Costa Cruise Lines

Jan 6th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 80
Costa Cruise Lines

Have cruised most of the mid priced lines but neither know anyone who has been on Costa or hear anything about them.Anyone have experience on that line?
picky is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 03:13 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
We had been hesitant to cruise Costa becaue we had heard there were a lot of European smokers on board Costa ships. Costa is most popular line in Europe. BUT, found a 7 day cruise on Costa Magica for only $299 so couldn't pass that up. And for that $299 we got a balcony cabin on top deck! The ship has same floor plan as Carnival's Glory & Valor.
We were so pleased about everything on the ship! Most surprising was that in the casino even my husband could not smell any smoke and he smells everything. People were smoking but wantever Costa uses to get rid of smoke was working great! Every thing about the ship was great and we are not going to hesitate to sail on any Costs ship and are looking forward to another Costa ship! (We love to cruise and last year were on the Glory, Majesty, Magica, Valor and Sun Princess>)
bonniejns is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,466
Read some comments about particular Costa ships on cruisecritic.com I was looking at them the other day to see what cruisers said about Costa in the Mediterranean and of the few that I clicked on, there were many unhappy passengers. I did not go through the entire group, so there may be others, like bonniejns, who enjoyed them.
GBelle is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:16 AM
  #4  
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check out www.cruisereviews.com.
pat is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3
We cruised on the Magica for their Holiday Cruise: Dec 23 -30. This might be an unfair review because:
1) It was packed with children (800)
2) About 3000 guests
3) It was the holidays

Embarkation was a nightmare. Magica was assigned to Pier 29 (usually it is assigned a larger, Pier 21). There was only one scanner available.
There was no organized line of people; much line jumping

When we arrived at the Pier, we were told to place our bags "THERE" -- twice. The only "there" was about 200 feet away with about 6 fellows standing around two empty bins. Not sure if this is a Port Authority problem; or Costa's.

The Food was essentially good -- a few misses, but overall good.

Dining was interesting: It is very noisy; the prep stations are almost adjacent to the tables and the noise can be unbearable. When the staff wants you gone...the noise factor increases. We are used to the attention received on Royal Caribbean and Princess. The service would be graded as a B- to C-. Could be due to lack of staffing. Food: A- to B-. The last day: lunch was aweful. Freezing cold, tough ribs with ice cold fries. I didn't send them back because of a spa appt. time. I should have! That was deplorable.

Excursions: Overpriced for the ports visited.

Ports: San Juan Xmas night
Catalina (changed schedule but didn't notify cruisers)
St. Thomas: By far the BEST port; Megan's Bay was outstanding. Beautiful sandy beach with very clear water.

Grand Turk: Well, the port is essentially owned by Carnival (who owns Costa). Not much to see, but it's nice to get to a quiet island that will soon be spoiled by over-development. See it now!!! Rent a Dune buggy.

Entertainment: Nicely done--talented staff, but they need more diverse offerings during the holidays -- such as comedy and magic. We saw Vegas style venues.
Missing: wine tastings! (on an Italian ship---come on); No towel bunnies -- actually, I would prefer they spent their time disinfecting the bathroom than creating towel bunnies.

Most of the service staff is Phillipine. No problem, except it does not appear that they have been supervised or instructed how to work their jobs to deliver the proper level of service. We had to wait long times for refills of Water, Iced Tea and even our purchased wine.

Debarkation: Another nightmare. We signed up for early, self debarkation. The woman (in a Yellow Jacket) who was in charge started yelling at people who were leaving the holding area. Apparently there was another Yellow Jacketed lady who ushered some people out...we were supposed to leave, but no one communicated that with the early debarkation guests.

LACK OF COMMUNICATION is a major problem. When arriving for an excursion, no one announces the plan to the guests who are there...ready to go. If someone had told them to "register" their presence, two of our excursions could have left on time, rather than 30 minutes late. The staff fails to realize there are people who WANT instruction because this is their FIRST cruise.

More communciation observations: It is apparent that the staff does not understand their roles in their entirety. This is a management issue.

This was our 5th cruise. I doubt we will return to Costa. I'll spend another $200 - $250 on Royal Carib. or Princess.

Research the ports; be sure you want to be there. If you plan to stay on board: The hot tubs are not hot. The Adults only pool -- No signs posting to COMMUNICATE to the guests that it IS an ADULT pool Shame on them. The last day of our cruise there were some security people telling children to leave. If a sign was posted (in all 5 languages) there would have been fewer complaints. So it took 6 days to get the so called "rules" enforced.

Finally, I loved the Spa area; gymnasium sauna and steam room. One problem -- male staff come in the changing area to replace towels and clean the woman's restroom--YIKES(also had males do this in women's restrooms throughout the ship...not well received by Americans).

If you travel and you prefer to have fewer children, don't travel during any holiday time. There will be kids.

Oh, I should mention that when I tried to print out my boarding passes, the printer was not working. Well, apparently some nasty person(s) decided to unplug the ethernet plug -- that way, no one could print. Despite 3 phone calls asking for help (before I got there and determined the ethernet problem). no one came for over one half hour...another Communication glitch?

Good Luck!



Rita_Italy is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
If you are thinking of a Costa Cruise you might be interested in the following information regarding the MANDATORY SERVICE FEE.

I have many friends working aboard Costa Cruise Line. Recently Costa has brought in the service fee in lieu of tips, like many of the other cruise companies. This fee is a mandatory 6 euro per day for every passenger. Passengers are told that this money is for the waiter, bus boy and cabin Stewards etc that serve them during the cruise and that tips are no longer collected by the individual wait staff. But did you know that not ALL of this money goes to the staff?

I have seen the new contract that the staff have been given, it states that waiters and Cabin Stewards, for instance will receive a basic wage of 1049 euro per month, they then will receive a further 400 euro hotel incentive bonus (other service personnel such as bus boys etc receive less) but only if certain requirements are met. A. that the comment forms filled out by the passengers are favourable and B that the ship is 100% full. If these two requirements are not met then the staff will receive less (how much less is not stated in the contract). I have been told by members of staff aboard Costa that since this Service fee came into effect they now make less money than they did with the old system.

My question is this. If the requirements stated by the Company are not met, who gets the monies already paid by the passenger? Will Costa contact each passenger and return the money to them? I donít think so How can this be legal? It is certainly not morally right that monies collected by the company as service fee for the staff should be then kept by the company. Is this not taking money under false pretences?

I made a few calculations and if you take a ship such as the Magica for instance which carries 3500 passengers, and say the ship during a month takes only 3000 passengers, times this figure by 6 euro per day and the company is taking in 540,000 euro a month. If you then divide this amount by the amount of waiters, bus boys and cabin Stewards and others that are part of the service fee program, (around 200 people) you will see that Costa is taking more money in service fees than it is paying out to its staff. By my calculation they are making at least 110,000 euro per month from money that is paid by its passengers supposedly for gratuities to the waiters etc. Also since the passengers are now paying 100% of the wait staffs salary, Costa has found away of making even more money without actually having to increase its tariff.

I have often cruised with Costa Cruise Lines in the past, but I am appalled that a company such as this would take advantage of their staff in this way. I would suggest that if you want to show your appreciation for the work the waiters etc do it would be a good idea to complain about this service fee and ask Costa to make an account of exactly where this money is really going. I prefer to pay the people who are giving me service not the cruise company that has already been paid.
knoxie is offline  
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