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marsworth75

Costa cruise experience

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Hi, I am considering booking a transatlantic on Costa and would like to hear from people who have traveled on Costa and what the main differences are from a mainstream US cruise line, NCL or Carnival for example. 

Just trying to get honest opinions that I can consider when making our decision,

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Costa is unlike any of the lines you mentioned.

Firstly it is very multi-cultured with five or more language's spoken for each announcement the food is Italian based & limited to two choices generally. Being as such do not expect anything except nice sized plates over four courses, the buffet has a good selection of dishes but expect some pushing in for forgotten items.

Shows are understandable music quite good in most bars (wine bar Best for English speakers) aft deck five.

Although Costas prices allow us to cruise more I am not sure if a transatlantic itinerary is quite what your first cruise with them is suitable, given the number of sea days. Although once again if you are going with friends it would be relaxing.

There are very few English speakers on Costa but if you do decide it is for you make sure you contact the English host who can put you in touch with others on board.

Lastly you will be seated with English speaker's in the Main Dining Room.

 

This is not against Costa as we have done nearly 35 with them & enjoyed every one.

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Thanks for the reply tenpin. I was hoping you would. I've been surfing around this Costa boards just looking for info and opinions. Your replies and comments to questions asked and opinions sought  have been both measured and informative.

The itinerary is what is driving us to seriously consider this cruise. The transatlantic will be part of a "bucket-list" trip that will, if we take this particular cruise will end up in England to visit family and friends. Plus the fact that it would end up in Venice would put a check mark on another item on the list'

When you cruise in a suite is there a particular type of suite that you prefer, if so for what reasons? 

Thanks so much for any wisdom you can impart.

What part of the  UK are you from? I'm originally from Marsworth a little village by the Chiltern Hills about 40 miles NW of London.

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Hi,

Your reply shows that this may be the itinerary for you & at the right price. Also given that you are considering a Suite then that adds a different aspect to your choices.

Apart from the 'Grand Suites' aft all the other suites are nice, roughly the same size as a balcony cabin with the added luxury of a dressing room & jacuzzi bath and shower. You get to eat in a select dining room, the help of a butler and other perks, the Intenditore drink package (in the UK at least) All the crew speak English and the club dining room is great, overall it is certainly worth the extra price if there are suites available, we like the suites mid-ships, but they are all the same.

We are both from London but now live in Kent, I have travelled the world with my then sport bowling in Tournaments.

 

I will answer any question you may still have, but at this stage I would say go for it & enjoy the Costa experience, Love it or hate it. 

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I read in one of your posts that the suites fill up early because of promos and Costa club promos etc. So in your experience do many suites, perhaps some that are sold out at the moment, tend to become available as it gets nearer to sailing time. If so, is it easy to switch from your reserved suite?

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You have two options regarding your post.

 

You can contact Costa services when you book and request the up-grade to a suite if one becomes available on the run up to the cruise,  this would normally be 49 days & 28 days before the cruise, as final payment made & refunds are given.

Suite and cabin up-grades also become available during the cruise & while suite maybe sold out from your departure port they can be available from the next port.

Next when on the day of boarding go to reception on board & ask if there are any suites available.

 

It will always be better to deal  Costa direct either through your T.A. or with them. I have often seen cruises apparently sold out yet a phone call gets us our selected cabin. Many cabins are block booked in favoured ports but are available 7/8 weeks before cruise 

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Hi Marsworth75 - we just arrived home last night from the March transatlantic Costa Deliziosa cruise (we did a long land trip afterwards) in a suite, and it was our first ever Costa sailing. Have previously sailed with Carnival, NCL, and Royal. We were very apprehensive based on reviews, but we LOVED it. Ours was a bucket list cruise as well (a long-planned retirement trip for me), as I'd been wanting to do a transatlantic cruise forever. We booked a Panorama Suite (the aft wrap balcony was heaven!), and it was well worth it. There were definite differences from your typical American cruise lines, but we enjoyed those differences quite a lot. The multi-cultural vibe of the ship was fantastic, and we made many friends from various countries during the course of the trip. I kept a running journal of our cruise, and will be posting it starting next week or so. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, and I'll do my best to answer. But in general, I wouldn't hesitate to book another Costa cruise in the future.

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Samiam thanks so much for the post. I appreciate the info and the fact that you would not hesitate to cruise with Costa again.

What itinerary did you sail? How was the weather for the very early TA.

Can you tell me how you handled tipping on board. Did you tip your room steward and Butler over and above the daily gratuities charge by Costa.

We were hoping to book a Panorama Suite but even this far out (March 2021) there were none available so we booked a Samsara Suite.

Can you tell me about the dining room for the suite guests, did you use it how was your experience with it?

Sorry, so many questions but with a message board that is not jam packed with info ( the exception being "tenpin") it's like finding gold.

Thanks again

Clive

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11 hours ago, marsworth75 said:

Samiam thanks so much for the post. I appreciate the info and the fact that you would not hesitate to cruise with Costa again.

What itinerary did you sail? How was the weather for the very early TA.

Can you tell me how you handled tipping on board. Did you tip your room steward and Butler over and above the daily gratuities charge by Costa.

We were hoping to book a Panorama Suite but even this far out (March 2021) there were none available so we booked a Samsara Suite.

Can you tell me about the dining room for the suite guests, did you use it how was your experience with it?

Sorry, so many questions but with a message board that is not jam packed with info ( the exception being "tenpin") it's like finding gold.

Thanks again

Clive

Hi Clive - Happy to help! We sailed the Ft. Lauderdale to Venice route (24 nights), and the weather couldn't have been better. Sunny and beautiful in all of the ports (a sprinkle in Dubrovnik though), and the seas were amazingly calm on the TA portion. We felt so lucky, as we've heard about rough/cold crossings before. 

 

As far as tipping - we went with the norm during the cruise (tipping extra for room service deliveries), and at the end of the cruise, tipped our butler, steward, and our club dining room waiter extra. I occasionally tipped bartenders who stood out, but it absolutely was not expected or required. With the suite, you get the highest beverage package, and you don't get a receipt to add extra tips on - unlike some US lines.

 

The dining room for suite guests - we used it daily. Breakfast a few times (lovely breakfast buffet as well as a good international menu), lunch quite a few times (fantastic buffet with salad bar, multiple cheeses, appetizers, fruit etc on top of the normal menu), and dinner most nights. We occasionally had the extra charge pizza up on the pool deck (best pizza at sea by far!), but generally used the suite restaurant. Options were varied, the menu changed every day, and there is a standard menu that you can always order from (for example, steak and fries at dinner every night), and the food was good. Our waiter generally adopted us on the first day, and we mostly sat in his section for the remainder of the cruise. He was stellar, and always immediately brought a glass of champagne with the menus for me. (When I do my write up/review, I have all of the dinner menus scanned and will include them.) Some menu items weren't the best, and some were fantastic - same as any cruise line, I think. 

 

The biggest difference for us was the international makeup of the guests, and the laid back attitude of the ship. Which we loved. We are very hands off when we cruise, and don't need cookies and ice cream available 24/7, and 42 different activities going on at any one time (although there were plenty of activities and cultural lectures!). We heard a lot of complaints from people (Americans) about the lack of popcorn, ice cream, etc, but we didn't miss any of it. Another plus for us was the beverage package included with the suite - literally everything under 9 euro was included - water, specialty coffees, drinks etc (our minibar was also included, as were the at least 6 espressos we made every day in our cabin, and our butler ensured we had at least 2 large bottles each of sparkling and still water daily.) Sorry to ramble on, but I just can't seem to stop gushing over how fantastic we thought the cruise was (for comparison, our last cruise in Feb was another Haven suite on Norwegian, although we've also done insides on Carnival - we've done pretty much every category on the major cruiselines). We wanted a relaxing trip, good service, and a good value for money, and we absolutely got that. I hope that helped - I will happily answer whatever questions you have!

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Marworth,

I don't how you booked your cruise but if on line do phone Costa direct & ask about your favoured Suite.

 

Costa block book cabins from starting port & you may find that even leaving from next POC more suites are available, we often find that from Amsterdam all cabins are sold but after we say we want to get on I Dover the next port & close to our home we have a choice of cabin.

 

Samiam,

So please you had a great trip, so many run down Costa including some who have never cruised with them it is so nice to see someone who enjoyed one of our favourite cruise lines. 

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Samiam, thanks for such a detailed reply I really appreciate it. I do have other questions but I will wait until you've published your review as I sure most of them will be answered there. Again thanks for all the info.

 

Tenpin   we booked through an online agency but even doing a mock booking through the Costa website yielded the same results. The next port on the itinerary for us would be San Juan PR, somewhat harder for us to get to.

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On 4/11/2019 at 8:04 AM, samiam0403 said:

Hi Marsworth75 - we just arrived home last night from the March transatlantic Costa Deliziosa cruise (we did a long land trip afterwards) in a suite, and it was our first ever Costa sailing. Have previously sailed with Carnival, NCL, and Royal. We were very apprehensive based on reviews, but we LOVED it. Ours was a bucket list cruise as well (a long-planned retirement trip for me), as I'd been wanting to do a transatlantic cruise forever. We booked a Panorama Suite (the aft wrap balcony was heaven!), and it was well worth it. There were definite differences from your typical American cruise lines, but we enjoyed those differences quite a lot. The multi-cultural vibe of the ship was fantastic, and we made many friends from various countries during the course of the trip. I kept a running journal of our cruise, and will be posting it starting next week or so. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, and I'll do my best to answer. But in general, I wouldn't hesitate to book another Costa cruise in the future.

  I'd love to hear more about your trip.  We've booked the 112 day 2020 World Tour on the Deliziosa.  However, we are just in a regular cabin so we won't get the Suite experience.  Were people generally happy with the food in the MDR?    How was the wine?  It's included in our package and I figure that any wine on an Italian line can't be too bad!  Were all the Americans obnoxious or just a few ?;-).

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On 4/16/2019 at 5:33 PM, LynnTTT said:

  I'd love to hear more about your trip.  We've booked the 112 day 2020 World Tour on the Deliziosa.  However, we are just in a regular cabin so we won't get the Suite experience.  Were people generally happy with the food in the MDR?    How was the wine?  It's included in our package and I figure that any wine on an Italian line can't be too bad!  Were all the Americans obnoxious or just a few ?;-).

 

Hi LynnTTT! Sorry for the delay in responding! I just started adding my review/recap on here - but something in my last post flagged a review before it gets posted, so I'm not adding any more until that gets resolved. I wish I had a better response for you on the MDR food, but I honestly don't know. The dining rooms looked full every night, so I'll assume it was good? As for the wine, I was happy with it. The Vanilla Wine Bar will be your best bet for good wines by the glass - a lot of the bars only have a few wines, but the selection at the wine bar was fantastic. And as far as the Americans on board, there didn't seem to be that many on the TA portion honestly - but when we heard people complaining about a) how everything was an upcharge (note: it wasn't), b) no one on board, including staff and crew, spoke English (note: guests were multi-national and crew all spoke wonderful English - as well as quite a few of them speaking many other languages!), and c) ice cream not available 24/7, it tended to be Americans. But what do I know - there could have been Italians and Germans complaining about the same things and I wouldn't have understood them! 😂 

 

As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time and met some fantastic staff, crew, and guests from all over the world. We'll definitely be back on Costa, and wouldn't hesitate to do another long sailing with them!

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