After 8 cruises we decided to sail Costa for something different. And it was a wonderful cruise. The ship is beautiful, all week long some new discovery in art work or sculpture. Definitely felt like I have visited Italy. Enjoyed this ship as if it had been my first cruise.
Embarkment: Arrived at ship 11:55am and boarded in about 10 minutes. Had the photo done and entered with music playing, a stewart handing out wipes. O yea a boun giorno greeting.
Cabins: We were in ours a few minutes after one. Had an obstructed oceanview with a door that opened, with a railing of course, and a small view between the lifeboats. Cabin was large with 3 full closets, couch and table, mini frig., desk with drawers. Top drawer contained a hair dryer. There were two receptacles, one American and one European current. Standard bathroom with shampoo dispenser in shower. You could request shower caps, and body lotion if desired. The beds were very comfortable. At night there was either a pillow chocolate or cookies. The cabin was spotless at all times. The room steward was unobtrusive, but honored any request. Room service was fast and efficient.
Entertainment: I can not say enough about this. Wonderful, fun, kept everyone involved. The pool area went nonstop with dance lessons, meringue, salsa, vampiro, mambo, and line dancing. Games were very different then what you're use to seeing. We got involved in most games. Prizes were cd cases, hats, duffel bags, cards, fanny packs, ect. All with ship Logo. Everyone who participated got one win or lose. Bingo was at the pool, as well as exercise classes and more. The evenings were all themed. There was Ballroom dancing, shows, disco all throughout the ship. Before diner and according to the theme there would be mask making, or paper flower making, face painting for the kids, bocce ball, and even staff in animal customs that always entertained.
The food was excellent breakfast-lunch-and dinner. Everyday a section would feature a different country's food. Mexico, Germany, England along with the regular American dishes and a pasta station which made a variety of pasta and sauces. During casual dining diner, there was a checkered table cloth, candles, napkins and silverware on the tables. I found all buffets to offer a full variety of food that was superb. And again spotlessly clean at all times.
The dining room experience was wonderful. Food was above average. Several courses were offered and there were a wide variety of choices. My favorite was the king crab legs and their caesar salad. I tried several of the veal dishes along with the filet of beef and it was oh so tender. It is definitely dining not just dinner. So it lasted a little bit longer then one might be use to. Service was great. Italian night after the entry in the dining room, we danced and did the congo line to the main area of the restaurant. And the waiters were dancing and singing. A lot of fun.
Shore excursions: Only did one through the ship to Catalina Island. We were taken over in a sea horse (large catamaran) and again there was dancing. Beach area was beautiful, free chairs, welcome drink, clean restrooms, shops, and no vendors bothering you on the beach. A very enjoyable day in the sun.
Grand Turk: We headed to Margaritaville. They have a huge pool and plenty of chairs for lounging. Again a lot of fun and a lot to see. Great photo opportunities, very clean, restrooms and lots of shops as well as a beautiful beach area.
I did not use the spa or fitness center, or children's facility. So I can not comment on these. However, though there were many children on board they were never obtrusive or unruly.
This cruise was a great value for the dollars spent. Service in all areas was wonderful. Toga night was quite interesting. You can super size your drink of the day for 50 cents. They offer a coffee deal for espresso, cappuccino, lattes, etc., they offer a 1x package for beer, wine, soda, and bottled water. I do want to mention that if you need cash be sure to go to the casino or the customer service desk before the last night. There is no ATM machine on board and there was no way to get cash on the last night. I am sure there is a lot I missed, but that is OK as I will surely sail Costa again.