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2.0

Great destinations, terrible ship. by bren44

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

I will keep this concise and to the point. Major shop fitting/building work taking place on the ship throughout the 7 days, Cutting , grinding and drilling on a continuous basis. This is not classed as routine maintenance in my opinion. The main bar was regularly closed for "exclusive cocktail parties"??? This severely limited your chances of sitting down and enjoying a drink. Breakfasts were poor. Toast was like cardboard, no beans and the cereals were cheap and nasty imitations. The grill was only open 12 till 3. The restaurant only catered for Italians and the portions were tiny. The restaurant food was presented well but this did not hide the poor standard of the meals being offered. I was often hungry in the evening but there was literally nowhere to grab a snack after having your evening meal. The theatre`s entertainment was extremely poor. The general entertainment was poor. The ship was old and tired. The holiday was ruined by the time spent on the ship. Princess cruises was a far more enjoyable experience. 

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2.0

A Terrible Experience by mch12490

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

It was okay

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1.0

Do not sail on Costa Cruises! by Kate5

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Dear Travellers, 

Warning!!! Do not book a cruise with Costa Cruises (which is owed by the Carnival Corporation).

In October 2014, I went on a 7 day Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Serena. While the trip itself was fine, my experience has been spoiled by Costa Cruises’ horrendous customer service. 

Read the time-line below if you want the details but at the very least please trust me in saying that this company does not believe in customer service and I sincerely urge you to book your cruises elsewhere!

Given the circumstances, I have been extremely polite and patient…Please share with others so they don’t have to experience the same frustration and financial loss.

For those who are interested, here is a time line of the events…

Nov 3 - Severe storm on the Mediterranean sea. An announcement is made that the ship will not be stopping in the port near Rome as scheduled but continuing on to Naples and arriving around 2pm on Nov 4. Given those circumstances, it will be impossible for me to make my flight from Rome to Zurich at 2pm on Nov 4 so I go to the customer service desk. I ask if I can have internet access in my cabin so that I can change my flight. I am told that is not possible but if I can provide them with my travel itinerary, that they will take care of it and let me know in the morning what my new travel arrangements will be.

Nov 4 - I am informed that my new flight to Zurich will cost me $366 euros (which is about $550!). I am curious why I should have to pay for the new flight but the crew insists that the storm is not their fault and that they are therefore not responsible for compensating me in this situation. I am immediately billed for the cost of the flight and told that I can try calling the North American Costa offices to explain my situation when I return to Canada. I can’t fathom why I am being charged so much money for such a short flight but I have no choice but to pay before I can disembark and catch my flight.

Nov 10 - I am home from Europe and call the North American Costa office as directed. Their automated answering system directs me to send an email for any issues concerning past cruises. Their agents are only available for people calling to book new cruises.

I oblige and send an email requesting someone to call me as my situation is too complicated to fully explain in an email. I do not receive a response.

Nov 14 - I call Costa Cruise requesting this time to speak with an agent. I am told I need to send an email. I reply that I did send an email and received no response. They track down my email and tell me that the customer service agent will call me that afternoon. I do not receive a phone call. Instead I receive an email from customer service with a letter in response to my email which basically quotes their company policy of not offering any sort of compensation for missed travel arrangements regardless of the reason. None of this addresses the issue at hand that I was told that my travel arrangements would be ‘taken care of’ and had I known that I was going to be out of pocket for a new flight, I would have ‘taken care of’ the new arrangements myself.

I politely respond with an email requesting that the customer service agent call me so we can discuss the actual issue. Of course, I do not receive any response.

Nov 20 - I call Costa Cruise asking to speak with the customer service agent who is handling my  situation. I am told ‘she doesn’t do phone calls.” I find it surprising that the customer service agent ‘doesn’t do phone calls’. I ask if there is someone else I need to speak with and I am told that no, she is the one in charge. So I politely insist to speak with her as it is just much easier to explain my situation over the phone than trying to send another email (to which I will likely get no response anyway). I am momentarily put on hold. Unfortunately, I am told that the customer service agent has laryngitis and is unable to speak with me at that moment. What are the chances?!?  I am told she will call me back after the weekend on Monday Nov 24.

Nov 24 - Surprise! No phone call from Costa Cruises to address my situation.

Nov 25 - I call Costa Cruises and ask to speak to the agent. The phone system disconnects. Is this an accident?! I call back and I finally get to speak with the customer service agent (thankfully she has recovered from her laryngitis!) She basically explains that they are not willing to help me in any way because of their policy to not offer compensation for interrupted travel plans. I explain that the staff on board the ship said they would ‘take care of’ my new travel arrangements and by the time I realized I had to pay for a new flight, it was too late to make my own alternate arrangements - that they basically completely mishandled the situation. I am told that she will speak to her managers and call me back the following week.

The following week arrives…

Dec 1 - no phone call

Dec 2 - no phone call

Dec 3 - no phone call

Dec 4 - no phone call

Dec 5 - no phone call

I even give her a few more days…

Dec 8 - still no phone call.

In the meantime, I contact Swiss Air only to discover that my flight never got changed! Rather than changing my original flight (which would only have cost 65 euros), Costa simply booked me a new flight at the cost of 366 euros. It saddens me that they would treat a customer this way.

Dec 9 - I call Costa and I’m told that the customer service agent is at lunch but that I can leave her a voicemail which I do. She does not return my call. I guess she had a really long lunch that day.

Dec 10 - I call again and I am told she is not at her desk so I am again directed to her voicemail. She does not return my call.

Dec 11 - I receive another email from Costa Cruises stating that they are unable to offer me any sort of compensation. It concludes with “We hope you will consider us again in the future and look forward to welcoming you aboard.” 

Somehow, I don’t think so…

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5.0

Costa Serena best of the best by rgeuens

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Lets start with some background.

 

This was my 7th cruise with Costa and the second on the Serena.

 

The embarkation in Savona went fast and swiftly. I had booked a suite, so i got priority boarding. When you arnt a costaclub member or suite passenger, you might have to wait 1 to 2 hours before boarding if you are not there early.

 

I loved the suite, it had everything from a Jaccuzi to a coffe making machine and a big balcony.

 

I enjoyed dinner a lot. you get to taste different Italian food. And yes you dont get steak and lobster because its an Italian ship. There also is no buffet for dinner only a pizza restaurant. Or if you pay the extra of 25 euros per person there is the club restaurant, wich in my opinion is definitly worth it.

 

There is a daily show in the three story theater, and in the bars anfd lounges there is live music.

I also recommend taking the all inclusive package. Even for non alcohol drinkers there is a lot of money to be saved.

 

Already looking forward to the next cruise onboard the Costa Diadema.

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3.0

Very nice ship and staff by howardabbe

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

The ship and the cruise were quite nice, as I have said already, the food availability needs improvement and food outside the main dining room was not very good.The main dining room was just fine.

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3.0

Great way to see many places. by dogsofmine

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends

The ship was in good condition and very clean\, but overall decoration was very dark. The cruise experience overall was good. It was an easy way to see lots of different cities. However\, the only way to purchase anything on board the boat is with your Costa Card (room key). You have to set up an account for the Costa Card with a credit card or a 150 euro cash deposit in order to buy ANYTHING. I did not want to use my credit card and didn't have 150 euro cash\, so was unable to buy anything. Which was okay\, but I would have gotten drinks and things if cash could have been used. I am a college student and was traveling with a group of friends; none of us bought anything on board due to this system\, so Costa missed out on a fair amount of money. Also\, there is no ATM machine on board.

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3.0

A decent cruise with a great itinerary by dancook

Sail date: /

Ship was very good\, but cigarette smoke seemed to carry into non-smoking areas

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1.0

Poor experience overall by drurylane5409

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

Costa Serena staff and captain not customer friendly--this poor experience on Costa Serena was different from our much better experience in Costa Magica in April 2013.

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3.0

Fifty Fifty by GodeyA

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

For many of our excursions we were stuck with a half English half Russian group, so we paid the same amount to listen to someone speak Russian for hours. I would recommend you plan your own excursions and not use the cruise line's excursion program. We met people who planned their own and they paid less and had a better experience. There is nothing for English speakers to do on the ship. All of the music and all of the entertainment is aimed at Italians and the people that run the quizzes, etc. can't even pronounce ENglish well enough to allow others to participate.

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3.0

Very disappointing cruise by PatB4

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

Very disappointing cruise. Upon arrival on the ship we were not greeted or directed which should have been an early indication of how we would be treated the entire trip. Food quality was very average. Dishes were oversalted, especially the soups. Some of the pastas tasted as though they were heated up from a can. Breakfast service was the same menu for 7 days without the slightest variation. Staff throughout the ship was unsmiling and rarely greeted us as we traveled about. Customer service desk was defensive and indifferent to any issues. We had a problem with out television/remote that took three days to resolve because the desk staff were sure the problem was simply that we didnt know how to properly use a remote when actually the problem was an electrical connection. Staff seemed to be very poorly trained. We would get different information from various staff and when we questioned what the actual procedures might be at the Customer Service desk they just told us that we were wrong and too bad for us without admitting that we may have been misinformed. There seemed to be an extra charge for everything and excursions were over-priced and overcrowded.

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3.0

Great locations, but poor access by ChrisG7

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

The ship itself is great. It's large and well laid out. It's a little on the gaudy side, but I think that's typical of cruises (I don't go on many). There were too many children there for my taste, but again, that's probably typical for a cruise.

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1.0

Costa = a la carte crusing by GaryM1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

Costa has been expanding their ship fleet very quickly. In doing so, they forgot that its more than steel that matters: customer service is what brings back customers. 1. The itinerary did not leave much time to explore each port, even with the shore excursions 2. The 'free time' at the end of each shore excursion was no more than 15 minutes! 3. The ships crew boarders on the rude. 4. Not enough bar service waiters on board, have to wait 30 minutes for a drink! 5. on board prices are very high (although that is really a Euro/$ weakness) 6. SELL SELL SELL: there is a 24/7 seliing going on board. You can't walk down the hall without crew trying to sell spa packages, water, bingo tickets etc. 7. No excercise equipment! to use the gym you have to have a cabin on the Samsura deck: an additional $1000/week upgrade from a balcony deck! (or arond $2500 upgrade from cheapest fare!) 8. Food was mediocre.

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4.0

Very nice cruise. by Maria16

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (young children)

Exellent very clean and elegant.

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5.0

Amazing First Cruise Experience by RickW3

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

Multilugal crew was amazing with all announcements in Italian,French, English, German and Spanish. Tours were punctual as was the entertainment. Shows ended with enough time to get to our cabin and cleanup for our seating. Everything was scrubbed and clean. Evening dining was enjoyable, seating was arranged so that you are with people speaking your language. The italian night was great!

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3.0

Overall a good cruise! by SandraR9

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group

The ship was very nice! The staff also was very nice and they all spoke english so that was a plus! The problem with the hot tubs and the pools was that the rule that no children are allowed was never enforced, I love kids so I'm not complaining about them being loud or playing around, but sometimes it just got to the point where the hot tubs were full of kids and you couldn't even get in! The color of the water in the hot tubs was almost greenish and didn't make me feel like it was very clean! The cabins were the most spacious cabins I have ever found on a cruise ship. Overall it was very nice, the food was the best I have ever had on a ship!

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2.0

UN PENOSO CRUCERO by MarisolP

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)

He hecho ms de 15 cruceros en casi todas las compaias, Costa Serena es el peor barco con diferencia.

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2.0

A BAD EXPERIENCE by MarisolP

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)

Costa Cruise is worst every year. We have cruised with Costa several years ago and were better. The food is bad, bad, even the italian pasta.

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5.0

A EXCELENT CRUISE by MiguelR1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

I WAS TAKEN AT 7TH JANUARY 2008 AT COSTA SERENA CRUISE TO MEDITERRANEAN WEST IT WAS A VERY WONDERFULL EXPIRENCE I WANT TO MAKE ALL THE CONGRATULATION TO ALL DE COSTA SERENA CREW ESPECIALY TO MY STEWARD ROON AT WAITER TABLE AT CERES RESTAURANT AND THE GUY JOSE MANUEL SPANISH CORDINATOR MY CABIN NUMBER WAS 9277 AGAIN THAKS FOR ALL THE ATTECION

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2.0

Costa Serena Canary Island by Carolj1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group

Ports of call, the ship itself and the entertainment were great. The problem lies with the food and food service which after crusing on American Lines paled in comparison. I would give the formal dining a one star at best. The formal tea consisted of a few cookies, self serve loose tea and standing in line for 15 mintues for a piece of cake! the chilled soup tasted like melted icecream.

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