We booked our first time cruise in October 2010 for " The Holy Land and Eastern Mediterranean" solely to visit Egypt and The Holy Land. When Egypt was withdrawn because of the troubles we reluctantly accepted the situation but did not cancel. When the Holy Land was also withdrawn (before any problems there) we expressed our abject disappointment but were told that we could not cancel without losing all our money because it was too close to our embarkation date. We were therefore locked into a cruise to places we had already visited with no mention of compensation or any alternative. Costa even changed the name of the cruise to "Mediterranean Highlights" a few days before our embarkation with no mention of the Holy Land. We found that everyone we spoke to had had a similar experience and some were considering their legal position.
We found our cabin very nice, the on board crew very good (but unhappy), the ship spotless, the restaurant food excellent, the buffet food OK.
However the fine detailing of being made to feel wanted, appreciated, important by the shore crews left a lot to be desired. From having no one to meet and greet us at Milan airport so that about twenty of us were left to drag our suitcases around the airport trying to find a Costa representative or even a Costa sign. Through the chaos of embarkation and disembarkation to being turfed out of our cabin on our last day at 08.00 to be taken to Milan airport for a flight which did not leave until 20.00, a seven hour wait at a small airport are typical examples of Costa`s poor, careless, shoulder shrugging attitude towards their customers.
Needless to say our first experience of cruising will most likely be our last thanks to Costa and no we will not be recommending them to our friends and family.