We just returned from our first with Costa. My husband and I absolutely love to cruise and were looking forward to trying a new cruise line.
We booked the largest cabin, the Grand Suite for our 1 week Western Caribbean adventure. We prefer to book better cabins because of the service and amenities that it usually entails.
The embarkation was simple, but when we found out that we had to wait in another line onboard to register our credit card, we knew why the embarkation lines were shorter than other cruise lines.
Our cabin was on the 8 1/2 deck, on the stern and it was fabulous. The bedroom was totally separate from the rest of the cabin. There was a large walk-in closet, dressing area, bathroom with jacuzzi tub, living room, TV in both bedroom and living area and the balcony was a large wraparound and we loved it. The bedding, toiletries, etc. were only mediocre compared to suites on other lines. We were very happy with our butler, Chris, who was very attentive. He helped to make our cruise more pleasurable.
The dining room was less-than satisfactory. Our 2nd night we waited an hour and 10 minutes and had only been served our appetizer. All the guests who were seated around us were already beginning dessert and we arrived before all of them. We complained and were assigned a new wait staff that were much better. The food is terrific. Lots of variety; not all Italian.
The room service was efficient and accurate.
The entertainment was so-so, but the classical music in Caffe Florian was divine. The cafe is an exact replica of the one in Venice. We spent many evenings enjoying cappuccinos (only $3 each) in Florian.
The ship is beautiful (Vegas-style) and was clean. It was the most stable cruise ship we had sailed on. The service was great.
All the announcements were in several different languages..after awhile it got annoying; especially during the lifeboat drill when we had to wait through the instructions in each language. There were many non-Americans onboard, but we enjoyed the mixed cultures. The toga night was a blast. We loved walking around and seeing that about 85% of the guests participated.
The ports of call were great, but in Key West & Jamaica, Costa had bad docks. The other cruises in port that day had the better docking locations.
For the price of this cruise, it was a terrific value. I would probably sail with Costa again, but only in a suite. Our butler really made the cruise for us; without him, we would have been disappointed. Don't expect a lot of special privileges as a Suite guest either.