We had done the same itinerary in Feb 2010 on RCI Brilliance,and wanted some winter sun with a shortish flight so booked ourselves a reasonable cost package on the Deliziosa. Having first read the reviews we were a little apprehensive but went with an open mind,lookng forward to trying Costa for the first time. We booked the X1 drinks package beforehand as it seemed the best option for us(we enjoy a glass of wine or two with our meals!)I would have to say that if you are at all fussy about the wine you drink it may not be for you!There is no choice, only house wine(red white or rose)This is non negotiable(we even tried bribery!)and as mentioned by a previous reviewer once the bar staff know you have pre-bought the X1 they tend to avoid you as there is no serice charge to be gained! if you are happy to get your drinks from the bar its not a problem.
In the main restaurant after the first night our bottle of wine was always waiting for us on the table and it was never a problem getting another(thirsty work this cruising!)
As we arrived in Dubai at 9pm our first meal experience was in the buffet retaurant and I would describe as 'okay' next morning we ordered room service and this arrived promptly(in fact as a guideline order the later slot than you actually want as it always arrived 15-20 mins early)
By now we were feeling a little deflated(mediocre food poor wine etc) but I must be honest things got better from there on.
The food in the main restaurant was absolutely delicious could not fault it at all,the service was good and the whole atmosphere was super(buzzing and cheerful) We shared our X1 wine with the others on our table several times (they seemed to like it better than us!)and enjoyed their good company.
I did not use the spa so cannot comment although the prices were pretty hefty and the staff always seemed to be trying to drum up trade(perhaps if it was a bit more afordable?)
The entertainment was okay-on a par with most cruise ships though a special mention must be made for Arthur Petterson (main theatre and piano bar excite)who was a legend!
Around the ship is spotlessly clean as was our cabin,which was a good size and had a lovely size balcony with recliner chairs (great for relaxing with a drink after a hard day in the sun!)
Our favorite port was Muscat where you can walk from edge of port into the pretty town to haggle in the souks and stroll along the seafront.
Our whole cruise experience with Costa was a good one.We thoroughly enjoyed being amongst many other nationalities definately in the minority but found everyone friendly and polite.
Everything went smoothly and simply (we didnt need to visit customer relations once)everything can be arranged on the interactive totems-a brilliant idea-though if you need help it is always available.
If you could describe yourself as enjoying fun and open minded you will love this ship as we did.Cant wait to go again and wouldnt hesitate to recommend it.Dont miss the midnight buffets that happen most nights they are the best we have experienced and loads of fun too!