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Costa Mediterranea Eastern Mediterranean October 2015.  It can be very difficult to get a picture of a cruise line by reading cruise reviews. People experience the same thing but their opinions can differ. The case of Costa might be the the most confusing of them all since reviews are so diverse when it comes to this particular company.  Does Costa offer a really nice cruise experience, or is it the worst thing that has ever happened to the seven seas?   The simple answer is -YES, both of these opinions are actually correct, which also explains the recycled headline of this review.  THE GOOD  The pricing  Because of Costa's horrible reputation you can get great deals, even if you have to add the ridiculous “service fee” (bakshish) no matter how bad they treat you.  The ship  Costa Mediterranea is a fabulous ship, the most beautiful thing I've ever sailed on. It offers some awesome public areas. They've managed to create great venues without making the ship look the same all over. I'd like to highlight the gym which is absolutely marvellous. Compared to some other cruise lines the policy of this section is rather generous. You can use the saunas, the steam bath and the hot tub without extra charges. The stern is interesting with all its venues but rather complex. The flip side would be the theatre. All the pillars and windows leave very few seats with full view of the stage. Another inconvenient arrangement is the beautiful buffet restaurant which is placed between the different sections of the sun deck. The fact the the passage between the lifts and the sun deck has been closed off for passengers forces swimmers and tanners to walk through the restaurant, and that really doesn't please anyone.  Entertainment  Shows in the show lounge and elsewhere are surprisingly good. The welcoming is in five languages, but for the rest it's easy to enjoy by anyone.  The atmosphere on board  It's truly enjoyable to sail with The Costa Med. Fellow passengers and the crew together create  The ports  I've never been on a better cruise when it comes to the ports, it was just fantastic.   Split with the old town and the beach is well worth a visit.  Everything is within walking distance.  Kotor is a gem that should be included in any cruise in the Adriatic sea.   Early in the morning the vessel slowly made its way into the end of the fjord in the mist. It was still possible to realise that we'd come to a place of remarkable beauty. Across the street from the pier is the magnificent old town. If you have the physical strength you can walk up the mountain to catch the stunning views. Try to do it as fast as possible, because it gets hot later on. The tenders were very efficient, because Costa had hired a large number of local operators for this purpose.  Argostoli When we got to Argostoli (Kefalonia) I first wondered why they had dumped us in such a place. There was little or nothing of interest. After lunch we took a taxi to the nearest beach (7 Euro), and it turned out to be one of the best beaches I've ever been to. The water was amazing, and we got this beautiful spot to ourselves.   Corfu has a lot to offer if you just walk around town. Apart from old fortresses and nice views of the island it's a pretty town in itself. If walking is a problem you can reach the town centre by taxi, bus, horse & carriage or a very expensive shuttle provided by Costa.  Dubrovnik is as good as they say. The stop in port is short, but long enough to make it over to the Old town which is an absolute must. The taxis are extremely well organised, and the price per car is fixed.  Venice   Instead of the scheduled overnight stay in Trieste Costa added on Venice as a pleasant surprise.   One can use the People mover or walk into town. A free shuttle bus from the ship to the people mover is provided by the port.  THE BAD  The food  Can eating options and food quality really be as bad as a lot of reviews claim? - Yes indeed!  Breakfast  If you are new to the concept a few guide lines will come in handy. We very rarely go á la carte for breakfast, but this time it was different. We normally went to the MDR in the morning.  This is the explanation; the buffet restaurant is dysfunctional in a few ways. Apart from the traffic situation mentioned earlier the station for drinks and cereals is undersized and placed in the entrance/ exit and therefore a chaotic place to be.   The hot items that you can expect are only to be found in the MDR.  The different sections of the buffet has different cold items and long lines. This means that if you would like to have bread, butter and cheese you would have to line up three times spending more time in lines than the whole meal would normally take. This is a pity since it's the most beautiful self- service restaurant I've ever been to.  The MDR serves set breakfast menus with the choice of English, American, Belgian, Norwegian or Mexican breakfast combos, and it's really nice apart from the fact that the quality is poor.  Another thing that makes the MDR the best option is the fact that it also has the very same buffet as the buffet restaurant, with the exception of the lines. If you just want to eat from the buffet, then it's a lot quicker to do it in the MDR provided that there isn't a long line to get in.  Lunch  For lunch there is also the choice of the MDR and the buffet restaurant   The BR offers a limited choice and sometimes dished based on the theme. The quality is definitely below average. The MDR has free seating for lunch. The time it takes to get served depends on how crowded the place is at the moment, so it varies a lot. The same goes for breakfast and dinner.  Dinner  This is Costa cuisine at it's worst.  The buffet restaurant becomes a pizzeria at night, and you have to pay extra to eat there, so unless you want to spend more money on the smaller restaurants it's the MDR or starving.  Consequently this is where everyone seem to be, and you can therefore expect to spend a lot of time here. The waiters don't seem to enjoy their work, but they could be worse. Most of the time they get it right.   The quality of the food is surprisingly poor, since I've always eaten well at sea. In the case of Costa the quality ranges between below average and hardly eatable.  Children  Kids mess around the adults only area without any action from parents or crew. Relatively few children attend the ship's kids' club. The reason why our kids rejected a kids' club for the first time ever was that it was too boring. Having to sit and listen to long and complex instructions in five languages just wasn't their cup of tea. Another complaint was that the staff didn't care about the children. My daughter felt like she was invisible to them.   The poor quality of the children's entertainment remains a mystery. The animation team managed very well to entertain the adults without much use of spoken languages. Why is it so difficult to do the same with the children when other cruise lines manage so well?  The Ugly  Being poorly treated at your cruise is no joke. Unfortunately, these stories about unfortunate  Costa cruisers are plentiful. So if you don't think that you can stand being mistreated on your holiday then you should definitely choose another cruise line because Costa is anything but civilised.  It started at the boarding process. It all went fairly quickly through the different stations until the moment when we were about to physically enter the vessel. Everyone else got their tickets scanned and were allowed  to board with us being the only exception. The security guard claimed that our ticket wasn't good enough for passage, and simply refused to scan it. We were supposed to have been given a special slip by the first crew members in the line of stations. I got no help to sort it out, they simply thought that it was my problem, so I had to run backwards and forward between security checks (a long walk) without getting any result. The people who were supposed to give me the slip claimed that the had given it to my children (!)  In the end we managed to get on board. The slip issue was a lie from both sides, because such slip just does not exist. The security guard finally let us on board with our ticket and its perfectly working bar code and the comment “ sorry, I just didn't look at it carefully enough”.  The Costa Mediterranea does not give you any options for dining other than the MDR if you “only” pay for the cruise that is supposed to give you everything you need when it comes to food. They have decided that you you either eat at one specific table or not at all. Our table was at the lower level right below the edge of the upper level. The people in charge had decided to place the one family with troublesome children at the table right above us. Apart from being generally messy, these kids were hanging over the edge and throwing down objects to the lower level. The first night my daughter got a fork thrown at her. A falling fork landing right on your head from that distance hurts a lot. Fortunately it did not hit an eye. The management in the MDR did not see it as a problem. We did indeed. When we got no response we went to “Guest services”, but it really is no good place to ask for help. They would just tell you to go away to get rid of you. We kept complaining and squeezed in four in a row style trying to seek cover due to the falling objects. Eventually the whole thing got too embarrassing for them, so on the third night they offered us a safe place to eat.  The cruise line decided to not complete the cruise in terms of final destination without giving us a reason, so we all had to disembark in Venice instead of Trieste. We got no assistance to get back toTrieste offered by Costa. They considered it to be our own problem. Upon complaining we got told that the terms of transport clearly states that Costa has no responsibility to actually bring us back to where they planned the cruise to end. Some German speaking people got a bus transfer to Trieste paid by Costa, so I tried again, this time speaking German, but it did not help. Everyone who earlier had claimed that they speak a certain language all of a sudden lost their ability to speak that language when you tried to get help, and used that as a reason to not to assist in any way.   Will we cruise with Costa again?  Well, this might have been our last cruise with Costa. For our next cruise we've chosen to pay more to get a better experience using another cruise line. However, if no one else takes us where we want to go, or if the offer is incredibly good then we might consider it. 

Costa, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Costa Mediterranea Cruise Review by Gothencruiser

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Costa Mediterranea Eastern Mediterranean October 2015. 

It can be very difficult to get a picture of a cruise line by reading cruise reviews. People experience the same thing but their opinions can differ. The case of Costa might be the the most confusing of them all since reviews are so diverse when it comes to this particular company. 

Does Costa offer a really nice cruise experience, or is it the worst thing that has ever happened to the seven seas?  

The simple answer is -YES, both of these opinions are actually correct, which also explains the recycled headline of this review. 

THE GOOD 
The pricing 

Because of Costa's horrible reputation you can get great deals, even if you have to add the ridiculous “service fee” (bakshish) no matter how bad they treat you. 

The ship 

Costa Mediterranea is a fabulous ship, the most beautiful thing I've ever sailed on. It offers some awesome public areas. They've managed to create great venues without making the ship look the same all over. I'd like to highlight the gym which is absolutely marvellous. Compared to some other cruise lines the policy of this section is rather generous. You can use the saunas, the steam bath and the hot tub without extra charges. The stern is interesting with all its venues but rather complex. The flip side would be the theatre. All the pillars and windows leave very few seats with full view of the stage. Another inconvenient arrangement is the beautiful buffet restaurant which is placed between the different sections of the sun deck. The fact the the passage between the lifts and the sun deck has been closed off for passengers forces swimmers and tanners to walk through the restaurant, and that really doesn't please anyone. 

Entertainment 

Shows in the show lounge and elsewhere are surprisingly good. The welcoming is in five languages, but for the rest it's easy to enjoy by anyone. 

The atmosphere on board 

It's truly enjoyable to sail with The Costa Med. Fellow passengers and the crew together create 

The ports 

I've never been on a better cruise when it comes to the ports, it was just fantastic.  

Split with the old town and the beach is well worth a visit.  Everything is within walking distance. 

Kotor is a gem that should be included in any cruise in the Adriatic sea.  

Early in the morning the vessel slowly made its way into the end of the fjord in the mist. It was still possible to realise that we'd come to a place of remarkable beauty. Across the street from the pier is the magnificent old town. If you have the physical strength you can walk up the mountain to catch the stunning views. Try to do it as fast as possible, because it gets hot later on. The tenders were very efficient, because Costa had hired a large number of local operators for this purpose. 

Argostoli When we got to Argostoli (Kefalonia) I first wondered why they had dumped us in such a place. There was little or nothing of interest. After lunch we took a taxi to the nearest beach (7 Euro), and it turned out to be one of the best beaches I've ever been to. The water was amazing, and we got this beautiful spot to ourselves.  

Corfu has a lot to offer if you just walk around town. Apart from old fortresses and nice views of the island it's a pretty town in itself. If walking is a problem you can reach the town centre by taxi, bus, horse & carriage or a very expensive shuttle provided by Costa. 

Dubrovnik is as good as they say. The stop in port is short, but long enough to make it over to the Old town which is an absolute must. The taxis are extremely well organised, and the price per car is fixed. 

Venice  

Instead of the scheduled overnight stay in Trieste Costa added on Venice as a pleasant surprise.  

One can use the People mover or walk into town. A free shuttle bus from the ship to the people mover is provided by the port. 

THE BAD 

The food 

Can eating options and food quality really be as bad as a lot of reviews claim? - Yes indeed! 

Breakfast 

If you are new to the concept a few guide lines will come in handy. We very rarely go á la carte for breakfast, but this time it was different. We normally went to the MDR in the morning. 

This is the explanation; the buffet restaurant is dysfunctional in a few ways. Apart from the traffic situation mentioned earlier the station for drinks and cereals is undersized and placed in the entrance/ exit and therefore a chaotic place to be.  

The hot items that you can expect are only to be found in the MDR. 

The different sections of the buffet has different cold items and long lines. This means that if you would like to have bread, butter and cheese you would have to line up three times spending more time in lines than the whole meal would normally take. This is a pity since it's the most beautiful self- service restaurant I've ever been to. 

The MDR serves set breakfast menus with the choice of English, American, Belgian, Norwegian or Mexican breakfast combos, and it's really nice apart from the fact that the quality is poor. 

Another thing that makes the MDR the best option is the fact that it also has the very same buffet as the buffet restaurant, with the exception of the lines. If you just want to eat from the buffet, then it's a lot quicker to do it in the MDR provided that there isn't a long line to get in. 

Lunch 

For lunch there is also the choice of the MDR and the buffet restaurant  

The BR offers a limited choice and sometimes dished based on the theme. The quality is definitely below average.

The MDR has free seating for lunch. The time it takes to get served depends on how crowded the place is at the moment, so it varies a lot. The same goes for breakfast and dinner. 

Dinner 

This is Costa cuisine at it's worst. 

The buffet restaurant becomes a pizzeria at night, and you have to pay extra to eat there, so unless you want to spend more money on the smaller restaurants it's the MDR or starving.  Consequently this is where everyone seem to be, and you can therefore expect to spend a lot of time here. The waiters don't seem to enjoy their work, but they could be worse. Most of the time they get it right.  

The quality of the food is surprisingly poor, since I've always eaten well at sea. In the case of Costa the quality ranges between below average and hardly eatable. 

Children 

Kids mess around the adults only area without any action from parents or crew. Relatively few children attend the ship's kids' club. The reason why our kids rejected a kids' club for the first time ever was that it was too boring. Having to sit and listen to long and complex instructions in five languages just wasn't their cup of tea. Another complaint was that the staff didn't care about the children. My daughter felt like she was invisible to them.  

The poor quality of the children's entertainment remains a mystery. The animation team managed very well to entertain the adults without much use of spoken languages. Why is it so difficult to do the same with the children when other cruise lines manage so well? 

The Ugly 

Being poorly treated at your cruise is no joke. Unfortunately, these stories about unfortunate  Costa cruisers are plentiful. So if you don't think that you can stand being mistreated on your holiday then you should definitely choose another cruise line because Costa is anything but civilised. 

It started at the boarding process. It all went fairly quickly through the different stations until the moment when we were about to physically enter the vessel. Everyone else got their tickets scanned and were allowed  to board with us being the only exception. The security guard claimed that our ticket wasn't good enough for passage, and simply refused to scan it. We were supposed to have been given a special slip by the first crew members in the line of stations. I got no help to sort it out, they simply thought that it was my problem, so I had to run backwards and forward between security checks (a long walk) without getting any result. The people who were supposed to give me the slip claimed that the had given it to my children (!) 

In the end we managed to get on board. The slip issue was a lie from both sides, because such slip just does not exist. The security guard finally let us on board with our ticket and its perfectly working bar code and the comment “ sorry, I just didn't look at it carefully enough”. 

The Costa Mediterranea does not give you any options for dining other than the MDR if you “only” pay for the cruise that is supposed to give you everything you need when it comes to food. They have decided that you you either eat at one specific table or not at all. Our table was at the lower level right below the edge of the upper level. The people in charge had decided to place the one family with troublesome children at the table right above us. Apart from being generally messy, these kids were hanging over the edge and throwing down objects to the lower level. The first night my daughter got a fork thrown at her. A falling fork landing right on your head from that distance hurts a lot. Fortunately it did not hit an eye. The management in the MDR did not see it as a problem. We did indeed. When we got no response we went to “Guest services”, but it really is no good place to ask for help. They would just tell you to go away to get rid of you. We kept complaining and squeezed in four in a row style trying to seek cover due to the falling objects. Eventually the whole thing got too embarrassing for them, so on the third night they offered us a safe place to eat. 

The cruise line decided to not complete the cruise in terms of final destination without giving us a reason, so we all had to disembark in Venice instead of Trieste. We got no assistance to get back toTrieste offered by Costa. They considered it to be our own problem. Upon complaining we got told that the terms of transport clearly states that Costa has no responsibility to actually bring us back to where they planned the cruise to end. Some German speaking people got a bus transfer to Trieste paid by Costa, so I tried again, this time speaking German, but it did not help. Everyone who earlier had claimed that they speak a certain language all of a sudden lost their ability to speak that language when you tried to get help, and used that as a reason to not to assist in any way.  

Will we cruise with Costa again? 

Well, this might have been our last cruise with Costa. For our next cruise we've chosen to pay more to get a better experience using another cruise line. However, if no one else takes us where we want to go, or if the offer is incredibly good then we might consider it. 
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Cabin Review

Inside Classic
Cabin IC 5279
Ordinary cabin. The toilet gets wet if you use the shower. Nice TV set. Practical safe, you just slide your key card to open and close.. The cabin was well kept and cleaned. When a light broke it got fixed quickly.
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