We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location.
We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an hour of landing. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly.
The ship was clean, all the crew we met were polite, and service was excellent.
The other travellers were a diverse group from many different countries.
Dining : We ate in the main dining room every night, the food was very good ( despite some criticisms I'd read before we travelled ) fresh pasta, wonderful mozzarella - made fresh on the ship - and well cooked and prepared meat dishes. Our server Emmanuel was polite and courteous. We had the Piu Gusto drinks package which included house wine with our meals and this was constantly topped up without us needing to ask, as was water.
Entertainment : We did a morning back stage tour of the ship that was very interesting and well worth doing. The shows were of a high standard, and very enjoyable.
There was music in every bar - and there were plenty of bars...and dancing, if thats your thing.
Excursions : We didnt do any of the official tours so I cant comment, though we had no problem finding our own way round Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and the heritage village using local cabs. We also spent a day at a hotel pool in Abu Dhabi Saadiyat beach which ws good value and lovely.
We would definitely travel with Costa again.
The cabin was clean and everything worked well.
We got off the ship and walked into the city. Visited the Souk and had lunch in a nice friendly cafe. We then walked to the "Incense statue" around the corniche. Safe and fun.
There wasn't much to do in Khasab unless you want to join the touristy Dhow excursions to see the dolphins and snorkel. We stayed on the boat, and watched the local small boats and allegedly 'smugglers' all hard at work. Its not a pretty port either.
We stayed two days in Abu Dhabi. The first day we took the free shuttle to the World Trade Centre in the centre of Abu Dhabi, then walked to the Heritage village and flag ( a long walk ) and had lunch nearby before hailing a cab on the street to take us to the Grand Mosque. We had booked a tour on line ( it's free, but still needs reserving ) This was fascinating .