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Old 12-29-2002, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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December 11-22, 2002
I just returned from an 11 night cruise (Panama) on the CostaVictoria. As with any other cruise, there were good points and bad points. I have cruised on most of the brands, but not all. In the last year I have been on Princess, Holland America and Costa. This was my first experience with Costa, and overall not the most pleasant. The positive part of this trip was that the ship was clean and well maintained. Overall the crew was polite, our dining room wait staff was very good (other passengers weren't as lucky), and our room stewardess was very effecient. The negative aspects were: The food was very marginal at best, every beef, pork, or veal selection was tough and overall tasteless (I think that there is a very good chance that they buy their meat from Argentina. Not what you would expect). After the third night, the hotel manager arbitrarily discontined the evening alternative dining option. When I discussed this with her, she said that there was not enough interest and it would save money. My wife and I don't use the dining room every evening and would not have booked this cruise had we known that this feature was going to be withdrawn. They did offer 24 hour finger foods, which were the same the entire 11 days, and I don't feel that is what I paid for.
I don't drink beer or mixed drinks and found that in order to have iced tea or water you were limited to 4 oz. glasses. Nothing larger unless you went to a bar and asked for a larger glass. (I was informed that Europeans either drank wine or bottled water). The first two times the bartender gave me a larger glass, but the third time I asked, the answer was no. The alternative buffet option was available for breakfast (same food every day) and lunch for a limited time. The coffee in the alternative buffet was very acceptable, but only available until about 7:00 p.m. after that coffee was available on the rear deck. It was more of an European flavor and very unpalatable for the most part. When I mentioned this to the hotel manager (I guess I just thought that since the ship was operating out of the US and there were many Americans on board that it might be possible for her to leave one of the coffee dispensers in the buffet area open for those that did not like the coffee on the rear deck), her response was the she did not drink American coffee. After about 7:00 p.m. all of the cups for coffee were styrofoam. No glass cups. When you opted for hot tea with a lemon slice, it ate through the styrofoam. The midnight buffets were very limited and mostly fruit and desserts. That was not a big thing for us as we don't normally go to the midnight buffets any way, but did go to a couple and they were always the same. The crew had a very limited understanding of the English language, but tried very hard accomodate your wishes. I sent five or six emails to the corporate office over the weeks preceding our sailing date and received a reply to one of them.

The odds of repeating Costa again for us will be pretty slim. If I did consider them again, it would not be the Victoria.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2002, 08:07 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1
Default
December 11-22, 2002
I just returned from an 11 night cruise (Panama) on the CostaVictoria. As with any other cruise, there were good points and bad points. I have cruised on most of the brands, but not all. In the last year I have been on Princess, Holland America and Costa. This was my first experience with Costa, and overall not the most pleasant. The positive part of this trip was that the ship was clean and well maintained. Overall the crew was polite, our dining room wait staff was very good (other passengers weren't as lucky), and our room stewardess was very effecient. The negative aspects were: The food was very marginal at best, every beef, pork, or veal selection was tough and overall tasteless (I think that there is a very good chance that they buy their meat from Argentina. Not what you would expect). After the third night, the hotel manager arbitrarily discontined the evening alternative dining option. When I discussed this with her, she said that there was not enough interest and it would save money. My wife and I don't use the dining room every evening and would not have booked this cruise had we known that this feature was going to be withdrawn. They did offer 24 hour finger foods, which were the same the entire 11 days, and I don't feel that is what I paid for.
I don't drink beer or mixed drinks and found that in order to have iced tea or water you were limited to 4 oz. glasses. Nothing larger unless you went to a bar and asked for a larger glass. (I was informed that Europeans either drank wine or bottled water). The first two times the bartender gave me a larger glass, but the third time I asked, the answer was no. The alternative buffet option was available for breakfast (same food every day) and lunch for a limited time. The coffee in the alternative buffet was very acceptable, but only available until about 7:00 p.m. after that coffee was available on the rear deck. It was more of an European flavor and very unpalatable for the most part. When I mentioned this to the hotel manager (I guess I just thought that since the ship was operating out of the US and there were many Americans on board that it might be possible for her to leave one of the coffee dispensers in the buffet area open for those that did not like the coffee on the rear deck), her response was the she did not drink American coffee. After about 7:00 p.m. all of the cups for coffee were styrofoam. No glass cups. When you opted for hot tea with a lemon slice, it ate through the styrofoam. The midnight buffets were very limited and mostly fruit and desserts. That was not a big thing for us as we don't normally go to the midnight buffets any way, but did go to a couple and they were always the same. The crew had a very limited understanding of the English language, but tried very hard accomodate your wishes. I sent five or six emails to the corporate office over the weeks preceding our sailing date and received a reply to one of them.

The odds of repeating Costa again for us will be pretty slim. If I did consider them again, it would not be the Victoria.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2003, 09:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 38
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I agree whole heartedly. Costa is the best kept secret in cruises. Excellent service, GORGEOUS Ships, and guess what else? CHEAP PRICES. I hear that you can get a 7 day sailing on the Victoria 1/12 starting at $299 and the Atlantica for 1/26 for like $499. Apparently both those dates have special deals for certain travel sites. But, don't tell anyone, it's a secret!!
 
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