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Jorma Jarvinen

Age: 42

Occupation:Regional Business Director

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Costa

Ship: Concordia

Sailing Date: 2008-11-23

Itinerary: Mediterranean

This was unfortunately the worst experience I've ever had on the sea and I would say that the reason for that is a 50/50 blame on the weather and the other half on the cruise line.

The food! In the restaurant of Milano where we ate most of the evenings were at best mediocre! I can make better pasta myself. The taste was on the level of school diners in Sweden. We have been on RCCL three times and if we rate their food on a scale from 1-5 they would always rate on a level of 4 Costa Concordia would rate 2! The only two meals with a taste level to the expectations I had was when we dined at Club Concordia one of the evenings (that was a 5) and once during a lunch beside the pool when we had a pesto pasta (In savona) which was excellent. I would expect far more from an Italian cruise line when I would normally rate Italian food as number 1 in Europe!
I would not serve food of the average level on that ship at a dinner at home!

The Grand Suite state room was beautiful and looked very nice. The furniture was fresh and the bathroom superb. The negatives came like stated earlier when there was a rough sea it was really noisy.

The pools, my 4-year old was looking forward to swim in the pools like crazy and since they were understandably closed during our hurricane sailing to Savona her expectations were built up until day 2 and her disappointment was miserable when she realized that the temperature in the pools was Mediterranean seawater level maybe 10 degrees! Obviously we didn't utilize the pools during the cruise and might I add very few did! How hard would it be to at least heat the temperature in those two small pools to at least a human 20 degrees while at sea? Luckily we had a tub in the suite so we could utilize that.

The weather was really miserable and prevented a few of the excursions but Barcelona center Las Ramblas and the churches of La Famiglia should not be missed. Excellent architecture and great food in the city.

My name is Jorma Jarvinen and me and my family undertook a cruise on the ship Costa Concordia November 23-30th, 2008 in the Mediterranean and I would like to share some thoughts about this cruise with you now that I have had the time to ponder over it.

I am a seasoned traveler and have traveled extensively around the world during the past 15 years and I have to say that I am rather disappointed with this cruise which I paid a rather hefty sum of money for. We stayed in a Grand suite.

It is my feeling that the following criticism might help people to consider the cruise line and the ship.

First the positives: The service of the personnel in the restaurants as well as the butlers and the cleaning of the Cabin was excellent so no shadow befalls any of them. The weather can't be helped so I am not going to comment any on this. The wine selection on the boat was good and most of the money that I spent on the cruise was on wines.

The rather negatives: The first night we sailed towards Savona it was blowing heavy winds and all the doors to the wardrobes opened and closed all the time with flicking lights on/off constantly. I had to empty all towels to block the doors closed. I pointed this out the next morning but the comment I got was that this happens when the winds are high. I am sorry but on a ship built in 2006 these things should be fixed either with stronger magnets or something holding the doors better closed. Also the paintings in the room rattled the glass ware I had to towel in as well as everything in the was hard to sleep in that noise. This was the first in my life when I was afraid at the sea.

Also despite several comments about this it took until day 2 before we got a life-jacket to our 4-year old in the cabin and this first night on the sea was the first time in my life when I have actually been afraid on the seas. Not a good impression to start with.

The big hole on the right side of the ship which I noticed the next day didn't really relieve me of my fears! The ship had crashed into the pier at Palermo the night before the cruise started and I guess that the safety was not really the best at these rough seas.

This also postponed the boarding a lot and no explanations were given to why. Had they informed us I am sure that quite a few would have thought about boarding.

The other night when I was really scared was when we sailed towards Malta (unnecessarily since we couldn't get to the port anyway) and my conclusion is that during these winds in the sea this ship just shouldn't sail faster than 15-16 knots! When doing 20 knots every item not nailed to the walls rattled in the cabin so that was the second night on the ocean when I have been afraid and didn't sleep many minutes.

The gym on the boat which I frequently visited was the warmest place on-board. The outside temperature during November in the Mediterranean is about 10 degrees Celsius so why is the gym on a modern ship like this not air conditioned.

All in all a seriously disappointing vacation for us and we will most probably we will avoid Costa Cruises in the future. I sent several notes to the Costa Cruise line customer services after-wards with comments about the cruise and they never even bothered to answer the e-mail. This reflects poorly on the Cruise line.

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