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
Greece/Greek Isles
Publication Date: October 11, 2009

The Fortuna has a large block of cabins over the grand bar with no sound proofing. The bar fires up loud live music at around 6:30pm and goes until 3am. Even the housekeeping manager said it was unacceptably loud, and called customer service from our cabin to complain on our behalf. If you have one of those cabins you will not be able to sleep until the bar shuts down. We took this cruise hoping to rest up from a month of strenuous travel in Europe.

It turns out that Costa customer service is really an impenetrable stone wall. You will never be allowed to speak with someone who has the authority to do anything about a problem. If you persist, they will become rude and abusive. The situation was so bad we and our travel agent began communicating with Costa corporate leadership in the USA. They responded in exactly the same way as CS on the ship. They were rude, dismissive, and when we persisted in requesting help they became abusive. We soon requested a refund knowing Costa is owned by Carnival which has a satisfaction guarantee. Costa flatly refused.

When you get on a Costa cruise you had better be prepared to take whatever they dish out.

Costa advertises a "Sophisticated European atmosphere on board." This is simple not true. This cruise was packed with rude, pushy, unsophisticated people, most of whom repeatedly demonstrated zero regard for other people. And while most of the world is dropping the tobacco habit, half the passengers on this cruise chain smoke. There is no open air place on this ship where you can escape the stench of tobacco.

The ship does not have adequate facilities to feed its 3500 passengers. This results in extremely long snaking buffet lines, a 30 minute wait to get at the extremely mediocre food, and a dining room with no room to dine or move. Costa creates interesting itineraries, and then allows only a couple of hours to see them. And on this cruise small tenders were frequently required to get ashore, so that time was often cut in half. In many cases it is simply not worth the trouble, unless you are just port bagging.

This review would not be complete without mentioning that all PA announcements were loudly repeated in 5 languages, so it takes all day for this passenger strip mining operation to communicate its endless opportunities for passengers to surrender more of their hard earned cash. And of course there is no place to escape this barrage because sound proofing appears to be a foreign concept to Costa. For us, this was a cruise in hell. Do yourself a favor and go with a more reputable company with a track record of taking care of people.

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Far East/Orient
Publication Date: July 17, 2009

Background/Itinerary: This was a Total Solar Eclipse cruise round trip from Tianjin, China. In addition to seeing the longest eclipse of the 21st century, we visited Jeju island (South Korea), Kagoshima and Kobe, Japan. There were too many days at sea, especially on this particular vessel, for me. Because it was summer time, the weather was not particularly good (overcast, hot, humid, and rainy) but we had one spectacular day for the eclipse.

Stateroom: The cabin provided good accommodations with adequate storage, a good sized bathroom and nice sink area, a large porthole window, and a very comfortable bed. However, there were cheap leather pulls on the drawers, some of which were broken. The décor was uninspired and furnishings were showing their age.

Ship: Although built in 1991 and supposedly refurbished, the interior of this vessel looked like something out of the 1950's or the Motel 6 of cruise ships. The two elevator areas were distinguished only by color—one yellow and one green—and people were constantly confused as to where they were and which direction they were facing (aft or forward). In addition, the areas had the appearance of something you would find on a


Chairs in the lounges and other public areas were very uncomfortable and old-fashioned "modern" but the seating in the dining areas was comfortable. Air-conditioning was hit-or-miss with some areas of the ship freezing and other areas unbearably hot.

Dining: The weakest aspect of this cruise was the cuisine, which basically was pretty bad. There was limited variety, freshness was lacking, and although visually appealing the food was often not particularly tasty. Appetizers and deserts were best; hamburgers and French-fries at the grill were good but French fries in the restaurant, which they seemed to serve with everything, were mushy. One positive aspect of the poor food was I did not gain weight on this cruise as I usually do when cruising. One would expect an Italian vessel to serve decent Italian pastas and main courses, but this was not the case here.

Services: A highlight of the cruise was the level of service from most of the staff. Our cabin steward and waitress in the main dining room were both very cordial and efficient. Other staff we encountered were usually friendly and helpful as well. Some of the newer crew in the dining room still need to learn to be more attentive to fill water and wine glasses and to offer and refill coffee cups. But this drawback was minor. Level of English among the crew was adequate for most purposes.

Entertainment & Activities: There were several groups and individuals who provided music aboard ship with great variability in their appeal to us. Yet, we managed to dance nightly for at least an hour. Since one of our favorite activities on cruises is ballroom dancing, we enjoyed this aspect of our cruise. The dance classes, however, provided instruction in dances that could not later be practiced because that type of music was never played and most of the dances were less well-known Latin dances. There were some other classes (napkin folding, and crafts such as making boxes, batik, and bookmarks) as well, which helped pass the time during our 5.5 days at sea out of a 12-day cruise (not counting eclipse day which provided its own entertainment). My husband, who is an amateur astronomer, did not find the eclipse/astronomy-related talks very interesting. Port information was minimal to incorrect.

There were shows nightly but not of particularly good quality. The dancers' routines often looked simply like posing to music and were similar from show to show. I did enjoy the Japanese local production during one of our Japan stops and an evening with a violinist playing mostly classical music.

Children's Activities: There seemed to be some good activities for different ages of children but we do not have children so were unaware of the specifics. Activities were provided by the ship's crew and by passengers related to the eclipse and astronomy. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Boarding the vessel was tedious because of the wait in a hot, crowded environment at the Port of Tianjin. This may have been the fault of the local port authority and facility rather than Costa Cruises, however. Leaving the ship was much easier. Transfers were efficient and on time.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 22, 2009

I have been on six other cruises and the food on this ship was not anything to write home about.

The ports were very crowded, with the exception of the Dominican Repblic. Many ports had too many ships in at one time.

I would not book again on this cruise ship.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: January 4, 2009

The date of our cruise was 1/4/2009! This is the second Costa cruise we have taken. It was much better than expected.

Food, overall, was very good. Don't know what other reviewers were complaining about. We prefer, for the most part, not to eat in the dining room. I would strongly suggest that the buffet at night open by 7 or 7:30 at the latest! Waiting until 8 was inconvenient.

Cabin size was great, however, we never saw our steward all week long; not even on the first day when we had questions, but he/she did do a good job with the cabin.

Boarding was good. Crew were friendly. I would like to apologize for the rude behavior of Americans (as well as some of those from other countries) that we observed during the week. Banging on doors because the buffet didn't open exactly at 7a.m.; one woman walking between the buffet line and the doors to get to the food, even though the crew were still making preparations to open; complaing about many little things that really don't matter, etc. Please remember -- you are your country's ambassador.

I would book Costa

again, especially at the price we paid which made it a great value.

A big HI to table 237 -- formerly 239.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 10, 2008

Once again, we chose this cruise because it was one of the few package deals that departed from the Dominican Republic thus allowing us to stay at an "all-inclusive" resort for a second week. This was our second cruise on the Costa line and although there were a lot of similarities to that of our cruise on Costa Classica, we enjoyed this one even more. The package consisted of flight, cruise and hotel and was offered through Transat Holidays. This was not available on the website but rather only found on the site. It's some sort of charter deal that can only be found this way. We departed from Toronto with a direct flight in Air Transat to La Romana DR. Our flight had been rescheduled from the original booking to arrive around 6:00 pm and the Transat staff was waiting to greet us on the tarmac. The drive to the pier was around 20 minutes and there was virtually no line once we got there. This was partially because this cruise had several embarkation ports and this was only a minor one (mostly for Canadians and Americans). The

majority of the passengers got on in Guadeloupe, as this was the embarkation port for Europeans and locals. Most of the passengers on Costa ships are European and it is rare to hear much English spoken. This doesn't bother us as we love to travel Europe and we are used to that multi-lingual atmosphere. Costa is not a "mint on the pillow" or "decorative animal towel" type of cruise, but we don't find the need for those incidentals but rather look for service and itinerary as the main attraction. After the customary Bon voyage photo we were quickly on the ship. The ship was clean and tidy and decorated nicely. The first thing we noticed was the full ship center atrium with the birdcage elevators zooming up and down. There were plenty of elevators throughout the ship and we never seemed to have to wait long to get one.

One of the nice features of this ship was that numbering of each floor at the elevators and stairways was printed in the carpeting. You easily knew what floor you were getting off at so you never made a mistake. Because the ship was not leaving until midnight, and most of the passengers were off on excursions, we took advantage of the empty ship to tour around and check it out. The pools were on the small side but plenty large enough to accommodate the busy periods. We found the variety of pools much nicer and more modern than Costa Classica. The multilevel spa and fitness center was exceptional and we used it daily. It's always nice when the treadmills are right at the front of the ship and this made morning entry into each port a panoramic treat.

The theaters were nice, but most shows filled up quickly so you have to give yourself time to finish dinner and get there. After the shows, there was always a lounge where the entertainment team would gather and create some fun with the passengers.

There were four of us traveling so we had two balcony cabins side by side. The divider between the balconies could be opened but only when in port. This was a bit of a disappointment but the configuration of the dividers didn't allow for the door to be completely out of the way. It was mostly designed for staff access rather than having four people sit and be in each other's company. There are cabins however with adjoining doors between them, and you must request these when booking. The cabin was quite spacious and almost as large as a mini suite on Princess ships. There was plenty of storage, a nice desk and a loveseat with a small table. As return guests (and Costa Club members) we were treated to a bowl of fruit and a welcome back note.

The only complaint I would have is that there was a slight but unpleasant odor in our room, for the first half of the cruise. It dissipated gradually each day.

The itinerary for this particular cruise was La Romana DR, Catalina Island DR, Tortola BVI, Castries St Lucia, Pointe-a-pitre Guadeloupe, Saint John's Antigua, and St. Maarten. We mostly took beach days but we also walked around most of the port cities. Catalina Island is normally just a beach day and Costa has the beach to itself. A BBQ is served along with musical entertainment and the beach chairs are included. Catalina Island is one of our very favorite beaches and we look forward to returning one day. Tortola BVI has upgraded the shopping experience since we were last there in 2005 and they now offer many small booths within walking distance from the ship. St Lucia offers shopping at the port and many varied excursions. There are plenty of taxis waiting to take you for much less than a Costa arranged excursion and it's a beautiful island that I would recommend seeing. The beaches are among our favorites in St Lucia as well. Guadeloupe was the only stop where there was very little to do within walking distance of the pier, so we only left the ship for a few minutes and then spent the day by the pool. We chose a 4-hour beach day in Antigua but for 51 Euros each ($150.00 for the 4 of us) we got a 1-hour drive to Half moon bay. A 2-hour stay and another 1-hour drive back to the ship followed. The beach doesn't have facilities and a chair rental was $6.00 each but they only had about 12 chairs so we couldn't get one. This was a complete rip-off by Costa and I've learned greatly about pre-booking excursions. It's best to do it without the ship and just watch your timing so you don't miss the departure.

St. Maarten is of course a great shopping experience. The water taxi takes you directly from the pier to the beach and from there; you can shop till you drop. We spent a little time at one of the casinos down town but were unsuccessful at winning the cruise fare back.

The final day is a half-day at sea and then we returned to the port of La Romana for our hotel stay at the Iberostar Hacienda.

One of the best things about cruising with Costa for us is the food. Every dinner was exceptional and the deserts were wonderful. We would like to see a little more seafood like Princess offers but when cruising Italian style, we have come to expect a superb cuisine all around. Costa Atlantica is a wonderful ship and we found the staff to be friendly and helpful (unlike some of the reviews we have read). I highly recommend you try it for a wonderful cruise experience with great value.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 23, 2007

This was our annual family vacation (2 kids, 2 adults) and overall it was, ummmmmm, memorable to say the least.

The ship itself was very large but overly colourful; like an Italian carnival threw up on it. This made locating bathrooms and exits very difficult.

Our room was very spacious and our steward was fantastic! The same can be said about our waiters. The service on this ship, as with most others, was superb.

The entertainment was rather bland with the exception of Stephen Sorrentini, who flew in from Vegas. He was phenomenal, but we found the rest of the entertainment very bland.

The food was terrible, unlike NCL cruises we had gone on before where there were themed nights (Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. food), the food on this cruise was virtually the same stuff everyday.

The ports were great, but we were beginning to wish that we had just flown out to a resort rather than cruise.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 9, 2007

Our sixth Caribbean cruise was aboard the Costa Fortuna from December 9-16, 2007. We stayed in the 160 square foot, but very spacious, inside cabin 8294 and our room attendant, Michael from the Philippines, was very kind and efficient. He did a great job of always having our room spotless.

We stopped in San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola and Nassau and had a great time shopping and souvenir hunting. Despite some early rough weather due to the off-season Hurricane Olga, we kept our Bonine handy and had a smooth cruise, unlike some other people who didn't come prepared and suffered from major motion sickness.

Meals were as tasty and plentiful as they were with our previous cruises aboard Carnival, which didn't surprise us since Costa is owned by Carnival. Our dinners at the 2-person candlelit table 440 were romantic and had a panoramic view of the entire dining room. Our waiter, Francisco from the Dominican Republic; and his assistant, Joyce from the Philippines, were friendly and did an excellent job of taking care of us. Selections included old favorites such as grilled tuna steak and new treats like salmon with Gorgonzola cheese spread.


ship itself was very well-maintained and we had no problem finding our usual nightly hangout spot from the outset. The Bar Classico Roma was a relaxing place to enjoy a fine cigar and a drink after dinner, and we had many pleasant evenings chatting with other guests about our cruise experiences.

All in all, we'd highly recommend the Costa Fortuna as a great way to get a taste of the Mediterranean in a Caribbean cruise, and you can visit to view photos from our wonderful time at sea!

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Western Europe
Publication Date: August 14, 2007

Everything started out great, but went downhill fast.

The embarkation was the best ever and the ship is the most beautiful ship I have been on. The room steward was fabulous and the cabin room (inside stateroom) was spacious and had tons of closet space. That is where it ended.

The staff was the grumpiest and most unpleasant staff I have ever experienced. I went to the omelet bar and the guy didn't ask me what I wanted on it, he just threw it together and tossed down the plate.

The crew was just awful! Dirty dishes, staff cutting me off or just plain ignoring me. There were little things lacking -- no English television programs, no chocolate on the pillow, no customer service, no information on shore/port things to do unless you buy one of their way overpriced shore excursions.

Some of the facilities were not working (cold Jacuzzi, steam room) and when I went to customer service (first time ever and I have cruised 5 times) I was barely tolerated. I even asked if it was because I was an American and it seemed as if Italians rule the ship. The

response was a shoulder shrug.

If you want to get anywhere on or off the ship you will need to learn to push and shove your way or you will be left behind by an Italian mob of passengers who make cutting in line and shoving an art form. Kids dominated the ship, and were left running up and down halls until 2:00 in the morning.

The food was horrible as were the shows and cruise director (Clem). I am very upset that I chose Costa. I have heard that the Costa ship sailing the Caribbean is much better, but in Europe it should stick to Italian passengers only because all of the crew and entertainment is there solely for their enjoyment and you can forget the Americans (we were even denied a tour in the Galley, when others were allowed).

On the plus side, the itinerary was great. I loved all of the ports from Norway, Scotland, and Dover, England. Great ports! I highly recommend the itinerary, but steer clear of Costa unless you are Italian and even then I would skip Costa. Never again.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: April 8, 2007

This was my first time cruising with costa, but I have to say that I would cruise again in a heart beat. I have been on 7 other cruises. Where to start. First this cruise line is Italian Style cruising for a reason, the food is primarily Italian and they do this very well. There was not one meal that was not done beautifully.

The crew were all friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable, the beds were a little hard and our stewart had extra toppers put on our beds.

Since we are from the US we speak english and our english hosts were great and well informed regarding all aspects of the ship as well as any excursions that the ship offered. I have to say that Deborha was fantastic and has become a great friend as well.

The ship was beautiful and spotless more than any other ship I have been on before.

The ship had over 500 children on it however you would have never know that due to the great kids programs the squak club.

The rooms were typical, clean stewards

were great and they learned your schedule quickly, (late diner early diner).

The supper club Medusa was the best, had the best steak I have ever eaten. The only complaint here was the portion control to big my one new york strip could have feed threee people easily.

Shows were good, loved the Roman Night were passengers got to get on the stage. Fantastic.

All the ports were fun. Liked that the costa staff came onto the excurtions to help out if there was a language barrier.

Would recommend this to people who are open to new things and meeting differnet people this is not a cruise line for people who are not willing to try new things. I had a blast and this has made my mind up to finally go to Europe, but this is not for everyone. I am a foody and even I tried lots of new things it was great. I just could not stop smiling after I got off this cruise.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: January 18, 2009

I waited 2 weeks to write this review in order to calm down.

The service was terrible.

The food was dull and tastless.

For the most part, the staff and management were misleading on tour information.

The cruise was inexpensive, so I guess in this case you get what you pay for.

I would not recommend a Costa cruise.

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