Travel operator: Costa
the good bits:-
evening food good
Philippine and indian staff lovely
lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!!
the awful bits,
complete cock up with payment details, they provided the wrong bacs details and it took 4 weeks to resolve!! (should have smelt a rat then)
claustrophobic ship, dark below no window, felt cramped and unpleasant,
embarkation was a complete shambles, took hours
only 4hours at each port to try to force you to use the extortionate ship excursions, 2 posts were very isolated.
independent travel at the post was was virtually impossible
drinks very expensive plus 15 % !!!
disembarkation was also very poor, the staff provided no help loading bags, the bus driver looked bored and just dumped everyone at terminal 3 of airport without any explanation that this may not be your terminal,
noisy all the time, smokey in most of the bar areas and virtually nothing to do during the day at sea or evening unless you like bingo.
The buffet restaurant was a virtual scrum area, closed in the evening , coffee not offered with evening meal, 2 coffees six euros, (non smoking areas a joke)
tips are 49 euros compulsory each, result: apathetic staff
i went to none of the evening entertainments but all were described as awful by others
muster was a very poor affair
no privacy in male changing rooms after sauna, pool attendant left door open!! not a pretty sight.
spoke to some serial costa cruisers who said the larger ships were much better, this ship is about to go for refurbish, staff need to be properly educated as well changing the name to neu romantica equivalent to windscale being renamed to sellafield.
I would have grave reservations about costa again. I went as i did not believe the summaries , i should have listened.
Travel operator: costa
The entertainment was average.
Not very many brits on board.
Mauritius and Seychelles lovely islands. Madagascar was so poor,and didn't feel safe. It was quite upsetting to see lots of little children begging, and to see the poor dogs too.
Would never sail with Costa again.
Travel operator: ROL
At times, the dinner menu was acceptable - too bad it usually arrived cold. Towards the end of the 14 day cruise, they obviously ran out of many items - most fruit, lettuce & more - these were readily replenishable on the islands...?
Staff was generally rude - the young Filipino photographer being the exception. The English speaking rep, Michael, was soooo uninformed, it was embarrassing. Excursion desk people were obvious puppets, not listening to complaints, just repeating the Company line, e.g. "That SUV holds 10 people!"
Tips were obligatory, added to your bill, like it or not (even though their brochure stated that tipping was optional!). I have serious doubts whether the crew actually received them...?
Tours were highly overpriced. Those in the know got their own cab and followed the expensive overloaded excursion group in air-conditioned comfort at 1/3 the cost! Of course, one could not cancel a Costa tour but Costa could cancel the tour at any time - usually the night before - in one case dumping us off the ship on Mauritius with all our luggage and 15 hours before flight departure! Our 10-hour tour and drop-off at the airport was suddenly not available.
We only went to one lecture - Michael read his notes along with video clips which did not correspond to what he was reading and then adding, "This room will only be completed in 2004." Huh?
Many people got sick on the cruise. 3 weeks after the cruise we are still hacking.
Fortunately, the itinerary was awesome but that did not make up for the terrible experiences with Costa.
Travel operator: Costa
If you want to indulge with a drink, you will go broke on this cruise. All beverages, including water, are overpriced. Cheap Italian plonk costs over 20 euros a bottle. In addition, Costa imposes a 15% service charge on all beverages, including those from the minibar. As the cruise progressed, the ship started to run out of certain supplies. First to go were fruits such as lime and watermelon, then lettuce disappeared from the salads, and beverage selection reduced drastically. The food variety was OK, but the quality was low. Meats were gristly and fish overcooked.
The worst aspect were the tours. Costa charges a lot for their land tours, some up to near 200 euro per person. It is a big mistake to book these in advance, because taxi drivers at each port will take you to the same places for about 1/3 the price, in much better and less crowded vehicles. Costa will not refund an advanced tour booking no matter what the reason. When we came down with our stomach problems and tried to cancel a trip, we were refused, and had to eat the cost.
For the tours themselves, in one case, on a trip to the Amber Mountains in Madagascar, we were stuffed ten people in a standard SUV. The back, where luggage is normally kept, had two cushions on the floor, facing each other. Four of us were forced to crouch on these for 4 hours over rutted roads in the tropical heat. When we got back, we complained about the overstuffing to the tourist desk. All we got was a guy getting in our face and repeating “That is the capacity! That is the capacity!”. Costa is obviously too cheap to rent two vehicles. In the meantime, private taxis were going by us with only 1-2 people on board, in air conditioned comfort at a fraction of the price. Costas tour descriptions, which they publish on the web and send in advance, are obsolete. One tour promises a stop at a sacred ficus tree. The brochure describes how you can walk through the tree, have to have your shoes off, wear a sarong, etc. When we got there, we found out the tree had fallen down several years ago. A trip whose major highlight was to be a stop at a big waterfall, did not stop there. A lunch was promised at a “parish priests” house, but did not happen.
In the end it just feels like a shabby ship run by a greedy Mafia.
Travel operator: Costa
Cabins kept clean and tidy, we experienced blocked tiolets for 1 week. On deck the tables were not always cleared quickly. the buffet was like a bun fight with people pushing others out of the way. most stops we had to use tender boats to go on shore. Although they tried to organise the people on board again it seems to be a free for all.
the drinks are very expensive and thank goodness for happy hour.In my opinion they should keep open the money exchange and the tours office for longer. Tried to complain about an excursion that did not happen as expected the tours manager not really interested never got back to me but hapy to take my money 178 euros. Do your own excursions much cheaper.
the cabin staff and most waiters were lovely, food ok much not very hot.Some of the enterainment was very good. I will not personally go back to costa.
Travel operator: Thompson
Travel operator: Costa
the romantica is a bit of an old tub - the food lacks imagination - had the same soup served for three night in a row only the name was diffrent name - the best thing on board was the pizza - we had a purchased a drinks meal package prior to sailing and the bar staff just ignored us because they didn't get a service charge from us - the cabin basic but was kept clean and tidy by the hardest worker on the boat our cabin boy - the restuarants and buffets all tended to close early i've never seen food disapears so fast pity the staff couldn't serve it half as fast
all the staff on this ship look frightened and harrassed - the automatic tipping costs are very expensive at 178euros for two of us for the 2 weeks
plus there is a 15% service charge any thing you purchase on board - all in all the worst of the of the eight cruise we've been on - won't use them again
Travel operator: Virgin
Travel operator: Costa
Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ever so obliging, and this is the only 'saving grace' on this rather mediocre experience.
The dining room food was very, very hit or miss (more miss, than hit).
A rather gruesome canteen with hoards of passengers with lots of loud children throwing food at each other, and not enough places to sit down, was the other 'option'.
The entertainment was simply awful, quite often vulgar, and tasteless. The shows were amateur, with very little talent. (Games in which passengers tried to break balloons with their bodies, or where they simulated a sexual act with a large skillet and ladle.
The 2 'gala' evenings - were everything except chic - especially since 90% of the passengers didn't bother to dress up (let alone put on a tuxedo).
If there is a problem with an excursion, even if it is the fault of the ship, they will hound you for payment.
This company is not client centric.
If your standards are moderate to high, we urge you to look at another property (and probably not on the Costa line).
Travel operator: Costa Romantica
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