Why overall poor service?
Easy! The crew don't get any time off during their contracts apart from the odd half day when they don't work and as 'service charge' gets automatically added to your bill, there is no insentive for the crew to provide a good service. So the customer, the one who pays gets the short straw.
On many occasions we had funny looks, 'do you realy want me to serve you?', or just ignored us point blank, or 'it's not my area', and then when we said 'there is no one to serve', they just shrug their shoulders and walk off.
I will not go anywhere close to Costa again. You pay a lot of money and get very little for it.
It all started with boarding. We went through about 5 checkpoints and not once did someone even say 'Welcome.' When we got onto the ship we had to find our own way to our cabin with no offer of help.
When we complained about booking a simialr excursion in St Petersburg two days in a row by accident, due to one saying St Peter's Palace and the other Petrovets on the second day, clearly due to their confusing information, they said there is no reason to apologise, it is not their fault.
Best bit of the cruise is 17 euro a day all incl drinks, as the drinks are very expensive and you get 15% added to all drinks for service, which in most cases came across as hard work and not a pleasure to serve you.
Compared to Thomson and MSC, not great and we skipped a few. The Las Vegas magician was very Magic 101 and not wow at all.
Apart from introducing the shows in the evening, the Cruise Director was no where to be seen compared ot other cruises and maybe reason for low take-up of some of the activities.
OK, very 3 star.
Very poor and struggled to book excursions in advance and no response to e-mails.
Overall OK, but never again.