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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Costa Cruise Line

MS CostaRomantica

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: Paolo Degrandi
# previous cruises: 10+
Date of Trip: September 15, 2002
Itinerary: Repositioning

The Costa Romantica was built in Italy in 1993 at the Fincantieri Yards of Venice Marghera, as an evolutionary, and more sophisticated, version of the acclaimed Costa Classica. She is a classic-contemporary ship, designed by the italian architect Pierluigi Cerri. The ship is very elegant and stylish, in true " Italian Style ", particularly after the last make over taken in 2001. The layout of the Costa Romantica is quite traditional if compared with other ships built by Fincatieri during the same years, like the Crown Princess ( now A' Rosa Blu ) and the Regal Princess.

Public Areas
There is a superb choice of public lounges, located on decks 8 & 9( Verona and Vienna ). There were seven bars, including a Wine & Martini one and a Cognac & Cigars' club, located in the foyer of the theater. The Opera theater, spanning on two decks, is an elegant place, with wonderful byzantine style mosaics at the walls. The most interesting lounges are the Tango ballroom, located at the stern of deck 9, with wonderful panoramic views on three sides, the large Grand Bar Piazza Italia on deck 8, the center of the daily activities, and the Galileo disco & observatory, located on the uppermost deck, a very relaxing place to admire the sea at 360 0. The casino Excelsior is very large, with a circular section and more than one hundred slot machines. The fitness facilities are good, but compact, if compared with those of the Costa Classica, with two pools ( a bit small ), four jacuzzis, a gymnasium, two saunas, a roman bath ( at no extra charge ) and a dedicated jogging track on deck 12. The prices for the beauty center, managed by Steiner of London, are very high, if compared with the european standards.

Food and Service
The cuisine served in the Botticelli restaurant was good, with a large choice of italian, international, vegetarian and low calories dishes. The chef came from France so the cuisine wasn't really italian style... The service was attentive and friendly, but a bit hurried. Our waiter, Xavier from Honduras, was well trained and spoken a good English and Italian. The Giardino self service includes also a Cafe', located outside under a canopy, but it's small for the number of passengers on board: so there were often long lines. The buffet for the lunch offered each day different specialties, with italian, french, german, spanish, british, oriental and mexican dishes.

The standard cabins were large and fully appointed, offering satellite tv ( the films were repetitive ), a nice sitting area, and a good air conditioned system. We have booked an outside cabin on deck 8, with a large porthole, in the tradition of the italian liners of the past. The closet space was excellent, even for longer cruises. There was an appropriate space and place for everything... particularly for the shoes... The bathroom was quite large, with a good shower and a phon. Our waitress, Claudia from Romania, has done an excellent work: At 11 am the cabin was always re-ordered and very clean. There is also a good number of mini suites and apartments, but only those located on deck 10 offered a private balcony.

The entertainment was the strongest point of the cruise, with a superb choice of daily activities. The shows were in true american style, but the dancers came from Australia ;-). There was also a very talented singer, Scott William Archer, an imaginative Italian magician, Francesco Tesei, and the Hungarian trapezist Anita Tsabo.

It was a ten day repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to Genoa. The ship stopped at Dover, Cherbourg, Leixoes ( Portugal ), Lisbon, Cadiz and Malaga. The choice of excursions was very good, but the prices were quite high ( starting from 32 Euro for an half day guided tour ), so we have reserved only three guided tours. I particularly recommend the excursion to Canterbury and Leeds, to admire the imposing cathedral and the most romantic castle that I have ever seen, and that to Mont Saint Michel ( Normandy ), for the famous abbey located on a little island in the bay: the panoramic views are unforgettable. During the day and in the evening the children enjoy always dedicated activities, supervised by good animators.

Who Goes
As in all Costa Cruises there was a good mix of international passengers, mostly from Italy and Germany, but also with a good number of English speaking guests. All the activities were in five languages. In the order: Italian, German, English, French and Spanish. The age of the passengers was very high ( 60-70 years old ).

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