Sailing though the Fjords was a breathtaking experience. We cruise with Costa (this is our 3rd time) because they always have different destinations than the other cruise lines as well as the continental flare and delicious pasta! They did not disappoint with this cruise.
That being said there are a few things that bother me. Smoking is allowed on the ship, and being an ashmatic, this can be bothersome at times. Also there is a bit of disorganization on the boat with all activities. If you ignore these issues, you will have an amzing time on Costa.
Crew were definitely attentive and personable. Great leadership presence in all facilities. Dining experiences actually exceeded my expectations - main dining room was excellent. Limited entertainment options. Destinations and time in port were ideal. Embarquement/disembarquement was very organized and well managed. Will definitely cruise Costa again!
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised. First time cruising in Europe and with Costa cruises we did not know what to expect. The ship design and larger state room (had balcony) were excellent. The staff service is second to none.Overall, a very nice cruise in northern Europe. Ports of call were excellent.
This was an old ship. Having said that, there were things that made the cruise just satisfactory but not overwhelming. It was just an OK trip. I understand that the trip I was on was a second to the last trip for this ship before it was to be refurbished.
The itinerary for stops was good, unfortunately to short of time in each port. Messina shuts down in the afternoon when we arrived so unless you booked a shore excursion you basically had nothing to do or see. Each port was about 4 hours which didn't allow for much other than a quick excursion. Mykona's is beautiful and coming into port at 6:00pm at least the shops were open and the people there were very friendly.
The service on the ship was good, food was not exceptional but definitely a good variety/quality. Something new for us on a cruise ship if you ate in the dining room for breakfast, lunch or dinner they did not have water at the table. If you wanted water you had to buy a bottle which had about 3 glasses of water in it for 5 Euro.
They did have a good variety of excursion and I would definitely recommend taking them in Athens, Messina, Santorini and Izmir mainly due to where you dock and time in port. The excursions we took were good.
I want to go back on a cruise in Europe but will pick a different cruise line next time to compare. The weather was great, a little warm some days when hiking around so you needed to be prepared with some water and comfortable clothes were a must.
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.
Overall we had a good impression of the ship. It was clean and in good repair. There was sufficient space and equipment for the passengers for a medium sized ship. Food was not up to the standards we expected. The entire crew was outstanding.
The cruise was geared for Europeans. We knew that when we booked so there were no surprises.
Our biggest problen was with Micheal the English speaking host. Or as I call it the BIG LIE.
We asked to have half of our gratuity taken off the bill bill so we could give to those that gave us extra service. Micheal told us that he could do it but he would have contact the American Consulate who would in turn contact the IRS.
We met a total of five times with Micheal...Here are some of the things he told us. If we didn't pay the gratuity we could be held up in Singapore for up to three days.......he called the consulate to warn them that they might have to pick up our bags....we could be put in jail....we talked with him an hour before we got off the ship and he promiced that the gratuity would be removed when we got through customs..I asked for the telephone number of the consulate he said the Singapore authorities would be calling them....to make a very long story short. We didn't go to jail and they didn't take the gratuity off our bill.
I was pleased with our actual room, but other than that, I wished I had done my homework prior to booking. There were so many small children running around, screaming at all hours of the day and night in all areas of the ship and the people on board seemed very loud too. In addition the entertainment was really awful. Perhaps if I had been intoxicated maybe I'd have thought it all better. However for a cheap cruise it was good.
It was overall a nice vacation and because we had a stop every day we didn't miss the lack of activities on board as much as had we had full days at sea. This boat would have been very boring had we not stopped every day. Childrens program was very disappointing especially when you go with 3 children. If we do again will make sure its a much larger ship that offers more entertainment and social activities both for adults and children. Very limited english on board.
The excursions where well organized and interesting but can be expensive when including children. The excursions all started very early in the morning when the weather was the worst so that hampered it a bit plus its not very relaxing to have to wake before dawn every day if you want to go ashore.
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