Real Housewives of New Jersey sail on the new Costa Deliziosa

On this week’s episode of Bravo’s popular The Real Housewives of New Jersey series, the stars of the show said “ciao” to the Garden State and “buongiorno” to Italy aboard Costa’s newest ship, the Costa Deliziosa. Last February, the famous Italian American housewives were among the first guests to sail on the Italian ship as she set sail on her maiden voyage.

Housewives Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita and Caroline Manzo took a well-deserved getaway from the drama of the series’ second season by cruising with Costa from Venice to Naples. The ladies boarded the ship just two days after it was delivered. Giudice was joined by her husband, daughters, parents and in-laws. Laurita and her husband, who is also Manzo’s brother, brought their two children and Jacqueline’s parents. Manzo was joined by her husband and parents.

“We were thrilled to welcome the housewives of New Jersey and their families as some of the first guests to sail aboard the Costa Deliziosa,” said Maurice Zarmati, president and ceo of Costa North America. “They really made the most of the vacation experience by taking in the sights of Venice while ashore and relaxing onboard with spa treatments, Blackjack games in the casino and dancing in the disco. You could tell they were all very close and family oriented.”

The Costa Deliziosa is Costa Cruises’ flagship, offering the most exclusive and innovative elements in the fleet designed for Costa’s most discerning clientele. These innovations include the ship’s avant-garde design and the use of premium materials, such as various type of marbles, granite, mother-of-pearl and Murano glass and other decorative interior finishes. The atrium features fine works of art, including “Sphere” by famous Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. In addition, there are a variety of entertainment options onboard including a 4D cinema; a roller skating track; a golf simulator with an outdoor putting green, a Grand Prix race car driving simulator; the award-winning 20,000 square-foot Samsara Spa; a PlayStation World area dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, as well as the PlayStation “on demand” in cabins.

Onboard: Italy meets the Tropics aboard Costa Atlantica

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Costa Atlantica this week as she sails an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Here’s his latest dispatch:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2010 — A storied Italian cruise line has brought a mega-sized old-world party to a region renowned for celebrations.

The 2,114-passenger Costa Atlantica is in the midst of a seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Guests today are enjoying the beaches, shopping and history in this, the second oldest city in the Americas.

The reunion of primarily Italian onboard revelers of all ages with their Spanish brethren is hardly a new one. Costa was the first cruise line to sail the Caribbean and has been plying the world’s oceans for more than 60 years.

But when passengers return to Atlantica later today, it’s all Italy all the time in style, hospitality and cuisine through the wee morning hours.

The ship’s 12 passenger decks, each named after movies created by the famous Italian director Federico Fellini, are decorated with prominently displayed paparazzi photos of movie stars.

A Venetian atmosphere permeates throughout the ship thanks to design elements featuring Carrara marble, Murano-glass accents and in-laid mosaic tile.

Look for an impressive replica of Venice’s Caffe Florian plus a massive, eight-deck atrium where passengers mingle and enjoy pre-and post-meal cocktails to soothing live music.

Atlantica features three pools, a spa and gym (complete with 44-spa cabins), sports court and jogging track, two main dining rooms, a reservations-only Tuscan steak house ($30 per person), a casino, show lounge, card room, Internet center and a host of bars and lounges. Kids (3-12 years) and teens (13-17 years) enjoy their own supervised activities and events.

Passengers have been partaking in a series of dance classes and cooking lessons and are eagerly awaiting the ship’s famed Roman toga party tonight.

There are two dinner seatings aboard Atlantica — 6 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. — and in keeping with the ship’s “love, laughter and la dolce vita’’ theme, look for early, late and even later performances by the ship’s singers, dancers and guest entertainers for night owls seeking to prolong their vacation day.

Guests familiar with the layout of many of Carnival Cruise Lines’ newer ships will feel right at home aboard Atlantica. Carnival is Costa’s parent company.

Later this week: We’ll take a closer look at the culinary journey afforded guests aboard Costa Atlantica.

Names chosen for Costa’s two new 2011 and 2012 ships

After more than 16,000 suggestions from more than 40,000 travel agents and fans around the world, the names of the 16th and 17th ships in the Costa fleet have been selected. The two sister ships, set to debut in 2011 and 2012, will be named the Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa.

The selections were chosen as a result of Costa’s “Send Us a Sea of Names” project whereby travel agents and fans sent in name suggestions for the two ships. The final selections were chosen based on their definition of the all-encompassing magic, glamour, emotion and passion reflected on all of Costa’s ships.

The Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, (114,500 gross tons with a double occupancy of 3,000 each) will be delivered in summer 2011 and spring 2012 respectively. The two new sister ships, built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard, are part of a major fleet expansion plan for Costa with five new ships due for delivery between 2009 and 2012. This plan includes the launch of the Costa Luminosa the Costa Pacifica (June 2009) and the Costa Deliziosa (set to debut in January 2010) for a total investment worth 2.4 billion Euros. The Costa Favolosa will be the first of the two new vessels to enter service. The laying of the first “building block” is set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard.

The choice of names was guided by 40,000 travel agents in over 40 countries who submitted more than 16,000 pairs of names as part of the “Send Us a Sea of Names” project. The initiative encouraged travel agents, customers and Web users all over the world to take part in the search for the names for the two new Costa flagships. The submissions were summarized in a list of 25 pairs of names posted on All Web site visitors were invited to choose their favorite pairing. More than 42,000 votes were received.

Cruise Guide: Costa touts Italian heritage

The 2,114-passenger Costa Atlantica is offering a host of seven-night Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale this winter. Image courtesy of Costa Cruises
The 2,114-passenger Costa Atlantica is offering a host of seven-night Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale this winter. Image courtesy of Costa Cruises

By Michael Coleman

Guests aboard two Costa Cruises’ ships will not have to cross the pond to enjoy “love, laughter and la dolce vita” this winter. Italy is coming to the Caribbean.

The European brand is offering “Italy in the Tropics” complete with some of the best deals in the line’s 60-year history aboard Costa Atlantica and Costa Fortuna. 

Look for a free upgrade promotion with veranda accommodations available at the price of an ocean view (fares from $699), ocean view at the price of an inside (fares from $549) and inside cabins available at specially reduced fares from $399.

Additionally, throughout the season Costa is offering a “Kids Sail Free” promotion from $499. During the holidays, kids sail for just $199 while staterooms for adults are from $599 with an up to four-category upgrade during this time. Deposits have been reduced to $150 on all Caribbean sailings for a limited time as well. 

“We’ve made the sweet life even sweeter by offering amazing upgrades and value-packed fares on our cruises from Ft. Lauderdale, allowing travelers to experience Italy close to home,” said Costa’s North American president and CEO Maurice Zarmati.

In November, the 86,000-ton (2,114 passengers) Costa Atlantica will return to Ft. Lauderdale, offering seven-night voyages each Saturday through April 2010.

The ship boasts 44 exclusive spa cabins that create what Costa dubs a “vacation within a vacation.”

Guests who reserve these spa accommodations, appropriately located on Deck “8 ½” in honor of the famous Federico Fellini film of the same name (Fellini inspired design elements of the ship), will enjoy a variety of special privileges. These include a personalized wellness consultation, three complimentary treatments, two fitness or meditation classes and complimentary access to the Wellness Restaurant, offering a wide array of spa-friendly cuisine. Spa cabins, available in ocean view, veranda and suite categories, feature aromatherapy diffusers, special shower and air filters, and a mini bar stocked with healthy food and beverage selections. In addition, guests with these accommodations will be offered priority spa reservation times. 

The 110,000-ton (2,720 passengers) Costa Fortuna, meanwhile, offers seven-night Caribbean voyages from December through March 2010, departing Sundays.

Drawing inspiration from the beautiful Italian liners of yesteryear, the Costa Fortuna combines nostalgia and a refined atmosphere into a marvelous modern framework. Gorgeous scale models of historic ships are weaved into the style and design of the ship’s various restaurants and other public areas. For a step into the present, guests may enjoy modern amenities including a retractable magrodome over the ship’s main pool deck, a state-of-the-art spa and ocean-view fitness center, 11 bars and four restaurants and a theatre expanding over three decks.

From homemade pastas and delectable desserts, to Italian greetings including “buongiorno” in the morning and “buonasera” in the evening, festive onboard activities include everything from on-deck bocce ball games, tarantella dancing under the stars and Italian cooking lessons during “Festa Italiana,” to the famous “Roman Bacchanal” soirée where guests don tasteful togas and celebrate as the Romans did centuries ago.

Costa to hold first ever duel christening for Luminosa and Pacifica

On June 5, Costa Cruise Line, will give a glamorous “benvenuto” to its two newest ships on one historic night. During this special celebration, the Italian cruise line will host the first ever dual inaugural as it christens the Costa Luminosa – The Ship of Light – and Costa Pacifica – The Ship of Sound. Continue reading “Costa to hold first ever duel christening for Luminosa and Pacifica”

Costa offering an exclusive wine

Costa Cruise Line has teamed up with another venerable Italian brand, Aneri Wines, to bring one of its most exclusive wines to sea.

A select number of 133 bottles of a 2003 Amarone 2003, which was a top year of production for this red, full-bodied wine, are available on each Costa ship.

Each 750 ml bottle of Aneri Amarone 2003 is numbered and identified by a personalized label with the name of the ship, as well as a special certificate. Costa is the first and only cruise line to offer a selection of this exquisite wine and the company’s ships are one of the only places wine aficionados will be able to purchase the limited edition vintage.

Book Costa and stay free at Planet Hollywood

Throughout March, guests who book a European cruise with Costa will automatically receive a two-night complimentary stay at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, based on availability from Sunday through Thursday. The offer is valid on all FIT sailings booked in March 2009 on seven- to 14-night Europe sailings that depart in 2009. Continue reading “Book Costa and stay free at Planet Hollywood”