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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
The events and the food inside the ship are good. But Costa seriously sins in the organization and contracting of services. For example, I booked through the site a laundry package ($ 29.90) and did not use the service. However, on the day ... Read More
The events and the food inside the ship are good. But Costa seriously sins in the organization and contracting of services. For example, I booked through the site a laundry package ($ 29.90) and did not use the service. However, on the day of shipment my credit card was already charged without my having used the service. I looked for customer service and they said they could not extort the value because I hired it in the site! I was at the loss! I also had requested a sparkling wine in my cabin ($ 46.00) to surprise my wife on the day of boarding. I had to call multiple times to receive 2 days later! Never hire the tours offered by Costa. We hired 2: a tour with "cheese and wine tasting" in Tenerife at the most regular. The cheeses we could not even taste because they were "free sample" and finished in a few seconds. The wines were very simple and were not worth the tasting. We ended up going to a small restaurant on our own to eat something! The second tour in Casablanca - Morocco was even worse! The guide was rude and just walked with the sign raised without explaining anything and leaving tourists behind! We did not have time to snack or drink water because the guide did not give us time in the points for this. Aside the mosque all other spots were horrible and it became torture to accompany with hunger and be the guide. In the mosque the guide took men and women to shared bathrooms and without suitable toilets, forcing us to stand up to use! Most of the women were embarrassed and could not even go to the bathroom! I and dozens more customers filed complaint with customer service and we were totally ignored! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise because I thought Brazil would be exciting. It was until we got to the Fasinosa. Then everything went wrong. There are too many people for the common areas and too few staff to control them. The rules are good but no ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I thought Brazil would be exciting. It was until we got to the Fasinosa. Then everything went wrong. There are too many people for the common areas and too few staff to control them. The rules are good but no one to carry them out. Therefore there are children running riot in the theatre at night and in the restaurants at mealtimes. The hygiene rules are not carried out. Toilets are blocked and overflowing quite often. The food is mediocre, the staff are rude and the waiters untrained. Not to have water on the table at dinner is terrible and saving nothing as hundreds of people are walking about with glasses of water and of course spilling it on carpets and floors which is causing people to slip. There were two people with broken arms. Hundreds of passengers were complaining at the desk, but I guess nothing will be done as it seems this has been your policy for at least three years. I do not appreciate being herded like a holiday camp atmosphere. The music is too loud and once again people were complaining about this. We enjoyed the shows very much and appreciate it must be difficult to entertain so many nationalities. The ship is geared to Italian and Brazilian people. It should not be advertised for British people. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with ... Read More
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with beautiful decor, large wide hallways and elevator banks. We had an ocean view and an inside room which were both quite spacious. Because of the language barrier on this ship (probably 6-7) different nationalities, shows are a challenge to appeal to everyone. There were of course the ship dance and singing group which were good, very fast paced with lots of costume changes. Most other shows were acts that didn't require a lot of talking, quite a few small dance groups which after the first 5 minutes seems to be all the same and realize they were good at the chosen dance but maybe not adequate for an hour show. Lots of acrobatic acts which were all good but after 3 or 4 of them there's only so much they can do different. All in all we thought they were quite good. A few "magic" or illusionist acts which were disappointing as they were so far back on the stage and in the dark you could barely see - if they were as good as they proclaimed moved to the front of the stage. Really liked the Mime. However, we found there was nothing to do after the show of interest to us and could definitely have better entertainment in piano bars or other areas. - excursions - although we rarely take an excursion, we enjoyed a couple and found they are really well organized and you can book any of them right up to the time they are leaving. They just keep getting more buses to accommodate the people wanting to go - this is a great idea and certainly go the extra mile there. - ship was very timely. Cons Incredibly poor customer service - with the exception of our dining room waiter, Rex, we found on average there is immense improvement needed in this area. We realize this is a problem which needs to come from the top and don't wholly blame the employees, however, some tasks should be a given when it comes to dealing with paying customers. - buffets for lunch and breakfast were set up poorly - a separate salad bar needs to be set up away from hot meal items. Experienced long very slow lines with huge gaps after the salad options which resulted in people skipping ahead which is understandable - we boarded in Santos, Brazil. Brazil is a country blessed with beautiful fruit grown locally and you would think the ship would have stocked up with some tasty varieties of fruit but not the case. Fruit was sparse and selection was poor consisting mainly of pineapple, kiwi, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe and only got for breakfast. Where is the passion fruit, papaya, mangos to only name a few that we sampled at a local food market? What was there was devoured by those of us not interested in the huge variety of cakes, breads and pastries for breakfast. - in the lunch buffets especially, tables are piling up with dirty dishes with staff standing around, hence customers need to clear tables themselves. - we wonder if staff are happy in their jobs because it just seemed like they all went through the motions - even the bosses in the buffets were unfriendly and believe we were greeted one time in 20 days by a supervisor so it seems staff under them aren't taught those skills. - shower wasn't draining, reported it to the steward who in turn told her she had to go down to the main desk and deal with it herself - really!? - wasn't feeling well one night so ordered a juice at one of the main bars and was basically told I would have to go to one of the other bars for that. - first night on the ship after a long day touring without lunch, decided to go to the dinner buffet instead of getting dressed up for dining room, the only thing we found there was a couple pieces of dried out pizza - to our surprise there is was no large dinner buffet and to our knowledge there never was. - so, in the dining room we ordered a wine, first they opened the wrong wine and then we found out they did not have the one we ordered - the first night? - Our poor waiter, Rex, had a helper that obviously had "0" training in the dining room. From what we saw he was more of a hinderance than a help - Rex had to tell him what to do and when to do it, he had no self-starter skills and Rex was doing 90% of the work looking after all his tables - again, at least some training should be done before he serves in the dining room and again needs to come from above. Because of this, we were almost always still eating our desert when they were trying to get us out for the 2nd seating, service was incredibly slow because Rex had no help. - Costa for some reason uses all bottled water in the dining rooms. Unless your package included water, you had to pay for your water with dinner which we couldn't believe. Not to mention the impact all those bottles have on the environment, are they recycling? Because of this people were refilling water bottles at the water machines around the ship - understandable, then signs appeared on machines to not do this which of course people ignored. - had coffee, tea, terrible watered down juices and milk available for free at breakfast buffet but were not available at lunch - language barrier comes into play for English speaking clients, although they try the English announcements are still with an undesirable accent in most cases and hard to understand, if translation is done at all. No lectures on any of the ports telling you about the history on things you might see on excursions or giving you information on what there is to do if you don't want to pay for an excursion. We went to what we thought was going to be an information session on the ports but all it entailed was a gal selling just the excursions and absolutely no other information. Costa is also very happy to sell transports into the different towns at a much higher cost when there is usually free transport with a small walk from the ship (they don't tell you about that option) I have to mention the total zoo that is the disembarkation. We disembarked at Savona, Italy. Our time was supposed to be 9:45 and our color was orange, but after more than two hours later we finally decided we were getting off as we wanted to get on with our day - we'd go grab our luggage and catch a cab to our hotel in Genoa. Well, wow! We soon found they only set out the luggage for the colours having already been called. People were all getting very upset as they were missing flights and other timelines so were a lot of people like us who had gotten off so they could get on with it only to find the bags were only being brought in as the colours really called. We ended up standing around at least another hour waiting for the "workers" who are obviously Union to bring the bags in most taking one at a time. Very frustrating to watch the work ethic there. Our pain did not stop there. There were no taxis waiting for the hoards of people needing one and no attendant keeping the peace or ordering them which was badly needed as at this time people were getting majorly pissed and trying to jump the que as were missing flights and trains. The other problem was there was another Costa ship that disembarked before us so got all the taxis. This terminal is owned by Costa so they should be prepared for the influx of people needing taxis - just another example of the poor and almost non-existent customer service on Costa. Cleaning - where do I start! - walked into stateroom, on the main counter there were smudges of mascara leftover from who knows when. I left it there on purpose to see if our steward "Renata" would clean it - never did in 20 days and I bet they are still there today. The finger prints and smudges on the inside of our stateroom door were unbelievable - no cleaner had been used there for many cruises - ewwww! - my sister was sitting in the buffet dining area in between meals as was quiet for reading and was able to see first hand the lack of cleaning. Tables were not cleaned with any cleaner but crumbs were just swept off with a dry cloth. On other ships we've been on there is constant cleaning being done along with maintenance, not so much with Costa and that is why the whole ship was sick after about a week. Hand sanitizers were at the doorways, but I never saw anyone use them as no one was standing there making sure they were used - this should be a must especially when the silverware is not wrapped separately in napkins but is being touched by many dirty fingers in public bins. Sun decks would go days without being cleaned as spills were still evident from days before. Never smelled a cleaner and hardly saw anyone cleaning so.... Food Was absolutely terrible. First of all most everything is frozen and then cooked, nothing is prepared fresh and it tasted like it. Food is very bland and hard to find anything with spice of any kind. If you like a lot of breads, pastries, cakes, etc. You will be in heaven on this line. The menu in the dining rooms includes items as normal and then they have meals that would be offered by any other line for free, are charged for. For example, on formal nights you could get lobster that is a norm on other cruise lines for free, but here you had to pay for it - could not believe it. Had a gentleman we ate dinner with that had a restaurant meal for $35 US included in his package - he said to save your money as is no better than the dining room. Ports On the whole we enjoyed the ports as there is so much history in those parts of the world - always something to see and learn about. In our opinion there were too many ports in Brazil - Rio, Ilheus and Salvador were nice stops but Maceio and Recife are a waste of time as not much to see - and Brazil on the whole is not a safe place. As always when travelling, you must always be aware of those around you and who is watching you. My husband was approached in a few ports by people who told him he was being watched as he was carrying a backpack and to be aware - makes you kind of paranoid. But on the other hand we were also helped by locals who knew no English who tried to help us find our way and tried to keep us safe by giving us the best routes to take. Loved Gilbralter and Barcelona and hope someday to go back as more time can definitely be spent especially in Barcelona. We started to think maybe we were just being picky, but after talking with other cruisers, we soon realized it was definitely not just us. The standard we are used to with Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Carnival is just not there and Costa likes to nickel and dime you that is very apparent. I think you get the drift about our opinion of Costa and can make your own decision on whether to vacation with this line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa although this was some years ago and was excellent then( it was the first cruise we had ever done). I have to say the standard now is extremely poor, regretably this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. Even low budget cruise lines offer a better experience than Costa do now. It would appear that the line is so dedicated to saving money that customer satisfaction has been forgotten. If you wish to have tea/coffee with your meals (apart from breakfast) you have to pay for it, no water with evening meal unless you pay for it! Coffee and tea available only between 4.00 and 5.00 pm, unless of course you wanted to pay extra for it. The food in the dining room was very poor, and the self service restaurant rarely available in the evening. The waiter/ under waiter were very good. The food in the self service area was better although not as well organised as it could be. The area was so crowded that after you had secured a table one of your party could get theIr meal first whilst the other reserved the spot (therefore not really eating together). The evening shows were generally poor. The excursions are expensive but I think in line with other cruise companies, The staff were very good although we didn't have contact with many as we are not generally interested in the entertainment. I can see why the tips are compulsory - because a lot of passengers would be reluctant to give what is recommended after such a disappointing holiday, what appeared to be a reasonable priced cruise turned out to be quite expensive and not good value for money. I don't usually do reviews, I think this will give you an idea of how poor this cruise was. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING, WE WON'T BE TRAVELING WITH COSTA AGAIN. YOUR COST CUTTING WILL COST YOU CUSTOMERS. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed ... Read More
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed up just prior to leaving port), no room card give and no indication of where and when we would receive this. Once on the ship we headed to our rooms and there was the room unlocked and the card on the bed. We toured a little and then went to the buffet for supper as we had toured all day and were tired. To our surprise there was NO buffet, a few slices of dry pizza and wilted salad. We quickly changed and off we when to find our dining room - we had had no communication as to which one we were in or our dining time. Found a bar steward who directed us - got to the dining room, no one to seat you - just pointed in the general direction and left to find your table on your own. Ordered wine, charged the wrong price +$10 - had a great head waiter "Rex" and his NEW helper that was his first day and had obviously NEVER worked in any form of dining service! There were only 3 of us at our table for 8 that night and it took 2.5 hours to get our wine, water, main and dessert. The wine and water took 50 minutes. The helper didn't get any better over the duration of the cruise and had to be directed on every little task throughout the entire 20 days. The Food overall has no taste and meat very tough and usually over cooked. Menu undesirable, most nights unable to pick as nothing sounds appealing. Never vegetables served with main course. Breakfast buffet - terrible, mounds of sweets but fruit is almost nonexistent. Only time you could get coffee with a meal with out being charged extra for it was during breakfast out of the large carafes. Lunch buffets are disappointing, with tasteless food and lots if times food is cold and even still frozen. never changed generally offered the same every day. Costa is All about the extra $, no education about the ports to be visited, only about the offers through ship. Free transportation to town is offered 300m from ship but all that is told is transportation is $14. Ship has very poor cleaning standards, never in 20 days did I witness a table being cleaned and sanitized between guests or even between meals. Cleaning on the deck the same low standard, observed workers wiping and drying but in a 30, minute period never cleaning the cloth or using a cleaner of any sort. Shows had a great assortment and were very entertaining, but when that was done for the evening there was nothing else to do. Did one excursion off the ship - it was good and could purchase tickets up until the time to go as they kept adding busses as needed - EXCELLENT. Over all was very disappointed with the cruise and will not go with Costa again as all previous cruises have been with Princess and Costa can't compete. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
What a disaster. Essentially trapped on a slow moving, deluxe livestock hauler for 7 days. Whole experience reeked of carefully crafted ripoff at multiple levels. Boring, contrived "activities" I have no interest in. A bad ... Read More
What a disaster. Essentially trapped on a slow moving, deluxe livestock hauler for 7 days. Whole experience reeked of carefully crafted ripoff at multiple levels. Boring, contrived "activities" I have no interest in. A bad version of 1950s Catskills vacation resort a la Dirty Dancing. Insanely LOUD music accompaniment. Artists could hardly be heard over the monster bass. (very last day was a bit better) Where did they get those sound engineers? Useless "excursions" with minimal stops and minimal time to see anything in port. Rio fireworks for about 1/2 hour only worthwhile event the entire trip. Literally filthy chairs in buffet room. Marginally palatable food at the McDonalds, et al quality level, buffet unchanging menu for the entire trip. Worst tasting desserts I can recall, ever. Water and juice dispensers in poor repair. I could go on. Whole atmosphere gave sense of cost cutting to the bone and a cynical metadata-like carefully parsed ripoff of innocent and duped customers. Pay for water with your supposedly fine dining meal? Gimme a break. Staff were pleasant and tried to be helpful, but were overworked and just simply beat down. Passengers with multiple cruise experience commented on what a miserable experience this was, compared to other cruise lines and compared to Costa in the pre Carnival era. This company is owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, and the cynical, mega billionaires who own it have their system for bilking gullible people down to a tee. Staff and knowledgeable passengers all commented on how Costa had gone downhill since "that American Company" took over. Actually it is an American/Israeli owned company with a history of financial shenanigans, shell corporations and other stuff that if you and I did them, would land us in jail. So Carnival is not only providing a crappy passenger experience, it is helping spread ill-will and negative impressions about American business to the rest of the world. Thanks, Arison family. I went on this trip with low expectations, at the insistence of family members. My low expectations were quite considerably exceeded (downward). No more Carnival affiliated enterprises for me. Ever. I expect there is a better than even chance that this review will be discarded by whomever reviews these. Maybe it will provide some useful information to whomever does read it. Regards.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We have recently returned from a transatlantic Cruise on the Costa Fascinosa and completely disagree with the 2 previous reviews. What do people expect for approx £20 per night full board ( that is all it cost when taking off the air ... Read More
We have recently returned from a transatlantic Cruise on the Costa Fascinosa and completely disagree with the 2 previous reviews. What do people expect for approx £20 per night full board ( that is all it cost when taking off the air fares and transfers). We don't go on a cruise to sit in the cabin to watch television so the lack of English channels was not a problem, the staff on the ship were pleasant and helpful and it was also nice to meet so many nice people from other countries( I am ashamed to say the only people we heard moaning were British) OK the entertainment was not as good as on P&O, Fred Olsen or Thomsons but they are not catering soley for the British guests, there was a least 7 different nationalities so entertainment had to suit all tastes. They did several quizes every day in different languages. One of the best shows I have seen on any cruise line was the Brazilian Three Tenors. so come on you moaners if you don't like Italian food or Italians why pick an Italian cruise line.. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
The only thing I will agree with about the previous 2 reviews is the 11 dollars per day service charge, it should be up to the individual to tip as they see fit, apart from that I think their reviews very unfair. The cruise itself taking ... Read More
The only thing I will agree with about the previous 2 reviews is the 11 dollars per day service charge, it should be up to the individual to tip as they see fit, apart from that I think their reviews very unfair. The cruise itself taking of the airfare and transfers worked out about 20 pppd full board and the use of the facilities of a beautiful ship. The staff were very polite and obliging and the food, there was a good choice and you never went hungry and it was warm food not piping hot. I do not go on a cruise to sit in my cabin and watch TV so the lack of English channels didn't bother me.We met some very nice people from various countries and if you took the trouble to communicate they were very nice, the only people we found moaning were the Brits. As for the entertainment they are catering for at least 7 nationalities therfore you can't expect it to be like Fred Olsen, Thompsons or P&O. Although I must say one of the best acts I have seen on any cruise was on this cruise The Three Brazilizn Tenors. I have been on 13 cruises and this was the best value for money I have had, so if you don't like Italian food or Italian people why book on an Italian ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we wanted a taste of Brazil and the time of year suited us, as our main holiday is now usually taken during the northern European winter. I booked all the elements separately because I used the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we wanted a taste of Brazil and the time of year suited us, as our main holiday is now usually taken during the northern European winter. I booked all the elements separately because I used the opportunity to use some frequent flyer miles for the flight. This was our first cruise with Costa. Sailing from Santos to Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Salvador Bahia, Maceio, Recife, Tenerife, Madeira, Malaga, Palermo, Corfu, Dubrovnik and Venice. For what Costa classified as a Premium Balcony I paid 650 UK Pounds each, to this I added the All Inclusive Drinks package. There is also a compulsory Service Charge of 11US$ pppd. We found the drinks package is worthwhile if you have several drinks of alcohol a day, plus soft drinks, water and coffee. It also includes the 15% service charge that you would pay if buying individual drinks or cocktails. The cocktails are passable but not brilliant as we have had much better on other cruises. For anyone flying into Sao Paulo Guaranlos airport and wanting to travel onward to Santos there is an hourly coach service from outside the Terminal. It takes approximately two hours depending on the traffic. The fare is 25 Brazilian Reals pp. The bus travels directly to Santos Bus Station in the Old Town and there is a Tourist Office about 50 metres from the stop. The lady spoke excellent English, supplied maps/ literature and suggested things to do and how to use the local buses. An official taxi rank is beside the Tourist Office, she advised to only use the regulated cabs with a green stripe down the side. On the beach promenade at Santos there is also an old Tram which is actually a Tourist office. The staff was really helpful with lots of ideas for the visitor and great knowledge of the local public bus network. Santos is nice city but does not have numerous hotels, we choose the Mercure, which is a decent central hotel overlooking the beach. The staff spoke English which proved very helpful. It had a rooftop pool and did a reasonable breakfast. It is directly in front of the Ibis Hotel which also looks modern and well kept. Locally it is surrounded by beachfront bars, cafes and restaurants. The local beer, Brahma, is served ice cold and is very cheap. In Brazil terms Santos is relatively safe. Just do not flaunt expensive jewellery or cameras etc. Tip: Unless you have some knowledge of Portuguese, invest in a cheap phrasebook or at least make a list of everyday food items, eg: frango = chicken. The majority of Brazilians do not speak English. The Old Town is about 15 minutes bus ride from the beach and a tourist Tram does a circuit of the Old Town and costs 5BR, it is worth the ride as it lets you get familiar with the other attractions in the Old Town area. The commentary is in Portuguese. A harbour cruise for a couple of hours is also worth a bus trip of about 10 minutes and departs from the old harbour area. The Fascinosa is a large ship that carries around 3000 passengers, but I must admit that although the ship was almost full, the only time I felt crowded was when disembarking at some ports. There were always lots of sun loungers and plenty of deck space. There was always plenty of space in the public rooms. Around the central pool area can get quite busy, because of the activities some people like to make it their base, but it did not affect us as it was an area we did not frequent very often. The bars, lounges, etc. are spacious and the décor would not go amiss in Las Vegas or even Blackpool. The Bars got very busy at the end of first sitting dinner and the start of second and getting service could be very frustrating at times. Tip. The crew are mostly from SE Asia and India, just remember they have just spent four months cruising out of Brazil where English is not widely spoken, thus they did not have great interaction with passengers. The crew however all speak English and if you give them a bit of your time you will find that they are delighted to engage with a bit of conversation. Ports. The two days in Rio can be very enjoyable with enough time for a good run around, but can be tiring. Do not miss the arrival into Rio harbour it is well worth getting up for. The ship berths close to the city, about a ten minute walk to the Business District where you can catch buses and the Metro to Sugar Loaf, Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema and Cococabana Beaches. There are Tourist Reps in the terminal with maps, which will also mark the maps of where to catch buses and the route numbers etc. The buses are fast and very frequent, have change to pay on entry, plus hold on tight, they do not hang around. We divided our stay by Sugar Loaf and Ipanema, morning and afternoon with lunch at the beach on day one, Christ the Redeemer, Cococabana on day two. There is a very large outdoor market about 15 minutes’ walk from the ship just off the business district and worth a visit. If it all becomes too much jump a cab, but for us public transport provides a real feel for the place and is not too difficult. The busiest times at Sugar Loaf and The Redeemer are around 9 to 11 when the tour buses descend. Salvador Bahia, Brazils first Capital and a world heritage site. It was also the centre of the slave trade in Brazil. The ship berths at a terminal next to Avenue France and it takes less than 10 minutes to walk to the old funicular railway that takes you to the old city, a little further along you will find the new elevators that will also take you up. This area provides you a clear picture and feel for the early Portuguese settlement. It is a very pleasant with lots of colourful buildings and very old churches, virtually all is pedestrianised. Some nice cafes and bars to rest awhile when soaking up the sun. There are lots of Police around which again provides a certain comfort for those that get nervous. Maceio is a modern clean beach resort with the usual bar and beach shopping opportunities, the ship berths a bit of a distance from the centre, about 10 -15 minutes by the shuttle bus. It is walkable but is a longish boring walk through the port area. The beach promenade / boardwalk is modern clean and stretches a couple of miles along a nice clean sandy beach. This is a time to enjoy the beach or just stroll the prom. The place is safe to walk around. Recife, this is a place to be vigilant. Don’t panic we walked around most of the day with nothing untoward, just taking the usual precautions, no jewellery, handbags, loose cameras, i-phones etc. I became aware later that several passengers had stuff stolen, it was not confrontational, they just snatch and run. The ship terminal is again reasonably close to the centre, the tourist office staff are at the terminal with maps and lots of advice and info. It is a straightforward walk to the center 15-20 minutes. The centre can on first look to be quite shabby but there are many fine old buildings and churches and several large squares. Clothing shops abound and the people are friendly. There is also a large and busy fresh goods market which is worth a look. Olinda is nearby and apparently more worthy of a visit. We missed this by not reading the guide in advance of our stay. Other passengers went there, by taxi or bus, and rated it highly. Tenerife, Madeira, Malaga, Palermo, Corfu, Dubrovnik and Venice all European cities that are on the whole safe clean and easy to get around. The only place we used the shuttle bus was Dubrovnik, although there were lots of Taxis available in each of these ports. In Malaga a little tourist train runs from the terminal to the centre at 3 euros. I liked Malaga it is a real nice city to stroll around. Palermo is large place and a map is a must but lots to see. There is the big red double decker Sightseeing hop on hop off bus which may be worth considering. It can be booked online with a discount. We stumbled upon the Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio by accident. It was a wow, and outshone the Cathedral. Back to the ship. Fascinosa is incredibly clean and well maintained. The entertainment is very much geared to the South American market as they made up the bulk of the passengers aboard for the voyage to Europe. Shows, Musicians, novelty acts etc, and maybe different to what US and most European passengers usually get on cruise ships. There is a lot of live Latin music and a lot of dancing - they really take their dancing seriously and are very good at it. I have never been on a ship where so many people danced so well and it was a pleasure to watch them. The ship itself is very steady even in very rough seas. We had an Argentinian music / singing trio who were exceptionally good. The food, overall we found to be a bit mundane and not of great quality, you will not starve but neither will you be blown away. Simple things like a poor selection of cereals at breakfast and an abysmal selection of fresh fruits. Three toasters for a buffet serving a couple of thousand people. For an Italian ship, and we are fans of Italian food, the pastas and pizzas etc were nothing to write home about, almost downright boring. Even the grill that served burgers, sausages etc on the pool deck were of cheap quality. Essentially, the food could best be described as cheap ingredients poorly put together. The buffet restaurant was at times very crowded and the food was sometimes cold or overcooked. The Big Questions. Did we enjoy it and the answer is yes, it was a simple and easy way of having a brief look at Brazil. Is it good value for money, again yes, you would have a job putting together a 21 night holiday and visiting the places that we did for the kind of money that was spent. Lastly, would we do it again, probably not. Would we use Costa again, probably not, unless there was an itinerary that we really wanted to do and at the right price. Finally disembarkation, this could reasonably be described as chaotic. After waiting almost an hour beyond our allotted disembark time, we could stand it no longer and just walked off the ship. Brazil suffers from a high crime rate, but do not let this stop you, just remember the basic rules and think about staying safe.   Read Less
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