I'm sorry to have to write this and perhaps add to Costas problems, however I believe people should be able to make an informed decision. We went on this cruise with no prior views on the changes Costa has made in recent months. On the good side we booked directly with costa UK and got a good bargain for a premium balcony cabin. if I had paid any more I would probably be more scathing in this review. Embarcation was a shambles. Rome was not the main port for embarcation, but i still ended having to queue in 4 different wrong lines after being directed by costa staff.
All costa seemed to be interested in was to sell the all inclusive beverage package, which compared to other lines seems to be a good deal. This being the case, there was only water available during breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Tea and coffee was only available at breakfast time and during afternoon tea. Any other time it had to be purchased. Unless you had purchased the package or had the USA water exemption, water had to be purchased at dinner. Food at night was good, however if you missed your set dining, the only other option was to pay for food. Don't know what happened if you were on a costa excursion and came back after your seating time however. Lunch was varied, but with the same choices every day.
Breakfast was diabolical. If you wanted anything either than a continental breakfast, the dining room was an option serving "International" fare. This was wait served And consisted of a full English - bacon, eggs, terrible brownish coloured beans etc., if for example you did not want eggs, this was not an option - you always had to have the lot as it was a preset plate. A Belgian breakfast - waffle and synthetic cream, an AMerican breakfast - pancakes and maple syrup and I can't remember what else as after the second day of trying to queue, and it was a long queue, I lost the will and kept to the buffets at the Lido. These were the same every day, nothing varied whatsoever, but you could get tea, coffee, water and concentrated fruit juices -until they turned the machines off.
Room steward was excellent. Cabin spotless but very noisy as it was above one of the main dance areas and the noise continued until 1.00am. although it was a premium balcony we were not allowed bathrobes as these were only available for those in suites