Costa Deliziosa
Costa Deliziosa / Costa Cruises
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 Costa Magica's Lido Maratea
Costa Magica's Lido Maratea / Costa Cruises
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Costa Atlantica's Caffè Florian
Costa Atlantica's Caffè Florian / Costa Cruises
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Reclining Woman by Fernando Botero
Reclining Woman by Fernando Botero / Costa Cruises
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Costa Fascinosa's Incantesimo Pool
Costa Fascinosa's Incantesimo Pool / Costa Cruises
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Costa neoRomantica's Balcony Cabin
Costa neoRomantica's Balcony Cabin / Costa Cruises
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Costa Cruises

Our Review

Although Costa is owned by Carnival Corporation, everything from the food to the crew attitude is influenced by the line’s Italian roots. The ships fly the Italian flag and have over-the-top, gilded décor and the crew organize wacky contests and lead line dances. No matter where you cruise, sailing on this line is one big Italian party with late-night revelry: You’ll either roll your eyes or throw yourself into the “Ciao, bella!” lifestyle.

Not a fan of outrageous décor?  With Adam Tihany as creative director since 2016, the interiors of Costa’s two newest ships, 2019’s Costa Smeralda and 2022’s Costa Toscana, are more upscale with elevated décor that’s mostly Italian sourced and still colorful and visually striking.

What We Love

Fun for Kids: Kids Club programming is comprehensive and complimentary for children ages 3 to 11. Activities such as cupcake decorating, T-shirt painting, and karaoke contests keep junior cruisers busy. On some ships, Peppa Pig (a British cartoon character) has a dedicated space with interactive games and character meet and greets. There’s also a more casual program for teens, and they can drop in and out as they please. Best of all, Costa offers many “kids sail free” specials throughout the year.

Special Event Nights: It seems like there’s always a new reason to party, from White Night soirees to Italian extravaganzas. If you’re up for a night that feels celebratory, you’ll be entertained until after midnight on these ships.

Best Known For

Lively Bars: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to shake your booty to hot Euro-hits or swing and sway to ballroom classics at the nightclubs.

International Guests: Announcements and signs are in at least five languages, and the crew shifts from Italian to French to English to German to Spanish. The line designates hosts for each major onboard language group, though there isn’t any special treatment.  

Impressive Partnerships: In recent years, the line has focused on partnerships with familiar European brands, including Barilla pasta, Nutella (that scrumptious chocolate-hazelnut spread), and Illy coffee.

Who It's Best For

Europhiles: For those who have a continental sensibility, or who like mixing with European travelers, this is the right line. Though Costa may not be a household name in the U.S. (apart from the 2012 Costa Concordia disaster), the brand has history and a strong following in Europe.

Party Lovers: Are you the sort of guy who doesn’t mind getting dressed up like a bare-chested ballerina to win a contest … or do you travel with one? Welcome aboard! Whatever the form of entertainment, there’s a rocking disco, a buzzing lounge, or a pool deck celebration to choose from — where big personalities can really let loose.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Smoking Is Allowed on Balconies: And, trust us, it drifts around the balcony dividers.

Extra Charges Add Up: Sure, you pay for bottled water and espresso on most mainstream lines — but here there’s even a mandatory daily onboard service charge and the Internet packages and spa treatments are surprisingly expensive for cruises at this price point.

English Isn’t the Main Focus: American travelers who are used to crew members who deal primarily with English-speaking guests may feel that some service gets lost in translation — and language aside, the service may not have been up to American standards in the first place. 

Italian Lite: While there’s still a lot of Italian influence on board, many travelers who sailed on Costa before the line was purchased by Carnival lament the drop in attention to detail in the kitchens and the diminished focus on high-quality Italian imports. The first-time Costa cruiser, however, will enjoy the delightfully varied, regional Italian cuisine.

The Bigger the Ships, the More Amenities: The cruise line’s newest builds follow the mega ship trend, and the larger the vessel, the more souped-up the innovations (the rest of the fleet has to wait for the roll-out of the same amenities). Some innovations include: a two-level, indoor-outdoor La Spiaggia Beach Club; a gourmet mozzarella bar; and “destination dishes” from Michelin-starred chef Bruno Barbieri.