Number of Cruises: n/a
Cruise Line: Costa
Ship: Costa Atlantica
Sailing Date: July 27th, 2003
Itinerary: Eastern Mediterranean
We were booked on the Millennium cruise leaving Barcelona on the 22 of July. Unfortunately, a few days before departing, this cruise was cancelled. Costa ATLANTICA was the only left opportunity as all the other ships were full.
For those looking for quietness, this is not the best period in the year. In fact the ship was over-crowded. Hundreds of children were running all over the boat. During navigation, it was impossible to find a table for lunch. Altogether, we had the impression that Costa is going down market. We think that the attitude of the personnel was not customer oriented. For instance the personnel was not helpful at all. We were traveling with our two children in two cabins but we discovered that our cabins were really far apart from each other (on different decks; one at the front of the boat and one at the middle). When we asked to have cabins close to each other, we were told to ask once on board the ship. We did that on the day of departure but they told us that they couldn’t do it now and to come back in the evening. We had to come back three times to finally be told on the next day that we couldn’t change cabins….
We also had requested late seating and received the confirmation but in our rooms, we discovered that we had been shifted to early seating. By the way, the food is not bad but we are far from the “gourmet experience” promised by Costa. (And well below the Princess standard for example).
Service in the dining room was far from outstanding. It was almost impossible to eat at the same time as we were often receiving our dishes at different times and the drinks sometime took a long time to arrive ( I waited for a Coke for 15 minutes). The servers were rushing us so that we would leave the table early for the second seating ( but I guess this happens on other cruises as well)
On the positive side, the cabins were nice and the balcony very comfortable. The cabin steward was very nice and the rooms always clean. The ship was very clean (except from the swimming pools that were very greasy and always packed with people but that is probably due to the fact that the ship was full). The Italian atmosphere was also very enjoyable and we liked to attend the Italian lessons.
Boarding were very smooth and we never had to queue even for the first boarding in Venice
Our cruise started from Venice. After giving our luggage to the check-in, we received a number and were told we would be allow to board the ship from 3pm. It was very convenient because it left us some time to visit Venise and when we came back to the ship, we were able to board in less that 15 minutes. It is an unforgettable experience to navigate on the canal on such a big ship.
Our first stop was Bari; very interesting city to visit but the stop was too short has we were there for only 2 and a half hour.
Then we went to Katakolon in Greece and I still don’t know why we stopped there. Katakolon is a small village, dirty and in reconstruction with very little to offer.
Kusadassi was the next stop and once again, this stop was too short. We had been to Ephese before and so we just walked around Kusadassi but it is a nice place.
Istambul was our next destination and at least as we were staying there for the whole day, we had more time to visit the city.
The next day, we stopped at the Piree for the afternoon. The easiest (and cheapest) way to reach Athens from the Piree is to walk 20 minutes along the harbor were you find the subway to the center of Athens. (Stop at Monastiraki for the Acropolis) It takes about 20 minutes which is much faster than with a bus or a taxi.
We disembarked in Venice. To disembark, we received color cards that allows you to disembark at a certain time. Because of delays, we disembarked 1 our later than expected and went to get our luggage’s. One of our bag was not there. When we asked the Costa hostess, she replied (we really had the impression we were bothering her) that we just had to wait for all other color group luggage to arrive and if our suitcase was still not there, that we should just go to the police and that she couldn’t do anything about it!!! Not a very friendly answer… Fortunately, our missing suitcase arrived about 40 minutes later
We don’t know if we will go on Costa again but we are sure that we will avoid to cruise with them in July or August. This ship is just too crowded and not customer oriented.