Costa Magica Cruise Review by LaraKZ
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Outside Classic
First of all is not a 5 stars and if I take the quality of the cabin and restaurant grounds is not even 4, I would give it a maximum of 3.
The whole ship looks like it would have been furnished in the 80`s with a lot of kitsch elements. Golden metal, dull colors, and a wallpaper that can be unappropriated for certain ages.
The cabin was ok in size but far too little place to put your stuff in especially if you are a family of 4. Best you have the least of luggage pieces as there is no place but under 1 bed to store it. The bed was pretty comfortable but had a dirty head far too small for practical use but we avoided touching it anyway as was stained.
Bathroom was the classical small one and except soap there was no other toiletry provided and I mean just soap not shampoo. You could call for some cream or shower cap if you wanted. The shower curtain was matter of few cms too short to make sure you inundate the whole space when showering - couldn`t they afford to buy few cm more to save the stress of leaking water...
Once we got paper napkins which I think was a mistake as the box disappeared after without being replaced.
The towels and bed sheets always had some spots even if being newly replaced - I have never seen in a ship or high end hotel so many spots on "freshly changed" stuff. Not sure they came this way from cleaning or just the cleaning lady somehow poorly handled them - I called several times to be changed till gave up. It was also clear that the cleaning lady is overloaded - in the days they embark there was no way she manages all the cabins.
Restaurants were a bigger issue. The buffet restaurants upstairs were always very dirty and disorganized.
Imagine you come first thing in the morning and your marmor imitation table is dirty which I believe was left dirty from dinner as typically you`ll find ketchup and bread crumbs. Worse is that the servers didn`t cared too much even when they were told. Once the lady I asked to clean it just cleaned half of table ... anyway the way they cleaned was passing an already cluttered cloth which would leave a disgusting watery surface I used to anyway dry again myself with paper towels. Actually by the end of the cruise my morning routing was to pick up directly paper towels and clean my table...
Food was plenty but nothing you would really say wow - there was an Italian theme indeed not all the dishes were tasting as expected. Prosciutto was something I enjoyed but the mozzarella they said is done on ship was not really good.
Buffet was fine even if twice I had to get out a piece of hair from my grilled meat.
Worse was the dinner as there was no single time when I could say wow - in other cruises we took we really had dinners where you could feel the difference to buffet in high end food here I think better stick with buffet. Twice we returned the main dish without touching it. Once we got at extra cost lobster - that came just grilled ok we asked grilled but expected some fancy tasty sauce as a completion - was not bad but that was just grilled lobster they want 25 euro for.
Desserts were a huge disappointment - whatever had white color was just wiped cream that they call it one day mousse the other panna cota and so on. I remember one time when they had a chocolate cake in the buffet that was really good, tasty not something you would just take in as need of sugar.We ended up buying gelato for kids and that was extra cost but good.
Standard coffee from machines was poor in taste, I used the decaf one that was not so bad on the other side. The button on their coffee machine was broken and fell down every time you pushed it so you had to pick it up stick it back and hold it so it doesn't fall again - in the 2 weeks we were there nobody bothered to repair it so you would just feel the need to tell to the newcomers the secret how to keep it in place.
For drinks you need to pay extra - we just took a lunch and dinner package to have drinks during this time and we wanted to upgrade for cocktails but failed to do this on line and on the ship we were surprised to find out that it costs more then double in price so we said we buy by piece whenever we want and frankly we were happy we didn't wasted money on it. The wine they get you at lunch and dinner is really low quality and the cocktails especially at the pool bar didn't look at all appealing neither is size, care in preparation or content.
The restaurant allocated for dinner was not fancy in any way and worse was that it had some separation for waiters with sinks and cupboards and if you were unlucky enough to be on the lower side facing these places it was extremely noisy as they were throwing in cutlery and plates. It was like eating in a kids canteen. Service at the first table we were in was too relaxed, we had to serve ourselves for refills with wine for example. We wanted to ask a change just because of the noise and surprisingly one day we get a paper that we were allocated to another table by our request - good news but actually we didn't made that request so suppose was their way to force us to move. We were happy with the new siting both table and service but one day after another paper, another move. This time we were so upset with our 3-rd waiter attitude that we went and asked the change ourselves and gave negative feed back - we believe that the reception lady gave this negative feed back to another waiter. Anyway at least last 3 days we had a normal service in a place where we should not feel like in a canteen.
One huge negative point the dress code. For evening I expect on a cruise that people dress up a bit if not they can go in the buffet. Here in the formal restaurant at dinner I have seen people in flip flops and plastic slippers, a lot of loose sport wear and plenty of sporty shorts. I expect the personnel is keeping and reinforcing the dress code.
Also no welcome to the dinner restaurant if there was more then 1 waiter there they would chat between them. Public toilets close to restaurant were at noon still missing towels, I didn't had the courage to visit the ones near pool preferring to return if needed in the cabin.
Service overall was exactly that: no interest - I have read the reviews of other passengers and looks like many agree the personnel is completely not motivated, no smile, no interest I`am not even saying about any extra mile to make your stay magic. Seemed from outside there is little connection between their various levels of personnel. This is the only ship or resort where people simply don`t smile, not even when they were paid to welcome you.
Photographs were having a too imposing attitude. Dinners were worse as you chew your food and the guy pops up and almost commands you to take a posing position. I looked by curiosity on the photos they print and was not impressed with quality either.
Reception was another negative. If you come with a complain their attitude becomes not pleasant and if you come for another reason mostly they would redirect you to someplace else. I`m not sure why they call hospitality desk as it`s anything but not hospitality. They would not solve a problem for you but have enough time to chase you for feed back. We had to ask 4 times or even more we get the daily bulletin. On the other side they were more than happy to fill our postal box with tons of wasted paper on what they sell in the shop. The daily journal was just ship`s activities, could be nice they include something on the port of calls like we had on other ships.
The upper deck was pretty busy so if you want a chair in the shadow around the pools you must literally be first thing in the morning ready to grab your chaise long if not up in the sun. For the size of the ship I expected bigger facilities in entertainment. They have 3 pools but their were smaller then on a small ship with one. f you had few kids in it was already full - felt you were in a larger bath tab. The big water slide was a catch definitely for kids - in sea days expect big lines, also is opened only few hours morning and resp after noon.
In terms of activities and entertainment for us the huge positive point was their kids club - limited a bit by the languages they spoke but still you could practically have the kids there almost full day and they cover even lunch and dinner time.
Other wise you have the standard by the pool games, some dance classes, aerobic etc as in any resort or ship.
The theater had some attractive shows but we were never able to catch them in full given the dinner settings - not able to catch first and too late for the second.
In terms of embarkation and exit from ship we can heavily complain about the start of our trip as we were canceled a flight and had to join the ship only second day while we were still paying the full cruise. We have called both agency and Costa help desk and they told us as we already paid the cruise in full we can embark second day when ever we want - so even calling once more just before leaving our hotel and getting insurance from Costa we can embark we come on place and surprise we need to wait till standard embarkation time> we were neither returned our money for the first day we were not on the ship.
We took only one single trip from them directly - as practically is almost double in price compared with local agencies which is not fair if you take the fact that mostly on cruise bought trips there will be large groups and less flexibility. Worse was with kids price as if local agencies give you 50% or more discount Costa discounts were minimal for kids.
Here once again no proper communication as we bought this trip in advance on line on Costa site but nobody told us we need to actually get the tickets personally on the ship - we never experienced this before as on other cruises they will put the tickets or waist bands in your post from own initiative or at least give you the info what to do. Good we asked a day in advance and they said they are out of free places and it`s not their fault - after further discussions proving there was zero communication on procedure we finally got our tickets and we were surprised to see the second day the tour was not even full. There were also several changes in the second week in terms of timing of port stay so get a margin when you plan for shore excursions on your own. This of course is not always at cruise decision and depends a lot on weather.
Language on board counting that most serving of personnel is Asian will inevitable turn to English. I have several times called the room service for change of dirty towels or lack of soap and even if they answered in Italian I had to reconfirm in English or they brought the wrong item.
What was pretty good on the other side is that we never waited in long queues to get back on ship and probably that was because most of stops were full day and people had more flexibility on return time so would not head all in one at the entry.
All in one we were not satisfied with our ship experience from the quality of service overall but the 14 days mixture of islands they offer is really interesting. For those interested in the itinerary suggest o check other similar offers with different companies or pay a special attention to price if they decide for Costa.
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Looked like the outside cabins are only on the first 2 floors - practical for exit not so practical to get to main upper deck.
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