We chose this cruise, as it was part of an Imagine Cruising package. The land content, Indian Tour, was most enjoyable. Once we boarded the Costa Victoria, things went spiralling downhill at a quick rate of knots. The room was very ordinary, discoloured and paper thin towels, NO TOILETRIES, and the double bed was similar to sleeping on the floor. We boarded later in the afternoon, so we went to our cabin, (which, I might add, cost a further AUD$2,000.00 for a porthole), and unloaded our belongings. We then proceeded to the bar area at the rear of the ship to enjoy a few drinks. This as where the "fun" began. The barman explained to us that our pre-paid beverage package was the most limited restrictive beverage package that we have ever experienced!! The beer ration was limited to One plastic cup of draft Heinekin, or, a small bottled beer I've never heard of. I proceeded to have three of these bottled beers, and on my forth visit, was informed by a different bartender, that in actual fact, I had to pay for the bottled beer, which the previous attendant told me, were included. So, after much anxious arguments later, I was informed that it was my lucky day, as the original attendant returned very apologetic. So, here we are, back to ONE BEER, being the Heinekin, in a plastic cup!! Our package was advertised as a SELECTION of beers. NOOO, only one draft in a plastic cup!! My wife likes to enjoy a wine, which was very similar to vinegar. We were shown a list of drinks that was on the bar. This list consisted of blue dots, (for our package), and was extremely limited in selection. I then visited the main service desk on level five, to enquire as to the limited beverage package, and also, to ask to have the gratuities taken off our room account, which I, and most people I know, do the same. We Australians give tips whenever we receive good courteous service. I was told that the 10 EUROS, per day, per head, per cabin, was indeed mandatory. I informed the service officer that this was the only Cruise Line that does not allow the passenger to opt out of gratuities. He then went onto informing me, quite rudely, that my information was not true. I might add, that we have been on many Cruise Lines around the world, and have not experienced mandatory gratuities.
The bistro doesn't open until 7.00pm!!! The meals that were served up, were nothing short of slop, sitting on a bed of white rice. No carvery, The bar service was non-existent. There were three attendants standing near our table, and when I asked for some beverage service, he told me that he only cleans tables, and NONE of them serve drinks to tables!! Unheard of on any other ship we have been on. So, I had to leave my very ordinary meal, and walk to a tiny makeshift bar to order drinks. We enjoy a nice Shiraz, or Merlot with our evening meal, and the wine that we were permitted on our package was unpalatable. Disgusting, even coupled with the extremely ordinary food.
After the terrible dinner, we always take bottled water to our room, so I went to the bar, and asked for two small bottles of water. After the barman checked our wonderful beverage package, he informed me that we were NOT ENTITLED TO A SMALL BOTTLE OF WATER!! So, we asked for two plastic cups, and filled these with water, which mostly had spillied by the time we walked back to our room. Also, there was no water supplied in our room.
That was the final straw for both of us, and as the ship was in dock for two days, we booked our flights back to Australia on Singapore Airlines, and were leaving the ship at 6.30 pm the next day, as the ship was leaving at 9.00 pm. The cruise was for 14 days, and we were extremely glad that we did not stay on it.
As we had all day, the next day, to fill in, we disembarked , and were going to take in the sights of Mumbai, but as we were about to get off, the security woman scanned our cards, and ordered us to stand aside, much to our embarrassment. We couldn't work out why, because of her limited grasp of English, but we did hear the word "money' mentioned. We were ordered back to the service desk and told to pay the 20 EURO "service fee", before they would let us off. Our bags were all still in our room. That afternoon I went to the bar to order my wife a cup of coffee, (which, surprise,surprise, was within our beverage package), and the barman told me that I would have to pay for the coffee, as the service desk had cancelled our cards!!
Never have we been so glad to get off any ship in our lives. The whole enterprise cost us around AUD$6,000.00. So, any of you who are thinking of a cruise with Costa Cruiselines, you have our sympathy.