We embarked on the ship in Heraklion, having flown in from London. We travelled as a family of 3 (myself, my wife and my 10-year old daughter, who is in a wheelchair). The embarkation in Crete was what I would consider to be the worst part of the cruise. Heraklion is not really geared up to be a cruise port but more of a ferry terminal. The small embarkation building meant that some people were queuing outside in the heat for more than an hour before being able to enter the building. The whole process was very slow, a bit chaotic and quite uncomfortable.
Once onboard the ship things improved considerably. We were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage joined us almost immediately. The interior of the ship is beautifully decorated and, although 10 years old, did not give this impression.
The cabin was quite small but was cosy and served our needs. The cabin steward kept the cabin immaculately clean and our only gripe (other than perhaps the size) was that the air conditioning was not very effective, meaning that the cabin (being an inside) was a bit warm for us at night, especially as there were 3 of us in the cabin. The beds were, however, comfortable.
Despite the small size, we were able to pack the luggage in the wardrobes and had just enough space to park the wheelchair without folding (we had requested a wheelchair accessible cabin but were told these were all booked, despite the ship only being 60 to 65% full).
We found the Costa staff to be very approachable, friendly and helpful throughout the cruise, especially in the restaurant. The only niggle we had was the cruise excursion desk telling us that because we had a wheelchair we couldn't go on our planned excursion in Santorini, and advising us not to go ashore on the tender boat. Our cabin steward informed us that we would be able to take the cable car to the summit as they cater for disabled. we took the plunge and went ashore and did not regret doing so.