CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Costa Cruises Costa Atlantica by H J VanDoorne Western Caribbean December 8, 2002

The Costa Atlantica entered service in the year 2000. Double occupancy capacity is 2,114 passengers. Gross tonnage is 85,000. Cruising speed is 24 knots. The ship offers a television, hair dryer, safe deposit box and mini-bar in every stateroom.

Embarkation

Our air arrangements were made by Costa from our home to Houston to Fort Lauderdale. The flight was fine, with prompt departures and arrivals on Continental Airlines. Our return from Fort Lauderdale was by the same route on the same airline. When we arrived in For Lauderdale, embarkation was smooth and without problems. We did notice, however, that we had to tip a baggage handler when the bus left us off at the port, and then had to tip the porter from the ship as he delivered your bags to our stateroom.

Our Stateroom

Our stateroom was 7345, 7th Deck aft. The stateroom was 210 sq. ft. with a generous amount of closet and drawer space. The veranda was 45 sq. ft., and had two adjustable lounge chairs with table. The entire veranda was constructed of hardwood, which dries quickly after a rain shower. Our room stewardess was from Peru and was fluent in Italian and English. She did a superior job.

The Ship

We've sailed on 28 cruises with five different cruise lines, but the Atlantica has the most beautiful decor we've ever experienced. The marble used throughout the ship was amazing. In many public rooms, the ceilings were murals of Italian motif, and more than 400 original works of art from the Italian School were everywhere. In addition, Moreno vases lined most stairwells.

In the main dinning room, the glass chandeliers were awesome. The Atrium allows one to view nine decks upward as the two glass-bubble elevators moved up and down without a whisper. The main elevators were quiet and flawless throughout the ship. One thing we especially appreciated: Atlantica is a quiet ship. The safety drill was the only time the public address system was ever used. The room TV had movies in four languages, and provided details of the ship's position and weather conditions.

Alternative Dinning

Most of Deck 9 is devoted to buffet dinning or alternative menus. We used that dining for snacks. The pizza was sorely lacking in quality. We didn't experience the Club Atlantica as we heard that it was not equal to the additional charge of $26 per person; most passengers we talked to seemed to feel that the menu in the main dinning room was adequate.

Ports

We were on back-to-back western and eastern Caribbean cruises, a total of 14 days. Western ports were Key West, Cozumel, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman Island. Eastern ports were San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island (Costa 's private recreation island), Casa de Campo, Santo Domingo and Nassau. I will refrain from discussing these ports, as I am sure that they are common knowledge to all.

I did enjoy my first experience of "Snuba" at Cozumel. We took the raft river float on the Martha Brae in Ocho Rios and the Amphibious River (with Rum & Coke) cruise on the Chavon River (the river was featured in a scene for movie "Apocalypse Now") in the Dominican Republic.

Disembarkation

The process was smooth and uneventful. After a regular breakfast, passengers began to leave the ship at 8 a.m. Bus transportation to the airport was efficient.

Overall Impression

We'd return to the Costa Atlantic in a heartbeat. The ship was not only beautiful, but spotlessly maintained. Average ship's speed was 21 knots. No adverse affect was ever felt within the ship or in our stateroom. Of course, the Caribbean has mostly calm waters. On this Caribbean itinerary, passengers were mostly Americans and Canadians, although there were a few Europeans and British on board. This was our fourth and fifth cruise with Costa . Previously we sailed transatlantic on the Victoria and took two cruises on the Costa Romantica.

A Costa Cruise is a great value. I rate the Costa Atlantica ship and experience as a 10-plus.

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