Luxury Cruises: Embark upon a European vacation without having to deal with booking hotels and flights, or making dinner reservations and searching for nightlife. Costa Cruises offer an all-inclusive Italian-style getaway for those looking to unwind, experience international culture, and unleash their wild-side. Aboard 11 ships, Europe's youngest and largest crew offer world-class service, accommodations, and entertainment. With nearly 60 years of cruising experience, Costa has 108 ports of call in 37 countries, offering cruises to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and South America.
As an exclusive member of the World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, Costa Cruises is among the best cruisers in the industry, including The Yachts of Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Windstar Cruises, the Cunard Line, and the Holland America Line. The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, awarded Costa its first ever "Green Star" notation for the whole fleet. The award recognizes that all Costa's vessels meet RINA's strict standards of operating in an environmentally responsible manner.
Whether you're looking for some long-overdue relaxation or some jam-packed festivities, Costa offers something for everyone. Guests can calm their mind, body, and soul with a Turkish or Roman steam bath at the spa or opt for a seaweed wrap, shiatsu massage, or aromatherapy.
And just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you have to forget about your fitness regimen. Costa's fitness center offers guests a wide range of workouts as well as fitness instructors on hand to kick your workout into high-gear. For some on-deck training, guests can do laps around the jogging track, tee off with a private golf lesson, or join in a game of water polo or bocce ball.
You don't have to wait to dock to start your souvenir shopping. Peruse through fine, Italian leather goods and Venetian glass figurines at one of the boutiques aboard. And take a lesson back home with you - an Italian cooking lesson, that is - at one of the ship's cooking classes or lectures.
By night, cruise goers can lay all their cards down at the onboard casino or cut a rug on the dance floor. For the more classical-minded, there's a ballroom floor designed to sweep you off your feet. Or if you just want to sit back and take in the scene, Costa offers musical revues as well as live performances by comedians, acrobats, and mimes. Those feeling gutsy can enter the karaoke contest inside the Venetian-style lounges and piano bars.
Every so often, Costa hosts a festive theme night with tarantella dancing, pizza tossing, ice carving and conga lines. And there's no need to spend hours picking out the perfect outfit - just grab the nearest bed sheet - and head to the Caribbean cruise toga party, Roman Bacchanal.
While Caribbean cruises seem to be favored by American passengers, international passengers are more likely to frequent the European and Mediterranean cruises. But regardless of destination, you can expect to see both American and European passengers alike. Spanish is widely spoken among Costa's fleet, whereas English is not the primary language spoken aboard a European or Mediterranean ship. Announcements are made in several languages to accommodate guests, but don't put that language translator away just yet.
For LxM Christina Stewart
Company: Costa Cruises
Web site: www.costacruises.co.uk