Costa Cruises Reviews

Year Started: 1854
Ships in Fleet: 11
Category: Mainstream

Summary: A Europe-based mainstream cruise line owned by Carnival. Ships are structurally identical to Carnival. Recommended for European cruisers who do not speak English - good for bargains in the Caribbean.


Costa Cruises Cruise Ships

34 Reviews

Regions:Middle East, The Orient

Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.

6 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Middle East

Good for: Group. First-time Cruisers. Families.

1 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, World

Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.

0 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Group. First-time Cruisers. Families.

3 Reviews

Regions:Western Mediterranean, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Group. First-time Cruisers. Families.

39 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Singles. Families.

0 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe

Good for: Group. Families.

11 Reviews

Regions:The Orient

Good for: Group. Singles. Families.

15 Reviews

Regions:Western Mediterranean, Middle East, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Group. First-time Cruisers. Families.

23 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

7 Reviews

Regions:Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe

Good for: Value for Money. Children`s Programs. First-time Cruisers.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 139 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

139 User Reviews of Costa Cruises Ships
avoid costa at all cost
Publication Date: July 4, 2015

Costa Favolosa was the worst cruise I have ever been on. I have been on many cruise lines.

The food quality was only a little better than a high school cafeteria food. If people like this cruise they have never been on any other cruise. The entertainment was poor. The ship had no real food choices but italian and that was very poor. All other ships have multiple food types and different places to eat. If the main dining hall was open the buffet was closed along with any other options.

The lines were always very long because they only would have one place offering anything at one time on the ship. They nickled and dimed you for every thing and the quality was poor.

The spa hot tubs stem rooms and relaxation rooms were extra. they had no ice cream unless you paid extra and only at limited time offerings . They had no soda drinks or even juice with out paying more. all other ships I have been on at least had juice through out the day or soda during the main meal of the day included.

They had no piano bar jazz club. no comedy club. the excursion desk was disorganized. One of my excursions was even cancelled and

another was set for the wrong language. The management told the room staff not to waist towels making towel animals which on all other cruises is a custom. There was no onboard welcoming party. The alcoholic drinks were watered down. If this was my first cruise I wound never do another.
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how to be treated like cattle
Publication Date: January 3, 2015

Filthy buffet area chairs. Unchanging and low grade buffet food the entire 7 day trip. Reminded me of how we used to treat the livestock on the farm. (Well treated animals, but pretty basic menu). Pleasant but tired and disheartened-appearing staff.

Nice cabin. (recently built luxury Italian ship. what's not to like?). Cabin attendant/housekeeper excellent but tired.

"Entertainment' appeared contrived and pushed hard . And, holy cow, was the bass LOUD to the point of drowning out the singers in nearly every venue. where did they get these sound engineers?

Whole scenario seemed like they didn't really have their act together. really poorly timed and very few ports of call, make excursions really brief and poorly executed. Rio fireworks ( about 1/2 hour) was spectacular. rest of the trip was a bust.

Finely tuned ripoff experience. Nothing to drink, not even water, unless you pay for it, at their supposed fine-dining dinner experience. Marginally palatable food. Palatable, but definitely not excellent, or even good, cuisine (I was raised by and married to fantastic Italian and French cooks, so, yes, I do know what I am talking about.)

Experienced cruise travelers and ship staff all

commented on how badly the Costa line has deteriorated since "that American company" (Carnival - actually and American/Israeli billionaire owned company) took over. Sad, but apparently true. Too bad, they no only killed any remote inclination of mine to ever set foot on an ocean going cruise liner again, but they also seem to be informing the world of what ripoff masters large American corporate enterprises are.

I could go on with examples of an overall unpleasant experience. But you get the picture. Without exaggeration, a root canal is a more pleasant experience.

If you like cruising, research carefully. And pick anything but Carnival associated enterprises.

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Excursion Desk Overcharges - And Refuses to Correct the Problem when Caught!
Publication Date: September 16, 2014

My son (4) and I were on the Baltic itinerary. The food was great. The staff was attentive. But the Excursion Desk overcharged me by half and simply refused to take it off my bill. The Tour Manager, Samuela Sambo, accused me of lying about a hop on hop off bus and said I would not get a refund of 14e. Amazing. I'll never choose Costa again.

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Costa Fortuna Norway's cruise - First timers very mixed impressions
Publication Date: October 16, 2013

I took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Copenhagen. She is 10 years old and looks her age.

The good things:

Size of the cabin was very convenient. Lots of cabinets and a large bed which was very comfortable.

Many shelves in the bathroom and safety measures not to fall or slip.

The balcony we booked was small but with a table and two comfortable chairs and it was nice sitting there.

Staff was very friendl, the steward efficient ,the elevators speedy and lots of them.

Evening performances at the theater were quite entertaining despite lasting only 45 minutes.

5th floor has several bars with singers and dance floors. quite enjoyable.

Before going on the cruise we were often in contact with the company's representatives and they did their best to help us with anything.

The bad things:

The air conditioner was very weak and hardly noticeable. And it was hot.

In the bathroom we had almost no hot water and it was very unpleasant.

TV was huge with a small screen (TV not even LCD).

Both the TV and the remote only allowed to jump forward one channel or change volume.

The picture quality was poor and unclear

and that could not be improved.

There were a lot of the ship's channels and the rest were Italian. There was only one news channel in English, the BBC.

We talked with the steward on these issues and we were told that's that.

Room's water room had terrible taste, no way we could drink that.

We had to buy the ship's water, each liter for 3 euros!!!

Even that had very funny taste.

When I talked to other passengers who were on other companies' cruises no one has encountered such a problem. I understand the ship is 10 years old but is that an excuse for such disregard?

Breakfast and lunch were very scarce and very poor selection. The same the whole seven days/. Other people from other cruises were just amazed. For example, there were only two Yellow Cheese kinds, throughout the voyage.

Everyone is familiar with the disaster that happened last year to the Concordia. I'll have to assume that because of fall in demand Costa is looking for every way to cut expenses and get passengers to pay more...

Another example of that would be the outrageous cost of 10 euros for one hour for the ship's Wi-Fi!


The ship was not sailing to Bergen although most other tours do.

In Geiranger we had to get off not directly to the harbour but through a boat and on return everyone had to wait half an hour in the heat for our turn to get back to the ship.

On the third day we came to Skjolden from nine in the morning till five thirty. It's a tiny place with nothing realy to do if you wanted to go ashore. We took a tour of the glacier and drove for three hours there and back ond then only saw him From afar. There was no nice scenery on the way as well.

At Oslo we arrived at seven in the morning and stayed only until 12 only which wasn't enough for a proper tour. We were told the reason for that was that the ship wanted to get in time to the next stop, Warnemunde, so that people wanting to do a tour in Berlin could get there in time.

As we didn't need that tour and there was nothing to do in Warnemunde we had to stay in the ship from nine and a half to eight in the evening!

Another annoying problem was that in each of the docking points there weren't any taxis or other means of transporatation besides that of the ship's. Friends who had other companies in this area told us that wasn't the case in their cruises.

In conclusion, this was my first cruise and next time if there is one I'll be wiser in choosing the right cruising company.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: February 7, 2012

Third Costa Cruise, may very well be our last!

This ship when brand new must have been spectacular, too bad they don't seem to be able to keep it clean. Dirty windows, dirty carpet, dirty drapes, furniture, Sticky tables to eat or just read or play games on. But it had some good points as well and I'll discuss them first but it will be hard to do considering the limitations and exceptions we noted.

Our dinner waiter and bus boy were outstanding! They always remembered to bring my wife and I a pitcher of Iced tea at dinner and plenty of cream (not just milk) for our coffee. The Dinner entree choices were very limited, and no steak or lobster was ever offered to us. What they did make available was generally very tasty, though often the meat was overcooked and tough. The limited choices available for appetizers, soups, salads, pasta and desserts, however, were generally very good. Just don't count on Haute cuisine or many options.

The cruise staff, those people who provide daily activities, danced with the passengers in the ballroom dancing lounge and participated in a few of the

shows, were probably the hardest working group we've ever had. They did their best to keep us entertained. That said, however, there were many long periods during the day when no planned activities were available on the ship. Thank goodness they provided us with a scrabble game to use while on board.

If you love Ballroom dancing either as a participant or as a watcher, this is your ship. All evening long, every evening you could dance your night away. Unfortunately that was about all you could do. Don't get me wrong, they did have shows every night but not all were worth attending. For example, the first night they showed a Frank Sinatra concert movie. That's it, a 45 minute movie of a 1970's concert. There was the obligatory crew show, the passenger talent show, three song and dance shows performed by the on-board troupe (who were good but not spectacular), and only three "professional" acts (one magician, one soul-gospel singer who sang as loudly as she could to make up for her merely adequate voice, and an Italian crooner who couldn't hold a long note.) In ten days only three (two mediocre) professional acts? That's what you might expect on a seven not a ten night cruise. The cruise staff did on several evenings put on games for the cruisers and did their very best to make them amusing and fun events. Overall, there was little to do in the evenings unless you like to dance or if you like to spend a lot of money drinking, drinking at the many bars on the ship where they did provide musicians and sometimes singers to entertain you. But for those who don't or can't drink a lot, all you were left to do is gamble in the casino.

The rooms, we had an inside room. were adequate in size, larger than on some ships we traveled and the water pressure of the shower was among the best we've experienced. The TVs were relics of the 80's or 90's and were both poor in visual and audio quality. The cabin steward did an adequate job, but did nothing exceptionally well and had to reminded several times to bring us extra towels. The level of cleanliness was barely adequate, as ground-in dirt was evident everywhere you looked.

This is an international ship. Those of us from the US were in the minority. 80% (or more) of the passengers were European, with Italians and Germans accounting for the majority of the European passengers. Hence all announcements had to made in FIVE languages, Italian (this is of course an Italian ship) German, French, Spanish and English. Problem was the crew, who is mostly Italian, when speaking in English, did so with a hard Italian accent, putting emphasis on the wrong syllables and often speaking English at the same very fast rate Italian is spoken (English and German are among the slowest spoken languages) AND to complicate matters more, once the Italian and German messages were read, those passengers would begin to engage in conversation thus drowning out the messages spoken in the other three languages. Only when the made the announcement first in English, or right after the French and/or Spanish language messages were spoken, did we have a decent chance to hear our English spoken messages. PS most of the English speakers on board were Canadian. They were a great group of people to hang out with and we often formed teams of "North Americans" to compete against the Italians and Germans during the games of skill and knowledge put on during the day light hours. If it wasn't for our Canadian friends we would have had difficulty in finding any English speakers on board, though Costa did their best to try to seat people at the restaurants by the language they spoke, and organize the excursions similarly. Then there is one more observation we made about our Italian and German shipmates. Many, many many of them were rude, often pushing and elbowing you out of the way to get to something they wanted, to get a head of you, cutting in on lines, etc. Generally they were both obnoxious and unaware of the words "excuse me" (or the German or Italian counterparts which sound very much like excuse me). If those of us from the US are the so called "Ugly Americans", then the Germans or Italians should be known as the "Medusan Europeans!" Be prepared. I'm originally from the NY metropolitan area so I know how to apply defensive skills when I have to and I found myself resorting to them way too often.

We had two life boat drills while on board. I wonder why? Could the Concordia incident have anything to do with that?

Food other than dinner. Breakfast - unless you waited on line at Omelet Station in the buffet restaurant the eggs were usually runny and undercooked. The bacon was dead the sausages undercooked and everything was luke-cool (luke-warm would have given it more credit than it deserved) to downright cold. The restaurant was no better for breakfast. No cream only milk or skim milk for coffee. No pancake syrup for the cold tough pancakes and french toast. An overall underwhelming experience. Lunch - In the Restaurant was not bad. Food often was warm. Variety was very limited but it was warm. At the buffet, well it often looked as bad as it tasted. Best lunches we had were off the ship in port! Midnight buffet - what buffet? There was none! They served the leftover pastries from Dinner and only at the Casino. Wonder why they make you go to the casino to get them, hmm, could it be they wanted you to gamble! There was a pizza station at night, but usually it was a simple cheese pizza or vegetable pizza, rarely did it contain any meat toppings. Oh, if you wanted ice tea at night, you had to hunt for it and often there was none. So your choices were plain water or Soda at $2.75 plus tip (added automatically to the cost) per CAN of soda!

There was no soda package for adults and if you wanted a drink package each member of your party, whether they drink or not, had to buy it at $26/day for every day of the cruise. This was considered an 11 day cruise and that meant shelling out over $275 per person. Or you could buy individual cocktails at $7.80 (plus the mandatory tip) per drink.

Despite the above, we liked the ports we went to and we meet some very nice people on board which made the journey a pleasant one despite the shortcomings of the ship.

One final point and it is a personal issue that upset me and may or may not seem to be a big deal to others considering cruising on a Costa ship. On the 7th day of the cruise my foot was injured when the plastic drainage grate surrounding the hot tub collapsed as I tried to enter the hot tub. I believe that the individual 8" long grate pieces which were held in-place by plastic male connectors fitting into the female receptacles of the next piece of grating had broken repeatedly before I tried to enter the hot tub. Each time breaking of more and more of the male connectors until there weren't enough to maintain the structural integrity of the grates. My foot was cut in two places and pieces of the few remaining male connectors broke off and punctured my foot. I had to receive medical attention by the ship's doctor who had to remove these pieces of plastic where they punctured my foot. The medical treatment I received was very good.

I understand accidents can happen, but the ship's crew needed to have repaired this grate long before I stepped on it. Even after my accident, they merely shifted the pieces of the grate around, leaving gaps in the grate, where another incident like mine could happen. What upsets me the most was at first the ship's Purser told me that I would be charged for the medical treatment I received (which turned out to be wrong as I was reassured 12 hours later by the Ship's Chief Medical Officer that I would not be charged since my injury was not my fault), but even worse, neither while on board the ship or to this day (6 days after I disembarked) has anyone from the ship's crew (company) or from Costa (or its parent company Carnivale) contacted me to ask me how I was feeling or doing!! Even though I filled out the ship's Security accident report, not one word!! Its as if they simply don't care. Maybe they don't!

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: September 30, 2011

just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on,

the good bits:-

lovely room, 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.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: August 4, 2011

If you are a first time cruiser who really like smoking, kitsch decor, understand italian, do not mind waiting in cues everywhere from restaurants to boarding to elevators, this is your cruise.

If you have ever been to a proper cruise before, do not like smoke everywhere and do not enjoy waiting in your vacation stay away from Costa, and it is not even cheap (compared to big cruise lines). This was our 7th cruise and we love cruising, but we geniunly disliked the overall experience of Costa. The times at ports were just couple of hours, combined with long boarding/unboarding, it was simply not worth the trouble. There were a few safety related issues that we have observed like razor sharp edges (unrounded sharp edges of mirrors on walls).

In short, stay away from Costa.

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Other (Specified in Review)
Publication Date: April 9, 2011

South East Asia cruise. Paid for a double cabin and received a small single cabin with a fold up cot as a second bed, the cot was placed at the end of the bed, the cot matress had to be pushed to the side to open the bathroom door, this cabin was classed as an upgrade, no compensation. Cruise was good the cabin was crap.


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flight crew
Publication Date: April 23, 2014

This cruise line cancelled ports and then had an "engine" out and canceled all the rest of the ports They gave everyone 50euros. Oh if someone paid $1500. for an inside cabin should someone like us who paid $4700. should also get only 50euros? Did I mention that the Captain and bridge crew never came out and talked to the passengers about this so called emergency!!! It was so bad that the German passengers and the Italian passengers got on the stage to protest the fact that the captained did not come out that they took control of the stage so there were no shows!!!! We floated over six days and received nothing and nothing from the Captain until two days before the cruise ended.Is it any wonder that they booed the Captain? Shame on them and Carnival.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 5, 2012

Costa Mediterranea is a fine vessel. Good crew and good food. However Costa as a company appear to have DOUBLE STANDARDS. E.U. citizens are compelled to pay a daily service charge which varies between 6 euros per day per adult and 11 US dollars depending which part of the world you are sailing in.

This service charge is optional if you are a US, Canadian or South American citizen!!! Why the difference? No one on board the Costa Mediterranea was prepared to say. With over 2000 passengers on board and about half paying a compulsory service charge and the other half being able to opt out of paying there was much dissent on board.


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