Hi muleman, welcome to Cruise-Chat. We've sailed with Costa 4 times. Our latest was on the Mediterranea. Costa is an Italian line and definitely has the European flair to it. We've enjoyed all of our cruises with them. The ships have been very clean, the service has been very good-not like HAL or Princess, but very good. The food is better on Princess, to me, but I think the food on HAL is not that good. Everything is announced in 5 languages. Since we've only done Caribbean itineraries, I can't help you on your intinerary questions, but hopefully someone else can. Here
are some pictures of the Mediterranea if you care to view them. The cabins have been larger than on the other lines we've been on, which are HAL, RCL, NCL, Carnival, and Princess. I don't think you'd be disappointed in Costa. Hope this helps some. Best wishes and once again, welcome aboard.