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When are Costa going to stop?

When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 02 May 2016 14:43

The following is our cruising history with Costa and the respective service charge that we paid on each cruise:

Sept 2014 - Pacifica - Western Europe - €7,50pppd
Jan 2015 - Serena - Arabian Gulf - €8,00pppd
Jun 2015 - Favolosa - Norway - €8,50pppd
Apr 2016 - Meditteranea - Adriatic - €9,00pppd

I see cruises taken from this summer onwards will have a service charge of €10,00pppd. Costa forgot the €9,50pppd increment.

I have to say that a 33% increase in gratuities in two years is bordering ridiculous. How much of these increases actually reach the crew where it is supposed to go?

After our 'ice cream' incident on Meditteranea it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I did ask the Guest Relations Manager the justification for rising service charges versus falling service and I got every answer but one that actually answered the question asked!!!!

In the specific icecream incident I was told that the icecream now sold aboard was a premium product and that was an increase in the level of service. I had to remind her that I would now be paying a premium price on a product that was once free and that I would be paying an additional 15% service charge for the privilege. Of course the best answer that she could give to my retort was a shoulder shrug.

I do think that the cost is getting to the point where Costa will not longer be competitive against those lines that include gratuities i.e. AIDA, Thomson. Very soon a 7 night cruise on Costa will cost us €245 in gratuities!!

I cannot accept any justification for a 33% increase in service charge in 2 years considering in the same two years the following has taken place -

    No water jugs served at dinner
    No tea and coffee at meal times outside breakfast and afternoon tea
    No cooked food for breakfast in the buffet
    No butter with bread at dinner
    No icecream as a fall back dessert in the MDR
    A massive 62,5% increase in the Pizzeria with no perceived increase in benefit or service

Looks like Costa are going to Costa Lot in the future!!!
Last edited by tomvet on 02 May 2016 16:10, edited 1 time in total.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Dave » 02 May 2016 16:04

I didn't know about the increase in the service charge, so thanks for that Tom.

I agree with you about the way things seem to be going with Costa. Our first two Costa cruises were fantastic and I couldn't fault them, but the third was less satisfactory in a number of respects and we're in no hurry to book with them again.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 02 May 2016 16:15

Dave wrote:I didn't know about the increase in the service charge, so thanks for that Tom.

I agree with you about the way things seem to be going with Costa. Our first two Costa cruises were fantastic and I couldn't fault them, but the third was less satisfactory in a number of respects and we're in no hurry to book with them again.


I feel the same Dave. We have had 3 excellent cruises and the last one left a lot to be desired. We enjoyed our cruise despite them rather than because of them. We were offered a cruise on Fascinosa for Feb 2017 midterm onboard Meditteranea at an excellent price of €1019 for an outside cabin but my head and heart would not allow me book! The flights would cost €430 for the 5 of us and all we needed to add was the cost of one hotel night in Savona. So all in all an excellent package even with €245 grats added. I'd prefer to pay more and have a better onboard experience.

I wonder if Costa will realise the error of their ways and backtrack on some of their measures like they have done with the evening buffet. On Meditteranea we discovered that the buffet was the way to go for us. We could go to the 1930 show, have dinner at 2015 and be all in bed at 2100. If we went to the MDR at 1830, show at 2115, it was too late for kids going to bed and they were wrecked getting up the next day, falling asleep when you least wanted them to do so! :|
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Skier Pete » 02 May 2016 16:37

Costa are not the only ones; MSC put up their service charges from to €8.5 pppd to €9.00 pppd two weeks ago ( on 20th April 2016)
In their 2017 - 2018 brochure the service charge is shown as €10.00 pppd.

I just paid €476 service charge on my recent cruise, I ended my cruise on the very day the charges went up.

You could have a family cruise for that Tom!!
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Skier Pete » 02 May 2016 16:59

tomvet wrote:Looks like Costa are going to Costa Lot in the future!!!

Is that why they have ship called "Cost a Fortuna" ?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

(I deliberately put a space in costa it's not a typo !!!)
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 02 May 2016 17:05

Skier Pete wrote:Costa are not the only ones; MSC put up their service charges from to €8.5 pppd to €9.00 pppd two weeks ago ( on 20th April 2016)
In their 2017 - 2018 brochure the service charge is shown as €10.00 pppd.

I just paid €476 service charge on my recent cruise, I ended my cruise on the very day the charges went up.

You could have a family cruise for that Tom!!


Don't be silly Pete! I'd need at least another €600!!!!

The difference with MSC and Costa is that you can adjust the charges with MSC but with Costa even with strong evidence that service is lacking the charges will apply and God nor man will not have them removed.

I wonder what the legal position is? If one has a legitimate grievance that has not be dealt with satisfactorily and one wishes to have the Costa s/charge reduced or removed or refused to pay it - can Costa make you pay i.e. even if the Police are called, it is hardly a criminal matter, (would the Police even bother attending , it is not that you are stealing) if you say that you are willing to pay once the matter is dealt with to your satisfaction. Would you have a recourse through your credit card company?
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby judgegeoff » 02 May 2016 17:27

Skier Pete wrote:Costa are not the only ones; MSC put up their service charges from to €8.5 pppd to €9.00 pppd two weeks ago ( on 20th April 2016)
In their 2017 - 2018 brochure the service charge is shown as €10.00 pppd.

I just paid €476 service charge on my recent cruise, I ended my cruise on the very day the charges went up.

You could have a family cruise for that Tom!!


I believe that it also depends on the area that the MSC ship is operating in. On our March/April 2015 cruise from Cape Town to Venice the prices on the ship were geared to the South African economy rather than European, as most of the passengers were from South Africa. Here are some examples :-

Gratuities :- US$ 6 (£3.95) per person per night
Lager :- US$ 2.40 (£1.58)
Wines :- US$ 2.00 to US$ 4.00 (£1.32 to £2.63)
Brandy :- US$ 3.40 (£2.24)
Irish Coffee :- US$ 3.50 (£2.30)
Cappuccino Coffee :- US$ 1.25 (82p)

It was a very economic cruise for us, but there were still complaints from some of the South African passengers about these 'high' costs. Wait until you get to Venice I thought! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I understand that when the MSC ships sail out from Europe for their South African season the on-board prices are European (as are most of the passengers).
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 02 May 2016 17:44

judgegeoff wrote:
Skier Pete wrote:Costa are not the only ones; MSC put up their service charges from to €8.5 pppd to €9.00 pppd two weeks ago ( on 20th April 2016)
In their 2017 - 2018 brochure the service charge is shown as €10.00 pppd.

I just paid €476 service charge on my recent cruise, I ended my cruise on the very day the charges went up.

You could have a family cruise for that Tom!!


I believe that it also depends on the area that the MSC ship is operating in. On our March/April 2015 cruise from Cape Town to Venice the prices on the ship were geared to the South African economy rather than European, as most of the passengers were from South Africa. Here are some examples :-

Gratuities :- US$ 6 (£3.95) per person per night
Lager :- US$ 2.40 (£1.58)
Wines :- US$ 2.00 to US$ 4.00 (£1.32 to £2.63)
Brandy :- US$ 3.40 (£2.24)
Irish Coffee :- US$ 3.50 (£2.30)
Cappuccino Coffee :- US$ 1.25 (82p)

It was a very economic cruise for us, but there were still complaints from some of the South African passengers about these 'high' costs. Wait until you get to Venice I thought! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I understand that when the MSC ships sail out from Europe for their South African season the on-board prices are European (as are most of the passengers).


I don't know how traders in Venice charge folk and keep a straight face when doing so!
We ate in a restaurant quite a distance from San Marco once we had sat down and before we had ordered a morsel of food we had incurred a charge of €11,20. €2,50 each cover charge and 12% service charge. Only in Venice, can you have a service charge applied to a cover charge!!! :roll:
This of course adds insult to injury to already overpriced food!!!
We had three coffees, glass of milk, three sandwiches and a slice of pear and chocolate cake (both pears and chocolate were scarce!!!!) for €53,00.
In comparison one evening in Trieste we had 3 Pizzas, one Spagh Bol, litre of water, bread and 5 scoops of ice cream for €36.00!!! all served by staff appreciative of our business - not something one experiences in Venice all that often.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Skier Pete » 02 May 2016 18:55

judgegeoff wrote:
Skier Pete wrote:Costa are not the only ones; MSC put up their service charges from to €8.5 pppd to €9.00 pppd two weeks ago ( on 20th April 2016)
In their 2017 - 2018 brochure the service charge is shown as €10.00 pppd.

I just paid €476 service charge on my recent cruise, I ended my cruise on the very day the charges went up.

You could have a family cruise for that Tom!!


I believe that it also depends on the area that the MSC ship is operating in. On our March/April 2015 cruise from Cape Town to Venice the prices on the ship were geared to the South African economy rather than European, as most of the passengers were from South Africa. Here are some examples :-

Gratuities :- US$ 6 (£3.95) per person per night
Lager :- US$ 2.40 (£1.58)
Wines :- US$ 2.00 to US$ 4.00 (£1.32 to £2.63)
Brandy :- US$ 3.40 (£2.24)
Irish Coffee :- US$ 3.50 (£2.30)
Cappuccino Coffee :- US$ 1.25 (82p)

It was a very economic cruise for us, but there were still complaints from some of the South African passengers about these 'high' costs. Wait until you get to Venice I thought! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I understand that when the MSC ships sail out from Europe for their South African season the on-board prices are European (as are most of the passengers).

You are correct when you say that he service charges reflect the region that the ship is in.
in S.A. MSC uses USD and they currently pay $9, whereas every where else that uses USD pays $12.

Next year SA will get a reduction to $8 while all other regions will go up to $12.5.

The Euro regions will be as I said €9 this year and €10 next year.








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Service charges from the 2016/2017 brochure


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Service charges from the 017/2018 brochure
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby judgegeoff » 03 May 2016 12:42

Just for comparison, on our recent 6 night Holland/Belgium/France "Braemar" cruise we were charged £4 each per night for gratuities. This was broken down as follows :-

Gratuities - Cabin £2 pppn

Gratuities - Restaurant £2 pppn

I have just checked our final statement and we paid a total of £48 gratuities for the two of us. However, we did give additional gratuities to the staff that we had considered gave us very good service.
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