Costa Cruises have announced that they will be offering cruises from UK for the first time next summer with bases to include Harwich and Dover. A total of 11 cruises will sail in 2011 visiting seven European capitals including Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo & Edinburgh.
From May 29 next- year the 2,700 Costa Magica will begin her first UK sailing from Harwich. Marco Rosa the Area Director for UK, Scandinavia and South Africa said the itinerary had been created to allow passengers to visit seven top European short break destinations in one voyage.Costa’s decision has come as a shock to the travel industry especially since it has only been less then 3 months since they closed their London office.
The UK’s largest cruising forum site www.cruises.co.uk has received mixed opinions from its forum members. The bigger issue seems to be the price of the cruise which will be starting from Â£1019pp and the expensive drinks prices onboard, especially with the falling pound against the Euro, which will be the currency used onboard.
Many members have complained about the food which is thought to be too Italian and not varied enough during their cruise. This coupled with there being a majority of Italians on board made some British cruisers feel very much the minority. There is also negative discussion concerning the language barrier with the predominantly Italian staff.
However not everyone agrees as one forum member, Haggis has said Costa ships are ok. The ones I have been on were not full of Italians as everyone kept saying. On my last cruise to Japan the British and Australians were the majority. They have an officer for each language so there is no problem being understood. The best bit you would all like is it had 3 happy hours each day so the drinks were not that expensive.
Whether they loved it or hated it www.cruises.co.uk members are welcoming Costa Cruises to UK Ports. Particularly Harwich, which has fantastic train links directly to the port with members being pleased that Harwich is finally being noticed as a main port.
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