Having long wanted to visit the area of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, La Reunion) covered by this cruise, we were pleased to find the one operator, Costa, who seemed able to include all these in a two-week, very reasonably priced package in a circular cruise starting from Mauritius.
We took the gamble of booking a reserved but unknown balcony cabin and were pleased to find it was no more expensive to book our own flights than pay for them via the cruise company, so we were able to spend a few days before and after the cruise in Mauritius.
It was only after booking that we started to read the sometimes horrendous accounts of experiences on this ship on English-language websites including this one. So it was with some trepidation that we lined up to board on February 1st. To be fair, first impressions weren't great as we had to queue for nearly an hour in the heat under a canopy to check in, though there were accessible cold drinks during that time. Once inside , however, we were very pleased to find our spacious balcony cabin on Deck 6, with no restricted view. Suitcases went easily under the bed and generally there was easily enough storage room, also in the bathroom which is not always the case. The bed was quite hard but very comfortable and we slept extremely well throughout the cruise. The one disappointment in the room was the TV, most of whose numbered channels did not work or varied from day to day. It was only after a week that we discovered that channels like BBC World did exist on unannounced obscure numbers like 768 (!) which we came across purely by chance. Our cabin steward Juan from Honduras was always pleasant and helpful and kept the cabin clean.