We are frequent cruisers and had sailed on the Costa Riviera many years ago. That was probably one of the best cruises I had ever taken. Due to my wifes job we were unable to take Costa, during the times it was in the Caribbean, and when this opportunity came up we jumped on it. What a mistake. First of all I have to hit the "High" parts.
Boarding was fast and efficient we had our cabin and luggage by 2PM, we arrived to board at about 1245. That Timing was unbelievable. Secondly the ship is beautiful and the cleanliness was impeccable and that was maintained during the entire cruise. Our Cabin Steward (Albert) was the greatest, he was very attentive and anything we asked for was done immediately. Our Assistant waiter was also great, this was his first contract and if he keeps up the good work he will be a great waiter. The Cruise Director Max was also great, the entertainment was some of the best I have ever experience, especially the Tenor that they had, all the other shows were very well produced and entertaining. Great Job Max!!!
NOW...Customer Service and Tour Desks were the rudest and most disrespectful cruise employees I have ever encountered. If it was me I would "clean house" and start all over. "I can't help you"(in a very dismissing way) and ignoring you were common. Don't book a tour unless you are 100% sure, because there are no cancellations. You don't get all the information, on line and then when you get on board and find out there is a difference TOO BAD. Also having 4 1/2 hr tours when you are only in port 6 hrs doesn't give time for anything else. I could go on for ever about the tours, but you get the idea.
The food was one of the BIGGEST disappointments of all. It was average at best. An Italian cruise line that makes terrible Tiramisu, what's up with that!! The steaks were tough, our table mate had to send the seafood dish back 3 times for something else and the majority of the pasta dishes were average, I've had better at Olive Garden. The stores, on board, we poor. We've had better selections and quality on smaller ships. Let me warn you, if you have allergies, don't book this one. There is a lot of smoking allowed and they use a recirculating system similar to airlines, so sinus allergies will act up quick. Rooms are not very cool-we propped our door open so we could get some cool fresh air.