Costa Atlantica Family
In the great tradition of famed Italian lines of the past -- notably Sitmar and the Italian Line -- Costa places a high premium on families, and the friendliness of "Cruising Italian Style" carries over to the kids' program. Costa Kids Club offers extensive programs for youngsters, and guaranteed relaxation for parents. Though the kids' facility, the Pinocchio Children's Room, is smaller and less extensively appointed than those of cruise lines known for catering to families (such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean), the physical shortcoming is more than made up for by the large children's "animation staff," made up of from four to seven kids' cruise directors. The Kids Club is broken into two groups, Mini Club, (ages 3 to 6) and Maxi Club, (7 to 12). In addition there is Costa Teens Club, which continues through age 17. For teens there is the Mondo Virtuale (video game room), and teen hours at the disco (through midnight each night).
Each age group has hourly games, tournaments, treasure and scavenger hunts, arts and crafts (t-shirt painting, animal balloons making), special snacks, treats and parties.
In addition, Costa offers two Parents Night Out evenings (gratis), where kids enjoy supervised group activities and special buffets or pizzas while parents enjoy time alone from 6 through 11:30 p.m. Additional nights of group babysitting are available on request for purchase (age 3 and up; must be out of diapers); check current rates onboard.
There is a special children's dinner menu, with pasta, soup, fish, chicken, hot dogs and burgers, pizza, sandwiches and desserts. There is a fountain card available for purchase at any bar, entitling kids up to 20 alcohol-free drinks at a flat rate of $35 (plus a 15 percent service charge).
Besides suites, for families traveling together -- and wishing a bit more space and privacy -- there are 28 pairs of adjoining cabins with connecting doors, including two Grand Suites which connect to standard ocean view staterooms.