by bob johnson
October 11, 2009
The Fortuna has a large block of cabins over the grand bar with no sound proofing. The bar fires up loud live music at around 6:30pm and goes until 3am. Even the housekeeping manager said it was unacceptably loud, and called customer service from our cabin to complain on our behalf. If you have one of those cabins you will not be able to sleep until the bar shuts down. We took this cruise hoping to rest up from a month of strenuous travel in Europe.
It turns out that Costa customer service is really an impenetrable stone wall. You will never be allowed to speak with someone who has the authority to do anything about a problem. If you persist, they will become rude and abusive. The situation was so bad we and our travel agent began communicating with Costa corporate leadership in the USA. They responded in exactly the same way as CS on the ship. They were rude, dismissive, and when we persisted in requesting help they became abusive. We soon requested a refund knowing Costa is owned by Carnival which has a satisfaction guarantee. Costa flatly refused. When you get on a Costa cruise you had better be prepared to take whatever they dish out.
Costa advertises a "Sophisticated European atmosphere on board." This is simple not true. This cruise was packed with rude, pushy, unsophisticated people, most of whom repeatedly demonstrated zero regard for other people. And while most of the world is dropping the tobacco habit, half the passengers on this cruise chain smoke. There is no open air place on this ship where you can escape the stench of tobacco.
The ship does not have adequate facilities to feed its 3500 passengers. This results in extremely long snaking buffet lines, a 30 minute wait to get at the extremely mediocre food, and a dining room with no room to dine or move. Costa creates interesting itineraries, and then allows only a couple of hours to see them. And on this cruise small tenders were frequently required to get ashore, so that time was often cut in half. In many cases it is simply not worth the trouble, unless you are just port bagging.
This review would not be complete without mentioning that all PA announcements were loudly repeated in 5 languages, so it takes all day for this passenger strip mining operation to communicate its endless opportunities for passengers to surrender more of their hard earned cash. And of course there is no place to escape this barrage because sound proofing appears to be a foreign concept to Costa. For us, this was a cruise in hell. Do yourself a favor and go with a more reputable company with a track record of taking care of people.