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Been on Costa Smeralda - Ask me anything!


Italian_Cruiser
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23 hours ago, ighten said:

Can you still upscale to club dining for a weekly charge when you get on board like the other costs ships

 

There is indeed a new club restaurant reserved for the upper tier of costa club. No info about the upcharge, but heard on the web they are already very tight on space with existing club members.

 

15 hours ago, glorialagos said:

Do you know if there are hair dryer in each cabin?

 

Also, what can you tell me about room service?

 

Yes, there is the hair dryer.

Not used.

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Thank you Italian cruiser for posting your thoughts on Smeralda, we join on 20th January for 7 nights , first cruise with Costa but have done many on other lines , mainly RCI and more recently been on quite a few MSC on their new ships. 
 

 

interesting your comments on the MDR , I changed from the Arlecchino one to the Il Meneghino because the Arlecchino one looked like a cafe from the photos on the app.

I don’t mind not having table cloths but still want to feel like I am going out to a restaurant . MSC ‘S new ships spacing and layout in the MDR is awful , looks just like a school canteen in some areas though we still enjoyed our food experience . 
 

We had a Brindiamo package included with our booking and have upgraded to Piu  Gusto as I like Aperol spritz and other cocktails. 
 

What type of hairdryer is supplied in the cabin and where is it located ? , please do not say in the bathroom ! I always take my own travel hairdryer but see it is noted on the website as a banned item. 
 

Cheers 
 

 

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Hi Italian_Cruiser, thank you for sharing all the info as trip advisor ones are all for Dec sailings and quite negative (for first few sails I assume it's chaotic). I'm completely new cruiser and would like to seek some advice!

 

Is the buffet still chaotic? Is there a lot of food choices in buffet?

 

I reserved a lamb rack meal for my 5th night, do I need to reconfirm with reception once onboard which restaurant I will have it in?

 

What's the dinner times for MDR? Is it difficult to change onboard?

 

Where could I get hot water for free? (Assume no kettle and fridge in cabin)

 

Is embarkation security tight for every port? I usually bring a thermal bottle with water with me and some snacks, worry that they might prohibit these. 

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Dear Italian Cruiser,

Thanks for the great tips for us waiting for our next cruise. More than dozen negative reviews on TA and CC have been published already (there really are no positive ones!). One common complaint seems to be the food and dining experience. You already commented that, but may I ask some further questions:

- Were the dinner menus similar to your previous Costa cruises? Typically antipasto, primi, secondi, cheese and dessert, with optional salad and soup?

- There are several complaints of food being cold. Did you experience this? If yes, did it seem to be due to the kitchen or the waiters?

- People are complaining of food quality and portions being returned to kitchen. Did you encounter this?

- Breakfast and lunch being only buffet has been mentioned. Do they still serve ala carte lunch (with menus quite similar to dinner) at some of the restaurants or are there days when they have buffet only? Do they still have the ala carte breakfast (American, English, Belgian, etc) added with cold buffet?

Many thanks!

 

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 10:56 PM, heatherb1958 said:

Thank you Italian cruiser for posting your thoughts on Smeralda, we join on 20th January for 7 nights , first cruise with Costa but have done many on other lines , mainly RCI and more recently been on quite a few MSC on their new ships. 
 

interesting your comments on the MDR , I changed from the Arlecchino one to the Il Meneghino because the Arlecchino one looked like a cafe from the photos on the app.

I don’t mind not having table cloths but still want to feel like I am going out to a restaurant . MSC ‘S new ships spacing and layout in the MDR is awful , looks just like a school canteen in some areas though we still enjoyed our food experience . 
 

We had a Brindiamo package included with our booking and have upgraded to Piu  Gusto as I like Aperol spritz and other cocktails. 
 

What type of hairdryer is supplied in the cabin and where is it located ? , please do not say in the bathroom ! I always take my own travel hairdryer but see it is noted on the website as a banned item. 
 

Cheers 
 

 

 

Re: school canteen, definitely Colombina and somewhat Meneghino are the most 'canteen' like restaurants.

Hairdryer is the common hairdryer you can find in cruise ships - in my balcony cabin was located in a drawer below the small desk in the main room.

 

On 1/15/2020 at 11:03 AM, 2020cruiserider said:

Hi Italian_Cruiser, thank you for sharing all the info as trip advisor ones are all for Dec sailings and quite negative (for first few sails I assume it's chaotic). I'm completely new cruiser and would like to seek some advice!

 

Is the buffet still chaotic? Is there a lot of food choices in buffet?

 

I reserved a lamb rack meal for my 5th night, do I need to reconfirm with reception once onboard which restaurant I will have it in?

 

What's the dinner times for MDR? Is it difficult to change onboard?

 

Where could I get hot water for free? (Assume no kettle and fridge in cabin)

 

Is embarkation security tight for every port? I usually bring a thermal bottle with water with me and some snacks, worry that they might prohibit these. 

 

Buffet: chaotic as usual in Italian ships, food choice is ample but the portions are made by staff behind the counter so it feels less as a buffet than usual.

 

I suspect that the lamb will be served in your assigned dining room.

 

There are 2 different time slots: an early and a late slot - rugantino and arlecchino slots are 15' later than meneghino and colombina. On your embarkation day you will find an hour slot in colombina to change your assigned MDR, depending on availability.

 

Hot water only in buffet, during opening hours.

 

The checks are always done at the port and never on the ship, so I guess the attention towards food is lower.

 

6 hours ago, Vald78 said:

Dear Italian Cruiser,

Thanks for the great tips for us waiting for our next cruise. More than dozen negative reviews on TA and CC have been published already (there really are no positive ones!). One common complaint seems to be the food and dining experience. You already commented that, but may I ask some further questions:

- Were the dinner menus similar to your previous Costa cruises? Typically antipasto, primi, secondi, cheese and dessert, with optional salad and soup?

- There are several complaints of food being cold. Did you experience this? If yes, did it seem to be due to the kitchen or the waiters?

- People are complaining of food quality and portions being returned to kitchen. Did you encounter this?

- Breakfast and lunch being only buffet has been mentioned. Do they still serve ala carte lunch (with menus quite similar to dinner) at some of the restaurants or are there days when they have buffet only? Do they still have the ala carte breakfast (American, English, Belgian, etc) added with cold buffet?

Many thanks!

 

 

 

Yes, they were similar. Correct: antipasto, primo, secondo, cheese and dessert.

Food was never super hot but I would not say cold. Service (at least in the rugantino) is not one of the fastest.

Never seen a plate being sent back.

On lunch there are half MDRs offering full buffet and the other half a mixed experience with mains a la carte and appetizers/dessert buffet style.

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2 hours ago, Italian_Cruiser said:

 

Re: school canteen, definitely Colombina and somewhat Meneghino are the most 'canteen' like restaurants.

Hairdryer is the common hairdryer you can find in cruise ships - in my balcony cabin was located in a drawer below the small desk in the main room.

 

 

Buffet: chaotic as usual in Italian ships, food choice is ample but the portions are made by staff behind the counter so it feels less as a buffet than usual.

 

I suspect that the lamb will be served in your assigned dining room.

 

There are 2 different time slots: an early and a late slot - rugantino and arlecchino slots are 15' later than meneghino and colombina. On your embarkation day you will find an hour slot in colombina to change your assigned MDR, depending on availability.

 

Hot water only in buffet, during opening hours.

 

The checks are always done at the port and never on the ship, so I guess the attention towards food is lower.

 

 

Yes, they were similar. Correct: antipasto, primo, secondo, cheese and dessert.

Food was never super hot but I would not say cold. Service (at least in the rugantino) is not one of the fastest.

Never seen a plate being sent back.

On lunch there are half MDRs offering full buffet and the other half a mixed experience with mains a la carte and appetizers/dessert buffet style.

Thank you very much! I plan to board at 4pm on embarkation day to avoid any crowd. I should just go straight to my room guess it should be ready by then right?

 

Does buffet close early like 20:30 for other Costa cruise I read online?

 

Is it cool onboard indoor? Thinking if I should bring a thin sweater for indoor while I have thick coat for outdoor?

 

Reserved a wine tasting session (but they don't allow me to choose the date) I'm guessing it might be in my MDR too.

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16 minutes ago, 2020cruiserider said:

Thank you very much! I plan to board at 4pm on embarkation day to avoid any crowd. I should just go straight to my room guess it should be ready by then right?

 

Does buffet close early like 20:30 for other Costa cruise I read online?

 

Is it cool onboard indoor? Thinking if I should bring a thin sweater for indoor while I have thick coat for outdoor?

 

Reserved a wine tasting session (but they don't allow me to choose the date) I'm guessing it might be in my MDR too.

 

Yes, should be ready by then.

Nope, buffet is open for dinner - not sure when it closes but I had dinner one night in the buffet and it was in normal dinner hours.

Its not super cold but a sweater may be useful.

The wine session may be at the wine bar, but it's an educated guess.

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Worried about this ship.  Scheduled to go on our first Costa cruise in March.  

 

- I've heard now that you literally cannot drink on the ship anything for free.  No iced tea, no water.  I'm seeing some reports of free drinks for breakfast...  not sure if that's the only time?  We did not pay for a drink package.  I'm good with water or iced tea, if it's free, but I can't believe a ship literally doesn't even have free water with (or without) meals?  Can someone please shed some light on this?

 

- I've also heard that there is no soap, shampoo, or conditioner in the cabins.  Should we pack our own? 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, ahkahn said:

Worried about this ship.  Scheduled to go on our first Costa cruise in March.  

 

- I've heard now that you literally cannot drink on the ship anything for free.  No iced tea, no water.  I'm seeing some reports of free drinks for breakfast...  not sure if that's the only time?  We did not pay for a drink package.  I'm good with water or iced tea, if it's free, but I can't believe a ship literally doesn't even have free water with (or without) meals?  Can someone please shed some light on this?

 

- I've also heard that there is no soap, shampoo, or conditioner in the cabins.  Should we pack our own? 

 

 

 

On the drinks the rumors are indeed correct - no free drinks except for breakfast (and possibly water in the buffet dureing opening hours, but cannot confirm).

 

There is a all-in onw soap/shampoo dispenser in the shower - always advisable to bring your own.

 

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3 minutes ago, Italian_Cruiser said:

 

On the drinks the rumors are indeed correct - no free drinks except for breakfast (and possibly water in the buffet dureing opening hours, but cannot confirm).

 

There is a all-in onw soap/shampoo dispenser in the shower - always advisable to bring your own.

 

 

Thank you.  What do people typically do for non-alcoholic drinks?  Buy a package?  Purchase water or iced tea at a meal?  Do they do free refills? 

 

Do the onboard shops sell bottles of water and Coke? 

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You can buy soft drinks and bottled water from the bars. There is a water package available for €35.98. It consists of 13 1l bottles of either still or sparkling water.

 

There are also soft drink packages available. They include soft drinks, coffees and fruit juices. I think also non-alcoholic cocktails. You can of course just do pay as you go and order whatever you want specially if you don't drink alcohol or a lot of drinks aboard. They do have cans(or bottles) of a branded ice tea. The peach and lemon ones.

 

I am particular about my shampoo and conditioner and often even take my own shower gel. The one in the cabin is actually OK. There is usually a bar of soap as well. I have not been on Smerelda so not sure whether they still offer that.

 

We are sailing in 34 days and to be honest having been with Costa many many times, I cannot see that it can be as bad as the lot on TripAdvisor says. Anyway as far as I am concerned any holiday can only be good. It means I am not at work.

 

Riana

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