Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's this blog for?

There's been a little avalanche of comments in the past day or so from a couple of people who seemingly disagree with the general direction of this blog. They apparently have been offended about our policy of deleting insulting and/or childish comments, and I think that we need to be clear about why we do this.

This blog was set up during the cruise to bring together the comments of all those passengers who were angered by Costa's alterations to the itinerary and their attitude to compensation. As it subsequently transpired there were also quite a few subsidiary issues over the quality of the ship, its management and the cruise, and many of them have been covered here.

As you will gather, this blog is not for those few passengers who were perfectly satisfied with everything, or even those who were upset but preferred to let things be. My justification for saying that the number of passengers falling into these camps was small is to direct everyone's attention to the irritable crowd of passengers of all nations who packed the theatre on at least two separate occasions.

If you are a passenger who was entirely or even broadly happy with the cruise then I am happy for you. However, I must say that this blog is therefore not for you. If you wish to protest that Costa's people don't deserve the waves of criticism that they are fending off, not only here but in individual complaints made directly to them or indirectly via agents such as Virgin, then you should start up your own site and explain your own position just as we are doing here. Don't expect us to visit it or comment on it, though.

This, apart from the simple issue of good manners, is the reason why we remove comments that obstruct our objective, i.e. to keep the dissatisfaction of very many passengers in the public eye whilst Costa decides what to do to meet our legitimate complaints. In the next posting I'll describe in the clearest English that I can manage why Costa's initial offer of compensation was inadequate.

But let me first say this; Terry, I and the other commenters on this site do not claim to represent anyone who doesn't want to be represented. If you were happy with the cruise as a whole then we do not speak for you. If you feel that we speak only for the British (or English-speaking contingent) and are unhappy with that then we do not speak for you. If you are angry with Costa but still want to proceed against them alone then of course we do not speak for you.

If you think that by continuing to speak out against Costa then we intend in some way to insult Italy then you are quite wrong. My wife and I are very fond indeed of Italy and its way of life and visit often. It's precisely because we see Costa's inhospitable treatment of its passengers on our cruise as entirely untypical that we feel impelled to carry on.


  1. - Please can we all keep our 'cool' and continue to work together in a polite, disciplined and civilised manner so as to resolve our mutual problem(s).
    - Therefore, please can we close ranks and avoid all inappropriate bickering amongst ourselves or else we will eventually diminish our own group credibility.

  2. I quite agree. Internal dissent does our cause no good at all, which is yet another good reason to exercise a degree of editorial control.

    I think that given the circumstances of the cruise the passengers have been remarkably restrained, so thanks to all concerned.

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  4. I have just returned from the relocation cruise from Mauritius to Italy. The Costa Europa was very clean and the crew I was in contact with were excellant. Just prior to our departure we were told Mayotte was out and we called at Reunion and three Nadagagascan ports before leaving for Mobassa. Tamatave in Madagascar included a short tour which included seeing lemurs in a small zoo type park. Tamatave itself was the most distressing tropical town I have ever been in before and I lived and worked in coastal Nigeria for 10 years and cruised elsewhere in the tropics. I support the efforts to gain compensation for lost ports of call and hope you succeed but the stance of Costa may make that difficult. Although we enjoyed the cruise in many ways we found shortcomings that will probably put us off Costa in future.
    1. The mandatory Service Charge is not acceptable and we felt obliged to give several of the staff a personal gratuity.
    2. The high cost of tours ashore and beverages onboard indicated that "accountants" were in charge. The tours seemed well attended but bar sales appeared to be very light.
    3. Food quality and presentation was poor and indicated a slap dash approach to the job in the kitchens. I would have considered a retraining programme was long overdue in the kitchens.We had a new Captain onboard and perhaps he will get to grip with that eventually.
    The other issues I had with this cruise are not really the subject of this blogspot. A number of German women abused and threw water over a single Enlish lady as they wished her move off her lounger and another English chap was punched in the eye by a Dutchman who felt his territory had bee encroached by his lounger. His Dutch wife joined in by spitting.
    I think the main problem is that there is always a risk in booking a cruise with a predominantly continental passenger list. I have not had problems of this nature before but this cruise was spoilt by bawling and gesticulating Italians and Germans. Costa seemed unmoved by these things and turned theirback on the punching event. Costa do get a reasonable number of English passengers from their UK advertising and they should pay closer attention to them onboard as I think the ship seems to be geared up to and aimed at the Continentals.
    For my wife and I think it is 'never again'
    With all the new super liners coming onto the market there is a huge choice out there.
    The ship ran strictly to schedule.

    I hope these comments help.