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Ray Carpenter

Age: 60

Occupation:retired law enforcement

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Costa

Ship: Costa Magica

Sailing Date: 2010-12-17

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

We have been on 5 cruises prior to this cruise. We would not ever consider cruising on Costa again nor would we recommend it to friends or family. Of all our prior cruises we never had a complaint. If you are American or Canadian think twice about Costa. If you are English speaking, such as Great Britain or Australia/New Zealand, think twice about this cruise line.
This was a major disappointment to us.

You know how they say that you cant help but gain weight on a cruise? We both actually lost weight. The buffet was only open for a few hours a day, and from 6 PM until midnight, all you can get to eat is pizza, the worlds worst pizza, two types only, plain red cheese pizza and plain white cheese pizza. There is nothing else offered with the pizza, just pizza, paper thin, cut into 2" wide slices, and they only put one of each pizza out at a time, they are afraid you'll take a whole pizza, which was allowed on every other cruise we have been on.

The coffee is terrible, even their cappucino and espresso, And they provide no free beverages other than water and coffee. Even on Carnival they have chocolate milk and iced tea and lemon aid. But on Costa they charge for everything, like $4.00 for a can of soda, $5.00 for a bottle of beer, and don't forget about the 15% service charge. In Europe there is no tipping for anything, well on Costa there is tipping for EVERYTHING, and it is automatically added. Funny how that works.

The dinners are extremely late by American standards, first seating is 7:00 PM and second seating is 9:00 PM. The servings are extremely small, meat sliced so thin it's almost like cold cuts, and fish,fish, fish! If you don't love fish, don't take this cruise, I'm not talking lobster and shrimp (there wasn't any) im talking Octopus, squid, calimari, monk fish, and a bunch of fish we've never heard of. Fish in everycourse, and pork too, lots of pork. For desert you would get a piece of cake and it would measure approx. 1.5" x 1.5" inches or a mousse that was about 1/3 of a childs dixie cup. The pasta dishes were okay but a lot of them had fish in them as well.

The stateroom was fine, Standard Carnival Cruise lines stateroom. If you insist on going after reading the reviews, we would recommend Stateroom 9238, which is a standard verranda on deck nine and far enough from the elevators to that you do not have to deal with that.
The bed was comfortable if you like a really firm bed.
The television had absolutely nothing in English except BBC news which is International news and they hardly even mention North America. It didn't really matter what was on T.V. because we kept loosing the picture and had to get up and pound on the side of the set, sometimes the picture would come back and sometimes it wouldn't. We also complained about the bathroom light being half broken and the other half was flickering, we complained on our 5th night out and it still wasn't fixed when we left.
The steward did a good job but you could tell that he heard a lot from folks. He was always apologizing. Every cruise we were ever on the steward would keep the ice bucket full, but our steward said that they weren't allowed to fill them unless we requested.

The onboard activities were oriented to the Italian passengers. A surprisingly large percentage of the crew spoke absolutely no English. We don't believe that this cruise line is truly trying to encourage American passengers. The passengers were approx. 55% to 60% Italian, 20 % French, 10% German, 5% American and Canadian and 5% to 10%other countries.
Everything we have ever heard about the Italian and French being rude and mean is true and was even worse than I had expected. Be prepared to be pushed, shoved, kicked, cursed and totally disrespected. The Americans and Canadians were totally in disbelief at how these people treat others.
Also on this cruise there were as many Italian Children as adults. It was like a big playground, so if you are looking to be with adults, this is not the line for you. The Italian children learn to be rude, loud and inconsiderate from their loud, rude and inconsiderate parents.

The ports visited were very good, Palma and Barcelona were the best ports (If we ever return to Europe it will be to see more of Spain). Tunisia was a total waste and was the only port in which we felt uncomfortable and unsafe. The excursions were fine but very expensive, in most ports we just got off and walked around and observed how the people lived and worked and played. The Magica usually docked further from the city than other cruise ships and we really believe this is intentional to get you to take their excursion or at least purchase a very expensive bus ticket to get you from where they docked to where the city was. These 5 to 10 minute bus rides cost folks $10 to $12 per person.

The service folks on the Costa Magice, such as Stewards, waiters, etc. were very nice and service oriented. Everyone else on this ship was rude and unhelpful. We went to the desk about a scheduling mistake for our post cruise transportation and we were told basically "tough" live with it, there is nothing we can do about it.
On other cruises there were always 5 or 6 people working the service desk, this ship had two or at most 3, it was always the same people, they must work 16 hours a day 7 days a week and they are not happy or helpful. The same for the excursion desk, two mornings we went to this desk as folks were about to go ashore, a time you would think that they would have 4 or 5 folks, they had one woman working and the line was 20 to 25 people deep.
The people who check you on and off the ship were rude and surly, not a smile or good morning in the bunch. We changed $25 American for Euro's and asked what the rate was, they told us and it seemed reasonable, what they didn't tell us about was the 5 euro charge for changing the money. This ship has more ways of getting your money. We resolved early on to give Costa as little of our money as possible just as a matter of principal.

In short, it is our recommendation that if you are American or Canadian you look elsewhere to spend your traveling dollar. And if going to Europe avoid Italy and France, and consider Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Scandinavia.

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