CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Costa Cruises Costa Classica December 18, 2001 Age 55 Occupation: Civil Engineer Number of cruises: 11 Itinerary: 3-day Mini Classica Cruise (Santos - Porto Belo - Ilhabela - Santos)

After making a comfortable one-hour transfer by bus (provided by Costa ), we arrived at the port of Santos.

Embarkation was defined in one word: chaos. It took more than five hours to get to the ship. We stood three and a half hours in line before reaching the check-in counter. There were only eight Costa attendants for 1.700 passengers!

My accommodations (Individual inside cat. 10 - Genova deck) had soft colors, beautiful wood cabinetry, a desk with mirror, minibar-refrigerator, personal safe, TV set, some amenities and was clean and comfortable. The closets were ample and the cabin had one extra bed, which I asked to be removed from the cabin. The soundproofing is simply non-existent; you can hear everything from the hallways and neighbor cabins.

The room service is limited and has extra charge (US $2.50). The cabin steward Henry, from Guatemala was good, keeping cabin clean and made up. The Tivoli Restaurant is used in two seatings; although well decorated it has white plain ceilings, too close together tables and is extremely noisy (sometimes you cannot hear your tablemate). My table fellows were interesting people and made my dinings nicer. The food was completely tasteless, really mediocre and the service was rushed, impersonal (the waiter, Mr. Flores, have did not even introduce himself to us) and lacked finesse. The Buffet LaTratoria used for breakfast and alternative lunch is very informal, but the food is better than in the main restaurant. The Pizza served in the Taverneta is the worst I have ever tried in ships.

Breakfast and Midnight Buffets were good, with lots of fresh fruit. There was an excellent Captain cocktail party with an interesting speech of the master, good music and very good drinks and appetizers. The dress code is very casual and few men wore jack & tie in some occasions. Entertainment was also good with nice music and shows. The boutiques have good selections and the photo-shop is very good. Shore excursions are expensive and limited so I took independent tours in both ports.

This ship has been very well maintained and has an innovative Italian design project, plenty of steel and marbles, but angular and cold in some areas. The high density of this vessel means that there is little room to move about when full. The number of public lounges and rooms is limited. The planned stretching with the insertion of a new mid-section, introducing many new cabins, will make the ship more profitable, but even more uncomfortable when with total capacity.

Debarkation was surprisingly smooth.

Ports of Call:

Porto Belo

The small island is very nice and has rain forest, small beaches, bar, restaurant and nautical sports. The small town does not worth the visit.


The highlight of the cruise; this island is great in natural beauty, crowned by steep mountains with rainforest and rimmed with gorgeous beaches - a place as marvelous as its name, which means "beautiful island". To preserve the charm of the island, local law dictates that no building may stand taller than two stories.

The islandīs exquisite shorelines beckon you to swim, snorkel, dive in the numerous shipwrecks or just lounge along the water edge. In town you can shop the islandīs boutiques, savour a tropical fruit ice cream or a Brazilian coffee in one of the charming cafes.

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