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Age: 60


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Costa

Ship: Concordia

Sailing Date: 2010-07-2

Itinerary: Mediterranean

I recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on the Concordia.
I found the ship to be quite beautiful and the service from the cabin stewards to the waiters and crew was impeccable.
Now for the downside. I was very disappointed in the excursions that I took. I carefully read on their website all about the optional excursions that were available and made my decisions based on their descriptions. My excursion to Aix de Provence was fine-just wish we had had more time there. My biggest disappointments came with my excursion to Portofino and my excursion to Pompeii/Sorrento. My only complaint about Portofino is that we only had 45 minutes in the village itself. And then there was the disaster of Pompeii/Sorrento!
Your description reads: “You will board the Napoli Express (in Naples) which will allow you to travel in great comfort (to Pompeii & Sorrento) and avoid the city's traffic. Perhaps you are not aware, but the Napoli Express is not an air-conditioned train. I don't know about you, but traveling in 85 degree heat in a hot train with no windows is not my idea of comfort. Plus, we sat in the train station for 20 minutes before it ever left Naples. Nonetheless, it was a small price to pay to see one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It took our guide 10 minutes to get us through the gates, even though there wasn't a line. Our tour lasted only 45 minutes, and we were guided out of the gates to board the train to Sorrento. The 45 minute tour enabled our group to see only about 20% of the ruins of Pompeii! The most famous artifacts that I have read about all my life and expected to see were not even on the tour. As it turns out, it takes about 3 hours to see everything. Why is this information not on their website? There is an excursion that covers only Pompeii and lasts about 2 hours (according to my friends who chose that one) which I would have chosen had I had more information. They still did not see everything, but at least they covered some of the more famous sites in the village.
Then there was part 2 of the tour-Sorrento. We got back on the train (still hot) and 30 minutes later arrived in Sorrento. Our guide walked us from the train station to the main intersection and pointed us down a narrow street and told us to go down this street and you will come to the historic district. We were then to meet her back at the train station in 45 minutes. I took this street which was full of vendors and walked and walked. I had no idea how far to go or what I should expect to see when I got there. I grew concerned that I was not going to have enough time to get to the Historic District and back-wherever it was, so I turned around and headed back. In short, there was no tour of Sorrento. The fee for this excursion was 78 Euros-approximately $100. I cannot tell you how upset I was at the end of this day. I felt totally ripped off. It was at this point that I decided not to book any more excursions with the ship and just make my own plans. I made my disappointment known to one of the tour managers who was very nice. She took notes of my complaints, asked for my cabin number and said that she would see what she could do. I never heard anything back.

The food is plentiful, but absolutely tasteless. I was expecting more from an Italian ship. The buffet lines were very crowded, and at peak times, it was difficult to find a place to sit. The ice cream was excellent, but all the other desserts tasted the same. They are big fans of flan.

Our cabin was the best part of this cruise. Larger than I had expected and very pretty. We had plenty of closet space, 3 closets, and a cabinet with 4 drawers. It's worth the extra money to get an ocean view cabin.

I did not partake of very many on board activities, but they were plentiful. Each night, a newsletter is delivered to your room regarding the next days activities and locations.

Try to book your own excursions. You will save a lot of money. Under no circumstances should you book the Pompeii/Sorrento excursion out of Naples! Read my summary above for why not. Be prepared to spend very little time in any one site. The average stay in sites like Monte Carlo, Capri or Portofino is 45 minutes-I kid you not.

Overall, I was very disappointed. I should have read reviews before I signed up for this trip! Everything you read from other reviewers regarding this ship is absolutely accurate and fair. Be aware that most of the passengers on this ship are Europeans and they are not as courteous as most Americans. There is a lot of pushing and shoving, and no one will ever say "Excuse me". The adults only pool was full of kids. We thought the service was impeccable. Everyone was very nice and helpful. If you book an excursion and decide you would rather tour a port on your own, you will not get your money back.

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