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Sail Date: November 2009
Embarkation We are in our 50's and have cruised about 28 times. We were attracted to the itinerary (Savona to Naples, Port Said, Suez transit, Sharm el Sheikh, Safaga, Aqaba, Aden, Salalah, Muscat, Fuijuirah and Dubai with 2 nights ... Read More
Embarkation We are in our 50's and have cruised about 28 times. We were attracted to the itinerary (Savona to Naples, Port Said, Suez transit, Sharm el Sheikh, Safaga, Aqaba, Aden, Salalah, Muscat, Fuijuirah and Dubai with 2 nights on the ship) and the fact that this is a new ship. Neither disappointed. We flew to Nice and took a Costa transfer to Savona which was very handy and reasonably priced. As costa club members we had priority embarkation and this was swift and smooth. Public areas The ship itself was absolutely beautiful with plenty of public space, on this occasion it was 2/3 full. The public areas are on 2 and 3 and the buffet and pools on 9. We never had to queue for lifts, to get on or off the ship or food. The library was absolutely pathetic and Internet connection was very bad resulting in high charges. The Spa was absolutely gorgeous with wonderful facilities you can read about elsewhere, but as the days wore on I got fed up seeing enormous leering fat Italian men in the fabulous Thalassotherapy Pool or listening to them snoring in the serene relaxation room. Initially the Spa was quiet but then Costa offered daily specials and it became too crowded for me. There were plenty of sun loungers on the outer decks and the pool areas were attractive. We never used the gym which seemed adequate. There was a jogging track and roller skating track on 10 and a wrap round promenade deck on 3. There was a gorgeous chapel with mass everyday. A major design fault is in the star trek type doors for the toilets. They are opened by passing your hand over a laser beam. Men can be seen using the urinals as the doors take some time to close, perhaps this is the reason for women hanging about outside the gents!!!??? - Cabins We were upgraded to a Samsara inside cabin but were not permitted the perks. However I purchased a spa package at 199 euros which gave me 1 treatment and access to the spa for the 19 nights which was very good value. We were offered Samsara dining at 180 euros per person but did not avail of that. Samsara cabins include tea and coffee making facilities but ours were removed from the room which I thought was very mean. Little gestures sometimes mean a lot and Costa I feel let themselves down here and also in not giving us the disposable slippers given to occupants of those cabins. May I add we would not have used the tea/coffee facilities, it just seemed mean. The cabin was small but nicely appointed and having visited an interior on level 1 which was very generous in proportion I certainly would not pay the exorbitant extra charge for a Samsara cabin, especially as everyone is offered the Spa package, so avail of that and another cabin unless you want to use the restaurant. The cabins are positioned above a party area which meant sleep was difficult on the nights it was used. TV coverage in English was limited to the BBC news. Our cabin Steward was very attentive and our luggage both delivered and removed promptly. Entertainment There was 1 English quiz which our team one, yeah!!! We were disappointed that the English speaking host could not manage to arrange another or an equivalent during the 19 days, we wondered what she was employed to do. What a pity because this was a great way to meet other English speaking guests on a ship where we numbered maybe only 5%. The Theatre was badly designed as the upper sections had limited views as the seats had high backs but aesthetically it was more than pleasing. Shows varied, some excellent, some poor and some were only suitable for the Italians or French. The dancers were fantastic and the lighting innovative. Drinks were not sold in the Theatre. The lounge entertainment I thought was poor though many people enjoyed the dancing before and after dinner. We did not use the casino which was often busy, nor the kids club or disco. The golf simulator, 4D cinema and Ferrari Racing Car were all extras and we did not use them either. Various parties were arranged in the evenings but they were very much geared towards the Italians and the French so we rarely took part and can't comment on them. Dining Food was freely available all day and I assume from the Pizzeria most of the night. We ate in the buffet during the day and in the lovely dining room in the evenings. Breakfast was seriously disappointing, food was often cold, our dining companions complained about it every night and although they mentioned it to the Maitre D it never did improve to any great extent. At lunch I found the food outstanding, plenty of variety and sooooo tasty. During sea days there were plenty of individual stations offering delicious pasta and pizza was available all day everyday and although some thought it was poor we found it delicious. Ice cream was available alomost all day from self service machines but generally it was found to be tasteless. In the dining room the menus were geared towards the Italians, some nights there was little for us to chooses from but generally the food was good. We had a table for 8 and an excellent Maitre D who was extremely attentive and went to all lengths to please our table, in some cases for very little thanks I thought. Generally what we ate was very tasty but the choice was much poorer and very different from other cruise lines and the cuts of meat were cheaper and fatty. Our waiter was one of the worst I have encountered, surly at times and certainly not eager to please. This is a reason for objecting to the mandatory gratuities Costa insist upon. This guy will never learn as his tips will never reflect his service and he will not be hit where it hurts, in his pocket. We did manage to have him serve us tea and coffee after our meal though. On one night of open dining we had excellent service so I guess we were just unlucky. The midnight Buffet was one of the nicest I have ever seen. Afternoon tea was good, on sea days an elegant tea was served in the Luminosa restaurant which charges a fee for dinner, we did not use it except for the afternoon tea. Tuxedos were not generally worn on formal nights and very few long dresses for the women. Excursions We took only one Costa excursion to Luxor which was excellent, lunch was included and it was top notch also. No cancellations are allowed. We arranged other excursions ourselves with other cruisecritic members. We visited St Catherine's monastery at Mount Sinai from Sharm el Sheikh which was terrific, took a private trip to Petra and Wadi Rum with a mad schizophrenic driver cum tour guide in Jordan, availed of taxis outside the ports of Muscat, Aden, Fujuirah and Salalah and used the free bus to the malls in Dubai. In Port Said we wondered round on foot. Extras Drink charges were so high hardly anyone was drinking on board. Costa must be missing out on this. Even a coke was about 3 euros. I would advise anyone travelling to consider a drink package prior to boarding. I pitied the Bar Service staff who must have missed out on tips. We were able to bring on soft drinks and knew several who brought booze onboard, even bringing a bottle of their own wine into the dining room every evening which was great. The photographs were expensive, ranging from I think 20 euros, the photographers were slapdash as well as glum and surly. Disembarkation Disembarkation was wonderful. Our flight was at 2.30am and as independent travellers we disembarked when it suited us and we were allowed to use our cabin until 4.30pm. We then at dinner in the restaurant and left the boat about 9.30pm. This was an great perk and one for which Costa deserves full marks. I doubt if any other cruise line would allow it. Conclusion This was a wonderful cruise on a beautiful ship with an interesting itinerary. The Italians predominated of course and they were rude, unmannerly and loud, but this is an Italian line. They did not stop us enjoying the cruise. Our cruise experience was enhanced by the cruisecritic companions we sailed with. They were great company, really wonderful people. I would certainly sail on this ship again, the crew were generally attentive and pleasant and the ship absolutely fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
This cruise was very disappointing. The ship is lovely - new, attractive, spotlessly clean. The cabin staff were excellent. Sadly, the food wa extremely poor. Lufthansa did better on the flight home, as did Costa Coffee at the airport. ... Read More
This cruise was very disappointing. The ship is lovely - new, attractive, spotlessly clean. The cabin staff were excellent. Sadly, the food wa extremely poor. Lufthansa did better on the flight home, as did Costa Coffee at the airport. I did not have a single hot dish actually served hot - the best they could muster was lukewarm. Not only the food but the food service was poor - knives and forks placed next to you for the next course while you were still eating - - - The fitness and leisure facilities on board were pitiful - 1 sauna with 2 showers in the immediate vicinity for each gender when there were approximately 2500 people on board. The gym was small and the equally small studio was shut on at least 2 occasions for 'private consultations'. Equally sadly, I: 1) bothered to queue to complain at customer services 2) bothered to fill in numerous complaints which i was assured would be dealt with by the cruise line upon disembarkation 3) wrote several emails to Costa. I have not heard a word from the company. To my mind, this is not customer service. The cruise was NOT luxurious. The customer service was even less so. Put simply, if this was my first experience of cruising, I would NEVER do it again. Not all cruises are the same and I urge you to think hard before booking with Costa - try Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Thompson. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
First of all Costa does not recognize Cruise Critic Roll Calls and Meets, so my attempts along with others on later Dubai cruises to establish a Roll Call met with a dismal response. So I was not able to arrange any private tours as I did ... Read More
First of all Costa does not recognize Cruise Critic Roll Calls and Meets, so my attempts along with others on later Dubai cruises to establish a Roll Call met with a dismal response. So I was not able to arrange any private tours as I did on my last NCL Cruise. This is mainly due to the fact that there were not many passengers from the USA on board due to the long flights involved. Costa did inform me however, that there would be an English speaking briefing early in the cruise. Fly/Cruise or Independent? The first decision is whether to take the full fly/cruise or go independent from the UK. Costa will not give you the competitively priced flight details until the holiday is booked. We told our agent that the booking was provisional depending on the flights, as I did not want to be changing aircraft in the middle of Europe in winter. (Airports were closed all over Europe the day after we left!) After 10 days Costa still did not provide suitable flights, as they involved either changes in Germany or leaving early on the Saturday in Dubai. That would have lost a whole day in Dubai, so we booked our own non-stop flights which arrived at 2130 on the first Saturday and left at 0210 on the Sunday. The current packages now available in the UK (early 2010) include 2-3 nights in a hotel before the cruise. This is a great way to start the holiday as it means you beat the jet lag and the chance of winter weather delays. Dubai Airport On arrival at the airport you have a very long walk in Terminal 1 to passports and customs. You don't have to stop at the Visa desk if you are from the EU or N. America as you automatically get a 30 day visa. After passport control you have the opportunity to shop at the excellent Duty Free shop prior to going through a final security check and leaving the airport. The shop is a great way of getting some 10Dhr notes for tips, taxi change and stocking up on soft drinks! On leaving the airport you will be met by your Costa Rep if you can find them or get a taxi to the ship. No need to pay £30/$48 for a pre-booked taxi as there are lots of city taxis waiting in line. There are 3 types of taxi in Dubai: Ladies only taxis, normal taxis and family taxis which seat 7, or 3-4 with luggage. The cost to the ship was less than 60DHr which is £10/$16. The journey takes about 15 minutes in the evening. All Dubai taxis are metered and very clean. They are an excellent way for a small group to see the City. Embarkation On arrival at the Cruise Terminal we handed in our completed online tickets and signed a health declaration. We were told all our documents and cards were in our cabin. Next we handed in our passports which we would not see again until disembarkation, so keep the receipts! We now proceeded to the ship having given our luggage to a porter. We expected to be sprayed with antiseptic gel as we boarded the ship, but although there was a gel dispenser there nobody insisted on its use. This routine continued during the cruise. The gel was there outside the restaurants but its use was not enforced at all. Our late arrival time proved to be a bonus as you are not allowed to board the ship until 1500 on the first Saturday, but can leave your luggage at the terminal. Your cabin is available from 2000 on Saturday so we went to our cabin first and found our Costa cards which serve as the door key and onboard account. It had taken 90 minutes from walking off the aircraft to getting onto the ship including shopping - Fantastic! Within an hour our luggage appeared so our cruise had really begun. The Costa Luminosa The Luminosa is a beautiful ship, elegantly decorated and well laid out. A lot of thought has gone into the design from the spacious cabins to the layout of the theatre and bars. There are lots of lifts/elevators so getting around is very fast. The use of hi-tech information and booking "totems" reduced the lines at the enquiry desks and made booking of the facilities very easy. Even the registering of your credit card was done using an ATM style machine. Note, only Visa and Mastercard debit cards are acceptable, not Maestro and Cirrus only. The machines are in 10 languages and so are all the announcements and entertainment! The ship is efficiently run and everything appeared to work except the air-conditioning. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 for 3 people. This was very convenient for getting refreshment from the cafeteria on deck 9! Normally it's a bit of a squeeze, but the cabin was much longer and wider than normal so we had no problems. The balcony was fairly large but had a large overhang from the restaurant deck above, this did not affect lower decks. I was informed that the cabins with the smallest overhang and largest balconies were on deck 4. There was a mini-bar in the room and a hair dryer, but no iron. The beds were very large and comfortable. Large cases fitted easily under the beds. However, we did not sleep very well as the room was always hot and humid, so we complained about the air-conditioning. Someone came to fix it but it wasn't just our cabin, the whole ship seemed humid compared to our other cruises. Other faults we had were quickly dealt with. The sockets are 110v US type and 230v Continental. You cannot use 2 UK adaptors together as the sockets are too close, so bring a lead with a US plug for charging your electronics as they are multi-voltage. There is a second dual outlet in the bathroom which only works with the light on. The cabin service was excellent. The room was made up twice a day and ice was re-plenished at the same time. We had breakfast in the room most days at no extra charge, but the timings were a bit erratic and the drinks were often cold. There is a €2 charge for room service at other times. There is one main dining room, the Taurus with two sittings. The Taurus was a lovely place to eat, the serving stations were all separated from the tables, but some tables were very close to each other. We had asked for a table of 6-10 and were paired up with a very friendly family threesome, also from England with a teenage daughter. This infinitely improved our cruise experience as there were few opportunities to meet other English-speaking guests other than on a tour, accidental encounters or if you were lucky enough to be sat with them at the open seating breakfasts and lunches. The food and service in the Taurus was quite good. The service at dinner was very slick as there was a time constraint, but there was still time for coffee. The food was good rather than sensational. The worst dinner was at the Christmas Eve Gala. We had dry turkey with no cranberry sauce, no Christmas pudding and not a mince pie in sight. I think it was the Italian style that affected the menu! The ice cream was lovely compared to the fare at the cafeteria. The lunch service was not as hurried and was not recommended if you wanted to leave the ship for a day out. There were two Gala formal dinners and one Arabian Theme night. However, there were still a lot of men who think that formal is a clean pair of jeans! The Samara guests had their own restaurant, but I'm sure it was the same menu as the Taurus. There was a fine dining restaurant called the Luminosa Club which we did not use. The main cafeteria was the Andromeda on deck 9 which served food and drinks most of the day. You could get tea, coffee, water and pizza all the time. The water dispensers were handy for refilling your own bottles prior to a day out as the ship's water was fine. There were ice cream machines available at meal times, but the ice cream was horrible. It was water based rather than milk. The Andromeda included a Grill Bar for burgers, etc and several pasta stations. This reduced the lines as there were several serving stations. The only time it got crowded was when the tour buses returned as it was the only place to eat. The food was again good, but not memorable. There were several bars which also sold coffee and cake. The main entertainment bar was the Elettra on deck 2 and then the Piano Bar Antares on deck 3, which was always less crowded. There was also a noise insulated disco frequented by the younger set. There did not appear to be a proper band on board, so things never really hotted up, as the music mainly consisted of aged Duos with music machines! The main problem with all the bars was the smoke. One half of each bar allowed smoking which eventually dispersed everywhere - ugh! The main evening show was held twice nightly in the fabulous Phoenix Theatre. As there was a show for each sitting there were always enough seats, but after watching all the shows I can see why! Costa tries to be all things to all men, so the constant 10 language announcements meant there was no room for a compere or comedian in the shows. Even the Bingo was in 8 languages! The theatre itself is very hi-tech with laser lights and turntables, etc and had an excellent layout. The shows consisted of a talented 14 strong Russian Dance Troupe, who did a 45 minute show, but did not sing. The next show was all singing from an Italian female singer who cleared most of the Italians away by singing in English for the first 20 minutes! The following show was 45 minutes of acrobatics and juggling from a very athletic Chinese Troupe. The shows would have been much better with some variety as they were all one thing or another. The usual Crew talent show was a bit of a fix as most of the acts were from the entertainment staff who sang in the Bars! On the final Saturday the theme was Arabian Dancing and again we had 15 minutes of one man twirling around in a traditional LED Illuminated Costume! This was followed by a Belly Dancer who insisted on pulling children from the front row to accompany her on stage - had she been checked by "the Child Protection Agency?" Life on Board The first day started with a Ship's brief in English at 0930. As most people had arrived between 2300 and 0200 the night before, it was a bit early and the information was repeated on the TV and also in the Daily "Today" ship's paper. The English host had a daily hour for any problems, but did not organise any "meet and greet" sessions for the 500 English speakers. If you asked any questions at her briefs you were told to see her afterwards and she would not discuss any problems even if they applied to the majority! The "Today" paper was delivered every evening and contained the relevant information for the following day. It was an essential read, especially when the clocks changed! The TV had the usual programs of excursions and the cruise events to date. The only English channel was BBC World and sometimes there was a free film in English, but as there was no TV schedule it was a bit hit and miss! You could pay €9 to see more recent films in English. As the ship's currency was the Euro, this made everything expensive for £ and $ guests. The cocktail of the day was €5, plus the 15% service for drinks. This was the bargain of the day, so we had a few of those during the week. There were drinks packages at extra cost, but the arrangements and rules varied, so Costa needs to be contacted directly to get the best deal for you as the internet wasn't very clear on what was available. The extra features of the Luminosa were the Golf and Racing car simulators. The car was €20-25 for 5-7 minutes and was quite exciting if you could drive well, as the car was very easy to crash. A lot of people spent most of their time impaled in a straw bale. A reset "on track" button would have been handy for novices. The golf looked good, but at over €100 for a round it should be. The 4D cinema at €8 for a 12 minute Disney style ride was good fun. Playstations were also available for rent and there was a Video Arcade. The big pool had a retractable roof and was mainly frequented by children. As the ship was docked during the day except the first and last days, there were plenty of sun-loungers available in quieter parts of the ship. There was also an adult pool at the aft end of deck 9. As the ship was in port most days there was not a lot happening on board during the day. There was an excellent gym and a spa which offered a wide range of treatments. There was a dance lesson most days around late afternoon which was well attended and good fun. I wish we'd attended that second Tango lesson! There was also a large Children's club and Teen club, the former being the more popular. The smaller children appeared very happy and were taught to perform a routine for the Arabian Night. The Arabian Night consisted of Folk dancing on the stage in the large pool area that also had a huge TV screen which showed all the action on stage plus the ship's TV channel during the day. The evening also had belly dancing by the Dance Troupe and a Conga dance of all those who had dressed in costume. It was an enjoyable evening that was followed by a Midnight Buffet around the pool. The Casino was quite popular. There were lessons for beginners for the table games and plenty of one arm bandits for those keen on losing their money. The casino was only open when at sea. Deck 3 had a small mall of shops selling the usual cruise memorabilia and jewellery. There were the usual watch and gold offers during the week. The duty free did not compare at all with the airport. The photo shop displayed most of the ad hoc pictures taken on arrival and in the dining room, but some pictures were left in your room with an order form. If you did not want to order they were collected the next day. There were plenty of opportunities for Formal photos on Gala nights. A DVD was available at the end of the cruise for €40 which highlighted your cruise. Christmas on Board The cruise was from 19th December to the 26th, so Christmas featured everywhere on board with illuminated trees and nativity sets on show throughout the ship. Door decorations were placed on every cabin door and the crew wore Santa hats. Christmas music was continuously played over the PA, but it wasn't intrusive. There was a Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Theatre. There was also a Christmas theme to some of the entertainment during the week. However, for British guests the lack of our usual Christmas fare and cranberry sauce was a bit of a downer. Christmas was also actively displayed ashore in the local Malls! Ports of Call and Tours At all the ports of call the ship advised that you could not walk out of the port. Most ports were out of town except Muscat. A free bus was provided to get you to the port gates. At every port except Muscat there is absolutely nothing to see within walking distance of the gates! Taxis are available from the gates but may not be metered, so you could get scammed! The souk and cafes are walkable from the gate only at Muscat. At Fujairah and Abu Dhabi there were shuttle buses to the shopping mall for €6. This was well worth the trip at Abu Dhabi as it was on the opposite side of the city from the port along the beautiful tree-lined Corniche. As there was not a lot to see in Fujairah it was an excuse to leave the ship and stock up at "no haggle" prices at Lulu's which is the UAE equivalent of Wal-Mart. At Dubai the shuttle bus to the Dubai Mall was free and again was well worth the trip if you didn't have anything else planned. The Mall is right by the Burj Tower, the world's tallest building by miles! Taxis were available in and out of Dubai right by the ship. There is a port charge of Dhr20-25 included in the fare. Taxis could only bring you back to the ship at other ports due to security. There was a hop on hop off bus tour available at the ship in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Full details of these tours including the maps are available on Google. As usual you could view the expensive Costa tours and book them online before you go. As previously described the tours were either of the city highlights or safaris into the desert with various lengths of transit time. Hotel tours included overpriced tea or lunch stops at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi or the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The only alternatives were taxis, hop on/off buses or finding a reputable local tour guide. Just wandering off on your own is not recommended. The ship provides you with a useless map at each port but an up to date guide book is essential as everything is changing very quickly. The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi in my 2007 book had moved 10 miles! We ended up using the Hop on/off tours in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai after being quoted a ridiculous taxi fare at the gate at Abu Dhabi. The tour has only been running since December in AD. The bus picked you up at the ship then dropped you at the port gate in Abu Dhabi where another bus met you. The tour was very informative and had a 20 minute frequency if you got off. We bought a 2 city ticket which was discounted; it also included a Marina Mall Tower visit in Abu Dhabi and a Dhow cruise in Dubai. At Dubai the bus took you into town to pick up the Red City Tour. After a few minutes you arrived at the Wafi Mall, which is worth a visit. From there you could change to the Blue Beach Tour which goes out to the Atlantis on the Palm and back via the Emirates and Dubai Malls. Hint - if you are on the Beach tour and it's getting late, you can get off at the Dubai Mall and go downstairs to the shuttle bus area and get the free shuttle back to the ship which runs until 2100. This saves going back into town and changing buses twice to catch the last bus back to the ship which leaves at 1845! If you miss it the taxi fare to the ship is only about £5/$8. Compared to Europe there is not much culture to see apart from the Mosques and Palaces. The museums contain little more than weaponry and costumes until the Guggenheim opens in Abu Dhabi. The most amazing things to see are on a Las Vegas theme, i.e. Glitzy hotels and shopping malls, especially in Dubai. The Wafi Mall had an Egyptian theme and the Dubai Mall had a spectacular aquarium and waterfall. We booked the Mystical Muscat Tour as this should have included a visit to the Grand Mosque and Palace. In the end we just had a fleeting glimpse of the Mosque from 500 yards and a quick drive by of the Palace Entrance so you couldn't even get a photo! This was caused by the Sultan visiting the Mosque so everything shut down including the traffic. There were no real alternative sites to see apart from a distant view of the luxury Al Bustan Hotel. After the small Museum the final shopping trip to the souk was across the road from the ship! Even going with the Costa tour has its drawbacks. We are still negotiating a refund! Our tour above highlights the main problems of tourism in its infancy in this area. The local dignitaries can bring havoc to a city at short notice by closing everything down almost on a whim. Our mosque visit in Abu Dhabi was also denied by arriving during an unscheduled closure, but at least there was no traffic jam. We did not take part in any other Costa tours as we found the ability to see what we wanted much easier with the Hop on/off bus. This had the advantage of a direct connection to the ship and an excellent commentary in 8 languages on a known itinerary. However, Spanish was not available. We did not get off the ship in Bahrain as there was nothing there to get too excited about unless you want to visit the old Grand Prix track. Disembarkation You can leave the ship anytime from when it docks on the Friday until the early hours of Sunday morning and still use all the facilities. You can use your cabin until 1630 on the last Saturday. There are facilities to keep your hand luggage safe while your main bags are off-loaded depending on your departure time. We had a brief in English on Friday morning about the arrangements as well as comprehensive notes in the "Today." Final accounts were delivered to cabins early Saturday morning and if there were no problems they were automatically settled on your card. Queries had to be sorted before collecting passports from 0400 to 0930 on the Saturday in the Piano Bar. If you had lost your passport receipts your entire group had to collect in person, otherwise only one had to go. It was amazing that the line was only a couple of minutes long as everything was arranged efficiently. Most queries were about the compulsory service charge. As it was mentioned in the booking conditions I can't see why people have to complain about it at the end of their trip. It was mainly passengers who had eaten only in the cafeteria objecting to tipping a waiter they never saw in the Taurus. There were still staff in the cafeteria, folks. On the Wednesday you were asked what time you would be leaving the ship so you got the correct colour coded labels. Luggage had to be left outside your cabin with the coded labels at least 8 hours before you departed the ship. If you were leaving the ship and returning on the last Saturday you could leave your hand luggage under supervision in the Antares Disco on deck 2 until 2300. Anything purchased on board on the last day was payable in Euros or US dollars. For those travelling with Costa there were display boards around the bars and theatre with your flight and departure times from the ship shown complete with any flight delays. On finally leaving the ship you collected your luggage in the terminal and went through security and customs to your bus or taxi. There were no big lines and plenty of taxis. Twenty minutes after leaving the ship we were at the airport ready for the 8 hour flight back to London and not the 12 hour trip via Frankfurt Costa wanted us to use! Summary We all had a lovely cruise on the Costa Luminosa it's a fine ship efficiently run. We met new friends and saw some amazing sites, though not all complete, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We were disappointed not to have seen inside a Grand Mosque due to the unforeseen closures. As Costa tries to appeal to all nationalities this does restrict the entertainment program. For English speaking guests there will soon be US cruise ships on this itinerary which should have greater appeal. Nevertheless, Costa had a competitively priced cruise especially if you had children. This advantage was reduced on board by the Euro prices. This itinerary will be great in 5 years when the area is completed and the building work stops completely instead of temporarily. Would we cruise Costa again? It depends on the itinerary and competition! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Costa Luminosa, Dubai 30th Jan - 6th Feb 2010. We booked a fly/Hotel/Cruise package with Virgin Holidays Cruises, a sister company of Virgin Holidays but they wouldn't accept Tesco clubcard vouchers. We flew out on the 25th ... Read More
Costa Luminosa, Dubai 30th Jan - 6th Feb 2010. We booked a fly/Hotel/Cruise package with Virgin Holidays Cruises, a sister company of Virgin Holidays but they wouldn't accept Tesco clubcard vouchers. We flew out on the 25th overnight to Dubai with Virgin Atlantic and then stayed 4 nights in the Hilton resort and Spa in Ras al Khaimah, about 60kms north of Dubai. Nice resort but nothing else there and main Restaurant is buffet only and popular with families! I picked up a stomach bug on day 2 which lasted for the rest of the trip! We were transferred to Dubai on the 30th arriving about 1400 but check in for the ship doesn't start until 1500. after some confusion amongst Costa staff about paperwork, desks and queues we boarded. We already knew our cabin wouldn't be available until 2000hrs so we left the ship and took the free shuttle to Dubai Mall returning about 1900hrs. We were then allowed access to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. Ship sailed on the 31st at 1300hrs for Muscat in Oman, worth a visit. The other ports were Fujairah, not much to see, Abu Dhabi worth a visit, Bahrain don't bother unless you want the trip to the F1 circuit, and back to Dubai arriving on the Friday 5th of Feb. All ports had free shuttle to port gates and other options. "Hop on hop off" bus in Abu Dhabi is worth it, and probably in Dubai but we didn't try that one. The ship is only 9 months old so in good condition. Some of the dEcor is a bit gaudy but then it's Italian. Automatic doors on the toilets are like a space ship but the fittings inside are cheap and bright yellow cubicle dividers. The cabin we had was on deck 6 with balcony, no complaints. Samsara Suites have direct access to Spa but we didn't try that. Room service, breakfast was at no extra charge but often earlier than the time requested. We just had tea and then went to Taurus Restaurant for proper Breakfast. Breakfast is free seating, directed by staff so you can be on a table with anyone. Buffet, including pork bacon, hot eggs to order from waiting staff. Toast on request. Lots of offers for coffee, tea more difficult especially if you want cold milk, although it is on the buffet for cereal. Staff tends to disappear after a while and it can be difficult to attract their attention -they don't look up! Breakfast in Taurus finishes at 0915, too early I feel. Buffet available on upper deck till 1100. Lunch also free seating directed by staff, again could be any size table, finishes at 1400, buffet longer on upper deck. Dinner in 2 sittings 1830 and 2045. Allocated tables with "personal waiters", except for Saturday night. Dining room cramp and meals felt a bit hurried at times. Two "Gala nights" on this trip where suggested dress was formal, other wise casual. Food generally good quality, staff not as good as previous Cunard cruises. We bought in advance a J2 drink package which saved us a fortune on everything from bottled water and "proper coffee" to wine and spirits. Some staff confused by it and it was a bit of a hassle at times. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
We had great ports on this cruise and really enjoyed seeing a different part of the world. The ship was beautiful and the rooms very comfy. The huge drawback is that the food was truly AWFUL. We have cruised with Disney and Carnival and we ... Read More
We had great ports on this cruise and really enjoyed seeing a different part of the world. The ship was beautiful and the rooms very comfy. The huge drawback is that the food was truly AWFUL. We have cruised with Disney and Carnival and we know that there are limitations to what you can prepare for large groups. That said, we never once had a meal in the main dining room that we liked. The best we could muster was a meal we tolerated. I sent back many dishes completely untouched- even desserts- and I am so not that girl. Shipboard entertainment was not much to speak of, largely because they have 7 languages on board so they are pretty limited in what they can do. As far as the excursions went- we did one in every port. In Muscat, we did the Nizwa fort and really enjoyed our day. Great tour guide, got to see a lot, really lovely poolside lunch. Highly recommended. In Fujeirah we did the desert 4X4 tour. Again, great excursion- not for the faint of heart though. I don't think I quite understood how high the dunes would be! This was a good port for this excursion since there is not much else to do there. In Abu Dhabi we did the city tour and tea at the Emirates Palace. The tea was awesome, and we got a great introduction to the city. I do wish we had ditched the tour after the cultural center and taken a taxi to the Marina Mall rather than going all the way back to the port and going out on our own from there. In Bahrain we did the city tour, it was a little long and we had a boring guide. They also do not have lunch built into this tour- ridiculous since we left the ship at 9 and did not get back until after 3. We kind of bucked the tour plans and grabbed lunch at the sandwich shop at the fort. Food was REALLY good there, but we had to just decide to do it on our own and I think it made the guide mad. All in all, if I could do this route with another cruise line I would. I will NOT be taking another Costa cruise unless I'm looking for massive weight loss from really bad food. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
LUMINOSA is a fine new ship. Public areas flash and spacious. A pleasure to walk around. No queueing for tables/seats etc at breakfst or lunch and with sea views. Cabin well designed and and with truly large and comfortable beds..We ... Read More
LUMINOSA is a fine new ship. Public areas flash and spacious. A pleasure to walk around. No queueing for tables/seats etc at breakfst or lunch and with sea views. Cabin well designed and and with truly large and comfortable beds..We enjoyed the cruise [desite the gripes below] which was probably due as much to the great February weather than to anything else. THe lifts were ample and quick. Seldom had to wait. There were a few niggles - BAR DRINKS WERE EXPENSIVE [only a minor gripe]. They always are with Costa - so on principle we had fewer and spent less than usual in the bars. ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT WERE POOR. Again they usually are with Costa. A fine theatre was wasted because of non-professional entertainers. THE EVENING BUFFET MEALS HAVE BEEN ABANDONED by Costa. Never experienced that cost-cutting decision before. . It means that if you don't make it to your evening sitting on time then you don't eat. There's nowhere else - unless you want to take advantage of the opportunity provided for you by Costa to book a meal in the top-notch restaurant with a cover charge of a million euros. Perhaps that's what Costa wants - to maka da lira. It also meant that Sidney Scruff and his lot in jeans and T shirts were admitted to the restaurant each evening - there was nowhere else for them to eat. Food overall was acceptable, if below average. The lunchtime buffet was usually better than the evening restaurant. WE would do this cruise again. THe great weather in Feb was such a relief. Next time we would look for a better company such as RCI or Celebrity etc. It's a long flight. Make sure you get direct flights. One agent tried to sell us indirect flights with mickey mouse airlines. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
I fancied going away for my birthday to Dubai and was looking at going on the Brilliance of the seas but saw a brilliant deal 80% off on a cruise only direct with Costa cruises website a week before departure. Booked a B5 balcony cabin on ... Read More
I fancied going away for my birthday to Dubai and was looking at going on the Brilliance of the seas but saw a brilliant deal 80% off on a cruise only direct with Costa cruises website a week before departure. Booked a B5 balcony cabin on deck 6 mid ship. Had to phone up the call centre as there were technical problems with the website but the lady booked the cruise quickly and efficiently and let me pick out a cabin myself. I booked direct flights with Emirates and used my Marriott hotel points to stay at the Renaissance Deira hotel the night before embarkation. I would definitely recommend flying the day before if you can as there were guests that arrived at 7.00am on the morning of embarkation. It was a long day for them as they could not get into their cabins until 18.30. The flight over with Emirates was excellent, I choose the 9.45 from Gatwick which landed at approx 20.35 in Dubai on Friday. Went to Duty free, grabbed a taxi and it was a short ride to the hotel. We just relaxed round the pool and had a mooch round Deira the day of embarkation as the check in time for the cruise was 15.00. The time you could go to your cabin was 18.30. The hotel extended our check out till 15.00 so we made our way to the ship then and checked in. Check in was efficient, there was nobody else checking in so we just walked straight on with no queues. We were carrying a large bottle of water on board as it was so hot. We got to the gangway and the security guard was very rude saying "I will tell you now, you are not allowed THAT on board"!. Saying it like a bottle of water was some banned illegal substance! Luckily for us it was the wrong gangway to use for getting on the ship so we went to the next gangway and walked on no problems. Little did that security guard know we had 4 bottle of duty free vodka and enough cans of soft drink in our suit cases to last the whole trip, ha ha. We just sat in the sun till 6.30pm and then went to our cabin and our suitcases arrived shortly after. I was very pleased with the cabin, it was larger than other balcony cabins I have been in with a good sized balcony and lovely beds. The cabin attendant was a bit surly, normally they knock and say hello, but this one just seemed to not be bothered, we would often return to our cabin around midday to 1pm and the cabin was still not made up despite us always using the make up room/do not disturb signs. Even with the do not disturb sign on the door, he would still knock and walk straight in the room! On departure we said thank you and goodbye to him and he just stared at us with a blank face like we were an inconvenience! Oh well!. I did not really care for the buffet. The choices were very limited. Only some orange runny scrambled egg, really cheap awful sausages and bacon etc for breakfast. We tried the dining room for breakfast but it was just the same as the buffet and you still had to serve yourself which I just thought was pointless and there was even less room than in the buffet trying to get in between tables and people walking about. Food was very oily and salty. Some things were almost inedible and I am not a fussy eater at all. The evening meal in the restaurant was much nicer but again the waiters were a bit surly. We had to ask for menus after being seated for a while and there was no interaction as there have been on other cruise lines. I feel that as Costa has a compulsory service charge, the staff feel that they can give the minimum service. I just need the point out that the pizza and the watery ice cream from the machines were awful. I don't understand this as the Italians are renown for their amazing pizza and ice cream! We did try the Club Luminosa on my birthday which was much nicer. There is a 20 Euro Surcharge each for this. The dessert was great, Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen in front of you!, and a birthday cake was brought out to me which was very nice. A bit strange though that as we were finishing our desserts/drinks a questionnaire and a pen was trust under our faces to rate the experience which sort of killed the ambiance. I don't know why they just couldn't of waited and delivered it to the cabin or something! The wine was very mediocre, 28 Euros for a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The ports I liked best were Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There is not much to do in Fujairah and Bahrain. I thought it would have been a much better cruise if the ship had docked for 2 days in Abu Dhabi as there was so much to do and there was a lovely beach there. We used the Big bus tours in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and these were very good. We also used shuttle buses in Fujairah and Abu Dhabi. These were charged at 6 euros each by Costa but when we got to the buses nobody checked the tickets. By the next day in Abu Dhabi we found out the shuttle buses are apparently free and run by the local tourist boards! Terrible!. The Arabian party was quite fun. Guests were dressed up in Arabian dress which you could pick up quite cheaply in Fujairah. Something I need to point out is the decking. On other ships I have been on there has been the non slip rubber on the decks. This ship did not have this. By the mini golf course there is a small fountain that seemed to be spraying water every where else apart from on the golf course. There was water all over the deck and was very dangerous. My husband slipped over twice there, and I saw many other people slipping over too. I too slipped over by the buffet due to the slippery floors.A member of buffet staff just looked at me on the floor and walked past! I am 26 and my husband is 33 and we both fell over at different times, I would dread to think what would have happened to an elderly/disabled person. Costa really needs to address this before some bad accident occurs. I made it known to them but they did not seem too bothered and only put up a slippery surface notice instead of actually fixing the fountain and mopping up the pools of water on the deck. We only went to one show. The first night was Chinese acrobatics which was very good. We heard off other people though that the shows were not too good so we did not bother going again. The majority of guests on board are Italian and we only came across a handful of English speaking guests. Disembarkation was great. You are requested to leave your luggage outside your door 5 hours before you disembark and you can used your cabin until 16.30. We got up, left our luggage outside the cabin and did a big bus tour around Dubai. There is a big bus tour shuttle which takes you to Bur Dubai to connect with the Big Bus. We got dropped back at the ship, grabbed our luggage and got a taxi to the crowne plaza festival city. We stayed for 1 night, (this hotel was fabulous) and flew home on the 15.45 to Heathrow no problems. I feel that the cruise reflected the cheap price we paid. If we had paid the brochure price I would have felt very annoyed and ripped off. I guess I have been spoilt with Celebrity, princess etc. I would not cruise with Costa again. If I was cruising this area again I would definitely go with Royal Caribbean. Even Thomson is in a far higher league than Costa. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Cruise 3/4/10 -10/4/10 Middle East.I expected a good cruise having cruised with Costa 8 years ago and enjoyed the experience. The ship maybe new and glossy, but it lacks the class, food and entertainment high standards of Royal Carribbean ... Read More
Cruise 3/4/10 -10/4/10 Middle East.I expected a good cruise having cruised with Costa 8 years ago and enjoyed the experience. The ship maybe new and glossy, but it lacks the class, food and entertainment high standards of Royal Carribbean on Celebrity X. It is a large ship but has no cinema (expect for a 4D one that you have to pay for). There are only 2 pools on it and although it says that no children are allowed in one of them, there always was. The entertainment was dreadful, walked out the first two nights shows and never returned. It was all same old same old...... Starlight Dancers. If you do not wish to dine in the restaurant at night, there are no other dining options apart from pizza, which was horrible - thought Italians made good pizzas! The restaurant food was poor, choices limited and nothing simple. Vegetables were one potato and one piece of broccolli. On other cruises the Head Waiter and Assistant waiter introduce themselves, and are very attentive. On this ship this didn't happen. I do not like this charge on the account every day, a)because you do not know if the staff get it and b) because the staff do not need to go that extra mile. The secruity staff are rude and arrogant, and obviously think they are superior. The cabin staff were very rude when I used the bottled water in the cabin and didn't complete a form, I was not aware I had to. The entertainment staff treated you like idiots, not everyone on board has a holiday camp mentality. All drinks very expensive did not buy any alcoholic ones at all due to this, total rip off. The mini golf was a joke, the holes only being inches apart. Will never cruise with Costa again.The entertainment programme during the day was also poor, well it was actually non existent. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We are seasoned cruisers, 15 so far, but our first with Costa and having read numerous CC reviews decided to take a chance amidst much trepidation. We need not have worried, everything was great, better in fact in some instances from our ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, 15 so far, but our first with Costa and having read numerous CC reviews decided to take a chance amidst much trepidation. We need not have worried, everything was great, better in fact in some instances from our experiences on Cunard, P&O, Princess and Celebrity. I feel extremely sorry for Costa and its staff for the disparaging feedback given by previous cruisers which I can't really understand, given our experiences on board. We flew out from Heathrow to Dubai, met by Costa staff at both airports and all went well until lengthy immigration delays and a problem with missing luggage which necessitated an hour's wait on board our coach, a lengthy journey through port embarkation also exacerbated our frustration but our luggage arrived very quickly after ourselves. Our stateroom was an outside one with restricted views but with a full length picture window so we were very pleased. It was spacious, comfortable and with lots of wardrobe, drawer space and a good size bathroom. Towels etc were changed daily and bed linen every 4/5 days. We had a complementary bowl of fruit each week and a Daily English newsletter delivered to the cabin as well as the normal daily bulletin showing activities aboard. According to my wife, who is the expert on such matters, this was the cleanest ship we had ever sailed on and everything in cabin and on board generally was spotless. The ship itself was about a year old and was somewhat garish in decor but surprisingly easy to navigate. All the public rooms were on Decks 2/3 and there were helpful signs indicating the direction of restaurants, lounges, theatre etc. Upstairs on Deck 9 was the self service restaurant, adjacent to the main outdoor deck areas, Gymnasium and Sauna and Children's Club. There was plenty of sitting areas, inside and out, and the pool attendants worked very hard removing towels from recliners where selfish passengers left them for lengthy periods to reserve their personal chairs. I have never seen so many beach towels changed during each day on a ship's deck! My only complaint with public rooms was the library, it was small and the choice of English books available was woeful, my tip is that if you are a reader, bring your own books with you. Internet access was available in the library but it was also limited and expensive. Costa provided a very useful Interactive Service at various points on the lower decks where you could validate your own credit card for on board settlement of your account and book excursions and shuttle buses with your cruise card, without having to queue at the relevant Desks. We ate on first sitting in the main dining room, a table for 8, with 6 Brits and 2 Aussies. Costa try to put all same language speakers together which is a good idea when you see the diversity of nationalities on board. We were extremely satisfied with the variety, quality and quantity of food available. The dining room was noisy and the tables rather close together but it didn't really inconvenience anyone other than the wait staff. Pasta were delicious and I was very pleased with the different types of fish in both starters and mains. I do, however, readily acknowledge that Costa could not approach the standards of steaks on offer on US cruise ships! We had breakfast and luncheon in the self service restaurant daily and were very happy with the quality and variety of food on offer, greater than we have experienced before. We took out the Costa X1 drinks package which provided beers, wines, soft drinks and bottled waters in unlimited supply at lunchtime and evening meal time. An extremely worthwhile purchase which I can strongly recommend. Bar prices were not cheap and attracted the US style 15% service charge on top. Costa did, however, on most days provide a "Happy Hour", 2 drinks for the price of one. Daytime activities were primarily adjacent to the pool on Deck 9 and were entered into with great gusto by a number of passengers. It was quite noisy but good humoured and entertaining to watch with lots of dance and exercise classes, team games and darts, table football/tennis competitions on offer. If it became too noisy there was always the option of moving to another outdoor part of the ship! The gymnasium was large and very well equipped but not used personally. There was a Children's Club on board but there were only a handful of small children on the cruise and we weren't really aware of their presence. Service was excellent, all members of the crew with whom we came into contact were polite, helpful and seemed cheerful at all times. Our cabin steward was "out of this world" in efficiency as were our 2 table waiters in the dining room and they took great pleasure in putting on impromptu entertainment on gala nights. Staff in the self service restaurants were always extremely quick to clear previously used tables and provide fresh cutlery. Evening entertainment was varied. The theatre was large and well laid out. The dance troupe were Russian and we have never seen a better choreographed group on board any ship, our only complaint was that we wanted to see them more often. There were singers, classical musicians, jugglers & acrobats and Arab dancers as well as a ventriloquist. All of these were acceptable but we have experienced better. Attendance in the theatre brought home the multi linguistic situation whereby the Cruise Director had to introduce and finalise the performances in 7 languages. Somewhat lengthy but after a while you got used to it! The ship stopped at 8 intermediate ports on its voyage from Dubai to Savona, Fujairah, Muscat, Salalah, Aden, Safaga, Sokhna, Alexandria and Naples. There were excursions organised for each different destination but we didn't avail ourselves of them, preferring instead to "do our own thing" with a like minded bunch of CC chums. We were only advised on the day before our departure that the stop at Sharm El Sheikh had been replaced by one at Sokhna which was somewhat of a surprise. As I can only provide a review on 6 ports, I will give a brief outline of the others we visited. Fujairah - very little on offer from Costa, most people opted for a shuttle bus into town and visited the hypermarket and Lulu's Department Store which did actually offer a wide range of bargain clothing etc. Verdict - poor. Salalah, Oman - again, not much on offer by Costa. We took a minibus for 14 and visited the Souk, Mosque and beach where we experienced a herd of camels being driven through our group! Quite an interesting photo opportunity. Verdict - not a lot to see. Sokhna - substitute port and nearer to Cairo than Alexandria so Costa organised more tours to Cairo etc. We had visited that city with Celebrity last October so decided not to bother. We used the shuttle bus to the port gates where we were virtually imprisoned whilst rival taxi drivers tried to sell their wares. It was so intrusive we decided not to bother and returned to the ship. Verdict - a complete waste of time. Savona - Destination Port - An extremely picturesque Italian seaside town with lots of history and culture. Can be seen quite easily in half a day. Verdict - A nice way to finish the cruise. Disembarkation wasn't until 13.30hrs so we were able to spend the morning strolling round Savona, relax on board then have lunch before leaving. Then came the disappointment as we patiently waited in the lounge to be cleared to leave. Someone obviously forgot to make the announcement and we were delayed by an hour. The coach driver outside was furious and we were late in reaching Milan airport for our flight back to Heathrow. The only redeeming feature was that we didn't have to spend so long in the airport and our flight to Heathrow landed 15 minutes early. In summary, our views of Costa are extremely positive, we will definitely be using them again on more than one occasion. They represent good value for money. But remember, they cater for many different nationalities and we are in the minority!!!! That said, our fellow passengers were a joy to be with. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
The ship was all it claimed to be! We were pleasantly surprised as we just sailed a few days ago on Costa Victoria and this one was indeed awesome! From the entrance to the main plaza, it was gleaming! A giant Buddha like figure was the ... Read More
The ship was all it claimed to be! We were pleasantly surprised as we just sailed a few days ago on Costa Victoria and this one was indeed awesome! From the entrance to the main plaza, it was gleaming! A giant Buddha like figure was the centrepiece aside from the glittering lights around the ship! The chocolate bar soon became my youngest son's fave hang out. He even got us to buy him a souvenir mug as a reminder of his happy days at this place. It helps that staff here were always friendly and accommodating! Facilities wise, what can I say, it is all tops at this ship!Very luxurious as it was relatively new, christened as we heard just in 2009. So it was a great experience! Food was also great, but sometimes it was a bit tedious for us coming from Costa Victoria which had similar menus. We could guess what food was going to be served especially for brekky. Anyhow, we still enjoyed our meals there! Special mention to the staff, our MAitre D at the Dining Room, who spwered us with lots of special treats, even a bottle of wine and most especially memorable as they helped make my husband's 50th birthday a very unforgettable event- complete with a slightly bigger chocolate cake than usual and singing the birthday song with other waiters too! Also, I got a rose at it was also Mother's Day that Day, a double treat for us! A few times I tried to escape dinners but alas! I was sent food- several dishes in my room! So thoughtful those people! The ports we visited were equally pleasantly delightful for us- never did we hear about Vigo or Cadiz much before but we thoroughly enjoyed those Spanish ports! The only negative criticism we could give was that the no smoking ban is not very much implemented in the lounges especially so it was annoying to still inhale the poisonous fumes from many people there. They were cunny enough to pick up ash trays with them and just put it on tables they like so it wasn;t effective- that of allowing only those tables with ash trays as smoking areas. They should just be vanished to the outside of the ship and in one side only! So much for progress in the developed world! Re other passengers- we found that many Italians were a bit pushy for our taste. They seemed to think they owned the ship and liked to push in in lines! Even the tour guides confirmed this, they too noticed those people were a bit uncooperative and pushy! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We boarded the Costa Luminosa in Savona,Italy on 4th May 2010 for a 9 night relocation cruise to Amsterdam with some apprehension, due the severe criticism previous reviewers had provided. We arrive by Train in Savona after 9 nights ... Read More
We boarded the Costa Luminosa in Savona,Italy on 4th May 2010 for a 9 night relocation cruise to Amsterdam with some apprehension, due the severe criticism previous reviewers had provided. We arrive by Train in Savona after 9 nights travelling through Rome, Florence and the Cinque Terre - the last two highly recommended. It was a fixed price of 15 Euro in a taxi from the train station to the Costa Terminal. Although there was some effort to order the embarkation process through use of boarding group numbers (of about 100 people per group), the typical inability of Italians to queue meant it was still a crush at the gate. Once aboard, however, it was generally smooth and orderly. Being English-speaking made us the minority, which we had expected, with the passengers being mainly Italian, German and Dutch in that order and only approx.45-50 with English as their first language out of the 2200 on board. Once we had sorted out with the crew that our country abbreviation of 'AUS' in Costa's records meant Australian and not Austrian and we stopped receiving menus, newsletters and telephone calls in German (it took almost 2 days) all was smooth sailing! The ship has a comfortable feel about it and is clean, bright and extremely well lit. The cabin was very spacious with comfortable bedding, plenty of cupboard and draw space and a large bathroom. The best feature of the cruise was the excellent service provided by the staff at all levels. A mixture of many nationalities with the majority coming from the Philippines, they were always trying to please. The cabin steward tried very hard although little English was understood. The Taurus restaurant staff could not be faulted - even providing off-menu specials. The menus were varied and the meals were warm to hot as expected and very well presented. The buffets for breakfast and lunch provide a limited but tasty selection with daily specialities. We were pleasantly surprised,after reading other reviews, by the the drinks prices, 5 Euro for a beer and 7 Euro for a cocktail ( including the service charge) anywhere, any time on the ship. It was equal or less than what you pay on the streets in Italy. Plus there were 2 for the price of 1 drinks on the at-sea days. Good quality bottled wine was available from approx 18 Euros. We found that the water on board was fine. They try to insist that the bottled water at 2.50 Euro is best but we filled up our bottles in at the water machines on Deck 9 and also found the cabin bathroom (RO)water was no problem. Iced water was available at meals at no charge. We had no problems with bringing or food or drinks back on board after shore excursions. The entertainment was only average and the Theatre was always overflowing for the nightly act for the first-sitting diners. The multi-language introductions and thanks yous wre very boring. We didn't use the 4D cinema, F1 Simulator or the Golf driving range but felt a normal cinema and better use of the large poolside screen for movies or entertainment other than Costa self-promotion would have been benefits. as in boarding, the organisation in leaving the ship was not great and suffered from the multilingual problems and lack of coordination but we disembarked within two hours of docking after those with organised tours. In summary our Costa Luminosa cruise offered a pleasant relaxing cruise with good accommodation, food and service with great staff at a value for money price. We would sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
It was a great experience sailing on Luminosa especially as it was a relatively new ship at the time of our cruise from May 4 to 13, 2010. Features-spacious, full of interesting and attractive decor, awesome Buddha in the central ... Read More
It was a great experience sailing on Luminosa especially as it was a relatively new ship at the time of our cruise from May 4 to 13, 2010. Features-spacious, full of interesting and attractive decor, awesome Buddha in the central plaza, I love it! I also enjoyed the top quality service. We didn't hesitate to give our steward 30 Euros for his patience, efficiency and friendly manner! This despite the fact we prepaid our tips when we booked. We also gave out Aussie souvenirs which were gratefully appreciated by the staff from the stewards to the restaurant Maitre D' and other crewship workers. Food was also appetising most of the time except when there are long lines and crowds during peak hours in the buffet. The formal dining rooms are a great alternative so we enjoyed their use the whole time we were there. We hardly ate anything while taking the bus tours to various ports, etc..We knew there were nice food waiting for us at the ship anyway! NEgatives- the smoking ban in the lounges are not properly ensured. Many Italians especially act as if they own the ship and so usually bring the ash trays to any table they like! It was a horrible sight, the smoke billowing from the lounges even if we were just passing through to get to the show lounge/theatre or other decks. It was awful! Also the lack of space during shows. The first seating and second seating arrangement did not seem to work here as both groups seem to be present at the shows! There was always a lack of seating so I ended up always going back to the cabin, I refused to stay standing up watching a mediocre show anyway! So entertainment was really nothing much to rave about. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
A very nice ship with lots of public areas many spoilt by the allowance of smoking especially around the central Atrium and Casino areas. We stayed in a mini suite on a three week cruise from Dubai out to India and the Maldives and choose ... Read More
A very nice ship with lots of public areas many spoilt by the allowance of smoking especially around the central Atrium and Casino areas. We stayed in a mini suite on a three week cruise from Dubai out to India and the Maldives and choose the cruise because of the itinerary. We found the cabin to lack in wardrobe and cupboard space (only seven hangers in the wardrobe).The bathroom was good with a nice size and good shower. The food can only be described as a generous two star although Costa claim it is a four star ship. Although plenty of choice in both the breakfast and lunch buffets the food tended to be unappetising. The corn beef hash and scrambled egg would be described as a mess and the bacon so fatty as to be inedible. The pizza bar always had a very limited choice. The only thing that worked well was the two Pasta stations. The evening meal was the worst experience with poor choice, very badly presented food, very often cold when served and the quality of meat and fish was by a long way the worst I have experienced on any cruise line. Drinks on the ship were expensive. We took two ship tours one was excellent the other extremely poor. Despite complaining about this on four occasions without getting a response although each time I was promised one I eventually obtained a 12 euro refund.(big deal). We formally complained about the food quality and again no response to the original complaint. We did eventually see the Maitre D who tried to tell us it was because they didn't cater for the British taste. We found the lack of response to complaints discourteous and were told we were the only ones to complain although we knew from talking to other passengers they had also complained. Costa also like to charge for as many extras as they can. For instance transport to shopping malls in town. If you didn't take their shuttle they would drop you in an area where there was nothing except rip off taxis as our experience in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. The last point I would make is with regard to the daily publication of what was happening on the ship which was at best inaccurate and lacking in information on our ports of call. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2011
We liked the itinerary and decided to take the plunge on the Costa Luminosa despite some disappointing reviews, surely it come be that bad.Oh dear, what an unmitigated disaster the whole cruise turned out to be. From the moment we stepped ... Read More
We liked the itinerary and decided to take the plunge on the Costa Luminosa despite some disappointing reviews, surely it come be that bad.Oh dear, what an unmitigated disaster the whole cruise turned out to be. From the moment we stepped on board we were made to feel as unwanted as the plague. Many of the staff were rude, the photographers were very arrogant and argumentative.Our cabin steward Norbert and our waiter Gary were the only exceptions to this, both behaved in an admirable and conscientious manner at all times and kept our spirits up when at times we could easily have walked off this awful ship.Food on board (compared with other cruise lines we have been with) I can only describe as being just above "pigswill". Very very poor, mostly cold or just warm, much almost inedible.Drinks were far too expensive, many people did not drink at all because of it.The cabin was above the theatre and many nights we were woken to performers practising, often until 2-30 am.Complaints were noted but not dealt with.This is by far the VERY WORSE cruise I have EVER experienced. NOT to be recommended. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
After leaving the sea 27 yrs ago, working as Chief Electrician, it was time to see how the other half live.We flew from London to Copenhaghen as my wife wanted to revisit Copenhagen and also Costa offered more time visiitng Norway than ... Read More
After leaving the sea 27 yrs ago, working as Chief Electrician, it was time to see how the other half live.We flew from London to Copenhaghen as my wife wanted to revisit Copenhagen and also Costa offered more time visiitng Norway than sailing from Southampton. As this was for her 50th birthday, she called the tunes and after a lot of research on internet to who did what, we opted for Costa.I am a great believer in you cannot please all the people all the time, so I fully expected to not find somethings to my taste and life experiences are sometimes what you decide to make of them.The ship, bigger than any I have sailed on was not the decor I would have chosen, but I was only on it for a week, so not any problem at all. The cabin and cabin stewardess were excellent, kept very clean, warmly greeted every time we spoke to her and it became a guessing game to what she would do to our bed at night and find pillows arranged differently or the blanket laid out in a new shape. It was good fun. Also i rushed out one day and left my t shirt laying on the seat, returned to find it all nicely folded. My wife wanted to bring her home as sha is tored of clearing up after me. There was plenty of storage space for 2 of us for a week and many cupboards were not used.We bought a wine/water & beer package and this worked out a lot cheaper based on CC prices. we didnt pay anymore than if we went to a restaurant in the UK. It wasnt cheap if you bought the drinks as and when you wanted them, so spend some time working out whats best for you.The waiters on our table were wonderful and even when something wasnt on the menu, they would try and get it for you and generally got it. As the staff are on 8 month contracts, working 7 days a week and very little free time, I was very impressed to see them still manage to smile and they seemed to work very hard. The food was served quickly and you didnt have to wait between courses, the food was very good, plenty of choice and was always hot if that was the way it should be.The buffet was good for the reason you could please yourself when you ate and there was enough choices between the various Pizza bar, grill bar, salads aplenty. We did upgrade on the last night to the Luminosa restaurant and for an extra €20 each, well worth the experience. It was a fantastic way to end the week Being used to visiting the west end for shows, the standard of entertainment was average, but acceptable except for one act where the singer was awful. She was only saved by the guy doing gymnastics alongside her. The pools are small and not very inviting, but my biggest bug bear is the fact that they allow smoking in a few areas. I HATE SMOKING and the smell drifted through the areas. They should confine smoking to either outside on Deck 11 or have a room fully vented and they can all kill themselves together. They didnt even manage to get all smoking on Port or Starboard sides of the ship, some decks port, some starboard, I would have walked the whole length of the ship down the non smoking side then.Some of the charges in my opinion are expensive. €75 to a limited tour of the ship. Internet charges are ridiculous, there again only had 341 emails to sort out after a week, but saved a fortune. golf, F1 simulator etc seemed excessive and you can feel at times you may get charged for breathing. Just be aware of extras like €7 per person per day service charge and the staff only get this if they meet the tough standards CC set out. My question is, where does the money go if they dont pay it to the staff. €7 x 2260 per day x 7 days = €110,740 a lot of money for CC to keep in the bank for nothing. I would have liked to personally tip my helpers, but after spending €98 on top of cruise cost, it becomes a no no for me.I would happily return to CC if they stopped smoking mainly, but I also want to compare other companies even though Carnival seem to own most of them. I will look at comments on here before I book the next one in maybe 18 mths 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
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: September 2011
After cruising with Princess and Celebrity, we decided to book Costa for the western Mediterranean itinerary. This cruise hit several ports we were interested in and allowed us to disembark in Barcelona where we wanted to spend a few ... Read More
After cruising with Princess and Celebrity, we decided to book Costa for the western Mediterranean itinerary. This cruise hit several ports we were interested in and allowed us to disembark in Barcelona where we wanted to spend a few extra days; we booked primarily for the itinerary although we were concerned about uneven reviews for Costa. The most disappointing part of the trip was the embarkation process. We flew into Milan and booked the Costa transfer. The transfer by bus was uneventful but, upon arrival at port, we were in a line of six buses and we had to wait for up to 40 minutes until our bus was able to pull up to the terminal and allow us off. Fortunately, we were booked in suites and so were allowed to board without further waiting. Our cabin, 6320, a suite on the Rubino deck, far exceeded my expectations. The layout seemed a little strange with a large wall structure dividing the "dressing" room from the sitting/sleeping area, but there was great storage and a very large balcony. One of the best cabins I've had the pleasure to experience. The double sinks in the bathroom were a real plus! One of the highlights of our cruise experience was the staff. The Maitre'd, Salvatore, and our waitress, Natalia, in the main dining room were among the best I've ever seen. Generally, the quality of our interaction with staff (including our butler and cabin stewardess) was of the highest quality of any of our past cruises. A perk of booking a suite was a complementary dinner in the Club restaurant (which is normally an up-charge of 20 euro). We were looking forward to the specialty restaurant and expected, if we liked it, to have a few other dinners there. Our meals were (with one exception) probably the worst we have ever had on a ship. Very disappointing. Needless to say, we were more than happy to return to the MDR and our Natalia. Although the menu was not as varied as on Celebrity or Princess (e.g., not as many beef options) the pastas and seafood were generally quite good. There was usually something on the menu that was interesting; a mushroom tart, all the soups, various desserts. We booked the J2 (all inclusive) drinks package which must be purchased at least five days before sail date. This package included all drinks up to 6.99 euro. The only limitation was on wines. Wines were only available by the glass and were limited to house wines in the restaurants and bars except for the wine bar (Piano Bar Antares) after 7:00 pm. There were some nice wines in the wine bar, but it was kind of annoying that we couldn't access that wine list in the MDR. On this itinerary it was possible to walk into all the ports and at least see some of the local sites. We didn't book any of Costa's shore excursions although we booked private tours of Malaga, Casablanca and Lisbon. In Cadiz and Valencia we walked or purchased tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus. The scheduled port times were short in Malaga and Valencia so we had to manage our time carefully. I don't understand what passengers are expected to see in Barcelona in only five hours of port time. That is why we elected to leave the cruise and spend a few days there. Costa was quite responsive with our request to disembark early. Fourteen passengers opted to leave the ship in Barca. As native English speakers we were part of about 20% of the ship's population but that was never a problem for us. There is a cruise director for each major language (ours, from Perth, Merilyn, was wonderful) who was available for questions and information. This was an effective way for us to connect with other English speaking passengers. Overall, our Costa experience was better than we thought it might be and we're ready to try again, perhaps next time on the Fascinosa which will launch in 2012. 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
Sail Date: September 2012
Having cruised with P&O many times, Princess and Thomson cruises and having already booked a South America transatlantic crossing with Costa for next March,the oppurtunity to take a mini cruise around ports in the Med presented itself. ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O many times, Princess and Thomson cruises and having already booked a South America transatlantic crossing with Costa for next March,the oppurtunity to take a mini cruise around ports in the Med presented itself. The price was very good and included a drinks package and although we were a little wary after reading some of the views, we went ahead and booked it as it also gave us the chance to become members of the costa club. This review is our opinion on what we experienced and therefore only represents our views,other opinions may vary.Please also do forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes. Embarkation. We flew into Barcelona airport and spent the night before in a hotel and then used the Metro to get down to the port.The weather was'nt kind and we had torrential rain.There was a little confusion on where to get the shuttle to take us to the cruise terminal but once we found it we boarded the coach at a cost of 3 Euros and were dropped outside the costa cruise terminal at about 3 15pm.We were given health declaration forms to fill in and then went through to the departure lounge where we were given our cruise cards and directed to the ship.We were welcomed on board and asked what language we preferred to communicate in (Italian,English,French,Spanish,German and Russian) Told where our cabin was and then told that the buffet restaurant was open for snacks and that our safety drill was to be held at 5pm in the theatre. So far so good,Embarkation went smoothly and efficiently (9 out of 10,1 point deducted for lack of signage to the shuttle coach) Cabin. We had chosen an inside cabin towards the rear of the ship as i like almost total darkness to sleep. Plenty of hanging and cupboard space,very comfortable beds and pillows, a nice touch was a colored pillow case with a bed runner for daytime use. Bathroom was a little dated, with shelves for toiletries and no cabinet,but it was functional. Johnny our steward was extremely friendly and efficient and kept everything spotlessly clean. You could have Room service in the cabin for an additional charge. TV showed mainly international channels and if you wanted a movie there was a charge. (9/10) Bars. So many different bars to choose from, all kept clean and tidy and all had different entertainment, some of it not to our taste, but they did an incredible job of trying to diversify. As i stated before, we had a drinks included package but here are some of the prices for drinks if you wished to buy them individually. Free tea and coffee and jugs of water available from the buffet restaurant during opening hours I'll leave you make up your own mind about drinks prices but in our opinion considering the price paid for the cruise we found them comparable to hotel prices.(10/10) Restaurants Buffet restaurant. breakfast 7am-10. always lots of choice and no trouble locating a table. We can't tell you what b'fast was like as we didnt use it for b'fast. Main Dining room. diff opening times anywhere between 7am till 9.30. If you like to stay in bed then chances are for breakfast you wont use the MDR. We are fairly early risers and so headed for the Turus rest every morning. You are shown to a table and then you have a choice. You can head to the extensive buffet tables with a selection of breads,pastries,cereals meats cheeses fruits yoghurts and a hot selection of bacon, sausage eggs. Please dont expect english bacon or sausage,the bacon is what the english call streaky and the sausage is continental,small spicyish sausage that i personally found very tasty. none of the buffet hot items were very hot.IMO food served on the continent is never served piping hot. you can aso elect to have a fresh to cook order breakfast. bacon ,sausage ,eggs, pancakes, waffles, smoked haddock, oatmeal etc but do bear in mind that there will be a wait. Waiters bring round tea, coffee and juice. Lunch. buffet noon-4pm. always a good selection of dishes as well as a pizza station.I'm not normally a lover of pizza but i did try and ended going back up for more.Theres also a grill serving hot dogs and bugers.Again no problem finding a table. Taures MDR. You are shown to a table and given the days menu. There is a choice of 6 courses. starter, soup, pasta. main course, cheese and dessert. None of the portion sizes are huge but you can ask for more and the waiters are very obliging. After the first days lunch we knew not to take all courses,there was more than enough for us. Afternoon tea,buffet restaurant. 4-5pm a small selelection of rolls and pastries.not a huge choice but very tasty.The pastries were very light and crumbly. the savoury rolls are spread with flavoured Mayo not butter. Dinner. buffet restaurant and pizzareria 6pm-9pm For those noy wanting a waiter served main meal there are slices of pizza available and a very limited selection of meals from the dinner menu available, All guests are encouraged to use the MDR for dinner. Taures MDR.1st sitting 6.45pm 2nd sitting 9.15pm This is an Event,nothing else can be used to describe it. You are shown to your table on the first night and then eat at the same table every night. a 7 course menu is offered. starter, soup, pasta.salad.main,cheese.dessert. Water is available by the jug if you ask. Coffee was never served after the meal. What can we say, Do not expect a sedate dining experience.There is a buzz from different nationalities all seeeming to converse at the same time.The waiters perform different rituals every night as well as having a different style of apparel.Diners are encouraged to join in with the fun,if you are prepared to do this,believe me, you'll have a fantastic time.Dinner was certainly the Highlight of the cruise. There was no Lobster, Snails etc for formal night but every meal we had was most enjoyable. Service was speedy and Efficient and Cielito our waiter,was an absoloute delight,nothing was too much trouble. I'm hoping that you arent finding this review long and boring.Having looked for an extensive latest review and not finding one i decided to make this as complete as possible. Here is the Gala Night menu. Starter. prawns served on a bed of mango and rice with a fruit sauce Terrine of Rabbit with an apple compote and brioche Cold andalucian soup Soup. oxtail consomme with juliene carrotts Pasta. papadelles with a seafood sauce gnocchi italiano Salad mixed salad Mains. Hallibut with cherry tomatoes and a tagliatele of vegetables beefsteak with roast potatoes herbs and vegeatbles roast pork in mustard jus with peas and pumpkin mousse millefluer of vegetables in a cheese sauce Cheese. edam, gouda and feta served with nuts,raisins,strawberry marmalade and bread dessert. light fruit sponge covered in marshmallow fondant cream ice cream or sorbet. the only minor complaint is that although there were lots of tables for 2 all tables were so close together (9/10) At 11.45pm in all lounges a diifferent themed snack would be brought around Entertainment. During the day there were different things to do,from flower making to aqua aerobics, quizzes and poolside games. not as much as on a p and o ship but still enough to break the day up. evening entertainment we felt timings were much better. theatre shows 7.30pm for 2nd dinner guests and 9.30pm for 1st sitting guests. the resident group in the theatre were the starlight dancers who performed 3 different shows.(all dance so no language barrier.) colorful costumes and spectacular laser lighting. they did very well there was also a chinese acrobatic troupe who got a very well deserved standing ovation. musiians in most bars. The Ship. has speciality restaurants for an extra cover charge. is very easy to navigate with deck numbers by all the stairs.The use of subtle covered lighting throught the ship was very pleasing on the eye. staff were always smiling and cleaning,they were all a joy. outside areas were kept clean. pools although on the small side were perfectly adequate, Children were kept amused in their various zones and were never a problem. One of the issues we were most concerned about was the Smoking. Although Smoking is allowed in ceratian areas of the ship,passengers never abused the non smoking areas.There was a smell of smoke coming from the casino area but it was never very intrusive. The library has a very small collection of english language books. The announcements are made in a rotation of languages but we found that there were less announcements made on here than on any other ship we have been on. There is an english speaking rep on board available to speak to every day but to be honest most staff do speak english anyway.The daily Today programme is delivered every evening in your cabin so you know whats happening when and where. There is a cocktail of the day every day You do have to pay shuttle charges at most ports of call eg costs. Ship to ibiza town return or you could walk in but it is a good 2 miles each way. Marseilles return, a good 20 minutes drive. Savona dock in town and a very easy walk. The english speaking passengers are very much in a minority, it is predominantly Italian,however we had a very enjoyable cruise and have no hesitatation in reccomending a Costa cruise. For us the Costa Luminosa was Illuminating and we look forward to our next one. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
So we just got back from a sailing on the Costa Luminosa. Basically, we had a great time despite the ship. The ship is generally attractive and the crew helpful, but the management on the ship is awful. They are very disorganized. ... Read More
So we just got back from a sailing on the Costa Luminosa. Basically, we had a great time despite the ship. The ship is generally attractive and the crew helpful, but the management on the ship is awful. They are very disorganized. Depending on who you get they may or may not be knowledgeable and can be curt. Both my daughter and I speak some Italian but not fluently and we really felt the focus of attention was on Italian speakers; we would also have enjoyed meeting some but they arrange things on board so that people speaking different languages are segregated (as at dinner). Among my biggest complaints was that they didn't seem to open up the covered pool very much. Our first sea day it didn't open till after noon. Our final sea day, it didn't open at all and when I persisted in asking customer service why, I was finally told it was "broken." I have to say we saw no evidence of that; it was filled and the water was moving (via pump, I would say, since it didn't move in the same pattern as the water outside the ship). We also begrudgingly took a tour of St. Petersburg since the Russian government in its infinite wisdom doesn't allow cruise passengers to wander the city by themselves unless they have paid something like $400 apiece for visas. We were looking for the least restrictive tour and settled on one that included a cruise on a canal boat. When we booked it, we were told it didn't exist in English so we booked the Italian tour. Imagine our surprise when, the evening before, we discovered that there was a meeting point in the English program for the tour that didn't exist in English. Of course, the tour office was closed by the time the program was delivered so we went to customer service. The person there called the tour office director and was told we should go to the English tour meeting point a few minutes early so they could accommodate us. Instead, the person who was coordinating there was RUDE in the extreme, refused to call the customer service person who said she should call her if there was a problem, told us there was no place for us and finished off by saying we knew what we were getting into when we booked the Italian tour. From what we discovered later, they must have opened up the tour after we booked the first day and filled it, and no one bothered to think of us even though we booked early. We really felt that we were treated poorly. We also had problems with internet, our dinner sitting (booked late, got early and had to withstand a mob to change it even though we paid more for the cabin to guarantee our choice of sitting), food was mediocre and (in the dining room) of limited selection, and I have to say I resented the fact that they constantly blared music and activities over the loudspeaker in the pool area, where I was trying to read and rest. I have sailed on Costa before, in the 1960s, as a teenager, going transatlantic. That was a far more pleasant though less "smooth" experience. I wouldn't say I wouldn't sail Costa again -- that would depend on ports and price -- but I will say I was extremely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
I was disappointed in many aspects but perhaps my expectations were off for a European line. I haven't cruised that much, I went for the scenery (Fjords) and convenience of a cruise. I was taken aback by how much Costa pushed the bars ... Read More
I was disappointed in many aspects but perhaps my expectations were off for a European line. I haven't cruised that much, I went for the scenery (Fjords) and convenience of a cruise. I was taken aback by how much Costa pushed the bars and the drinks. They did a good job on some other things, but it was clear where their priorities lay. The shore excursions were generally good. The dining room food was very good, but small portions, so order a lot. The self-service restaurant food was very good at lunch, but severely limited between lunch and dinner. But often too crowded and hard to find a table. The wifi was terrible. Pricey and poor quality, could only surf, all uploads failed. THe library was barely adequate. The Costa people were nice, but the other guests were generally quite rude. Probably standard fare for European cruise, but don't expect people to respect lines, or let you get out of the elevator. Quite a bit of smoking, it is allowed indoors on the ship too. 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: October 2013
I traveled with 3 girlfriends out of Barcelona and we were pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant to book after finding few reviews and quite a bit of negativity here on the boards on all aspects of both the line & ship. I have to say, ... Read More
I traveled with 3 girlfriends out of Barcelona and we were pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant to book after finding few reviews and quite a bit of negativity here on the boards on all aspects of both the line & ship. I have to say, we booked it for the value and tried not to set expectations too high, but were thrilled. We booked two premium balcony cabins that were very spacious and extremely clean. Our room attendants remembered our names from the first meeting (even though we don't go by what's on our passports) and always made sure we had everything we needed, including finding robes for all four of us, and allowing us to pass chairs over the side all to one balcony so we could sit together at night since due to the wind they couldn't open them to adjoin like the booking agent said we could. Embarkation was a breeze, although you don't get your sea passes there and it's not very nice, with no computers or fancy waiting areas. We were on board and in our cabins earlier than promised. We all bought the drink package & had assigned dining, which was great. Both our waiters were very attentive and brought us things to try without asking. The wine selection was great and they kept bottles coming if needed. The food in MDR was as good as I've had on Celebrity, Princess & Holland. I will say that the buffets lacked much variety, but were always clean, with fresh food, and some of the best pizza I've encountered on a ship. We seemed to be some of the only American women on board, but they did seat us at dinner between two parties that spoke English, one from UK and the other Australia. It seemed the crew all enjoyed practicing their English with us, then again, we're from the South, they likely had fun listening to us. I'll post about our excursions on the port of call boards, as we did all of those on our own and not through the ship. My only shocker, especially after the Concordia tragedy, was the lack of enforcement of the safety drill. We were given red cards along with our sea passes in our cabins, and our room attendants mentioned it to us, so we took our life jackets to our assigned station in the main theater. After more than 15 minutes of sales pitches in several different languages, pushing the spa, shops & shore excursions, we left. We did receive a letter on the 3rd day that it was mandatory that we attend the one as we were leaving Italy, our last evening on board, and we had to listen to the entire drill while packed like sardines at our respective muenster stations in all 5 languages. They took our red cards from us at this drill and didn't leave port until we were done. I can see how confusing it could become with so many different sets of instructions if there was a true emergency. Only truly negative thing we found, was the unfriendliness of the concierge desk. We had 3 occasions to need them, along with picking up our passports the last morning. The ladies there acted as if you were a bother to them each time we stopped by. Read Less
Costa Luminosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 2.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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