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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
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked this western Mediterranean cruise to visit most ports that I had not been to. I also had never been on Costa or any other Italian flag ship. I had cruised Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Princess on a total of 8 cruises. ... Read More
Booked this western Mediterranean cruise to visit most ports that I had not been to. I also had never been on Costa or any other Italian flag ship. I had cruised Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Princess on a total of 8 cruises. The advertised cost seemed reasonable, but then came added things, like water package, drink package, and specialty restaurants like the ice cream bar and the Pizza restaurant. Other high end restaurants are also available. The pizza at the pizza restaurant was the best food that I had on the ship. The Pia Gusto drink package was a reasonable buy which covers most drinks and coffees. The Illy coffee is probably the only thing that would get me on Costa again. Dining room food was the poorest I have ever had on a cruise line. Our waiter seemed burned out, but maybe he was near the end of his contract time.The fact that they board and disembark passengers at each port means less waiting at disembarkation, but annoying safety drill announcements in six languages at every port. The pay for pizza was nice because the pizza was excellent, reasonably priced and because it cost a little extra there was no waiting, which I’ve seen on other ships with passengers that can eat them as fast as they are produced. A small cost for exceptional coffee is much better than other cruise lines “swill coffee”. The passengers are probably 80% European, which means limited chatting with your fellow cruisers which to me is a disadvantage, interacting with fellow cruisers is usually part of the fun of cruising. Would I do Costa again? Probably not. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a ... Read More
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a start, and I missed the numerous bars and extra expanse of the Diadema. The staff were in the large part nice and friendly with a few exceptions. Those who run the buffet cannot get it cleared quick enough at 'closing time'. Apart from he fact that breakfast has to be taken by 9.30am, and the food will be whipped away at exactly 9.30am, lunch and dinner are a similar experience. Food in the buffet was decent enough, but repetitive. However the biggest issue was that everything was luke warm to downright cold. Even seconds after replenishing, cuts of meat, potatoes etc all luke warm. Costa also still persist with this ridiculous policy of having a manned drinks area. Stingily opening cans of coke etc and pouring them into glasses. God forbid you should want a WHOLE can of coke! This is glaringly different to my last cruise on the MSC Seaside in the Caribbean, where drinks of all kinds are dispensed, water freely available, and even Wine is help yourself at dinner time. Food in the restaurants is excellent, every night was superb. I just felt overall, the Diadema was a better experience. We enjoyed the Fortuna, it tries, is very clean and pleasant, but we would probably not book it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and ... Read More
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and documentaries on China's CGTN network. Entertainment was quite poor with the best act being a comedy magician on the night before disembarkation. No milk or fridge in our cabin. We could only use our balcony when at sea since there was always cleaning, painting & maintenance being done while in port and the balconies on deck 2 were used as a through way for staff so the extra cost for the balcony was not good value. Why does a brand new ship need painting? Mandatory €10 per person per day (including disembarkation day) for "Service Charge" plus another service charge on any drinks and food purchased. Mixing cultures and too many languages really doesn't work for me. Every announcement was repeated in about 5 languages and the behaviour of some passengers in the buffet restaurant beggars belief with pushing and piling plates to overflowing with one type of food and thus quickly depleting amount left for other people. We've sailed with a fair number of cruise lines and therefore we have something to judge Costa against. One gets the impression that Costa's aim was to relieve passengers of as much money as possible. This was the worst cruise we have been on and no way will be sail with Costa again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Cabin was still brand new and vey nice, only down side no fridge. Food was not up to standard and buffet food very poorly presented. Company policy dictates that water is not to be provided with lunch or dinner, passengers MUST purchase ... Read More
Cabin was still brand new and vey nice, only down side no fridge. Food was not up to standard and buffet food very poorly presented. Company policy dictates that water is not to be provided with lunch or dinner, passengers MUST purchase bottled water. Skim milk was not available at all. A large number of passengers very rude pushing and shoving, taking more food than they could possibly eat (you would think they had never seen food before) this made the cruise experience very unpleasent and would NEVER recommend a Costa cruise to anyone if this is normal behavior on their cruises. Shore excursions very expensive, best to do your own thing by hiring a local taxi. There is a €10.00 per day per person gratuity fee that all passengers must pay, when passengers starting complaining that they would rather pay the gratuity directly to the staff that were looking after them it was suddenly changed to a hotel service charge (we were lead to believe that the staff never actually receive any of this so called gratuity). Activities on board very limited mostly dance classes. Evening entrainment very boring with the exception of the Tenor who quite frankly was too good for the ship. Overall a very disappointing experience. First and last Costa cruise. NEVER AGAIN. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was ... Read More
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was 145eupp for 10hrs, and was just walking everywhere. Did have a nice lunch though. On arrival we were welcomed into a huge shed with 4/5000people all arriving at the same time, what a joke, it took 3hrs to load all the passengers. Why did we all arrive at the same time? ever heard of allocating times for arrivals. Also there was no water during this waiting period. The service from wait staff initially was appalling, the Indian and the Chinese were not well cordinated, didnt seem to know their duties, felt sorry for them. The restaurants decore were what you would expect from a brand new ship, very elegant, also the food was good, but always cold! this pattern ran thru all food outlets in the ship. Some of the behavior of a lot of the passengers left a lot to be desired, at the buffet piled their plates with food like it was the last supper. There was a masked gala advertised on their original website which never happened, just a few staff wearing masks. We expected a formal dinner dance like other cruise ships have. The nightly entertainment was not as expected and in some cases was amateur. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having ... Read More
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having been all over the world decided to opt for a different costa ship as the itinerary looked appealing. The attitude of the majority of the staff was appalling. we literally had to plead for English Breakfast tea bags, and butter. Please, thankyou and smiles were rarely used. The food was not good, the portions were small and always luke warm. We used the upstairs buffet mostly, this was not much better but at least there was more choice. We got talking to other cruisers and found that a lot had sickness bugs which leads to my main concern -----THE SHIP HAD HAND SANITISERS WHICH NOBODY WAS ENCOURAGED TO USE. Worse still a lot of the time they were empty. When we pointed this out we were met with a shrug of the shoulders. Passengers often used their fingers to pick up food from the buffet and filled their water bottles from the water machine. Oh and by the way be careful if you ask for a bottle of soft drink as we sat and watched the staff filling up bottles with the bits left over. we returned many bottles that appeared full but the seals were broken. There were many other bad points, but just please think twice before you spend your money on a costa cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems ... Read More
Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems that staffing has been reduced. For example, no poolside or buffet bar services offered - apart from the short period at breakfast, supplying coffee etc. Also, only one cabin visit from the steward per day which meant having to reuse wet towels for a morning shower. There seemed to be fewer staff around generally which might have been the reason for slower bar and restaurant service - and as a result this may explain the tepid or sometimes cold food being delivered to tables. The Cruise Consultant confirmed (sadly) that these changes were across all Costa ships, not just this one. There was a lot of pressure to buy the drinks packages, which we tend to do anyway but far fewer people seemed to be PAYG for drinks. With the reduced staffing it was much more difficult to get served and we began to wonder whether this was engineered to reduce the drinks bill for those having bought packages. Also, talking about the drinks package, we were on board for nearly 4 weeks and at dinner and lunch we were served only two different white wines and two red. It got rather monotonous after a while. Finding a table for a buffet lunch was a challenge to say the least. Queueing was the norm - at the buffet and bars, the information desk, to see the English host, the Costa Club rep, even the Cruise Sales rep. A friend, went back to book their next cruise but walked away because the rep allowed someone to queue jump. Additional quick points: No chance of getting into the gym - far too small At the quiz, shabbily presented - girl with a mike - and poor English. Embarkation - bit of a farce, but that's not unusual with Costa Disembarkation - they blamed Port Authorities for a long delay, but it was Costa that evicted us from cabins at 8am Informstion Desk - visited twice and twice given incorrect info Despite all the above comments, I do want to emphasise that overall, staff were trying their best, still smiling and obliging. They seemed to be hampered by trying to serve more people in less time. This seems to be more of a management issue - or dare I say, a profits issue. Overall, I do feel reviewers should rate cruises with some consideration of the price they have paid for the their cruise and I have done so. Previously, I have been more than happy with the more laid back approach to cruising proved by Costa, and found it to be good value. Now, I feel it's gone too far. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a 31 day repositioning cruise from Reunion to Venice and the main attraction was the itinerary around the Indian Ocean and the Eastern Med. The Victoria is an old ship and the decor, compared to MSC ships can best be described ... Read More
This was a 31 day repositioning cruise from Reunion to Venice and the main attraction was the itinerary around the Indian Ocean and the Eastern Med. The Victoria is an old ship and the decor, compared to MSC ships can best be described as ‘drab’. This was my first Costa Cruise so I had an open mind. The usual mix of five languages with French and Italians being predominant - very rude and very ignorant. The cabins were comfortable and the showers were always hot with plenty of pressure. Food was very good. Never a bad meal. I did not use the buffet after witnessing people handling food directly, replacing food from their plates having changed their mind (I assume) and generally coughing all over it. The standard of hygiene was a genuine concern - the Staff did nothing to enforce cleanliness and, as others have commented, hand gel containers were usually empty. Almost all passengers were affected to varying degrees with a severe cough and chest infection which the staff did nothing to prevent or restrict. Passengers that were clearly very ill and should have been confined to their cabins were allowed in the dining rooms - happily sharing their germs to all and sundry. Security was also very poor - the ‘Security Team’ inspired absolutely no confidence. Entertainment was generally good and the majority of the bar and restaurant staff worked very hard and always with a smile. My cabin steward was hopeless but he was probably the exception. Shore excursions were, basically, a rip off. Extremely poor value for money. Drinks prices in the bars were high - much higher than in a shore bar and with a 15% service charge. The daily service charge of 10 euros was mandatory. Pizza was available at an additional charge - on an Italian Ship! Because of the hygiene and security concerns I would never consider a Costa cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say ... Read More
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say the least!!! Never again will look or put a foot on a Costa vessel regardless on what they offer. A catalogue of mistakes, rudeness, could not care and bother attitude from all, especially from management, supervisors and officers as a whole. Informations as from the so called Head Offce never reached the vessel, comunication failure all round. Billing instructions even worst. Costa liner has become a 'bums on seat' category styled business, they attitude has totally gone astray and into deep waters. No customer skill or customer care in force. All what they want is: come on board, pay the bills and get out!!!!! Arrived in Dubai with BA flight at 08.00, presumably you could check in at 13.00, never advertise differently, the earliest they allowed you to, was 16.30, without a drink, snack or whatsoever. Had a special need individual with us, requested a wheelchair for at least 4 times, never arrived untill 17.20. By this time we were already stressed up. Taken luggages at 11.00am, yet never arrived in the cabins untill 20.45, just before dinner time. We were planning to visit Dubai, we hand up going nowhere expect on board. Lost the visit of Dubai sights!! Next day went to one of the bar for informations on non-alcoholic cocktails, prices and choices, was manned very rudly by an individual in the most abrat way. Complained to Head barman (Umberto) and had no confidence in him simply he was not responding enthusiastically and responsive to guest need. Blant as a tree trunk. Ordered via Costa website, water packages (3), never materialised even dough I had receipt from Costa on my mobile emails. Had to argue my way around. Restaurant food was very mediocre on majority of nights, very small or miniscule portions, mostly was cold or just about warm. Felt sorry for our waiter, because he was getting the hard times from the company failures. Gluten free diet was the worst ever experienced in 11 cruise taken in the past with other companies. Bread roll was like a chewing gum, soups were very watery, offered fish finger as main course, offered mini burgers or pizzas as glutel free mains. These dishes I dont even offer them to my granchildren which are 4 years and a 6 years old!! When decided to by a water package, reception decide to cancel it making my stressful time even harder. Every night in the main bar had discussion and disagreements with catering staff in respect to the totals showing on receipt, and being told the computer has made mistakes. How many naive guest have not checked and lost their drinks? Buffet food was always cold even dough they had proper utensils and not used fully! in numerous occasions had to ask chefs to change the food on offer and ensuring food was hot when it need to be hot!! A Russian originated receptionist and a night Italian male extremely rude in occasions. By the time we arrived in Muscat, I wanted to check out and return to UK, if I had the facilities of internet connection for flight search. Paid a wifi connection for the whole cruise, (48 euros) yet only used 30 minutes a day because it was not working properly, excuse was 'the satellite was not in good condition'. English breakfast tea, not available most of the days, had to beg waiters and given one bag at the time. Same goes to the decaffeinated coffee, you had to beg for getting a sachet. Public toilets closed most day at buffet time, when lunch session started. No facilities of hand washing, hence the contamination of dirty hand on board, not enough liquid jel for guest to use. A broken chair found in the casino and reported was never fixed for a least 4 days, very cleverly the chair was moved to another fruit machine. Lots of inconvenience for guest but very conveniently for the staff. Of course they are there to work but they are there to please and ensuring the guest needs are met. Worst of all, the service charge is a compulsary and very expensive item. £180.00 for the cruise each. The only saving grace was the entertainement team lead by Ariel, was very helpful, friendly, enthusiast, and above all very funny to all guest. Read Less
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