We just returned from a 7 day cruise on Costa Mediterranea. We have been on 5-6 cruises on other lines, but I would say this was our favorite, and for the price, far and away the best value we have ever had on a cruise. We were pretty worried, reading some other reviews that seemed pretty critical, and I just want to say our experience was wonderful. We are Americans, but I've been working to learn Italian for several years (we hosted an Italian foreign exchange student several years ago, which has enriched our lives in may ways), so I welcomed the chance to hear it spoken and to converse with Italians (who were generally very tolerant of my efforts!). You need to remember this is a European line, so announcements need to be in 4-5 languages. Italian is most spoken, but English is probably second, given how many Europeans also speak English. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were very simple and quick.
We were in a grand suite, and all I can say is, it was truly grand! Large space, large balcony, amazing staff, en suite dining when we wanted (only once, because we enjoyed the various dining venues also), and great food on board. The Club Medusa dinner was great, but all the food we had was very fresh, great quality (especially all the smoked meats!), well prepared and well served. The beverage package is a must--plan to include it in your cruise price. But even with that, the price was one-third of what we would have paid on other cruise lines for a suite like what we had. The ship's decor is amazingly over-the-top, but fun.
I think you get out of a cruise what you look for--in our case, we love meeting people from other parts of the world, and we had the opportunity to do just that-- great conversations, wonderful places to see, good entertainment (again, remember you are on a multi-lingual ship, so not everything will be in English, though much is). If you are considering a cruise on this ship, and worried about other reviews, feel free to contact us and we will try to reply.
The cabin was great. Probably the largest bathroom we will ever get on a cruise. Besides two sinks in the bathroom, there is a separate dressing are a with mirror and sink. There was LOTS of storage space--we left more than half of it empty!. The suite comes with fresh fruit every day, which we really loved, plus a free night. Cabin attendants were very attentive. The balcony was very big. The bed was very comfortable, and the "pillow menu" was an interesting luxury touch--I didn't realize how many different pillows people request!