Arrived in Rome from Australia on 30/1/09 and stayed near the Railway station in Rome. Then on 31/1/09 travelled by rail to the port very easy to do and cheap. Walked from the Railway station to the port about 4 blocks you can see the boat as you arrive by train. As you enter the port there are free shuttle buses that took us to the ship. Once at the terminal you are directed where to leave luggage and then take a seat and wait to be called to go onto the ship. Boarding time is from 1pm onwards but we got there at 2pm and they were still waiting for the police before allowing anyone onto the ship. We were on by about 2.40pm.
The ship is truly amazing and even though i had read some bad reviews I cannot say anything bad about the ship. We only speak english and were looked after extremely well. The announcements are in about four languages and yes english may often be last but then we are in their country. On the first day there is a meeting and lecture from the english guide from the ship(she was extremely informative and was very approachable "Kate")
We had a balcony cabin on Deck seven and it was great. The cabin staff all spoke reasonable english and we never had any problems gaining what ever we asked for. The food I was a bit worried about after reading the reviews but I can only say good things about it. It there was something you didn't like they replaced it with another course. We had the X1 drink package and it worked well except you don't get any choice in the wine other than red or white it is what ever they serve you. The beer was okay though. Every night as you got to the the table the waiter had a beer and red wine waiting for us after the first night. Great service. The Maitre de "Edwarduo" was exceptional. A top itinerary and a top cruise. All staff were there to serve you. We had an error on our account (laundry charged when not used)and it was rectified within the hour with an apology. A great cruise and would travel with Costa again.
Only complaint was the night time entertainment was very average but then we were tired most nights anyway with excursions the next day. A big trip and a lifetime memory.