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We purchase a cruise for June 2020 that we paid for entirely. Costa Cruise cancelled the cruise due to COVID and we have not gotten our money back (we got just a small deposit, but we did not get the majority of the refund back). We contacted them numerous times (also via American Discount Cruises) with no luck. Such a fraud and disappointment!
Costa cancelled my party's cruise because of COVID. They stated the parties would receive vouchers for 150% of the cost of the cruise by June 30, 2020. No one in my party received a voucher. They disputed the charges on their credit card and 2 of the 3 won the dispute. Costa is refusing to refund the money for the third member of my party. You have to wait over 2 hours to get anyone on the phone and when you do get someone on the phone they are extremely rude. I have asked to speak with managers multiple times and left messages and not one has had the decency to call me back. Now one member of my party is forced to cruise by themselves because management of Costa can't be decent human beings. It's all about the money for them. They could NOT care LESS about their guests.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention I'm a travel agent and I will NEVER again recommend Costa to anyone. As a matter of fact I will be referring them to ROYAL CARIBBEAN as I have had nothing but wonderful customer service with this company through the pandemic. BUYER BEWARE! I have taken over 100 cruises. This would have been my first cruise with Costa. When I say I know the way a cruise line should treat their guests, you should take me at my word and THIS is not it. Costa does not care about you or providing you with decent customer service. They should be ashamed of the way they handled my party's situation. They should also do the right thing and refund the money for my third party. But I guarantee you it won't happen because they only care about the bottom line which is money.
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Currently sailing on the Costa Fortuna SE Asia 17/12/19 to 30/12/19. I feel totally ripped off having paid thousands for the privilege of sailing over christmas. This cruise line is disorganized, penny pinching, badly serviced with mostly disgruntled, rude, inept members of staff. The tender to Koh Samui arranged by the cruise line did not provide adequate assistance in the event of an emergency. Life jackets were not accessible. The poker machines in the casino were (and still are broken). The staff give information that is either incorrect, vague or rudely dismissive. I was man-handled and yelled at by a member of Costa staff during the evacuation drill..totally upset by this incident. How is it that all the other cruise lines can pull off an evacuation drill with lots of assistance and communication with passengers but costa crew won't even help passengers put their life vests on (apparently read the instructions in the cabins or drown).
How is it that other cruise lines have embraced the global family and provide a broad variety of cuisine but Costa rolls out Pizza, Pasta, Pizza Pasta. If Costa just want Italians as passengers STOP ADVERTISING WITH INTERNATIONAL AGENTS. How is it that other cruise lines have abolished the daily service charge but Costa insist that passengers pay this hefty charge for very poor service. How is it that other cruise lines can provide a variety of entertainment/films/activities...but Costa rolls out "The 3 Tenors in LA" as the christmas film? I can not understand how Costa has gotten away with this for so long.
How is it that Costa can be so dismissive of passenger safety despite being a signatory to Passenger Bill of Rights which SPECIFICALLY addresses passenger safety. How is it that other cruise lines can provide tea & coffee around the clock...but Costa can only provide it for breakfast. I booked this cruise before reading the reviews...I have lost thousands. I am so sad!
The experience of Costa Cruise was good but some things could be better like Indian Food. Coming from Ahmedabad We booked from Antilog Vacations, their global wholesaler which gave us a very cheap deal. Around 30% cheaper than what costa cruise directly offered us or people like Thomas ** were giving. The cruise sailing for 5 N was spectacular with Singapore, Port Klang. Malacca, Langkawi & Phuket. There are 3-4 itineraries & day excursions are a treat to have..Shows & services were great. But very few veg options. One can go with a family as culture is very safe & grown up kids would not be embarrassed like you get in European cruise. I would give it a 3.5/5 rating.
I took notes so I would be more objective. Some of the online criticism I read wasn’t a problem for us. For example, the Jacuzzi’s size, food, and service were good. The crew spoke English with the usual assortment of accents. Costa was responsive to complaints. The pool music was obnoxious and very loud. I asked the desk, “What age are you targeting?” The next day, the volume was lower and the music pleasant. The aluminum chairs aboard create a sore butt and back. We had to put two towels on the seat. It was tiresome to have announcements in the theater translated into four languages when monitors could posted translations. We left after the performance rather that listen to the droning.
There were very few activities of interest. The cultural lectures by Jean Christophe were outstanding. Most of the presentations aboard are infomercials. The 18’ x 12’ screen on the Lido deck was the biggest waste, playing only commercials for the entire 27-day cruise. I never observed a single person watching the screen.
I timed nightly shows were between 31 and 40 minutes, about 36 minutes average. They overused talented dancers, who only had taped music (no band). It becameuse tedious. Many times, I had to cover my ears from the sound; we walked out three times because the sound reached the threshold of pain. The supervisor explained that he told the sound engineer to lower it, but “the younger generation loves volume.” Who’s in charge? The largest portion of the audience was elderly (I’m 68) and others I spoke to complained, but not to the personnel where it made a difference. I left a note to please lower it on the engineer’s equipment, but it was ignored. In room TV’s had little to offer English speakers. Costa gets an “F” for entertainment. We wanted our vacation to be devoid of badgering for money. Costa gets a “D” for that. We had a good time.
Costa discounts are cheesy and feels like a cheat. For example, you have to go on six excursions to get a 30% discount on the cheapest one you bought. One “sale” had a 50% discount on wine, except at their restaurant where you drink it. It felt like, “We’ll give you a discount on everything except what you want.” Tokens for free drinks (excluding wine) can’t be used until after 8, which means you can’t use them for dinner. I wonder how long it will take cruise lines to lift the gouging alcohol restrictions on adults. This was my fourth cruise line. I can’t tell which is the best but I can say Costa is the worst, because their entertainment and variety are poor. Yet, our 27-day cruise to Italy was still good enough for a fabulous time.
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.
Costa Cruises author 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.
Costa Cruises Company Information
- Company Name:
- Costa Cruises
- Year Founded:
- Cruises, 200 S. Park Road, Suite 200
- Postal Code:
- United States
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