I took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Copenhagen. She is 10 years old and looks her age.
The good things:
Size of the cabin was very convenient. Lots of cabinets and a large bed which was very comfortable.
Many shelves in the bathroom and safety measures not to fall or slip.
The balcony we booked was small but with a table and two comfortable chairs and it was nice sitting there.
Staff was very friendl, the steward efficient ,the elevators speedy and lots of them.
Evening performances at the theater were quite entertaining despite lasting only 45 minutes.
5th floor has several bars with singers and dance floors. quite enjoyable.
Before going on the cruise we were often in contact with the company's representatives and they did their best to help us with anything.
The bad things:
The air conditioner was very weak and hardly noticeable. And it was hot.
In the bathroom we had almost no hot water and it was very unpleasant.
TV was huge with a small screen (TV not even LCD).
Both the TV and the remote only allowed to jump forward one channel or change volume.
The picture quality was poor and unclearand that could not be improved.
There were a lot of the ship's channels and the rest were Italian. There was only one news channel in English, the BBC.
We talked with the steward on these issues and we were told that's that.
Room's water room had terrible taste, no way we could drink that.
We had to buy the ship's water, each liter for 3 euros!!!
Even that had very funny taste.
When I talked to other passengers who were on other companies' cruises no one has encountered such a problem. I understand the ship is 10 years old but is that an excuse for such disregard?
Breakfast and lunch were very scarce and very poor selection. The same the whole seven days/. Other people from other cruises were just amazed. For example, there were only two Yellow Cheese kinds, throughout the voyage.
Everyone is familiar with the disaster that happened last year to the Concordia. I'll have to assume that because of fall in demand Costa is looking for every way to cut expenses and get passengers to pay more...
Another example of that would be the outrageous cost of 10 euros for one hour for the ship's Wi-Fi!
The ship was not sailing to Bergen although most other tours do.
In Geiranger we had to get off not directly to the harbour but through a boat and on return everyone had to wait half an hour in the heat for our turn to get back to the ship.
On the third day we came to Skjolden from nine in the morning till five thirty. It's a tiny place with nothing realy to do if you wanted to go ashore. We took a tour of the glacier and drove for three hours there and back ond then only saw him From afar. There was no nice scenery on the way as well.
At Oslo we arrived at seven in the morning and stayed only until 12 only which wasn't enough for a proper tour. We were told the reason for that was that the ship wanted to get in time to the next stop, Warnemunde, so that people wanting to do a tour in Berlin could get there in time.
As we didn't need that tour and there was nothing to do in Warnemunde we had to stay in the ship from nine and a half to eight in the evening!
Another annoying problem was that in each of the docking points there weren't any taxis or other means of transporatation besides that of the ship's. Friends who had other companies in this area told us that wasn't the case in their cruises.
In conclusion, this was my first cruise and next time if there is one I'll be wiser in choosing the right cruising company.
The Fortuna has a large block of cabins over the grand bar with no sound proofing. The bar fires up loud live music at around 6:30pm and goes until 3am. Even the housekeeping manager said it was unacceptably loud, and called customer service from our cabin to complain on our behalf. If you have one of those cabins you will not be able to sleep until the bar shuts down. We took this cruise hoping to rest up from a month of strenuous travel in Europe.
It turns out that Costa customer service is really an impenetrable stone wall. You will never be allowed to speak with someone who has the authority to do anything about a problem. If you persist, they will become rude and abusive. The situation was so bad we and our travel agent began communicating with Costa corporate leadership in the USA. They responded in exactly the same way as CS on the ship. They were rude, dismissive, and when we persisted in requesting help they became abusive. We soon requested a refund knowing Costa is owned by Carnival which has a satisfaction guarantee. Costa flatly refused.When you get on a Costa cruise you had better be prepared to take whatever they dish out.
Costa advertises a "Sophisticated European atmosphere on board." This is simple not true. This cruise was packed with rude, pushy, unsophisticated people, most of whom repeatedly demonstrated zero regard for other people. And while most of the world is dropping the tobacco habit, half the passengers on this cruise chain smoke. There is no open air place on this ship where you can escape the stench of tobacco.
The ship does not have adequate facilities to feed its 3500 passengers. This results in extremely long snaking buffet lines, a 30 minute wait to get at the extremely mediocre food, and a dining room with no room to dine or move. Costa creates interesting itineraries, and then allows only a couple of hours to see them. And on this cruise small tenders were frequently required to get ashore, so that time was often cut in half. In many cases it is simply not worth the trouble, unless you are just port bagging.
This review would not be complete without mentioning that all PA announcements were loudly repeated in 5 languages, so it takes all day for this passenger strip mining operation to communicate its endless opportunities for passengers to surrender more of their hard earned cash. And of course there is no place to escape this barrage because sound proofing appears to be a foreign concept to Costa. For us, this was a cruise in hell. Do yourself a favor and go with a more reputable company with a track record of taking care of people.
I have been on six other cruises and the food on this ship was not anything to write home about.
The ports were very crowded, with the exception of the Dominican Repblic. Many ports had too many ships in at one time.
I would not book again on this cruise ship.
I waited 2 weeks to write this review in order to calm down.
The service was terrible.
The food was dull and tastless.
For the most part, the staff and management were misleading on tour information.
The cruise was inexpensive, so I guess in this case you get what you pay for.
I would not recommend a Costa cruise.
The date of our cruise was 1/4/2009! This is the second Costa cruise we have taken. It was much better than expected.
Food, overall, was very good. Don't know what other reviewers were complaining about. We prefer, for the most part, not to eat in the dining room. I would strongly suggest that the buffet at night open by 7 or 7:30 at the latest! Waiting until 8 was inconvenient.
Cabin size was great, however, we never saw our steward all week long; not even on the first day when we had questions, but he/she did do a good job with the cabin.
Boarding was good. Crew were friendly. I would like to apologize for the rude behavior of Americans (as well as some of those from other countries) that we observed during the week. Banging on doors because the buffet didn't open exactly at 7a.m.; one woman walking between the buffet line and the doors to get to the food, even though the crew were still making preparations to open; complaing about many little things that really don't matter, etc. Please remember -- you are your country's ambassador.
I would book Costaagain, especially at the price we paid which made it a great value.
A big HI to table 237 -- formerly 239.
This was our annual family vacation (2 kids, 2 adults) and overall it was, ummmmmm, memorable to say the least.
The ship itself was very large but overly colourful; like an Italian carnival threw up on it. This made locating bathrooms and exits very difficult.
Our room was very spacious and our steward was fantastic! The same can be said about our waiters. The service on this ship, as with most others, was superb.
The entertainment was rather bland with the exception of Stephen Sorrentini, who flew in from Vegas. He was phenomenal, but we found the rest of the entertainment very bland.
The food was terrible, unlike NCL cruises we had gone on before where there were themed nights (Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. food), the food on this cruise was virtually the same stuff everyday.
The ports were great, but we were beginning to wish that we had just flown out to a resort rather than cruise.
Our sixth Caribbean cruise was aboard the Costa Fortuna from December 9-16, 2007. We stayed in the 160 square foot, but very spacious, inside cabin 8294 and our room attendant, Michael from the Philippines, was very kind and efficient. He did a great job of always having our room spotless.
We stopped in San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola and Nassau and had a great time shopping and souvenir hunting. Despite some early rough weather due to the off-season Hurricane Olga, we kept our Bonine handy and had a smooth cruise, unlike some other people who didn't come prepared and suffered from major motion sickness.
Meals were as tasty and plentiful as they were with our previous cruises aboard Carnival, which didn't surprise us since Costa is owned by Carnival. Our dinners at the 2-person candlelit table 440 were romantic and had a panoramic view of the entire dining room. Our waiter, Francisco from the Dominican Republic; and his assistant, Joyce from the Philippines, were friendly and did an excellent job of taking care of us. Selections included old favorites such as grilled tuna steak and new treats like salmon with Gorgonzola cheese spread.
Theship itself was very well-maintained and we had no problem finding our usual nightly hangout spot from the outset. The Bar Classico Roma was a relaxing place to enjoy a fine cigar and a drink after dinner, and we had many pleasant evenings chatting with other guests about our cruise experiences.
All in all, we'd highly recommend the Costa Fortuna as a great way to get a taste of the Mediterranean in a Caribbean cruise, and you can visit http://www.davehertz.com to view photos from our wonderful time at sea!
Myself, my wife and four children (aged 10 to 14) cruised in the Eastern Med, starting and ending in Savona, Italy. This was our fifth -- but worst -- cruise.
Embarkation Embarkation was a nightmare. We were kept waiting for ages in the terminal building. There was a numbering system, so you knew when your number was coming up -- but had no way of knowing how long it would take. After waiting about an hour, we went through the worst boarding process imaginable, with far too many steps and lots of duplication involved -- e.g., four separate passport checks.
Cabins & Attendant Once on board we found we had been incorrectly allocated cabins. The root cause of the problem was the travel agent (Cruisedeals.co.uk - more on them later), so the reception desk stood their ground and refused to change our accommodations -- not very flexible of them, but admittedly not their fault. The cabins themselves were very clean and about the same size as on other cruise liners we have sailed on. Our cabin attendant was marvelous, a real gem -- sympathetic about our problems, very meticulous in her work, andalways cheerful. We canceled the ridiculously high standard gratuity charge in favor of giving it all to her in cash at the end of the cruise.
Food & Dining The dining experience was not great; in fact, it left a lot to be desired relative to other liners. The worst part was having to dine at set times. The service was poor and slow, even by European standards. You could eat buffet style outside of the main restaurants, but were offered nothing more than bland pizza and salad. The wine waiters were slow and sometimes forgot your order altogether. I think there were far too few waiters for both food and drink, which caused the problem.
Entertainment This was fairly limited. It needed to be more visual than verbal due to the number of different languages spoken by the passengers on board. Generally the quality of the acts was poor. The kids' entertainment was marvelous, however; my kids really enjoyed the activities and they ran to the club for long hours each day.
Reception The reception desk was slow, with long queues. It had an unfriendly staff who could pretend simply to not understand when asked something difficult -- very, very poor.
On Deck There was plenty of space to sit, and usually we did not have much trouble finding deck chairs -- except for days at sea, but that is standard on most ships. Waiters out on deck were few and far between, and seemed to wait for you to approach them rather than walking about asking if anyone wanted a drink. I tended to give up and walk to the bar myself. Again, there were far too few of them compared to, say, a Thomson cruise.
Itinerary The itinerary was marvelous: Savona, Alexandria, Cyprus, Rhodes, Izmir, Athens, Katakolon -- great places to go, and a very well-thought-out route. We spent two days early on cruising to warmer climes, giving everyone time to find their way about; then we had a port stop every day, other than the last day when the ship was heading north again.
The Ship Overall, the ship was very good. It's the exact same ship as the Carnival Glory, but with some different uses for various rooms. The gym was very good, and not too busy other than mid-morning (especially on at sea days).
Overall Summary The cruise had too many downsides. Compared to other cruise ships, it was definitely the worst in our experience, so we would never sail with them again. It didn't help that the reception desk staffers were not interested in our initial cabin problems; but even after that it was not the best of cruises.
Regarding the cabin problems, a quick word on Cruisedeals.co.uk: I booked the cruise asking specifically for two cabins capable of sleeping three people each, i.e. expecting two cabins each with four berths. When the tickets arrived, I saw that they allocated my wife and I to one cabin and my four kids (the oldest 14) to the other. I assumed this was a nominal allocation and that we could reorganize ourselves into two rooms of three (girls in one, boys in the other) upon boarding. However, just to be safe I called Cruisedeals to get it sorted out.
They did not fix it, and it transpires by their own admission they didn't even log the call on their system. I called them several times from the ship, but they refused to fix it, stating that our booking matched what their system said. I formally complained in writing on my return but was fobbed off with the same line. Beware !! I would never trust them with a booking again.
The bottom line: a crowded, noisy, glitzy environment; adequate cabin service; mediocre food; and corporate policies that are both cowardly and deeply insulting to American citizens and to Jews.
Details: The Costa Fortuna is an immense ship. The first problem comes at Costa's Savona, Italy embarkation terminal, where they try to debark 3,200 passengers between 8am and noon; and then embark 3,200 passengers between noon and 5pm sailing time. We arrived on our hotel transfer bus from Genoa at 12:30. We waited three hours in the crowded, boring terminal hall until our number was called; then we stood for another half hour in a security line. We finally reached our cabin four hours after arriving at the terminal.
Debarkation was similar; the ship docked at 8am, and it was 12:30 pm when our bus reached our hotel in Genoa.
Every time you leave the ship for a shore excursion, or return (hot and tired) from a shore excursion, you will spend time in a long queue. The worst was a time on Crete when Costa scheduled seventeen (I counted them) full tour coaches into the same restaurant for lunch at the sametime. We stood in that queue for over one hour waiting to reach the one serving line. It was horrible.
The interior of the ship is glitzy and gimmicky, like a second-tier Vegas casino. There is noise all the time -- the only quiet place is your cabin, if your neighbors are out. Even in the ship's tiny library, the PA announcements are at a piercing level. Every PA announcement is repeated five times, in Italian, French, English, Spanish and German. Sometimes Japanese is added. There are constant PA announcements for the many special events the ship uses to separate you from your money: art auctions, fashion shows, etc. When the PA isn't blaring, there's loud Euro-pop muzak going.
There is one casual buffet where all 3,200 people trample each other for breakfast, lunch, and to pig-out on cake and cookies at tea time. However it is not an alternative for supper, if you want to escape the dining room experience: the buffet only provides pizza and salads after 5pm. For anything else you have to go and be sociable at table for 8, and sit through a typical Italian antipasto, primi, secondi, dessert menu. The food ranged from just-ok to inedible.
The cowardly and insulting part is how Costa knuckles under to the Libyan authorities. Costa insists on visiting Tripoli. But Libya requires that (a) NOBODY on the ship carries an Israeli passport (2) NOBODY on the ship has an Israeli visa stamp in their passport (3) no U.S. passport holders are to leave the ship in a Libyan port. Costa took great pains to implement the anti-semitic policies (1) and (2), warning us repeatedly that if we snuck on the ship with an Israeli visa stamp, we'd be put ashore. And they provided no special events or entertainment to compensate their American guests who had to spend a day on ship in port (with the bars closed because Libya doesn't allow alcohol sales either).
Costa also took away everyone's passport and held them for the duration of the cruise. Europeans got their passports back the day before debarkation. Not so U.S. citizens -- our passports were held by the ship until the Italian authorities could "inspect" them -- as if they hadn't already checked them on arrival in Italy and when boarding the vessel -- and we didn't get them back until an hour after the ship docked at the end of the cruise.
There are so many ports that could be substituted for Tripoli -- Malta, Rhodes, Sardinia, any Greek island -- it is just a blatant insult to Jews and to Americans generally that Costa bows to the Libyan's outrageous demands. And infuriating that the Italian police -- or somebody -- wanted to specially "inspect" American passports.
Based on this I absolutely would NOT recommend this ship or this line to any U.S. citizen -- or to anyone of Jewish descent -- or indeed to anyone who likes peaceful or tasteful surroundings.
Let me first start by telling everyone that is planning this trip =>> Make sure that your connecting flights from US to Savona or any other connecting city is at least a few hours apart. Mine was only 35 min and I missed it because we spent 45 min on the runway in New York's JFK airport due to traffic.
Please take a small carry on with all the necessary toiletries and 2-3 days worth of underwear/clothing change in case they lose your luggage. Mine was lost due the AlItalia's negligence and I did not get it until Barcelona (6 days later). The lost luggage assistance is very poor (no proper tel numbers or contacts on board or on land) and there is nothing to buy on board to help.
Costa Cruises do not offer anything except for a small survival kit (toothpaste, toothbrush and shampoo). Laundry is free, but what do you wear while they are washing it?
The Carnival corp. has purchased Costa Cruises and you can feel it right away. The food is very average and the service is just ok.
The Costa Fortuna ship itself is big andnice, however the décor is dizzying. Typical of Carnival's luck of taste and limit.
The cabin #9205 (suites class S) on the 9th deck is very nice, and not expensive if 3 people are sharing it. It is spacious and very clean.
Early sitting dinner starts at 7-7:30PM and does not end till 9PM. Late sitting dinner is too late starts at 9:30PM.
The crowd is mostly middle class Italians, French and Spanish, only a few Americans. Everyone pushes into elevators and there is no consideration for space or people. Very strange behaviors regarding other passengers, children are everywhere, even if it's specified that it be for adults only.
Smoking is allowed everywhere except for the theater. There are non-smoking sections, but the air-conditioning is not working at all and it is very hot and stuffy everywhere.
The cruises excursions are nice and worth the money, not the dinner and show, but the history and the city's sight seeing tours.
The nightly shows are very primitive and uninteresting.
The music in all lounges is very nice and there is lots of dancing going on everywhere.
I do not recommend any Carnival cruises here in USA or Europe, very poor standards even for the money.