Costa Atlantica Ship Review
Cruise Date: Dec. 1-8, 2002

 "Costa Atlantica's Caffe Florian very well might be the new standard among cruise ship lounges" -- Travel Weekly

"The ship is awesome ... much of the furniture is art itself." --

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Your Editor & Mrs. Cruiseman had a week aboard the beautiful Costa Atlantica. Costa Cruise Line is truly the "Best Kept Secret" in the Caribbean, probably because they only sail in the Caribbean a few months each year. The Atlantica is the sister ship of the Carnival Spirit, Pride and Legend, but she has her own decor and personality. She debuted in July 2000. If I had to put it all in a few words I would have to say that the "Italian Style" atmosphere made for one of the most relaxed cruises that I have ever experienced. There was a calm feeling everywhere on the ship, and the staff and crew were very friendly and pleasant to be around. Announcements were almost non-existent.

Food: Everybody always asks "How Was The Food?" I am happy to report that the "Italian Style" cuisine was great! Please understand that "Italian Style" does not mean spaghetti and pizza at every meal. At every meal there was a special menu item called "Best of Italy". This was usually some sort of unusual pasta dish. The other traditional menu items were prepared wonderfully, often with an Italian flair! There were plenty of choices at each meal, and every-one that we spoke to was very pleased

with the cuisine. We were especially impressed with the BUFFET set up on this ship. Instead of one huge buffet area, there were about 8 buffet areas to pick from; including a couple by the pools. The challenge here for "buffet surfers" is that the food at these buffets was not necessarily the same, so some advanced scouting had to be done before picking your buffet line of choice. Because of all the buffets, the lines were very short, and moved along quite fast. We had most of our lunches at the buffet, and always found something very delicious to eat. A great idea is the Late Sleepers buffet. Here you can get breakfast up until 2:30 PM, including cooked-to-order omlets. Seating for buffet dining is spread over a large area, instead of being in one huge room, so the atmosphere was very quite and peaceful.

Cabin Facilities: Our cabin was a Cat.9 with a private balcony, located on the "I Clowns" deck (deck 5). Because of the shape of the ship just forward of the life boats, our balcony was larger than most others on the ship. (ask us about one of these when booking your Costa cruise). The cabin was very comfortable, and well laid out. There was ample closet space, a safe, and a small refrigerator, too! I believe the cabin was supposed to be around 200 sq. ft. The TV carried the usual fare of on-board information, as well as ABC, CBS & NBC programming. Movies were provided in five languages! (honest!)


The bathroom was a typical cruise ship bathroom. Compact and efficient, but not spacious. The shower was kind of small, but ok. The shower was equipped with a body wash dispenser. That was nice. Our cabin steward was from the Philippines and did a good job for us. Yes, that's The Cruiseman in the mirror!!! Picture taken from the shower!!

Itinerary: This sailing was an Eastern Caribbean cruise. We sailed from Ft. Lauderdale and visited San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island (located at Casa de Campo; Dominician Republic), and Nassau. Catalina Island is a private island experience operated by Costa Cruise Line. The beach was very clean, and the Bar-B-Q lunch was better than on most other private islands. The ship was close by, so tender service was very quick. Costa Cruise Line has built a new pier and terminal facility at Casa de Campo for it's ships. These pictures were taken at Catalina Island.


Entertainment: The Caruso Theater aboard the Costa Atlantica will knock your socks off! It is a beautiful three - story high masterpiece of cruise ship design. The balcony is huge, and the seating is actually more comfortable than the seats on the main floor. The shows were a combination of the usual musical routines, but with a definite European flavor. There were none of the 50's & 60's oldies shows that you get on most ships. Instead the variety spanned several types of entertainment; including balancing acts, Broadway style musicals, and even a tribute to Italian movies (which is the theme of the decor of the ship, by the way). The final night's "Talent Night" was a real hoot! Each volunteer contestant had to subject himself to the approval or disapproval of the audience and Caesar himself! I have never seen such a production before for a talent show. Don't miss it!

Quite Pool area at rear of pool deck. No loud music, no belly-flop contests, no kids.

Some of the Italian Art on board.

The Cruiseman enjoying some ice cream by a window in the buffet area. There are around a dozen soft serve ice cream machines on this deck. Too hard to say no!!

Club Atlantica, on Deck 10. "Reservations only" fine dining, with fantastic service. Great for your special date nite!


Lobster, anyone??

Surf & Turf Dinner

The Cruiseman at Piazza Madame Butterfly

Our new friends; Roger & Sheila Price
from Smithtown, NY.
Thanks for all the good times!

Roger & Sheila Price with our waiter
from India. Yes, a female waiter, and she did a great job! Note the toga's. The final nite of the cruise is Roman Nite, and everybody wears Togas to dinner! What a hoot!

The Cruiseman working out in the gym. (trying to work off all those great meals!)

Caribbean night! With our waiter (from India)

The Cruiseman relaxing on our private balcony.