In reading the initial critic's review I wonder if we were on the same ship. You are greeted to an assault of your senses when you board the ship. The colors the ideas, the design is not harmonious in the slightest. There is no sense of the wonderful Italian design as a complete composition. Smidges of ideas here and there are crammed together in a cacaphony of texture and pattern. The circus atmosphere is accentuated by the struggle of pattern with Roman classicism, as though the designer was an Italian student on speed. We felt that we had stepped into a modern remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Hard to take. The atrium and it's surrounding salons would be a good example of where to take students of design on what not to do. There is no regard for the design from one area flowing to the next. It makes for a constant topic of conversation however with cruise-mates known and unknown. The announcements were done in five languages which I do not mind but are frequent and generally about how to part with your money.
There was a nice cosmopolitan flavor in the guests although the common denominator which the ship seems to cater to was extremely low- and therein is a main complaint. We had hoped that, being an Italian ship, we would be finding some attention to the food. This was not the case in the entire ship for the entire week. The food was laughably bad. The pastry chef should be fired for any number of reasons, from bread to plastic desserts. The lovely availability and variety of fresh vegetables that the Italians are so good at was no where in evidence for the entirety of the cruise, overcooked vegetables, weak sauces, eggs created from powdered mixes, non-descript meat was the norm. By the end of the week we were eating the small offerings of the salad bar as it was the only thing that was consistently palatable. Our best meals were in our ports of call at restaurants recommended by locals- not fancy but real food.
There is some award given for environmental excellence. I think this ship should be reviewed. The waste of laundry, trash blowing around the deck-straws, napkins, etc- things that could easily have been avoided are paid no heed. Like a zoo extra trash is easily avoided by not offering it. I trust my fellow passengers to respond to concepts of environmental footprint. The cessation of cheap plastic straws and napkins are an easy item to avoid polluting the waters with. Although we hung our towels daily to reuse them again they were replaced- unnecessary, expensive and poor stewardship.
For several days the water in our suite was yellow tinged and tasted terrible making one suspect of the filtering system and the source. We were told they were flushing the pipes. Hmm. The crew was pretty disconnected from the passengers, pleasant enough but it was a job, nothing more. The spa treatment worker complained about the work conditions and had poor quality supplies. The gym did not have disinfectant bottles, so standard in most gyms to prevent the spread of germs and disease.. As a result the bars of the treadmills and other well used equipment that was in service was somewhat sticky, pretty, unhealthy feeling.
The casino dealers sniped at the guests saying -"go talk to my boss" and "those are the rules" with a sourpuss expression. Granted, the guest was unpleasant, but surely that is nothing new. Diplomacy in the service industry? A must. The restaurant staff seemed to want to do a good job but were poorly trained and less informed than a mediocre restaurant on shore. Did we have a terrible time? No. We have traveled a lot and know to roll with the flow. The weather and the company was great. Will I take Costa again? -Not if they give me a free ride. There are too many other choices out there.