Remember this is an Italian cruise line......not a package holiday from the UK.
Some of the previous reviewers have obviously boarded this ship thinking that with a stop in Dover that it would be full of Brits; this was certainly not the case. Infact, we very rarely saw many english speaking guests whatsoever - with the exception of the two couples whom we were seated with for Dinner.
Embarkation was smooth and speedy at Dover with first impressions of the ship being - wow!
We were sat for Dinner on a table of 6 and had a great laugh with the other two couples who were also British.
The X1 drinks package is highly recommended - all beers are served by the glass in both the restaurants and buffets but you can take them out if unfinished - including full bottles of wine which can be ordered strategically and wil last you the rest of the night!
On conclusion to the eating arrangements we thought it was a shame there is no alternate dining arrangement - the evening buffet being just pizza and salad (you cannot use x1 package there, only in the restaurant on an evening).
However the food overall was excellent. I can understand some of the negative reviews on here as I work in a professional role within the food industry and am fully aware of the varying degrees and opinion and how everybody believes their opinion is 'right'! However many are just misleading.
The lunchtime buffet had much variation and was of good quality. Dinner consisted of up to 7 courses depending upon your hunger levels - all very good quality, some dishes were a variation on a theme but always good quality. And, after 7 courses, I challenge anybody to still be hungry!
We took just one Costa trip - to Paris from Le Havre. Whilst this was 96 euros it was the only realistic way of seeing the city in one day. The trip overall was good and showed you the main sites as well as allowing you 3 hours to wander around by yourselves. It was well organised and worthwhile.
It has been mentioned a great deal about the italians on board. Yes, they do push in and yes they can come across as a bit rude - especially when getting a lift, what is it about getting in a lift before somebody else gets out?! You get to the stage where you cannot help but laugh! At no stage however did it become unbearable.
The entertainment was a little hit and miss. Give it a go and take it with a pinch of salt. If you out off the ship exploring the cities (thats the main reason you're going on a Northern Europe cruise isn't it?) and then eat when you are back on-board it doesn't leave you a great deal of time to worry too much about the entertainment, that's what we found anyway.
On a final note one of the best experiences of the cruise was the staff on-board the costa magica. Outstanding.
The cabins and the ship as a whole were spotless.
The itinerary made the cruise for us. Oslo being our favourite port of call although all stops have much to offer. It was a shame it rained all day in Copenhagen as it looked a lovely city also.
Overall a cracking cruise without any major probelms at all. Would I cruise with Costa again - yes i would.