My wife and I booked this and it's following cruise through a travel agents promotion in Australia. It looked like a good deal at the time. I have been on cruises with several other companies which have all been good. After booking this cruise we looked at cruise critic and were a bit shocked at some of the reviews which led us to be apprehensive about the trip. The embarkation was ok as it can be a bit chaotic on any cruise. On checking out the ship on arrival we were impressed overall especially the cabin which looked like it had just had a refit. After that it was all down hill. You cannot get an ice cream on board unless you pay for it not even in the main dinning room with dinner. You basically have to pay for everything extra. I always have a sauna when on the ship. When I couldn't access the sauna I enquired and was informed that it was 25Euro a day to use it which is a ridiculous amount to use a sauna for half an hour. No wonder the sauna looked unused. I have never paid for the use of the sauna before. Now for the real bad. The bistro was the most unbelievable place you could ever imagine. There is no hygiene control. No one uses the chemical supplied to sterilise their hands when entering the bistro. People touch food, cutlery and plates with their hands without using same. There are signs to show entry and exit but no one uses this. It is a free for all, pushing in to the middle of the que and going up the wrong way is just normal. It is normal to get pushed aside by people who think they have right of way. There are no staff as in other cruise lines controlling this. On other cruise a gloved staff member hands out the plate and cutlery after you have sterilised your hands. I don't know if this is normal on Italian cruse lines but the amount of food taken off the ship by people going on day trips staggered me. It looked like they were feeding a hoard. It was normal to see cruisers off the ship sitting eating the food from the breakfast session in the middle of cities we visited. Gratuities on this cruise line are compulsory and enforced and as such should be included in the fare not added on. In this case I would not have paid any gratuities as I found the food average, entertainment average and the service in most cases average. Mostly Italian is spoken during shows and entertainment which is a real problem for english speaking cruisers. Shore excursions were expensive.
This is a cruise line built for Italians and only Italians. In my opinion if you are not Italian don't use this company. If Costa wants to improve it's image it needs to change its business format becoming an International cruise company catering for all nationalities. In its present format I cannot see Costa prospering as a major cruise line.
The only area of the ship I liked and enjoyed was the Piano Bar. The staff in this bar were the most efficient and personable on the whole ship making it a pleasure to go there each night before and after dinner.
Cabin was clean and looked like it had been updated recently