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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers ... Read More
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers and because the nice privileges of being a Costa Club member used to be tempting. Travelled to Savona by Genoa airport this time (my traditional route is via Milano Linate and then the train), as I found a surprisingly good fare (Genua has a small airport - smaller planes, limited routes - so fares tend to be high) and noticed that the airport is not far from a train station. I tried to walk from the airport to the station but it was not so easy to find my way as I expected. On reaching the station I found out that there is a local bus which links the station to the airport (tickets can be purchased at the train station or at the tourist information desk at the airport) Reached Savona on a Good Friday so not much was open and decided to walk from the station to the airport which is not that far (and almost a straight line). In 25 minutes, walking with luggage, I was at the NH Darsena Savona where I have stayed before, located in the renovated part of the port, which is almost like a marina now, and steps away from the cruise terminal. Costa has its own terminal in Savona which is nice, comfortable, and decorated with nice pics of the time it was Linea C. It is also quite an efficient terminal and embarkation tend to be smooth, even if there were two other Costa ships in port that day. The cruise had an easy itinerary too: Savona – Barcelona – Palma (Mallorca) – Marseille – Savona The Costa Favolosa is one on a series of large ships built after the ‘Carnivalisation’ of the Italian company and therefore, externally, it is not too different to the large Carnival ships. Its interiors were created by Joe Farcus (and it is not always easy to say if they are pleasing or not until one is on board). It was launched in 2011 and built at Marghera (‘continental’ Venice) The ship has 12 passenger decks, named after existing places or palaces which would link with the ‘fable’ theme of the ship (more on the name than on display), like Hermitage, Tivoli, Escorial, etc. My cabin, on deck 7, described as an Interior Single Classic, had actually a double bed. There was not space for a table and chair as in previous single cabins I had on Costa but the wardrobe was large enough and there were a lot of storage space and options. Bathroom was the standard with shower and plastic curtain. Nice shower though and easy to control temperature. I had a problem with noise in the air ducts but it was looked at by a technician and improved although it was not solved entirely. As a gesture I was given a nice box of sweets with an apology letter, which was a nice touch. Decks 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are almost exclusively dedicated to cabins. On deck 3 there is an Atrium, with a piazza kind of feeling, where there are also the reception and the excursions desk. It also has access to the lower level of the Teatro Hortensia (a large theatre occupying three decks) and to the MDRs Duca di Borgogna (center) and Duca di Orleans (aft), both occupying two decks. The theatre has good and modern equipment and the facility to present ice skating shows. The restaurants like most of the ship was decorated on subdued, wooddy tones as well as beige, black and red. The décor, considering it was created by Farcus, is incredibly classy and not so ‘a punch on your senses’. Deck 3 also has some open deck space which is a bit more sheltered than the one on the top decks. Deck 4 contains the top levels of the MDRs as well as the middle level of the theatre but also the photo shop, a tasteful meeting room called Fabergé, a beautiful chapel (similar to the ones on the other Costa ships but in more pastel colours) and the discotheque. One deck above one finds the top level of the theater, the shops, a nice, spacious library with beautiful sea views, a smokers room/bar called Montespan, the Grand Bar Palatino (one of the central areas for entertainment, which has an exquisite central ceiling composed of light blue glass shells and also has some colourful, vibrant sculptures in glass cases and the ships model), a cafeteria where one could get excellent hot chocolate and ice creams, the 4 D cinema, the casino, a piano bar called Camelot (where most of the colour used was red but the piano is white… one of the rare feelings of clashing colours on the ship), a ‘ballroom’ (actually not such a large room but also not much used) called Pompadour (in interesting tones of green, brown and interesting chair design) and perhaps my favourite space on board: the Molière lounge with simple, almost minimalistic, but well-designed chairs, and all in quite subdued colours, apart from the round blue ‘shields’ around the room. This was the place for the private events as well as some of the themed parties. The main swimming pool is on the center of deck 9 with a two-deck lido. Deck 9 is also where the lower level of the buffet as well as another swimming pool (aft with more open deck space) are to be found. One deck above is where the Squok Club (a separate area for small children) is located as well as the upper level of the buffet (a quieter, more pleasant area which in the evenings offer a pizza as well as a burger restaurant (extra tariff). The well-equipped gym, the spa thermal area as well as the Club Favolosa (the top extra tariff restaurant on board almost exclusively for suite passengers) are on deck 11. On deck 12 there is the formula one car experience, the top level of the spa, an Acqua Park for small children, jogging tracks and a area for basketball, etc. The other passengers were a mix of nationalities but the larger groups were French and Italian, with their not so well behaved children in tow (I now know to avoid Easter cruises in future). The passenger profile was not much different from the average mass market cruise these days, but, as a short cruise, during school holidays, it was not so impressive in behaviour and social manners, a price to pay to get a good offer on a single occupancy cabin sometimes. The food was quite ok, some interesting Italian regional menus but the portions are becoming smaller and smaller… the Samsara restaurant was worth the extra tariff for its creativity on menu and flavours as well as for the quieter environment (despite been next door to the larger Duca di Borgogna MDR). Food on the buffet was varied but it is often crowded and not a nice experience. Waiters no longer serve you drinks at the table and one must go to some points near the food stations to get drinks. More casual, probably logistically easy for the staff but not ideal when one is part of a large group, etc The weather was sunny for most of the cruise and the ship sailed smoothly for almost all the cruise (a bit more rolling when crossing the Gulf of Lions but glass smooth around Mallorca) Service was excellent in the cabin, which was kept spotless, restaurants (although more staff is needed… the poor waiter was taking care of five tables practically alone, so delays did occur), a bit slow on the bars but still ok, and the usual hit and miss at the buffet and open deck areas. Staff was mostly friendly but there was a feeling in the air that this is not a happy ship. Disembarkation was ok, on time and fairly smooth apart from the fact that Costa no longer arranges for a shuttle from the terminal to the train station (which was quite popular in the past) and there is not much information to be had once one leaves the ship. Luckily, I knew my way back to the station walking. The Costa Club ‘privileges’ are not so many now and there seems to be efforts to cut costs on them, but still better than in the competitor’s cruises. The ship was nice and well-kept but nothing particularly special. The itinerary was good and simple but again with nothing special. Costa needs to improve the product. There were no hosts talks on embarkation day, although they seem to have a fixed desk point on the ship, nothing really special on the gala night menu, that noisy, tedious white night, and the thermal area at the spa is in need of repairs and refitting. All in all, an average cruise, enjoyable if one knows where to go and when, but nothing remarkable. A pity as the ship is nice. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to ... Read More
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to direct the passengers to their cabins, I found the language a big barrier and I ended up on the ninth floor thinking it was my cabin but in actual fact I was sent to the buffet with luggage in hand. Once settled into the cabin we then had to do the emergency drill which was a joke, many didn't even wear their life jackets and were not checked for this, myself and my husband wasn't even checked to see if we had arrived, let alone accounted for, it wasn't until the following day did we receive a letter stating...as we hadn't attended the drill the evening before, we were to attend another one that day! The ship is beautiful but is spoiled by the thousands of passengers which pass through and have no regard for fellow travellers on a daily basis, with the pushing and shoving which accumulates at the food stations and seating areas to eat the food. The queues are long and tiresome with no time to ponder on which food to put on the plate, it's like a conveyer belt of passengers which never stops. The public areas are very crowded and are a fight to obtain a nice relaxing atmosphere in a seated area. The bar prices are way over the top and with a surcharge on top of that which makes social drinking quite painful. You could order bar packages for several hundreds of £'s but to get your monies worth you would have to be completely out of it to appreciate the so called perk of the package. The food where ever you chose to eat was a dismal experience with cold to luke warm plated meals or self service. It got to a point where we were dreading meal times because I hate cold food and we don't like bringing attention to ourselves by bringing it to the attention of crew members who couldn't understand English...at one point I did ask if my dinner could be put into the microwave...I even had to demonstrate in mimbe a microwave and said Ding Ding at the end, and to my amazement was told there are no microwaves on board, and yet when I challenged this to someone in authority he informed me they do indeed have microwaves! The crew members never smile, they shuffle along the decks doing their usual duties but if they can get away with it they will...many a time I had to clear my own table from previous diners before I could set my cold food down. One of the water and ice machines in the buffet had been out of order for the whole two weeks of my trip, and meal times were the only time you got free water to drink. Tea and coffee was free at breakfast and afternoon tea, but the rest of the time you had to purchase, I've been on many cruise ships and this service has always been free! The public toilets seemed to be a meeting place for the crew who mingled with the passengers to do their thing, I've never noticed this on other ships and must admit I'm not a fan. The sanitising stations are dotted around the ship but unfortunately hardly anyone uses them...they should be manned at the buffet and dining areas especially to ensure cross contamination is none existent. It only takes one mistake which could effect the entire ship and its reputation? The evening entertainment in my view was on par with other ships, tired acts which were repeated for the benifit of new passengers, audience participation was the order of the day, which in another language other than your own is quite daunting. There were the usual dance classes, bingo etc etc, but nothing to write home about. In fact, instead of coming home relaxed and energised I am now looking to book a retreat where I can rest my loins and brains....I so need a holiday! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
I just read the review from april 30 2014, and I think we were on the same cruise. And I could not agree more. This cruise was not a nice experience. The ship was too crowded, lots of kids running around and occupying all swimmingpools. ... Read More
I just read the review from april 30 2014, and I think we were on the same cruise. And I could not agree more. This cruise was not a nice experience. The ship was too crowded, lots of kids running around and occupying all swimmingpools. And the decks had so many sunbeds it was at times difficult to walk around. The food was not of particular good quality, and there were too much waiting in line. And a fight for table space. And often it was no coffee or orange juice to be found. Fortunately I had the possibility for breakfast in my cabin. The restaurant was no good too much time waiting. And small portions of not good food. And having to pay for water wirt dinner? And I missed the possibility to dine in the buffet restaurant, but no such luck. Another stange thing was that you had to pay to use shuttle bus from ship to the cities visited. That should have been included. These are just some of my complaints. And I also tried to talk to the english speeking hostess, but she was not of much help. Whatever I tried to explain, the reply was, it was Costa policy. I tried to be connected to a more responsible officer, but no such luck. I will prepare a long letter to Costa Cruises with all my complaints. I did not receive the cruise I prdered and paid for. Never again Costa Cruises Read Less
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