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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and ... Read More
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and kids club. Ferdy and Sara were exceptionally good with him, most of the staff is Italian nd most of the guests were French spraking but they all made my son included and welcomed. I was happy my son made so many friends even though he can only speak Polish and English, the language is not a barrier he loved his time in the kids club. The animation team work so hard, special thanks to Ralph who was the kindest person on the ship, Francesco the sports instructor and crazy Marco. The staff at the restaurant were incredible as well and made up for the bad food at times. Donna the waitress is so lovely and helpful always smiling. The exurcions are terribly expensive, it's much cheaper to get something on the land. WE MET SO MANY nice people on the ship and on the land and visited hidden gems and that's what we are grateful for. The food, drinks packages and service charges are things we want to quickly forget about ;) Thank you to the staff of Costa Vicortia who made our journey so special Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the ... Read More
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the reviews were either four star or one star. From the very beginning, we knew we were going to love this cruise.....checkin at Civitavecchia was seamless -- we showed our tickets and passports and were boarded without a wait....have never had that happen on any cruise ship, yet alone one that had close to 5,000 passengers on it! The cabin was nice sized with very comfortable bed and ample room to move around. Our cabin steward was outstanding the entire week. Since we had been on vacation for a week already, we had laundry needs, and Costa was the best, with a laundry special of 25 pieces for a flat rate of $20 euros, washed and folded. The cabin was made up each morning and evening. Dining was a great experience every evening in the Fiorentino Ristorante. Our waiter, Ajid, was the best we've ever had on a cruise. The menu was fantastic, with three or four special choices in each category, plus a standard Italian fare always available. My wife and I both cook gourmet recipes, and this food was five star in every respect; choice, presentation, flavor and service. Being from USA we had bottled water at our table each evening free of charge. Sparkling for me, still for my wife, with full bottles sitting on the table when we sat down. We were never rushed, nor did we ever wait too long. We ate at the Teppanyaki Grill one evening and it was a fun show and marvelous Japanese food, right down to the Miso soup and Asian ginger salad. We had lunch one day at the Lido buffet, and like most cruises, found it to be a feeding frenzy, although the food was better than we've had on other cruises. Most mornings we opted for breakfast in our cabin at no charge, as we had paid a little extra for premium services. The excursions were well planned and reasonable, as cruise ships go. We appreciated the fact that Costa forewarns customers which excursions might be difficult for mobility impaired passengers. We took three 'easy' tours, which were perfect and still let us enjoy the major sights of each port.... Disembarking was just as easy and flawless as getting on the ship! No long waiting for our time slot, we were out of the cabin at the required 8:00 a.m. time, went to breakfast, retrieved our passports and left the ship to find our luggage waiting. Would we take Costa again? In a heartbeat! We have decided that all the negative reviews come from people who do not understand European service. While many of the passengers seemed rude and would brush by you, that is just the way they are. Announcements were always made in several languages and easy to understand. The 10 euro daily service fee is below that of most other cruise lines, and in fact we tipped both our room steward and waiter additional before we left the ship. Ship crew was not indifferent as many people have said, but were attentive to and responsive to all of our needs. Well done, Costa Diadema, and thank you for a wonderful experience! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That out of the way, let me proceed. As seasoned travellers myself and my wife have been most places in the world and often several times over. However, until now we have resisted the urge to cruise. Don't ask me why, I have no logical reason, other than liking to be in charge of my our own day to day lives and what we decide to do with them, which is best suited to a holiday where we set the daily itinerary. I was often put off by the choice available, the often very high prices, and unfortunately, the high prices upfront to fly to some of the departure ports from Northern Ireland. For instance, the Caribbean felt a good option several times, but paying up to £700 each for flights just to get to Miami and then the cost of the cruise on top was a turn off. Deep down I also had a fear that I would get cabin fever, and also harboured an illogical feeling that a cruise ship was merely a tarted up ferry and I would know it inside out and back to front within an hour. This proved to be unfounded. So this year we decided it was time to break our mould and book a cruise. The Western Med seemed a safe bet, and being slightly off season in March we wouldn't have spent a Kings ransom if it turned out we really were not up for cruising at all. If we liked it, then spending a lot more in some sunny summer exotic destination would be less of a worry. After an evening of internet research, I arrived at the Costa website, and we finally decided on a Western Med 7 night cruise on the Costa Diadema out of Barcelona. We booked an exterior room with a balcony. We also booked the Piu Gusto all inclusive drinks package including Cocktails. So off we set in early March 2018 In the midst of severe arctic weather as a result of the polar vortex over Ireland and the UK in late feb early March 2018, and we duly arrived in Barcelona on a rather pleasant saturday afternoon. Our cruise wasn't due to leave until Monday night, so we decided it would be good to book a hotel for 2 nights in Barcelona as well. This was a great decision, we had 2 lovely days in the city, and our hotel was right by the cruise port which meant a 2 minute transfer from hotel to Ship on Monday afternoon. Monday came quick enough and a quick taxi run saw us arriving at a modern fresh Cruise terminal purpose built by Costa. The Diadema in all its spotless glory was tied up alongside. Our labelled bags were whisked away, and an hour later, we were called to board. On entering the ship the lavish design is the first thing that hits you. This was no glorified ferry! The ship is beautifully fitted out and spotlessly clean. We made out way to room 2037 on deck 2 and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room, the bed and balcony. Our two Cruise cards were awaiting us on the bed. These act as your boarding card/ ID at port stops, your payment method whilst onboard, and your door keycard for entry to your room. The idea is you "pair" your credit card to the cruise card at one of the multiple terminals onboard. You then no longer use personal cards or cash on board. Any accrued cost, you settle the night before your trip ends. Of course, the card also holds details of your drinks package, so all your drink 'purchases' are free. You will be called to a meeting point an hour or two after boarding, resplendent with life jacket for a compulsory drill. All in all it took about 20 minutes. This is taken extremely seriously by the crew members and they expect you to treat it as seriously and pay attention to all that you are told. Common sense, and no more an interruption on your cruise than the flight attendant instructions at the start of a flight. At this point, I'll explain go back and explain the drinks packages. There are several, from water only, kids soft drinks, meal only wine packages, wine only all areas, main spirits wines and beers, everything inc Cocktails (but not absolute premium brands) this is the package that we had , and the everything you want package including the very top brands like 20 year old Brandys. Note: everyone travelling on the same booking must have the same package for adults. This is to prevent the card holder 'buying' drinks on the all inclusive package, and passing them to others who haven't paid for the package. Incidentally, I saw this once with a group of 30 something men. The barman saw it happening and immediately refused further service to the whole group. They were then escorted from the bar. I don't know if their cards were confiscated, but on the literature it does say that this could happen if abused. Simply, do the right thing and you are fine, if caught, the bar staff take it seriously and will take action. All the bars on ship serve the same range of drinks and the extensive drinks menu is at every bar. You simply look at the coloured dot that represents your package on the front page of the menu, and any drink that has your colour dot (yellow in our case) then that drink is included. Our package was hugely inclusive and only about 3 cocktails and a selection of like 20 year old brandies were excluded. It included dozens of top brands. Martell, Johnny Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff, Gordons, Martini, Bacardi, Canadian Club, and loads of liquors and beers, coffee, soft drinks and juices.. The Cocktail menu was to die for, with about 30 on offer. (Try the Bahama Mama!!) At €8.20 a cocktail, it would be an expensive night if you were paying by drink. Our package was €175 each. We each drank about €70 of cocktails etc on the first night! :-) Suffice to say, the drink package is worth it. When you consider it includes your wine at dinner, soft drinks etc at lunch time, all your Illy coffees on board. I estimate our tab would have been not much shy of €1000 for the 8 days onboard. (you can avail of your breakfast, lunch and drinks package on departure day as well!) Stay away from the minibar in the rooms as usual over priced. Now for all said above, heres the anomaly. This company (Costa) has a real bee in its bonnet over drinking water! Yes, the stuff you need to stay alive. It is not included free in the room (€3.50 a litre from the mini bar.) It is only dispensed from water dispensers to cup in the buffet area, and by glass only in the restaurants. If you want chilled bottled water, you have to pay extra! even with a drinks package, unless you take out the actual water drinks package! So Martell VSOP brandy and €9 Cocktails are included on your package, but chilled bottled water isn't even though they would likely stock it at about 10 cents a bottle! Very strange, and it seems to irk a lot of people going by comments here and elsewhere. It also seems unique to Costa. So, sort it Costa, really silly policy and one which needs addressed. I cannot for the life of me understand having an all inclusive drinks package and not having the cheapest and most basic form of drink available on it! However that said, I don't remember gasping for water onboard, it is available from dispensers 24/7 and we kept a litre in the room at all times. Moving onto dining. I can genuinely say that If I had have believed some of the ridiculous reviews left by some people here and elsewhere, I may have cancelled the trip. What it did do was leave us with some doubts as to what the food would be like. There must be a lot of people out there with very low tolerance levels, or very delicate palettes . This is an Italian cruise ship. There is no escaping it caters mainly for Italian, Spanish, French and German peoples. In fact English was the 3rd or 4th language translated for announcements. I am not a picky eater at all, but I admit enjoying the typical UK/ Irish diet. Everything from fish and chips, roast beef, a good curry etc. But I also enjoy rice dishes etc. I wouldn't say I am a big lover of the classic mediterranean diet, but I would have a go anyway. Suffice to say, the food will be different than the UK or Irish traveller might be used to. But its of very high quality. In a nutshell, both my wife and I were bowled over with the quality of food on offer. The Italian chefs onboard created dishes each night that were just amazing. From basic spaghetti and pasta dishes, to the beef, lamb, chicken and pork offerings. We were blown away. It was so satisfying too, as our expectations had been lowered so much by these reviews!. I have to say to some of the reviewers on this site, some of you must be serial complainers or just unfortunate, because the experience we had all over the ship was of a serious effort to provide top class food and experience and I don't think we were let down once. You will be allocated a dining room on day one, with either sitting 1 or 2. We were in the Fiorintino restaurant on deck 3/4 for first sitting. Some reviews said staff were nasty and overworked, food arrived cold and took hours. I think you are reviewing the wrong boat. Our waiter was prompt, wine bottle in hand before you had even warmed the seat. The 5 course menu browsed, a nibble at the constant supply of fresh breads, and the first course arrived within 10 minutes. We never spent longer than 1 hour to 80 mins in the restaurant unless chatting to people. It was a lovely experience in 5 star surroundings. The waiting staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much for them. The food was superb, resented like a top restaurant and cooked perfectly. Now, if you didn't want the sit down 5 course meal, or you decided to eat later, the Buffet on floor 10 was available up until well after 9. If you have experienced all you can eat buffets before, this will be of no surprise to you, but it was no where near the problem some have posted. Its busy, but we never found it crazy busy. You may well have to look around for 2 or 3 minutes to get a seat in the actual buffet area, but never longer than that. Also the area directly outside the buffet has hundreds of seats and tables to eat at also. The buffet runs along 3 sides, and is split into Oriental (Chinese type dishes, rice, fried rice, noodles, ribs, chinese chicken pork etc,) Italian, spaghettis, pasta, lasagnes, ravioli, then a big area serving roast beef, chicken etc. A large salad area and a dessert area. Again, for a buffet, the food is very good and you can have a really nice meal here. One review I read actually said, "most of the food available in the buffet is cold"! what absolute rubbish! This is also the location for your continental breakfast. Cooked breakfasts are at your designated restaurants. In addition to this, there are 3 or 4 "prestige" restaurants, costing about €25 per person per head over and above your inclusive package. There is the Tarayaki, The Ferrari and another. We never bothered, as the food inclusive was so good. You also have an Italian Pizzeria and a burger bar available (at a cost) to about 1.30am, or room service 24 hours at a cost of course. The Pizza is to die for, seriously. We had a full cooked breakfast in bed one morning for €10 all in. (Full UK style) So thats the food aspect. We were really delighted. I expect in review columns like this, it is natural that people will come to complain more than compliment, but I really must say a big congratulations to Costa for service and food. So on to the ship itself. Wow. Its a bit of an assault on the senses. The sheer size of it is the first thing that hits you. It is vast. 16 floors high, numerous bars restaurants etc. A shopping mall, casino, cinema, theatre, disco, nightclub, 2 pools, jacuzzis, country club, Ice cream parlour, spas. Just about everything you would expect. I understand its one of if not the biggest currently on Mediterranean duty. The shops are typical of cruise liners. Tommy Hilfiger, up market watches, and the typical Boots type perfume and lotions shops. Not really our thing but nice enough to kill an hour or so. Do be aware, they run 'sales and promotions' most nights, but in reality the prices are rubbish and its easy to get sucked in when in holiday mode. You will pay at least what you will pay at home, sometimes a lot more! Suffice to say, ignore the 75% off luxury watches promos. Ripoff. But I am sure you are not cruising for the shops on board. Each night, you will receive the ships "newspaper" detailing all of the next days activities and the port of call. This is excellent because you know whats on the ship at any time. We enjoyed a show one night in the vast theatre, and shows change nightly. But we found our home in the country club where a terrific cover band called Royal Alligators played Dire Straits,Queen, Toto, Police, and all the old classics until the early hours. They were very talented and pulled big crowds each night. Other than that, it was nice to just drift about the ship in and out of venues to see what was on, you really can lose yourself walking about the many decks and bars. The bar and lounge areas are all slightly different but designed beautifully, and its lovely to sit in any of them and just take in a bit of entertainment. And this is non stop. This is a dancing boat! Morning noon and night, there are couple Cha cha'ing or Latin dancing to their hearts content. There are free classes on constantly, with bands, singers, musicians, comedians, and dancers doing different shows every night. The public areas are busy, but not frantic. Italians do tend to converse loudly and shout rather than talk, but I don't remember ever feeling that the Ship was rowdy or boisterous. Just happy! You would have thought the waiting and bar staff would be trained to slow down the drinks intake of all those all inclusive passengers to save the company money, but its quite the opposite. The staff will arrive as soon as your glass is empty to fetch a refill. The service is excellent. In fact, the attention and service of staff all over the ship is really exemplary. They are courteous, well trained and efficient. There are always people polishing stair rails and glass partitions, cleaning surfaces etc. You will not see a fingerprint on this ship. I'll not dwell on the ports called at. Suffice to say, we stopped at Palma, Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Savona, Marseilles and back to Barcelona. I cant comment on the tours, but we booked the bus transfer to Rome and it left and came back on time, and the same in Palma. On early arrival back at Barcelona, we had breakfast. Our cases were left outside the room the night before to be transferred to the terminal for collection (saves you carting them through he ship on exit). We were told we could stay on board until about 1 pm which we did, availing of lunch and a few more Cocktails! So an excellent trip with 5 star service board and food. We will definitely cruise on the Diadema again. 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is very stylishly fitted out, we loved all the detail. All is spotlessly clean and doesn't look the 8 years old that it is. We were upgraded from an inside to a premier balcony cabin and given a lunch and dinner drinks package for free, both were very welcome and made it even better value. We really can't fault anything at that price and it would be hard to even if we had paid twice as much. Food was superb. Service and staff without exception were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. The only dining criticisms are that buffet hours are limited compared to our previous cruises with nothing available mid morning or after 9pm. Even breakfast and lunch are limited to less than two hours. Also, breakfast and lunch service in the dining room can be slow. Evenings were fine. Coffee and tea were only available from the machines during buffet hours. Water was always available (and was served at the dining table free). Of course everything is available if you pay for it. Entertainment was good with musicians around the ship. The evening shows were of a high standard though not quite the P & O west end style productions. It is of course difficult on such an international ship to provide entertainment to suit all with the language issues. Outside areas are good. Plenty of quiet or noisy areas to choice. We particularly like the 'stacked' rear decks where you can sit out in some shelter and enjoy the rearward view. Many modern ships lack this. We always managed to find a sunbed on sea days eventually but they need to clamp down on people reserving beds. We are not pool people but there are only two pools and the large one with the retractable roof was always enclosed, even on hot days. This made it noisy and steamy. This is probably the only area of the ship that shows it's age and not as stylish as the rest of the ship. It is also used for evening parties and lacks atmosphere. We had a look at the spa and it looked superb if that's your thing. We don't do excursions so can't comment on these. It irked somewhat to be told it was a 4m walk to Corfu and Dubrovnik when it was 2km. This was just trying to sell the expensive shuttle tickets. The local buses, and even taxis if you share, are cheaper an 2km is a reasonable walk. Some have commented about certain nationalities pushing in and jumping queues. We rarely experienced this (there are always a few rude individuals). We found all nationalities mixed very well and the atmosphere on board was lively yet well behaved. All in all it is hard to believe we were on the same ship as some who have reviewed here. The above really is nitpicking but Costa need to know where they can improve an already top notch experience which genuinely is what it was. We had a fantastic time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
It was my birthday present from my husband so we chose a week long Meditteranean cruise! Brilliant from start to finish. The food was amazing, our cabin steward (John) was extremely efficient, and our waiter (Vincent Madavana) was ... Read More
It was my birthday present from my husband so we chose a week long Meditteranean cruise! Brilliant from start to finish. The food was amazing, our cabin steward (John) was extremely efficient, and our waiter (Vincent Madavana) was excellent! We found all the staff very friendly, nothing too much trouble. Could have stayed aboard when the cruise finished and done it all over again!!! We could not have found fault with anything, although we would have liked to have at least one bar where there was no dancing just music playing, as each bar there was there seemed to be dancing all the time (either ballroom or latin (not good if you don't know the dances, or don't want to dance, just to relax. All in all, really enjoyed the surroundings, the Jacuzzi and pool were also great to use, really did not want to come home. We boarded ship in Marseille where we stayed overnight at the Hotel Hermes which is a very good hotel in the old port, this is a lovely place in itself to visit, the rest of our visits included Barcelona, Valencia; Cagliari, Civitavecchia, and Savone; all of which were marvellous, the highlight of our trip being Rome! Will definitely go on another cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun begin! The ship is very ornate and the interior decorating a little offensive to those who like colour co-ordinated surroundings! However it was clean and the cleaning staff kept the whole ship slick and span. The waiter dining was good but could be a bit protracted in the evening's (we went for the early sitting as the 8 30 could mean queuing) As we got acclimatised we went to Deck 9 for meals as these are buffet style which was more to our liking. You get to see whats on offer and it was generally very good. One gripe of mine was the tomatoes! They weren't the lovely rich Italian ones, supermarket bland! The theatre acts were brilliant thoroughly enjoyed them. We enjoyed also the library and quiet areas. We did 1 excursion, Sorrento (which is beautiful) could have done without the Lemoncello factory experience as so much to see in Sorrento and would rather have skipped that and gone straight to Sorrento. We did hop on/off buses at Barcelona and Marseilles, great value for money and easy to book when we went ashore, so don't worry about doing them on board. We did the drinks package which we were pleased with, but be aware if you order a bottle of wine you will be charged, same with a bottle of water - by the glass you won't. This worked for us but of course of you want to sample wines from the extensive list you shave to bear t his in mind. Service charge. This is added daily so don't know if its worth enquiring paying at booking? May be discounted but not sure, one to ask travel agents. If we cruised again we would not try to see too much on going ashore as nearly missed the ship in Barcelona!!!! Just be aware that 5/6 hours, which you get in most stops, is not long. Long transfer on return. We flew out from Milan, lovely scenery on route, but had a long wait at the airport. This was not ant fault of Costa of course. In all we met some lovely people. Italian, French, German, Russian, Cuban in fact a very eclectic mix of nationalities! We really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise and although we both have only English it made for some hilarious conversations!!! Would I travel again with Costa? Most definitely. Why? Good cabins, good food and drink, good entertainment (would love to take my grandkids!) Excellent friendly "can't do enough for you staff), special mention here to Maria our cabin steward who was kindness itself! Lastly - great cruise if you can go Italian as very family orientated and relaxed. Loved it!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The ship was excellent always clean and well maintained well done to the captain and his entire crew. The Latin dance lessons was brilliant and well presented best we've had. The entertainment was Plentyfull something for everyone ... Read More
The ship was excellent always clean and well maintained well done to the captain and his entire crew. The Latin dance lessons was brilliant and well presented best we've had. The entertainment was Plentyfull something for everyone on board. A high standard was set by the entertainers on the ship. The crew in general was excellent. The service on deck 9 in the buffet lounge was good the food was always of a high standard. Ariel our waiter on deck 3 was good in coping with the guests food was excellent. The lady singer on deck 3 in front of the hospitality desk was a pleasure to listen to the variety of songs was phenomenal. Leaving the ports was an experience and a brilliant atmosphere music and all. Joel (cabin 6257) you did a brilliant job with our cabin thank you, you made us feel special. Will definitely recommend the Costa Fascinosa to other Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was my first ever cruise so can make no comparison. Decided to try a cruise and see if I enjoyed the experience / type of holiday. Firstly positives : No supplement for single occupancy, large cabin which was kept spotlessly clean ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise so can make no comparison. Decided to try a cruise and see if I enjoyed the experience / type of holiday. Firstly positives : No supplement for single occupancy, large cabin which was kept spotlessly clean - in fact linen and towels changed too frequently. Glad to be on deck 10 with only neighbouring cabin. Extremely comfortable bed - bathroom very adequate Inclusive drinks package is a must - roughly £20 per day for all drinks except champagne - all day long. Excellent coffee on request from the waiting staff or at one of the bars. First class dining experience in Corona Blu restaurant. Staff very pleasant and helpful. Every night a different menu and possible to interchange and have exactly which course you choose at any point. Plenty of dishes I had not had before and some very unusual different things to choose. If not acceptable or to your liking then it is perfectly acceptable to take a substitute. Very good of choice of set wines - three or four in each category. Beautiful linen at table and I thought a really lovely experience. Buffet breakfasts with an extensive range and there again can take into the Corona restaurant or eat in the cafeteria style restaurant. If cooked breakfast is required then this has to be taken at a restaurant Fiorentina on Deck 3 - however this is no real problem. It seemed that there is some food to be had all day long if wanted ! Evening entertainment - professional dancers first class and opportunity to dance with own partners or with a professional My main criticism would be that the excursions/ shuttle buses are expensive -however I did my research and walked or used public transport when possible so actually only paid for a trip to Pisa which was expensive for a 5 hour trip. However this was no surprise I was aware of this. Entertainment in the main theatre was average to poor I thought but not a big issue for me. I joined in Savona and had a long wait for my transport from Milan to port of Savona. Landed at 09.30 and coach left at 13.30 from the second pick up at T1. However with further investigation I would have been better to embark at Barcelona. Didn't feel this ship was too crowded ( as I read in previous reviews) however I think probably only about two thirds capacity. Cant comment on fitness and recreation facilities as I did not use So there may be a few criticisms but I would say excellent value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
This was an amazing cruise!! I was really nervous after reading the recent negative reviews. I must say this was my favorite cruise to date. Perfect ports, great mixture of port days and sea days, good food, extremely clean ship, and great ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise!! I was really nervous after reading the recent negative reviews. I must say this was my favorite cruise to date. Perfect ports, great mixture of port days and sea days, good food, extremely clean ship, and great entertainment. Mateo was by far my favorite entertainer. He played piano and saxophone, and had an amazing voice. Loved him! :) Best bartender, hands down, was Edgar! He made our ship time fun and went the extra mile on customer service. Yes, it's an Italian ship. Yes, they speak Italian. Hello?! I did not have a problem communicating with anyone, as they speak English as well. There were designated smoking sections and I did not find cigarette smoke to be a problem at all on this ship. I have found Carnival and Royal Caribbean to be much worse. If I had to come up with negatives it would be the late dinner seating at 8:45 lasted until 10:30 due to slow service. However, we loved the people seated with us, and came to enjoy our nightly conversations. Both pool areas were small and could have had a better layout. The back pool bar was understaffed. 10 days in the Caribbean!! Who could complain?! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
My wife and I received an email from Cruise Nation offering an eleven night cruise on the Costa Neo Romantica at what we thought was a very good price. Having never been on a cruise before and also being only in our mid 50s we were unsure ... Read More
My wife and I received an email from Cruise Nation offering an eleven night cruise on the Costa Neo Romantica at what we thought was a very good price. Having never been on a cruise before and also being only in our mid 50s we were unsure as to whether to book or not. In the end we looked at the destinations to be visited, Barcelona, Casablanca, Santa Cruz, Funchal, Malaga, Civitavechia and Savona and decided to go ahead. Travel to the port of embarcation was supposed to be with Iberia from Gatwick and this was changed by the travel agent, without notification, to Vueling from the other Gatwick terminal. The plane was overbooked and all cabin luggage had to be packed into the hold. Legroom was at the legal minimum and the whole operation was less impressive than low cost operators such as Ryanair and Easy jet. The ship was one of the smaller ones in the Costa fleet and newly refurbished throughout. We joined it on the final leg of a world cruise. We had an inside cabin which was quite comfortable and serviced twice daily by wonderful staff. The neighbours were at times quite noisy though and they could be heard through the walls. The food onboard was generally excellent with formal dining or an anytime option being available. Here again the staff were excellent and no request was too much trouble. The formal dining is in a restaurant called Boticelli's, though not every evening was a formal occasion. Giardino's is where you can have buffet food during the day, including afternoon tea, and this too seemed to be of a good standard. We used the gym on a daily basis and found it to be well equipped and clean. It overlooks the bows of the ship and offers good views. The downside is that it is like excercising in a green house - beware! We were pleased to find that we were not the youngest on board and we made good friendships with other couples of a similar age and younger (most of whom seemed to have taken up the same "deal" as us). There is no Theatre on board and the entertainment is more Butlins than Las Vegas. The visiting cabaret acts were of a good standard, but the repertoire of the in-house musicians was very "samey" and began to wear thin when repeated night after night. We thought long and hard about whether to take the drinks package or not and were glad that we had decided to do so, for as only moderate drinkers it still worked out more economic to do so. Water, tea/cofee etc was not included in the base price of the cruise The ports of call were interesting to us, but Casablanca was culturally very different to anything we'd ever experienced (not in a good way). Savona was an absolute delight, not at all what we were expecting, as someone had said it would be like Hull!! I wouldn't look to book an excursion when docked here as there is definitely plenty to see and explore, all within walking distance. Due to the nature of the itinerary, we had little time in Malaga and to make the most of our time there we had to disembark whilst it was still dark and everywhere was closed! We took one excursion (to Rome) and everywhere else we explored either alone on foot, or with travelling companions. The hop on, hop off buses are good if you have limited time/mobility and want to see/learn as much as possible in a short space of time. Avoid the yellow one in Funchal, as although it offers a reduced rate for a ride up the cable car, it has much more limited frequency than the red bus. On one of our at sea days, Costa offered a behind the scenes tour of the ship, for (I think) 29 euros per person. We would love to have taken this opportunity, but felt that this was just a way of milking captive guests for a bit more money. Overall we enjoyed the experience, but would not now consider ourselves converts to cruising as some had suggested we would undoubtedly become. Enjoyable? yes certainly. Something we would do again? Very probably - and we are certainly glad to include it into the repertoire of holiday types that we select from Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous ... Read More
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What ... Read More
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What wasn't so understandable was why we were still flown to Istanbul for a 4 hour wait for transfer to Athens, leaving us arriving at the ship at 12.30 on 26th unable to eat or drink because all facilities were closed for the night. Customer service staff weren't all that helpful and to be fair a cold snack was later sent to our rooms. Despite having been to Athens already, we really enjoyed seeing it again. Exiting the port we were offered a 15 euro transfer for 3 to the Acropolis which on discussion with the driver became a 50 euro day tour of Athens with return direct to the ship which we found to be great value. The weather certainly plays its part in influencing your memories of the Greek islands and we were not disappointed. Mykonos was our next stop, really no need for any excursions, the town is lovely in itself, and a water bus takes you there for 2 euro, no need to buy expensive transfers. We headed for Delos on a guided tour and it was better than we expected, a mini Pompei. Santorini was reached by tender, but our Costa excursion was really a glorified bus trip to two villages, which, while worth visiting, were swamped by the occupants of two cruise liners, and the guide on our bus added little value to the day. However the island is beautiful and if you can force yourself to put the crowds to one side it was a great day out. We are, after all, part of the crowds ourselves! Our bus trip did include the cost of returning to the tender boats by cable car. Argostoli on Keffalonia was less impressive, nice to see but not worth going out of your way to do so. We had a private excursion, not a Costa one, and it was just ok. Quick tour of the area and a wine tasting, but nothing exciting. Anyone visiting this island could have as good a time just walking into the town which looked nice. Other guests were not impressed with the Costa tours they went on. Dubrovnik was spectacular. Heading to the cable car we again hit on a taxi driver who took 4 of us up to the cable car viewpoint but stopped on the way at a few other vantage points to allow photos. it was cheaper than 4 cable car tickets and we had better views. We then walked the walls, as everyone does, and it was impressive. Again, the weather did us many favours and on a wet day I'm not sure the same impression would have been made. Rain did greet our arrival in Venice for the end of the trip but it dried up as we docked and we walked from Piazzale Roma to San Marco and enjoyed it immensely despite it being our 4th visit. Venice always pleases. So all in all it was a great experience. However Costa could do some little things to enhance the experience. The buffet breakfast was a chaotic free for all. Staff and tour guides put this down to the arrival of the first 600 Spanish guests for the season, who really don't know the meaning of manners. However from earlier reviews of this ship we had been pre warned, and really on any ship when all occupants need to exit the ship at the same time its going to be hectic no matter how you organise it. But if Costa had opened at say 7.00am instead of 7.30, and had provided more than 4 coffee machines for 1600 guests it might have been better. After half an hour two machines usually packed in so it was a road rage type atmosphere around the 2 remaining coffee machines. Otherwise the food was fine, nothing spectacular, and the restaurant evening experience was good. We were not offered our choice of sitting but were told by a tour guide that the Spanish and Italians got the 10 pm sitting and us northern europeans got the 7.30 sitting. Lucky for us as I'm not sure I'd have lasted till 10.00. Staff and stateroom were fine and the ship itself was in good nick for an old ship. It clearly caters for Italians and knowing this in advance you just get on with it. Lots of shore excursions were cancelled because of low numbers but only after we had sailed, leaving short notice to re-arrange. Obviously you couldn't go to outside companies at this point! We had one cancelled on Santorini and as outlined above I'm not sure the alternative was value for money. Excursion staff weren't exactly sympathetic, using the shoulder shrug as the international language of communication. The fellow guests were the rudest I have come across, but on the other hand we did also meet some lovely people every evening. All in all it will be a great memory for us due to the ports of call and the lovely May weather. One person travelling with us was on her first ever cruise and far from being put off, is now seeking out a second cruise for later in the year. To sum up, you probably get what you pay for, and if the itinerary is what you want this compensates for other shortfalls. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin ... Read More
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin immediately. I was surprised as before with MSC or Royal Caribbean we had to wait for a while. Cabin not big but very comfortable and well organised. So we 2 adult and kid with 3 big languages felt of. I expected all bad from Costa as I read lots of negative reviews, and choose that cruise only of ports of call. And I was surprised in good way. Very good food at 11 deck restaurant. Very good bar service there. We went few times to 5 deck resturant but i was disappointed - too many time to wait dinner some days took near 3 hours. So we stopped to go there and visited only 11 floor. Food was same but more variety, better service and smiling su- chef Edgar always recommend what is better to try. Our kid is very bad in eating - there he ate all without any problem. Yes you can not have coffee or tea at lunch or dinner, but it's not very useful in the evening and was avaliable 4- 5 p. All staff was very friendly, smiling, saying hello and bye. Ready to help. Even busy managers played with my son and you feel like big friendly family all around. Quality of drinks very good, we ordered some cocktails sometime in the evening. We're served very quickly. Thank you Jose ))) I took cappuccino ever morning at pool bar - when it opened, and it was delicious - love illy. Thank you bar staff - still remember sun raise ))) I like animation team. Every morning - gymnastic, games, tournaments. We participated in most of activities and have great fun. Shows were good. Not the best I see, but not bad. Some of them are very nice. Even my son participate in one with muppets. Till today he is reminding that and laughing. Few times we went to disco and dance. But they were just few people there, so not too funny. Very clean everywhere. I made gymnastic very early and see how pool boys clean all. Same in the cabin, and all over the ship. Good music in bars. Only dancers from Grand bar were not very friendly, like doing hard boring job (only one minuse). And main- we have late flight in the evening and they let us stay!!!! Till 11.30 p.m. and that is great. As be very hard to stay so long in airport. And lots of people departure late. So main- I was ready for average cruise according review I read. But it was amazing. Friendly staff, good service, tasty food, fun animation team, not bad shows. Good music, bars and restaurant. It was amazing cruise, with very interesting ports of call. And I will try with Costa other cruises. Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt ... Read More
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt very welcomed when I first entered the ship. All the staffs, officers and captains were there to welcome us. The staffs then led us to our room (Deck 4,Nabucco). As for room service, the staffs were excellent and skillful in their job; they tidied our room when we were out for breakfast & dinner and spent the fastest time to complete their job to make sure that the room is neat and tidy before we come back. The guest service was very helpful for us, as my grandparent's room' air conditioning was faulty, I called the guest service to send men to repair, and immediately the workers were here to fix it as fast as possible. Staffs were polite towards everyone and helpful to guide us and help us throughout the cruise journey. Dining: We all know that the origin of Costa Cruises is Italy. So maybe you guys will be wondering: Would the cuisine be Italian? My answer is no, there are all varieties of cuisine such as Chinese and Malay. For my case, I am a 13 year old Chinese boy (Singaporean) and I was worrying about the food, will it be close to Chinese food? But when I got on board the ship, it was quite a shock to me that it wasn't all Italy food, but International cuisine. The bolero buffet (Deck 11, Rigoletto) serves rice, fruits, pasta for sure and other international delicacies. Tip 1: Try not to go to the A La Carte restaurant at Deck 5, Boheme (Fantasia & Sinfonia) because the dishes are all the same as the Buffet on Deck 11, so might as well go to Deck 11 with unlimited servings. Tip 2: If you do visit the Bolero Buffet on Deck 11, you would notice that there are 4 sections divided throughout the restaurant (International/Halal/Vegetarian). But there are actually more dishes avaliable at the end of deck 11. So don't miss the chance! Cabin: The cabin is spacious and neat. The room service is twice a day in order to keep the room tidy. The staffs who help you to make up your room will often use napkins/towels to form animals/plants. The air conditioning's temperature can be manually controlled. The overall rating for the cabin is excellent however, the design is a little weird. The window is located above the beds, so in order to view the scenery, you might have to climb up. *Note: The room card is in your room* Embarkation: Singapore I was thinking that it would take very long for us to board the ship because I have read other reviews from other users that we were given a pass/queue number and had to wait for a long period of time, just like my Star Cruise, Gemini experience last year. To my surprise, after siting at the waiting area of 10mins, we could check in and board the ship already. Tip 1: Try to board the ship as early as possible to prevent "human jam" Embarkation: Phuket The ship travelled 2 days to reach this destination. The ship will anchor at the "mini port" at the entrance of Phuket. Therefore, to get on shore, there will be boats to ferry us to Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a place for relaxation for everyone, they have many activities along the beach such as water skiing, rides on speed boat. For my family, we went with the shroe excursion that costa: Highlights of Phuket and Island Safari. Island Safari is similar to Singapore Zoo, there were performances by Monkeys and Elephant. We even had a chance to ride on elephant, it was an enjoyable moment riding the elephant with my Dad. We also went to the famous temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong. Afterwards, we visited the first cashew nut factory in Phuket. We bought many dried fruits/nuts there and we went back to the ship. Our tour guide, Pao, he's an awesome person, he took care of my grandparents throughout the journey, sharing his life experience on the bus, chatting with us went we were bored. *Note: There are more choice of excursions* Embarkation: Penang After leaving Phuket, we headed for Penang. This time, my Dad did not book any shore excursion because my grandparents were not feeling well. So it was a Sunday, my family was walking along the streets, and happened to see many people at the street market nearby the port. It is on every sunday and the shop owners offer a reasonable price for their merchandise. It was quite troublesome before we had to walk one big round around the port to get out of the port. I suggest everyone to download the offline map of Penang in Google Maps. *Note: There are shore excursion available too* Tip 1: There will be taxi drivers outside the port waiting for you. Embarkation: Singapore (End) The had to wait till 3pm to disembark the ship although the ship reached Singapore at 2pm. There will be a colour tag for you to tag on your luggage and the colour will decide the time of disembarking. At 10am, we were requested to leave our room already. This is something I don't really like, there's still 4 hours to reach Singapore, and yet we have to leave our room so early. I had nowhere to rest but under the hot sun at deck 11, beside the pool. Entertainment: There are lots of entertainment on the ship, like Casino, Mini Arcade, Festival theatre for performances, the main hall of the ship for party and Deck 11, Pools. The Casino is only available for certain ages however the arcade is for all. Performances were held in the Festival Theatre such as "Angiolino&Janette La Fracci in Surreal Circus Comedy" and "Michael Jackson Tribute Show". The parties like "The Carnival of Venice Party" and many more are held at Deck 5. There are 4 pools of jacuzzi and 2 rather deep swimming pools. **Note: THE WATER OF THE SWIMMING POOLS IS SALTY** In a nut shell, I feel that Costa Victoria is worth the money and very suitable for family. There will be many activities for you to participate on board and board games/ balls (e.g. Basketball)/rackets (Table Tennis) can be rented by deposit. ***PLEASE DO NOTE THAT ALL MONEY SHOULD BE PAID IN US CURRENCY*** Tip: Register your credit card upon boarding the ship because at the end if the journey, you will be paying a service charge of US$48, because if you don't register your credit card, on the last day, you will have to pay US$48 and requested to queue up. I hope you like my review of Costa Victoria. Do ask me anything regarding the ship and I will try to answer it. Do share your experience with me! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Our main objective was to see certain ports/sites & this ship did that. We looked @ Costa as a floating hotel. For this reason we were satisfied. If I were choosing for just a 'cruise experience' I'd try another ... Read More
Our main objective was to see certain ports/sites & this ship did that. We looked @ Costa as a floating hotel. For this reason we were satisfied. If I were choosing for just a 'cruise experience' I'd try another line/ship. Embark, very easy. Cabin 6391 wonderful. Loads of storage. Triple rm (we had our teen daughter) cabin layout well thought out, veranda was really a plus, used it a lot- it was nice w/ a coffee and sweater & actually was warm in the sun. Ports of call/excursions all went smoothly. Used Costa for all 6 excursions and they all were very very good & none were cancelled! We even had luck on Good Friday & Easter Sunday w/ Costa's excursions & it was high holy week (Easter). Because we wanted to see these ports this was very important to us. The cruise was just a means to that end. We had the all inclusive. It was worth it, we ordered drinks upon returning from tours, before, during, and after dinner. Liked the concept and it was a decent value. Our daughter had the under 21 card, as well. It does get old having to sign for each round, and they are slow at all the bars, which is frustrating. But still recommend. The entertainment team is hardworking, but in the end they're typical resort type shows and only so-so. The theatre they perform in is top notch in every aspect. The seating, lighting, & sound system are very professional. The restaurants/dining ranges from below average to slightly above. We had the 2nd seating/ table for 3 in 'My Way' the wait staff is average, food average, experience average. Nothing stood out as great or horrible. Rolls were very hard, portions average to small however you have several courses. Sometimes items out of the several courses never showed up? The beverage man was slow to refill wine, it all was average. Lunch was probably better. We only had one sit down lunch in 'New York' it was quite good. Pasta is very good on this ship. Most time we were away till about 3:30 so we'd just hit the bbq grill or pizza place for a late lunch. They were both above average. My biggest complaint w/ food on this ship is there is no option if you don't want to wait till 9 p.m. to eat dinner except for a small pizza area. That just doesn't seem right. I feel there should be a buffet for dinner if you don't want to do the sit down 2 hour dinner seating. Sometimes you just want a nice quick buffet (not just pizza). This should be addressed by Costa! We had rm service once it was limited, but good. I do believe we were supposed to be charged as we were only a B1 but we weren't. Ease of disembark was good. We had a very early flight out of Barcelona @ 11:40 a.m. People on this board told me I was crazy to cut it so close, but we had no choice and in the end it was perfect. Went like clockwork. Docked @ 9 a.m. received our Passports @ 9:25 hopped into taxi @ 9:30 checked into the airport @ 10 a.m. with time to spare. I need to add we 'self debarked' and carried our own baggage. We travel extremely light and only do carry on and a tote each. After lots of travel we've learned to pack super strategically. We had an outfit each cleaned by Costa while on board. Much better than overpacking and being a pack mule!! I realize we were lucky and wouldn't want to do that again! Too stressful, but it was all good and we lucked out! So, all in all it was a wonderful family European trip experience! We saw sites we'd read about all of our lives so it was much more than a cruise for us. The Costa experience was above average, the excursions very good, the price was right. Yes, Costa nickels and dimes you - i.e. we made the mistake of thinking the chocolate bar was part of our cruise after 3 bites we were told to sign for $4Euro?? Also, we were told our coffees were part of the extra all inclusive we purchased and sometimes they were and sometimes they charged (at which time we just said no). They have strange rules....No champagne only prosecco (sp?) at some bars, then Asti at others and vice versa. Lots of tricky rules we just rolled w/ it. But I can see where it would get under some peoples skin! We lucked out as there were enough English speaking peeps going on excursions. However sometimes they'd merge English w/ French and the guide spoke in both languages. This didn't bother us and added to the experience. Plus our daughter speaks some French. Most people on the ship in order we observed were, Italians, Germans, French, other Europeans, followed by English. We were the minority, but that too made it more unique. I found the workers (mostly from Indonesia) to be hard workers, not very happy, and a little robotic. I made an effort to look any worker in the eye and greet them. It helps slightly. Moral is average. The Animation team is more happy - it's their job after all. Laura was wonderful as our English Advisor. She seems very happy in her position. The ship shops were disappointing. I forgot my bathing suit and they didn't sell them?? On a cruise ship? So then I decided to buy shorts and just use them as trunks and no shorts either?? Odd. I am still processing our experience, but will answer any questions. Try to make it to Italian night, the waiters put on a fun show! Don't miss seeing some of the little hidden rms, i.e. the chapel, library, sports bar, upper deck that you take the steps too, top deck overlooking the elevators. Just go w/ an open mind and you'll have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Your vacation and cruise experience is ultimately what you choose to make it and is dependent on your initial expectations. When considering booking with Costa, I read many reviews of this particular ship and itinerary. Many were less than ... Read More
Your vacation and cruise experience is ultimately what you choose to make it and is dependent on your initial expectations. When considering booking with Costa, I read many reviews of this particular ship and itinerary. Many were less than flattering so I couldn't help but wonder what the expectations of those travelers were and what our experience would be. No matter what, there are going to be some people who experience some type of difficulty or "small situation" as the Jamaicans say and it is prudent to keep that in mind. A huge determinative factor in going ahead with this cruise was the almost ridiculously low price. Here's how the week stacked up.... I had Costa make our airline and transfer arrangements because they could actually get us plane tickets at a reasonable rate during spring break week, which I could not do myself. Everything went very smoothly; we were on board the ship within about one hour of our plane landing - very unexpected to do so that quickly. The accoutrements of the ship were comparable to those of Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean which we have sailed in the past. A cabin is a cabin.... Our room steward performed an industry standard job taking care of us. No towel creatures, though. :-( For a Caribbean cruise, we found the area devoted to pools to be inadequate. Of particular note, there were no toiletries provided other than hand and shower soap. A huge negative were all the people who "reserved" lounge chairs around the pool for the day. Most of these people would leave for hours on end. I know, I walked the decks, regarding all the reserved-by-towel, -book, or -sandal chairs and finally simply appropriated one for myself. I stayed in that spot for roughly 3 hours and noted the chairs that no one ever claimed. Fortuna staff should have regularly made the rounds and taken up all the towels and personal belongings. Passengers should not feel they have a right to do this - they don't. I understand this is a problem industry-wide and people need to start figuring out they are not the only ones who paid for a vacation. Advice: appropriate whatever lounger you want. There is not enough open deck space on decks that are not connected to pool and food service areas, further congesting guests who just want to be outside. Oddly, there seemed to be many closed off, reduced access sections in a number of places. The entertainment overall was first rate. The dancers were spectacular each evening and the guest performers were all marvelous entertainers as well. All were definitely worth watching and enjoyable. Poolside, daily exercise classes were offered several times a day. I appreciated not having to pay extra to participate in an organized group fitness class; facilitators did a bang up job. Since the passenger list on Costa is purported to be more international than those of her more domestic counterparts, we anticipated meeting people from other parts of the world. In that we were not disappointed. We spent most of the week with our new friends from Australia. We heard an abundance of foreign languages spoken. It's interesting to try to have broken language conversations with others and try to get your message across! Be friendly to people! We had also expected a greater diversity and enhanced flavoring to foods prepared on board. Alas, cruise food is cruise food. It was good but not great. There were more limited choices in the buffet line than we have experienced on other ships. Entree choices were varied in the dining room, but still lacked flavor. They do NOT know how to prepare a rib-eye steak. I have never seen so much candied citron used in my life. Custom made omelets were tough and not worth waiting in line for. Beware some of your choices when you order breakfast in your cabin. A "breakfast roll" is last night's dinner roll. This cruise seemed more crowded than any other we have taken, either in the Caribbean or elsewhere. If I recall correctly, the in-cabin ship info indicated there were well over 3000 passengers rather than the 2700 noted in any online or published information. If true, that would explain the overcrowded feeling. It would also explain why it seemed there were fewer crew to serve the needs of the passengers. Food service was much less apparent, attentive, and responsive on this ship than others we have sailed. In the buffet and poolside areas, there is normally a plethora of crew to keep tables and dining areas clean and well-stocked, and see to any additional needs a passenger may have; not so on the Fortuna. There were few bartenders making their presence known poolside for drink orders. When ordering a drink pretty much anywhere except barside, it took forever to get that drink delivered and then off they went with my Costa card for another extended period of time. Made me not want to order at all. Somewhere along the line, nobody has bothered to teach the bartenders which glasses go with which drinks. In the dining room, we drank our water out of wine glasses and our wine out of the larger water glasses each night. Gin and tonic was also normally served in a stemmed water glass. Go figure. Some other reviewers have said there were no beverage packages offered on board. This is not true. You can get a wine and water package and a soft drink package on board. Both a good deal and recommended. They also said that water was not available at all times. Not true. Come on now, think about this. There would be a huge health/safety liability in not allowing passengers to hydrate regularly at no additional cost. Okay, so the water tastes really bad, but it is perfectly safe to drink if you choose not to pay for bottled water. Different from other cruise lines we have sailed, passengers who booked excursions with Costa meet on board the ship and then all leave the ship together to begin the excursion. When we got to Grand Cayman, the announcement was made that we had to tender in an alternate location because of rough seas. Don't lie to your passengers, Costa, you knew all along we would be in the second group porting there that day and have to use the alternate location. But I guess that's the only way they can get away with making us each pay cab fare to the central location where the first ship arrivals get to tender/dock. And that's bad form. Grand Caymans. Beautiful place. Expensive. A round of drinks (3 margaritas and a beer) should not cost $41 USD. Turtle farm much smaller than anticipated, especially for the entrance fee; nothing at Hell but a shop; the samples of rum cake at the stores have an extra infusion of rum that the purchased cakes do not. Easy to create your own excursion with all the guides hanging out portside. Should have planned to hang out at the beach. Looks like it could be anywhere on the Australian coast, according to our travelmates. Ocho Rios. Climb the waterfalls! You'll want a couple of bucks to tip your guide. The plantation was interesting if you like that kind of stuff. We booked a tour that included both of these places and probably could have done as well getting transportion portside. There was almost not enough time to climb the waterfall, but our tour guide, Joy, made sure we were accommodated and made it back to the ship in a timely fashion. Don't rent the water shoes to climb the falls; pack your own that you get for like $5.00 at Academy. Nassau. Be sure you see Atlantis at Paradise Island. Get a cab. Ridiculous lines in the hot sun to get back onboard the ship. Never had that experience before or since. Cozumel. Snagged a cab for the day a good rate. Be sure to check with several drivers and move just outside the secured area for quicker service and better price. If you don't want to spend all day traveling and still get to see some ruins, head over to San Gervasio. Your driver can recommend a great Mexican restaurant where you can probably also see a Mariachi band and maybe even Ballet Folklorico performance at no additional charge. More than enough places to souvenir shop. Also close to shopping is a new supermarket if you like to check out what is available for locals in different countries. Overall, was the cruise a good bargain for the money spent? Yes. Would we sail with Costa again? Possibly, but it certainly wouldn't be my first line of choice; reasons being the overcrowded feeling and lower quality of service experienced in the public areas of the ship. Also consider how important your time in port is to you. All portages were on the short side for us. Remember, your experience is what you make it; travel with an open mind and plan to enjoy yourself. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise because of the ports it was visiting. Beautiful ship, although dated with some maintenance needed. Hygiene was not enforced, there were plenty of containers full of hand cleanser but rarely used. At the buffet people just ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports it was visiting. Beautiful ship, although dated with some maintenance needed. Hygiene was not enforced, there were plenty of containers full of hand cleanser but rarely used. At the buffet people just dived in with hands to get food even though serving spoons were there. Noticed many people using toilet facilities but not washing hands. Many people got gastro, flu, coughing with doctors & nurses kept busy. It felt as though English speaking guests were not welcome, activities were for European guests. Entertainment was poor with the best shows being put on at dinner by the wait staff. Enjoyed the food at restaurants, wait staff pleasant, although at times their serving was like an outdoor cafe. Children ran riot well after midnight. Many young staff on who thought everyone was deaf, so yelled loving the sound of their own voices. Reception staff were unable to solve issues raised which could have been dealt with by some FAQs. Felt they were justifying their jobs! Lacked leadership. Had to pay extra for ice cream, coffee, pizza. Photos expensive, 14 Euro. Shore excursions expensive, easier to do yourself. Spa area needs a revamp. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The reason I decided to write this review is to warn those people who privilege the rest and sleep at night to dancing and partying (I am not judging here, cruises are the right place for such things, just claiming my share of pleasure-the ... Read More
The reason I decided to write this review is to warn those people who privilege the rest and sleep at night to dancing and partying (I am not judging here, cruises are the right place for such things, just claiming my share of pleasure-the night's sleep): this is an old ship and there is practically no sound isolation. My cabin ( 11101 if i remember well) was exposed to very loud music to the point things were trembling each night from 23 till 1.00. Earplugs were not helpful. In this ship it is either one is lucky to have one's cabin far enough from the epicenter or not. Hospitality did not offer any sustainable solution either. Having paid about 4000 euros for three persons in a suite for a week's time, I really think it was a pitiful investment. This was a real shame, because on the whole the total experience was not awful at all. The club restaurant provided very friendly personalized service accompanied by quite acceptable and sometimes deliscious food. I could say Edd and Err saved our expeprience on the whole. Excursions, inspite of all the efforts of the guides, were not at their best, because the poor guides had to speak up to 4 languages which resulted in repeating one thing like where to find the toilettes and where to meet up to 4 times...Very little space left for cultural information. Spa on this ship is a joke and not worth a try, a shame again because it used to be a good part of a cruise activity for me and family. Finally, a valuable info for coffee lovers: traditionnally, on all Costa ships I travelled coffee is a very delicate issue: my point is, the americano they are offering in general service, is below human dignity, while the one in the bars is too strong for a morning. Well, I could order a cappucino, but I do not drink milk... My personal solution was to pack a little french press coffee maker and the brand I am used to. It could serve for a good verbal tea as well. Hot water is something one can always count on Costa company! The last but not least-many thanks to our cabin butler Yan for his perfect service and friendly smile. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers ... Read More
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers and because the nice privileges of being a Costa Club member used to be tempting. Travelled to Savona by Genoa airport this time (my traditional route is via Milano Linate and then the train), as I found a surprisingly good fare (Genua has a small airport - smaller planes, limited routes - so fares tend to be high) and noticed that the airport is not far from a train station. I tried to walk from the airport to the station but it was not so easy to find my way as I expected. On reaching the station I found out that there is a local bus which links the station to the airport (tickets can be purchased at the train station or at the tourist information desk at the airport) Reached Savona on a Good Friday so not much was open and decided to walk from the station to the airport which is not that far (and almost a straight line). In 25 minutes, walking with luggage, I was at the NH Darsena Savona where I have stayed before, located in the renovated part of the port, which is almost like a marina now, and steps away from the cruise terminal. Costa has its own terminal in Savona which is nice, comfortable, and decorated with nice pics of the time it was Linea C. It is also quite an efficient terminal and embarkation tend to be smooth, even if there were two other Costa ships in port that day. The cruise had an easy itinerary too: Savona – Barcelona – Palma (Mallorca) – Marseille – Savona The Costa Favolosa is one on a series of large ships built after the ‘Carnivalisation’ of the Italian company and therefore, externally, it is not too different to the large Carnival ships. Its interiors were created by Joe Farcus (and it is not always easy to say if they are pleasing or not until one is on board). It was launched in 2011 and built at Marghera (‘continental’ Venice) The ship has 12 passenger decks, named after existing places or palaces which would link with the ‘fable’ theme of the ship (more on the name than on display), like Hermitage, Tivoli, Escorial, etc. My cabin, on deck 7, described as an Interior Single Classic, had actually a double bed. There was not space for a table and chair as in previous single cabins I had on Costa but the wardrobe was large enough and there were a lot of storage space and options. Bathroom was the standard with shower and plastic curtain. Nice shower though and easy to control temperature. I had a problem with noise in the air ducts but it was looked at by a technician and improved although it was not solved entirely. As a gesture I was given a nice box of sweets with an apology letter, which was a nice touch. Decks 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are almost exclusively dedicated to cabins. On deck 3 there is an Atrium, with a piazza kind of feeling, where there are also the reception and the excursions desk. It also has access to the lower level of the Teatro Hortensia (a large theatre occupying three decks) and to the MDRs Duca di Borgogna (center) and Duca di Orleans (aft), both occupying two decks. The theatre has good and modern equipment and the facility to present ice skating shows. The restaurants like most of the ship was decorated on subdued, wooddy tones as well as beige, black and red. The décor, considering it was created by Farcus, is incredibly classy and not so ‘a punch on your senses’. Deck 3 also has some open deck space which is a bit more sheltered than the one on the top decks. Deck 4 contains the top levels of the MDRs as well as the middle level of the theatre but also the photo shop, a tasteful meeting room called Fabergé, a beautiful chapel (similar to the ones on the other Costa ships but in more pastel colours) and the discotheque. One deck above one finds the top level of the theater, the shops, a nice, spacious library with beautiful sea views, a smokers room/bar called Montespan, the Grand Bar Palatino (one of the central areas for entertainment, which has an exquisite central ceiling composed of light blue glass shells and also has some colourful, vibrant sculptures in glass cases and the ships model), a cafeteria where one could get excellent hot chocolate and ice creams, the 4 D cinema, the casino, a piano bar called Camelot (where most of the colour used was red but the piano is white… one of the rare feelings of clashing colours on the ship), a ‘ballroom’ (actually not such a large room but also not much used) called Pompadour (in interesting tones of green, brown and interesting chair design) and perhaps my favourite space on board: the Molière lounge with simple, almost minimalistic, but well-designed chairs, and all in quite subdued colours, apart from the round blue ‘shields’ around the room. This was the place for the private events as well as some of the themed parties. The main swimming pool is on the center of deck 9 with a two-deck lido. Deck 9 is also where the lower level of the buffet as well as another swimming pool (aft with more open deck space) are to be found. One deck above is where the Squok Club (a separate area for small children) is located as well as the upper level of the buffet (a quieter, more pleasant area which in the evenings offer a pizza as well as a burger restaurant (extra tariff). The well-equipped gym, the spa thermal area as well as the Club Favolosa (the top extra tariff restaurant on board almost exclusively for suite passengers) are on deck 11. On deck 12 there is the formula one car experience, the top level of the spa, an Acqua Park for small children, jogging tracks and a area for basketball, etc. The other passengers were a mix of nationalities but the larger groups were French and Italian, with their not so well behaved children in tow (I now know to avoid Easter cruises in future). The passenger profile was not much different from the average mass market cruise these days, but, as a short cruise, during school holidays, it was not so impressive in behaviour and social manners, a price to pay to get a good offer on a single occupancy cabin sometimes. The food was quite ok, some interesting Italian regional menus but the portions are becoming smaller and smaller… the Samsara restaurant was worth the extra tariff for its creativity on menu and flavours as well as for the quieter environment (despite been next door to the larger Duca di Borgogna MDR). Food on the buffet was varied but it is often crowded and not a nice experience. Waiters no longer serve you drinks at the table and one must go to some points near the food stations to get drinks. More casual, probably logistically easy for the staff but not ideal when one is part of a large group, etc The weather was sunny for most of the cruise and the ship sailed smoothly for almost all the cruise (a bit more rolling when crossing the Gulf of Lions but glass smooth around Mallorca) Service was excellent in the cabin, which was kept spotless, restaurants (although more staff is needed… the poor waiter was taking care of five tables practically alone, so delays did occur), a bit slow on the bars but still ok, and the usual hit and miss at the buffet and open deck areas. Staff was mostly friendly but there was a feeling in the air that this is not a happy ship. Disembarkation was ok, on time and fairly smooth apart from the fact that Costa no longer arranges for a shuttle from the terminal to the train station (which was quite popular in the past) and there is not much information to be had once one leaves the ship. Luckily, I knew my way back to the station walking. The Costa Club ‘privileges’ are not so many now and there seems to be efforts to cut costs on them, but still better than in the competitor’s cruises. The ship was nice and well-kept but nothing particularly special. The itinerary was good and simple but again with nothing special. Costa needs to improve the product. There were no hosts talks on embarkation day, although they seem to have a fixed desk point on the ship, nothing really special on the gala night menu, that noisy, tedious white night, and the thermal area at the spa is in need of repairs and refitting. All in all, an average cruise, enjoyable if one knows where to go and when, but nothing remarkable. A pity as the ship is nice. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to ... Read More
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to direct the passengers to their cabins, I found the language a big barrier and I ended up on the ninth floor thinking it was my cabin but in actual fact I was sent to the buffet with luggage in hand. Once settled into the cabin we then had to do the emergency drill which was a joke, many didn't even wear their life jackets and were not checked for this, myself and my husband wasn't even checked to see if we had arrived, let alone accounted for, it wasn't until the following day did we receive a letter stating...as we hadn't attended the drill the evening before, we were to attend another one that day! The ship is beautiful but is spoiled by the thousands of passengers which pass through and have no regard for fellow travellers on a daily basis, with the pushing and shoving which accumulates at the food stations and seating areas to eat the food. The queues are long and tiresome with no time to ponder on which food to put on the plate, it's like a conveyer belt of passengers which never stops. The public areas are very crowded and are a fight to obtain a nice relaxing atmosphere in a seated area. The bar prices are way over the top and with a surcharge on top of that which makes social drinking quite painful. You could order bar packages for several hundreds of £'s but to get your monies worth you would have to be completely out of it to appreciate the so called perk of the package. The food where ever you chose to eat was a dismal experience with cold to luke warm plated meals or self service. It got to a point where we were dreading meal times because I hate cold food and we don't like bringing attention to ourselves by bringing it to the attention of crew members who couldn't understand English...at one point I did ask if my dinner could be put into the microwave...I even had to demonstrate in mimbe a microwave and said Ding Ding at the end, and to my amazement was told there are no microwaves on board, and yet when I challenged this to someone in authority he informed me they do indeed have microwaves! The crew members never smile, they shuffle along the decks doing their usual duties but if they can get away with it they will...many a time I had to clear my own table from previous diners before I could set my cold food down. One of the water and ice machines in the buffet had been out of order for the whole two weeks of my trip, and meal times were the only time you got free water to drink. Tea and coffee was free at breakfast and afternoon tea, but the rest of the time you had to purchase, I've been on many cruise ships and this service has always been free! The public toilets seemed to be a meeting place for the crew who mingled with the passengers to do their thing, I've never noticed this on other ships and must admit I'm not a fan. The sanitising stations are dotted around the ship but unfortunately hardly anyone uses them...they should be manned at the buffet and dining areas especially to ensure cross contamination is none existent. It only takes one mistake which could effect the entire ship and its reputation? The evening entertainment in my view was on par with other ships, tired acts which were repeated for the benifit of new passengers, audience participation was the order of the day, which in another language other than your own is quite daunting. There were the usual dance classes, bingo etc etc, but nothing to write home about. In fact, instead of coming home relaxed and energised I am now looking to book a retreat where I can rest my loins and brains....I so need a holiday! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we ... Read More
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we couldn't buy it before boarding the ship but there wouldn't be any added costs because it was a package. Then we were told we would have to get off the ship at 8a.m on Friday morning for our transfer to Nice from Savona, our transfer was arranged for 10.30 a.m through Costa and the Cruise Company we booked with. There were at least 100 passengers this happened to, most of them booking through the same company as ourselves, amongst the passengers were disabled people, myself and my husband included. it seemed to be the British passengers this was happening to, or at the very least, people flying into the UK. This earlier transfer meant that many of us would have a 12 hour wait at Nice Airport. The Captain put it a short appearance and then disappeared, the Reception staff didn't really want to know what was going on, and weren't very helpful anyway, then when some passengers started to get really angry, they offered them an extra hour before they caught their transfer but would have to wait on the quayside. We found it all totally unacceptable as this had been known to the staff onboard at least two days earlier but passengers had not been informed. I can't understand why people with an evening flight were put off the ship first and others with an earlier afternoon flight were allowed to stay onboard longer, this, to me seems ridiculous, also, one of the ports we should have stopped at, Tunis had understandably been cancelled so they took us to Sicily which was closed because of a Bank Holiday, when questioned about this we were told "You can go on one of our trips which is will cost you €50-€69." This was not ideal, I don't know why we were taken somewhere where there was very little to do, it all seemed to be about making extra money. I have told all my friends about this, many of whom cruise a couple of times a year and none of them will sail with Costa. The staff and food were lovely though, this was the only good thing. We cruise a couple of times a year, but will definitely not cruise with Costa again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We arrived on Sunday morning at 8am after a night flight. We could not embark on the ship till around 4.30pm. We sat in the terminal nodding off and walking around as we felt too tired to do anything else. We could have flown early on ... Read More
We arrived on Sunday morning at 8am after a night flight. We could not embark on the ship till around 4.30pm. We sat in the terminal nodding off and walking around as we felt too tired to do anything else. We could have flown early on Sunday morning and would not have had to sit around for hours. When we finally embarked we had to wait another two hours until our cabin was ready and a further 45 minutes until our luggage arrived.Drinks very expensive, beer 4.50 euros. Single spirit measure 6.25 euros and a mixer 2.50 euros + 15% surcharge on top of every drink purchased. Not allowed to purchase duty free spirits on board (you can on P & O at duty free prices). Ship design - very dazzling in places, bit glitzy. Not that many passengers follow the dress code - many wore casual wear on formal nights. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 which was very comfortable - no complaints there. I had expected the food to be delicious as italian restaurants in England are always a favourite. Food was bland, most of the meat 'braised' and I'm afraid very bland. Despite the novovirus which can happen on ships, no one enforces the use of hand sanitizer on entering restaurants - although it is there! This was our fifth cruise and although I enjoyed Dubai and the other ports of call I was disappointed. The adult swimming pool at the rear of the ship says that children are not allowed to swim there but daily there were children using this pool and no one enforced the rule. I would not recommend this cruise line and have been advised to look at Princess Cruises next. I really fancied a grilled fillet steak for dinner but after a few days I was disenchanted with meat that was "braised". Also there were no vegetables served. If you had prawns they had not been cleaned, they still had their intestine tract! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected a long cruise taking us through the Mediterranean, around the English Channel and through the Baltic sea to St Petersburg. The itinerary was good and because we selected an outside balcony cabin, we were quite comfortable ... Read More
We selected a long cruise taking us through the Mediterranean, around the English Channel and through the Baltic sea to St Petersburg. The itinerary was good and because we selected an outside balcony cabin, we were quite comfortable throughout the journey. The ship itself is a large liner and pretty much to the standard you'd expect. Entertainment is, well, entertaining and our cabin staff were friendly and helpful as you'd expect. However it kind of goes down hill from there! From day 1 the embarkation, on-board organisation and meal experience was disastrous. (1) Embarkation was 3 hours standing in queues despite some elderly people we noticed having a lot of difficulty. There were no crew members checking on the health and happiness of guests and a bit of care and HR in this regard (maybe some water thrown in) would have done heaps toward the initial experience. Perhaps Costa should realise that the first experience is critical. (2) Many waiters, bar staff and service centre staff are rude and should be made to walk the plank. We understand that working 11 hrs per day for 6 months on end, whilst (apparently) on minimal wages will toll heavily on most people. However, they're pretty much a surly unhelpful lot. It's hard to put this into words as no particular incidents stand out from the rest. Basically it's an attitude problem. With the exception of some, you get the feeling they just don't like you. Maybe they should go somewhere else? Maybe management should take a good look at this problem? (3) Tours and Cost-a-lot. The magic show isn't restricted to the theatre. In-fact, there's lots of "slight of hand" when it comes to this part of the cruise. Cost-a-lot arranged shuttle buses in every port to take people to and from town centres for about Euros 15 each person. In most cases town was quite close and could be walked or public transport was available for 1/10th of that price. When querying this prior to docking, Cost-a-lot excursions desk referred you to the help desk and vice versa with no-one apparently knowledgeable of where they were heading or willing to give advice. The on-board shops were a rip off to which we fell victim. We purchased 2 Invicta watches, which were said to be discounted by 75%. During the purchase i asked if the discount was genuine or not. We were assured it was. It wasn't at all! When researched we found that we could have purchased these same watches from various retailers cheaper than what we did and without any discount. We also noticed that the alleged 75% off was offered to guests coming on board throughout different parts of the trip as a "once day flash sale". This is a good trick Cost-a-lot! In Australia, we call it lying. (4) Food and Restaurants. OMG! The Bellagio Buffet (the zoo) is something to write about. The food from cruise start to finish is lacklustre and cold. Don't be late, though! If you don't covet a table and defend it with your life a good 45 minutes before it opens, you'll wait 20 minutes in line before you get something to eat. Pushing and queue jumping is normal. Piling food on plates is normal - then because it's too much to eat, discarded. One tip i have for "the zoo" is to have the salads in a different place to that of being before the hot food containers. This will alleviate people standing at the front of the line picking and choosing a bit of this and that cheese and lettuce whilst there's 200 people behind them waiting to get some hot food. The Bellagio needs a total revamp. Sit down restaurants were more civilised and the food was okay for the most part. Read Less
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