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review of my med cruise on costa favolosa


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Just back from my first costa cruise so going to do a summary of my thoughts.  As background I have been on 6 other cruises in the past few years - 2 Royal Caribbean, 2 Carnival, 1 Marella and 1 Celebrity. 


Strangely having read all I could find before booking the things I expected to have issue with did not happen but some things I though would be to my liking were not.


Before I start I will say this cruise was a fraction of the cost of my other 2 cruises this year about 1/3 of the price of celebrity and about 3/5th of the Marella one. So some of my comparisons may be justified when the price is compared. 




Firstly the positives - the entertainment - the bands in most of the venues were very very good as was the tenor in the main shows.  The dancers in the main shows again very sleek but slightly let down by the vocalists (except the tenor).  However we did not attend every show and did hear that one of the ones we missed was the best on the cruise.  We opted to listen to the guitarist in the main atrium most nights as he was amazing as were the duo who played salsa music.  We also went up to the deck 9 stuff but it was way to noisy and sort of holiday camp like stuff so not our cup of tea up there, however the Italians seem to love it.  I would say that this cruise had the best  side bars entertainment on any ship we have been on


 Order of comparison best to worst 

1. side bar entertainment 


Costa favolosa- Marella- royal vision- carnival legand, carnival 2nd - royal Raphsody- Celebrity Infinity


2. Main stage

Celebrity Infinity- royal vision- carnival 1 and 2- Favolosa- Marella- Royal raphsody


3 Condition of ship

Favolosa- royal vision- Marella- carinval legand- celebrity Infinity, Royal Raphsody


I loved the aft bar that was on this ship as it never seemed to busy even although the cruise was full marella Explorer also has this and we now look for it on choosing a cruise.  Celebrity Infinity also had it but it was always a struggle to find a table on that ship.


Sun beds


This ship had great areas that were in semi shade and away from the loud entertainment bulletins stuff, you could arrive at any time of the day and find plenty beds.  Was glad of that at that stuff on this ship was very very loud (think I may getting old lol)

Also note that there are plenty of non smoking areas but you may need to point this out to other passengers - I did many times and they moved away with no fuss.  On this topic it is also worth picking up on some comments I had read before going on the cruise re passengers being rude, pushing in etc.  We didn't really find this too much of an issue, I found they queued better than expected (but I may be slightly acclimatised as our family live in Italy lol.  The one exception was the lifts be ready to claim your space lol and do not expect anyone to step out a lift to let you leave if you end at the back you may need to push your way out, others will try and enter before the exiting passengers.  They seemed oblivious to the others on the lift.


The worst ships for sun beds were the royal ones, here on a sea day you needed to get up very early to make sure and get a bed.


Bar Service and drinks quality


No problems here at all , bar staff very efficient and well trained, not many areas did table service if that is important to you - didn't bother us at all.  cocktails used fresh fruits and not so heavy on the readymix stuff which was nice.  We had the gutso package which worked well for us, the only downside was there was never a choice of wine once they knew the package you were on the took the wine menu away, made no difference that we had upgraded the drinks pack as get same wine as pack below, however the wine on offer was drinkable with food.

Enjoyed our coffees in the aft bar.


Room steward/room


Room was kept immaculate and I quite enjoyed the fact that they only came in once a day as I always tidy up ahead of them coming in so only had to do that once a day lol.  The room seemed recently updated and was in much better shape than any Royal or Celebrity ship we had been on.


 So sounds good so far-but!!!



Edited by fragilek
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The food quality was poor, especially if you are gluten free- they will not tell you what is in anything in the buffet and tell you to only eat in the main restaurant - problem if out for day as closes at 1.30pm until dinner.  Then food at dinner was truly awful - one day my main course choice was fish fingers or cheese polenta another day fish fingers or beans or beef steak.  And for the appetizer there was no choice and 4 times was raw meet - I can't have due to chemo treatment.  Every salad was lettuce green, red and grated carrot didn't matter what it was called - Waldorf, caesar caprese and french - all the same.  Almost every meal was stone cold - the steak was the kind of ready made frozen diner nightmare.  There were a few good pasta sauces - the pesto one was fab, however, they didn't manage to cook the actual pasta in it - I could still snap it it was so bad (I know gf past is hard to get right as it quickly turns to mush if over cooked but this had hardly seen boiling water!)  The spaghetti in garlic I had for my lunch on the sea day was good.  the lasagne bland but edible. The shrimp  risotto , wasn't made with a risotto rice just plain boiled rice and  only had one small shrimp in it.  One night I had duck with orange that was OK and another day the matridee took pity on me after saying he thought my menus were really bad and got me a grilled salmon which was the only hot meal I had!.  I tried to buy the up sell stuff but was told they couldn't be made gluten free, as grilled I don't understand that. I was not allowed to order off the normal menu to be prepared gf for the next day as usually happen on cruises.

 I think my stuff was made in a different kitchen then had to wait for my husbands stuff to be made which was why it was so cold, tried complaining got nowhere as always the same.  On saying that my husband also thought his food was pretty dire and completely flavourless most nights.  If we were to ever cruise again I would add on the cost of going to up sell resturant every night (we went once).  However, it would more or less mean me eating the same  2 dishes as that's all they had gluten free).  This is my 7th cruise and this has never been an issue on any other sailing and I have always been able to eat in the buffet for lunch and breakfast.


Just to add- I had expect to love the food as we love the meditarian stuff especially Italian and Greek food - in fact our family live on lake como so we know and love the food.  Italian food is all based on good quality ingredients making simple but stunning sauces.  This line is using the cheapest of everything - most stuff has been frozen (it even says so on the menu) - I can't believe an Italian ship was serving up what we got - In Italy you would have to look hard to even find tomatoes as tasteless as on this ship.  they live and die for their tomato flavours - My family can taste and tell you which type they are lol.  As for calling boiled rice risotto - no way!

 The exception was their mozzarella, they made there own and it was very good.  However, when I ordered my Caprese salad I only got lettuce - I had to get the waiter he then got the matridee to go find my menu (which was taken away when I ordered to prove I was not meant to have just lettuce- You think when I called the waiter over he would just have said OK i will go and get the correct salad but no it ended up causing a fuss - which I hate, so I felt compelled to not say anything when the next night my greek salad arrived and was again just lettuce - no olives, feta, etc.

 I expect my issues were in part caused by the combination of being celiac and not being allowed certain food due to my chemo for leukemia (no raw stuff like steak tartar and salt steak. Unfortunately those were my only appetizers 4 times, there is no alternatives on the gf menu - only 1 appetizer each night see photo below). However, not being able to eat in the buffet was an issue as I was unable to get food until dinner time- so no lunch after being out in port for me.  They were quite forceful about this and when I went in the buffet with my husband for him to get food, the waiter in charge was straight over to repeat the previous days instruction that I was not to eat here and gf food was only in the main dining room.  Never came across this before.  I certainly didn't loose weight but that was down to eating gf bread and  nice cheese and consuming delicious balieys coladas - best I have ever had made with fresh bananas 


I suppose in the end it depends on how much the food adds to the cruise experience.  This was a very port intensive cruise ticking off places I really wanted to see so food was secondary to the itinerary, however, if I was doing a more relaxed cruise with less of a port focus then this would have been much more of an issue as the dining experience would have for us played a central role in our cruise and just finding food to not be hungry would not be ideal.


I will still end with saying this cruise was great value -and would be still good value even if we had booked to eat in the pay places every 2nd night.

 On the ship they have a menu for Gulten free given to you the night of the actual dinner not the day before.  They even had it ready for embarkation night with my room number on it (one nice touch of telling advance was a nice selection of gluten free goodies in the cabin on arrival- never had this before so a nice surprise)

 You can no longer order from the main menu the day before waiter said this was stopped a few months ago (this includes the up sell stuff as I wanted to pre order the lamb and was told no.).  Here is a picture of the my menu on gala night.



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