As my title says, my wife and I went on this cruise because I won a contest. I would have never picked Costa on our own. I have met no one on any of the 15 cruises I have gone on that has sailed on Costa, which to me says a lot.
Embarkation - this was one of the best parts of the cruise. This was the first and last line that went quickly. We were on the ship within 15 minutes of arrival.
Ship and Cabin - what a waste of a beautiful ship! The ship was well laid out and the balcony cabin was nice and large. Everything was clean.
Service Staff - the first thing that was strange was that our cabin keys were in our stateroom. I have never had that happen before. We have always had our picture taken before we boarded the ship, I assume for security reasons. The door to our cabin was left open and the keys were on the bed.
We were travelling with a co-worker and in his cabin was a basket of fruit. Our cabin had none, which was strange, because we both won the trip and were suppose to receive the same benefits. I contacted our cabin steward and he said he had no idea why they received a basket. We were not marked to receive one.
We also did not get our dining assignments like my co-worker did. Our cabin steward said he never received them and that I had to go see the dining room steward for it. Why should I have had to get them, as they were in every other person in our groups cabins (there were 75 winners).
Dining - the service in the main dining room was the slowest I have had in many cruises. As a matter of fact, it was the slowest of any we had been on, except for my first Carnival cruise years ago. We had late seating and most of the tables in our area were not even half full. There was no excuse for that.
The food in the main dining room was not very good, at least for American tastes. I realize this is "Cruising Italian Style," but the only the pasta and a few seafood dishes were good. The beef dishes were very poorly done. If I had been cruising our of Europe than I could accept the menu to be more for European tastes, but this cruise was out of the good U S of A.
The buffet food was ok at times. The pizza was good and the fresh made pasta was very good. They had specialty days, such as Mexican and that was the worst excuse for Mexican food I have every had. I could not believe how bad some of the dishes were. The hamburgers were good.
Fellow Cruisers - As noted in reviewers before, the Americans on the ship were outnumbered. Many of the Europeans were rude, demanding and smoked everywhere. It made for a few uncomfortable moments.
Ports of Call - San Juan would have been nice, if it had not been raining. St. Thomas is always my wive's favorite for shopping, as we have been there and seen the sights before. La Romana is nice, but take a tour or stay on the ship, as there is nothing to do otherwise. Grand Turk, what can I say, enjoy your day at the beach or go shopping at the overpriced on shore (I am sure Carnival owned)shops.
Entertainment - we went to a couple of shows and were not impressed. They flew some comedian/impersonator in that was suppose to be famous because he had an HBO special. He was a nice guy, but not really that funny. The casino kept my wife busy most of the time, as the machines were a little looser than on previous cruises.
Disembarkation - it went smooth and we were off the ship at the designated time.
To sum up this cruise, the food was not really good, the service was slow, a great deal of our fellow passengers were rude. I guess what should I expect for free.