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Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems that staffing has been reduced. For example, no poolside or buffet bar services offered - apart from the short period at breakfast, supplying coffee etc. Also, only one cabin visit from the steward per day which meant having to reuse wet towels for a morning shower. There seemed to be fewer staff around generally which might have been the reason for slower bar and restaurant service - and as a result this may explain the tepid or sometimes cold food being delivered to tables. The Cruise Consultant confirmed (sadly) that these changes were across all Costa ships, not just this one. There was a lot of pressure to buy the drinks packages, which we tend to do anyway but far fewer people seemed to be PAYG for drinks. With the reduced staffing it was much more difficult to get served and we began to wonder whether this was engineered to reduce the drinks bill for those having bought packages. Also, talking about the drinks package, we were on board for nearly 4 weeks and at dinner and lunch we were served only two different white wines and two red. It got rather monotonous after a while. Finding a table for a buffet lunch was a challenge to say the least. Queueing was the norm - at the buffet and bars, the information desk, to see the English host, the Costa Club rep, even the Cruise Sales rep. A friend, went back to book their next cruise but walked away because the rep allowed someone to queue jump. Additional quick points: No chance of getting into the gym - far too small At the quiz, shabbily presented - girl with a mike - and poor English. Embarkation - bit of a farce, but that's not unusual with Costa Disembarkation - they blamed Port Authorities for a long delay, but it was Costa that evicted us from cabins at 8am Informstion Desk - visited twice and twice given incorrect info Despite all the above comments, I do want to emphasise that overall, staff were trying their best, still smiling and obliging. They seemed to be hampered by trying to serve more people in less time. This seems to be more of a management issue - or dare I say, a profits issue. Overall, I do feel reviewers should rate cruises with some consideration of the price they have paid for the their cruise and I have done so. Previously, I have been more than happy with the more laid back approach to cruising proved by Costa, and found it to be good value. Now, I feel it's gone too far.

Is Costa cutting back?

Costa Victoria Cruise Review by swinstan

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Outside Premium
Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems that staffing has been reduced. For example, no poolside or buffet bar services offered - apart from the short period at breakfast, supplying coffee etc. Also, only one cabin visit from the steward per day which meant having to reuse wet towels for a morning shower. There seemed to be fewer staff around generally which might have been the reason for slower bar and restaurant service - and as a result this may explain the tepid or sometimes cold food being delivered to tables. The Cruise Consultant confirmed (sadly) that these changes were across all Costa ships, not just this one.

There was a lot of pressure to buy the drinks packages, which we tend to do anyway but far fewer people seemed to be PAYG for drinks. With the reduced staffing it was much more difficult to get served and we began to wonder whether this was engineered to reduce the drinks bill for those having bought packages. Also, talking about the drinks package, we were on board for nearly 4 weeks and at dinner and lunch we were served only two different white wines and two red. It got rather monotonous after a while. Finding a table for a buffet lunch was a challenge to say the least. Queueing was the norm - at the buffet and bars, the information desk, to see the English host, the Costa Club rep, even the Cruise Sales rep. A friend, went back to book their next cruise but walked away because the rep allowed someone to queue jump.

Additional quick points:

No chance of getting into the gym - far too small

At the quiz, shabbily presented - girl with a mike - and poor English.

Embarkation - bit of a farce, but that's not unusual with Costa

Disembarkation - they blamed Port Authorities for a long delay, but it was Costa that evicted us from cabins at 8am

Informstion Desk - visited twice and twice given incorrect info

Despite all the above comments, I do want to emphasise that overall, staff were trying their best, still smiling and obliging. They seemed to be hampered by trying to serve more people in less time. This seems to be more of a management issue - or dare I say, a profits issue.

Overall, I do feel reviewers should rate cruises with some consideration of the price they have paid for the their cruise and I have done so. Previously, I have been more than happy with the more laid back approach to cruising proved by Costa, and found it to be good value. Now, I feel it's gone too far.
swinstan’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Outside Premium
Cabin EP 80341
Too late booking to get a balcony cabin so smaller than we would usually book. Things on Victoria are a little worn and shabby but seemed to be clean. One big problem is the extent to which you can hear neighbours! Thin walls??? Also, this cabin is a long way from lifts - in either direction!. On a 4 week cruise it would have been good to have some film or TV provision. For a few days, one film was on a continous loop for English speaking guests. After that nothing but intermittent BBC News or Euronews channels. Seemed to be more on offer for French, Italian and German speakers. Had to ask for more toiletries and for clean pool towels on a number of occasions.
Butterfly Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews