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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the low cost. Unfortunately, the old saying...you get what you pay for....is totally true. First, the pros: Embarqment and disembarqment was quick and smooth. Specialty restaurants were very good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the low cost. Unfortunately, the old saying...you get what you pay for....is totally true. First, the pros: Embarqment and disembarqment was quick and smooth. Specialty restaurants were very good. A couple of the shows were very good. Ship and rooms were clean but showing some wear. Now the cons: English was definitely the 2nd or 3rd language for the staff of they spoke it at all. All announcements were in italian, german, french and ,if lucky, english. No room service after 3:30 so no bed turn down. No wash clothes were available in the rooms. You had to ask for them daily. Toilet failed and took 4 hours to get repaired. Food in the buffet was same every day and very bland Dining room food overall very poor with exception being pasta options. Customer service desk always had long lines, up to an hour. Then the rep either didn't speak English or very poorly. Overall, it seemed that most employees were just "going thru the motions" . It created a negative attitude that even filtered to the passengers. Overall it just wasn't a fun time and it was Christmas! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are an active over 70 couple and like to get away from the European winter for a while The Costa arranged bus trip from Austria to the Port of Savona was smooth and comfortable, Embarkation was painless despite the extra USA ... Read More
We are an active over 70 couple and like to get away from the European winter for a while The Costa arranged bus trip from Austria to the Port of Savona was smooth and comfortable, Embarkation was painless despite the extra USA requirements We did a short walking visit in friendly Savona as the weather was a bit chilly The Ship was spotless and its classic layout still works well - all that is missing is a quiet solarium area Although the weather was mostly calm even on the bumpy nights there was never any discomfort. On some days there was a slight irritable vibration, but no real problem The cabin was adequate and served the purposewell serviced by Alms The food is good - sometimes exceptional and sometimes average, It is no surprise that the menus are Italian flavoured as Costa is an Italian Line. The complainers amaze one - how people can criticize the extensive breakfast selection that caters for all tastes is beyond comprehension. Yes - sometimes dining orders are lost in translation. as the new waiters do not always understand the drawling and yowling American dialects In the MDR Marc, Carlos and Alfredo were stars At breakfast we never had to place an order after the first day- our order came automatically, so good was the attention, Juice,Coffee, Mueisl, Eggs. Toast etc As for those complaining about he lack of pasta - in the buffet there were never fewer than 4 variations daily!!! Spaghetti is not the only Pasta type On the entertainment front there was always something on the go for everyone and the international theatre shows and costumes were varied and excellent The overall service was good to excellent and always friendly. a smile and greeting from passengers also works wonders - these workers are not there to be be abused by ignorant, demanding guests, We did an excursion that was good, otherwise we did our own thing So all in all we had a invigorating cruise with interesting ports Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Don't believe any bad reviews most of the complaints are from people who haven't cruised in a while and things have changed, not so much for free but this is the same on al cruises. We had such an exceptional cruise the only ... Read More
Don't believe any bad reviews most of the complaints are from people who haven't cruised in a while and things have changed, not so much for free but this is the same on al cruises. We had such an exceptional cruise the only reason I couldn't give it a perfect score was there were a couple of tiny issues. 20 years ago we sailed on the Costa Victoria and loved it. This ship had an exceptional price and great itinerary. So we thought we would try Costa again. First of all the upgraded both ourselves and my parents to ocean view cabins. The cabins were huge with even sofas in them, my parents had an obscured view on the deck with the lifeboats but the size of all there windows made up for that. Italian is the main language on board so any announcements you had to wait for the english version. The mandatory lifeboat drill was fast and efficient so much better then many other cruises. The ship was elegant and so easy to get around. The meals in the dining room were excellent although a little strange as we are Canadian so not used to european flair. We could get water from machine all day. I brought "Monin" flavouring in my purse so just gave it a little squirt and had lovely cranberry or lemonade drink anytime. Make sure you sign up for the Cost club card before you go so you can get 25% off almost everything including the wine you order before you board. Also 50% off the specialty restaurants and some foods. Make sure you download the costa app so everyone can keep in touch with cell phones on board for free. Do not buy the internet plan, you can get the social media plan for $4 a day to keep in touch with people and keep it on all the time with unlimited picture sending, data and even facebook calling. Sign up on ship for that. We loved the 4 d theater it was fun and cheap with the card. The shows were 100% some of the best entertainment we have ever seen, you will not be disappointed! One night we were treated to a 1 hour mesmerizing performance from a world famous Opera singer. The next night he was sitting in front of us and I had to tell him how his performance was a lifetime experience for me. I have never heard and opera singer and his voice was incredible and it wasn't even in english. We loved all the private places to hang out, and we never felt crowded with all the people onboard. Lots of places to play cards. The spa was wonderful and quiet my mother and I spent the whole last day there while we were at sea. The pool area has a big dome that they can close at night or rainy days so that was great as our days were not the nicest. One thing we liked that anything you had to pay for was clearly marked on menus and on the schedule for the day, we didn't feel like we were hounded to spend our money. There are a few things we didn't care for: The main pool deck music was very noisy in the day time, we would pick an area away from the main pool area. No comedians, we knew there wouldn't be as not many english people but we did miss it, not the ships fault, just so you are aware. No free ice cream, but they did have by the pool that you could pay for. They messed up our wine order but after fixing it we ended up with 2 free bottles, so this ended well. Hamburgers at buffet were terrible but excellent in dining room. The breakfast service was nice to have buffet there as well but it was hit and miss with the food orders. Not the same waiter everyday they sat you as you came in. We would of like to see a larger selection of cruise wear in the shops. Port of calls: Do not go on the Evocative river cruise in Belize, it is a 2 hour speed boat tour with very little time to see animals, it was a cold day and would never have gone on it had we known. The only place to shop is Key West, every place else on the itinerary only had Mexican trinket stores. So get your shopping done there. We rented a taxi for $125 in Roatan for the whole day, he took us to the Sloth farm, Butterfly farm, waited to shop in a nice little beach area and took us for ice cream downtown. His name is Hector and he was wonderful. No need to book a private tour this was the best way to go. Admission to the 2 places were only about $10 each. Casa Maya is a waste of time to go into town unless you want to suntan on a beach. The only stores are trinket stores and there is a bunch of them right at the port with entertainment. Just stay there it is free. We did have fun going for a tram ride into town though but need to get a taxi back. Cayman island had a bit of shopping but mostly just surf shops. Cozumel looks like it might have some shopping but we were there on Sunday so half of the places were closed. Getting on and off the ship is easy, a bit slow getting off because of an arrest at immigration but once off Canadian passport holders were pushed through a fast lane with only a few people. I would definitely sail with Costa again but I will do an east coast cruise next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I brought my elderly parents on a Cruise for New Years. We have been on other Costa ships before as well as the Norwegian Gem. I was very concerned when I saw the terrible reviews for this ship. Our previous experiences with Cost were ... Read More
I brought my elderly parents on a Cruise for New Years. We have been on other Costa ships before as well as the Norwegian Gem. I was very concerned when I saw the terrible reviews for this ship. Our previous experiences with Cost were quite good, so when I saw the very cheap price, I booked right away. Well, I was glad to see that the poor reviews were not reflective of our experience. Although there is room for improvement, the overall experience was quite good. Let me start with the positives: The food in the dining room was very good. A bit hit or miss, though. Some days/evenings it was delicious, others it was just ok. But it was never bad. We went there for most breakfasts, lunches when it was open, and all dinners. Our waiter was fabulous. Although he was very busy he never made us wait or feel like we were asking for too much, even when we asked for a different entree or dessert because the one the next table ordered seemed delicious! All the staff was very friendly, approachable and willing to help with any requests. The negatives were few and far between: The buffet was NOT GOOD. The food was mediocre at best and the lines were ridiculous. There were far too few sections open at all times. There were always some sections closed and with a full ship, that shouldn't happen. When we first arrived, it was about 4:30 by the time we went to our room and got settled. When we went to the buffet it was closed! I thought that was ridiculous. This was our 5th cruise and on embarkation day, we could always find something to eat. The servers we spoke to told us we had to wait until the buffet reopened at 6:30. Well, with two elderly parents, I wasn't going to give up. Finally, we found the buffet manager who made us 3 plates of food to eat. It was very nice of him, but I didn't appreciate having to hunt someone down to beg for a meal after we paid for an all inclusive cruise. Another thing I think needs to be looked in to is the accessibility for the disabled. I was very happy to see that on the second day at the pool, many lounge chairs had disability reserved signs on them. It was great. However, I didn't realize this was only because the ship was in its first port. When most people left the ship for excursions, the disabled signs were place on the loungers, when the ship was at sea, the signs disappeared. This makes absolutely no sense. When the ship was docked there were tons of empty loungers. There was no need for the signs. When the ship was at sea there was nowhere to sit. That's when the signs should have been out. The worst part was that the people on the ship (tourists) were so rude! They took towels off loungers and claimed them for their own. And I don't mean those loungers where people placed towels and didn't return for hours (that happened too). I mean I left my towel on a chair, brought my dad to the handicapped bathroom (I was gone for about 5-6 minutes) and when I returned someone had removed my towel and put their things on my chair! And try getting into an elevator with a person using a walker! People don't even let those on the elevator exit, before they shove in! We often times were the first people waiting for an elevator (we actually pushed the button) and when the elevator arrived, were not able to get on because those who came after su beat us to it! I don't expect special treatment because my dad has a walker, but I do expect that if i get to the elevator first and a bunch of other people arrive, they let the first people go first. Or is that just a Canadian thing? I never have this issue in Canada! Finally, the only other thing I didn't like was that just about everything cost extra! I mean even pizza and hamburgers! They had regular hamburgers at the pool grill during the day and they were very good, but if you wanted one for dinner it was considered a specialty restaurant. This was true for pizza as well. I get that the fine dining restaurants would cost more, but pizza and burgers? Other than that it was a very nice trip. The cruise line can't control the behaviour of the guests, which was the main problem. If you can put up with rude travelers, you will be fine. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We wished to do a Transatlantic with interesting stops rather than an A . B We were happy to go on the Deliziosa as we were satisfied with our 2 previous cruises After reading the Carnival annual report for 2016 some of the sub ... Read More
We wished to do a Transatlantic with interesting stops rather than an A . B We were happy to go on the Deliziosa as we were satisfied with our 2 previous cruises After reading the Carnival annual report for 2016 some of the sub standard services on this cruise were inevitable The company is cutting costs to maintain profitability. The embarkation in Venice was the usual Costa shambles that took forever - this time worse than usual, as it rained in Venice so no.one visited the port and everyone wanted to board at once. You would think it was the first time Costa was loading passengers Once on board we had lunch in the Buffet The ship looked fine and the cabin was ready early with the luggage inside. The only issue was a badly stained toilet seat and cabin steward Carlos sorted out a replacement immediately. He always went the extra mile and is a star Most nights the dining room was never open on time and the service was always hectic The dining room is short staffed due to cutbacks and upsets the ambience. Yes Carnival you are saving on costs, irritating your client base, image and damaging the business - an area of gross mismanagement No esteemed Italian themed line would charge for Pizzas or Ice Cream and never serve Ice Cream as a Desert on a 26 day cruise. These cuts you will ultimately cost the line market share The food quality in the Buffet and Main Dining Room was in keeping with the expectations of a middle class ship The standard of entertainment was high and there was always something on the go . The theatre shows were sometimes a bit repetitive ,but it was a relocation cruise. Max the Cruise/Entertainment Director really had the ship buzzing fantasti job and did a Table clearing in the Buffet and on the outside decks was very slack management The selection of ports and the variety of port excursions were more than adequate although some excursions, perhaps, were a little pricey We noticed that the few young children on the ship seemed to have lots of fun We chose to do the Port visits alone as most of the times were fairly short Disembarkation in Miami unfortunately also had some hiccups We requested and had an early departure agreed, then we were given 2 different sets of labels for times much later and needed to go to reception to fix the error, to be told our name should be on the early list, when the list was checked our name was there, not good.- some passengers missed their transport as they did not change their labels and left the ship late We probably would cruise with Costa again but with all the Nickel and Diming one needs to be sure of what to expect.Beware the cruiseline varies the facilities included in the price, from cruise to cruise A guy I met in the sauna summed it up, a Volkswagen will not give you the trimmings that a Mercedes will! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise because of the date, ports of call, and number of days. 99% of the people on board, were from Europe, and did not speak English, or very broken English. The food, which I enjoy very much on cruises, was Terrible. The ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the date, ports of call, and number of days. 99% of the people on board, were from Europe, and did not speak English, or very broken English. The food, which I enjoy very much on cruises, was Terrible. The selections were extremely small. I found European people to be very rude and inconsiderate. Early in the morning people were slamming doors, and moving balcony table and chairs. Most every announcements, were spoken in Italian, French, German, and Spanish. English was very limited. One night I pulled the bed sheets down, and found bodily fluid stains, an blood stains on my sheets. I had called the cabin clerk and showed him the sheets, and he told me, it was from the laundry detergent. Other then my stained sheets, the ship was pretty clean. Obviously, the casino crew was very friendly and courteous. The only good thing is, I'll never go on a Costa cruise again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Yes, horrible food, lost 3 pounds. The meat is hard, pasta undercook, tasteless, coffe is water. Fish is also overcooked and dry, no vegetables. The buffet is like a ground hog day, same food over and over and over. Food in the dining ... Read More
Yes, horrible food, lost 3 pounds. The meat is hard, pasta undercook, tasteless, coffe is water. Fish is also overcooked and dry, no vegetables. The buffet is like a ground hog day, same food over and over and over. Food in the dining room was also bad. Never sailing Costa again, well depends if you wish to lose weight. Go for Princess or Royal Carribeans, good service, good food Husband has a CPap, had send all the forms to get distilled water. They never recieved them, said my husband had to find an empty bottle if he wanted water ! Was shocked, got mad, told them they have to find a bottle, not me . Horrible service Docked in Jamaica in a crapy location instead of the nice wood dock available so the captain could save money, my husband tripped and fell, bloodied knees. Forget Costa, not worth the money Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew ... Read More
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew members speak fluent English so that will not be a problem. A great variety of good food available at all meals... but (particularly on long cruses) do not expect fresh seafood or American style steaks. Most excursions were excellent and a good value and impossible to duplicate on your own. Spring for a beverage package - Brindiamo gets you unlimited wine, hard liquor (Johnny Walker Red, but not Black) as well as sparkling water, sodas juices whenever you want it. Service staff were amazingly pleasant and hardworking, as swell as fun. Onboard entertainment was fun...from Opera, to popular music to comedy and magic shows, as well as passenger participation contests like the "Voice of the Sea" competition.. More onboard enrichment activities would have been appreciated. Only one on-board lecturer covered Italian language lessons as well as lectures on history and culture. Overall an excellent value with the understanding that you are not booking (or paying for) a "premium" Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We had great food, great entertainment. We were more than happy with our cabin, and our dinner waiter. However, the thing that spoilt this cruise was lack of water. They wanted us to pay for every drop we drank. I found some waiters ... Read More
We had great food, great entertainment. We were more than happy with our cabin, and our dinner waiter. However, the thing that spoilt this cruise was lack of water. They wanted us to pay for every drop we drank. I found some waiters downright rude, if you asked for a glass of water the reply was "card". If we did not want to hand over our card, they did not even bring tap water. The other issue was tea and coffee. There is none available except for between 4 and 5pm. And if you do not speak Italian you would not even know about this one hour. Even on the English daily bulletin, it is written in Italian. The man looking after this station, was rude and unhelpful. It took us 3 days to discover afternoon tea hour. When we were shown the daily bulletin, and I said that it was in Italian, he told me that it was in English in the English version. this turned out not to be the case. He said "its up to you to read it, its not toilet paper you know". The soda fountains were never open, the whole time we were on the ship. All I wanted available was a glass of water, and it spoilt the whole experience. I approached the matre de about the water situation, he was apologetic at least, and he told me that Costa made a decision to not serve water with the meals, and instead forced customers to purchase bottled water. Service on board was mixed. Some of the staff need to get another job, they are totally unsuited to customer service. Then we were lucky enough to have a wonderful waiter (Renaldo) for evening meals, and an efficient polite cabin boy, (Dino). My other complaint is that I would liked to have bought a drink, but refused to run up costs on their cards. Surely they could allow cash purchases for drinks, and supply water with meals. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
The ship is sharp and well laid out . . . it is actually the same ship as the Carnival Legend/Miracle twins with a bit classier decorations and fittings. Costa out shines everyone on embarkation proceedings . . . but is in the "not ... Read More
The ship is sharp and well laid out . . . it is actually the same ship as the Carnival Legend/Miracle twins with a bit classier decorations and fittings. Costa out shines everyone on embarkation proceedings . . . but is in the "not ready for prime time" class for food and tours. Food . . . well prepared but dull compared to other cruise lines such as NCL and Royal Caribbean . . . and with poor access. A 3 hour only lunch buffet . . . less than 2 hours for served breakfast . . . and no dinner or evening buffet options were very old school. You essentially eat at your assigned dinner time or starve! Food was well prepared but with very limited choices.. Tours had to be pre-purchased and there were no refunds. Costa then mixed languages which essentially gave you half a guide. When questioned, the tour staff shrugged and essentially said "tough".   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2011
We travelled from Cairns, Australia to join Deliziosa in Dubai for the 7 night cruise. We were able to board the ship around PM but did not get access to our cabin until around 8 PM. Some guests did get into their cabins earlier. The ... Read More
We travelled from Cairns, Australia to join Deliziosa in Dubai for the 7 night cruise. We were able to board the ship around PM but did not get access to our cabin until around 8 PM. Some guests did get into their cabins earlier. The cabin was a good size for comfort and there was plenty of storage space. We did not have any problems with the cabin other than occasionally the shower drainage was not adequate. The cabin stewardess did an excellent job and everything was always ready when we needed it. We found all staff to be very polite and helpful even though we only speak English. The meals in the dining room were of a very good standard and the service was excellent. We had the company of two couples from England at our table and enjoyed their company very much. The buffet meals were also good but we thought there could have been more choices on offer. The X1 wine package was a great deal and we would use this again. We found the activities on board the ship including the theatre entertainment in the evenings to be satisfactory and some of the shows were extremely good. We used the gymnasium often and it is very well equipped. The decor of the ship is truly beautiful and of the highest standard. The amenities of the ship are also very attractive nad it is easy to get around. We would be very happy to do another Costa cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2010
Background This was our 4th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total but this time we took our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for their first cruise. It was good to see some of the things we take for granted through the eyes of ... Read More
Background This was our 4th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total but this time we took our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for their first cruise. It was good to see some of the things we take for granted through the eyes of first-timers and we were all very pleased with the holiday. The Deliziosa is a nice new ship, rather bright and gaudy in places. We knew what to expect from the food on Costa - excellent pasta and fish, variable quality meat and less than exciting desserts, and it did not disappoint. The buffet weas nothing special but our waiters in the main dining room were excellent, in fact the crew in general were very pleasant and friendly, despite the ongoing problem of multiple languages. Some menu items lose something in the translation (eg slow cooked rib-eye steak = prime rib). Costa may not be the most luxurious of cruise lines but we always admire their ability to cope with the multiple languages, and our family particularly liked the relaxed party atmosphere on board. Embarkation We had already spent a few days in Dubai before the cruise (very nice family apartment in the Dunes Hotel Barsha, near the Mall of the Emirates) and been to Ski Dubai, Aquaventure water park at Atlantis on the Palm, seen the Burj Khalifa and explored several shopping malls and souks. Having booked cruise-only and organised our own flights & hotel 2 of us took all the luggage to the ship by taxi on the first day. Our tickets showed embarkation from 8pm but we had heard from other CC members that we could board from 3pm and this was indeed the case. Arriving back at the port shortly after 3pm we expected a long queue but in fact must have beaten the crowds as we walked straight on board. Cabins were not supposed to be available until 6.30pm but our steward kindly allowed us to leave our hand luggage so that we could explore unencumbered. At 6.30pm we returned to find our Costa cards in the cabin, as usual. The family had the X1 drinks package and got drinks during the afternoon buffet by showing their booking form. As widely reported on CC drinks on Costa are very expensive and at about £10 per day this is an excellent package for anyone who likes a few glasses of wine/beer and was well worth it for them. The only glitch they reported was that some of the staff at the pool bar did not always know whether the buffet was open so whether or not they could get drinks there. So now to the ports of call. A few hours of research really paid off on this cruise, as the maps and information provided by Costa were fairly useless, I would definitely recommend printing out maps from the internet before leaving home if you do not intend to take excursions. Muscat, Oman Immigration cards were given out as we left the ship - the same for all nationalities (2 of our family have Maltese passports and had needed 3 visas each for the UAE, one for each entry, which had been rather a nuisance to organise and cost about 50 pounds per visa). All of the ports on this cruise are large commercial harbours and all provide a free bus to the port gates, but Muscat is the only place where there is anything of interest within walking distance of the drop-off point. It was a pleasant, if hot, walk along the seafront corniche to Muttrah Souk. There are nice gold sunshades by the sea every now and then and the entrance to the Souk is clearly marked on the large gateway (maybe half a mile at most from the drop-off point). There were plenty of taxis available at the port gates offering tours into Muscat itself but we enjoyed just wandering around the Souk for a few hours. The forts at the entrance to Muscat are clearly visible from the ship, as was the huge inscense burner on a nearby hilltop. This is the place to buy Frankincense and perfumes. Fujairah, UAE Having read earlier reviews we had low expectations of Fujairah but in fact quite enjoyed the day. We had considered hiring a car here (and if we visited again probably would as the driving was nowhere near as mad a Dubai and I found several companies that would deliver a car to the port) but this time took the 6 euro Costa shuttle to the Lu Lu hypermarket, quite a pleasant drive and we saw quite a lot of the city - it went along the seafront going and came back a different route via the fort. The hypermarket was large, some things were cheap (granddaughter bought a Blackberry and saved about 60 euros), my only feeling was that the shop should really have paid for the shuttle bus, as there was nothing else in the area. There were several taxi drivers offering 90 minute tours from the hypermarket car park but they only looked like visits to 4 forts, probably not very interesting. We did not see any taxis at the port gates. Abu Dhabi, UAE I had booked a 14 seater minibus over the internet from a company called Majestic Transport from 350 dirhams (about 70 pounds) and through our CC rollcall had made up to 11 people, and then found another 3 on board to join us, so excellent value at 25 dirhams each (about 5 pounds). The free port shuttle here did not drop off at the port gate, as expected, but took us to the Mina Centre, a small shopping mall a couple of miles away. The hop-on-hop-off bus (200 dirhams each) stops here as do some local city buses (I would be tempted to try them if we ever returned). As each shuttle bus arrived it was surrounded by a mob of taxi drivers - the only place on this cruise where we experienced any significant hassle. Unfortunately we were a bit early and our bus was 20 minutes late, finally arriving after a number of phone calls to the company to explain our location, each time assuring us that it was 'right there', while several taxi drivers with smaller vehicles tried to convince us that they were the one we were waiting for - all rather stressful and we were pleased when a bus arrived, the driver assured us he was from Majestic, I showed him the print-out of his boss' s email that we had to give him 350 dirhams at the end of the day and he confirmed that was right. We had absolutely super day, Ahmed, the driver, was most helpful and acted as a guide as well as a driver. First stop was the magnificent Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, a little like the Taj Mahal in shape, really lovely. Abayas were provided for the ladies. Men were allowed in provided they had long trousers - any with shorts were given a white robe. The mosque is about 30 minutes drive out of the city and closes at midday but we just made it and were so pleased that we did. Next Ahmed suggested a drive past the palaces of the Sheik's various wives and relations, which he pointed out, then a visit to the 7* Emirates Palace Hotel. Sadly they did not let us into the hotel as it is now restricted to groups of 5 or less, but we saw it from the outside. Then we drove a short distance to the Heritage Village, an open air museum of life before oil and a small craft market (all free admission) with a stunning white sand beach. From there we spent a couple of hours at the nearby Marina Mall for lunch and visited the tower for fantastic views of the city. It is really a restaurant but just follow the signs to 'Burj Marina' and ask to go up, it was no problem (and free). Last stop was a few minutes on the public beach on the way back to the ship - how we all wished we had brought our swimming costumes, it was so lovely and we could only paddle ! Sadly, the day ended on a slightly sour note when Ahmed told us his boss had 'made a mistake' about the price and it should have been 350 euros (he later tried dollars) not dirhams. I was really upset as I had shown him the printout before we got on the bus and he agreed it, and we had whipped round for a very nice tip for him as he had been so good. Of course we refused to pay any extra and he did not pursue the matter for very long - I suspect this is something they just try on with tourists, I have read about a similar ploy with taxi drivers, so for anyone else visiting please be careful and always get a quote in writing including the currency. We would have thoroughly recommended his firm to other CC members if it had not been for this. But Abu Dhabi was definitely our favourite port of the cruise. For anyone else visiting you would get a good view of the city (including the Emirates Palace and the beaches) by taking the shuttle bus to the Marina Mall - the heritage village is walkable distance from there too. Bahrain We went with low expectations again, as other reviews had said it was dirty, nothing there etc etc and even my cousin who lived there for 15 years was surprised that cruises call there now. She told us that, being a Friday, the souk would not be open in the morning, so we had a lie in and headed off about 11.30am. The only easy way to get into town is to take the 6 euro shuttle bus as it is a very long way (about half an hour in easy traffic). There is also a free shuttle to the port gate (several miles from the ship) and a few taxis were waiting there but sadly they are known for rip-offs and one couple we spoke to paid 26 euros and still did not get to where they wanted. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive in the centre of Manama just opposite the Bab-al-Bahrain gateway, to find thousands of little shops selling everything you could think of - and copies of every designer label under the sun (handbags about 20-25 euros, 'iphones' about 80-100 but not all features work). Some shops were indeed closed for the day, but about 75% were open in the afternoon, at least, so we had more than enough to keep us busy for a few hours. It was not as clean as Dubai or Abu Dhabi but we did not think it was particularly dirty, just a typical middle eastern souk. Dubai Disembarkation The process is a typical Costa easy-going muddle. No other cruise line lets arrivers mingle with leavers for a couple of days over changeover, but we had this in Hong Kong with Costa and again in Dubai and actually it works fine. There is no proper information, you just come and go from the ship as you please from when it docks on Saturday lunchtime until sometime on Sunday night/Monday morning and when you are ready to go - you just go ! Our family had to leave early on the Sunday morning, our own flight was not until the early hours of Monday morning, so we enjoyed a long walk along Dubai creek and around the gold souk, returned to the ship for a final swim, ate dinner (open seating but still the fixed times of 6.15/8.45pm) then got a taxi to the airport about 11pm. Shows Costa excell in language-free shows. We had 2 juggler/magician/acrobat acts - both excellent, just a shame they were on consecutive nights. Productions shows are not really my 'thing' but the 'Delicious' one was actually very good. The other one was something about shapes, we only saw the first 10 minutes, as that was the only night the show was after 2nd seating dinner and we were tired. The last night was one of the resident pianists, Pietro, doing a solo show and he was absolutely amazing - do not miss him ! Conclusion We loved the cruise - probably our best yet with Costa. It is a shame that so many English travellers are consistently disappointed with Costa, we have always enjoyed the difference, but then we love Italian food, don't drink so don't care about the prices, and I quite enjoy trying to understand the announcements in other languages - if things like that would ruin a cruise for you, please go with another line ! We would not mind repeating the itinerary one day as we focused on enjoying the ship and shopping on this trip and probably missed out on some sightseeing in this interesting area. As for the family, they say they love to cruise again and would be happy to do 2 weeks with Costa next time ! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We are seasoned cruisers and have been lucky enough to experience many cruises. This cruise appealed to us because we wanted to experience Costa Cruises and with the added bonus of a new ship. Our travel To Dubai Port was from London ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and have been lucky enough to experience many cruises. This cruise appealed to us because we wanted to experience Costa Cruises and with the added bonus of a new ship. Our travel To Dubai Port was from London Heathrow with Royal Brunei Airways and was uneventful and also unworthy of any positive comment. The transfer to the ship was pretty awful and unorganised. I think we have to forgive this because of innovation. we did not use any overnight hotel in Dubai. The Costa Deliziosa was very impressive in appearance and one could tell that the furnishings were all top shelf. Our Embarkation was very smooth and gave one a feeling of security and professionalism. The port and shore excursions were many and varied and if you wanted to pay through the nose for these they were freely available. However if you wanted to do your own thing without being herded and have numbers stuck on you, you could also please yourself. My favourite is: Taxi ! follow that bus.You must remember that the organised tours are provided to earn the company money. The entertainment and facilities were varied and of a good standard, although the thing that I was looking forward to experiencing Formula 1 simulator was broken for the whole cruise. Got to put that down to teething troubles. Our stateroom and cabin service were the best that we have ever had and for that reason alone we would revisit this ship. The dining experience as far as we were concerned left a lot to be desired but that is not to say that the food quality was poor. Our disembarkation went smoothly and was stress free. Overall this cruise was good value and attention to all detail via the purser's office was satisfactory. If I could improve this cruise in any way I would be hard pressed. I had expected quite a few hiccups because this is a new ship but they did not materialise. Full marks to Costa with this new cruiser. Read Less
Costa Deliziosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 3.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Service 2.0 3.3
Value For Money 4.0 2.9

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