Costa Mediterranea Cruise Review by Big Chik
- Sail Date: December 2016
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Balcony Premium
Most of the complaints I'd read about Costa focused on food and service. From my experience food was good but Italian. A different region every night but each region was Italian. The MDR was relaxed and mostly competent - a couple of waiters were even funny although a couple only spoke minimal English. The buffet a different story. Initially it was bedlam and the food suffered from sitting under lamps for long periods - it could have been refreshed moire often. It was also badly laid out with people having to double back to find things they had missed (like sugar and milk at the opposite end from the tea/coffee machines). Likewise cutlery was scattered around randomly with forks and knives in one place, spoons in another, and teaspoons elsewhere - with no obvious link to the food around them. Then, after taking on extra passengers in Savona, it deteriorated into utter chaos. There clearly were not enough staff for the number of passengers and tables sat waiting to be cleared for ages - we often wound up doing it ourselves as the only way to get a table. Finally, we took the "40 non-alcoholic drinks deal" only to find it did not include water or tea or coffee - all non-alcoholic in my book! In practice it was 40 cans of fizzy pop, and even in 10 days I can't drink that many so we didn't get good value from that - Costa need to be more explicit about what is included, and what is not.
Service generally was great for the first half of the cruise then after Savona everything took a downturn and the staff themselves showed it in their lack of patience. We had three separate meals where the wrong thing was served and one where the waiter persisted in serving my wife's meals to me and vice versa, despite us telling him twice. On another occasion the couple next to us wanted to leave the MDR before receiving their sweet - the waiter rushed them back to the table telling them that "this was not the buffet but a restaurant!" - I've never seen dessert eaten so quickly!
The cabin was spotless and the steward efficient and nearly invisible but friendly when we did see him. Customer services were polite and efficient but not exactly friendly or welcoming.
Our fellow guests were predominantly Italian and Spanish with a smaller contingent of French and German guests, in about equal numbers. There was only a scattering of Brits and Americans and a few Scandinavians, I'd guess less than 5% if the total. Most folks were friendly even if they couldn't speak English, we all muddled through with pidgin English/French/Spanish/Italian and some improvised sign language.
Entertainment was to usual cruise ship standards although because we had 9 days we did find we were onto repeats for the last couple of days. The bars were sometimes a tad loud for our taste but the music was good and there were lots of dance opportunities for those who wanted to. As usual the library and card rooms were havens of tranquillity and we spent most of the sea days there with our kindles.
For the price we paid it was a bargain and we'd do it again but if we were paying anything like brochure price(and we met one guy who was) we'd have been disappointed. Also the "extras" (water, tea, coffee) mounted up such that I reckon you need to add an extra £100 onto the price when comparing prices with a US line
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