Almost all our cruises have been on different cruise lines, and this was our first on Costa. Overall we were satisfied, but this line is the least desirable of all the ones we have been on.
I have read many reviews before taking this cruise and one of the biggest complaints was the food. We considered the food comparable to other cruises. There was definitely more of a leaning to Italian-type food, but there were always many selections. My wife does not care much for pasta and pizza, but found plenty of times she could choose her favorite main course, beef. Although it was not always on the dinner menu, you typically could find it at least once per day. Fish was also frequently available and there were also vegetarian options available. The desserts were very desirable and plenty to choose there too. The biggest complaint about food at our table was two-fold: apparently Costa has phased out the buffet option at dinner time. Therefore, to eat dinner you must go to the restaurant. That didn't matter to us, but I can see how it would matter to others. The second issue was that after breakfast (except for the one hour "tea-time"), the only coffee available had to be purchased from the bar as no ready-made coffee was at the buffet. In my view these are clearly cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures they have taken, and perhaps will settle well with the southern Europeans on board, but I don't see those steps flying with Americans. However, I do not know if this was a Costa-wide change or only for predominately European-attended cruises (ours was about 90% or so European).
The service was fine. Staff was courteous and helpful. We never had any problem with them.
The entertainment quality was mixed. One constant was that the volume was much too loud on all the shows.
This cruise had the least onboard activities I have ever seen on any cruise. There were things to do, but the depth of selection was low. We used the library, as we always do, but was the smallest we have seen.
We didn't do any excursions, but this itinerary was the best we have ever done. I would recommend that any cruiser who has never done this itinerary to get to it once in your lifetime, though not necessarily with Costa.
The ship was clean, but the layout design was at the weakest of the ships I have been on. First, there was no way to walk completely around the deck on any single level. We like to do this when going for a walk. Further, when moving from one end of the ship to another, you are forced to use deck 5 which forces you by the casino (maybe on purpose?) and through choke points that create traffic jams. We have been on higher capacity ships that have felt less crowded.
Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly, and the tender process was fine too.
Bottom line is we enjoyed our cruise, but would rather choose another cruise line for our future cruises.