January 2, 2006
Ship is brand new, elegant and well kept. Plenty of space to get a tan on the pool area. The gym area is really beautiful with a sauna, steam room and small pool/jacuzzi area for adults only. There is also a jacuzzi and a pool for adults only on the back on the ship. Plenty of hot tubs.
It seems like Costa deliberately wants people to be on lines at all times. Unlike most cruises, Costa forces you to register your credit card after you get in the cabin (not during pre-embarkation process) That means that after getting into your cabin (after a long embarkation line) you have to go back and make another LONG LINE to register you credit card. Also, they won’t take your picture to ID you as a passenger of the ship when you first get in.
You won’t get your final bill until 4:00 AM on the day of debarkation. So basically you won’t find out if there is any discrepancy on the bill until you wake up. If by any chance you find out there is a mistake, prepare to wait in line for 1-2 hours, because everybody else with problems is in that line, in addition people who are paying cash for their bill, will be also waiting in the same line.
The first night during dinner, Costa sales people comes at your dinner table trying to sell you the “soft drink card”, which unless most other cruises is NOT unlimited. Basically they want you to pay $52.00 for 23 drinks (sodas, coffee, etc). The worse part is the fact that you are tying to eat and here come someone trying to sell you something.
The Food, the food and the food. was the number one complain I heard over and over again. If you don’t like Italian food, don’t even think that you will enjoy this cruise (then again if you love Italian food, you’ll be in heaven) Also remember that gourmet Italian food like they serve in Costa Magica is not the same Italian food you might eat at Olive Garden, or another Italian restaurant in the U.S.
There is not escape from Italian food on Costa Magica (except cheeseburger and hot dogs at the pool’s buffet during lunch) The other major problem is that the food that they are serving in the main restaurant is exactly the same food they have at the buffet, so if you didn’t like the menu on the restaurant, you have no other choice other than go hungry.
Midnight buffets are a joke. Most nights they were limited to desserts only.
In addition, there is only orange juice, grapefruit juice and tea in the self serving area. They all tasted horrible. Most days the ice machines were out of ice, so you have to search for an ice cooler they would place nearby if you wanted ice. In addition, they would closed the ice cream machine early in the morning.
My wife asked for room service once and she asked for French fries. She was told it was not available for room service; although they had plenty of it at the pool’s buffet.
Finally, the entertainment was really bad and very limited. Only one show per day, and they repeat it twice (once at 7:45 PM for late dinner and another at 10:15 for people who had the early dinner) No midnight adult comedy (as a matter of fact there was only one comedian the first night and that was it, he was good though)
Pool entertainment was limited to bingo, hula hops competition and a calypso band playing every afternoon. Some exercises also took place at the pool, but only few people attended. Very little organized competition, contests, etc.
The music in the bars and clubs were mostly live artists singing in Italian, or playing slow music. Except the teen’s disco where they played loud contemporary music.
Many of the people I spoke with during the long lines we were subjected to, told me that this would be their last cruise on Costa. The same goes for me.