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MSC vs. Costa?


Stockjock
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Spas on the the new ships of MSC are the best in the entire Cruise industry and far superior to those on Costa.

 

On a typical 7 night Cruise, MSc has 6 grand production shows whereas Costa has only 4.

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Posted (edited)

Costa has very low cost drink packages.

 

In addition to the unlimited drink packages, Costa also has a coupon system where you can buy a fixed number of beers, etc at a much lower cost than the unlimited package.

Edited by drsel
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Costa has good ballroom dancing to live music every night as well as LOTS of line dancing, if that is what you like.

Costa also has lots of free dance classes which teach you every kind of dance --waltz, foxtrot, ChaCha, Rumba Samba, etc.

 

Costa has a lot of poolside activities, fitness classes and games whole morning, every sea day.

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19 minutes ago, drsel said:

Spas on the the new ships of MSC are the best in the entire Cruise industry and far superior to those on Costa.

 

On a typical 7 night Cruise, MSc has 6 grand production shows whereas Costa has only 4.

I actually liked the Costa shows better than MSC.  MSC concentrated more on using a video screen behind and offered more of a digital platform base than the traditional large cast shows. But that is also personal likes and dislikes.

 You are 100% correct on the Spas. You can't top MSC.

Steve

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I have been hesitant to chip in on this conversation and if you go back to your post on the Costa boards you'll see a few more responses.

 

We have sailed on Costa more times than my list on this board. Our third MSC cruise is coming up soon.

 

As far as the decor is concerned: Used to be Farcas designs and he was a little OTT with colour to be honest. It has not been a major issue for us and in comparison the MSC ships are much "muted" except for the blingy staircase full of crystals. The cabins in Costa look identical to photos I have seen on Carnival ships. The Smerelda is totally different in design and layout.

 

I think the food on Costa has become a bit boring more recently. We love Italian food so that is not the issue. There is no free pizza as everyone will tell you. They do serve some slices at the buffet lunch times but the pizzeria is basically the only pay for restaurant on Costa ships. The pizzas are pretty good and not slices but fairly large individual pizzas. The price used to be extremely reasonable.

 

With my limited MSC experience I would say that the lounge entertainment on Costa is way better and the lounges are more set up to have dancing and an entertainer/band. The theatre shows are similar in a way. No story and lots of dance and music. We sail mainly in the Med so lots of Europeans and lots of languages. The venues on the Smerelda is totally different to any ship I've been on. There is no large theatre but smaller venues with entertainment/shows. On our last cruise last year beginning of March they had comedians etc. No English though.

 

The drinks packages on Costa are cheaper than MSC but MSC has a lot more variety when it comes to cocktails.

 

I cannot say we cruise for "the ship" but we rather like different ports and getting off and doing our own thing. Unfortunately that is not happening during Covid times. Even if you go to Rome loads of times on a cruise you will always be able to do something new. The same applies to many of the ports in the Med.

 

I've just learnt that the Costa Firenze (brand new) is going to the Middle East in November and will then be based there. She was supposed to go to the Chinese market. We're booked on her towards the end of September. Not sure whether that will happen but lets wait and see.

 

I dislike it when people have negative only opinions and I can see the good things and not so good for both lines. I just love cruising and felt withdrawal symptoms for the last year. I think the only "ship" I cannot see myself on at the moment is a dingy without a drinks package.

 

Alicat

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 11:08 AM, drsel said:

I enjoyed all my Cruises on both MSc and Costa.

 

Overall I prefer MSC.

now I would book Costa only if I get an amazingly good deal

Would you consider this an amazing deal for an unobstructed balcony and drink package at $580 USD/477 Euro (before tax and other fees)?  Works out to be about $800 USD/658 EURO all in?  This is the "back up" cruise I booked, but it's refundable for about 2.5 to 3 months or so.

 

  • Venice (Departure)
  • Split
  • Kotor 
  • Katakolon/Olympia
  • Athens
  • Bari
  • Venice (Arrival)
 
 
 

 

Edited by Stockjock
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Stockjock said:

Would you consider this an amazing deal for an unobstructed balcony and drink package at $580 USD/477 Euro (before tax and other fees)?  Works out to be about $800 USD/658 EURO all in?  This is the "back up" cruise I booked, but it's refundable for about 2.5 to 3 months or so.

 

  • Venice (Departure)
  • Split
  • Kotor 
  • Katakolon/Olympia
  • Athens
  • Bari
  • Venice (Arrival)
 
 
 

 

It's an okay deal, just so so. Venice, Split and Athens are beautiful

you can go for it if you are planning to spend a lot of time having drinks in your balcony.

 

On Carnival Cruises, I noticed that some who have the drinks package do not even get off at the ports,  but prefer to hang around the pool having cocktails whole day.

 

How many drinks would you and your girlfriend typically consume (combined total number of alcoholic drinks) on a 7 night Cruise--

1. If you had the unlimited drinks package?

2. If you had to pay for each and every drink?

Edited by drsel
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7 minutes ago, drsel said:

It's an okay deal, just so so. Venice, Split and Athens are beautiful

you can go for it if you are planning to spend a lot of time having drinks in your balcony.

 

On Carnival Cruises, I noticed that some who have the drinks package do not even get off at the ports,  but prefer to hang around the pool having cocktails whole day.

 

How many drinks would you and your girlfriend typically consume (combined total number of alcoholic drinks) on a 7 night Cruise--

1. If you had the unlimited drinks package?

2. If you had to pay for each and every drink?

I did notice that a couple of their port visits seem to be quite short, leaving at 2 pm or before.  Not thrilled about that.  Frankly, I'll probably cancel this, but have it in place at a "Plan B" because it fits my existing flight schedule.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Stockjock said:

I did notice that a couple of their port visits seem to be quite short, leaving at 2 pm or before.  Not thrilled about that.  Frankly, I'll probably cancel this, but have it in place at a "Plan B" because it fits my existing flight schedule.

you should NOT book your flights so much in advance, considering the way that Cruises are being cancelled right left and centre, especially by MSC.

 

Having said that, I am sure that the deals you got on MSC are better value for money, quite possibly the best value for money in the entire Cruise industry!

 

I SUSPECT THAT THEIR PLAN WAS TO COLLECT A LOT OF DEPOSITS BY OFFERING SOME INCREDIBLY LOW PRICED CRUISES AND THEN CANCEL THEM LATER AND GET YOU TO TRANSFER THE DEPOSITS TO MUCH HIGHER PRICED CRUISES WHICH WILL ACTUALLY SAIL.

A lot of interest free loans to tide over this crisis.

But I am more than happy and willing to give them these interest free loans because I really like to support my best value for money cruise line

Edited by drsel
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16 minutes ago, Stockjock said:

I did notice that a couple of their port visits seem to be quite short, leaving at 2 pm or before.  Not thrilled about that.  Frankly, I'll probably cancel this, but have it in place at a "Plan B" because it fits my existing flight schedule.

With Costa, I think you will forfeit your deposit if you cancel, even more than 90 days in advance.

At least this was the scenario before covid.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, drsel said:

With Costa, I think you will forfeit your deposit if you cancel, even more than 90 days in advance.

At least this was the scenario before covid.

I was told by 2 agents that I could cancel up to about 90 days out if I did the "Total Comfort" with drinks, or higher, but not if I booked "Basic", so I did the Total Comfort plan.

The deposit was pretty high though.  $800 USD or 658 Euro.

Edited by Stockjock
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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Stockjock said:

I was told by 2 agents that I could cancel up to about 90 days out if I did the "Total Comfort" with drinks, or higher, but not if I booked "Basic", so I did the Total Comfort plan.

You better check the cancellation terms and conditions on Costas website.

don't rely on what the agents said

Edited by drsel
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, drsel said:

You better check the cancellation terms and conditions on Costas website.

don't rely on what the agents said

This is straight from my confirmation.

 

"Cancellation charges, per person, will be assessed based on when cancellation notices are received by Costa. Percentage amounts are based on total cruise fare (excluding government fees and taxes).Cancellation 90 days or more prior to departure, BASIC Fare 15%, COMFORT Fares full refund. 89 to 57 days prior to departure, BASIC Fare 25%, COMFORT Fare deposit amount ($250 Caribbean or $400 Non-Caribbean). 56 to 30 days prior to departure BASIC and COMFORT 50%. 29 to 15 days prior to departure BASIC and COMFORT 75%. 14 days or less prior to departure 100% (No refund). World / Grand cruise cancellation schedule is available online by visiting www.costacruises.com, Passage Ticket Contract.

Edited by Stockjock
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We sailed on Costa Smeralda Jan 2020 , just before the proverbial hit the fan , our first and last Costa cruise .

We got a fab deal including the basic drinks package and upgraded that to the next one . Had wanted to try the line after many cruises with RCI and a few with MSC. 
The inside cabin was small and perfectly formed , had the best design bathroom we have ever experienced on a ship for storage and size of shower . We loved the ship especially the Solarium where they held the evening parties and had a band playing too .

Cabin serviced only once a day , fine can live with that and work round it . 
Service at the bars was very good but no pool deck or buffet bar service you have to go queue or wait til there isn’t one a get your drink but even though we upgraded the package they only served the basic package in the buffet . 
Now the food , it was dire  in the main dining room , except for salads in the buffet I can’t remember raving about any food on the ship , and I am not a picky eater .  Don’t get me wrong , we did not starve but neither were we rushing to go and get a second helping of anything and that is my rule of thumb . 
I would not book another Costa cruise ,now MSC can’t wait for our next cruise with them on Virtuosa in August , woo woo. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Stockjock said:

Would you consider this an amazing deal for an unobstructed balcony and drink package at $580 USD/477 Euro (before tax and other fees)?  Works out to be about $800 USD/658 EURO all in?  This is the "back up" cruise I booked, but it's refundable for about 2.5 to 3 months or so.

 

  • Venice (Departure)
  • Split
  • Kotor 
  • Katakolon/Olympia
  • Athens
  • Bari
  • Venice (Arrival)
 
 
 

 

Only you can know if it's worth or not. Is it below the current MSC's offering? Yeah!... Bearing in mind that it might to be such a less stellar experience, yeah, I could do it that was the best option available!... One has what one pays for...

 

Now: I've been undecided on the last days to make a new thread on the "dismantling the MSC's cheapest at seas myth" sort of thread. I decided on not to make, in case that could run against the CC rules... But in order you to have a single idea: Today, the newer MSC ships available to book here from Portugal for the Med 2022 summer season (Seaside/Grandiosa) are running pretty much head to head with the Allure of the Seas... Sometimes Allure wins surprisingly, even though the non refundable deposit terms and conditions are far better for MSC, and that might to be a deal breaker for some on these covidical days... Costa runs on another league, simply it's rather always some €100pp less than any comparable MSC cruise, apart some cabin categories that by design aren't comparable and the full suite program that is different by design too... With Pullmantur out of business, Costa became the base line cheapest at sea, by and large with pretty much no discussion...

 

Have a nice Sunday!...

Edited by Nunagoras
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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2021 at 8:29 PM, Couple-Somerset said:

Costa - never, ever again. 

Totally agree

we have done 31 cruises with various lines and just 1 with Costa.

It was the most frightening experience of my life and we nearly died .😡

wouldn't go with Costa if they paid me .

going on  MSC  this week 8 June should be interesting 😊

Edited by Lindypops
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lindypops said:

just 1 with Costa.

It was the most frightening experience of my life and we nearly died .😡

wouldn't go with Costa if they paid me .

😊

Why was it the most frightening experience of your life?

what happened exactly?

Edited by drsel
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Nunagoras said:

I've been undecided on the last days to make a new thread on the "dismantling the MSC's cheapest at seas myth" sort of thread. I decided on not to make, in case that could run against the CC rule 

Please start this thread, it would be really interesting.

Don't be afraid, you won't be breaking any CC rule

Edited by drsel
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, drsel said:

Why was it the most frightening experience of your life?

what happened exactly?

We were on Costa Classica about 10 years ago the week after it crashed into a freighter in Shanghai.

we were delayed by 3 days while they welded a plate across the 12 cabins on deck 5 which were destroyed in the crash.

The weather was not good , lots of rain and eventually a force 8 for 4 days and 3 nights.

 

The repair was not good and water was pouring in and down deck 5 and also through the ceilings of the upper decks . Lots of buckets everywhere catching the drips.

Ship was pitching and rolling and it was impossible to sleep without holding on.

Crew were nowhere  to be seen probably as ill as the rest of the guests .

When we docked in Vietnam they crashed into the pier and there was another large dent in the side of the ship

We really thought we were not going to get off the ship alive 

we did get a refund for the 3 missed days 

A number of other reasons , smoking inside , buffet closed after 3 pm , people fainting  at the  muster drill  which was inside all stood up wearing life jackets for 45 minutes , all announcements in 5 languages .

Guess we just had a bad experience but having been on many  other lines we are not prepared to try them again

88A45D00-BDCE-4109-840C-F4837F85960D.png

Edited by Lindypops
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Posted (edited)

OMG that was a deadly experience.

From the photo it appears that some Ocean view cabins got converted into balconies !

Edited by drsel
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2 hours ago, drsel said:

Please start this thread, it would be really interesting.

Don't be afraid, you won't be breaking any CC rule

Maybe, let me to try to do it at an imaginative way because we can't to cite Travel Agents here... Nor does it seem fair to make so direct commercial comparisons... So, if I go away, I'll need to be pretty much like a fiction writer!...

 

Yeah, while MSC can to be cheap, it can also to be pretty much just another one!... Bear in mind that our complex VAT system here in Portugal might to turn things more complex than in other markets, that's say: Companies won't have an as aggressive round up here than what they may have on other markets, hence my somewhat different view against the usual norm!...

 

Have a nice day!...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also asked this question on the Costa boards.  Here's a partial reply from Mr. Stefan_Varong that I found interesting...

"And to compare MSC with Costa. I sailed Costa a couple of times, MSC only once. I understand that problems can and will occur, just with MSC it happened both way too often and staff showed no interest to solve them.

To start with I had a toilet that didn’t flush by lack of water. Reception was not available on the phone, after queuing in person to report they asked me what they could do in this question. Calling a technician perhaps?

For immigration to Israel we had to go to the theatre, where immigration officers handled the process. For getting my passport with the immigration form I had to show my board card and according to the cabin number on it someone from MSC staff gave me my passport. No complicated thing - one should think.

After my visit at the immigration desk I wanted to bring my passport to my cabin. I stood in front of my door and the key card didn’t work. Was I at the wrong door? No. Still didn’t work, I looked at the card and I wasn’t only at a cabin that was not printed onto the card, I was on the wrong deck and my name was also changed into Anastasia!  So if I had no rapid gender change I got the wrong card back from the MSC woman that gave me my passport.

Down again to the theatre, but this young lady was not interested in the case, she sent me to the hostility desk. I had to wait for 45 minutes to get a new card, a long time for someone, who might have had the idea to use my card for searching my cabin for valuables.

One morning in the buffet restaurant I wanted to have a fast breakfast before an excursion and after taking the first thing I thought, why does the plate have such a strange reflection? It was greasy and it was not the only one. Staff told me to take that or to leave it. I did the latter. I spoke to a Dutch couple the last day and they had exactly the same experience about lacking hygiene in the buffet as I had.

But worst was that MSC invented something great to arrange the way to leave the ship in Haifa. I had an independent excursion and those without a MSC excursion were called in the diary to wait in the atrium. I thought fine, I’d take a coffee there and would leave when possible, so I was early close to a staircase that was shut-off by a rope. While waiting MSC pushed more and more people into the atrium. Who was “caught” in the staircases or lifts was pressed into the atrium as well. Way too many people on way too little space. Parents started to lift their children onto their shoulders and still more people were taken out of the lifts and pressed at the opposite side into the atrium. I am huge, strong and not easy to scare, but I looked for a way to flee out in case a panic would start somewhere in the way too much overcrowded place. It was just luck that everybody stayed calm and anybody was hurt. A group commented this by shouting “Costa, Costa!” through this MSC vessel. From MSC customers service on shore I never had a reaction on my complaints.

 
I never even thought about sailing with MSC again."

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