FOR ANYONE CONSIDERING A COSTA CRUISE............read on
This is what my wife and myself think of Costa:
Ships: Mostly spanking brand-new ships, they do have a couple of "older" ones that they use in other parts of the world but those too are kept in immaculate condition.
If you are going on a Caribbean cruise, you can expect to be on fantastic cruise ship similar in style and layout to Carnival's Spirit-class ships.
Crew: How bad can it be if the crew gives the ship the ambiance of being in Italy? In my book, that's a BIG plus +++++ As for the language barrier, the negative comments that you hear about crew that don't speak English are just BS from some disgruntled cruisers. In all my 50 cruises including the many with Costa on most of their ships, language has never been an issue for us. My wife speaks 3 languages, I speak 4 but on ships I do not recall ever communicating with the crew in anything other than English. Of course, they don't speak it with an American slang! The only times we have spoken in other languages other than English is when you meet passengers onboard of other nationalities and it's a great feeling to be able to communicate with them using their language....OK, OK, OK, I know I'm bragging. As far as Pursers Desk staff/employees are concerned, give me Costa's anytime over Carnival's or NCL's amatuers.
Food: The Mrs and myself both agree that we think that Costa must offer one of the better grub offerings to be found anywhere on the high seas.
How much better can it get when you are presented with at least 3 different Theme choices even at the many buffet stations catering to anything from Italian, French, Indian, Greek, Chinese and Japanese food. And yes, the almighty Hamburger, Cheese and Fries too, plus ball-game size Hot Dogs. Not to mention the "regular" and traditional food selection of Lobster, steaks, escargots etc.....Believe me, if you like to experiment with food, Costa will be bliss for you. If you don't like to experiment and you are happy eating "American fare" and salads, you'll be kept plenty happy too.
Shows: Let me make sure you hear me by yelling this out LOUD "I THINK THAT COSTA HAS THE BEST DARN SHOWS TO BE FOUND ON ANY CRUISESHIP, PERIOD! IF YOU LIKE THOSE WONDERFUL ITALIAN CARINVAL(E) COSTUMES, YOU KNOW THE KIND THEY WEAR DURING THAT FAMOUS CARNIVAL OF VENICE, YOU WILL BE AMAZED BY THE COLORS AND THE QUALITY OF THE OUTFITS. (sorry for the yelling) If your fancy is for Las Vegas style revues and showgirls with their bare asses showing, you'll get your fill of that too.
Casino: As any other cruiseline, Costa will be just as happy to take your bets and your money. One-armed bandits aplenty as well as table games. I wouldn't bet on having better odds of winning on Costa But if your aim is to lose a bundle each and every night, you'll have plenty of opportunities at that.
Smoking is allowed in the Casino and whatever restrtictions apply to other cruiselines, they apply on Costa too. You can smoke to your hearts delight in your cabin (like on the majority of other cruiselines) but you sure as hell cannot nor will you see anyone smoking in any of the restaurants nor in the main theater. Some bars and lounges allow smoking, but then again that is the norm on other cruiselines as well.
Some final comments: I hate to say this being a US citizen myself but your average European is way more educated and civilized than your average American. Anyone stereotyping Europeans as being rude and pushy needs to take a very long look in the mirror. You'll find most of them are people whose world ends at the end of their hometown Main Street, Anytown, USA.
Annoucements made on the PA system are usually multi-lingual: English, Italian, German, French depending on the passnger load on the ship. Nothing wrong with that. ONE BIG BONUS: YOU WILL NOT BE BEATEN TO DEATH WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR BINGO, THIS SALE, THAT SALE, THIS TOURNAMENT, THAT TOURNAMENT, IN SHORT, YOU WILL NOT HEAR 24/7 ANNOUCEMENTS TRYING TO NICKEL AND DIME YOU FOR THIS AND THAT! I don't have any problem with that!
I will go again with Costa anytime, in a heartbeat. Oh by the way, historically we have always booked inside cabins and I kid you not when I say that with Costa we have been upgraded something like 70% of the time. A couple of times from the cheapest inside to one of the best balcony cabins on Tiziano deck! Although as you know, there is absolutely no guarantees on that one.
I will get off this soapbox now and I hope I have convinced you to give Costa a try. You will be very plesantly surprised.
1. I agree, the Fortuna is a beautiful ship.
2. The crew is overall very friendly. As for speaking english, some can be rude if you have questions they do not want to answer or if you are in their way, then they do not speakadaenglish. Pursers desk staff was inadequate when we were on board, give me Carnival over Costa anytime.
Being European I too speak more then 1 language
2. Food. That is a very personal experience. The dining at night was good. At the buffets the variety was very poor and of no taste/liking. I love to eat pasta, and I am used to Italian food, but the buffets I skip.
Breakfast: breadrolls and other bread was old, crummy and way to dry. Luckily we found on the third day what we call roggebrood, the dark slices of bread. That was good.
Happy with the American food: my DH loves hamburgers and such, he threw it away.
I am not very much a showperson, but went to some shows to see what Costa makes of it. NEVER AGAIN. Worse dancers and singers ever seen, the singers better look for another job where do not use their voice.
I do not go there.
5. I agree.
Captain, I will never ever cruise Costa again, and book Carnival for the rest of my life. The experiences you have and you like Costa, great. Everybody should experience any cruiseliner, you are right.
We did with Costa and Celebrity, we stick to Carnival, that suits us the best.
We were not pleasently surprised.
__________________ A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
We did a cruise on the Concordia in January of last year, and I loved it!!! The staff was fantastic, their English for the most part was impeccable, and the food was delicious.
The shows were awesome, at least there was a show every night, whether we watched it or not. We just finished a Carnival cruise a week and a half ago, half of the shows were cancelled. There were errors made for several of the events and no announcement were given to correct several of the errors, like what room the art show was in.
My only complaint, coming from Canada and going to Europe was that nobody lined up for things and lack of personal space, however, I understand that these are just cultural differences. The excursions from Costa were fantastic, the sights are amazing.
Thn aks for all your info, I am looking at a cruise to the eastern Med next summer and can't choose between Costa and MSC, Can you tell me if you have been on Costa Victoria as this an older ship than MSC cruises on the same route. I would be grateful for any advise
I have not personally been on the Victoria, however, my huband and I are going back to the Eastern Mediterranean in November. This time, though, we are going to try Norwegian and see what we think of this cruise line. My husband was very adamant about going through Costa again, but the itinerary was different with this one with two day stops in two different ports so I decided to go a different route this time.
I have sailed with Costa once on the Atlantica and twice on the Magica. I agree with the Captain in that they provide very good quality service & great food!
The cabins on Costa are basically identical to Carnival (same family) just decorated with more of an Italian flair. Some of the artwork hung up in the cabins can be rather strange, but oh well. I didn't come on a cruise to sit in my cabin & stare at the wall. They are adequate in size and the bathrooms are small, although no more so that on most other ships.
I am a non-smoker, so the one area I do have some issue with on Costa ships is that there are several areas that smoking is allowed - the casino, some hallways, lounges. That being said though it certainly wasn't overpowering. It has not & would not stop me from sailing again & again with Costa. You can easily avoid smoky areas.
The shows on Costa ships are pretty entertaining. Everyone has different tastes when it come to entertainment & they do a good job of pleasing the masses. The most memorable show I ever saw on Costa was with two male acrobats who had been flown in from somewhere, maybe the Netherlands? Anyways they were amazing! If we went to a show and found we weren't enjoying it, it's easy enough to wait till an appropriate time & make a quiet exit. There are lots of other things to do on the ship at all hours outside of the shows.
I have received excellent service from all cabin stewards & wait staff on all of my Costa sailings. I prefer to tip using envelopes and that has never been an issue on Costa. They always cancel the auto-service charge and provide me with envelopes upon request.
Anyways, overall I would definitely recommend Costa to any of you as a well priced cruising option. Great value is had when sailing with Costa.