Plan Your Costa Cruises Vacation
Europe's number-one cruise line combines a Continental experience, enticing itineraries, and Italy's classical design and style with relaxing days and romantic nights at sea. Genoa-based Costa Crociere, parent company of Costa Cruise Lines, had been in the shipping
business for more than 100 years and in the passenger business for almost 50 years when it was bought by Airtours and Carnival Corporation in 1997. In 2000 Carnival completed a buyout of the Costa line and began expanding the fleet with larger and more dynamic ships.
An ongoing shipbuilding program has brought Costa ships into the 21st century with innovative large-ship designs that reflect their Italian heritage and style without overlooking the amenities expected by modern cruisers. Acknowledging changing habits (even among Europeans), Costa Cruises has eliminated smoking entirely in dining rooms and show lounges. However, smokers are permitted to light up in designated areas in other public rooms, as well as on the pool deck.
Key Costa Cruises Tips
Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips
Top Reasons To Cruise
- Diversity Costa is one of Europe’s most popular cruise lines, so passengers are often a diverse mix of nationalities.
- Italian cuisine The line celebrates its Italian heritage in the design of its ships’ interiors and with the best of Italy’s regional dishes on the menu.
- Crowds Costa’s large ships are spacious but carry so many people that they can feel crowded.
- Theme Nights Costa still has several theme nights on every cruise.
Is This Line Right For You?
Choose This Line If
- You're a satisfied Carnival past passenger and want a similar experience with an Italian flavor.
- You want pizza hot out of the oven whenever you get a craving for it.
- You're a joiner: there are many opportunities to be in the center of the action.
Don't Choose This Line If
- You find announcements in a variety of languages annoying.
- You want an authentic Italian cruise. The crew has grown more international than Italian as the line has expanded.
- You prefer sedate splendor in a formal atmosphere; many of the ships are almost Fellini-esque in style.
What To Expect On Board
Costa is noted for themed dinner menus that convey the evening's mood. Dining features regional Italian cuisines: a variety of pastas, chicken, beef, and seafood dishes, as well as authentic pizza. European chefs and culinary school graduates, who are members of Chaîne
des Rôtisseurs, provide a dining experience that's notable for a delicious, properly prepared pasta course, if not exactly living up to gourmet standards. Vegetarian and healthy diet choices are also offered, as are selections for children. Alternative dining is by reservation only in the upscale supper clubs, which serve traditional Italian cuisine.
While specialty restaurants usually have a separate à la carte charge for each menu item, suite passengers receive one complimentary dinner for two.
Costa ships also retain the tradition of lavish nightly midnight buffets, a feature that is beginning to disappear on other mainstream lines. Room service is available 24 hours from a limited menu.
Italian-style cruising is a mixture of Mediterranean flair and American comfort, beginning with a buon viaggio celebration. The supercharged social staff works overtime to get everyone in the mood during the line’s signature nighttime parties and encourages everyone
to be a part of the action.
Shipboard activities include games of bocce, dancing the tarantella, and tossing pizza dough during the Festa Italiana, an Italian street festival at sea. Other nights are themed as well—a welcome-aboard celebration (Benvenuto A Bordo), hosted by the captain on the first formal night, and Notte Tropical, a tropical deck party with a Mediterranean twist that culminates with the presentation of an alfresco midnight buffet. When it is time to say goodbye, Costa throws a Roman Bacchanal.
There's also a nod to the traditional cruise ship entertainment expected by North American passengers. Pool games, trivia, bingo, and sophisticated production shows blend nicely with classical concerts in lounges, where a wide range of musical styles invite dancing or listening. Italian language, arts and crafts, and cooking classes are extremely popular.
Fitness and Recreation
Taking a cue from the ancient Romans, Costa places continuing emphasis on wellness and sensual pleasures. Spas and salons are operated by Steiner Leisure, and treatments include a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials that can be scheduled à la carte or combined in
packages to enjoy during one afternoon or throughout the entire cruise. Hair and nail services are available in the salons.
State-of-the-art exercise equipment in the gym, a jogging track, and basic fitness classes for all levels of ability are available. Costa ships offer a Golf Academy at Sea, with PGA clinics on the ship and golf excursions in some ports.