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

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

Costa neoRiviera


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 341 out of 500

Accommodation: 132 out of 200

Food: 217 out of 400

Service: 39.5 out of 400

Entertainment: 58 out of 100

Cruise: 242 out of 400

Overall Score: 1245 out of 2000

Costa neoRiviera Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 57,150

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Costa neoCollection

Former Names: Grand Mistral, Mistral

IMO Number: 9172777

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)

Original Cost: $245 million

Entered Service: Jul 1999/Nov 2013

Registry: Marshall Islands

Length (ft/m): 709.9/216.4

Beam (ft/m): 94.6/28.8

Draft (ft/m): 22.4/6.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (31,680kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 8

Total Crew: 662

Passengers (lower beds): 1,196

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 255

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.4

Cabins (total): 624

Size Range (sq ft/m): 139.9-236.8/13.0-22.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 94

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 2

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 6

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 2

Self-Service Launderette: 8

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Euros


Family-friendly, casual ‘slow-cruising’ for Europeans

Overview. Costa neoRiviera (formerly Grand Mistral) is best suited to mature couples, singles, and families with children that enjoy big-city life and outdoor cafés, constant activity accompanied by lots of noise, late nights, loud entertainment, and food that focuses more on seasonal and regional cuisine.

The Ship. Costa neoRiviera is part of a new sub-brand of Costa Cruises, called Costa neoCollection - a strange name. The ships in the neoCollection operate slower, longer cruises. Its profile is similar to that of most new cruise ships, although the built-up stern makes it look bulky and is less than handsome.

The lido deck surrounding the small outdoor swimming pool has two whirlpool tubs, and a large canvas-covered bandstand. There is no full walk-around promenade deck outdoors, although there is a partial walking deck on port and starboard sides under the lifeboats, plus an oval jogging track atop ship.

The interior layout and general passenger flow is good, as are the ‘you are here’ deck signs, and the ship absorbs passengers quite well. It is light and cheerful without being glitzy in any way - there’s not even a hint of colored neon - and there’s much use of blonde/cherry wood paneling and rich, textured soft furnishings.

Public rooms include six lounges and bars, with names inspired by European places or establishments such as Saint Maxime Casino, St. Paul de Vence Lounge, the San Marco Lounge, plus a Library (Biblioteca Conca dei Marini, with real writing desks, something most ships no longer have).

Atop the ship is an observation lounge with a twist - it faces aft, instead of forward; it doubles as a discotheque for the late nighters. There’s a video games room for teens, and a small children’s center (Squok Club). A conference center provides facilities for meetings.

Accommodation. There are three basic cabin types, in several different price grades. These include 80 ‘suites’ (each with a private balcony, although partitions are of the partial, and not the full type), ocean-view standard cabins, and interior standard cabins. The price you pay will depend on grade, size and location.

Note that cabins on Deck 10 are subject to noise from the Lido Deck above. Good planning and layout means that no outside-view cabins have lifeboat-obstructed views, but there are many, many interior (no-view) cabins. The cabin numbering system goes against maritime tradition, where even-numbered cabins are on the port side and odd-numbered cabins on the starboard; in Costa neoRiviera, the opposite is the case.

All cabins have twin beds that convert to a queen-size unit, bold, colorful bedspreads (with blankets and sheets, not duvets), a personal safe, a flat-screen television, and a good amount of closet and drawer space for a one-week cruise. The bathrooms, although not large, do have a good-size shower enclosure, and there is a decent amount of stowage space for toiletries.

Accommodation designated as suites - which are really only larger cabins and not suites, as there is no separation of lounge and sleeping space - have more space, larger (walk-in) closets, more drawers and better storage space, plus a two-person sofa, coffee table and additional armchair, vanity desk, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and hairdryer; bathrooms have a tub/shower combination.

Six Grand Suites are well-designed units that have a separate bedroom with flat-screen television, bedside tables, vanity desk, floor-to-ceiling windows, and door to balcony; the lounge has an audio-visual center, sofa, dining table, and lots of space, plus a balcony door. A large bathroom has contemporary styling, two Villeroy & Boch washbasins, dark hardwood storage cabinets, large Jacuzzi tub, separate shower enclosure (hand-held shower), and bathrobes.

In addition, there are two interior wheelchair-accessible cabins for the handicapped, which provide more spacious interiors than standard cabins.

Dining. There are two dining rooms (and two seatings for meals), which can be configured in several different ways. Both have ocean-view windows. The principal 612-seat Restaurant Cetara has round tables for two, four, six, or eight, and a small podium with baby grand piano.

Restaurant St Tropez, a second dining venue seating 274 in chairs with no armrests, is on a different deck. Smaller and more intimate, it is for passengers occupying Deck 10 accommodation; it has tables for two, four, or six, and ocean-view windows.

The food is quite sound, and, with varied menus and decent presentation, should prove a highlight for most passengers. The wine list features a fair variety of standard wines at reasonable prices, but almost all are young.

The casual Vernazza Buffet is for alfresco self-serve breakfasts and lunches; it has ocean-view windows, but the flow is awkward and cramped. Additionally, there’s an outdoor pool bar; plus a pleasant little coffee bar (Café Eze) on the upper level of the two-deck high lobby, which, unfortunately, has lifeboat-restricted ocean views.

Entertainment. The Teatro Ravello, the showlounge, spans two decks, has a sloping floor, and good sight lines from most seats (the seating is in banquettes), and there is a small balcony level at the rear. Sadly, the designer forgot to include space for a live band (so all shows are performed to pre-recorded backing tracks), and the lighting facilities are anything but high-tech. Entertainment is, without doubt, a weak links in the chain for passengers.

Spa/Fitness. The Santai Spa health/fitness facilities, located forward of the mast, are quite decent. Included is a gymnasium with high-tech muscle-pump equipment, lifecycles, and life-rowing machines and a view over the bow of the ship through large floor-to-ceiling windows.

Other facilities include a thalassotherapy room, and beauty salon, six rooms for massage and other body treatments, as well as a sauna each for men and women, plus an aerobics exercise room. It’s best to make appointments early, as the best time slots can go fairly quickly.