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stxer January 2nd, 2005 10:31 AM

Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?

We're cruising on the Atlantica in January and have read and heard very poor reviews about the food. We are not fussy eaters but do like a quality level meal - like one would expect at a fine restaurant. I've heard that the pasta on Costa is dry, cold, and the same everyday. I've heard that the meals overall are mediocre at best - again compared to a 3 or 4 star land restaurant.

I've love to hear from those who've been on Costa, esp. the Atlantica on their view of the food. Naturally, even in a great restaurant sometimes you get a bad meal - but I'm talking about - overall - on a 7 day trip, the good should outweigh the poor.

Thanks -


Drew January 2nd, 2005 11:12 AM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
The food is fine! The problem with most of the people complaining is that they are expecting American food. This is not an American is Italian. While most Americans expect 'The Olive Garden', Costa serves real European and Italian food. Things are not exactly the same as they are in America. The food is very European and if you accept that then you will be happy with the food.

Have fun and enjoy the Italian feeling of the cruise

David Starkey January 3rd, 2005 08:11 AM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
If you are expect good food...Costa is not the line you want to sail. I have sailed 9 Costa ships and todays food and dining room service is not up to "average". Dining room service was even werse.

No more Costa for this cruiser.

Todd Palino January 3rd, 2005 08:54 PM

Re: Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
It took you 9 trips to get to that?

As a little balance, I cruised the Med in the Med in October. The dining room service was attentive, and accommodating. There were a couple dishes that weren't very good. One my waiter warned me on before I ordered it (since he knew from the first seating, so I didn't order it). The second was the lobster for the formal night, that was overcooked. Out of a week's worth of meals, I don't consider that to be bad at all. I never had a problem with the pasta, but then again I didn't *eat* that much pasta. There were too many other choices.

Buffet was decent. The variety was nice, the pizza was always excellent. The buffet was definitly below the quality of the dining room, but that's to be expected. It was still good food. I didn't try the grill at all while we were there, and we never made it to a midnight buffet. We did try Club Medusa, the private dining restaurant, and it was well worth the price.

My take is that I did not pay a lot for the cruise, so I did not expect 5 star dining. I also knew I was cruising a European line in Europe (yeah, I know it's owned by Carnival. Doesn't matter), and that the food was not going to be what I expected in the States. It comes down to that if you're looking for trouble, you'll always find it, regardless of what cruise you're on. Keep an open mind, and you'll have a great time.

Michelle Green January 7th, 2005 03:01 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
I am going to cruise on the Atlantica April 3,2005. After reading all the messages I am concerned about the food,service and decor.Since this will be my honeymoon I hope it will be a good experience. I welcome any tips or advice that will make this cruise a good one for me. Also,if anyone who reads this will be going on the same cruise,leaving Florida on April 3 I'd love to hear from you.

cyndi January 8th, 2005 08:29 AM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
I noticed that you are sailing on the Atlantica in January. We are going at the end of Feb/05 and would be very interested in your comments concerning your trip. We hope you have/had a terrific holiday.

Todd Palino January 8th, 2005 10:28 AM

Re: Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
Michelle, the best advice I can give to you is that if you make up your mind in advance to enjoy the trip and have a great time, they could be serving McDonalds and you would still have fun.

A lot of people who say they have a miserable time are just looking for things to complain about. Granted, some have legitimate complaints, but really no more than any other cruise line. But if you are nice and having fun, the crew will reflect that back to you. If you're cranky and short with them, yeah, a lot of them are going to be short with you. Happiness increases exponentially when you share it with other people.

Carol Hamilton January 8th, 2005 05:30 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
We sailed on the Atlantica in late November and the food was very good. I love pasta and the first night out I ordered spaghetti with tomato/basil sauce. The only problem was they had no Basil! It was very good otherwise. I thought it was quite funny as it was embarkation day and things happen.We joked about it all week with our waiter. We found the dining room for breakfast was not up to par (food cold and service cold) but we only tried in one time. The rest we ate at the buffets and it was great.
Lunches were very good with lots of variety but it's best to get there fairley early..before 1:30PM
We also ate at the Club Atlantica one night and it was worth the surcharge. Service was good and it's less hectic.
We had late dining and overall the food was very good. Only once did I not enjoy my meal but maybe I ordered the wrong thing.But there was still enough to fill me up. I feel they need a little help with their salads but we were on the 2nd Aorth American sailing so maybe they have improved. Europeans are not into salads as we Canadians are.

Overall, I'm sure you will enjoy the food as there sure is plenty. If you've sailed before on
other cruise lines you may notice a difference since Carnival is now the boss.

Enjoy your cruise and please let me know about it. Email me at

Carol Hamilton

gothic girl January 9th, 2005 09:03 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
I thnk it'd be awesome if they had Mc'Ds!!!!!! Prolly over-priced tho. I thhink that if you want to have a good time you will, but if you are looking for things to b*tch about, you'll never have a good time. lighten up!!!!

Hei1980 January 15th, 2005 12:54 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
Got the following postings from the Celebrity board from CruiseCritic:

"So, what have I learned by checking this site since booking the 1/16 Millie Eastern Carbibean CC Class? I've learned that old people are rude and hog the pool side lounges, that the pizza and burgers are like rubber, that the lettuce is either crisp or limp, latinos are loud, nothing to do in Dominican Republic, and excursions aren't worth the money. As far as I can tell, no one's picked up one of those viruses or hit an iceburg. This should be a real adventure!"

Then the other posting I liked from Celebrity is:

"It beats cooking....

and if you don't like what you get, you ALWAYS have the option of sending it back! We have two choices at home; take it or leave it."

The point being, no matter what cruise line you travel, there are always food issues.

mb January 25th, 2005 10:06 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
it s matter of opinion and taste of course, but food isnt only factor u should take into acct. costa caters to a lot of foreigners , lots of language problems, and the like, so bear that in mind, if you want high quality food, then you should cruise on celebrity, their food is generally the highest quality you will find in the cruise industry.

Hei1980 January 26th, 2005 07:08 AM

Re: Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
I just posted this yesterday, BTW, what is wrong with "foreigners", have you never traveled outside of the US where we are "foreigners"?

The following posting was taken from a Celebrity cruise:

Just off Summit, It needs some fixing!


Just off Summit 9 night cruise 1-07 and must say after 13 X cruises I hope this was just a bad week for the crew. I have never heard "NO" so many times in a cruise. It seemed the crew was nasty and didn't want to please you. Our cabin steward was great but the buffet area and service is a complete joke! The ship is in need for a dry dock. The pool area is getting old. Tiles all out of pool. The common areas were messy, napkins, paper straws laying all over. Carpets in rooms were worn. This is the 1st time we have not book another trip while on board! I wrote a note to the hotel director telling him about a few service issues and they told me this is because of new employees, RCCL employees. Are you kidding me? What kind of answer is that. I heard many other long time X fans with the same complaints. I hope they get it fixed and fixed fast!

POINT can happen in the best of families. Future Costa cruisers, take heart you will have a grand time!

chris209 January 26th, 2005 04:06 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
We were on the New Years sailing of the Costa Atlantica (PS 6219) and have also been on Celebrity, RCCL and Norwegian. In my opinion there was not a lot of difference between the quality of each of the cruises. We thought Costa was definitely the best value however- the price was very good for quality comparable to the more expensive offerings of Celebrity and RCCL. I would also say the food was comparable across all the lines. In my opinion NO mass market cruise line offers true 5 star dining - it is more like good or very good banquet food (except for some of the optional restaurants). Given this, we quite enjoyed the meals on Costa and many items were VERY good. The buffet also was quite good. The only thing that needed some improvement was the breakfast buffet as it was EXACTLY the same every day. Certainly I would not say that Celebrity was any better in the food department (in my experience). Some differences between the lines are the greater proprtion of non-English speaking guests on Costa but we had absolutely no problem with this. I had worried about smoking but never found this to be a problem at all. Also I felt that the Costa ship was the most uncrowded of the ships I have been on - even though it was at full capacity of 2700 we could always find lounge chairs on any deck- this was not my experience with RCCL or to a lesser extent with Celebrity and NCL. Given the great value I would definitely sail Costa again.

DavidB January 28th, 2005 03:42 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
Sorry Chris209

But I have sailed RCI, Celeb, Cunard, Radisson and Princess amongst others

Costa has got to be the worst line re food, ship, staff, noise, announcements that I have ever been on. Tried it as an experience for the ports and wished I had put my money elsewhere or changed what I wanted to experience re ports

The whole thing, a terrible experience, never forget it

m sebas January 28th, 2005 05:09 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
Let us not forget that the Costa Fleet is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines . All the new Costa ships are ordered and designed by Carnival. The crew is interchangeable with the Carnival and Holland America Cruise Lines. The waiters hop around from Carnival to Costa to Holland America. Same goes for the chefs. All the new Costa ships are sister ships to the Carnival ships, meaning exactly the same ship only a few style changes apply.

The purpose of this board is not to grind an axe but to share experiences and give your comments. It seems that 90% of the posts are by people who keep saying the same thing over and over again and countering any good reviews. All cruise lines have their ups and downs. For the people who have had bad experiences, float over to the Carnival cruise board and let the parent company know the problem their new investment is having.

Happy sailings to one and all!

Chris209 January 29th, 2005 07:39 AM

reply to David B
When did you sail on Costa and which ship- maybe things have changed! It seems like we had very different cruises- and we are experienced travellers (cruises and land vacations- always 5 star on land) There were basically NO announcements so if you think they were constant , things must have changed! The staff was excellent all around with the exception of our butler. In fact, they seemed more genuine than the staff we dealt with on Celebrity. Re: noise- at times I thought the ship was TOO QUIET- not enough going on some of the time. And coming back to food- I do not think any of the mass market cruise lines deliver true 5 star restaurant dining (perhaps Radisson, Seabourn etc are exceptions to this) but in MY experience there was little difference that I could see between Celebrity, Costa, RCCL, and NCL. Each of them did some things very well to excellently and each could have improved on some things but overall none stand out as significantly better or worse than others and our Costa experience was very good (and we DO eat regularly in 5 star restaurants).
We also thought our suite was the best designed and most spacious of all our experiences and that the ship just seemd to be less crowded than we have experienced in the past- we could always find a deck chair at any time of the day.
Anyway that is our experience- I have no vested interest in extolling the virtues of Costa- just telling it like we saw it so people can get a balanced picture!

murray March 2nd, 2005 03:18 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
My wife and I cruised the Romantica in the mediteranian about 6 years ago.
We've cruised many times before and after that episode.
Let me tell you that besides the food being unedible, there was absolutely nothing that went right on that cruise.
-The service was terrible
- We were lost by our guide in barcelona
- It was impossible for use to talk to anyone of authority and I don't mean because of language.
In short it was the worst cruising experience I've ever had.
I would seriously recommend another cruiseline.
Murray S.

Bob Freeman March 3rd, 2005 05:26 PM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
You have to keep an open mind. Like most Americans we expect people to cater to our taste, whether its a food or our way of living. When I sailed I thought the food was exceptional. Costa is a "Italian Cruise line," not an American cruise line.


andrewbranham March 16th, 2005 10:38 AM

Re: Costa - Is the food THAT bad ?
I agree with Bob. Do not order beef dishes if you expect American quality. It is not the same. Just returned from the Magica. Food was average but the cruise was great. Order pastas and Italian dishes (also soups were good)

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