I have previously cruised with princess and royal caribbean but that was alongside my family. So this was my first booking of a cruise without parental help! We looked for a bargain and came across Costa. After cruising with the other two companies I was sceptacle about the quality of the cruise, the interior, food, etc but my fears did not materialise.
We got an offer to upgrade to a mini suite from an Ocean balcony and took full advantage of this. So were treated to a butler on call alongside our cabin steward, a pillow menu, breakfast served to our cabin every morning (no charges applied), a meal in the exclusive restaurant included, proceseco, canapes and fresh fruit delivered to our cabin every morning. The room was lovely, a small dressing room, bathroom with whirlpool bath, large balcony and importantly a very comfortable bed.
Every day we got a newsletter in English informing us of the activities and there were so many that we always had difficulty selecting something to do. The evening entertainment was good lots of international singers and performers in the many bars, the shows in the theatre lasted around 45 minutes and were good. If you are travelling with young children it is very much a family orientated ship.
The excursion options were extensive. We opted to do our own thing in Corfu - walking distance to the town from the ship, we got a map from our English host Holly who was lovely. In Bari, Venice and Dubrovnick we were able to do our own thing. We went on three excursions Kataklon to a beach (not the nicest beach in the world, very busy and chaotic - would recommend the trip to Olympius instead) Athens we did the Acropolis and Palaka and would highly recommend this, very informative guide, saw all the highlights and had some free time which was nice and finally Santorini where we went to Perissa beach and Thira - stunning black beach, lovely quiet area, nice boat transfer, coach ride and time in the capital before getting the cable car back down. Highly recommend Perissa beach.
Some reviews might complain about the food and yes the buffett area at night was not brilliant but if you eat in the main restaurants the food is served at an exceptionally high standard, waiter serve very attentive - similar to some michillan star restaurants I've eaten at. But yes the buffett is not 24 hrs and only runs to midnight and serves pizza and salad in the evening. However if you eat in the restaurant this really shouldn't be a problem! The buffett at lunch and breakfast is pretty good. As many mention the drinks package is worth getting as you will easily consume more than the daily price, easy to use once you have paid.
Would consider crusing with costa again after our recent experience. Despite being warned to use my elbows and knees because Italians don't queue this really wasn't the case and had no problems. You might not have lots of other English speaking guests to talk to but the crew are pretty much all fluent in English. If you do go with Costa and are on Costa Magica have a lovely time!
Unfortunately wanted to do the volcano hike but excursion was cancelled due to lack of interest so opted for beach excursion and was probably the highlight apart from Venice.