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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our first cruise. We needed a cruise that fit in with pre-allocated holidays at work and also to discover somewhere new. The Western Mediterranean ports have mostly been visited on other, non cruising holidays, so we wanted the ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We needed a cruise that fit in with pre-allocated holidays at work and also to discover somewhere new. The Western Mediterranean ports have mostly been visited on other, non cruising holidays, so we wanted the Eastern Mediterranean and chose a cruise from Venice on Costa Luminosa. Some of the points highlighted in this review may seem trivial to seasoned cruisers but we had 101 questions before our cruise so hopefully this review may help others who are/were in the same situation as ourselves. To anyone like ourselves I would say "don't worry. A lot of things become self explanatory once on board" There are lots of variables when booking a cruise and I did some hefty research on sites like Cruise Critic. Some of the items we booked were merely a "fluke" like getting a drinks package included. We booked around 7 months in advance on the Costa website and chose a Premium Balcony cabin. This allowed us to choose the cabin we wanted and we opted for cabin 7260 which was mid-ship on the left hand side and had cabins above and below us to minimize the noise from bars, disco's, engines, theatre and the sundeck. As mentioned this also included the Brindiamo drinks package - more later. Also, by choosing this type of cabin we could specify preferences about meal times and we chose the first sitting (18:45) and specified a table for two in the upstairs dining room. My wife is on a Gluten Free diet so, a few days after booking, I telephoned Costa in Genoa and told them about the special request. We were advised that they could only guarantee gluten free food if we ate in the main dining room. They advised us not to eat in the buffet for this reason. We paid our deposit and I made a note to myself and paid the balance about 8 weeks in advance. Whilst the initial booking could be done online we could only pay the balance by telephone. Approximately 3 weeks before travel we received an email from Costa with boarding forms and luggage labels which we had to print out ourselves. We traveled from the UK to Venice by train and stayed the night before the cruise in a hotel in Mestre which is a few miles from Venice on the mainland. Our documentation from Costa said that boarding began at 14:00 so we headed from Mestre to Venice late morning and had a bite to eat. From Santa Lucia railway station in Venice it's a steady 25 minute walk to the cruise terminal. There's also a people mover which costs 1.50 Euro's and would reduce this transit time to about 12 minutes. Once at the port (at about 14:05) we handed our suitcases over and were given embarkation number 15. We proceeded to a waiting room and discovered that they were processing group number 12. We sat and waited for a short time before they called number 15. There were long queues but we seemed to move quickly. After checking in we had the obligatory pose for the camer-man and headed to the ship. It took exactly 1 hour from arriving at the terminal to getting to our cabin. The cabin was excellent. Plenty of room. A decent sized en-suite. Balcony with two chairs and a small table. Mini-Bar and a comfy bed. There was a selection of fruit and biscuits for us and a sign saying that they were gluten free (as we had told them). It was my wife's birthday on the day of boarding and there was a birthday card from the captain waiting for her in the cabin. On the bed were our Costa Cards, and some other information. At this point we discovered that people were allowed on-board from 11:45. So we had been killing time all morning waiting when we could have been on the ship 2-3 hours earlier. We had read many articles suggest things to do during the first few hours onboard. To put it mildly, we were overwhelmed. I think initially someone had suggested the pool. We didn't get this far until day 3 ! Each day a "Diary de Bordo" is delivered to your cabin. This shows navigation, weather and entertainment information and also information about shore excursions (where to meet and at what time etc). However, something that we almost missed was the "Welcome meeting" which was done at 15:30 in the Grand Bar Ellectra for English speaking guests. We found this very useful and would strongly suggest that any novice cruisers like ourselves seek this out on the first afternoon. We were advised that "English Speaking Guests" totaled 440 on this cruise. English speaking guests are those who don't communicate in the main languages used (French / German and Italian but not Russian). So included in this number were Swedish, Norwegian and Brazilian nationalities as well as British, Amercan and Canadians etc. I believe there was also a Russian host on board but ship announcements were not made in Russian. Whilst I am not privy to exact numbers I would estimate that the cruise consisted of 40% Italian, 25% German, 25% French and 10% split between other nationalities. It was rare to hear any other guest speak English on board. Most of the ships activities are on decks 2, 3 and 9. It's a beautiful ship. Very clean and well maintained. It was interesting to watch the officers do their inspections and pick up on the tiniest area that wasn't clean enough and tell staff to clean it. The Costa Card :- in our cabin was a Costa Card. This was our "passport" to the ship for the next week. It opened the cabin door and was used to obtain services on board. It was shown (and scanned) when leaving on shore excursions and likewise when returning to the ship. As our cabin included certain drinks we had to show it whenever ordering a drink. Each bar has a drinks menu. Next to each drink is a colour code representing the various drinks packages. I believe a grey dot represented a drink included in our package. Should we have ordered a drink that was not included in the package we would have been given a receipt and this amount debited to our room. Drinks on board generally ranged from 3 to 6 Euros. We subsequently discovered that our drinks package would have cost us 27 Euro's per day - that's between 5 and 9 drinks per day to make it worthwhile. We probably had about 5. Drinks that are included in your package convey no surcharge. However, anything not included has a 15% surcharge levied. Free water is available (by the glass) in the buffet area and pool area at the rear of the ship. Bottled water costs 1.70 Euro's (plus service charge) for 0.5 litres. One thing worth noting is that we were told that for environmental reasons all drinks are by the glass. When ordering a Pepsi it was poured from a 330ml can into a glass holding 250ml. What happened to the last bit I have no idea but we never saw them "recycle" a drink by pouring a bit from one can and the rest from another. The main dining seemed to be quieter (and smaller) on deck 3 rather than deck 2. Our waiter said the later sitting was the busiest. We found the food the be excellent. Yes, there is an Italian theme but also plenty of choices that are not just pasta. Each evening my wife was given a special "Gluten Free" menu which generally contain choices not available on the standard menu. Our waiter was slightly dour on the first day and we recalled some bad reviews with trepidation. However, we joked with him, talked to him and, by the end of the cruise felt that he was one of our best friends. A truly warm, genuine person. The cabin steward was also a very kind, warm person. Always smiling and kept the cabin in immaculate condition. When we got to the cabin on the first afternoon we could choose the time that would suit us best for it to be cleaned. We opted for the afternoon/evening as we would normally be having dinner. We had a very slight problem with a light not working and the cabin steward immediately stopped everything he was doing to fix it (it transpires that a previous guest had unplugged it) The bar staff were also great. Often remembering who arrived for drinks in what order and dealing with 3 people at once. On our subsequent feedback questionnaire to Costa we rated the ships officers quite badly as they hardly spoke and were miserable. However, without exception, the "normal" staff were incredibly attentive and cheerful. If you engage with them you would be treat like royalty. I received a free drink at the bar one day because, he said, " I had made him smile". Also, I had a daily ritual with one of the chefs at breakfast. Early in the cruise she was singing "You are my sunshine" as it was a beautiful sunny day. As the week progressed I asked her about the song of the day. As she normally was cooking omelets we had songs like "How do you like you eggs in the morning" and "Smile" though we changed the words a little from "Smile though your heart is aching" to "Smile though your eggs are breaking". Even though my wife was on a Gluten free diet we did use the buffet area on more than one occasion. My wife has an intolerance to wheat but if we are sensible we can work out what foods are likely to contain this substance. By 8am the buffet was busy. As early risers we were there at 7-7.30 and it was almsot deserted. The buffet restaurant opened about 11.30 for lunch. Usually at this time (until about midday) it wasn't that busy. However by 12:30 people were hunting for tables. There are four main serving areas. However there may be small variation with what's available at each one. For example, one may have carrots whilst another one may have the carrots swapped for Broccoli. Unless you are really picky and desperate there is certainly no need to visit more than one serving station. We only visited the buffet once in the evening and this was at 8pm and found it to be quiet. There is some repetition of food and some dishes (potato wedges appeared every night) In the main dining room you have an allocated table for evening meal but you are shown to a seat at Breakfast and Lunch which could be anywhere and generally only on deck 2 (the upstairs restaurant is only open on an evening). We had breakfast in the main dining room once and was bitterly disappointed. There is a small buffet area and you can also order one of a themed breakfast - so they had an American breakast, an English breakfast a Norwegian brekfast etc. We found, on the English breakfast that the bacon was like charcoal and the egg very "snotty". However for lunch and evening meal the food was spectacular. The portions are not huge but the menu is based on having 4 or 5 courses. We really enjoyed our meals and found them to well presented and very tasty. Dress code was varied. Each night there was a theme. Red & Black night / White night / Mask night. I would estimate that only 10% of guests actually took heed of this. People were having meals in shorts and t-shirts - even on gala night. The theatre has two showings. (I believe) at 19:30 if you have a late meal and 21:30 if you have an early sitting for dinner. Each show lasts 35-40 minutes. The first night was a magician who was "ok". Other nights we thoroughly enjoyed each show. One reviewer said "slapstick". We would vehemently disagree. Each announcement was made in Italian, French, German and English. Some people have said this was tedious. However we are an English couple sailing from Italy to the Greek islands. How lucky were we that they even took the time to speak English ? In our opinion - very ! Every member of staff was fluent in all the aforementioned languages. Also, we found it nice to be part of the minority. If, as an English couple, we wanted to be surrounded by English speaking people and visit a destination where everyone spoke English then we could have gone to Skegness. It was an eye-opener in our last port as a cruise ship with predominantly English speaking guests was also in port. Suddenly everywhere in town were British people and it spoilt what I would describe as the "exclusivity". We found the majority of other passengers to be miserable and very bad mannered. The staff would pass you and say "hello, Good morning". You would have been lucky to get a scowl from other guests. At the bar I would say " a cappuccino please". Many, many times I heard other nationalities just say "expresso" or "pepsi". No manners ! Needless to say that their bad manners persisted on shore excursions and meal times. We booked all of our shore excursions through Costa as we were unsure what would happen with self booked tours. This was, to us the worst part of our cruise. Generally, with fewer English speaking guests we shared our coach with other nationalities. French one day, Italian the next etc - however all announcements were multi-lingual Bari - Sassi de Matera We were in port for 6 hours but this tour took 5.5 hours. We were rushed with hardly any time for toilet stops. An audio/visual presentation was made in a cave. The tour guide cut in half way through say "got to go". We were given 30 minutes of free time at the end and told to meet "back here at 17:30". At 17:25 the tour guide took us back the coach, as she was in such a hurry, leaving some guests behind and a couple of these must have been in their 80's. Of course we were then delayed whilst she went back to find them... Keffalonia - Caves/Lake/Beach The visit to the beach was to "look at it" from 1000ft up a maintain. The caves and lake were good but very long queues for the lake (1 hour queue) Santorini - Oia and Fira Excellent tour guide. Excursion spoilt by very long wait to use the cable car. Queuing for 1 hour to use it. Worried about making the last tender back to the boat Mykonos- walking tour of Mykonos Waste of money. Tour guide took us on a 1 hour walk around Mykonos. "here's a windmill", "this is a shop", "that's a church". We discovered more in our own time that with him. Katakolon - Olympia We got a coach from Katakolon to Olympia with entrance included but no tour guide. We were disappointed by the short time we had there and also the lack of signage in Olympia telling you what things were. At the end of the cruise we were disappointed to leave. Whilst we didn't participate in many of the activities available time went by quickly - even our last day- at sea. We are now looking forward to our next cruise - but would like to try another company for comparison. Considering all of the negative reviews on Cruise Critic about Costa we were very impressed and they exceeded our expectations. I use an old adage "behavior breeds behavior". Treat the staff with courtesy and respect and they will treat you like royalty. The poor shore excursions and bad mannered, rude fellow travellers has stopped me rating this as 5* Even though we would like to try another cruise line we would not hesitate to book with Costa again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We’re experienced cruisers, but this was our first time on Costa. We selected this cruise because it sailed from Venice (which we love) and because there were a couple of the ports that we hadn’t visited previously. The embarkation ... Read More
We’re experienced cruisers, but this was our first time on Costa. We selected this cruise because it sailed from Venice (which we love) and because there were a couple of the ports that we hadn’t visited previously. The embarkation process went smoothly and we were delighted with our cabin. It was a mid-level balcony and had plenty of storage space and room to spread out. We loved every port and felt that we had adequate time in each one. The food was surprisingly good!! The breakfast buffet had lots of choices that were properly prepared. Dinners were terrific. Absolutely no complaints with the food. We were pleasantly surprised that smoking was very restricted and did not cause us any problems. I was a bit concerned about taking a Costa cruise since it’s considered “budget.” Fortunately, those fears proved to be unfounded and I would gladly book another Costa Cruise. One other thing...a couple of days after we completed this cruise we took a 12 day MSC Cruise out of Barcelona. What a contrast! The MSC cabin (same category) was tiny and the food...oh my goodness. It was just awful. Never again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise ever; we didn't knew what to expect, but it was all very good and it won't be the last cruise we make. More than enough space on the ship. You don't notice that there are more than 2.000 guests on ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever; we didn't knew what to expect, but it was all very good and it won't be the last cruise we make. More than enough space on the ship. You don't notice that there are more than 2.000 guests on board. Nice room (inside cabin 1248). Friendly personel, enough place on deck to find a nice/silent spot to sit in the sun. The food is good; for dinner you can choice for a luxury dinersetting on deck 2 or self-buffet on deck 9. When having dinner on deck 2 (restaurant Taurus), it takes sometimes a bit longer to finish dinner and therefore coming to late for the entertainment in the theater. Every evening we got the daily program for the next day in our cabin. We were with the two of us. You can see than Costa cruises are interesting for family's with children, because there were quit a lot of them. Not many older people. We didn't wnet with a shore excursions; we did it all bij ourselves. That's the nice thing with cruising, you are never very far away from the cities. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We choose for this cruise , because ; -The itineraries -The price of the cruise -All Inclusive (Diner and lots of beverages as wine, cognac,whiskey,beer, liquer,cocktails... -The total amount of days (just one week, not ... Read More
We choose for this cruise , because ; -The itineraries -The price of the cruise -All Inclusive (Diner and lots of beverages as wine, cognac,whiskey,beer, liquer,cocktails... -The total amount of days (just one week, not more) -The size of cabin and balcony -Entertainment We enjoyed the services of the crew, we liked the lay-out of the ship, - yes on this ship one can enjoy also more quiet areas. Deck four we loved quite well , if you like to walk quite a bit, this deck was well made for this This was not our first cruise and we enjoyed also other companies as; - Royal Crarribean (2x) - Norwegian Cruiseline - Celebrity (2x) - Holland America Line And yes ,they were all good ,so also Costa Luminosa was. And no; this ship was not too noisy One demand from us to Costa; Please make Venice or for exemple Triesta a port where you have more control on (communication with port authorities) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
'Costa Luminosa' is a classic cruise liner, 8 years old, with a more traditional form, compared to newer ships. Interiors appeared to me like some sort of 'Art Deco', with lots of colorful illumination and warm colors. ... Read More
'Costa Luminosa' is a classic cruise liner, 8 years old, with a more traditional form, compared to newer ships. Interiors appeared to me like some sort of 'Art Deco', with lots of colorful illumination and warm colors. There were always lots of free sun loungers on the spacious sun decks, and the ship did never appear crowded. Everybody on board was friendly, caring and attentive. After arriving at about 11:30am, it took me nearly 3 hours from the port gate through the entire embarkation process to my stateroom, long waiting times again and again, but I was repeatedly addressed in German language. The staff and crew was always doing a good job in talking to their guests in each their languages. The security drill took less than 30 minutes and was held in Italian and English languages; movies with other languages were available on the TV in the stateroom the entire cruise. I found some clocks going wrong on board, and generally, light wear and tear. Since I am a buffet type of passenger, and I generally try to avoid long sessions in the main dining rooms, I did not visit the main dining room. In the evenings, the 'Ristorante Andromeda' was open from 07:30pm to 09:00pm usually, a very limited time for a buffet restaurant, not so Italian like, and there were queues sometimes, since the buffets are arranged on long bars with a narrow alley, not allowing guests to jump. Plastic table ware was used, but the offered food was among the best things on the cruise, although two typical Italian foods like pizza and ice cream were not included in the cruise fare. Choice of food was very good with a big variety, not just pasta, but also different kinds of fish and meat, even the best possible Bratwurst, always very freshly prepared opposite to the buffets, and very delicious small desserts from the patisserie. The spoons and forks at the buffet had greasy handles sometimes, and food was partially the same for lunch and dinner or dessert and 'La Merenda' on some days. Not so bad, since it tasted always very good. I had the 'Pranzo & Cena' beverage package, since only different beverages for breakfast and tea time were included in the cruise fare. Usually, only one side of the restaurant with each 2 different buffets was used in the evenings, thus there was always more free seating on the other side of the restaurant. At rush times, the restaurant was full, and it was hard for me to find free seating. 'Costa Crociere' offers some very few beverage 'Vending Machines' in the 'Ristorante Andromeda'. The guest can insert the 'Carta Costa' and choose between 6 different refreshment drinks. The given price on the monitor will then either be added to the board account, or was already paid with a beverage package. I tasted cool water instead of the expected lemonade, and was also astonished about the amount that came out of the machine, it filled the plastic cup only half, an estimated of 150ml. The guest can also get beverages at the end of every buffet line in the 'Ristorante Andromeda' at lunch and dinner, manually served by always very friendly staff, a full plastic cup with 250ml to 300ml out of cans or bottles. The 'Carta Costa' must be shown or handed over to the staff for paying therefore, any purchased beverage package is noted with its code on the card. Tap water is free, available from dispensers in the 'Ristorante Andromeda'. The 'Samsara Spa' crew was always very busy with promoting their offers, paper ads were delivered to the stateroom and handed out to guests near the gangway when returning from excursions. Hand disinfection was available at every buffet, but was not taken very seriously by most guests on this cruise. The entertainment program offered something for everyone, every day, with live music sometimes. Entertainment was as multilingual as the entire cruise, a charming Babylonian language jumble. I had purchased the Internet M package with a bandwidth for the entire cruise, and the internet speed was good on board. Excursions; I only booked a transfer from Katakolon to Olympia, the fare was ok, the bus on time, the journey times shorter than announced, but the stay of only 2 hours was too short for an interested visitor like me. Generally, short stays of the ship in the harbors with only one single full day stay at Mykonos. As on most ships, orientation support lacked on 'Costa Luminosa' as well. No port and starboard signs, and no stateroom direction signs in the staircase halls. I learnt after dinner on the last evening of the cruise about the departure procedure for the next morning, about only 3 hours before I had to put my baggage in front of the stateroom door at midnight. Staff at the 'Hospitality Service Desk' was very friendly and gave me an earlier disembarkation slot, since my assigned time was way too late for catching my flight. Disembarkation then proceeded very quickly the next morning. On-board accounting was correct. Thank you 'Costa Crociere' for a wonderful cruise with so good food, charming multilingualism and your warm Italian hospitality on bella 'Costa Luminosa'! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise experience.. and we are already planning for our second time, so i can say it was nice, defintely! I loved the ship and the itinerary, quite less the dining: the buffet was too crowded and quite often with poor ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience.. and we are already planning for our second time, so i can say it was nice, defintely! I loved the ship and the itinerary, quite less the dining: the buffet was too crowded and quite often with poor quality. Room service was very good and frequent but bar service was not as good: waiters seems to avoid looking at you when they are even partialy busy, and it's not a nice sensation. Pool are also too small and crowded and so i never used them I loved samsara spa very much, even if, in my opinion, entrance fee is a quite too expensive (35 €/day/person). Squok (mini) club is very small but the service is fine and my child loved it. Unfortunately, due to rough sea, captain choosed not to land in our main stage: Mykonos... i'm just wondering if any other captain would make the same decision. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We went as a family of nine and had a superb week, it was my 80th birthday which was the main reason being choosing these dates and Costa Luminosa staff were wonderful. The whole cruise was really enjoyable we ate mainly in the Taurus ... Read More
We went as a family of nine and had a superb week, it was my 80th birthday which was the main reason being choosing these dates and Costa Luminosa staff were wonderful. The whole cruise was really enjoyable we ate mainly in the Taurus Restaurant the food was Italian based as you would well imagine but was great however there was international menu most evenings. The waiters were terrific. The entertainment was top notch with singers and dancers put on three exceptional shows that were marred for me personally in that it was too loud as I have hearing sensitivity problems. The organisation on board is like clockwork as the staff have done it all before many times. We have been to most places on the itinerary and therefore didn't go on the excursions. Costa Luminosa is a rather glitzy ship which we rather like and with the passenger compliment of approx. 2500 is not too big that services are at times stretched. The gym was not entered. A great time was had by all our family and we will certainly be going back for more. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa ... Read More
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa Luminosa, a ship we really like but, the decor is very Italian. The design of the ship and the rooms is very comfortable and well planned. Moving about the ship is very easy; plenty of elevators and we particularly like the theaters on Costa which have space for accessing seating, cocktail tables for drinks, and moving within the rows is very easy. The cabins are spacious when compared to other cruise ships of this size. The food, usually 4 or 5 courses, consists of pasta/risotto and assorted sea food items and occasionally steaks. Meat served on this ship is not dry aged as one finds on ships attracting mostly US clientèle but overall, the food is very good. Those from the US may find many of the plates unusual, things such as octopus, mussels or cuttlefish may not be items one typically eats but all were very well prepared. The entertainment was generally good, albeit with difficulties in appealing to a varied audience which can speak up to 5 different languages. The is rarely any live music in the theater most all is recorded. After two voyages on Costa, we give it an overall favorable rating. Progression in their loyalty program, the Costa Club, is relatively easy and one can move up through the levels quickly. Costa offers a variety of drink packages and I would strongly recommend participating in at least one of them as drinks, even water, can be difficult to obtain outside of meal times. Costa charges significantly less for gratuities than do many other companies, even their photography costs much less, often at only 10€ a picture. For those from the US, Costa will be a different experience. Dinning is later in the evening and nightlife really starts at 11pm. Because of the late dinning times, breakfast is not as important as one may be used to and breakfast buffet offerings are limited to cold cuts, pastries, and fruit. However, full breakfast, eggs and other hot items are available in the restaurant. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because due to the location we knew it would be cool weather wise.This was correct..nice and cool.Itenerary was Stockholm/Helsinki/St Petersburg/Talinn/Stockholm.Absolutely loved all the ports except St Peterburg.Would ... Read More
We chose this cruise because due to the location we knew it would be cool weather wise.This was correct..nice and cool.Itenerary was Stockholm/Helsinki/St Petersburg/Talinn/Stockholm.Absolutely loved all the ports except St Peterburg.Would not recommend going there.And if you do my advice is if your there 2 nights as were were only sign up for one day of excusions.Many people had booked both days and wished after the first they had not.You cant get a refund if you book both.Also avoid walking tours in St Petersburg...terribly crowded in summer and street level grim and dangerous w pick pocketing.Be prepared for all the tours in St P to be extremely crowded.Your main concern will be not losing your tour guide.On this cruise the best place to shop is Talinn pricewise.We were very pleased with the Luminosa.Service was great food was good.Biggest complaint which is significant is no free wifi.Its crazy paying extra for wifi and we didnt but our trip would have been easier if we could have.Also wish they would have been better about keeping kids out of the adult pool.Other wise we were happy with our cruise. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My best friend and I jumped on this cruise in March 2016, we embarked on Sydney and disembarked in Dubai. The ship is beautiful, and isn't to big, It's as clean a a whistle, and easy to find everything. For the first couple of ... Read More
My best friend and I jumped on this cruise in March 2016, we embarked on Sydney and disembarked in Dubai. The ship is beautiful, and isn't to big, It's as clean a a whistle, and easy to find everything. For the first couple of days we were lost, there was no live music on the top decks, no music. And everyone was over 70 years old.. We panicked at first thinking we were going to be bored to death. Being a world cruise, it was full of all nationalities and people with money. So, being a world cruise, I guess they don't want bands playing and music going, they are there to relax. The staff were very friendly, and most seemed fairly happy. Our room guy annoyed me a bit, knocking twice and whaltzing in, to find we hadn't had time to get to our feet and answer the door. The towels etc, were changed twice a day. We didn't use the laundry ( it was $2 per piece of clothing ) so we washed in our sink and made a clothes line on the balcony. The balcony was a really good size, better than any other cruise I've been in. You can also smoke out there. Breakfast in the dining room was nice, all types of food to choose from, and the only place you'll get bacon to go with your eggs. Lunch was in the buffet, and a huge variety. Dinner was always in the dining room as the buffet was closed for dinner, which was a pain on gala night, we didn't take fancy dresses for those nights, so we couldn't go in there. I loved that I could get a cappuccino at every bar, and was included in our drink package . The drink package was really reasonably priced at $23 au per day. Entertainment at night was ordinary, we would walk in, and walk straight back out. Opera mostly. There wasn't much to do, not a great deal of activities. Not much in the way of shopping on board. The shop didn't have paracetamol or things like that. The other thing I would say, is that the air con on the higher decks struggled as the weather was very hot and humid. We had to take ourselves to our room for a few days at sea, it's the only place that we could get cool. Would I go again?? Yes yes yes!!!! A holiday is what you make of it. Stop whinging about silly stuff, and enjoy your time on this beautiful ship. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Greetings, fellow cruise lovers, I write a review like this one once in a blue moon, but this time, in view of the "terrible press" this ship has been having here, I felt that I had to. I understand that other cruisers have ... Read More
Greetings, fellow cruise lovers, I write a review like this one once in a blue moon, but this time, in view of the "terrible press" this ship has been having here, I felt that I had to. I understand that other cruisers have not much appreciated this ship lately (to put it mildly). My companion and I had a rather different experience. We boarded the ship in St. Petersburg which turned out to be a smart move as very few people have done so that day (most passengers boarded in Stockholm). To be more precise, when we came we were the only ones checking-in and the whole process, which included a passport control, took less than five minutes. We were warmly received by several crew members, and in no time found our premium balcony cabin. It was spotless-clean, and very well maintained, its equipment working perfectly. All and all, a very typical cabin for the category, no different from the various balcony cabins we've booked on all our previous cruises, taken with Celebrity, RCI and (once) with MSC. The only difference was that its balcony seemed to be a bit bigger than usual. The room's attendant was quick to service us when we needed something (which only happened twice). He kept the cabin clean and tidy throughout the cruise. Generally speaking, the service on the ship was very good without being pushy. Waiters and bartenders alike worked quickly and efficiently. Breakfast (continental being the only room service option) was delivered on time to our cabin every morning. The wines we ordered were always available (not always the case) and were delivered ahead of the food as they should be (again, not always the case). Every crew member we've talked with spoke English fluently. The ship was kept clean and orderly, and featured very nicely designed public rooms, that didn't feel crowded at any time. Finding your way was easy. Getting off the ship in ports and on board again was also quick. So was disembarking (we walked out with our luggage). I cannot rate the enrichment activities, entertainment, and fitness facilities since we didn't partake in, or have used, these. I did want to have a massage but gave it up after I had a look at the Samsara Spa price list... The ship's weak link was the dining room's and casual diner's food, which left a lot to be desired. It was not bad, but definitely mediocre. However we did enjoy very much our meal in the specialty Club restaurant. Its service was excellent as well and overall, for 28 EUR per person, it presented good value for quality. As far as our experience went, the same could be said about the ship in general, as the cruise's rate was very reasonable. The other cruisers seemed very content as well. Our fellow cruisers, mostly Italians, Spaniards and Russians, smiled, laughed, relaxed and had a good time – not signs of a bad, malfunctioning, ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I went on our first cruise with a friend who had arranged it.I had some trepidation after booking (we agreed to the trip and booked it just 3 weeks before sailing), after reading the reviews on CC. With nothing to compare it ... Read More
My wife and I went on our first cruise with a friend who had arranged it.I had some trepidation after booking (we agreed to the trip and booked it just 3 weeks before sailing), after reading the reviews on CC. With nothing to compare it to, we both had a good time on the boat.Not once did I encounter rude behavior by the staff and apparently some of the issues that others raised I didn't experience. The food was good, but not great.Others wrote that there was no buffet food available if you missed dinner but the buffet was open 5 of the 7 nights we were on board, the exceptions being the two nights the Gala dinner was going on. Our cabin steward, Suresh, was very good, and we weren't lacking for anything we needed.The shows were good, especially the two singers from South Africa who both had good voices that could handle a variety of song styles.Some of the lounge acts were from Cliché City (how many times can you hear "The Girl from Ipanema"?), but the Alterra Disco Bar band had everybody on the dance floor at all times. Now for the Costa Company.My wife is from the Dominican Republic and our friend ,also from the DR, was visiting friends and family in Spain when she saw the Costa Baltics cruise special.We agreed and through email and phone set it up with a Spanish travel agency.I wanted to book some shore excursions and modify the trip, but was unable to because the travel agent booked it on Costa's Spain website, which is only available if you live in Spain! One excursion in St. Petersburg to Catharine the Great's palace was scheduled for Tuesday-except the palace isn't open on Tuesday.A Stockholm city tour included a museum visit which closed 20 minutes after we got there.You can book excursions from your room through your TV, except that two of the ones we wanted were said to be unavailable but our friend got them later in the day at the office (which had a very long line). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We just returned from our first Cruise. We have chosen Costa Cruise based on program and price. As we didn’t know what to expect we were very excited, and the Costa Luminosa, didn’t disappointed us. It was a fantastic experience. ... Read More
We just returned from our first Cruise. We have chosen Costa Cruise based on program and price. As we didn’t know what to expect we were very excited, and the Costa Luminosa, didn’t disappointed us. It was a fantastic experience. Everything was so clean, well maintained, especially compared to other ships which came to the same ports. In every harbor they cleaned the outside of the ship, painted if needed and so on. The cabins (we reserved two) were comfortable and clean, well equipped. Fantastic cabin crew, named Frenky, so committed, I appreciate his energy. Always visible in the corridor, busy with making people feel like a King. Same for the people at the restaurant and bars. Food was very good. I visited the kitchen, in my previous job as food inspector I inspected many restaurants kitchens and I have never seen a clean and professional equipped industrial kitchen like in Luminosa. A big compliment for the chef and his personal. So a couple of key words: • Super clean • Good drinks and foods • Over all, friendly employees • Good balance between price and quality   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
We recently enjoyed 7 sunny days on the Costa Luminosa visiting some lovely ports in the Baltic. The itinerary was excellent. The ship is clean and well maintained, the décor is modern. However, there is a significant area dedicated to ... Read More
We recently enjoyed 7 sunny days on the Costa Luminosa visiting some lovely ports in the Baltic. The itinerary was excellent. The ship is clean and well maintained, the décor is modern. However, there is a significant area dedicated to beauty/spa services. It is difficult to obtain information re the prices for the services in the Samsara area, unless you personally go there, where they try and do the hard sell on you. We had a balcony cabin, which was very comfortable and spacious. Our cabin was clean and our cabin attendant was excellent. The food on the cruise was varied and plentiful and the evening meal is 5 courses long. Breakfast and lunch are buffet, so it is hard to imagine why some other reviewers would complain that food isn't available 24/7. Really! Surely this amount of food is enough. Our waiters were very efficient and lovely, although they were very busy all evening. We went on 2 excursions in Stockholm and in St Petersburg and our guides were brilliant, they were knowledgeable, friendly, witty and worked extremely hard throughout the entire excursions. On the negative side the ship's newsletter is poor and there was little information about the gala nights, we almost missed the 2nd night as it was barely mentioned.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Experienced cruisers all, our family of five embarked upon a 2 week cruise with Costa, enamored of the itinerary offered, to see the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic capitols, including St. Petersburg, with a reasonable cruise fare to boot. ... Read More
Experienced cruisers all, our family of five embarked upon a 2 week cruise with Costa, enamored of the itinerary offered, to see the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic capitols, including St. Petersburg, with a reasonable cruise fare to boot. We knew ahead of time that this Italian cruise line would have a predominantly European clientele and therefore harbor a number of smokers, but took that into consideration. What follows are our recollections of the trip, from door to door, so perhaps TMI for some. We departed our home on the coast of NC for the nearly 7 hour drive to Dulles Airport (IAD) in Washington DC on a Thursday evening, having booked a one night stay at the Homewood Suites at Dulles, which offers "Park, Stay, and Pay". This deal allows you to stay one night at the hotel either before departure or upon your return, AND leave the car parked at the hotel rather than the airport for the duration of your trip. Due to blinding rain on the majority of the drive, we didn't arrive at the hotel until almost 1am, so requested a late checkout, which was granted. To our great dismay, however, a fire alarm (set off by a housekeeper who burned some microwave popcorn) went off at about 6am, and couldn't be shut off until the fire department arrived about 15 minutes later. When we'd finally gotten back to sleep, with ringing ears, another fire alarm woke us at ~10am, so our short overnight sleep was thus curtailed. To top it off, the thermostat in the room read 84 degrees F despite having been driven down to a 64 degree set-point! So much for starting out our 2 week journey well-rested . . . After the offered complimentary breakfast, we took the shuttle to the airport for our transatlantic flight. Very convenient. Our flight on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was routine, a nonstop from Dulles to Copenhagen, where we took a taxi (driven by a madman) to the cruise departure on Ocean Key, the furthest from downtown and an expensive ride. There was nothing to do here but wait several hours to board, so we arranged with helpful staff to check in our luggage early and then simply waited. One of my teen-aged daughters was so wiped out, she simply laid down across a row of chairs and was lucky enough to get a couple of hours shut-eye! On weekdays, Bus #26 goes to the city center from about one block away, but on weekends, service was spotty and we didn’t feel we had enough time to go far afield. Checking in was easy, given that we had checked in on-line ahead of time, but it was curious that we weren’t asked for credit card details to be able to charge items to our account while on-board. It turns out, one needs to do this AFTER boarding on Costa, at the always-busy Purser's Desk (!?). We received Our cruise ID/charge cards were on our beds when we got into the cabin, and bright red cards were also provided that needed to be handed in at the Mustering Drill later that first afternoon, in essence, a way of taking attendance. In fact, those folks who missed handing in their red cards at the Mustering where obliged to attend a 9am meeting the next morning; we felt this was a just punishment, until the entire ship was awakened at 8:30a by an overhead announcement (in 5 different languages in succession) reminding those slackers to attend! There was little of the usual faux-friendly welcoming on board that one can admittedly grow tired of, but our cabin steward kindly greeted us and was very good throughout our stay. Our cabin interiors were well laid out, but our cabins themselves had some drawbacks as to location (see cabin review). The first evening, several things struck us as being very different from other cruise lines we've frequented: one couldn't drink ANYTHING at dinner without paying for it! No iced tea, no lemonade, NO TAP WATER!!? We were advised to buy a "water package", which was 7 bottles of mineral water for ~$30! Despite our protestations that water was available during the day at the buffet lines, we were denied the possibility of getting tap water at dinner. Another difference was that we were not allowed to carry on a token bottle of wine per adult at the start of the cruise, as we have been able to do on Celebrity for example, so it was apparent that drinks of all kinds were going to be a potential money-maker for Costa. It amazed me that many fellow passengers must have sprung for the "unlimited coffee package", which allowed them to order espresso or cappuccino throughout the day without paying the 4-5 Euro per cup premium retail price! We had early seating on this cruise (7pm), as opposed to 9:30p late seating, so after enjoying the 9:30p show and some time at a lounge listening to music, we sought out some late-night snacks . . . for naught! [There was free pizza available until 6:30p, but then, NOTHING (free).] Food overall was good, with good variety: at breakfast there were breads and pastries, cereals, fruit, omelets made to order, sliced meats and cheeses; at the lunchtime buffets, there were varied cold salads, excellent caprese salad (mozzarella and tomato), fresh pasta, and at times more meat/protein options than at dinner! Dinner was either early or late seating: there was NO option to opt out of a proper meal and go to a buffet instead. Our waitstaff was nice but did not appear as well-trained as others we've had: the "serve from the left and take away from the right" wasn't regularly followed and we often were given forks to the RIGHT of our plates for the pasta course (perhaps this is how it's done in Italy?) We think not. In any case, after the first night's brou-ha-ha regarding our request for tap water, their initial stiffness abated and we got on quite well. Having been on multiple cruises, the "gala crew entertainment" provided by the waiters after several of the dinners made us roll our eyes, but other cruisers and especially children enjoyed the pageantry. Entertainment: the cruise entertainers were OK, with some high-energy evenings and one in particular that fell somewhat flat, appearing to be a newer routine that needed some work. In particular, the VOLUME WAS TOO LOUD, especially our first week of the cruise (7/26-8/2/2014), though perhaps by that time our ears were acclimated. The mime and magician and singer (Vick Vikus) and especially the acrobats were fantastic, so we never missed an evening’s entertainment in the two weeks on board. In the various lounges and bars, the entertainers were overall very good, though the high-pitched voice of the female singer in the Cafe Bar Antares was a bit grating; nighttime energy was always high, with much Italian singing and dancing by all. There was surprisingly no crow's nest bar with sublime views, and much space seemed to be taken up by the 2 specialty restaurants (which never seemed busy, as the up-charge was 25 Euros per person) or Formula One racing (for a fee) or the unused minigolf course. There was sadly no sing-along piano bar, and little karaoke, though both of these probably are due to the mixture of languages on board; in fact, it surprised us that not many of our fellow cruisers were interested in practicing their English. The Italians, Spanish, and French traveled in their large, loud family groups and didn't need to seek out external stimuli, while we and our teenagers were eager to meet others. This happened only infrequently. The Teen Club was dominated by Italian-speakers, and there was no attempt made to "mix it up": even the usual "Meeting with Bill W" or "Bridge-Players Unite" signs in the daily handout were absent, and there were no message boards to rally any particular interest. The lone ping-pong table on this ship of over 2300 passengers was always quite busy; one had to first wait and then be quite persistent (?should I say pushy?) to get in on a game. In addition to having to sign out paddles at a removed bar, you had to BUY 2 balls for 1 Euro (but at least the balls were embossed with the Costa logo, so they count as souvenirs)! There was no shuffleboard. The meager mini-golf course hardly looked worth our time, and we weren’t surprised to discover that there was a charge (5 Euro for 30 minutes, or 8 Euro for 1 hour) when we inquired about getting clubs to play. Suffice to say, we felt there was all too much nickel-and-diming (pun intended) going on, in every aspect of this Costa experience! The gymnasium, on Deck 10, was well-equipped, large, had fresh towels and a water fountain (yeah! free WATER!), but the biggest downside was that the posted age limit of "only >16 years old allowed" was entirely disregarded by passengers and crew alike, so 8, 9, and 12 year olds were running about and using equipment and disrupting adults' workouts. Similarly, nearly every day the hot tubs next to the pools on board were monopolized by noisy splashing youngsters   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
There have been mixed reviews for this cruise line so I was cautiously optimistic when we boarded. Staff: Let me first say that the staff was friendly and helpful. They would stop what they were doing and gave us their full attention. ... Read More
There have been mixed reviews for this cruise line so I was cautiously optimistic when we boarded. Staff: Let me first say that the staff was friendly and helpful. They would stop what they were doing and gave us their full attention. Rooms: We had a room with a veranda which was larger than I was expecting (having been on other ships)The room was very clean. Every time we left the room and came back, there were fresh towels. Drinks: We purchased the drink package which was very economical for our group. There was never a wait for the drinks, and they didn't skimp on the alcohol. Food: This was the only disappointment. Cruise lines boast about the dining experience. This was mediocre at best. The dining room was loud and busy and reminded me more of a cafeteria setting than a fine dining experience. I struggled to find items I wanted to eat and was left wanting something better. The gala dinner was also a disappointment compared to my Royal Caribbean experience. The best meal we had was on the upper deck. The buffet breakfast and lunch was so much better than the main dining room. This is now a non-smoking ship with a couple areas allocated for those that have to smoke. I have also read some reviews about how rude the Europeans were on the ship. As an American who lives in Europe, I might have a different perspective but I think there are rude people where ever you go. Do not let it ruin your experience. This is a great way to see some beautiful cities in Europe and soak up the culture. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We have done 11 transatlantic crossings. I am reluctant to ever answer the question as to which was the best or worst. I have never posted a review prior to this, but felt compelled this time for two reasons. Very few, on this board ... Read More
We have done 11 transatlantic crossings. I am reluctant to ever answer the question as to which was the best or worst. I have never posted a review prior to this, but felt compelled this time for two reasons. Very few, on this board comment on Costa, and most I have read tend to be somewhat negative about many aspects. We have been on many lines over the past 20 years. Costa is very European. Out of the 2200 plus onboard, only 40+ were Americans, English language, thanks to the Aussies, Brits, and Swedes was not non-existent but very hidden.Announcements were in multiple languages, but many times English was not included. In spite of many comments, the food was very acceptable, even better some evenings. The service was as good as any we have had. Wait staff was professional, wanting to please, and remembered our individual "favorites" from night to night. We had a table mate, who was a strict gluten-free, and she was given very special attention and menus at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Costa has found ways to trim the budget, which is probably not unique to them. If you need six to ten towels a day for pool, etc. you will be disappointed. They give you two beach towels at the beginning of the cruise, and you are expected to use those (trading them out as often as you want), but no more. Other measures, that would fall into this category, are evident, but these are small inconveniences, and, for us, did not stand in the way of great enjoyment. Two areas deserve special recognition. The bartenders were among the best we have ever encountered. We had the all-inclusive package, and, though pricey, was a great addition to our cruise. They meet you, remember you, and try to please...maybe the best we've ever encountered. The wait staff in the dining room was outstanding...very experienced, brought us many items by special order...and quickly. We were in early seating at 6:15 and always out of dining room by 7:45, contrary to some reviews about slow service. Yes, some of the Italians, French, and Germans would not be patient enough to stand in lines, but this was not a majority, and we have been to Europe so many times, it has become something we accommodate and laugh about. We were blessed with wonderful weather, great ports, and "spot on" navigation and maneuvering of the ship. Costa, with its obvious distractions with Concordia, should be proud of its ability to provide us with a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Costa Luminosa -Feb. 5 – 15, 2014  Bahamas, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Roatan and Cozumel. Embarkation : Our hotel assigned a leave time of 10:45 a.m. so we arrived early (11:30) to the terminal. Porters there to take our ... Read More
Costa Luminosa -Feb. 5 – 15, 2014  Bahamas, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Roatan and Cozumel. Embarkation : Our hotel assigned a leave time of 10:45 a.m. so we arrived early (11:30) to the terminal. Porters there to take our luggage....we're coming and departing passengers are trying to get away. Bit confusing. We stood around for about ½ hour and then entered the building, we were given our “section” number and sent off to fill out our health forms. Then the “Disney” style line to the counter where we showed our passport, boarding form and health form. Once our papers were stamped “completed”, we were directed to go and sit in our “numbered section”. This is a bit of a joke....there aren't near enough seats and the representative couldn't keep track of where everyone was going and many just stood or parked themselves on the floor. Very disorganized and I'm not sure why this seating was necessary. Refreshments were available as were bathrooms. DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS. Someone took a photo of friends/family sitting in the chairs and a rep almost broke her neck to get there and tell them not to take any more photos. Started boarding the ship about 1:00 p.m. We showed our passport and boarding pass and our photo was taken for our “key”. Our rooms were not ready, so we were sent to deck 9 to Self Serve Restaurant. Room 4336 : An announcement was made about 2:30 that we could get in our rooms. Our luggage, cabin key cards, lifeboat drill card and dinner seating info were all in our room. 4336 is an outside obstructed room with a huge floor to ceiling window...there is a lifeboat outside, but it is situated so that we could see thru the windows of the lifeboat to the shore or water. Don't leave the curtains open....they clean these boats at 7:00a.m.! Lots of light. Queen size bed, plus the couch will open up and another bed will drop down from the ceiling. There is only a bottom sheet and then a duvet on the bed.....we asked for a top sheet, it was handed to my husband and he threw it on top of the bed. There was a large desk area with mirror, storage under the desk, a couch and small table, tv, safe, hairdryer, lots of lighting, beach towels, and a refrigerator full of beer, pop, water, liquor and candy (we saw no price list, but I'm sure it's not cheap). We asked to have our refrig emptied so we could use it for our own things. There is a three section closet....2 sections for hanging clothes and one section with 5 shelves and the safe. Bring some hangars (14 in our cupboard and one was broke). Nice sized bathroom with lots of hot water and a high shower head. There was a small square of soap for the sink and there is liquid soap in the shower. On this ship, the spa does not supply “samples” for your use. I suggest you bring your own shampoo/conditioner and soap. Our soap square got very thin and was not automatically replaced....my husband had to ask for another one. There was no washcloth....I carry the little compacted ones that revive with water and when the cabin steward saw it, washcloths were put in the room. However, the dirty ones would disappear and not be replaced. (Washcloths are in some of the public restrooms and are used to dry hands....I snitched two and kept them in our room just in case.) All in all, a really nice, big room we were very happy with. Our cabin steward was another story....at midnight, that top sheet was still on top of the bed as was the luggage cloth....and he either didn't sweep our room or the sweeper was useless. There were plastic clothing tags on the floor when we moved in (which we left) and they were still there when we left and yes, we did ask to have the room swept. My husband wanted to steal a sweeper and do it himself! The ship sailed at 11:00 p.m. (yes, you read that right). You do get to see Miami with all the lights on and there's not much to do all the time you're waiting for the ship to leave so you have lots of time to unpack and get situated in your cabin. Lifeboat drill was at 10:15 p.m. Yes, you read that right too. Bunch of tired people (and children) out on the deck at 10:30 at night listening to the life boat drill announcements in 5 or 6 languages (Italian, English, Spanish, French, German and I swear there was a sixth language) and the crew is trying to make everyone stand in lines with women in the front and men in the rear and that's when we realized that this cruise was going to be one massive language problem. Beverages : At lunch the first day (still in Miami), the bar staff was pushing the beverage package.....$260. for soda, wine, drinks and fou-fou coffee and here's the catch.....if there are two people in your cabin, you BOTH have to sign up for the beverage package, so that's $520. (this price probably varies depending on length of cruise.) Check the flyers.....there is also a water package, a boys & girls non-alcoholic pkg, coffee packages, etc. We did the boys & girls pack ($55.20 for 20 fruit/pop cocktails....5 to choose from altho 1 was no longer available on day 2!) You can get juices, coffee and hot tea in the buffet in the morning and then water, ice tea, coffee and hot tea for lunch and dinner. Your beverage choice in the diningroom is water unless you carry in your own drink or you have a wine package. We were told it would take too long to go to the bar to get one of our fruit cocktails so we carried them in to dinner. Coke products will cost you $2.95, Red Bull-$6.00, beer-$5.00, cappuccino-$2.60, cocktail-$8.00. Coffee at dinner is for AFTER the meal and I don't care how many times you ask and then you still might not get it! After a few nights, I just gave up....we got up from dinner and went to the buffet and got our coffee. Meals : You know the cruises where there is food all the time....well, this ain't one of them and then good luck! You might actually go on this cruise ship and lose weight. Breakfast in your room : Will cost you $2.50 service fee...rest of your order might be free but we didn't try this and the menu doesn't specify. Breakfast in the buffet : Great....go back to the pool area and you can get eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, grilled tomatoes and such without too much trouble. Course you have to work your way around the people in line waiting to get made to order eggs and omelets. But it's still less busy then the other areas. The wait staff does NOTHING but clean off tables and honestly, some aren't that good at that either. Sometimes they reset tables with wrapped silver. They don't help handicapped carry food, they don't get drinks unless you show your card that you're buying a drink and then that's a bar staff, and not a wait person. They will get baby chairs if you ask. Breakfast in the Taurus diningroom....they seat you at the table they are filling at the moment so chances are you will be seated with Europeans who don't speak English or else don't admit to speaking English. This is pretty much just another buffet unless you pointedly ask for the breakfast menu and actually get to order from it. Hope you get an English speaking waiter. Bonus....coffee does appear at the beginning of your meal! Lunch in the buffet....good luck. All the food lines may or may not be open at any given time and your choice will be limited. You will be able to make a very decent salad if you wander around to all the food lines to get what you want because they are not all the same....they won't all have carrots and cukes and onions, and each will have different lunch meats and cheeses. You can actually get some exercise tracking down your cobb salad ingredients. On a good day, they will have chicken or pork you can recognize....on a bad day (and there was more than one) you will find octopus stew and they will be slicing an octopus for the main meat. Take heart....there is a pizza buffet (it's chintzy but it's there) and if you head for the pool area, you will find hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries and such. Snag dessert and take it back to your room to put in your empty frig so you have something to snack on after an unsatisfactory dinner. Afternoon Tea : from 4:00 – 5:00. In the buffet, a selection of small sandwiches, desserts and pastries, tea and coffee. The lunch buffet is still open as well, so you might want to do this for your dinner and skip the evening hassle. Dinner : Buffet : If you normally eat around 5:30, your choice is going to be whatever they are serving out of the pizza buffet as the regular buffet shuts down at 5:00. They will have a few pizzas (with nothing on them...seriously, I watched a baby eat a piece of pizza and she didn't make a mess...there's nothing on the pizza to make a mess), rolls and about 4 hot dishes (watch for the octopus stew....it didn't go at lunch so it reappears for dinner). Salad will be 4 different kinds of lettuce, some radish slices and three kinds of salad dressing (no ranch the day we went). That's dinner in the buffet. No dessert and the ice cream machine is torn down with the rest of the buffet before 5. Dinner : Taurus Diningroom : You eat at either 6:30 or 9:15. We had a table for 2 which we didn't like and asked to be changed to a table with “other people” and this was no problem at all. Right up front, I didn't like eating here, but since the so called buffet was a bust, I was stuck. Keep in mind, this is suppose to be haute cuisine. You do have a lot of courses to choose from so you can skip anything or have everything. There was an appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, the entree, cheeses and finally dessert. Here's an example.....”Costata di manzo al sugo naturale” which translates to “Medium roasted American prime rib of beef served with natural sauce, grilled potato and broccoli”. Yes, the translations are there, but they are not always helpful. And what you actually get is about 5 tiny pieces of potato, three small broccoli florets in the center of the huge plate and a thin slice of beef covering the veggies. Always, the tiny portion of potatoes and vegetable are covered by the meat. Have no idea why they hide the sides. Had a few good appetizers, not counting the cuttle fish I tried just because I'd never had it before or even seen it on a menu, but for the most part, thank heavens for the front page of the menu that is “Always Available”....I ate spaghetti with bolognase sauce and the fish grilled in lemon butter. I'm told that they did have a children's menu with burgers and hotdogs on it. One little girl ate spaghetti every night. Yes, they do have vegetarian choices each night and they also offer gluten free meals. F Y I : We just got water to drink for dinner and most nights we only got one glass of water, no refill. We discovered the very first night of dinner that those with wine and mineral water got better wait service than we did, even at the same table as us. Our wait staff served the table behind us as well and they had no problem with their service at all. Coffee...if you ask for decaf, they may bring you a single serve Sanka pack. But don't expect to have coffee with your meal or even your dessert....my husband sat with his dessert and waited on coffee. Finally gave up and ate his dessert.....then they brought coffee. This is all about European dining.....oh and by the way, no escargot. My husband very disappointed! We didn't eat in the pay restaurant, so don't know anything about that. What To Do : First off, see that big movie screen on the Lido deck....it's not for movies. This screen, for 10 days, was the Costa channel...offering Costa tours and other Costa information. Day and night. There is a 4D Movie theater....had 2 kids' animated movies and another “thrill” ride....same movies the entire trip at $8.00 each person. Movie theatre seats 20 people. Didn't do. Watched thru a window and no one seemed “thrilled”. There is a walking track with an adjacent Quadline Skate track....the walking is free (until they figure out how to charge you for that as well) and the Quadline skates can be rented for $5.00 an hour. There is a golf simulator and putting green...$30. and up. Putting green is $5.00 for ½ hour. Race car simulator...$24.00 for 13 minutes. Various contests with the Animators (cruise social staff)...do participate. The games are fun, the animators are young and crazy and you will have a good time. And you might win a hat or travel bag. Crafts...napkin origami, painting, beading, crepe paper flowers. Free. Adults only. Dance and exercise classes. Health seminars every day to try to sell you something. Library.... it doesn't have very many English books...has some games as well. Are all locked up so you must go when library is “open”....better yet, take books with you, read them and donate them to the library. Then you don't have to worry about a $15. lost book fee. And that will leave an empty space in your luggage for souvenirs you had to have. This is where the internet area is and it is open 24 hours. About 6 computers. Didn't use it so have no details. Pools....there are two that close at 8 or 9 p.m. Hot tubs too. Dancing.....every night there is lots and lots of music, partying and dancing. Phoenix Theatre Shows : generally two shows a night at 7:30 and 9:15 (approx.) These shows for the most part are excellent. Vegas style shows with Vegas style costumes. The singers were fantastic, a magician very good, the dancers very professional. There was an opera singer (it is an Italian ship) who did one show and I'm told it was standing room only. Be aware, the shows will have English and Italian singing/music, but it's still all good! Don't miss the shows. Except maybe the last one...the passenger talent show, 1 show only and it was at 10:45 p.m. Ridiculous time for a show! Shopping : It's a cruise ship. You can shop. Liquor. Lots of jewelry. Sales almost every day in the hallway. Cheap buy....one of the shops has silk drawstring jewelry bags for $1.00 each....good for Christmas/birthday packaging. Forgot to bring?.....sun protection: a large bottle of Australian Gold for $15.00, White Rain Shampoo- large bottle for $5.29, large tube of toothpaste is $2.00. Squok Club : This is pretty much a baby sitting service, open varying hours depending on if it is a port day or a sea day. For ages 3 to 11 and appears to be free. You can also make arrangements to leave your child in the Squok Club while you do a tour in a port. There is a teen club as well with their own disco and games. Laundry : There is no self serve laundry. Laundry cost is as follows....man's shirt to wash & dry- $5.00, woman's blouse-$5.00, dress-$16.50, trousers-$8.70. Everything comes on a hangar. If you want them folded, add $.20 to each item. HOWEVER..... Two days before the end of the trip, we were given a flyer that allowed us to have 25 pieces of clothing washed, pressed and folded for $29.99. This was a great perk for anyone doing a back to back cruise. They may not offer this on all cruises. Pack a couple clothespins. Wash your undies in your bathroom sink and hang them up on the clothesline in your shower. Most will dry overnight. And of course, you have the opportunity to scare the daylights out of your cabin steward! Languages : this was a big problem and the one thing Americans and Canadians didn't like and soon we all commented that we were tired of it. Announcements will definitely be made in Italian, and generally in English, French, Spanish and German, BUT not all the time. I imagine it depends on who's available when they need to make an announcement. And even if it is in English, you may not be able to understand it. Announcements are not heard in the cabin (at least not in ours) and often are garbled in the hallways and forget about the public areas. Very annoying was at the evening shows....when the cruise director would come out and say his little speech, he did it first in Italian and at the end, he said “Ciao” and immediately, the Italians got up and left. Very few other people did that until by the second week, we were all tired of being polite. Formal Night : You do not need formal clothes or suit and tie. Wear the same thing you wear any other night...blue jeans, capris, golf shorts. Almost anything goes. This ship has what is called the Multimedia Totems. This is like a super sized computer screen where you can access ship information, book your tickets for the movie theatre, book time at the race car simulator, make reservations in the pay restaurant, schedule golf, sign up for the cruise survey and much more. Also on this ship, within 48 hours, you will have to find an Automatic Registration Device and register your credit card to pay for your expenses or make other arrangements. This info will be in your TODAY (the daily schedule). You are also suppose to be able to purchase tours on your interactive tv in your room, but our “menu” button didn't work, so don't know how that works at all. Medical : Don't get sick, you can't afford it. Costs are listed on the back of TODAY...visit during medical hours is $70. and a cabin visit is $101. Sea sick medication is suppose to be free at Customer Service. Photos : Embarkation photos were $19.99. Prices vary on other photos. Photos are in locked cabinets but will eventually end up in boxes that you have to sort thru. And yes, they do take all the special set up photos in the evenings. Public Restrooms : They have no door handles. Doors are automatic...pass your hand in front of the “light” to get in. The hand dryers are almost worthless, so is nice that they have washcloths in some of the restrooms. Restrooms were always clean and in working order. Pause in front of the door and it will open to let you out. Smoking : People in previous reviews have complained about the smoking....we are non-smokers and had no issues with any smokers. Debarkation : This might not apply to all cruises.....On the last full day, we were required to attend a meeting, in our language, where we learned about luggage tags and debarkation instructions. Your colored luggage tags and paperwork will appear in your room and the TODAY on debarkation day will tell you what time you are to report to a specific area to start debarkation. We had to have our luggage out by 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning and we had to be out of our rooms by 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. We ate breakfast and then just hung around where ever we could til it was our turn. Make sure you have your luggage color stub with you, because they checked them and held you back if you tried to sneak out early. You can get your tags changed if necessary. We were not docked at a terminal...we were the last ship in a long line and we were in the area where they store shipping containers. Since we had a shuttle coming from a hotel, we were scheduled to get off in the next to last group at 11:00 and they were running behind about ½ hour. We had to wait our turn to get into the theatre to pass before the immigration/custom officials. Once our papers were stamped, we were escorted off the ship where we had to go thru a huge tent to retrieve our luggage (12:30) and then out into a very disorganized parking lot to find our ride. Some people had to do some serious walking to get to their transportation. AND, new passengers were arriving to board the ship. We had to walk “to the other side of the fence” to get our ride as he wasn't allowed in the general pick-up area. We arrived back at our hotel at 1:30. Bottom line : Our first trip on Costa. We specifically wanted to go to Turks and Grand Cayman on one trip. We were watching two cruise lines and we finally booked this trip because they reduced the price and the other company didn't. We won't book another Costa trip. We discovered we didn't like the constant language problem (many of the staff spoke poor English), the food was unappealing so we tended to eat the same thing day in and day out, we found the Europeans rude including the ships officers who never seem to smile and will bump you as you walk by. We saw a waiter in the diningroom bump an elderly gentlemen hard enough to almost knock him down. It's like polite is not a part of the vocabulary on this ship. Talking to other Americans and Canadians, we all were pretty happy with our cabins, but felt the ship was lacking in cabin service, dining service, food variety and food availability. And we were all tired of the language problems. We got the cruise and a great room at a great sale price, so we got what we paid for....but we've had better....perhaps we'll pay more next time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We booked this cruise with Costa really last minute (two weeks before we started) at a great price. This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Yes, there were a lot of Italians with children, yes, Italians are ... Read More
We booked this cruise with Costa really last minute (two weeks before we started) at a great price. This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Yes, there were a lot of Italians with children, yes, Italians are louder than you might like, yes, the food is not perfect. Still - it was excellent value for money. And if you are traveling with children, Costa must be perfect. They have a lot of activities for children and Italians really love children. There was plenty of food all the time, most of it Italian. Do not expect anything local. Food is good, but even during the gala dinners it is not perfect. Especially the beef was bit off a lot of times, either too raw or too well done. Service was really good, despite the miserable conditions those guys have to work under (make sure to tip them in addition to the "service fee", they really deserve it). We had the all inclusive drinks package and used it plenty. If you get this package, make sure to try the hot chocolate at the chocolate bar! Both pools are really small, the larger one being in the area where most animation programs take place, i.e. not a good place for us a to relax. The gym unfortunately is really way too small and we decided not to go at all as it was always rather crowded. A nice plus is that the beauty salon offers Shellac nail polish which will definitely last your whole cruise and then some. Even if you decide to build sand castles. However, available colors are really limited. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our 24th Costa cruise & unfortunately may be our last. As one other passenger noted, we were confirmed for 1st dining along with another couple although we had all booked "classic" balcony category. This confirmed ... Read More
This was our 24th Costa cruise & unfortunately may be our last. As one other passenger noted, we were confirmed for 1st dining along with another couple although we had all booked "classic" balcony category. This confirmed 1st seating assignment required pre-scanning forms to Costa Special Services along with a physician's letter. As we are already Costa Gold Pearl Club members, it made no sense to pay more for "premium" cabin category. We do not use room service. Upon arrival, we were assigned early seating & our friends were assigned a different table. No amount of reasoning got through to the arrogant Maitre'd. Not a good way to begin a cruise. Dining was resolved by a more understanding Maitre'd at dinner that evening. Costa is not the same cruise line it once was. The evening buffet was removed 2 years ago in favor of a 4 p.m. "tea-time" obviously preferred by the majority of Europeans on board. Many Americans find it unacceptable, especially those who may have young children & do not wish to take them into a more formal dining room. Complaining starts from day one. The only food available, if you do not wish to dress for the dining room (6:15 or 8:45), is pizza, very good when ordered from late evening menu & mediocre throughout the rest of the day. We prefer to eat lunch in the buffet area but Costa ships seem to have inadequate seating. We have been on new Carnival ships (as recently as 2013) that accommodate 4,000 plus passengers at lunch easily because of the unique design of several buffet dining areas. We enjoy nightly dancing making Costa a favorite cruise line. The ballroom floor is excellent, the continuous music 5:30-1:30 a.m. is primarily Latin. You may run into a problem if there is a large (200+ group) of semi-professional or amateur dancers onboard who lack dance floor etiquette. Luminosa's alternative primarily jazz band lounge did little to attract passengers or dancers.. Many announcements including the important Life Boat drill along with nightly games are in foreign languages to be expected on a European cruise line. We did not find this unusual or annoying. In fact, the best part of Costa cruising is meeting new people from many different countries. As for Max, Luminosa's present cruise director, we have met him on several Costa cruises & always enjoyed speaking with him. During Luminosa's December cruise, Max was rarely to be found except on stage for his specific announcements. As stated by another critic, on most ships you find yourself tripping over the ship's cruise director walking from place to place. Not so on Luminosa. Our cabin was spacious, always clean & our Costa room stewards have been attentive at all times on every Costa cruise. As Italian-Americans, we understand the "Italian way" of presenting yourself to the front desk in a courteous manner. Anything other than that will get you nowhere. As for passengers' rudeness, this is true to a certain degree. You find yourself in a front desk line & another passenger will walk past a number of others to go to the desk. You need to speak up for yourself in a polite way & usually, no matter what language, the rude passenger will get your point. We enjoyed the time with our friends, made new friends & love cruising & getting away from our cold New England weather. As to which cruise line we'll choose for next time, it's up in the air. If you decide to choose Costa, remember that it is an Italian cruise line with a very small percentage of American passengers. This means you will hear a very small percentage of English spoken around you by other passengers; it means smoking in public areas & those "crazy Italian games" taking up the ballroom part of every night. It means excellent Italian pasta, olive oil, sandwich meats & cheeses but mediocre American food. Choose your food carefully, ask the Maitre'd for a special request, & most important, remember to investigate which cruise line you will be on....don't let price be the deciding factor! On Costa, resolve yourself to being Italian, German, French or Spanish for 10 days!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
First, if you are American and prefer to sail largely with other Americans you need not read further. We may have been the only Americans aboard the Luminosa on our journey and found the experience rewarding and exciting, albeit with a few ... Read More
First, if you are American and prefer to sail largely with other Americans you need not read further. We may have been the only Americans aboard the Luminosa on our journey and found the experience rewarding and exciting, albeit with a few glitches. Embarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. The entire process took about ten minutes. Costa leaves the rooms open with your key card on the bed so you simply make way to your room and find the room keys inside. You will need to "activate" your key by assigning a credit-card to it within 48 hours but this is quite easy at one of the automated stations on board. Part of the reason for the ease of embarkation was that this ship loads and unloads passengers at three different ports, with Savona being the lead port. Barcelona, in contrast, had relatively few cruisers beginning their journey. Food on board was pretty much standard cruise-line food. As I am not really a foodie I will not comment on the gourmet qualities, or lack thereof, but my wife and I found the food more then adequate. Cruisers who elect to have breakfast in the dining room should be aware that although there is largely a buffet style, you can order off a menu if you make a point of it. Ports. In Palma, it was possible to walk to the end of the pier in about 10 to 15 minutes and from there catch a bus or taxi. The ship offered a 9 Euro round trip transport from the pier to the heart of town- a distance of about 1.5 miles. It is somewhat annoying to find out that you are, indeed, so far from the town that transportation must be arranged. We took a taxi to the Miro museum and then a public bus (1.5 Euros) to the heart of town. Miro loved Palma and spent the later part of his life at his hill-top workshop and you will see why if you visit. Corsica. Here you simply walk off the ship to the heart of town. Be sure to see the Napolean monument. Marseille. Increasing popular it seems so a new cruise port was built- and its about 5 miles from town and totally un-walkable. You can count on spending the 9 euros for the round-trip bus for sure. Savona. Yes! Just a few hundred yards from the heart of town, and a long day for Costa cruises since the bulk of the passengers boarded here. The town can easily be explored on foot and its proximity to the ship allowed us to enjoy lunch on board before heading back out. Getting out, though, was quite a task as the inbound luggage-carrying group were required to use the same ship entrances as the smaller group trying to get off. We were told by a Costa employee to use our elbows to shove our way through- an Italian custom? Tours. We could not take any tours as two of the three we requested were cancelled due to lack of English-speaking guests. The third, a trip from Savona to Monte Carlo was cancelled, we were told, due to lack of time to make the journey. Why list it then? Shipboard. Frankly there was not all that much to do on board but the port-intensive schedule meant there was not really all that much need. No shipboard art auctions, no lectures on shore activities. The evening entertainment- mostly dancing and singing to accommodate the variety of on-board languages, was more then adequate. We attended every night. Debarkation. In Barcelona, we pretty much had to figure this one out on our own. We have cruised many times before so we knew the drill, but finding our way off was a bit of a challenge as we never really received any specific information. In the end though we were in our Barcelona Hotel within one hour of the ship's arrival and really can't complain about that. Ship Notes. The Luminosa was launched in 2009 and its still quite new. The best feature is that the main pool area has a movable roof that makes for year-round, climate-proof availability.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
In September/October 2011, Costa LUMINOSA is sailing on a pretty new route: 10 days/9 nights from Savona to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcellona, and back to Savona. Everywhere there was sufficient time for the ... Read More
In September/October 2011, Costa LUMINOSA is sailing on a pretty new route: 10 days/9 nights from Savona to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcellona, and back to Savona. Everywhere there was sufficient time for the land-excursions (which we did individually); only in Barcellona a few hours more would have been appreciated. Fantastic weather (26° up to 33°), very calm sea and ocean. We already knew Costa DELIZIOSA, and this one is just the twin-sister. Beautiful ship. Plenty of space on the various decks for sunbathing. Food was good but not extraordinary. It seems that COSTA has started a cost-saving programme (at least on this ship). An insufficient number of waiters was attending the seated lunch and dinner guests (75' for lunch and 120' for dinner is too long). The majority of the waiters were inexperienced and spoke hardly any English or Italian. Since I have already booked 2 cruises with COSTA in 2012, I hope very much that the outlined quality deficiency is just an exception, and is not about to become the rule with COSTA. Otherwise we can recommend this ship and this cruise to everybody. Since we paid in EURO (and not in Swiss Francs) the cruise cost turned out to be reasonable. A last word on the buffet (for lunch): very poor, bad quality, a real "factory canteen". Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
A spotless ship with great service from cabin stewards to waitstaff. One exception: "Customer Service" is a misnomer. On three separate issues, I never received any satisfaction nor even an attempt to even lie to me! Three ... Read More
A spotless ship with great service from cabin stewards to waitstaff. One exception: "Customer Service" is a misnomer. On three separate issues, I never received any satisfaction nor even an attempt to even lie to me! Three other negatives, one especially impacts English (only) speakers. First, the food is basically tasteless and not very creative. The breakfast buffet on Deck 9 is varied, but you could lubricate your family vehicles on undrained sausage/bacon fat. Scrambled eggs ran (sometimes literally) from too soft to too hard. On two occasions, I left the dinner entree uneaten, including a piece of bone filled codfish. It was impossible to escape the smokers. You cannot transit the ship without passing through the casino and large dance bar. You cannot use your balcony as the smoke drifts back from smokers not allowed to smoke in their cabins. Same problem often encountered in other outdoor areas. There is no segregation or walls/barriers for non-smokers. The onshore tours were without exception bi-lingual. Guides do their best I'm sure but English speakers come up in last place, the attraction or point of interest already out of sight by the time they switch out of Italian, German or whatever. Many tours are entitled and shopping" but most often, there is insufficient time to shop. As for ports of call, they could do without Casablanca unless you're ready for new adventures in toilet facilities and systemic poverty. One last observation: Americans are often labeled as "ugly". Observing the common courtesy of waiting your place in line is ignored. Such scenarios are instead as orderly as an amphibious landing or frontal assault. I never heard "excuse me" or "pardon me" in any of the passenger tongues, given the cacophony of languages extant on the Luminosa. One also came away with the impression that Costa works their waitstaff overly hard. Many seem ready to look to get employment with other cruise lines. The fatigue on many is obvious. Valencia, Malaga and Cadiz not on drop down list of ports. All charming. Delightful. Take the Tram Tour Equally enjoyable including and especially La Rambla Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
We took a one-week cruise with Costa Luminosa to the Norwegian Fjords, sailing out of Copenhagen, and visiting Flam, Geiranger, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand (instead of Oslo initially planned) and back to Copenhagen. The scenery is ... Read More
We took a one-week cruise with Costa Luminosa to the Norwegian Fjords, sailing out of Copenhagen, and visiting Flam, Geiranger, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand (instead of Oslo initially planned) and back to Copenhagen. The scenery is beautiful, although the persisting low clouds due to high humidity levels in the fjords, kept the sun from shining and further improving an already beautiful scenery. The itinerary is great, as it allows to cover some of the best fjords in the region. Too bad the Oslo stopover was cancelled during the trip, due to the tragic events earlier, as Kristiansand is clearly not a suitable alternative in terms of scenery or things to do.The ship is generally good, and in particularly comfort in our minisuite room for 3 people was very good on this new ship. What disappointed us was the way in which Costa maximizes their profits by not only filling the whole cruise ship, but also either charging for things we were not expected to pay extra (e.g. mineral water),overcharging for other things (example: prices for excursion tours we could book ourselves on the Internet were uplifted by 50% minimum!) or constantly "nagging" people to buy additional services (spa, etc). Clearly, they are taking advantage of having a captive customer group to milk them as much as possible.Food was generally fine, although the buffet selection was only "average". Entertainment was OK, but clearly this is not the strongest point of Costa either. All in all, I would say great itinerary, very good ship, good food, but so-so on overall company (a taste of Italian family outings!) and value for money Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
We used to travel on Costa but stopped because despite innovative itineraries at good prices, the food was bland and frequently disappointing, and the coffee, always instant, was awful. For this unusual trip to the Norwegian Fjords, which ... Read More
We used to travel on Costa but stopped because despite innovative itineraries at good prices, the food was bland and frequently disappointing, and the coffee, always instant, was awful. For this unusual trip to the Norwegian Fjords, which only Costa offered at a reasonable price, we were surprised by the significant food improvement (which is now quite good, except for the coffee) and the many onboard technology innovations. Costa uses an extensive network of hand scanners, kiosks, and interactive TV to take care of administrative tasks - including shore excusions, account monitoring, credit card registration, dinner reservations in the specialty restaurant, and photos. Unlike Costa's user-hostile and often-not-working website, these technologies worked flawlessly, intuitively, and accurately. Check your balance daily at the kiosks, because staff can and do make data entry mistakes. Take those to the front desk immediately; waiting until the last day will mean 45 minutes or more in a line. Dinner and lunch food quality in the main restaurants was much better than in years past. The dishes were fresher, tastier, and the service quick and efficient. However, you will see a significant reduction in beef dishes, and almost no steaks; no lobster night; no fresh salmon on the breakfast or lunch buffet; no midnight buffet; no free alternative dinner to main dining except for pizza; chocolate soft serve ice cream which tastes like icy dirt; and the ship's coffee, while better, has moved from awful to tolerable (it's still instant). True coffee fans pay per cup for real coffee at the coffee bars. Many of the public rooms, which used to be full of chain-smoking Europeans, are designated non-smoking. Three cheers for the fact there were no annoying "art" sales on board this ship! The spa is very very expensive. A hot stone massage for 50 minutes, which you can get in any US city for $100 or less, is about $270. The couples massage and hot tub will set you back over $430. Costa Club members (those who have travelled on the line before) get 25% off spa services while in port but be careful; there is lots of fine print where the discounts do not apply. The speciality saunas and pools and other hot and cold rooms are are $50 per person per day. Gym users no longer have access to showers and changing rooms; these are also the exclusive domain of paying spa customers. For non-drinkers, costa lacks unlimited soda cards. The best available option is 13-750ml bottles of sparkling water for $35. Wine is $35/bottle and up (way up), so wait for the $27 midweek special (two bottles of perfectly reasonable red or white wine and two bottles of sparkling water). The internet can be purchased at roughly 20 cents per minute in a package of 3 hours, down from the standard cruise ship rip-off of 50-75 cents per minute. Shore Excursions: Take the Flam/Myrdal/Voss rail and bus trip. The scenery is so astonishing, especially from the trains, that you'll stumble over yourself (and other passengers) taking shot after shot after shot. Large city tours like Bergen are reasonably priced bus/sightseeing/shopping journeys of 2-3 hours. They are not particularly adventurous but good for seeing the highlights quickly. Small city tours in the fjords can be amazing. The Gerainger Views, for example, are breathtaking; stunning; magical scenery; not to be missed! Book tours online; doing it on the ship will cost you time waiting in long lines. There will around 10% English-speaking passengers on board and about 5% or less from the US, but no worries. Costa handles logistics expertly in five languages including English. The shore excursions are always on time and well-run. Don't go in May when it tends to rain, or in August when the amazing waterfalls have slowed to a drip. The sweet spot is mid to late June. This Norwegian itinerary is spectacular. You will not be disappointed. Last but not least; tips for everyone are handled through central billing; about 7 euros per person per day. Still, at the first moment on the first day that your cabin stewart introduces himself or herself, give them $20-$30 and say, simply, thank you. Just do it, trust us, you won't regret it. Read Less
Costa Luminosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.1
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.2
Family 5.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 2.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.6
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.4

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