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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 17th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Default Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I don't know where I read it, but I agree with the person who wrote that a Costa cruise is not the worst time he ever had -- just the worst time he ever had and paid for it.

I also love the one about feeling like the woman Sigourney Weaver rescues in "Alien Resurrection," where she simply says, "Kill me." That is how my husband and I felt when we finally got off this hellish nightmare of a cruise.

I'm new to this board, but I wish so much that I had found it before deciding to go on a Costa cruise. My husband and I joined a group from NJ for the February 21-28 western Carribbean tour on the Mediteranea. I'd never been on a cruise before, and after this unbelievable experience, I doubt I'll ever go on one again. It was truly the worst money I've ever spent in my life.

(I'm going to leave out comments about Discovery Travel, Inc. in Marmora, NJ. They engaged in their own particular brand of incompetence, from start to finish, regarding our flights to and from Ft. Lauderdale and ground transportation to and from the ship. I'll reserve my comments here for Costa alone.)

Good points:
1. Embarcation: I thought the embarkation process was extremely well-organized, efficient and speedy. No complaints.

2. Cleanliness: The ship itself was very clean and well-appointed. However, the decor was Vegas times ten -- gaudy to the point of garishness. Our cabin (8219) was a good size with a nice little balcony. The bathroom was adequate and the shower water pressure was good. The room steward kept the room very clean.

3. All-inclusive: The tips are charged at the end of the trip and were reasonable. We chose to give our waiter and waiter's assistant an additional tip in cash. It was nice to be able to order our drinks without concern for cost. However, you are only allowed a drink up to $7.00. Any drink costing more than this will be charged to your room. This made going to the wine bar a bust because the ones I wanted to try were over this limit.

Bad points:
There are really too many to list, but here is a smattering of the worst offenses:
1. The food was truly awful. I had a feeling it was going to be bad when our first meal consisted of greasy burgers and scary-looking hotdogs by the pool. But we were tired and hungry, and several Long Island iced teas helped lubricate the meal. Most lunches were of this caliber, including cold cuts or pizza from the buffet. On one truly frustrating day, we went on a 7-hour outing in Grand Cayman and were not given the opportunity to stop for lunch at any point. When we returned to the boat, lunch had stopped being served both in the buffet and the grill by the pool. Once again, pizza was the only food available regardless of the hour. The room service menu was laughable -- continental breakfast (no eggs or meat), sandwiches and salads. No real dinner food was available from the room service menu -- not even a burger. The dinner food tasted like it had all been frozen, defrosted and cooked to lukewarm. Everything tasted bland. The meats were tough, overcooked and stringy. The vegetables were forgettable and sauceless. The grilled salmon, which is always available on the menu, tasted very fishy and smelled bad -- inedible. The desserts were mediocre; all of the sherbert we ordered was half liquid by the time it was served. The gourmet restaurant on the 10th floor, Club Medusa, was hugely disappointing. For an extra $92.00 for four people ($20.00 surgcharge plus a service charge), we got to enjoy the likes of, for instance, a very confusing whipped parmesean cream cheese swirl served alone in a parfait glass (do you eat it straight, spread it on bread or what?), cold sliced veal with a disgusting pureed tuna sauce (tasted like canned tuna and mayo blended in a food processor), a watery, tasteless soup, and just-okay filet mignon.

We did not have one really great meal the entire time. We had expected good seafood, fresh fruits (and there were a few on the breakfast buffet), lean meats, lots of salads and decadent desserts. Instead, it was crusty breads, pizza, a lot of pasta, greasy-to-tough meats, and soft-serve, machine ice cream. We were really disappointed with the food.

2. Uncomfortable temperature
We were hot the entire time. This is unforgivable in the stateroom, where we struggled to get the temperature below 80, even with the lousy A.C. on full-blast. We all sweated in the restaraunts and in the casino. The only relief we got was when we went on deck and could enjoy a windy breeze to cool us.

3. No access to swimming pools
There were three pools, one purported to be adult-only. However, all three were filled with people and children the entire time. We could not get into any of the three hottubs because they were constantly filled with children. The pools are filled with seawater and are drained each night. So much for a midnight swim or sitting in the hottub after dark. Worse, there were not enough deck chairs or towels. So if you wanted to get some sun on the days at sea, you had to have claimed a chair by 8:00 a.m. or they were all filled. We finally got chairs in a shaded area, but there were no towels. The only swimming we did on the entire cruise was on an excursion in Grand Cayman. (Swimming with the sting rays was probably the only fun we had on the cruise).

4. Slow and excessively expensive internet access -- $.50 per minute, and each page takes minutes to load.

5. Major sicknesses acquired on the trip -- all four of our traveling group were stricken with what the doctors are calling "cruise ship virus" or "traveller's virus." Each of us have missed several days from work after returning from the cruise due to flu-like symptoms with nausea, fever, upper respiratory infections. I got it the worst due to the salmonella or e coli poisoning I had from eating something on the boat. This gave me two straight weeks of diarrhea. which made me so dehydrated that I couldn't weather the viral part. I was in the hospital for dehydration issues and missed more than a week of work. Today is the first day since we returned (2/29) that I am well enough to write these comments. I'm thinking about filing a complaint and trying to get a refund -- if anyone has heard about someone being successful in doing this after getting sick on a Costa cruise, please e-mail me.

6. Nothing to do on the boat
There were only two real "shows." Unfortunately, we had the second seating for dinner, and to attend a show, we'd have to go to the 11:00 p.m. show. Why they didn't offer a showtime before the seated dinner is beyond me -- but I imagine it had something to do with the Europeans eating later and going to bed later than we Americans do. In any case, unless you liked cards or the casinos, there was almost nothing to do on the boat but drink. And that was only fun for the first afternoon.

7. Too little time at ports of call
Plan on five hours, tops at any given port of call. They were all touristy and a waste of time anyway, unless you really like t-shirt shops in Key West and cheesy diamond jewelers in Cozumel. Grand Cayman was the only stop worth getting off the boat.

8. Unbearable beds
The beds, if you can call them that, are plastic and metal frames with a solid plastic slab foundation. Atop this is a horridly thin, 4" foam sheet covered with a bedsheet. There is a hard ridge of plastic running down the middle of the bed, which made intimacy impossible -- not that we'd have wanted to do anything like that, given the diarrhea, seasickness and general nausea from the wretched food.

9. Rude, rude rude Europeans
Both the staff and the European guests were exceptionally rude. The guests had no concept of waiting in line and would physically push us out of their way. The staff were not helpful when we were hot and complained that there surely must be something wrong with the A.C. in our room or when I became ill from eating spoiled food. The European guests stank, frankly, to the point that we had to abandon a meal from the buffet when some unwashed Italians sat next to us at lunch.

10. Chaotic disembarkation process
Plan on spending the morning sitting in a big room waiting to go through a cattle-call process. Don't plan on anyone caring about you in any way, shape or form, including your need to make a scheduled flight. You are assigned a color to tag your bags. If you don't have red or green, your morning will be screwed entirely. Enough said.

Overall, it was an awful waste of money. We felt like, as my husband put it, we were on a floating prison without bars. We truly contemplated flying back fromCozumel and abandoning the rest of the trip. I wish we had. At least then, we could have returned home to edible food, a bed in which we could approach sleep, and an escape from terminal boredom. Instead, we are $5,000.00 down the toilet and a week of vacation time from work completely wasted. Top that off with two weeks's straight of hospital-level sickness, and all I can say about Costa crusies is that I regret this trip more than I can possibly ever say.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 17th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 27
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Kate, sorry you too had a dissapointing time on Costa. My family and I had a very similar experience on the Med. Reading recent reports we had thought that the ships were improving but it does not appear so. Good luck on your complaint process and please keep us updated.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old March 17th, 2004, 04:41 PM
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Posts: 112
Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Oh my gosh how horrible - I am going on the Med 4/4/04 and I am terrified about the thought of your cruise. What should I do before my cruise? I am afraid of getting sick. What should I stay away from? What did you eat that made you sick? What is Costa saying, and who should I be speaking with at Costa to make sure my cruise is not like yours. For example are all the beds the same with the bar in the middle? Why did you get free drinks under $7?

Scared cruiser

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 08:31 AM
Tom F
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Default Re: Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/

Wow, a similar experience to mine, except you were not shuffled through airports during code orange when Costa screwed up my airline tickets. I had the same veal with tuna sauce. It was the most disgusting piece of meat, and the sauce you described to the mark. I am glad that you reported your trip experience here. Many of the Costa cheerleaders on this board, have made me feel as if it was only I who had gone through the same experience you have had. This is truly a disgusting cruise line. I thought from recent psoters they had cleaned up their act, I thought how amazing that Costa could have turned around all those major problems in such a short time, but after reading your post, I realize all is the same aboard that floating hell hole. The only good time I had was when I was getting off that boat.

Now complain loud and clear to Costa. Demand compensation for this joke of a cruise. If you need assistance, e-mail me
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 10:13 AM
blanca (belgium)
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Hey, i was on the same cruise as you did.
I'm also from Europe, but i and mine husband and 2 brave kids were not rude!!!
So not everyone of Europe is RUDE !!!

Maybe you can take al look at the fotogallery, there were some pictures of my
and mine family.
Hope you remember us so that you will know that we are not at all RUDE !!!

Hope that you will have a other opinion about some people of Europe!!!

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 10:14 AM
blanca (belgium)
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

By the way, i've send the pictures at 08/03/04
(costa mediterranea 22-29/03/04)
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Tell us, did you get sick too? How was your cruise?
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

the fact is that most americans do not accept customs different from what they are used to.
For instance they wish to have waiters always cheering and pretending to be funny with them them while a british would find it intrusive and unberable, or they want the food (mainly burgers and hot dogs) to be exactly the way they are used to etc. etc.
There is nothing wrong in such attitude. My only question is why those people choose a non-american line for their cruise.
If you have a look to the "rate your ship" poll in cruisemates you will find that among main stream lines the lower votes are to non-american lines.
I believe that european linesin the caribbean should make an effort to offer the american market what the majority want, keeping very few ships with european flavour only, clearly statntg they are for europeans or open minded americans only.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I am writing to share my experience on Costa. We were on Costa Mediterranea from Feb 22- 29th, and everyone in our group of ten had a great time.

First of all none of us got sick and all went back to work on March 1st.

We did not have bad experience with the bed or the AC but we had overflow in the shower one day. Someone above us dumped a whole bottle of shampoo. I called the Purser’s desk and a maintenance guy showed up at our cabin 5 minutes later. He fixed the problem and called the cabin steward to clean up the mess. The Purser’s desk called later during the day to make sure it was fixed. We thought the issue was handled properly.

Yes, the hot tubs on the open deck were very often occupied by children but there is an adult only hot tub in the spa. We went there every day and never saw a child there.

There were plenty activities on the ship, dance lessons, Italian cooking demonstrations, art auctions, Super trivia and etc during the day and music and dance at night. And there is a gym with different types of exercise machines.

We also had late seating for dinner. As far as I remember, there were at least 2 pre dinner shows during the week. We thought the entertainment was nicely balanced to satisfy an international passenger load, with production shows (the real shows), classical piano music, Italian Opera and a Steel band from Caribbean. The Italian opera singer used to be the tenor of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. I would not call his performance not a real show.

In terms of ports of all, the ship stop time ranged from 7 – 9 hours. Just an example in Progreso, the shore excursion trip to Chichen Itza took about 8 hours including 4 hour in transportation. Some of the places were touristy but you can always find other things to see or to do. In Key West, there were spots like the “Little White House” and the “Hemingway’s House”. In Progreso, people went to tour in Mayan ruins and in Cozumel, there was this beautiful Chankanaab National Park for people to enjoy the beach or swim with dolphins.

I agree with many people on this board that the food on the ship was not perfect but definitely not “inedible”. There were a couple occasions we did not like our food but most of the time they were great. On an Italian ship, we expected to get lots of pasta and pizza and they were excellent. We asked fellow passengers from Italy and Italian Americans about it and they all said they enjoyed the good, authentic Italian food onboard.

We thought the disembarkation was very well organized considering there were over 2000 people onboard. People at our table were able to change their luggage code in order to catch an early flight. Our flight was on Monday so we had the color that was called the last. Still we were in Miami downtown around noon, after getting off the ship, waiting half an hour for rental car shuttle and 15 minutes in the rental car office.

Before this cruise, we were a little concerned after reading comments and reviews from this board but we did not expect everything to be perfect. We had a wonderful vacation.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I'm so happy that you had a great time anonymous. I was on the Costa Mediterranea the week before you (Feb. 15-22) and we had a wonderful time. The food and service were wonderful. The entertainment was good. We loved it!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

It is nice to hear that some have had a good time on Costa.

I was terribly disappointed and would never sail with them again.

After reading European's comments above, I have to wonder if some of our disappointments with Costa, as americans, were due to the bad feeling that seems to seep out of some europeans towards us. What would make a person write such things? European, what do you know of us? Upon what do you draw your conclusion that we are all crass and uncultured? What experience have you?

It is unpleasant, to say the least, to be summed up as a cretin who subsists on hot dogs by someone who does not know me and hasn't taken the time to wonder if I might have a brain and some life experience.

I live here in the US and I don't fit your stereotype at all. Neither does anyone I know.

I thought the food on the Mediterranea was just dreadful. I own a casual, inexpensive Italian restaurant and I would have no customers if I served cold instant food.

Please, leave out the comments that portray us americans as cretins. We are not.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old March 18th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Its good to hear that not everyone had a bad time on their Costa cruise.. I sailed the Atlantica on 12/21 and had only about 2 problems with the cruise.. My brother whos in his late 20s was on a RCCL cruise the same time you were on the Mediteranea and he picked up the Norwalk Virus and was sick for more than half the cruise.. So it isnt just one cruise line that has people get sick on it.

Norwegian Leeward 1996
Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas 1997
Costa Atlantica 2003
Carnival Destiny 2004
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas 2005
Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas 2006
Crown Princess 2007
Carnival Valor 2009

Carnival Freedom June 2011!
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Old March 19th, 2004, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I’m not anti-American, I just wanted to point out that many people are not open to experiences different from what they are used to, and being this board 90% American I was of course referring to Americans.
I’ve been to more than 50 countries (including US several times), both on business and holyday, and always found something I liked and something I did not, but always trying to understand the culture, habits and appreciate the food of the country I was in.
My remarks apply to Europeans also, and I mean British who are not happy without their porridge, French always criticising wines as they did not find their Bordeaux, Italians looking for “spagetti al dente” even in Burkina Faso etc. etc.
If I were such kind of person I would either stay home or try to find everywhere my home-country style resorts.
If I were marketing a product in a market where most customers are stuck to their habits I would employ a local consultant to make sure that my product suits the target’s needs.
If I were a Costa manager I would try to do so on Atlantica and Mediterranea which are the largest ships in the fleet, leaving the European flavour on maybe Romantica only, making clear that the last is a ship oriented to Europeans (like they do with Marina for Germans), rather than promoting “Italian style cruising” where the market wants all but Italian style.
And, by the way, I found more rude people in NYC than in Paris, and I’m also offended by the stereotype that all Europeans are rude as often stated in this board.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 07:52 AM
tom f
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Default Re: Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/

Just to keep reminding anyone who is thinking about a costa cruise. This cruiser got off this floating hell hole not to long ago, and it is a miracle, a negative Cost post not started by me.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Let's go ahead and set the record straight here.

Tom F. is actually a Jamacian midget with a grudge against Costa. See, Tom had a little hot dog stand, you know, the ones with the little umbrella . Anyway, he was making a killing down at the docks selling all the stiffs waiting in those long customs lines gut bombs.
UNTIL, Costa decides to put some of their own Italian weiners on the afternoon buffet. Well, as you can imagine, that just put the ol' kebosh on Tommy's booming haute cusine business. He was little ahead of his time anyway, what with those Jerk dogs.
Anyway, he's been shining shoes down at the Alamo car rental return counter ever since, and bad mouths Costa every chance he gets.

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Old April 3rd, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28


I think it is time to grow up.

Oh well, I understand now, this is the type of cruiser Costa is attracting now.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Too bad for you folks but my cruise was anything but what you are describing. Having sailed on other similarly priced trips on same size ships, I am convinced that we got more bang for our bucks on the Mediterranean. This message board interactivity is new to me and I find it a great tool for sharing views and practicing my typing(spelling). But all the negativity I've read about this cruise line could have ruinned our trip if not for fractions of positiveness. No, I'm not a Costa cheerleader and had never even heard of this cruise line before last month but I will definetelly consider this same ship same time next year.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Denys: How did you get the bang for your buck. I realize the rate was low, I could not get a hotel in a dencent resort for two nights for what they are charging for a week.

Were you satisfied with the cuisine. Is that what you would expect. Were you satisfied with the service.

I realize you probably paid in the $300 range for a week per person, in that case you really cant complain about what they serve you, but if you paid top dollar would you feel the same.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 11:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Relax pal, it was just a joke.
It's o.k. to to be serious about your war against the cruise line. Just don't start taking yourself seriously.
Besides, if my wife has not been able to get me to grow up after 15 years I'm quite sure you can't.
If you had read my other posts you would already know that I agree with what you're doing. I just don't think anyone (with any authority) at Costa really cares. The only way to deal with them or anyone else who provides a negative product or experiance is to just say no. No more of your money. If they truely are the "hell hole" you say they are, they'll eventually end up on the chopping block anyway.
I'll tell ya' what buddy. In the true spirit of friendship. If you meet me down at the port tomorrow around 1, I'll buy a couple of dogs from ya'.

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2004, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/

I asked about 15 different people on ship how they were enjoying their trip and all said they where having a good vacation.Saw a few passengers, who, I thought were arguing in Italian, but had no idea what they were talking about . I later realized these folks have a higher tone of voice than I am used to and use their hands a lot to express themselves(vive la difference).
At desembarcation one guy did say he would never navigate this Cruise line again but he was also complainning about the wait to get off the ship,the lack of taxi's on dock, the heat, the trip back to Jersey, etc..His wife was not of same opinion so I dropped the subject.
Sorry about your experience with food and service Tom but we have nothing to complain about. To boot, my wife's immune system is realy sensitive to preservative in food and she was a little worried from reading reviews that she would get sick. Another case of worring for nothing.During and after trip she felt great. More harm done from sun exposure.
As far a service was concerned, I am not used to be pampered to, and the serviced I received was more than adequate.These individuals cleanning after us would probably like to live in a perfect (or just) world, but if that was the case they would be on the receiving end or they would be unionnized and we would pay triple the price for our trips . And if you think they were obnoxious just look around the service in some airports. Put yourself in their shoes and try to visualize your reaction to people speaking a languages you can hardly make out, and spending in a week more money than there brothers back home gain in a year.
To bad you'll find negativeness in these few words.After seeing the lifestyles in the backstreets on Merida I feel more than blessed to be living in this part of the planet.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old May 25th, 2004, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 45
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I have sailed the Victoria & Atlantica and will soon be sailing the Med. I sailed Carnival Glory in Feb- 04 and did not think it was anywhere near as good as Costa. The food was no better or worse. I am an American and do think some of us from the good old U.S.A. don't really open themselves up to new experiences. Europeans are of a different culture and do thing a little different but that's OK isn't it? I have traveled Europe and I didn't like everything I ran into as I'm sure people from other countries don't care for everything in the USA. You can't lump Europeans into one group anyway. So many countries make up Europe and many different cultures. Go with the flow and enjoy yourself.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

If you eat hot dogs and pizza at the pool every day you are not going to like the food on board very well. You didn't mention the dining room. Did you eat in the dining room? Not all ships have food the quality of Crystal Cruises, but many of the other lines offer wonderful food in the dining room. If you want luxury try Crystal. As for entertainment, when you go onboard a ship be prepared to entertain yourself. Learn how to read. Bring a portable CD or DVD player. A cruise is a place to unwind, relax, and watch the world go by. If this is not your cup of tea then don't cruise.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old July 10th, 2004, 09:05 PM
john smith
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Default get real

the americans are widely known for their continuous complaining about everything and everyone..
i happen to work on the ship you are talking about and i can asure you about these facts
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Lucy D
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

We were on the Costa mediterranea the following week, we didn't have any problem with the food choices. Breakfast was plentiful with cereals, toast, pancakes, french toast, yogurt, fruits, eggs and at the grill by the pool you could order omelletes, eggs any style bacon sausage etc... At lunch they had themes every day at the buffet, Greek, Italian and others also the dining rooms served excellent meals and at 4.:00pm they served delicious tea every day with snacks and sandwiches, and at midnight the buffets were great.

The AC worked fine, none of us got sick.

I have 14 yr old who enjoyed himself tremondously with freinds he made.

We had enough time to shop and swim in every port of call if we chose to. Every day we receive a newsletter of the events fo the following day and we find we couldn't be everywhere at once . There was so much to do for every type of person.

When you are on vacation go with the flow. Take things in stride make the most of it.

Costa Victoria
Costa Mediterranea
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Old August 20th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Hi all, First time poster here. I have been on the Mediteranea twice. First week in March and last week in March of '04.

I have also sailed with Holland America twice and RCCL once.

I'm very sorry for the people who have had bad experiences on this ship but I had a good time. Embarkation was the easiest I have ever experienced. My room was very clean as was the whole ship. I agree that the food was not great but there were many choices and options for everybody. I do not think that starvation was a real threat.
The comment on this board which has amazed me was when people say that the staff and crew was rude. I can not disagree more. Everybody I dealt with was friendly and polite and helpful.

A little HaHA but you can say what you want about the beds but I had absolutely no problem with intimacy and actually found the beds comfortable.

I encountered no rude, smelly and pushy europeans or Americans.

Some of you obviously did have holidays from hell and you have my sincere sympathy but I had a very good time on both of my trips on this ship and would happily sail again on Costa.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 09:13 PM
Bonnie Grey Flynt
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Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Hello all.
My family and I (all adults celebrating my parents' 50th wedding anniversary) just debarked on 7-3-05 from the Magica. (5 passengers total, 2 cabins)

I just read Kate 1234's review and it made me laugh. Kate - you are funny.
And Smitty, cheers. I appreciate your sense of humor for sure.

Yes, the Europeans were very pushy and I admit having some verbal altercations with a few of them. ha!
Luckily I speak a little Italian and Spanish fluently, so I didn't really have any trouble communicating (the rest of my family does not though). I've seen alot of complaints about that on European cruise lines, but hey. You are indeed in Europe! If you want everyone to act like Americans, cruise in America, you know?
My syblings and I had a ball in the Capri Lounge every night laughing at things that went on.
All of the staff spoke English very well, so that was not a problem.
The ship itself was very nice and clean. It's new.
It's very flashy and interestingly decorated to say the least, but certainly provided us with many chuckles and entertainment. Did you see the muscle arm light fixtures in the Bellagio? And the ballerinas in that one piano bar scared us! ha!

The nightly shows were quite good and the musical groups/entertainers were excellent in the lounges.
The annimation staff (cruise staff) were incredibly energetic and friendly.

The food was not that great, I'll agree.
I used to work on NCL as an Int'l Hostess and the food was much better on NCL.
I had hoped for better, but if you have never cruised before you will be impressed.
The service was indeed a bit slow in the dining room, but you have to remember that it's the European way. In fact, it's the Latin American way as well. Europeans consider it rude to be rushed while they eat a meal. So that didn't bother me at all. It's not like we were in a huge hurry.

I thought embarkation was very easy as well as debarkation.
The excursions were so-so. Nothing great, but nothing horrible either. The ports of call were all intersesting except for Savona/Genoa/Geneva, so you'll need to take an excursion there. There is no beach and nothing to do in the port really.

The children: Kids cruise for free on Costa, so if 3 yr olds tearing through the dining room barefooted bother you, don't go. It was a bit annoying I must say, but hey. Nothing that ruined the cruise.

We had a Renewal of Marriage Vows ceremony for my parents and the Padre couldn't have been better! It was absolutely wonderful.

All and all, I'd recommend the Costa Magica if you aren't a seasoned cruiser and have alot of patience and a good sense of humor when it comes to other cultures. Afterall, isn't that why you are in Europe?
It's a good value and we had a great time. It's not the lap of luxury, but we got what we paid for.

Can't think of anything else at the moment, but if you have any questions, let me know. I'll be happy to help.
Bonnie Grey Flynt
Atlanta, GA
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2005, 01:25 PM
Great time
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

This is the first time I've ever commented on one of these boards, but I just had to comment on this one.

I'm sorry these people took ill onthe trip and I'm sure that affected their view of everything else - because I find many of the negative comments in conflict with our experience.

1) The food was fine - not gourmet, but very good. As a point of reference - my wife and I make it a point to eat at the best restaurant we can whenever we visit a new city - so I know good food. Again - the food on this boat is not 5 star - but it is also not awful.

2) I prefer it cold and I had no issue with the temperature on the boat. Really no idea what this person was expecting. Perhaps they were ill and it just felt hot to them.

3) Sure the swimming pools were crowded, but I don't know of any cruise ship where that is not the case. It is true they did not enforce the adults only rule - but Europeans other than Brits - are not big rule followers. Sorry to those Europeans reading this - but I just spent the last 3 years living in Europe and I think that is a fair statement - at least compared to Americans.

4)You expect fast internet on a boat? - especially in the middle of the ocean come on - what a petty complaint...

5)We had 15 people in our group (ages 5 - 75) and no one got ill. Of course cruise ship illnesses are not that uncommon due to the close quarters - Disney has had repeated issues in this area.

6)Nothing to do! Great workout club - board games - water slide; library; netted in mini-tennis & basketball; spa; game room.... what does this person want - it is a boat - not Club Med. I guess some people have to be force fed fun..

7) I'd always like more time at ports of call - but the itinerary was published - so this should not have been a surprise - however I thought the tours were very well organized to maximize the time we did have - great guides!

8) This is one of the newest ships out there and I found the rooms comfortable - we have 4 people in ours ( 2 adults 2 kids) and I think we all slept great.

9) I think this comment speaks volumes - first of all - I am American, but I just moved back to the US after spending 3 years in Europe. I now look at American behavior in a new light - we can be loud; demanding; and intolerant of others. Americans are used to getting OUR way and not used to conforming to other people's cultures - this seems to be what went on here...part of travelling should be building an understanding of others. I should say that - other then the rule following ( I must admit the European habit of ignoring Queues is frustrating) I think Europeans very pleasant. They tend to bend to American norms more than we bend to theirs.

10) Yes - disembarkment is chaotic - but we were let off just about when we were told we'd be left off. It isn't the most comfortable process ( yuo can't stay in your room - so everyon waits in public areas)- but we did it with 5 kids in our group and it was not traumatic.

As you can probably tell - we had a great time and the itinerary is outstanding - Turkey was amazing; Croatia beautiful; and I can't think of a better port to start and end from but Venice.

Please don't let Kate scare you away - this was a great trip ( ours was Late June 05) and I'm recommending it to all my friends.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old September 5th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

I have been on these boards for a couple of years. We have aken 4 cruises. Comments post cruise are important to all who are looking for information. I am wondering if Tom F has taken a cruise on any line since his unfortunate trip with Costa? Not that it matters so much. I am tired of his repetetive complaints about this one cruise. We get it. Tom had a bad time. Despite his comments, we went Costa anyway and had a great time. Cruising choices are so plentiful and varied nowadays. If we don't care for one line, then go to another. It's a highly competetive business. There is something out there for everyone, as these many message boards prove. Happy cruising!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old September 6th, 2005, 10:45 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Group stricken sick on Costa Mediteranea 2/21-2/28

Amen Cyndi I could not have said it better myself. I have been on these boards for a few years now and it is always the same thing. The positives are for the majority posted by all different people but the bad are posted by the same 5 or 6 hard to please. If you also jump to the other cruise line boards some of the people posting on Costa also trash the other lines. Do these people not have a life. Like everything in life its a matter of hit and miss. You tried this cruise line and it was not for you then it is time you pick up your bagage and move on to Carnival or Celebrity or Royal CArib or Princess. HOWEVER all being said if the temperature of the coffee being served is not to your liking and if the water temp of the whirlpool in not hot enough and if the head waiter took 3 minutes instead of 1 minute to serve you I do not think you will find happiness anywhere out there.

P.S. Go on any vacation with an open mind, do not let the little things get you down. Has anyone not had people over at their house and the meal was not perfect, has anybody not entertained and something went wrong, its life and little things will happen. Don't worry be happy.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old September 19th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2


I am sorry for you,what a narrowminded view.
Book next time Cristalline 20x more than the Costa price.
Perhaps ,they can satisfie you more.
Was this your first cruise?

I think,no cruiseline can satisfy you at all.Stay at home,that is the best thing for you to do.

Don't spoil the expectations from other cruisers.

I am looking forward to my Transatlantic 2006
I have made 5 Transatlantics ,with different companies
from 5* -to 3*
Each trip was marvelous on his own way.
When you like the high seas your are not so demanding.

Its awfull ,how you describe us-Europians-
I think your roots are coming from Europe ,do you remember?
I have really a bad taste from your mail.
and use only American lines in future ( I am not Italian)
but Europian
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