Italy is the ultimate destination for foodies, art lovers, and history buffs. From Milan to Naples, these cities are filled with culture and historical sites that will have you exploring the country in no time.
Costa Smeralda deck plan is a blog post that discusses the pros and cons of cruising in Italy. It includes many pictures and a deck plan of the ship. Read more in detail here: costa smeralda deck plan.
Bruce Parkinson, a contributing writer, had a four-night cruise with Costa Cruises in the Mediterranean last week. As he sailed from Barcelona to Rome, Bruce published daily travel notes to share his experiences.
Costa Cruises is a minor participant in the US industry, with just 1.5 percent market share. The Carnival Corporation-owned brand, which attracts 58 percent of Italian cruisers, is the big dog in Italy.
Is a Costa cruise right for you?
It depends entirely on what you’re searching for. Some individuals like to explore Europe’s magnificent sites during the day then return to more familiar sounds, tastes, and entertainment at night. If that’s the case, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or another North American-focused cruise line may be a better fit.
If you want to completely immerse yourself in European culture, though, why not board a magnificent ship with a majority of Europeans? Onboard, there were people of all ages, including many multi-generational families, and the mood was lively.
Costa Smeralda is a small island off the coast of Italy Costa Cruises provided this image.)
The Costa Smeralda’s current price is extremely reasonable, starting at $629 per person for an inside cabin and $829 for a balcony stateroom (based on October pricing). It’s a brand-new (2019) ship with cabins that are modern and well-appointed.
Barcelona roundtrip with stops in Marseille, Savona, Rome, Palermo, and Palma de Mallorca is one of the seven-night western Mediterranean itineraries available. However, cruises may be boarded from any of the cities along the itinerary. Guests may board or depart at each port, which means the huge ship isn’t boarding or disembarking all passengers at the same time.
Costs Not Included
Costa Cruises provide all of the essentials for people on a budget, from regular meals — and very excellent ones — to onboard activities such as sports and health facilities, an aqua park with waterslides, and nightly entertainment. There are buffet options in both the main dining area and the crew-served buffet. There’s also the Tutti a Tavola Restaurant, which caters to youngsters and their families.
One thing to keep in mind is that although tap water is always accessible at the buffet, it is not provided in the main dining room.
Restaurant Tutti a Tavola (Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises)
Upgrades such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic speciality beverages, specialized restaurants, spa services, excursions, and gratuities are available for those who want them. A ‘gourmet experiences’ menu in the main dining area provides dishes with quality ingredients for an additional fee.
READ MORE: A Picky Eater’s Guide to Mardi Gras Dining at Carnival
Packages of beverages
There are many to select from, so have a look at them to see how they match up with your requirements. Here’s a quick drawing at today’s pricing.
- From $22 per person per day for wine or beer with meals.
- From $33 per person each day, including coffee, cappuccinos, soft drinks, beers, aperitifs, and select spirits.
- From $38 per person each day, you may enjoy all of the above, as well as a variety of cocktails, mixed drinks, and frozen beverages.
- Premium wines up to 9 Euros ($10.50 USD), limitless premium beverages, minibar drinks, and cabin service starting at $56 per person per day are all included.
Il Bacaro is a restaurant in Rome (Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises)
- Soft beverages and mineral water are available for $11 per person, per day during meals.
- Soft drinks, smoothies, and hot chocolate are available all day for $22.
All visitors in the same cabin must buy the same package (that are old enough, depending on the circumstances). There is a service fee included.
Restaurants with a Specialty
In certain categories, such as water, pizza, and other quick meals, there may be less provided on Costa than you are accustomed to. Overall, the upcharges are fair, and they help keep the entry-level price cheap.
The poke bowls, which cost 3 Euros ($3.50 USD) for a small and 4 Euros ($4.70 USD) for a large, were a big hit. The little is more of a snack, while the big is more of a dinner with more component options.
Pummid’oro, a famous pizza joint, offers large pies for $7 Euros ($8.20 USD). They’re all prepared by hand and excellent, including fresh mozzarella from the ship’s dairy. The ice cream shop and the quick-service sushi bar were both popular.
Mozzarella cheese was produced aboard.
Discounts for Costa Club Members
For Costa Club members, several specialized restaurants offer discounts of up to 50%. Joining via the Costa app is free, so it’s a no-brainer.
READ MORE: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Future Cruise Credits
Is There A Language Distinction?
I had no trouble speaking in English with the personnel.
- Remember to bring travel power adapters for the ship as well as pre- and post-cruise hotels throughout Europe.
- Despite its size, the ship is very simple to sail. There are three major internal public decks, each with its own set of bars, lounges, entertainment areas, and restaurants. The ship seems to be smaller than it is, and there are many quiet nooks where you may get away from the throng.
- The dance floors on Costa ships are usually larger, while the casinos are smaller. The Italians like dancing! The casino is still a decent size for people who want to gamble, featuring a combination of tables, roulette, and slots.
- I had a tour of the spa facilities, which is quite nice, with 19 treatment rooms and a really nice thermal area.
(Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises)
Costa’s “Italian-style cruising” was fantastic. It seemed both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, and the Costa Smeralda is a stunning ship, powered by cleaner-burning LNG and equipped with the most cutting-edge technology. Even the Wi-Fi functioned for the most part!
Traveling during COVID is difficult, to say the least, particularly with all the changing laws and regulations about foreign flights, border entrance, testing, masks, naval procedures, and so on.
But, after 18 months in solitary confinement in Canada, I was eager to return to the outside world. Patience was needed, but the excitement of visiting Barcelona, Mallorca, and Sicily for the first time, as well as returning to the always intriguing Rome, made it all worthwhile.
A Sicilian dawn
Other trip reports from the Costa Smeralda may be found here:
Bruce sailed as a Costa Cruises invited guest, but all views and opinions stated are his own.
Carnival Cruise Line is a cruise line that offers cruises all over the world. They offer a wide variety of activities and excursions to make your trip a fun one! Reference: carnival cruise jobs.