My first gripe was that Costa never provided any information on times or venue to embark in Trieste, Italy. There was no boarding pass provided or facility on the website to print one either.
On boarding, I asked the customer service officer about wifi availability and pricing on this cruise and was advised that the wifi service was very expensive and not very effective. Why do they offer it and advertise that it is available? One whole week without the option to use wifi was a major disappointment...
This cruise was basically an excuse for rowdy families with badly behaved kids to run riot uncontrollably on board the 'Crapica' boat. Kids played soccer in the Observation Deck (which is a bar) and were not told to stop while we were trying to watch the stunning coastal depart from Montenegro. They bounced and jumped around on furniture in the bars until all hours of the night with no regard for anyone else. There was just no discipline instilled anywhere on this liner! As a parent of 2 girls, I just don't comprehend this sort of behaviour?
The gym was a madhouse at times too, as unsupervised kids were also occupying training machines (while mucking around) and prevented adults from using them. Rules and regulations were not adhered to in this case as it stated that children must be supervised by an adult and also no more than 20 minutes was allowed per machine. My partner nearly got in a fight with one guy ( a sexist) who was the only one waiting to use the machines as it was morning and he complained that I (a female) was on a treadmill for 40 minutes when some other guys had been on treadmills for over an hour. Might I add there was no gym instructor around at this time to settle the matter and on other occasions when we used the gym there was no instructor either?
Another major problem with this boat which houses 1300 people was that the dining areas were not large enough to cater for this number of people. There were 2 seatings at dinner in the formal dining room, a 6:30 pm one and another at 8:45 pm which is awfully late to be eating dinner. The food was generally lousy in the dining room except on gala evenings where the quality was better, but still not great! The buffet area also could not seat enough people as some lunches you could not even get in the door (especially on the day they offered fresh, local mussels and prawns). The buffet was like a battle zone as if nobody had ever eaten before and the noise level was unbearable. Decorum was lacking and if you didn't get a seat there then you had to go to the formal dining room and have a really inferior meal there!
The accommodation wasn't bad as the rooms were of reasonable size, but the walls were paper thin and you could hear every movement or noise next door or in the hallways. Only soap and toilet paper were provided, no shampoo or shower caps as you get in hotels?/
We pre-booked some English speaking tours for our port stopovers but they were cancelled only the evening prior to the tours as there weren't enough English speakers on board the ship. Another disappointment and surely the tour dept would have known this earlier on?? As it turned out we tended to book tours and excursions once we landed in the ports at the local tourist info centres and travel agents and they were enjoyable. The schedule for each day was given the night prior, including info about the next port of call. No map was given or information about what sites of interest there were in these ports (not good as we could not do the excursions offered by Costa) and got off the boat with no idea and had to go looking for what to do there??
The day we landed in Kotor we were instructed prior that we would need to queue and wait to get off the boat as there would be a 'Tender boat' to take us to shore. This whole procedure was a waste of time as it took well over 2 hours. We were required to obtain a number and sit around and wait until the number was called before we could go to shore by the 'Tender boat"? Once the number was called our group got off the boat and we found that there was NO "tender boat' and we were actually docked ashore!!!!! If there wasn't one why did they still carry on with this silly, deceptive procedure??? We were lied to and made to sit around for nothing???
Overall the cruise was very downmarket and we had no idea when we made our booking, although the price seemed very reasonable, I suppose we should have realised this? The only thing going for this liner was the ports of call which we made the absolute most of, apart from Ancona (not much there) and Corfu (nothing there either as no options were provided by the locals for excursions seeing as no English speaking excursions were provided by Costa). Kotor, Montenegro, Kefalonia, Greece, Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia were stunning ports of call and if it wasn't for this cruise we would not have had the opportunity to visit this part of the world. In hindsight, we should have taken a more classy cruise which disembarked from Venice to visit the Dalmation Coast.