While I'm sad to say I'm back, it's a big help to have Cruise-Chat to come back to. Hope all had a marvelous holiday season and Happy New Year to all.
The Costa Magica was a great ship. There was plenty of space on board. We had an Oceanview cabin that was larger than our balcony cabins on board the Princess sun class ships and much larger than any of the cabins we've had on any other ship. I saw the inside of a balcony room and it looked very large as well. The ship is beautifully decorated, to me the lay out was a little strange, but it was easy to get around. Both dining rooms were 2 floors, the theatre was 3 floors and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. There were 2 pools and 4 hot tubs, the gym was well equipped, the spa had all the massages that are on most ships, there was a beauty salon as well. They had great prices on board in the shops and different items on sale each evening. The food was good, Princess is better, but you wont go hungry. The buffet area had plenty of lines, plus they had a grill with good sandwiches. The ship was crowded, as one can expect on a holiday cruise, and there were at least 1000 children on board. There were plenty of events daily, the only problem being that everything was crowded. It was hard to manuver through the crowds, but it was still fun.
The muster drill was like most lines, except Princess who has it down corrctly. You have to stand outside while they go through all 5 languages. All announcements were made in 5 languages as well. Most staff on board did speak English, even if it was limited, we had no problems understanding them.
There were 11 bars on board. The drink prices were a little more expensive than Princess, on average $.50-$1.00 depending on what you ordered. They did have espresso and cappucino machines at all of the bars.
Your cruise cards were in your room, which was different to me. There was a key card in the door for entry, then you found your cards and excursion tickets on the bed. If you have many ships in port on the day you embark or disembark, be prepared to wait. There were 8 ships in port the day we left. We were an hour late sailing. They had one scanning machine to get 3500 people through. Once through the scanner, it moved rapidly as Costa had lots of reps there to check you in. None of this was Costa's fault, it was Port Everglades. When we disembarked we were over an hour late due to immigration, again NOT Costa's fault. There were a good many passengers that were upset with Costa, but there was nothing they could do about the staff at the port.
They still have Toga night, it was the last night of our cruise. They had lobster night as well as the traditional Baked Alaska. The casino was large with a non-smoking section. There was also a non-smoking section outside of the ship on the lido deck (which is named some long Italian name I'm not even going to try to remember).
The ship was spotless, the service was great, and the crew was friendly. I enjoyed the Italian atmosphere completely. I would definitely recommend Costa to anyone that doesn't mind a lot of children on board. They do have activities for children, but kids will be kids and love to run, scream, throw fits, etc.
nice to have you back and glad you had a good trip.
Thank you for the very thorough critique; I have always been curious about Costa ships and you make me want to invertigate further.
Again, welcome back!
I guess I'll have to find a website to host my pictures. I took 4 rolls, with a good deal of interior shots. It was really hard to get the atrium area, it was huge!! There were lots of things Costa did really well, I guess I'm just a Princess junkie. I do wish all cruise lines would take a note from Princess with the muster drills. The one thing I really liked, I was able to purchase and smoke the cigarettes I purchased on board. Sorry, I am a smoker. Princess will sell them to you, but will not let you smoke them. They give them to you at the end of the cruise. Costa also had great prices on alcohol, by the bottle not by the drink. Princess drink prices were less expensive. Costa also some great special prices on clothing, jewelry, etc. It is definitely an Italian atmosphere, and was a fun time!
Penny, glad you had a good time. We sailed on the Costa Atlantica in 2001. My one biggest gripe was that everytime you either heard an annoucement, or went to a live show, everything was said in 5 or more languages before anything even started. Kind of a waste to me. But, we lived through it. It was our first cruise on Costa. We booked an inside, and was upgraded to a balcony! I've never had that on Princess. But, there's hope. Anyway, glad you had a good time. We're looking to book the Emerald for October 27 sailing. So going to miss the sun class ships for the 10 day fall Caribbean. But, the Emerald will be new, and I'm looking forward to that!
Also enjoyed Toga night. Wasn't it a blast?? Did they also have the midnight buffet? I found that great as well. Also, you mentioned about buying cigarettes on board. I know on Princess, if you buy a carton, then they hold them until the end, but you can buy individual packs at the bars and use right away. It's just the selection isn't that good. Yes, I'm a smoker too.