So I just got home from my first Costa Cruise (Feb. 2020/SE Asia). There was SO much question about Costa going into it. We choose Costa because, quite frankly it was the ONLY ship that went to our desired destination at the exact time we could go. Otherwise, honestly, after reading reviews on Costa, I would have chosen any other line if offered by another line as my husband and I are Princess, Celebrity, loyals. I read and read and read and read some more reviews on Costa trying to mentally prepare for what to expect. What I learned was either you love it or hate it. So I set my bar very low hoping I wouldn't spend 14 days being ticked off at a cruise line. So now that we're home and I can mentally chew on what we just experienced, let me tell you my long-winded take on Costa, because frankly, it's complicated.
I'll first explain the oddities that we found quirky, then I'll explain what Costa does REALLY well toward the end! So please read to the end. I will have good things to say about Costa, really I will, because there are lots of good with Costa too. I'll just start with what I found to be the negatives. Things that if you've cruised other mainstream lines before, you might find frustrating on Costa. I found that if I could mentally prepare for these oddities before I boarded (by reading reviews), I got less frustrated vs. being totally blindsided at the differences.
First, Costa is NOT a Princess, Royal, or Celebrity cruise. Just get that out of your head going into it. There ARE differences. Some good, some frustrating, but nothing so frustrating that I wouldn't sail with them again. We WOULD sail again with them after this experience (I'm shocked at my own statement too!) I really went into this thinking (after reading all the negative Costa reviews beforehand) that we'll get through this cruise, see the ports, and never step foot on Costa again. Again, we only booked this because it literally was the only ship in this area at the exact time we could go. So what we found is Costa is not as "catering" to the passengers as the main stream lines. But that doesn't mean their customer service is bad, it's just different and you have to learn how to get "around" the way they do things, if it frustrates you. And actually their customer service is excellent, but DIFFERENT! I'll try to explain, and quite frankly it's hard to explain, but I'll do my best. For instance, when we first got to our cabin, the bathroom wasn't totally set up, meaning, we had 1/2 roll of TP and no back up, and no tissues. I waited for our cabin steward to introduce him/herself, so I could let him/her know. It took quite some time, but she did show up to introduce herself & restocked it upon our request. What I found is, she is our cabin "attendant" but not like on the other lines. If I need something on lets say Princess, I have a button on my phone that directly calls my steward and either talk to them or leave them a message and within minutes it typically is dealt with. Not on Costa, you have to call the pursers desk and wait in line with all the other people asking general questions, to finally get someone to pick up the phone so you can request your TP or soap or whatever. Sometimes it was a fast call, sometimes, if calling at a busy time, it could be a 10+min wait on hold. But once you get someone to answer, they will happily send someone to help you, maybe not immediately, but whatever you requested will arrive! A tad frustrating when you're dealing with a 1/2 roll of TP, (as you can tell, this did happen to us a few times, lol) but eventually they got the idea that we like a back up roll of TP in our cabin bathroom, and it was always provided from then on out. Sometimes I left notes for our cabin attendant to leave extra this or that, and it was nicely done when we returned.
Spacious room, comfortable. Bathroom space decent. Shower curtain didn't hang all the way to the floor leaving a 6" gap, which meant there was literally no way possible not to soak and flood the bathroom floor each time. We tried to avoid this every which way possible, it just wasn't avoidable. So would have to use our bath towel or used pool towel to soak it up each and every time. 1 Bar soap was provided for the sink, a body wash dispenser was provided for the shower. No lotions or other toiletries were provided by the ship, outside of TP and tissues. Plenty of bathroom shelves provided. Plenty of desk/counter space provided in the room. Not a lot of hangers provided. 3 section closet: 2 sections for hanging full length items with a small shelf for shoes at the bottom, and 1 portion with shelves. Plenty of space for 2 people. Lots of drawer space in the room as well. A good sized couch and coffee table. The balcony was smaller than other lines we've had before with an old school swing door vs. a slider. Which meant you had to leave room on the balcony for the door to swing or move your chair every time you opened the door. Made the balcony small. Smoking is allowed on balcony's, and yes there was ALWAYS someone smoking within nose distance, which I didn't appreciate and therefore, we rarely used our balcony due to this. This cabin was easily accessible from the pool area and elevator. So I could easily be laying by the pool area and quickly go to my own cabin if I needed to use the restroom, that was SUPER handy!! No real elevator noise, however it is close to a storage room for the staff, which daily, we were awoken by banging noises as they accessed supplies around 7am-ish, or the staff visiting one another in not so quiet voices, so beware if this if you think it would bother you. But other than storage room noise, it was a great location on the ship and good cabin. Moving a few rooms down (toward the front of the ship) would avoid this storage room noise. But going too far forward would lengthen your access to the pool deck, which is also easy access to the buffet.