Going for Costa cruise. - Ships Nostalgia
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Going for Costa cruise.

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  #1  
Old 23rd March 2018, 00:36
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Nogginthenog Nogginthenog is offline
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Smile Going for Costa cruise.

As a treat for my wifes 50th birthday I booked a 3 night cruise in early April on the Costa Mediterranea out of Barcelona to Marseilles then Savona before returning to Barcelona. I did ask her awhile ago about us taking a cruise and she was not sure if it was her thing - hence only booking for a 3 night cruise based on my perception that if she doesn’t like it I ‘ve got the option of abandonning ship in Marseilles or Savona.
I did a cruise 25 years ago on the old SS Norway around the Carribean and couldn’t help thinking that when I was leaning on the handrail gazing out at the sea that normally in my day job I was getting paid for it rather than paying for it.
The disturbing thing is I normally check everything out on Tripadvisor or similar before I book anything but this time I didn’t. Imagine my horror when I found Cruisecritic.com website and saw so many negative reports about Costa cruises. Its too late now to do anything about it so its fingers crossed and I’ ll let you know how it goes- be it the divorce case or the cruise.
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  #2  
Old 23rd March 2018, 01:03
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Wife and I have done a couple of 7 day cruises on Costa - Concordia and Fortuna both in the Med.
You get what you pay for and, like all cruises, you can join in or not.
The main thing about Costa which I enjoyed but puts a lot off is; Languages - lots of them. The crew are all multi-lingual and sometimes make wrong assumptions which can be both confusing and amusing. Such as explaining to a Rumanian shop girl that I was English, in Italian.

Just sit back and enjoy it.
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  #3  
Old 23rd March 2018, 03:11
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3 nights is not a big deal. Two ports, most of your time is busy ashore anyway. Evening on board? Sit back and enjoy three dinners. If it doesn't work out then don't sweat the details and chalk it up to experience. Not all are cruises are the same! Next time, look at different cruise lines, but try again.

Don't worry about CruiseCritic. The word 'critic' is what to beware. You can get some good information and you can get a heck of a lot of stupid answers!

Stephen
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  #4  
Old 23rd March 2018, 10:53
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Oh yes, Stephen has a point about dinner - Costa will give you Italian style dining with plenty of courses, but I would not bother with the 'budget' wine package that they push - as I said, you get what you pay for.
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  #5  
Old 23rd March 2018, 11:19
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Thanks for the heads up gentlemen.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme in some website reviews that you get what you pay for which is only to be expected.
I have paid for a Premium cabin which includes the All inclusive Pio Gusto drinks package as both me and the wife drink like fish
The language situation doesn’t bother me as most of my working life has been involved working with foreign nationals.
You are right Stephen about ’ critic’ being the key word in Cruisecritic comments , its full of complaints by people who have had bad experiences only and I often wonder trying to read between the lines if you can ever satisfy some people.
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  #6  
Old 23rd March 2018, 11:34
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As long as you don't mind being in an English speaking minority, you will be fine. The Costa cruise we went on was excellent value for money. As previously noted, the dining experience is very Italian.
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  #7  
Old 23rd March 2018, 12:05
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A can make you break you! If you have too many expectations, you might be disappointed. If you go with the flow, find the experience and the people amusing, the food reasonable and the wine flows, you will have a great cruise!

Booze packages are a waste of time! The average package will have time limits and will also have limits on how many drinks and also what kind of drinks you might like. The average package means that BOTH passengers in the cabin must sign up for it. The husband may not give on one of his drinks to your spouse. Both have to pay up for the plan. Average package is never 'unlimited'. You will be limited to about 15 drinks. Hmmmm. Not that much. You can start with a bloody mary in the morning, a cocktail or beer before lunch and a glass or two of wine. Late afternoon, perhaps a refreshing beer. A G&T before dinner, OK, two more. Then wine at dinner, two or three more. After dinner..... oops, my 15 allowance has run out! Bugger! You have to start paying for the next round at the disco. OK, next day you head ashore. You come back late afternoon. Perhaps you won't use the allowance of 15 drinks and you only have used 5, that means you 10 drink have been WASTED and you cannot add to it for the next day's session. Wasted!

A few years ago I signed up for a plan. First day I had several waters and just two glasses of wine. Next day the same. Came to me real quick that I was wasting a lot of £££££!

Better to sail with Saga. Wine and drinks at lunch and dinner are free, well, included and no limits! Better, English spoken. 99% of pax are Brits. The food is way better than most cruise lines too. Haggis on the menu and with a wee dram. My wine steward could not count. By the time I got through the Haggis he had served me with three single malts. ;-)

Stephen
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  #8  
Old 23rd March 2018, 12:21
Engine Serang Engine Serang is offline  
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I've been on cruises and totally enjoyed them. Later I read some of the comments on Cruise Critic and wondered if we were on the same ship as the authors. The Memsahib and myself can be quite hard to please but constant carping and whinging is generally unjustified, passengers looking for a refund or settling some perceived slight.
Set sail with the intention that youse are going to enjoy yourselves, eat, drink, be merry and have a couple of memorable runs ashore. You will arrive back home saying three nights were not enough.
Stay clear of Saga and Fred Olsen, watched a tv programme and they had a Bible Bosun aboard, a bit happy clappy, WI atmosphere, Let your hair down.
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  #9  
Old 23rd March 2018, 14:09
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Can't you just smell the coffee
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  #10  
Old 23rd March 2018, 16:45
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[QUOTE=

Stay clear of Saga and Fred Olsen, watched a tv programme and they had a Bible Bosun aboard, a bit happy clappy, WI atmosphere, Let your hair down.[/QUOTE]

"Set sail with the intention that youse are going to enjoy yourselves, eat, drink, be merry and have a couple of memorable runs ashore. You will arrive back home saying three nights were not enough."

I have sent your quote and have sent the other paragraph in different order. Now it make real sense!

Saga is a completely cruise to Fred. Anyone who has sailed in both would easily put Saga in a high category, way high. I know people that put Saga better than Silverseas.

Yes, there is a Bible Bosun on board most cruises, mostly because the cruises are longer and honestly, not everyone comes back home again! That said, the Bible Bosuns are usually Forces Chaplin type and they are quite agreeable types and usually to found in the bars!

WI? I don't see that on Saga. 'Splice the Mainbrace', yes and with neaters to go with it.

As for a good runs ashore? I usually make some good runs ashore. Some that have gone ashore with me rarely come back to do it again. Something about their own health. I guess old 'Jack Ashore' syndrome.

I am just off SAPPHIRE 25 days down to the Med. Excellent! 530 passengers, no 3,000 passenger load. I was on board as 'Artist in Residence'. My enjoyable work was to do two paintings. One of Kinnaird Castle, private work and the second painting was HMS Sirius 1804. The Cruise Director ran the raffle for the Sirius painting. Raised over £2,000. The amount raised was in aid of the Crew Welfare Fund. Excellent result. I even bought £60 of tickets for myself. Well, if I won I would have sold it. ;-)

One thing about Saga that is different from almost other cruise lines is the dress code. Country casual. No scruffy dress. Casual for 5 nights each week but lots will wear jacket and tie. Two formal nights per week. Tux required. OK, lounge suit is acceptable but it is rare to see it.

OK, the Sapphire is over 35 years old. Spotless and in good condition. The new ship, Spirit of Discovery, will be a real winner when she comes out next year. 60,000 gt and only 999 pax.

Stephen
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  #11  
Old 23rd March 2018, 17:33
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"Artist in Residence with Saga", as I recall Alwyn Crawshaw was similar many years ago but your paintings are much more to my liking.
Much as I admire your painting and your erudite postings to SN I remain a Royal Caribbean Diamond Plus cruiser. Maybe age will convert me, but I hae ma doots.
The three busiest crew would appear to be the Chaplin, the Doc and Chippy, am I correct?
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  #12  
Old 23rd March 2018, 19:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine Serang View Post
"Artist in Residence with Saga", as I recall Alwyn Crawshaw was similar many years ago but your paintings are much more to my liking.
Much as I admire your painting and your erudite postings to SN I remain a Royal Caribbean Diamond Plus cruiser. Maybe age will convert me, but I hae ma doots.
The three busiest crew would appear to be the Chaplin, the Doc and Chippy, am I correct?

Bar Tender then Chaplin and Doc. I don't think many actually end up with the Chippy. I know one cruise when the passenger jumped in mid Atlantic. Spent three days searching. Everyone was quite sad having a suicide just a few days before Christmas. Then the OM made the announcement that because we have lost three days we will look three port days and miss one of the good ports. The attitude changed instantly and then everyone was thinking, "Old Cow, she has ruined my cruise!"

I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, the old Nordic Prince. The new ships are just too big for my taste. Likewise NCL, with old Norway was fine. The large ships are too big. I was the real fan with HAL. Again, the ships are getting too big. The old Costa ships, 'interesting'. Princess? Well, the old small ships yes. The new ships are just too big. Hmmm, a bit of a thread here. QM2? Disliked the ship. QE and QV, just fine. Saga ships are to the right size for cruising. Saga Rose, Saga Ruby, Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl, perfect. Pearl is my 'yacht'. Last year I visited the large Carnival Vista. Definitely not my kind of ship, but I thought I would enjoy the ship.

We all have likes and dislikes. If the crew and the food and wine is good, then I will go for it, regardless of the ship.

Just once I have met a SN member on board during a cruise. I thought there would be more. For sure I have met many passengers who are ex seafarers. Just recently I sailed with an ESSO Ch. Eng., a Third Mate from NZSCo., a P&O Chief Steward. Lots of RN Retd.

Stephen
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  #13  
Old 12th April 2018, 13:00
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Just got back from the 3 night cruise on the Costa Mediterranea, had a wonderful time any although not particularly looking for found no compaints with food, attitude of staff , cabin etc. Bought the Pia Gust drink package and had no problems with getting a drink whenever we wanted. I said before that I was a bit apprehensive before I went because of some of the reviews on Cruise
Critic but I think I feel sad for some of those who have lots of complaints and a couple of times onboard you could see the type that do complain about anything and everything.
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  #14  
Old 12th April 2018, 13:30
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Glad you had a good trip. Hope you have many more.
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  #15  
Old 12th April 2018, 17:08
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What you need to do now is to log on to Cruise Critic and give your, balanced, review of the cruise.
Unfortunately the habitual moaners are the people who tend to talk about it - a lot!
But great that you enjoyed it, more to the point; Have you converted your wife?
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  #16  
Old 28th April 2018, 09:56
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Wife loved it and mentioned about taking another cruise, even after being seasick on the way back from Savona to Barcelona when the ship was rolling from the long 3-4m swell on the beam.
While we were in Marseille the Symphony of the Seas came in - that is one big piece of equipment!!
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Old 28th April 2018, 12:36
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which one are you booked to go on? avoid m v costagerm
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  #18  
Old 28th April 2018, 13:24
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Good to hear that you enjoyed your cruise. I am also glad that you did not let Cruise Critic cloud your impressions. A lot of them are 'armchair' sailors. Nothing worse.
You might try Cunard, for Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth. Not the Big Black Bus. Just too big. Princess is fine, again, some are big. P&O I have never sailed with. HAL, fine too. The good thing is that you have many choices. Back to Saga, they do a few of small 'sampler' cruises, three or four days to the continent. OK, they will be full and not the best see their product, but at least you can see what they do. Drinks included in dining room and bars for lunch and dinner. No limits! ;-) Last month I was on the Sapphire for 25 days in the Med. Weather was not the best but a great cruise. Lots of fun. Great dining.

Stephen
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Old 28th April 2018, 20:35
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Haven’t really decided when & where the next cruise might be. It all depends on the time of the year and the port calls that are of interest.
I think it might be on one of the smaller ships like Seabourn or Viking.
Here in Stavanger we get something like 180 cruise ships in between May and the end of September all of which pass our house on the fjord into Stavanger town centre.
I like when the P&Oships go out around 6 pm . They must have a party on the upper deck and you can hear songs like ‘ Delilah’- ‘ I am Sailing’ - Bonnie Tylers ‘ Hero’ and even God Save the Queen as they pass our house.
Tiachapman - can you elaborate a bit on which Costa ship you mean and why?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 09:15
Bill Greig Bill Greig is offline  
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Can highly recommend P&O cruises. We have been on Azura and Britannia. Best thing is no surcharge on booze.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 12:28
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Going on P&O's Britannia later in the month and am already 99% certain the Memsahib and myself will enjoy the trip. The 1% doubt is on the quality of the corner beef hash for breakfast. The big guy from Liverpool, on Vision Cruises, assures me there is no calories on a cruise liner.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 13:49
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Originally Posted by Engine Serang View Post
Going on P&O's Britannia later in the month and am already 99% certain the Memsahib and myself will enjoy the trip. The 1% doubt is on the quality of the corner beef hash for breakfast. The big guy from Liverpool, on Vision Cruises, assures me there is no calories on a cruise liner.
You will love it ES, my wife and I were on her last September, even a dose of mal-de-mer crossing Biscay for the missus did not detract from the cruise, staff were brilliant, good food and entertainment. And you are right no calories, just remember to keep off the scales for a while once you get home!
Bill
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Old 3rd May 2018, 18:20
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Hi Engine Serang, if you’re doing the Norwegian fjords on the Britannia she calls into Stavanger for the day on 15th May and the 29th May, Give me a shout via PM if your onboard- I will give you the heads up on Stavanger.
See my earlier post-about P&O ships singalong on leaving port - you had better brush up on your singing.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 19:43
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Quote:
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Best thing is no surcharge on booze.


No surcharge? No booze or just no grats on the booze?


Was Wesley Dunlop Master in BRITANNIA? First Class gentleman. Came to P&O from Saga!
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:43
Bill Greig Bill Greig is offline  
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Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
No surcharge? No booze or just no grats on the booze?


Was Wesley Dunlop Master in BRITANNIA? First Class gentleman. Came to P&O from Saga!
Hi Stephen,
plenty booze just no gratuity charge like other cruise lines (15% on RCI, 18% on NCL for really very poor service in their case). Wesley was not the Master on our trip, can't remember who was, kept quite a low profile as I recall, did not see him about much. P&O also have their prices in Pounds on board.
Bill
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