Hi Jon.. my partner and I found the Costa line to be a good deviation from some of the more"American" lines. You will definately notice a more European influence in both the staff and passengers, which we found enjoyable. Be prepared for meals having an Italian touch, with wonderful pastas offered as a course during your dinners. The ship is quite beautiful with lots of marble and brass/glass and cabins are of standard size with plenty of space for storage. A very unusual touch is the last night at dinner where sheets are placed on your bed for use as togas for you to wear for your last night at sea. Quite amuzing how some people tied them up and decorated with items found on board the ship.. of course being gay, we had the most fabulous ones! The staff was very accommodating, we had no problem when our room steward told us he would separate the bed (it was made into one) and we told him him it would not be necessary. He gave us a knowing smile and took great care of us the whole trip. We met some wonderful bar waiters that took "very good" care of us and always came up to us when we entered the lounges and asked us if we wanted our "usual". Sasha was our our favorite, and if you see him, you will know why! Being a sailing made up with a majority of Europeans, it was not unusual to see men dancing with men and women dancing with women in the disco, so we just jumped up and joined them and had a blast! We have sailed on Costa a number of times, and while it may not be for everyone, it certainly fit the bill for us. I am sure if you know what to expect, you will have a great time... even more so if you travel with a group of friends... Cheers! Kevin
I agree with the overall comments concerning traveling with Costa. I always liked their product because it was not like the routine American mass product. I started with the old Carla C, then the RIVIERA, CLASSICA, ROMANTICA and VICTORIA. The mix of Europeans made for a very festive and different atmosphere.
However, I sailed on the first Caribbean voyage of the Atlantica, my first Costa Cruise after Micky Arinson of Carnival took ownership.
The Atlantica did not have the stark Italian look I fell in love with Instead they allowed Joe Farcus to do the interior. It is a Carnival ship interior. No longer the Italian high tech design. Patterns and colors change every 4 feet in any direction. I needed sun glasses in the lobby that was so garish...enough said.
I also found the food to have dropped in quality, the drinks poor and the crew to be unhappy. Most Italians I spoke with were unhappy with the changes. It maybe that Carnival got the message.....The refit of the Tropical when transferred to Costa was done not by Farcus but by an Italian design team. Whether the quality of the product has improved...I hope so.
I would go back on the Victoria which I found to be a much nicer ship...especially the interior pool.
Treatment of Gays on Costa has never been a problem...I just hope Carnival Corp does not keep using Costa as a cash cow....lowering standards to improve the bottom line.
Lots of luck.
I've travelled 3x on Costa - Victoria, Classica & Romatica - loved each time - I prefer the Italian sensibility. It is fun & being with Europeans - ups the class factor. People dress every nite & have fun! & the men - so delicious!!!!!!