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Costa is an Italian line catering to Europeans but not that family oriented. The food was great. The shipboard amenities were good keeping in mind the Italian flavor. The waitstaff and housekeeping workers were great. However, I found trying to work with the actual customer service people to be daunting. It appeared there was a negative bias towards Americans. The staff treated other guests with lots of respect and solved their issues; however, when a U.S. customer was at the service desk, the service became very perfunctory and unhelpful. Even when the problem was exactly the same as the previous customer, the previous non-US customer's issue was solved and the US customer was told they couldn't do anything. I do not believe it was a language issue since they spoke English to the previous customer. As long as you never need to check in with customer service or book an excursion, you should enjoy the trip.
I have just returned from a Costa cruise - the food was delicious, great entertainment, ship was always clean and spotless, crew work very hard, were very friendly and their service above and beyond, great organized excursions.
I had the worst encounter with a Guest Relation Manager on Costa Cruise. On 30 May 2019 while onboard Costa Mediterranea, I had some questions regarding my Costa Club member points, I was directed by one of the cruise members to the Guest Relation Manager's office. As I stepped just outside the door which was wide opened, the manager, (whom later identified as Gabriella **) who was having two guests in front of her, looked up and asked me "Yes?". In response to her and didn't want to be rude in having to shout across the room, I walked a few steps into the office and replied her that I had some questions regarding my Costa Club member points. I expected her to tell me to wait since she was having other guests but instead she seemed very angry. With a commanding and unpleasant tone, she said: "Why can't you just wait in the line? Can't you see that I am serving other members?".
She then shook her head with an insulting grin to the guests in front of her. I was shocked and upset by her attitude. She talked to me like I was her subordinate. I was puzzled too as there was no queue line at all except a few sofa outside her office with two ladies resting and chit-chatting but not intended to see the manager. I am a Costa Club Pearla Member and that was my fifth voyage with Costa Cruise not to mention my many voyages with other cruise lines but that was the first time I ever encountered a Guest Relation Manager who acted so impatiently, arrogantly and insensitively. I would rather be served by cruise members at the service desk or excursion office downstairs who are a hundred times more friendly and helpful than the so called manager.
My wife and myself tried to sort out the misunderstanding with her but she refused to listen and even insulted us by saying that all other passengers from all over the world knew how to queue except us which suggested that we are the only rude people in this world that deserved her poor treatment. Is that the right way that Costa treat their customers? Seeing that she had no intention to resolve the conflict with us, we asked her if there was any other crew member we could approach regarding our Costa Club member point she said unfortunately she is the only one who could do it. It gave us no choice and we just had to give up the assistance what we initially asked for and left her office.
I am truly disappointed with Costa's management. It made us realised that once we are onboard Costa's cruise ship, nobody could help us even if we were treated poorly by a Costa's employee which made us feeling insecured. If Costa can't even treat her loyal Costa Club Member with a smile, friendliness, helpfulness, some understanding, what else can we expect from your services? That was a very terrible experience and really ruined our holiday this time.
So there is an app on the ship that allows you to book and view activities on the ship and inland. Checked the tour activities for Gothenburg on the app and the times are visible. 10 mins later, the times are no longer visible but the price is. The tour office is closed so we book via the app. As the times are no longer visible on the app, I queue to be served at the Tour office to get confirmation of what time the tour really will to start and when/where we need to be present. There are 2 people at the counter and both serving customers. One is handling a difficult case - another 'happy customer'. There are 2 ** ladies in front of me and we are now waiting for at least 15 mins and the office closes in 10 mins. At the same time, the show where one of our family members participating (i.e. they had to spend time rehearsing and basically help Costa make the show a 'success') has started and I am the dedicated photographer.
Two ladies approach the counter desk looking to jump the queue. The ** ladies make a remark that they need to get in the queue. A third staff comes out (which I then learned was the manager to help the crew) and at the same time, the guy dealing with the difficult customer is freed up and the ** ladies move to be served. The third staff doesn't look at the queue and decides to serve one of the Spanish speaking ladies who is jumping the queue. I interject and argue that this is not correct - I am obviously not pleased and I make myself heard. The third staff turns to me and tells me that the lady is a guest (and I am not - it must be my skin colour then) and that I should not be loud and the guy argues that he will serve me (well he needs to deal with the ** ladies remember) and that they will call security because I am being loud.
I don't respond well to intimidation especially when I believe there is injustice. So I demand that I am served first before the lady who jumped the queue. The third staff (who eventually I learned is the manager of that office) will not give me the information I asked and I am told that all the information about the cruise we booked will be in our room. She will not provide me with the information nor look it up. I don’t have time to argue more on this because by then the show had already started and I needed to make sure I capture the moment.
I did not take the threat of having security called on me lightly. After the show, I go to reception (the tour office is closed) to complain about my experience – so I am not a guest even if I have paid and queuing to be served. The manager on duty gets involved and we go to confront the tour office staff. They do not believe they were in the wrong because I was expressing my disapproval loudly. I don’t like pointless arguments and can see that they will never admit they were wrong – something we experienced to be a trend since Day 1 on the ship.
Back in the room at 11 pm and surprise surprise, no information in our room about the cruise and what time we need to be at the gathering point. So I walk back to Reception - by that time the tour office is of course closed. The guys at the desk try their best to find the information. They print a copy of my invoice and try to match the tour name. They circle the time the tour leaves.
The next day, we arrive 15 minutes before the time we were told the tour would leave. I am told that the tour has already left and that we are late. I guess Costa expects customers to just suck it up and just be meek and accept things. I am not and I am obviously not happy especially after being told that a ** person is a guest and insinuate that I am not. So the staff try to find a solution and still blame us for being late and that we should have checked the code of the cruise we booked - I guess they should just do away with the tour office guys then because it is the responsibility of the customers to know that there is a difference between codes and the names of the tours. They are so gracious to have found space for us to join the tour. We were told we should join but we need to pay extra - because of course it is our fault and we will lose all the money we already paid.
By that point I have left the discussions to the rest of my family members and my wife who has a cooler head but I can see she is starting to also lose it - which is something! We are told that it was our responsibility to check the times (remember I went to ask for the details) and that WE had circled the incorrect time (I have a signed paper from the hospitality desk confirming that they gave me the information where the name of the tour on the bill matches the time indicated in the daily diary). We are also then told to change our attitude - so basically do not voice your complaints or unhappiness with their service.
And did I mention that this was on day 4 after each of our family members having had poor interactions... Interestingly, we have not received the feedback form which we are told we needed to register (and did on the cruise) because that goes up all the way to the management team in the US... I guess we also didn't do this right. If you want to be treated like a second-class customer then please go right ahead and book that cruise. The sad thing is that not all the staff fall into that bucket e.g., the staff at the restaurant were great but that cruise was the worse hospitality experience in my entire life... And I have been to some pretty different areas but never have I had such a poor experience. If you want to have service with an "the customer is never right attitude" then Costa is for you.
I have been on other cruises but this cruise I did with the whole family for my dad's 70th birthday has left a very sour experience to everyone who flew from different countries for this event. I was only 6 weeks pregnant and only discovered that a few days before we boarded on the ship. My doctor called me when I was already on the cruise to tell me that I should start my thyroids medicine again and that I could buy on the ship. So I went to the medical centre, where the doctor refused to give me my medicine even though I had my prescription from the Danish medical system. I was told that I would have to pay 65€ for the doctor's consultation first before they could sell this to me! Consultation for what?? He only took my pressure and that cost 65€!! Ridiculous!!
Then I was disturbed while I was having dinner with the whole family at the restaurant to tell me that I wasn't allowed to stay on board because I didn't show a certification of fit for travel due to my pregnancy!! I was only 6 weeks pregnant and even my doctor in Denmark thought this was ridiculous when I called to get this certification - which couldn't be delivered of course by phone or email. I was then forced to go see a gynecologist in Norway for a scan!! We don't even do this in Denmark so early in the pregnancy and not even by a gynecologist! This has put a lot of stress on me for days. I had a toddler of 18 months with me too and we all had to wake up early to get ready to go see the gynecologist. But then they couldn't organise it and it was just another stressful morning and a waste of time instead of relaxing holidays with my family.
Moreover, we had booked an excursion and twice, my husband went to hospitality reception to ask about the meeting time. (even at midnight!). The guy there circled the meeting time (11.30 am) on the paper and the whole family (we were 9 altogether) showed up at the meeting place at 11.15 am only to be told that we had missed our excursions that was at 10.45 am!! When we showed these very impolite Costa personnel the paper where it is circled, they didn't accept that it was one of their colleagues who made the mistake and kept saying that it was our fault and that we should have looked at the excursion code!! Excuse me but what is the purpose of going to the hospitality reception several times if we have to then make sure the information is right?!
The personnel for the excursions was so rude and one of them told me to change my attitude when I told him it was his job to give us the right information and not us having to check whether their information is correct after having asked them! There was conflicts with the Italian personnel every single day as and it felt like the Costa personnel is King on the cruise. I was once lost and asked one of the Italian personnel - a lady who apparently works at the office there - and she was simply rude! I told her why she has to be so rude and she told me that was because I was disturbing her and she didn't have time to stop and inform me!
Another day, my husband was queuing at the hospitality reception for a while. An additional personnel came to the counter and instead of serving my husband, she decided to take the Italian lady behind him in the queue. When he said that he was in front of her, the personnel told me "She's a guest!".... WTF?! We're also guests and we paid a premium too! There was pure racism and even the two South African ladies at the other counters had to interfere and said that was very inappropriate! Too many bad incidents and the worst cruise experience ever! It was the first and will be the last time on Costa Cruises... And I would strongly not recommend it to anyone! By the way, we cruised with them in June 2019, a couple of weeks ago.
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I booked a cruise in CostaCruises.com that will depart on Oct 20, 2019. Realizing that itinerary didn't include an island I wanted to visit, I decided to cancel immediately by calling their 1-800 number numerous times and emailing them as well. Their voice message indicated that their office is closed on week-ends so I waited till Monday. I finally was able to speak to a CRS who told me that they will impose a 15% fee of the payment I made. I argued that that that there was nowhere on the payment page that warned me about the penalty fee; which I then checked again and confirmed that what was on the page was a section that indicated what my cruise included. However on another Tab, My Costa which I printed, was Terms and Conditions that states that booking can be cancelled 3 days prior to departure without penalties.
I also argues that if their 1800 number is manned for a live person to speak to or a live chat-room to get help during weekends when they are closed, this issue would not have happened. I think it very unfair for this companies to operate in a tactical manner to earn money from prospective customers. I believe there should be a very visible indication of the penalty on the payment section of their website so that people like me who are using their site or booking a cruise for the first time is adequately warned before putting payment down especially when there was no one from their office available to speak with and get help from.
Have been on 30 plus cruises in my life. This Cruise line is the worst. sailed on the Diadema in April 22, 2019 in the Mediterranean. Ports were awesome. The ship is magnificent (but poorly run (managed) by Costa cruises). The friends we met on board were fantastic and we all made the best of the bad situation to create our own good experience.
As for Costa, they were no help. Staff is rude beyond comprehension. They nickle and dime you to death every step of the way. If you don't buy the overpriced drink plan (perhaps because you don't drink alcohol) you will pay heavily for most drinks including WATER when they turn off the water machines in the eating area. So drink lots in port and finish it because they do NOT allow you to carry your water bottle back on board. Heaven forbid they lose their $2.50 plus 15% gratuity for a glass of water. There were many nights with up charges for a decent dinner in the dining room (steak, lobster, lamb). The "included" selections were somewhat pitiful on those nights. That being said, those are minor compared to the overall rudeness of staff/employees/crew. Most appear disgruntled and angry all the time and the usual response is: "It's not my job". Well, it's not mine either and that is why I never sail on Costa cruises again.
Sailed on the Costa Venezia between 27 March and 12 April 2019 from Dubai to Singapore. A very nice ship, new and modern, enjoyed this part. However, the worst cruise I have been on in the sixteen + years of cruising. It appears from my observation during the brief stay on this ship, that some of the hardest workers are the cabin staff. Our passports were held by the ship and were not returned until our onboard final invoice was paid. This was very disconcerting for us as it’s never happened on any previous cruise. On the final day disembarkation, we were stopped by security and was not allowed to leave until they checked our final bill was paid. I showed the security person our final bill, with a fully paid stamp on it and we still had to wait. This is an embarrassment which I felt was unsatisfactory, if Costa cruises wanted to retain their guest for future cruises. They could not even get that right.
The restaurant manager of the Marco Polo dining room can best be described as arrogant, insensitive to guest needs (if non Asian) and rude. It appears that they do not serve water in the dining rooms. The first night I said nothing. The second night I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager and asked for water and was told, I cannot have any. If I wanted water I would need to buy it. We were purchasing alcoholic beverages and thought it was over the top to expect guest to buy water as well. I never went back to the restaurant again for the rest of the cruise.
If English is your first language, Costa Cruises is not for you. It is evident that Costa line is targeting a certain type and category of guests; English speaking people are not on the list. The Chinese were not required to line up at the Guests Services counter. They simply walked up to the desk and the attendants served them even though it was clear that a long line of people were patiently waiting their turn to be served.Waste of time if you wanted to sit on the lounge chairs by the pools. There were limited seating and some people got up very early in the morning and placed towels and other items on the chairs to reserve them. This also happened in the theatre. Human waste was seen floating in the water of the small pool on deck 10. When it was reported to Customer Services the response was from the female staff “the pools are chlorinated” WOW what a response to give to a guest.
To demonstrate my total disgust for some of the crew abhorrent and arrogant behavior, I decided to refrain from purchasing any beverages, wifi services, tours and items from the shops. Suffice to say I do not intend to ever cruise with Costa again.
My experience on the ship was good, but this left a very nasty taste in my mouth. To be brief, I tore a ligament in my leg on board. The daily newsletter for guests indicated the charge for medical consultation with the ship's doctor was €62. I went to the medical area, the doctor checked my leg, wrapped a bandage around it and I was charged €260 including a charge for a crutch to walk around on. I have complained and got this response: "Dear Sir, the doctor charges everyone the same. If you have insurance you can claim it back on that." Lovely eh? Disgraceful reply to my complaint. Last time I will cruise with this lot. I can't even see a way to escalate the complaint.
Party of 5 of us went on the Costa Diadema. Date of cruise 12th January 2019 for 10 days. The ship is large and clean. However the toilets were constantly blocked and smelled foul leaving feces and urine running down the side of toilet. The ship entertainment was poor at times and was not of good quality. The drinks package means that both you and your partner must order the same drinks package. You cannot share the drinks package with any party and must pay extra for good quality wine. Rather than the cheap house wine offered in the drinks package. The drinks package comes up to around £700 Per couple in English money. This means that if your partner wants the wine package and the other partner would like the Beer package then this is not allowed. Couples must have the same package. Leaving no choice for the individual to tailor the package to suit them.
No water on the table at dinner and must be purchased individually. No lifeguards or pool attendant around the poolside area. Charges added no negotiation £12 dollars for cleaning per person before added costs even if the room is shared. Each individual is charged £12 dollars adding up to £240 Dollars. The hospitality area is small and pokey. It is also very basic and has no room for confidentiality. The food was basic, and greasy at time. The same provided for the 10 days of the cruise. Except on the last day when Costa finally provided a nice meals. I will not be going back on a cruise with Costa and will not recommended the Costa Cruise, to any of my family or friends.
Costa Cruises expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Costa Cruise Line is an Italian cruise line that serves the European cruise market and sails to 14 worldwide destinations.
Worldwide destinations: Costa Cruises partners with Carnival Corporation, which has expanded the number of ships in the Costa fleet and the number of destinations available to cruisers.
Wellness cruises: Health and wellness spa treatments are offered to enhance the rejuvenating effect of being at sea.
A la carte club restaurants: Packages are offered that allow guests to experience a wide selection of fresh gourmet foods and desserts.
All-inclusive beverage packages: Beverage packages for adults and children let guests enjoy beverages any time during the cruise.
Carefree travel protection: Carefree travel protection, offered by Costa Cruises, is an available insurance option that protects a guest's investment in a cruise vacation.
Best for: Costa Cruises are best for couples and families who want a cruise that offers a European atmosphere.
Costa Cruises Company Information
- Company Name:
- Costa Cruises
- Year Founded:
- Cruises, 200 S. Park Road, Suite 200
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 462-6782