Costa cruise???

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Costa Cruises
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#1
101 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
OK...I have a question. Never cruised Costa but to be honest with all the bad hype about Carnival (I understand they own Costa or visa versa) I am a little nervous about booking. We were considering a similiar itenerary with RCCL but they have changed the one we were interested in and Costa is the only cruise that has a similiar one. Can anyone help that has cruised Costa and maybe RCCL, HA or Celebrity. Of course we are looking into fall of 2014 and itenerarys can change, like RCCL did. Thanks for the help.
#2
Rome, Italy
2,800 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Costa, like RCCL, Cunard, Carnival, and others, is owned by the Carnival Corporation. It remains however an Italian cruise line with its ships registered in Italy. The atmosphere aboard is very much Italian and if you're used to the American type cruise lines, you may or may not be comfortable with the style, food, demographics, etc. That aside, your question is very broad and you may have better luck getting answers from other CC members with some specific questions.
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Charles
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#3
394 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
all cruiselines have issues. i once had a HAL ship break-down and arrive 10 late back home. had to cancel a transatlantic on celebrity due to a botched dry-dock.

to me, it not that there was a problem, it's how the problem was handled. this is where CCL has been failing, in my opinion. CCL has recently instituted a passenger bill or rights. i don't know if it is lip service or not.

bottom line is, you pay your money and you take your chances.
#4
Dallas, Texas
8,094 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by willow surfside
OK...I have a question. Never cruised Costa but to be honest with all the bad hype about Carnival (I understand they own Costa or visa versa) I am a little nervous about booking. We were considering a similiar itenerary with RCCL but they have changed the one we were interested in and Costa is the only cruise that has a similiar one. Can anyone help that has cruised Costa and maybe RCCL, HA or Celebrity. Of course we are looking into fall of 2014 and itenerarys can change, like RCCL did. Thanks for the help.
I have been on 56 cruises over the years many RCCL/Princess and Hal, and really like Costa also, love all the Itilian food and service on Costa.
#5
South Carolina
28,519 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We also enjoyed our Costa cruises ... but have only been on Costa to the Caribbean. From what I've read that does make a difference.
For Europe we've almost always cruised on Princess.

LuLu
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80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#6
Dallas, Texas
8,094 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by OCruisers
We also enjoyed our Costa cruises ... but have only been on Costa to the Caribbean. From what I've read that does make a difference.
For Europe we've almost always cruised on Princess.

LuLu
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all of our Costa cruises were also in Carribbean, majority on cruisers in Europe might not speak english? all there annoucements are always in several deffernt lanauges
#7
Mississauga ON
1,674 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
In Europe only 5-10% will be English-speaking, I'm often the only English-speaking single. Announcements are made in 5 or 6 langages but that's done on other lines as well (I believe it was mentioned in a review on Spendour of the Seas). In Europe, especially during vacation times, expect very family-oriented. Expect restaurant sevice to be European-oriented, smaller portion sizes, more seafood, not an all-you-can-eat feeding trough.
I consider HAL and Costa to be as different as two cruise lines can be, RCCL somewhere in between. Only was on Celebrity once, thought it was close to HAL.
Carnival Corp is a holding company which owns Carnival, Costa, HAL and Cunard, among others. The point of having different brands is to offer different experiences. The worst of the problems seem to be limited to one class of ship (far too complicated to discuss here, the technical report on Concordia has already been posted).
#8
Currently at Cruise Critic
2,352 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by willow surfside
OK...I have a question. Never cruised Costa but to be honest with all the bad hype about Carnival (I understand they own Costa or visa versa) I am a little nervous about booking. We were considering a similiar itenerary with RCCL but they have changed the one we were interested in and Costa is the only cruise that has a similiar one. Can anyone help that has cruised Costa and maybe RCCL, HA or Celebrity. Of course we are looking into fall of 2014 and itenerarys can change, like RCCL did. Thanks for the help.
Costa delivers overall the second worst (or the worst - depends on the ship) product in mega-ship cruising.
If you really need Costa cruise - limit your choice to four newest ships: Luminosa, Deliziosa, Fascinosa, Favolosa.
Stay away from the rest.
Costa ships are more crowded than classy cruise ships of the same size.
The worst part is Costa food.
Some call it Italian or European.
It's neither Italian, nor European. It's poor.
It's well below industry standards.
Model of cruising - party ships with emphasis on bars and smoking.

A positive note is Samsara spa on Costa. It's better than Celebrity or RCI, but not as good as HAL.
#9
2,172 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by willow surfside
OK...I have a question. Never cruised Costa but to be honest with all the bad hype about Carnival (I understand they own Costa or visa versa) I am a little nervous about booking. We were considering a similiar itenerary with RCCL but they have changed the one we were interested in and Costa is the only cruise that has a similiar one. Can anyone help that has cruised Costa and maybe RCCL, HA or Celebrity. Of course we are looking into fall of 2014 and itenerarys can change, like RCCL did. Thanks for the help.
Havent cruised HAL but have cruised RCCI and Celebrity.
Have cruised two different experiences with Costa. Magica = bottom of the cruise ladder - had this been my first Costa cruise, would not have returned.
Costa NeoRomantica (suite level) - better than RCCI (experienced the Royal suite on Explorer of the seas) and on a par with celebrity. Have booked to return on her but would not go back on any other Costa ship.
#10
101 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Thanks for the replys about Costa...I think you have pretty much talked me out of that one. We have been on cruises in Europe, just not Costa. As I said earlier the problem is the itenerary. There are certain ports we do not want to repeat but others we want to see...and even repeat. HA!!
My next question is about Norweigian....any comments there. I really haven't seen anything in your responses about that line. Thanks again...I may have to start a new post for that one.
#11
2,172 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by willow surfside
Thanks for the replys about Costa...I think you have pretty much talked me out of that one. We have been on cruises in Europe, just not Costa. As I said earlier the problem is the itenerary. There are certain ports we do not want to repeat but others we want to see...and even repeat. HA!!
My next question is about Norweigian....any comments there. I really haven't seen anything in your responses about that line. Thanks again...I may have to start a new post for that one.
I am also booked on an NCL cruise - but - whole different experience from the one we have booked on NeoRomantica - we wanted a ship in the Caribbean with lots to do, fun young vibe - big ship - so went for Epic x 15 night B2B - best though to post on the NCL board for info. My friends are huge HAL cruisers - are joining us on NeoRomantica - so will be interesting to see how they compare Hal to NeoR - NeoR is a boutique ship - very unique in Costa fleet - beautiful ship and the service and food by far surpassed our expectations - in a class of her own.
#13
3,114 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by cruisetrail
Costa delivers overall the second worst (or the worst - depends on the ship) product in mega-ship cruising.
If you really need Costa cruise - limit your choice to four newest ships: Luminosa, Deliziosa, Fascinosa, Favolosa.
Stay away from the rest.
Costa ships are more crowded than classy cruise ships of the same size.
The worst part is Costa food.
Some call it Italian or European.
It's neither Italian, nor European. It's poor.
It's well below industry standards.
Model of cruising - party ships with emphasis on bars and smoking.

A positive note is Samsara spa on Costa. It's better than Celebrity or RCI, but not as good as HAL.
These things are very subjective. I accept that you did not enjoy your Costa cruise(s), but I really liked mine, and I'm not sure why you seem to be on a mission to stop anyone ever sailing with them again.

I thought the food was very good, and very Italian. The drinks package was an incredible bargain. The entertainment was the best I've seen at sea on 19 cruises on 6 different cruise lines. The cabin we had on Pacifica was large and well-designed. The service was not quite as good as we've had on other ships with a higher crew/passenger ratio, but it was friendly, and for what we paid, I wasn't expecting miracles.

Thousands of people sail on Costa ships every week, and they are not all first timers. We met an Italian couple who were on their 6th Costa cruise, and liked it much more than MSC and Royal Caribbean.

We are booked on Serena in December, so Costa is doing quite a few things right in my opinion.
#14
Dallas, Texas
8,094 Posts
Joined May 2003
I was on Celeberity Solictice a few years ago and food on MDR was not good, a fellow tablemate said " I wish I was on the Atlantica" , we loved the food, grew up in a Itilian family in NYC
#15
Currently at Cruise Critic
2,352 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by lisiamc
These things are very subjective. I accept that you did not enjoy your Costa cruise(s), but I really liked mine, and I'm not sure why you seem to be on a mission to stop anyone ever sailing with them again.
What does it mean "to enjoy a cruise"?
That's a separate topic.
I did enjoy because I knew what to do for that and how much money to invest (what ship, when, what itinerary, what to do on the ship, what facilities to use, what to do before/after the cruise).
Was the product worth my efforts/investments?
Not at all.
But that was my vacation time that was worth investments.

"Food" on a cruise ship is not limited to MDR. It's most and foremost what is offered outside MDR.

Food is not as subjective as it may seem.
For instance, just list a few options you have on Princess and compare to Costa:

Buffet dinner
Proper afternoon tea
International café
Pub lunch
Two specialty restaurants
#16
Currently at Cruise Critic
2,352 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by willow surfside
Thanks for the replys about Costa...I think you have pretty much talked me out of that one. We have been on cruises in Europe, just not Costa. As I said earlier the problem is the itenerary. There are certain ports we do not want to repeat but others we want to see...and even repeat. HA!!
My next question is about Norweigian....any comments there. I really haven't seen anything in your responses about that line. Thanks again...I may have to start a new post for that one.
It depends on the ship.
NCL Epic - the worst mega ship at sea by design.
Any of mega Costas beats Epic.
The food on Epic is better than on Costa just because it cannot be worse.
NCL Epic is overcrowded, very closed in, absolutely ridiculous (without going into details) noisy floating casino.

Ships like NCL Jade are more civilized by design, bur still far from the best cruise ships.

Overall NCL is one step up from Costa/MSC cruise lines.

Food wise - prepare at least $100 pp for 7 days to pay for decent food.
"Included" food is mediocre at best to push clients into numerous extra charge venues ("free style").

No matter what itinerary is, my priority is always the ship.
Unless taking interest in sampling abnormal design (like NCL Epic) I would not look further than HAL Signature class or Princess Grand class (or RCI Freedom class - less refined but still very good product) if the price is affordable.
#17
Franklin, MA USA
7,366 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by willow surfside
OK...I have a question. Never cruised Costa but to be honest with all the bad hype about Carnival (I understand they own Costa or visa versa) I am a little nervous about booking. We were considering a similiar itenerary with RCCL but they have changed the one we were interested in and Costa is the only cruise that has a similiar one. Can anyone help that has cruised Costa and maybe RCCL, HA or Celebrity. Of course we are looking into fall of 2014 and itenerarys can change, like RCCL did. Thanks for the help.
I have the same worries about cruising Costa, as I do not like Carnival. (I think Costa has better decor) However we heard so many bad things about MSC and absolutely loved our cruise. It did not feel any worse than cruising RCCL, NCL etc, in some regards even better. I would try Costa, but probably not in Mediterranean during family holidays, when they have over 1000 kids on board and large Italian families, and short port stops, and ...
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#18
Franklin, MA USA
7,366 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by willow surfside
My next question is about Norweigian....any comments there. I really haven't seen anything in your responses about that line. Thanks again...I may have to start a new post for that one.
I personally like NCL a lot. Yes they have own small minuses, but overall provide a very pleasant experience.

Their food not as good as let's say Princess or Celebrity food, but pretty comparable to RCCL's. There are many convenient choices for dining. 2 anytime dining rooms, Blue Lagoon for a quick bite, plus various additional restaurants. I truly enjoy NCL's entertainment, both main shows and smaller scale performances, creates a very festive atmosphere. Cabins are on the small side.
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X Century3,7~Mercury5~Summit15~Silhouette16 PCL~Caribbean6,9,10~Ruby8~Grand12~Royal17
RCI~Splendor4~Explorer7,9,10~Brilliance13~Allure16~Anthem16,17~Grandeur17 HAL~Zuiderdam4~Veendam16 NCL~Sun6~Spirit8~Dawn11~Jewel12~Gem12,17~Breakaway14 MSC~Poesia14~Divina14 Cunard~QM217
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#19
Mississauga ON
1,674 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I've been on NCL Epic. The food was better than Costa but overall, nothing I couldn't have gotten at home for less money. Their attitude towards dancing was appalling. I won't be going back.
#20
Bavarian Forest, Germany near the Czech border
2,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
We have been on Princess, HAL, 2x RCCL and last year on Costa Magica. I was impressed with the food. The BEST ever on a cruise. If you are a buffet diner, don't go on Costa.

First question: have you spent any time in Italy or another Mediterranean country? Then you know what to expect. We always call it a "happy southern European chaos". For some miracle reason things get done, although the organisation is not flawless. Costa can be like the rest of Italy, a bit unorganised but fun. For the rest: good food, spotless cabins, very reasonable drink prices, entertainment of the non-speaking variety. I must say that embarkation in Savona was the smoothed and most organised ever, the excursions and the front desk were pure chaos.

If the price is right and the itinerary is what you want, try it. Just go with an open mind, and remember this is not an American cruiseline, it is another type of product.
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