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Sail Date: August 2019
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, ... Read More
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn. This is an expensive route normally and this was a budget price in the scheme of things. Based on what we paid and what we received there are no complaints. The food was of a good standard at the buffet and the formal dinner and in fact some of the formal dinner food was amazing. I had one of the best beef steaks I have ever had on one evening! The waiters could have been a bit more jovial but they were not rude and their service was fine and we always had a good experience every night. The room was bigger than expected with a good size comfy bed and plenty of hanging space for clothes. We did not see our cabin steward at any time on the cruise but the service was fine and the room was always well looked after. We did have a problem with a shower tray that would not empty properly so one ended up stood in water and also with water overflowing onto the main bathroom floor. I reported this and they came and fixed it while we were out. They then called the room later that day to make sure that we were happy with the fix and by that time we had not used the shower. When we used the shower we found that it was not working correctly still and so we called them and once again they came out to fix it. Once again they called us later that day to check it was ok and this time the fix had worked. I have been on many cruises and I have never had a follow up call to make sure that we were happy with the fix. This is a first for me, so well done to them for actually taking the time twice to make sure we were happy with the repair/fix. Credit where credits due. We did three excursions through Costa and two of these were very good. However we did do the Best of Stockholm and Vasa Museum tour on the final day which is a 3.5 hour tour at €70 per person their ref 2501. This is rushed tour and is not enough time. It ended up that we only had 40 minutes in the Vasa Museum, which is the highlight. They introduced this as one of the World's best Museums and a wonderful experience and then gave us only 40 minutes inside. This is ridiculous as in my opinion you need at least 1.5 hours inside, minimum. I would suggest that you go privately and take your time as this is an amazing museum that deserves more of your time. This was a blemish on what was otherwise a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The restaurant staff very professional and well trained. Out cabine room was superficial clean every day lots of dust and the bedsheets not changed for the entire week. The excursion staff lack of knowledge and very rude not happy to offer ... Read More
The restaurant staff very professional and well trained. Out cabine room was superficial clean every day lots of dust and the bedsheets not changed for the entire week. The excursion staff lack of knowledge and very rude not happy to offer any excursions in English unless is just downtown were we can go by ourselves. We we looking forward to have a nice hiking and engage with nature but NOT POSSIBLE NOT POSSIBLE. When we book the excursion there was nowhere mentioned that they don’t have a English guide available not the necessary number of people needed so the tour can be offer. The excursion assistant manager poor poor quality of service and very disrespectful. I wasn’t expected to have such a unprofessional staff.They absolutely were so rude that I will never try a cruise with this company and I will let everyone know about my terrible experience on the ship. It almost felt that staff were angry when speaking to them in English. They don’t have the urge to offer quality service as you seen been advertised. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The ship is a very beautiful ship. It is a Carnival Destiny (Sunshine) class ship that has a slightly different layout. The decoration is very well done with some odd art work here and there. The cabin was standard to all other ships I ... Read More
The ship is a very beautiful ship. It is a Carnival Destiny (Sunshine) class ship that has a slightly different layout. The decoration is very well done with some odd art work here and there. The cabin was standard to all other ships I have been on. This was my first time on an Italian ship. I have cruised on British and American ships more times then I can count. The ship did pick up an drop off passengers at every port which I had never experienced before but did not affect our vacation in any way shape or form. The biggest difference was of course the language for all activities (except the production shows) were all in Italian (Production shows were fabulous by the way)... which is understandable. I'm not much of a dance lesson, trivia contest guy anyway. The dining was the biggest not so good surprise... The food on this Italian ship is the most different then any other ship I have sailed on ... The breakfast was always continental not the typical huge American/british fatty breakfast. The pizza and ice cream which is normally free on the American/ british ships was an upcharge (our kids were disappointed). There was not a free coffee, tea, water dispenser available all day like other ships... It was only available for buffet meal times which kind of forces you to get the drink package... The food in general compared to carnival, rccl, norweigen, celebrity, etc. you could see how this cruise line pays significantly less for quality and if you do want the quality food you have to pay an upcharge (do not expect to get a free lobster night and chocolate molten cake). On to the service... The service from waiters, bar staff, was wonderful... The room steward service on this ship and all other ones I have been on gets worse every time I sail so that was not surprise. All the workers I met spoke English along with Italian, and other languages so was very impressed and humbled as I am in the typical American that only knows English. I admire anyone that can learn other languages. The ports are the main reason why we picked this ship... We were in a port every day except one and got a chance to explore castles, cathedrals, and beaches. We chose to travel on the busiest month in Italy so we did pay extra for that but it was the only time work permitted average was $1000 per person. I do overall recommend this cruise line but as an American and having cruised on more American and British ships... I will go out of my way in the future to make sure the next cruises we go on are American or British mainly because of the comfort level of the language and food make the whole experience way more appealing and on a vacation that is very important. That is why I gave this ship an average rating... This ship was lacking overall a feeling of southern hospitality if you know what that means then you will understand... All other ships and lines I have been on have a deep feeling of southern hospitality but this one did not. That is the best way I can describe it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in ... Read More
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in Stockholm, and the following day you have to disembark. I can't understand why they don't add Latvia for example instead of docking for 2 days in Stockholm. Otherwise it would have been nice to have 3 days in Russia, but Stockholm is the least city that one has to see. Something about the ship, decor is very old, brown and orange everywhere, breakfast very poor, bacon and sausages are not even good for dogs...thanks God they offered meat in the grill section which I enjoyed very much for breakfast. In the evening we ate at the sit-in restaurant, food taste average, food decoration very nice. Entertainment during sit-in dinner ZERO neither some background recorded music except for the Italian night and the gala dinner where there was live entertainment which we enjoyed very much. At the pool area NO MUSIC except when there are organised activities which happen only when the ship is at sea...I find this so stupid as it is costless to put a nice music on through a CD...The pool slide on Costa Magica was delusive..it is opened only for 1 hr if you're lucky. So, we booked this ship for the slide and when we boarded we could'nt even use it, we had to wait until the last day to go on it 3 times as they did'nt advise its opening times and we encountered it open by chance....why? we presume so that they won't have to repaint it since the blue colour comes off on your swimsuit or because they don't want to waste human resources to guard the slide. As for the bar service, we bought Piu Gusto for all the cabin which was a family of 4. One of us went to get 2 drinks from the pool bar and the barman humiliated him by asking him for another card....why when our package included unlimited drinks? why ruin guests holiday experience with this approach?? as for children activities the Peppa Pig activities were great and the children had so much fun in the Squok Club...so well done to them. I was going to forget about this...this is unbelievable but true...guys forget that you will be getting an ice cream or a nice milkshake on the ship...if you want one you have to pay for it...this is our 5th cruise and we never encountered anything similar!! As for the Photos...when they will learn that if they reduce the price they will sell more? it's unbelievable how many photos they throw away after every cruise when if they sell them at least half the price many people will be encouraged to buy them...very greedy and stupid behavior in my opinion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , ... Read More
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , there what to eat everywhere. there 2 restaurants on the ship. We was on smeralda and it was an goodrestaurant but it was take the food a long to get. Costa having a show every day Evening. there a lot what to see on board and what to do. But Pizza on board is on additonal Payment. the service on board is good. on Information there staff that talking in multi languages. the loading and unloading was good and quick. and the shops on costa is quite good and recommanded to wait to last day for sales . very nice cruise maybe We'll go again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but ... Read More
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but bearing in mine the cost it was good value for money. The cabin staff, lounge staff and restaurant were lovely. What spoilt our experience somewhat was the aggressive attitude of the bar staff and some reception staff. We always treat all the staff with respect and a smile but some staff thought it was ok to be rude and aggressive. We did the Stockhol, Helsinki, St Petersburg, TAllinn stops and i would highly recommend these, take an extra day in Stockholm as there is plenty to see. At this point I am not sure I would book Costa again, purely due to the number of times I encountered rude staff and saw how they behaved towards other passengers, even on 1 occasion to an elderly and frail lady. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had used Costa once and were not very pleased, the only reason we chose it again is because it was the only cruise that we found that would go to Norway on the dates we had available. The ports of call were spectacular, enjoyed the ... Read More
We had used Costa once and were not very pleased, the only reason we chose it again is because it was the only cruise that we found that would go to Norway on the dates we had available. The ports of call were spectacular, enjoyed the views, the fjords, nature, falls and train rides. It was a multicultural experience with people from a lot of nationalities. The food was average, being vegetarian, I had usually one option on the menu. On our last cruise with Costa, in South America, the pasta was superb, so I was looking forward to that, but was very disappointed. The menu was very weird. They need an italian chef to bring good pasta. Going to the buffet was a challenge for me because I had a walking disability and used a cane, and you had a station for fruit, another for salads, for deserts, for water, and for hot foods. So there was a lot of walking, and it was usually crowded and hard to find a place to sit. One day I felt like eating pizza and found out that they charge for pizza! and also for ice cream! (which was a free option when we cruised with Costa before) Being from USA we were not charged for water, but the rest of the passengers had to pay. Our server for dinner was I Nyoman Darsana from Indonesia. Great person, very polite and courteous. The programming was average. The best shows were the acrobatics and Mimes. The room cleanliness was average. The carpet was stained and needs to be cleaned (room 4181) The sheets and towels in general seemed old and grayish colored. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Pro's: Clean cabin and ship Friendly staff Con's: tea and coffee only available with breakfast or afternoon tea (which only lasts an hour) Charge substantial service charge per person per day Ice cream not ... Read More
Pro's: Clean cabin and ship Friendly staff Con's: tea and coffee only available with breakfast or afternoon tea (which only lasts an hour) Charge substantial service charge per person per day Ice cream not included Pizza not included (yes this is an ITALIAN cruise ship) Water has to be paid for with evening meals! Very crowded pool Cigarette Smoke where ever you go Tried to sell you add ons for evening meals that you have already paid for Charge a lot for shuttles into town from ports (they didn't tell us that there were free shuttles provided by the port authority, we had to work that one out ourselves) kids events at anti-social hours (10 pm onwards!) Fitness and beauty "seminars" where they basically try and sell you something every time! They just want money money money, very greedy. The list goes on and on. Basically, don't waste your money on Costa cos it will Costya. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Review Summary The question is...Would I recommend taking a Baltic Cruise on Costa Pacifica? I will reluctantly say “Yes”. The Cruise Ship is well worth the money spent. The destinations are absolutely exquisite. The only hesitation ... Read More
Review Summary The question is...Would I recommend taking a Baltic Cruise on Costa Pacifica? I will reluctantly say “Yes”. The Cruise Ship is well worth the money spent. The destinations are absolutely exquisite. The only hesitation I have is the food as it was terrible. Embarkation Getting to the Port in Kiel Germany was very easy. The Cruise Terminal is ~1 mile from the Kiel Train Station (HBF). Plenty of shops and food establishments to peruse before boarding. The boarding process was abysmal. Massive amount of passengers being funneled into 6 check-in stations. It took ~4 hours from arriving at the Terminal to boarding the ship. Baggage arrived to the cabin later in the evening. Absolutely miserable experience. Ship Experiences Food and Dining Main Dining Room was mediocre at best. Presentation of dishes was average. Quality and variety was well below average. Little to no fresh vegetables and fruits. Buffet was nearly inedible. Same low quality dishes every single day. The breads and desserts were above average. Little to no fresh vegetables and fruits. Specialty Restaurants were no better. Drink Packages and Bars were above average. This is the primary disappointment. Was expecting good Italian Dining, yet received meals that were so horrible. In addition, four of our party became violently ill throughout the cruise directly related to the food. Onboard Activities The shipboard activities were outstanding. The ship was filled with activity daily and was one of the most exciting cruise ships I have been aboard. Entertainment All of the Performances and Entertainers were excellent. One the most exciting cruise ships I have been aboard. Children's Programs No children Service and Staff The Crew were outstanding in all aspects. Very friendly and professional. Ship Quality The ship is in great shape. While the decor is very brash, it fits the energy of the cruise. Appropriate Music throughout the ship. Cabin / Stateroom Cabin is above average with plenty of storage space. Tastefully decorated. The bed and pillows were average. Ship Tip Really think about how important the quality of food is to your cruise experience. Ports Of Call Kiel, Germany No excursion. Good port for Embarking and Disembarking Gdynia (Gdansk), Poland Average port. It is a young city so in a couple of years it will be a much better port. Shuttle to city center is ~$8 Klaipeda, Lithuania Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Walk to the city center. Very inexpensive. Tallinn, Estonia Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Walk to the city center. Very inexpensive. St. Petersburg, Russian Federation The Crown Jewel of the Baltics. Spend as much time and money as possible in St Petersburg. Extremely inexpensive. Must obtain a Visa prior to cruise or book an Excursion through the cruise line to exit the port. No exceptions. Helsinki, Finland Beautiful port but not much to see or do. Very expensive. Shuttle to city center is ~$15 Stockholm, Sweden Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Shuttle to city center is ~$15 Disembarkation Couldn’t get off the ship fast enough. Disembarking is typical as with other ships. Received color coded baggage tags the night before. Pack and set your bags outside your cabin by 1am. Depart the ship at time coordinated by your color code. Bags awaiting you in the Terminal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the ... Read More
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the itinery was fab and we have been on a couple of cruises before in eastern med with Royal Caribbean - so checked re package and location of cabin carefully - got a single bed sofa sorted rather than bunk bed - and chose Deck 9 as close to bars/buffet/pool etc. We had a fantastic week - and this is why I am writing the review (given the majority of very negative ones!) - as we really rated the following: - the dining room/food ! we were seated at an English speaking table and we had a laugh from the off. Hello Steve and Trish and John and Bev if you are reading this! - the staff - we found everyone helpful and friendly - far more than previous cruises - we enjoyed the gala night - it wasnt formal or stuffy and the whole set up is very relaxed and casual - if you want formal dont book this ship!! Norbert was excellent - the premium room - spacious and spotless all week - decent shower and loads of storage space. Decent bed including the single one - the sofa bed wasnt a hassle and just stayed down along wall all week which was ideal. - embarking/disembarking - all very straight forward - no waiting getting on or off and the same throughout at various stop offs. We got a public bus from central station when arrived at Stockholm - after gettting Arlanda Express from airport - takes 30 mins and cheap! - the itinery - we chose this primarily as we wanted to get as much time in St P and Stockholm as possible - we booked our own shore excursions in St P and did our own thing in other cities. We had a brilliant time in St P as we wanted to do more specific history and politics tours so used Ulko Tours to go to the Political History museum (fantastic - you could spend 5-6 hours there - ask for english speaking tour guide before you go) and also smaller KGB museum. Also did general city tour 1 day with Advertura - very good. These were costly - so it does add a lot to the overall cost of the holiday which we didnt realise when booking cruise. We booked our own flights to and from Stockholm separately so this gave us an extra day in Stockholm - otherwise we would have had to leave the ship by 4.30am on the last day. So this worked out for us and accomm in Stockholm was reasonable - stayed at Park Inn - a couple of stops on metro which was excellent. So overall we were impressed with Costa and would use them again. Yes - the majority of the passengers are Italian/Spanish (no surprise there then) and yes it was loud and noisy in all the public bars/spaces. The entertainment was as to be expected (!) and yes Costa makes the staff try to sell all sorts so there is too much selling at the info sessions - but we found the overall service and the dining experiences great. Just one thing Costa - please add water to the drinks package - its madness not being able to get a glass of water but as many spirits/wine/beer as you wish. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in ... Read More
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in our eyes , fresh pasta and always nice and hot if your wanting that little extra , the Dinners and Breakfasts in the diffrenet rooms around the ship were fantastic and the atmosphere was also great The ship was easy to get around and plenty to do on board The Casino Staff were great to chat with and always very Friendly Must say that if your after a great fun holiday , it rate this ship 9/10 This was our 12th cruise but first in the Medditerainan and must say we really enjoyed it and would do the same Ship again Hope you enoy like we did Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship was clean and well cared for. Staff very nice, I even tipped extra. The food however was horrible. Very few dinning choices and most had an extra cost to eat such as hamburger or even a pizza. I get that if you want something that ... Read More
The ship was clean and well cared for. Staff very nice, I even tipped extra. The food however was horrible. Very few dinning choices and most had an extra cost to eat such as hamburger or even a pizza. I get that if you want something that cost more like lobster but a hamburger really? Speaking of the lobster one of our group members tried it. He said it looked green and slimy and thought that was just how it was prepared. It was hard to tell because of how bad the food was everywhere else. He ended up with food poisoning as well as my wife whom had eating some eggs. The serving times where so short that you had nowhere to sit and eat. The staff even stopped the serving lines 15 to 20 minutes early so many time we went with out eating. No big loss their. They allowed smoking on most of the ship including dinning areas so you couldn't get fresh air. We even had my own balcony but we couldn't even use that because our neighbors smoked on the balcony next to us. We totally waisted our money. They also have several hidden charges that we discovered later. Geev Galvez and his helper Charle Ramirez. They worked in the main dinnig room for the special dinner. The service was spot on. Drinks before we even had to ask for them and offered different food choices as they notced people not eating the food. Not their falt on the food qulity but they did their best. Other service in restraunts was good to vary poor. We ate one night at the pizza / hambeger place and after asking 6 times to get someting to drink we all took turns to go to the buffet to get drinks and come back. We never did get any drinks that we didn't go get our selfs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this Cruise Trip to North Europe, as this covers four stops in Western Norway, besides Copenhagen and Goteburg in Sweden. This was our second trip on Costa Ship. Very happy with their Itinerary, since main attraction was to ... Read More
We chose this Cruise Trip to North Europe, as this covers four stops in Western Norway, besides Copenhagen and Goteburg in Sweden. This was our second trip on Costa Ship. Very happy with their Itinerary, since main attraction was to visit Norwegian Fjords. Vast variety of food and comparatively far better Entertainment compared to others. Overall a great experience and Value for money. One suggestion for those Taking this Cruise at Warnemunde Germany. Warnemunde is nearly 2 to 4 hours by Train or Coach from Hamburg or Berlin. For individual/ group travelers, who not taking direct Private Taxi/ Car from Hamburg or Berlin to Cruise centre, the better way is to Embark on this Cruise at Copenhagen. This will avoid all the hassles of getting to Warnemunde from Hamburg or Berlin One suggestion for Costa: Being an Italian liner, there should be some free Pizza and Ice cream stations. They have Shore Excursions for different language groups. At Norway ports, private excursions to Fjords are available at cheaper prices. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I do not normally write a review on cruises. I do always rely on my other half to do this. I have read so many bad and negative reviews about Costa which I was not very keen to sail with them this time. I have traveled a lol, done so ... Read More
I do not normally write a review on cruises. I do always rely on my other half to do this. I have read so many bad and negative reviews about Costa which I was not very keen to sail with them this time. I have traveled a lol, done so many cruises with Royal, Azamara, Cunard, Princess and so on. You just imagine how well they are by name. So I was quite worried to embark on Costa Mediterranea due to my experience with the best ones on the sea. I cannot praise to anyone to give a go, to try it at least once. It was amazing. We sailed this month and we went to the Norwegian Fjords. The ship was glizzy, beautiful though. It's like a Las Vegas Hotel if we want to compare to something. It's not new but no old at all. It has got that sparkle which it makes everything good to be on. We were for 10 days and we enjoyed everyday. We are definitely going back again. Also we have found out that Costa had a free shuttle from Amsterdam (from a station to the port, which no so many cruise liners do that.... On the other hand I just would like to pointing out few things.... We do feel citizens of the world, Costa is a multicultural environment and of course we do not expect everyone to speak with the same accent or this perfect English. Sometimes demand is it perhaps we do want this or that in our own way? Why cruiser just accept what it is without making huge fuss? The only problem is some the passenger itself which they do not know what it does mean respect. To be honest criticize and write a bad review to a cruise company is easy but sometimes we should ourselves understand why sometimes things don't go how we want. Perhaps we expect too much, we treat badly those people who are really working hard on board for us. Just be nice, try to see yourself on the other side and just think how you would like to be treated, perhaps your perception will change a bit. I can't personally knock anything down. It's us we should respect each other when traveling. That's my personal opinion. If you don't like it then you can go with Silversea, Seabourne, Oceania where you pay a high standard rate and you get what you really want. Sorry to be harsh but we just need to stop winging and criticise everything. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We picked this 9 night Norway Cruise for it's ports, not for the ship, as part of a celebration for our son's high school graduation. We splurged on a panorama suite for a little more room and services since there were 4 of us, ... Read More
We picked this 9 night Norway Cruise for it's ports, not for the ship, as part of a celebration for our son's high school graduation. We splurged on a panorama suite for a little more room and services since there were 4 of us, my husband, 18 yr old, 1 yr old and myself. We reviewed all Costa's shore excursions prior to sailing and through research determined we could do most of their excursions on our own or through another company for half the cost. We booked 0 excursions through Costa and did all sight seeing and excursions on our own. Ports: BERGEN: We easily walked from port to town while walking by colorful houses to Floyen Mountain funicular (lift/gondola). Once on top, beautiful views await with easy walking trails, friendly goats and playgrounds galore (don't miss the wooden one in the trees to the left when you get up there. There's a little zipline that's part of the playground too). Definitely a spot for all age groups. Go there early as the lines get long for the funicular. Cost was reasonable, about $20 round trip. You can also hike up and down at no cost, but it's not for everyone and I would rate it difficult because of the incline and length to get up there. HELLESYIT: we didn't dock. Stopped for an hour for the views. You could only get off IF you booked an excursion that took you to the next town, Geiranger. At the high cost, It didn't sound worth it. GEIRANGERFJORD: coming into this Fjord is the excursions. Save your money and wake up early (by 6am) and watch the majestic waterfalls and ridges roll by as they narrow while approaching Geiranger. At port, we checked out a few port shops along the water, walked around towards town (about 5 minutes) and walked backed. It looked like you could rent a boat there for a few hours. That would have been fun. It ended up being a very overcast day. We ended up back on the boat somewhat early for a nap. ANDALSNES: My favorite! I originally wanted to take the train excursions Costa had on the Rauma Railway but at almost $200 a person, I thought not. I found the train actually had a website of it's own, but the tickets were sold out for that date and time (Costa's excursions bought them out no doubt). So we rented a nice car for $60 and went to all the same places on the excursions, literally following the train as it paralleled the road we drove (a huge cost saving and so much better than fighting for space with all the other tourists). MUST SEE Trollstigen (winding, steep road with waterfalls to a beautiful mountain top park with easy trails to overlook). Come back towards town and drive up the other side along the Rauma River to Romsdalen. On your way take a side road off the beaten path for a few minutes. We saw moose and an incredible unattended roaring waterfalls. OLDEN: we took the local bus (turned school bus after 3pm) for a few NOK (maybe $10 per person round trip) to Briksdale Glacier. You must do this early to allow for time to get there and for walking the park and return before the buses stop running. There was no cost to get into the park, just for the shuttle cart (big golf cart) to bring you towards the top of the park to avoid some uphill hiking. We loved the 1 hour walk up and the challenge. Bring a raincoat or sweater, it does get cold (you're walking to a glacier). STAVANGER: We really wanted to do the Pulpit Rock excursions with Costa, but again $200 a person was ridiculous. You can do it on your own for around $40, if you're in port a full day. You just need to get up early and be off the ship to catch the 1 hour fairy over to Tau and bus to Preikestolen Mountain. Once there, you'll need to leave at least 4 hours for the hike (add more for decreased fitness level) and plan what fairy you need to be on to return to the boat in time. We missed this opportunity because we stalled getting off the ship. Instead I watched jelly fish swim along the boat docks as we walked into town with LOTS of SHOPPING. We eventually decided to WALK to the swords. I definitely recommend NOT doing this. It was easily a 4 mile/6 kilometer, 2 hour walk through the neighborhood, a park and along a highway, with nothing special to see, only to get there half starving, take a few pictures, with just enough time to figure out how to get a taxi in the middle of a very residential area back to the ship. DON'T DO THIS! Wake up early and get to Pulpit Rock. BREMERHAVEN: port is far away (20+ minute drive) to the city. We stayed on the ship. Language: They announce in 5 languages. It doesn't seem annoying as they do it quickly and efficiently. The cruise director will announce in the 5 languages as well. The crew generally understands english. The majority of the passengers I interacted with spoke only Italian or another language besides English. The boat: decor. Lots of colors, but very clean and tasteful. Hardly felt us mice through the Norwegian waters. Bars/lounges: didn't usually have to wait long when ordering directly at the bar. Sometimes lounge seat service took a bit. Bar staff was accommodating and willing to try to make what you wanted off the menu. Mark at the lounge was good at understanding drinks off the menu. Dont expect a typical Cadillac margarita as they don't squeeze the lime/lemon fresh, they use a mix which they say is lemon juice with sugar added. The best Margarita I had was with their fresh squeezed orange juice. They put the best duo singing band (2 guys) that play mostly American songs in the worst lounge. It's not a bad lounge it's actually really comfortable, but the walk way to the MDR and elevators separates the stage/bar from the seating so everyone is always walking through. Any of the ships other lounges would have been better for this. Theater: very nice 3 story theater. Lower level walk in on the first floor and multilevel (with stairs) highback chair seating on the others. All offered pretty good views of the stage with some piller obstructions throughout. The first two rows are reserved for suite guest, with no specific seats being assigned relating to your cabin. They can be taken 5 minutes before showtime by anyone. Staff does not monitor the reserved seating. The show's are about 90 % Italian related and they sing about the same in Italian. Tips: download the Costa app on your phones prior to the cruise. For some reason Norway would not let us download the app ( it was unavailable in your area). Butler Service: We did not receive an orientation from our butler (Julio). He never told us what services we could use him for, I believe in part due to the language barrier. We struggled a bit when we'd try to order drinks from him, but he always tried really hard to understand. We call an extension on our phone and they either take our request or more commonly, send the butler to find out what we'd like. One morning I ordered two hot chocolates with the person at the extention. The next day I ordered it at the extension and she said it was not included, even after telling her it was yesterday. She sounded irritated and said "mama is there anything else?". I said, I guess just orange juice. It was definitely included as we had their best drink package and butler service. Three days before cruise end, we were given a second butler that explained the services included. Club Restaurant: Medusa was the highlight of the service we received. Kind staff when dining with a 1 year old made all the difference. Kevin, Julie, Neal... made sure we got good service and were always chatting with the baby when he got fussy, many times avoiding having to leave as the baby responded happily to them. The food was usually good. I asked the servers what things looked better on the menu as it was hard to tell by the name what would be good. One night they had lobster bisque, it was anything but. More like cream fish broth gravy. I know they have limited ingredients to make a variety of things, but sometimes the food names on the menu are not exactly what we know that item to be. So just ask a lot of questions prior to ordering at the restaurant to avoid disappointment and food waste. Most servers are happy to explain if they can understand your questions. Restaurants/buffets: this cruise had very selective hours for their buffet. It seemed they were only open 2 hours for dinner and not until 6pm, if you were hungry between 3 and 6, room service was generally the only option. I'm used to having food available 24/7. Everytime I went to the buffet, I had to wait in line about 5 mintues before I could get any food. I also struggled every time to find a table. Pizza from the buffet area cost extra. They act like it's a specialty restaurant. Spa: the spa was complementary for suite guests. We were under the impression that we'd each just get one day at the spa, but was informed that we could go everyday by Christine (english speaking guest relations). The have a co-ed jacuzzi, just like the ones on deck. Each male and female side have their own turkish spa (steam room) and a sauna. They also have nice showers that have multiple side shower heads. Cabin Suite 6158 (Panoramic Suite): We comfortably fit 4 of us. Our 18 year old on the couch bed, our 1 year old in the provided crib and my husband and I in the big bed, which was easily a queen, if not bigger. The beds were more on the firm side, with a bit of pillow top mattress that was very comfortable. *Room disappointments We booked this based on Costa's websites layout of the room. It showed there was two lounge chairs on the balcony AND a table with 4 chairs. There was no table. So we were not able to comfortably have meals on our deck as we had liked (especially with the baby). It also stated a jetted tub was in the bathroom which is a another BIG reason we booked this room. For me to relax and to be able to easily bathe the baby. When brought to their attention the women at the service desk offered to give us a free phone call to pr travel agent. It wasn't our agents fault, we used Costa's website to decide on the room based on features THEY LISTED. Finally a supervisor called us and apologized saying they did remodeling and it looks like the website was not updated to reflect that. There was no offer to move us to a room that had those things or to credit us a bit for the inaccuracies. They did not make it right and I felt like we were bait and switched on the room. Especially having paid more for this suite to include those things. Intedore Drink Package: included all drinks $9 or under. Kids Activities/squawk club: I only know of secondary room for 3 and under. They have a nice clean space for babies to crawl around and play with electronic toys, legos, trains and foam alphabet. This room has a bathroom for changing and toilet. They had a variety of the same two electronic toys, however only one out of 7 worked. When I asked staff, they said they don't have a screw driver. I called our butler, he said the cabin steward might have one. An attendant for the squawk club came by and said the batteries die in a day. I said "wow, in 1 day?". He said "well in a few days". I explained they haven't been working since we got on board, that if they have toys they can and should work and all but 1 is working. He said he understood and would fix them. This is the only area my baby has to crawl freely. They stayed dead the entire cruise. Favorites: fresh squeezed orange juice, sligjtly larger rooms in comparison to other ships I've been on. Room steward (Noel) had great attention to detail, keeping the room fresh and clean. Club Restaurant staff were great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the ... Read More
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the balcony cabins. We are non smokers so we complained about the constant smell of smoke drifting int our cabin from adjacent cabins. We were told that passengers choose balcony cabins so that the can smoke. We replied that we choose balcony cabins to enjoy the fresh air and the ocean views. This was ignored as it is obvious Costa Cruises values the needs of smokers above non smokers. We were offered a change of cabin to an inside cabin but were refused compensation for the difference in price. We wrote a letter of complaint to Costa Cruises . They failed to reply directly to us , instead ,they issued a response through our cruise agent iCruises. Other cruise lines such as Princess, Cunard, do not allow smoking on balconies. I believe in this respect Costa Cruises has a long way to go . 2. Gratuities were supposed to be debited to our account at the END of the cruise. Instead they were charged DAILY to our account. The contract did not state how much would be charged. Who agrees to pay an undisclosed figure? We declined the gratuity scheme but were refused. 3. Port disembarkation. There was no order nor control of the disembarkation process, the shambolic likes of which I have never seen since the seventies when people surged to the exit door. People were distressed and tempers flared. Most cruise ships have a crowd control policy. Very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. ( see pics) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? ... Read More
I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? Never been to Europe before and Costa had numerous itineraries, dates, and prices to choose from so it was the sheer availability of options that other lines simply did not offer. Next, I've cruised with Costa twice in the past (both in the Caribbean) and it was wonderful. The price was right compared to other US-based lines. Where did it go? Understand that this cruise, and I assume all others, are basically a 7-day ferry service to various ports. Folks will embark and disembark at different ports during the week, so it's not a traditional everyone gets on and leaves at same port. That being said, we boarded and left at Civitavecchia (Rome's port). We visited Savona, Italty; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Having not been to Europe before, these were appealing ports because most were places I would not ordinarily visit on a first time. What did I know BEFORE Leaving? This is important and you have to do your own research before leaving. I knew that the bulk of passengers were Europeans and English speaking guests were likely in the minority. I knew that passengers embarked and disembarked at various ports throughout the week. I knew that lifeboat safety drills were done at every port. I knew that entertainment on-board was likely geared towards European passengers and the language would be mostly in Italian. All this being said, I went on this cruise with a positive outlook and knowing it would be very different than a traditional North American cruise. Next, let's talk about why this cruise was horrible. I will discuss positives at the end and other general issues like cabin, ship, ports, etc, but this is really what English-speaking guests need to know before going on this cruise. I. CANCELLED EXCURSIONS and DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS ENGLISH SPEAKING GUESTS This is by far the biggest complaint and totally ruined this cruise. I can understand an excursion cancelled due to lack of participants because an outside company is used and if only a few folks select that excursion, than obviously it won't go forward. The problem lies in how a participant is defined. On this ship, a participant is not simply defined by having a human body but rather defined on the language spoken by the human. In short, the number of excursions available to English-speaking guests is far less than what is available to Italian speaking guests. YOU WILL HAVE NOT THE SAME OPTIONS AS OTHER GUESTS AND WILL BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY. In Savona (our first port), we pre-booked a seemingly wonderful sounding excursion only to find out, on embarkation day, that it was cancelled with no explanation so we were forced to choose another and had a very limited number of available options. At the excursion desk we were told we had about 3 to 4 to choose from for English speaking guests; which told me that if I spoke Italian, I would have had more. The excursion we ended up with was mostly ok, but it was not one we would have selected. Details on the excursion will follow later on. In Barcelona (our third port), we pre-booked an excursion that sounded great on paper, only to find out the night before that it was being cancelled. Once again, the same process was repeated at the excursion desk BUT this time we found out that our original selection was cancelled because there were not enough English-speaking guests who selected that particular excursion. The excursion was ended up having to pick was nothing short of a pointless, waste of time, and ended up costing MORE MONEY than the original one we wanted. Finally and the most incriminating of all was that Costa offered a behind the scenes tour of the Diadema on the at-sea day. A copy of the excursion description is attached. Once again, the night before we found out that we would NOT be able to do the ship tour. However, the ship was kind enough to provide a written letter explaining why. At the same time, the letter (also attached) completely confirmed by suspicion that English-speaking were clearly being discriminated against and proof lies in the letter. Whether you speak English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish; everyone pays to be on this ship and have the same options as everyone else. The ship tour is conducted entirely by Costa; unlike the shore excursions. The ship tour was made available to everyone, for a price, which we were willing to pay. There is NO EXCUSE for us not being to take advantage of this exclusive tour but for we were English-speaking guests. It was confirmed to me later on that the ship tour did in-fact go forward and the original Barcelona excursion also went forward. Remember that Costa is owned by the Carnival Corporation (a US company). Costa is mostly an Italian-oriented cruise line but you cannot treat English-speaking guests differently simply because there's not many of them. It's not my problem that not many English speakers booked this nightmare of a cruise. I personally addressed the cancelled excursions, with emphasis on the ship tour, with the shore excursions manager and the guest services people (who are mostly pointless) and it was confirmed that the ship defines participants based on the language they speak. The shore-based excursions are limited if you're an English speaker and you will not the same options as everyone else. Even on your tour (assuming it goes forward), English speakers will be grouped with another language, so the tour operator does the tour in both languages. The ship-based tour, however, is 100% within the control of the ship and an accommodation should have been made. The Diadema flatly DENIED us the ship tour, we were willing to pay for, simply because not enough other English-speakers wanted to do it. This amounts to a form of discrimination based on national origin and I will formally address it with Carnival. In short, ENGLISH-SPEAKERS please know that you will be treated differently. You will be in the minority. Expect an excursion or two, or three, to be cancelled due to lack of other participants who also speak English. You will not have the same tour options as other guests. II. GROSS INEFFICIENCY On Deck 3 there is a desk called Hospitality Service Desk which is staffed by mostly pointless individuals who cannot do a damn thing except tell where you need to go to address your problem. These same individuals also give conflicting information and clearly have no idea what's going on half of the time. The first instance was an embarkation day. We wanted to exchange some USA currency to Euros and were told we could do so but only before 5pm which left us 10 minutes. So we raced to our room, got the cash, went back down, waited in line, only to be told that it had to be done before 4pm and we cannot do until after Marseille (2 days later). Keep in mind we were at the same desk, just talking to a different person. How is it that a group of people working at the same desk can be on two totally different understandings? The next instance involved the complaints with our cancelled excursions. The hospitality desk told us we need to talk to the excursions department. What the hell is the point of the hospitality desk if they cannot address passengers concerns. The final instance was on disembarkation day when we had to deal with several issues on our final bill. After waiting in line, the hospitality service guy said we needed to talk an individual sitting at a setup desk, with a laptop, to address the billing issues. Let that sink in...a sole individual, sitting at a setup desk, with only a laptop, to address ALL account issues for ALL passengers disembarking in Rome. After being told this, we flatly yelled at the hospitality service people saying, "You people are pointless!" So, before going, know that the Hospitality Service Desk is relatively pointless. The resolution you'll get will be them telling you to go some place else and talk to whoever else. Also, you will get conflicting information because clearly these people do not talk amongst themselves. I've never seen such gross inefficiency, lack of communication, and lack of clarity onboard a ship. Overall, a complete waste of time. III. Horrible Food I'm not a food critic. I have no idea what's supposed to be good and what's not. I can only go by whether I liked it or not, the portion size, temperature, availability of options, and if I'd order it again. In short, the food in the main dining room was awful. They are all about presentation but the accompaniments, such as sauces, drizzles, etc) were small and mainly just there to look nice; even though they were actually GOOD and should have been in greater quantity. Service took forever. Our waiter was very difficult to understand. The food itself was mostly forgettable and gross. The best meal we had was in the Samsara Restaurant, for which there was a charge. The buffet breakfasts were mediocre and the concept of cooked bacon is elusive as another English-speaking guest. Lunch in the formal dinning room, which we did on the at-sea day, was equally gross. The buffalo mozzarella cheese they pride themselves on looked like a white ball of gelatin and was disgusting. The buffet lunches on the Lido Deck were so-so, and by the time you found a seat, good your drink, and were ready to eat your food was cold. Out of all the dinners we had in the formal dining room, only ONE was excellent. Do yourself favor, eat in port if you can. Overall, the worst food and the worst dining I've ever had....and I'm usually content eating at places ranging from Pizza Hut to a 4-star restaurant. Compared to other cruises, this was by far the worst. IV. WARM ROOM I've preface this part by disclosing I'm from Florida. Therefore, I'm used to constant air conditioning and cool indoor environments. Also, this may be an issue that's more specific to me and not representative to everyone. That being said, on prior cruises, the ventilation and thermostat in the cabin was mostly comfortable. Not here! For the first FOUR DAYS we made daily complaints to the un-Hospitality Services Desk about the lack of airflow in our cabin and the perpetual stuffiness. You could feel cold air coming through the vent but it wasn't forceful. The technician told us they would increase the air flow and seemed to acknowledge there should be more air. The issues didn't seem to resolve itself until about day 5. Thus, for over half of this cruise, we spent in a stuffy room and waking up sweaty and gross. V. GENERAL THOUGHTS 1. Cabin Overall, the cabin size was adequate and roomy. No major complaints other than the AC issue. The bed was somewhat comfortable BUT the pillows were thin and I need 2 in order to actually lay flat. Even then, the pillows were hard and I ended up using the one of the pullout couch. Don't bother with the TV because there's only a few English channels ranging from business news (who cares), BBC News, and a movie station that's actually Italian but plays with English movies. Closets and storage spaces were plentiful. The bathroom was what you'd expect. Adequate shelving. However, the shower curtain doesn't go all the way down to the floor for some unknown reason so water gets all over the floor from the water dripping down the curtain and from splashing out. I tried moving in the limiting room available to avoid the water splashing out; it looked like a Cirque du Soleil in there. The cabin steward was very good and the room was kept clean and orderly. THERE IS NO TURN DOWN SERVICE and no cute towel animals. Not a major issue but just something to know. 2. Entertainment an Activities Not much say to here because we didn't do anything except see a few shows. Know that Mediterranean cruises are heavily port-insensitive so days started early and we were mostly tired by the end of them. Most shows were done in Italian with little english thrown in so we didn't bother. The production shows were good and enjoyable. The acrobatic stuff was cool. They could have had more universal type shows so everyone could enjoy regardless of language; such as magicians, variety acts that do not involve speaking, or anything you see an AGT (America's Got Talent) that involves dancing, light acts, etc. 3. Ports By now, you've already read and understood the excursions issue we had so this bit is more on the specific ports and our experiences with the tours we had. Savona - A mostly pointless port as the bulk of excursions were to Genoa, so why not just go there? I would have liked to have seen the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Genoa but the availability wasn't there [for English speaking guests]. The excursion we ended up took us to two small towns which were wonderful and charming. But I would rather seen the Cinque Terre. Stopping in Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno would have lent itself to more cooler excursions and things to see; assuming of course they aren't cancelled. Would I return to this port, NO. Select a route that goes to Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno. Marseille - There is a lot here and our pre-booked excursion actually went forward! We were in a tour with another language so heard the information twice. The guide was wonderful and I appreciated the time she took having to do double the work. I would have liked more time to see Marseille but our excursion took us to two small towns in Provence (Arles and Saint Remy).At each town, you had at least an hour of free time. Overall, this was an enjoyable day and no major complaints or issues. Would I return to this port, YES...on another cruise of course. Barcelona - Barcelona has A LOT to offer and A LOT to see. I would suggest booking your own excursion with an outside company. We separately booked tickets for the Sagrada Familia before we left and planned accordingly. You want to see the inside of this church as it is magnificent. Our original excursion would have taken us to different landmarks around the city an allowed free time. It was only 4 hours in the AM, which left us enough time to make it back to the Sagrada for our tour inside. The excursion we ended up with was a complete waste of time. You saw Barcelona's treasured landmarks from a bus, but I was sitting on the wrong side so I didn't get to see them. And there was no let-off time to actually see them. We did better exploring on our own. My advice, if you're in Barcelona for a long time, look for an outside company that can do a tour in 5-6 hours. Or, do a ship-based excursion that allows you to see the major sights BUT do not miss seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Would I return to this port, absolutely YES. I would return here on my own. Palma de Mallorca - Palma is on the island of Mallorca, which is part of Spain and right off the coast from Barcelona. This is a truly wonderful port and was the highlight of the entire cruise. We pre-booked the dragon caves tour and it went forward (yay). The excursion was great, nicely coordinated, guide was wonderful, and only lasted 4-5 hours which left you the entire afternoon to see an explore Palma on your own. There was a stop to a pearl factory but I could less about glass pearls so it mostly yawn time for me. Do not do a full day tour here. You want time to explore Palma and eat at the local restaurants. For me, the food in Palma was among the best food I had during the cruise...because it wasn't that garbage served onboard. Would I return to this port, YES. I would combine this with a Barcelona vacation in a heartbeat. Cagliari - Cagliari is the capital city on the island of Sardinia which is part of Italy. We did a walking tour of the city which was helpful because we dropped out of the tour about 3/4 of the way and went back to see stuff on our own and eat at the local restaurants which were very good. There is a lot of shopping and nice sights; but the city itself is rather grimy (graffiti on the walls, poorly cared for buildings, etc) but whatever. The beaches in Sardinia are supposedly beautiful but we didn't see any. There is a nearby beach called Poetto which is the main beach for Cagliari, but the island's more prettier beaches are about 45 minutes outside of the city. Overall, this was an average port and worthwhile seeing. Would I return to this port, POSSIBLY but not in a hurry. If I did, I would want to see the beaches on the rest of the island. 4. The Ship Itself Despite all the issues, the Diadema is a gorgeous ship. The atrium lobby is breathtaking. The colors and design are very nice and what I expected based on two prior Costa cruises. The public spaces were nice. The pool areas were nice. There seemed to be adequate deck space for chairs, but we didn't use the pools at all because it was mostly chilly this time of year. The ship was kept clean and despite the prevalence of Europeans, there was not a lot of smoking and no indoor smoking permitted. There is no promenade deck that encompasses the ship! In prior cruises, we would enjoy strolling on a deck (usually around decks 6 to 4) that takes you all around the ship. That doesn't exist on this ship and the only promenade deck to speak of is actually up the pool and you have to go up and down various stairs and you have no access to the bow of the ship. The main dining room was not as lavishly decorated as you'd expect and the main theater was a bit underwhelming. The casino is SMALL compared to other ships. 5. Embarkation The embarkation process varies from port to port, so I can only talk about Civitavecchia and it was a breeze, efficient, and hassle-free. The terminal building is a new and construction remains ongoing but the inside was sleek, clean, and had adequate seating (upstairs ONLY). We had our bags relatively quickly. Overall, no major issues or complaints. 6. Disembarkation The ship's disembarkation process structure was fine and I have no complaints. The process of reconciling your account is an absolute disaster and goes back to issues of gross inefficiency addressed above. Remember the terminal I discussed above? Herein lies the problem, if you are disembarked and waiting for a car service or whatever, there is NO PLACE TO SIT INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. All the seating is upstairs past security. We weren't 100% of exactly when we would be able to leave the ship so we told our car service to pick us by 11, but we were actually off by 9:30 so we waiting around for over an hour with no place to sit except the ground. My advice, if you are pre-arranging a car service, give them the hour after the ship pulls into port. For example, if you're arriving in Civitavecchia at 8am, tell the car service 9 and then request the earliest disembarkation time (I was told you could do that). VI. CONCLUSION and FINAL COMMENTS I would never again go on another Costa cruise; even if they gave me a free cruise or credit towards another. Compared to my last two Costa cruises, this was horrible. My next Mediterranean cruise will ONLY be on a US-cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or grudgingly NCL. If you're considering a first time Mediterranean cruise, I would highly recommend leaving from Civitavecchia because you will want a few days to explore Rome. Rome itself is at least an hour from Civitavecchia so any Rome-centered excursions will be a full day and you'll be paraded through the major sights at rushed speed. We spent 4 full days in Rome before the cruise even left; there's just so much to see and you don't want to be rushed. I would seriously reconsider any thoughts you might have about going on this ship. Do your own research, read the comments and reviews, and know what to expect before you go. If you've never done a Mediterranean cruise, I would look for a US-based line instead because if you go with Costa, you will be disappointed and frustrated every day. I would definitely NOT recommend this cruise to anyone and it was an overall disappointment and a blight on my entire cruising experience. If anyone wishes to contact me directly with specific questions or concerns, I'm happy to respond. Send your email to sfarkas425@gmail.com and put "Costa Review" in the subject line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Staff is from the Philippines and they could not care less about the customers. They are paid very little money so obviously job is not made properly. We had a baby with us and one time we were asked to leave the dining room since there ... Read More
Staff is from the Philippines and they could not care less about the customers. They are paid very little money so obviously job is not made properly. We had a baby with us and one time we were asked to leave the dining room since there was no place for us and the baby. Food was great on a few occasions but twice we had to go sleep hungry since the food was inedible. I asked the refund for the service charge but they said it was impossible. The bar is a nightmare! You go for a drink and it may take up to half an hour for a stupid drink which most of the time would be undrinkable. The barman stays playing around behind the bar waiting for time to go by. Hot water for the baby was a fight with them. They said hot water only in the morning. For god's sake I JUST WANTED WATER. We paid the piu gusto.... but you can't have a bottle of water! If you want the bottle its an extra 2.50eur. We paid over 200 each to have unlimited drinks. I can't call it a holiday. Staying home would have been a better option. First and last time with Costa. WELL DONE!! Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
bad food, long queueterrible service, bad singer, snobish crews, we had been treated like cattle or a customer service staff said to me " she don't like me" without doing service, at port boarding took 5 hours for off ... Read More
bad food, long queueterrible service, bad singer, snobish crews, we had been treated like cattle or a customer service staff said to me " she don't like me" without doing service, at port boarding took 5 hours for off board procedure delay. New guests from Tokyo waited 2hours at port standing without chair, toilet. Slow start of evacuation drill. Guests were waited one hour or more in long queues. 2nd sitting restaurant started 9:30 PM. Many customers waited in long My room was smaller than other room 4.5 square meter with ship shape. One bed was normal single bed, however, the other bed was extra bed smaller and hard cushion. Food was bad. Good food was very few. My wife experienced swelling in her face. We spent very terrible holidays. This ship is new. most of crews were unexperienced. Officers were lazy. I do not recommend this ship. This ship worst ever. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a ... Read More
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a start, and I missed the numerous bars and extra expanse of the Diadema. The staff were in the large part nice and friendly with a few exceptions. Those who run the buffet cannot get it cleared quick enough at 'closing time'. Apart from he fact that breakfast has to be taken by 9.30am, and the food will be whipped away at exactly 9.30am, lunch and dinner are a similar experience. Food in the buffet was decent enough, but repetitive. However the biggest issue was that everything was luke warm to downright cold. Even seconds after replenishing, cuts of meat, potatoes etc all luke warm. Costa also still persist with this ridiculous policy of having a manned drinks area. Stingily opening cans of coke etc and pouring them into glasses. God forbid you should want a WHOLE can of coke! This is glaringly different to my last cruise on the MSC Seaside in the Caribbean, where drinks of all kinds are dispensed, water freely available, and even Wine is help yourself at dinner time. Food in the restaurants is excellent, every night was superb. I just felt overall, the Diadema was a better experience. We enjoyed the Fortuna, it tries, is very clean and pleasant, but we would probably not book it again. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was ... Read More
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was 145eupp for 10hrs, and was just walking everywhere. Did have a nice lunch though. On arrival we were welcomed into a huge shed with 4/5000people all arriving at the same time, what a joke, it took 3hrs to load all the passengers. Why did we all arrive at the same time? ever heard of allocating times for arrivals. Also there was no water during this waiting period. The service from wait staff initially was appalling, the Indian and the Chinese were not well cordinated, didnt seem to know their duties, felt sorry for them. The restaurants decore were what you would expect from a brand new ship, very elegant, also the food was good, but always cold! this pattern ran thru all food outlets in the ship. Some of the behavior of a lot of the passengers left a lot to be desired, at the buffet piled their plates with food like it was the last supper. There was a masked gala advertised on their original website which never happened, just a few staff wearing masks. We expected a formal dinner dance like other cruise ships have. The nightly entertainment was not as expected and in some cases was amateur. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out ... Read More
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out as it had a strong stench. Beds hard as hell and unable to control the temperature in the room. There were no English channels on the television only AL-jerze new, no CSI, Barnaby Jones, Murder she wrote or Matlock. There were no activites for people who spoke English. I have never been in a room which did not have a clock, therefore I constantly had to call the front desk for the time or go to the hall by the steps, just so not to be late for my excursions. Speaking of the Excursions I selected easy tours but there was a lot more walking which did not allow me to take in the views. I take cruises to determine which places I liked the most and would revisit by land but I was not able to make a decision being on the Costa Mediterranean cruise. Announcements were all in Italian which made me make several calls to the operator, as I did not know if the message pertained to me as something I should know. Customer Service Personnel was outrageously, rude and rather disrespectful. Here are two examples: I was standing in line at the customer service desk waiting for help, the lady overlooked me and addressed a man behind me like I was not there, so yes, I spoke up and in Italian she asked the guy to wait. She never said sorry. Another, example again I went to customer service for so clarification about my bill, the young guy was not clear and very impatience, so I said to him I am not following what you’re saying as your explanation does not make sense. I said I didn’t feel like I was getting good customer service. He said he's giving excellent customer service and he don't understand. I said it is your job to ensure I understand he said oh well and went on to the next person. So, I waited for morning. Food: The food on the buffet was cold, under cooked, no flavoring or seasoning. The food in the Dining room was not much better. The waiters were very slow at serving dinner then wanted you to hurry up because you are now interfering with the next service. REALLY. You’re slow so I got to hurry. REALLY. Then there was no food available after 9 pm, this is the first cruise that food was not available during the evening and early morning hours unless it was purchased (hamburgers and pizza) which should have been available as part of the price of the cruise. I would understand aa separate price if it was a specialty restaurant but not for something that should be available. SO, since I’m diabetic I had to ensure I brought some snacks on board, so my when my sugars drop, I had something available to bring my sugars up (this is a real issue for people with Diabetes). Drink Package: my understanding was it unlimited bottle water, can soda and selected alcoholic beverage including mix drinks but the bar personnel said they could not give me a bottle of water but could pour the contents in a glass (therefore, I was getting 8 ounces instead of a whole bottle or 6 ounces instead of a can. So, I had to drink it then order another. I was told if I wanted a can or bottle, that I would have to pay for them. WHY? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
A last minute purchase, at the urging of my wife I took the plunge (so to speak) and bought our 14 day Buenos Aires to Rio De Janeiro cruise. By the time I got to the actual purchase pickings were slim and I had to agree to have my cabin ... Read More
A last minute purchase, at the urging of my wife I took the plunge (so to speak) and bought our 14 day Buenos Aires to Rio De Janeiro cruise. By the time I got to the actual purchase pickings were slim and I had to agree to have my cabin selected by the Costa staff. I bought the tickets, and only a few days later got to sit down and read reviews of the Fascinosa. I actually told my wife "I'm prepared to eat the lost $2k, I made a mistake, sorry". But what with anticipation and Rio's carnival looming, she persuaded me to go anyway. One's memory tends to gloss over things later that were a big deal at the time, like the strong smell of excrement in the passageway outside our cabin at all times, The faulty toilet flush mechanism that failed 4 times during a 14 day cruise. Or the gritty feeling underfoot that forced me to demand our steward vacuum the carpet. I don't want this to become an encyclopedia but there is no way to pass on the experience without going into detail. The theatre hosted some splendid live productions, with truly gifted performers and a delightful repertoire. Marred by a self promoting "cruise director" who instructed the audience to give top marks for him. Taken tongue in cheek, this might be excusable but the relentless barrage of juvenile, racially toned "humor" had the audience too embarassed not to applaud. The restaurants were passable, portions were appropriate and well presente, service good. Shore excursions with Costa should be avoided in my opinion. Overpriced and "one size fits all" we were happy that we only signed up for one (Uruguay). Being new to cruising, perhaps I appear harsh but I am reporting what I saw. Alas time prevents me from continuing while things are fresh in my mind, but happily this cruise will eventually be forgotten. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We just came back from a 37 day cruise (Western Caribbean and Transatlantic) with the Costa Deliziosa, starting on february 21. It was our 25th cruise and the 6th or 7th time with Costa and absolutely the very last one with Costa!! ... Read More
We just came back from a 37 day cruise (Western Caribbean and Transatlantic) with the Costa Deliziosa, starting on february 21. It was our 25th cruise and the 6th or 7th time with Costa and absolutely the very last one with Costa!! Positive points 1) The service in the bars. The waiters take your order electronically and we had our drinks always within 5 minutes. 2) The system of hosts for every important language. In general the hosts are performant but it is not clear which questions you have to ask on the hospitality desk and which questions you can ask to the hosts. 3) The excursions in Tenerife (jeep safari with Tamaran) and Cozumel (Submarine) were very good. On the whole most of the excursion we did were satisfactory. Only the excursion in Costa Maya Chacchoben was below expectation - with 55 persons (also some people of a Norwegian cruise ship????) and only one guide….. 4) The shows. The quality of the shows is mostly OK. Negative is that we had 2 and sometimes 3 times more or less the same show. 5) Internet package at reasonable prices for 250 MB, 500 MB, 1 GB or 3 GB. This system is honest, because even if it takes a long time to open the URL, you only pay for what your get. The Internet Connection itself was very slow or mostly not possible during day time (to much users)… Negative points 1) We paid extra for a premium balcony and we got a balcony with an obstructed view???? Cabin 7208 is just under the wing of the bridge. We only saw some iron bars under the wing and the feet of the captain while maneuvering. People of our group who booked an inside cabin got a upgrade to a classic balcony with a magnificient view??? How is it possible that cabin 7208 with that obstructed view is said to be a premium cabin???? And why do we get that cabin; we are Pearl level??? The 1st day we asked for a change at the hospitality desk but this was not possible because the ship was full. 2) The food. There are 3 choices of antipasta and 3 choices of Primi Plati. The presentation is nice but it is most of the time chicken or pasta. For the main dish, there is a choice between meat (or what it ought to be), fish, chicken and vegetarian. You can always have another main dish with fish, chicken or vegetarian, but there is no other meat dish. If you do not like it or if you do not want the sauce (nearly always tomato sauce or cooked in tomato sauce), the only alternative is to pay a supplement of 17 € for a steak or veal escalope. The meat we got was sometimes UNEATABLE since it was only fat (even my dog wouldn’t eat such meat of 3rd quality). 3) The service in the dining room was bad. We got never our dishes together. One day, I did not order a Primi Plati but only the expensive steak as main dish, I got this steak together with the primi plati of the others. Another time I did not get my primi plati with the others but exactly 8 minutes later!!. I asked for the dining room manager and she could only say there were so much people and they couldn’t manage. 4) The restaurant was sometimes a disco bar with incredible loud music. We had a speaker just above our table 258. At least 5 people run away from the tables in the back of the 3rd floor each time the disco started, because it was very dangerous for your ears. I estimate the volume at more or less 120 db (legally only 85 db is tolerated in the restaurants of most countries) 5) The hospitality desk. Most of the time, you had to cue more than 30 minutes and they couldn’t give you an answer on your questions most of the time 6) Excursion desk. Also always a cue of 30 minutes or more. The first day after the departure in Fort Lauderdale, there was only 1 employee at the excursion desk??? Although we had pre-ordered some excursions - our tickets were not delivered in our cabin and we had to queue to be informed that they would only be delivered the next day morning so the day of the excursion itself!! 7) Excursion desk. When my wife wanted to book an excursion in Napoli, they said it was full and the only possibility was to come to the meeting point the day of the excursion. No waiting list?? In the evening my wife tried to book it on one of their machines and it worked ????? 8) Shuttle bus services in some of the ports were very expensive – many times taxi was cheaper or same as tickets for 2 persons. Costa does not give any information on the ports of call (such as interesting sites, local transportation, weather forecast, currency) - only description of the excursions they offer. 9) Service in the cabin. Only one service a day. If you do some sports in the morning and you want to take a shower you do not have a dry towel if you already used it in the evening of the day before. 10) Animation is Italian style – shouting like fools. The questions for the trivia’s are given in 5 languages but their English or French is so bad, that you couldn’t understand. 11) There are very few nice activities. They wanted to organize a bridge tournament but they do not have the knowhow, neither the administrative tools???. There is no bridge room. You have to play in the Mirabilis, while the Italian animation team is shouting like fools. 12) There is only 1 big bar (the Mirabilis). Impossible to find a place there between 8 pm and 8.30 pm when the people of the first seating have finished there meal and the people of the 2nd seating are there after their show. 13) In Savona a group of 400 Russians came on the ship….. And they were so privileged. Announcements in Russian… The last day, they took every possible thing out of the buffet in their backpacks. 14) We had the Piu Giusto package for drinks. Cocktails, whisky and most drinks up to 8 € are included but not the fresh orange juice???. Irish coffee is also not included. You can make it yourself….. as whisky and coffee are included. 15) Smoking. It is a paradise for smokers. You can smoke on the balcony’s, on most places on the promenade, on the higher decks and on the starboard side outside on the swimming pool. In the evening there are 12 tables for smokers (starboard side), 9 tables for non smokers (in the middle) and 9 tables for dining under the stars (which is sometines dining under the smoke) on the port side 16) In the beginning of the cruise, we went to the pizza restaurant (8,5 Euro p/p). On the menu there was a Pizza Salami picante, but they said they didn’t have it anymore. We asked then for a normal Pizza salami, but they refused to make it, although there was always salami in the buffet. Supplement pineapple on the pizza not possible, although it was always in the buffet. Flexibility?????? 17) We had dinner in the pizza restaurant, which is part of the buffet, the last evening. All doors were open. Temperature was nog higher than 17 C°????? 18) Fitness room. No towels, no water refreshment, very unhygienic since no spray to sanitize the equipment after use. 19) In total we had sometimes more then 2200 people on this ship. Holland America Line has mostly only 1800 people on this type of ships (Panamax type)….. 20) Our cabin steward had to do 25 cabins on his own (one service a day). Holland America Line has 2 stewards for 20 cabins (two services a day). How can this poor man do this???? 21) Transfer to airport in Venice. We pre-booked a transfer but 1 day before arrival we received a note that our transfer was scheduled at 14.30 hrs which was much to late to catch our flight at 16.15 hrs. After discussion at the Excursion desk (it was our fault? since we had to let them know before that our flight was at 16.15 hrs) they changed the transfer to 12.45 hrs. Surprise, surprise, there was no bus at 12.45 hrs at the meeting point… The bus company said we were on their list for pick up at 13 hrs and also mentioned we had the wrong tag on our suitcases (should have been white C and we had white D). They also said that they had no scheduled bus/shuttle at 12.45 hrs. 22) When you registered your credit card for your payments (to do yourself on the automated machines), costa charges your expenses every 2 or 3 days on your credit card. Their confidence in their customers is apparently not big!!! 23) Communication is as always a catastrophe on costa ships and also this time. Let me give a few examples a) Indication Exit ship was forward deck A, which we follow. When we came there, we were told that is was midship on deck 2. When we came there, they said it was midship deck A etc. b) In the diary di bordo, we saw that it was 2 days after another the same show. When we asked if this was correct, they told us that it was wrong the day before. So we mist that show… c) By the disembarkment presentations in Venice, the English host said we could stay until 11 am in our cabins; the other hosts said we had to leave the cabins at 8 am. The 4 presentations of the hosts were different; why not using the same presentation. d) We didn’t get any maps or hand out in any port of call. In Venice it was absolutely not clear, where we had to take our shuttle. Why not give a plan?? Read Less
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