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Just returned from the Costa Magica June 5-12..ask away


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Nellie21 - we are going on the Magica on 4th July - so would love to ask you a few questions.


Did you go on any excursions?


Would you say that Barcelona, Palma & Malta can be done on your own?


Did you notice any ballroom dancing? And if so, which lounges was it in?


I will be back with more questions is that's OK.

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Barcelona- Took the double decker bus. You catch the small bus into town at the terminal.Get off downtown where there is a ticket booth to purchase tickets ffor the double decker bus. There a 3 routes, red, blue, aand green. You can get on and off anywhere you choose for 17E p.p. A great way to see the town.


Palma- Took city bus 1.10 E p.p. You catch the bus right across the street from the terminal. The ship supplies city maps every day in your Today paper. Made our way to the catherdal and enjoyed our walk through the quaint streets back to the main street to catch bus back to ship. Lots of shops and cafes.


Malta- Once you get off the ship, there is a tour centre with local cabs. The prices and length of tours are posted on a board, so you really know what you're getting for your money. The 4 of us took a cab ( most were Merzedes) 3hour tour similar to what the ship offered for 63 E total. Ships tour -41 E p.p. One of our best days all week. Beautiful!!!!


Palermo- Walked off ship and was swamped by taxis offering tours. Finally agreed on a 3 hour tour (similar to ship) for 100 E for 4 people. Had a great driver, saw everying we wanted to see. You can also walk into town if you wish.


Tunis- Took ship's tour....all they are trying to do is mostly was sell you carpets. . Would not get off ship next time. Many people filed complaints over the quality of the tour.


Did not spend a lot of time in the lounges at night. Although, did see all kinds of dancing, lots of latin dancing, and some Italian dancing similar to our line dancing.


Hope that helps some. I know we were very confused about what tours to take,and if we could manage on our own...it was much easier than I thought, and most spoke fairly good English.

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Thanks Nellie21 for the information on going ashore - that was extremely helpful.

This will be our first ever cruise, so I have a few more questions.


What about the ship itself - how did you find the food and drink?


Does everyone get dressed up in the evening?


What time are the evening shows and what were they like?


I know that there are tips added to your bill at the end - but do we need to tip as we go along as well, or is that enough?


What was your weather like? Were the evenings cool?


Thanks in anticipation.

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Hope our experience is helpful to someone traveling in the future. You all gave us amazing (and helpful) advice, so here is my attempt to give something back...


Rome- Prior to setting sail we spent 2 days in Rome. Highly recommended! Rome is a great walking city and Costa set us up at the Claridge, which is just north of the villa borghese. We arrived on a Friday morning and walked south and stumbled upon everything... the tivoli fountain, the colleseum, the pantheon. Saturday we went to Vatican City (an easy bus ride away... we ended up walking back though). Get there early!!! Had more gelato and cappucino's than we can begin to count. The best Gelato in the city (and yes, I think I may have tried them all ;) is at a small cafe (Cafe Paris) in one of the best shopping areas just south of the Villa Borghese. Sunday the Costa van/transfer picked us up and bought us to the ship. Easy


Embarkation- Don't ask. Everyone was complaining, but I think it was probably more to do with customs issues than Costa issues. Just bring a book and expect to wait.


The Ship- Incredibly clean and the staff was generally fantastic. Our room steward was lovely and our waiter put forth a great effort (although he did get off to a rough start... supposedly there was a new Executive Chef in the kitchen, but the timing was all off and the first night dinner was more of a challenge than a treat)


Food-there were a lot of complaints about the food, but we enjoyed. Not a ton of variety and pretty particular hours for availability, but we had many good meals. The cold (fruit) soups at dinner were a big hit, and many of the pasta dishes were big hits. The main (meat) courses were ok. Swordfish, tuna and monkfish all above average. Remember that the coffee is italian (the few americans, brits and canadians we met seemed unhappy with the coffee. We found that some tried mixing it with half a cup of warm milk (available at breakfast only) for something that tastes more like a latte. The crew joked about the "pushy Italians" but it was a bit unnerving. People will literally elbow in front of you and push you aside on any line, but when there is food at the end, forget it. Please note that this sort of behavior was something we experienced only on the ship.


Dress- Anything goes. Really. For the two "formal nights" most men wear ties, the majority wear jackets. Woman wear dresses (cocktail and formalwear). Air conditioning is strong, so if you opt to go strapless, bring a wrap or a sweater!


Shows/Nightlife- There were bars for every taste.... a classical music/lounge, a noisy piano bar, a disco, salsa/latin room. We did a little of each and enjoyed them all for what they were. The shows were fair. One night there was an incredible balancing/juggling act that had the whole audience at the edge of their (respective) seats. The remaining shows were pretty bad though... very amateur.


Rooms- we took an inside cabin on the bottom deck, figuring we would save the money and shop. It was a good call (for us anyway). Lots of closet space, nice bathroom and shower.... the only downside was no window, but we had breakfast on deck each morning anyway. It was much better than we had expected...


Other stuff-

The pharmacy and doctor are only open for an hour or 2 each day. If you need medical assistance outside of that time there is an extra (not insignificant) charge. Dramamine is available at the customer service desk at no charge (open 24 hours). We were shocked to have seasickness (both of us have been on large and small ships before without a problem)

The waterslide was only open about an hour or two each day (often when we were in port) and there seemed to be an awful lot of kids without parents trying to climb up the slide each day. The crew would yell at them, but the kids didn't seem to care much. The pool decks were very noisy. Lots of loud music and activity (aerobics, games, etc). Don't head up there looking for peace or relaxation, but if you put on your "party hat" you will no doubt have fun.




Savona- we opted to take it easy (no excursion or hour ride to Genoa for the honeymooners) and were pleasantly suprised. A beautiful little town with many quaint shops, beaches and parks. I think this may have been my favorite day.


Barcelona- We also did this one on our own. Cabs available at the port... about a 5-7 minute ride from La Ramblas. Walked through the shopping areas and to the Gaudi Church. Apparently the tours that went to the church were not allowed to take the elevator to the top (probably mostly due to timing and the size of the tour groups). Since we were on our own we were able to explore. Amazing. They say it is scheduled to be completed by 2026, and we are looking forward to a 20th anniversary trip!


Palma- We did the catamaran cocktail tour. A lovely way to experience Mallaroca. We sailed straight from the boat and docked a short swim from a beautiful beach and a rocky island. Collected shells and enjoyed the life of luxury before heading back. Unfortunately, because of the timing we went straight to the pool for lunch when we returned to the boat and left our towels at the pool (with the other costa towels) Since these towels were specially tagged as excursion towels (not visibly), and they were not bought back to the room, we were charge 20 Euro a piece. I understood why, just wished that someone had said something to us beforehand


Malta- also easy to walk from the port. lots of cool forts to explore on foot, many shops and markets, beautiful views. Remember that most of the sops will close from approx 1pm-3pm each day for siesta, so plan accordingly (this was the case in most cities and was often a conflict with the time we had in port)


Tunisia- Walked off ship and was swamped by VERY AGGRESSIVE taxis offering tours. Few spoke English well, and many of the cruise passengers (especially women) felt VERY uncomfortable. You will need a ride from the port to anything significant. We had done our research in advance and knew we wanted to go shopping in the Souk...finally found a driver to take us there (most insist on personal tours). No one spoke English, however my high school French was enough to get by. We arrived at the bank just before it closed and were able to change some money.


Palermo- We had signed up for "A taste of Palermo" Big mistake. Our bus was half english speaking/half german, and as we rode through the city I don't think anyone really knew what we were seeing. After visiting a few churches, we decided to cut our losses and left the group. Wandered around. Great shopping areas, beautiful gardens (stop by the "English Garden" It is truly magical!!!) and found several little food markets with incredible seafood and spices. We had lunch in a tiny restauarant... no menu's, just a little old lady who spoke no english! Delicious food and a priceless adventure.


All in all a very nice way to travel! English speaking passengers are definitely not catered to in any way though and it can be difficult to assimilate. Take some Italian lessons before you leave (we did and even the few phrases we picked up were tremendously helpful). Not nearly as sophisticated/ classy as I had imagined. Very Carnival-esque with an Italian flair.

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We did early dinner setting, approx 7:15 p.m. Sometimes a little later depending on lengh in port. First theatre show started between 9-30 -10.00p.m. The shows are nothing special, although the theatre itself is spectacular. The ship itself quite impressive, our cabin steward was great. The week we were there, I have never seen so many kids on a cruise. Rumor had it that there was a big seat sale in Italy the last week , and kids were free. It certainly seemed that way. We found the dress at times to be too casual (formal nights) . Men in dining room with casual pants and golf shirts. Also, at the lunch buffet (inside) Bathing suits (without cover-ups) also men in speedos (not very appetizing). The dress code was very lax.

The drink of the day was 4.50 E. (Sex on the beach, Blue Margarita, Pina Colada) Other cocktails 6.00 E. Expensive enough when you convert that to Canadian. Also experienced pushy Italians (they like to butt ahead of you in line) Learned quickly to push back.

The weather was great. Really did not experience evenings too much outside of ship. Always left port before sunset, and there really isn't a whole lot of deck to walk on.

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TDOTCRUISR: Thanks for all your help. We did have a great time, and met some fabalous people. That's what it's all about. Other than the flight home almost killed me(you know the 12 hours). Will be awhile before we go overseas again.!!

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Nellie21 and Honeymoon on the Magica -


Thanks for all of your information about the Magica - not long now until we go, and I am gathering as much information as possible.

Your comments about the ports and the ship itself are all really helpful.

Thanks again

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HI..haven't been on a Costa cruise but have friends who are going this fall and thought I'd check in on this board. I thought I would respond to the comment above about "pushy Italians" cutting in lines etc. We went on a two week land tour of Italy last fall and our guide instructed us to keep our elbows up! She was Italian and told us that Italians do not line up..it isn't that they are rude..it is just their way of life. They go to the front of the line whenever there is space..she made sure we left no space whenever we were lining up.

Thought I would just add this info.


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