Age: 31 to 40
Number of Cruises: 3 t
Cruise Line: Costa
Ship: Costa Victoria
Sailing Date: 7th,
Itinerary: Greece and Turkey
She was very clean and everything was very new , but she is big, very big and you do a lot of walking per day to get from one place to another. Since you are on a holiday that does not matter a lot.
She was full and it showed; Some one wrote in a review to never have felt really crowded despite the 2200 passengers; I did, especially around the pool, in the shopping area and in the theater. The ship’s design is wonderful, the restaurants are spacious, comfortable seats are available at any place in the ship.
Outside deck 6 [one of the main decks] there is a wide and large 400 meter covered jogging track which can also be used to have a walk in the outdoor without being exposed to the sun or the wind to much; it is a very romantic place in the evening.
There are 12 lifts and there was never any waiting time; very good for such a capacity; stair cases are very convenient too.
At embarkation at the pier in Venice you enter the ship via the main entrance hall at deck 5 from where you take the panoramic lift to the appropriate deck for you cabins. All thru the cruise this entrance hall and central planetarium with its panoramic lifts are a point of encounter and passage; it is a beautiful 6 floors architectural stunt and I love the way that this hall has been arranged.
There are 6 to 10 lounges and bars where at various moments of the day you can enjoy music of a live band or piano. Wonderful !
The Concorde plaza lounge with its particular architecture and three level seating area is a great place to be, especially in the evening when the ballroom dance starts. The last evening we participated in a small dance contest and got the second price. That was real good fun.
The theater on deck 6 and 7 has always been a controversial subject and even we experienced that it was far to small for a ship of that capacity. We usually got there 30 minutes in advance but never managed to get on the first row, from where the view was probably the best. The Festival theater has a very nice interior and is very cozy and nicely arranged but not optimally. And she was certainly always very crowded and full.
The outdoor pool area on deck 11 is beautiful and big; sun-loungers, tables and deck chairs available next to the pool and on deck 12 in the front part of the ship. There is plexi glass almost everywhere which gives a pretty good protection against the wind. At the rear part there is no more plexi to allow people to stick their nose in the wind. The pool capacity is dramatically low and on several moments you could hardly join the crowd in the water because the pools were full. Several people complained about the splashing children and it had been advised to parents to only allow their children to go into the main pool [the other pool being smaller and rectangular and "reserved for adults and calm swimmers"]. No way to keep order in that pool matter. The hot tubs were more than hot enough for a summer season and no children were allowed neither. Guess what ? . . .
On deck 12 there was thus a lot of space for sun bathers and normally there also was a "fun shower" [which had not been operational for quite some time now] which could have done a good job to cool off the people in that area of the ship or used as a small pool for young children. To bad it did not work !
On the evaluation form I suggested a third outdoor pool in another area of the ship , one which would be the only one for splashing children. It would make a better distribution of the cruisers too cause it really felt crowded around the pool.
On deck 6 there was the indoor pool with a relaxing and sauna area adjacent to the fitness rooms. The idea of being in an indoor pool aboard a ship had always appealed to me and it was indeed a funny experience to be in an indoor salt water pool. That part of the ship is certainly worth a visit.
At the stern on deck 11 there was a buffet area with both indoor and outdoor of plenty seating capacity; you could even take your food to the tables and chairs in the pool area. The outdoor tables of the buffet were in the shade thanks to the enormous canopy.
A very good and realistic impression of the ship can also be found at http://www.travelpage.com/cruise/ships/co_victo.htm
The food and bars
Very important item if you go on a holiday and was very good on this cruise.
As it was announced in the brochures there is plenty of food and very international ; two evenings we had a formal dinner but the food did not differ from the other evenings; it was outstanding and coming from France and being used to "French delicatessens" we have a nerve to say so. There was one Italian night, all the others were international [as far as I can remember]. Breakfast was possible either in the restaurant or at the buffet. For the convenience of being served [remember that we had three small children with us] and remaining seated we always went to the restaurant. The same applies for the lunch on most days; the food was better presented and looked more tasteful than at the buffet. We observed the same on our Costa Allegra cruise earlier that year. We never made it to the midnight buffets nor to the pizza’s. I read in another review on the Victoria that there was ice cream available in the evenings, but never saw that announced [probably only in the Caribbean]. For lunch there also was a kind of hamburger grill next to the pool where you could find the usual grilled stuff. We never tried it. The tea time was OK and quite tasteful though the Italians do not really know how to make good pastry. Very often it was very crowded around the buffet [both at lunch and tea]; this makes me kinda nervous and that is why I also prefer the restaurant.
It is amazing how they manage to prepare a dinner for more than 2000 people and still come up with good things. Note that the restaurant we were in [Fantasia, 1st seating] started at 7 PM, the other at 7.30 PM; same applied for the second seating. In the kitchen there are about 150 people [without counting the waiters and assistant waiters].
There were plenty of bars and all prices were reasonable; Each day there was a "cocktail of the day " which made it easy to chose and cheap to have a drink. In all cabins a choice of drinks and snacks was available in the fridge.
This was the disappointing part of the cruise. As we had the first seating for dinner and we never made it till after midnight we never had the opportunity to participate in the late evening entertainment. The shows were usually alternated, namely the show of day 1 for seating 1 was repeated on day 2 for seating 2 and vice versa.
The first night we had a show in Vegas style with Rock as a theme; singing and dancing, feathers and costumes. It was very good and promised to be a good week of shows and entertainment.
The second evening there was nothing in the theater but a in the Concorde plaza a jongleur gave his performance, Johnny Carletti. It was the same one as on the Costa Allegra three months earlier and he still had not learnt how to juggle properly. It is incredible that Costa kept this guy on, despite the numerous errors and ridiculous acts that will not work that he brings. We left after half an hour.
The third evening there was a karaoke in the main theater; no comment on the performers but we feel that this type of entertainment is not really appropriate to fill an evening for 1000 people.
The fourth night there was a very nice and entertaining show called "Cinémagique" which combined singing and dancing with movie theme. One of the best of that week.
The fifth night we attended the performance of Victoria, an American Whitney Houston like singer with a wonderful and strong voice. She brought all kinds of well known songs and got rightfully a standing applause. I liked it a lot. Our two oldest children joined us but found that she was singing to loud. I am curious to know how they will react in ten years from now when they will start going to disco’s. . .
The sixth night the theater was already very early crowded but we had no idea why; apparently there was a very popular Italian singer on board who was giving a concert that night. We left the show after a few minutes since it was not our style. There were people standing everywhere and our seats in the very front row was quickly and gladly taken by some real fans. So we headed to the Concorde Plaza where the band was already playing. We practiced some dances cause at 11 PM there was a dancing contest at which we wanted to participate. There were 11 couples, 10 of them were Italian , we were the only non-Italians (from Switzerland). We all got a hat with a number on it, there were 5 people selected as a jury; the place was full ; we had to do 4 different dances and got the second prize (a set of pens and a nice Costa bag for my wife). It was real fun.
The last night there was the show of a ventriloquist, wonderful entertainment, the best of the cruise; apparently they kept the best for the last evening; the guy was perfectly combining humor with entertainment, involving the whole audience and in particular some selected [on the spot] people.
Most of the above entertainment shows took place in the main theater. However there was every evening also entertainment in the disco [often starting at 0.30 am], in the tavernetta, and in the different bars. These were things like election of Mr. Costa, The ideal couple, Tropical games, etc. Not really our cup of tea.
The ports of call
Bari (I): just a technical stop to allow people from the southern part of Italy to embark.
nice to go into town though we were warned by several people to be careful on our money and wallets because of thieves, etc.
Katakolon (GR.): tour to Olympia, the ancient Olympic site; we had seen that one already so just wandered around in the very small village
Kusadasi (TR.): tour to Ephesus, one of the most ancient preserved ruins of a city; very nice and the afternoon we spent in the town itself, lots of shopping and good bargains
Volos (GR.): whole day tour to the Meteora, old monasteries on top of rocks; very interesting, probably the most exciting tour of the cruise
Piraeus (GR.): Athens, we just took a cab into the old town cause we had seen all the spots already; went back to the ship by 3 PM.
last day at sea, with a lot of wind
Went very smoothly and we found our car just outside the terminal, ready to take us back home.
All by all I was very happy with the cruise though the children‘s club was sometimes overcrowded, very often the Italians are to noisy and if you do not like to feel just a number in a crowd, then do not cruise on the Victoria cause she is really big but I liked that