I would not recommend this cruise line. I recently completed a cruise on 4/28/06 from Ft. Lauderdale to Bermuda and Nassau and back.
This cruise line could become a world class line if management is willing to make improvements.
The Pros: The ship is well kept and clean. The crew and servers are helpful and courteous. The entertainment, though different from more traditional cruise lines, is very good. Cabins are adequate, though not large. The ship is lively and festive. Good dance floor and music.
The Cons-The FOOD: Italian cuisine is amongst the world's finest, but you would hardly know it from that which is served on this ship. Pizzas, pastries, main courses cannot compare in quality to what you can get in a good Pizzeria or local Italian Restaurant or Bakery. I could go on with countless examples: Baba Rum (no rum)flat tasting. The Oso Bucho- fat and gristle covered up by a dark sauce. Shrimp & Mussels that are hard as a rock etc,etc.. You can find some things that taste good and the food is palatable, but not first rate. The selection of food is narrow in scope. You have to spend time figuring out what to order. No Saltimboca a la Romana, or the real good stuff.
The Organization or lack thereof: The ship is large and it gives you a closed in feeling when inside. The Bellagio Buffet is a joke. You go through the chow line for breakfast and then must search for the whereabouts of a grapefruit. The coffee is here, but the sugar is far removed, in some cases. There are three chow lines and one of them is different from the other two. It is a disjointed operation, not a smooth linear procession.
Minor annoyances: The cabin draws have small loops for handles making it difficult to open, especially for a woman with long finger nails. In some restrooms, the doors are so near to each other that entry is difficult- you must open both doors simultaneously or get trapped between the two doors. There are more things like this which are annoying.
Their debarkation procedure is a joke. They tell you to be in a certain location at a certain time and that you must be out of your cabin by 8 A.M.. I just stayed in my cabin and did not leave at 8 A.M.. After 9 A.M. I saw many people passing by my open cabin door. I asked them "Where are you going?" They replied "we are leaving the ship," so I just followed along and left the cabin.
Another annoyance is the long wait on line to activate your credit card-yes "I said activate," just like Microsoft Windows, from whom they were no doubt inspired-joke.
Costa is not like HAL where things are well disciplined. Excursions are unorganized. You do not know the time of these excursions until you board the ship. So, if you booked two excursions on the same day (via the Internet), you do not know if there is a conflict with times. I had such a conflict, and it took me 3 times to finally get one of the conflicting excursions canceled. They exhort you to resolve excursion conflicts on the day you board, which is a burden on the traveler. Since you must wait on a line to activate your credit card, as alluded to above, you can see that this is not a pleasant experience.
On board shops are pricey and limited in selection. If management changes these things Costa could be a first class cruise line.