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Costa Cruises, headquartered in Italy and part of the 13-brand Carnival Corporation portfolio, offers a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual ambiance. Costa boasts the most modern, growing fleet of all European cruise companies, by 2004 accommodating some 18,500 guests on an 11-vessel fleet, with more glittering vessels on the horizon. Costa ships, including its new, popular Costa Atlantica, sail to destinations in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. All of the line’s ships – Costa’s yellow smoke stacks are marked by a navy blue C -- spend summers in Europe, cruising to more than 90 ports of call. When sailing within the Mediterranean, Costa Atlantica is mostly peopled by Italians, Germans, French and Spanish. English comes last for multiple-language on-board announcements. By contrast, English prevails on Caribbean sailings largely booked by Americans seeking "Cruising Italian Style" experiences. To train service personnel for its expanding fleet, Costa in 2003 opened a Hospitality Training Institute in La Romana, Dominican Republic, in association with the American culinary and hospitality school of Johnson & Wales University. In 2004, Costa Atlantica sails alternating eastern/western 7-day round-trip itineraries from Fort Lauderdale.
Costa Atlantica, with plenty of private balconies, combines Old World sophistication of European design heavy on Costa tradition and American cutting-edge comforts and convenience. Costa Atlantica’s 12 passenger decks, each named for Federico Fellini's best-loved films (La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, Ginger & Fred, etc.) has a theatrical flair embellished by some 400 works of art. Interior design was created by Joe Farcus, Carnival Cruise Line’s design architect, who was borrowed to supply excitement worthy of Fellini. Guests rejuvenate with the world-class Ischia Spa, cozy lounges, casino action, and more. The Via Della Spiga features duty-free Italian designer goods, and there’s a glass-enclosed observatory high atop the ship. A wide range of facilities includes a children’s play room and water slide for one of three pools. Caffe Florian, a seagoing replica of Venice's famed 18th century café in St. Mark’s Plaza that drew patrons from Proust and Lord Byron to Casanova and Dickens, is the ultime, elegant place to enjoy an espresso, cappuccino or nightcap.
Year entering service: 2000
Despite megaship size, Costa Atlantica draws high marks for being easy to navigate, with three sets of elevators, forward, aft and center. Among decks named after Fellini films, Deck One (Luci del Varietà) has the Corallo Lounge with an under water motif. Deck Two (La Dolce Vita) has the Caruso Theater, with sofa style seating. Midship are the card rooms, Piazza Madama Butterfly, and the Casino/Bar Fortuna. The "La Dolce Vita" Atrium/Bar has replicas of Pompeian murals and Bird Cage glass elevators. Aft is Dante's Disco Club and the main floor of the Titian Restaurant, with Venetian glass and gilt-framed replicas of Titian paintings. Midship is the Caffè Florian, divided into three distinct rooms, each a delight replicating the famed Venetian landmark. Via della Spiga shops spill over with treasures including Versace liquors bottled in Venetian glassware. The elongated Paparazzi Lounge lets guests steep in nostalgia with oversized photos of film stars including Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Jayne Mansfield, Kirk Douglas, and a blonde Ava Gardner.
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