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18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Before the cruise I read a lot critical reviews about Costa but I just thought that Americans are to demanding and as an European I can manage with European customers and service. I was totally wrong. We have cruised before e.g. Princess ... Read More
Before the cruise I read a lot critical reviews about Costa but I just thought that Americans are to demanding and as an European I can manage with European customers and service. I was totally wrong. We have cruised before e.g. Princess Cruises and have loved every second. This time was different. Ok, I have to admit that the ship seemed quite nice and cabin was also proper and clean. For first hour I was satisfied with my choise. Then it began: We did not get our luggage to our cabin until around 6:45 pm and were late few minutes from dinner (7:00) even though we changed our clothes in a hurry. We were not let in anymore and we were advised to go to dinner buffet. That was something I have never seen in a cruise ship and we are not even picky. Plastic plates, nothing to eat, nothing. Normal 5 Euros lunch buffet for construction workes is fine dining compared to this one. I would describe it as a snack bar with unappealing choises. Then we noticed that there is also pizza available which would have made this dinner buffet somehow ok. Pizza, pay extra 4,25$. As going through the ship I also noticed directly that you have to pay extra for everything. We had a drinking package but not even water available in a cabin and you cannot get water bottle from bar. So, you pay to get water to your cabin. Ice-cream extra 1,5$ etc. At this point we were quite disappointed already but still tried to make our cruise comfortable. It did not work, the whole cruise was just pain. Customer service is slow, announcement spoken in bad english after many other languages. Many customers like us are not native english speakers but that is the only language we can use there, so it was hard to handle things because my english is not in excellent level and staff spoke even worse english. Still I could have lived with this food issue, bad customer service and all extra payings. But fellow travelers.... Loud, rude, unpolite. We spend the end of our vacation again in a AI-hotel in Dominican Rep. and were so thankful for civilized way other customers acted in a hotel. Customers were north americans and from Scandinavia. Not pushing in line, not shouting in big groups, always paying attention to other peoples presence and not just thinking of themselves. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We took this cruise for two reasons: the great itinerary (initially 6 port stops in 6 days, although the last one in St. Maarten was cancelled after the Sept. hurricanes), and the fact that it was one of the only cruise ships departing ... Read More
We took this cruise for two reasons: the great itinerary (initially 6 port stops in 6 days, although the last one in St. Maarten was cancelled after the Sept. hurricanes), and the fact that it was one of the only cruise ships departing from the Dominican Republic where we were spending 3 more weeks on this trip. All-in-all, we weren’t disappointed. We expected that the other passengers would be mostly European, but we were flabbergasted to find out that we were the amongst the only English-first-language passengers on the entire ship! (we only heard English being spoken by any passengers between themselves once on the entire cruise). The passengers were about 30% Italian, 30% French (including many from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and some French-Canadians), 30% Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking (I think mainly from South America), and 9.99% Northern European, who mostly had to communicate with the service crew in English, who were mostly Fillipino, Chinese and Indian, and English was their only second language. Anyway, we didn’t view this as a disadvantage since it lent a decidedly European flair to the cruise, and this may have been the reason that they assigned us our own table-for-two at dinner. The Isla Catalina stop was basically a beach day at a very nice island beach just a few km off the coast of the D.R. near La Romana. The other four port stops were four very interesting and beautiful islands of the Lesser Antilles, St. Kitts, Antigua, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. We were not interested in beach, catamaran or scuba tours and wanted to see the interior, seascapes, and historical sites on these islands. We only took one Costa tour (in St. Kitts) due to the relatively short port stop, and we had previously booked the remainder of shore tours via the internet with private operators, all of which were probably better, longer, and cheaper than those offered by Costa. The food was generally very good, especially in the main dining room, where the dinners were six courses with fresh plates and the right cutlery for each course, and the service was excellent. It was mainly Italian with only limited pasta, with mainly fresh ingredients in imaginative dishes. However, beef and shrimp offerings were limited, and steak and lobster were never offered except for a significant additional cost, even for the gala dinner. The desserts at dinner, especially the chocolate ones, and also in the buffet at meal and snack times, were excellent. Every day they offered excellent small sandwiches, real Italian pizza, and those excellent desserts in the buffet. However, that was it for snack foods. The ship was very clean, with handrails and walls being wiped down often. The entertainment in the theatre was pretty good, as far as it went. The lead male and female singers, as well at the dozen dancers were very good, but most of the shows were limited to 45-60 minutes. However there was no show at all one night, and another night was wasted on “The Voice of the Sea”, basically a corny passenger karaoke show with judges (although this drew the largest crowd from the mostly European passengers – Italian culture at its finest!). However, we had recently taken an MSC cruise which, although no better in other regards, offered far superior, longer, and more varied theatre entertainment. In fairness, MSC seems to be head and shoulders above most other cruise lines in this one cruise feature. The bigger disappointment was the remaining entertainment in the lounges, where the singers and musicians were quite mediocre. In the main dance lounge, I kid you not, they actually sang that classic, great 1960s hit “Itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini” in heavily-accented English with a Latin beat with dozens dancing to it! Again, Italian culture at it’s finest! Drink prices were EUR 5-6 for basic beer/wine/liquor, up to EUR 10 for fancy cocktails. The basic drink package was EUR 188, so you would each have to have almost 6 drinks/day to break even. Like all cruise lines, they state that bringing alcohol on board is not allowed, but we put a bag of wine and a bottle of scotch in a plastic bottle in our luggage and it was not detected, saving us a few hundred dollars. Juice/water/coffee/tea was available free only at breakfast, but only water at lunch/dinner, and they had the audacity to put up a sign saying not to fill your water bottles with the free bulk water (yeah, right!). However, this is a remnant of European culture where one must never stoop to drinking safe tap water, but only expensive bottled water that costs as much as the wine or beer! As I said, the lower level Filipino, Indian and Chinese staff were generally hard-working, polite, and excellent at their jobs, but some of the mostly Italian senior staff were insufferably snotty. I asked one of them a simple question, which they replied in a haughty and rude tone, and then later it turned out the answer they gave me was totally wrong! One little thing, however, really showed their attempt to extract every Euro from the passengers: at the port stop in St. Kitts the ship docked at the commercial port some 3 km from the city centre where the two other piers were taken by other cruise ships. I would guess that the port authorities would charge more for the premium central piers, however its not unusual for a cruise ship to have to dock at a more distant pier and run a shuttle bus service to the town centre. What is unusual, however is to have the audacity to charge the passengers EUR 7 to take this shuttle! However, apart from these minor annoyances, this was a pretty good cruise, and is recommended if you want to see these particular ports and you can get the cruise for a good price. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when ... Read More
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when THE PRICE DROPPED BY £600!! What kind of incentive is there to book early when they pull a stunt like that?? The embarkation etc went quite well and fairly speedy but then things went downhill pretty quick. As so often happens with Marella cruises the ship was on precautionary lockdown due to another "Noro Viral" outbreak. Therefore the games room and Library was closed, the Sauna etc was also closed. No helping yourself in the self service restaurant. Drinks, water, tea and coffee etc and all food had to be served to you. No pasta station. No pizza station. No burger chips and salad station either, (normally outside in the fresh air). The dining was like a frenzied cattle market and if you managed to bag a fed up wine waiter.....well done, you normally finish the meal before one appears. Dining in the main restaurant was much calmer and nicer with waiter service which can be slow. I asked for brown sauce at breakfast one day and the waiter just said no sir???? I thought he was kidding....but he wasn't! Careful with your trips, ours got cancelled and they didn't bother to tell us until late at night! Not enough people wanted to go. TOP TIP...HAVE A THINK ABOUT FORGETTING THE DRINKS PACKAGE!! Lots of guests were complaining about the poor quality of drinks. The beer was Fosters lager. Cocktails were mixed by people under pressure and it showed, they were badly made! Gin or Vodka and tonic was very bland with way too much ice and tonic, no slice of lemon or lime available (WHY) even when you asked and no drinking straw, unless you asked. Bottled water is not included! I have to say that the normal drinks waiters in the show rooms and lounges were pretty good on the whole. The evening entertainment was great as were the singers and the band who sang and played exceptionally well. On disembarkation day there are no drinks available on the upper sun decks, you have to wander back into the ship and carry them back up the stairs, try and carry 2 hot cups of tea from aft to stern then up in the lift and finally up the stairs.....great fun!!!! In a nutshell there was nothing to celebrate about the Celebration! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My partner and I decided to treat ourselves to a romantic vacation with all the bells and whistles. Cost was not a significant factor in our decision but rather level of service. Our vacation started at an adults only resort in Punta ... Read More
My partner and I decided to treat ourselves to a romantic vacation with all the bells and whistles. Cost was not a significant factor in our decision but rather level of service. Our vacation started at an adults only resort in Punta Cana DR (Chic by Royalton - Diamond Club) which was an awesome experience. We chose Costa Favolosa for the second part of our vacation as it departed from DR and the ports of call were particularly interesting to us. We booked the best room available at the time. This was a Suite with a balcony. Room 7322. THE BAD The web site states that our package included: 1. access to a private ViP area in the terminal 2. A personal valet who will help you unpack and be at your disposal for the whole holiday 3. During the cruise there will be many exclusive activities to take part in. etc. This was the most blatant form of deceptive advertising. There is absolutely no VIP area (at least not in La Romana) and only one line for boarding. When I finally found a Costa Representative at the terminal he told me as much. The personal valet is a figment of their imagination also. We were on the ship in excess of 90 minutes before we met anyone from Costa, let alone the Valet. There is someone who cleans the rooms but has no clue about much else and is said to be a butler. I asked about use of the SPA and she suggested I go to Reception and get information as she did not know what package I was on. So much for personal valet. Needless to say this put a damper on our vacation as it did not start off well. THE GOOD Our package included dining at the Favolosa Club Restaurant. The experience was excellent. Although we were told we were reserved for the 6:30 seating we were able to eat at any time we pleased. This included breakfast, lunch and dinner. The quality of food was as good as any fine dining restaurant. Another couple who travelled with us and has been on 22 luxury cruises said it was the best food experience on a cruse ever. There was sufficient dancing and other entertainment for anyone. There was dancing in several locations until the wee hours of the morning. We had a premium drink package (intenditore). The drinks were of good quality including good cognac and tequila. The room although not large for a suite was clean and well appointed. It was cleaned daily to our satisfaction and a fresh bowl of fruit was delivered daily. The entire staff at the Club Favolosa Restaurant were as professional and friendly as can be. They made the trip a pleasure. Thank you all. A special thanks to Anna Maria at Reception who listened to my concerns about our boarding experience and did everything she could to satisfy us. She called on two occasions to see if there was anything she could do to improve our cruise experience. Costa needs more people like Anna Maria. Finally, my partner and I are not so regal as to need a butler and VIP area. We are just regular folks. We would have had a great time regardless and may have still booked this cruise. It is the deception we took offence to. Read Less

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