Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Passenger Dissatisfaction

The Costa Europa cruise ship is a very unhappy place at the moment for its passengers. A long string of customer service failures has obliged the ship's management, presumably under instruction from Head Office, to offer all passengers a €300 rebate and €600 off a future cruise.

Passengers are almost universally up in arms at this poor offer since it is scarcely adequate compensation for the two week itinerary having been slashed from six ports of call to only three, with all destinations in Madagascar hacked from the schedule.

Whilst political problems in Madagascar have played a part the main cause of its removal from the schedule has been the chronic and unresolved engine problems that have severely cut the ship's maximum speed.

Passengers are angry that, even though the ship's management accepts full blame for its failings, the offer of compensation is so inadequate. Luckily, there are several lawyers amongst us and several have useful links to travel journalists in the UK.

Costa's Europa is a worn out vessel that should have been replaced some time ago. It's a very poor advertisement for the rest of their fleet. At the time of writing around 250 people of all nationalities have banded together to fight against Costa's intransigence. Watch this space for updates on Costa's further attempts to put a lid on this sorry affair and for the fightback by affected passengers.

Although I have taken cruise ship holidays before (and my wife even more often) we have never before been treated so disgracefully. Service throughout was universally poor, with meals in the main restaurant consistently being served barely luke warm, in spite of many complaints. Ten of the fourteen days were spent at sea, only one hour was spent in Reunion and FOUR ports of call were cut from the original schedule that was available when we booked the cruise.

A full refund seems entirely justified, particularly when one takes into account that everyone had significant air costs to travel to and from the start point in Mauritius. This will be the demand of us all when we return home and the full anger at our 'ruined cruise'* boils over.

* The captain himself used these words in a hostile public meeting


  1. Good Morning everyone. Hope you all got home safely & have had a lengthier & more pleasant night's sleep than last night.

    I have never been involved in Blogs before & am about as good with computers as Costa are with cruises!

    Could Slow Learner or anyone else please put up an idiot proof guide for others like myself so that people do not give up on the basis it is a bit too daunting.


  2. Hello, Luca!

    Yes, the demand that we all get up and vacate our cabins by 4am and them leave the ship by 6.30am was utterly disgraceful - no wonder so many people rebelled and stayed on board as it suited them.

    It was an incredibly pleasant relief when Virgin's 'White Sands' partners turned up to take us back to the airport and to be once again treated as valued customers instead of Costa's difficult, inconvenient cash cows.

    As long as Costa retain a single Euro of the huge amount of money that they took from my wife and I this holiday I will

    a) never cruise with them again on ANY ship

    b) make sure that none of my family and friends are ever tempted to have anything whatsoever to do with Costa

    c) continue to bring Costa's disgraceful treatment of their passengers on this cruise to the attention of the widest possible audience.

    As for a guide to 'Blogger' it's really quite an accessible tool, even for beginners, but I'll see if there are some useful free guides out there that I can refer you to.

    Best wishes,

  3. Hello LUCA. I am Terry who David refers to in the first comment. My email address is Thanks for your good wishes for our return home and yes slept a lot better in our own bed and for considerably longer that the 2-3 hours we had night before. I as you, are just as good with computors. It has taken me nearly an hour to work out how to register to be able to leave a comment. But it is now done. All thanks to David to setting up the blog.
    I hope to recieve an email from you so that we can follow on with what we have started on board to try and now get a full refund for our spoilt cruise.
    Hope to hear from you and many many others soon