We completed our first Costa cruise yesterday, but it was our 24th cruise in 18 years of cruising. First, I acknowledge that the room steward and the dining room waiter were awesome and committed to doing the most they could to make the trip terrific. Actually they were the bright spots in the 7 day trip. The ships deck plans are easy to navigate; the ship was clean and well taken care of. Our room had a distinct smoking odor when we arrived and the pillows and mattress were mildly permeated with the smell of stale smoke; not being smokers, this was not a welcomed event. No toiletries only soap in a jug in the shower. We had to ask for additional towels as they only stocked it with 2 sets. No robes. One night, chocolate mints were left at turn down no mints on other 6 nights. Tried to call the front desk with a few questions and was always put on hold with no response in the end. The cruise director Max appeared to really engage with his audience and enjoy the fun of the toga party. He has an extensive and enthusiastic cruise staff that supports numerous programs and activities on the ship. The shops and photography were on par with other ships very dull and repetitive. Beverages were expensive. The itinerary provided limited time in most ports. The entertainment was typical of most cruises, but lacked a strong comedic element. They only offered one late night comic and she was more ventriloquist than humorist and not memorable at that. The ship dancers/singers worked hard, the costumes were creative, but it was no more than basic entertainment. We did not spend much time in other venues. We cruised with a group of 500 dancers participating in a dance seminar week they had fun, but took over many areas of the ship. We were upset that public areas such as the Lido deck were even closed some evenings for dancing functions. The main lounge area was occupied by the dancing group throughout the entire trip and this was a pass through area on deck 5. This dancing group also took over the small pool side dance area and blocked passage to the other side of the deck area as this pool side dance area is small and congested. There were many rude passengers who had a different way of using lines and elevators with no regards for people waiting. I was appalled at the number of people who sauntered into late seating 15-30 minutes for dinner. Now on to the food the quality of the breakfast and lunch buffets was the poorest of any we have ever been presented; the selections were limited and odd. Little looked appetizing and usually the only desserts available were VERY limited portions of the previous nights desserts and soupy soft serve ice cream. The handles of the serving tongs were often in the food! We often used the grill as a last resort; even the burgers were greasy and of poor meat quality, while the chicken patties were processed meat. The dinner selections were limited as well lots of pasta and roast beef no filet mignon or lobster and only one night was shrimp available. The portions were extremely small one small scoop potatoes; one red bliss potato; 3 thin slices of tenderloin In conclusion, we did get an extremely good rate, but not sure that it totally compensates for the touches that were missing. Booking of large groups with focused agendas does interfere with the general population and we will inquire before booking next cruise opps, the next one is booked.
A Challenging Cruise
Sail Date: January 01, 2008
Pros: Room Steward and Waiter
Cons: Food Selections for all meals
Recommends Costa Fortuna? No.