The ship is beautiful. New, lots of bars, modern and clean. Plus the port stop offs are lovely. Plenty of time to walk around. We do recommend purchasing shuttle buses at the port information desks rather than on ship as way cheaper. No need to pay for excursions, just the shuttle buses into the cities needed and you can find your own way around.
The staff work hard and are helpful. Our room cleaner was brilliant. For the last three days, he shaped animals out of the towels! So whenever we walked in to a clean room, we found one on our bed. Really made us smile.
However Costa are focused on taking your money at every turn, including extra €10 daily fee per person. With careful spending, we ended up with extra €340 bill upon disembarking. And that’s without a single alcoholic drink. As soon as you get on board, they push drink packages which cost hundreds of Euros. Choose carefully and come with plenty of extra cash! They charge for everything. Even when you choose a package for the internet (which of course is pricey), then also charge an extra 3 Euros for the pleasure of starting the internet package which you're already paying for??!
The entertainment is really lacking, just one 30 minute show each evening. That was the most disappointing thing on board (aside from the money they take from you). Hardly any dance classes until the day at sea. No dance music or live music for the under 65s. Thankfully we found a really good band on the top deck called Night Out which played in front of the swimming pool. There is no room for dancing, and of course, the acoustics were challenging, and yet this band were the best on board by far! Why they put them in a part of the ship that hardly anyone ventured to and is quite ill equipped for entertainment is quite bizarre. There were about a dozen people watching them because of where they were put. Costa - put them on the main floors with a dance floor! They're great.
The food during the day is OK, though long queues in the buffet during tea time as they only had one area open for desserts! The even meal was disastrous (but we did have a fabulous waiter). Disguised as upper class food, it was bland, boring and small portions. I really struggled to find anything I liked to eat each evening. If they made the food simpler, it probably would have been ok. They changed the menu every evening except for five standard dishes (e.g spaghetti bolognese, chicken and mashed potato). But then they changed the entire menu half way through the week removing the five standard dishes, which resulted in fewer options. I could have cried!
The dance floor only accommodates the over 65s with ballroom and the like. No real disco in the evenings. We were so disappointed. I brought some beautiful dresses with no occasion to wear them. The entertainment is really poor. And of course, if you're from the UK, you'll have to deal with the cruise and language being Italian (and French, Spanish, German). We tried to play one of the games but all the questions were based on Italy and surrounding nations. We just gave up.
As for activities, if you're happy spending a fortune in the overcrowded spa, or on Bingo which you have to pay for, or in the Casino, then you're fine. The pool looked nice but was full of children. It had three small jacuzzi pools around the main swimming pool which looked great, but they too were packed and each of them had a large foam floating on top of the water (no doubt from everyone's lotions and creams). Clearly they weren't cleaning the jacuzzis. It really made it uninviting.
We won’t be sailing with Costa again.
The cabin was beautiful. Lovely firm bed, private terrace and balcony, nice bathroom. The only thing is, if you're from the UK, there are no tea or coffee making facilities. No water bottle when you arrive, so just be prepared for that. Also the plugs are European so remember to bring an adapter otherwise its 15 euros to buy on board (or half price at port).
Didn’t have enough time to visit the city so can’t comment sorry
Beautiful city, scenic, quiet
Don’t bother with hop on bus like we did. If you want to visit the Notre Dame Basilique, take the land tourist train. Much cheaper
Walk up La Ramblas. Plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs!