Crowded is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the cruise I just took on the Costa Fortuna. In my opinion, the distribution of passengers is not well organized. Most of the guests end up eating meals in the same restaurant--The Columbo, I think it was called--if they don't want to change out of their bathing suits and eat in the formal dining rooms. The queues at the buffets are so irritating.
And the food aboard the Costa Fortuna is the cheapest products the company can get away with. There's s reason why half the food ends up in the rubbish bin. It's just not very good.
The food is also not great in the formal dining rooms: soup that tastes like baby food, risotto that looks like a bloop of baby poo (ungarnished and bland), and prosciutto that actually isn't proscuitto, 'gelato' that had nothing in common with traditional Italian gelato except perhaps the temperature. I'm not a fan of Italian food, and my experience aboard the Costa Fortuna didn't do anything to change my mind. Italian food is simply boring.
I have sailed with The Pacific Princess (16 days to the Holy Land) and twice aboard AIDA ships (Canary Islands, Black Sea), and I can say, with very few exceptions, that the staff aboard the Costa Fortuna were unfriendly and seemlingy unacquainted with the concept of hospitality. There are swarms of waiters trying to make money off you while there are precious few Customer Service staff to help you when you have a problem. I actually called the Customer Service number from our cabin and let it ring for 20 minutes once just to see if anyone would pick up the phone. No one did.
Again, Costa Cruises puts more energy and staff into making money off the guests than they do in providing a quaility experience. The toilets always smelled terrible and indeed were not very clean. Although there are hand sanitizers positioned at the buffets, almost no one used them. In contrast to other cruises I've been on, I don't believe guests were even urged to use them.
A few hours before we left the ship, I returned to our cabin from breakfast to find that housekeeping had already made up our bed for the next guests. All of our things were heaped up on the sofa next to the bed. And this was three hours before we had to vacate the cabin. When I complained about this, the Customer Service staff member told me I didn't need to worry about it. I told her it wasn't about me; it was about the next guest. I wouldn't want to be that next guest. A room should never be prepared for the next guest until the previous guest has left it. That's why you find dirty underwear between your sheets. The Customer Service staff member seemed uninterested and uncomprehending of this basic level of hygeine.
Apparently--but I may be mistaken about this since I didn't book the cruise--you are offered only one Drinks package when you book the cruise, and everyone in your cabin must buy it (if you buy it, which we didn't). Once on board, you are suddenly told about a host of less expensive options. We chose the four bottles of wine and seven bottles of water package, and the juice package for our non-alcohol-drinking cabinmate.
All in all, unless I got an incredible deal, I wouldn't book another Costa cruise. Too many people, boring food, surly staff, poor hygeine. Too many cons, not enough pros here.