Costa Fortuna - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Costa Fortuna


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 380 out of 500

Accommodation: 143 out of 200

Food: 246 out of 400

Service: 268 out of 400

Entertainment: 64 out of 100

Cruise: 267 out of 400

Overall Score: 1368 out of 2000

Costa Fortuna Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 102,587

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Costa Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9239783

Builder: Cantieri Sestri Navale (Italy)

Original Cost: $381 million

Entered Service: Nov 2003

Registry: Italy

Length (ft/m): 892.3/272.0

Beam (ft/m): 124.6/38.0

Draft (ft/m): 27.2/8.3

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 1,068

Passengers (lower beds): 2,716

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 37.7

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5

Cabins (total): 1,358

Size Range (sq ft/m): 179.7-482.2/16.7-44.8

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 522

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 8

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 14

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 6

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Euros


A large, colourful family-friendly Italian-style ship

Overview. Costa Fortuna - now over 10 years old - is built to impress trendy city-dwellers at every turn, and the ship absorbs passengers quite well, with a good passenger/space ratio. While a variety of nationalities are carried, most of the passengers are Italian, so the ship is lively but quite noisy, with lots of children running around, particularly during the main European school holiday periods.

The Ship. The ship’s name is an interesting one: in Greek mythology, Fortuna is the daughter of Poseidon (God of the sea), as well as being associated with the Temple Fortuna, located along one of Pompeii’s conserved streets.

The aft decks are well tiered, with cut-off quarters that make the ship’s stern look a little less square than it otherwise would. There are three pools, one of which can be covered by a sliding glass dome in case of inclement weather, while one pool (Barcelona Pool) features a long water slide. There is not a lot of open deck space considering the number of passengers carried, so sunloungers tend to be crammed together (there’s a lack of small tables for drinks - or for somewhere to place those small items you always take to the pool), and they lack cushioned pads.

The interior decor focuses on the Italian passenger ships of yesteryear, so much of the finishing detail replicates the Art Deco interiors fitted aboard ocean liners such as the Conte de Savoia, Michelangelo, Neptunia, Rafaello, Rex, etc., although in the kind of contemporary colors not associated with such ships, whose interiors were rather subdued.

The deck names are those of major cities in Europe and South America (Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lisbon, Genoa, Miami). The passenger flow is generally good, with few congestion points.

There are three decks full of lounges, and 11 bars to enjoy, and almost all have espresso coffee machines - a must for Italian families. The interior focal point is a nine-deck high, glass-domed atrium lobby: it houses a Costa Bar on the lower level, a bank of four glass-walled (panoramic) elevators, and, in a tribute to ship buffs, 26 models of Italian ships past and present are glued upside down on the ceiling - it’s a bit of a strange feeling to look at them and then look at your feet. The lowest three decks connect the public rooms, the upper levels being mainly for accommodation (plus the pool deck).

For gamers, the Neptunia 1932 Casino is the place to go (if you want to get from the center to the aft lounges you have to walk through it). There are plenty of gaming tables plus an array of slot machines to entertain you. There’s also a chapel - standard aboard Costa ships - and a small library that’s a bit of a token gesture, an Internet center, card room, art gallery, and video games room.

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. Niggles include the drinks package and its rules, tired furnishings, and inflexible staff.

Accommodation. There are 15 price grades, from two-bed interior cabins to grand suites with private balcony, although in reality there are only three different sizes: suites with balcony, two- or four-bed outside-view cabins (some 335 of which have portholes rather than windows), and two- or four-bed interior cabins. There are also two single cabins - quite unusual for a large ship. In an example of good design, no cabins have lifeboat-obstructed views; this is something not easy to design in large ships such as this.

The largest accommodation can be found in eight Grand Suites, located in the center of the ship on one of the higher decks. They have a queen-size bed; bathrooms have a tub and two washbasins.

Note that 12 of the most desirable (outside-view) wheelchair-accessible cabins are rather idiotically located a long way from elevators, while eight interior cabins are located close to elevators.

Dining. There are two dining rooms: the 1,046-seat Michelangelo 1965 Restaurant (aft), whose ceiling features frescoes by the Great Masters, and the 664-seat Rafaello 1965 Restaurant (midships) are both two decks high and have two seatings. Note that dinner on European cruises is typically scheduled at 7pm and 9pm. Costa Cruises prides itself on the more than 50 types of pasta it uses during a typical one-week cruise. There is a wine list, although there are no wine waiters, and nearly all the wines (mostly Italian) are really very young.

Other dining options. The 94-seat Conte Grande 1927 Club is the more intimate upscale dining venue with seating for around 150 under a huge glass dome - if the lights were turned out, you might be able to see the stars. In its show kitchen, chefs can be seen preparing their masterpieces. Fine table settings, china, silverware and leather-bound menus are used. Reservations are required and there is a cover charge.

The Christoforo Columbus 1954 Buffet Restaurant is a self-serve eatery for breakfast, lunch, afternoon pizzas, and beverages at any time. The food in this venue is repetitive, and a major source of passenger complaints. Also, good cappuccino and espresso coffees are always available in the various bars.

Entertainment. The Rex 1932 Theater spans three decks in the ship’s forward-most section. It is a stunning setting for all production shows and large-scale cabaret acts, and has a revolving stage, hydraulic orchestra pit, excellent (but usually loud) sound system, and seating on three levels - the upper levels being tiered through two decks.

Typical fare consists of revue-style shows performed by a small troupe of resident singers/dancers, with fast-moving action and busy lighting and costume changes that all add up to a high-energy performance.

Spa/Fitness. Facilities in the two-deck high Saturnia Spa 1927, and measures about 14,424 sq ft/1,340 sq m, includes a large solarium, eight private massage/body treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor. A gym has floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, including forward-facing ocean views, and there’s an aerobics section with instructor-led classes (some, such as yoga, cost extra). The spa/fitness facilities are staffed and operated by Steiner Leisure, a specialist spa/beauty concession. Some fitness classes are free; others, such as Pathway to Yoga, and Pathway to Pilates, cost extra. Make appointments early as time slots can go quickly. If you like being near the spa, note that there are 18 two-bed cabins with ocean-view windows, located adjacent (just aft of it).