Costa Romantica Cruise Ship, Costa Cruises
"Costa Neo-Romantica 17th September 2014.
Savona –Civtavecchia-- Reggio Calabria-- At Sea –Katamata—Izmir—Piraeus—At Sea
La Valletta—At Sea—Marseille—Genoa.
First time back on the ‘Romantica’ after the stretching and adding some balconies to this ship a few years back, boarding was fast & efficient. Our first impressions when walking on board was ‘WOW’ the sheer unadulterated luxury hit us like a brick, everywhere you looked oozed class, attentive stewards soon led us to the lift & towards our cabin on deck six. This was an outside cabin yet showed that even these can be awesome, the cupboard & wardrobes provided ample space, and the design a credit even the bathroom appeared larger than normal. We were very happy with our choice, however having a phone call resulted in even more delight. We were waitlisted for a balcony never expected that one would become free, to our joy were escorted up to deck 12 and cabin1230, well it was defiantly no contest, tasteful, elegant are poor words to describe such a cabin surely one of the best ever even beating the Mini-suite on the old Romantica. Although to be honest apart from the balcony (a must for us usually) both cabins were beyond our expectations & we not hesitate to choose either again. One slight hitch I think a little extra soundproofing between cabins would improve the experience.
On to best part of our cruises, dining, not too happy that we were only informed shortly before the cruise that it was ‘Freedom Dining’ we are fixed in our ways and enjoy the MDR & the first of the two sittings. The Maitre D’ was not willing to try to seat us with English speakers, a must on multi- National ships, the first night proved that this needed to be sorted, as we were on a table of six with no English speaking guests. After our meal we sought out the English host and explained, with 110 English on board surely we should at least try to meet someone who wanted early dining. Now Marta was/is the best host we have ever had on Costa & indeed MSC ships, nothing was too much trouble for her, and soon she introduced us to two American couples who we met up each night outside the Restaurant, with Marta checking tables were okay.
On to the food, while the majority was beautifully presented and extremely tasteful, matched to each regions best dishes with wine also matched to the food. The choices were limited to two each course, making it very difficult some nights to find something you fancied eating, the menu from Veneto was Cabbage Soup/Beef Tartar-Cod fish Stew in milk/roast pork with Maple Syrup sauce, thank heaven for the usual selection of pasta & vegetarian which seemed most people around us choose. Come on Costa where were those wonderful menus of the past for the ships that are aimed at your discerning clients.
Once again the specialty restaurant come to our rescue the two nights later when Cabbage soup was on offer again, what a joy it is to dine in these fabulous Italian Restaurants, well worth the extra costs incurred.
No theatre on this ship but two show lounges, which proved as good as any purpose built theatre, the atmosphere was certainly more intimate and we enjoyed almost every show, for those who have never tried Costa most shows are visual or if musical, in English. We could understand the offering every night.
Although there is a distinct lack of bars on this Neo ship the options were good for whatever your requirements (quiet or noisy) the grand Bar showed all the action each night and was greatly enjoyed by all whatever your Nationality.
Onto the POC while we no longer venture ashore in the ‘Med’ there were some different tours on this cruise which we decided to try, but all were cancelled due to lack of interest, we were offered other tours in these ports, which unfortunately proved to be unsuitable for me due to the amount of walking, but looking at what we could, we did enjoy most of them.
Maybe Costa should think of the use of mini-buses for English speakers even at a slightly extra cost, rather than cancel tours completely. I know this is becoming a problem for a lot of cruise lines that have different Nationalities, & passengers are getting fed up with not being able to see some of the sights that they booked the cruise to see. It is understandable from the Company side but if tours can be booked privately before a cruise in most ports surely these lines could do the same for smaller groups.
Being Multi-National Costa board in different ports for most cruises in the Mediterranean, which to my mind is an excellent idea, cutting down on flying times for some with lots of choices on where you join the ship, this also leads to quicker embarkation avoiding those lengthy waits in the departure halls. The last day is usually hectic, but this again was fairly reasonable, called in groups we no longer had to push & shove, but walked leisurely off collected our luggage and got into the taxi transfer to the Airport.
To sum up the Neo ships (Romantica—Classica—Riviera) if they are all up to the Romantica experience then these are ships to select for those special occasions which you decide on something different. Roll on next year when we hope to try the Neo-Classica.A"
- Holiday details: Sep 2014, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: Buy The All Inclusive Drinks Package
Did you find this review helpful? Yes
"just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on,
the good bits:-
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."
- Holiday details: Oct 2011, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
- Advice: dont go
7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"ALL ENGLISH TOURISTS - DO NOT BOOK THIS CRUISE OR THIS SHIP!!! I would hate for any Brit to be taken in by this shameful company in the future. I am not exagerrating, this was a holiday from hell and such a shame because we had chosen this cruise for the destinations and to celebrate our 60th birthdays. Complete rip off - I think they saw us Brits coming!!! Very poor entertainment - more like a Euro Trash version of Play School. Very high drinks prices with a ridiculous service charge (and this is in addition to the cost of the tips which are added automatically to your on-board spend at the end of the cruise). We have previously cruised with P&O, Royal Caribbean, Ocean Village and Thomson, all of these companies blow Costa out of the water. Dining options were poor - our experience in the buffet was more like going to a football match. The evening dining restaurant was a bad experience in that on some occasions the food was not hot or properly cooked. We didn't have long enough in Mauritius as they changed the schedule at the last minute. Mainland Madagascar was awful and in our opinion should not have been included in the intinery. This is the first time I have been on holiday and wanted to come home after day 2!! Felt trapped with nowhere to go to improve things. Did not feel welcome on board. After a 24 hour journey our welcome consisted of being bombarded with invitations to take out a drinks package - this was after an horrific de-hydrating flight with Air France (will never fly with them again - would actually chose Ryan Air and that says something). We did complain (in a nice way) to the English speaking representative but his constant response was "only Costa do this itinery" which didn't address our issues at all. Mainly Italians and French on board and if this is how they like their holidays then we won't be going to Italy or France again either. Blocked Toilets, Smell of Sewerage, no Nescafe coffee only an urn with bitter tasting coffee, too many days at sea with lack of enterainment and a 15% service charge on all drinks, very dated interior and very dated music (mainly Italian), told we could not use our travel kettle in the cabin - no hot drink facilities in the cabin, told we could not use our travel hairdryer in the cabin and the dryer supplied in the bathroom was crap, poor organisation, buffet like "charge of the light brigade", HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE - do not waste your hard earned money. This is the most expensive cruise we have travelled on and it is definitely the worst ever. PLEASE DON'T DO IT - we are not being unfair to Costa - everything we have stated here is the TRUTH."
- Holiday details: Feb 2011, Food and Board, booked with Costa Cruises
- Advice: Do not cruise with Costa
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Celebrating my 50th Birthday, 14 of us booked on the Costa Romantica for a holiday of a lifetime to the Far East. What a joke it was certainly one that will stick in our minds but for all the wrong reasons. The ship was a tired old tub and in need of a major refurb.
The Food was very hit and miss, they ran out of teabags, salads,etc etc the butter which was off, the drinks machines were often covered during buffet times,drinks were extortionate to start with then they added 15% on top of that for good measure. the buffet was like a free for all, tables never cleared, the few hand sanitizers they had were often empty, toilets kept blocking,whenever it rained it leaked into buffet,complained on several occasions about our room and the noise that we were subjected to sometimes at 5 and 6 oclock in the morning but fell on deaf ears Michael the English speaking rep was absolutely hopeless
he evaded every question thrown to him which resulted in passengers getting very frustrated.They took us to industrial ports, we were supposed to have 1 tender but we ended up having 4, was looking forward to the beaches of bali but we ended up docking 2 1/2 hours drive away on the other side of the island so couldnt go, anothort weer p docked was at a cement factory which is just what i wanted to see for my 50th, if i would of wanted to visit areas like this i could have saved myself a lot of money and gone to Grimsby Docks for a fraction of the price and much more scenic.The first port we docked at which had sailed 2 full days to reach i dont think had ever seen Westerners before, it was certainly not a holiday area and i was glad to get back onto the boat as i felt very uncomfortable,i could go on and on, the only thing i can salvage from this holiday was that Phuket was lovely. Even at the airport on the way home Costa didnt fail to dismay us, whilst waiting for our cases to arrive as they were taken on a seperate minivan to us we found after a while that they had already arrived and were left in the airport unattended. I asked one of the Costa staff why they had been left unattended as this is a security issue to which he just shrugged his shoulders and walked off .. Very reassuring and profesional .. not !!!! Out of the 14 of us luckily 8 of us had cruised befor and so knew this wasnt typical of cruising but the other 6 have been put off from ever crusing again which is a real shame."
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"General condition of ship was poor and lacked any form of luxury with no regard to the passenger’s safety or giving what the passenger had paid for.
We used the ships very small tenders making hundreds of passenger’s queue down the stairs to gangway and time limited onshore. At times there were over one hundred plus passengers queuing on the stairways waiting to go ashore
We went to cargo ports or lesser ports and used tenders as this was a cheaper option as confirmed by more than one a crew member.
We arrived so late at Kuala Lumper that all trips were cancelled; we were told that the ship had an engine problem yet surprise, surprise we arrived back in Singapore on time. For most of the trip there was little or no air conditioning on board. It would seem that maybe there was no engine problem but just a way to save on fuel costs!
Every night access to the outside decks was barred to us, thus stopping us from getting some fresh air on deck. I would presume that as there was a lack of cleaning and security staff this was the better option for Costa.
There was little planning on trips given the time of arrival at each port to allow us to complete the trip itinerary. Some trips included a trip to the beach on the way back to the ship but what was the point of going to the beach in the dark. Despite having trips curtailed or shortened there was no mention of a refund being paid as one would have expected.
If I had wanted to book a ferry I would have done so, in fact I have been on better ferries.
There was no management of the teams, the young new recruits were working with no leadership what so ever and left to field the flak from the disgruntled passenger’s. You had to constantly ask for more cups, milk cutlery etc. There was a distinct lack of staff.
If it rained heavenly water ran through the restaurant roof and at times turned into a stream. Staff and passengers alike were forced to step over it or just walk through it. The coffee machine on deck 11 developed a severe leek a causing a small stream to run past both exits from the dining area.
Staff did eventually put safety barriers up but only after numerous complaints from the passengers.
Two of the Jacuzzi’s broke down midway through the cruise, the water was left to become yellow and putrid. This should have been emptied there was a distinct lake of health and safety in both instances.
Once on board drinks packages of coffee, water and soda’s was pushed, no need, it was omitted to say free beverages was available. We was told that what was left on our packages could be used on the morning of departure, not true, we had to pay again.
The corridor to the cabin was constantly filled with smell of raw sewage and the toilet continually failed to flush satisfactorily.
The washing water in cabin at times was yellow on drying yourself left the towels yellow.
At busy times especially during happy hours there was only 1 barman and 1 cocktail waitress on duty most times we would have to clear table before we could sit down. This was because the tables had either not been cleared from lunch or afternoon tea. On more than one occasion I ordered a happy hour beer well before happy hour ended one took 35minutes to arrive and as happy hour finished whilst I was waiting I only received one beer and was told that happy hour had finished before my beer was served there was nothing the staff could do about it. Again lack of staff had caused this problem. The beer toward the end of the trip was watered down, due to a fear of beer running out, this was told to us by the barman as he apologised.
Several items that ran out in the first week, should have been replaced on docking, butter served was rank we then went on to margarine this ran out was giving us nothing but dry bread.
Lettuce ran out in the first week, salad was given made up of chopped cabbage so did lemon, lime, mint and normal tea bags. How I ask can you have a Gin and Tonic without a slice of lemon?
The buffet lunch or should say rugby scrum (scrum because everyone grabbed what it could before it ran out as you never knew if or when it would be filled). It had the same look every day, no attention to colour or variety to the menu just name change. In fact my wife told the chef one day that it was dog food and walked out, the next day he saw her and said he was sorry but they was doing their best with not enough food or staff .
On several occasions we sent back courses from our evening meal, presentation was zero, potatoes always raw not al Dante, raw. On our last day the waiter apologised for the poor and quality of food and lack of staff and that they did their best for us this. This was very true and told us we must complain.
We were subjected to several fights amongst passenger’s on board and this is not surprising as everyone on board were so frustrated and angry.
Other Italian passenger's came to us and apologised for the poor representation of their country. Costa you must be very proud!!!"
- Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Virgin
- Advice: don't do it
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We were 2 males (one early seventies, the other 90) who had booked a fourteen day round cruise on the Costa Romantica from Singapore calling at six ports. When we booked we emphasised that, although we required just one cabin, it was imperative that we had two single beds. The agent assured us that there was no worry on this point because the double beds comprised 2 singles pushed together which could easily be separated. But, can you believe it, when we boarded we found that we had been allocated a cabin which had a double bed that could not be separated into two; apparently it was one of the very few such set ups in the whole ship. That dreadful muck-up was compounded when we went to the desk to seek some solution and found the Italian staff to be completely unconcerned and uninterested in our predicament. They would not lift a finger to resolve the problem (even though it could surely have been settled by them arranging for another cabin's occupants who were happy to share a double bed and whose beds were capable of separation, to change with us).When we asked what they expected us to do, they didn't know and didn't care. The dilemma was eventually resolved when a passenger, with the approriate bed configuration, volunteered to exchange cabins with us. Even then, the Italian desk manager said that nothing could be done until the next day because they would have to seek approval from Genoa. We stood our ground and the exchange was made but it was a distressing experience. The appalling attitude of the ship's management was almost beyond belief.
As for the trip itself, it was adequate but certainly not outstanding. There were frequenlt long waits to be served at the evening meals which were often lukewarm at best. The only redeeming feature was the quality of the cabin steward who was invariably cheerful and obliging. I would certainly not travel on a Costa ship again and if our experience was a measure of Italian service, I would not travel on any other Italian ship either."
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Having just completed a cruise on the Costa Romantica from Dubai to Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and back to Dubai I would seriously have to consider whether I would venture on to a Costa ship again. Although the ship was clean and the service staff friendly and considerate, the overall management needs to be re-focused as the day to day management of the ship was not up to standard The self service restaurant has plastic tables, plastic plates and plastic glasses coupled with cold food,. hence the ship should be called Costa Plastica. I also found the ship to be extremely noisy due to the din created by staff extending the access ramps whilst in port coupled with the noise generated by the engines whilst at sea.
Costa Romantica should be avoided.
The places visited were well worth going to except for Fujairah which had little to offer."
30 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"To say that Red Rum was a racehorse or that Stanley Mathews was a footballer is like saying a Costa Cruise is like any other. Just how wrong can you be?
What a wonderful experience this was for us old time cruisers. The Costa Romantica lived up to its name on this Southern Caribbean Cruise. Every question, every request and every hope was filled by Costa’s crewmembers, the attention to detail unsurpassed.
Flying out from Charles De Gaulle on Air France the extra legroom was most welcome as was the free glass of Champagne, Guadeloupe our embarkation port, our first glimpse of this ship was from the air, an amazing sight gleaming white against the deep blue sea.
Embarkation was extremely efficient, and although we had privileged boarding by the fact we booked a mini-suite, the rest seemed to be equally as quick. We were soon on board and being led to our cabin by a crew member, and what a cabin, Jacuzzi bath, twin basins, huge bed and a large sitting area with floor to ceiling panoramic windows. Fresh fruit bowl and a bottle of wine are included, mini bar, fridge and room safe, trouser press hair dryer, the full Monty. To top this our own Butler, I could really get used to this life.
The ship is very elegant, beautifully furnished giving the feeling that every one of their customers is special.
The Botticelli Restaurant is out of this world as indeed is the food, a menu to suit any taste from all over the world, the Pasta course cooked in the dining Room to order. Just as a point of interest meals can be served in your room, and we did enjoy having our breakfast there.
On to the ports of call, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, Tortola, Catalina Island the last being a private island were only Costa ships were allowed to anchor, a must is the BBQ on the beach (free) and great snorkelling, after a short ships tour in Tortola, we spent a few hours at Cane Garden Bay, well worth a visit. Antigua we had already been to having spent a week there, but did you know they have over 325 beaches there it could take best part of a year to visit every one of those.
So to sum up this Costa Cruise, outstanding, suburb, exciting, entertaining, cultural, Italian hospitality at its best, are after all only words, but sum up one of the best cruises we have ever taken. If this is cruising Italian style book me on the next available ship."
21 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Do you own Costa Romantica Cruise Ship?
- Promote your business with Holiday Watchdog content
- To respond to a review, use the Management Response Form