Overall impression: Embarkation and disembarkation chaotic. Passengers left hanging about and having to find their own way to cabins. Decor in public areas - not to my taste, rather bright. Cabins - we had an outside cabin which was reasonably large and comfortable with usual ensuite facilities, TV(limited channels in English), telephone, fridge cum mini bar. Limited toiletries but towels were of good quality and a bit larger that some of the recent cruise ships I have sailed with. Food - Roma and Milano restaurants - excellent, reasonably wide choice of menu, service very good although twice I had food served on chipped crockery. Three Gala Dinners. Wine list limited and expensive. Water available at dinner but no tea or coffee served, was available at an xtra charge. Buffet - Crowded especially on sea days. Seating comfortable but needs a freshen up. Food quality reasonable verging on poor, limited variety and predictable. Melamine type platters and mugs. Tables could have been cleared quicker. Beverages - Drinks both soft and alcoholic were expensive although packages could be purchased on board, all were subject to a 15% service charge. Entertainment - Poolside rather noisy, mostly childish games involving dressing up and running about. Music very loud. Theatre shows reasonable, individual performers were good otherwise no "wow" factor. Bingo is heavily promoted. Music in lounges in the evening for dancing but spoiled by children playing on the dance floors. Casino noisy. Shopping limited and appeared expensive. Spa and Wellness Centre, did not appear to be very inviting. Excursions - Very heavily promoted and quite expensive. We took a half day excursion in Alexandria however most of the time was spent driving round in the bus. Only 35 minutes approximately allowed to look around the Alexandria Museum and 15 minutes to visit the archaeological site. Nealy one hour spent at Papyrus institute. Demonstration at institute lasted barely five minutes. Shuttle bus provided at a cost of 6euros per person in Limassol as ship was docked in commercial port area out side Limassol. The Costa Concordia has the capacity to carry 3780 passengers plus 1100 crew therefore there are constant queues. There were a large number of children and young people on our cruise some of which were rather noisy, unruly and poorly supervised. This spoiled the cruise for us as the requirements of older passengers appears not to be taken into account. An additional compulsory daily service charge is levied on all passengers, in our case it was 5 euros per person per day. The cruise did not live up to our expectations in terms of luxury or a relaxing experience.
Cabin was reasonably large and comfortable. Plenty of closet space. Well lit. Pillows could have been of better quality but this was made up for by good quality towels. Hallway was reasonably quiet but some announcements were difficult to hear in the cabin.
The city Museum is small but interesting. The amphitheater and archaeological site are well worth a visit but you will need more time that most excursions allow. Other wise the promenade and sea front area are OK as are the gardens of the former Royal palace.
Our ship was berthed in Pireaus and we took the train into Athens - cost 1 euro each way. Athens itself is intersting especially around the Acropolis but can be very crowded. Usual touristy type shops.
Unless you wish to make a trip to Ephasus there is little to see in Izmir which is a commercial city with a long promenade skirting the sea front. Not much signage and we were unable to find any public toilets.
As it was winter quite a few of the shops were closed. Goods appeared to be quite pricey although we enjoyed a walk around the walls of the city. Traffic inside the walled area means that there is quite a high level of fumes from cars etc.