4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Costa Cruises is well-known for its Italian ambience onboard, vibrant entertainment and Samsara Spa, one of the best at sea.
The line launched its first passenger ship in 1948 and soon placed an emphasis on its fleet's furnishings and architecture, traits that continue today (indeed, its newest ships feature millions of dollars in original artwork and hand-crafted flourishes).
In recent years, Costa has vastly upgraded its Squok Club, its kid-friendly programming. Its culinary offerings, updated in 2015 with help from Costa's Michelin-Star Chef Fabio Cucchelli, reflect typical Italian cuisine. The line also partnered with Italian brands Barilla, Illy Caffe, Nutella and Ferrari wines, all part of the its "Italy's Finest" initiative.
There's no question: Costa Cruises is a European experience that primarily is geared toward Europeans. But those who enjoy traveling with passengers from a variety of cultures, speak a variety of languages and value the competitive pricing will find this a line worth checking out.
On European itineraries, Costa attracts mostly European passengers from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the U.K. On an average winter sailing in Europe, about 10 percent of passengers are from North America. During the summer in Europe, about 20 percent of passengers will be North Americans. On Caribbean cruises, the demographics are still geared strongly toward European travelers with a healthy smattering of North Americans. Cruises originating in Chinese ports cater primarily to Chinese passengers.
Costa's ships also appeal to a wide range of ages, from 20-something first-time cruisers to retirees, but its fun, active vibe attracts a strong family audience as well as 40-something (and younger) couples.