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Costa Cruises: Costa Mediterranea

Costa Mediterranea Review

Launched in 2003 as a sister ship to Costa Atlantica, Costa Mediterranea’s décor was inspired by 17th- and 18th-century palazzi. The ship’s atrium is dedicated to the commedia dell’arte and Italian dance. Costa Mediterranea sails in the Western Mediterranean and repositions to the Caribbean for the winter season.

The basic layout of these contemporary ships is nearly identical to parent Carnival Cruise Line's Spirit-class vessels. Interiors were designed by Carnival's ship architect Joe Farcus, whose abundant use of marble reflects Costa's Italian heritage. Artwork commissioned specifically for each ship was created by contemporary artists and includes intricate sculptures in silver and glass. Don't overlook the lighting fixtures, which were created especially for the ship, most of them crafted by the artisans in Venice's Murano-glass factories.

The nice flow between public lounges is broken only by piazzas, where you can practice the Italian custom of passeggiata (strolling to see and be seen). And there's plenty to see; these are visually stimulating interiors, with vivid colors and decor elements to arouse a sense of discovery. One of the most elegant spaces on board Costa Atlantica is Café Florian—inspired by the original in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square.

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.

What You Should Know


  • If earlier Costa ships were Armani (cool and serene), then these are Versace (sexy and slightly outrageous)
  • Duty-free boutiques offer enough Italian designer items to satisfy most shopaholics
  • Forward on the outdoor promenade decks are serene retreats in the form of enclosed terraces


  • Italians consider cappuccino a breakfast beverage, so ordering it in the dining room following dinner is frowned upon
  • Frequent announcements are annoying
  • Coffee is available at numerous bars, but there is a charge
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 2003
  • Gross Tons 86,000
  • Length 960 feet
  • Number of Cabins
  • Passenger Capacity 2,114 (2,682 max)
  • Width 920 feet

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