After the ship Hit it listed people rang and panicked we were told to go to our rooms, glad ours was the 6th deck and not below. The announcements were that we had electrical porblems everything was under control, the english was announced by our international host. We were told this twice. and then by the staff numerous times, I think they believed it as well. We could not go into our cabin as our welcome spumante and glasses was shattered all over the floor and there were no lights, we could see the island was close from the balcony window so did not panic thinking everything would be okay. Cabin staff told us not to get our life jackets it was not neccesary we sat on stools and the floor joking with them, this went on for what seemed like an hour, the boat struck just after 9pm I think. Then a message came over the speakers all of the staff left immediately.
We were left alone as the abandon ship sirens screamed, we grabbed a coat and shoes in place of high heels our life vests, put them on and headed for the lifeboats. We stood on the deck for ages before the cabin staff told us to enter the lifeboats. We got into the boats we had a waiter in the drivers seat and some boys in white overalls, the lifeboat filled to capacity and they shut the door, people screamed the door was purshed open and people continued to enter the boat overflowing it the waiter in the drivers seat trying repatedly to get an answer form the bridge to drop the lifeboat. I dont believe that message ever came eventually an Indian engineer came who said he should be the driver the gate was sealed and they started to drop the boat, it was horryfying the boat was too heavy it lurched all of as standing were thrown to the floor the boat stuck on the side of the ship with men desperatly trying to lever it off the side of the boat.
Eneutally we got to the sea the waiter was too short to see out the top of the boat to steer they circled around the boat for ages and ages, eventually the engineer steered with the waiter on his shoulders we just kept circling with the shore so close and all those people still on the boat and we kept circling. Lifeboats crashed into each other they were empty but they were not going back to the boat they had no orders no instructions. Eventually we tried to dock but crashed into the wharf circled a bit more and docked.
We got of the ship dazed and confused trying to find a toilet for my 12 year old, a shopkeeper let people use his a long line for one toilet. The locals on the island gave us everything they had souvenier tshirts tops blankets. We were herded to the school, some to the church, here we sat on cold floors on our life vests this was about midnight when we got there. No one spoke English everyone was talking and we had no idea where we were or what was happening the staff were the waiters etc and no time did we see an officer. I saw the International english speaking host and asked him what was happening he said he had no idea and was as dazed and confused as me, I told him where we were and to come back and tell us, he never came back, from time to time we ventured out of the school to look and see what was happening as the ship submerged on its side where our cabin was. Eventually a lady in a shop or meeting place of some kind spoke english, she told me there was a queue for the ferry to the mainland. We joined the queue, and gave our names ( the first time) and got on the next ferry.
1 hour later we arrived on the mainland, we were given warmer blankets and pushed towards a tent we went through and had our names taken again we were then pushed through to a bus and taken to a school and told to stand in a corner for the port where we embarked, there were not enough chairs. We sat there for three or four hours we were then called to a bus, but when we got there we were told this bus was only for people who had cars at Civitivecchia, we had to wait for the airport bus.
We were then bussed to the Hilton Garden Inn and given a room, we were still told nothing given nothing by Costa, constantly I asked them and was always told to wait while they spoke to people in more common languages, Costa have done nothing but give us the room.
RCI Ovation of the seas 15th December 2016
RCI Mariner of the seas 4th March 2016
RCI Rhapsody of the Seas 8th April 2014
COSTA CONCORDIA - 5 hours Friday 13th January 2012
Costa Serena - 27th December 2011
Costa Europa - 7th May 2007
Princess Tahiti - 2009