Costa Concordia (RETIRED) 548 Cruise Review to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Ship: Costa Concordia (RETIRED) 548
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 10 years ago
My wife and I boarded the Costa Concordia for our honeymoon in December and embarked on a 10 day cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean. As soon as we boarded we felt unwelcome. We contacted the Costa customer service before we boarded and were told that the cruise staff would provide us with items such as bathrobes, slippers and champagne for our honeymoon. When we boarded I spoke to customer service about it and they flatly denied that they do this for couples. Right off the bat, Costa was frustrating. After this we tried to enjoy our cruise on board the Concordia but found this to be difficult.
STAFF ON BOARD:
The staff on board the Concordia is not helpful in the least. I am a very easy going person but found myself getting extremely frustrated with the staff. When asking the customer service desk for information about ports, they had no idea what they were talking about. They would give me a map and expect me to figure it out on my own. Even when I asked specific questions about transportation off the ship, they would guess at the answer and shrug their shoulders. The waiters were also very slow with the exception of our waiter at dinner. Most bar staff and wait staff never smiled at us or even bothered to seat us. We even observed many of bar and wait staff text messaging people on their cell phones constantly. Our cabin steward was the best staff member on the ship. He was the only one who went out of his way to help us. When smoke was billowing in our room from the adjoining cabin, customer service told us we would have to deal with it. We asked our cabin boy to tape the door shut which solved the problem.
SMOKING ON BOARD:
Europeans smoke everywhere. There were some sections of the ship which were deemed non-smoking, but the people on board rarely observed these restrictions. The bars were often so choked with cigarette smoke that we couldn't stand being there. The casino was especially bad. If you are sensitive to smoke, do not choose this ship.
FOOD AND ITINERARY:
These were the two good things about the ship. The seated dinner was very good. We ate there almost every night and were rarely disappointed. The buffet breakfast and lunch were another matter. There was rarely a variety at the buffet and it really wasn't very good. The itinerary for our trip was incredible. If you choose to this trip, do it for the sole purpose of seeing some of the most incredible places on earth. The Pyramids of Giza, The Acropolis in Athens, Old Rhodes (which is absolutely incredible), Rome, and the site of the ancient Olympics to name a few.
What I came away from this trip with was a greater understanding of many world cultures and some of the best pictures I will ever take. On the other hand, my wife and I will never take another Costa cruise, nor will we ever recommend the company to anyone. The staff was awful, many of whom complained about Costa to passengers, including us. In fact, Costa no longer allows passengers to leave tips in the envelopes like on most other ships. They now take 20% directly from the price you paid for the cruise and tip according to the surveys you fill out at the end of the cruise. If a staff member gets low ratings, Costa keeps the excess amount (at least this is what we were told by a number of staff members). Also, being an American on a European cruise is nothing but a headache. The Italians especially have no respect for lines of people. The will push, shove, cut, and basically do anything to get what they want with no respect for other people. Trust me when I say that you will be frustrated by the people on this ship.
DO NOT SAIL WITH COSTA FOR THE SAILING EXPERIENCE. Sail with Costa only for the itinerary.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Food, Itinerary
Cons: The staff on board, the people on the ship, the crowded conditions, the smoking on board