Costa Luminosa Dining
Costa Luminosa has four restaurants. Its main restaurant, Taurus, is a beautiful two-deck venue tucked into the aft of the ship. It features gorgeous views from the wall of windows along the back and across each side. One of the best features about its layout is the way the large room is designed into smaller, cozier areas, each with a different ambience, so you don't feel as if you're eating in a banquet hall.
Taurus is open for breakfast and lunch on an open-seating basis. Times vary depending on itinerary, but typically breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dinner is a set-seating, set-time scenario with two options: 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Breakfast is primarily a buffet, largely identical to what's served in the Andromeda Buffet. The layout features meats and cheeses, delicious pastries, cereal and yogurt; you can complement that by ordering off the menu. (The eggs Benedict was prepared perfectly.)
Lunch is lovely, too -- a low-key alternative to the busier buffet -- and it's ordered off a menu with choices of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Don't miss the pasta dishes, ranging from "anytime" offerings of pomodoro and Bolognese to specials like pesto. Each one we tried was absolutely superb.
Dinner is the big event onboard, and preparation of dishes is definitely ambitious -- a sort of contemporary melange of European cuisines with Italian definitely standing out. Once again, pasta dishes were a big hit.
The wine list is predominately Italian, with a smattering of other new- and old-world choices, and it offers bottles from a nice range of price points.
The ship's buffet restaurant, Ristorante Buffet Andromeda, is open for breakfast, lunch and tea (or a late-afternoon snack). Most inefficiently, it operates in a lunch counter/cafeteria fashion, where passengers line up to plod through the various offerings. The quality of the food is steam-table fare, though exceptions include breakfast's omelet station, lunch's pasta station and the hot and crispy just-baked pizza slices that are available from lunchtime through the evening.
There's a small grill by the main pool, Lido Dorado, for casual choices like sausages and burgers. It's open for lunch.
The Luminosa Club Restaurant, located in a scenic spot on Deck 10, is the ship's boutique restaurant. It's open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. For a 25 euro ($34) cover charge, the Club, specializing in steak and seafood, offers four courses, from antipasti to desserts. Surf and turf is a standout, as is the sea bass. Reservations are recommended. The Club is only open for dinner.
It's hard to believe the Samsara Restaurant, which primarily serves passengers on Luminosa's spa plan, is a healthy restaurant because the food is delicious. It's open for breakfast and lunch to package-holders only, but, based on availability, anyone can book a table for dinner. The charge for those who don't occupy Samsara cabins is 25 euros ($34) per person, but it's well worth the price. The restaurant is open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dishes are prepared more healthfully, to be sure (lower sodium and calories, for instance). It's a small, intimate restaurant with plenty of tables for two. Samsara is adjacent to the Taurus main restaurant.
Complimentary room service is available only to passengers who book the premium category of standard balcony cabins and above. Otherwise, expect to pay 2 euros ($2.75) per order. The menu's somewhat limited (continental breakfast in the morning, then a small selection of salads, sandwiches, soup and a few desserts).
Costa accommodates special dining requests with a vegetarian menu and range of dishes that are low calorie or sugar free. It also has special menus for diabetics and passengers with celiac disease; arrangements should be made at time of booking.