First let me say we have cruised about 20 times on various lines and have thoroughly enjoyed everyone of them. So, we are not serial moaners and we have never had cause to report a negative review before.
This cruise was 18 nights repositioning from Dubai to Savona visiting many ports in the Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Italy. Major sightseeing to the Pyramids, Luxor, Petra, Suez Canal, Rome as well as the fabulous Dubai.
The Deliziosa is a beautiful ship and we had a very comfortable deck 8 balcony cabin. The cabin ceiling made noisy creaking sounds for a while during the night but we got over that.
Our issues with Costa are in our opinion not minor however.
The food in the buffet and the dining room was consistently bland, lukewarm and lacking in choice. I would go as far as saying badly cooked. We cannot understand how Costa would want to represent Italian cuisine this way. Even the Pizza and Pasta choice and quality was poor.
We knew the drinks were expensive so we organized in advance a J2 all inclusive drinks package at £32(Sterling) per day each. For 18 days, this was a lot of money. We are not big drinkers but we were with friends and do like wine and beer in the lounges in the evening. I can tell you when we tallied it up, our drinks bill would have been even higher without the J2. The huge negative about this is that once on board, the information on the J2 we had been given by Costa in advance, was contradicted, sometimes in a very humiliating way. We were faced with asking again and again for clarification on what we were entitled to. Even the Maitre d wanted to disagree. When we asked the English speaking rep to solve this issue for us, she started by telling us she knew all about it and that what we had been told before we sailed was wrong. However, when she came back to us a day later, she was delighted to tell us we had been correct and that the J2 package included any drinks up to 6.99 euro each and included prosecco.
The Deliziosa, we have read, is a "green" ship. This does not excuse the serious lack of effective air conditioning in all areas including the cabin.
The excursion choices were great but sometimes you just want to get off the ship for a while and look around. In all our other cruises, info e.g. taxis, dos and don'ts, maps, little bit of history, was supplied in paper form either direct to your cabin or picked up near the gangways. Not on this cruise. One solitary gentleman sat in the atrium each night and the passengers had to queue to speak to him for this port info.
Information generally is not easy to obtain. This may be due to the language difficulties and there might have been much more available to the Italian passengers.
The entertainment was dire. Repetitive and dour. Childish games. Grand pianos often played by a machine. Classical type singers. Nothing lively and upbeat in the lounges. (We were early sitting so didn't do the disco)
We found the crew largely very nice but the service was average. We did however have great service from our dining room waiter and another waiter in the Cafeteria Sugar. Unfortunately we found the officers, aloof and disinterested.
Disembarkation was not pleasant. We had red luggage labels and were to meet in the theatre. There were hundreds of red labels and once all gathered, we were told we could get off. There was no crowd management at all so there was loads of shoving and pushing to reach the gangway at midships. Not a pleasant experience.