I rarely feel sorry for Europeans but Boy, are they taken by Costa. The first thing that my wife and I noticed at embarkation is that the prices on the ship for the shops, excursions, drinks, etc. were in Euros. But the problem was that the numbers were the same as when we sail on other cruise lines. It appears that Costa just replaced the $ with a Euro symbol. Oops, there goes a 40% mark-up. The problem is easy to fix, don't buy anything on the boat.
The real problem was the food. Our first surprise was that there was no dinner buffet on most nights. Those nights that did have a buffet it was open for only 90 min. While it is true that you could get a plain piece of pizza anytime, how much plain pizza can you eat. We had gotten used to the freestyle eating on other cruise lines and this was a surprise, either 7 or 9:30. It would have been nice to come back on the boat from a day in port to some other than baloney or olive loaf an a stale dinner roll for afternoon tea.
All could be forgiven if the food offered was good. It was terrible. Think of diner food, well not that good; we got off the boat and ate at diners and that was better.
Salads came with rotted lettuce, pasta and meatballs came with no meatballs. Breads and deserts were generally stale. Over salted was the main spice and too long in the steam table the method of preparation.
I hate to pick on the kids who are the dancers because I know that they work hard. But, I could have danced some of the routines and I'm over 60.
No turn-down service in the cabins, no mints or towel animals or any little niceties.
I could go on and on about the failures of Costa. But I would say that the service people were the nicest and most pleasant of any cruise we have been on.