COSTA CRUISE LINES
World Trade Center
80 Southwest 8th Street
Miami, FL 33130-3097
COMPANY OVERVIEW: Because Costa offers year-round children's programs on all its cruises, both European and Caribbean, this line is an interesting option for families, particularly those who want a good-value cruise that's not filled with only Americans. Costa is rated as the number one cruise line in Europe.
Although you won't find as many kids on a Costa cruise as on a Carnival Cruise, during prime family season there's likely to be enough children to make the kids' programs fun. On European sailings the primary language is not English. However, menus and announcements are delivered in four languages and youth counselors are generally bi-lingual.
In 1997, Costa was purchased by Carnival Corporation and Airtours, but Costa continues to operate as an "Italian Style" cruise.
DESTINATIONS: Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Northern Europe, Mediterranean, South America, and Transatlantic sailings.
SHIPS: CostaAllegra; Atlantica; Classica; Marina; Riviera; Romantica; Tropicale; Victoria
KIDS/FAMILY PROGRAMS OFFERED: The "Costa Kids Club" is available year-round on both Caribbean and European cruises. Children are divided into four age groups in the Caribbean: three to five; six to eight; nine to 12; and 13 to 17. In Europe, there are only three groups: three to six; seven to 12; and 13 to 17 years.
Costa Kids Club activities include Nintendo competitions, tours of the bridge and galley, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, Italian language lessons, ice cream sundae socials, a Captain's "Coke-tail" Party, and other activities.
In addition to the above, Costa offers two "Parents Night Out". On these evenings counselors take kids to a special kids dinner followed by the evening program.
TEENS: "The Teens Club," for ages 13-17, engages teens with sports and fitness programs, guitar lessons, video show productions, a rock and roll hour, and other activities.
NUMBER OF YOUTH COUNSELORS ONBOARD: There are always two full-time youth counselors on board in the Caribbean and three in the Mediterranean. Additional counselors are employed as numbers increase. All counselors have child-care experience such as summer camp or teaching and all know CPR.
HOURS OF OPERATION ONBOARD: When the ships are at sea, the "Costa Kids Club" hours are 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and 8 to 10 p.m. The program is closed for lunch and dinner. In the Mediterranean, the Kids Club hours are from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M.; 2 or 2:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.; and 9 or 9:30 P.M. to 11 P.M.
IN-PORT KIDS PROGRAMS: The Costa Kids Club program usually closes on port days (except from 8-10 p.m.), unless there is a large number of children onboard and parents request special activities while the ship is in port. Generally, group baby-sitting is offered on port days, from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and from 2:30 to 6:30 P.M. if requested ahead of time.
BABYSITTING OFFERED: Group babysitting is offered from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. for $10 per child. Youth counselors will watch children free of charge on ports days and will take them to a buffet lunch. Make arrangements 24 hours in advance.
On European cruises, parents are required to pick up their children at the children's room at 11:00 P.M. If parents want additional group baby-sitting, they can bring their children to another public spot where group baby-sitting continues free of charge until 1:30 A.M.
KIDS SHORE EXCURSIONS OFFERED: No.
SPECIAL KIDS RATES: Special 3rd and 4th person rates are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults. On some sailings, a special $199 rate for children under 12 is available.
SINGLE PARENT RATES: Yes
CRIBS AVAILABLE: Cribs are available. If possible, reserve at time of booking.
STROLLERS AVAILABLE ONBOARD: No.
SPECIAL FAMILY FEATURES ONBOARD: Suites that can accommodate up to six family members are available on all ships except the CostaRiviera. All ships have children's playrooms.
DINING OPTIONS: Children's menus, highchairs and booster seats are available in the dining room. All ships have a pizzeria for afternoon and evening snacks.
MINIMUM AGE TO SAIL: No.
COMMENTS: Costa's early booking discount program, Andiamo Rates, offers discounts for bookings at least 120 days prior to departure.
ęCopyright, The Family Travel Network LLC., 2000. All rights reserved.
ęCopyright, The Family Travel Network, LLC, Inc., 2000. All rights reserved.
ęCopyright, The Family Travel Network, LLC., 2000. All rights reserved.