Length: 890 ft
Launched in 2003 featuring multiple bars, four swimming pools and berths for 2716 passengers it is a 105,000-ton mega-shipBest For People Who Want
An Italian Carnival atmosphere, well-planned on-deck fun, loud music and a wide range of offerings, including a large children's facility and popular water slide; Costa Fortuna offers all the options and activities that come with a megaship, including a large spa and fitness area, plenty of balconies, and many entertainment options.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Peace and quiet, great food and service, and English as the first language.Onboard Experience
Constructed at the historic Sestri Ponente shipyard that built the legendary Rex and the Andrea Doria, the gigantic Costa Fortuna served as Costa Crociere's flagship until the even larger Costa Concordia debuted in July 2006.
The facilities include two split-level restaurants, self-service buffet on Lido Deck, a specialty restaurant, pizzeria, a theater extending over three decks, a two-story disco, 11 bars, an Internet cafe, casino, a health and beauty center, four swimming pools (including a children's splash pool) and no fewer than six Jacuzzis. Consider a tennis court and varied other sports options. Architect Joe Farcus has incorporated scale models of legendary Italian liners that provided regular service between Italy and the Americas into the ship's décor.Decor
Costa Fortuna, which debuted in November of 2003, has as its interior theme the grand Italian ocean liners of history. In fact the ceiling of the Costa Atrium has scale models of each one displayed upside down in a large circle. There is more detail there than any one crooked neck could ever humanly withstand and it is fun to watch fellow passengers ogle the vessels.Public Rooms
The Conte di Savoia 1932 Grand Bar, amidships on Deck 5, has the largest bar and dance floor at sea. It is the most popular room on the vessell, as popular for a coffee break, a trivia game or its major purpose - a ballroom! Given the Europeans' predilection for rug-cutting, it could be twice its size and still be crowded whenever there's music in the air!
The Deck 5 promenade offers high-end clothing, logo items, perfume, jewelry, duty-free, baubles, and gimcracks in stores surrounding the Italia Fortuna Atrium, itself a pleasant spot to sip a cocktail while watching the glass-enclosed elevators ascend.
The three-story Rex Theatre, at the bow, featuring a Murano glass chandelier, presents nightly shows. Aft on Deck 5 are three lounges: the Leonardo Da Vinci Lounge 1960, with its coral chairs with black cushions; the glorious Conte Verde Lounge 1923 featuring shades of green; and the delightful Conte Rosso Piano Bar 1921, (red is the operative color here) tucked into a corner at the aft end of the Casino, with banks of slot machines on the starboard side and tables on the port side.
Deck 4 has the Internet Center, with trendy Italian-designed chairs that are too low for the computer stations. The good news is that the Internet is only 50 cents per hour, which is a bargain. The Vulcania Disco, which roars at night yet is strangely deserted by day except when being used for Pilates sessions, is adjacent. There's also a small chapel and a small, quiet, attractive library on Deck 4.
In theory, smoking is allowed only in certain places and not at all in the main theatre or in any of the dining venues, including the enclosed aft pool on the Lido Deck, but the policy isn't strictly enforced.Cuisine
That Italy has some of the world's greatest cuisine should not be taken to mean that Costa serves the world's best food. Indeed, menus appear to be designed to
appeal mostly to an Italian audience, and should you order a selection from another continental derivation, you will probably end up thinking, "I should have gone Italian." You would suppose that they'd get pasta dishes right every time, but pasta depends upon fast service before it gets cold and rubbery. At the buffets, you will be presented with what Europeans are used to as "fast food" including beans for breakfast, and cheese, hard sausage and rolls for lunch.
But behold the exception, the alternative restaurant Club Fortuna where for around $23 you can not only savor a delicious meal, but also escape the clamor of the main dining room.Restaurants
Costa Fortuna's two main dining rooms, Michelangelo Restaurant 1965 and Raffaello Restaurant 1965, operate on a traditional set schedule for dinner (5:45 p.m. for the early seating and 8:30 p.m. for the second) and open seating for both breakfast and lunch in the Michelangelo Restaurant 1965, aft, the larger restaurant with huge windows on three sides, and commanding view overlooking the ship's wake. Captains try to seat non-Italian-speakers with others similarly afflicted. Stick, if you can, with the pasta and rice dishes, and don't expect much from your salad or dessert.
The Restaurant Buffet Colombo 1954 on the Lido Deck, aft, is surprisingly expansive, and the food's surprisingly good. A coffee; a robust, hey-wake-up, pal! European blend, is available 24 hours, plus tea bags, hot chocolate packs and milk (hot in the morning). The self-serve ice-cream station has three flavors, available most of the day.
The buffet's limited hours cause some problems. Tea-times start at 4 p.m., just as those who've been on shore excursions are coming back with low blood sugar, ravenous for a snack. The occasional melee results. The pizza service offers slices from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and then becomes Colombo 1954 later becomes a "pizza trattoria" from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. The American selections in the buffet are not as good as the Mediterranean cuisine, which was top rate. The buffets need more variety, especially the desserts. The same fruit sheet cake was served for lunch and dinner daily on a recent Caribbean cruise. Sugar-free offerings are included.
High up on Deck 11, the quiet, elegant, 88-seat Club Grand Conte 1927 offers cooked-to-order steaks and chops, personalized service, and is priced a la carte.
Room service breakfast is what might be termed expanded continental -- a choice of rolls, croissants, Danish pastries, cereals, juice, yogurt, and coffee, tea or hot chocolate, served- by white-gloved attendants. There's no charge, but tipping is recommended. After 10:00 am, a limited breakfast menu is offered and several other breakfasts are available for a charge.Service
We'll say it plainly: on a Costa ship you are an American in Europe. The company is expanding rapidly (undergoing a cruising renaissance in Europe similar to what the U.S. experienced years ago), so the staff can be surprisingly slow, and sometimes seemingly impolite, including the cabin stewards. You can always count on the bar staff to cheer you up, though.Tipping
In Europe, six Euros a day are added to your shipboard account as gratuities for the staff; in the Caribbean the rate will be $10 per day. Most people give an extra tip on the last night to their waiters, the wonderful maitre d's, and especially the hardworking stateroom staff. Costa is one of the few lines where kids pay half price of adult tips.Entertainment
Almost every public room offers entertainment, be it the pool band, solo vocalists, the classical duo in the atrium, or the pianist in the Conte Rosse Piano Bar 1921 lounge. The nightly offerings in the main venue consist of a dancing, acrobatics and magic, none of which depend on you and the performer speaking the same language. The sail-away parties on deck are hugely enjoyable; whole families dance together without shame. There are lively art auctions, bingo, and games around the pools and in the lounges.
Costa shines with its themed nights, which are fun and creative. Italian night, Mediterranean night and Toga night are good, clean fun for all ages. Don't miss them! They really will make your cruise unique.Cabins
As noted, Costa ships are clones of Carnival Cruise Lines vessels in terms of superstructure. Where cabins are concerned they are identical down to the wall sconces. Carnival-built ships have from the Destiny-class builds forward (Costa Fortuna is on a Destiny-class platform) cabins have been as comfortable as spacious.
Of the 1,358 passenger cabins on Costa Fortuna, 843 are outsides, and 62 percent have verandahs. Standard rooms, both insides and outsides, have ample closet space, deep vanity/desk combos, mini-fridges, and leather seating areas. Baths are spacious, with a vanity and shower (suites have tubs, some higher-level ones whirlpool tubs) and more-than sufficient storage space. Outside cabins have a large single-pane window with no ugly bar down the middle.
Bath amenities are simply non-existent on the European cruises, but you do get a tall, sleek ice bucket filled in the morning and again at night for turndown. All cabins and suites have large televisions with programming in many languages. In the Med expect more European stations, but in the Caribbean CNN is available. Lighting and storage options are terrific in all of the standard cabins, with little bedside lamps, vanity lighting and a low-light Murano glass art piece affixed to the large mirror opposite the bed.
The beds and pillows can seem extremely uncomfortable and hard. A pillow menu is offered, ask your steward and check to see if he can provide something to make the mattress softer.
Verandah cabins are identical to the standard outsides, with the addition of a nice-sized balcony framed by Plexiglas. Instead of the usual sliding doors, these open out.
Try to secure a cabin that is under other cabin space, rather than under public rooms or the Lido Deck area. Soundproofing is not very good.Fitness/Spa
Forward at the top of the ship, the 4,600-square-ft. Venus Spa offers a Turkish bath, sauna, treatment rooms and beauty salon. In the large workout room, with new Technogym equipment, you work out while overlooking the bow. There are aerobics classes for all with no charge. Yoga, spinning, and Pilates are moderately priced.
Each of the three pools on the Lido Deck has its own unique atmosphere. Though the forward pool is next to the big slide, it is usually the quietest since most guests in that area use the middle pool. The aft pool is behind the Cristoforo Columbo Buffet, under a glass dome, and is usually filled with families, as is the central pool. There's a jogging track on top of the ship, and a full, regulation-sized tennis court with stadium seating. There are dance lessons by the pool every day with an aerobic beat to them, and dance lessons inside for salsa, merengue, waltz, tango, cha-cha and the like.Children's Facilities
Depending on the time of year, the ship can be full of families. The bright and cheerful Squok Club kids' facility on Deck 12 is where children aged three to 12 years can play with their peers day and night while parents get time to themselves. The counselors are very lively and entertaining and speak about five different languages in order to communicate with the kids. The international atmosphere is a good way to open your youngster's eyes to different cultures around the world.
Youth counselors take the children to dinner two times during the cruise. On the other nights, though, the youth program doesn't starts its evening hours until 9 p.m., which is too late for many little ones. Throughout the cruise, children earn Squok (the club's mascot) dollars by attending and participating which can be redeemed for Costa logo wear at the end of the cruise.
There is a separate teen program for those 13 to 17 years old.Attire
Casual during the day, smart casual in the evenings, with one formal night and one semi-formal night on a seven-day cruise.Fellow Passengers
On the Europe itineraries about 75 percent of the guests are Italian, with the rest being Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, British, Canadian and American. No one of any age should feel uncomfortable onboard. That percentage is pretty much reversed on winter cruises in North America.
I took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Copenhagen. She is 10 years old and looks her age.
The good things:
Size of the cabin was very convenient. Lots of cabinets and a large bed which was very comfortable.
Many shelves in the bathroom and safety measures not to fall or slip.
The balcony we booked was small but with a table and two comfortable chairs and it was nice sitting there.
Staff was very friendl, the steward efficient ,the elevators speedy and lots of them.
Evening performances at the theater were quite entertaining despite lasting only 45 minutes.
5th floor has several bars with singers and dance floors. quite enjoyable.
Before going on the cruise we were often in contact with the company's representatives and they did their best to help us with anything.
The bad things:
The air conditioner was very weak and hardly noticeable. And it was hot.
In the bathroom we had almost no hot water and it was very unpleasant.
TV was huge with a small screen (TV not even LCD).
Both the TV and the remote only allowed to jump forward one channel or change volume.
The picture quality was poor and unclearand that could not be improved.
There were a lot of the ship's channels and the rest were Italian. There was only one news channel in English, the BBC.
We talked with the steward on these issues and we were told that's that.
Room's water room had terrible taste, no way we could drink that.
We had to buy the ship's water, each liter for 3 euros!!!
Even that had very funny taste.
When I talked to other passengers who were on other companies' cruises no one has encountered such a problem. I understand the ship is 10 years old but is that an excuse for such disregard?
Breakfast and lunch were very scarce and very poor selection. The same the whole seven days/. Other people from other cruises were just amazed. For example, there were only two Yellow Cheese kinds, throughout the voyage.
Everyone is familiar with the disaster that happened last year to the Concordia. I'll have to assume that because of fall in demand Costa is looking for every way to cut expenses and get passengers to pay more...
Another example of that would be the outrageous cost of 10 euros for one hour for the ship's Wi-Fi!
The ship was not sailing to Bergen although most other tours do.
In Geiranger we had to get off not directly to the harbour but through a boat and on return everyone had to wait half an hour in the heat for our turn to get back to the ship.
On the third day we came to Skjolden from nine in the morning till five thirty. It's a tiny place with nothing realy to do if you wanted to go ashore. We took a tour of the glacier and drove for three hours there and back ond then only saw him From afar. There was no nice scenery on the way as well.
At Oslo we arrived at seven in the morning and stayed only until 12 only which wasn't enough for a proper tour. We were told the reason for that was that the ship wanted to get in time to the next stop, Warnemunde, so that people wanting to do a tour in Berlin could get there in time.
As we didn't need that tour and there was nothing to do in Warnemunde we had to stay in the ship from nine and a half to eight in the evening!
Another annoying problem was that in each of the docking points there weren't any taxis or other means of transporatation besides that of the ship's. Friends who had other companies in this area told us that wasn't the case in their cruises.
In conclusion, this was my first cruise and next time if there is one I'll be wiser in choosing the right cruising company.
The Fortuna has a large block of cabins over the grand bar with no sound proofing. The bar fires up loud live music at around 6:30pm and goes until 3am. Even the housekeeping manager said it was unacceptably loud, and called customer service from our cabin to complain on our behalf. If you have one of those cabins you will not be able to sleep until the bar shuts down. We took this cruise hoping to rest up from a month of strenuous travel in Europe.
It turns out that Costa customer service is really an impenetrable stone wall. You will never be allowed to speak with someone who has the authority to do anything about a problem. If you persist, they will become rude and abusive. The situation was so bad we and our travel agent began communicating with Costa corporate leadership in the USA. They responded in exactly the same way as CS on the ship. They were rude, dismissive, and when we persisted in requesting help they became abusive. We soon requested a refund knowing Costa is owned by Carnival which has a satisfaction guarantee. Costa flatly refused.When you get on a Costa cruise you had better be prepared to take whatever they dish out.
Costa advertises a "Sophisticated European atmosphere on board." This is simple not true. This cruise was packed with rude, pushy, unsophisticated people, most of whom repeatedly demonstrated zero regard for other people. And while most of the world is dropping the tobacco habit, half the passengers on this cruise chain smoke. There is no open air place on this ship where you can escape the stench of tobacco.
The ship does not have adequate facilities to feed its 3500 passengers. This results in extremely long snaking buffet lines, a 30 minute wait to get at the extremely mediocre food, and a dining room with no room to dine or move. Costa creates interesting itineraries, and then allows only a couple of hours to see them. And on this cruise small tenders were frequently required to get ashore, so that time was often cut in half. In many cases it is simply not worth the trouble, unless you are just port bagging.
This review would not be complete without mentioning that all PA announcements were loudly repeated in 5 languages, so it takes all day for this passenger strip mining operation to communicate its endless opportunities for passengers to surrender more of their hard earned cash. And of course there is no place to escape this barrage because sound proofing appears to be a foreign concept to Costa. For us, this was a cruise in hell. Do yourself a favor and go with a more reputable company with a track record of taking care of people.
I have been on six other cruises and the food on this ship was not anything to write home about.
The ports were very crowded, with the exception of the Dominican Repblic. Many ports had too many ships in at one time.
I would not book again on this cruise ship.