I booked this cruise on Costa thinking that since they were in the Carnival family things would be close to the same. After booking I had a few questions so I emailed Costa through the website 3 times and NEVER received a reply. That should have been a sign of things to come in itself. My questions were simple such as transportation from FCO and what time were actual disembarkment times as we had flights that were going to be tight if we went by the itinerary listed on the website.
I must caution all Americans going on this cruise that it is 80% Italians and they definitely come from a different culture than us. I am currently living in a Muslim country and I thought the Muslims were rude until I ran into the Italians. In fact my wife and I were seeing each other for the first time in 5 months to celebrate our 21st anniversary. I will get into those specifics later but want to discuss Costa issues first.
On the day we arrived we noticed a sewage smell in the hallway of the 4th floor. It continued throughout the entire stay. I hate cigarette smoke but was actually desiring it when I walked downed the hallway just to kill the smell. On the 3rd day of the cruise we discovered that a German couple had raw sewage backed up in their shower. I was amazed that Costa had no other rooms to put them in and they were pretty much told tough luck. I can only hope Costa compensated them for 3 days of sewage. I would have got off at the first port and flew back to Rome.
When you are sailing on the Carnival cruises in the Caribbean the waiters around the pool areas provided immaculate service sometimes overbearing but I usually get to know one or two of them and they know when to get me something without asking. On the uppr deck of the Tropicale service was non existent. Several times I had to get up and go down 2 flights to get my own drinks. You might see a waiter once every hour if you are lucky. I can only imagine the reason for this is because the Italians don't drink that much like we Americans.
The ports that you arrive at are generally a waste of time if you like to shop and don't take an expensive excursion. If you notice the times they arrive are usually around 1 or 2 pm, well guess what, all the shops are closed because the locals are taking Ciesta during that time.
Costa does not enforce their rules at all. Kids are not allowed in the hot tubs, in the casinos, in the bars, or in the discos but that rule does not apply to Italians because we were told "They just don't get it." One kid actually did a cannon ball in the hot tub that was filled and the parents just laughed.
Italians also don't understand that when the elevator door opens you are supposed to let some of the people off of the already full elevator before you try to cram yourself in. They also smoke where ever they feel like it even with all the non smoking signs posted. They pull up the lounge chairs on the decks and block passage ways where you cannot get by at all.
At dinner we sat with 3 other english speaking couples and after a few nights we all noticed that Americans were always the last to be served. We would actually leave the dining room 30 minutes after all the others had finished. This was not just our table but a few others that were near ours.
I must say thought the food was excellent at dinner. The lunch buffets around the pool were disappointing.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have concerning this post. I will monitor it for a few weeks.