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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
6 ports in 10 days plus a rare opportunity to go to an Arab country. The itinerary was fantastic and the ports themselves met my expectations. As for the ship, well, that also met my rather low expectations. I had cruised once when I ... Read More
6 ports in 10 days plus a rare opportunity to go to an Arab country. The itinerary was fantastic and the ports themselves met my expectations. As for the ship, well, that also met my rather low expectations. I had cruised once when I was much younger and didn't really enjoy the experience of being trapped on a boat with people with questionable hygiene and d-list entertainers (hey, I've lived in some of the world's greatest cities and I have standards!). The hygiene and manners of my fellow cruise goers was still suspect (yes, let's ignore the don't put your dirty water bottles near the water dispenser signs) and the entertainment wasn't even third rate. The bar staff was quite nice but the hospitality staff, well, wasn't, particularly the Russian speaking one. On the last day when we were getting our passports back, she kept insisting a passport was mine when it wasn't (honey, that woman in the passport is thin and white and 70 years old and let's just say I'm neither white, nor 70 nor even thin). Took 4 excursions. The day in Provence was nice, although I would have preferred to have had time for lunch on my own dime rather than the awful sandwiches. The tour guide was quite professional and competent although she spent too much time talking about Van Goh. Marrakech was excellent and the guy made sure we were all safe. Cadiz was godawful. Some Dutch Jorah Mormont look alike was disorganized, had us drinking alcohol at 9:30am, and told way too many awful jokes. After that excursion, I didn't really want another one but they wouldn't let me cancel, so I was stuck with some failed kindergarten teacher in Valencia. Really, a bridge? Are we 4? The good news is, you can avoid all the bad stuff. There's plenty of time offshore so you can avoid your fellow passengers. With the exception of Casablanca, You don't have to do an excursion to get around the city. When you focus on what you really came for, the ports, it really is a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
I choose this cruise for the visit to Naples. I was disappointed with the food. too me the buffet was very blan and the dinners where not anything special. If the cooking was Italian at it´s best then I would query this. The ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the visit to Naples. I was disappointed with the food. too me the buffet was very blan and the dinners where not anything special. If the cooking was Italian at it´s best then I would query this. The organization was lacking on the cruise. The cabin was very reasonable. I thought that the decore of the Ship was very over powering and heavy making you feel very enclosed. The entertainment staff seamed to support firstly the Italians, the French ! I thought that the entertainment was very average. The tours were good. ONE WORD OF WARNING CHECK ALL THE AMOUNTS THAT WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOUR CREDIT CARD! Many mistakes were made with my account and I have not received a detailed invoice. Bcareful when booking tours and make sure that the correct ones are booked and charged I would thing again before I used Costa Cruises. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all ... Read More
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all wine, beer and water was free at lunch and dinner, nice surprise if you had already bought a drinks package. Boarding was shambolic, poor directions at port, no indication of where to go or where to deposit luggage. Once on board directed to level 9 for lunch but no indication that cabin was ready, only found out hours later from conversation with other guests after hanging around the buffet for ages. No option for dinner other than the 6pm (too early) or 8.30pm (too late) sittings, or pay for a pizza or burger on level 9. Suffered minor cold and sniffles, (which ran rampant around the ship) but forgot to pack any aspirin. None available on board unless you pay 62 Euros to consult the doctor, most expensive aspirin ever. By the way you could buy condoms, so no headaches please. Library cramped and books difficult to access, internet exorbitantly expensive, 99 Euro for 3GB, my home satellite package is 60GB for about 30Euro, so that is quite a mark up. Food average, and repetitive, cabins reasonable (had a balcony on level 8), evening shows fair to poor. On board crew helpful and trying, problem seems to be management incompetence and general penny pinching. No English language news except CCTV (China) and Korean TV. No CNN or BBC, yet multiple Italian,German, Spanish stations. Did have CNN and BBC for first day or so them mysteriously disappeared. Official line is technical problems but suspect it is about the Dollars Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was ... Read More
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was quick and easy. Unfortunately, on our return, we were docked at the terminal extension, which is still under construction. While reasonably efficient, it's not much fun when it's raining and the temporary walkways are only partially covered. I have been on Atlantica, Mediterranea, Fortuna, Serena, Deliziosa and most recently Luminosa, three weeks in February this year. I have made several comparisons to Luminosa/Deliziosa. Grand Bar Piazza Italia Dance floor roughly semi-circular, base about 26', extending about 18' from stage. One-third the size I would have expected in a Costa Grand Bar, and not well maintained, overdue for refinishing. The floor was constantly crowded. Two groups playing continuously from 18.00 to 01.30, entirely satisfactory and like most Costa musicians, took pride in playing what passengers want to hear. There was a cruise staff activity each night around 22.30, often followed by line dancing. The male cruise staff frequently danced with passengers. The female staff danced with married men but pointedly avoided singles (not just me). Theatre. There is no theatre, Broadway shows are impossible. Shows are staged in Cabaret Vienna. Cabaret Vienna Dance floor 28' x 24'. A much better dance floor than the Grand Bar but still not up to Costa's normal standard. This is the primary show venue, with concerts, entertainers and cabaret-style shows, usually three shows per evening. Ballroom dancing was advertised one evening, a fiasco. The DJ was utterly clueless. The Cruise Director admitted several complaints and promised to do better next time. A second try was barely acceptable; there were only the two evenings and only for one hour. At 23.30, there would be a period of loud, obnoxious disco music to cater to the couple of dozen teens on board, but I believe it lasted only an hour. Salone Tango Disco. Dance floor oval, 20' x 12' Neither a disco nor a tango salone, this room did not seem to get much use. The keyboard player Doriano was good, but the latino group Paraguayos was among the worst I have heard on Costa. I understand one member of this group was leaving at the end of the cruise, so it would appear they are contract musicians rather than a fixed group. Enoteca wine & cheese bar. In its present form, a total flop. I intended to sample the cheese but never got around to it, the schedule conflicts directly with restaurant sittings. I cannot see how this concept can be made profitable. Food Service Restaurant Two traditional fixed dining times, 18.30 and 21.00. An Anytime option is available using part of the Giardino buffet seating area. Water is available (the magic word seems to be “carafe”) but coffee is included only at breakfast, extra-cost at dinner. Food service times can vary, you need to check the program daily. The food was entirely satisfactory for my admittedly simple tastes, however, allowing for local availability, the menus seemed identical to Luminosa. Capri grill Open for evening buffet most evenings til 21.00. The best I have seen on Costa, perfectly adequate for my tastes. But the seating area was limited, either open deck or downstairs. Capri Pizzeria. A charge of 7.50 euros per person for pizza which is no extra charge on other ships. Only available til midnight. Several times a special price, 4 Euros for one pizza was offered, suggesting the concept is not selling very well. Giardino buffet The food was again, perfectly adequate for my tastes, but not well organised. Separate hot and cold lines which are too close, causing constant traffic jams. No beverage stations, water glasses are in the bottom of the dessert station, very awkward. Dinner plates rather than the platters used on other ships, it seemed like I had to make at least 3 trips every time. Midnight buffet. Several times, there were waiters with trays in the lounges as is done on other ships. However, they passed through so quickly I never had a chance to find out what was available. Room service. Premium cabins have continental breakfast included, Classic cabins, 5 euro charge for full breakfast. 2 Euro charge for orders after breakfast. I did not order any room service. Club restaurant. 25 Euro per person service charge. As a Gold Pearl member I receive a complimentary visit. Portion sizes were quite large, but I did not find enough of an improvement to be worth paying the normal charge. The restaurant seats well over 100 people, it was nowhere near that busy. Samsara restaurant. Samsara dining (anytime seating with different menu) is available (note that Costa uses the term “Samsara” for several different things). Included with Samsara cabins but also available as premium dining. My Samsara experience in the past has been good, but I did not try this restaurant on this trip. Cabin. Inside guarantee, I was assigned a handicap cabin. This was the most awkward and badly arranged cabin I have seen since the NCL Epic studios. No reading or vanity lights, lighting was either on or off. Beds were jammed together end to end and could not be put together to make a double. There was a design fault in the closet doors which caused the bathroom door to jam, which has not been rectified even though the ship has been in service over a year. I was only able to visit other cabins briefly during debarkation, my impression was they are not as well laid out as Luminosa. Interactive TV Most messages and advertising are sent by interactive TV, greatly reducing waste paper. The new-message icon was not visible on most screens. Laundry. No self-serve laundry. Ship laundry prices seem comparable to shore prices. A 25 piece for 20 Euro special was offered later in the cruise. Squok Club. A Squok Club is available, open morning, afternoon and evening. It did not seem to be very large but I did not ask for any details. There were several families on board even though this was a off-season cruise. Smoking A smoking lounge is available. I did not see anyone smoking anywhere else on the ship. Language The English-language hostess said there were about 10% English-speaking. I would have guessed somewhat less; Costa tends to lump “other” together with English. Safety announcements are always done in English; the working language of the hotel staff is also English. I was told Costa marketing is trying to position this ship as “upscale”. There are a number of obvious design compromises due to the rebuilding which Costa has not really addressed. In several places, the passenger walkways are so narrow two people can barely pass. The pool area is not covered. The nickel-and-dime charges in food service do not fit an upscale image. The dance environment is the worst I have seen on any Costa ship. The floor in the Piazza Italia is completely inadequate in size and poorly maintained.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Ports of call. Port Louis, Mauritius, Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles), Nosy Be, Diego Suarez, Tamatave (all 3 in Madagascar) and St. Denis (Reunion). Travel to Port of Embarkation: With the long plane ride, I decided to stay in Mauritius for ... Read More
Ports of call. Port Louis, Mauritius, Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles), Nosy Be, Diego Suarez, Tamatave (all 3 in Madagascar) and St. Denis (Reunion). Travel to Port of Embarkation: With the long plane ride, I decided to stay in Mauritius for 5 days before the cruise (get rid of jet lag). I stayed at a guesthouse in Blue Bay (less touristy than other areas of Mauritius), and about a 45-minute taxi to Port Louis. Embarking: I have to admit it was the best embarkation ever! By the time the taxi dropped me off, I was on the ship within 15 minutes. (There was no line up when I arrived, so keep that in mind) Stateroom: I liked my stateroom, however, I had the worst sleeps on a cruise ship ever (and normally I get my best sleeps on cruises). It was noisy. The second week was the worst (would have been too late to try and change but my error for not trying to ask). Creaked all the time while sailing (I heard others say the same thing of their room). The cabin crew's workroom is behind my room so I heard noises from them. Ship and other miscellaneous: 1. Costa Romantica is a baby in size compared to other ships (53,000 tons) so less people BUT when it came to eating outside on the deck for lunch, it felt crowded then. 2. The one thing that I love about Costa is that the air conditioning isn't freezing. Unlike other ships, I didn't need a sweater! That was great! I do not like when the air condition is so cold. 3. There are five languages spoken (e.g. the cruise director announces the show in all those languages). The only thing that's done over the intercom in all the languages if the safety drill that all passengers must participate in. Anything else, they'll only announce if it pertains to the specific nationality, which didn't happen too often. 4. They took passports and kept them for the two weeks! I think that's a great idea as one less thing to worry about even though there is a safe in the room. 5. The biggest annoyance was the amount of kids on board and how misbehaved they were. Others who commented as well on the ship had not one favourable thing to say (comments such as: what kind of vacation is this for the kids; there was no way our kids would have gotten away with behaviour like that). I was advised by the social hostess to next time maybe ask for the demographics of the cruise. Others as well as I never thought we'd see so many kids on the cruise this time of the year (though I realize for the islands it's summer holiday but lot of kids were from Europe). 6. Our social hostess held a meeting (9:30 p.m.) the first evening at the same time I was having dinner (I wanted to see who my table mates were). I managed to get in the last 15 minutes and do a catch up the next day. 7. I ordered for myself 7 bottles of water and 4 bottles of wine as a package deal for 69 Euros (regular priced 107.) I thought that was a deal considering a glass of wine was Euros 6.00 plus service charge and a bottle of water was Euros 2.50 plus service charge. And for the two weeks I used all coupons except one for the water, which I gave away the last day to couple. 8. Tea, coffee and water (in the buffet area) are available all day. 9. Wait until you get ashore to use the Internet, way too expensive on the ship plus I heard from other people it's too slow! 10. Daily activities, but staff has to translate in the five different languages, which some people may like, or not have the patience to hear ... I honestly didn't mind but I didn't go to a lot of activities 11. Charged Euros 6.00 return for shuttle service in Port Louis (to the Cauldron Waterfront) and Tamatave (to the market). In Port Louis you could take the water taxi for Euros 1.00 (but no scheduled departure as they'll wait until they can fill the boat). Personally I don't think we should have been charged for the shuttle, but hey, that's business these days Dining: 1. I had the best tablemates ever!!!!!! We had a lot of laughs. 2. The food was good (I'm not a fussy eater). 3. The waiters were good, attentive. Hard workers! 4. The buffet breakfasts and lunches were good. Again I'm not a fussy eater. Entertainment: 1. The shows were OK, but like almost everywhere you go it's the same type of entertainment (not to take away from the talent of the young kids who work hard). I only went to 3 shows (the second last night was good with the other staff and one waiter was absolutely excellent he should be in the entertainment field.). 2. One night was local music/dance from Seychelles. That was OK. 3. There was entertainment before dinner in the Piazza Italiana ... was OK. Port/shore excursions 1. They dropped Kenya, which I found out two months earlier (3 days after I got yellow fever shot!). That was a disappointment. The cruise line extended Port Louis and Victoria each ½ day more and added Tamatave. I think what would have been better was stay overnight in Reunion (see points #4 & 5) or maybe added a port in South Africa. I think they could have skipped the Tamative port. 2. It was understandable due to heavy rain causing impassable road, all tour excursions in Nosy Be were cancelled (I was looking forward to my jeep tour)............ 3. ......... but they cancelled my tour in Reunion because not enough participation. I found out there were at least two or three others. They could have still gone on the tour and hired a small van. In fact, the half day tour to St Denis (which I thought would be the most popular) was cancelled as well! 4. The lecturer on the ship sucked for a lack of better word. I don't really need to hear a lot of history of a place as I can find out myself, but what he needed to tell us how to go about getting somewhere, what to do, etc. He messed up big time. With the ship docking very far away, he didn't give good directions on how to get to St. Denis from the ship. He was right that a cab would cost between 30 -50 Euros to get there. BUT he missed the boat when he told us it was a 20-minute bus ride costing Euro 1.40. Not so! It was a 20-minute bus ride to Le Port first at Euro 1.50 THEN about a half an hour bus ride to St Denis for Euro 1.40. Total approx. 1 ½ hrs. includes waiting for buses. The bus ride to St. Denis was scenic. 5. And sticking to St Denis, Reunion. Some of the passengers I talked to couldn't figure out why the ship had to dock so far away. It would have been nicer if they anchored near St. Denis and had tenders go in, or if that was not possible, then overnight in Reunion so we didn't have to feel rushed. 6. If you need to cancel your tour due to illness, forget getting your money back unless you go to the doctor first (which costs Euros 35.00) to get a medical certificate then you can get your tour refunded. Send in the medical bill to your insurance and see if you can get your money back. 7. The tour (Praslin/La Digue) was a disappointment for Euros 184. Yes, it was the ferry that was expensive I was told, but still. I felt like being herded like cattle couple of times. In La Digue, it would have been better to stay longer at Anse Source D'Argent beach with calming waters and more shade than Grand Anse beach (we had lunch here) hardly any shade which most people scrambled for under one tree or back inside where lunch was served until the next group of tourists came along to eat. I'm not a swimmer so waves were too strong for me. We only saw one thing on Praslin and were rushed through because we had to hurry and catch the ferry back. This tour was a real disappointment. 8. I booked my tours online simply to avoid line-ups. I don't think I'll do that again. I think I'll wait next time and if not, hook up with some people to share a cab ........ some did that and had fun ... you are taking chances though. Disembarking: 1. Luggage had to be outside your cabin the night before disembarking no later than 11 pm. Next day pick up the luggage at the dock. 2. I had to be out of the cabin by 7:30 am. Passport pick up was between 8-9 am (earlier in the morning for those that had to leave early). 3. Even though my plane didn't leave until seven that evening, I was able to stay on the ship. 4. They would provide a cabin should you need to shower and change, and held your carry on in another room. I used neither. After the cruise: I decided to stay a week in Mahe (Seychelles) before heading back to the long cold winter ahead. Summary: I had looked forward to visiting the island, especially the Seychelles. What would I have done differently? I'll give you a tip should you decided to take this trip, which I would like to say I am not sorry I went even though it wasn't the most exciting wow trip I've ever had. 1. I would definitely take the social hostess advice and ask what the demographics of the cruise would be. (i.e. kids on board) 2. For my stay in Mauritius, I would have stayed at another area first near Port Louis, where I caught the cruise, stayed only 3 or 4 days in Mahe then gone back to Mauritius and stayed at Blue Bay (which is closer to the airport by about 20 minute taxi) for the last 2 days. 3. I wouldn't book all tours online ... I'll take a chance and wait ......... except for maybe Madagascar where I'm not so sure I want to hire a cab by myself. Would I recommend this cruise? Yes and no. This is a tough one to answer as I enjoyed the cruise (with the people I met, the staff were good, the itinerary wasn't bad) and yet there were some disappointments. I guess you'll have to decide for yourself with this article, which I hope is helpful. Read Less
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