Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 382 out of 500
Accommodation: 143 out of 200
Food: 246 out of 400
Service: 269 out of 400
Entertainment: 65 out of 100
Cruise: 267 out of 400
Overall Score: 1372 out of 2000
Costa Favolosa Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9479852
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: €510 million
Entered Service: Jul 2011
Length (ft/m): 952.0/290.2
Beam (ft/m): 116.4/35.5
Draft (ft/m): 26.9
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (75,600kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 1,110
Passengers (lower beds): 3,012
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 38.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.7
Cabins (total): 1,506
Size Range (sq ft/m): 179.7-482.2/16.7-44.8
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 579
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 12
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 5
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
Upbeat Italian decor and style, for family cruising
Overview. Costa Cruises is a line for those who like lively atmosphere. It does a good job of providing first-time cruise passengers with a packaged seagoing vacation - particularly for families with children - that is a mix of sophistication and chaos, accompanied by loud music everywhere. Most passengers are Italian, with a sprinkling of other European nationals.
The Ship. Displaying a single, large funnel, Costa Favolosa is a close sister to Costa Serena. Two pool areas can be covered with retractable glass domes - useful in case of bad weather. One has a long water slide - great for kids. There is a large poolside movie screen and, on one of the upper decks, a Grand Prix simulator. However, the open deck space can be pretty cramped when the ship is full, so the sunloungers, which don’t have cushioned pads, will be crammed together.
There are three decks full of bars and lounges plus many other public rooms. This ship has a glass-domed rotunda atrium lobby that is nine decks high, with great upward views from the lobby bar, as well as from its four glass panoramic elevators.
The Casino is large and glitzy, but always lively and entertaining - slot machines occupy a separate area to gaming tables, so serious gamers can concentrate. There’s a very small library, an Internet center, card room, art gallery, 4D cinema (Belphegor), and a video game room, plus a small chapel - a standard aboard all Costa Cruises’ ships.
Although Costa Cruises is noted for its ‘Italian’ style, ambience and spirit, there are few Italian crew members on board. Although many officers are Italian, most of the crew members, particularly the dining room and housekeeping staff, are from the Philippines. But the lifestyle on board is perceived to be Italian - lively, noisy, with lots of love for life and a love of all things casual, even on so-called formal nights.
All printed material - room service folio, menus, etc. - will typically be in six languages: Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. During peak European school holiday periods, particularly Christmas and Easter, you can expect to be cruising with a lot of children of all ages.
As aboard other Costa ships, note that for embarkation, few staff members are on duty at the gangway when you arrive; they merely point you in the direction of your deck, or to the ship’s elevators and do not escort you to your cabin. Also, note that ‘wallpaper’ music is played 24 hours a day in all accommodation hallways and elevators, so you may well hear it if you are a light sleeper.
Accommodation. There are numerous accommodation price grades, from two-bed interior cabins to grand suites with private balcony although in reality there are only three different sizes: suites with ‘private’ balcony - which are really not particularly large in comparison with some other large ships; two- or four-bed outside view cabins; and two- or four-bed interior cabins. Fortunately, no cabins have views obstructed by lifeboats or other safety equipment views, and, in most cabins, twin beds can be changed to a double/queen-bed configuration.
Two Grand Suites comprise the largest accommodation, and include a large balcony with hot tub. They have a queen-size bed and larger living area with vanity desk; the bathrooms have a tub and two washbasins.
If you are into wellness treatments, there are 12 Samsara Spa Suites just aft of the spa itself, although 99 cabins, including the 12 suites, are designated as Samsara-grade. Samsara suite/cabin occupants get unlimited access to the spa plus two treatments and fitness or meditation lessons as part of their package, and dine in one of the two Samsara restaurants. All Samsara-designated accommodation grades have an Oriental decorative theme, and special Samsara bathroom personal amenities.
A pillow menu, with five choices, has been introduced in all suite-grade accommodation. Only suite grades get bathrobes and better amenities, shaving mirror, and walk-in closets - although the hangers are plastic. Music is played 24 hours a day in all hallways and elevators, so you may well hear it if you are a light sleeper.
Dining. There are two principal dining rooms, Duke of Burgundy and Duke of Orleans. One is aft, the other in the ship’s center. Tables for two to eight are allocated according to your accommodation grade and location, in one of two seating times. These dining rooms offer traditional cruise fare that is best described as banquet-style food. Note that there are no real sommeliers, so the waiters serve the wine. They also dance at the tables during the cruise - it’s a little bit of show business.
Two 100-seat Samsara Restaurants (spa cuisine spots) are provided with separate entrances. These are for those seeking healthier food with reduced calories, fat, and salt content. Menu creations are under the direction of dietary consultant and Michelin-starred chef Ettore Boccia, known for his molecular Italian cuisine. These venues are open for lunch and dinner to those in Samsara-grade suites and cabins, and to anyone else for dinner only at an extra daily or weekly charge.
Other dining options. The intimate Favolosa Club Restaurant sits under a huge glass dome and Murano glass decorative elements. Fine table settings, china, silverware and leather-bound menus are provided. There’s a cover charge and reservations are required.
The self-service Ca’ d’Oro buffet restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon pizzas, and coffee and tea at any time. A balcony level provides additional seating, but you’ll need to carry your own food plates since there are no trays. The food in this venue is extremely repetitive, and a major source of passenger complaints.
Additionally, the Caffeteria is a good place to go for decent (extra-cost) coffees and Italian pastries, but all bars have coffee machines, at extra cost.
Entertainment. The Favolosa showlounge, which seats more than 800, utilizes the latest in LED technology. Three decks high, it is decorated in a Baroque style, with warm colors and a Murano glass chandelier. It is the venue for all production shows and large-scale cabaret acts, is stunningly glitzy, and has a revolving stage, hydraulic orchestra pit, superb sound, and seating on three levels - the upper levels are tiered through two decks.
Revue-style shows are performed by a small troupe of resident onboard singers and dancers. Their fast-moving action, busy lighting and costume changes all add up to a high-energy performance.
Spa/Fitness. The Samsara Spa is a large facility that occupies 23,186 sq ft (2,154 sq m), spread over two decks. It includes a large fitness room, separate saunas, steam rooms, UVB solarium, changing rooms for men and women, and 10 body treatment rooms. Two VIP treatment rooms, available to couples as a half-day rental, are located on the upper level.
The Spa/fitness facilities are staffed and operated by Steiner Leisure, a specialist spa/beauty concession. Some fitness classes are free, while some, such as Pathway to Yoga, Pathway to Pilates, and Pathway to Meditation, cost extra. It’s wise to make appointments early as time slots can go quickly.
You can buy a day pass in order to use the sauna/steam rooms, thermal suite and relaxation area, at a cost of €35 per person. However, there’s an additional no-charge sauna for men and women, but to access it you must walk through an active fitness area, maybe with your bathrobe on - not comfortable for everyone, especially women.