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.
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
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.
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 andthe 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.
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 outa 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).
My husband and I just returned from Russia and the Baltics. The suite was beautiful and the staff were very accomodating , but the food and entertainment were very poor compared to the two other Costa cruises we took in previous years. The buffet was very sparse and the dinning room selections besides being very limited had very little taste.
The dining room staff were very helpfull and kept wanting to exchange our selections but the food quality was not the same this year. Also the entertainment was very poor this year. The shoe excursions were excellent and the staff very helpfull.