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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Costa Cruise Line

MS CostaVictoria

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by:Robert Fage
# previous cruises: 10+
Date of Trip: March 15, 2001
Itinerary: Caribbean - Western

This was our second cruise with Costa Line, the last being some 20 years before on the smaller and older Flavia. The Victoria with her European/Italian heritage is a world apart from the American ships in the Caribbean. The ship has good and bad as most ships, but overall the 4 star rating is fair. If you love loud American Italians..Hey Joe' then you will love this ship, however if you want to hear just English then look elsewhere.

Public Areas
Spacious is the word. I use a wheelchair as others did on the ship and getting a round took some planing, but the ship had large public rooms. The noise from the gaming room can be heard from some distance off. The photo gallery intruded on progress along this deck as they sell from all over the deck and this covers a lot of space (the photo's were not to expensive as it goes... but you do get fed up with a camera being pushed in your face at every meal or departure off the ship for shore excursions). Good deck space to enjoy the sea. The glass lifts through the many decks is worth a ride just to look down at the inside of this monster of a ship.

Food and Service
Seating in the Sinfonia is a joke, advertised fist meal at 7.15 p.m became 18.45. Very good busboy and waiters, always with a smile on there faces, very attentive. The restaurant is crowded and very difficult to get into with a wheelchair. Food was good, but to much paster and bread. Wine is poor to young and expensive..do not buy a beer in a USA port you pay a heavy tax if you are not at sea. The waiters always managed to find a big steak if the menu was not to my taste. Many courses, on the whole enjoyable. The breakfast in bed service, while basic was very good as was the buffet lunch. The Negretta bar on the swimming pool deck did very very good burgers. On the whole the food was 5 star.

We had an outside cabin on deck 9 90444, this had a large window with electric blinds. 150sq, not over large, had to hid the smaller cases under the bed and the large one lived out all the time. Could not get wheelchair in to the cabin, so I left it folded up in the corridor. Stupid people would remove the overnight breakfast orders, however Costa delivered within 8 minutes. Tea and coffee to the cabin on demand (no charge) always no more than 9 minutes... first class service. Cabin always made up nicely and no real complaints, no better than others and no worse than others. The bed was very comfortable with a good view from the window which goes all the way down with a table and chair to eat at.

The entertainment was very good. However I referred to Hey Joe earlier.. that comes from poor Joe Radd the Cruise Director and his loverly wife Heather... Joe had to do all the announcements in many different languages.. very boring after a while... plus he tended to treat everyone as a child with silly phrases so they called back 'Hey Joe'... perhaps the Italians love it? a bit childish... however, do not lets take it way from him, he did a good and hard job. Poor Heather suffered the Englsih that had any moans.. she did a good job. Entertainment was available in many different parts of the ship.

If you want to enter the darts, then just turn up..we were the only ones and won first and second prize! we were actually after playing table tennis...great fun in a wheelchair!!! as we were near the dart board and I cannot hit a board at all I still won... However bring your own bat and ping pong ball.. the ship had none..shamefully lacking in deck equipment... good job many other things to do.

We were on the cruise that went to Key West.. overrated place, Mallory Square was a tourist trap to fleece you of your $. Not enough time to see anything and not a good port of call.

We then went on to Cozumel.. the Atlantic Submarine trip was again a waste of time as the sea bed has a dead coral reef and is very bland and boring.. not worth the large expense. Also you go from the dock where the ship arrives, but they take you back to there own pier and then you have to take a taxi back to the dock..they pay for the taxi... but in the UK they would not be legal..smooth tyres with no tread, and falling a part. We had a Mexican meal..shame, I can cook one better and often do. The shops just want you to buy over priced goods.

Jamaica has changed over the years. This was my 5th and my wifes 4th trip to the Island. Ochos Rios still has bad if not worse made roads. The taxi's are a big rip off. US$20 for 1/2 mile to town. You need to haggle if you hire one for a personal trip away from the town. Managed to find a Jerk Pit in town, Food good, but the service was lacking to say the least. The Straw MArket was the same..never changes.. haggle like mad to get a deal... on the whole the people have changed over 20 years, now it is how much can they get out of the tourist... disappointing.

Grand Cayman... First class. enjoyed swimming with the Sting rays at Stingray city. The rum factory tour is a rip off as is the turtle farm. The main town is friendly and the shops expensive but less hassle than most Islands. Grand Cayman gets 9 ot of 10

Who Goes
We decided from the outset we would eat on our own.. we did talk to those around us, but as the tables had many nationalities on them, we are glad we did. We met a few Americans in the buffet and talked. But we did not really met up with anyone we would keep in touch..but we travel 5 or 6 times a year to the USA and we do our own thing.

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