I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018.
Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions were good. Our cabin 1002 was clean, although there was little In the way of toiletries and no sunbed towels in our cabin.
From then on things went downhill, firstly Costa will Not allow you to cancel the daily tips, that Cruise Critic States customers can do. The reception staff are rude, patronizing and unhelpful. They charge for every thing. Hot drinks like tea and coffee is only free at breakfast. If you want a Coffee after 9.30 pm on the main pool area, then you will find it unavailable. The food was dreadful, cold and poor quality and choice. They add a 15% surcharge on any drink, on top of the daily gratuity! Food in general is not available after 9.30 pm ( if you want to eat late at night) unless you pay extra for either pizza or burgers. There is no freedom dining in the evenings, we luckily were allocated a 6.30 pm time slot, other passengers sadly could not eat until 9.30 pm and therefore did not leave the restaurant until after 11 pm. The entertainment was very good, and the ship although quite old has some wonderful quirky features. It felt like the British passengers were treated as second class citizens in favour of the Italians on board. Having been on a P and O cruise ship recently I would never again travel with Costa nor recommend it to British passengers.
We had a window in our cabin, there was plenty of wardrobes and it had a excellent shower, the Bed was comfortable, with the added bonus of a sofa. The fridge was locked when we boarded, but was unlocked soon after. We had to wait two days to receive our sun lounger towels.
best part of this stop was the tender! Unless you book a specific activity, sadly this island has a terrible beach, some artificial grass and is wind swept. We stayed on the island for less than an hour.