Costa Victoria Entertainment & Activities
The main entertainment every night is in the Festival Theatre and is a selection of singing and dancing that can be appreciated, whether you're Italian, French or Japanese. It was all pretty mediocre, but there were some good acrobatics one night from Italian performer Ada Ossola.
Once the show is over, the action moves to the Concorde Plaza, where the entertainment team leads passengers in popular dances like the YMCA. It's quite comical, watching them try to call out the actions in three or four languages.
A singing duo performs each night in the Orpheus Bar, and there is a piano in the Capriccio wine bar, but I never saw it being played. Maybe it's because the pianist was playing each night in the Bar Planetarium, instead.
On port days, there are the usual games around the pool.
Costa Victoria Public Rooms
The Grand Bar Orpheus on Deck 6 and Capriccio Lounge, one deck above, were always busy in the evenings. The former was lively, the latter more sedate. The Concorde Plaza, on Deck 7, was also busy in the evenings. It has a ground floor and two mezzanine decks above.
The Planetarium Bar, across the atrium from the reception area, was invariably quiet, as was La Tavernetta, which doubled as the speciality restaurant in the evening.
These days, the bars usually have areas for smokers. In the Concorde Plaza, smokers can light up on the mezzanine decks, indulging their habits and enjoying the best views over the bow of the ship. There was also a large smoking area in the open-air Cafe Terrazza at the rear of Deck 11.
I noticed that passengers paid little attention to smoking areas and just moved the ashtrays to more convenient spots if they wished. There were lots of smokers, which would upset some people, but none of the rooms was ever smoky.
The casino had tables, but the banks of slot machines were more popular. Also, there were always a few people picking over the merchandise in the Portobello Market Square, which sold inch-of-gold chains and logo wear.
There is a small Internet cafe, but you have to swipe your charge card and pay 50 cents a minute. There's also a library, but it was only open for two hours a day.
Costa Victoria Spa & Fitness
The spa is hidden away on Deck 6 and offers massages, manicures, body wraps and facials, courtesy of Elemis. Prices are at the top end and are especially expensive for Brits, now that there is parity between the euro and the pound.
The spa also has the only indoor pool in the Costa fleet. You have to be at least 18 years old to use it.
The gym is compact, with just four running machines, three cycles, one hand cycle, two step-machines and weights. There is also a daily fitness programme. Aerobics and body toning are free, but there is an €11 charge for Pilates and yoga.
Costa Victoria For Kids
There are separate children's and teens' clubs on Costa Victoria, but the rooms are small and sparse, a bit disappointing for kids who are used to the facilities provided on big, American ships. Costa can also be a problem for British kids, unless they happen to be good at languages. However, parents like Costa because the under-18's cruise for free if they share rooms with two adults.
The Squok Club, open daily on sea and port days (for children, ages 3 to 12), is split into two age groups: Mini Club for ages 3 to 6 and Maxi Club for ages 7 to 12. Both offer activities from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with breaks for lunch and dinner. Parents can leave the children in the club for free if they want to go on an excursion.
The teen club is for 13- to –17-year-olds and has limited activities through the day -- a basketball tournament one day, T-shirt-painting on another -- but comes alive with discos and parties late at night.