We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful spirit, we expected to have a great and relaxing time with this cruise. As it turned out, Costa cruise ruined the 2nd part of our honeymoon trip. To start, arriving at the port, there was no sign or staff to show us where to go to embark. I had to ask around to find the bus that would take us to the ship. The bus had no AC. It was during a hot day during the first week of september, 2011. Once arrived, the "gate" which was just a big tent. Inside, it was so disorganized and chaotic, the staff had no sense of how to manage the crowd. Adding to the insult, there was the smell of portable toilet inside the same tent!!! We had to wait 1 hr in this smelly place before getting on board. What a good way to start!!! This should have been a warming sign for what to come next.
Once on board, our cabin has no English speaking channels. I had to wait 2 days and over 10 calls to the italian staff to have it fixed. It was useless to talk to the italian crew, whose English skill was poor and did not care about our complaint. Finally, we had the chance to complaint to our English host, Sean, and the problem was solved.
Going to our first lunch in the buffet, it was like a zoo. All the people in there were Italians and appeared not to have been fed for days. They were pushing, screaming and cutting the line like a pack of hungry hyenas. The word courtesy was totally foreign to them. The sad part was that they were fighting for poor quality food. Water was limited and dispened in water cooler, which was most of the time empty.
Our toilet of cabin smelled like urine, not matter how hard our steward tried to clean it. The boat was old with little activities that a non-Italian would enjoy. We ended up staying in our cabin most of the time. We are not picky travellers but this company hit rock bottom in terms of service quality. The non-Italian staff were kind and helpful and deserved all the credit to make this cruise a little more tolerable.
During the disembarkement, it took the cruise staff over 5 hrs to let us leave the ship. While waiting, there was no refreshment or entertainment offered.
Overall, I would highly recommend to avoid Costa cruise. It is poorly managed by its Italian crew. However,the olive oil is the fine dining was excellent. That was the only positive of this awful experience.