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About iloveglee

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  1. It would seem very strange to remove mineral water. But I have to say, Costa are guilty of doing some very bizarre things lately. Although, to be fair, we haven't cruised with anyone else for a while, so for all I know maybe they are all guilty. The itinerary on this cruise is very tempting for us, hence why we bit the bullet and booked it. We are going to wait and see after we board as to what exactly we can/cannot have, and the recipe for the cocktails. As the two of us that are likely to have them are not able to tolerate citrus juices we may well be very restricted and therefore would not be worth the upgrade. Personally, as long as they provide me with a ready supply of capuccinos and gin and tonics, I reckon I can survive!! We shall enjoy it, because we always do, come what may.
  2. Hi, has anyone yet been on this cruise ship and this itinerary. I believe the main port of embarkation is Savona, but it also embarks in Tarragona, Majorca and Toulon. We are embarking in Tarragona, which is the third day in the itinerary working on from Savona. If anyone has been on it, or is due to go on it, and I'm not exactly certain when the itinerary starts, ? early June; I wonder if they would be kind enough afterwards to let me know which night they have the formal night. i understand from the information I have that this ship/itinerary is more casual than most, but having been in touch with Costa they tell me that they do have a 'formal' or gala night. As we are embarking in Tarragona, and departure from there is earlier than others, (some days have a port stay until midnight which would make me think they would not have it on one of those days), I am wondering whether to make sure I have something a little more dressy in my hand baggage. I have to admit, we do normally get our bags pretty quickly on Costa cruises, especially when it isn't the main port of embarkation, but just to be sure. As well as this, I'd really appreciate any feedback about the cruise itself that anyone has to offer. We have been on quite a few Costa cruises, but lost a bit of faith in them the last time as the service had gone downhill a lot (lack of staff mostly), and we tried a different line last time. Also there are things about their pricing structure we don't like. Our problem though is that we are now running out of ports to visit that we haven't been to already, some more than once. This itinerary takes us mostly to places we haven't been to before. Hence why we have gone back to them. Thanks in advance.
  3. Yes, it's Piu Gusto that we have had in the past. But we have, in the past, just added it to our basic cruise price. Unfortunately on Costa, and also many other cruise lines, the cocktails are made using the mixes that you can get, not mixing a proper cocktail as you'd see in a cocktail bar. I guess when you are serving so many people, it's very much quicker (and possibly cheaper), to do it this way, but its fair to say that some of them are a bit sickly sweet. I'd certainly appreciate a copy of the menu if it can be found. We are still considering our options and I wonder how long you can be on board before you make a decision as to whether to upgrade or not. I know it isn't that much, but for 11 days, that's 55 euros per person. I wouldn't mind so much if we could just do it for the two people that are likely to drink them, or just for one cabin, but as we are travelling together with linked bookings (in order to sit together in the dining room!!), we have to upgrade everybody. This is one of the things that annoys me about Costa. In order to be able to sit with the people you are travelling with, you have to take an upgraded cabin, even if you aren't especially bothered where your cabin is. Then the bookings are linked, so they are able to tell that four people are travelling together. We haven't experienced this with any other cruise line. On the other hand, we love the food on Costa cruises so it's swings and roundabouts I suppose. All of the cruise lines are changing things these days as to how they price and organise their cabin offering/drink packages.
  4. That's the kind of thing we were hoping for. Have done it in many places before, but this port is new to us. Fingers crossed then. Thanks for the info.
  5. We're booked on this cruise, and have a brindiamo drink package attached to our cabin selection. As Costa's pricing structure is very weird these days, this doesn't give us exactly what we'd had in the past with the drink package purchased separately from the cabin. So far as I can see the Brindiamo is pretty comprehensive, but doesn't include cocktails. In the past, we have had a package with cocktails included, but have found that so many of them have lemon or lime in them, we can't deal with them, from a digestive point of view. So we haven't bothered with them, but didn't pay extra to have them so it wasn't an issue. Now, if we want cocktails, we have to upgrade the package, even the two people in the party who never drink them, just so that the two in the party who do (maybe), have them, can have them. I said it was weird. So - in order to inform us as to whether to upgrade or not, I could do with a drinks menu, that describes what the drinks are, and what they are made with. I have seen people post photo files on here of various menus, for various cruises, and I wonder if anyone on here has access to one, or can tell me where to find one. We have avoided Costa for the last year or so partly because of the weird pricing structure they have now, and partly because we found the service had gone downhill somewhat. This cruise includes several ports we haven't been to though, and as It's getting hard now, after so many cruises, not to keep going back to the same old places, we we bit the bullet and booked it. I do hope we don't live to regret it.
  6. We are on a costa cruise which stops, amongst other places, in Portoferraio, Elba. We are wanting to take a tour around the Island, which the cruise line does not offer. Normally we don't like to take the cruise tour as they are too expensive, and have just picked up a taxi at the port, and arranged a tour ourselves on the spot. As this is quite a small port, am wondering if this is going to be a possibility. Any ideas, or suggestions, or recommendations very welcome.
  7. I have to agree that Costa is going downhill, hence why we missed them last year and went with someone else. We negotiated a reasonable discount this time, even though we were no longer entitled to it. And as already said in a previous post, the itinerary gave us almost a full 11 days, only going to two places we have been before. We are also on one of the Neo collection ships, Neoriviera I think. We haven't been on one of these before, they organise it so that you have very long day in port. I have felt cheated on some of the Costa itineraries before as the stops were only about 4 hours, not long enough to really do anything. Given that the ships are in port all day, and well into the evening some days, is probably another good reason not to upgrade the drink package! We probably will be on shore most of the time. Or eating. Or in bed. I have also been interested to read the comments about the cocktails, and whether they are even worth upgrading for. Seems as though perhaps they are not. I could do with a copy of a bar menu to look at, so that we can see exactly what is being offered. I have a vague recollection last time having to revert to Aperol spritzers because the cocktails were so unpalatable. I can't imagine they have changed. Am still looking forward to it though, mainly due to the ports. If anyone has been on NeoRiviera I would appreciate a heads up about this ship.
  8. This is what we have been quoted by Costa. I believe the Brindiamo package (which is attached to our cabin grade, but you can purchase it as a standalone if you book a basic cabin), is 3 euros a day less than the piu gusto which is the one we have had previously (with the cocktails). So for the upgrade they've quoted £22 per person. As we're a linked party, that's £88 for the four of us. We are on an 11 night cruise, and that's the total for the cruise. It is quite reasonable, except for the fact that two of the party will not drink cocktails, being quite happy with the brindiamo. Their £44 will therefore be a waste of money. Two of the party do like cocktails, but our previous experience was that on Costa they weren't especially nice. I think we maybe had one, maximum two per night. We are not especially big drinkers anyway, but the men do like their beer and whisky later on. We had worked it out pretty carefully beforehand, and we feel that at the very least we break even between the four of us. But we had bought the piu gusto anyway so it didn't make any difference whether we had cocktails or not. I don't have a problem paying for what we have, but I object strongly being put in a position where everybody has to have the same drink package, when it doesn't suit everybody. i get that they say people have just bought one, and used it to get drinks for the whole party, but they could monitor this if they wished. In fact, I'm not sure how people have got away with it, our experience has always been that the bar person has required every card to be handed over, and it's quite obvious from the card what you can and can't have. This time, the whole pricing structure is quite different, and it is what has prevented us booking with Costa the last year or so. If you want to link your bookings, which we do, you have no choice but to buy a premium cabin. We we have done this in the past, because you just bought the cabin, and added drinks packages extra, if you wanted to. If you are non/small drinker, you probably don't need a package at all. And there you have a problem if you want to link your bookings. You can't. So you either have to do battle with the poor old maitre'd on the first night to be seated together, or to be sure, have to buy a premium cabin, which now comes with a drink package whether you want it or not. Complicated.? It certainly is, and annoying because, as a party you are being forced into paying for something that you may not want. We have decided that, in the absence of a definitive answer that we can rely on, we are not going to upgrade the drink package, until we get on board and ask the staff how the whole thing works.
  9. May have to go back to Costa on this one then, if people have experienced having to pay the full price, plus gratuity for a cocktail if not upgrade to Piu Gusto, because this is not what they told me. I specifically asked this question of them, so that we could make a decision to upgrade to Piu Gusto. What we really don't want to do is upgrade, then find their cocktails not to our taste and have wasted £88 between the 4 of us which we could find other uses for. They were very specific, if you want a cocktail, for example a vodka based one, you pay the difference between the vodka price included in your brindiamo, and the price of the cocktail. Similarly rum based, whisky etc. Plus gratuity of course, there is always that to add. Which is not at all the same as paying the 9 or 10 euro for a cocktail as though you didn't have a package at all. Our preference would have been to get the basic cabin, and just buy the package of our choice. Can't do that though, not on Costa if you're travelling with others and want to dine together. I actually hate this policy of theirs and have never experienced it on any other cruise line.
  10. Yes the cocktails are expensive, if paying full price for them, I probably explained badly what Costa told me. From what they said, I have understood that, if we have the brindiamo package, a spirit drink costs approximately 2 or 3 euros less than a cocktail, this is if you were buying them at full price, without benefit of any package at all. So to have a cocktail on the brindiamo package means paying the extra 2 or 3 euros, rather than having to pay the full price. No doubt we shall see how the land lies here when we are on board. As far as the actual quality of the cocktails is concerned, I do take the point. They are made from a mixer in a bottle, I think they even call it mixy, and they are nowhere near how a proper cocktail is made. This is why I, who actually like cocktails, am a bit reluctant to upgrade the package. I do find some of them a bit sweet and sickly, which I can live with, but the majority of them have some kind of lime/lemon added which I find hard to tolerate. Our choice usually is not to travel with Costa these days, especially since this new pricing structure has come into being. Our last experience was not very good, serious shortage of staff and some of the bar staff were verging on grumpy. Very little personal engagement with you and reluctance to come over to the table and serve you. The dining staff, on the contrary were magnificent as always. The main reason for travelling with them this time is because, having done so many cruises in the Med we are fast running of ports to visit!! This itinerary has quite a few we haven't been to as its a smaller ship. I hope to be able to report back afterwards that the experience has improved. As far as cocktails are concerned, we will wait and see. Meantime, if anyone has had experience of what we are planning, I'd be happy to hear it.
  11. For anyone who comes on here, I have been in touch with costa regarding this subject. Yes it is definite that anyone travelling together, dining together, whether there are 4 or 40 of you, if you wish to upgrade your drink package from that which is included in your cabin, all have to buy it. So it does then start to beg the question, is it worth it just to pay the extra between that drink included, and a cocktail. Our party is 4, one would probably have a few cocktails, one may do and two won't. At a cost of £88 for the 4 of us, and a rough price of £2-3 per cocktail, may not be worth buying the upgrade.
  12. Yes it does seem a bit strange. Our experience has been that they ask for all 4 cards when a round of drinks is ordered , so they would be able to tell who had which package, and it would be difficult to get drinks for someone else. I think they can tell you are together by the dining room table number, normally you aren't necessarily on the same table unless you have linked your bookings. Personally I think they have deliberately attached a less favourable package to the cabin in order to get you to upgrade. The intenditore, which allows just about anything is attached to the more expensive cabins, which we didn't want. Frankly we don't spend enough time in it to warrant the extra price. All the cruise lines are at it nowadays, trying to extract every last penny from you. I think we will have to see how the land lies when we get on board. If it is possible just to pay a bit extra to have a cocktail, it may pay us to do that. We don't actually drink that many as it goes, personally I find the acidity of the mixers they use in some of them doesn't suit me. I'd still appreciate it though if anyone has had the same situation we are in.
  13. I can certainly understand that two people in the same cabin need to have to have the same package, as the potential for cheating is large there. But when you are in two separate cabins? From my understanding, the cabin card they give you is different depending upon what package you have, so it would be difficult to order 4 cocktails, with only two cards that allow it. I didn't realise that they may let you just pay the extra if having a cocktail. For us, it might be worth doing that. Two of us do like a cocktail now and again, but maybe not enough to warrant paying to upgrade the package. We'll have to make some enquiries when on board. I presume we will have a day or so to make a decision. At least, that's how it used to be if you hadn't already bought a drink package, you had to have bought it before day 3 on a 7 day cruise. But knowing Costa, they seem to change their rules like other people change their socks so who knows.
  14. I am looking for advice from anyone who has been on a Costa Cruise since they brought in this new pricing structure. We have just about worked out how it works, with difficulty, and have booked a cruise for June. We have had to book a premium cabin, just so that we can link our booking to the people we are travelling with, so we can dine together. It's a total pain but we have had to do this before so we just lived with it. Now of course, there is a drink package attached to certain grades of cabin, which is fine if you happen to like the package but a bit more complicated if you don't. We have the brindiamo attached to our cabin, but we like the piu gusto for the cocktails, at least two of us do. We were told you can upgrade to this package, which doesn't cost much, but they tell us that if we're travelling with someone else, even though we have two separate bookings, we all have to have it. Which is ridiculous, when we can only have two cocktails per round anyway. The young lady at Costa said to just do it on board, and then you don't have to tell them you're together!! What I really want to to know is, how long can you be on board for before you have to get your drink package. I seem to think, when you didn't have one attached to your cabin you had a couple of days to decide after you board. Since it has all changed, and we haven't travelled with them since these changes, not at all sure how things work now. I'd like to know what their cocktails are these days before I commit to paying extra for the privilege. I'm sure there will be someone out there who does know!!
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