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Costa Toscana Cruise Review

We just got back from a 20 day cruise from Italy to Dubai on board the Costa Toscana and today we will give you a complete review of our adventure! 

As usual we will rate each aspect of the cruise from one to 5 anchors. And let me tell you, this was an amazing cruise! Let’s begin our Costa Toscana cruise review by talking about: boarding


The boarding process was relatively simple and easy. We arrived at the terminal at 10:30 as per our assigned boarding time and at 10:50 we were walking on the gangway.  We were among the first passengers on board. There was just a little confusion with Rick’s Canadian passport that delayed the process by a few minutes. The person checking Rick in, pointed him out to a colleague by using a rather derogatory term that’s sometimes used among friend. They were untrained with a non-european passport, and weren’t sure how to handle the “strange Canadian” passport.  That said, it wasn’t a bad process. So we will give boarding a 4 Out of five anchors.

Let’s continue our Costa Toscana cruise review by talking about the Itinerary.

The Itinerary

The Costa Toscana itinerary was a 20 days repositioning cruise from Savona Italy to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The ports of call were Ajaccio in Corsica, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Athens, and Haifa in Israel. From there we had 6 sea days that took us through the Suez Canal, the red sea and the gulf of Aden before arriving at the next port of call of Salalah in Oman. From Salalah we then sailed to Muscat in Oman then to Abu Dhabi and finally to Dubai. 

The first week in the Mediterranean the weather and the temperatures were mild but not warm enough to be able to sun tan by the pool, but as soon as we entered the Red Sea the temperatures became amazing and we were able to enjoy the 6 sea days by the pool. 

Overall we think that the itinerary was fantastic even with all the sea days we loved it. The highlights for us were the excursion to Jerusalem, from the port of Haifa, and the crossing of the Suez Canal. 

In particular, we loved to be able to enjoy 28C (82F) in December, that was really amazing. Also the water was always incredibly calm and the sailing was incredibly smooth. 

We will give the Itinerary a solid 5 out of 5.

Now let’s move to our next topic on our Costa Toscana Cruise review and we will talk about: the ship

The Ship 

The Costa Toscana is Costa Cruises’ new flagship. It was built by Meyer Turku in Finland and launched in 2021. The Costa Toscana is 337 meters long and 82 meters wide. The ship has a maximum capacity of 6654 passengers and 1678 crew members.

The ship is beautiful. The first thing we noticed is the fact that the ship feels wide and spacious. There is a ton of natural light in every area of the ship. The decor inside is very modern and classy. It is quite different from the usual Costa decor that we saw on previous ships. It has plenty of outdoor space. In fact on deck 8 there is a great wrap-around outdoor area perfect to walk and to suntan, going around the entire deck takes approximately 10 minutes. It has one indoor pool on deck 16 that is magnificent. And 3 outdoor pools on deck 17. It has water slides on deck 17 that are quite fun. 

Another thing we noticed is the fact that the ship is incredibly silent and smooth. Most of the time, when we were inside, we couldn’t even feel the movement.  Now we did not experience any rough seas the entire crossing, so we don’t really know how the ship performs in bad sea conditions but we have the feeling that it is really smooth.

One thing that we noticed is that the elevator doors close very quickly and sometimes they are so quick that by the time you reach the door the elevator is already gone. Another minor defect that we noticed is the lack of electrical plugs in the main indoors area making it difficult to find a good place to plug a laptop.

In conclusion we think that the ship deserves a solid 5 out of 5 anchors, because it is gorgeous.

Let’s move on to our next topic of our Costa Toscana cruise review and we talk about the cabin.

The Cabin 

We had a regular balcony cabin on the Costa Toscana, and deck 16, and unfortunately, we have to say that the cabin itself is really small. There is a  very small closet that is barely enough for 2 people. The decor is nice, with bright colors and as usual, very clean. Costa finally got rid of the ugly plastic brown couch that we had on previous ships and now there is a modern couch.

Unfortunately due to the lack of storage space we had to use the couch as a storage area which was not ideal for Andrea. It was impossible to keep the cabin neat and organised. The desk is really narrow and it has a huge phone on it that takes up a lot of room. So the desk is not the ideal place to work.

There are a few electrical plugs and USB plugs in the room making it simple to charge all the electronics. One thing that is quite bizarre is the fact that the cabin does not have a fridge.

Cabin 16048

The balcony is huge and really nice, even though our balcony had a little obstructed view due to the shape of the ship.

Cabin 16048 Balcony

The bathroom is actually beautiful. Nice and wide with a great large shower. 

We weren’t impressed with the cabin as well, in particular, I did not like the fact that it lacked storage and that we had to use the couch as storage. There was also a strange window that looked in to the bathroom. So, from anywhere in this tiny room, you could see someone showering, or even sitting on the toilet!

So our vote is a 3 out of 5.

Moving on to our next topic we will talk about: the service


Service on board of the Costa Toscana was absolutely spot on! We were assigned to the Bellavista restaurant, that is the restaurant dedicated to passengers travelling in a suite, as well as platinum and gold members.

At this restaurant the service was incredible, in particular our waiter Maria and her two assistants, Kristine and Lalu were fantastic, always super efficient, friendly, and incredibly sweet. John and Jerome cooked for us each night, all under Arturo’s watchful high.  He was the head waiter Arturo was amazing, always watching everything and ready to help. 

Well done guys! Also we had amazing service around the ship. For example, at one of our favorite bars on deck 8, the Kartell bar, we found some incredible servers that were always friendly and efficient. In particular Daren, Winlove, and Sahil (who remembered us from a previous sailing) were really nice to us – and very helpful.

Also at the Beach Club Armando remembered us from a previous sailing and he also remembered our favorite drinks! Incredible. Overall all over the ship service was fantastic and we were really pleased. 

The only area that would require some improvement is in the housekeeping department with laundry service. And this has been a problem on other costa cruises! Costa has a laundry service called Magic Bag, that includes 25 items of laundry for a flat fee of  €19, that can be purchased online or on board. Also gold and platinum members get one Magic Bag free per voyage. Housekeeping did not know that passengers can buy the bag and they did not know how to handle the paid bags. We had to escalate the issue with the housekeeping manager and show them the invoice for the magic bag before we were able to have our laundry done. They didn’t believe we could prepay laundry bags!  But there’s one thing we did learn – you can buy these “magic bags” onboard – through QR code in your room – for room service. 

We also asked for ironing. Sometimes it was done, sometimes it wasn’t. And once they charged us for ironing even though they didn’t iron.  Now, this was quickly resolved by calling the reception. 

This area has a lot of room for improvement and some training is required.

Overall we were extremely pleased with the service on board and I think they deserve a solid 5 out of 5 anchors! Well done guys. Rick, what about your vote?

We really loved the service on board, especially our team at the Bellavista restaurant that I miss so much! To you Maria, Arturo, John, Jerome, Kristina, and Lalu – you guys… it’s 5 out of 5 for service for sure. Let’s move on to our next item on our Costa Toscana cruise review and we will talk about: safety and cleanliness. 

Safety and cleanliness 

Regarding the health protocol we had to do a covid test 48 hours before departure and that was it. Masks on board were recommended for passengers but not mandatory. 99% of passengers did not wear them. For crew members, we noticed that in the food and beverage department most of the crew members were wearing masks. Most of the other crew members stopped wearing masks after a few days from departure. The safety drill on the Costa Toscana is done on the app or on the cabin tv, after that each passenger has to get the cruise card scanned at the muster station, and that is it for the safety drill. 

The ship was incredibly clean, as usual. We saw staff cleaning decks, floors, pools all the time. They cleaned our balcony twice. This made us feel very safe. So for safety and cleanliness our vote is a 5 out of 5 for sure.

Now we move to another topic of our Costa Toscana cruise review by talking about:the drink packages

The Drink Package

As we mentioned in the previous articles Costa has a great drink package that is quite affordable and very good. However in order to have the best price on the drink package you should buy it at the time you make your reservation by selecting the All Inclusive option, because once on board the package is way more expensive. 

At the time of booking you can pick the MyDrinks package that covers wine by the glass, prosecco, coffees, teas, specialty coffees, digestives and classic cocktails. Also you can upgrade on line to the plus package that includes premium wines, premium liqueurs and cocktails. 

Overall it is a great value and we strongly recommend it. Our vote for the drink package ius a 5 out of 5 (if purchased at the time of reservation).

Let’s move on to our next topic of our Costa Toscana cruise review and we talk about: the restaurants


Costa Toscana has 11 restaurants on board. Some were included such as the buffet, and the main dining rooms, and some specialty restaurants that are not included (more about those later). The buffet is located on deck 8 mid ship. This location is a bit odd because when the buffet is closed it is not possible to walk inside from the front to the back of the ship, also when it is open it is usually very busy and again walking thought it can be challenging. So Probably, the buffet location is not the best one. 

There are 3 main dining restaurants in the back of the ship on decks 5-6 and 7. The main dining room still has the first seating at 6:30 pm and the second seating at 9. It was a little amusing to see a rush of people running to the dining room for the first seating. On deck 7 the restaurant Il Vigneto was only open for lunch with extended opening hours until 3:30 and serving a set menu. Overall those main dining rooms are very spacious and well decorated with a good amount of windows and natural light. Also there are two more main dining rooms L’Argentario on deck 6 which is dedicated to gold and Platinum member that did not get the club restaurant and Le Anfore, also on deck 6 that on this crossing was closed due to the low capacity.

There were also screens by the elevators with information about restaurants such as time of operation and business of them.  So, that was a nice touch.

Because we are Gold members on Costa, and because we booked the cruise way in advance we were able to reserve the Club restaurant Bellavista – as I mentioned before. Now this restaurant is unbelievable. It is dedicated to suite passengers, and a few Gold and Platinum members. Must be reserved at the time of booking. The beauty of this restaurant is the fact that it is small, very intimate, with great staff and a giant open kitchen inside. Everything was cooked fresh right in front of our eyes which was absolutely amazing!

Dining here feels like being at a Michelin-star restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner! A real treat. On some ships, it is possible to pay an entry fee to eat at the club restaurant like any other specialty restaurants. On this particular sailing, this option was not available.

After this long review, it is time to vote. I think for restaurants we will give Costa Toscana a solid 5 out of five but I give Bellavista a 10 out of five because this restaurant is UNBELIEVABLE!

And now we continue our Costa Toscana Cruise review by talking about the food

The Food

As we mentioned before, we love the food on Costa. I personally think it is among some of the best food I’ve ever had and not just on a cruise ship. It is always perfectly prepared, perfectly presented, and delicious.

The variety on the menu is wonderful. Portions are small and are meant to enjoy a 4 courses meal. You always find a choice of 3 or 4 appetizers (usually one seafood, one meat, and one vegetarian), 3 or four Primi (first course) and again one seafood, one meat and one vegetarian and also usually a soup. Then you have the secondi (Main course) with again a choice of seafood, meat and vegetarian. Finally a choice of 3 or 4 desserts.

On top of that you have some items that are called Grandi Classici that are always available. Now because we were fortunate enough to eat at the Bellavista restaurant we had 2 extra options in the Grandi Classici one was filet mignon with bearnaise sauce and the other was grilled giant prawns. Also the night before a port was always available, a particular dish inspired by the next day destination and designed by one of the 3 Michelin-star chefs that work for Costa.

We loved the food on this ship and the fact that it was cooked in front of us made it more fantastic. Also with the small portions we were able to enjoy the food without worrying too much about gaining weight. So we also a great 5 out of 5 for food! 

Moving on to our next item to review on board the Costa Toscana we will talk about: the bars

The Bars

Costa Toscana has 19 bars and lounges. On our voyage most of them were open, just a very few were closed. In our opinion they are all pretty good but there were a few that we really loved! On the first week of our cruise, when the weather was still a bit cold, our favorite bar was the Kartel bar on deck 8 mid-ship by the colosseum theater.

One great feature of this bar was the fact that they serve some finger food all day that is totally included. In the morning they have pastry, at lunch time they serve some salads and pasta salad and at night they have olives, cheeses, bread, salame and other aperitivo items. Once we started sailing in warmer weather our favorite bar was the Infinity bar all the way aft, outdoors on deck 7. This bar had some great loungy couches, 2 hot tubs, a huge smoking section, a dj and some of the best views! Definitely a great place to go for a drink before or after dinner.  Another bar that we loved especially in the morning for coffee and cappuccino was the beach club bar by the indoor pool on deck 16.

There were some other great bars around the ship, some with live music and sports events on big screens like the Heineken pub or the Campari bar on deck 7 mid ship. We walked by these places several times but we have never really stopped there. 

Also we have to mention the Amarillo Gelateria on deck 8 toward the front of the ship. This place has gelato, pies, crepes for a fee. We did try this either because again desserts were so good in the dining room.

Overall we think that the amount of bars and lounges on board the Costa Toscana is great and there is a great spot for everyone, even though we heard that during peak season, when the ship is at full capacity some bars are so full that it is difficult to walk. 

We think we will give a 5 out of 5 for bars and lounges because we really enjoyed our favorite spots around the ship. In particular we really enjoyed our evening at the infinity bar, we were able to meet many fellow passengers there and socialize. Great spot!

Now we will continue our Costa Toscana cruise review by talking about: the entertainment.

The Entertainment

The entertainment team on board the Costa Toscana was absolutely fantastic. They really did an amazing job keeping passengers engaged and entertained. The team was always around the ship, socialising with passengers, dancing with passengers, and playing games with passengers.  They organised some amazing parties such as the white party, the carnival party and our favorite Arabian night party. That was so much fun!!!!

Also they had a crossing of the tropic party during the day that involved the Captain and all the officers. Passengers loved those parties. The second to last day of the cruise there were some special farewell events, during the day there was a staff talent show where crew members of different departments performed some dancing or singing for passengers. At night there was an incredible Christmas celebration with all the officers and many crew members caroling for almost one hour! Amazing.

It was also very nice to see officers around all the time interacting with passengers, like it was before the pandemic. In particular it was amazing to see the officer ball! We have never seen this before and it was great to see officers dancing with passengers. Everybody loved it!

One thing that we noticed several times on Costa is the fact that they have those great theme nights such as white night, costume night, Arabian night etc but there is no way to know, before boarding so there is no way to know which particular outfit to pack. Would be nice to have that option by email before boarding. 

Other than that I think that the entertainment team on board was incredible and they totally deserve a 5 out of 5 no doubt!

Our next topic to review are the shows.

The Shows 

The Costa Toscana has two theaters on board. One is in mid ship deck 6, 7 and 8 and it is called The Colosseum the other one is at the front of the ship called the “poltrone frau” on decks 6 and 7. Sorry to say that both theaters are not very well designed at all. In fact both theaters have a lot of columns that obstruct the view of the stage. In particular in the colosseum there are many areas where it is almost impossible to see. Also in both venues there were very few tables to put drinks on making it a bit uncomfortable to watch a show while having a drink.

But let’s talk about the shows. Overall the shows were average, most of them were singing and dancing shows and acrobats. Nothing special. There was only one really good performer Talia Alexis that had an incredible voice and she did a stunning tribute to Tina Turner. Tallia if you are watching well done! Actually, there was a dancing couple as well- I think from Romania. Also really really good!

I think that we give a 4 out of 5 for shows but we will give a 1 out of 5 for the theaters because they are not well designed at all.

Now let’s move to our next topic of our Costa Toscana Cruise review is the Costa Club.

The Costa Club

The Costa club is Costa’s loyalty program. It has some very good perks and we strongly recommend you sign up if you are thinking of taking a Costa Cruise. If you want to know more about the perks for the members take a look at this article

On our cruise on board of the Costa Toscana the Costa Club organised two nice events, one for all the members and another one dedicated to Gold and Platinum. Both events were really nice. In particular the second one was great because we were able to interact with the Captain and many other officers. Also, because we are gold members, we received a nice gift at the end of the cruise, a metal model of the ship that we love to collect! 

The only part of the Costa Club benefits that has room for improvement is the free laundry bag. As we mentioned before this requires some training.

Other than the minor issue with the laundry, we think that the Costa Club deserves a 5 out of 5 anchors. Now let’s move on to one of my favorite area of the ship – the spa

The Spa

Now if you follow our videos you know that the Spa on any cruise ship is Rick’s natural habitat! On Costa Toscana the spa is gorgeous. First of all it is huge! Really big. It has a great wellness center that includes a nice and a giant hot tub, a relaxing area, a salt room with comfy chairs, a hammam room, a dry sauna and even an incredible snow room, with real snow! Can you believe it?

Passengers can purchase an unlimited entry package for the spa that is fantastic. We did and we used it a lot.  Also there are packages available that include massages or other treatments. Service at the spa was fantastic, in particular Michelle – the amazing spa manager remembered us from previous voyages.  As for the massage part on this trip, Rick had not 1, not 2, not even 3 massages… actually he had 6 massages!  It was SOOO relaxing.  Basically, he scheduled them around 4pm on sea days. So after he finished his 20,000 steps, he’d go to get a massage, then he’d visit Andrea in the thermal suite around 5pm.  Then, he might have a little nap, a dip in the jacuzzi, visit the hammam, and nap again, before going back to the room and getting changed and ready for the evening!

After this long review our vote for the spa is a 5 out of 5!

Let’s move on to our next  topic of our Costa Toscana cruise review are the excursions.


For the most part, we took excursions with Costa on this voyage, and we noticed that the excursion team was much better organised than it had been on previous sailing on other ships. 

Excursion in Abu Dhabi

Unfortunately one thing that Costa doesn’t do well is the description of the excursion on line. Most of the time the description on the website is a bit approximate and it is tough to know what exactly is included in the excursion. On previous sailing most of the staff at the excursion desk did not know either what was included in the excursion. On the Costa Toscana, on the other hand, everyone at the excursion desk was very knowledgeable, and they were able to explain to us exactly what we needed. 

Overall the excursions we took with Costa were good, organised and pretty interesting. In particular, the one we took in Abu Dhabi was fantastic! They picked us up by 4×4 at the pier, they drove us to the desert and then, after they deflated the tires, we started sliding down the dunes! It was quite scary at first but after a minute or so it was amazing! After riding the dunes for a solid half hour they took us to a bedouin camp where we had a nice dinner, we rode some camels and saw a belly dancing show. The excursion was really fun!

One thing that we really like about Costa excursions is the fact that they can be pre-booked online and no payment is required at the time of booking. The payment is due on board. For this reason, we love to book excursions right after we book our cruise so that way we do not risk having them sold out. For example there was a very nice couple who were newlywed that really wanted to take the same excursions as we took in Abu Dhabi but unfortunately for them it was sold out.

After this long review it is time to vote and we give the excursion a 5 out of 5, we really enjoyed them and we think they did a good job,

And now we move to the next topic on our Costa Toscana Cruise review, the casino

The Casino 

The Casino is located on deck 7 mid-ship. It is nice and spacious, with a good amount of tables and slots. The Casino is nice and bright and overall very adequate for the ship. Being a European cruise line, some games that are popular in North America are not available in this Casino, for example there is no craps table. We only used the Casino a few times and we didn’t win anything interesting but we can still vote on the ambiance so our vote for the casino is 5 out of 5.

Moving on to the next topic on our Costa Toscana Cruise review we will talk about the specialty restaurants.

Speciality restaurants

There are several specialty restaurants on board the Costa Toscana. The fanciest one is the Archipelago that is located on deck 8 at the front. The Archipelago features 3 set menus from 3 famous chefs. We talked a lot about this restaurant on our previous Costa review and you can read this article if you want to know more.

Also on deck 8 toward the front of the ship you’ll find the Teppanyaki restaurant. The restaurant is quite big and has a nice layout. We’ve eaten at the teppanyaki restaurant before, and it was fun, but did not  on this trip, so we can’t really review it.

Next to the Teppanyaki there is the pizza restaurant. We did have a pizza here and it was excellent! A really good italian pizza, almost as good as a pizza that you can find in Naples. Notice that i mentioned Italian pizza, because if you want a north American style pizza you are out of luck here.

On deck 7 toward the back of the ship you can find the Heineken pub that has a kitchen and serves pub food, freshly made burgers and steaks. The area is nice and they often have live music here. We did not eat here as well so we will only talk about the ambience.

Also on deck 7 mid ship there is the Sushino restaurant. As we noticed on previous Costa Cruises review this place was never busy at all. We saw some people doing take away from here but overall very underused.

On deck 16 by the beach club you can find the street food hamburger place that serves gourmet burgers for a small fee. On deck 17 toward the back you find a poke stand that serves poke again for a small fee. Lastly on deck 8 near Archipelago you can find the Ferrari bar that has a tasting menu for a  nominal fee.

Due to the fact that we were able to eat at the club restaurant we did not feel like eating anywhere else so we did not try any of the speciality restaurants other than the pizza place. For this reason we can not really vote on those.

One thing we have to mention is that the first two nights of the cruise, most speciality restaurants are 20% off.

Now let’s talk about another topic on our Costa Toscana cruise review: the stores

The Stores

On Costa Toscana the stores are scattered around decks 7 and 8. There is not a galleria style area like we saw on previous Costa ships. On board you will find the usual types of store, clothing, jewellery, sun glasses, bikinis, perfumes and a Costa merchandise. As we mentioned on previous Costa reviews articles the on board selection of toiletry and travel items is really limited so don’t forget to pack all you need before boarding. On this particular sailing considering that there was 6 sea days it can be a problem to run out of sun screen or shaving cream.

One thing we noticed is that perfumes on board are really well priced and most of the time cheaper than stores on land. Also was quite strange to see cigarettes and tobacco products go on sale, that is something quite different from north America.

We think that the ship should have a much bigger selection of toiletry items and last minutes necessities, especially considering the 6 sea days. So our vote is a 3 out of 5.

Moving on to the next item on our Costa Toscana Cruise review, we will talk about the costa app.

The Costa app 

The Costa App is the mobile app that you use on board to check the daily events, excursions, menus, restaurants, connect to the internet and so on. Overall the app is fine. It has some good features and works ok. Some features require improvement. For example it sends notification for shows or excursion time but not if you send a message using the chat feature.

For the reasons above we just used messenger on our cell phones for that. And spa treatments – if they were pre-booked online, they’d show up in your events. But if you book them at the spa, they don’t show on the app. Another thing that was quite bizarre is the fact that many of the events that are on the paper daily schedule were not on the app. Also around the 10th day of the cruise, the app stopped showing the venue of the events. So it showed an event at a specific time but not the place, which was really peculiar.

Other than those few bugs the app is fine and it does an ok job. Our vote is a 3 out of 5, it has room for improvement but it works better than other ones we tried on different cruise lines.

Moving on to our next topic we will talk about: the internet onboard.

Internet on board

The Internet on board was decent. Not the fastest, but fast enough to work with. Actually, it was a lot faster than what we had earlier this year in May. So, we’d say it’s stable enough for most uses – even Youtube worked pretty well. We were also able to use it to call home on facetime or whatsapp.

Unfortunately, we had a little missapp with the price of the Internet. Here is what happened: On boarding day, while waiting for lunch, we opened the Costa app and ordered the internet package.  The cost was 100 euros for the “full” package with unlimited use. A little later, I checked my onboard expenses (Mainly to see if my excursions were listed), and to my surprise, we found that we were each charged 260 euros for internet; not the 100 euros that was offered. That’s an overcharge of 320 euros – or 160 euros a person – on day 1!

We went to reception, and there was a line of others reporting the same issue. The Receptionist took my information and advised the matter would be looked into.  A few days later, someone called us and told me it was a mistake and that “I should have known better, ” and if we wanted a refund, we could have it ONLY if we didn’t use the internet (which, of course, we used). We thought that was not the correct way to handle the issue, but we needed the internet so we had no choice but to accept the charge. Still we think that the internet was incredibly expensive because 520 euros for two people is way, way more than we ever paid – and certainly more than what competitor cruise lines charge. 

Now it is time to vote and because of the how the issue was handled, and the fact that the internet is way overpriced our vote is a 2 out of five, especially considering that other cruise lines have it included in the all inclusive package it seems way too expensive!

PS: Now once we got home we notified Costa Corporate office and they finally recognized the error and they gave us a €320 on board credit for our next cruise.

Now let’s move to another aspect of our Costa Toscana cruise review: the photo lab

The Photo lab

The ship has a lot of photographers around all the time and they are a bit pushy in trying to get people to take photos. We did take several photos but we only bought one because most of the photos we took were the same cruise ship photos that we have taken thousands of times with the same staged unnatural poses.

The photo lab also has a lot of computers for people to look at their photos and apparently they have facial recognition software that is able to sort passengers photos. Unfortunately, we noticed that most of the photos were still printed and nobody was using the computers. Also the facial recognition software was not the most accurate.

We noticed that only about 1 out of 5 photos were found by the app… so.. Maybe that’s why the photos were being printed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Costa is a little tricky when it comes to the photo packages. On this cruise, you could buy the photo package for about 100 euros… but on Costa, they are sneaky!  There are two kinds of photos, the regular ones that can be bought in an unlimited package and the “Myshades” photos that are not included in the package… and for all those photographers taking photos around the ship, well, pretty much every one of them were consider “myshades”.   So if you are thinking of buying the photo package – we say, buyer beware!  Be sure to know  exactly which photos are included before spending the money.

Mostly for the deceiving tactics, our vote for the photo lab is a 1 out of 5.

Let’s move to the next topic to review the overall feeling

The Overall feeling

The overall feeling on board the Costa Toscana was fantastic. All the crew members seemed to be happy, and very friendly. It was great to see officers around all the time interacting with passengers. In particular the Captain was always around, talking to passengers, interacting and giving information about the cruise. He was always available to take photos and selfies.

The captain was also very funny and he made fun of his German every time he had to give a speech. 

Also the passengers on board were very happy and they were having fun. It was a great mix of passengers of all ages and nationality and everyone was really friendly and willing to talk and socialize. Every passenger was on board to have fun and not to complain. In my opinion this was the first cruise that felt 100% back to normal since the pandemic. Did we mention, this was THE BEST CRUISE EVER! So we guess you all know what my vote for the overall feeling is!

Now it is time to review one of the saddest part of the cruise: the disembarkation

The Disembarkation 

The disembarkation process was incredibly easy and smooth, as usual. We arrived in Dubai at 8 am and by 9:30 we were on our taxi. We did not check our bag but we used carry ons so that made the disembarkation process even simpler. But from what we could see around the process seemed to be well organized and smooth. 

Our vote for disembarkation is a 5 out of 5, very simple.

Let’s move on to our last item to review on our Costa Toscana cruise – costa quirkiness.


As we’ve seen on other Costa cruises, there were some odd things that are worth mentioning, nothing important, but it is worth mentioning.  The first very strange thing was the fact that all the time changes during our sailing were at 11am! This was the first time ever that we experienced that. You could actually see the clocks at 10 am moving forward one hour. Usually when there is a time change on board it happens at night so passengers wake up in the morning with the new time. Well not on board the Costa Toscana. On the toscana, you get up, go for breakfast, then 30 mins later, go for lunch. Weird!

Another thing that was really bizarre was the fact that the ship had almost no Christmas decorations. There were a few small Christmas trees that were almost unnoticeable in such a huge ship.

We asked the Hotel Director why there were no decorations and he told us that it was a corporate decision! And we confirmed it. Other ships in the costa fleet had very little decorations. Now… we thought… maybe it’s because we’re going to a muslim area. But… Dubai had more Christmas decorations than back in the states!  So Costa – you guys missed the boat on this one. Very sad. 


After this very long review it is time to draw some conclusions. I think this was an epic cruise, everything on board was really fantastic. Yes we has some little issues with the internet or some other minor problems but overall it was a fantastic cruise and I can’t wait to be on board the Costa Toscana again!

We mentioned this a million times during the cruise BEST CRUISE EVER so no need to vote for us!  

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  1. Hi guys! Thank you for the amazing, detailed review of your cruise on Costa Toscana. I’ve just selected the cruise from Barcelona to Dubai (same itinerary as yours) departing in late November 2023. I have to say that I do prefer smaller ships but am willing to take this one because of the fantastic itinerary. As a Club member (silver status) I’ve temporarily reserved two cabins (to chose from in a few days) – 16089 and 12131 (I travel alone). Could you advise as to which one to pick given that I like a quiet cabin, especially at night? Even though I will turn 61 in a few weeks I love to walk a lot (and take stairs while on the ship). One more question – does the housekeeping take place once or twice a day (I’ve read a review stating that housekeeping takes place only in the morning)? Many thanks & best regards, Robert PS – I retired from the United Nation Peace-Keeping Division five years ago and currently reside in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (otherwise, born and raised in Croatia)

    1. Hello Robert, thank you for your email. We loved that cruise and we would like to do it again. Regarding the cabin probably the 12131 would be quieter, because on the 16th deck there is the main pool and the 16089 it is very closer to it. regarding the housekeeping service, you are correct now it is done only in the morning. If you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact us. Have a greeat weekend
      Rick and Andrea

      1. Hi Rick and Andrea, many thanks for your reply!! In the meantime, I put hold on two cabins in front of the ship (1121 and 1216) and will end up selecting one of them in a few days. The 8th deck promenade is considerably wider below 12131 and more narrow below 1121 and 1216 and I like to have as much privacy as I can get while using the balcony. The only question that remains is whether I want my cabin to face West or East during most of the cruise (and while sailing the Red Sea) 🙂 Once again, thank you so much for replying to me and best wishes for future travels to both of you,

        1. Hello Robert, while sailing the Red sea we had a cabin facing west and we loved the sunsets from the balcony. We don’t know if this little tip will help you making your decision ????

          1. Hi guys,

            Again, thanks for your reply! I usually prefer to face west if in balcony cabin because I like to spend a bit of time sunbathing “au naturel” if possible 🙂

            I do have one more question – since the suitcase has to be stored under the bed – can advise regarding the height of such space on this ship, so I can know which suitcase to take with me? Frankly, this info should be in the online description of every cabin on any ship!

            Once again, many thanks & best regards,


  2. Hi guys,
    I made a typo in my previous message regarding the cabin number on the 12th deck – it is 12026, not 12016 (which does not even exist).
    If you end up doing the cruise again (in November 2023) I will be delighted to get to know you in person!!

  3. Damn, another typo (should read “can you advise….”) – I’m in the middle of packing for my trip to Vienna tomorrow.

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