Embarkation was smooth and generally quiet. The area for waiting was a bit hard to find but it was a pleasant enough wait which wasn't very long as we arrived early and had plenty of assistance from friendly Costa staff on the ground.
On board the ship, we were not able to get in our cabin right away so we looked around. Not as impressive as Luminosa yet as the days passed, the friendly service of the crew made up for th somewhat annoying attitude of many Italians on board. We thought we were the only ones who noticed they didn't like to line up, a bit pushy and smoked all the time, anywhere they liked, etc..But then we got into talking with a number of people, two Canadians who also complained about the excessive smoke in the lounges (even if there are non-smoking signs on many tables). These Italians (we could hear them talking in their language too!) just take any ash tray and put in any table they liked! So there was a problem with crew not being able to properly enforce this rule that only tables with ash trays are for the smokers.
In all the ships we've cruised on the smoking areas are all outside the decks. I cannot understand why in Costa ships (Victoria & Luminosa) we found smokers are the kings and queens!
Also it was tedious hearing around 7- 8 translations for a simple instruction, despite their claim that English was the main language for the crew. Just because it is an Italian ship, Italian was always first to be catered for. I thought it is an international cruise. The English speakers seem to be the minority, even in the bus tours, it was extremely excruciating listening to all the translations (we would always be grouped w/ other nationalities speaking German, or Dutch, etc..) what happened to a common internationally accepted language- English? I am sure they can understand English!
Anyway the beauty of the ports/places we visited compensnated for the frustration with the annoying Italians on board. Hubby noted that they seem to be mostly country people out on a cruise of a lifetime as they didn't really showed much finesse and sophistication- track pants, cargo shorts/pants even on smart/formal nights. It was unbelievable! I don;t mean to sound like a snob but htat is why there are information available for the dress code, behaviour, etc.We also witnessed how some of t hem "scold" or talk arrogantly to the crew. I was a bit perplexed and embarrassed for some of the crew who had to endure their arrogance! I was also a victim, I was getting some drink and an older Itlaian man, speaking Italian took my hand and just shoved it near the ice machine..so rude!1 He just muttered in Italian. I was shocked and was tongue tied! I wasn't in the habit of cursing so I just told my husband about it after a while and not that time as i didn't want our trip to be spoiled by that rotten old man!