We cruised with our sons (1,2 and 6) and some friends and their kids. We were about 10 adults and 7 kids and had a good time, but it could have been better. The service was between mean and very bad. We booked this cruise about 9 months beforehand and reserved/asked for a table for all of us. On the first night, we were given two tables, apart from each others. No Maitre was there to talk to- we tried everything and were told to come back the next morning. Again: No one there. So we were told to ask again in the evening. We did and finally met the Maitre, who asked, why we did not complain right away? Well... In the end after long discussions and begging - we did not get a table together, which was very annoying as the group had to split every evening, which was especially for the kids a problem. In the end we found out, that they would have to rearrange the tables for the second seating and did not want to do that. I was kind of disappointed about this.
The service was ok and I expected less as we paid less than on the Christmas/New Year cruises with Celebrity or HAL, and we got less. As soon as it came to special request or a problem, the crew could not/did not want to/was not interested in dealing with it. This was probably the greatest disadvantage compared to other lines.
BUT- the standard service was ok and our steward was great. Out Butler was an impertinence, but we learned to avoid him. The room was very nice and spacious and we enjoyed the sweet suit life.
Food: Mediocre to bad, except the pasta and risotto dishes. I would compare the standard of food to NCL, but with better Pasta and pizza. I am a foody and not even very impressed by HAL or Celebrity, so again I did not expect much. One could find something and we always ordered the whole 6 or 7 courses, so if something was not nice, we just did not have it.
Other passengers: Interesting. Many italians, who were a bit rude (compared to americans) but also a lot of fun. I 'd say about 70 % were italians, the rest was a mix of Europeans and few Americans. I personally prefer (now I know that) American ships with anglo-american passengers. I saw some Germans, complaining all the time, which was nearly funny. Still- no German ships for us. There weren't very many children on board, more than on HAL, but less than I expected, considering they are free.
The new years eve party was ok, but not great. They did not care in preparing a lot, but we had our friends and enjoyed the evening a lot- the children also had fun and we all partied until 2 on deck in the tropical warm night.
Ports: Grand Turk - we knew the island and so the guys went to dive and the girls to Pillory Beach. We had a great time and wonderful Conch salad.
Jamaica: As it was the 1 of january, everything was closed. We had arranged a tout with Jamaica VIP, which was amazing. Ochos Rios did not look that great, so we left for Robins bay and had a really great time. Alfred provides a great service.
Grand Cayman: Some of us rented jeeps and toured the whole island, found a beach for ourselves in the south western part, had a picnic and snorkeled. Great day! Seven miles beach was nice, but too crowed for me. The national park was nice.
Roatan: We did a tour with our group. Went to see Carambola Gardens, met the monkeys, the guys did the big Zip-line (Priates of the caribbean, girls went to Parrot Beach and later we all had some lunch in a local restaurant in Coxen hole, right at the water.
Cozumel: 10 of us rented Jeeps, visited San Gervasio, stopped at the beach on the west coast for food and swimming, went to the Park del Sur, saw the crodiles and had a great time at the beach at the light house. We went to a local restaurant for some seafood (as we did not like it on the ship) and had a nice meals , viewing the sunset.
Nassau: We rented a car and toured the island, as we had been in Nassau before for several days. Found a nice spot near Coral habour and spend the afternoon on paradies island.
Embarkation was smooth, disembarkation a mess- and our group could not leave at the same time. We asked for this well in advance but we could get off at nine, others at 10 and the rest at 11. When we asked again, we were told that this can not be changed. Well....
Would I go Costa again? Probably not, but I might if the itinerary and the price is good. You get less if you pay less.