Get your room key activated right away if you purchase the all inclusive drink package and also ask them to remove the automatic gratuity charge per day if you'd like to pay your own amount.
The "At Sea" Day is rough, be sure to take sea-sick medication in advance. There is local "free shuttle" at Marseille until April 2014 at least, just ask the non-cruise Information Desk after getting off the cruise. This is the same as the Euro$11.95 shuttle offered by the cruise company.
If you are American, go knowing that the ship caters to non English speaking passengers. Read the daily newsletter carefully because the announcements rarely help. Read all the fine print because the answers that you receive may change depending on who you talk to.
Set your sights on the stops don't expect much from the ship.
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If you do not speak anything except English do not go on a European cruise with Costa
Best solution to register the credit card to the Costa Card right after the embarkation. If you purchase the dring package on the ship than you have to change the Costa Card to new one in order to get it acceptable in the bars.
If you have a suite ask about included services.
Expect to spend A LOT of time standing in huge lines. Do not rely on the information given to you on the internet or on your personal "my costa" account on line since the computer systems do not seem to interface. Don't take cruises with 3800 people!
Order wine online from home, convenient!
We have been on seven or eight cruises and this one is our least favorite.
Ask how much is the tip per day because they do not tell you and is different in every destination, research first about what to do in the ports because the excursion are expensive and you can usually just take a hop on hop of by yourself and do the same for a cheaper price!
Don't be afraid to ask questions from the staff, they are very helpful.
I would think twice about taking costa again even if it was paid for. I have cruised on norweigen, carnival and princess and costa is the worse.
It's beautiful and the room where the entertainment was provided good views of what was going on
It was great experience to take my family. We had good time. Food, room, staff, services provided by ship were great. Staff was very friendly and helpful. It was good place for families with children of small and older ages. There were programs for teenagers, glad for that.
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