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Costa Magica Cruise Review

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COSTA MAGICA officers and cruise director

ABOVE: Costa Magica's Captain Giancarlo Cha, Cruise Director Max Bertolotto, and senior officers toast passengers during the Captain's Gala in the Urbino Theatre.

Officers and crew of Costa Magica

Costa Magica has a nominal crew size of 1027, for a crew-to-passenger ratio of 2.65 to 1. That's a fairly typical ratio for mainstream cruise lines, and we never noticed a lack of staff or service in the cabin areas or public rooms.

The ship's officers are mostly Italian, but other members of the crew come from many different countries and continents. During our cruise, we encountered rank-and-file staff from Europe, the Far East, and South America. (The fact that Costa Magica cruises from Brazil during the winter season may be one reason why South American cruise staff are attracted by the ship.)

Service

Costa Magica's crew are well-trained, both in their jobs and in the social graces. Stewards and stewardesses in the hallways nearly always greeted us with a friendly "Hello" or "Buongiorno," and our own cabin steward was friendly without being fawning.

Our steward was also wonderfully efficient: He always managed to clean our room while we were out, and he never bothered us when we were in our cabin. (On the other hand, one of our tablemates was upset when her steward laid out her nightgown for her; presumably the steward had been trained in old-style service techniques and hadn't been warned that today's guests, and especially Americans, aren't used to having domestic staff handle their lingerie.)

Our waiter and assistant waiter in the Portofino Restaurant couldn't have been nicer or more attentive: The two men, Selwyn Rebello and Ganesh Gounder, were from India and had been on the ship for nearly eight months at the time of our cruise. They remembered our preferences, weren't fazed by special requests, and earned our tablemates' respect along with ours.

Tipping

Euro and U.S. dollar banknotesLike many other cruise lines, Costa adds a daily service charge to your bill, and a tip is automatically added to the cost of drinks so passengers needn't use cash when dealing with bartenders or bar waiters.

Service charges vary with the length and location of the cruise. (No charges are assessed for passengers under 14, and passengers from ages 15 to 17 are charged half of the normal rate.)

If you want to reward stewards, waiters, or other crew members individually, you're free to do so, but you'll need to tip in cash. (We gave extra tips to our cabin steward and dining-room waiters, and we tipped in euros because it was a European cruise.)

Next page: Shore excursions, shuttle buses


Costa Magica cruise review


2nd inset photo copyright © Alandj.

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