My wife and I just got off the ten day Caribbean cruise on Costa Luminosa. The itinerary was terrific, and the overall price was quite reasonable. Being the first time on Costa we were quite disappointed with the levels of service (especially food service) and the actual food served (even in the alternative dining room). This was our 18th cruise, but our first on Costa. The food was not up to the standards of the cruise industry, and the service was slow and not good at all. The waiters seemed to feel powerless about fixing problems with the food, and they caused us to feel they did not care. In the Lido deck the service was never in the same place, even during a single meal. You might get your food in one place, but had to visit another if you wanted to select another choice.
We will never cruise on Costa again. Although the price was good, we kept saying (and hearing) you "only" get what you pay for. Even in the alternative dining room, they charged $32.50 to eat there, but added prices for coffee or tea.
Extra charges for room service too. even pay per view movies, and no free movies unless you want to watch one in Italian. They tried to charge us for water in the alternative dining room and I refused to pay for that.
Too bad, because the ship itself was quite nice, and the entertainment was too. Our Veranda Cabin was very nicely set up and kept clean, although the sheets were not replaced until the seventh night. Our sheets got soiled somehow, but they were not replaced until the seventh night. Our cabin steward was helpful, but seldom seen. He spoke our language well and we genuinely liked him. We gave him an envelope with a sizeable tip, but we did not tip the food service people well at all. I went to the front desk and refused to accommodate the ship's approach of assessing the daily fee of $11.00 per passenger per day. They required me to give a written statement, and even show both passports in order to accomplish that, but we felt it was the only way we could demonstrate our displeasure with the service levels we received.
For us - it was distracting to hear every announcement in four languages, and to sit at meals with people who did not speak our language. We would have preferred to eat alone, rather than to sit with people with whom we could not communicate. It felt awkward and we wondered if they felt we were being rude by not talking with them.
The porters broke the handle on my luggage. When I complained - they did a poor repair job, and then when we left the ship the handle broke and the porters dropped my bag and broke the wheels too. Now I have a bag with broken handle AND two broken wheels.
In my personal assessment the employees on the ship were basically good, and wanting to do the right things. It seems the management and leadership is where Costa went wrong.
I can see that it might be useful for Europeans to be on a ship where they hear every announcement in four languages, but that was overdone. We stood for quite a long time while the life-boat drill was presented in four languages, including the life jacket being re-demonstrated each time. It was hot and very uncomfortable and took way too long.
RCL, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Disney, or Windstar - Oh Yes. Costa - Never again.
Sorry Costa. You earned this feedback.