Costa Serena Cruise Ship, Costa Cruises
"Concerned following other reviews. Mainly italian, french and german clients. No pushing or trouble getting the lifts, not too many children on the cruise. food was very good enough choice - the gluten free food excellent-taken very seriously, had to sit in prescribe seating at lunch time. We bought the x1 drinks package- worth it - buy when booking £80.50 each, only for the buffet at lunchtime and the main dining room in the eve.Occasional napkin waving and singing occurred after dinner? exurberant, but enjoyable and loud.Shows we saw very good.Decoration is very bright and very over the top.No trouble at all with language on the ship. Watch out for the taxi drivers in Naples trying to change agreed price at the end trip. Herculaneum (well worth the visit) need 2 or 3 hours there. Downside occasional trips cancelled due to lack of english clients. Think drinks quite expensive. Kids in adult pool most of the time- not moved. buffet lunch area a bit holiday campish and loud entertainment by pool but good for families. All in all enjoyed trip, would book Costa again. Not for a quiet restrained trip, Italian exurberance is loud but fun, as long as not too often."
16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just returned from a week on the serena and loved every single min of it. Cannot see why so many people moan about it its brilliant. Some top tips though-Dont eat in the restaurants during the day, while the food is nice they are a bit busy much better off on massive deck 9 food & drink everywhere self service just wait 30 mins after its started and that means no waiting. Also the BEST tip is book the J2 drinks package through virgin BEFORE you go as it cannot be booked on board or even 2 weeks before, this gives you unlimited drinks-EVERYTHING apart from champagne basically and you well get your £200 worth, with this we only spent about £30 each on some bits during the whole week gave £150 deposit and got most of it back.
Evening meals are fantastic considering they are cooking for 1000's, bar staff,room staff, restaurant staff always helpfull and smiling, other cruises cost x 4 times as much as we paid and we loved every second, bravissimo costa..."
- Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Virgin
- Advice: Book the J2 drinks package.
- Good For: Beach, City Breaks
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Was on this Ship early July and have to agree that is primarily for Italians.
The ship was full when we sailed due to Italian holidays so I guess a full ship can be a little stressful anyway but added with some people that have no concept of good manners makes matter worse. Trying to get in and out of the lift became a joke between us as many people would pile in with no regards of who was trying to get out!
Queues at the buffays were a case of each for there selves. Teh pools were a no go area and the Lido deck more like a load butlins holiday camp afair (all in Italian)
The staff seem to work off commision and some tried bypassing our Drinks package/Coffee packages to get their percentage. Very annoying having to correct the waiters all the time! The dinner waiters we had were excelent and very freindly and it must be said they went out of there way to give the best service. However we did move tables to be amongst friends after the first day and the first set of waiters were very rude, "is that it" after you placed your order for first course.
We only tried one organised trip ashore which was frantic! Definatley not enough time to anything more than a fleeting glimps, forget trying to relax!.
The announcements were all Italian first German second and English last, and I must say that they seemed to go on for about 5 minutes in Italian and about 5 seconds English, so we got the impression not all was being conveyed to Non Italian speaking people. The most annoying of which were the 15 minute calls at 9 a.m for "supa bingo"
Changing of happy hours became a joke, you either got lucky or spent the whole day at the bar to get the offers.
Overall a very nice clean ship spoilt by high priced excursions/drinks, overcrowding and some very rude passengers and staff."
- Holiday details: Jul 2010, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
- Advice: I'd tell them to loook elsewhere
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Worst holiday EVER!! Long wait in Hanger with very few seats prior to getting on board. Very expensive. 15% surcharge on everything and then a further 7 euros PER PERSON PER DAY for 'Hotel Services' whatever that was meant to be. Cabin services they said. Had to buy tea coffee water etc outwith meal times. No coffee available at dinner. Very short time ashore at most ports eg arrived 10.30am on board 4.30 - 5pm. Good destinations but not enough time to see most of them. Some of the staff quite rude. Poor directions aboard ship. Very late information re next day activities and timetables (info delivered around 10pm evening before)Best part was the very nice cabin stewardess we had who looked after us extremely well. Pools very small and very noisy. Food not great. Entertainment average. Nothing like any cruise I have ever been on before."
- Holiday details: Jun 2010, full board, booked with Virgin
- Advice: do not go with Costa
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just returned from a lovely 8day cruise on costa serena. Serena is a beautiful clean ship.There were 45 different nationalities on board an being peak holiday season there were lots of kids.The adult pool has tannoy announcment every 15 mins to remind users that its for adults only. Some adults completly ignored this resulting in security having to tell them. We found the food to be good and varied selection. There was plenty quiet areas to sunbathe if preffered. Entertainment was varied depending on what you liked.Staff usually very pleasant and helpful. We were on deck 2,room was spotless and sun-lin our cabin girl was brilliant and took time to chat whenever we saw her. Overall we had a great holiday and would recommend costa to our friends."
12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Costa Serena more Costa lotta money we had a seven day cruise 5 without luggage we got an inside cabin when paid for outside cabin paid £119 for anniversarry pack wich should have had a fruit bowl to be refubished every day got a bowl of half dead flowers no friut and water which was to be replenished every day was charged to account we paid £95 cabin service bumped on to bill with no notice from anyone customer services were useless and the whole cruise apart from great food was a disaster got to airport 11 am transfer to ship 3.45pm don't do it ??????"
7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Expect to wait at least 90 mins to board the ship from the time you arrive in the terminal. Some of our fellow travellers waited 3 hours.
Lovely ship with lovely cabins. Cabin staff are excellent. (It's a shame you are charged E6.50 per person per day for service - it would be nice to tip those who deserve it!)
Food good with plenty of choice although never hot and most times warm at best. Waiting staff very polite and attentive but restaurant service is always slow.
Entertainment was OK.
Excursions far too expensive - do your own thing. Tram to Blue Mosque in Istanbul is only 1 TLR (40p) and you can walk back via Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar in 45 mins. (Have a pint in one of the beautiful cafes under the bridge for £2.)
Beer too expensive at £6.40 a pint (incl 15% service charge) and cheapest wine is £18 a bottle (incl 15% service charge).
Expect to be thrown off the ship at 09.45 even though your transfer to the airport may not be until 14.30."
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We were looking forward to our Cruise.
The excursions we wanted were to new destinations for us and were somewhere we really wanted to visit. Of the three we booked, two were cancelled as there were not enough people booked to go. Of the one we went on we were disappointed as we got no shopping time where we wanted to shop, but only at the spot where the guide dicatated, one of which was at a health/alternative therapy centre (?) which was not on the itinerary and the other at a carpet demonstration, which was not on the itinerary either. Where we the clients wanted to go was deemed as unsafe.
The food in the Ceres restaurant was nothing short of bland and mostly virtually inedible.
If you were a vegetarian some of the meals would leave you extremely hungry as one 1 evening there was 1 Vegetarian meal on the menu. The lady diner was reduced to ordering a main meal and asking them to leave off the Fish or Meat. On two of the dinners I finished up eating 2 bread rolls and nothing else. We sent meals back as they were freezing cold or underdone. We had the restaurant manager at the table twice, but things still did not improve.
One memorable morning in the Ceres restaurant, we got watery orange juice, ordered food (poached eggs) waited forty minutes and they never did show up. After waiting 20 minutes we intercepted a waiter, who advised that the kitches were busy, and he would chase up our order. In the meantime he got us a cup of tea, served with ice-cold water, and disappeared. After 40 minutes we walked out and went to the 9th floor.
The ninth floor restaurant was a lifeline from starvation. The food here was good and plentiful. It was extremely busy as everyone seemed to be escaping the atrocious service downstairs. Unfortunately in the evenings it served only Pizza or salad. How many pizzas can you eat on one cruise.
The shows were OK in the main, but the Crew based night was terrible.
Apart for these complaints the rest of the cruise was OK but expensive for what you got. Unless you had tea or coffee on the 9th floor, you paid through the nose for everything and expect to have you photo taken at almost every meal and if you presume to move around the ship. The photographers are lurking everywhere to pounce on you at 20 euros a time.
Unfortunately most cruises are good trips and fine dining. I am not sure what Costas policy is on these areas but the Serena certainly did not seem interested in either of these areas."
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Carlsberg £5.20 per pint
Vodka/Gin & tonic £7.20
Italian crew do not speak or acknowledge the English/Welsh
Philippine staff were excellent in every department
A very expensive cruise to socialise on"
First of all, my apologies if my English isn't sufficient. I am Italian. The drinks are indeed pricy for some people. But you have to understand that the money you pay for the cabin, is not enough to cover even 20 percent of our expences. That is why we have higher prices on some articles. The 15 percent service charge is to help paying our staff. The money goes directly to them. This just to clear out that we are not making people pay too much at all.
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
The Costa Serena. 9th to 19th Oct 08
Venice-Bari-Katakolon-Izmir-Instanbul-Dubrovnic plus sea days.
Serena’s twin sisters the Pacifica & Concordia make-up this trio of luxury medium sized ships, medium sized only by today’s standards at 114,500 tonnes. The two lower decks (1 & 2) Cassiopea & Andromeda host many of the cheaper cabins I took the trouble to visit these during a sea day and when a show was in progress, Noise was almost non-existent and the cabins as well appointed as ours on the higher decks.
The main Balcony cabins were 6-7-8 with mid-ships being 6359-6332, 7321-7308, 8323-8320, Libra deck 9 has the highest grade balconies but starts slightly forward and butts up to the lido, noisy at times but ok after 11pm.
Samsara Suites and cabins are on their own deck (Taurus) and have direct access to the well-being & fitness centres and Prometeo buffet, the Samsara Restaurant is on deck three and is only available for Samsara cabins & invited guests. Although Samsara Suites are nice, not sure it was worth the extra we paid unless you use the full facilities that were on offer. Here was our home for 9 days and it came with all sorts of extra goodies, from welcome wine & fruit to a free meal in the Samsara/ Club Bacco Restaurants, which in itself was awesome. At this point as we are Pearl Members of the Costa Club most of this is available to us as part of the loyalty program, which only goes to show it’s worth joining any cruise club.
The ship loosely based on the Mythology of Ancient Rome and carries the spectacular off well with excellent classical architecture & artwork. The main pool has a retractable roof & open-air cinema, 13 bars including 1 coffee & chocolate bar, 4 swimming pools 1 with a water chute, 5 full sized Jacuzzis, a Multi-purpose sports court with outdoor jogging track, Theatre on three decks, Casino, disco, libary, internet cafe, shopping centre, video arcade, children’s Squok Club & splash pool, Grand Prix Simulator. There were plenty of quiet corners and seemingly endless supply of empty sun beds. I have no doubt that we missed seeing a lot and there may well be other amenities we did not see.
Now to my favourite place the evening meal in the fabulously elegant Ceres restaurant, with it’s sister the Vesta, the Samara & Bacco making up the specialty Restaurants, the welcome Dinner set the scene for such gastronomic delights as fresh Sea Scallops, Cannelloni, Pork & Beef Medallions, Duck a l Orange and roasted Guinea Fowl, truly almost anything was on offer, beautifully cooked & present. The food was outstanding and would take pages to describe.
The general facilities on board are outstanding, the Giove Theatre was huge & the shows fabulous, given that at least four languages were spoken we were able to follow even a Ventriloquist on the first night. The Casino caters for all tastes & every Bar offers something different.
At the moment of writing Costa, via Virgin Cruises are offering two for one on all cruises, and if that is not a bargain I don’t know what is. So much so I booked again for February on the sister ship the Concordia, 11 days for under £1800.
A recommendation for everyone to give Costa a try."
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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