Costa has always done an exceptional job with evening entertainment, and each night there was a head-spinning array of choices, from musical productions in the Teatro Duse to fantastic vocalists at the Grand Bar Mirabilis. As the ship caters to European tastes, you might notice that the casino is smaller and dance floors more expansive than on American-centric ships.
Teatro Duse spans decks 1 through 3 at the forward end of the ship, and anchors the main entertainment thoroughfares on decks 2 and 3. Head from its Deck 2 entrance to the 4D Cinema Etoiles, where you can watch 3D movies with additional effects for 8 euros a flick. Continue on to the Grand Bar Mirabilis, with plenty of performance and dance space. The less-grand Galus Casino is flanked by the cigar lounge and the arcade. Past the atrium's lowest level, the colorful, two-story Discoteca Sharazad is as loud in décor as it is in decibel levels at 1 a.m. Its polka dot carpet, funky furnishings and mirrored entrance are dizzying even when sober, but it's the primo late-night destination. Get your bearings again at the Alcazar Bar and Lounge across the way, where you can hear live music.
Deck 3 offers the Excite Piano Bar, an enclosed spot with its own bar and lots of room, located just outside the upper theater entrance. At the other end of the deck, the Valhalla Bar and Lounge flanks the upper entrance to the disco.
The customer service and tour desks are located just off the main atrium on Deck 2, whose bar area is taken up with a large sculpture of a globe (“Sphere” by Arnaldo Pomodoro). The Deck 3 area surrounding the atrium houses the photo and art galleries, chapel, Internet center/library and shopping area. The fees for Internet use are 10 euros for one hour and 24 euros for three hours. Wi-Fi is available in public rooms and cabins, and also incurs a fee.
Costa Deliziosa has two pools on Deck 9, the Azzurro Blu pool midship and the Acqua Regina Pool aft. The midship pool is the main pool, flanked by two hot tubs, mesh-and-metal loungers, a giant movie screen and a bandstand with lots of space for dancing (both day and night) and pool games. The open-air aft pool also has two hot tubs. A little kids wading pool is located in the Squok Club outdoor play area on Deck 11.
The upper sun decks have some nicer furnishings -- wicker seating with plastic cushions, as well as a few very quirky-looking chairs. Here, you can also find a few odd changing rooms that don't quite have full walls.
The Samsara Spa is always a strong point on Costa's ships. It's a playground for the holistic-minded and offers a thalassotherapy pool, an array of aromatic steam rooms, all sorts of spa services (from massage to acupuncture), a row of sun beds and an Asian-inspired retreat where you're served tea after treatments. While the facilities are definitely superior to other cruise ships, the design is a bit odd, requiring spa-goers to lock and unlock doors to get to different areas.
The two-deck spa is on Decks 9 and 10 forward with treatment rooms, a beauty salon and a fitness center with space for group glasses and cardio equipment. There's also a thermal suite with a tepidarium, laconium, Oriental and aroma steam baths, thalassotherapy pool, Temple of Peace relaxation area and tea house. This area is free to use for Samsara cabin and suite passengers; all other passengers can purchase a day pass for 38 euros. (Cruiselong passes are also available.) The spa locker rooms each have free-to-use saunas and steam rooms if you don't want to splurge.
Deliziosa offers some high-tech fun on its upper decks. The golf simulator on Deck 10 is highly sophisticated and offers 37 different courses to virtually play. There's also a more low-tech putting green. On the same deck, the Grand Prix driving simulator gives you the chance to simultaneously thrill and scare yourself at rapid speeds. You'll shell out 12 to 18 euros for three, five or seven laps.
On the lower tech side, Deck 11 sports a jogging/rollerskating track. Also on this deck is a multipurpose sports court.
Despite its more upscale leanings, this is an outstanding ship for families -- with some qualifications. The Squok Club and the TeenZone, not to mention outdoor pools and recreational facilities, are well-designed and executed, and the kids on our voyage clearly were engaged. However, this ship is designed for Europeans so clubs are less elaborate than on North American-oriented ships; European kids and parents tend to do a lot of activities together onboard.
The Squok Club and Teen Zone are located adjacent to one another on Deck 10. Both offer colorful sitting areas and TVs. One deck up is the fenced-in children's outdoor area with wading pool and playground.
Children must be at least 6 months to sail. Programming is available for kids ages 3 (and toilet trained) to 17, divided into four age groups: Mini (3 to 6 years old), Maxi (7 to 11), Teen Junior (12 to 14) and Teen (15 to 17). The clubs are open from 9 a.m. to noon, 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Free group babysitting is offered between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. At off-peak times, kids under 3 can use the children's facilities when accompanied by a parent. Kid activities may include arts and crafts, treasure hunts, dance lessons, sports tournaments, and evening ice cream and pizza parties. There are even a couple of themed dinners with kid-friendly menus.
Parents can request cribs and cots, high chairs, bath baths, pureed baby food and bottle warmers for use onboard. The ship does not sell baby food or diapers.
For the gamers onboard, PlayStation World is an elaborate onboard program that includes video gaming on demand (both in cabin and in the kids' clubs) and PlayStation Nights, which are held on huge, poolside screens. (You can also buy PlayStation products onboard to take home.)