We arrived in Dubai around 23.00 hrs and was aboard the ship within the hour.
The buffet was open all night I believe, as people were arriving constantly throughout the night.
The cabin was bright and airy with sufficient storage space and hangers. There was a fair size shower with plenty of counter top space. The main draw-back with the rooms, as others have said, is the cord handles for drawers and cupboards. I solved this by slipping a pen within the loop and thereafter had no problems. I would have liked the air-con a little cooler but others we spoke to had no problems in their rooms so not sure if that was just us.
The mix of passengers was good, far more Brits and other English speakers than I expected. There were not that many children on board, maybe around a dozen plus a few babies. I didn't see anyone using walking frames or scooters which was unusual.
The safety drill took place around 2 hrs before sailing. All passengers had to take More
their lifejackets and we also had to put them on once at the muster stations. Staff checked that every passenger had put them on correctly.
We were initially disappointed that the buffet was not open every night but we enjoyed using the dining room much to our surprise. Not once did I see people queuing to get into the dining rooms, as you see on some of the other lines (I hate seeing that - are these people starving?) There was a good choice of meals and if you didn't fancy anything on the menu then the waiter would offer alternatives. Breakfast was the usual - cereals, eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, cheese, fruit with an excellent selection of breads and croissants. Throughout the day you can get coffee, tea, water, ice etc. The coffee on Costa is excellent, far and away the best I've had on any cruise.
We don't usually bother with the entertainment so can't comment on this.
The Captain announced that due to strong winds we would be skipping Abu Dhabi and instead have an extra day in Duba. Shuttle buses were available to those who wanted to go there. Two ports were also switched around, again because of the wind/sandstorms. The captain also told us what islands we would be passing and when we would be going through the Straits of Hormuz(sp).
There was ample sunbeds, pools and jacuzzis throughout the ship, so if you didn't get a sunbed near the aft pool you would surely find one elsewhere.
The crew, as always, were friendly and efficient, nothing was too much trouble.
The ship itself is kept spotlessly clean. The signage could be better - you could look down a corridor and not find the toilets because the signs are flat against the wall and not easily spotted. I liked the pads to open the doors - no need to touch, just wave your hand in front of the pad (although some passengers didn't realise and were pressing it).
Non-smokers on the ship didn't appear to be bothered by smoke so I guess the filtration system must be pretty good. Tip - If non-smokers want a smoke-free area then try the Casino, hardly anyone using it.
Overall, we would have no hesitation in cruising with Costa again. Less