First, this was probably my 15th cruise, and my 4th in Europe. Btw my cruise was actually the northern capitals cruise, but this site didn't have that option to choose. I'm not even sure where to start.
1. The food was horrible, really really horrible. the buffet service wasn't open at convenient times, usually over crowded, and the food stations wouldn't all be open, so there was always a search for where the food was. I've never seen this before on a cruise, but the tea/coffee/water machines were often closed. There was a big push to buy bottled water so this may be the reason.
2. the bottled water situation, the first night in the dining room we were told NO beverages were served complimentary, not iced tea, not coffee, not water, hear that, no water. They try to get people to buy the bottled water package. After the waiter told me that tea/coffee wasn't included it ended up it was, but they push the drink packages.
3. The drink packages. First day we were offered the all inclusive drink package 299 euro ($320), it covers all drinks, speciality coffees, etc. The thing is i'm not a big drinker and i'm on medication which limits my alcohol, which would be fine, but they wouldn't let my travel companions buy the package unless i did too. I had my medication with me clearly stating not to use alcohol, but it didn't matter, even if someone didn't drink for religious reasons, didn't matter, all had to buy or none.
4. Limited food options. I'm a vegetarian, the limited vegetarian options in the dining room were horrible, small, tasteless, and i found a shrimp in the vegetarian soup one night. The staff could have cared less.
5. In general the staff seemed really unhappy, i think the cruise line's policies force them to be less than helpful so they're pretty miserable. My cabin was set up with the beds configured as one, i was traveling with a friend and we asked the cabin steward to separate the beds. At first he told us that wasn't possible, really? it wasn't until i told him I've been on many cruises and I know the beds separate that he went ahead and did it for us.
6. Last but not least, the wifi incident. two days before the cruise ended i bought one hour of wifi time (23 Euro). With this i could log on and off freely using a total of 60 minutes. I logged in for 10 minutes, it worked fine and logged out (btw I'm a web developer with a master's in computer science). Later when i logged in again i couldn't get to any site but the costa site, any url i used looped me back to costa. I reported the problem to the customer service desk. They said they opened a ticket for me (whatever that means) and someone would get back to me. Next day no one did, i went back, was told to wait a little while longer....12 hours before the cruise ended i went back to the desk. They spoke to me like i was an idiot, explaining the internet was slow, i told them the issue was the speed or bandwidth, but i couldn't surf anywhere. They offered me 30 additional minutes, which was useless if i can't surf! They didn't care to understand and kept saying their system didn't allow for refunds. That's the worst BS I've ever heard. I stopped the charge thru my credit card.
I wouldn't take Costa again if they paid me.