Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 381 out of 500
Accommodation: 143 out of 200
Food: 242 out of 400
Service: 268 out of 400
Entertainment: 65 out of 100
Cruise: 271 out of 400
Overall Score: 1370 out of 2000
Costa Luminosa Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9398905
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: €420 million
Entered Service: Jun 2009
Length (ft/m): 958.0/292.0
Beam (ft/m): 111.5/34.0
Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (42,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 1,050
Passengers (lower beds): 2,260
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 41.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.1
Cabins (total): 1,130
Size Range (sq ft/m): 134.5-534.0/12.5-49.6
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 772
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): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
Bold decor and big-ship facilities are good for families
Overview. While several nationalities are carried, most passengers are Italian, so the ship is lively and noisy, with lots of children running around, particularly during school holidays. The interior decor, which includes marble, wood and mother of pearl, pays tribute to light and lighting - hence the name Costa Luminosa, so it feels like cruising in a stunning special-effects bubble.
The Ship. Costa Luminosa was constructed as what is termed a Vista-class ship - although it is slightly larger than Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea.
Its two-deck midships Lido area swimming pool can be covered with a sliding glass roof. There’s also a large 194-sq-ft (18-sq-m) poolside movie screen.
The public rooms include 11 bars, a large Vega Casino, and lots of lounges and entertainment venues. Sony PlayStation fans can enjoy PlayStation World. PlayStations are also available in cabins, on the pool-deck movie screen, and in the children’s and teens’ clubs. A 4D cinema highlights sound and lighting effects, with scent pumped in to heighten the experience. One thing you won’t miss is a fascinating - and rather large, at 346cm long (11ft) - Reclining Woman 2004 bronze sculpture by Fernando Bolero, in the Atria Supernova, the atrium lobby. Weighing 910kg (2,000lbs), the suntanned, rather voluminous woman is depicted staring into the atrium space, with her legs in a dynamic position of movement.
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 service crew, 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. - is usually 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 price grades. About 68 percent of all accommodation suites and cabins have an ocean view. Four suites and 52 Samsara Spa cabins are located adjacent to (and considered part of) the designated wellness area. As part of their package, Samsara accommodation occupants get unlimited access to the spa plus two treatments and fitness or meditation lessons, Samsara bathroom amenities, and can dine in one of the two Samsara restaurants.
A pillow menu, with five choices, is available to suite-grade accommodation occupants, who also get bathrobes, better amenities than standard-grade cabin occupants, a shaving mirror, and walk-in closets - although the hangers are plastic. Background music is played 24 hours a day in all hallways and elevators, so you may well be aware of it if you are a light sleeper.
All cabins have twin beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, individually controlled air conditioning, television, and telephone. Some cabins have their 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 berths that are fully hidden in the ceiling when not in use.
Some of the most desirable suites and cabins are those with private balconies on the five aft-facing decks (Decks 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) with views overlooking the stern and ship’s wash. Passengers in 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 will be able to hear your neighbors. However, these balcony occupants all have good views through glass and wood-topped railings, and the deck is made of teak.
The cabins are practically designed, typically with twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, vanity desk with built-in hairdryer, large TV set, personal safe, and one closet that has moveable shelves - thus providing useful space for storing luggage.
The largest suites are those designated as 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 Taurus Restaurant is the large, main restaurant. It is located at the aft of the ship. There are two seatings, with assigned tables for two to eight, according to your chosen accommodation grade. Dinner on European cruises is typically scheduled at 7pm and 9pm. Some tables have an unwelcome view of the harsh lighting of the escalators between the galley and the two decks of the dining room. Also, a number of support pillars provide a bit of an obstacle course for the waiters.
A Samsara Restaurant is for occupants of the Samsara-grade cabins, and is located adjacent to the Taurus Restaurant; because it’s small, it provides a quieter environment in which to dine. Healthier food with reduced calories, fat, and salt content is featured.
Other dining options. The Club Restaurant is a reservations-only, intimate restaurant that features à la carte dining with a pristine show kitchen as part of the venue. The food is cooked to order and so it is better than food in the main dining room. The menus are under the direction of Italy’s molecular cooking master, Ettore Bocchia, Costa’s consulting chef. It’s a good idea to go for a meal in this venue, particularly to celebrate a special occasion, because it’s different, and portions are small.
The Andromeda Buffet is the self-serve casual eatery. While there appears to be a decent choice of food, it is extremely repetitive (particularly for breakfast), and is a major source of passenger complaints. Its layout invites congestion because of some narrow passageways between the indoor seating and the food dispensing areas.
Entertainment. The Phoenix Theater, with over 800 seats, spans three decks and is the ship’s main showlounge. It appears as if it is lit by a rainbow of lighting effects, using the latest computer-controlled lighting. Typical fare consists of revue-style shows performed by a small troupe of resident onboard singers/dancers, with fast-moving action and busy lighting and costume changes that all add up to a high-energy performance.
Spa/Fitness. This area contains 37,700 sq ft (3,500 sq m) of Samsara Spa space. Included are a Venus beauty salon, saunas for men and women, several private massage/body treatment rooms, a fitness center, and relaxation area.
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.
Close by, a Grand Prix Formula One simulator is housed in a glass enclosure. For tee-time, a golf simulator provides a choice of 37 18-hole courses. Other sporting facilities include a roller-skating track.