Filthy buffet area chairs. Unchanging and low grade buffet food the entire 7 day trip. Reminded me of how we used to treat the livestock on the farm. (Well treated animals, but pretty basic menu). Pleasant but tired and disheartened-appearing staff.
Nice cabin. (recently built luxury Italian ship. what's not to like?). Cabin attendant/housekeeper excellent but tired.
"Entertainment' appeared contrived and pushed hard . And, holy cow, was the bass LOUD to the point of drowning out the singers in nearly every venue. where did they get these sound engineers?
Whole scenario seemed like they didn't really have their act together. really poorly timed and very few ports of call, make excursions really brief and poorly executed. Rio fireworks ( about 1/2 hour) was spectacular. rest of the trip was a bust.
Finely tuned ripoff experience. Nothing to drink, not even water, unless you pay for it, at their supposed fine-dining dinner experience. Marginally palatable food. Palatable, but definitely not excellent, or even good, cuisine (I was raised by and married to fantastic Italian and French cooks, so, yes, I do know what I am talking about.)
Experienced cruise travelers and ship staff allcommented on how badly the Costa line has deteriorated since "that American company" (Carnival - actually and American/Israeli billionaire owned company) took over. Sad, but apparently true. Too bad, they no only killed any remote inclination of mine to ever set foot on an ocean going cruise liner again, but they also seem to be informing the world of what ripoff masters large American corporate enterprises are.
I could go on with examples of an overall unpleasant experience. But you get the picture. Without exaggeration, a root canal is a more pleasant experience.
If you like cruising, research carefully. And pick anything but Carnival associated enterprises.
If you are a first time cruiser who really like smoking, kitsch decor, understand italian, do not mind waiting in cues everywhere from restaurants to boarding to elevators, this is your cruise.
If you have ever been to a proper cruise before, do not like smoke everywhere and do not enjoy waiting in your vacation stay away from Costa, and it is not even cheap (compared to big cruise lines). This was our 7th cruise and we love cruising, but we geniunly disliked the overall experience of Costa. The times at ports were just couple of hours, combined with long boarding/unboarding, it was simply not worth the trouble. There were a few safety related issues that we have observed like razor sharp edges (unrounded sharp edges of mirrors on walls).
In short, stay away from Costa.