Just back from Costa Western Caribbean cruise/Photos added from webshots

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Mjasp, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    We just got back from our cruise on Costa cruise lines, I want to post a trip report for those who may want to try something new. I am comparing to DCL as I have only cruised DCL.

    If I leave anything out I feel should be mentioned I will come back when I remember. If anyone has any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them, just ask away.

    Traveling was myself, my husband and 2 daughters ages 14 & 10. Also we traveled with 3 other families with children ages 8-14. Total of 15, 8 adults 7 kids. Have to add we are all Italian desent and from New York

    Pre-night...We stayed at the Amerisuites. OK hotel for a pre night stay. Pool was small (like a backyard built in pool) For one night it was fine.

    Embarkation/Debarkation...PAINLESS- PAINLESS- PAINLESS
    We were at the buffet having lunch at 12:30 P.M. We were at Fort Lauderdale airport at 10:30 A.M. we were one of the last people off the ship.

    Cabin...We were in a category 7. Very nice, roomy and clean. Loved having a verandah. Bathroom was a nice size. Shower pressure great. Air conditioning in the cabin was very good, actually nice and cold. Here is a tip, If you leave your verandah door open for 1 minute or more the A/C goes off automatically. Be sure you pull the door closed to be sure it is closed.

    Food...All except one in our party of 8 adults thought the food was excellent. Her complaint was not enough chicken choices. The pasta was cooked al dente, I was expecting mushy overcooked pasta. During lunch at the buffet, there are 2 different choices of pasta at the pasta station. Very impressed that they used good Parmesan cheese and not the Kraft parmesan cheese or some other cheap cheese. Tasted like a good Lucatelli grated cheese. The best ceasar salad is had on this ship. Breads...All bread with the exception of hot dog and hamburger rolls are cooked fresh, right on board. That may be the reason why some people think the bread is stale, their is no preservatives in them. They are made fresh all day/everyday. All croissants and danishes are also baked fresh daily.
    Club Medusa, although the quality of the food there is a cut above the restaurant, the choices were pretty much the same. I personally wouldn't pay the extra to go there again.
    In my opinion better than DCL's but DCL has better desserts.

    Pizza & Hamburgers...The Margheurita pizza is delicious. I wouldn't touch the hamburgers after reading about it on these boards, my husband got one and I started telling him NOT to eat it as it was greasy and horrible. He said it was very good, so after watching him and my kids eating burgers and enjoying them, I took a bite of his and it was delicious. So try everything for yourself. Just an FYI, he asked for a veggie burger one day at the poolside station and they made it for him. There is also tortilla chips, with sour cream and guacamole by the pool all day along with potato chips.

    Drinks...Ice Tea, coffee and juice & water along with ice is available 24/7
    DCL offers free soda Costa doesn't

    Late night snacking...If the midnight snacks or buffets aren't enough for you, there is Margheurita pizza & salad available for late night snacking.
    DCL only has 1 midnight buffet, not that you are hungry but it is fun to go to.

    Salads...There is iceberg lettuce and another salad (like auricchio) available at the buffet, so it isn't just iceberg.

    Service...This is where they need to improve big time. They need to change the way they do things. We have a waiter, an assistant waiter, and a bar person. The assistant waiter can get you a bottle of wine but not a carafe or glass of wine. Soda and mixed drinks and glasses or carafes of wine come from the bar person. Alot of nights we had our appetizer AND salad & soup before we got our drinks (Costa loses big money here) Sometimes the kids were half way done with their meal before they got their sodas. This was quite annoying. Why we didn't stop at the bar and buy our drinks before dinner? Looking back, I don't know why, we didn't think of it. LOL
    Hands down DCL wins this but you are paying for it big time

    Kids club...Pretty much non existant for teens. The 7-12 year club...The 8 yr old liked it but the 10 year olds didn't, so they hung out with their 14 yr old siblings in the arcade. It Kept the young ones busy and the older ones honest and on their best behavior, as the little ones would rat them out.
    In all honesty my 10 year old didn't like the kids club on DCL either, so that is just my child.

    Pools...They were great. Not a problem getting a chair, even on sea days. The kids enjoyed the slide and I like that the slide is open for set hours, otherwise, we might have been at the slide quite often. I like that the pool area has a large area with a fountain where you can sit and get wet and sun yourself without going in the pool.
    Costa wins this one hands down. I loved their pools and pool area.

    Entertainment...I didn't think it was that great. I don't think any of us thought it was very good.
    Don't flame me but I wasn't fond of DCL's show either except for Golden Mickey's I liked that one.

    Was supposed to get a $100 on board credit and only received $50. No one at guest services could help us, they said to call Costa when we got home. I have a message into a Diana Vasquez at Costa, and have not heard from her yet. Guest relations said they sent an e mail to shore and are aware of the problem BUT they didn't hear back from them, so they can't help us. Just something I didn't want to waste my time on today. They need to give more authority to guest relations on the ship.
    DCL wins on guest relations

    Final Assessment...For the price I paid, I think I got an excellent cruise. We paid $1,800 for a verandah cabin for a family of 4. If I got another deal like that I would cruise Costa again in a heartbeat. And so would all our co-travelers, even the one who thought the food was just OK.
    Costa wins on price, remember we went President's week and paid the above price. I think DCL wanted $5,000 for an inside cabin

    Any questions, just ask away.

    Here are some photos of the ship, and Dunns River falls. The pool in the picture with the statue is an adult pool. That's why it is small. Hope the link works

    http://community.webshots.com/user/Mjasp


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  3. ganurse

    ganurse DIS Veteran

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    Sailed the same cruise last march, totally agree!
     
  4. laurenk

    laurenk DIS Veteran

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    I have been anxiously waiting for your comparison to DCL. We have only sailed DCL, and are sailing on the Costa Magica 5 night cruise on 4-16. I know you were on a different ship, but I am hoping things will be similar on the Magica.

    Glad you had a good time!! :)
     
  5. captaincrash

    captaincrash <font color=darkorchid>!!!Surrender over yer LOOT!

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    Wow...

    Nice running commentary... thanks! We've never had the opportunity to sail Costa conveniently and now we might consider them. We've done about 15+ cruises (varies with whether you count my experiences or my spouses') and DCL has 3 of this number with another one reserved for Octboer 28th this year. So... we are currently fans of the Mouse. But we have also mixed in a few other lines in the past 4 years... including HAL, Carnival and RCCCL. Just 1 week ago we stepped off the Carnival Spirit from an 8 night Mexico sailing. Photo links below in signature... and we had a decent time but DCL does it better.

    OF COURSE.... we pay for that improvement in experience with DCL. I vaguely recall it ran $500 less for a veranda for 8 nights on the Carnival Spirit versus a window cabin for 7 nights on the Magic. And that is after adjustment for the on-board rebooking discount and cabin credit! Yeah.... your 1800 sailng for a veranda on Costa is an even better deal then our Carnival deal... not bad at all!

    So I'll have to settle down and draft a Carnival cruise report/comparison some time soon when I get a chunk of time to kill.

    Cheers! :thumbsup2
     
  6. ganurse

    ganurse DIS Veteran

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    I will be honet with you, everyone that i talked to on the ship loved the Costa ship except the professional cruisers. I am not sure why...It is a European ship but it was beautiful and very clean.
     
  7. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    You are right, the ship is spotless. It even received a 100 rating in December by the CDC when they did a surprise inspection in Puerto Rico.
     
  8. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    I would love to read your Carnival trip report. If I could only convince my friends to do Carnival, they are afraid of the clientele.
     
  9. castoff

    castoff <font color=green>Something <i>Wonder</i>ful is ab

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    Joanna: Thanks for taking the time to write up a report and a honest one at that ! I have been waiting for your return. :goodvibes How does the size of the cabin compare to DCL and would that be the same category as a 6?

    What about the activities for the adults? Assuming they had a casino on board was that really loud and distracting?

    Thanks for the food report. I think this is something that Chuck & I would really like but NOT kids.

    Do they add any extra special touches to make it special? Thanks ! :)
     
  10. poconoboatniks

    poconoboatniks DIS Veteran

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    Joannna,

    Thanks for the detailed review of Costa. How long was your cruise? What ports of call did you make and how was the disembarkation process? Was there enough for the kids to keep the busy?

    Pocono
     
  11. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    7 night Western caribbean.

    Ports of call were:
    Sun. Embark in Fort Lauderdale. Boarded at noon left the dock at 7 PM
    Mon. Key West
    Tues. Cozumel
    Wed. Day at Sea
    Thurs. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
    Fri. Grand Cayman
    Sat. Day at Sea
    Sun. Back to Fort Lauderdale

    It was great having a day at sea as the last day. Very relaxing and you pack at your leisure, bags have to be out by 1 A.M.

    Disembarkation was GREAT. The porters take your bags right to a cab for you.

    I have to say my kids did love it. They met up with other teens and hung out at the disco (that is the teen spot until about 11 P.M.)
    There is plenty to do for 7-12 year olds. It is just my DD didn't want to do it.

    Casino was not loud and obnoxious, Bingo is $20 a card for 4 games and the jackpot is $10 a card. Much cheaper than DCL but the grand prize is also less $3,000
     
  12. laurenk

    laurenk DIS Veteran

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    I know you went to paradise beach in Cozumel. How did you get there, and what was the cost? Are there places with shade? My mother can't be in direct sun for very long.
    Thanks!
     
  13. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    We took a cab there. It was either $4.00 or $5.00 a head for the cab, don't actually remember if it was $4 or $5
    There are umbrella's on the beach. San Francisco beach is right next door, you can walk to it. Just wanted to add that little tidbit on.
     
  14. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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  15. sandygirl

    sandygirl <font color=6600cc>You are all keeping me sane, in

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    I loved reading your report, I've been waiting for your return. Glad you had a good cruise. How did you get such a great rate?

    Darlene
     
  16. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    Hi Darlene...It was a 1 day sale. Kids sailed free and you paid for an outside cabin and got a verandah.

    Was anyone able to view the pics. Am wondering if I did it right?
     
  17. castoff

    castoff <font color=green>Something <i>Wonder</i>ful is ab

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    I saw the photo's ! :thumbsup2 Great pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them. :goodvibes
     
  18. lynr

    lynr <font color=peach>How the heck were you missed!<br

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    Joanna: Glad to hear you had a good time. Your pictures were fabulous.

    My son Matt wants to know if Senor Frogs is open in Cozumel? It looks like everything was destroyed. It is hard to believe that that pier was ripped up like that. :eek:
     
  19. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    Glad you enjoyed the pics.

    Lyn...We docked at the Puerto Maya pier, I should say we tendered, can't even say we anchored because the captain said the water was too deep to anchor, so they ran a motor and kind of balanced the ship. The captain explained it to us, but it is hard to put in writing. I don't know about Senor Frogs.

    Lyn...What ship did you do when you sailed on Carnival? Am thinking about the Glory, but everyone has me very leary about Carnival. I need Carnival trip reports, c'mon now start typing.
     
  20. RAC

    RAC Mouseketeer

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    My husband and I went on the Glory last May for our 10 year anniversary. We both said never again. I went on with a open mind and didn't want to compare to Disney. The ship looked like it was 10 years old on the inside. The crew memebers left room service trays out beside the cabins most of the day. We even seen plates with left over food stacked in the elevators. The service in the buffets was horrible. I asked for a set of silverware and the lady looked at me like I was crazy and walked away. There was a lady that was sitting beside us at the buffet resturant said this was the worst service she had ever encountered and would be sailing back with RCCL.
    Maybe we hit it on a bad week, but it was bad enough to make us not want to try another Carnival cruise. But, I am sure there are others that had a more pleasurable experience.
     
  21. WDWLVR

    WDWLVR <font color=green>DVC @ The Boardwalk</font><br><f

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    Thanks for the trip report. Always nice to hear about other ships.
     

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