I am European and have a young family. My kids love Costa.
I will be sailing the Costa Fortuna in December 2004 to Spain and Morocco.
My parents were on board of that ship last January to the Canary islands. They were very happy with it (have sailed about 40 times and on most lines, except Carnival). They rated the food on the Costa Fortuna better than on their recent cruise aboard the QM2. A bit too crowded though.
Out of 8 cruises I have sailed three times aboard Costa ships (Allegra, Victoria, Riviera) and was always happy.
Costa has the great advantage of having 5 languages on board which is important for the Europeans and for sure English is not their first language.
I'll report back in January 2005 of my trip on this 4 star ship.