Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 378 out of 500
Accommodation: 142 out of 200
Food: 241 out of 400
Service: 264 out of 400
Entertainment: 64 out of 100
Cruise: 270 out of 400
Overall Score: 1359 out of 2000
Costa Atlantica Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9187796
Builder: Kverner Masa-Yards (Finland)
Original Cost: $335 million
Entered Service: Jul 2000
Length (ft/m): 959.6/292.5
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods
Passenger Decks: 12
Total Crew: 920
Passengers (lower beds): 2,112
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.5
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3
Cabins (total): 1,056
Size Range (sq ft/m): 161.4-387.5/15.0-36.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 742
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 8
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
A contemporary Italian ship with volume everywhere
Overview. This ship is designed to wow the trendy as well as pay homage to many of Italy’s great art and past masters. Costa Atlantica is aimed at young (and young-at-heart) couples and singles plus families with children who enjoy big-city life. The international clientele are offered constant activity accompanied by Italian ambience and loud entertainment.
The Ship. Costa Atlantica is a sister (or close sister) to Costa Deliziosa, Costa Favolosa, Costa Fascinosa, Costa Luminosa, and Costa Mediterranea. It has two centrally located swimming pools outdoors, one with a retractable glass dome cover that can be used in poor weather conditions. A bar abridges two adjacent hot tubs. There’s also a smaller pool for children, and a winding water slide spanning two decks in height - it starts on a platform bridge aft of the funnel.
The deck names are inspired by Federico Fellini movies (Roma Deck, Le Notte di Cabiria, La Voce della Luna, La Strada, La Luci del Varieta). One deck is named after a Fellini TV movie, Ginger and Fred. The interior design is bold and brash - a mix of classical Italy and contemporary features. Good points include the fact that the interior design allows efficient passenger flow from one public space to another, and there are several floor spaces for dancing, and a wide range of bars and lounges for socializing.
The colorful lobby spans eight decks. Take a drink from the lobby bar and look upwards - the surroundings are visually stunning.
A small chapel is located forward of the uppermost level. Other facilities include a winding shopping street with boutique stores (Fendi, Gianni Versace, Paul & Shark Yachting - as well as a shop that sells Caffè Florian products), a photo gallery, a video games room, an observation balcony, a casino, and a library with Internet access.
All printed materials (room service folio, menus, etc.) are in six languages (Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish).
Niggles? Several pillars obstruct passenger flow and sight lines throughout the ship. The fit and finish of some interior decoration is quite poor, and the decor is a bit overdone. The hospitality levels and service are inconsistent, and below the standard of several other major cruise lines.
Accommodation. There are many different price categories, and a healthy (78 percent) proportion of outside-view to interior cabins. All cabins have twin beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, individually controlled air conditioning (but it can’t be turned off), TV set, and telephone. Many cabins have views obstructed by lifeboats on Deck 4 (Roma Deck), the lowest of the accommodation decks, as well as some cabins on Deck 5. Some cabins have pull-down (Pullman-style) berths that are fully hidden in the ceiling when not in use. There is much use of fluorescent lighting in the suites and cabins, and the soundproofing could be much better. Some bathroom fixtures - bath and shower taps in particular - are frustrating to use at first.
Some of the most desirable suites and cabins are those with private balconies on five aft-facing decks (Decks 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) with views overlooking the stern and ship’s wash. Other cabins with private balconies will find the balconies not so private - the partition between one balcony and the next is not a full partition - so you might be able to hear your neighbors.
However, balcony occupants all have good views through glass and wood-topped railings, and the deck is made of teak. The cabins are well laid out, typically with twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, vanity desk with built-in hairdryer (but you’ll need to hold down the on button continuously), large TV set, and personal safe. One closet has moveable shelves, providing more space for storing luggage. However, the lighting is fluorescent, and much too harsh. The bathroom is a simple, modular unit that has shower enclosures with soap dispenser.
The largest suites are designated Penthouse Suites, although they are really quite small when compared with suites aboard other ships of a similar size. However, they do at least offer more space to move around in, and a slightly larger, better bathroom.
Dining. The 1,320-seat Tiziano Dining Room is in the aft section of the ship on two levels, with a spiral stairway between them. There are two seatings, with tables for two, four, six, or eight. Dinner on European cruises is typically scheduled at 7pm and 9pm to accommodate the later eating habits of Europeans. Themed evenings are a part of the Costa Cruises tradition, and three different window blinds help create a different feel. However, the artwork is placed at table height, so the room seems more closed-in than it should. Some tables have a less than comfortable view of the harsh lighting of the escalators between the galley and the two decks of the dining room. This cuisine is traditional cruise fare that is best described as banquet-style food. Note that there are no real sommeliers, so the waiters (who are young) serve the wine (which is also young). They also dance at the tables during the cruise - it’s a little bit of show business.
Other dining options. A reservations-only 125-seat dinner venue, Ristorante Club Atlantica, with menus by Gualtiero Marchesi, has a cover charge, but suite-grade occupants get a free pass for one evening. It’s a smaller, quieter venue, and the food, though nothing special is cooked to order and is decidedly better than in the main dining room.
Casual breakfast and luncheon self-serve buffet-style meals can be taken in the Botticelli Buffet Restaurant, adjacent to the swimming pools, with seating both indoors and outdoors. A grill (for hamburgers and hot dogs) and a pasta bar are conveniently adjacent to the second pool, while indoors is the Napoli Pizzeria. Excellent (Lavazza) cappuccino and espresso coffees are always available in various bars around the ship, served in the right-sized china cups.
One place to see and be seen is in the informal Caffè Florian - a replica of the famous indoor/outdoor café that opened in 1720 in Venice’s St Mark’s Square. There are four separate salons (Sala delle Stagioni, Sala del Senato, Sala Liberty, and Sala degli Uomini Illustri) and the same fascinating mosaic, marble and wood floors, opulent ceiling art, and special lampshades. Even the espresso/cappuccino machine is a duplicate of that found in the real thing. The only problem is that the chairs are much too small.
Entertainment. A three-deck-high, 949-seat showlounge (Caruso Theater) is an imposing room, with just over 1,000 seats. Spiral stairways at the back of the lounge connect all levels. Stage shows are best seen from the upper three levels, from where the sight lines are reasonably good.
Directly underneath the showlounge is the large Coral Lounge, complete with its own bar. An onboard resident troupe of singers and dancers provides the cast members for colorful, high-energy production shows - though these shows are loud and poor. For nights when there are no big shows, the showlounge presents cabaret acts such as singers, comedy jugglers, magicians, and ventriloquists.
A number of bands and small musical units provide a variety of live music in many lounges and bars, and there is a discotheque.
Spa/Fitness. The Ischia Spa spans two decks. Facilities include a solarium, eight treatment rooms, lecture rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor. A large gymnasium has floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, including forward-facing ocean views, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes. There is a jogging track outdoors.
The spa is operated by Steiner, a specialist concession, whose young staff will try to sell you Steiner’s own-brand Elemis beauty products. Some fitness classes are free, while some (yoga, for example), cost extra.
Massages (including exotic massages such as Aroma Stone massage, and other wellbeing massages), facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments are at extra cost. Make any appointments as early as possible since time slots go quickly.