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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Having traveled on dozens of cruises, several in europe, i feel well qualified to review this cruise. It provided excellent value for money paid, terrific service in our cabin and in the dining room, and was a gorgeous ship. Everything ... Read More
Having traveled on dozens of cruises, several in europe, i feel well qualified to review this cruise. It provided excellent value for money paid, terrific service in our cabin and in the dining room, and was a gorgeous ship. Everything was immaculate and easily accessed. There could be tea and coffee available all day if that is one critique. We dont eat meat, so we would have liked more chicken and fish choices, but since that is a personal preference that is not necessarily attributable to Costa. They did try to give us choices however. Our cabin, inside ondeck 7, was always clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward was perfect. As was our waiter, did everything he could to please us. Ports were exceptional, loved Montenegro,a fascinating place. Trieste was a happy surprise, best Greek meal ever in a little cafe in Corfu. Of course Venice is always perfect, Split interesting, Argostoli not so much. If you go with realistic expectations you will have a great time. Be respectful and appreciative and give out what you want in return. And give the cabin steward and waiters a little extra for their efforts. They really appreciate it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I dedicate this review to the people working on the ship, especially the people cleaning the rooms and working as waiters. These people are so hard working, they speak several languages, they smile all the time, help you any way they ... Read More
I dedicate this review to the people working on the ship, especially the people cleaning the rooms and working as waiters. These people are so hard working, they speak several languages, they smile all the time, help you any way they can, give you advice if you ask them, dance with guests, make shows for guests and etc. I don't know how much they get payed, but whatever the amount it is not enough. The only bad thing is that there are not so many young people on the cruiser so they could look and be ashamed of these people who are so brilliant in so many ways. My husband and I would go again to the same cruise and are planing to go to Costa cruises next year. BTW excellent food and lots of choice, we got a few pounds on board. :) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
First I have to tell you that I normally don´t write reviews for this site. But I have heard it being mentioned so often, this past week, that I do feel the need to give my opinion. My family joined the transatlantic cruise guests for ... Read More
First I have to tell you that I normally don´t write reviews for this site. But I have heard it being mentioned so often, this past week, that I do feel the need to give my opinion. My family joined the transatlantic cruise guests for the last week of their stay on Costa Mediterranea(a very good 6-night-deal was offered in Belgium and the Netherlands and we decided to take it). We are experienced cruisers. We are from Europe and have sailed on many cruise lines. As a couple and as a family. Cruisecritic was mentioned by several different American guests, when complaining to staff of the Costa Mediterranea. I literally heard "you just wait until I write about your service on Cruisecritic-dot-com". I decided not to say anything on board, but want to describe my honest experience, from a European point of view. And would like to tell you that we met many great US guests and had wonderful conversations(so this is not about generalizing in any way). I will first write on how I see Costa and then about our latest experience on Costa Mediterranea. The thing you have to realize, when taking a Costa cruise, is that you are entering "floating Italy". We love it, but it is very, very different from "floating USA". We love our peace and quiet. I actually get very anxious on US ships; I want to spend my vacation with my family. We don´t need entertainment,we only use the restaurant dining room(for breakfast lunch and dinner) we don´t drop our kids off at clubs and we don´t want to be chased by staff, repeatedly asking us what we need; we don´t fancy buffets, we want to decide when to socialize, our kids love to mingle at the baseball field or in the pools, when they feel like it. And I love the fact that all of our wishes our fullfilled, when we make them clear to the staff. We love Costa, because it really lives up to our expectations, in every area. Another thing you have to realize is that Costa gives you an absolutely amazing price. But it is an Italian price. When I check out Costa deals, I add the price for drink packages. Because I know I need to add them. Costa is very clear about what you do and don´t get, when sailing with them. When I make a trip budget, I add the drinks package. And I pay it in advance. I know it is a lot of money, but I can tell you you won´t regret it. The Costa Service Charge is similar on all cuise lines(minus Aida, but I absolutely can´t and won´t recommend Aida). One thing I need to warn you about is that Costa is amazing from the moment you arrive at your terminal. Costa is absolutely not good at making your travel arrangements. Friends and relatives and we, as a family, have had very, very stressfull and poor experiences with Costa tranfers(especially the ones from Malpensa). Ours range from an extremely ill bus driver to a bus crash. And we twice had the whole ship, delaying departure, because our bus driver was playing on his Ipad, while driving. And there is more(I have made many complaints, but nothing was done to make changes). But, this service is outsourced by Costa. Once you reach the terminal, everything is great and extremely smooth! Now, back to the cruise. We flew in, took the 5 Euro bus to Milano Centrale and then the direct train to Savona(book online to get a good price and a reservation. Kids Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Everyone who complained about the cruise ( mostly the food ) said I couldn't really be objective about this ship as I was a newbie to cruising, therefore I had nothing to compare it to. While that might be valid I truly felt that it ... Read More
Everyone who complained about the cruise ( mostly the food ) said I couldn't really be objective about this ship as I was a newbie to cruising, therefore I had nothing to compare it to. While that might be valid I truly felt that it would be hard to find a more beautiful ship to cruise on. Nay sayers be darned! As mentioned it was our first cruise. Found a great lot to leave our car ( Safe Parking Miami) and boarding was easy. Stayed in Coconut Grove for two nights before cruise at a B+B which was close enough to the port. Liked the fact that even though we didn't sail until 10 pm we boarded by 3 and had lunch and a tour of the ship, so excited to be on board! First night on board took some getting used to.. vibration and slight swaying of ship, my husband wore acupuncture bands on wrist and he was fine. We have been on many large ferries etc. but nothing compares to being on a large cruise ship with its opulence and services. THE PEOPLE: Mostly European passenger i.e: Italians with a smattering of other nationalities, very few North Americans. We were basically in the minority as Canadians. All officers appeared to be Italian with rest of crew from basically all over the world. If you want to feel like you have arrived in Europe the Costa line is the way to go. A friend on board said Americans did not want to cruise on a ship that had any connection to the Costa Concordia. One aside was the presence of many Guadaloupean passengers. They were dropped off and picked up in Gaudaloupe, they got a seven day passage with a cheaper rate. Liked the fact that there were at least some Caribbean folk on the ship, but got the sense that crew wasn't too impressed with them, although they appeared to be bread and butter passengers for the ship as they formed a sizeable group on board. There was an incident of a fight between two family groups but it was quickly quashed. It happened just up the hall from our room. Security came quickly and I never felt it was a huge thing, just a lot of loud noise for about half an hour. Glad we made friends with some American people as it was hard to converse with most people as they did not speak English at least around us. Several other people we met were travel agents who got a special rate, said they probably wouldn't have taken this line if the price wasn't right for them. ACTIVITIES: We didn't participate in very many activities. Mostly spent days on shore and days at sea we spent swimming, eating and visiting with our friends. Attended the theatre twice, entertainment okay but after just being in Cuba at a resort the entertainment seemed pretty generic. One of our friends did enjoy the disco but we never went. We did walk through the bar areas, casino and disco but didn't partake as by the time our second dining sitting ended we were ready to just chill in our cabin or on our balcony. One thing we did do was use the gym every night before dinner. This was a good time to use it because most people were at first sitting for dinner and staff weren't there. The steam room/ sauna was great ( women's was quite musty unfortunately). Lots of equipment in gym, on your own for sanitizing as never any wipes and didn't like smell of chlorine or steamy effect as there was a giant hot tub in middle of area, not sure why they would put it there. Had a foot and head massage from Renata, which was heavenly. Her, Alex and Diana were all great to deal with in the spa. Also found the running track pretty small but still if you wanted to walk around at night on top decks hardly ever any people and the view of the moon on the water was pretty spectacular. THE NOISE LEVEL: Wanted to mention this before I went any further. The level of sound for most events was unbelievably loud. The noise at the bow end by the gym and outdoor pool was absolutely ridiculous. Often it might be for a dance contest or other activity but it was always cranked up so loud that I can't even imagine why no one complained. I just couldn't swim in that area when events were going on. Even at night for several of our gala dinners they had recorded music at a really high decibel level. For passengers it was only a few days of it but for the crew I can't imagine how a health and safety review wouldn't have put limitations on the noise for the staff. Why do people think loud noise equates with great entertainment? End of my rant about noise levels. SERVICE: Our hotel steward was great, didn't feel need for turn down service every night so often just put Don't Disturb sign on door if we didn't want to be bothered. Always had buffet for breakfast and lunch so not much to write about service there. Our evening waiter Rigaberto and his assistant were great. When we had questions about other things went to service desk where they were okay. Did find when we disembarked in Miami and there was a big delay with no announcement to explain why, the service desk was not very helpful or nice. I know many ships were letting off passengers at the same time but a polite announcement about delays would have been a good thing. Tip: Take the early disembarkation, we would next time. PORT/SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did not do any ship excursions except a snorkelling one in Grand Turk. (Which was good). Found most of the beaches we went to by taxi or bus had many people from the cruise there. Some complained that they were whisked there and back much quicker than we were as we had the option of staying longer without someone herding us back on a bus. Unfortunately we felt that because we did not use the ship excursions we were left to our own devices for information about the ports and activities on shore. The English guide John Patrick told us that he only gave out information about excursions, not what happened or was available on shore. I certainly was glad I had done research ahead with a Fodor and Lonely Planet Guide. Ship excursions seemed to concentrate on touring, boating and shopping at ship authorized stores etc. No mention of being dropped off at museums or other historic locales. When we landed at the port there really wasn't much in information at most locations. Some tourist booths had maps etc. but you had to be prepared so you knew ahead what you wanted to do and then you had to deal with taxi drivers, rates and distance to where you wanted to go. Taking more ship excursions might have been a good idea but still suspect about rates and time spent loading and getting there, would have to do more research before doing more ship excursions. MONEY MAKERS: As I had not been on a cruise before it was a bit of an adjustment to the level of selling that went on. We knew it wasn't like an all inclusive so we were prepared to pay for drinks etc. ( drinks didn't cost a lot more than at a Canadian bar) but not used to announcements being made over PA about buying items on the ship e.g. jewellery, etc. Poor spa staff even had to shill special rates for massages etc. when you came back on board from shore. They even charged 55 dollars for an insider tour of the ship. Seemed a bit excessive! Generally though felt for what we paid through Vacations To Go we got a good deal. DINING: My husband and I found the food okay. As I don't eat any meat but fish I did find the choices for evening dining a little limited. The breakfast, lunch choices were okay, most of the problem was the number of people getting food at the same time. Too bad there wasn't a better way to configure the way food was presented so there would be less lining up. I know people who have travelled on other lines talk about the great choice, the 24 hour dining, the free room service and that the newer ships have more restaurants but for me it was adequate. I've heard new ships will soon have bakery restaurants etc. but I don't want to gain ten pounds on a cruise and it would be more tempting with more food choice. One thing that the Costa line has is special gala nights with Italian music and presentations by the waiters etc. I found that was fun. Presented with beautifully printed menus on those nights. We usually had the snack at five to tide us over to the late evening sitting. Can see how some lines that offer any time sitting would be a good idea as second sitting was so late. THE STAR: This ship was the star to me. The ship designer who does all the newer Costa and Carnival ships Joe Farcas has certainly created a surreal, beautiful palace of a ship. I never got tired of looking at the details from Italian glass to fanciful pottery lighthouses. Every surface was embellished. It was interesting to see into the crew areas, kitchens etc. and see how plain it looked there. SUMMARY: Not sure if I would go on another cruise but now that I'm not a first time cruiser I will be able to compare a possible future cruise to this quite enjoyable trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We have never been disappointed to this level in over 30 years of cruising. Starting with the food: First there were no ice tea or lemonade at the meal, which was a first for us and the 3 other couples with our group. Had to ask for ice, ... Read More
We have never been disappointed to this level in over 30 years of cruising. Starting with the food: First there were no ice tea or lemonade at the meal, which was a first for us and the 3 other couples with our group. Had to ask for ice, lemon and butter every night. It took 30-40 minutes to receive the first course and often not all 8 of us would receive our courses together. Often several of us at our table were getting our desert while others were still waiting for their main coursers. The suckling pig still had hair and bristles attached. The steaks rarely came out the way we ordered them and at one dinner the Matre de was asked to our table because we could not get the steaks as ordered and his response was " it looks fine, eat it". Many of the meals were unedible every single night. The soups were watered down and extremely salty. The buffet was shut down during dinner hours which eliminated a possible choice. The dinners took so long (we were at the early sitting) that the waiter asked us to skip the coffee because he needed the time to set up for the late seating. The scrambled eggs were watery and when asked if we can have them cooked some more the answer was simple, no! There was no bananas and oranges by the second day out and by the fifth no grapefruit or prunes. The lunch buffet was not much better, it was hard to figure out what the food was since there were many dishes without an explanation sign. The best food was the hot dogs by the pool but when we asked for a fresh roll to replace the stale ones my wife heard one server say to the other "this lady is nuts"? Paying for pizza at night was an insult. We say flatware dropped on the floor than picked up and put on a table, charger plates wiped off from the early seating and put back on the table for the late seating. Bathroom were often dirty and out of paper and napkins. One evening instead of a show there was a movie. When there were shows, few were that good. They seemed to have eliminate the position of Cruise Director as none were ever visible. The 8 of us in our group have had over 100 cruises under our belt and all without except were never as disappointed to this degree and would not return to Costa. We could say it must just be this ship but it seemed to be a decision by management to cut their expenses. The management at Costa should be ashamed of themselves. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Just finished back to back 10 and 11 day cruise in the Caribbean. If you like a European experience, you will like this cruise, if you are expecting US style food / entertainment look elsewhere. Most of the passengers were from Italy, ... Read More
Just finished back to back 10 and 11 day cruise in the Caribbean. If you like a European experience, you will like this cruise, if you are expecting US style food / entertainment look elsewhere. Most of the passengers were from Italy, Germany, and South America, English among passengers was not the most spoken language. Like I said, this is a European experience, and its a little different. First off the service was great. The cabin was clean and comfortable and the Cabin steward Ronald, was so very helpful. Bar staff, especially Roachan, and Franklin were always around, even for the all inclusive drinkers like us. The restaurant waiters Angelica and Maitre D Carlos looked after all our special needs and provided us with custom food orders due to dietary restrictions. Fernando Sanna, the Restaurant Manager went out of his way to make this family's holiday a wonderful memory. We have only two complaints 1. Why isn't the pool heated on deck? Most days it was only 69 - 72degrees F, its pretty bad when on a hot day, no one is in the pool. Even for us Canadians it was cold and we will swim in any cold lake. 2. Don't try to get breakfast after 10.00 am for some reason unlike other lines, if you like to sleep in a little bit there is no bite except coffe and donuts after ten. Someone please tell Costa breakfast should be till 11.00 am at least for us North Americans. 3. Lousy internet services .... slow service .... expensive for what you get .... 50 cents per minute and most of the time you are waiting and paying for download .... think AOL Dial Up speed. 4. Lousy Satellite Dish TV .... O sure Italy, Greece and Germany come in .... but once you leave Miami forget anything US .... worst part was losing the signal during the Divisional Finals for the NFL ..... This was a major problem for all NFL fans .... picture looking at the TV and watching a play with a signal that goes out every ten seconds for a minute or so ..... TERRIBLE!!!!! All in all, except for the above it was a good trip .... BUT WARM UP THAT POOL!!!!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
This is the third time Im writting a review here on Cruisecritic, hopefully this time the editor will finally post it. This is our 14th cruise(have done Royal Caribben, Norwegian, Carnival and Princess) and our 4th with Costa (did the ... Read More
This is the third time Im writting a review here on Cruisecritic, hopefully this time the editor will finally post it. This is our 14th cruise(have done Royal Caribben, Norwegian, Carnival and Princess) and our 4th with Costa (did the Mediteranea twice before and the Concordia once) The Good: The shows were good, but short. The live music was good, but also short in duration (1 hr and then dj usually) ship was perfect and exactly how we remembered it, clean and beautiful. Price, got a great price for an 11 day exotic Caribbean cruise. Costa also gave us a free upgrade to a premium balcony from the bottom of the ship, just awesome! Our room Steward and dinner water server were awesome. The ambiance and atmosphere was very nice still.... THE BAD AND THE UGLY: Now this is the first cruise im writting a review on, and thats because there were some very bad negative's on this cruise Ive NEVER experienced before.  Very angry staff, most were unfriendly, unhelpful and plain out mad....service by anyone coming in contact with food either serving or cooking was just terrible!! Plus the food was just horrible, I lost 4 lbs on this cruise. Think boiled rice, boiled potatoes, boiled brocolli and chicken backs PERIOD for lunch 11 days in row on the buffett line..bfast was even worse, sit down meals were almost as bad. Anything of value was hidden, hard boiled eggs, parmesean cheese or maple syrup were like gold on the Mediteranea. This is the only time in 14 cruises have we seen such terrible food, and yes food is a subjective thing, but the food on this cruise was on another level, and not a good one. People were constantly dumped off and picked up at different stops, it seems like this cruise was nothing more than a low budget bus ride on water. Staff couldnt get you off fast enough...most things were cut to the bone, no coffee, no beach towels...no van or choc ice cream..only strawberry and most of the time it was empty btw.... Costa used to be a great cruise line with awesome service and food, but now it seems theyre just trying to make up 2 billion dollars lost on the concordia on the backs of their workers and cruisers...were not expecting gourmet anything but the food on this ship was mostly inedible and just plain bad...i would not recommend Costa now, and will never go on another one...every American and Canadian we met hated the food too, also a lot of Europeans were unhappy as well. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
*6= Having booked this Cruise as part of a 2 week package including a week on Crete we were slightly nervous of what to expect as the Price was ridiculously cheap even having upgraded to outside Cabins.We were a party of 3 as we took our ... Read More
*6= Having booked this Cruise as part of a 2 week package including a week on Crete we were slightly nervous of what to expect as the Price was ridiculously cheap even having upgraded to outside Cabins.We were a party of 3 as we took our disabled 84 y.o. mother (who is totally wheelchair dependent) and this in itself can be problematical if things don't go smoothly with Transport,Transfers,Access,etc. From the moment we stepped on Board until the very last moment we disembarked we had NO criticisms or disappointments with the Ship & its' Crew & the whole experienced surpassed our expectations. The Ship is awe inspiring in the Decor & Flamboyant "renaissance" styling of most recent Italian Cruise Lines & the lay-out is excellent with all 3 Lift Stations (Bow Mid-Ships & Stern) giving swift & easy access to all amenities. The Food & Service were impeccable especially as my Wife has Coeliac Disease & cannot tolerate any Gluten or wheat items....there was always ample & delicious options during the day & the Evening Dinner was a unique Menu individually prepared by the Ship's dedicated Special diet Chef. The Ports of Call varied from Dirty Industrial Docks (Limassol) to beautiful Scenic Harbours (Rhodes) but we couldn't partake of any of the excursiosn as none were WheelChair friendly......this did however mean that we thoroughly enjoyed the quiet & peace of a mostly deserted sunDeck on most days. The Drinks on board are seriously over priced as individual untis from the Bars but this is easily overcome by any of the Range of Drinks "packages" on offer and by far the best VFM option would be the all inclusive deal at E19.50 per person per day. In summary a fabulous Ship with amazing Service,Great Food & INCREDIBLE value for money....we will certainly travel again with COSTA Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We embarked on the ship in Heraklion, having flown in from London. We travelled as a family of 3 (myself, my wife and my 10-year old daughter, who is in a wheelchair). The embarkation in Crete was what I would consider to be the worst part ... Read More
We embarked on the ship in Heraklion, having flown in from London. We travelled as a family of 3 (myself, my wife and my 10-year old daughter, who is in a wheelchair). The embarkation in Crete was what I would consider to be the worst part of the cruise. Heraklion is not really geared up to be a cruise port but more of a ferry terminal. The small embarkation building meant that some people were queuing outside in the heat for more than an hour before being able to enter the building. The whole process was very slow, a bit chaotic and quite uncomfortable. Once onboard the ship things improved considerably. We were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage joined us almost immediately. The interior of the ship is beautifully decorated and, although 10 years old, did not give this impression. The cabin was quite small but was cosy and served our needs. The cabin steward kept the cabin immaculately clean and our only gripe (other than perhaps the size) was that the air conditioning was not very effective, meaning that the cabin (being an inside) was a bit warm for us at night, especially as there were 3 of us in the cabin. The beds were, however, comfortable. Despite the small size, we were able to pack the luggage in the wardrobes and had just enough space to park the wheelchair without folding (we had requested a wheelchair accessible cabin but were told these were all booked, despite the ship only being 60 to 65% full). We found the Costa staff to be very approachable, friendly and helpful throughout the cruise, especially in the restaurant. The only niggle we had was the cruise excursion desk telling us that because we had a wheelchair we couldn't go on our planned excursion in Santorini, and advising us not to go ashore on the tender boat. Our cabin steward informed us that we would be able to take the cable car to the summit as they cater for disabled. we took the plunge and went ashore and did not regret doing so. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
The ship : it is decorated in the typical Carnival Style, it looks exactly like a floating carnival of rio. The pools : freezing, small. The hot tubs : cold and full of children half the time (when they were not eating) The food : like ... Read More
The ship : it is decorated in the typical Carnival Style, it looks exactly like a floating carnival of rio. The pools : freezing, small. The hot tubs : cold and full of children half the time (when they were not eating) The food : like the one at home, often what remained from previous meal showed up again. The original food was good but the good things finished and were not replaced, most of the time. Breakfast : nothing really good. The pastry was lumps of underbaked flour. the drinks : apple and orange straight from the carton, and not of the best quality. Water and ice: often missing The crew : ignored the passengers, even if you had to stand in line half an hour to get their attention. Tipically: the sliding roof was left open the first day and night (no one attended the pool party, windy and freezing) and kept tight close from there on. Just to mention it : the "passing of the tropic" party was held in the closed pool area where no one could see anything from outside and above. The lucky ones were the ones on which King Neptune trod his way to the center of the stage. The escursions : a real rip off, they frighten people with stories of locals being dangerous and you end up paying twice as much the same thing. Entertainement : non existing. the staff : doing their best, the only positive thing in this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
I have travelled with my husband, we got a "premium cabin" thinking that the amount you pay more than a classic cabin, is worth the expense. We got a cabin right in front of the hot tubs engine room: a constant loud engine ... Read More
I have travelled with my husband, we got a "premium cabin" thinking that the amount you pay more than a classic cabin, is worth the expense. We got a cabin right in front of the hot tubs engine room: a constant loud engine whining from 07.00 until 21.00hrs. The cabin crew : spectacular, even if visibly reduced, they managed to clean and very well our cabin twice daily, finding also the time to make towel animals. The restaurant crew : same as cabin, very kind and helpfull in everything. Still try to sell you bottled water when the normal one is perfectly ok. No way to get a hot tea in a cup bigger than cappuccino size. The spa crew : very kind and apologetic when the steam bath or sauna were out of order, pity no one checked if they worked when opening. The pools : small, you stand in them and absolutely freezing, even the hot tubs were cold tubs. The roof of the covered one was left open when it was cold (the first day of sailing) because - this was the actual answer - it can not be closed while sailing. Pity that they had to close it the following days because they could not set out the sales tables, and we were sailing. And from there on it remained closed, we went through the "tropic passage" in a closed, cramped pool area. No way to see anything. Service, in general, is gone down the hill at full speed. The food : absolutely not in Costa standards,the cruise had been sold to large groups of french and german guests - apparently - at a very low cost. Excursions : the only one we did with them (Tortola Virgin Gorda) was booked because we had been scared in the eventuality of loosing the boat. Not true : on the spot we discovered that other people were doing what we were doing for half the price. If I ever cruise again with Costa, and I doubt it, I will only if I get a ridiculous price like the others. I will never again book well in advance. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
The embarkation was as smooth as can be - "sailed" right through! The ship is absolutely gorgeous with fine attention to detail - Roman but not overdone. The ship is well maintained and very clean. The service is ... Read More
The embarkation was as smooth as can be - "sailed" right through! The ship is absolutely gorgeous with fine attention to detail - Roman but not overdone. The ship is well maintained and very clean. The service is exceptional. We found the entertainment to be varied and first rate. The Italian tenor sang popular arias and received a standing ovation at both performances! Our cabin steward was exceptional - he was low key and efficient. The food was tasty and beautifully presented. The specialty restaurant seemed pricey and was not needed since the main dining room was excellent. There was no evening buffet which may have been problematic for some people - particularly parents with small children. We were seated with a like group of people and enjoyed their company. The wait staff was conscientious and friendly. The excursions were well organized and a Costa staff person accompanied every tour. This was most reassuring! The staff was friendly and a lot of fun! The disembarkation was smooth but the American authorities delayed us. There were over 2500 people on board this ship - 300 were English speaking and 60 were Americans. There was smoking but it never presented a problem for us. The four of us have NO criticism and highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Boarded at Malaga, crossed Atlantic for first time and found it very relaxing but not boring. There was plenty to do and see on board. The trouble began at the first Caribbean island stop - Antigua. There were two ships in port together, ... Read More
Boarded at Malaga, crossed Atlantic for first time and found it very relaxing but not boring. There was plenty to do and see on board. The trouble began at the first Caribbean island stop - Antigua. There were two ships in port together, swamping the facilities available. This happened more often than not on the rest of the cruise- surely it is not beyond the wit of the cruise lines to arrange their schedules to avoid it? There was also the first of the totally artificial "tourist villages" - all almost identical, all full of the same Costa-sponsored jewellery and other shops. I suspect that if one checked the ownership of these places, Costa would figure. These are frequently designed so that disembarking passengers were forced to walk through them, accosted at each shop by insistent staff. At Grand Turk this was ALL that was available as the town was some distance away and closed on a Sunday! There is minimal contact with the real culture and people. The tours sold by the ship were overpriced and often poor - the coral in the "reefs" to which we were taken was usually dead or dying and the fish very few. The bus tour of Belize was an hour of viewing decrepit houses in junk and garbage-filled gardens, the bus a battered and uncomfortable ex-Dallas Greyhound coach. When we asked where the city centre was our guide told us that there was not one - certainly there are only a few, sad shops. Most passengers were back on board hours before sailing time, having found nothing of interest to do, see or visit. In Miami it was actually cheaper for four of us to share a taxi to go to the Dolphin Mall than to take Costa's tour to the same destination. In Jamaica, after docking at a ramshackle pier (we later found it was for loading bauxite!!) with corrugated metal sheets blowing gently in the breeze, we boarded the tour bus to see the only thing worth visiting, the waterfalls. On arrival there was a major shouting match between passengers who had been told that entry fee was included in the price and the crew of the bus (caught in the middle) who said it was not. Most passengers demanded the return of their money and walked back or took a taxi. We found on all the islands that frequent and amusing local buses had a network of routes at an absolutely minimum fare, usually a dollar.Ocho Rios in Jamaica was a squalid example of what 30 years of no maintenance can achieve coupled with demanding beggars and street vendors. All in all the Caribbean is over-cruised and some ports of call not worth a visit. Others such as Grand Cayman should not be missed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2012
I travelled with my 87 year old mother and booked the trip two weeks prior because the price was so good. We arrived in Miami a day early and rented a car at Dollar car rental for a great rate of $23.00 total, much cheaper than taking a ... Read More
I travelled with my 87 year old mother and booked the trip two weeks prior because the price was so good. We arrived in Miami a day early and rented a car at Dollar car rental for a great rate of $23.00 total, much cheaper than taking a taxi, plus we had the car for a day to travel around. The next day we returned the car to the airport and they provided a free shuttle to the cruise port. We were there around 12:00 p.m. and there were already quite a few people there, even though our ship wasn't sailing until 9:00 p.m. We were quickly on board and went to the 9th floor for something to eat until our rooms were ready, which was about 2:00. I have previously travelled on Princess and Royal Caribbean and have always booked an inside room, except for a 12 day Mediterannean cruise that I took with my husband where we booked an oceanview room. It never made sense to me to spend money on the room as we only sleep and change there. However, I really did enjoy the balcony. I kept the curtains open and woke up to a view of the ocean. I also kept the door open at night so that we could hear the sound of the ocean. In the morning I would go on the balcony and read a little before going for breakfast. The room was a good size and our room steward was great. I still wouldn't pay a lot extra for a balcony in the future, but this was only $40.00 a week more each person and it offered an onboard credit of $100.00. I was worried about the reviews of Costa, mainly the smoking on the ship. I've been trying to get my husband to quit smoking for over 30 years and I hate the smell of smoke. There were smoking areas, but there were also a lot of non smoking areas, so it really didn't cause a problem. There is smoking in the casino and would go through the casino to get to the theatre, youcould also get to the theatre from another floor though, so if it really bothered you, you could avoid it. Some of the reviews said you could smell the smoke in your room from adjoining cabins, but we couldn't smell anything. When we first boarded, the ship seemed very ornate. There are many mirrors and lots of gold, but you soon get used to that. The reviews also said that there were no drinks (water, coffee, tea, juice, etc.) and that you were forced to buy a drink package. This was not the case, water, coffee, tea, juice were offered for breakfast. There was water, coffee, tea, ice tea for lunch. Water was available all day on the pool decks. You could get drinking water in the dining room for supper. As I don't drink, it didn't make sense to do the unlimited drinking package at $250 a week (especially as you have to get it for both people in the room). However, if you do drink, this is a really good deal as it included capuccino, tea, coffee, pop, wine, alcoholic drinks and beer. The food was a little different, but good. There was always something to choose from. The eggs in the buffet were a little runny, but there is a station that you can get fried eggs, omelets, etc. There was always pancakes, french toast, bacon (a little undercooked for me), fruit, cereal, yogurt, and wonderful pastries. Lunch was great, lots to choose from, as well as a pizza bar and hamburgers, hot dogs and fries. Supper was also very good. The servings were small, but more than enough as there was 5 courses. The desserts were good, but no cheesecake, etc., but more than enough to choose from. The animation team always looked like they were having a great time. It was fun to just watch or join in the activities and dancing lessons by the pool. They had exercises every day on the deck, which was really nice. At 9:00 a.m. there was usually a yoga type of stretch, which was a great way to start the day. At 9:30 a.m. there was an abs session or aqua exercise session. At 5:00 p.m. there was another exercise session, either stretch or aerobics or abs. I really enjoyed these. There was a large slide at the back of the boat that was great for both kids and adults. There is a kids club, but I didn't check this out as our grandchildren weren't with us on this cruise, but I did see some staff with a group of children and the kids seemed to be having a good time. There wasn't any problem with children running all over the place on this cruise, everyone seemed to take care of their kids. Some people still put their things on a lounger and then not show up for a few hours, even though they do ask you not to do that. Unfortunately some people are just inconsiderate. There are three pools and four hottubs. The only negative was that the hottubs could have been hotter, especially the ones on deck. The one in the spa area was okay. My mother likes to spend a good deal of time in the hottubs as it helps her arthritis. The gym was really nice, had three small levels with different exercise equipment. The spa in the same area and has showers, sauna and steam bath, hot tub and a few loungers for relaxing. There is no extra fee to go to this area. The shows in the evening were okay, not the best, but a nice way to end the day. One show was very good, it was with a singer and a guy that stood on his hands on two sticks and did all kinds of antics. He was amazing. The singers and dancers were also good. I've enjoyed the shows on the Princess better. There are quite a few little bars that have singers around the ship, but were very good. The casino was always full and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I can't say much about the islands as we mainly got off and walked around the port, but didn't really do anything on the islands as my mother wasn't really up to doing a lot of touring. I've already been to most of the Carribean, so I was fine with just spending time relaxing. As we didn't have kids with us, it wasn't a big deal to go to the beach. We're also going to the Dominican in February, so we'll be on a beach for a week. We mainly went to rest and enjoy the sun. In Ocho Rios we just wanted to walk into town. The people there were a little upset that we didn't want to take the $2.00 taxi ride into town, but we really just wanted to walk around. Some were a little rude. It is definitely must least favourite port and I probably won't go back to Jamiaca. We were there around 20 years ago with our kids. There are many other places I would rather be. Other people really enjoyed Belize and Roatan (my family at home were very concerned that I not get off on those islands as they are supposed to be dangerous - however, everyone really enjoyed themselves). The people right in the port were very nice and friendly. Everyone said the trip to the Mayan ruins in Belize was wonderful, however, it was a 7 hour trip and would have been too much for my mother. One woman that took the shore excursion with the ship said the people were complaining it was too hot and they wanted to cut the lecture short and just go to the beach. She was very disappointed as the lecture was really good. That's the problem with going on a large tour, they have to please everyone. Whereas if you arrange to go on your own or with a few people, you can cater your tour to what you want. Three of the people at our dining table went on their own and had a wonderful time. I was reluctant to go with them because of the warnings from my family. The cost of that trip wasn't much different than what was offered on the ship. I believe paid $75.00 a person and the one booked through the ship was about $85.00. The tour in Roatan was only about $25.00 per person to tour the island, and they really enjoyed that. It's quite a bit more if booked on the ship. However, it might be safer. When we were disembarking I overheard a woman say she couldn't wait to get off the ship, which surprised me, but there are some people that you just like to complain. As I was packing very light I didn't bring shampoo, conditioner and body lotion as I thought they'd supply that. They did have shampoo and I had to request body lotion. They didn't have conditioner, so I bought that in Jamaica. It was a little confusing at times for my mother, as all the announcements were usually done in five languages (Italian, English, French, German and Spanish), but I didn't find that a problem. She has a hearing problem and obviously they had to speak quickly to get the announcements in. I think she had a hard time differentiating between the languages, as she kept saying they don't speak any English. It was really nice to see so many different nationalities together. I would definitely travel with Costa again. The ship was very clean and the staff were wonderful. We met many nice people and had a wonderful time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2009
My wife and I decided to cruise on Costa for the first time for our Baltics cruise. The Costa Mediterrania had an itinerary we really liked and the cost for a balcony cabin was reasonable. We had read mixed reviews for Costa, but wanted a ... Read More
My wife and I decided to cruise on Costa for the first time for our Baltics cruise. The Costa Mediterrania had an itinerary we really liked and the cost for a balcony cabin was reasonable. We had read mixed reviews for Costa, but wanted a more European versus American experience with this cruise. We figured we were really cruising for the itinerary and not the ship. We had a 10 night Baltic cruise with 8 ports of call including embarking and disembarking in Copenhagen starting on September 2nd. It was a port intensive itinerary with only 1 day at sea. I have broken our review of the cruise into the categories below followed by the ports of call. Embarkation Embarking the ship was truly a fascination to watch. Costa is cruising Italian style and this was clearly shown with the embarkation process. The best way to try and describe it is "Organized Chaos." When we arrived to check in, we were given a group number. You do not check in as you arrive. Once our group number was called, everyone in that group herded through a corded off line up to about 4 check-in attendants. The group sizes appeared to be 150 to 200 people. It was over 1.5 hours from the time we arrived at port until we were on the ship. When you enter the ship, they take your photo for your cruise card and then you can go to your cabin. Our cruise cards and luggage was waiting for us in the cabin. Overall, the check-in process seemed very disorganized until you boarded the ship. The Ship The Costa Mediterrania is a very beautiful ship. Very Italian in decor with Murano glass in the main hall areas. Some of the colors are quite loud in the main hall, but overall the ship is very nicely decorated. There are several lounges throughout the ship for drinks. There were 2 pool areas and a waterslide. The hot tubs were supposed to be restricted to 16 and older, but we always saw children in the hot tubs anyway. Dining The ship had the main dining room, the buffet area, an upscale restaurant, and a pizzeria. They also would have buffets in different lounges and in the pool area at certain times. We dined in the main dining room every evening. For breakfast and lunch we split between the main dining room and the buffet. The buffet was the usual fare along with egg stations for breakfast and pasta stations for lunch. There were also tables for fresh fruit as well. The pasta stations and pizzeria were quite good. We enjoyed the food in the main dining room very much. It was interesting to try different dishes and we liked everything we tried. Our waiters were very friendly and fun. Sometimes service can be slow, but I think this is due to how Europeans dine as compared to how Americans dine. But we were usually done with dinner within an hour and a half. Drinks We had the X1 package with unlimited house wine, beer, soda and bottled water during lunch and dinner. The house wines were Italian and very good. We would enjoy a bottle or two with dinner. Drinks in the lounges are a little expensive with the dollar to euro exchange rate. However, they would have the drink of the day special and 2-for-1 specials as well. Entertainment We only went to a couple shows as we were exhausted from being in port all day. We went to the first show that had a piano and violin duet and to the Russian folklore dancers. We did enjoy the two shows we saw. Excursions We did not participant on any ship excursions. We did all of the ports ourselves and had private tours in St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Gdansk. We did take the ship's shuttle in Riga as we docked 15km from the old town area and in Travemunde as we docked in a secure area and could only leave by shuttle. Staff The staff was nice and our English speaking hostess, Melissa, was great. Since we prepared before the trip with info on our ports of call, we did not have much need to interact with the staff with many questions. We only went to the Guest Services desk a couple times with quick questions and were treated nicely. We would also ask some questions to the port and shopping guide, Andrea, to find out which berth we were docking in to prepare our day. One thing we did notice compared to other cruise lines we have been on is that the staff does not bombard you with sales pitches for drinks, collector glasses, etc. If you are in the pool area or setting in a lounge, a server will stop by and ask if you need anything. If you don't then they leave you alone until you call them over. We liked this because on other cruise lines we sometimes felt like we were always being hit up to buy something. Communication Every day you would get a newsletter with all of the activities for that day and port information. They did not announce the activities over the intercom. We found this refreshing compared to other cruises where they were announcing some activity every few minutes. The lifeboat drill was the afternoon of the first full day as it was our sea day. This did take some time as the announcement is done in several languages. However it only took about 30 minutes and did pass quickly. Disembarkation Compared to the embarkation process, disembarking was really smooth. We were given color-coded luggage labels the evening before disembarkation. We then set our luggage outside the cabin for collection. The daily newsletter tells you which lounge or theatre to wait with an approximate time for your color to be called. When our color was called, we walked off the ship, right to our luggage, and out the door. It was very quick and easy. Overall We enjoyed the cruise and the ship very much. It was nice to try something different and have a different experience. There were times that some passengers could be a little rude, but we did not experience this much. We also enjoyed that they were not always trying to sell you something when you are trying to just relax in a chair by the pool or sitting in a lounge. Then main thing we feel they need improvement is in their embarkation process. The X1 package is a great deal if you like to drink wine for dinner and have beer or wine for lunch. Ports of Call Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm was our first port of call. We ended up docking in Stadsgarden near the old town instead of Frihammen. This worked better as we could just use the hop-on-hop-off boat to get around instead of taking a bus from Frihammen. We met up with another couple from the ship and went to the Vasa Museum first. This museum is dedicated to the Swedish Man of War, Vasa, as it sank in the harbor on its maiden voyage in 1625. It is a very impressive museum built around the recovered ship and a must see in my opinion. The ship itself is well preserved and quite large. They also have several artifacts from the ship on display as well. We then went over to Gamla Stan, the old town. We spent our time walking around the old town, shopping, and had lunch in a nice little cafe. We then walked by the town hall and over to Nybrokajen to get on the hop-on-hop-off boat back to our cruise ship. Stockholm is a very beautiful city and we enjoyed it. Helsinki, Finland Helsinki was our second port of call. We docked in Lansikartta, which is a little distance from the city center. There was a tourist information center at the dock and we purchased a 1 day transport card for all public transportation. One block from the dock is a public bus stop for buses 14B and 16 into the city center. We caught the number 16 bus into the city center and it dropped us off near the market square. We walked down to the public ferry port there to catch the ferry to Suomenlinna Fortress. The ferry was included in our 1 day pass. We walked around Suomenlinna for a couple hours or so. It is a well preserved fortress on an island a few minutes from the city center by ferry. We then headed back to the city center and had lunch in the market square. We then hopped onto the tram 3T and rode out to the Rock Church. This is a unique circular church blasted into pure rock. The inside was really intriguing and the acoustics inside are incredible. We then used the metro to go to Senate Square. After that we saw the Russian Cathedral and went back down to the market square to look around before catching the number 16 bus back to the ship. Helsinki was a nice surprise as we were able to leisurely take in the sights. St. Petersburg, Russia St. Petersburg was our third port of call and we were there overnight for 2 days. We had arranged a 2 day private tour with Anna at http://www.petersburgguide.com/. She is a licensed tour guide and capable of providing the "blanket visa" for cruise ship passengers so that you do not need to get a Russian visa. We preferred this option versus the ship's excursions because we could see more sights, not be herded around in a large group and have more control over our itinerary. Our ship docked at the new cruise ship terminal. The new terminal is very modern and efficient. Costa did not hamper or discourage in any way the disembarking of independent or private tour passengers. Costa did ask us to show our tour ticket with Anna to ensure we had a private tour arranged, but that was all. We were off the ship and through Russian immigration within 5 to 10 minutes. Thank you Costa for not harassing private tour passengers in St. Petersburg as some other cruise lines had been doing. We had a packed first day on our itinerary. Our guide's name was Ina and our driver's name was Sergei. From the cruise ship we stopped at St. Isaac's Cathedral on our way to Peterhof, the summer palace. At Peterhof, we toured the gardens and watched as they turned on all the fountains. We then toured through the palace. Ina took us through the rooms narrating each as we passed. She also explained how the palace was destroyed in WW2 and completely rebuilt. We then drove back to St. Petersburg and then took the metro to see some of the richly decorated metro stations. We then stopped at a Russian pie shop for lunch. Ina explained that this type of fare was left over from the Soviet era and very tasty. The pies were filled with meat, salmon, mushrooms and different fruits. We then headed over to the Winter Palace and The Hermitage. We toured the Winter Palace and Hermitage for a couple hours. The architecture and works of art at the Hermitage were incredible. After that, we proceeded to the Church of the Split Blood. This church was built on the spot where Alexander II was assassinated. The inside was decorated with amazing and colorful mosaics. Our last stop of the day was a farmer's market. Our second day was a little more relaxing. We traveled from the ship to Tsarskoye Selo to see Catherine's Palace. We toured through the palace and the Amber Room. Such a shame it was ransacked in WW2. We then toured the gardens outside the palace before heading back to St. Petersburg. For lunch, Ina took us to a local Russian Brewhouse where she would go with friends and colleagues. After this we went to the Peter and Paul Fortress. We toured the fortress, Peter and Paul Cathedral and the prison. After this we shopped for souvenirs before heading back to the ship. St. Petersburg was the highlight of the cruise for us and we really got to fully enjoy the city with a private tour. Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn was our forth port of call. It has an incredible medieval old town that is well preserved. We had arranged a private guide ahead of time for our own walking tour. A few people from the ship joined in with us also. Anne was our guide and she met us at the port. We walked from the port to the old town. It is a short walk and only took about 10 to 15 minutes. She took us through the lesser and upper towns explaining the history and architecture. She was also able to give us insight to the Soviet occupation and revolution. After our tour we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the old town. Tallinn is a hidden gem on the Baltic itinerary. Riga, Latvia Riga was our fifth port of call. One of the reasons we chose this itinerary was because it did stop in Riga. We docked about 15km outside the city center, so we took the Costa shuttle into the city. We started at the tourist information office and got a map of walking tours. We then found a guide in the square advertising a walking tour of the old town area for 5LATS ($10, 7 Euro) per person. We were with another couple and we decided to hire him for a tour. He took us throughout old town explaining the sights, architecture, history and cathedrals. He was a history major and very informative. We then did our own walking tour of the Art Nuevo area just outside of the old town following the map from the TI office. We then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and walking around the old town before catching the shuttle back to the ship. Riga is charming and looks like a fun place to visit. Gdynia, Poland Gdynia was our sixth port of call. This is the port for the tri-city area of Gdynia, Sopot and Gdansk. We had arranged a private tour ahead of time and another couple from the ship joined us. Our guide, Magda, picked us up at the port and we headed out for Gdansk. Along the way we stopped at the Olive Cathedral. Gdansk has a colorful old town area that was completely rebuilt after WW2. Magda took us around the old town highlighting the most important points as our time in port was only half a day. We also did some amber shopping and had coffee at a cafe. We then drove to Sopot and when to the pier. This is the longest wooden pier in Europe. We then headed back to the ship. We wished we had more time to spend in Gdansk as we liked strolling around the old town. Travemunde, Germany Travemunde was our seventh port of call. It is a small seaside resort town in Germany. Since we docked in a secure port area, we had to take the Costa shuttle into town. From there we caught the train to Lubeck. Lubeck is an UNESCO World Heritage site for its medieval old town. We just spent our time walking around the old town, shopping and eating lunch in the square. We just wanted to relax at this stop. We then took the train back to Travemunde and walked around there for a while before heading back to the ship. It was a nice and relaxing stop before disembarking the next day. Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen was our eighth port of call and our disembarkation stop. We disembarked and a friend of ours there picked us up. We stayed with friends for a couple days as we toured the city. It is an easy city to walk and very enjoyable. We enjoyed our time and it was good to see our friends again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
Embarkation was efficient, Destinations were really good But from there it went south really quick. Starting with the buffet, The first day it was really good, Especially the seafood pasta salad with squid. I thought we were in for a real ... Read More
Embarkation was efficient, Destinations were really good But from there it went south really quick. Starting with the buffet, The first day it was really good, Especially the seafood pasta salad with squid. I thought we were in for a real treat. So after lunch we decided to tour the ship and stumbled onto the main dining room. We decided to enter through the doors to take a peak when we were rudely yelled at by the Mater D (Sorry for the mispelling) to leave. Our initial reaction was "Wow, That was shocking, He could have handled it differently. He was an Italian with a huge attitude and bad manners. I thought from that point this guy can kiss his tip goodby! The first night we ate in the main restaraunt and both my wife and I had the French onion soup thinking that it should be a good choice. That was a big mistake! I took my first spoon full and lost my appetite right at the get-go. I called over the waiter and he offered up a salad as an alternative which I reluctantly accepted. Shortly after the same Mater D came running up to my table apologizing for the terrible soup and insisted to make it up with another menu choice. My first thought was he needed a Huge breath mint as his breath was that of halitosis. At that point my Dinner was ruined and we left immediately. Moving forward we really enjoyed our destinations, Which were Grand Cayman, Routan, Key West and Cozumel. The ship was very clean, The bartender "Leo" was excellent, But the Italians and europeans working on the ship treated my Wife and I like second class citizens. Specifically Customer Service. (NOTE: Customer Service is not a term that is understood on this ship) I almost got into a tussle with a Euro in the Casino after winning a $500.00 jackpot on the Wheel of fortune machine that he had left a couple of minutes prior. Funny thing is that the Italian Employees on this ship must not realize that their Employer is Carnival International and it is an AMERICAN Company that owns it. I reflect back to how I was treated by many of their staff and get a laugh at who is paying their paycheck. This Cruise was a nightmare. After our bad experience in the dining room on the first night we opted for the Buffets, But they closed at 8:00pm and the remaining choices were pizza and salad OR salad and pizza, Take your pick!! So, In reviewing the Buffets I will start with Breakfast which the choices were smoked salmon and a Tilapia wrapped pickle "Really"? I can see that the Euros may have a palet for that but not us Yanks. Note to Costa, You are cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale, It would only make sense to design the menu around the preferences of American cuisine, Correct? Breakfast was only good if you had the omlette which had huge lines or the fruit. Either way, It was not good. Now we go to Lunch. Bottom line it was terrible. The squid salad was served daily without change and every day it got a little more distastful and rotten as the week progressed. In summary of this waste of money, I would only recommend that people who are considering a cruise with Costa, To spend it with a Cruise line that really knows how to treat their Customers. IE: Royal Carribean or Princess. Sincerely One Very Disappointed Yankee! Read Less
Costa Mediterranea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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