Tuesday, December 12

Cruise Line Review: Costa Cruise Line

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Costa Cruise Lines is probably not too well known to most cruisers from the United States unless you have done extensive cruising in Europe. Costa is considered the premier cruise choice for Europeans. This is especially true for those who travel in the Mediterranean. Costa was purchased by Carnival and is just beginning to experiment with cruises in the Caribbean.

Many first time cruisers from the United States may not enjoy a Costa cruise.

While there is nothing specifically wrong with the way the cruise line operates, many Americans may feel uncomfortable on a Costa cruise ship in the Caribbean. Most people who cruise know that there will be a mix of nationalities among the passengers on every cruise ship. However, on most cruises that leave American ports, the mix is about seventy-five to ninety percent American. On a Costa cruise, American passengers will find themselves in a minority position.

A Costa cruise attracts the Europeans who find these cruises to be top notch.

Since European travelers are used to Costa, they are quick to book on this line when it is available in the Caribbean. Because of the large number of non-American passengers, every announcement on the ship is made in five languages. The are recited in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. This makes each announcement seem to go on forever.

The European travelers bring a different set of social rules to the table.

On Costa ships, when the elevators open, you may have to shove your way through the group trying to get on in order to exit. People behind you will push you aside to enter the elevator in front of you. While this may be acceptable behavior in Europe, it just seems like you are cruising with a lot of rude people to most American travelers. It also means that the employee that you deal with in guest relations may not speak English very well.

Once you get past the culture shock, a Costa cruise has other good things to offer.

Because the cruise line is trying to get a foot into the American market, you may find a cheaper fare on a Costa ship. This is not always the case, but it often is. Embarkation is slightly better than most cruise lines. You may find that you will be aboard the ship in under forty-five minutes unless you are just unlucky. The ships are well maintained, clean, and interesting. Most of the ships are decorated with an elaborate theme which some guests may view as a little garish.

Although there is enough energy on the ship for younger guests, it has many great quiet areas for relaxing or conversation.

Costa cruise line ships are large. Generally, they hold more than 2,500 passengers. This gives plenty of space on the ship for a wide variety of activities and options. The staterooms are within the size range of all cruise ships. They are cleaned and kept in excellent readiness for the guests.

Dining is a little different on a Costa cruise.

Unlike the regular three courses that come with most cruise ship meals, Costa offers a fourth as a standard. Every night, there is a pasta course offered with each meal option. This guarantees that even a light eater will leave the dining room full. The quality and taste of the food is really better than some of the competition.

However, if you are in the habit of ordering multiple entrees or desserts, these may not arrive before you have completed your meal. If you have to warm up to new spices and ways to prepare food, you may not enjoy the dining experience on a Costa cruise. It will never quite seem like American cuisine. 

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