First cruise and we plumped for Costa due to kids price and itinerary around the Med.
Embarkation in Barcelona was easy and quick, started at 15:30 and we were in the cabin by 15:45 with cases already delivered. Exterior cabin was very large and well set out. Had the drinks package and I would definitely recommend. Ship was large and we did like the decor, everything was immaculate.
Food was average, if you cruise for fine dining then I would expect Costa is not for you. It was perfectly acceptable but 3 star rather than a good experience. We ate in the MDR every night and in the buffet on decks 9/10 every other time. Buffet was again good but not excellent.
Entertainment was good enough but certainly not London West End, we enjoyed it. Went to a couple of shows in the theatre and at night relaxed in the piano bar and other places. It was good enough for us. We tend to just sit back, relax and enjoy whatever is on, the piano bar was just that, music was not More
intrusive, just " in the background" and we enjoyed it.
Excursions, we only did one ship excursion, return transport to Rome and it was well organised. Their excursions are expensive and generally you can pick up same at the ports for a bit less money. As an example we paid 130 euro with taxis return to the water park, including entrance in magaluf for 4 of us, the same with Costa was over 200 euros, bus, return.
All inclusive package was a brilliant deal, the service at the bars excellent, never waited more than a minute to be served. Can not recommend this enough to people.
Overall, as we have nothing to compare against, I would say that we enjoyed our lot, food average, boat and staff excellent and itinerary good.
Of the things I've read about Costa, food I can see would be a negative if you are looking for lobster and 5 star as Costa does not deliver that at all. Service was a grumble a lot of people had, we never encountered any bad service and as I've said service at the bars was incredibly quick and efficient. Entertainment was again okay, nothing spectacular but fine for us. Tannoys was again a moan for some, not for us, we hardly noticed them.
Would we cruise Costa again, yes. The price was right for us with the kids (17+12) going for £108 each and the itinerary was just what we were after. Less