Drove down from South Carolina on Friday, used the park and cruise package at the Comfort Suites on US 1. If you stay here, make sure you sign up for the transfers, they go quickly. We had to sign up for the 1:30 transfer. The hotel has a shuttle and there is also a shuttle company available for $5 per person. Since we had booked the package and because the hotel shuttle was not available until 3:00, we paid for the transfer, but the hotel reimbursed the cost. The free breakfast is adequate at best, go across the street to Ernie's BBQ, they open at 7 and have great omelets. Were able to take the 12:30 shuttle, first to be dropped off, there was no line and we were on the ship within 15 minutes.
Rooms were ready at 1:30, this ship is laid out like Carnvial Spirit Class ships, so no surprises. We did not eat lunch since we had a late breakfast at Ernies. Our shipboard cards were in the room, this is different, so we had to find one of the stations to activate the card. This is if you plan to use a credit card. If you use cash, they have another area set up for this. You have 48 hours to activate your card.
We had room serivce breakfast each day. It is European style, so a few cereals, a few rolls, croissants, juice, coffee, cappucino and espresso. Just enough to make it to the buffet or restaurant for a real breakfast. The usual breakfast items to satisfy European and American tastes. Love the made to order omelets. Lunch offers a variety of choices, salads, pasta, burgers, tex-mex. There is always something available to eat. Buffet dinner is limited, not like other cruise lines, they really want you to have a sit-down meal here. Dinner in the main dining room is nice, our waiters were great and the food was good. Asked for a rare steak, came out perfect. No complaints about the taste, although the soups were a little bland. Late seating is 8:45, so it tends to get a little late.
Only saw two shows, for late seating they are either at 7:30 pm or at 11:00 pm. The final show where the crew performs was the best. The musical entertainment was easy listening, jazz, opera, no rock bands. Did not visit the Disco no attend the "Roman" night.
I found our experience on the Atlantica to be very similar to any Carnival ship we've been on with a European flair. The passengers were mostly European, maybe 10% American. Announcements were made in five languages, but they were not constant. Be prepared to pay a 20% US port tax on drinks in Fort Lauderdale and Key West, that's in addition to the gratuity. Happy hour is the best deal, twice a day for one hour, select bar drinks and draft beer (Beck's) are 2 for $7. the mojitos are strong, a double shot per drink. Domestic beer is $4+ and imports are $5+. Coffee, tea and water is always available on Deck 9, free of charge.
We chose self-debarkation, which is from 7-7:30, carry off your own luggage, we were off the ship and through customs by 7:15. It was as fast as embarkation. Hotel shuttle picked us up and we headed back to chilly South Carolina.
I've always wanted to try Costa and visit Roatan, so had a chance to do both with a really good last minute deal. We also got a visit by the upgrade fairy, so it was even better. Wasn't sure what to expect, but everything was fine. I would sail Costa again.