As a family we have cruised about 5 times mostly on carnival. My wife and I have been on about 10 total cruises various cruise lines never costa. Expecting luxury based on my perceptions only we were quite shocked to find out it was just another cruise ship in terms of service and cabins. Over all the ports were great but the line did not stay long enough for several of the islands. 5 hour stops is a joke you can do very little in 4.5 hours on an island ( assuming you don't cut it close to the departure time so not really 5 hours, closer to 4 if you include the wait time to get off the ship).
Food was very funky, we are from Chicago so our idea of Italian is very different then what actually is Italian in terms of meals. Pizza was horrible and that was all you really had for the kids because goose neck does not go over well with 10 and 13 year olds. We are used to buffets around the clock not so with this cruise line. You will search for a bit to find even one drink station open to get water or ice tea. You will pass several closed off stations on your quest to find the open one( not joking only 1 open!). You will also learn that ice cream is only open for a short period each day miss that time slot and you are out of luck until the next day.
Smoking was annoying but tolerable as Europeans have a different idea of that discussing habit. But the main smoking hole was right off the main elevator on the main floor of the ship so everyone got to enjoy the heavy smoke on the way to each meal, show or trip to the casino.
The biggest issue we encountered was on day 2 when my 10 year old daughter pulled her suitcase out from under her bed and noticed something on the floor. The something that she was now holding with her fingers was a USED condom.
My shock was what happened after I brought this to the attention of the front desk.......ready.......Wait for it....... Nothing other than sorry this happened. I ask for a supervisor and was told none was available. Got another room steward who again gave me a hollow sorry and told me the room was going to be deep cleaned..... What ever that means. Guess they are not "deep cleaned" between cruises?
Whole thing was a viewed as a joke and treated as a joke by the cruise line. Not very funny from my standpoint nor from a parents when they have to give a very early sex education class to their youn daughter while on vacation.