This was our 6th cruise. We cruised with two other companies before : Carnival and Princess which were great. This was our first Costa cruise and will definitely be the last.
We were very disappointed with our cruise ship: the food was very poor with no buffet option in the evening (closed early in the afternoon with only a very limited salad bar and dry pizza in the evening). Food in the dining room was bland, service slow and waiters unfriendly! No drinking water provided at the tables. You have to purchase bottled water (or other types of beverages) if you want to drink with your meal.
At breakfast and lunch the buffet was like a zoo : overcrowded, difficult to find a table, staff systematically not yielding to passengers carrying food plates to their tables or picking up unfinished plates without first asking if we were done, barmen at every corner trying to sell you drinks not included with your cruise, empty orange juice or ice machines which, along with ice cream machines, were only accessible during specific and very short periods of time.
Decks and pools were also overcrowded. Children running around and shouting in cabin corridors as late as 11h pm and later.
The only positive aspect : The ports of call (La Romana, Catalina, Tortola, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St-Marteen) were great and most of them are not available through other cruise lines which is the reason why we picked this particular cruise in the first place...