Our first time experience of cruising was not the best.
Very disappointed - in summary:
# playing pop music throughout the whole ship at 10am- even in the cabins! So if you've decided to sleep in or have a hangover and want peace and quiet, or even just having got your baby to sleep, you can't because you regaled, at significant volume by Eric Clapton and co! Why not just the public areas if you have to?
# endless ship announcements. Our 2pm siesta one afternoon, constantly interrupted by ship announcements over two hours culminating in 'BINGO BINGO' with all the joining details shouted in FOUR languages at which point I gave up and went for a coffee
# ONE English speaking tv channel out of thirty five!
# There's a reason the upfront cost seems very reasonable - everything else 'additional' is a rip off, e.g. Euro 20/ hour for the internet. The ship is aptly named, extras 'Cost a fortune' The spa was unusable due to extortionate pricing
# I only made one successful attempt at ordering room service, against countless attempts diverted to an ansaphone. Not once did I get to customer services from the room. When I complained, I was told 'we only have one phone'. That was it! Not interested.
#if you're into decor designed by a crack addict whilst concurrently experimenting with glue sniffing and heroin, this is the ship for you! It's so bad it's almost, almost I say, quirkily good - but not quite. Migraine sufferers are advised to avoid. It's now tired and very, very dated.
# no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, which is EXTREMELY annoying when you wake/ get back to your room and fancy a cuppa. You can't even use room service (see above) because no one picks up the phone.
# your allocated seat in the main restaurant is yours for the duration. There is no rotation, you're with the same people every night in the same restaurant - unless you take the daytime cafeteria buffet option. Maybe that's normal for a cruise, but we found if irritating.
# the rose wine served with our lunch would strip paint off of cars. It was beyond 'cheap'.
# evening show. Watching a juggler spinning plates and throwing bummer angus around, is something I was watching 40 years ago. A skilful guy definitely, but strictly very, very ho-hum entertainment.
Finishing on some good things:
We purchased the drinks package and list of cocktails included was very good
Asian bar staff by enlarge were very friendly. Our room 'concierge' was exceptionally friendly despite appearing to be on duty 24/7
Room (with balcony) was comfortable and the AC was good
Ship was clean
Gym was reasonable
Overall, we can see the potential of cruising, despite Costa's efforts, and will try again in about 10 years in a more up market company. In the end, you pay for what you get.