I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely smooth.
We went to our cabin and it was perfect. Nice decor and clean. We met our stewardess, Katerina and she was an angel. Really nice and helpful.
Our first hiccup, was the fire drill. We asked several employees and no one knew where we had to go. Someone said it was in the theater, but it was empty, so after waiting for a while we went back to our cabin.
Food in the MDR was very good. The portions are small but that's the way the Italian eat. If you order the five courses you will be fine. I always order no more than three and for me was perfect, since we had the late seating and I don't like to go to bed too full. The breakfast buffet was awful, the eggs look like egg soup, the oatmeal, completely watery. All this is understandable since Europeans don't eat big breakfast like we do. Lunch buffet was OK. Pizza not the way Americans eat them with a lot of cheese.
Smoking is really bad, but again Europeans smoke a lot. It seems they haven't heard about cancer and smoking.We didn't use the casino, because of the smoking. In the open areas was OK.
Ports visited were nice. We couldn't visit Tunis and Marseilles was a disaster. We got in to Marseilles and they had buses (7Euros) to take you to the city. We got in a bus and after waiting for one hour in a traffic jam, they stopped a bus that was coming from the town and took us back to the ship. We couldn't see Marseilles which was one of the places I wanted to see. Costa knew that there was a strike in the port and they put the people at risk. Later we learned that a bus was attacked and the strikers laid down on the streets so no one would go into the city. They even had to call the police.
All in all, the cruise was OK. We were four couples, so we had a great time. Europeans in general are not as polite as the Americans. They cut the lines, they bump into you and not say sorry, they rush into the elevators even if they see that you were first, but at the end we did the same to them and laugh. Like they say Live and Learn!!!!