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

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

Costa Mediterranea


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 372 out of 500

Accommodation: 142 out of 200

Food: 240 out of 400

Service: 268 out of 400

Entertainment: 64 out of 100

Cruise: 269 out of 400

Overall Score: 1355 out of 2000

Costa Mediterranea Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 85,700

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Costa Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9237345

Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Finland)

Original Cost: $335 million

Entered Service: May 2003

Registry: Italy

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: 11

Total Crew: 920

Passengers (lower beds): 2,112

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.5

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2

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 and 220 volts

Elevators: 12

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3 (1 w/ sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 4

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Euros


Upbeat Italian decor and style, suitable for families

Overview. The interior design is bold and brash - a mix of classical Italy and contemporary features. There is good passenger flow, several spaces for dancing, and a range of bars and lounges for socializing. The appeal is to young and young-at-heart couples and singles, plus families with children, who enjoy big-city life, loud entertainment, and an international mix of passengers.

The Ship. Costa Mediterranea is one of a series of ships with the same layout and design, the others are: Costa Atlantica, Costa Deliziosa, Costa Fascinosa, Costa Favolosa, and Costa Luminosa). There are two centrally located swimming pools outdoors, one with a retractable glass dome - so it can be covered in poor weather conditions or when it’s cold. Two hot tubs are adjacent. Another smaller pool is for children. There is a winding water slide spanning two decks in height, starting on a platform bridge well aft of the funnel.

The main interior focal point is a dramatic eight-deck atrium lobby, with two grand stairways. It features a stunning wall decoration which consists of two huge paintings and Danza, a 25-piece wall sculpture by Gigi Rigamonte - best seen from any of the multiple viewing balconies on the decks above the main lobby-floor level. The squid-shaped wall lighting sconces are neat, too.

The decor itself is inspired by many Italian palaces (some known, many not) and by a love of art and architecture. It is extremely upbeat, bright, glitzy, and quite in-your-face wherever you go. I was amused by one of three larger-than-life digital faces of Dionisio in the Dionisio Lounge, with a door handle sticking out of his mouth - in a style recalling Monty Python rather than an Italian palace!

A small chapel is located forward of the uppermost level. Other facilities include a winding shopping street with some of the fashionable brand name stores such as Fendi, Fossil, Paul & Shark Yachting. There’s also a photo gallery, video games room, observation balcony, a large Grand Canal Casino with gaming tables as well as an array of slot machines - and a rarely-open library with Internet access, but not many books. Printed material such as room service folio and menus are in six languages (Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish).

Expect lots of announcements - especially for revenue activities such as art auctions, bingo, horse racing - and much hustling for drinks.

Accommodation. There are several different price grades; this includes a healthy 78 percent proportion of outside-view to interior cabins. All cabins have twin beds that convert into a queen-size bed, individually controlled air conditioning, TV set, and telephone. Some 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 berths that are fully hidden in the ceiling when not in use.

There is too much use of fluorescent lighting in the suites and cabins, and the soundproofing could be better. Some of the bathroom fixtures such as the bath and shower taps can be frustrating to use at first.

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. Those in other cabins with ‘private’ balconies will find the balconies not so private - the partition between them is not a full partition, so you’ll be able to hear your neighbors (and smell their smoke, or hear their mobile phone conversations).

However, these balcony occupants all have good views through glass and wood-topped railings, and the deck is teak. The cabins are well laid out, typically with twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, vanity desk (with built-in hairdryer), large television, personal safe, and one closet with moveable shelves - to provide more space for storing luggage. However, the lighting is fluorescent and too harsh. The bedside control is for a master switch only - other lights cannot be controlled.

The bathroom is a simple, modular unit (it’s a little on the bland, minimalist side) that has shower enclosures with soap dispenser; there is a good amount of stowage space for personal toiletries.

The largest suites are the Penthouse Suites, although they are small when compared with suites aboard other ships of a similar size. At least they do offer more space to move around in, and a slightly larger, better bathroom.

In 2008, some 44 cabins were converted to become Samsara Spa cabins. Occupants get special spa amenities and access to the spa. You pay a little extra for these cabins, but you get more, and it may be worth it if you want to spend time in wellness moments.

Dining. The 1,320-seat Ristorante degli Argentiere, the ship’s main dining room, is a very large venue. It is located in the aft section of the ship on two levels with a spiral stairway between them. There are two seatings, with assigned tables for two, four, six or eight. Dinner on European cruises is typically scheduled at 7pm and 9pm. 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. Also, a number of support pillars provide a bit of an obstacle course for waiters.

Other dining options. The Club Medusa is a more upscale dining spot that spans two of the uppermost decks under a large glass dome that is adjacent to the ship’s funnel. It seats around 125 and has a menu by Zeffirino, a well-respected restaurant in Genoa. An open kitchen provides a view into the cooking area, so you can watch the chefs preparing their masterpieces. Fine table settings, china and silverware are used, and menus are leather-bound. Reservations are needed and there’s a cover charge. You may think it’s worth it in order to have dinner in a setting that’s quieter and much more refined than the main dining room.

The Perla del Lago Buffet is an extensive eatery forming the aft third of Deck 9, with part of it wrapping around the upper section of the multi-deck atrium. It includes a central area with several small buffet counters; there are salad counters, a dessert counter, and a 24-hour Posillipo Pizzeria counter, all creating a large eatery with both indoor and outdoor seating. Movement around the buffet area is very slow, and requires you to stand in line for everything. Venture outdoors and you’ll find a grill for hamburgers and hot dogs, and a pasta bar, both conveniently located adjacent to the second of two swimming pools on the Lido Deck.

The place most people will want to see and be seen is the ultra-casual Oriental Café; it features four separate ‘salons,’ which provide intimate spaces for drinks, conversation, and people-watching.

Excellent Italian cappuccino and espresso coffees are always available in various bars around the ship, and these are always served in the right-sized china cups.

Entertainment. The 949-seat Osiris Theater is the venue for the Splash Vegas-style production shows and major cabaret acts. It spans three decks, with seating on all three levels. Sight lines to the stage are, however, a little better from the second and third levels. Curving stairways at the back of the showlounge connect all levels.

Spa/Fitness. The expansive Ischia Spa spans two decks, is located directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship (accessed by the forward stairway elevators), and has around 13,700 sq ft (1,272 sq m) of space. Lower-level facilities include a solarium, eight private massage/body treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor. The upper level has a large gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes (some, such as yoga, may cost extra).

For sporty types, there’s a jogging track outdoors, around the ship’s mast and the forward third of the ship, as well as a multi-purpose court for basketball, volleyball and deck tennis.