Costa Cruises Costa Magica by Dr. J.A. Eastern Caribbean November 26, 2006
Well, this was my fifth cruise in as many years, first on Costa line. What a disappointment!
Embarkation: the embarkation process took over two hours, but that was most likely the responsibility of the port of Ft. Lauderdale. I actually saw people feel ill while standing in the long lines.
The ship: To put it mildly, the artwork was not aesthetically pleasing. We shared a lot of laughs poking fun at the green arms sticking out everywhere on the Lido deck, of the 1930's and 1940's "porn" as a wallpaper in the hallways, of the utterly ugly chandeliers, of shabby and somewhat worn out armchairs with only one sidearm (on purpose), etc… I can not understand how the people who are exposed to the beauty of Italy can go on this ship without gagging.
Cabin: We shared a Grand Suite - the biggest cabin there is on this ship. It came with fresh fruit and a bottle of champagne. It was adequate in size, however the beds were not very comfortable, the sheets were rough and the pillows flat. I heard about the "Costa cutting" breath mint on the pillow, but was hoping that in the Grand Suite we may get a chocolate, alas, it was still a free sample package of breath mints. Wow! There was a picture on the wall that was so horrendous that we covered it with a napkin to avoid looking at it. The bathroom was large and well appointed (and with a bidet!), but there was a rusted crack in the wall above the bathtub and you had to ask for a shower cap. I did point the crack out to the butler (I think he has seen it many times before) and I never asked for a shower cap because when I thought of it, it was always too late (when I was about to get into the shower).
Service: I can not say anything negative about the individual people that work on the ship. The butler, the maid, the maitre'D were all accommodating, sweet and very helpful. Especially given that they had limited resources of the "Costa cutting". The waiters, busboys and bar personnel seemed to have been very short staffed and stretched thin. I had to practically beg for water in the dining room. We had to wait for 45 minutes at least once to be served dinner. General staff attitude was not particularly friendly. There were a lot of unsmiling faces, dare I say annoyed?
Food: Uninspired, to say the least and of poor variety. But I guess when you have to wait for 45 minutes you don't complain when you get it.
Ports: Now, I am not one to write reviews and complain, but I have got to mention this: We felt unsafe in La Romana, Dominican Republic. We truly felt threatened when we walked the less then a mile trip into town. There were no shops to talk of, the people seemed unfriendly. I think we would have been robbed if not worse, if not for the cop who just happen to appear in front of us. We could not wait to turn around, grab a taxi and get back to the ship. What I think is wrong on the part of Costa, is that no one warned us about it. Once you left the ship, you are on your own. Ciao!!