Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Costa Cruises
Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeLarge

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.Read More

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.

  • 12 passenger decks
  • Specialty restaurant
  • dining room
  • buffet
  • pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi
  • safe
  • refrigerator
  • DVD (some)
  • 3 pools (1 indoor)
  • children’s pool
  • Fitness classes
  • gym
  • hot tubs
  • sauna
  • spa
  • steam room
  • 6 bars
  • casino
  • 2 dance clubs
  • 2 show rooms
  • video game room
  • Children’s programs
  • Laundry facilities
  • laundry service
  • Internet terminal

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
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

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Cabins
Amenities
Bathrooms
Accessibility

Cabins generally follow the outline of their Carnival counterparts, with the distinctive addition of a Grand suite category. Nearly 80% of the suites and staterooms have an ocean view, and of those more than 80% have balconies. Every cabin has adequate closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves; suites have a walk-in closet. Although connecting staterooms are somewhat scarce throughout the ships, balcony dividers can be unlocked to provide connecting access in upper-category staterooms.

Light-wood cabinetry, pastel decor, Murano-glass lighting fixtures, mirrored accents, a small refrigerator, a personal safe, a hair dryer, and a seating area with sofa, chair, and table are typical for ocean-view cabins and suites. Inside cabins have somewhat smaller seating areas for lounging. Suites have DVD players.

Extras include shampoo and bath gel in shower-mounted dispensers; suites have a whirlpool bathtub.

Eight staterooms are designed for wheelchair accessibility.

Food & Drink

Food

A single two-deck-high formal restaurant serves open seating breakfast and lunch, while the Italian-accented cuisine is served in two traditional assigned dinner seatings. An upscale, reservations-only alternative restaurant features Italian specialties—while there is a charge, it’s well worth it for the intimate, candlelit atmosphere and interesting menu selection. Reserved for guests occupying Wellness cabins and suites, a Wellness Restaurant on each ship serves lighter fare at lunch and dinner. Coffee shops serve delightful, authentic Italian specialty coffees and treats. The casual Lido buffet, pizzeria, and 24-hour room service are alternatives to dining room meals. Costa is one of the few cruise lines to continue the seagoing tradition of lavish midnight buffets. Room service is available 24 hours from a limited menu.

Entertainment

After dinner and a coffee in the coffee bar, on most nights there are performances by the resident production singers and dancers as well as guest entertainers in the main theater. The secondary show lounges feature singers and musicians and are the venues for Costa’s signature parties, during which the entertainment staff encourages passenger participation. There is a quieter and intimate piano bar as well as other lounges with music for dancing and listening as well as a disco.

Spa & Fitness

The Ischia spa has a hydrotherapy pool and complimentary saunas and steam rooms in men’s and women’s changing rooms, but it has no thermal suite. A complete menu of spa treatments includes facials, body wraps, and massages.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2003
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
2,114(2,682 max)
Crew Members
920
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.30
Gross Tons
86000
Width
920 feet
Length
960 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
954/266–5600 or 800/462–6782

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