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Sail Date: October 2011
Well you know, we really were not looking to go on another cruise, but Costa made it tempting, by giving us vouchers, because our previous cruise, in April on the Costa Pacifica, had itinerary changes, with Egypt and Israel. We figured if ... Read More
Well you know, we really were not looking to go on another cruise, but Costa made it tempting, by giving us vouchers, because our previous cruise, in April on the Costa Pacifica, had itinerary changes, with Egypt and Israel. We figured if we were to take advantage of the vouchers, use them immediately or forget it. Although we had till October 2012 to use them, when looking at the prices for next year, would have cost us double then what the vouchers were worth. We so glad we took the cruse when we did... Why wait an extra year & pay $800 more, to get disappointed. Do not get us wrong, when looking to purchase the cruise, We did look for the most inexpensive one Costa was offering. With our discounts on the cruise with the vouchers and the fact we had enough points to receive an addition savings from our booking agent and to receive a room with a balcony on the 8th deck..Plus we wanted to stay in Barcelona(the port we embarked on) so we payed for all 5 nights at our hotel through air miles, in all made for an inexpensive trip.. The passengers you get on an inexpensive cruise, will reflect on the type of clientele. Being NorthAmerican of Italian background, made it easier to understand the European mentality... No wonder the people at customer service & tour organizers smiled at us when we needed assistance.... Guess what we are saying is, between the rudeness of the Italians and the arrogance of the French, everyone else that was left on the trip were pleasant...Over all we look at this outing as time off.. The ports were nice, the weather could have been better(That is not Costa's fault) and our stay in Barcelona, was a great experience... All in all, the reason we took advantage of the offer was because we really enjoyed the first cruise on the Costa Pacifica.... Although the staff on board, by the time the week was over, were very good to us....But.....You Get What You Pay For Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We chose Costa Favalosa because it was new and big but also because it visited ports we were very keen to see. It was a complete contrast to our most recent cruise - along the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest with 100 other passengers. ... Read More
We chose Costa Favalosa because it was new and big but also because it visited ports we were very keen to see. It was a complete contrast to our most recent cruise - along the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest with 100 other passengers. Favalosa holds almost 4,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew. It was close to full on our trip. The ports were all excellent, especially the two Turkish ports of Izmir and Istanbul. Having cruised a number of times before with different companies, we are cruise lovers. We really enjoyed our time on the Costa Favalosa but there were too many down sides to say it lived up to expectations. On the plus side the crew were welcoming and friendly. The embarkation was handled extremely well but disembarkation could be improved a little, particularly communication to passengers about progress. The cabin was generally excellent. The Formula One simulator is a lot of fun and really not too expensive (18 euros for a 15 minute spin). Unfortunately that is about where the positives end. As the ship was in a port every day except one, there were limited on board activities. It is an Italian ship and Italian passengers are in the majority so most of the quizzes etc were in Italian. More effort needs to be made to cater for other languages in such activities. They do have a dedicated English staff member who does hold sessions for English speakers (and the same for some other languages I understand) but it was hard to feel inclusive because of the language issue. We found other passengers, particularly Italians, to be rude and pushy. Getting into and out of lifts was a nightmare with them bustling in and out or refusing to move to allow access or egress. In the meal buffet bars you had to be careful or you were left behind or knocked about. One small issue with the cabins is they have a ridiculous loop of rope for door handles, not big enough to fit a finger through and too small to grab properly, particularly for people with arthritic hands, so you wonder what testing was done on them before the build. Most doors or drawers are hard to open so it is a significant issue, commented on also by many other passengers. The decor of the ship is good rather than great considering the amount that must have been spent on it. Yes it is flashy but I have seen better. It takes a full week to get to know the layout of the ship and unfortunately it is then time to get off. Particularly irksome is the difficulty of moving along decks 3 and 4 where the dining rooms are located. They block off large areas and you find yourself having to go up and down stairs all the time to get around them. The on board shops are probably too high end for the demographics of the passengers and do not provide much variety at all, not sure why they bother. They advertise a section for those items you may have forgotten such as cosmetics, toiletries etc but it has a poor range. The Costa souvenir shop also has a poor range. The prices for things such as photos and drinks is bordering on rip off value - 15 euros for one a convenien ce photo, 3.50 euros for a small can of coke WITH lunch. Nothing other than water is provided free as cold drinks at lunch. We felt by the end of the cruise that Costa's attitude was to get as much money out of the passengers as they could while trapped onboard. The food quality, quantity and variety was particularly disappointing. Of all the cruises we have been on it was by far the worst in all aspects. We expected (hoped) there would be classic Italian cuisine but apart from a really nice pizza late one night, the rest was a disappointing mix of all sorts of cuisine, mostly non Italian and just average quality. The food at the buffets was very ordinary, particularly breakfast and desserts for lunch. Bacon was cooked to within an inch of its life every single day, there was no variety from one day to the next for breakfast or lunch and lunch desserts were usually dry cake with no cream. Night meals were at least in a good restaurant, white linen and waiter service but the quality was just good rather than excellent that it should be (and has been on other cruises). It was disappointing that on the two gala nights, where dress up was suggested, at least half the passengers made no effort whatsoever. For most other ships we have been on the standards have been conveyed to passengers as an expectation and most complied. I'm not talking about dinner suit and tie for everyone but a higher standard than the shorts, t-shirts and sandals many had on. Also there was a lack of any theme nights, again a highlight of other cruises. This contributed greatly to the feeling of a lack of variety in the food. The entertainment was disappointing, both the quality and the theatre. The shows were somewhat disjointed -â€" a Chinese dragon suddenly appeared in a show that had no Chinese theme whatsoever. The best show we saw was that put on by cruise staff at the end of the cruise, very talented crew I must say. For a brand new theatre it has too many blind spots. The first three or four rows upstairs have a rail directly in front of your viewing field at about eye height. They seem to serve no safety purpose (higher rows don't have them) and simply block your view. Too many passengers are allowed to save far too many seats so if you arrive later than about half an hour before curtain time, don't bother. They have a movie theatre on board but it only shows 4D movies at a cost (and for about ten minutes each with a very limited range) and other movies are pay on demand in your cabin -â€" not conducive to a good night out at the movies and very disappointing. On previous cruises the cruise entertainment staff were very proactive in mingling with and engaging passengers. We saw NONE of this with Costa entertainment staff and the Cruise Director wandered the ship hardly talking to anyone apart from a cursory hello as some walked by. The demographics were different to what we expected. I thought there would a clear majority of older passengers but there were a significant number of young families. This cruise had a large number of school age children on it. Apparently there was a deal that they traveled for free. They were all seated with their parents for meals and no separate dining option was available. Although some were a bit unruly at times, running unsupervised in public areas, it was not a huge deal. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Had a week on the Costa Serena our first Cruise with Costa, although we have cruised many times before. The ship is beautiful and the facilities are good. Food very good and a wide choice. The destinations on this cruise where ... Read More
Had a week on the Costa Serena our first Cruise with Costa, although we have cruised many times before. The ship is beautiful and the facilities are good. Food very good and a wide choice. The destinations on this cruise where excellent and shore excursions well planed. Shows are poor until the last night of the cruise and that one was very good. On the down side they have introduced a 15% surcharge on everything from the bar so a small glass of beer is nearly 6 Euros and you still have to pay a compulsory gratuities payment on top of the surcharge. The Officers only talk to you if you are below 20 years of age and partly dressed, and talking of dress on the gala night I only counted 5 couples who dresses for dinner some of the Italian guests even wore T-Shirts. The crew had a attitude problem for example if you met one in a corridor you had to give way for fear of being knocked over.That attitude was all over the ship and the guests where even worse than the crew, try to get out of a lift they just push in before the lift empties. The examples of rudeness are as long as my arm, every English speaking person said they had the same problems that we experienced. If you are a none smoker forget it the guests are mainly Italian and they smoke everywhere even in the lifts. Children are not allowed in certain areas for example the large Jacuzzis but they treated them as there private swimming pools if you tried to get in you where jeered at and the security guard who's job it was to keep them out just laughed. One final note I have spent many happy holidays in Italy so I don't have a downer on Italians but this lot were just rude and in great numbers. One of the staff said when she approached a guest and said bon giorno if you replied back "hello" she felt as though the next 2 minutes the guest would be polite and courteous, but if they replied bon giorno she had a fight on her hands to say polite. I could go on but I think I've made my point. Read Less
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