7 Night Turkey & Greece (Rome Roundtrip) Sail Date: July 08, 2011 Ship: Costa neoRomantica Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 6 years ago
Within 1 1/2 days of being on a 7/8 night/day cruise I had said 10 times that "I will NEVER go on another Costa cruise again". From the moment we arrived at the port it was unorganized, unfriendly and less than helpful. The ship was Dull, dated; our introduction onto the ship came after having to wait over an hour and a half to board and then being asked to climb two flights of rickety, wobbly and what felt like unsafe stairs. While the area they brought us into was nice, the deck 10 buffett dining room that they ushered us to after that felt a bit like picnic table eating, the food was cold and limited and the staff were already complaining about the fact that they were supposed to be closing down and people were still coming in. Registering my credit card with the automated system took 3 tries and a disgruntled employee who didn't really want to help and obviously didn't matter because by the middle of day 2 my Costa card had been shut down 5 times. I had to visit the information desk each time to have them say "oh the bank probably doesn't know that you are in a foreign country, Giuseppi can help you with that, but not till this afternoon.....or maybe tomorrow." When we agreed that we would accommodate "guiseppe and costa" and come back the next day, we were ASSURED that our card would no longer give us trouble but were back 3 more times by night's end. When we tried to talk to our English representative, Sean, he told us that we should have been at the inbrief....which was impossible since we were still ON SHORE BOARDING WHEN THEY HELD IT!! He then told us that we should have seen all of the info on our TV....as if we came on a CRUISE to watch TV! The final straw with him was when he told everyone in the outbrief that if we didn't mark "excellent" on everything, the 600 crew members would be at risk of being fired!! The pools were so small that only a dozen people could safely be in them at a time and the deck crew didn't stop the under 16 year old kids who were jumping in and out of the hottubs from doing so. For a cruise that accepted English speaking people as paying customers, the staff was inadequate at communicating and often used "I don't know" or "I don't understand" as a catch all to get us to stop asking questions. The excursions were limited because there were no language conversion boxes like on other cruise ships or tours and thus I went on 2 excursions for the second time in 6 months because no others were available and I wanted to be with my family.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
While the food in the formal dining area was EXCELLENT...as were the personnel, the food and layout of the buffett was horrible. Often the food was cold, one side of the buffett was shut down and the crew were less than helpful. Waiting for an omelet took nearly 20 minutes because there was only one person working the pan and I didn't get one GOOD piece of cut meat without a LOT of grissle. The seafood options would have been great except that they were so overcooked that by the time you picked up a shrimp, it had fallen apart in the shell and couldn't be taken out without being mush
3 out of 5
The shows in the theater were good and covered all languages for everyone who attended. The games, dancing, other activities were all in Italian and thus made it impossible for us to participate. One card of Bingo was 20 euro...which is rediculous for the payout and it was over before you even started. Otherwise, not really a lot to do.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
The only reason for not marking this "not recommended" is because of a few select people who actually did their job, were friendly, had a smile on their face and were always willing and able to help. Chi Nguyen was an outstanding representative for what you SHOULD have in personnel.....SEAN (english speaking representative) was NOT. While many people seemed eager to help in the beginning, often we got "I don't know" or "I don't understand English" and pushed off to someone else who would say the same. One member didn't even know that there was a store on board that sold shampoo! When we began finding ourselves having our Costa card shut down, we tried to be flexible in meeting with the person who was supposed to help fix the situation and then found ourselves with multiple problems because of our flexibility. Why is it that only ONE person on a ship carrying over 1500 people can fix a problem? Why can't people who wear an 'english speaking' pin understand us?
3 out of 5
The ship wasn't very big but didn't have a large crowd either. It was dated and areas for informal eating seemed more like picnic table eating than dining. The buffett area was not easily moved through and the decks weren't available during sunrise for pictures because of passenger cabins below. Hard to enjoy a sunrise from a port hole that is fogged. Often times there weren't hand towels, washcloths or papertowels in bathrooms and more than once there wasn't toilet paper
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Our room was bigger than we anticipated and had a pretty good amount of storage/closet space. However the toilet seat broke on the first day and took 2 days to get right when they fixed it. The shower bar broke off in my daughter's hand and spurted water everywhere and there were no bathroom amenities on arrival. When we asked our concierge for some, he brought enough for 2 instead of the 4 we had in the room and we had to ask for beach towels (that they would have charged us for if we didn't return them in the end) that were listed in the "Today" as being for our use. No washcloths were brought to us until day 5 and we had to take toilet paper off of the cart several times because no new was replaced in the room.
Turkey is always interesting and the Izmir port was MUCH better than the Kusadasi port but I was forced to take the trip to Ephasus for the 2nd time in 6 months because there were no other tours available to those who speak english. It was very frustrating to see other tour groups from othe cruise ships walking around with headphones and translator boxes and not have that option on Costa.
The tour to Taormini was very good and enjoyable. The tour guide was knowledgeable but had to translate everything between english and german and thus had 1/2 the group standing around a lot of the time waiting. Not enough time for shopping in a place that would have been fun to get something nice from. The stadium is nice, but took a long time to get to and only left us with about 1/2 hr to enjoy on our own.
I didn't bother taking the excursion in Athens as I had just been there 6 months ago and knew exactly what I wanted to have my family see. It cost less to rent a cab to the Acropolis (30euro for 4 people) walk down the main old town and go see Zeus' temple, Adrian's Arch, etc on our own. If we had wanted to, we could have even paid the 120euro that the cab driver wanted and had him take us around to all of the sites and assure us an ontime arrival back to the port for less than the 50euro/head that the ship wanted for the excursion.
Don't Miss: The Acropolis....but don't expect it to be without scaffolding for quite some time because they are renovating it BY HAND to restore it to what it once was. Still a MUST SEE
Mykonos was FANTASTIC and the information desk staff were helpful in directing us to the perfect place to watch the sunset. They helped us to find a nice little beach by the port and we were able to sit down to a great restaraunt in the "Little Venice" area.
Don't Miss: watching the sunset in 'Little Venice'
Santorini is it's own reward. Choosing this particular cruise was mostly based on this location. Oia and Thera are beautiful and deliver what is promised.....beauty and true Greek experiences. In Thera, stop in at the Cactus Juice restaraunt for a cactus juice, but if you eat there, expect to pay A LOT.... (156 euro for lunch for 2 and 4 cactus juices)....delicious, but expensive! If you are dying for a donkey ride, take the cable car down and pay only 5euro/head for an experience you will never forget. Nothing quite like climbing the 600 steps on donkeyback! Beautiful scenery...beautiful towns....worth EVERY SECOND!!
Don't Miss: Just do yourself a favor and GO....it's ALL "don't miss!"
Cons: Attitudes, policies, lack of information, limitations, broken things, laundry services - pretty much anything that had to do with being on the ship
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.
Every Wednesday you'll receive the latest articles, deals, and news from the Cruiseline.com team, plus tips and photos submitted by our vibrant community of diehard cruisers. You'll also get a free gift — a downloadable, printable PDF of our guide to cruising!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals.
Join other subscribers and get the best cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.