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Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at ... Read More
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at major cities where you should take local fjords tours, which are pricy as everything in Norway. This cruise had excellent itinerary, I could not wish to be better. First of all - it started in Amsterdam harbour, which is in about 40 min taxi from Airport. We took this opportunity to explore town of Harlem, with is absolutely beautiful and provides very different experience in compare to crowded touristic Amsterdam. Embarkation was fine except one of our suitcases was never delivered to the cabin and we picked it up by ourselves, staying lonely by the elevators :) First ship impression - WOW! we never saw such kitch before. Do not believe anyone, who wrote this ship design was impressed by Italian castles. It was rather impressed by Gipsy kings houses and made by people, who never saw anything produced in Italy :) Despite its design, ship is very well structured and its quite easy to get where you want different ways. On-board experience - Costa cruises do promotions on their cruises very often, so never buy their cruise full price. In return everything on board is PRICY. Drinks are expensive, photos - very expensive, paying restaurants - expensive and price for SPA is over expensive. As result service staff is busy whole day, trying to catch customers for their services. Looks like Stambul market a bit and annoying as well. On the other side, you can always say no, which let you control your expenses. Only thing you can not avoid is ironing, which is expensive as well, and they do not let you to iron things by yourself :) Its strongly recommended to buy wine and water package as soon as you are on board or in advance. Internet - Costa has great option for unlimited Facebook, Instagram and messengers for only 5 Euro per day. Dining - though buffet on the upper floor was mostly disappointing as mentioned in many reviews, menu breakfast and evening dining at the main restaurant was superb! Dishes were on top restaurant quality and we really put on weight during the cruise as could not miss any course, some times asking for the same dish twice for the evening! 5 stars to the chef! Our evening waiter really provided us top service possible. Same time room service was good at the beginning, but starting from the middle of the trip made it worse and stop doing anything, even cleaning at all for last two days. Probably he expected to get a tip after two days? Needless to say he did not get anything. For excursions we used local company called Norwegian Excursions which I'm glad to recommend. Unfortunately we decided to use Costa Excursions for Stavanger and Bremen and it was complete disaster. First of all you can not neither complain nor get any refund. Excursion desk is always full with unsatisfied customers, but its written in their terms - no refund in any case, except full cancelation of the excursion by local provider! Costa acts as local provider agent and in case you are not satisfied with your experience, Costa may provide you with local provider details and you may send your complains directly to them. Costa sold us Fjord trip in Stavanger, stating its going to be small boat cruise, you'll go behind the waterfall with this boat, while sipping Prosecco with nice music, observing fjord though its glass roof. In fact local provider gave us a transport ferry, which is not even close to the promised small boat and not suitable for any excursions at all. Needless to say, Costa did not provided any refund. Excursion in Bremen lasted only 2 hours, despite this day stop in harbour is over 6 hours - I think they just save on buses. Best solution was just to go to harbour shopping center with local bus. Fellow passengers complained on other excursions as well.. Some did not book any excursions at all, always choosing the ones in local ports - good idea! Ship has very good disco room, which starts to work as disco at midnight acting as teen zone before this time. Entertainment was mostly different dancing performances which is not in our style, though Roberto Sinagoga signing performance was really impressive. Animators team was great and do perfect job! Summary: If you buy your cruise with discount, avoid Costa Spa and excursions, there is good possibility to enjoy Costa cruise even with few cocktails every day. Tipping your cabin attendant at the beginning might be a good idea. Quickly on ports - Bergen - nothing to do except little old district and tourist fish market, If weather permits, take funicular uphill (buy tickets through internet to avoid cue) and hike up there - they have beautiful nature trails there. Stavanger - considered to be most beautiful city in Norway. Probably it is. We downloaded map of Stavanger graffiti festival and did our own city quest searching for different graffities - it was amazing! Alesund - Troll wall is not quite interesting, and troll road is a must! nothing to do in town itself, though we do good shopping of local tourist equipment in local outdoor outlet. Geiranger - Just took standard excursion, which should including mount Danisba (or something like that) and 7 sisters view point. Avoid hope on bus - it won't take you there. Olden - Piece of glacier you see is quite small though road to it is fun despite crowded. You can get there with Norway Excursions as well as take excursion in the harbour. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was an Emirates flight from LHR to Dubai. It was an overnight flight that landed in Dubai at 6am. In hindsite, this was the wrong choice as embarkation didn't start until 8pm and it turned out to be a long day. Still the flight itself was very good and we were impressed with Emirates. Embarkation ----------- This is where it all went a bit wrong. Our embarkation ticket stated 8pm as the boarding time which seemed a tad on the late side compared to a normal cruise. A quick google suggested that if you turn up at around 3pm, they would let you on. However imagine the dismay when we (and many other people) turned up in the afternoon to be told that 8pm was the hard and fast time and so we had to wait for 5 hours in the cruise terminal. Turns out this was because Friday (the day we embarked) is a holiday in the UAE and therefore the immigration control officials were only available from 8pm, hence the time. Can't really blame Costa for this I guess, but it's something to note. Cabin ----- We had cabin 7290 which was classed as a suite 'S' Cabin. It was a very nice size and was quite a bit bigger than a standard balcony cabin, so we were very pleased. Dining ------ Because we were in a suite, we were allowed to eat in the club restaurant (Club Medusa) free of charge for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We didn't eat in the MDR, so can offer no opinion. We also tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times, but found the choice very limited. Club Medusa was very nice and the choice varied daily. The wine choice was also very good and you could try the wine to see if you liked it first. They try to sit you in the same area each day so you have the same waiters which helps build the relationship. It was also fairly quiet and you don't need to book ahead as suite guests. This was certainly one of the suite 'extras' that helped make the cruise that bit more special. Entertainment ------------- This is one area where both Italian cruise lines (MSC & Costa) fall short compared to American and British lines. The daily activities are very limited and evening shows are centred around song and dance and acrobat routines. I guess it's the language issues that are the cause. The good things of note were the live bands and the animation team. Dress Code ---------- We had lots of varied dress codes on our cruise. We had informal, Gala, Italian, Arabian and white nights, although many people adopted informal for the whole cruise. It was all good fun. The only gripe was that nowhere on the pre-cruise documents stated what was on offer, so you couldn't preplan what to pack. Ports ----- A cruise around the UAE all pretty much stop at the same ports. The main ones on our cruise were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island. Ship ---- Having just been on the MSC Preziosa, the Costa Mediterranea looked and felt like an older ship in comparison. We experienced some very rough vibrations in our cabin whenever the stern thrusters were used and there was a constant vibration from the engines all over the ship when at sea. Nothing to bad to spoil the holiday, but not something I ever remember experiencing on any other ship. Suite Extras ------------ As we were in a suite cabin, we were entitled to a number of 'extras'. They were :- - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in the Club restaurant (see above) - Complimentary Intenditore drinks package. This is the top level one and pretty much every drink is included (apart from super expensive). You also get drinks loaded in your minibar. - Exclusive activities. We are invited to a couple of cocktail parties with the captain, but didn't attend due to the timings. - Complementary room service etc. We had breakfast in our room a couple of times, but other than that, didn't really test the room service. Disembarkation -------------- This was very smooth. We were free to leave the ship at any time up to 1pm and collect our luggage from the terminal. Perhaps this is something unique to the UAE cruises. Port to Airport --------------- Grabbed one of the many taxis from the terminal. Tooks roughly 20 minutes and cost 55 Dirhams (£11). Overall ------- No one can argue that Costa are not good value for money (much like MSC) but of course that means that certain aspects of the cruise are 'budget restricted' like the food and entertainment. It is also very Italian orientated (not unsurprisingly). However as long as you accept these limitations, then you can certainly enjoy yourselves. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I'll begin saying that every single cruise I have made so far has been a great experience, and this one is no exception. But as this is a review, I should also point out that compared to other cruise lines and ships, this one was ... Read More
I'll begin saying that every single cruise I have made so far has been a great experience, and this one is no exception. But as this is a review, I should also point out that compared to other cruise lines and ships, this one was somewhat disappointing. The good This baltic itinerary is wonderful! Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersbourgh and Tallinn are all wonderful places to see. There was always enough time to visit (2 days for st Petersbourgh and Stockholm) and only one day at sea, which is perfect. Our waiter at the restaurant was great: incredibly professional and efficient, it made our dinners a great experience. We had a guaranteed balcony cabin, and were upgraded to a "Balcony Premium". Really nice cabin, enjoyed great views. Took the airplane with them, and except for a delay on the way back, everything was organized perfectly. The bad The buffet was a nightmare: it felt like a battle every time you got into there. Poorly managed, very low quality, no rules enforced (not even basic hygene), lines everywhere. Also, no drinks at all except for breakfast and tea (16.30 / 17.30). Only water throughout the day: no coffee, no tea, nothing. Asked for hot water, told to get to the bar and pay for a tea. Closed for most of the day. Waiters looked like they didn't want to be there, and some of them were downright rude. It's a pity because most of the crew is hard working and really nice. I think management is to blame for that. I've travelled with NCL, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC, and this was by far the worst buffet I've ever seen. One of the things I love about cruises is the evening shows at the theater. Well, the shows there were so boring! This is a pity because dancers were pretty good, but overall it seemed there was no direction. A couple of times I went out before the end of the show. I didn't like the ship. Everything seemed a bit "cheap". Plastic everywhere, fake flowers, fake statues, fake columns, fake everything. Also, rather dark and not the cleanest I've seen. The gym opened relatively late (7 am), and was not kept clean at all. Rules were not enforced (like everywhere else) so that some people were walking on the tapis roulant for hours, with people behind them waiting or having to argue. Lines there as well. On the other hand I should mention the the instructor was very good. Overall I wouldn't consider Costa for my next cruises and would't recommend them, unless for a VERY good deal and a great itinerary. Not because it's a bad experience by itself (it isn't), but because any other mainstream cruise line I've travelled with is simply better for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Crew and staff are very nice and all the Port excursions are well organised in different languages. Food is very good , especially Italian food, Entertainment is awesome during the cruise. Cabin comfort is good although it was an ... Read More
Crew and staff are very nice and all the Port excursions are well organised in different languages. Food is very good , especially Italian food, Entertainment is awesome during the cruise. Cabin comfort is good although it was an inside cabin, next time it will be one with a balcony. Overall the cruise exceed my expectation. Looking forward for the next one in the Mediterranean next year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors everywhere. We had cabin 6109. The service was amazing. The man that was cleaning our cabin was so polite. The dining on the second deck was amazing. I was wondering how they could serve so tasty food to thousand people "a la carte". The waiters were amazing...so polite! What impressed me the most was the guy and the team in charge with the entertainment!! I remember his name! Louis...was everywhere...dancing...singing... presenting...amazing humor and energy! But what amazed me the most was the assistant bar manager: Pantelis Zoografos! What a personality! I am a marketer and maybe I evaluate different than other people but his eyes were everywhere, ready to offer his services, to say a joke or to say something nice! Make me wonder if this man was born for this job or maybe the job was invented for him!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My wife and I wanted a good price, port visits to places we had not visited (Genoa, Herculaneum and Valleta, Malta) and a return visit after 30 years or so to Barcelona. We had spent 2 nights on our own long ago in downtown Palermo, but ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a good price, port visits to places we had not visited (Genoa, Herculaneum and Valleta, Malta) and a return visit after 30 years or so to Barcelona. We had spent 2 nights on our own long ago in downtown Palermo, but knew there was more to see. Costa offered all the right ports and a good price. MSC Cruises had a much larger ship (3200 passengers vs 2100), visited Rome, not Naples, and had roughly similar reviews to Costa.and similar prices. Ship size and Herculaneum (Naples) made Costa the obvious choice Some reviews said the Mediterranea was over-decorated. It is bright and colorful inside, but we quickly got used to the colors and other eye-catchers. Soon the decorations added to the fun we were having. Languages posed no probem. We got the daily bulletin in English, our cabin steard (Remudia) spoke good English, as did our dinner waiter (Raj) and most other staff members we spoke with. Our excursions were in English and either German or Spanish. The ship has hospitality desk employees whose first language is English and German and at least French. Not sure about Spanish. We enjoyed the food (not counting a cheeseburger with a dried bun at the pool buffet.) We lived in Germany for 9 years long ago and traveled as often as we could across Europe so cold breakfast was no surprise. We were happy with the cold buffet breakfast for 4 days, mixed with a variety of hot eggs and meat breakfasts in the main dining room the other 3 days. Coffee, tea and juices were all free at breakfast. Like on land in Europe, coffee, tea and water were not free at other meal times. Variety was okay at lunch and dinner menus, food quality and service were excellent at dinner. We bought their lunch and dinner wine package. My wife almost always drinks red wine, even with fish, while I pair red food with red wine and fish or cream pasta dishes with white wine. Our wine package came by the glass, not full bottles, so each of us could drink the wine we wanted. Both red and white were nice wines and getting 2 or 3 refills was no problem. We booked an excursion to la Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona on the morning we were to disembark. That tour could have complicated our disembarkment, but the Enlish language host and the Excursion Desk supervisor made it easy. We got our passports early, took all our baggage to the tour bus and left the tour by the Columbus statue at the port. No need to reboard the ship or get bags at the ship terminal. A 10 Euro cab ride later, we are at our hotel for 3 more nights in Barcelona. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
It was for our 40th anniversary. We had never been on a cruise and we absolutely loved it. We had a wonderful suite at the back of the ship with a large deck. It was spectacular. Of course now we had already raised the bar to the top so we ... Read More
It was for our 40th anniversary. We had never been on a cruise and we absolutely loved it. We had a wonderful suite at the back of the ship with a large deck. It was spectacular. Of course now we had already raised the bar to the top so we will have to lower it for future cruises, I am sure! But it was worth every dime. The crew were lovely. We knew what we were getting into with an Italian ship vs. American and we wanted the European experience. Almost everyone could speak English, some a little hard to understand, but we worked it out! The ship was gorgeous. A review I read said gaudy, but it was beautiful in my regard. Lots of Murano glass. The food was spectacular, the wait staff exquisite on the 10th deck restaurant, and special cudos to Jenifer. She was exceptional in every way, a good soul in and out. She was very intuitive and kind. Lots of great dancing music. The shows were spectacular, the theatre space was wonderful. My spa experiences were great. I would recommend Esther for a wonderful full body massage. I would absolutely recommend Adella for a pedicure. She was great. I have a hard time with a pedicure as my feet are particularly ticklish. She was able to massage and scrub away and I had no problems with tickling. We had a little trouble with the air-conditioning in our cabin the first day or two, but staff was very attentive and made sure it was fixed. We loved the fresh fruit in our room everyday. The ports of call were great. We didn't get to Katakolon because of bad weather, but we experienced such a great time at the other ports we did not miss it. Of course I would rather have been safe than sorry. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We wanted an Adriatic cruise with great destinations and ports. This cruise delivered spectacular views and 7 ports of call. The positives included the amazing food and service at the restaurants. The shows were excellent as well with the ... Read More
We wanted an Adriatic cruise with great destinations and ports. This cruise delivered spectacular views and 7 ports of call. The positives included the amazing food and service at the restaurants. The shows were excellent as well with the singers and dancers being professional and enthusiastic. Best stops included Split, Corfu and Venice. Sailing out of Kotor was a great experience to watch the boat maneuver through the fjords. Announcements were in many languages which you expect for a European cruise and it became quite easy to manage after a while. The staff are courteous and professional and helpful in every circumstance. The boat is very beautiful and brightly decorated. The ship has started to charge for late night food and for things like pizza so that was a turn off. The pools were small and constantly overrun with children as were the so called hot tubs. Even the adult only pool was crawling with kids as young as 3. These are things that the ship and company could fix and earn a much higher rating from me. Overall a very good experience Read Less
62 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Hi, We are an English couple, 60 years of age who have just completed our first Costa cruise. This was on Costa Mediterranea, 7 days down the Dalmatian coast in late April 2016. To put our comments in context I should add that we have ... Read More
Hi, We are an English couple, 60 years of age who have just completed our first Costa cruise. This was on Costa Mediterranea, 7 days down the Dalmatian coast in late April 2016. To put our comments in context I should add that we have previously cruised with Cunard, MSC, Princess and Celebrity. If you have experience of different cruise lines you will know that each has its own individual character and indeed its own strengths and weaknesses that make it quite difficult to rank them fairly. However one thing is clear, Costa would comfortably come bottom of the list unless of course you were focusing on value for money. In that ranking Costa can easily come to the table. Our Costa cruise cost £450 pounds each for 7 days. Included in the package was an upgrade from a basement cabin to one with a window (which opened) and a magnificent view of our own personal lifeboat, useful of course should the Captain choose to show off to his girlfriend. In addition we had Easy Jet flights and a two night stay in Mestre (for Venice ) thrown in as a freebie. This is cruising on the “very cheap” indeed. To be fair what should you expect for that money? So how do Costa do it? Well they do it by cutting corners. Some you hardly notice , many other savings are more glaring. For example while there is a show every night, there is no live band, only taped music. I found the dancers and performers to be excellent but the direction and production of all but two shows to be staggeringly amateurish. You could only watch dancers for so long do a routine, do a quick costume change and come out and repeat it, again and again and I do mean again! If you like euro pop, quite loud and continuous you will love Costa. If you like classical music you will search in vain. If you like quiet you have to search hard. Our cabin on the 4th floor bounced along nicely from 11pm to the early hours to the base riffs of euro pop elsewhere in the ship which we were clearly supposed to be enjoying. However this is a ship that appeals to the youngest clientele we have experienced. Two thing strike you immediately when you come on board the Costa Mediterania. The first is that this is a modern, quite brash ship in excellent condition in all respects. The second is that the air quality is poor and even main areas can be a little smelly. We have never noticed this on any other cruise line but it is unmistakable on Costa. We often played the “What does it smell like now game?". Fish was usually the winning perfume. It was fine in our cabin however. Food was unreliable. While there were two sittings in the formal dining room there was a drive for efficiency over quality resulting in everything being placed on your dish or plate prior to serving. To be fair some of the food served in this fashion was good (beef once excellent) but some was poor. I had some chicken that was impossible to cut. Nothing was said however and it was quietly replaced with another choice by attentive staff. If food was 10/10 on say Celebrity and 7/10 on Cunard then you would give this 4/10 overall varying between 1 and 7 ( some sweets and cakes 10/10). It was OK but the illusion of fine dining , enjoyed on all other cruise lines, was completely gone unless you obtained a VIP table. There are no formal evenings. If you put a DJ on, you would be given a drink order. There are two special nights a week (wear something white or where the colours of the Italian Flag - but only about 40% bothered) The worst meals were breakfasts. Cooked food was only available in the main dining room and if you ordered for example an English breakfast it arrived looking like tired airline food. Surely people only ordered this once? (the Norwegian breakfast was fresh, had smoked salmon and was good!) During formal dining, people were crammed into the main dining room and with the truly international flavour of the customers , one could fine oneself surrounded by people only conversing in foreign tongues - - - a problem, if like me your French and German are limited. We found the Germans who predominated to be friendly and very prepared to give their English a go for a bit. I found it just too crowded and claustrophobic. Because of this and absolutely not because we felt unwelcome, I decided to tip appropriate staff and find my way to a quiet table for two from day 2. Tipping on these ships is mandatory and automatically added to your bill (at 9 Euros per head per day on this trip). I found additional cash tipping to be very effective, maybe because it is unusual. Try it should you need anything done. Most people talked about buying the all inclusive drinks package as a must for these cruises as free water, and coffee were in scarce supply and the drinks were quite expensive. Of these accusations, I only found the free coffee (breakfast only) to be in short supply. I had no trouble with water which was available 24/7 maybe not everywhere but at least somewhere on the ship. I had two refilled bottles in my fridge most of the time. Drinks are cheap for a cruise. In the wine list basic choices start at 20 Euros plus 15% and go up to about 55 euros. (Cunard would die of shock) Cocktails are about 7.45 euro plus 15% , beer from about 3.5 Euros (small) and coffee from about 2 euros plus 15%. At these prices, with the all inclusive packages at about 58 euros for two, per day, I calculated I would have to drink quite heavily and consistently to make a package an economic choice. Furthermore there are openly available promotions. One night we had a bottle of white wine in the dining room for 11 Euros and two cocktails (pina coladas) for 9.99 Euros plus 15% for two. If you are happy to be directed to the bargain offers then this must be the cheapest way to drink on board. Official water bottles are about 3.5euros per litre. The cocktails were not as good as on other cruise lines. Sometimes there was plenty of spirit included and little else. For example, I had a margarita that was unrecognisable (did not contain the ingredients in the cocktail list) but was certainly strong enough! Other times they seemed very thin. I found this hard to explain bearing in mind there were specific cocktail staff. What was going on? Our room was excellent and the bed fresh and pleasant but very noisy at night (4th floor front ) . The bathroom is up to size but smells a little stale at times (not of sewage etc.) Air temperature worked well. All staff were very helpful, approachable and polite. To my surprise my waitress insisted on dancing with me on the final night. Getting on and off was simple, easy and well organised. For me, best in class and well done. When I needed help I got it without queuing. Princess cruises, simply awful in this respect in my experience would do well to study how Costa do it. Would I Costa cruise again? Yes if the cruise had an itinerary like this one which was one of the best, stopping in a fresh and amazing place everyday. Would I cross the Atlantic with them? Absolutely not. Was it good value? Yes Did we have a good time? Yes . Is it a very different cruise experience ? Yes it is. Hope that helps....... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
After reading some reviews we were slightly aprehensive about the cruise but l can honestly say l don't know what people want. It's an Italian line so they do it Italian style which is fun, laid back with a relaxing atmosphere. A ... Read More
After reading some reviews we were slightly aprehensive about the cruise but l can honestly say l don't know what people want. It's an Italian line so they do it Italian style which is fun, laid back with a relaxing atmosphere. A real change from the stuffed shirts of Princess & Royal Carribean that we have been on before. There's nothing wrong with that but don't expect that on this ship. So much to look at with the vibrant decor. A real feast for the eyes. There's a wide range of nationalities in both staff and passengers, which is great. The staff were all cheerful, helpful and friendly, a real credit to the ship. Our steward was lovely and kept our cabin spotlessly clean. The cabin was the largest inside we've had on any previous cruise with plenty of storage. The food in the dining room was outstanding, as good as if not better than we've had previously. The buffet was nice although we only dined there twice. We don't do shows so can't comment but some of the other entertainment in the bars was ok. The only criticisms l have is the embarkation was chaotic, but there was hurricane strength winds blowing so we wasn't in any rush to board. Also the cabin was very warm even with AC at it's coolest. It was a fabulous cruise and we will definitly be returning. Exceptional value for money. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross ... Read More
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross with luggage. The ship didn't dock in Venice the morning we were supposed to embark due to fog. We went early to the terminal to see what we were supposed to do and they put us on a bus to Trieste. Was a nice ride about an hour and a half. All very well managed and I actually really enjoyed the extra time in Trieste since I've never been before. Once on the ship we found our cabin. We booked an interior but were upgraded to a balcony..nice. I'm so glad the reviews on here didn't put me off from going with Costa because it was a really great trip and awesome value. We have spend 3x as much at mediocre resorts so this was really a surprise. So you know where I'm coming from...I'm American and my husband is Italian, I have lived in Italy and France the last 10 years just to give you an idea of my background. I thought the food was great (I wasn't expecting Michelan star fare though) and even my husband who is the worlds biggest food critic (thanks to his mamma) loved it too. Sure it isn't 5 star but it's good. The breakfast buffet isn't your American brunch but I didn't have trouble finding something to eat at all (donuts, croissants, fruits...) if you do want American stuff get room service. I did it one morning just to try and got a huge amount of French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict for just 5 euro. The best lunch was when the chefs set us a pasta demonstration near the central pool. There was 5-6 different pastas and all were soooo good. I found you do have to look around the different buffets to find different things. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch in the mdr so I can't comment on them. The drink package is defintely worth it even if you don't drink tons of alcohol. I had no problems paying for a few bottles of water here and there for the room, but could easily get glasses of water free with my drink package from any bar or in the mdr. I did not have the USA water thing because I didn't book through the us site. I didn't notice the "lack of personal space" or rude cultural differences everyone always mentions in Costa reviews, but maybe after living here so long I don't notice it. Everyone stayed in the lines and were patient. The staff were awesome! Everyone always smiling and greeting you by name. That was impressive. I do wonder if I had a better time because I speak Italian and French though. I got to know a lot of people and staff because of that. But there were other English only speakers around and seemed to be having a great time too. We also had no problem asking the maitre d to change us to late dinner when we saw we were assigned to the early seating. He also happily changed us to an Italian speaking table (you can request anything language wise or just a table for 2). The gala night was fun and people dressed up in everything from gowns to just nice pants/ dress shirts or even just normal clothes. It was a great time. The only bummer was the club medusa. We paid to eat there one night with our table mates from the mdr and the food was just ok...I actually liked the menu in the mdr a lot more, so I don't recommended it. Everything else was fabulous and we booked our next cruise on the diadema the 3rd day in on this cruise lol. I say you need to try it for yourself..some of the reviews on here sound so crazy after I have actually been on the ship now. Someone said on here people must have hugh and unrealistic expectations to leave such extremely negative reviews. It was my first cruise but not my last with Costa! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
האכזבה היתה מיד כשהגענו לקבלה. כששאלתי את פקידת השירות למה צריך לשלם יותר כדי לדעת מספר החדר אמרה שלא היה ולא נברא. תוך כדי דיבור ... Read More
האכזבה היתה מיד כשהגענו לקבלה. כששאלתי את פקידת השירות למה צריך לשלם יותר כדי לדעת מספר החדר אמרה שלא היה ולא נברא. תוך כדי דיבור הבנו שבמשרד הנסיעות הישראלי בארץ ביקשו מאתנו להוסיף 50$ כדי לקבל מספר חדר ולבחור שעה במסעדה. התברר לנו מהפקידה שאין דבר כזה. קוסטה לא מבקשת תוספת מחיר וכולם מקבלים מלכתחילה את מספר החדש ויכולים לבחור את השעה הרצויה להם לארוחת הערב. כשרצינו למחרת לקנות תיק באחת החנויות נאמר לנו שהכרטיס שלנו חסום. שוב עמדנו בתור לקבלה ושם ביקשו מאיתנו 300 יורו להפקיד ללא קשר העלות של התיק. כמובן שלא הסכמנו. כשביקשנו לקנות עם הסכום שהיה בכרטיס מהקזינו את התיק נאמר לנו לשלם בקבלה 300 יורו למרות שהסכום בקזינו היה גדול יותר מסכום התיק. קנינו בעגינה הראשונה בחוף בחנות. ככה לא עובדים!!! בארוחת ערב לא חילקו מים רגילים. ביקשו גם על מים תשלום. לנו הובטח שיהיה בארוחת ערב מים. השירות בחדר היה נפלא. ואני רוצה לציין שהבחור שהיה אחראי היה מקסים. המבחר בארוחת הבוקר קפה עלוב. מבחר בשרים בארוחת בוקר רק חזיר. לא עוף ולא בקר. על קפה אספרסו נתבקשנו לשלם 3 יורו לא כולל מס. כשהבנו שגם מסים שילמנו לחוד אז מהו המס על הקפה שאלתי? אמרו לי "שירות". אבל שילמנו הרי 17 יורו כל יום שירות!!! עם חברת קוסטה אני סיימתי. לא אמליץ בישראל ולא לחברים ומשפחה בחו"ל. אני מציעה לשפר את מה שצריך ולתת הרגשה טובה לאורחים כי אנחנו משלמים מחיר טוב מאד והקמצנות הקטנונית הזו לא מתאימה לנו ולא כדאית לכם. The disappointment was when we arrived reception immediately. When I asked the receptionist service Why should I pay more to know the room number she never existed. While talking we realized that the Israeli travel office in the country asked us to add 50 $ to get a room number and select a time in the restaurant. We learned that the secretary is no such thing. Costa does not seek extra cost and they get the first place the new number and can choose the time you want them to dinner. The next day when we wanted to buy a bag in a shop we were told our card is blocked. Again we stood in line to receive there asked us to deposit 300 euros regardless of the cost of the case. Of course we did not agree. When we asked to buy a card with the amount that the casino case we were told to pay 300 euros despite acceptance Casino amount was greater than the sum bag. We bought the first dock on the beach in the store. So do not work !!! Dinner no water. we were requested to pay. We were promised to have at dinner - water. Room service was wonderful. I would like to mention the guy in charge was lovely. breakfast selection poor. only pork. No chicken or beef. The espresso we were asked to pay 3 euros excluding tax. When we realized that we paid taxes separately so what is the tax on coffee, I asked? They told me "service". But we paid the 17 euros each day of service !!! with Costa company I finished. I would never recommand friends and family . I suggest to improve what is necessary and give the visitors a good feeling that we pay a very good price and petty meanness that does not suit us and not worthwhile for you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer ... Read More
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer without a cooked breakfast or egg options. Staff is friendly and attentive what indeed makes it better. The cruise is kept clean and you can see staff cleaning constantly. The entertainment is good and the organizers are respectful when people do not want to participate and the events are family friendly. We have been told that kids only 30 euros what seems really good. Pizza restaurant for dinner was excellent Negatives. We booked a cabin with a window and got and internal one. you will receive millions of emails check them a be sure that it reflects your booking. Embarking was not very good organized but if you arrive early you will no t have much delays. First language is Italian. Even thought they translate you will have to be patient. Some of the girls in costumer service are not very nice to address problems and bring solutions. We needed to use the internet which didn't work well in the business area, we were charged double and have to wait until the cancellation of the overcharged was authorized. ( half day) If you register to use internet be aware 3euro hidden charge. If you buy the all inclusive package as well be careful 36 euros per service surcharge never disclosed. Food in the buffet is good but people do not queue and it is very busy. Probably cultural clash but it can be stressful Adults only pool was full of kids but in the second day they controlled more. First two days almost impossible. If you want to have a chair to lay down it is impossible. Most of Italians put their towels to reserve the space 4 hours prior actual use. The best way I to skip a day in the port and enjoy the quiet Hope this is useful for you and if you are patient and want a good value costa is the way to go but expect places to be busy and mostly check the charges before accepting payment. The itinerary was good and I enjoyed the music and the sit downs dinners. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our 4th time with Costa and each time it exceeds our expectations. Being a coral member we were offered a free upgrade to an ocean view cabin and received fruit and Bubbly in our cabin on arrival. I was a little apprehensive ... Read More
This was our 4th time with Costa and each time it exceeds our expectations. Being a coral member we were offered a free upgrade to an ocean view cabin and received fruit and Bubbly in our cabin on arrival. I was a little apprehensive about what the ship would be like, but it was lovely and very tastefully decorated. I really don't understand why Costa often gets negative reviews, as the service is always impeccable, meals superb and the all inclusive drinks package is great value, I love the fact that the staff provide entertainment at meals times too, by singing and dancing. They really work hard to make you cruise a memorable occasion. The itinerary was fantastic too and we saw some fabulous places Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
This was my 5th cruise and BY FAR the worst cruise I've ever taken, which is a shame because it was my wife and I's honeymoon. This was her first cruise ever. Needless to say, she doesn't ever want to take one again. Told ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise and BY FAR the worst cruise I've ever taken, which is a shame because it was my wife and I's honeymoon. This was her first cruise ever. Needless to say, she doesn't ever want to take one again. Told her not to judge cruise after being on the Mediterranea. Issues started upon arrival. As any cruiser knows, upon entering your room you usually find your room key cards for the stateroom Our two room key card belonged to the room next to us. We could get in and out of our room after brining in our luggage and getting situated for a few hours. Had to go to guest services and explain to them what happened. They made us two new key cards and we could finally get back into the room and use them for drinks/food etc. I'm sure it was just an honest mistake, but a mistake none the less. To try and keep this review short and to the point...food was just terrible everyday/every night. Very disappointed. Food was catered to the Italian pallet, since about 80% of the ship were Italians from Italy, or French, Dutch, or German. There were some Canadians and Americans, but they were hard to find. Did meet some English speaking Italians and we asked if the food is like this in Italy, and they said, Oh noooo, not ever close. Even the waiter and bartenders said the food had taken a turn for the worst since the Concordia accident. I was urged by our own waiter during the dinner sessions to complain about the food or nothing would ever get fixed. How awful is that?...No food on the entire ship after 6:30pm for the rest of the night (except for your assigned dinner). The only thing was a pizza bar (that was the worst pizza in the history of mankind with only ever two choices to pick from, cheese or pesto) and they charged $8.00 per person to get it. What a joke. It was hard to ever get or order water/ice. Sometimes the bartenders would give you a glare or a snark remark about ordering water and glass of ice. Ice cream machines were never working properly, almost all food was bread, bread, and more bread. Food choices were slim and almost always the same. Drink prices were pretty high. Stopped getting them after the 3rd day and drank on the islands we visited. Entertainment was highly lacking and pretty disappointing. The acrobats were actually good. Most shows were bad. High school talent show competition bad. Basically it was just music and dancing on the deck every evening with the same music over and over again. Not many fun games/no comedian/cost $20 to buy 1 bingo card/etc etc. We found ourselves checking out playing cards and playing rummy for the last 5-6 days to keep us entertained. Some of the quizzes were fun. Hot tubs were always cold or luke warm. However, the Turkish spa on the men's side in the massage/gym area were about the only highlight of the ship. The hot steam sauna and dry rock sauna were excellent. The massage staff was nice and we did get a massage which was excellent. Kudos to the massage staff folks for doing a good job. The internet never worked on the ship. The library where the computers were were always down or booted you off while trying to login. It was just as bad with the wifi access (that they charged you for to use at a crappy price per minute) on your phones to use. The T.V. signal had 4 channels and they were always crackling and fading in an out. Could never watch a show or any program because every few seconds there was a signal issue the entire cruise if you ever just wanted to stay in the room to relax). We also weren't aware that this was a non-English speaking guest ship. There were 6 languages on the ship, so announcements took forever to be repeated over and over again in all languages. Hard to meet and talk to anyone. I have to say, the French, Germans, Canadians were all nice and ok, but the Italians (with the exception of a few good apples) were terrible. Very pompous, rude, arrogant, etc. They'd walk passed you in the hall and bump into you constantly without ever saying excuse me or sorry. They would bum rush the elevator door every time it would open instead of letting the people on the elevator already on it, off. How rude. Most of them would get up around 6-7 am on days at sea, and go lay their pool towels out on pool chairs to reserved them for their family/friends and disappear. Half the time you couldn't find a pool chair on the pool decks because they were all taken by people that weren't there, or would leave an come back all day. We did have a good waiter and assistant waiter at our dinner seating. Very nice and polite. When the food was bad, he'd offer to bring us something else or make something off menu for us which we appreciated. We had to special request butter for the bread every night!, it was always just oil and vinegar. Special requested natural water as well, as it was always either wine, coffee, or sparkling water. So much for short and sweet, but find yourself another cruise line and ship to go on. I'm sure I left a few things out, lol....This will be our first and last Costa Cruise ever!!! 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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