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Costa Cruises aboard the Costa Mediterranea
Above: Costa Cruise Lines Costa Mediterranea Cruise Ship.

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Ship Details
Began service: June, 2003
Guest capacity: 2,114
Total staff: 920
Length: 798 feet
Passenger decks: 12
CDC inspection score: 98

Costa Mediterranea Overview

The Costa Mediterranea cruise ship departs from Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Venice, Italy. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises to Caribbean, Europe, and Mediterranean.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Caribbean, Europe, and Mediterranean.

CostaMediterranea is the second new ship to join Costa's fleet under the ownership of Carnival Corporation. The ship has a high percentage of verandah cabins.

Carnival's super-talented Joe Farcus has outdone himself with incredibly inventive designs that reinvent details from 17th and 18th-century Italian palaces. There's so much to look at that, in Farcus' words, passengers enjoy "a constant discovery process on board".

Costa Mediterranea stands out with its hallmark of "Cruising Italian Style." The staff greets you with "buon giorno." The entertainment is full of gusto-though napkin-waving waiters dancing on the dinner tables isn't everyone's cup-of-espresso. This ship is a terrific choice if you want to experience cruising with a definite European flavor, and still enjoy all the expected comforts and amenities of an American mega-ship.


Of 1,057 cabins, 678 have balconies. Standard outside and verandah staterooms (210 square feet) feature a dressing table with a hair dryer hooked up in the drawer, TV, and a bed that can be converted from queen to twin. Many cabins, including 71 of the 212 inside cabins (160 square feet) have a third and fourth bed that pull down from the ceiling. Closet and drawer space is ample for a seven-day cruise. There are outlets for American electrical plugs, though they aren't always clearly marked. All cabins have a mini-bar and safe.

Bathrooms are compact with showers only; shampoo and lotion are provided. The balconies have mesh chairs that don't recline plus a table. The privacy partition between each verandah extends a few inches beyond the rail, so you can't peek around to the next room. There are eight disability-equipped rooms that span several categories. The ship's 58 suites are especially nice with Murano glass table lamps. The suites come in three categories, ranging in size from 352 to 650 square feet (including verandah). The smallest is called a "Suite." The next category up is a "Panorama Suite," which features a larger sitting area. The "Grand Suite" has separate living and sleeping areas. All suites have good-sized granite tiled bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs and double sinks. The balconies have teak furnishings, including lounge chairs. Passengers in these quarters get a variety of special services-VIP check-in and early disembarkation, butler service, sparkling wine, full-course in-suite dining, a complimentary meal at Club Medusa, plus terry robes, slippers and a daily fruit basket.


The Restaurant Argentieri is the ship's main dining venue. It is a visually exciting space lit by fun glass globes that look like escaped balloons hanging from the ceiling.

The restaurant works on an assigned, two seating basis and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The late seating is geared to European dining customs and is quite late for many Americans.

Dinner menus play up the Italian theme, with a different region of Italy highlighted each night. A tasty pasta course is always offered before the entree. Costa's "Salute e Benessere," ("health and well being") menus offer low-fat, low-carbohydrate options. Vegetarian selections are always available as well and are listed on the regular menu. The wine list is reasonably priced (many bottles around $24) with a predominance of Italian wines.

At night, the elegant Club Medusa (Decks 10 and 11) is the ship's alternative restaurant. There is a $23 per person cover charge and reservations are required. After dinner, the Club's balcony level transforms into a cigar bar that's open to everyone.

During regular mealtimes, the Perla del Lago Restaurant on Deck 9 serves buffet fare. The numerous stations offer different dishes. The pizzeria is a separate station near the rear of the buffet area. Soft-serve ice cream machines are scattered throughout.

Though the ship offers round-the-clock food service, off-hour choices are slim. The 24-hour room service menu lists a few soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. All passengers may order espresso or cappuccino with their continental breakfast. Only suite passengers may order off the full restaurant menus for complete in-suite dining, including hot dishes for breakfast.

Costa is one of the few cruise lines to still offer a midnight buffet. The location changes nightly and may be served up as a tropical deck party, a galley visit, or an extravaganza in the dining room.


Evening entertainment ranges from dancing to romantic piano tunes in the Piazza Casanova Bar to opera or production shows in the main theater. And, just walking into the three-tiered Osiris Theater is a trip. All those pyramids and pharaohs make you think you're in Egypt. Rest assured, the motif came straight from murals decorating a Roman palace built in the 1400s.

Daytime activities consist mainly of group games and fitness classes.

Fitness & Recreation

The ship has three separate pool areas on Deck 9. The two central pools each have one whirlpool. One pool has a retractable magrodome roof for use in all kinds of weather. The smaller Apollo pool, all the way aft, is away from the crowds and has a bar and a third whirlpool. There is a neat waterslide on Deck 11, but it was only open a couple of hours during our entire cruise.

CostaMediterranea's fitness facility and spa are combined on two decks. The Olympia Gym has state-of-the-art workout machines. They work two ways. You can establish your settings manually -- or sign up for a "key card" (and fitness consultation for an extra charge of $20); the key is pre-set so you are computer-guided throughout your workouts.

The area is tiered, so everyone has a sea view. It includes a forward-view whirlpool, separate men's and women's steam rooms, saunas, and shower cabinets with multiple heads. The Ischia Spa, operated by offers the usual menu of treatments such as Swedish massage ($99 for 50 minutes).

There is a small jogging track on the top deck above the gym, along with a netted basketball/volleyball area.

Note: Some fitness classes-yoga, Pilates, kickboxing-have a $10 fee per session.

Public Areas

Though tied together by the palazzo theme, each of the public rooms has a completely different feel. The Piazza Casanova was based on a ballroom in a Venetian palace. It has a fountain and dance floor. The Asian-accented Roero Bar and Oriental Lounge were inspired by the Roero Di Guarene Palace. They anything but Italian -- the servers wear oriental outfits, and the display cases show off artifacts from four ancient Chinese Dynasties.

The Giardino Isolabella Bar is a cozy undersea grotto hidden away beneath the three-tier Osiris Theater.

The atrium bar, Maschera d'Argento, is the hotspot for art spotting, a highlight of this ship. Three walls soar ten decks upward, creating one gigantic work of art-a fabulous array of floating, larger-than-life dancing figures. The fourth wall has three glass elevators, so as you move, the dance takes place. There are also fantastic Murano glass accents everywhere, including dozens of jellyfish wall lamps with flowing tendrils. You'll see something totally new every time you step into a room.

Art aside, CostaMediterranea has all the usual public areas and then some. There's a real chapel with stained glass windows. A small, combination library/Internet cafe next to the Oriental Lounge has nine computer stations. Internet access costs 50 cents per minute and can be frustratingly slow. The Grand Canal Casino sees lots of action whenever it's open. For shoppers, there are two stores selling logo wear, jewelry, watches, olive oil, pasta, duty-free cigarettes and liquor. Prices on Caribbean cruises are in US dollars. They're in Euros for European itineraries.


Costa's children's facilities are known as the "Squok Club," the name of a cute, friendly shark. Kid's activities are available year-round on both European and Caribbean itineraries. Offerings vary between the two regions, with programs on Caribbean sailings geared more toward Americans.

Depending on the number of children and teens on board, activities in the Caribbean are aimed at three age groups. There are four full-time youth counselors (more for holiday trips). The two formal nights are "Parents Nights Out," and kids are treated to a buffet or pizza party while parents dine on their own. There is no extra charge.

Group baby-sitting is available for kids ages 3 (as long as they're beyond diapers) and up. It is offered by advance request and costs $10 per hour.

Expert Costa Mediterranea reviews are edited by Michelle, and provided by Ian and Cruise Critic.com, an award-winning cruise community. This objective information can help you choose just the right ship for your next cruise vacation.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Caribbean, Europe, and Mediterranean.


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Costa Mediterranea cruise reviews

Cruise Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced CDC inspection. Costa Mediterranea Score: 98

Cruise Critic: Costa Mediterranea
The Cruise Critic gives Costa Mediterranea a 3+-ribbon rating.

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