My experience of the tragic accident on Costa Europa at Sharm

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#21
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Are there any Swedish people reading this forum?

Only I can't get the kind man out of my mind who helped me thru the door on deck, I hope he's ok.
I thanked him in German - but he was most put out and said I am not German but Swedish!
On a lighter note I remember thinking God he's nice the ship would heve to go down now!
Its strange how we think of such silly things in serious situations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#22
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I have spoken to several people we met on board - they have been sent a disclaimer form etc

Offering full refund of cruise
Voucher to the value of 50% off another cruise - but they think it’s only the cruise - no flights included and can not be used in connection with any other promotional offer - so in that case they are hardly worth any thing.
We are still waiting for our paper work I gather it’s supposed to arrive today.
We didn’t book thru Virgin but I have to say I was very impressed with them as a company - at the hotel Virgin was the only rep there with a large Virgin board going around so their customers could ask questions. I didn’t see any other reps only the Costa one who had far too much to deal with - I also heard Virgin sent bouquets of flowers to their affected clients.
So I shall consider them when booking in the future
#23
Montreal (QC) Canada
83 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by summersday
I'm not sure if that is the right name -doesn't look right - it had three names to it and i think shorter words?????????????

take care
Do you recognize him? (in the middle)

I found a lot of documentation
by looking on Google and searching for: Giancarlo Cha (pr.: Ka)
Take care. M
#24
Ottawa, Ontario
42 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We were aboard this ship as well and still have not arrived home. Costa flew us (the Canadians and US residents) from Sharm El Sheik to Rome telling us we would then be sent to our final destinations. We were in Rome on standby since February 28th. Costa would send an agent from Cima Tour every other day reiterating information would come, day by day went by until finally on March 3rd we were told Costa just wanted us to take our regularly scheduled flights home that were scheduled for most on March 4th (what was supposed to be the last day of the cruise). Aparently Costa had decided all along that they had no intention of flying us home on February 28th, instead they strung us along thinking they would get us home.
#25
515 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Jambalaya07
We were aboard this ship as well and still have not arrived home. Costa flew us (the Canadians and US residents) from Sharm El Sheik to Rome telling us we would then be sent to our final destinations. We were in Rome on standby since February 28th. Costa would send an agent from Cima Tour every other day reiterating information would come, day by day went by until finally on March 3rd we were told Costa just wanted us to take our regularly scheduled flights home that were scheduled for most on March 4th (what was supposed to be the last day of the cruise). Aparently Costa had decided all along that they had no intention of flying us home on February 28th, instead they strung us along thinking they would get us home.
Oh my god! Talk about making a bad situation so much more worse! You've been waiting for days to get home? I can't imagine there is any other excuse..it is certainly far cheaper for Costa and parent Carnival to have you fly on your regularly scheduled flights than do the decent thing and get you home asap.

These tragic situations bring out ANY company's true colors...and the consumer rarely gorgets when they are treated badly.
#26
Montreal (QC) Canada
83 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by Jambalaya07
We were aboard this ship as well and still have not arrived home. Costa flew us (the Canadians and US residents) from Sharm El Sheik to Rome telling us we would then be sent to our final destinations. We were in Rome on standby since February 28th. Costa would send an agent from Cima Tour every other day reiterating information would come, day by day went by until finally on March 3rd we were told Costa just wanted us to take our regularly scheduled flights home that were scheduled for most on March 4th (what was supposed to be the last day of the cruise). Aparently Costa had decided all along that they had no intention of flying us home on February 28th, instead they strung us along thinking they would get us home.
What a situation! Did you have a chance to visit Rome? Or were you waiting at the hotel (paid by Costa I suppose) for your flight?... M
#27
83 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I am wondering how your luggage caught up with you.
Your story says that you were to pack your bags and then what.
And people in the hallway were glared at for dragging their suitcases.
Just wondering in case I'm in the same situation of evacuating a ship at port.
#28
Ottawa, Ontario
42 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
The most frustrating part is being strung along by Costa and not hearing the truth as soon as they decided they wanted passengers to take their original flights home. If we knew that when we were flown to Rome from Sharm El Sheik then at least it would have prevented the waiting game that we went through. Some people were given 20 minutes notice of their flights, so we were weary to go do any day trips out of Rome in case we heard anything back (which we never did!) We called and emailed Costa several times (I'm scared to see what our long distance bills are going to look like as I doubt Costa will ever recuperate those costs!) Aparently Costa US was the one making decisions about our flights, but since there's a 6 hour time difference from Italy, the Italy and US office would only have 3 hours per day to communicate and make decisions for us b/c heaven for bid we be put on any priority lists for them to work any overtime to get us home! We couldn't call any 1-800 numbers from Italy, so I would have to call my sister in the US who would then set up a conference call with the 1-877 number for Costa as we couldn't connect any other way...we have now continued on with our trip as there is no point sitting and waiting for Costa to do anything for us...Costa seemed to take care of some passengers while leaving others to fend for themselves, we're still not sure how they decided who they were going to help, etc., but it sure wasn't us!

As for the luggage, we were told 'we were invited to pack our luggage' after the announcements on the ship, so we quickly through everything into our luggages as soon as we could and left them in the stair hallways of the ship. Thankfully we had brought decent sized backpacker backpacks, so I was conscious enough to pack what we needed for a few days in case we never got our luggage. In terms of the luggage, we were fortunate to receive it at the hotel the evening the ship crashed, but others did not receive their luggage or had to wait to get it at the Sharm Airport a few days later. Advice - pack your belongings on the ship and make sure all your luggages are tagged very clearly! We had left our cabin number tags on our luggage which I'm sure helped as well.
#29
Ottawa, Ontario
42 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Thanks for all your concerns, we appreciate it as I've seen other passengers getting slammed for their 'me, me, comments', but until you're stuck in the situation and given no information from Costa, the situation worstens as frustrations rise not knowing anything!

And yes, that was our captain : Giancarlo Cha and that was a pic of him posted above :-)

All of the statements from Costa say that Costa has flown everyone, so many lies as we won't be getting home until March 9th.
#30
3,132 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Jambalaya07
We were aboard this ship as well and still have not arrived home. Costa flew us (the Canadians and US residents) from Sharm El Sheik to Rome telling us we would then be sent to our final destinations. We were in Rome on standby since February 28th. Costa would send an agent from Cima Tour every other day reiterating information would come, day by day went by until finally on March 3rd we were told Costa just wanted us to take our regularly scheduled flights home that were scheduled for most on March 4th (what was supposed to be the last day of the cruise). Aparently Costa had decided all along that they had no intention of flying us home on February 28th, instead they strung us along thinking they would get us home.
stuck in rome? OMG!

seriously, though, rome is a fantastic city. there are millions of worse places to get stranded. i hope you got out and made the best of it.

i hope you had insurance. it should cover many of the additional expenses (like the long-distance calls) you incurred due to the trip being interrupted. i always buy it and the policeis i've had in the past would have covered the lost airfare (assuming Costa did not already reimburse you for that).
#31
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Our cases were sent to our hotel in Sharm that same evening - although some people didn't get there's until arriving at the airport the next day.
We were not told when our flights would be - we were promised a "note would be put under the door in the night"
The first we knew of the flight was a porter knocking on our door saying I have come for your cases - again panic to dress and shut the cases again - then we had a long wait in reception and didn't have any lunch as were were concerned we would miss the coach.

I am sorry you have been stuck in Rome - yes its a great city but it doesn't matter how wonderful a city is you can't enjoy it - when having had such an experience. All you want to do is get home.
We were exhuasted when arriving home the weeping has stopped but I don't want to go out or explain any thing to any one - this forum has helped me a great deal in getting things off my chest - Thank you
I have since found out some passengers ordered taxis to get home from Gatwick and the rep said Costa would pay - we asked the same question and he said "they may pay" so we travelled on the National Express coach

I rang my Lloyds travel insurance and they said I have to deal with Costa -as I suppose its their fault.
Take care every one X
#32
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
By the way Costa‘s pay out is as follows as I understand it.

They will repay the full cost of the cruise package.

50% in vouchers towards another cruise - BUT it is only 50% of the cruise component above (excluding the flights and transfers)

No service charge to pay - and drinks/tours etc not charged (dam we didn’t take any)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have spoken to a few people from the ship since my return home

Some people are happy and signing the disclaimer

Quite a few and insisting on cash as apposed to vouchers - that’s what we are going to do - I know it will take ages but I am not sure I want to take a cruise in the near future

Also there are a couple of people who are going to sue Costa

And of course although we are taking about flights, money loss of cruise - we have not forgotten those poor people who perished. I hope Costa will support the families in some way.
#33
Montreal (QC) Canada
83 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by Jambalaya07
The most frustrating part is being strung along by Costa and not hearing the truth .......have prevented the waiting game that we went through. ............
. Who will pay for your hotel nights while in Rome?
. I do understand why you could not enjoy your visit in Rome while waiting for news from Costa... We feel so helpless when communication is so deficient...
. As for
Costa seemed to take care of some passengers while leaving others to fend for themselves, we're still not sure how they decided who they were going to help....................
We experienced it. just an exemple: At the end of our cruise with Costa in 2008, we were asked to leave our cabin at 4h AM,(this is true...!) and leave the ship at 6h AM... First, we did not believe it... We tried to fight, of course - to no avail. At 4h00: knock! knock! on our door... etc. And there was no ship terminal at that place (Ile Maurice)... BUT another couple which we met on the cruise (from the same city as ours, same cabin category) were told «no problem, your time is ours» It happens that that lady put on her profile that she was a travel agent... Analyze that...
I am happy to have other choices of cruise companies... believe me... M
#34
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I have spoken to 6 passengers this morning on the phone - they are not happy about the 50% of the cruise component section - in other words not including flights.
As one mentioned we have to fly to board a Costa cruise.
So all 6 couples are not going to sign any thing until they are assured it is “50% of the cruise they had taken - therefore including the flight element”

By the way Jambalaya07
Are you the lady I spoke to by the bus at Sharm - I said Oh are you Canadian and on the Cruise Critic forum????????
#35
Sheffield
1 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Our party of four were situated on deck 6 and had departed the ship by 6.30am.Passengers were still leaving at 10.30 so we consider ourselves fortunate to be some of the first to disembark.
We finally managed to get seats on the coach for deck 6 passengers at 10.50 am and arrived at our hotel (Grand Rotana) by 11.15am and took breakfast prior to checking in.
Although there was chaotic activity on the dock whilst we tried to get seats on the coach,we thought that Costa had done an excellent job in finding hotel rooms for over 1400 passengers in 5/6 hours (assuming that they had begun this task around 6am when the instruction to disembark was given).
It was at our hotel where the situation disintegrated somewhat.
We were witness to the young man from the Entertainment Dept in a very agitated state but did not hear the comment that precipitated his outburst.This was while we were waiting to leave the hotel.The fact that we had to queue to find which departure list we were on did not help the situation and it was obvious at this point that Costa wanted us off the premises as soon as possible.
He had taken our information on Saturday and had acted in a totally professional manner despite being under severe pressure from clients of all nationalities.We believe he was given this task due to his multilingual skills.
It was outrageous that he did not receive any support from Senior Personnel from the ship (who were conspicuous by their absence) and in the end was unable to sustain the battering he received.I saw him shortly after his outburst and the young man was inconsolable.He deserves the highest praise for his efforts.
We also believe that Costa did a good job with the hotel arrangements in London.We did have to wait a short while in the airport before walking to our hotel but at least we did not have to wait for transport to be bussed offsite to a different hotel.
The fact that we were onsite meant that we were able to spend a little longer in bed.
Regarding compensation etc offered by Costa,we were amazed at the speed of the offer and indeed the amount offered.
We immediately signed the acceptance letter.
We were in similar situation several years ago when the Carousel went aground off Cancun and the cruise was abandoned and we had to spend the full two weeks in a hotel.The compensation offered by Airtours was derisory and after taking out a Small Claims Court action we only received our claimed amount prior to the court appearance 10 months later.
The offer by Costa was to us far in excess of what we thought was likely to be made (from previous experience).
We did after all take two-thirds of the cruise.We did take excursions and have drinks from the bar etc.It would seem feasible that they offer to reimburse for the missed part of the cruise and also offer compensation to cover for distress caused etc.
We have in effect taken a cruise at zero cost.
We have also been offered a future cruise at a substantial discount irrespective of having to add on flight costs.
The danger in pushing for the discount to be paid in cash etc is
that Costa could quite simply withdraw the offer made meaning that Small Claims Court action would have to be taken to simply retrieve what is already being offered.The maximum amount claimable is £5000 and the final decision is taken by a judge who might believe Costa's offer was appropriate.
Of course our sympathies are with the families of the deceased and it is highly regrettable that we are even having to have this correspondence at all.
We will no doubt hear in the future the reasons for the tragic
accident and it might be that Costa have made the offer to head off any future legal action by passengers.Off course those passengers hurt in the accident may well believe that legal action is the appropriate way to proceed.
For ourselves,we believe (particularly if it is proved that Costa are not at fault) that the offer made is acceptable and we await the outcome.

Best wishes to you all.
#37
OXFORD
6,748 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Was there a proper boat drill on this ship? On my first cruise on the Thomson Celebration, we actually had to get our lifejacket and go up to our muster stations and be accounted for before we were all dismissed.
On subsequent cruises on Ocean Vilage, RCI and Princess it has all seemed a bit slapdash, just taking your lifejacket to the theatre and being shown how to put it on.
We are due to go on the Dream in May, so I am hoping it will all go ahead OK.
So glad that all the passengers were OK, but it seems like it was very chaotic and my thoughts are with the crew members who died. They are such wonderful people and get paid so little. On the Ocean Village, one chap fell in the sea while trying to re-attach the tender boat. Luckily he was rescued and was OK, but they certainly earn their money.
#38
Brampton, Ontario
749 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
We are thinking of booking Costa Luminosa in September. It makes me wonder. But all in all what was the cause of the deaths? Were they passengers or crew? Some kind of explosion?

This is very confusing.
Many thanks for setting us straight.

Julie
#39
Ottawa, Ontario
42 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Hi Summersday - unfortunately I can't recall if it was me who you spoke with at the sharm pier, the morning was so chaotic I can't remember who I spoke to about what ;-)

MoniqueMontreal - the 3 unfortunate deaths were caused when the ship hit the pier...it happened to pierce a large hole in the stateroom of 3 employees and the water flooded in :-(
#40
34 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hi Jambalaya
It was outside the hotel we were waiting to get on the bus to go to the airport. The ladies hsband was from the Middleeast I think.
Any how I hope you are well and getting back to normal
Take care
CX