We traveled the beautiful Mediterranean on the Costa Fortuna in July, 2005.
Embarkation was like other cruise lines. Hurry up and wait but manageable. Our suitcases were already in our cabin when we got on the ship! That was great!
Cabins are like other cruise lines. We had two balcony cabins (6330 and 6334). Good sized rooms with nice sized balcony. Two deck chairs and table. The only problem was it was located over the grand bar room which had loud events on every night until 2:30 a.m. Very annoying and disturbing. Glad I had my ear plugs. Room steward was good. Didn't see him much but rooms were well taken care of. Royal Caribbean line has room stewards that make animals out of towels and we even got chocolates on our beds! Much better service with Royal Caribbean. Those extra touches are nice!
If you are a smoker, than this cruise will suit you fine. Smoking apparently was restricted to certain areas on the ship, however we saw many people smoking in elevators, hallways, outside the dining rooms and bathrooms. By the end of the week, my throat was sore and myeyes were burning due to all the smoke. Sorry to offend any smokers, but it was difficult and unpleasant to endure.
Announcements were heard in four or five different languages which was annoying in the end. It took a long time to get through all the languages.
Food on the Fortuna was mediocre at best. I did not have a truly hot meal the whole week. Entrees arrived sporatically with half the table almost finished their meal and half the table having not received their meal yet. Waiters seemed to be on automatic pilot with no personality or desire to get to know our likes and dislikes over the week. Language barriers were a problem with a lot of the staff not speaking the basic english. The chef cannot cook beef properly. It was always overdone and the prawns were like mush. BUT...the desserts were wonderful!
We called room service TWICE one evening with a staff member answering and not understanding what we were saying. On the third call, we said, "COULD YOU PUT US THROUGH TO SOMEONE WHO CAN UNDERSTAND US???".
Entertainment was like other lines. Kind of hokey and high school'ish. Although the caribbean drummers were good!
Kids arcade is located in the casino yet, the ship doesn't allow kids in the casino. It made it hard to control that. Plus the smoking in the casino was dreadful and the kids were all exposed to that.
We were the minority on this ship. Being canadians we were amongst a small group with the majority of passengers being of european descent. I am european born and was shocked to witness the behavior of some of the children on this ship! In the dining room, many children ran around unsupervised, jumping and sliding off window sills, throwing napkins around and just being very annoying and disrespectful. I had heard that there were even children found sleeping on the booths in the buffet at 6:00 a.m. in the morning!! I have two children and I was proud that my kids didn't behave like a lot of these children did. My kids had a few problems with kids in the arcade begging for game tokens and butting in trying to play games they were on.
The buffet area was not clean. Waiters would come and clear a table of dishes and cutlery, but not wipe down and sanitize the table. I saw a child sneeze all over the table and it was not wiped down.
The buffet needs an omelette bar. The omelette chef is located in the main buffet area so if you want an omelette you have to wait in the long line up with all the others that are getting other items of breakfast food.
So, to summarize, this trip was all about the ports as we rode this glorified ferry called the Fortuna to each destination. The ports of Sicily, Majorca, Barcelona, Tunis, Marseille and Naples were stunning and amazing! Truly worth seeing and a trip of a lifetime, but it would have been way better on another cruise line.
We will be sticking to the American cruise lines, as we find the service on the Royal Caribbean to be more personalized, more professional and just better overall.
The Fortuna had entered service less than a year earlier. Expensive furnishing with acres of marble, granite and photo murals. Glitzy. Staterooms, however, were large, had extensive storage, and lovely. Large verandahs wonderful.
Food and service were excellent. Staff did excellent job both in cabin and food service. Greatest weakness would be the stage shows. Not bad but so-so. Dance floor large and band good but few were dancing. Much less formal than most US based ships even on the one dress night. No need to pack a tie nor even a sports jacket. Am a non-smoker but did not find the smoking on board a problem. 5% passengers Americans. Mostly Europeans. English was the favored language, however. I have been on six cruises and would gladly go on this one again.
I'd rank it between NCL and Holland America in quality.
Let me first start by telling everyone that is planning this trip =>> Make sure that your connecting flights from US to Savona or any other connecting city is at least a few hours apart. Mine was only 35 min and I missed it because we spent 45 min on the runway in New York's JFK airport due to traffic.
Please take a small carry on with all the necessary toiletries and 2-3 days worth of underwear/clothing change in case they lose your luggage. Mine was lost due the AlItalia's negligence and I did not get it until Barcelona (6 days later). The lost luggage assistance is very poor (no proper tel numbers or contacts on board or on land) and there is nothing to buy on board to help.
Costa Cruises do not offer anything except for a small survival kit (toothpaste, toothbrush and shampoo). Laundry is free, but what do you wear while they are washing it?
The Carnival corp. has purchased Costa Cruises and you can feel it right away. The food is very average and the service is just ok.
The Costa Fortuna ship itself is big andnice, however the décor is dizzying. Typical of Carnival's luck of taste and limit.
The cabin #9205 (suites class S) on the 9th deck is very nice, and not expensive if 3 people are sharing it. It is spacious and very clean.
Early sitting dinner starts at 7-7:30PM and does not end till 9PM. Late sitting dinner is too late starts at 9:30PM.
The crowd is mostly middle class Italians, French and Spanish, only a few Americans. Everyone pushes into elevators and there is no consideration for space or people. Very strange behaviors regarding other passengers, children are everywhere, even if it's specified that it be for adults only.
Smoking is allowed everywhere except for the theater. There are non-smoking sections, but the air-conditioning is not working at all and it is very hot and stuffy everywhere.
The cruises excursions are nice and worth the money, not the dinner and show, but the history and the city's sight seeing tours.
The nightly shows are very primitive and uninteresting.
The music in all lounges is very nice and there is lots of dancing going on everywhere.
I do not recommend any Carnival cruises here in USA or Europe, very poor standards even for the money.
The ship was excellent and the crew on cabin duties,table duties etc. were good. There was only 6 Brits on board the rest were made up of Italian, Spanish, French, German etc.The noise was terrific as they all had large families that took over the 3 pools the jacuzzis, they were in the casino under the legal age. They ran up and down the corridor yelling till 4a.m in the a.m.with their parents shouting after them!
In the complaint we have put in to the travel company we described it as a Blackpool cruise for families. We have been on numerous cruises but this is the first where passengers embarked and disembarked at every stop.
This new ship was quite a disappointment. I was prepared for the number of smokers I'd be cruising with. I was prepared for the announcements in five languages. What I wasn't prepared for was how dreadful the food was. Fellow cruisers, from England, declared it "putrid". I would say that dinners were generally inedible. Burned food, uncooked food (it appeared that some entrees had been pre-cooked and re-heated or microwaved; interiors still had ice crystals.) They were unable to cook meat to order. Ice cream generally came to the table melter. When we finally got to a port that had "fast food" the number of passengers heading toward McDonalds was a sign of how bad it was.
Service was also sub-par. I was traveling with English-speaking German friends. Thus we were placed at a German table. I speak no German, and night after night had to ask for the English menu -- the wait staff never remembered to get one for me. They had no idea what a dessert wine was. We ordered a bottle and they had no appropriate glassware for it. The next night, they tried to serve it withdinner.
The stateroom was fine, my room steward was fine (although my friends' had a lot of complaints about their steward), the ship was of course spotless (being brand new), but it was without doubt the worst of my fifteen cruises and I will never sail Costa again.