirit of things , partying round the pool , getting involved with games etc and the clientele aged from 1 to 100 , a great mix of cruisers however I found that at really busy times the buffet could become chaotic because no one gets in a Que and on sailing days it might be better to get room service during the day rather than braving the buffet but we very quickly learnt what times to avoid when going to eat at busy periods.also there didn't seem to be much thought on board from cruisers towards disabled or elderly people it was at times every man for himself . I loved the ship . It was very flamboyantly decorated , small enough to get around easy and just big enough to get lost occasionally ! OK the announcements got a bit tedious in 6 languages but hey its all about safety of which the safety drill was completed 24 hours after sailing at approx 5pm on the harbour side at Bari . Now the food ...i thought it was excellent . The buffet was superb , breakfast extensive , pizza's and pasta amazing and i really could not fault the evening dining ! we where in Rafaello at the 9pm serving and we loved every minute . The service was superb . we purchased 2 wine packages one for 69 euro = 4 bottles of wine and 7 water then during the week there was a special offer of 2 bottles of house wine and two water for 19 euro . my partner drank the big 50cl weiss beer at 5 euro and i often went for the cocktail of the day 2 for 10/11 euro .I loved the 7 course dinner settings , all little portions with amazing choices , no starter , main and dessert stick in the mud British dining experience on this cruise ..my taste buds are still recovering . what i loved about Costa was we would finish our evening meal about 11pm and in the bars the waiters and stewards would be passing thru with fruit kebabs, chocolates , pastries on trays etc and on the two formal nights it was free champagne and once free cocktails . The captain strolled round the ship talking to cruisers he was very handsome and very easy going ! We didn't feel a bump all week the sea was like glass and the weather was fantastic ..All in all we got a bargain the only thing for us we cud remotely complain about was that tea, coffee and juice wasn't available all day , just at set times but there was always iced water available ...but afternoon tea between 4-5pm was wonderful , the cakes and little sandwiches where delicious ..they have a new patisserie chef and the cakes where fab ... All in all if the price was right i would cruise Costa tomorrow ....what a great week Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I ... Read More
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I didn't like:-Embarkation was slow, frustrating and poorly organised-Food in the main restaurants was very ordinary-Drinks were very expensive-Shore excursions were good, but expensive for what was included-Kids were allowed to run amok all over the ship with little supervision-Announcements in 6 languages gets annoying after a whileReview:This was my first cruise of more than a day or so and I didn't really know what to expect. Overall I was very impressed, glad that I did the cruise and would happily do it again tomorrow. I am an Australian living in Germany and I went with my partner (we are both mid 20s) and my parents (both about 60) who had come to Europe to visit me.I do, however, think there were a few things which could have been a lit better.Embarkation was very slow and frustrating. The information given to us beforehand on the port was not very detailed so we spent a bit of time walking around looking for where we were supposed to drop our bags and what we were supposed to do next. They give a number and say that you can board when the number is called. There were lots of people walking around trying to sell drinks packages but not many to answer questions amongst the confusion.We ended up sitting and waiting for about 3 or 4 hours until we could board. I couldn't see why they couldn't have just told us what time we were going to board when they sent the ticket by email a week earlier so that we could have been exploring Venice rather than sitting in their waiting area.Once we got on the ship we were very impressed. The decoration and elegance of the ship's interior was just wonderful.Our cabin was right down the bottom of the ship and on the inside, so nothing special, but that is what we'd paid for. I don't see the point of paying an extra 1000 euro or so for a balcony when I can just go upstairs and experience it that way. The balcony rooms looked very nice for those who are happy to pay double the cost. The cabin we had was comfortable and served our purposes well. Indeed, it was better than many hotels I have experienced.Dinner was also a little frustrating as we had to wait until 9:00, but I can understand why they do it this way. The restaurant was also wonderfully decorated and looked much more expensive than any restaurant I had ever been. The service was also wonderful; the two waiters we had for the week were fantastic. The food however, was nothing special. We got to choose about 7 courses and obviously some were better than others, but overall the food was not as good as the quality of the restaurant would suggest.I actually found the food in the buffet a lot better so we went up there to eat a few times. The only problem then is that the kids seem to have free run of the entire ship and it gets pretty frustrating to those of us without kids. They would push in line, run around everywhere in the restaurant, make as much noise as they like and often had little or no supervision from their parents. Of course this is not the fault of Costa, but it would be nice if they could ask the parents to take care of their kids rather than letting them annoy everyone else.Drinks were decent quality (other than the wine) but were very expensive. Looking at about 5 euro for a beer, 5 euro for a wine and about 7 or 8 for a cocktail. I guess it's not anymore expensive than a good bar on land. Technically you are not allowed to bring on any food or drink but we quickly discovered that in reality they don't actually check anything. We brought on softdrink, vodka, scotch and wine in our bags and they never stopped us despite seeing it clearly on the x-ray.The shore excursions were nicely organised but often only went for a few hours. With a group of 4 people, we would have been better off just organising stuff on our own (a taxi is cheaper with that many) but we didn't know in advance. Still, it was nice to have a few things organised for us.Being an Italian ship most of the people were Italian. However there were people from many countries and all the announcements were done in about 6 languages. This became really annoying but I guess there isn't really a better alternative.Overall I was really happy with the cruise and was quite disappointed to get off at the end. It was a great experience and I would happily do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked through Costa was outstanding and worth the Euros. The port stays, except for Rhodes were short, so taking an excursion is, IMHO, the best way to experience the port. You don't need a tour in Dubrovnik as this is a beautiful, walkable city as well as Mykonos - no tour offered anyway as we were there at night.2. The stateroom was great - a very spacious and comfortable balcony room. No complaints with the room steward, etc. Wished they had more options on English speaking TV - but who cares about TV when you are cruising?!3. Costa did a great job in accommodating the 5 different languages on the ship. I thought that the entertainment, announcements, excursions, etc. were all cleverly handled to make everyone happy. The ship had about 3,100 passengers - probably 1/3 Italian; 1/4 German; and the rest evenly split between French, English speaking and Japanese. The English speakers had our own host, excursions, certain activities and were also grouped together in the dining room, etc.4. The interiors of the ship were great - especially the atrium area and the ceiling with the models of all the Costa ships hanging upside down (Poseidon Adventure?). The ship was clean and well kept.5. Embarkation in Venice was good - not great but not as bad as what we had read about in other reviews. About 1 hour from time of arrival at port (2:30) to being in our stateroom (3:30).6. And last but not least, the value of what we got for what we paid was outstanding.Now the negatives:1. The food. I am definitely not a picky eater, but the variety of food offered as well as its quality and tastiness was lacking. I don't know if it was my "American taste buds" that didn't like European food or if it was just the food but I would compare the quality to a chain restaurant in the US. The pizza in the buffet was good, but most of the time this was the only thing being served there, so we learned it is possible to have too much of a good thing. We also like cold soups and spicy dishes but found none of these the entire 7 days.2. In two ports, Dubrovnik and Mykonos, we were forced to dock at the commercial ports rather than anchor in the bay and tender in. Costa said that this was due to weather. Well, the days we were there the sea was glass, no wind and no rain, etc. Since they had to go to the commercial port we were forced to pay 6 Euro each to get bus transportation into the city. I have never had to pay for bus transport from the port to the city. This whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth - we felt like we were being nickled and dimed to death. Costa, please don't charge this fee - it's a cheap way to build customer loyalty and goodwill.3. The entertainment. While they did a great job accommodating all the languages and making it work, the quality and caliber of the entertainment was lacking. For instance, the acts and singers in the main showroom performed to canned music rather than a live show band. Some of the performers were sub-par.4. Our fellow passengers. We spent a week in Italy prior to sailing so we grew accustomed to the pushing, line cutting, smoking, etc. but still were flabbergasted at our fellow shipmates. We went with an open mind and knowing that we needed to adjust to different cultures and ways of doing things. In fact, this is one reason we booked the cruise - to broaden our experience and interact with those outside our "comfort zone". Still, we couldn't get over the rudeness and complete lack of consideration for others that many of the passengers exhibited. Examples: moving nonsmoking signs off of tables to adjacent tables and smoking at that table; slamming of balcony doors and LOUD talking at all hours of night/day; cutting in front of you in line waiting to embark/debark/eat at buffet, etc. etc.; pushing you from behind even when carrying food, etc.; talking at the top of their voice in the hallway outside your stateroom for long periods of time; knocking at your stateroom door and running away; kids swimming in the adult only pool and jacuzzis with parents' encouragement. I could go on, but you get the picture.5. Disembarkation. Having to vacate your room and wait in a predetermined lounge is a pain especially after having experienced NCL's system of being able to stay in your stateroom.Summary: A mixed bag. The bottom line is if you can tolerate the negatives, then the positives, especially the itinerary and the value may make this a cruise you should consider taking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, ... Read More
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, around Italy. I boarded Costa Fortuna in Venice after a wonderful weekend in La Serenissima. Be whatever weather, in whatever month, Venice is this unusual city full of magic and enchantment. There are not many places in this world where one can sail past the city centre and some of its most famous sights. And what a wonder that is. The city without cars or buses (apart from a small area around the port) is very easy to walk about and to get to know. Even to get lost is wonderful in Venice. Getting to the port could not be easier, with not only shuttle buses but also the modern people mover. 1. Embarkation Although it was my first time in Venice, I easily found my way to the passenger terminal. Embarkation was made it even easier by leaving my luggage at the train station (Santa Lucia) where a dedicated service (and with the ship's name clearly visible), on the platform side, collects the luggage and delivers it on board for 5 Euros per piece. Costa had mentioned it on the ticket and I decided to try and I felt it was worth every penny. The terminal itself occupies part of what used to be a long warehouse. There is another one housed on a new building but much smaller and I felt it was only for transit passengers. The terminal is large and air conditioned and there are escalators and lifts between the floors. The duty free shop looks just like an old fashioned newsagent but was quite popular with pax. As I had deposited my luggage at the station I was automatically given the number 3 for embarkation. Arrived at the terminal around 13:00 and my number was immediately called. After security and X-ray (online check-in highly recommended) it was a short walk on an external passage towards the ship, in which we boarded directly on Deck 3 2. Cabin I had a single inside cabin on deck nine. Costa gave me a handicapped person's cabin although not needed on my case. It was clear from the beginning that, if a person specifically needed that cabin I would be moved but the ship was not full and I got all that extra space (biggest bathroom I ever had on a ship). It was nicely located near the lifts and the swimming pool and fairly quiet. Only problem was that it was near an automatic door which could be heard on the cabin each time it moved but got used to that. There was ample storage space. Suitcases fit comfortably under the bed or on the corner of the cabin (a good deal of empty space, which is understandable when one needs to maneuver a wheelchair). The safe opens and locks with any magnetic strip card. The bathroom had a shower with shower gel and soap provided. Towels were changed throughout the day if required and the cabin stewardess made a variety of towel animals during our stay. She was a lovely, hard-working Brazilian, who was always nearby. She was polite, attentive and very good in keeping the cabin very clean. 3. Lounges The ship follows the lay-out of the Costa Magica. Deck 1 and 2 are mainly dedicated to cabins. Deck three has the reception, the excursions office, the lower level entrance to the theatre, the atrium bar, the two main dining rooms and their kitchen. Deck four has the upper levels of both dining rooms, the chapel, the library, the lower level of the disco and the internet point. Deck five, the main deck of activities after hours, had the upper level entrance to the theatre, the shops, the main bar (which took the whole width of the ship), an odd broad corridor without much use, the casino, the upper level of the disco, a piano bar (always playing some nice classical music), a ballroom (hardily used here as it was hardily used on Serena) and another lounge with nice stern views. The decoration theme was the Italian transatlantic ships of the past and some rooms made an effort to link to their namesake somehow. But most crew (and some passengers) had no idea of what the names of the public spaces meant. Most rooms were decorated in tones of blue, yellow, red and cream which gave it a vibrant kind of feeling without being over the top. One can say it was a jolly decoration. 4.Food and Drink • Breakfast - room service is only free for breakfast and includes cappuccino / espresso coffee which has a charge in the restaurant. There is a menu or buffet in the Michelangelo restaurant on deck 3 (and at the lower entrance there is a huge, original model of the Michelangelo of the Italian Line, worth looking at) plus the extended buffet on deck 9. In the Michelangelo restaurant there are huge windows at the back which provide a superb view of the ship's wake. • Lunch - There are two lunch options from waiter service in the restaurant (Michelangelo deck 3), to an extensive buffet in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet (where there is also a nice model of the famous sister to the Andrea Doria). I tended to eat in the restaurant at lunch, as the buffet looked like it was quite busy (been November pax tend to remain mostly inside rather than at the pool) and was really impressed how they changed the hours to ensure passengers could still eat on board when port stops hit the lunch hour. Menu offered four options for starters, two for soups, four for pasta, four for main course and four for dessert. There was also salads, etc • Afternoon tea - served 4-5 in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet, little sandwiches and cakes. The cakes looked nice and colorful but all tasted more or less the same and none were impressive. Herbal teas, regular tea, coffee and iced water are always available but at tea time they also offered specialty teas (mainly from China) which was served at a service point by a chef who seemed to know his tea well. • Evening meal - I had a table at first sitting (18:30) in the Rafaello restaurant situated in the middle of the ship which was odd as we the closest to my cabin. There was always a basket of freshly baked bread rolls and bread sticks on the table when we arrived. The menus were in the language requested (choices between German, English, French and Italian) with the Italian name above it if you wanted to order in Italian instead. The evening menu consisted of 6 courses, starter, soup, pasta / risotto, main course, cheese and dessert. There was a reasonable choice and the food was consistently good. I opted for the mineral water package and that was good enough for the whole cruise. Also tried some of the wines and they were good and well priced.Waiters were helpful and professional throughout and nothing was too much trouble. Alternatively the pizzeria (at the Cristoforo Colombo buffet) offers waiter service from 9pm - 1am, with buffet pizza available early evening, but the pizzas were nothing remarkable. • Midnight buffet - There were several midnight buffets during the cruise but I was usually tucked in bed by then. I did make it to one with the vegetable and fruit carvings and the ice sculptures were phenomenal. Throughout the day there was a point in each swimming pool serving hamburgers, french fries, etc + Extra-tariff restaurant - Costa has on some ships (specially the new ones) a restaurant which charges around 20 Euros for a special menu. The one on Costa Fortuna is called Club Conte Grande and although above the buffet, on deck 11, it had a classy atmosphere and it was fairly quiet. Very generous portions and some exquisite dishes made the extra paid worthy. Service was excellent as well. It was a pity that it was quite empty as it was one of the best restaurants I found ever on board a ship 5. Daily programme The grand bar on deck 5 was a main area for activities such as tournaments, games, dance classes, stretching classes and dancing, etc. The Pan Disco on deck 5 was the main location for the children Art and Craft sessions which were offered am and pm. There were Italian classes and some other choices a bit more culturally challenging. There were also seminars in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian about the ports and the ship, but mainly to try to sell the excursions. On warmer weather most activities tend to concentrate around the pool but it was nice to have so much 'live' on the lounges during the day. The cruise director was a Brazilian that could speak seven languages but gave the impression he was new to the job, but still professional and attentive. 6. Pools There were two main outdoor pools on deck 9 each with 2 Jacuzzis (for 16 years and above). The pools closer to the stern had a retractable roof. There is also an outside pool and a swirly slide on deck 11. The Spa has an adult only jacuzzi. The Spa itself was not too big and mainly dedicated to massage treatments, etc. The saunas were really nice, with beautiful sea view and separated for men and women. All very clean and well kept.The saunas were free of charge 7. Evening entertainment The Rex Theatre is on decks 3, 4 and 5 at the front of the ship. The invited entertainment was good but I found them inferior to the ones on MSC. In addition, every bar and lounge had musicians and singers entertaining everyone, including easy listening in the piano bar, ballroom music in the Conte di Savoia Bar and disco music in the Vulcania Disco. With about six venues for musical entertainment in the evening there was certainly something for everyone. However the piano player at the Club Conte Grande restaurant was not good. 8. Excursions I only did one Costa excursion (in Corfu) and did the rest of the ports independently. The guide was enthusiastic and spoke from the moment we boarded the coach giving us information about Corfu and the local area before we got to the Achilleon Palace (the reason why I went on an excursion as it is far away from the old city centre). Unfortunately the weather was not very helpful and rained the whole time we were at the Palace so it was difficult to visit the gardens, but it was worthy. 9 Ports Bari : ships berth very close to the city centre and there was time enough to visit the old castle, the cathedral and the basilica of Saint Nicholas (yeap, of Christmas legend) which is also much visited by Orthodox pilgrims (the relics of the saint where stolen from what was then the Byzantine Empire and brought to Bari many centuries ago). All within walking distance. Worth observing the berthing maneuver at Bari as the ships nowadays are quite large and the port is quite small. Nice, modern terminal. Corfu : Ships berths a bit away from the old city centre. Other pax said that it was walking distance but I had already chosen the excursion. Lovely to see it sail as it passes in front of the city and then goes around the south of the island giving an idea of its geography La Valleta : Ship berths really close to the centre o La Valleta, the capital of Malta. Within a short distance there is the Cathedral (where one can admire an excellent Caravaggio) and the Master of the Knights Palace (now used by the government but containing a large museum) as the island belonged for a long time to the order of St John. Again an interesting port to observe the berthing maneuvers. Naples : Despite the garbage collectors strike and all that one hears about the Camorra, etc, Naples was a nice surprise. The ship berths at the old terminal (much modernized nowadays but externally still looking as it did on the 1940's) and few meters away from the old castle as well as the Royal Palace. Naples is huge so the short stop there was not sufficient to visit its museums properly but I was quite content with the Royal Palace and the castle. It is a lovely bay with Vesuvius constantly on the background. Worth getting up early to see the ship pass by Capri, that magical island, on the way to Naples. 11. Disembarkation I was told to be at the Grand Bar at 09:15 and exactly at that time we were called to disembark. Savona has a terminal built by Costa and it is a modern wonder, full of natural light and very efficient. From the terminal got a taxi to the station (there is a free shuttle but runs only every half hour) where I caught a train for Genoa ( about 30 minutes away) and later a bus for the airport. 12. Final impressions The Costa Fortuna is a nice, happy ship. We had some winds and a bit of rough seas a couple of days and you would hardly know as it felt so smooth. It is decorated with a old passenger ships theme and the models of all past ships from Costa, till the Fortuna, hanging upside down on deck 5 and used as part of the illumination. Glass lifts allow to appreciate the large mural, covering four decks which pays homage to those ships. It was very easy to find your bearings on the ship. I found the cabin corridors very wide and spacious. The staff were all polite and friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be working for Costa. It is also a very green ship and recycles most of its waste on board. Would I go on Costa Fortuna again? Yes, without hesitation. The ship had a good atmosphere, was always on time, the meals were sometimes like gigantic parties, with waiters singing and dancing, and all in good taste. Costa Fortuna was good fortune in November Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your ... Read More
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your holiday and to be with mostly englsh speaking people this is probably not the cruise for you. Pre-cruise concerns were: Smoking: - I hate smoking, but hardly noticed this. Pushing & Shoving - Only as would be expected when we're all desperate to get out hands on that lovely food. Didn't experience any problems. Languages - Announcements were few and far between, so never a problem. Only one which went on a bit was when they were calling you to muster - avoid being in your cabin as it takes about half an hour to get through all the languages, and it's a bit tedious when you're at the lifeboat stations, but small price to pay. All entertainment multi lingual and seeing most singing etc is in english we do pretty well out of it all. Most shows was singing and dancing. I was in awe of the entertainment staff who could speak so many languages and it made it fun. Nationalities - mostly french, then italitan, spanish and english speaking. As we were a family of 7 we didn't need to rely on socialising so no prob, and liked the contenintal feel of it as did our children who enjoyed trying to speak to children of other nationalities. We had a table to ourselves, but initially we were split up and my parents were sharing with some Hungarians who didn't speak english, so could be tricky if you like to socialise at dinner time. Food - Excellent, a lot of fish and pasta but that suited us. Drinks, etc. We purchased X1 packaged which was good value as the kids soft drinks are close to 3Euro each. Paid up front so we didn't think about it and only spent 1 Euro on our onboard account! X1 worked well as the hours are pretty flexible and there weren't many hours in the day that we couldn't get a drink! All in all we were very pleased with the cruise and would go Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
I had high expectations with Costa cruise lines and was a little disappointed. Costa is a luxury cruise lines with the Europeans, not Americans. It doesn't compare to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The ship was VERY warm...all ... Read More
I had high expectations with Costa cruise lines and was a little disappointed. Costa is a luxury cruise lines with the Europeans, not Americans. It doesn't compare to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The ship was VERY warm...all temperatures are strictly controlled so it was a bit uncomfortable. Dining area, lounges, and casino were all warm and nothing could be done. Smokey in most public areas. Cruise line doesn't control children in the adult pool area as there were many children in the pool. It was not very relaxing as everything was rushed and it was like herding cattle everywhere. Long wait in the disembarkation area with no where to sit. One day at sea was chaotic in food areas: long lines, no where to sit and eat and lido deck outside was very congested. Length of stay in ports of call were very limited. Time on the beautiful islands of Santorini and Mykonos were limited also. Mykonos was in the evening so you couldn't even take in the beauty of the island. Staff was just OK; not real attentive. We had to remind and ask our cabin steward for several things plus we barely saw him. I didn't have these experiences on other cruise lines. Dining staff forgot things and I had to remind them every night to bring me my bottle of wine. The food was nothing impressive and I thought menu selections were limited. Cabin rooms were OK and fairly comfortable and quiet. Formal nights on ship weren't very formal so don't waste your money purchasing nice attire! Europeans were very casual for the two formal dinners. Plan to spend a lot of money too just for bottled water! For the money, I'll stick with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean next time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Just returned from Eastern Med Cruise from Venice. Two hours waiting in embarkation hall, then an unceremonious departure, despite leaving beautiful Venice. Our fellow passengers need a lesson in courtesy on board, i.e. allowing people ... Read More
Just returned from Eastern Med Cruise from Venice. Two hours waiting in embarkation hall, then an unceremonious departure, despite leaving beautiful Venice. Our fellow passengers need a lesson in courtesy on board, i.e. allowing people out of the lift instead of charging in, and waiting patiently in queues. Smoking in non-smoking areas really annoying - couldn't go in Casino. All areas except theatre and restaurants were very smoky during evenings. Why is it necessary to have plastic cups in buffet restaurant? - recommend taking your own mugs with you. All dining areas seemed overcrowded - waiters worked so hard to keep up with service demand. Only 5 hours stop at best ports, Dubvrovnic, Santorini, Mykonos (night time)therefore no time to see anything once you have queued up for a tender ship. There is a cable car in Dubrovnic which is 200 meters from old town gates - make sure you have credit card or local currency as they would not take Euros.We are told views from the top are wonderful! Good points, all staff very courteous, good standard of food and entertainment, especially Trio Los Paraguayos - great music! If you choose this cruise ship, make sure you take midships cabin, we had sleepless nights at the front of ship with severe vibration and wave noise when sea even slightly rough. Will stick to the British Cruise experience from now on. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Just got back from cruise to Greek Islands from Venice on Costa Fortuna. My first time with Costa Cruises, have been on 15 cruises before with various companies - some big and some small. The embarkation was awful, hundreds of people ... Read More
Just got back from cruise to Greek Islands from Venice on Costa Fortuna. My first time with Costa Cruises, have been on 15 cruises before with various companies - some big and some small. The embarkation was awful, hundreds of people waiting to get on and NO ORGANISATION WHATSOEVER, not a good start. Lovely ship, lovely cabin and very good itinerary BUT the food on the ship was so disappointing. The food on a ship is part of the cruise experience but the food on this ship will only be remembered for the wrong reasons. The quality of the meat was very poor, not your usual steaks and lobster etc., just cheap cuts of meat and lots of chicken all very chewy with the exception of the Gala dinner when we had a reasonable steak but it was a very small portion. One night I didn't like any of the main courses offered and settled for an 'alternative' of steak and chips, it was what we buy in the supermarkets, the cheapest steak possible to buy, usually sold as quick fry steak with a few chips literally chucked on a plate, no garnish or salad etc., one of the ladies on my table had salmon every night because she couldn't eat the meat and they even run out of that on the Saturday. The 'salad bar' was the most boring salad bar I have ever seen- salad leaves from a plastic bag thrown into a bowl, a few sliced onions, radishes, carrots and unbelievably for an italian ship NO TOMATOES!! NO DRESSINGS and when you did order a salad in the restaurant at night with your meal there was so little dressing you couldn't taste it, my american companions on my table reckoned it had been watered down. In the buffet there were so many people and so many queues and when you got your food it was impossible to find a table- we ended up one day sitting on a sun lounger trying to balance and eat our lunch. In the buffet they had a carvery and one day instead of meat it was a whole boiled octopus- the whole buffet stunk of it! I usually went down to the restaurant for lunch to avoid the bun fight in the buffet and on the last day the only choice for meat was lamb curry! OK if you like curry but I dont and on a cruise in the mediterranean who would want to eat curry! At lunchtime in the restaurant there was only one meat choice take it or leave it!! This is an italian ship and the english speaking guests were way outnumbered by the italians who got preference every time, first off on the tenders, excursions, shuttles etc., and although it wasnt school holiday week in the UK it must have been in Italy because there were so many italian children on board and they have even less manners than their parents. I complained to the english speaking hostess on the last day about the only choice being curry and no seats in the buffet and she said because it was the last day she couldnt do anything about it had I gone to her on the first day then she could, I doubt if she could have changed the standard of the food!! She didn't want to know and I have since coming home sent my complaint to Costa who so far after one week have only received an automatic reply and still awaiting for their comments. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
My partner & I did the Eastern Med on Costa Fortuna at the end of September. The boarding procedure was excellent and our luggage arrived at our cabin quickly. Initial impressions were very good, this ship is MASSIVE but it was ... Read More
My partner & I did the Eastern Med on Costa Fortuna at the end of September. The boarding procedure was excellent and our luggage arrived at our cabin quickly. Initial impressions were very good, this ship is MASSIVE but it was spotlessly clean and very well decorated. The Michelangelo Restaurant for our evening meals was great - good quality food and our waitress (Michelle) was excellent. All the staff on board were brilliant, very attentive and efficient and always pleasant to talk to. We had purchased the X1 drinks package beforehand and the white wine we had with our dinners was lovely until the last night when they had run out of it and gave us a really unpleasant replacement, but up to then it was great. We did a few excursions and they were all brilliantly organised and worth the expense. In Santorini it was a nightmare trying to get on the cable car to get back down to the port as there were 3 ships in the bay whose passengers were all trying to get down at the same time. We had to queue in blazing sun for over 45 minutes, so if you do go ashore or do the Oia excursion like we did, go straight to the cable car to avoid the queues . . . . . . At 4.30am on our first night we were woke up by the most horrendous noise under our cabin floor. It was extremely loud banging and creaking like heavy metal being heaved against the ceiling below us. As our floor was shaking with each bang this was really scary so we rang customer service who said they would send someone. About 20 minutes later a man arrived (and of course the noise had stopped by then) and said he would go below and see what it was. He did not come back. About 6.30am it started again, again we called Customer Service and they sent a man to listen but it took so long for him to arrive that he didn't hear it either. A few minutes later another man arrived and wandered off. He returned about an hour later and said he didn't know what it was and for us to call as soon as we heard it again as they would need to send someone a.s.a.p. to hear it so they could find out what it was. This noise disturbed us on and off throughout the week at all hours of the day and night, every time we called no one arrived for at least 20 minutes, if at all so nothing was done about it. At one time about 6 of our neighbours were all out in the corridor and we discovered everyone had been reporting it but no one had received an answer as to the cause of it. As we were approaching Venice on our last day it was really bad so I called again and a customer service lady told me that it was from outside the ship as we were approaching the port. This did not explain why our floor was shaking with each clanging bang from underneath. I have recorded the noise and will upload the sound to you tube along with this review. The other complaints I have about the Costa Fortuna are; 1) Smoking There was nowhere to go apart from the theatre shows, restaurant or buffet to get away from cigarette smoke. We went all the bars, but did not stay in any as the smoke was so awful. The casino was the worst place for this; we tried to get in there straight after our early sitting dinner, because as soon as the second sitting came out of the restaurants your eyes would literally water from the smoke, so we had to escape to our cabin. I was really surprised by this as the main hazard at sea is from fire - I thought they would have allocated smoking areas but each bar just had a few tables with a no smoking sign on and the Italians ignored them anyway. 2) TV The only English channel on the cabin TV was the BBC world news (not good for seven nights!) 3) Expensive Cash wise, it was a total rip-off - everything was vastly overpriced and poor value for money (a Bacardi & coke was 7.30€ +15% service charge so 8.10€ in total!) 4) Overcrowded If we had known just how many people (3,400) were on this cruise, we probably would not have booked it. When we were at sea the whole ship was heaving with people! We were jostled, elbowed, shoved and pushed along main corridors, especially in narrow walkways such as outside the shops. It was impossible to find a table for lunch in the buffet as it was completely full by about 12.30. We swapped to the restaurant for the last couple of days - the food was better and we got a seat! 5) Entertainment The daytime entertainment on deck was all in Italian. It was like a continental 1960's hi-di-hi holiday camp complete on one day with a 'Mr Sexy Legs' competition! Not what we had expected at all! We will not be cruising with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
I'll split my comments in a few subjects in order to make it easier for the reader to get what was OK and what wasn't. Good things first. The waiters serving our table during the dinners, Paulo and Mario, were just fantastic. ... Read More
I'll split my comments in a few subjects in order to make it easier for the reader to get what was OK and what wasn't. Good things first. The waiters serving our table during the dinners, Paulo and Mario, were just fantastic. They were quite fast, solicit, kind and always prone to help. We were in a table with people from Portugal, and since our native language is supposed to be Portuguese they really tried to speak it - with some success, I must say. Itinerary was another good thing about the cruise. The cities selected for visiting were really awesome, despite spending more time in Santorini and Katakolon would be required. The Portuguese speaking hostess, Fabiana, did all she could for making our stay more comfortable. Since we were a small group she managed to disembark us fairly quickly so we could get the most out of the cities' tours. She also provided us with tips and tricks for visiting the cities without being bothered by the huge tourists groups, what gave us more time to appreciate what Greece had to offer - even because excursions were extremely expensive and not recommended by people that already did it in previous cruises. Now, the not-so-good things. Life on board was kind of complicated... Not every crew member spoke English, so we had some difficulties communicating for buying tickets. Costa was supposed to sell tickets for the bus to take us from the Mikonos Port to Little Venice, the selling happening at the Excursions Desk OR at the bar in Deck 5. We went to Deck 5 but as the waiters didn't speak good English it took us about ½ an hour to finally get the tickets. We tried to communicate with different waiters and attendants, but it was in vain. A lousy waiter kept speaking Spanish with me even after I told her I don't speak any Spanish (despite I can understand it fairly well, so I got the names she's called me). Food is really lousy, cheap, and the menu is not varied at all. I've read several reviews in this website already addressing this issue, but I think it's important to emphasize it again so the readers can make their own statistics on the subject. Meat was cheap and not available. Fruits were not available, something that I and my wife really missed in the 50ºC summer of Greece. Most Italian passengers were really impolite - crowding lifts without need; they don't really talk to each other, they shout; taking food with their (almost always) unwashed hands (really disgusting!); and absolutely not respecting any line. Crew, attendants and waiters didn't do anything to avoid this, even though they've seen it many times. Notice that I do love Italian people (even have relatives in Milan), but I was really scared seeing so many disgusting attitudes like the ones I've described. Oh, sleeping was a problem as well, since the cabin was quite noisy. I kept waking up the whole night long for trying to find the vibration points and put some folded paper between the parts. At the end, I was beaten since the more points I located, the more appeared! I've put over 15 pieces of paper on day 1, and found about 20 other pieces of paper put by other people. I guess someone is still struggling to sleep in cabin 2172! Last but not least - and that's really important if you're still thinking to go to Greece in this ship - life onboard was really, really boring! I've read in Costa's general review that one of their main differentials is the entertainment. This is a lie! In fact the ship has several pubs and bars, but most of them have no attractions during most of the time. Those that have something have the same shows every day. There are no simultaneous attractions in their repertoire as well - if you don't want to make your own "gala roses", you'd better have a set of cards to play, or a good book to read, since swimming pools are always crowded (and usually dirty) and the Casino is really a joke! I've written all of this to the Cruise Manager, to the Entertainment Manager and to the Portuguese Speaking Hostess in a formal letter, but got no answer at all. Therefore, I must suppose they are happy with the current status and, according to the reviews I've read in this website not much has changed! For me, this really shows Costa doesn't care at all for the passenger's opinion and that's one of the reasons why I won't ever get a Costa Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews ... Read More
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews which made us wonder if we had booked the wrong holiday - however, we both take holidays as they come and make the best of anything so we went with an open mind. Embarking in Venice we were on board in no time and soon located our cabin, which was immaculate, spacious and well laid out, it was bigger than we expected and didn't feel cramped at all (have stayed in smaller hotel rooms!). There was plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space, with a bathroom more than adequate. If we needed anything, our cabin steward Emerico would sort it for us, he was always smiling and polite and the room was constantly cleaned with fresh towels twice a day. The ship itself was immaculate. It is lavishly decorated and always clean. Bars and tables always clean and cleared away promptly, the staff worked incredibly hard to maintain the standard. We couldn't fault this ship and its staff at all, and Melissa, who was the English speaking host was always very helpful. The food on board was readily available and the selection was amazing. There was something for everyone and we couldn't fault it at all. One late night we popped up to get a snack and there was fresh pizza, pasta, cakes and fruit, more than enough for anyone! The chefs and waiters all worked hard and were always cheerful and smiling, it seems that nothing is too much trouble for these hard workers. Announcements were made in lots of different languages, bearing in mind it was an Italian ship and the majority of travellers were Italian, Spanish, French, German with a handful of English & American. We were told that anything relevant to us would be in English - simple! As a first cruise, we couldn't fault this at all - our theory is if you go with an open mind then you wont be disappointed, and we were certainly not disappointed. We have now decided that cruising is something we will definitely be doing again! We booked quite a few excursions and had heard it was chaos trying to get off ship - NOT the case at all. It was well organised and easy. We stopped at Bari & Katakolon and did our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the ... Read More
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the food not being good, and pushing and shoving when it came to getting on and off the ship. So here goes: We were at the very front 7202, cabin was fine, bit noisy as there was a generator coming on and off during the night, but no big deal. . Food was brilliant, (we are not fussy eaters though) not sure why the Americans thought it was not up to their standard, you would have to be pretty fussy not to find something you liked!! . The X1 package is great, saved us loads of money and I tipped our waiter on the first night and he brought us a bottle of wine each, every night. Venice, Dubrovnik, Rhodes, Mykonos - all fantastic. Bari great for shopping, Katakolon - not keen, we thought the beach was more like a dirt track and cars and motor bikes sped along the beach behind you while you were sitting there. didn't make Santorini as was ill, but friends told us the cable car situation was terrible and not worth all the hassle, but I believe when you do get to the top it is stunning. . Organisation we thought was fantastic, how Costa manage to feed 3,500 people all day and night is beyond me and keep them entertained and get them on and off the boat, brilliant. . Staff mostly Filipino were fantastic, worked very hard and tried to please you. . Tipping - Well its 14 euros per day (couple) up to you if you want to tip extra, we did, we tipped both our waiters on the first and last night, but no one else on our table did. .Entertainment was about average, some nights excellent, some not so good, they did there best to suit all the nationalities .We did not pay for any excursions, we did it all ourselves, and were very pleased at how easy it was, we dont feel we missed out on anything. .The ship itself is fantastic the art work and design is great - truly awesome. .The negatives - The adult only pool was always full of children with no Costa staff attempting to remove them. However, this did not really bother us, but it did bother a lot of people. .Sun beds are very close to each other, a bit too close for comfort if you know what I mean!! . Avoid the obvious meal times - either go early or late, there is still plenty available and you will then not clash with the hoards of people all trying at the same time to eat!! .Remember it is an Italian cruise ship so 80% of the clientele are Italian, mostly families,(if thats an issue don't book it!)they are not bothered about queueing, and sorry to say, showed no manners and lack of respect to some of the more elderly customers that we had chatted to. . Great first cruise, really enjoyed our holiday, but I did miss my chilled beach holiday, so prob a couple of years until book another cruise. . Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
First time cruising with 2 teenagers 17 and 18. Staff were excellent and courteous at all times. We all enjoyed the food and the family were able to try various exotic dishes that I will possibly never cook! We didn't understand ... Read More
First time cruising with 2 teenagers 17 and 18. Staff were excellent and courteous at all times. We all enjoyed the food and the family were able to try various exotic dishes that I will possibly never cook! We didn't understand what was going on with all the selling of drinks packages when we first ventured out for some refreshments. We were bewildered at first because we understood it to be all inclusive. We ended up buying 3 packages because we thought no drinks of any kind were included and we knew we couldn't go all week without fizzy drinks for the family and coffee for me. Actually you could get basic drinks anytime you wanted but we didn't realise that when we were being pestered for the drinks packages. Also there are 2 packages for coffee so you can't just order whatever coffee you want unless it is in your package. We were mystified during the first day and it was very expensive and as others have said the price they quote is not what you pay because there is a hidden service charge as well as the daily added service charge which for 4 of us was shockingly expensive. My son left his quality shorts (£25.00) very loosely wrapped in a towel in the room after showering and they were removed by the maid and never seen again. We tried hard to get them back but no luck. I'm afraid the cruise was too Italian for me, I felt rather isolated. I like to have a bit of a chat with fellow guests but hardly found any English to speak to. I also didn't really like all the congratulating of the staff at the disembarkation meeting. Members of the staff were paraded on stage and they bowed and we clapped and they clapped and we were told how hard they worked etc. I don't really want to know the ins and outs of their work schedules -most of us work really hard and this was my holiday and somehow it seemed a bit Dysneyfied!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Where to start! We had read many reviews on the Cruise Critic website and frankly, were wondering if we had chosen the right holiday for our family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 13, 13 and 11. Many comments had us worried, but we can ... Read More
Where to start! We had read many reviews on the Cruise Critic website and frankly, were wondering if we had chosen the right holiday for our family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 13, 13 and 11. Many comments had us worried, but we can assure you that from the time we arrived at the port of Venice to board the Costa Fortuna to the time we disembarked 8 days later, we could not believe how much fun this cruise was for each of us. The staff, especially the Indian, Philippine and Brazilian staff had constant smiles on their faces and were always willing to assist us, no matter what time of day it was, how busy they were, or whatever else was going on, they always managed to make us feel as if we were the only guests onboard. The food was outstanding, the entertainment fantastic, the excursions wonderful. There wasn't enough time in the day to sample all of the food on offer or enough room in our stomachs. At the breakfast buffet, there was a whole table just for tarts and cakes, and a sign advising that they were sugar-free - we sampled everything on that table! The hickory-smoked bacon was the best I've ever tasted. The huge variety of cheeses still make my mouth water. We did excursions in Bari to see Alberobello, Katakolon to see Olympia, Mykonos, Santorini to see Oia and ride the donkeys down the cliff-face - excellent fun - once in a lifetime opportunity, and lastly in Rhodes. The only port we didn't do an excursion in was Dubrovnik, but we did walk around the town on our own and it is truly breathtaking. The only excursion we didn't much enjoy was in Mykonos, and we believe that next year, it's not on the agenda, we know why. Santorini is so beautiful, but unfortunately, we only had 1 hour there in Oia, but we'd love to return there one day. We had been taught some basic Greek phrases on the ship during a free language lesson. Melissa was our english speaking hostess on the ship and kept us informed on everything we needed to know and was most helpful throughout the cruise. Our cabin was spacious and always kept neat and tidy by our lovely cabin steward Emerico. Our bathroom had more than adequate space for all of our toiletries. We had the best waiters in the whole restaurant, who couldn't do enough for us - Mark and Romualdo. We were at the first sitting at 7.00pm in the Michaelangelo Restaurant at table 97, and were treated like royalty. On the special Italian night, it was so much fun to see the waiters let their hair down and join in some fun and dancing with the guests. We had read complaints about the announcements being made over the intercom in so many different languages, but, hey, guess what - there were people from all over the world on that ship and just imagine had they not given any messages in the language you speak, how upset you would have been. We found it fascinating, listening to the different languages. We also read how if you're not Italian, then you're not going to enjoy a Costa cruise. Well, if you're going to start with that attitude, you had better stay at home. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Even though this cruise line is known for its Italian flavour, we believe, it is actually now owned by an American company. If you want American food, entertainment, etc. go on an American ship - simple. If you want Australian food, entertainment, etc. go on an Australian ship - even more simple. THE WHOLE IDEA OF TRAVELLING AWAY FROM YOUR OWN HOME IS TO EXPERIENCE OTHER CULTURES, TRADITIONS, AND FOODS, not to have exactly what you eat at home and to follow the same routine you follow at home. We have already booked a cruise for next year on the Costa Mediterranea to leave from Savona, going to Cairo and Israel, among other places - another dream of ours to visit. Can't wait for some more new experiences. Ofcourse, we cannot say that absolutely everything was perfect and that everything went exactly to plan, but we have travelled quite a lot over the years, with three children since they were four months old and so now we know that when things don't always work out the way they should, all you have to do is "accept the things you cannot change, have courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference"! If you're thinking of going on a Costa Cruise, go and enjoy the adventure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Being avid cruisers we decided to try a European cruise company, and picked Costa Fortuna purely because of the price (175 pounds per person)departing 7th June from Venice. The embarkation went smoothly, the terminal building was adequate ... Read More
Being avid cruisers we decided to try a European cruise company, and picked Costa Fortuna purely because of the price (175 pounds per person)departing 7th June from Venice. The embarkation went smoothly, the terminal building was adequate with free cold drinks available. We boarded by numbers being called which went very efficiently, and we were in our cabin within 30 minutes and our cases were there waiting for us. First impressions were that it had the 'wow' factor, it was designed to imitate all the older ships of the Costa company, very different from the American cruise ships, but very well done. Although the ship was built in 2003, it had no signs of wear and tear and everywhere we went aboard the ship was spotlessly clean. The cabins were larger than normal, especially the bathrooms and had the usual hairdryer, tv and mini bar. The staff in all departments were all absolutely amazing, very friendly, couldn't do enough for you and were not pushy about selling you drinks like on the American ships. Our main restaurant waiter was especially friendly, he was from India and after we mentioned we liked curries, we went to the restaurant the next night and they had made a fabulous curry just for our table of 4. The food throughout the week couldn't be faulted, it was always hot and delicious with plenty of choices, we tried all the restaurants. The ports we visited were, Bari, Kataklon, Santorini, Mykonos and Dubrovnik. Even when having to tender it went efficiently with very little waiting.We didn't do any shore excursions, as we prefer getting around for ourselves. Our only gripe was that we never got long enough in port as we would have liked to. To sum it up we had a fantastic weeks holiday, even though we were very sceptical after reading some of the ships reviews, I don't know where these people get their opinions from, we couldn't have asked for better, and we have cruised with royal caribbean, crystal, P&O,Holland America. We will definitely be using Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Please note that this review is for a cruise in the Mediterranean as I believe the experience in the Caribbean is different (as on MSC). For us the cruising is mainly about the ports of call. From the ship we want good food available ... Read More
Please note that this review is for a cruise in the Mediterranean as I believe the experience in the Caribbean is different (as on MSC). For us the cruising is mainly about the ports of call. From the ship we want good food available at convenient times, a comfortable cabin, efficient organization and friendly staff. We do not use the gym, spa, pools or bars and the only on board entertainment we are interested in is the occasional show in the theatre. We find the Med too hot in the summer and just about right in November (about 18C) which is fortunate as this is when the best prices are to be found. Most lines find it hard to fill their ships at this time of year. We sailed with Costa in 2001 & 2002 and have since sailed with RCI (2005 & 2007), MSC (2007), Celebrity (X) (2007, 2008 & 2009), NCL (2008) and Azamara (2009). Celebrity/Azamara has replaced RCI as our favourite mainly due to the excellent quality of food and the attention to detail. The cruise was booked 3 weeks before departure. The reason for our choice was that the sailing was from Venice, my wife's favourite place, and the price was right. I booked a B3 balcony cabin on deck 8 near the rear lifts which I find a convenient position. In retrospect this was not a good decision and I should have chosen the deck below. The cabin was immediately below the lido which has metal chairs. They made a horrendous screeching noise when dragged across the floor which was VERY audible in our cabin. Apparently many people have yet to learn that it is possible to lift the chairs quietly into position... the hurried staff were the worst culprits. The biggest problem pre-cruise was getting information e.g. we had selected second sitting for dinner but did not know the dining time and were getting concerned it would be too late with no where open to snack earlier in the evening. The Costa web site was of little use and I relied on Cruise Critic for much information. This was a bit hit and miss as many posts referred to Caribbean sailings. We stayed at the Best Western Hotel Olimpia the night before the cruise which was located immediately next to Piazzale Roma and can be recommended. We went shopping and it was a comfortable 15C outside so I was walking around in a polo shirt whilst the locals were in thick coats. EMBARKATION The cruise ticket was only sent by email to us a few of days before the cruise after we chased our TA. Embarkation was quoted as 1.30pm but following info from posts on CC we took the courtesy bus to arrive at midday. We were given ticket no. 4 and 1-3 were already boarding. I could not see any complimentary beverages but before looking any more our number was called. There were only 4 girls on the check in desks but this is not as bad as it sounds as they were only checking the forms. The actual handing in of forms, photographs for ID, issue of stateroom cards and credit card registration were handled on the ship. It took about 20 minutes to get on board. On boarding we were greeted by the English speaking host Andreas. He did not know the dinner times but told us where and when to see the Maitre'D for table changes. He said that there were about 2200 passengers on this sailing (fully loaded is about 1000 more) with 1000 crew. From the internet I already knew there very many unsold cabins. At least this brought the passenger/crew ratio down to that similar to X/RCI so I hoped we would not share any of the bad experiences posted on CC by people cruising on busier sailings. CABIN After lunch in the buffet (more of that later) we went to the cabin. The cabin was slightly larger than others we have had. This was put to good use in the bathroom which was the best laid out we have seen. The shower had a curtain but the cubicle was large enough so that this was not a problem. The air con was already set to minimum temperature and it proved to be more effective than on our other recent cruises. We take an electric fan to assist air circulation and usually sleep with the balcony door open. Fortunately for my wife the hairdryer was in a drawer rather than in the bathroom. As Coral Costa club members we got a bottle of Spumante (which we took to dinner on the 3rd night) and a fruit basket. I was looking forward to the fruit basket as on the Costa website it is described as having: 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 mango, 1 papaya, 1 banana, 2 kiwi, 6 strawberries, and assorted berries. I was a bit disappointed as what we actually got was 2 apples, 1 orange, 2 kiwi and some grapes. We found the beds to be much the same as on other lines (RCI, X, Azamara, NCL) in that they are far too hard for us. The stateroom attendant did not know of any foam toppers like we have had on other lines, but used the method we have experienced before of putting the spare duvet on top of the mattress below the sheet. Our experience with the attendant was similar to that of other staff we encountered in that they were polite but not as overtly friendly and talkative as on X/RCI. This could also be said of most of the European passengers who are more reserved than those we enjoy meeting on the US style cruises. The Costa Today programme gave us much needed information on dining times: The grill was only open till 4.30pm. Afternoon tea (sandwiches and cookies) was normally from 4pm to 5pm. Dinner first sitting at 6.15pm Dinner second sitting at 8.30pm (8.45pm on formal nights) NO EVENING BUFFET Pizza by the slice was available until 9.30pm then the area opened as a Pizzeria (choice of 4 daily offerings) from 10pm till 1am. The second sitting meal times were different to those on Costa's web site (9pm) and posted on CC (9.15pm). Apparently it depends on the season and is later in the summer. The sheet also gave details of the revised itinerary. Several ports had their stops brought forward by 30 minutes or 1 hour. This made sense due to the dark evenings at this time of year but I cannot see why this information could not have been emailed to us before the cruise as this would affect people who had organized independent excursions. Also on the sheet was stated the alcohol policy. This again is not clear from the website but you can find it by searching the FAQs for "alcohol". This reads: "No food or drink purchased on land may be brought aboard when boarding the ship. Any local products purchased during excursions may be handed to Costa staff for safekeeping and collected before disembarking at the end of the cruise". HOWEVER, at the end of the cruise the daily info sheet stated that CONFISCATED items would be returned the last evening. The minibar prices were a joke. 5.50 Euro for spirits, 4.50 Euro for a beer and 2.60 Euro for a soft drink. Now that most lines have stopped you bringing your own alcohol or buying it in the duty free for use in your cabin we have adopted a simple policy. Other than any freebies we do not drink alcohol whilst on board. On later days we found that reasonable maps were provided for the ports of call (like X/RCI but unlike MSC). We saw the Maitre'D at 2.30pm and asked for a table for 2 in a cool part of the restaurant preferably with some air movement. FOOD And so to the food... This is very subjective so I'll explain where I'm coming from. I'm a meat and 2 veg guy and will always go for the beef if available. I like gravy but not many other sauces (no tomato sauce on burgers, no dressing on salads, etc). I also like fresh fruit and ice cream. I am not keen on seafood. We find the MDR food on RCI and NCL to be too fancy with steak only appearing on the daily menu about twice a week consequently we choose the buffet in the evening on these lines. I find the MDR beef entrees on X to be fantastic, better than in the specialty restaurant on NCL. The lunch buffet was arranged canteen style with 4 lines. Each line had bread, pizza, salad, carvery, fresh pasta, hot food and deserts. They had proper electric Pizza ovens and the Pizza was good (not as good as in Italy but better than those on RCI or X and the inedible ones on NCL). The carvery never had beef but rather veal and sometimes lamb. There was no cook to order pasta like my wife loves on X. She did not have the fresh pasta offered as it was cream based rather than tomato based. The hot food had a reasonable selection of meats and fish. There was always one potato dish and one other vegetable dish... these were plainly cooked without sauces which suited me fine but I would have liked gravy which was only available some days at the carvery area. The selection of cake was very limited. There was usually fruit cocktail (unripe melon and pineapple) and occasionally some fresh whole fruit. I was surprised by the lack of fresh fruit... there were usually apples but little else, once bananas, once grapes, once pears and once oranges but that was it (this included breakfast). Unfortunately all 4 lines had identical fare and overall there was far less choice than on X/RCI/NCL. We never encountered any difficulties finding a free table at the buffet at lunchtime. There was sometimes a delay in the empty tables being cleared and cleaned. On average we had to reject the advances of three bar staff that were not at all busy. Every day in the buffet flies would settle on the table whilst you were eating. On one day they had a big pile of parmesan-reggiano cheese chunks. Having enjoyed some of this I later saw 2 flies crawling all over the pile! This seemed of no concern to the crew. This cruise was in November so I don't like to think what it would have been like in the heat of summer. We have never experienced this problem before on any other line. The grill in the Lido had burgers, hot dogs and fries. Like the buffet this was self service. At least the food was hot. The fries suffered from not being fresh but were better than the cardboard offerings on MSC. The burgers were tastier than those on X. The healthy eating options consisted of an often empty small chilled cabinet at the far end of the Lido next to the ice cream machine which I seem to remember sometimes contained some plates of cake. Even here there was no fresh whole fruit (unlike the excellent Aqua Spa cafe on X). They had one ice cream machine open in the buffet (chocolate & vanilla) and one in the Lido (strawberry & vanilla). This is like RCI & NCL whereas X has a wonderful (free) ice cream station in the buffet area. On MSC there is no free ice cream in the buffet. The machines closed for the day when lunch finished. There was also gelato for sale at the pool bar. Coffee and ice water were freely available whilst food was served so I believe this would have been till at least 1am. None of the MSC problems then! The coffee was better than on X. No iced tea and lemonade like X/RCI/NCL or the lovely fruit juice of X though. Afternoon sandwiches and cookies were served from 4pm-5pm. We only used the MDR for dinner. The menu had fewer options than that on Costa's Caribbean cruises: Appetizers - choice of 3. Not much in the way of seafood (OK by me). Shrimps cocktail only available on 1 night. No always available options. Soup - NO choice. No cold soups. Usually a creamed soup and very tasty. Pasta - choice of 2 + always available spaghetti. EntrEe - choice of 4 inc. 1 vegetarian + about 3 always available options. Steak appeared 3 times but was bland and not tender. On the first night the steak was the worst I have ever had... like rubber which I had difficulty even cutting through with the knife. Prime rib is normally one of my favorites but their aged prime rib was unrecognizable. The vegetables were cooked plainly. There was very little sauce. Salad - normally served alongside the entrEe - NO choice. Almost entirely iceberg lettuce. No Caesar salad or any other always available option. Cheese and crackers. Desserts - quite a nice selection. Coffee - freely available (unlike MSC) but not as good as in the buffet. Iced water was freely available. I did not have any problem with the MDR food other than the disappointing steaks. However, I would not describe the MDR dining experience as a highlight of the cruise. It was similar in quality to RCI and NCL (well below X) but without as much choice. We would have dined in the buffet if one were available in the evening. It was always hot in the MDR and I was glad that dressing up was optional on formal nights as I would not like to have had to put on a jacket or tie. I would agree with a posting on CC that on formal night the attire for men was about this: Tux 5%, Dark Suit 50%, Sport coat or dress shirt with tie 20%, Casual 25% Our table for 2 was at the far end of the room furthest from entrance and the kitchens. On the first night our waiter and assistant had only our table of 2 to serve and the whole meal took 1 hour. Subsequently they were serving 24 passengers at our sitting (2x tables of 2 and 2x tables of 10). They struggled big time and were very apologetic. I believe this is their full workload which I think is about double that on X. On most tables passengers seemed to be on drinks packages and it was the waiters' jobs to bring the bottled water and opened bottles of wine to the tables for the passengers to serve themselves from. I did not see any sommeliers or bar staff in the MDR and no one asked us if we wanted to buy wine or have anything from the bar. Our jug of iced tap water was usually waiting on the table for us to serve ourselves. We always arrived promptly and our waiter took our order first but the orders (inc. those for deserts) were taken from all his tables before anyone went to the kitchens so it was always 30+ minutes before the appetizers arrived. Our meals took 1 3/4 - 2 hours and we were often the last ones out of the restaurant. Soup usually was served with the contents splashed on the outside of the bowls. My salad often arrived after I had finished the entree. I was amazed to see the waiter cutting up blocks of cheese and preparing the cheese plates himself at his station during his "spare" time! On the last night they ran out of crackers so the waiter had opened his remaining packs and rationed us to one cracker per plate. I noticed that at the neighbouring stations behind me one waiter had only one table of 8 to serve for the whole cruise and another only one table of 6... the passengers on these tables would no doubt say the service was excellent in the MDR. One would have thought our assistant Maitre'D would have resolved the problem but he was not really interested in talking to us as he was too busy fawning over the large tables of Italians. The music was not too loud but apart from 1 night they played the same 30 minute CD over and over... we got Englebert Humperdinck's "the last waltz" etc. 4 times per night! Forget room service. It is chargeable and they only had snacks not meals... not even a burger!!! No chance of dining in your room from the whole MDR menu like on X. EXCURSIONS On Bari we took a ship's tour which started at midday and they conveniently opened lunch an hour early. We did the Sassi of Matera which was enjoyable and reasonable value. There were not enough English speaking people for the trip so they combined the German speaking one with ours. We had two tour guides on our coach and they took it in turns to speak. When we got back after 5pm the only choice was Pizza to last until dinner whereas we would normally hit the grill at this point. TENDERING With way less than a full ship and being the only cruise ship in port on all our ports of call I was not anticipating too many problems. It should not surprise anyone that the ship's excursions get priority tendering. I was pleased to read from another review that there were no priority passes for any cabin grades as I find this a form of queue jumping in front of what would become second class passengers. (We did not use the priority passes we got from X earlier this year on that sailing). We docked in Katakolon so no problem there. For Santorini I would criticize Costa in that I do not think they should advertise the hours in port as 7am-1pm when this only applies if you are on a ship's excursion. I believe it should be listed as a technical stop at 7am for those on ship's excursions and the timings for when positioned off Fira shown in the itinerary. After dropping off those on the ship's excursions, the ship was due to be repositioned and tendering due to start for the other passengers at 8.45. They were ahead of this schedule and when we went down to the theatre at 9.15 they were just about to go free tendering (without ticket). We went straight through to the tenders, then on the cable car (with no queuing) and were in Fira by 9.30. Since most ships' excursions leave you in Fira with a cable car ticket our idea was to go back down before the rush. We caught the cable car down at about 11.00 and once again there was no queue for the cable car or the tender. Despite the published schedule, the cable cars run continuously when cruise ships are in port even in November. In Mykonos our revised schedule was to be in port from 5pm-10pm. We arrived early and as many people were still at afternoon tea we decided not to wait until free tendering. When we got to the theatre the tender ticket was for the next number to be called so again it was almost straight onto the tender. After an hour we came back and again there were no queues for the tender. There was an evening buffet on the evening we were docked in Mykonos which seemed pointless to me as the opening time was only from 7pm-8.30pm. The seas were supposed to be rougher (I didn't feel it) for Dubrovnik so we docked instead of tendering. Shuttle buses were available for 6 Euros return. SHOWS The fantasy show on the first night was good (hand shadows) as were the acrobats on the second night. Soloist singers and pianists do not interest us so the only other two shows we went to were those featuring the ship's singers and dancers. The first of these was pretty dire and we did not last too long before leaving. The second was slightly better and we managed to stick it out to the end. These production shows were not as good as the ones on X/RCI. DISEMBAKATION We had already received our luggage tags but the time of leaving the ship was only announced in the Today sheet delivered whilst we were at our last dinner. That was OK for us but was leaving it a bit late for anyone who needed their tags changed to a different colour. There was no option offered allowing you to take your own suitcases off the ship. Guests were requested to leave their cabins by 8am and we were near the last of those leaving ship at 10.15. We were not given any option of staying on board for lunch as had been posted by some on CC. We then had our biggest delay as Costa had not paid for enough shuttle buses to Piazzale Roma and we had to stand in line for over 1 hour. We then checked into the Hotel Arlecchino (same management as the Olimpia) next to Piazzale Roma for 2 nights. This hotel can also be recommended. Just prior to our arrival in Venice it had just suffered the Acqua Alta. From our balcony we could see people wading through the flooded pavements outside St Marks square. By midday this had cleared and it was possible to walk the streets without wellies. SUMMARY We paid £349 ($570) inc. taxes per person for this 7 day cruise only in a balcony cabin. This was about half the price advertised by any other UK, US or German travel agents. We always book in the last 2 months before departure (after the "final payment" date) to get the best discounts and this price met my target of £50 per night for a balcony cabin although this is getting harder to do with the current value of the £. Daily gratuities of 6.50 Euro per person are automatically added to your on board account. I consider the cruise value for money for what we paid. After the cruise my wife was surprised at what the brochure price was as she thought the experience one of a budget cruise line. It is unlikely that we will sail Costa again. Costa is owned by Carnival and is not as penny pinching as MSC (Moneygrabbing Shipping Company?) but we just prefer the US style cruising of X/RCI to that offered by Costa and MSC in the Mediterranean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
The ship was very clean, cabins well maintained ad comfortable and crew very pleasant and keen to help. Our itinerary took us to Bari,Katakalon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik and we enjoyed all our stops - although Mykonos ... Read More
The ship was very clean, cabins well maintained ad comfortable and crew very pleasant and keen to help. Our itinerary took us to Bari,Katakalon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik and we enjoyed all our stops - although Mykonos on a very cool October evening was perhaps the least enjoyable stop. Our biggest issue was that it felt as if we were being squeezed for money at every opportunity. Unlike other cruises with other companies that we have been on, on Costa Fortuna..... * we couldn't bring drinks of any type on board * a compulsory service charge was added to all drinks - even if you collected them yourself - 1.20 Euros on a cocktail costing 6.50 Euros seemed more than abit steep! * a compulsory service charge was added to our onboard account daily, removing our ability to tip those who we felt had served us well - unless of course you wanted/could afford to tip a second, separate amount! The crew told us that unless everyone ticked the excellent box on the passesnger questionnaires they wouldn'teven see these tips!! *the shows were very average. The crew talent show was just poor and seemed to us a cheap way of providing entertainment. However, those grumbles aside - we DID enjoy ourselves. Although I don't think we will be rushing to cruise with Costa again - mainly because of the hidden costs once you're on board Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
My wife and just returned from a cruise on the Costa Fortuna to the Greek Islands. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise. The ship is clean and our cabin was very nice. The stewards were excellent and pleasant. It was definitely worth the ... Read More
My wife and just returned from a cruise on the Costa Fortuna to the Greek Islands. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise. The ship is clean and our cabin was very nice. The stewards were excellent and pleasant. It was definitely worth the price. However ... Costa Fortuna could cost a fortuna. The excursions were so ridiculously overpriced that we skipped all of them on principle. We learned on the excursion to Bari, which is marginally worth seeing, that the ship was pushing organized excursions as a major cost center. Paying essentially $100 per person for a bus ride was, well, let's say, overpriced. Walking around the old city for free cost nothing. Olympia really proved the point. The ship was docked for about 6 hours to allow passengers to get from the port to Olympia, about 30 km away. Those who took the ship-arranged buses, paid around $120 per person. My wife and I paid, round trip on the very convenient train, $4 per person. Some markup. This occurred over and again. The staff pushed all sorts of exaggerated mark-ups, like wine, drinks, massages, etc. While many of these are justified and deserve a premium, the basic message came across: if you want to do anything, drink wine (which was confiscated if you brought it from the towns we visited), buy anything, expect to pay a high price. This alone irritated me to the point of not considering Costa again. The shows were mediocre compared to other lines. The acrobats and dancers were excellent, but the crew put on a talen show and it was somewhat like watching a local high school talent show. The food was pretty good, although I didn't really try to stuff myself like so many seemed to want to do. The gym was good and the saunas were convenient. The layout of the ship was odd, however, and getting to restaurants wasn't very easy. Having taken a Celebrity cruise to Alaska on the Summit, I would have to say that the Summit was far better in nearly all respects. However, the Costa cruise to Greece was fun and we really enjoy Italy and Italians. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
We went on this Grecian Splendour Cruise (Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik & Venice) at the end of October & were very, very lucky with the glorious weather & sea state. The embarkation hall ... Read More
We went on this Grecian Splendour Cruise (Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik & Venice) at the end of October & were very, very lucky with the glorious weather & sea state. The embarkation hall at Venice was rather spartan, and embarkation slow, but reasonably efficient considering the number of passengers being processed. The ship was spotless throughout and the cabins always clean & well tended by our cheerful and helpful cabin steward. The quest for extra income was ceaseless. Our bags were scanned or searched every time we embarked, so we could not even bring a bottle of water aboard. Drinks at the bar were expensive and the added service charge made them excessively so. Over €7 for a double whisky is unreasonably excessive. The food, considering the kitchens are catering for over 3,000 passengers, was excellent, and the waiting staff were smart, cheerful, hard working and efficient. The best cabaret of the cruise was undertaken by them, in between courses and to the surprise and delight of all diners. You would have to be there to understand! The evening shows in the superb Rex Theatre were a huge disappointment. I have seen far superior and longer shows in a ship half the size of Fortuna. An evening show should be longer than 50 minutes. The staff talent show is an insult to the paying guest, who expects professional entertainers, although this comment is not aimed at the crew themselves. The Entertainment Director should consider resigning. The mandatory service charge of €6.50 per person per day, added to our onboard account, and which we had to accept as part of the booking conditions, was regrettable. We would have preferred to tip those staff who gave us excellent service. The staff appraisal on the penultimate day left us in a quandary - we were advised that if we did not tick "Excellent", the staff would not get the tips, and the money would go to another well-known Italian organisation! Despite the previous comments, we had a wonderful, enjoyable cruise. Each and every member of the crew was efficient, polite and cheerful, and contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
We sailed the Fortuna through Italy, Greece and Croatia in July 2009. We're a young, professional couple with a fair amount of independent travel experience. This was our first cruise, and we decided to try it out to get a more ... Read More
We sailed the Fortuna through Italy, Greece and Croatia in July 2009. We're a young, professional couple with a fair amount of independent travel experience. This was our first cruise, and we decided to try it out to get a more relaxing travel experience for our honeymoon! We had a great time, and it gave us a chance to sample some really cool ports - some of which we definitely want to return to and spend more time someday! This is really a cruise to take 1)for the amazing ports and 2)for the relaxation. If you're looking for extravagance on the ship - wild food displays and constant activities - I get the feeling an American cruise line in the Caribbean will be better suited for you. SHIP INFO: Since it was my first cruise, I didn't know what to expect. I was happy with the amenities, the cleanliness, etc, etc. Plenty of different bars and lounges with great service, a casino, a disco, a duty free shop, a few different pools, a spa, etc etc. There were over 3000 passengers on board, but it really never felt crowded, which was nice. The cruise was 90% Italians and Spaniards, with a handful of Germans, Portuguese, Japanese, Australians, Americans, etc, etc. Just a few hundred English-speakers overall, but a VERY welcoming English-speaking hostess, excursions in English, and a staff that is 100% fluent in English and very accommodating. STATEROOM: We has a B1 veranda cabin, on the starboard (right) side near the front of the ship. The room was clean and more spacious than I imagined. We slept like babies every night since it was quiet, the ship was fairly stable, and the bed was very comfortable. I can't imagine not having the balcony. We spent lots of time out there reading, watching the sea, or just having a glass of wine at night. In most ports, our side of the boat had the best views, which was a plus. NOTE: there are no alarm clocks, so bring your own! We forgot ours, so used our room service breakfast as a wake-up call (which was free). Also, TV options are limited - just ship programming and a few news channels. DINING: There are two main restaurants on board - everyone gets assigned to one of them, either early seating at 7pm or late at 9:15pm. We were assigned late seating, and our table mates were another American couple on their honeymoon. Every night you could select an appetizer, a soup, a pasta course, an entree, a salad/cheese course, and a dessert. Most people got most courses, so you will NEVER go hungry. I am a vegetarian, and usually had one option for each course, which luckily turned out to be something pretty good every night. My husband went the other direction and tried lots of things he'd never had before (or doesn't have often) - rabbit, duckling, veal, etc, etc. We were always happy with our meals, though only a few dishes to really write home about. There were two gala nights, where most people dressed up, but you could still feel comfortable in khakis/button-up or a simple dress. There was also an Italian Night, which was a lot of fun. For breakfast, we often went with room service, having coffee, juice, yogurt and pastries delivered to our cabin. Room service is free for breakfast, and it was a relaxing way to start the day. It was always on time and enough to get us started. A few days we hit the buffet, which was a full spread - eggs, bacon, ham, hashbrowns, pancakes, oatmeal, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereals, omlettes-to-order, and probably a ton of stuff I'm forgetting. Satisfying for the European or American palate. For lunch, we always hit the buffet. There was the sit-down option, but we didn't want the fuss. The buffet had plenty of choices - usually lots of seafood (prawn, mussels, etc), some pasta, pizza, salad, meat entrees, desserts and ice cream. We left stuffed everyday. When it wasn't an official meal time, there was almost always pizza available, including late night. You could also get water, coffee and juice from the buffet. There was also an afternoon tea time with desserts and finger sandwiches. We booked the X1 drinks package in advance to get unlimited beer, wine, mineral water, and soda during lunch and dinner hours. The first night at dinner, we showed our card, ordered red wine, mineral water, and a beer for my husband, and from there on they just brought it all out right away (though they checked to make sure that's still what we wanted). They always brought a bottle of wine, which sometimes we'd take to the cabin to finish. Since we had late seating, sometimes we'd stop by the buffet around 7pm for a small salad and a beer, which was no problem. We used the package for soda, mineral water, and the occasional beer at lunch. It was convenient and definitely saved us money. Highly recommended! They DO enforce the hours. Only during lunch and dinner, so plan accordingly! Regular drink prices on board are not cheap - not completely unreasonable, but NOT cheap - so it adds up fast. ACTIVITIES: When we were on the ship, we really just wanted to relax, so never took part in the activities. There was "SuperBINGO", exercise classes/yoga, some arts and crafts, a few theme night parties, but we preferred just to read on our deck, nap after the day in port, or have a drink in one of the lounges. There was a kid's club on board, and we often saw the teens doing group activities in lounges or early evening in the disco. ENTERTAINMENT: There were daily shows in the theater, running before 2nd seating and after 1st seating. We peeked our heads in occasionally - there was a magician, an acrobatic team, and a few musical revues (all stuff that works across languages). The performers were all talented, and the theater always had a good crowd, but we only watched tidbits since this kind of thing is not really "up our alley". SERVICE: The service on board was absolutely stellar. The ship had ample staff in all areas, who were always quick and friendly in whatever they did. Room service was always prompt, the cabin was well-kept, the waiters were courteous and accurate... excellent service all around. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: First, this is a great itinerary. Each stop was a little different, which gave a good mix of history, culture, natural beauty, architecture, foods, and of course shopping. You'll end up wishing you had a whole week in each and every port. (...though you do have enough time in each to get a good feel for it. I was a little worried they'd be too brief, but I almost always felt like we could fit in our "must sees" without a time crunch.) Bari was first, and we took the excursion to Matera since Bari itself doesn't seem to have much going on. Matera was a fascinating place to see, and the excursion was very well organized. A nice bus ride through the countryside, and a good guide. Recommended. In Olympia, we decided to save money by renting a car and driving to the ruins. We booked in advance, but many Europeans just got off the ship and rented on the spot. It was a fairly simple route, but potentially harrowing if you're not used to driving in places with "loose" speeding and passing customs. The historic site and museum are both worth seeing. The site has the larger ruins and the museum has the more detailed statues and relics. If you don't have a tour guide, get a guide book of some sort so you know what you're looking at! Santorini was the most frustrating port. We thought we'd do it on our own, making our way to Oia and back via bus or taxi, but the night before, we found out that the tenders would be taking excursion passengers off for about two hours before non-excursion passengers could get off. There's no quicker way to do it I guess, but it still SEVERELY limits your time on the island. We decided at the last minute (ie: 6:45am) to just jump on an excursion so we'd have more time. I'm glad we did, despite the cost. We saw more of the island, and actually got to learn a little from the great local guide. If you really want to see Santorini, I URGE you to just book an excursion. This is the one port where I think it matters, and it is a beautiful place to see. Mykonos, Rhodes, and Dubrovnik were all great do-it-yourself ports. Even though Mykonos and Dubrovnik were tenders, we still had plenty of time to wander around and see the sights. Rhodes gives you plenty of time, so you can see the old city, and also walk over to the beach for a while (there is a HUGE public beach with umbrellas and chairs a short walk from port). Again for Rhodes - if you don't have a tour guide, get a book on the sites so you know what you're looking at! Overall, Rhodes, Dubrovnik, and Santorini were my favorite ports, just for their unique character and beauty. HOTEL/TRAVEL INFO: We did not have a hotel on the first day, as we went straight from the airport to the ship. We had a connecting flight through Paris, and gave ourselves a long layover to reduce the chance of anything going wrong there. We arrived in Venice at 2:15pm and were thinking of taking the city bus or a taxi to port, but found a Costa desk at the airport and decided to just pay the 20E for their shuttle. After traveling, it was nice to have something so convenient! Got us quickly and easily straight to the ship, and was comparable to the cost of a taxi. After disembarkation, we spent one night at Hotel Abbazia, near the Venice train station. It was a beautiful converted monastery with an outdoor garden, clean rooms, and an OK price (for Venice). It was very convenient since we could easily walk there from the ship after disembarkation (15 mins), then from the hotel to Piazzale Roma for the ATVO bus in the morning (5 mins). We caught the first ATVO airport bus at 5am, and had no problem making our 6:55am flight. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was by far the worst aspect of the whole cruise. We spent nearly two hours in the cruise terminal waiting for them to check our passports and let us on board. It was organized - everyone was assigned to a numbered group - but the operation was SEVERELY understaffed. They had maybe 4 poor workers trying to check all of us in. They were all efficient and friendly, but just too understaffed to get us on board in a timely manner. When we finally got to our room, our luggage, cruise cards, and the fruit basket/wine we ordered were all nicely waiting... it just took forever! Disembarking was much easier. We were hoping to just self-disembark, carrying our own luggage, but it seems they really don't want you to do this, and you still have to disembark at the time you're assigned to, so it really would not have benefited us. We put our luggage out around 1am the night before, woke up, had breakfast in the buffet, and were off the ship by about 9:30. It was all very smooth, and groups were getting called ahead of schedule. We easily found our bags and walked from the port to our hotel, with plenty of time to explore Venice that day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Costa Fortuna Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.9

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