By Lily Riani on August 14, 2019
Call me a hopeless romantic, but when you are crossing the seas and pit-stopping at coastal towns on a cruise as majestic as Costa neoRomantica, it is hard not to be. Even the cruise calls itself so.
Based in Genoa, Italy, Costa Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest cruise lines with fleets available in all continents, taking passengers along the world’s most scenic routes. Besides Costa neoRomantica, Costa Cruises’ fleet includes Costa Venezia that was launched in March 2019, and Costa Firenze to be launched in October 2020, apart from Costa Serena and Costa Atlantica that are meant for the Asian region. Currently, the cruise departs from Taiwan and China to cater for the East Asian region, and Italy for Eastern Mediterranean covering Greece and Croatia. Meanwhile, for Northern European and Scandinavian regions, Costa Cruises covers countries such as Finland, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Scotland and Iceland, depending on package.
Costa neoRomantica comes with a full suite of entertainment options, from Casino to Tango Disco and Grand Bar Piazza Italia with a dance floor. There is also the Cabaret Vienna that stage performances. The things that excite guests are the daily activities shared in the ‘Today. The Daily Program’ sheet. The cruise is packed with activities that are bound to suit your particular interest, fitness level and time. Costa Cruises ensures that you will not be bored when being under their care.
Being an Italian liner, it comes as no surprise that one of the activities offered to passengers is learning Italian. It is advisable for those planning to visit Italy – or even avid linguists – to take up a Romance Language (not to be confused with language of romance) for a more enriching experience.
As they say, ‘dance like nobody’s watching’. However, I lost to the elderly folks (perhaps I was too concerned with people watching me dancing). Latin tends to be the favourite on this cruise, receiving the highest and most active participation, primarily for Rumba and Salsa. The passengers literally danced like nobody’s watching since their dancing skills, enthusiasm and stamina are definitely better than mine.
There are plenty of activities for you to choose: Karaoke Night, Live Band, Arts and Crafts, Animation Team activity, Video Quiz and more. You are bound to bump into the same person and perhaps ended up becoming good (travel) buddies.
|Top 3 #CruiseTips for Entertainment
Food is abundant when you are onboard Costa neoRomantica. There are dining and self-service restaurants, bars, pizza places, ice cream stalls, cafes and more to choose from.
Ristorante Giardino is a self-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a beautiful formal dining restaurant named Ristorante Botticelli. Another restaurant that you should try is the La Fiorentina Steakhouse Restaurant (you will never, ever regret this). Of course, there is the famous Pizzeria Capri too, the only restaurant on a cruise ship with a wood-fire oven.
You can also experience a three-Michelin-star eight-course menu prepared by Chef Umberto Bombana at Ristorante Casanova fine-dining restaurant. End your night with a glass of wine at Enoteca Verona wine bar with over 80 wine labels from around the world to choose from.
There are also two popular dinner parties. The Captain’s dinner party is where ship officers are dressed in tuxedos and cocktail dresses, giving a chance for passengers to dance with them. The White Party is a thematic dinner party when everyone is dressed in white with Venetian masks, where they will be entertained by captivating live opera performances followed by the crew dance show.
|Top 3 #CruiseTips for Dining
Taking care of its passengers is what Costa Cruises does best, and this is further enriched by its health and wellness programme that educates everyone on the need to take care of their health (encompassing overall mental and physical condition of a person) and wellness (achieving optimal mental and physical health). Talks, tracks, gyms and spa are all within easy access, at any time.
Usually held at the Aerobic Room and conducted by subject matter experts, the topics selected focuses health and wellness – essentially on eating well, eliminating swelling and tired feet and relieving back pain through better ligament and posture, among others.
Many passengers put the jogging track to good use, but what fascinated me most was when I saw an elderly couple in their morning walk chatting, smiling and greeting passersby. They seemed to be enjoying the sun, the view, the breeze and most importantly themselves. Despite being on water for many days, none suffered from dizziness or seasickness, except for myself, probably due to lack of air and exercise…
Nothing beats this gym that puts the other gyms facing the pool, hill slope, forests and city skyline to shame. Running your treadmill as the ship cruises makes you feel as if your running single-handedly power the ship’s engine and propel it forward, make you feel like you are one of Marvel’s Avengers. But be sure to keep your ‘superpower’ a secret…
This is the largest spa at sea with thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath and even UVA solarium. Holiday is the perfect time to wind down and spoil oneself, thus Samsara Spa helps you to achieve just that. The spa’s employees are more than happy to pamper you without having to travel far from your room, providing effective treatments to ensure that you are well rested, fully relaxed and rejuvenated in mind, body and soul.
Making sure that no age groups are left out, activities for teenagers such as dancing and music classes, sports tournaments, games, themed dinners and more are specially prepared for them. These help them create new friendships and enjoy their holiday onboard Costa. They got your backs!
Only for children over 3 years old, the Squok Club organises games, dances and mini tournaments so that parents can have some quiet time for themselves, perhaps a romantic dinner together. There is also a play area where parents can send their kids for a playdate or participate in activities at the designated areas such as parents versus children family game, ‘Where is the ghost?’ game, bubble game and objects hunt.
|Top 3 #CruiseTips for Health & Wellness
Costa neoRomantica is literally a floating hotel. Designed with comfort and experience in mind, ensuring their guests remember every beautiful moment onboard while providing service that exceeds expectations.
Costa neoRomantica features 789 cabins in total, including 28 suites with private balcony and 46 cabins with private balcony.
Every section has a dedicated room steward taking care of your every need, attending to room queries and sharing valuable cruise tips. ‘Today. The Daily Program’ sheet is sent to the room every evening for easier activity planning the next day, and housekeeping replenishes the fruit platter daily. The room and turndown services are impeccable.
If you are one of those who are sceptical in taking cruise holidays, I suggest that you give Costa Cruises, especially Costa neoRomantica, a try. Who knows, it may just convert you into an avid cruise traveller who constantly wants to sail, sail, sail away…
|Top 3 #CruiseTips on the overall cruise experience