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Age: 44

Occupation:self employed

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Costa

Ship: Costa Romantica

Sailing Date: 2011-01-11

Itinerary: Singapore to Mauritius

We set sail from Singapore for a 23-day cruise that went to Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Reunion Island and Mauritius. The itinerary is exciting, and we found the excursions well organized. However, the ship itself has a feel of an oversized ferryboat, with lots of cold marble everywhere, and the stairwells felt slippery and unsafe. Not good when you have high seas or are walking in heels to dinner!

The staff onboard was friendly enough, but do not go out of their way treat you special. One HUGE pet peeve I had on this cruiseship was that the gym is TINY, so the lines for the FOUR treadmills was long and you didn't get much of a workout in. It was hugely disappointing that, to top that off, the fitness trainer in charge of the gym worked out on the machines while the guests were waiting in line! Another issue I had was that there was no laundromat facility on board. Not all ships have them, but it is a needed addition when the cruiseline decides to charge an arm and a leg for laundry services AND you spend 3 weeks at sea. So, I handwashed in the sink. Lastly, I have to say that the smoking on board really bothered me. Yes, it was a very international crowd and most of them like to smoke, but even though they had 'their' spaces for that in the common areas, it drifted all over the ship. Not pleasant.

The food offered onboard was repetitive and boring and not healthy. Breakfast was always the same, with not many healthy options other than you could have your eggs to order, some version of rye bread and bran flakes. There was a serious lack of quality, fresh foods. Most everything was doused in oil, butter or cheese. I wish I could find a positive note, but alas, here I go on with more 'bads': The buffet is overrun with guests and the area always smelled bad. (Cleaning solvents?) We chose to take our plates of food to a quieter area of the ship and/or had lunch in the dining room. We took the early seating at dinner at 6:15pm, but still were never finished until after 8:00pm because they are so understaffed, so service is slow.

Our stateroom was large, which was nice, and the beds and pillows super comfortable. The walls are a boring brown siding, and the carpet has seen better days. There's ample storage everywhere, but I advise to bring more of your own hangers. Also, Ladies, bring your own hairdryer....theirs is AWEFUL! It's just a hose, and it heats up your hand instead of your hair! Worst thing I have ever had to use, no kidding! Twice during our cruise we were brought a plate of fresh fruit to the room, which was a nice touch. The TV program is practically nonexistent. Only 2 english-speaking channels, one of which is the news, but we had a satellite outage, so there was nothing to watch. (The other channel was for occasional movies, or alternately, about the excursions in the various ports). So, bring lots of books (the library is very limited) or your own DVD's and player.

There's not much to do on this ship in the way of activities. The few things they offered, like some handicrafts and topside fitness routine, were just afterthoughts, in my opinion. There was no movie theater, no high tea (though they had a form of tea service twice during our 23-day cruise in the "Tango Room"), no art auctions, no nice lectures. A number of guests kept themselves busy in the Internet area. You could buy online time, but it's expensive.

Everything onboard is charged in euro's, so it's a bit more expensive for us americans. All in all, the ship feels old and really needs updating on all levels desperately...especially since it will not otherwise be able to compete with other, more upscale cruiselines who are now beginning to cruise the same routes in this particular part of the world.

I can only recommend this particular ship for its itinerary, but personally, I would not cruise on it again.

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