Ciao Bello, Caribbean! Set Sail with Costa Cruises.
Experience the laid-back Caribbean vibe in all the comfort of Italian luxury.
Many Floridians have explored the Caribbean before, but there’s a new way to enjoy the laid-back islands and soothing waters of the tropics: in Italian style.
Costa Cruises recently announced plans to operate its 2,260-passenger Costa Luminosa out of the Port Everglades terminal in Ft. Lauderdale for the winter season, offering seven- and 10-night itineraries that encompass stops in both the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Although Costa is owned by Carnival, everything from the Mediterranean-influenced cuisine and regional wines, to the European atmosphere and decor is influenced by the line’s Italian heritage.
The company began as a fleet of freighters transporting fabrics and olive oil between Genoa and Sardinia in the mid-1800s. It’s been providing luxury cruises since 1948 and now visits more than 260 ports around the world. Today, it’s the leading cruise line in Italy, and one of the top lines in France and Spain, boasting a modern fleet of 15 ships with worldwide itineraries.
“Costa Luminosa offers travelers the rare opportunity to experience a taste of Italy in the Caribbean,” says Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for the Costa Cruises. “And it’s a good choice for those who have cruised before but want to try something completely different.” It’s also the right line for travelers with an international sensibility, who’d like to recline in deck chairs alongside passengers from around the world, many of whom will travel to Ft. Lauderdale to see the Caribbean from this ship.
The atmosphere aboard the ship, which debuted in 2009, is warm and elegant. The interior—by celebrated cruise ship designer and architect Joseph Farcus—is both refined and whimsical. “Costa Luminosa is Italian for ship of light, so that theme runs throughout. And at night, the ship really comes alive,” says Knutson. LED and iridescent lights illuminate this 13-deck vessel that’s filled with Italian furnishings and finishes, including 20 types of marble, mosaics and mother of pearl. There’s also original art–look for the sculpture “Reclining Woman 2004” by artist Fernando Botero in the ship’s Supernova Atrium, and count the 120 sparkling Murano glass chandeliers. “The ship is stylish and eclectic,” says Knutson. “You will feel as if you are in a floating Mediterranean villa.”
Costa Luminosa offers a variety of entertainment options—11 bars, a cinema, a roller-skating track—and four restaurants, which feature menus by Bruno Barbieri, the Italian chef with multiple Michelin stars to his credit. The ship consistently receives good reviews for its clean cabins, and passengers like that more than half of the staterooms offer balconies. Guests who spring for Samsara cabins receive unlimited access to the spa— a two-story complex with Turkish bath and a thalassotherapy pool. Youth-oriented facilities are on board, too—including a pool just for kids—and all internal areas of the ship, with the exception of designated cigar lounges, are smoke-free. Cabin and dining stewards are multinational and all speak English.
For the winter cruising season, seven-night itineraries will be offered during the holidays. Most of the sailings are seven to 10 nights and incorporate six stops, anywhere from Nassau, Grand Turk, St. Thomas or San Juan, to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya. Pricing for both itineraries is very competitive. Affordable cabins are often easy to find within Costa’s fleet, and that’s a big draw, according to reviews by recent customers.
“If you’re looking for an international travel experience and you appreciate that type of atmosphere and ambience,” says Knutson, “we are the only ones who deliver it.”
Visit Costa Cruises to learn more.