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
Indian Ocean
Publication Date: December 12, 2010

We were totally delighted with our cruise of the Indian Islands - much better than expected. The staff were a delight - in particular the bar staff, the cabin bigger and more comfortable than we thought - the video for Costa does not do it justice. Food was pretty good considering the amount of folk who got fed on a regular basis. We went to chill out and relax and do our own sight-seeing - we chilled out beautifully, watched amazing people do very funny things, enjoyed the laid back entertainment. We found hiring our own car or tour guide easy and practical - suited our purposes perfectly. We did notice though that there was very little entertainment or attention given to younger folk - something that should be attended to in particular over school holidays.

We would recommend this as a great holiday choice.

Neill and Glynis Holdsworth Benoni, South Africa

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Eastern Canada
Publication Date: October 2, 2010

Overall, a disappointment. Selected Costa Atlantica "Colors of Fall" cruise for the price and itinerary. You get what you pay for. Although the cruise started in Canada and finished in NY city, over half the passengers were Italian-speaking only, with French, Germans, Koreans, Japanese and only a few Americans. Absolutely no english TV programs or news in cabins. Terrible Cruise Director who addressed everybody and everything in 5 languages (boring and unnecessary). Very noisy cabin (oceanview) that was penetrated by booming bass from DJs/bands in two lounges...kept us up everynight til 1:00 AM or later. Evening food was OK, some excellent. Breakfast buffet was bland, unchanging, and many foods cold. Cabin steward and servers at dinner were excellent, one of the few bright things. Photographers everywhere for unwanted pictures. A few good evening production shows, but most entertainment average. No live music in shows, but much recorded music and lip-synching. Overall, Costa does not compare with Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, or other lines we've sailed.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: January 23, 2010

Our embarkation went very well and we were delighted with our room, very similar in appearance to the Carnival line. Ports of call were perfect and most of all the entire staff from officers to crew were more than nice. Every one was polite and happy to answer all of our questions or requests. The food was fair although every dish was presented beautifully.

All in all, we had a nice vacation and the price was perfect.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: November 11, 2009

We just returned from our cruise to Naples, Messina, Alexandria, Limassol, Maramaris, Santaorini & Katakolon. We had the best time & adventures we had ever had. If you are not into exploring, experiencing other cultures and food then this is not for you. We have traveled on RCCL, NCL, Holland America & Princess and Carnival. But this was the most interesting off all the cruises we have done. The ship was the cleanest we have ever been on. We had a 1st time tour of below the decks & galley, it was spotless no matter where we went. This was the first time they were able to do this as we were a small group. There were only 56 english as a 1st language speaking on this trip. There was a large french travel group that took up about 2/3 of the group then german & italians. Although we found them to be rude at times we learned very quickly what to do if they butted in line. Leave no space in-front of you, if you do they will fill it.

The buffet was open only for breakfast & lunch

so you had to go to the dining room for dinner. We tried foods that we would never of had before, like swordfish and cuttle fish. I was on a gluten-free diet and a special menu was presented to me for every meal. I never expected the foods like I had, thinking it was going to be bland and lifeless I was very much surprised. I experienced no problems and was looked after very well.If you want to avoid the buffet at breakfast/lunch them go to the dining room as it is open seating.

The ship was finishing this cruise and going into dry dock for two weeks of renovations, but even to the last night before things stayed the same everyone was cleaning as if it was normal & no operations ever failed to be provided.

In Naples we took the tour to Pompei it was fascinating. We had a very knowledgeable guide, who walked us through and explained everything, well worth it.

In Messina our tour was canceled due to not enough people wanted the english tour so we took another tour to Mt Etna. This can happen but on there european tours so just go with it. Our tour was in both spanish & english. But be cautioned if you get car sick take something before had as this is a very winding road up the mountain of switchbacks.

At Alexandria we took the tour out to the pyramids with a jeep & camel ride. An what a ride it was we left the dock in caravan style with several other buses and an armed guard with a automatic gun. This is standard procedure do don't be alarmed. Our guide was also very good she explained things along the way and as we went through the different areas at the sights, and they were unbelievable to see. If your into shopping then bring lots of 1.00 euro coins as this is the place to do it However be warmed the vendors are very aggressive DO NOT give your camera to anyone to take your pictures in Egypt period. "No problem lady I take your picture no charge", yeah no charge but they won't give back the camera until you pay them and expect to give them up to 50.00 euros. If you must have a picture of yourself standing in front of them then make arrangements with someone on the tour bus to do it.

Also they will try and grab you and put you on a camel or donkey for a ride. The free ride will cost you too, in more was that one. The lunch at the country club was pretty good. After lunch we got into jeeps for a ride out onto the desert. It was like a KIA commercial IEEEEEE!. They dropped us off at the camels and we rode them back to the hotel. That was fun and no one fell off. The camel drivers will take your picture but because they have been contracted it's ok to give it to them. They do expect a tip at the end we were told by the guide only to give them 2-3 euros only as they are getting paid. They wanted more and the don't want any egyptian money. We ended that long day at the Papyrus Museum and did some shopping there, no hassles.

In Limassol we took the Kourion Appollo tour. It took us around the island and up to Apollos ruins then ended in a village to do some shopping.

In Marmaris we chose to wander around on our own. What beautiful port very easy to get around. There is a large market with lots to buy but after a while everything looked the same. We found the best shop beside the tourist center to buy pashminas (shalls), called Carmen Silver. When we walked around they had the most beautiful ones. When in rome do as they do we had lunch at the bazaar at a typical Turkish restaurant and was it ever good. It was so different and isn't that why we took this cruise in the first place but to see and do new things. We had tea from one of the shop owners and bought way too much Turkish delight, remember to have room to pack all your goodies to bring home.

At Santorini we did the same wandered the town streets, we stopped to have coffee at the top looking down on our ship and lunch on a cliff. Santorini is above the sea and you have to either take the cable car up or the donkeys, cable car it is.

In Katakolon we took the your out to the Olympic site. Vancouver is hosting the 2010 winter games and we wanted to see the site where it all began.

At the beginning of the cruise we stayed in Genova at the Bristol Hotel for three nights before, it is very central and a good base as the train station is only 10 minutes walk away. Genova is best explored on foot we walked and walked exploring every alley eating our way through this city. We also adventured out on day trips on the train to the Cinque Terra and Bergamo to see my husbands mothers home town.

If you looking for a typical cruise them stay at home of go back to Caribbean or Mexico if not then explore the world. We read mixed reviews on Costa but as I say we had no complaints and would recommend this line to anyone as a matter of fact we are planning our next cruise with them now to return next year.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: November 2, 2009

This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'.

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. The suite was under the pool area and you could hear them scraping the deck chairs across the floor day and night. Yes, 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). We were well served, but it's very hard to make up for the fact that most of the food was borderline inedible.

The ship features 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. The staff do make an effort, but there's not a whole lot one can do with the scrum of trying to eat in this 'student hall'.

The entertainment was simply awful, quite often vulgar, and tasteless (at one point, two dancers pretended to carry out

a sex act to a Madonna song, which was distressing as I was there with my 9-yr-old daughter and my elderly parents).

The cruise shows were amateur, with very little talent, (games in which passengers tried to break balloons by banging their private parts against each in an attempt to burst the balloon - or where they simulated a sexual act with a large skillet and ladle). (The lady would hold the skillet against her private parts, and the man would hook the ladle onto his belt and then attempt to 'ting' the skillet by thrusting forward).

We were unsure of what was worse - the fact that the cruise ship would debase itself with this sort of 'entertainment' or that the audience was hysterically enthralled! The passengers just loved it. They thought the whole episode was hilarious. To be fair, the mostly Latin American and Filipino staff was appalled and embarrassed.

The two '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.

Costa Romantica is a very 'down-market' experience. If your standards are moderate to high, we urge you to look at another property (and probably not on the Costa line).

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Costa Magica
Publication Date: March 5, 2011

Costa Cruises Costa Magica Joseph Good, Costa Magica March 5, 2011 Western Mediterranean

My family and I took this cruise out of Civitavecchia (Rome). This was a very interesting and enjoyable week. I hope I can answer some questions about this cruise, since I was unable to find much of the necessary but trivial information on the Costa website or other cruise reviews.

Convenience Answers: 1. Yes there are 120 volt outlets in the bathrooms and on the vanities. 2. Contrary to any North American cruise I have ever been on people embark and disembark at almost every port. This has the beneficial effect of reducing the people in the terminals at the end of the cruise. Costa managed this very well. Typically the excursion passengers got off first, often by a different gangway. 3. It became easy to ignore any announcements not in English. There is no reason to expect English to be the first announcement, either- certainly don't be offended, enjoy the differences. 4. I have not been on a Carnival owned ship lately (Holland American was my last one) but the do-it-yourself credit card sign and sail registration is exceedingly


Most importantly if you are reading this review for an opinion of the experience, this is not the typical North American Cruise. What other reviewers have characterized as loud, bright, and pushy, we found typically Italian, and very tolerable. Yes, sometimes we Americans can be a bit judgmental; we ought to enjoy the difference in cultures. If you learn to either let the pushy people break into the line in front of you or push back, you can hold your own. Certainly not everyone is pushy and some Americans can be pushy too. Most of all don't get upset with different behavior. Yes there were more people smoking, but we didn't find it impossible or inconvenient to escape the smoke. Enjoy your fellow passengers- is much better to watch the other passengers enjoying themselves in the lounges and dance floor, and they do.

Otherwise the on-board activities were fairly typical, somewhat language specific. Watch for the "all area backstage tour", no longer done on US based cruise.. It may conflict with the day in Palermo excursions so plan for it.

The food was typical to worse cruise fare. My wife put it this way "usually I cannot decide between entrees, but it was not the case this time". The food was not as good as we have had on other cruises. This might be more pointed on this cruise since the food is likely to be compared to the food of Italy, which is not Italian cruise food. We ate lunch in many ports.

There are not any "sea days". Rather each day finds the ship visiting another port. This makes the cruise an educational experience. Most of these cities offer historic areas showing forts, cathedrals, streets and villages from hundreds of years of civilization and occupants. The excursions offered a variety of opportunities to employ professional guides or do it yourself site seeing. We recommend the bus trip to Monaco. This was very enjoyable, but not the only one we took, you should build your own experience. The cruise stops in Italy, Spain and France were a very good mix, showing many examples of western Mediterranean culture and history.

Costa markets the Civitavecchia port to North Americans. This is convenient for getting there over the "pond". I found a car service on the internet, that turned out to be reliable and used them from FCO to Rome and from Rome to the port. We arrived about 2:00 pm and had absolutely no waiting, how nice- It makes the "special boarding" lines and "clubs" unnecessary. Since the itinerary skips Tunis for now, the cruise never leaves the EU, which expedites all border formalities.

In short this was different kind of cruise, but wholly enjoyable. If Costa fails to measure up for your expectations it is too bad but be sure this experience is what you want. It is wrong to expect a North American style cruise from Costa, particularly the in the Mediterranean. It is a very interesting way to vacation and a very good alternative to the Caribbean.

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Far East/Orient
Publication Date: November 6, 2010

The food was below average ie cold greasy overcooked bacon ran out of butter english tea fruit became unavailable coffee undrinkable. Excursions so badly organised and tendering 5 times out of 8 late to get to intenbded destinations even fight broke out. that was bad.

Entertainment very poor no live music in the shows no seminars.

Hygiene indescriable sewage on kabin floors water brown.

Drinks expensive plus service charge, had to pay 6 euros per day for a service We came away with diarrhoer and annoyed as to way we had been trated.

It seemed as though money was very tight and it showed in many ways. we would not reccomend this cruise it has been the worse one we have been on.

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Costa Deliziosa
Publication Date: August 5, 2010

The Costa Deliziosa is a colorful ship with comfortable new furnishing. The majority of 2250 passengers were Italian. This boat is more appropriate for an Intalian crowd and not American. The tour desk was open for a very limited amount of time and the staff were rude and not very helpful. Italian clients were treated much nicer. The food tasted like cafeteria style food. The rooms are quite nice with a lot of storage. The entertainment was awful, the casino was empty most of the time because no one won so people stopped playing. This is not a high end cruise line.

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Far East/Orient
Publication Date: May 1, 2010

Beware when using Costas Website to book as you will not be getting the best deal that they claim they are providing. Our experience was that we faced further charges once the cruise commenced that we were not aware of. A hotel sevice charge of 12 Euro per day where those who booked through a travel agent and generally got a lower cruise price did not have pay this.

As for the cruise the ship is old, the 2 swimming pools on board a small & crowded when in use.

There is no real promenade deck to walk or jog and the gymnasium is small & crowded.

The ships airconditioning is very average & depending on which cabin you are in you also get engine noise coming thru. My wife & i were on the Copenhagen deck, cabin 5052 & experienced a lot of noise from some sort of equipment working away below us.

The food was very average with the emphasis on presentation rather than quality & choice.

Drinks are relatively expensive at 5 euro & 6.25 euro for beer & cocktails respectively plus a 15% service charge on top.

Entertainment was average and

the ships TV programming very poor with only 1 movie (the same one) being shown at 3 hourly intervals each day.

News is limited to a french news service with the emphasis on European news events.

You are bombarded with announcements usually in at least 5 languages being Italian, Spanish, German, French & English which becomes tiresome.

Although the cabin stewards & bar staff the majority of whom are Filipino provided an excellent service the ships admin staff & officers appeared to be arrogant, disinterested & generally difficult to communicate with. Their treatment of the service staff left a lot to be desired.

In closing i would suggest that anyone particularly from Australia considering taking a Costa cruise think carefully before doing so as the general consensus amongst those Australians on board was that they woukd not sail with Costa again.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 5, 2009

This was my second cruise, my husband's first. Embarcation was quick and smooth. As soon as we were on board, we were directed to deck 9 to partake of the lunch buffet. Shortly after lunch, we were able to go to our cabin. Our cabin number had been changed, as we had learned when checking our bags at the port. My friends had put the tags they received in advance on their luggage, and went to what they thought was their assigned cabin. When their luggage was delivered, her husband began unpacking. A little later, a couple showed up at their door, saying they were assigned to that cabin. My friends had to repack and move, as they had not known their cabin number was changed. Our sign and sail cards were on our bed, but my friends, who are both blind, hadn't noticed that their names weren't the names on the cards.

The cabins were very spacious. We had a balcony cabin, which we enjoyed very much. Our steward, Derick, was great, and always cheerfully greeted us when he saw us.

Like our friends, my husband and I are both

blind/visually impaired. I found it easy to get around the ship, but my husband, who has some vision, as well as my friend's husband, found the mirrored glass elevators very confusing. Our cabins were near the front of the ship. We usually took the front elevators to other decks that didn't have cabins, if we wanted to go to the middle or back of the ship, as the cabin halls were narrow, and often filled with cleaning carts and such, making it necessary to walk single file, rather than side by side.

On this cruise, English was the first language in which anouncements were made, followed by the same anouncement in French, Spanich, Italian, and German, interesting, but sometimes an aggrivation.

I wasn't as pleased with the food as I was on my other cruise. The first night, we went to the pizzaria. The only pizza selections available were cheese pizza and artichoke pizza. I like to have some meat on my pizza. The meals were alright, but I didn't have one thing that made me say "I've got to have that again"! My husband missed never having biscuits at breakfast. The wait staff was very accommodating, especially at lunch and dinner. Because buffets aren't as easy or convenient to manage, for people who are blind/visually impaired, we chose to eat most of our meals in the dining room. At breakfast, we often had to ask several times for beverages, orders were served incorrectly, but corrected when brought to the staff's attention, and portions varried, depending on how the food was ordered. When I ordered corned beef hash with toast, I got a nice portion of hash, but the day I addded a fried egg, I barely got a small spoonful of hash, added to the plate as an afterthought. The desserts were odd, in that some pies and cakes were served plain with a spoonful of spreadable something, in the flavor that was listed for the cake or pie. Because we weren't wowed with the food, we didn't spend extra money to have a meal at the Tuscan steakhouse, Club Atlantica.

We were generally happy with our bar drinks, and I enjoyed the virgin pina coladas, which I was able to get with drink tickets. There were two happy hours a day, so that was a treat. Rather than having a beverage card that could be purchased for the week, as Carnival did, one could purchase ten drink tickets for $25.30. These could be used for sodas and virgin drinks.

We didn't go to many of the late night shows, however my friends and I participated in the tallent show which didn't take place until 10:45 pm, and didn't end until a while after midnight. It was not your "run of the mill" tallent show. It was presented as if we were in a Roman colliseum. I won't give you specifics, as I don't want to spoil the surprise, in case you take the cruise, but if you're curious enough, you will find it in another review that is on the web.

My husband, friends, and I all enjoyed the on board shopping. The ship also had a shopping guide who seemed much like a walking, talking infomercial.

We were very impressed with our cruise director, Andrea. He wore many hats, and they all fit him well. He wseemed as comfortable hosting the Newlywed game as he was giving a lecture regarding `the Da Vinci code, mathematical theories and philosophy.

Disembarcation and embarcation at all the ports seemed very organized, and was no problem at all. Although there were sometimes communication burriers, we found all the crew to be friendly and ready to serve. We enjoyed our cruise, but I probably wouldn't cruise with Costa again. That seemed to be the centiment of most people with whom I spoke, who had cruised with other cruise lines.

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