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costa serena


wilow 03

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hi, am on the costa serena in jan. tell me all about it! food? entertainment? dancing? x1 package? quality and amount of wine? thanks angelina46

hiya

first of all the bad points.the embarkation was a nightmare it took about 3 hours to get on to the ship so if you have children take something to entertain them,also we had the same problem at the first port which for us was bari I was beginning to think I had made a big mistake but it got much better from then so maybe it was just a blip.the food is brilliant it was like eating in a top restaurant for 7 nights not good for the waist line but we were on holiday.we had friends staying in the samsara suites and they ate in a different restaurant to us but 5 out of the 7 nights they came to eat with us as they found their place in their words a bit to posh:confused: .by staying in the samsara they got 2 free treatments in the spa each which they said were fantastic we did`nt use it so can`t comment ,did have a nose around and it looks lovely.my husband used the gym and sauna both good.the entertainment seemed ok, every bar had something going on and after a few drinks requests were often sung.

the x1 what can I say it saved us loads.on our first night we went to our restaurant where we ordered a glass of red and one white a bottle of each arrived and the waiter asked us to say that we had asked for the bottles to be left if the matre`d asked which he never did.we often had 3 bottles of wine on our table and at the end of dinner I asked if he could cork the bottle for the next night which he replyed he wasn`t allowed to keep the wine so I asked if we could take it with us.no problem:D we then went to the bar of our choice ask for 2 glasses and finished of our wine we did this every night with no hassle.we only used the x1 once at lunch that was at the pool bar and came in a glass which was fine as you can have as many glasses as you like as long as the buffet is being served which is between about 12 and 3.so if you are thinking about doing the x1 and you like the odd glass of wine or beer then do it you won`t regret it.also on the subject of drink we had no problem bringing soft or alcohol on board from the ports people were just bringing it on in carrier bags and I never saw any taken away,we brought a bottle of vodka on we were not bothered if they did take it as it was for bringing home but they did`nt.over all we had had a great time.the ship itself is massive and I got lost going to my cabin nearly every day and i`m sure there were places we missed even after a week.I`m sure you will have a fantastic time .I hope I`ve covered everything but if not just ask.

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We just returned from the Serena - a marvelous itinerary but we would never cruise with Costa again. The only free water is from the machine in the buffet area and pitcher in the dining room - they don't even pour it for you and want to sell you bottled water every time you turn around - even for all meals - we have cruised more than 50 times on a variety of ships but this was our first with Costa and we hated the food and service. Entertainment was not the best ever but much better than anticipated and better than what we have had on some other lines......at lunchtime in the buffet area, the only free thing to drink is the water from the machine...nothing else.....they push drinks really hard every time you turn around....As mentioned by another post, the embarkation and disembarkation was a nightmare - it will take you two to three hours to get on board and the same for disembarkation - we stayed an extra day in Venice but did not leave the ship until nearly 1:00PM, and by the time we got luggage and moved on to our hotel, the day was more than half over....totally disorganized.....cabin steward was very good.....dining room waiter said he had been with Costa for 10 years and still seemed to not have a clue.......got our orders wrong several times.......they seemed to cater to English speaking people less than others - most of the crew and staff speak at least 5 languages - Italian, French, Spanish, German and English - HOWEVER, at the Captain's Welcome party, the Captain welcomed everyone in every language but English - and I felt the English speaking people were slighted the entire cruise.....forget the shore excursions in Istanbul or Dubrovnik - totally rip-offs....you can see Dubrovnik on your own - they charge 5 Euros for a shuttle bus into town and most bought tickets in advance on the ship - everyone ran to the busses and many got on for nothing (they may have known about this in advance) since they never checked anyone's tickets in either direction.......another rip-off....and by the time all of this is done, you only have about 2 hours to see the old city of Dubrovnik.......shore excursions in Istanbul are really high for what you get - much better off negotiating with a taxi and going off on your own - all of the main sights in the old city (Blue Mosque, etc.) are not within walking distance of where the ship is docked - but all of the sights are within 3 blocks of each other (Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar) - and a short taxi ride from the ship - and the ship charges you nearly $75US per person for this short little trip. The full day tour in Istanbul is about $250US per person and the only difference is a tour of the palace/museum and lunch at a fancy hotel.......go and see Istanbul on your own........not much time spent in any of the ports........

 

The itinerary offered on the Serena is a great one - but do it with another cruise line - you get much more for your money with another cruise line.

 

By the way, the cost of things in these ports are very expensive and the dollar does not go very far - bring half as many clothes as you think you will need and about 5 times the amount of money!!!

 

Formal nights were a joke - out of 3780 passengers, we saw about 6 men in tuxedos - a coat and tie is more than enough and for many they did not even wear that - some in short sleeve shirts, some even in jeans....same for women - only maybe a half dozen women really dressed up - many in jeans - most just in ANYTHING black - black pants, black top, black dress....did not have to be anything fancy - just black - it takes away from a REAL formal night when some are dressed and others are sitting next to them wearing jeans and sweatshirts -

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oh dear! i am booked on the serena in jan. doesnt sound too good although i do speak italian. this is my first cruise. i read that in the buffet, coffee,soft drinks, are free

too? is this not so? how was the quality of the food?

what sort of water is in the pitchers? how much are bottles of water? thanks

angelina46

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oh dear! i am booked on the serena in jan. doesnt sound too good although i do speak italian. this is my first cruise. i read that in the buffet, coffee,soft drinks, are free

too? is this not so? how was the quality of the food?

what sort of water is in the pitchers? how much are bottles of water? thanks

angelina46

 

Please dont just take one cruiser's word for it as far as being awful. Read various posts to get a more even-tempered review:)

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oh dear! i am booked on the serena in jan. doesnt sound too good although i do speak italian. this is my first cruise. i read that in the buffet, coffee,soft drinks, are free

too? is this not so? how was the quality of the food?

what sort of water is in the pitchers? how much are bottles of water? thanks

angelina46

 

angelina46, in the buffets the drinks that are free:

Coffee normal

Coffee decafinated

Tea bags and hot water

Water

Ice

Iced Tea

Milk (normally for the coffee - but you can always fill up your mug)

Orange juice

Multivitamin juice

 

Food on the Med in April was just greeeeeeeat. From breakfast in the cabin to the midnight snack. If there is something you do not like, just send it back and order something else.

 

The water in the pitchers is Tap water. The ship has two sources available, first is the ships desalination plant which is used for showering, laundary, flushing toilets, the other is the Tap water which is taken on at various ports of call which is used for drinking, washing of vegetables etc. (If you get the chance attend the lecture on the workings of the ship).

 

I don't know the cost of individual bottles of water as we chose one of the wine packets (6 bottles of various wines and 10 bottles of water in the form of coupons). We had the wine for dinner and used the bottle water coupons for when we were on shore. You do not have to finish the wine bottle in one evening, your aiter will mark for bottle and you can have it it the next night.

 

You have one great advantage, if there is something you do not like, you can complain so that all of the officers will understand - as they are all Italians.

 

We can only give you our own personal subject view on such matters, the cruise, the ship is what you make of it.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

Ron

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Angelina - if you speak Italian, you will probably get better service than we did. However, since it is your first cruise you will probably love love love it but you will not have anything else to compare it to.....I am speaking from many years of cruise experience and service and have lots to compare it to....we met many from other countries who spoke a bit of English and it was their first cruise and they LOVED it....everyone loves it....as for the free drinks on the buffet, the other post must have had things differently than us.....we NEVER saw ice tea or lemonade or anything else as we usually do on other cruises - it was water, coffee or hot water and tea bags.....breakfast was orange, grapefruit or pineapple juice, water, coffee and tea bags and that was it......and soft drinks are never free - unless you are on one of the much more upscale lines where all drinks are included. A cruise is what you make of it - and even when things are not the best in the world, such as our experience on Costa, there is no such thing as a BAD CRUISE - we always make the best of it and enjoy as much as you can - if you are in a Samsara cabin, you will probably get better service and a few more special little things - if the ship is in the Caribbean in January, it may be an entirely different experience than ours was in Europe. We, too, went with a very open mind, but we knew how things are supposed to be and had something to compare them to - we had heard good and bad about Costa and decided we would make up our own minds - and we did!! Have fun and enjoy your cruise!!

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oh dear! i am booked on the serena in jan. doesnt sound too good although i do speak italian. this is my first cruise. i read that in the buffet, coffee,soft drinks, are free

too? is this not so? how was the quality of the food?

what sort of water is in the pitchers? how much are bottles of water? thanks

angelina46

 

I have cruised Costa in the Med and Costa in the Caribbean and they are totally different. The English entertainment staff who were on the Magica last Christmas only work the Caribbean stint and then they leave the ship and the Italians take over. I felt quite sorry for this elderly Italian lady who kept coming to all the quizes and games because she didn't understand anybody and the only Italian crew member there had to keep going over and translating. But she had no one else to talk to. We sailed for two weeks last Christmas and had a lovely time (and have sailed many other lines too).

 

Costa in the Med definitely did not cater for the English speaking but then when there are lots of nationalities on board, it has to be multilingual. And yes, Europeans aren't as good as queueing etc than other western nations (try comparing a visit to Disneyland Paris and DisneyWorld Florida and see the difference in staff and attitude) but English speaking guests are in the minority so I suppose we shouldn't expect too much.

 

If it is your first cruise, you will love it. You will have nothing to compare it with anyway. As the above poster said, there is no such thing as a bad cruise.

 

We heard lots of people complaining on our cruise at Christmas but we found everything fine, even the food - which is often criticised.

 

Also, prices for Costa are usually a lot cheaper than other cruise lines (especially for children) so that needs to be taken into account as well.

 

Tracey

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thanks to you all!

 

am on the serena 18 jan from savona on the atlantic cruise to the canaries. i intend to have a good time! anyone else on this cruise? did buy a nice long dress for the `formal` nights! but dont think i will be using it as after reading the posts, no one seems to dress up on costa! and i wont bother packing husbands dj! will let you all know when i get back!

angelina46

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angelina46,

With regards to the formal nights, it is true that they are not so formal as there were years ago when black tie and dinner jacket were compulsary. But on the other hand I would say a lot (probably the majority) on out 3 Costa cruises (over the last two) at least made an attempt to dress up. Most men had tie and suit and some even dinner jackets (the more mature generation) on, ladies either evening dress or combination (trouses / tops).

You said yourself you intend to have a good time, you have probably been planning and looking forward to your cruise for months? DO YOUR OWN THING, take your new long dress and your other half's DJ, dress up on the formal nights and do your ego a world of good. I promise you you will not regret it (you will regret if you don't).

It's YOUR cruise.

Have a good one.

Ron

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thanks to you all!

 

am on the serena 18 jan from savona on the atlantic cruise to the canaries. i intend to have a good time! anyone else on this cruise? did buy a nice long dress for the `formal` nights! but dont think i will be using it as after reading the posts, no one seems to dress up on costa! and i wont bother packing husbands dj! will let you all know when i get back!

angelina46

 

Hi, we are also doing the same itinerary in March so I would be interested to hear your views on the ports of call.

 

Take your new dress for the formal night - I wore mine and didn't look out of place. It was just that people wore a mixture of things whereas on our Royal Caribbean one in the summer, it was much more formal. Wear the dress - that is part of the fun of cruising.

 

Don't really remember what drinks were served in the buffet. My husband had the X1 package so he had no problems there! I remember tea (all flavours), coffee and decaf and I think hot chocolate sachets. Oh, I think there was a milk machine and I love drinking milk so mostly had that. Breakfast had juices as well.

 

Tracey

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oh dear! i am booked on the serena in jan. doesnt sound too good although i do speak italian. this is my first cruise. i read that in the buffet, coffee,soft drinks, are free

too? is this not so? how was the quality of the food?

what sort of water is in the pitchers? how much are bottles of water? thanks

angelina46

hiya

there is coffee,tea,lemon tea,milk hot chocolate and water in the buffet area and I`m almost sure there was orange and grapefruit juice to.in my experience the food was brilliant.

I also read before i went that not many people dressed up on formal nights so just took black bottoms and glittery tops.I now feel i really missed out by not wearing a evening dress there were some stunning ones.go and make your own mind up but I don`t think you will be disappointed.

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What amenities do they have? Is there a water slide? Mini-golf? I heard something about a Formula 1 Car Simulator. Movies Under the Stars? Kids Club? Teen Club? What about the speciality restaurants? Are they worth it?

 

Dem920

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