I chose this Costa Magica cruise as a way to start off a visit in Sicily and Italy, which are our family heritage. I was a little leery of this cruise line (rightfully so, it turned out), as I prefer smaller and higher-rated ships. But the itinerary suited our needs, and a few of the shore excursions listed were appealing, and it seemed to be a good price listed on Vacations to Go. So we made plans, reserved mileage air tickets, and booked the cruise. Surprise! The cost had increased substantially from what was listed that very day on the internet. Oh, well, too late now to change everything... so we paid hundreds more than we originally expected.
I had already chosen and booked shore excursions for each day on the ship, months ahead. This was a key reason for using this cruise line. You can imagine how disappointed we were when EVERY excursion we had booked was cancelled at the last minute, due to minimal signups. I believe that they could have run the excursions with smaller vans for transportation, but the level of profit desired was not reached, so our plans were dashed, too late to make other arrangements. ( I firmly believe that these tours would have at least broken even, but NO... apparently not enough profit for Costa!)
I was surprised to receive emails before the cruise offering lobster, steaks, and even hamburgers and pizza, which could be ordered and paid for ahead of time. WHAT? If you want steak, lobster, pizza and other rather ordinary cruise food, there would be an extra charge! This was shocking to me, after experience on at least seven other cruise lines, where these items are included and readily available.
The decor on the ship gave no hint of the beauty and subtlety of high-end Italian modern design, nor historical styles, but combined patterns and colors in the carpeting, and in marble, granite, gilding, and ornateness in a dizzying array of styles and colors, not to mention the paintings of nearly-nude women plastered all over the hallway walls. This was personally embarrassing to me, as I am proud of my Italian heritage and the genuine artistry which has made Italy world-famous. No sign of that here!
The staff members were accommodating and pleasant, but the tour desk was closed just when it was needed most. Waitstaff in the Dining Rooms were competent, but regulations prevented their bringing us a glass of wine with dinner until we registered our credit card at a certain kiosk on another deck. They did match us up with other English-speaking passengers at table, which proved to be the only high point of the entire cruise.
Adequate. Have to request if you want soap, shower cap, etc.