(This will be a long review since I promise myself that I will leave a good detailed review just so people know what they are missing.)
We are a couple in our 30's and 40's, no kids. We travel a lot but never been in a cruise vacation.We decided to take this cruise because of the rate, schedule, cities that are covered and port of embarkation which is at Marseilles. We purchased the package because of the rate which is really a good deal during that time without reading reviews from other customers. After reading all these reviews, it really made me feel that it's going to be a bad vacation. Complains from food, water, service, over pricing in everything and even the program which some said it's just average. My expectations are really low to the point that I was not excited for this trip.
I'll start my review with embarkation, it was easy and fast. We made a mistake not coming early because we thought its like a flight that after check-in, you will be going to the gate and waiting for boarding. But big mistake. After leaving your luggage and check-in, you will go directly to your room and your card is just waiting for you on the bed. You can enjoy all the services that are available as soon as you have this card (only if you already made a prepayment package, which we did. We bought our drink package so that we can just drink and never think of how much are we spending already.) If not, register your credit card before purchasing, which is super easy. The ship is gorgeous. It looks new and every inch of it is very clean. As soon as I got inside, I was regretting already that we only took 7days. It was alive with colors and music. It's huge and everyone inside are having fun with drinks and activities.
Breakfast has two areas, international and Italian. On our first breakfast we went to international, there was a long queue outside the restaurant. We waited for at least 15minutes before getting seated. They serve hot meals here which I advise to go to if you like eggs and sausages. On our following breakfast, we decided to go to the Italian. I find it more relaxing and there are a lot of options but yup of course, no eggs. We tried the breakfast room service one time because we had to leave early for Rome and I find it very simple, not so much options. We tried lunch only once because we always eat out when we are on dock. Lunch is buffet, food is okay lot's of options but it's like a market. So get ready to fall in line and rubbing elbows with other guests. Dinner is seated. I really like the idea. Food is great when its like a special night but average when its just a normal day in the boat. Food and drink are served right on time.
We always anticipate watching the spectacle before our dinner at 9pm. I find the singers and dancers amazing. Top notch talents. They even had an opera singer which was really good. Different program each night so you always have something to look forward to. I didn't like the comedy guy but my husband like him, so maybe it varies. There were activities from 8am until late night. They never ran out of things to do. I like the most was the white party, gala night and Italian night. I was amazed that people were dress to impress. My advise for future costa female clients: bring long gowns, heels, make up. And for guys, bring your suits! You will feel left out if you don't. Plus it's really nice to dress up.
Service is excellent. Drinks are served fast. Servers are pleasant. We paid 25euro/day for our drink package and it was an amazing deal. Coffee is served during breakfast but this is just regular one. If you like espresso and cappucino better get the drink package. There are juices at the buffet area but if you like smoothies or virgin cocktails better get the drink package. If you like wine with your every meal then get the drink package. If you missed buying one before embarkation, they sell it there for the same price. But there was a loop hole with the drink package, you can order water by the glass but you cannot order a bottle of water. It's extra charge or you can buy the premium drink package which is around 40euro/day or buy the water package. It was funny that I was expecting this type of things might happen, but it didn't matter. You can actually buy water from outside and bring it to your cabin. We tried and I can say that you really can.
Regarding excursions. I saw complains that its very expensive. Well this is true, but i think it's just the same with other cruises and even 5 stars hotels. So, if you are in a budget just go do it on your own. It's a bit of walk to take buses or trains but it's cheaper. We didn't had a problem getting out of the port or even getting back but we researched well before our trip.
It was an amazing experience. We would go back for sure and we already told our friends about it. Actually one of our friend already went with his wife for the 12 days mediterranean cruise, and we just have the same experience.
We took an inner cabin at the spa level because we wanted to enjoy the wet area of the spa as part of the room package without having to pay extra just to use it. They were selling it for 150euro for 7days. Room is very decent. It was small as expected but very clean. It comes with hair blower and bath robes (very thick and soft), we overheard from other guest that they think we are staying in a suite because of our robes (wish we were). Our cabin steward Rosh was there and introduced herself before we settled in. She showed everything that we need to know. She is a small Indian girl, very pleasant to talk to. She cleans our room twice a day. Once in the morning and once just before you get back from dinner. She never knock our door in the morning to wake us up so that she can clean. And she even reminded us that our room comes with breakfast room service free of charge, which we didn't know. She was really nice and professional.
just stayed at the port area which is beautiful. lot's of tourist.
took the costa bus going outside which cost 9euro when you can take a public bus just outside the port where the costa bus is park also for 4euro RETURN. This was not economical at all. I think with other ports you can take Costa since the walk is far but at Barcelona, just take the airport bus (it's colour blue).
Sagrada was beautiful but Gaudi is not my thing. I think going inside to pay for that park was a ripoff might as well just go to a museum and walking to those building that he designed was a bit overrated or maybe it was not just my taste.
Simple city or maybe because everything was closed during our arrival. I heard during summer this city is alive.
This is my ultimate bucket list place. I love all the places that i went to except for the Spanish steps which i find nothing special. Vatican Museum was amazing, surprisingly i like it more than the Louvre because of the art pieces. It was easy to get in during this time of the year. No need to buy ticket in advance, because we did and it was 10euro extra. There was no line even for security. Trevi fountain is beautiful, it was gorgeous to look at and not so much people. Colosseum is enormous. This city is just full of history and you can feel it.
Took the bus going out of the port and train going to Pisa. Very special tower, you just want to look at it. If it didn't rain we could have catch the train going to cinque terre.
I like this city. We just walked going to the city. It's so small that you can just walk around. We checked the prison which is open for the public but we didn't get inside the museum anymore. The second sistine chapel is here but we didn't got inside since its closed. What made it so special is the seafood pasta that we had here. It's one of the best that i had and i'm still dreaming about it until now.