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Costa Europa Jewels of the Emirates Review


sugarbabe61

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Our second cruise with this itinerary as we did the same cruise last year on Costa Classica. Flights and whole package were arranged through Costa and we flew with British Airways.

Arrived at Dubai on time but what a difference to 2007. In 2007 we breezed the Passport Control helped by the Costa Rep who rushed us through the “Fast Track” at Dubai and straight onto the coach, we mustn’t have been in the airport more than half an hour. This time we queued for about 45 minutes to get through Passport Control. Then off to collect our luggage to discover hubby’s case not there and after finding a BA staff member we discovered it was not put on the flight from Heathrow!!! What a good start to our holiday. Filled out all the necessary forms assisted by a very helpful Costa Rep then off for the Coach. Well we waited and we waited and we waited for over one hour for the coach. We arrived at Dubai at 11.30pm and left at 2.00am. Things were not getting off to a good start.

Arrived on the ship and to our Cabin which was on9008 Deck 9 Andromeda and a superior outside cabin. Well that was a lovely surprise as the cabin was huge. There was the double bed with plenty of room either side, a three seater sofa, 2 chairs and 2 tables. There was also a door which closed off the corridor which was great for shutting out the noise. The bathroom was larger with a bath two showers over the bath one full height and one half height. Only complaint was the water pressure was very poor on the high shower so used the half height one which wasn’t very good for washing your hair!!

So we unpacked the one suitcase and set down for some sleep. In the morning we went to the Customer Service desk to see about the missing case as the ship was due to sail at 1.00pm. Immediately the Customer Service Manager, Federico intervened and took us into his office and completed all the paperwork and suggested we bought some clothes as nobody had any idea if/when the case would turn up. Hubby only had the clothes on his back and Federico said he could have them laundered as often as he wanted free of charge. We took advantage of this and I went to buy a new shirt for hubby in the shop and there was a very limited choice and the cheapest was a Marlborough Classic shirt at 69 euros!! Hubby had not had the new shirt on his back more than 30 minutes when Federico called to say the suitcase had now arrived on this ship. Wow lucky or what, 30 minutes before we were due to sail.

Costa Europa is one of Costa’s older ships and not as “glitzy” as the newer ships however we liked the ship and layout and cabin situation. We ate in the main restaurant 4 nights out of 7 and we found the food much improved from our previous Costa Victoria cruise. We also celebrated our Wedding Anniversary by eating in the Club Europa restaurant. The food was wonderful, and very reasonably priced and the service was second to none. I would definitely recommend it for a special occasion. The wine is quite pricey though and two bottles set us back 72 euros!!

We did not go to any of the shows instead we liked “people watching” in the Medusa lounge. The majority of pax were German, in fact I would say 80% were German.

We did all the ports of call last year so did not do any organized trips this year. We stayed on ship at Fujairah and in Bahrain we took the shuttle bus into the centre but it was awful, dirty and scruffy so we went back to the ship. The best ports are Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Dubai. In Dubai we spent most of the time on shore exploring Dubai and eating out in Dubai which is absolutely incredibly cheap, with excellent food and service. We always looked for where locals were eating and you cannot go wrong.

Disembarkation was smooth and straightforward. The last day is a long day though as the flight back to UK was at 3.00am so it’s very much a kind of hanging around day. Dubai airport is awful though. We actually checked in on line 24 hours before the flight but upon arrival at the airport they did not have a fast bag drop off so we had to queue for over one hour whilst the whole plane checked in with only one BA check in desk open. After check in there is absolutely nowhere to sit at Dubai airport and the fact we were there for over 4 hours was not very pleasant.

We had a wonderful week and having done the cruise twice now I think we have seen the area although we would definitely go back to Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

This will be our last Costa cruise as we have cruised Costa four times now and time for a change.

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Sugarbabe61,

Thanks for your review, I have a couple of questions, as we will be on the Classica next March.

 

a. How did you find the Classica, say in comparison with the Europa?

 

b. What did you do do in Muscat.

 

Thanks

Ron

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Hi there

 

We found Classica very similar to Europa and cannot really say if we preffered one above the other. The cabins in both were superb although on Europa we had a superior outer. On the Classica we had an outside cabin which was also very spacious. On Europa they have 2 self service restaurants and we like the one on deck 11 which at night part of it is transformed for the Club Europa. We alos particularly liked one of the big lounges on Classica (I cannot remember the name now) but it had some lovely statues in it. We found both ships had a nice atmosphere. We were on Costa Victoria in October and we didn't really enjoy that ship at all.

 

In 2007 at Muscat we did the "Mystical Muscat" organised excursion which I would definitely recommend as it was excellent, aided by a very very good local guide. We went to the Mosque which was out of this world. We also went to a museum and finally dropped off at the Medina (souk) where you can wonder around. This year we did our own thing. The shuttle bus takes you to the port entrance (you are not allowed to walk around the port area) and then we walked to the Medina which took about 5 minutes. Be prepared though to be hounded by taxi drivers. If you do take a taxi make sure they do not rip you off as we heard lots of horror stories from people who got ripped off in all the ports apart from Dubai.

 

Hope this helps and any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.

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  • 8 months later...

To the sugarbabe61 post about the costa europa:

i have booked cabin 9007 for a july 2009 cruise on this ship .

Do you know if the view through the window is obstructed by the life boats? Is there a a open deck on the outside of these cabins and if yes, are the cabin windows coated with a mirror film to prevent see-through in the cabins

I would appreciate it very much if you could inform me on this

JP

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Janneke

 

The view from these cabins are not obstructed by the lifeboats and you are correct in that outside the window is a "walk around deck" You are also correct in saying that the windows are coated so that you cannot see inside the cabin from the outside. We tried and tested this with hubby going out and me having my face right up to the window but he couldn't see a thing!!

 

Hope this helps.

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Sugarbabe

Thanks a lot for your info, it is exactly like i had hoped it would be. My wife is reassured now! We are cruising the 3 of us (with my daughter) and that is why i decided to spend the extra cost for a larger cabin.

Bye

JP

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