We are booking a cruise for next February - We have always sailed on Princess previously. Friends want to try Costa.
Has anyone sailed with them before? If so, how did the ships compare?
What did you think of the cabins and food, as well as service.
Any insight would be appreciated!
can't really give you a good comparison, as we were on the Costa Riviera about 6 years ago and it is a much older ship than the Dawn, but will give my 2 cents worth. Costa service was excellent then, but the total food style was a bit too much "italian" for me. At that time the menu consistantly stayed doward italian cuisine. We just got back 2 days ago from cruising on the Dawn, and I can't say enough about her...just overall a fanastic experience. The food was very good with the exception of one evening that I would have to rate as fair, but then again, I'm pretty picky and not a great "explorer" of foods. About the best I can say is that the Costa Riviera was our first cruise and we were moderately disappointed in that cruise but still had a good time. With the Dawn Princess we were just simply thrilled. Have been on Norwegian Cruise Lines too and Princess is DEFINITELY a step up from them. I hope to put together a review in the next week, but there are some other good reviews out there you should take a serious look at. Whichever you pick, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
World of difference between Costa and Princess.... Yugo vs Cadillac. I have sailed each line 3 times and these are my observations...The actual ships of Costa are fine, but its the management and service and crewing of these lines that make for a big difference. Costa is much more of an economy cruise and price is the big attraction to them....As far as food, Costa farms out there food operation and it really is "not that good"...very few of the crew are actually Italian(except ships officers) and this is most evident in the restaurants...The days of great Italian food served by happy Italian waiters don't apply to todays Costa.(years ago this wasn't the case)
My major complaint with all Costa ships are dinning room staffing. Costa under staff's both waiters and busboys and this really causes long delys in service and or waiters working too many passengers or tables to provide"good" service.
For cruisers that have sailed "good" cruise lines, Costa usually leaves passengers wishing they had tried another cruise line.(its not just me, but most experienced cruisers that sail often feel this way)
Thank you - This is just the type of honesty we were hoping for!
We have always sailed on Princess and have had a great time and were very pleased with the service and ships.
I can not thank you enough for helping us avoid an expensive mistake!
One caution. Remember that you are receiving these comments on the Princess board where there may be a prejudice in favor of Princess. You should also ask the same question on the Costa board. Someone suggested that just as in ice skating competitions, if you throw out the highest and lowest scores, you might arrive at a fairly objective rating.