Third Costa Cruise, may very well be our last!
This ship when brand new must have been spectacular, too bad they don't seem to be able to keep it clean. Dirty windows, dirty carpet, dirty drapes, furniture, Sticky tables to eat or just read or play games on. But it had some good points as well and I'll discuss them first but it will be hard to do considering the limitations and exceptions we noted.
Our dinner waiter and bus boy were outstanding! They always remembered to bring my wife and I a pitcher of Iced tea at dinner and plenty of cream (not just milk) for our coffee. The Dinner entree choices were very limited, and no steak or lobster was ever offered to us. What they did make available was generally very tasty, though often the meat was overcooked and tough. The limited choices available for appetizers, soups, salads, pasta and desserts, however, were generally very good. Just don't count on Haute cuisine or many options.
The cruise staff, those people who provide daily activities, danced with the passengers in the ballroom dancing lounge and participated in a few of theshows, were probably the hardest working group we've ever had. They did their best to keep us entertained. That said, however, there were many long periods during the day when no planned activities were available on the ship. Thank goodness they provided us with a scrabble game to use while on board.
If you love Ballroom dancing either as a participant or as a watcher, this is your ship. All evening long, every evening you could dance your night away. Unfortunately that was about all you could do. Don't get me wrong, they did have shows every night but not all were worth attending. For example, the first night they showed a Frank Sinatra concert movie. That's it, a 45 minute movie of a 1970's concert. There was the obligatory crew show, the passenger talent show, three song and dance shows performed by the on-board troupe (who were good but not spectacular), and only three "professional" acts (one magician, one soul-gospel singer who sang as loudly as she could to make up for her merely adequate voice, and an Italian crooner who couldn't hold a long note.) In ten days only three (two mediocre) professional acts? That's what you might expect on a seven not a ten night cruise. The cruise staff did on several evenings put on games for the cruisers and did their very best to make them amusing and fun events. Overall, there was little to do in the evenings unless you like to dance or if you like to spend a lot of money drinking, drinking at the many bars on the ship where they did provide musicians and sometimes singers to entertain you. But for those who don't or can't drink a lot, all you were left to do is gamble in the casino.
The rooms, we had an inside room. were adequate in size, larger than on some ships we traveled and the water pressure of the shower was among the best we've experienced. The TVs were relics of the 80's or 90's and were both poor in visual and audio quality. The cabin steward did an adequate job, but did nothing exceptionally well and had to reminded several times to bring us extra towels. The level of cleanliness was barely adequate, as ground-in dirt was evident everywhere you looked.
This is an international ship. Those of us from the US were in the minority. 80% (or more) of the passengers were European, with Italians and Germans accounting for the majority of the European passengers. Hence all announcements had to made in FIVE languages, Italian (this is of course an Italian ship) German, French, Spanish and English. Problem was the crew, who is mostly Italian, when speaking in English, did so with a hard Italian accent, putting emphasis on the wrong syllables and often speaking English at the same very fast rate Italian is spoken (English and German are among the slowest spoken languages) AND to complicate matters more, once the Italian and German messages were read, those passengers would begin to engage in conversation thus drowning out the messages spoken in the other three languages. Only when the made the announcement first in English, or right after the French and/or Spanish language messages were spoken, did we have a decent chance to hear our English spoken messages. PS most of the English speakers on board were Canadian. They were a great group of people to hang out with and we often formed teams of "North Americans" to compete against the Italians and Germans during the games of skill and knowledge put on during the day light hours. If it wasn't for our Canadian friends we would have had difficulty in finding any English speakers on board, though Costa did their best to try to seat people at the restaurants by the language they spoke, and organize the excursions similarly. Then there is one more observation we made about our Italian and German shipmates. Many, many many of them were rude, often pushing and elbowing you out of the way to get to something they wanted, to get a head of you, cutting in on lines, etc. Generally they were both obnoxious and unaware of the words "excuse me" (or the German or Italian counterparts which sound very much like excuse me). If those of us from the US are the so called "Ugly Americans", then the Germans or Italians should be known as the "Medusan Europeans!" Be prepared. I'm originally from the NY metropolitan area so I know how to apply defensive skills when I have to and I found myself resorting to them way too often.
We had two life boat drills while on board. I wonder why? Could the Concordia incident have anything to do with that?
Food other than dinner. Breakfast - unless you waited on line at Omelet Station in the buffet restaurant the eggs were usually runny and undercooked. The bacon was dead the sausages undercooked and everything was luke-cool (luke-warm would have given it more credit than it deserved) to downright cold. The restaurant was no better for breakfast. No cream only milk or skim milk for coffee. No pancake syrup for the cold tough pancakes and french toast. An overall underwhelming experience. Lunch - In the Restaurant was not bad. Food often was warm. Variety was very limited but it was warm. At the buffet, well it often looked as bad as it tasted. Best lunches we had were off the ship in port! Midnight buffet - what buffet? There was none! They served the leftover pastries from Dinner and only at the Casino. Wonder why they make you go to the casino to get them, hmm, could it be they wanted you to gamble! There was a pizza station at night, but usually it was a simple cheese pizza or vegetable pizza, rarely did it contain any meat toppings. Oh, if you wanted ice tea at night, you had to hunt for it and often there was none. So your choices were plain water or Soda at $2.75 plus tip (added automatically to the cost) per CAN of soda!
There was no soda package for adults and if you wanted a drink package each member of your party, whether they drink or not, had to buy it at $26/day for every day of the cruise. This was considered an 11 day cruise and that meant shelling out over $275 per person. Or you could buy individual cocktails at $7.80 (plus the mandatory tip) per drink.
Despite the above, we liked the ports we went to and we meet some very nice people on board which made the journey a pleasant one despite the shortcomings of the ship.
One final point and it is a personal issue that upset me and may or may not seem to be a big deal to others considering cruising on a Costa ship. On the 7th day of the cruise my foot was injured when the plastic drainage grate surrounding the hot tub collapsed as I tried to enter the hot tub. I believe that the individual 8" long grate pieces which were held in-place by plastic male connectors fitting into the female receptacles of the next piece of grating had broken repeatedly before I tried to enter the hot tub. Each time breaking of more and more of the male connectors until there weren't enough to maintain the structural integrity of the grates. My foot was cut in two places and pieces of the few remaining male connectors broke off and punctured my foot. I had to receive medical attention by the ship's doctor who had to remove these pieces of plastic where they punctured my foot. The medical treatment I received was very good.
I understand accidents can happen, but the ship's crew needed to have repaired this grate long before I stepped on it. Even after my accident, they merely shifted the pieces of the grate around, leaving gaps in the grate, where another incident like mine could happen. What upsets me the most was at first the ship's Purser told me that I would be charged for the medical treatment I received (which turned out to be wrong as I was reassured 12 hours later by the Ship's Chief Medical Officer that I would not be charged since my injury was not my fault), but even worse, neither while on board the ship or to this day (6 days after I disembarked) has anyone from the ship's crew (company) or from Costa (or its parent company Carnivale) contacted me to ask me how I was feeling or doing!! Even though I filled out the ship's Security accident report, not one word!! Its as if they simply don't care. Maybe they don't!
Overall, a disappointment. Selected Costa Atlantica "Colors of Fall" cruise for the price and itinerary. You get what you pay for. Although the cruise started in Canada and finished in NY city, over half the passengers were Italian-speaking only, with French, Germans, Koreans, Japanese and only a few Americans. Absolutely no english TV programs or news in cabins. Terrible Cruise Director who addressed everybody and everything in 5 languages (boring and unnecessary). Very noisy cabin (oceanview) that was penetrated by booming bass from DJs/bands in two lounges...kept us up everynight til 1:00 AM or later. Evening food was OK, some excellent. Breakfast buffet was bland, unchanging, and many foods cold. Cabin steward and servers at dinner were excellent, one of the few bright things. Photographers everywhere for unwanted pictures. A few good evening production shows, but most entertainment average. No live music in shows, but much recorded music and lip-synching. Overall, Costa does not compare with Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, or other lines we've sailed.
Our embarkation went very well and we were delighted with our room, very similar in appearance to the Carnival line. Ports of call were perfect and most of all the entire staff from officers to crew were more than nice. Every one was polite and happy to answer all of our questions or requests. The food was fair although every dish was presented beautifully.
All in all, we had a nice vacation and the price was perfect.
This was my second cruise, my husband's first. Embarcation was quick and smooth. As soon as we were on board, we were directed to deck 9 to partake of the lunch buffet. Shortly after lunch, we were able to go to our cabin. Our cabin number had been changed, as we had learned when checking our bags at the port. My friends had put the tags they received in advance on their luggage, and went to what they thought was their assigned cabin. When their luggage was delivered, her husband began unpacking. A little later, a couple showed up at their door, saying they were assigned to that cabin. My friends had to repack and move, as they had not known their cabin number was changed. Our sign and sail cards were on our bed, but my friends, who are both blind, hadn't noticed that their names weren't the names on the cards.
The cabins were very spacious. We had a balcony cabin, which we enjoyed very much. Our steward, Derick, was great, and always cheerfully greeted us when he saw us.
Like our friends, my husband and I are bothblind/visually impaired. I found it easy to get around the ship, but my husband, who has some vision, as well as my friend's husband, found the mirrored glass elevators very confusing. Our cabins were near the front of the ship. We usually took the front elevators to other decks that didn't have cabins, if we wanted to go to the middle or back of the ship, as the cabin halls were narrow, and often filled with cleaning carts and such, making it necessary to walk single file, rather than side by side.
On this cruise, English was the first language in which anouncements were made, followed by the same anouncement in French, Spanich, Italian, and German, interesting, but sometimes an aggrivation.
I wasn't as pleased with the food as I was on my other cruise. The first night, we went to the pizzaria. The only pizza selections available were cheese pizza and artichoke pizza. I like to have some meat on my pizza. The meals were alright, but I didn't have one thing that made me say "I've got to have that again"! My husband missed never having biscuits at breakfast. The wait staff was very accommodating, especially at lunch and dinner. Because buffets aren't as easy or convenient to manage, for people who are blind/visually impaired, we chose to eat most of our meals in the dining room. At breakfast, we often had to ask several times for beverages, orders were served incorrectly, but corrected when brought to the staff's attention, and portions varried, depending on how the food was ordered. When I ordered corned beef hash with toast, I got a nice portion of hash, but the day I addded a fried egg, I barely got a small spoonful of hash, added to the plate as an afterthought. The desserts were odd, in that some pies and cakes were served plain with a spoonful of spreadable something, in the flavor that was listed for the cake or pie. Because we weren't wowed with the food, we didn't spend extra money to have a meal at the Tuscan steakhouse, Club Atlantica.
We were generally happy with our bar drinks, and I enjoyed the virgin pina coladas, which I was able to get with drink tickets. There were two happy hours a day, so that was a treat. Rather than having a beverage card that could be purchased for the week, as Carnival did, one could purchase ten drink tickets for $25.30. These could be used for sodas and virgin drinks.
We didn't go to many of the late night shows, however my friends and I participated in the tallent show which didn't take place until 10:45 pm, and didn't end until a while after midnight. It was not your "run of the mill" tallent show. It was presented as if we were in a Roman colliseum. I won't give you specifics, as I don't want to spoil the surprise, in case you take the cruise, but if you're curious enough, you will find it in another review that is on the web.
My husband, friends, and I all enjoyed the on board shopping. The ship also had a shopping guide who seemed much like a walking, talking infomercial.
We were very impressed with our cruise director, Andrea. He wore many hats, and they all fit him well. He wseemed as comfortable hosting the Newlywed game as he was giving a lecture regarding `the Da Vinci code, mathematical theories and philosophy.
Disembarcation and embarcation at all the ports seemed very organized, and was no problem at all. Although there were sometimes communication burriers, we found all the crew to be friendly and ready to serve. We enjoyed our cruise, but I probably wouldn't cruise with Costa again. That seemed to be the centiment of most people with whom I spoke, who had cruised with other cruise lines.
Once again, we chose this cruise because it was one of the few package deals that departed from the Dominican Republic thus allowing us to stay at an "all-inclusive" resort for a second week. This was our second cruise on the Costa line and although there were a lot of similarities to that of our cruise on Costa Classica, we enjoyed this one even more. The package consisted of flight, cruise and hotel and was offered through Transat Holidays. This was not available on the Costa.com website but rather only found on the Costa.uk site. It's some sort of charter deal that can only be found this way. We departed from Toronto with a direct flight in Air Transat to La Romana DR. Our flight had been rescheduled from the original booking to arrive around 6:00 pm and the Transat staff was waiting to greet us on the tarmac. The drive to the pier was around 20 minutes and there was virtually no line once we got there. This was partially because this cruise had several embarkation ports and this was only a minor one (mostly for Canadians and Americans). Themajority of the passengers got on in Guadeloupe, as this was the embarkation port for Europeans and locals. Most of the passengers on Costa ships are European and it is rare to hear much English spoken. This doesn't bother us as we love to travel Europe and we are used to that multi-lingual atmosphere. Costa is not a "mint on the pillow" or "decorative animal towel" type of cruise, but we don't find the need for those incidentals but rather look for service and itinerary as the main attraction. After the customary Bon voyage photo we were quickly on the ship. The ship was clean and tidy and decorated nicely. The first thing we noticed was the full ship center atrium with the birdcage elevators zooming up and down. There were plenty of elevators throughout the ship and we never seemed to have to wait long to get one.
One of the nice features of this ship was that numbering of each floor at the elevators and stairways was printed in the carpeting. You easily knew what floor you were getting off at so you never made a mistake. Because the ship was not leaving until midnight, and most of the passengers were off on excursions, we took advantage of the empty ship to tour around and check it out. The pools were on the small side but plenty large enough to accommodate the busy periods. We found the variety of pools much nicer and more modern than Costa Classica. The multilevel spa and fitness center was exceptional and we used it daily. It's always nice when the treadmills are right at the front of the ship and this made morning entry into each port a panoramic treat.
The theaters were nice, but most shows filled up quickly so you have to give yourself time to finish dinner and get there. After the shows, there was always a lounge where the entertainment team would gather and create some fun with the passengers.
There were four of us traveling so we had two balcony cabins side by side. The divider between the balconies could be opened but only when in port. This was a bit of a disappointment but the configuration of the dividers didn't allow for the door to be completely out of the way. It was mostly designed for staff access rather than having four people sit and be in each other's company. There are cabins however with adjoining doors between them, and you must request these when booking. The cabin was quite spacious and almost as large as a mini suite on Princess ships. There was plenty of storage, a nice desk and a loveseat with a small table. As return guests (and Costa Club members) we were treated to a bowl of fruit and a welcome back note.
The only complaint I would have is that there was a slight but unpleasant odor in our room, for the first half of the cruise. It dissipated gradually each day.
The itinerary for this particular cruise was La Romana DR, Catalina Island DR, Tortola BVI, Castries St Lucia, Pointe-a-pitre Guadeloupe, Saint John's Antigua, and St. Maarten. We mostly took beach days but we also walked around most of the port cities. Catalina Island is normally just a beach day and Costa has the beach to itself. A BBQ is served along with musical entertainment and the beach chairs are included. Catalina Island is one of our very favorite beaches and we look forward to returning one day. Tortola BVI has upgraded the shopping experience since we were last there in 2005 and they now offer many small booths within walking distance from the ship. St Lucia offers shopping at the port and many varied excursions. There are plenty of taxis waiting to take you for much less than a Costa arranged excursion and it's a beautiful island that I would recommend seeing. The beaches are among our favorites in St Lucia as well. Guadeloupe was the only stop where there was very little to do within walking distance of the pier, so we only left the ship for a few minutes and then spent the day by the pool. We chose a 4-hour beach day in Antigua but for 51 Euros each ($150.00 for the 4 of us) we got a 1-hour drive to Half moon bay. A 2-hour stay and another 1-hour drive back to the ship followed. The beach doesn't have facilities and a chair rental was $6.00 each but they only had about 12 chairs so we couldn't get one. This was a complete rip-off by Costa and I've learned greatly about pre-booking excursions. It's best to do it without the ship and just watch your timing so you don't miss the departure.
St. Maarten is of course a great shopping experience. The water taxi takes you directly from the pier to the beach and from there; you can shop till you drop. We spent a little time at one of the casinos down town but were unsuccessful at winning the cruise fare back.
The final day is a half-day at sea and then we returned to the port of La Romana for our hotel stay at the Iberostar Hacienda.
One of the best things about cruising with Costa for us is the food. Every dinner was exceptional and the deserts were wonderful. We would like to see a little more seafood like Princess offers but when cruising Italian style, we have come to expect a superb cuisine all around. Costa Atlantica is a wonderful ship and we found the staff to be friendly and helpful (unlike some of the reviews we have read). I highly recommend you try it for a wonderful cruise experience with great value.
Everything started out great, but went downhill fast.
The embarkation was the best ever and the ship is the most beautiful ship I have been on. The room steward was fabulous and the cabin room (inside stateroom) was spacious and had tons of closet space. That is where it ended.
The staff was the grumpiest and most unpleasant staff I have ever experienced. I went to the omelet bar and the guy didn't ask me what I wanted on it, he just threw it together and tossed down the plate.
The crew was just awful! Dirty dishes, staff cutting me off or just plain ignoring me. There were little things lacking -- no English television programs, no chocolate on the pillow, no customer service, no information on shore/port things to do unless you buy one of their way overpriced shore excursions.
Some of the facilities were not working (cold Jacuzzi, steam room) and when I went to customer service (first time ever and I have cruised 5 times) I was barely tolerated. I even asked if it was because I was an American and it seemed as if Italians rule the ship. Theresponse was a shoulder shrug.
If you want to get anywhere on or off the ship you will need to learn to push and shove your way or you will be left behind by an Italian mob of passengers who make cutting in line and shoving an art form. Kids dominated the ship, and were left running up and down halls until 2:00 in the morning.
The food was horrible as were the shows and cruise director (Clem). I am very upset that I chose Costa. I have heard that the Costa ship sailing the Caribbean is much better, but in Europe it should stick to Italian passengers only because all of the crew and entertainment is there solely for their enjoyment and you can forget the Americans (we were even denied a tour in the Galley, when others were allowed).
On the plus side, the itinerary was great. I loved all of the ports from Norway, Scotland, and Dover, England. Great ports! I highly recommend the itinerary, but steer clear of Costa unless you are Italian and even then I would skip Costa. Never again.
This was my 14th cruise. It was the most disapointing cruise yet. In my opinion a cruise is the way to go on vacation. We take at least one cruise a year. This year we decided to try Costa Cruise Line. The travel agent said it was normally a European line for the majority of the year, In my opinion it could have stayed in Europe. We boarded and went to our cabin which was very nice. A large window and pleasent motif a nice size bathroom it looked like we were in for a wonderful week. When I used the bathroom the toilet would not flush. When we spoke to the front desk a person there told us "that happens but all would be fine after we were away from the dock". I questioned this and was told not to worry that it was normal. I have never had this happen before but took their word for it. After dinner when we returned to our cabin to check and see if we had received our luggage the bathroom was still not working. I mentioned this to a passingcabin steward and he told me to call in . I called and a very unconcerned person told me that they would get to it in a few hours. Now I was getting upset. I did not want to spend the evening in the cabin waiting for it to be fixed. It was finally fixed.
The next night was our first formal night. This is normally a dinner that is wonderful and sort of sets the standard for the week. Well I should have known when the escargot was served cold that we were in for trouble. I sent it back and then the second one was served not much warmer I gave up on that. The pasta was also not hot and the meat was over cooked. I ordered medium rare and got a well done piece of shoe leather. Desert was wonderful.
Our table of 7 asked if we could have cheese on the table when we arrived for dinner each night. Well it was never there despite our repeated requests. I gave up on the pasta after the 3rd night. I also requested iced tea be on the table each night it was never there when we arrived for dinner. On my past cruises the waiter and busboy made a point to learn our name, This also never happened on this cruise. Maybe the fact that they add the tip on the bill is the reason that the service was so bad, Sort of a why bother attitude.
The onboard entertainment was a suprise. The cruise director was a joke. Normally the after dinner shows are on a par with vegas shows. there was only one show that not perocial. I have seen more professional work done at the high school level.
The service in the lounges was poor. If you were not sitting at the bar you should go to the bar and get your own drink because the wait for a waiter was much to long.
We took a tour on each island and we were suprised to see that european passangers were given preferential treatment. Seperate locations to meet Special buses They were boarded first and from a seperate gang plank.
The ship itself is beautiful. The lounges are gorgeous. Too bad the service is not comparable. Needless to say I will never cruise Costa again.
Cruising Italian Style is a unique and interesting one.
This is my third time on Costa so I feel real confident sailing with them.
Embarkation was organized for the most part; the set up is similar to an airport except everyone is getting on the same ship. Once I arrived on the ship the interior decoration immediately stood out, there is Italian art work and furniture everywhere, beautiful to the eye. The crew are very nice people that are always eager to help you. I stayed in a category 10 which is an ocean view with a balcony; it was very nice and spacious. The dining was exceptionally good; I enjoyed the different types of foods they had to offer.
I know when you think Italian Cruise Line you think of Italian food, but they did have other choices that cater to your American taste. I don't gamble too much but if I was a high roller the casino would be more than adequate for me, they had almost every game you could imagine. The ports of calls were your usual Eastern Caribbean ports. However, I did make the very best ofit by taking shore excursions and having a good time with my wife (we were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary). To sum it up, our trip with Costa was exciting as always and I cannot wait until our next cruise this summer when we go to the Greek Islands on the Costa Victoria. I would recommend this cruise line any day; they provide you with a European style of cruising which is a wonderful way to get away from your typical American lifestyle.
We just returned from our first with Costa. My husband and I absolutely love to cruise and were looking forward to trying a new cruise line.
We booked the largest cabin, the Grand Suite for our 1 week Western Caribbean adventure. We prefer to book better cabins because of the service and amenities that it usually entails.
The embarkation was simple, but when we found out that we had to wait in another line onboard to register our credit card, we knew why the embarkation lines were shorter than other cruise lines.
Our cabin was on the 8 1/2 deck, on the stern and it was fabulous. The bedroom was totally separate from the rest of the cabin. There was a large walk-in closet, dressing area, bathroom with jacuzzi tub, living room, TV in both bedroom and living area and the balcony was a large wraparound and we loved it. The bedding, toiletries, etc. were only mediocre compared to suites on other lines. We were very happy with our butler, Chris, who was very attentive. He helped to make our cruise more pleasurable.
The dining room was less-than satisfactory. Our 2nd nightwe waited an hour and 10 minutes and had only been served our appetizer. All the guests who were seated around us were already beginning dessert and we arrived before all of them. We complained and were assigned a new wait staff that were much better. The food is terrific. Lots of variety; not all Italian.
The room service was efficient and accurate.
The entertainment was so-so, but the classical music in Caffe Florian was divine. The cafe is an exact replica of the one in Venice. We spent many evenings enjoying cappuccinos (only $3 each) in Florian.
The ship is beautiful (Vegas-style) and was clean. It was the most stable cruise ship we had sailed on. The service was great.
All the announcements were in several different languages..after awhile it got annoying; especially during the lifeboat drill when we had to wait through the instructions in each language. There were many non-Americans onboard, but we enjoyed the mixed cultures. The toga night was a blast. We loved walking around and seeing that about 85% of the guests participated.
The ports of call were great, but in Key West & Jamaica, Costa had bad docks. The other cruises in port that day had the better docking locations.
For the price of this cruise, it was a terrific value. I would probably sail with Costa again, but only in a suite. Our butler really made the cruise for us; without him, we would have been disappointed. Don't expect a lot of special privileges as a Suite guest either.
This was our second cruise on Costa. We enjoyed our first on the Victoria and still have fond memories of it. Although we've been on 5 other cruises, no ship stands out in our memory like the Costa ships although the destinations certainly do. We sailed to relax and did'nt care about the excursions, having been to the Caribbean before. The Atlantica in out opinion is a beautiful ship. It looks like no expense was spared, especially in the various lounges. The Florian Cafe(a replica of the original in Venice) is a case in point with the marble, painted ceilings and portraits, the red velvet, the classical entertainment, all made for a pleasant venue to sit and relax. The show productions were probably the best we've seen on a ship, ie the staging, sound and lighting. The Chapel, though hidden in a corner of the ship is another beautiful rendition and the flagstone floored garden passage is wonderful. I used the 3 level exercise facility with hot tub at the front of the ship every day as well as the steam room and sauna.
I left the stateroom shower to mywife and luxuriated in the spa shower with its 5 shower heads. Everyone was friendly, service was good, the food variety was outstanding, quality was good except for most of the desserts which don't look or taste like what you expect.Anybody that complains, please don't come back. I heard someone complain about too many elevators because they had too many choices and often got on the wrong one. Oh well. There was a large Jewish group(served Kosher food) and Irish group(from all over the USA and abroad) on board, as well as Europeans. If you don't like to mix with other cultures and people, please go elsewhere. Boarding and disembarkation were well organized. The bottleneck was at Customs. Would we go on Costa again? You bet.