Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 380 out of 500
Accommodation: 143 out of 200
Food: 242 out of 400
Service: 266 out of 400
Entertainment: 65 out of 100
Cruise: 267 out of 400
Overall Score: 1363 out of 2000
Costa Pacifica Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9378498
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: €510 million
Entered Service: Apr 2009
Length (ft/m): 952.0/290.0
Beam (ft/m): 116.4/35.5
Draft (ft/m): 27.2/8.3
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods
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
A large, colorful family-friendly Italian-style ship
Overview. Costa Cruises does a good job of providing first-time cruise passengers with a well-packaged holiday, particularly for families with children. It’s a mix of sophistication and chaos, accompanied by loud music. This ship has a musical design theme featuring ‘greatest hits.’ The lobby, for example, is covered in musical symbols and instruments.
The Ship. Sporting a single, large funnel, Costa Pacifica is a sister to the popular Costa Serena. Two pool areas can be covered with retractable glass domes - good in case of poor weather - and one of the pools has a water slide that’s great for kids. There is also a huge screen for poolside movies. A Grand Prix simulator is positioned on one of the upper decks.
However, the open deck space is cramped when the ship is full, so sunloungers tend to be crammed together, and they don’t have cushioned pads.
There are three decks full of bars and lounges plus many other public rooms. The glass-domed atrium lobby is nine decks high, with great upward views from the lobby bar, as well as from its four glass panoramic elevators. The passenger flow inside is quite good, and the ship absorbs passengers reasonably well. It also provides a decent passenger/space ratio, which means that it won’t feel too crowded.
The casino is large and glitzy, but always lively and entertaining; slot machines occupy a separate area from gaming tables, so serious gamers can concentrate. There’s also a very small library, an Internet-connection center, card room, art gallery, and video game room, together with several other bars and lounges. A chapel is a standard aboard all Costa ships.
Although Costa Cruises is noted for its ‘Italian’ style, ambience and spirit, there are few Italian crew members on board its ships. While many of the officers are Italian, many crew members - particularly the dining room and housekeeping staff - are from the Philippines. The lifestyle on board is, however, perceived to be Italian - lively, noisy, and embracing a casual lifestyle - even on so-called formal nights. Most passengers will be Italian, with a sprinkling of other European nationals.
Printed material such as room service folio and menus will typically be in six languages (Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish). During peak European school holiday periods, particularly Christmas and Easter, expect to be cruising with a lot of children of all ages. Sony PlayStation fans can enjoy PlayStation World. PlayStations are also available in cabins, in the children’s and teens’ clubs, and can be used with the poolside movie screen.
As aboard other Costa ships, few staff members are on duty at the gangway when you embark; they merely point you in the direction of your deck, or to the ship’s elevators and do not escort you to your cabin.
Accommodation. There are numerous 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 not large when compared with many other large ships), two- or four-bed outside view cabins, and two- or four-bed interior cabins. No cabins have views obstructed by lifeboats or other safety equipment, and, in all cabins, twin beds can be changed to a double/queen-bed configuration.
A total of eight Grand Suites comprise the largest accommodation. These are in the center of the ship on one of the uppermost decks. They have a queen-size bed and larger living area with vanity desk; the bathrooms have a tub and two washbasins.
If you like wellness treatments, 12 Samsara Spa Suites are located just aft of the spa - although 91 cabins, including the 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 amenities.
A pillow menu, with five choices, is available in all suite accommodation grades. 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 main dining rooms (the 1,036-seat New York, New York, and the 752-seat My Way), allocated according to your accommodation grade and location. There are two seatings in each for dinner.
Two 84-seat Samsara Restaurants have separate entrances, adjacent to the My Way restaurant. Unlike the main restaurants that offer traditional cruise fare, these are for people seeking spa food - this means reduced calories, fat, and salt, with menus created under the direction of dietary consultant and Michelin-star chef Ettore Boccia and his molecular Italian cuisine. These dining venues are open for lunch and dinner to those in Samsara-grade suites and cabins, and to anyone else (for dinner only) for an extra charge.
Other dining options. The 118-seat Club Restaurant Blue Moon (reservations required) is an elegant, intimate venue with seating under a huge glass dome. Fine table settings, china, silverware and leather-bound menus are provided. A cover charge applies, for service and a gratuity.
La Paloma Buffet Restaurant is a self-serve eatery for breakfast, lunch, afternoon pizzas, and coffee and tea at any time. A balcony level provides additional seating. You’ll need to carry your own food plates - there are no trays. Decent quality cappuccino and espresso coffees are always available in various bars, at extra cost, including the Caffeteria Rondo.
Entertainment. The Stardust Theater seats more than 800 and utilizes the latest in LED technology. It is three decks high and 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 quite 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).
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. The Samsara Spa is a large facility that occupies 23,186 sq ft (2,154 sq m) of space, 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. On the upper level, two VIP treatment rooms are available to couples for half-day rentals.
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.
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, perhaps wearing your bathrobe - an arrangement with which some women may not feel comfortable.