These two sisterships were designed to bring the Costa fleet up to speed with other cruise lines in the 1990s, and the effort has paid off. Public areas clustered on four upper decks are filled with marble and furnished with sleek, contemporary furnishings and modern Italian artworks. The effect is vibrant, chic, and surprisingly restful. Lounges and bars are sweeping and grand; however, the areas set aside for children are skimpy by today's family-friendly standards. A large forward-facing spa and fitness center on Costa Classica was displaced for additional high-end suites on Costa Romantica, which accounts for the difference in passenger capacity. Neither ship has a true promenade deck, but the Lido areas for sunning and swimming are expansive.
Midsize and intimate, each ship retains a like-new luster from regular refurbishments. Unfortunately, they lack the large number of balconies that are becoming as popular with Europeans as North Americans.
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