Cruise Line Profile: Costa Cruises
The Costa Magica is one of Costa's newer ships sailing the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale each winter.*
As Italian as tarantellas and pizza pies, Costa Cruises is a part of Carnival Corporation's World Leading Cruise Lines alliance. Costa, a line that has been in the cruising business for 59 years, came under full control of Carnival in 2000.
Of the World's Leading Cruise Lines member lines, Costa -- from the hardware side -- probably resembles Carnival Cruise Lines most. For example, the Costa Magica has the same layout as Carnival's Conquest-class ships with the amenities today's passengers expect from a mega-liner. That includes a multi-level atrium, a supper club for a special dinner and a spacious spa.
But while Costa's ships may be similar to Carnival's in hardware, the line offers a cruise with a definite Italian accent. Costa's motto Cruising Italian Style is true to the line's Italian heritage and well justified. It offers a lighthearted atmosphere filled with laughter and warm hospitality for enjoying "la dolce vita" at sea.
Costa's ships range in size from 30,000 tons to 112,000 tons. The ships provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian. In the newest ships, in particular, Costa boasts marble floors and walls as well as Italian art and shipboard events like the "Festa Italiana" celebrating all things Italian.
The Costa fleet offers cruises that span the globe and offers many cruises from the southern U.S. from Port Everglades.
Ambience & Style of Cruising
Costa offers a floating resort-type vacation with definite Italian flavor in the economy prices category. Good for families. While sailing the Caribbean from a southern U.S. port, most passengers are American with the remainder from Italy and other parts of Europe. That adds to the European flair of the cruises.
Your cabin on Costa will be pleasant, if not more spacious than many cruise line cabins. You'll also receive complimentary continental breakfast served in your cabin if you so desire. Your cabin steward will be "at your service" and his or her name will be clearly displayed in your cabin.
Your cabin will have satelllite TV, a refrigerator, safe, hairdryer, individually adjustable air conditioning, interactive TV with videos and movies on demand at an extra charge (on selected ships), and 24-hour room service and mini-bar.
A suite on Costa offers space and pampering perks.*
Suites on Costa offer:
- a bottle of Italian sparkling wine;
- a selection of cold canapés;
- a basket of fresh fruit, renewed every day;
- choice of the pillow best suited to your needs, from the "Pillow Menu" displayed on your bed;
- daily delivery of the lunch and dinner menus, with the possibility of having meals served in your Suite on request;
- bathrobe and slippers for you to use for the duration of the cruise;
- kit of bath products to pamper your skin.
Main restaurants on Costa ships offer open seating for breakfast and lunch and two traditional dinner seatings. Restaurant menus celebrate Italian cuisine and have low-fat and vegetarian selections. Pastas including lasagna al forno and the chicken cacciatore were among our favorite dishes in the dining room where salmon and chicken breast are always available.
Italian comfort food selections are also offered throughout the ship. Specialties from various Italian regions are infused with classic Italian-American offerings, and continental and American dishes are also featured -including shrimp cocktail and prime rib-providing a variety of items from which to choose.
The Trattoria Italiana is a nightly buffet with osso bucco and other dishes. Each ship has a casual Lido buffet-style restaurant and complimentary 24-hour restaurant. Specialty restaurants, available on both ships sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, offer an intimate ambiance and culinary treats for a $25 per person fee.
You'll be saying -"that's Italian" more than once during your voyage. Cruises begin with a buon viaggio (bon voyage) celebration and also feature Roman Bacchanal parades and festive toga parties.
Passengers enjoy a Roman toga party onboard Costa.*
Other signature elements include tarantella dancing and pizza dough tossing during Festa Italiana, the aforementioned onboard Italian street festival. Also popular is Notte Meditteranea, a Mediterranean-style party that ends with the presentation of a midnight buffet.
In addition to these activities that immerse passengers in Italian culture, there are also the familiar cruising favorites including pool games, trivia and bingo.
Spa & Fitness
Both ships sailing out of Fort Lauderdale offer full-service spas operated by Steiner Leisure. Among the European-style treatments are La Therapie Facial and the Ionithermie Super Detox, a firming and toning treatment that helps to detoxify the body and to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Costa vessels are equipped with modern fitness centers, swimming pools and whirlpools, jogging track and offer a variety of deck games.
Organized Kids' Programs
Yes (for details, see our Family Fun page story).
Costa will automatically charge your guest account as follows: $3 per person per day to stateroom steward/stewardess; $3 per person per day to your waiter; $1.50 per person per day to the waiter's assistant and $1 per person per day to the head waiter. Guests may change the amount by contacting Guest Relations.
Bartenders, servers, deck stewards and other staff may be tipped as service is received. A 15 percent gratuity is added to beverage purchases automatically.
Total Ships in Worldwide Fleet: 11 (plus four on order).
Total Ships Embarking from southern U.S. Ports: 2 as detailed below.
Costa Magica and Costa Mediterranea
Costa Mediterranea is among the Costa ships sailing from Port Everglades in winter.*
Embarkation Port: Port Everglades, FL Year Launched: Costa Magica in 2004; Costa Mediterranea in 2003
Passenger Count: Costa Magica 2,720; Costa Mediterranea, 2,114
Itineraries: The ships sail on alternating eastern/western Caribbean seven-night itineraries. In the western Caribbean, the Costa Magica and Costa Mediterranea both call at the ports of Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Roatán, Honduras.
In the eastern Caribbean, the ships call at Catalina Island and La Romana, Dominican Republic; Freeport, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Maarten; St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands (two different eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, ports vary by itinerary).
After their Caribbean seasons the ships sail trans-Atlantic to Europe.
For More Information
Costa Cruise Line
200 S. Park Rd. Ste. 200, Hollywood, FL 33021
Main telephone: 954-266-5700
Reservations phone: 800-GO-COSTA
Georgina Cruz writes, along with her husband, Humberto Cruz, a weekly nationally-syndicated column, Retire Smart, often dealing with touring and cruising topics. Her travel articles have appeared in more than four dozen regional, national and international publications and she is the author of a guidebook on cruises.
*Photos are owned, copyrighted and used with permission of Susan J. Young and Costa Cruise Line. All rights reserved. Please do not link to nor copy these photos. Content above is copyrighted to SouthernCruising.com™, SouthernTravelNews.com™ and Corporate Write LLC; all rights reserved.