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3 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
It was the only eastern Meditteranean cruise available at Christmas time. My family and I had a wonderful time however the cruise itself was very average. Not excellent, not terrible. I appreciate the fact that they made it feel as ... Read More
It was the only eastern Meditteranean cruise available at Christmas time. My family and I had a wonderful time however the cruise itself was very average. Not excellent, not terrible. I appreciate the fact that they made it feel as "Chistmassy" as possible which was important since this was our first time ever travelling during the holiday. The food was good however not always available. For example, if you'd like to eat something after dinner, your only choice is room service or a pizza - each at an additional cost unless you buy upgraded package. The service was very good and there was definitely an appropriate number of employees. Kudos to the ship for getting that right. The excursions were overpriced...I found that paying a taxi driver would give you a better tour and more for your money. The ports were good. Croatia was the highlight although pulling into port of Montenegro was nothing short of spectacular. Upon return, were delayed due to immense fog thus creating traveling nightmares for many. I heard through the grapevine that there were options to get us into port however I cannot confirm this. I would recommend this cruise to someone with the same goal as ours however keep your expectations in check and you might be pleasantly surprised. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the indoor pool. Pool was closed for planned maintenance for the full week! Noone informed us it would be closed. Majority of the English speaking excursions were cancelled and there were very few ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the indoor pool. Pool was closed for planned maintenance for the full week! Noone informed us it would be closed. Majority of the English speaking excursions were cancelled and there were very few things for English speakers on board. Again Noone informed us there would be a chance of the excursions being cancelled. Be warned you have to pay for EVERYTHING on this ship. Food is only served at specific timings. You have to pay for water. Also, staff is not so friendly. The overall attitude of the staff is down like they do not want to be there. We were reprimanded for using a different glass for our milk in the morning and we were also told we could not have a second entree. After arguing he only agreed. Maybe this is how all European cruises are but I do not think so. If you have a choice steer clear of Costa Cruises and opt for any other cruiseline. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
When arriving on the ship there was a lot of confusion and our rooms were not ready. Once getting into our rooms it took another 2 hours for my bag to arrive. There was many things that were not included on this cruise which is not ... Read More
When arriving on the ship there was a lot of confusion and our rooms were not ready. Once getting into our rooms it took another 2 hours for my bag to arrive. There was many things that were not included on this cruise which is not stated on the website. The entertainment was really bad. I have been on 3 cruises before this one and could not believe how boring the entertainment was. For good entertainment and value for money I would go on the Royal Caribbean again. I have been on the Royal Caribbean 3 times now and I can never fault it. There was not much to do for the children and the entertainment during the day was very boring. The food was also bad. When ordering meals you were unsure of what each one was and it would come out looking like it was chucked on the plate. When waiting to get a drink it took forever to find someone to order. Most of the time we just gave up and didn't order any drinks. I went on the cruise with my sister and her family and having them for company was good. It is a good cruise if you just want to relax as there isn't much happening when you are on the boat. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the great port calls; Italy, athens, olympia, Kotor, and Split. The destinations did not disappoint. They were fantastic and we avoided much of the crowds by cruising in the winter. Unfortunately, we did ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great port calls; Italy, athens, olympia, Kotor, and Split. The destinations did not disappoint. They were fantastic and we avoided much of the crowds by cruising in the winter. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to explore Venice before our cruise departed as Easyjet canceled the flight. Needless to say, we had to scramble to find alternative transportation to Venice and it cost us an extra day of travel. The embarkation and disembarkation was extremely smooth at Venice. We had no issues getting on the ship four hours before the departure. Customs was smooth and friendly and this was the easiest embarkation we have experienced. The Luminosa allows you to embark or disembark at any of the port calls but I'm unsure how smooth the process was at the other locations. Like other reviewers, we found the Luminosa to be average. Compared to other cruises, the food was disappointing. Mainly pasta dishes and you pay extra for the dishes that are included on other cruises such as steak and lobster. Costa cruise lines charges extra for things like coffee, bottled water, ice cream, and even pizza. We found the layout of the cruise ship to be very similar to other cruise lines of this size. Spa on the 9th floor near the front of the ship, cafeteria style dining on the ninth floor, restaurant on the 2nd floor, casino, bars, etc. Our classic cabin with a balcony was nice; easily accommodating two adults and two children. The cabin was well insulated but we did hear some children running in the cabin above us. Thankfully, no issue with neighbors that smoke. The kids club seemed fine. My nine year old only went a few times but there didn't seem to be any language barriers. The teen club, however, was given over for infant space. As a result, the teens didn't really have a place to hang out and they would meet on various parts of the ship. It was a poor compromise and our teenage daughter, whom usually likes the teen club, chose not to participate on this cruise. It is apparent the crew is overworked. We were told they work 13 hour days for nine months without a day off. Our steward was responsible for around 20 cabins and it showed. Although hard working and friendly, you could tell the staff was stressed. Also, be prepared for lots of Italians and a lack of personal space and no regard for queues. Of course, this happens with other nationalities as well. Also, the announcements must have been in at least three languages which got tedious after a while. We did not attend any of the entertainment options but other passengers had good reviews for the nightly entertainment. All in all, we had a good cruise thanks to the port calls. Costa Luminosa has the potential to be a great cruise ship. Unfortunately, the quality of the food and overworked staff prevent the experience from rising to the next level. I would recommend the ship to those who are excited about visiting European ports and the timing works or the Luminosa price is significantly less than the competitors. Otherwise, it would be wise to consider other cruise ships. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise ever; we didn't knew what to expect, but it was all very good and it won't be the last cruise we make. More than enough space on the ship. You don't notice that there are more than 2.000 guests on ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever; we didn't knew what to expect, but it was all very good and it won't be the last cruise we make. More than enough space on the ship. You don't notice that there are more than 2.000 guests on board. Nice room (inside cabin 1248). Friendly personel, enough place on deck to find a nice/silent spot to sit in the sun. The food is good; for dinner you can choice for a luxury dinersetting on deck 2 or self-buffet on deck 9. When having dinner on deck 2 (restaurant Taurus), it takes sometimes a bit longer to finish dinner and therefore coming to late for the entertainment in the theater. Every evening we got the daily program for the next day in our cabin. We were with the two of us. You can see than Costa cruises are interesting for family's with children, because there were quit a lot of them. Not many older people. We didn't wnet with a shore excursions; we did it all bij ourselves. That's the nice thing with cruising, you are never very far away from the cities. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Wow where do I start?? 7 family and friends first time cruisers. Flew into Venice and transferred to the amazing ship on the pre arranged bus..painless security and embarkation and a really friendly welcome to the ship from the great ... Read More
Wow where do I start?? 7 family and friends first time cruisers. Flew into Venice and transferred to the amazing ship on the pre arranged bus..painless security and embarkation and a really friendly welcome to the ship from the great staff. Luggage handled by Costa and placed outside our cabins...obtained a costa card that would become our best friend for the next week...it goes everywhere with you..no getting on or off the ship without it or drinks from the bar. Having read numerous reviews was a little worried about the cabin size but no worries at all...premium balcony cabin had a queen size bed ,table and sofa,three single wardrobes with hangers (but did take some of my own hangers) set of storage shelves with the safe in and cupboards under a surface with a mirror above and hairdryer...a full length mirror was on the inside of the wardrobe door. Plenty of shelves in the bathroom and great power in the shower and plenty of hot water..dispenser of shower gel in the shower. The cabins were cleaned daily... you had a choice of morning or afternoon cleaning..lovely hard working professional Frankie looked after us well. There were 2chairs and a table on the balcony ideal for a quiet afternoon with a book and watch the scene changing in front of you The food...oh the food! Again after mixed reviews was a little worried but again no need to be! Hot and cold choices for breakfast...seated in the restaurant or at the buffet all hot if needed to be or cold if needed to be...lunch...3 courses seated in the restaurant or tremendous choice in the buffet meat fish and vegetarian and accompaniments at each sitting....afternoon tea...focaccia sandwiches or filled cobs always along with cake and fresh fruit..and of course tea or coffee dinner was an amazing 4 course affair seated at our own table each night...with differing dress codes which you found out on the daily diary sent to your room We had purchased a drinks package with meals and were very glad we did...I would purchase an all drinks next time...the only minus point was the seating at lunch if you wanted the buffet it was a scramble to get a seat. The entertainment was great..shows each night and days were packed with things to do if you wanted.Being an Italian ship and many different nationalities made listening to all the introductions in all the languages a bit monotonous We went on 3 costa excursions which were well organised and for first timers we felt safe. The tuk tuks in Dubrovnik were amazing with very informative guides...there were chances to do your own thing too Looking already at booking the next one...if you're looking to book...do! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because of port of embarkation convenience and itinerary. Also had cruised before with Costa, and had an overall great experience. The embarkation procedure was not very smooth, but forgivable because it was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of port of embarkation convenience and itinerary. Also had cruised before with Costa, and had an overall great experience. The embarkation procedure was not very smooth, but forgivable because it was not the main embarkation port (cruise normally starts at Venice, we embarked in Katakolon). The ship was adequate, with all the usual amenities, fairly good condition. The cabin was on the small-ish side but understandable since it was an inside cabin at the lower deck. The cabin attendant was polite, but seemed overwhelmed with the number of cabins he had to attend to (reduction in staff?). Also we were charged minibar usage we never made. The amount was returned after complaining about it. Additionally, there may or may not be a situation with the blue towels (pool towels): twice the cabin attendant gave us back fewer than the initial number (there is a plaque when you arrive that states any missing towels will incur a 20 euro fine). I would like to believe it was an honest mistake. The dining was the highlight of the cruise, as the food was consistently good and well presented. However, we were assigned to just one waiter (as it seemed to be the normal in this cruise) who was not overly friendly. Also very bad decision not to include water with the restaurant meals (you have to actually buy it). The buffet restaurants (which we used fewer times) had also good quality food, but it seemed that the quantity was very tightly controlled. The main entertainment (theater/shows) was a hit-or-miss affair. The highlight was the "Voice of the sea" final. The singing/dancing troupe was adequate, and probably better than the remaining one-man-shows. Also one of the shows was repeated on two separate days in a 7-night cruise. The various activities however, where probably geared toward either humiliating a guest for the enjoyment of the other guests, or bluntly advertising a for-pay on board service available. The service in the bars was generally good, however the best (in our opinion) venue which is the gelateria on deck 3 was not adequate (too many customers for the assigned waitstaff). The itinerary was changed just before we embarked to visit Argostoli instead of Mykonos (not a big deal for us, but I can imagine the disappointment for someone having traveled from afar just for this visit). The visits and excursions were generally good, however very brief in some cases (Trieste is 4 hours at best). The excursions were very expensive for what they were offering (the exception being the visit of the caves of Postojna which was excellent). Case in point: the offered shuttle to take you from the cruise terminal in Corfu to the old town, is 10 euro per person. A taxi for the same distance (up to 4-5 people) is just 5 euro total. We traveled with our two children (pre-school age) who probably enjoyed it more than us adults. Costa seems to have taken the wrong approach, compared with their past. It used to be great value, great food, but now it seems that they are trying to compete on price on the initial ticket, and then attempt to monetize the rest after you board. The cost cutting is also obvious: no more free pizza, no more free ice cream, no more free water (outside the buffet restaurant), obvious reduction in staff (dining and cabin). Also the decision to automatically deduct the tips every day (instead of asking for it at the end) has probably an averse effect on the behavior of the crew in general - they are definitely trying, but honestly they are not really compelled to. I would probably try with a different Carnival brand, but overall our experience with Royal Caribbean was better. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise experience.. and we are already planning for our second time, so i can say it was nice, defintely! I loved the ship and the itinerary, quite less the dining: the buffet was too crowded and quite often with poor ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience.. and we are already planning for our second time, so i can say it was nice, defintely! I loved the ship and the itinerary, quite less the dining: the buffet was too crowded and quite often with poor quality. Room service was very good and frequent but bar service was not as good: waiters seems to avoid looking at you when they are even partialy busy, and it's not a nice sensation. Pool are also too small and crowded and so i never used them I loved samsara spa very much, even if, in my opinion, entrance fee is a quite too expensive (35 €/day/person). Squok (mini) club is very small but the service is fine and my child loved it. Unfortunately, due to rough sea, captain choosed not to land in our main stage: Mykonos... i'm just wondering if any other captain would make the same decision. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I am writing this review because my family felt many differences with other previous cruises. For example, at the Andromeda buffet the opening hours were too limited with periods where you find nothing to eat (only water). In other cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review because my family felt many differences with other previous cruises. For example, at the Andromeda buffet the opening hours were too limited with periods where you find nothing to eat (only water). In other cruise lines you can go to the buffet area to drink a coffee and eat at least pizza or sandwich at any time, making the atmosphere more relaxed and flexible (important if you have children). And when the buffet is open, Andromeda is crowded and is difficult to find a table. In other lines this is not an issue to be stressed on vacations (to stay on schedule and to find a table). There were many teenagers, but some of them playing at the swimming pool (Lido) without care of the elderly or the little kids (jumping and diving), only when they were splashing the cooking show they were stopped by the crew. The Costa Tour staff is very rude, if you ask something they just want to send you out of the ship. All these little things made our experience like you were part of a business chain, and not on vacation. The only places were we felt very nice were the cabin (cabin steward very polite and attentive) and during the dinner at Taurus restaurant. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Corporations exist to make money for their shareholders and there are two ways they can do it.  Forming a long-term relationship with customers who love the product, remain engaged and delighted and want to return. Or short-term gains ... Read More
Corporations exist to make money for their shareholders and there are two ways they can do it.  Forming a long-term relationship with customers who love the product, remain engaged and delighted and want to return. Or short-term gains through nickel-and-diming, cutting corners and slashing staff. In my opinion, Costa has clearly chosen the latter path to profitability for its parent corporation Carnival. I used to love Costa, with great experiences on both the Atlantica and Mediterranea in the Caribbean. Maybe it's the Mediterranean versus the Caribbean experience from a few years ago, or maybe it's a genuine sea-change at Costa since I was last on one of their ships. I'd looked forward with much excitement to this cruise, but Costa seemed to throw up impediments every step of the way.  And while I encourage you to keep reading, all that I say in here has been previously stated in earlier reviews, which I chose to ignore thinking this wasn't the Costa line I'd known in previous cruises. It's a great ship, with hard-working employees.   But those employees are being asked to carry out short-sighted policies. One example is the lack of tea and coffee outside of breakfast hours.  Travel on any cruise line and tea and coffee are available in at least one location around the clock.  The height of this absurdity came to a head on debarkation day when I wanted a cup of tea at 650am. Even though the tea/coffee station was set up, they weren't budging and wouldn't let people use it until 7am when the buffet line opened. Fancy ice-cream?  Not on Costa. There's a charge for ice-cream/gelato or you can use the machine by the swimming pool, at a cost.  The machine just looked so out of place and not what you want to see on a cruise ship.  (Both Disney and Carnival offer complimentary self-service ice-cream and some beverages around the clock.)  I'm not opposed to a business making money, but it comes at a cost:  I've taken three previous cruises on Costa and am so pissed by the nickel-and-diming that won't be taking another. Costa, by the way, also charges for what's billed a premium pizza. Other cruise lines deserve my business. The main dining room on most cruise ships is a nice place to get breakfast, especially on seadays.  Costa has a new approach:  Get rid of waitstaff and let passengers get their own food from a buffet set up in the main dining room.  Again, it might cut your costs but it's not the cruise experience.   If I wanted a buffet, I'd be at the buffet on deck 9. The number of menu options has been greatly reduced.  Many cruise lines offer a minimum of five entrée options.  Costa is down to about 3. The buffet food is virtually the same every day, with little variety.    The ice and water machines were temperamental and didn't always work. Another cost-cutting move was eliminating the daily menu that most cruise lines post just outside the main dining room. Not on Costa. A member of the wait staff told me it had been eliminated because of "security concerns," which I don't buy because that just doesn't make any sense. Whether that is the true reason, I'm not sure. In its place was a sign advertising paid dining options, which presumably creates less of a security risk. Just wondering why the menu information isn't posted to the MyCosta app that's available for download on the ship, or posted in a location that might be less disruptive. And speaking of "security concerns," no one seemed too worried about the crowds created byfoot traffic caused by the portable beer sales kiosks near the buffet. Also the buffet lines can be long, causing traffic jams at peak times. Also gone are the portable pasta stands which I've enjoyed on previous Costa cruises, presumably a casualty of cost-cutting. Passengers on cruises that I was on seemed to love it! Boarding at Venice was a mess.  Chaos at embarkation.  We were given a boarding card that said number 6 and we'd have to wait for our group to be called.   But when I went inside and asked where the check-in line was for suite passengers, all of a sudden I was given a number 1.  Once in the correct line, boarding was a breeze. If you weren't in a suite, it was a crowded wait. Debarkation was much better and they had us off the ship quite promptly. Rarely saw the cruise director, apart from the shows.   The entertainment was lacking. I was bored on this ship a lot and there is nothing to do, unless you're buying bingo cards or playing in the casino. Port times were limited.  We'd get into a port like Trieste around 7am and be gone by 2pm.  Likewise for Dubrovnik. On the plus side, cabin staff were hard-working and wonderful. Nelson the bartender in the karaoke/piano bar lounge was a genuinely nice guy. I'm looking forward to getting the customer survey and hopefully it will provide an opportunity to provide detailed feedback to Costa about this cruise's shortcomings, with my name attached. I was quite surprised that cruise line officials openly pushed customers to only score a 9 or 10, saying that anything less was viewed as a failure. Costa executives have to think about the way they score. Despite being urged to give high grades, I won't hesitate to give low or barely passing grades where appropriate. I really cannot recommend the Costa Luminosa, or the cruise line, based on this cruise and would certainly not recommend it to anyone who has cruised before and has a reasonable expectation of what a cruise should be. I've taken more than 30 cruises, with 4 of those on Costa and this was easily the worst. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is very stylishly fitted out, we loved all the detail. All is spotlessly clean and doesn't look the 8 years old that it is. We were upgraded from an inside to a premier balcony cabin and given a lunch and dinner drinks package for free, both were very welcome and made it even better value. We really can't fault anything at that price and it would be hard to even if we had paid twice as much. Food was superb. Service and staff without exception were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. The only dining criticisms are that buffet hours are limited compared to our previous cruises with nothing available mid morning or after 9pm. Even breakfast and lunch are limited to less than two hours. Also, breakfast and lunch service in the dining room can be slow. Evenings were fine. Coffee and tea were only available from the machines during buffet hours. Water was always available (and was served at the dining table free). Of course everything is available if you pay for it. Entertainment was good with musicians around the ship. The evening shows were of a high standard though not quite the P & O west end style productions. It is of course difficult on such an international ship to provide entertainment to suit all with the language issues. Outside areas are good. Plenty of quiet or noisy areas to choice. We particularly like the 'stacked' rear decks where you can sit out in some shelter and enjoy the rearward view. Many modern ships lack this. We always managed to find a sunbed on sea days eventually but they need to clamp down on people reserving beds. We are not pool people but there are only two pools and the large one with the retractable roof was always enclosed, even on hot days. This made it noisy and steamy. This is probably the only area of the ship that shows it's age and not as stylish as the rest of the ship. It is also used for evening parties and lacks atmosphere. We had a look at the spa and it looked superb if that's your thing. We don't do excursions so can't comment on these. It irked somewhat to be told it was a 4m walk to Corfu and Dubrovnik when it was 2km. This was just trying to sell the expensive shuttle tickets. The local buses, and even taxis if you share, are cheaper an 2km is a reasonable walk. Some have commented about certain nationalities pushing in and jumping queues. We rarely experienced this (there are always a few rude individuals). We found all nationalities mixed very well and the atmosphere on board was lively yet well behaved. All in all it is hard to believe we were on the same ship as some who have reviewed here. The above really is nitpicking but Costa need to know where they can improve an already top notch experience which genuinely is what it was. We had a fantastic time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We went as a family of nine and had a superb week, it was my 80th birthday which was the main reason being choosing these dates and Costa Luminosa staff were wonderful. The whole cruise was really enjoyable we ate mainly in the Taurus ... Read More
We went as a family of nine and had a superb week, it was my 80th birthday which was the main reason being choosing these dates and Costa Luminosa staff were wonderful. The whole cruise was really enjoyable we ate mainly in the Taurus Restaurant the food was Italian based as you would well imagine but was great however there was international menu most evenings. The waiters were terrific. The entertainment was top notch with singers and dancers put on three exceptional shows that were marred for me personally in that it was too loud as I have hearing sensitivity problems. The organisation on board is like clockwork as the staff have done it all before many times. We have been to most places on the itinerary and therefore didn't go on the excursions. Costa Luminosa is a rather glitzy ship which we rather like and with the passenger compliment of approx. 2500 is not too big that services are at times stretched. The gym was not entered. A great time was had by all our family and we will certainly be going back for more. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa ... Read More
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa Luminosa, a ship we really like but, the decor is very Italian. The design of the ship and the rooms is very comfortable and well planned. Moving about the ship is very easy; plenty of elevators and we particularly like the theaters on Costa which have space for accessing seating, cocktail tables for drinks, and moving within the rows is very easy. The cabins are spacious when compared to other cruise ships of this size. The food, usually 4 or 5 courses, consists of pasta/risotto and assorted sea food items and occasionally steaks. Meat served on this ship is not dry aged as one finds on ships attracting mostly US clientèle but overall, the food is very good. Those from the US may find many of the plates unusual, things such as octopus, mussels or cuttlefish may not be items one typically eats but all were very well prepared. The entertainment was generally good, albeit with difficulties in appealing to a varied audience which can speak up to 5 different languages. The is rarely any live music in the theater most all is recorded. After two voyages on Costa, we give it an overall favorable rating. Progression in their loyalty program, the Costa Club, is relatively easy and one can move up through the levels quickly. Costa offers a variety of drink packages and I would strongly recommend participating in at least one of them as drinks, even water, can be difficult to obtain outside of meal times. Costa charges significantly less for gratuities than do many other companies, even their photography costs much less, often at only 10€ a picture. For those from the US, Costa will be a different experience. Dinning is later in the evening and nightlife really starts at 11pm. Because of the late dinning times, breakfast is not as important as one may be used to and breakfast buffet offerings are limited to cold cuts, pastries, and fruit. However, full breakfast, eggs and other hot items are available in the restaurant. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We mainly chose this cruise because it took us from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean. We were very sceptical of cruising with Costa because of the reviews on this site. However the experience couldn't have been better. Costa ... Read More
We mainly chose this cruise because it took us from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean. We were very sceptical of cruising with Costa because of the reviews on this site. However the experience couldn't have been better. Costa Luminosa is a bit smaller than other cruises we have done (MSC) and we enjoyed that. It enabled us to meet more people and make some firm friends who we'll keep in touch with. The only thing lacking was enough pools. On a day at sea you almost had to queue to get a swim! We had a premium balcony cabin which was large and comfortable. We liked having a seperate sofa to sit on when we were resting, and the balcony was a great place to escape to if we wanted a little peace. We always had breakfast and lunch in the buffet, and this is where we met most of our new friends, just by sharing tables. The food was good with lots of choice. My only negative would be that there was far too much salt in all the savoury food, both in the buffet and in the restaurant. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. There were some grea artists playing the various bars on the ship and we rotated around them most evenings. There were also a handful of amazing shows in the theatre, and a handful of not very amazing shows. But we never lacked entertainment somewhere on this ship. We also enjoyed the guest speaker who gave lectures on the history of the area we were in on days at sea. Service was very good and any reasonable request was delivered promptly and with a smile. We didn't do shore excursions at every stop, but the ones we did do were really good. Great local guides. The only downside was having excursions sharing two languages. It was ok when we understood the other language, eg French or Italian because we got the whole story. Unfortunately other languages left us in the dark when you could tell they had more of the story. Overall a great trip and would certainly travel with Costa again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our ship departed early the morning after boarding allowing us to explore Stockholm before departure. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized and went very smoothly. There was no waiting for check-in. We were on board ... Read More
Our ship departed early the morning after boarding allowing us to explore Stockholm before departure. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized and went very smoothly. There was no waiting for check-in. We were on board within 10 to 15 minutes of arriving at the port. The ship itself was very well designed. There was never a wait at any of the 3 elevator groups. Moving about the ship was easy, even exiting the theater took no time. The surprise was the food. Dinner consisted of 6 courses; the pastas and risottos were fabulous, the cheeses delicious, and the main courses were primarily fish and Italian specialties such as Osso Bucco, all excellently presented and prepared. Wines offered were adequate. Purchasing a drink package would be strongly recommended. Dinning hours were limited from 7pm to 10pm The coffee and cappuccino on-board, Illy, was as good as I have had anywhere. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I’ve finally chosen a cruise with Costa Luminosa after considering the same route, activities onboard, food seletion with other cruise line companies such as Royal Carribean, Norwegian Cruise, Princess Cruise. I selected Costa due to ... Read More
I’ve finally chosen a cruise with Costa Luminosa after considering the same route, activities onboard, food seletion with other cruise line companies such as Royal Carribean, Norwegian Cruise, Princess Cruise. I selected Costa due to the reasonable price in comparison with Royal Cab and Norwegian (almost 1.5 times more expensive for the same cabin type, same route Stockholm - Helsinki -Tallin - Saint Peterburg), we then booked a balcony cabin with option of upgrading to a high class of cabin for free of charge. Luckily, we ended up in the Suite Balcony cabin which has more space, consists of a mini bar, and larger bathroom. Here are some pros and cons: Pros: The Costa Luminosa is not as big as Royal Oasis of the sea or Norwegian Epic (4-5000 pass), but the reason for me to vote for Costa is because of the Italian design. I love the way italian design the cabin (the toilet and the bathtub are located in the same room which is very convenient. In Norwegian epic, you would have toilet and shower in two seperated areas which is uncomfortable for me). Regarding the food, we have two options: buffet or the restaurant. The buffet is pretty normal and has the same level with other cruise ship. However I feel that the food in the restaurant is more fresh and more european than what we have had in Royal and Norwegian. Perhaps, we are prefer the european food than the american ones. Gala dinners are served well with typical italian food and the performance of italian staffs in the kitchen. Cons: Room is cleaned up everyday. However, the steward never refilled the shampoo and the bodywash, I had to call the room service to ask for that. Comparing to Royal Cab and Norwegian Cruise line, the activities on board in Costa Luminosa is very mediocre. Lack of evening shows, the swimming pool is too small. I did not bother to try one even I have already prepared my swimming suit. Quite a big surprise to me that the ice cream in Costa Luminosa is completely not free whereas it is totally free in other cruise lines. Well, I could mark it as the positive point in the review as I am trying to lose some weights at the moment. The staffs are friendly. However I would prefer to have more diversified community of staffs. In Costa Luminosa, more than 80% of staffs which I saw were Fillipinos even most of the engine staffs. I have no problem or whatsoever with Fillipino staffs as all of them were nice and very helpful. Nonetheless, in other ships, we have a better mix of Roumanies, Hungaries, Brazils,…with the Fillipinos. On the day the ship gets to the port, we have options of taking shuttle bus to the city centre, hop on/off bus (more expensive), or taking the tours which is organised by Costa. I am not very pleased with the information of port that Costa has given us. In many ports, the passengers do not have to take the shuttle bus to get into the city centre. Instead of that, they could have taken the local bus or just walk 10-15 mins. Costa did not supply any city map and did not give any hint to walk/take local bus to city centre. However, I always figure it myself as this is our 5th cruise. Once we get on the port, there is always information desk of the port, go ask them the direction and take the map with you. An alternative way is to ask the Hop on/off staffs, they are usually nice and friendly to guide you to walk to the city even you do not use their service. The ship was cruising on the Baltic sea and passing several scandinavian countries like Denmark, sweden, estonia, finland, and russia. One of the reason I took the cruise in baltic sea is because of Russia. I was so curious to explore and to see the real communist country like Russia after have watched/read so many things about this country in television and books. Saint peterburg is 2nd largest city in Russia. Frankly speaking, the impression of Russia in my mind now is not a very hospitality place. The traffic is bad, and gets worst when it rains. Buildings, bridges, and architecture is old but no way to compare to Paris. If you have enjoyed youself in charming beauty in Paris, then Saint Peterburg is not even close to be in the same league. The pick pocketing is everywhere. All things cost increadibly expensive as the russians want to make money over the tourist. The truth is that Russian economy is suffocating as the rouble (russian money) is felt off 50% its value in the last one year. The whole Russian nation is just based on the oil price. That’s the way how communist politicians run the country. After having heard some many warning regarding the pick pocketing, without any hesistation we took the tour organised by Costa to visit Saint peterburg in two days to visit some churchs, the Hermitage museum, the Neva river,…The Hermitage museum has been exagerated too much. This museum is no way in comparison with Le musee du Louvre in Paris. The atmosphere inside the museum is unbelievably chaotics. There were too many people, hundreds of touristic groups coming from different countries which made the environment event worst. It seems to me that there was no safe way for the foreigners to visit the Hermitage by their own, therefore 90% of the visitors join in the tour. The only positive thing is that you have free wifi in Hermitage. Thanks for that, I was able to go online after 2days because in all other places the russians charge around 2-3$ to use the wifi. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
I have been on several cruise ships (Royal, Carnival, Norwegian) and this last one on Costa. I will not even try to compare them because they have very little in common. I will start off with embarkment in Miami. We were scheduled to ... Read More
I have been on several cruise ships (Royal, Carnival, Norwegian) and this last one on Costa. I will not even try to compare them because they have very little in common. I will start off with embarkment in Miami. We were scheduled to embark at 1300hours in Miami. It was a hot and humid day and they had no lines clearly marked, no water or shade provided for the elderly or kids. The line at one point looked like a herd of buffallos stampedeing towards the ship and my 2 year old was over run by some guy trying to get to the ship first. Once on the ship we got our cabin pretty soon and were happy to learn that we actually got a obstructed ocean view instead of inside cabin. Our room steaward introduced herself and that is the friendliest we saw her the whole trip. Every time she would come in the room she had a frown on her face and was very short with her answers. She knew we were traveling with two young children and never once asked if we needed anything. At one point she took the milk that we brought from the buffet into the fridge and threw it out. I asked several time for diaper bags and was never provided with one so i had to go to the elevators and dispose dirty diapers in there. The dinners were the only free option and you had to be there on time or else you missed it and had to either pay for the pizza or specialty restaurants. (big minus). the whole duration of the trip they had the ice cream machines in the buffet area but never served ice cream out of them.... (teasing the passengers???). It being a european ship it attracted a lot of Europeans and it seemed like everone on the ship smoked. (something i have no control over but something to consider when choosing your hard earned vacation cruise). The ship had no real children program for any kids under 3 years old and we did not expect it. However, I would have loved to seee the option of dining with children in buffet area because dining with little children in a formal setting is not the best. The ports were all nice although at some points it seemed a little unorganized. To summarize our experience I would have to say if they had better crew and more caring crew members it would be a more pleasent way to travel. I will definitely not travel with Costa ever again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
The thing to remember is that this is an Italian ship. Although it departed from Miami, it is an Italian ship. Most the passengers were Italian followed by French and Spanish with the number of Americans far behind. Everything was in five ... Read More
The thing to remember is that this is an Italian ship. Although it departed from Miami, it is an Italian ship. Most the passengers were Italian followed by French and Spanish with the number of Americans far behind. Everything was in five languages: first Italian, then english followed by French, German and Spanish. Imagine the safety drill – repeated five times. When it was over,the two minute two minute wrap up comments took nearly ten minutes to repeat in each language. This goes on and on. The ship is relatively new and beautifully appointed. The cabins are nicely appointed and ample size. King size beds can be divided into doubles. The toilet is turned at an angle, giving the bathroom more useable room. A safe was included in the room. The balcony was probably the largest we have had. Dining was interesting. The breakfast selection was perhaps a little more limited than previous cruises although an omelet station was available. Dinner was a different experience. There are two dinner seatings – an early and a late. Remember,this is an Italian ship and late dining means really late – 9:15. The menu choices are presented in typical Italian fashion. Antipasta first, followed by a serving of pasta, then the entrée. The salad is last, just before desert. It is after all,an Italian ship. Most ships have carving stations with ham, beef or turkey; however, this ship. Had a carving station with octopus! Published guidelines indicate “there is no set dress code in the evening…. Casual; informal (jacket for Gentlemen); Formal/gala(smart:evening dresses are per existed for Ladies; jacket and tie or dark suite for gentlemen). Just the opposite was the case jeans were commonplace each night and even some shorts. The gala nights were big time dress up for some, but not most. It seemed that for dinner almost anything went dress wise. The food was excellent with a very appealing presentation. There was a standard set of favorites available everyday in addition to the evening’s choices. Portions were not large, but more than ample, especially given the number of courses. The food was probably the best we had ever had on a cruise ship. Coffee was not served with dinner. The evening’s menus was never posted in advance. Different beverage packages were available. Ones with beer and soda were available for purchase at additional cost. We had the “Water USA” package which meant that we had we had free water with our meal. Folks without that had to pay for their water. How we ended up with this was never clear, but we thought it might have been tied into the kind of cabin you had booked. We had aPremium Balcony and thought that the difference. We also had fee room service in the morning because of the premium room. Cj. Others had to pay for room service. We read reviews of folks saying they had to get their wine before dinner and carry it in with them. That was not the case. Upon entry, each table had on it a wine list. It seemed as if the maitre d’ wanted the wine list taken down as quickly as possible he would circulate and seemingly scold the staff if it were on the table. As a result, they quickly removed the wine list after entry, usually before one could look over the menu choices and make a selection. Once removed, it was difficult to get back. Beware! The public bathrooms in some sections of the ship are for both sexes which came as a rather awkward surprise to our American ways. Excursions were a challenge. Because of the number of languages, there were never enough English only to make a group. As a result, English was always mixed with another. On one tour, the guide on the bus spoke no English. We were met by an English speaker upon arrival. On another, the guide gave the information first in French. When he began in English,the French began to talk among themselves, making it impossible to hear the guide. The time and meeting point for excursions was never made available until late the night before. The reason given was that arrangements were being finalized which is absurd since they run this cruise over and over. Onboard activities on sea days were rather limited. We have been accustomed to a much larger variety of possibilities. For instance, on one sea day they had just eleven planned activities. On the previous shore day there were ten. Since this is an Italian ship, we were concerned about whether it would have American or European electrical plugs. We co contacted support the company and were reassured that it was American. In actuality, there was one American and one European plug in the entire cabin! We had taken along our European adapter and were able to operate two which was enough to recharge our devices. In all, the Costa Luminosa was a nice, modern ship with excellent food. Language was a problem, but not an insurmountable one.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We booked this cruise at the very last minute after deciding to grab a few days away in half-term. A 5 night trip fitted perfectly and the price was simply unbeatable. Was it worth it? Definitely, we had a great time on a nice ship with ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the very last minute after deciding to grab a few days away in half-term. A 5 night trip fitted perfectly and the price was simply unbeatable. Was it worth it? Definitely, we had a great time on a nice ship with friendly efficient service, good food and a comfortable cabin. Better still the weather cooperated too. We booked online and opted for Costa’s own transfer bus from Genoa airport. I really liked the fact that you could book a transfer without booking flights through Costa. Other options included transfers from Milan and Rome so this opened up the possibility of where we could fly from/to, different airline choices and therefore pricing. The transfer worked well, taking about 45 minutes and the terminal at Savona is lovely. Embarking Costa is different from other lines we have sailed with; they board based on numbered boarding cards and you do all the formalities on board e.g. cruise card and registering your credit card. This worked well and other lines should note (we sailed with Princess in July and what a nightmare embarkation was with them). For us Costa Luminosa is almost a perfectly sized ship. Large and modern enough to offer a good facilities and stability at sea but small enough to no feel too overcrowded. The interior is well cared for but the décor won’t be to everyone’s taste. Surprisingly I felt the cabin décor was dated even though the ship is only 5 years old. The upper deck layout is a bit odd as the ship has a main pool with sliding roof (always shut on our cruise) which meant you couldn’t walk around the upper deck from bow to stern, a feature I missed. We had a midship balcony cabin on deck 5 which turned out to be larger than we expected and laid out in such a way as to allow 2 adults and a teenage daughter to use the cabin in comfort. We particularly liked the fact that Costa ships have hinged doors on to the balcony. This meant the door sealed properly and there were no annoying whistles when it's windy outside. The cabin was well located with easy access to all parts of the ship. Costa (like MSC) embark passengers are many of their ports of call. This means you have passengers getting on/off almost every day. One downside of this on Luminosa is that the ship clearly doesn’t have any service lifts and so each evening you have baggage being collected and moved from outside the cabins by staff late at night. They weren’t always quiet and sometimes the lifts were being used by baggage handlers during the afternoons. Fellow passengers are European, mainly Italian, French and Spanish on our ship. I should think there were no more than 20-30 UK passengers on board. Families and large multi-generational family groups are attracted to both Costa and MSC as the pricing makes the deal very attractive. If you don’t like kids stay away but it does mean you have an energetic, more youthful mix of passengers. It certainly won’t feel like a floating old people’s home! Yes you get announcements in 4-5 languages and you can have kids running around in the restaurants and near the pools but does it really matter – if it does don’t complain just book within some else (and pay twice the price for the privilege). Costa and MSC (who we have also cruised with a few times) are often criticised for their service but I have to say that service on Luminosa was great. We never waited to be served in the bars and service was provided with a smile and, perhaps because were English and most of the crew were Indian or Filipino and maybe their Italian or French wasn’t as good, they want to chat. Our waiters were friendly and efficient; they were also great at the little details like remembering our food preferences from night to night. We enjoyed the Costa food. Best described as Mediterranean dinner is a 4 or 5 course affair with good choices and always with excellent pasta or risotto. Yes portion sizes are smaller than say Royal Caribbean or Princess but the market served is different and you have more courses to eat, you won’t go hungry. In honesty the buffet wasn’t great as the choice was limited and the layout meant finding different the options was a bit hit and miss. Contrary to often stated views our fellow passengers waited in line and didn’t push in but maybe we were just lucky. One oddity about Costa (that many reviewers dislike) is that there is no buffet after 5pm – it’s strange at first but it doesn’t really matter as you won’t go hungry and we could probably all do without eating non-stop anyway! We took breakfast in the main restaurant which was, unusually was also buffet style. That said it worked well and was far preferable to the morning melee upstairs. We visited Rome, Barcelona (don’t buy Costa’s shuttle bus tickets as the port runs a transfer bus for a third of the price), and Marseille (use Costa’s shuttle as this one was worth the money). The only excursion we booked was a Rome at Leisure trip (coach and guide to/from Civitavecchia) which worked well and was reasonably priced. Entertainment on board was actually really rather good especially considering the short itinerary. The theatre singers and dancers were a multinational and talented group with each production offering a fun 45 minutes. We also had an Italian magician/illusionist and chain saw juggling Hungarian acrobatic duo! Music elsewhere on the ship was generally good and catered well to most tastes. Overall we felt our trip on Costa Luminosa was great value and very enjoyable. Although I understand why many UK or North American cruisers won’t like Costa or MSC I urge you to try as they offer great value cruising on modern ships that cater well to families. Go with an open mind, a sense of fun and a love of your fellow Europeans and you won’t be disappointed.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
Overall the cruise was good…but nothing special to write about. It has been a while since my last cruise (I have cruised on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the past) so I knew what to expect but was aware things may be a little ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good…but nothing special to write about. It has been a while since my last cruise (I have cruised on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the past) so I knew what to expect but was aware things may be a little different now. The ship was as expected, elegantly decorated and the room was very spacious and well kept (we had a premium balcony). I was most cautious about smoking areas, which were never a factor, and the mentality of Europeans, which were not as rude as some reviews had reported, however I am very well versed in European cultural and have learned how to fit in (for example, lines don't really exist and if there is a space between you and the person in front of you they will squeeze). The boat vibrated A LOT and it didn't matter where we were on it. The food was okay at best and I was prepared for not the greatest food. It was not available all the time and having the late seating at 2130, we would want a pre-dinner "snack" but it was tough to get food some afternoons without planning our schedule around food availability. The service wasn't as attentive as I had remembered in the past. I am not sure if this due to cruise line itself or the automatic tipping policy cruise lines now incorporate. The ports were great, embarking and disembarking went smoothly. Would I go on Costa again? Maybe, if the times worked with my inflexible schedule and went to the ports I wanted to see. Would I recommend Costa? No, but I wouldn't tell people not to go either. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Experienced cruisers all, our family of five embarked upon a 2 week cruise with Costa, enamored of the itinerary offered, to see the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic capitols, including St. Petersburg, with a reasonable cruise fare to boot. ... Read More
Experienced cruisers all, our family of five embarked upon a 2 week cruise with Costa, enamored of the itinerary offered, to see the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic capitols, including St. Petersburg, with a reasonable cruise fare to boot. We knew ahead of time that this Italian cruise line would have a predominantly European clientele and therefore harbor a number of smokers, but took that into consideration. What follows are our recollections of the trip, from door to door, so perhaps TMI for some. We departed our home on the coast of NC for the nearly 7 hour drive to Dulles Airport (IAD) in Washington DC on a Thursday evening, having booked a one night stay at the Homewood Suites at Dulles, which offers "Park, Stay, and Pay". This deal allows you to stay one night at the hotel either before departure or upon your return, AND leave the car parked at the hotel rather than the airport for the duration of your trip. Due to blinding rain on the majority of the drive, we didn't arrive at the hotel until almost 1am, so requested a late checkout, which was granted. To our great dismay, however, a fire alarm (set off by a housekeeper who burned some microwave popcorn) went off at about 6am, and couldn't be shut off until the fire department arrived about 15 minutes later. When we'd finally gotten back to sleep, with ringing ears, another fire alarm woke us at ~10am, so our short overnight sleep was thus curtailed. To top it off, the thermostat in the room read 84 degrees F despite having been driven down to a 64 degree set-point! So much for starting out our 2 week journey well-rested . . . After the offered complimentary breakfast, we took the shuttle to the airport for our transatlantic flight. Very convenient. Our flight on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was routine, a nonstop from Dulles to Copenhagen, where we took a taxi (driven by a madman) to the cruise departure on Ocean Key, the furthest from downtown and an expensive ride. There was nothing to do here but wait several hours to board, so we arranged with helpful staff to check in our luggage early and then simply waited. One of my teen-aged daughters was so wiped out, she simply laid down across a row of chairs and was lucky enough to get a couple of hours shut-eye! On weekdays, Bus #26 goes to the city center from about one block away, but on weekends, service was spotty and we didn’t feel we had enough time to go far afield. Checking in was easy, given that we had checked in on-line ahead of time, but it was curious that we weren’t asked for credit card details to be able to charge items to our account while on-board. It turns out, one needs to do this AFTER boarding on Costa, at the always-busy Purser's Desk (!?). We received Our cruise ID/charge cards were on our beds when we got into the cabin, and bright red cards were also provided that needed to be handed in at the Mustering Drill later that first afternoon, in essence, a way of taking attendance. In fact, those folks who missed handing in their red cards at the Mustering where obliged to attend a 9am meeting the next morning; we felt this was a just punishment, until the entire ship was awakened at 8:30a by an overhead announcement (in 5 different languages in succession) reminding those slackers to attend! There was little of the usual faux-friendly welcoming on board that one can admittedly grow tired of, but our cabin steward kindly greeted us and was very good throughout our stay. Our cabin interiors were well laid out, but our cabins themselves had some drawbacks as to location (see cabin review). The first evening, several things struck us as being very different from other cruise lines we've frequented: one couldn't drink ANYTHING at dinner without paying for it! No iced tea, no lemonade, NO TAP WATER!!? We were advised to buy a "water package", which was 7 bottles of mineral water for ~$30! Despite our protestations that water was available during the day at the buffet lines, we were denied the possibility of getting tap water at dinner. Another difference was that we were not allowed to carry on a token bottle of wine per adult at the start of the cruise, as we have been able to do on Celebrity for example, so it was apparent that drinks of all kinds were going to be a potential money-maker for Costa. It amazed me that many fellow passengers must have sprung for the "unlimited coffee package", which allowed them to order espresso or cappuccino throughout the day without paying the 4-5 Euro per cup premium retail price! We had early seating on this cruise (7pm), as opposed to 9:30p late seating, so after enjoying the 9:30p show and some time at a lounge listening to music, we sought out some late-night snacks . . . for naught! [There was free pizza available until 6:30p, but then, NOTHING (free).] Food overall was good, with good variety: at breakfast there were breads and pastries, cereals, fruit, omelets made to order, sliced meats and cheeses; at the lunchtime buffets, there were varied cold salads, excellent caprese salad (mozzarella and tomato), fresh pasta, and at times more meat/protein options than at dinner! Dinner was either early or late seating: there was NO option to opt out of a proper meal and go to a buffet instead. Our waitstaff was nice but did not appear as well-trained as others we've had: the "serve from the left and take away from the right" wasn't regularly followed and we often were given forks to the RIGHT of our plates for the pasta course (perhaps this is how it's done in Italy?) We think not. In any case, after the first night's brou-ha-ha regarding our request for tap water, their initial stiffness abated and we got on quite well. Having been on multiple cruises, the "gala crew entertainment" provided by the waiters after several of the dinners made us roll our eyes, but other cruisers and especially children enjoyed the pageantry. Entertainment: the cruise entertainers were OK, with some high-energy evenings and one in particular that fell somewhat flat, appearing to be a newer routine that needed some work. In particular, the VOLUME WAS TOO LOUD, especially our first week of the cruise (7/26-8/2/2014), though perhaps by that time our ears were acclimated. The mime and magician and singer (Vick Vikus) and especially the acrobats were fantastic, so we never missed an evening’s entertainment in the two weeks on board. In the various lounges and bars, the entertainers were overall very good, though the high-pitched voice of the female singer in the Cafe Bar Antares was a bit grating; nighttime energy was always high, with much Italian singing and dancing by all. There was surprisingly no crow's nest bar with sublime views, and much space seemed to be taken up by the 2 specialty restaurants (which never seemed busy, as the up-charge was 25 Euros per person) or Formula One racing (for a fee) or the unused minigolf course. There was sadly no sing-along piano bar, and little karaoke, though both of these probably are due to the mixture of languages on board; in fact, it surprised us that not many of our fellow cruisers were interested in practicing their English. The Italians, Spanish, and French traveled in their large, loud family groups and didn't need to seek out external stimuli, while we and our teenagers were eager to meet others. This happened only infrequently. The Teen Club was dominated by Italian-speakers, and there was no attempt made to "mix it up": even the usual "Meeting with Bill W" or "Bridge-Players Unite" signs in the daily handout were absent, and there were no message boards to rally any particular interest. The lone ping-pong table on this ship of over 2300 passengers was always quite busy; one had to first wait and then be quite persistent (?should I say pushy?) to get in on a game. In addition to having to sign out paddles at a removed bar, you had to BUY 2 balls for 1 Euro (but at least the balls were embossed with the Costa logo, so they count as souvenirs)! There was no shuffleboard. The meager mini-golf course hardly looked worth our time, and we weren’t surprised to discover that there was a charge (5 Euro for 30 minutes, or 8 Euro for 1 hour) when we inquired about getting clubs to play. Suffice to say, we felt there was all too much nickel-and-diming (pun intended) going on, in every aspect of this Costa experience! The gymnasium, on Deck 10, was well-equipped, large, had fresh towels and a water fountain (yeah! free WATER!), but the biggest downside was that the posted age limit of "only >16 years old allowed" was entirely disregarded by passengers and crew alike, so 8, 9, and 12 year olds were running about and using equipment and disrupting adults' workouts. Similarly, nearly every day the hot tubs next to the pools on board were monopolized by noisy splashing youngsters   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
I (25 years) have just been on a cruise in the Baltic Sea with my mom (62) for 8 days. We are from Denmark and travelled in July. Overall we were very pleased with the cruise, and would recommend it to friends and family. Before we went ... Read More
I (25 years) have just been on a cruise in the Baltic Sea with my mom (62) for 8 days. We are from Denmark and travelled in July. Overall we were very pleased with the cruise, and would recommend it to friends and family. Before we went I read a lot of reviews online, and not many of them were very positive. As always it might be because satisfied people don’t write reviews. Therefore I have a need to comment on some of the things, and tell you about our experience on Costa Luminosa. First of all: the staff is just great! They are fun, friendly and do their jobs very well. That goes for both the staff at the bars, pools, cabins and restaurants. I read many reviews that complained about the food, both the quality and the quantity. In our opinion the food was really great. There was a wide and fresh selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe especially for lunch, there had 6-7 different buffets with pizza, pasta, seafood, hamburgers/sausages, salad, and much more. Everything was made fresh through the day by chefs standing in the buffet. But also breakfast was, I my eyes, impressive. We had dinner at the ‘free’ restaurant Taurus every night except one. The menu changed every day. I read a lot of reviews saying that the portions were too small, and that people left hungry. Yes, the portions are small, but there is no reason to leave hungry! First, it is an Italian ship, and the menu is planned so that you can eat 5-6 courses or more if you like (starter, pasta, main course, cheese, dessert). If there is one thing you want more of, you just tell your waiter (which btw is the same the whole week) and he will make sure you get at bigger portion, or get you two servings of that course. Many nights I ordered 3-starts because I like starters and my mom several desserts. We had dinner with 9 other Danes and talked to a lot more during the week, and not any of us had complaints about the food. We did meet some Americans who were very unsatisfied by the food, though, but I blame that on Americans and not the ship :) We had the all-inclusive drinks, and loved it. The coffee, the drinks and the wine was delicious and the service great. There was a lot included (everything we wanted during the week including many funny and classic drinks) and you could use it in all the bars and restaurants onboard. The ship was very clean, both the public areas and the cabins. The cabin staff was very nice and helpful. We lived in the inside cabin, and it was all fine. When we arrived my mom and I found our beds side by side with only one duvet. We thought that might be a little too cozy for us. We asked our cabin-staff if we could get two duvets, and of cause that was possible, and if we liked she would also move the beds, so it would be to singles with the nightstand in between. It was all done within the hour, even though they were busy with all the new passengers. So the ship was great. My biggest complaint about the cruise was that a couple of weeks before we had to go, they changed one of our ports. Instead of going to Stockholm, we were going to some port 58 km outside of Stockholm. Therefore we booked an excursion over the webpage. When we came onboard, we were told that the port was changed back to Stockholm. Since we were now going to Stockholm again, we were not sure if we wanted the excursion (since we are Danes, we don’t really feel like tourists in Sweden). But it was no problem to get it refunded when we asked, and we ended up taking the excursion after all. They also changed the order of the ports, which was a little annoying, but really didn’t matter that much. If I should say something negative about the ship, it would be, that I thought it a shame that they had closed the roof over the central pool (the roof goes on and off). I thought I very warm and moist to be in there, but looked like a lot of people enjoyed it. And I just used the pool in the back. Also, I read a lot of positive remarks about the shows in the evening, I wasn’t blown away. But might be I had to big expectations after having seen a lot of London and Broadway shows. The other Danes were quite impressed. Besides all of this we had really great weather all week. All in all we were happy, impressed and very satisfied with our cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We had a 14 days cruise on Luminose last month(actually in Baltic Sea and Norway) and I would like to share with you some my experience.. There were some new changes started on our trip: no buffet for dinner only restaurant, no free water ... Read More
We had a 14 days cruise on Luminose last month(actually in Baltic Sea and Norway) and I would like to share with you some my experience.. There were some new changes started on our trip: no buffet for dinner only restaurant, no free water on dinner table and no cold and hot and ice water after 5 pm (water stations were closed). Menu was almost same everyday and cooking was terrible. In my mind the food in lunch buffet is better than dinner restaurant. If you were hungry after dinner you had to pay for pizza and only pizza was offered. The on ship drink was very expensive, 50 euro for a bottle red wine. The excursions were expensive too. Have you heard " cheap ticket but expense on board". There was no live band for entertainment and some shows were repeated within a week. The service was quite different from American cruise company. They are two different classes. The first language is Italian and this cruise was tailored for European market, you pay euro not dollar. That is 30% more. Be aware.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
This was an amazing cruise!! I was really nervous after reading the recent negative reviews. I must say this was my favorite cruise to date. Perfect ports, great mixture of port days and sea days, good food, extremely clean ship, and great ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise!! I was really nervous after reading the recent negative reviews. I must say this was my favorite cruise to date. Perfect ports, great mixture of port days and sea days, good food, extremely clean ship, and great entertainment. Mateo was by far my favorite entertainer. He played piano and saxophone, and had an amazing voice. Loved him! :) Best bartender, hands down, was Edgar! He made our ship time fun and went the extra mile on customer service. Yes, it's an Italian ship. Yes, they speak Italian. Hello?! I did not have a problem communicating with anyone, as they speak English as well. There were designated smoking sections and I did not find cigarette smoke to be a problem at all on this ship. I have found Carnival and Royal Caribbean to be much worse. If I had to come up with negatives it would be the late dinner seating at 8:45 lasted until 10:30 due to slow service. However, we loved the people seated with us, and came to enjoy our nightly conversations. Both pool areas were small and could have had a better layout. The back pool bar was understaffed. 10 days in the Caribbean!! Who could complain?! Read Less
Costa Luminosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.1
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.2
Family 5.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 2.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.6
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.4

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