Couldn't wait to try the Costa Cruise line. This cruise was our 5th.
Positives: Ship was very clean and Grand Suite was spacious. Both our Butler, Emil and room stewardess El were great, friendly and very accommodating. Costa took pristine care of their ship the Magica.
Major problems: Luggage handling was atrocious. We were on the 7th floor and for 4 hours could not use the stairs or the elevators. They stacked luggage sky high and close to exit access. This could have been a serious "hazard violation". Some of the people we were traveling with, their luggage went to another floor, even though it was properly labeled.
Because we paid extra to stay in the Grand Suite, we had been invited to a special captains cocktail party. That was the worst we've been too. The Captain seemed cold and impersonal as he greeted each individual in line (approximately 30 people). He didn't even look at you; he pulled your hand along through the line. How demeaning! How Rude - Costa should pay attention to this.
This ship was not properly equipped to support some of the older handicapped folks with walkers and wheelchairs. Costa should seriously consider doing more for the handicapped type people. This slowed down some of the other passengers who were not at this stage yet. Had I known this cruise was for older seasoned passengers, I would not have booked this cruise.
Negatives: The ship was understaffed. Our two waiters hustled many tables and every night worked up a sweat (hope it didn't drop in my food) Bar service in the restaurant was terribly slow. Food service was slow and served luke warm. Costa wasted their budget nightly on serving rolls that were like bricks - not appetizing and "old". Casino checkout had only one window open. Service in Casino was very slow, again very short staffed.
Food was very poor in quality. Some of the restaurant (Smeralda) staff were not friendly - especially 2 of the maitre d's at first seating - very rude and gave you the impression they didn't really want to be there and could care less about you.
Getting off and back on ship - was very disorganized, especially the return because only one check-in was open and lines were several hundred people deep.
No maps of the ship layout were available. Hardly any clocks aboard ship especially for time zone changes. Three nights while being docked in Bermuda and Nassau, no water from 1:00am to 6:00am.
Conflicting information - at customer service desk - staff were not friendly, language barrier was so bad, most of staff didn't either understand you or gave you incorrect information.
Three times we were locked out of our room. Cards stopped working. There are no house phones easily accessible on the floors. Even some of the staff didn't know where they were located.
Finally, there were charges for everything. I wanted to do my own laundry and couldn't, had to pay for that. No ironing services, had to pay for that, and extra charges (3%) on anything you charged to your room.