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Old January 31st, 2004, 08:13 PM
Randy@1001
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Default Costa compared to other lines

Our first cruise was aboard the Victoria in the early nineties. The ship was very new and quite beautiful. Embarkatition was slow but we had nothing to compare it too. Food was not what we expected from a cruise, the only chicken they served were thighs and legs and only the pasta dishes deserved any compliment. We have since cruised many times on Celebrity, Princess and Renaisance and were happy to discover that our first cruise on Costa was an anomaly that we care not to revisit.
It is interesting as I read what the posts on Costa have to say it rekindles my feelings from our first cruise. Officers that are so haughty and concerned with their personal enjoyment that the customer was secondary. No wonder the actual working crew does not understand customer service!
The food was an experience more akin to Dennys than cruising. I am thankful that we did not let this experience turn us off from cruising as there are much better lines out there.
It was also surprising that contrary to logic it was not an inexpensive cruise but one of our most expensive.
To everyone out there that demeans the right of others to voice their expectation of reasonable service and quality of food because you were happy I say to you CRUISE COSTA!!!!!!!!!!!
To those first cruiers try anothe line, any line as in my experience they are all superior
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2004, 03:22 PM
browezilla
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Default Re: Costa compared to other lines

Hi all,

I tend to be pretty easy to please on a cruise. I don't particular enjoy complete white glove service (ala Celebrity, Radisson, Crystal). I also don't like service that tries to be too friendly (Hooters :-). However, time is important to me so slow service is something I don't suffer well. As has been stated by others here, European-based service tends to be efficient, subdued, and impersonal (at least in my experience). I personally don't mind that, I'm not looking for a new friend :-), just someone to provide efficient service. However, I have enjoyed several waiters and seek them out if I cruise their ship again. My favorite waiters have been on Celebrity, which ironically isn't my favorite line. They seem to allow you to establish the relationship with them in your manner.

Much cuisine is lost on me. I don't understand why folks rave about lobster, I'd rather have a lemon-herb grilled chicken breast or halibut any day. I was chastised on another message board when I was using it to plan a trip to Paris and I glibly tossed out that the food/restaurants weren't important to me. In fact, one append writer suggested that I stay home if i wasn't going to France for the food. Geez, there's much more to France than the food. I found that writers remarks very myopic, so I just chose to ignore it. I would prefer to eat at TGI Friday's or Applebee's over Ruth Chris's. Not that the food is of a better quality, just my personal tastes.

The point is, taste varies all across the board. I really enjoyed Randy's comments above (all save the "you CRUISE COSTA") as they have real substantive experiences and aren't completely subjective (e.g. "They're awful" - Ok, say why?)

My experience on this web site message board has been that it is one of the friendliest, courtiest, helpful, and most even handed at dispensing information on cruises. I find that most appends are best if they don't judge/subjectify the comments, but just state them as facts, or at least state the facts and then judge. Having said that though, I do like closing statements of how they liked it overall and if they would do it again. I also like when it is rated against other cruise lines if there is context to it, i.e. why do you rate it so.

This has been my first foray onto the Costa threads in the board, and whew! there's some venom out there :-) Although, I have seen similar comments in regard to Carnival, RCCL, Princess, etc. just not in this volume. Actually, over at cruisecritic.com, the comments seem to be a bit more positive.

Although I don't discount many of the comments, I also weight them against the real content in the append and try to base my decisions on the content, not the personality of the append. For example, I'm a big fan of Consumer Reports. Gives me a lot of facts without personal subjectiveness (in my opinion).

I've sort of rambled on here, but one last thing I would like to ask is "how could Costa have stayed in business if they are as bad as some of the appends say they are". The cruise industry is mostly based on repeat customers. If they don't have repeat customers, I really don't think they would have survived this long. I kind of use that as my base assumption and extra the content from the appends.

Background: I've cruised on RCCL, Princess, Carnival, and Celebrity. I would recommend them all, but only after I know what kind of cruise experience the person is looking for. Cruises aren't commodities. There's quite a bit of variance in the experience.

BTW: I am also considering my first cruse on Costa. The negative appends here have definitely caused me to cast a cautious eye, but I'm trying to just distill the content. Right now I'm still considering taking the cruise as it is a very good deal price wise, and to date, I've never taken a bad cruise.

Cheers,
B
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2004, 10:26 PM
Junior Member
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Default Re: Re: Costa compared to other lines

To browezilla and all

I think you hit it on the head in that "how could Costa have stayed in business ...". We were in the same position as you last September/03 when booking on the Costa Atlantica for our Jan 4/04 cruise. (Our cruise was excellent, my review should post on cruisemates w/i the next couple of days, I have sent it to them already.) Any easy going, middle of the road person will be pleased with Costa.

We read the reviews and dissected them. We found positive even in the negative comments. Expectations for some people will never be met. Yes, sometimes there are some legtimate concerns.

We read the reviews of repeat cruisers on Costa. Why would these folks keep returning to Costa ships? Perhaps it has something to do with the averall experience. I place more value in the positive comments. Tie this with a cruise when on a particular date the ship is full or just about full. As food is the mainstay of ships, you will have choice of familiar items as well as new creations and well prepared. No flambés or white gloves at the table - there lines that provide this for high dollar$'s.

We were on the Fascination last year for 4 days and we prefer the Atlantica to the Fascination. Service staff, kids program and shows were similar - all very good -excellent. Food, restaurant service at breakfast and lunch, decor, cleanliness and embarktion/disembarktion process, etc were far superior.

We booked and we made the right choice with Costa Atlantica and glad we did. We are looking forward to our next Costa cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.

Ken.
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