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DayvidB September 11th, 2009 03:28 PM

Scared of Costa
 
I am, it has a certain Italian reputation, loud, and mad from what I heard. I could never see myself booking a cruise with them. How different are they to the lines like RCI or Princess or Celebrity.

They seem a gamble

beenie weenie September 11th, 2009 06:59 PM

I cannot speak for their North American cruises, but your impression is pretty much what I experienced and as far as differences between them and the cruiselines you mentioned I have been on Carnival, RCCL, and NCL and the difference is night and day. They can say what they like about any of those lines, but in my opinion they are far superior to Costa on any day. I did a Med. Cruise on the Concordia. Many of the passengers were as rude as some of the staff. It was a great adventure, we loved the ports, glad we went, just wish we had went on a different cruiseline. Somewhere I posted a review, Paul Motter had a few comments on it and I agreed totally with him.

I guess we've been treated to well by the other lines we've sailed to settle. If I had to choose between cruising Costa and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I guess I'd cruise Costa, LOL

DayvidB September 18th, 2009 04:43 PM

Thanks Pal, you just confirmed my thoughts.

As for DTW for President,,,,mmm. So heavy in so many respects I cant actually respond :D

Manuel February 7th, 2010 05:47 PM

I will not be cruising on Costa.

TM

Parrot Mom February 7th, 2010 08:17 PM

Costa in europe
 
A dear friend who cruises barges besides land trips and all the cruise lines got off a Costa cruise in Europe says 'never ever again".. the only thing she could think of that was positive was the food... Europeans were rude, pushy and they were treated like (Americans) like fourth class citizens.and this is a world wide traveler who cruises and does land cruises at the drop of a hat..

beenie weenie February 8th, 2010 07:39 AM

Parrot Mom,
That was definitely our experience on Costa. I have read some of Paul's updates during his time on the newest Costa ship and Costa would do well to adapt that business model fleetwide. I am not sure if they are putting on a dog and pony show for this special cruise he is on or if they intend to maintain the level of service he is experiencing on that one ship. To read his reviews it sounds wonderful and marvelous, but definitely confined to that one ship, so I am curious what they intend to do.

Nurse Debra February 8th, 2010 06:10 PM

I have not yet sailed Costa, but have been very much with the new and beautiful ships they have introduced.
The new ships do look very tempting to me.

I would be curious to know if anyone else who has such dire opinions of Costa, besides beenie weenie, has ever actually sailed on Costa.

The closest thing I could find was the second hand report from a "dear friend" and second hand hearsay, at least IMHO, is not much help.

Looking forward to Paul's report.

Perhaps we could get more comments from those who actually sailed on Costa!!!

Debra

Parrot Mom February 8th, 2010 06:10 PM

Dog and pony show
 
Have been too busy to read his updates.. plus I feel that Paul of Cruise Mates is known to the Costa Line as the Moderator of t his board...and thus all the little extra special attention.. As you say it's one of the first of their cruises.. It may be the Europeans are busy working...lol..Americans she felt were definetely treated as third class passengers..this from a woman who travels at the drop of a hat and always does.. whether a barge tour, a cruise or her last big adventure a three week trip to a spot I would never of imagined going to, because her friends wanted to see some ancient Temple dating back to 600..

beenie weenie February 8th, 2010 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nurse Debra (Post 1272784)
I have not yet sailed Costa, but have been very much with the new and beautiful ships they have introduced.
The new ships do look very tempting to me.

I would be curious to know if anyone else who has such dire opinions of Costa, besides beenie weenie, has ever actually sailed on Costa.

The closest thing I could find was the second hand report from a "dear friend" and second hand hearsay, at least IMHO, is not much help.

Looking forward to Paul's report.

Perhaps we could get more comments from those who actually sailed on Costa!!!

Debra


You know Debra, in fairness to Costa... I have found that people who sailed them here in North America as opposed to Europe hold them in a somewhat higher regard. I may someday work up the nerve to try them on a Caribbean cruise. IF it is dirt cheap and it is going to some interesting ports, and I can bring Paul along so they treat us half way decently (LOL that was a joke). I think you are wise to really do your homework where this Cruiseline is concerned and have realistic expectations. I realize we all have our own tastes and standards. Things that are important to me, may not even be on your radar. The most important thing is that you get the very most our of your own cruise experience.

beenie weenie February 9th, 2010 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parrot Mom (Post 1272785)
Have been too busy to read his updates.. plus I feel that Paul of Cruise Mates is known to the Costa Line as the Moderator of t his board...and thus all the little extra special attention.. As you say it's one of the first of their cruises.. It may be the Europeans are busy working...lol..Americans she felt were definetely treated as third class passengers..this from a woman who travels at the drop of a hat and always does.. whether a barge tour, a cruise or her last big adventure a three week trip to a spot I would never of imagined going to, because her friends wanted to see some ancient Temple dating back to 600..

Precisely! The cruise Paul is on, is one of the first for this ship, it is probably crawling with press, especially travel writers like Paul, and other people who favorable opinions can mean huge revenues to Costa, so of course I am sure Costa is putting their very best foot forward. I love reading Paul's daily updates I find it interesting and very enjoyable, but I would also be interested to see in 6 months if they are able to maintain the level of service Paul experienced over the first five days.

Paul Motter February 10th, 2010 06:15 PM

I will honestly tell you that the cruise i was on was full of mostly travel agents and a small percentage of the group were from the press.

My honest feeling is that there are some things you can't change on a cruise ship regardless of who is cruising. It is still the same staff and the same food (for the most part).

My personal experience with both Costa and MSC now (I tried both this year), is that most service people were very nice and I thought the food was better than I expected (I had heard horror stories).

I think the worst part of the experience is the other passengers being mostly European. I think Europeans in general are not as nice to Americans as we are to each other. It is not as if they are working while onboard - they are on vacation.

My gut tells me the Italians are not any nicer to the Germans than they are to us, however. I think the European way is just to be a bit more impersonal.

I also think the service people are not trained to work for tips if they are European. But many of the people on Costa are now Asian.

In any case - the thing about both of these lines is that you are in a foreign country when you are on these ships, which is different than a US-cruise line. On Carnival (for example) it is like being in America no matter where the ship goes. On MSC or Costa, you are essentially in Italy and they act differently than we do. They are a bit brash, loud, drink & smoke, etc...

I still say the staff I encountered were all very nice to me, however, as long as I made an effort to talk to them. But if you just sit back and observe, you might find them a little course for cruisers. They don't tend to think of cruising as being the same "special" experience that we do. They didnt start cruising back when it was elegant. By the time most Europeans started cruising it was already starting to get more casual...

I hope this makes sense. I am trying to validate what you guys are saying, I don't disagree with you. I am just saying it is a little like saying "New Yorkers are rude." - Yes, they seem rude and they kind of act rude, but if you talk to them they are generally nice and sincere people. They just treat strangers differently than the average Americans do.

Parrot Mom February 10th, 2010 06:31 PM

Costa IN EUROPE
 
Thank you Paul.. I thought there were very honest points made.. I have found if you go out of your way to talk and engage people...it goes far.. We make a point of trying to hold conversations no matter what the language... sometimes it works.. other times it amounts to alot of gesturing with hands..Yes, I have a translation computer somewhere..lol..We Americans are pretty open to other people (why else would we cruise).and we learn how to line up...and not cut lines.. Right now, off the top of m y head.. wasn't there a promise by a cruise line and I think it was Costa who was coming to the Caribbean a few years ago to retrain their staff to "American ways'... Interesting too, another poster on this board did a South American cruise.. and and found problems when the average cruiser was from South America..and was surprised at their outrageous behavior.. Yes, I have made attempts at learning another language, but I'm not good at that. I am proud to say that when I see a tourist in Boston.. I will stop an direct them in what directions they want to go...Last time a group joined us for a jazz brunch..it did help they spoke a bit of english.. We are it seems the only country not contigulous, except for Mexico to another country that speaks other languages and we are just too lazy to learn.

getsemani1 February 13th, 2010 07:46 AM

Can anyone give an example of one bad experience while cruising on Costa? I've never cruised Cost and I don't kno if I ever will, but I'm just curious to hear of other passenger's bad experience where they said, "never again."

beenie weenie February 13th, 2010 09:15 AM

Getsemani,
Here is the link to my cruise report after we returned from the Med on the Concordia. It was a great trip, we had a wonderful time, but wish we would have cruised with Carnival, RCCL or NCL rather than the Costa experience.

Now it sounds like Paul had a really nice time on his latest adventure on Costa's newest ship. I also understand that Costa can be a bit more enjoyable on their Caribbean itineraries, so even though it is not our cup of tea, some folks may find value there.

I loved the ports we went to. Our room stewards were wonderful, but Costa definitely had a different standard of service, quality and common courtesy in other areas of the ship than what we are accustomed to. One area I found to terrific on the Concordia was the Spa. It was a wonderful retreat and was spacious and huge. I highly recommend the day pass. I met some really nice people there as well.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/cos...concordia.html

Parrot Mom February 13th, 2010 09:54 AM

Back from concordia
 
That review absolutely, positively cracked me up...Thanks I needed a laugh this a.m.LOL

Fern February 13th, 2010 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parrot Mom (Post 1273864)
That review absolutely, positively cracked me up...Thanks I needed a laugh this a.m.LOL

BW definitely has a way with words! IMHO, she should be a travel writer since she's really honest about her experiences :D.

beenie weenie February 14th, 2010 09:02 AM

Thanks you guys! I had forgotten a lot about this cruise and so it was interesting to go back and read the review a year later. I also realized that I had left a lot out, and some other really funny things happened as well. D/H actually tells a lot of the funny stories better than I do, but truthfully it may be because he is at the center of many of them.
Well I better get moving, I have to give treats to all my special Valentines here. Happy Valentines Day!

kim p February 14th, 2010 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayvidB (Post 1247348)
I am, it has a certain Italian reputation, loud, and mad from what I heard. I could never see myself booking a cruise with them. How different are they to the lines like RCI or Princess or Celebrity.

They seem a gamble

I have travelled on ALL the cruiselines. What are you afraid of? We used Costa last fall on the Easten Med cruise. We choose them because we wanted to have something different, is'nt that why you are going to Europe. We did'nt find people any ruder than what happens on anyship. If you want your cruise then pay more and go on Princess or RCCL but you will have the same old tiring experience, you may think you're in the Caribbean or some other North American place. I posted my review on The Costa Mediterrena Nov 11/09 cruise read for yourself.
It's too bad people want to have everything the same as home. I ask why are you travelling anyways, if you're so unhappy because something goes wrong stay at home. I look at it this way when something doesn't go just right oh well chill!

beenie weenie February 15th, 2010 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kim p (Post 1274203)
I have travelled on ALL the cruiselines. What are you afraid of? We used Costa last fall on the Easten Med cruise. We choose them because we wanted to have something different, is'nt that why you are going to Europe. We did'nt find people any ruder than what happens on anyship. If you want your cruise then pay more and go on Princess or RCCL but you will have the same old tiring experience, you may think you're in the Caribbean or some other North American place. I posted my review on The Costa Mediterrena Nov 11/09 cruise read for yourself.
It's too bad people want to have everything the same as home. I ask why are you travelling anyways, if you're so unhappy because something goes wrong stay at home. I look at it this way when something doesn't go just right oh well chill!

Kim you need to check the profiles of the people who you are lecturing... DayvidB whose post you quoted is in Europe. Which further drives home the point that this does not really boil down to a North American vs. European culture issue.

Some folks think that Costa's unique flavor reflects "European Culture", I disagree. I think it's target market is a very small niche of the overall cruise market, and I think their European product is designed to appeal to that segment of the market.

If you feel that the North American Cruiselines are offering the same old tiring experience, then by all means feel free to sail Costa, but I found Costa's lack of finesse and ability to provide decent service very exhausting.

Finding a cruise line that gets it right, and doing my homework....is what gives me the ability to chill. Also, anyone who has traveled much knows that there are times when things go poorly and unexpected hiccups will occur, but you make the best of it once you are in the midst of it. But why would someone intentionally subject themselves to a less than enjoyable experience the 2nd time around?... kind of reminds me of the quote that has been credited to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. ""The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. "

So Costa's not my cup of tea, doesn't sound like it's Dayvid's either, and a lot of other people share the same opinion. You like Costa? well that is super. I hope you continue to cruise with them.

Paul Motter February 15th, 2010 11:40 AM

I think I summed it up in a sticky I have at the top of this thread...

Costa is basically Carnival for the European cruise market. Carnival is a very good mass market cruise line. If you want to go to Disneyland France then by all means go - but you are basically just getting a French version of something you are already familiar with.

Costa is the Italian version of Carnival. That is what you get. The newer Costa ships are really pretty good, just as the newer Carnival ships are very good.

I think Carnival does a very good job of improving their existing product all the time - while other cruise lines tend to focus more on building new ships instead.

The drawback with Costa is that it can be a tad unfamiliar to Americans. When you are traveling in Europe, sometimes you want to experience Europe all day, but when its time to go to bed you want your CNN, movies, onboard entertainment, etc, to be in English. On Costa they will be in four other languages before they get to English. It isn't HORRIBLE, it is just different. Its very acceptable to Europeans, they are used to it.

But for Americans, if you can find a ship which is your "home" while you are overseas, and that home is American-oriented (your food, language, etc). Then sometimes that makes seeing Europe more enjoyable.

I would not steer people away from Costa, I would just say "understand what you will be getting onboard before you book it").

You have make sure your tour guide will speak English, for example. You have to understand that all the other passengers around you will be speaking a foreign tongue. The entertainment will be largely visual and don't expect any onboard lectures about ports of call in English.

You can certainly go on Costa and have a great cruise if you do your own research on the destinations and have a plan. But you have to be prepared to work a little harder to make sure you find things in English, etc. There will be fewer tour options, fewer TV channels, fewer menu items, that are "American." Some people will find that to be part of the fun, while others will find it confusing and challenging.

I'm not saying American's are too stupid for Costa. I am just saying that sometimes it is easier and more comfortable to be with your own kind.

Even when American kids backpack through Europe they tend to find each other and hang out with each other. Its perfectly normal.

beenie weenie February 15th, 2010 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1274336)
I think I summed it up in a sticky I have at the top of this thread...

The drawback with Costa is that it can be a tad unfamiliar to Americans. When you are traveling in Europe, sometimes you want to experience Europe all day, but when its time to go to bed you want your CNN, movies, onboard entertainment, etc, to be in English. On Costa they will be in four other languages before they get to English. It isn't HORRIBLE, it is just different. Its very acceptable to Europeans, they are used to it.

But for Americans, if you can find a ship which is your "home" while you are overseas, and that home is American-oriented (your food, language, etc). Then sometimes that makes seeing Europe more enjoyable.

I would not steer people away from Costa, I would just say "understand what you will be getting onboard before you book it").

You have make sure your tour guide will speak English, for example. You have to understand that all the other passengers around you will be speaking a foreign tongue. The entertainment will be largely visual and don't expect any onboard lectures about ports of call in English.

You can certainly go on Costa and have a great cruise if you do your own research on the destinations and have a plan. But you have to be prepared to work a little harder to make sure you find things in English, etc. There will be fewer tour options, fewer TV channels, fewer menu items, that are "American." Some people will find that to be part of the fun, while others will find it confusing and challenging.


I don't disagree with you that some folks are put off by being out of their element. That is a common issue for many folks.

But the issues you raise above, were not any of the issues we had, and to try and box everyone who doesn't care for Costa into that category is really painting with a bit of a broad brush. I don't care how many languages they do the announcements in. I can't believe someone would get hung up on something like that, but we all have tolerances to different things.

I guess it was fortunate that we were able to be in contact in advance with other english speaking people going on the same sailing to be able to know that if we all planned to go on the same english speaking excursions then we knew in advance there would be enough people signed up that they wouldn't cancel them. So many of us went on the two ship excursions I mentioned in my review. We had a plan, we weren't confused or challenged. The areas we controlled and planned went pretty well for the most part. Costa had plenty of room for improvement in our experience however. The bright spots on Costa, was the cleanliness of our cabin, the hours of the kids club and the spa.

The food service was the pits, in food quality, service and pretty much all the way around. I love authentic Italian food and really enjoyed getting off the ship in port to enjoy some. There were fruit flies swarming all over the buffet, this is in November/December...it was jacket weather outside. I have not seen anything like that on any of our cruises even in the Caribbean, I have pictures of them if you don't believe me LOL.

Sometimes bad is just plain bad, regardless of whatever language you speak. It has nothing to do with culture or language barriers, it just is below average when compared to their competition.

I think we are also confusing the term "European" with the term "Italian" and I am not sure that Italian even is the correct way to sum up Costa, I really am at a loss for a way to classify this cruise line. But while Italians are most definitely Europeans, Europeans are not all Italians. There are even vast cultural differences between Southern Italy and Northern Italy. I had to laugh when the cab driver in Sicily was trying to coerce us to take a cab tour that we weren't interested in. I kept saying " No thank you, over and over again, he finally told me to be quiet...he wanted to talk to my Husband, my husband laughed at him and walked away. There are a lot of people in parts of Europe that have the same feelings about Costa that I do... like Davy above and several of the German, Dutch, Belgian and English folks on board with us.

I am so glad that you had a positive experience, and you felt that Costa is improving their product. I imagine that had I been on that same cruise with you, I might have shared your opinion. I also believe that if you had been on our cruise with us, you would also agree that what we experienced was below average.


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