Has anyone taken a Costa Cruise?

Old Sep 11th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Has anyone taken a Costa Cruise?

My husband and I are thinking of taken
a Costa Cruise that departs from Savona,Italy and goes to Naples, Spain and
France and back to Savona. It is a seven day
cruise. If anyone know anything about the
Costa Line, please respond. I thank you
in advance.
Alpicella
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Hi Alpicella,

We cruised Costa's Mediterranea in the Caribbean and had a fabulous time. We enjoyed Costa so much that we booked a New Year's cruise on Costa's Fortuna to ring in the New Year. You can read my review here on Fodors or on my website.
Our cousins are taking a Costa Cruise in the Med in Nov. I will let you know how that one turns out.
Stay Savvy!
Hugs,
The Savvy Old lady(c)
www.thesavvyoldlady.com
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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We took a caribbean cruise with them a few years ago, had a great time. Ship was lovely (romantica)
we are going next month on the serena to eastern med. unfortunately, the reviews have been awlful. the ship appearance gets good reviews, but lots of negative comments about staff, food and entertainment. out of about 6 reviews (the ship is brand new)only 1 review was positive, and those people were on their first cruise ever....
I'm a little concerned.
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Cannot talk from personal experience but heard from 3 different parties cruising at different times that the European crowd is a very heavy smoking group unlike Americans.
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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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jayge is correct, i have heard that as well. however, i believe no smoking is allowed in the dining areas.
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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 02:33 AM
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We just returned from An 11 day Costa Cruise aboard the Serena from Savona Italy to the Mediterranean (Canary Islands) and wanted to share, what we feel is important information for those considering a cruise with Costa, and aboard this ship. First allow me to preface by saying this was my seventh cruise, and first with Costa. I have sailed the Med and Baltic Sea before so not unaccustomed to ‘European’ cruising. One of the first things we noted with Costa onboard the Serena is the tolerance of smoking everywhere – neither myself or husband smoke, and we found this prevalence distasteful in bars, restaurants and common areas (including poolside). Also, we noted the abundance of children on-board and the lack of adequate programs to keep the children engaged. Although it is more common for Europeans to travel with their children than Americans, we found unattended children significantly detracted from our ability to fully relax and enjoy peace and quiet.

Also it is important to note there is a remarkable “sell” mentality onboard which, again, not commonly found among the American lines. From the moment you board we found the constant “push” for you to purchase extra’s incredibly tacky and distasteful. People walk around at dinner trying to sell you appetizers on trays, extra desserts or drinks – unreal. Also, there are drink “packages” available to purchase to include, soft drinks, wine and water (yes bottled water). We purchased the bottle water drink package 29.99 euros for 13 bottles – equivalent is almost $50 (USD) for 13 bottles!! (and we only used 8 of our allotted tickets – no refunds) you would do better to purchase the water as you disembark for port days. Also, you should know Costa charges 10 euros (almost 17 USD per person) for a shuttle bus at the various ports you arrive to take you to the town! First time we ever paid to get from the ship to town. Just another illustration of the constant nickel and diming we found tacky and uncomfortable.

Service was another area we found disappointing. Yet, another example of the constant nickel and dimming is charging for room service, this is the first cruise we have ever been charged for room service! One of the reasons we enjoy cruising so much is the service we receive. On Costa – service is provided at a flat fee – meaning, at the end of your cruise you are charged a flat rate for the services provided while aboard. Essentially this removes the incentive for staff to provide service to guests, and often – as a result - we found completely disengaged staff – who simply shrugged when requests were made of them. This includes the customer service folks at the front desk – many of whom disengaged when we asked specific questions

FOOD: Aside from the service, and general peace and quiet – we also enjoy cruising for the excellent variety and quality of food. We found this element with Costa - incredibly disappointing. Breakfast and dinner wasn’t too bad – typical eggs, bacon, fruit for breakfast and dinner 5 course meals. Lunch and the midnight ‘snack’ another story altogether. Lunch; hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries all buffet style – stale rolls and some off fruit. Food lines were well beyond what you would you would see on an American ship. The buffet also consisted of PIZZA constantly – Many complaints were overheard about the amount of money spent for such poor quality and choice - not impressive overall.

Cleanliness was an issue. Our cabin was – very comfortable and well appointed and cleaned twice daily (our Cabin Steward was EXCELLENT). However the common areas were often in disarray and dirty. Poolside tables were left unclean for long periods, hallways often cluttered with debris. In our cabin we had a balcony, a portion of which was glass. This went unclean for 8 of the 11 days while onboard and as a result we couldn’t see out of it. In our opinion this was a waste of a purchase of a ‘balcony’ due to the obstructed view. We asked for it to be cleaned and was told exterior cleaning of the windows would only be facilitated at a certain port (which was correct) unfortunately that port was not reached until the latter portion of our trip.

ONSHORE EXCURSIONS: BECAREFUL with Costa!! We researched each of our ports to find alternative activities by going on the internet and to the local tourist information sites. Several identical excursions offered by Costa were available at the ports sometimes at half the cost!! When we raised this issue to the excursion desk we were informed “it’s a business and we have to get our cut to”. We did do two excursions with Costa – the trip to FEZ in Morocco and horseback riding. The Fez trip was not at all what was represented in the brochure and not recommended for those wishing for “free time to shop at the souks”. In fact there was only shopping allowed at two shops which were owned / operated by friends of our tour guide. Many on the trip wondered how much his cut was at the end of the excursion!

Overall, Costa is not RCCL or Princess – it is a budget European product. Unfortunately Americans (like my husband and I) presently pay more for the product than normal since the sagging dollar – as such - you would get better VALUE for your money somewhere else, for certain! IF you are considering sailing Costa Cruise Lines – and this ship – I STRONGLY encourage you to speak to as many people as possible who have experienced their product. We found our overall experience well below expectations and are providing this input to hopefully assist those who are considering investing their money and, subsequently, hard earned vacation time.

We wished we had had some of this information before making our decision.

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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Thank you. Selling appetizers at dinner is enough to nix it for me.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 11:11 AM
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What was the entertainment like?

Very concerned about the reports of smoking in the restaurants, thats disgusting in this day and age.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Here's my input on Costa:

I have sailed on the Atlantica once and twice on the Magica. Personally I preferred the Atlantica because it's smaller than the mammoth Magica & the increased size of the Magica is basically only to accomodate an extra main dining room which you may or may not be assigned to eat at. It's a big walk around the ship to get anywhere on the Magica.

Overall the staff were pleasant enough. Being an Italian cruise line, many of the officers, guest services & animation staff are European. At times they can seem aloof, but I never experienced any problems. Most of the cabin stewards & restaurant staff are from the Phillipines or India. I can say that EVERY one of these staff members I encountered throughout my 3 cruises was friendly & went out of their way to assist me.

The smoke thing can be true; at times in the bars, casino smoking is allowed which personally I do not like. That being said it didn't affect my enjoying my cruises. There was no smoking in the restaurants or theatres.


The entertainment was excellent on all of the ships. A highlight for me was this pair of male acrobats from the Netherlands (I think). They put on the best cruise show I have ever seen. The day to day singers & dancers were entertaining as well. The shows were not "cheesy" like they can be sometimes.

The cleanliness of the ships is excellent - the staff is constantly cleaning everywhere.

The cabins are new looking, very Italian furnishings & artwork. The cabins across Carnival & Costa are near identical (same family) other than bedding.

Every morning we would order complimentary capuccinos & espressos to our room. Great way to start off the day & damn they make good coffee

I have never seen Costa list any items on the dinner menus that were chargeablem. Never. The food in the main dining room was always good and you could customize meals. If you preferred a different side dish or special vegetable they always accomodate. On the Magica, my Dad casually mentioned that he didn't see bread pudding on the dessert menu. The following night the chef prepared Bread Pudding especially for him which is pretty impressive. It was great too The buffets are clean and offer a good variety of food as well. Often times at dinner the buffet would serve similar menus to the dining room, however the desserts were never the same. The Pizza at the buffet was good, especially if you got the veggie one. It could be a little greasy at times but nothing that a quick dab with a paper napkin wouldn't take care of - it's made of cheese, what do you want?

As far as the "selling" mentioned in other reviews.....the same thing happens on all the cruise lines. Costa is no worse than any other. You are offered photos to buy, shore excursions to buy, liquour to buy....etc. There is no hard sell, it's all up to you.

I think the value of Costa's cruises is wonderful. You can't beat the price for what you get.

If have any specific questions feel free to email me: [email protected]

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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Thank you. I have considerd them. Did you ever see appetizers for sale at dinner? I have never heard of that.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:44 PM
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No, I have never seen an appetizer that costs extra on the ships. Never. I don't think that was true. The only thing billable at dinner are soft drink & liquor. Even espresso & cappuccino is free in the dining room.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:49 PM
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You know some people are just really picky on their vacations, as seen on some of the reviews. I have never had any sort of bad experience on Costa. I've been on other cruise lines as well and Costa compares.

Part of it is also your age bracket in some cases. A lot of people say that Royal Carribbean, Carnival are ideal for 20-30's, a younger vibe, while Holland America and Celebrity are geared towards an older set. I am sailing next week on a South America/Panama Canal Itinerary with Norwegian which "they" say is a family oriented cruise line. This will be my first with them so who knows. I can't imagine there will be a lot of families & kids on an 18 day South American cruise? LOL

Take care,
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Thank you. It did seems far-fetched. take care, Larry
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