Length: 722 ft
The remade and re-named Costa Romantica was originally launched in 1993 but it was refirbished in 2012Best For People Who Want
A bargain on an inside cabin; not too much socializing with other passengers;Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Lots of on-board activities; great personal-style serviceOnboard Experience
This Costa ship sails almost exclusively in European waters and so is not highly recommended for U.S. cruisers who are looking at a cruise as a way to see Europe. This ship is marketed to the European population and has all the trappings of a typical pan-European vacation experience; public announcements made in four languages; guests segregated into differing groups for shore excursions and entertainment depending upon their native language, onboard literature is several different languages, of which the English versions may be rather hard to locate.
Expect lots of smoking on board, though the Europeans are starting to catch up with the U.S. in this department, there is still second-hand smoke almost everywhere as rules are usually only loosely enforced. Also expect much shorter times in port than you would get on a ship full of Americans in Europe. The locals like to hit & run tourist spots like Mallorca and Sardinia, and are not inclined to want to spend the night, or even a full day in any one spot.Decor
European decor of the modern era in most places, plus an art collection said to value over $20 million. The requisite number of marble statues and replicas of classic paintings are on board to let you know this is a European ship.Public Rooms
The fetching Piazza Italia Grand Bar is the heart of the ship. It sits like the plaza of a cozy Italian public square, with wicker chairs and generous sofas. There is a bar there serving wine by the glass and hot cappuccino.
The Excelsior Casino features mostly European-style table games such as roulette but also has the full range of slots and other gaming tables. The Via Condotti shopping area does not rival the Galleria in Milan, but it has a few baubles worth trying on (but shop in the duty-free shop at the airport on the way home for the best deals). Juliet's Patisserie is a cozy place to get hot pastry and coffee and people watch or just spend some time day-dreaming.
The Piazza Italia is the open area from which many of the public areas emanate. It leads to L'Opera Theatre showroom, is the ship's main show lounge, decorated in a blue and white classic style of the Mediterranean.
The Diva Disco, fully surrounded with windows to all points of the compass is better by day than by night. Go to see commanding views of everything around the ship. Unfortunately, at night it is a different beast with loud music and tons of hanging smoke in the air. But if disco you must, this is where you go 'til the wee hours.Cuisine
That Italy has some of the world's greatest cuisine should not be taken to mean that Costa serves the world's best food. Indeed, menus appear to be designed to appeal mostly to an Italian audience, and should you order a selection from another continental derivation, you will probably end up thinking, "I should have gone Italian." You would suppose that they'd get pasta dishes right every time, but pasta depends upon fast service before it gets cold and rubbery. At the buffets, you will be presented with what Europeans are used to as "fast food" including beans for breakfast, and cheese, hard sausage and rolls for lunch.Restaurants
With light wood accents, and wall to wall windows and marble flooring the Botticelli Dining Room is a treat for the eyes but not for the ears, especially when all these hard surfaces conspire to turn the room into an Italian echo chamber as the wine flows and the Europeans get more and more robust in their conversations. Dining times are also later than most Americans are used to, 7: and 9:30 usually.
The Terrazzo cafe is a simple alternative for casual lunch and dinner, a cheerful setting next to the pool great for people watching.
The Giordino lido restaurant on the Lido Deck, aft, is surprisingly expansive, and the food's surprisingly good. A coffee, a robust, hey-wake-up, pal! European blend is available 24 hours, plus tea bags, hot chocolate packs and milk (hot in the morning). The buffet's limited hours cause some problems. Both the pizza line and tea-time start at 4 p.m., just as those who've been on shore excursions are coming back with low blood sugar, ravenous for a snack. The occasional melee results. Giordino later becomes a "pizza trattoria" from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.Service
We'll say it plainly: on a Costa ship you are an American in Europe. The company is expanding rapidly (undergoing a cruising renaissance in Europe similar to what the U.S. experienced years ago), so the staff can be surprisingly slow, and sometimes seemingly impolite, including the cabin stewards. You can always count on the bar staff to cheer you up, though.Tipping
The amount charged to the shipboard account, per person per day (including children), is $8.50. This covers dining room and stateroom personnel. Passengers can have the amount adjusted by visiting the Guest Relations Desk.
A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all bar tabs. Spa staff and room service staff may be tipped as service is received.
Productions shows in the main theater are geared for the European audience who are used to seeing shows that do not require an abundance of dialogue - sight-gagged magicians and jugglers for example interspersed with songs that every world denizen knows in English like "New York, New York," or Italian such as "Volare." Nights in the Mediterranean sea offer themed deck parties that focus on various nationalities -- usually an Arab night, East European circus and Costa's famous "toga party".Cabins
Costa Romantica's staterooms are larger than expected. Inside staterooms measure 175 sq. ft., while outside cabins with large window are 200 sq. ft. At 340 sq. feet., minisuites with private veranda are very large. Sound proofing between staterooms could be better. Standard cabin amenities include color TV, safe, radio, hair dryers in bathrooms. There are no in-cabin menus and a limited selection of three sandwiches -- Costa charges $2.50 and should drop this practiceFitness/Spa
The fitness center could be larger on this older ship, and the Spa (Steiners of London) could have a few more permanent attractions. For the most part you can have the basic services such as massage or facial. Crowded aerobics classes are scheduled regularly.Attire
During the day European casual is on call, sunglasses, Diesel jeans and a tight black fishnet t-shirt for the younger Italian men, and collared shirts and fitted long pants over brown leather shoes for everyone else.
just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on,
the good bits:-
lovely room, evening food good Philippine and indian staff lovely lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!!
the awful bits, complete cock up with payment details, they provided the wrong bacs details and it took 4 weeks to resolve!! (should have smelt a rat then) claustrophobic ship, dark below no window, felt cramped and unpleasant, embarkation was a complete shambles, took hours only 4hours at each port to try to force you to use the extortionate ship excursions, 2 posts were very isolated. independent travel at the post was was virtually impossible drinks very expensive plus 15 % !!! disembarkation was also very poor, the staff provided no help loading bags, the bus driver looked bored and just dumped everyone at terminal 3 of airport without any explanation that this may not be your terminal, noisy all the time, smokey in most of the bar areas and virtually nothing to do during the day at sea or evening unless you like bingo. The buffet restaurant was a virtual scrum area, closed in the evening, coffee not offered with evening meal, 2 coffees six euros, (non smoking areas a joke) tips are 49 euros compulsory each, result: apathetic staff i went to none of the evening entertainments but all were described as awful by others muster was a very poor affair no privacy in male changing rooms after sauna, pool attendant left door open!! not a pretty sight.
spoke to some serial costa cruisers who said the larger ships were much better, this ship is about to go for refurbish, staff need to be properly educated as well changing the name to neu romantica equivalent to windscale being renamed to sellafield. I would have grave reservations about costa again. I went as i did not believe the summaries , i should have listened.
We were totally delighted with our cruise of the Indian Islands - much better than expected. The staff were a delight - in particular the bar staff, the cabin bigger and more comfortable than we thought - the video for Costa does not do it justice. Food was pretty good considering the amount of folk who got fed on a regular basis. We went to chill out and relax and do our own sight-seeing - we chilled out beautifully, watched amazing people do very funny things, enjoyed the laid back entertainment. We found hiring our own car or tour guide easy and practical - suited our purposes perfectly. We did notice though that there was very little entertainment or attention given to younger folk - something that should be attended to in particular over school holidays.
We would recommend this as a great holiday choice.
Neill and Glynis Holdsworth Benoni, South Africa
The food was below average ie cold greasy overcooked bacon ran out of butter english tea fruit became unavailable coffee undrinkable. Excursions so badly organised and tendering 5 times out of 8 late to get to intenbded destinations even fight broke out. that was bad.
Entertainment very poor no live music in the shows no seminars.
Hygiene indescriable sewage on kabin floors water brown.
Drinks expensive plus service charge, had to pay 6 euros per day for a service We came away with diarrhoer and annoyed as to way we had been trated.
It seemed as though money was very tight and it showed in many ways. we would not reccomend this cruise it has been the worse one we have been on.