I’m sure that when many clients heard that Costa named its new ship the Costa Deliziosa, they thought it meant that the shipboard experience would be focused on its food. While these clients may not be entirely wrong, the Deliziosa is not just about its culinary offerings. As Costa Cruise executives explained, the Deliziosa is meant to be “the ship of pure pleasure.” The line’s goal was to provide a sensual ship that can pamper its passengers in a variety of ways. In other words, instead of a traditional feast, agents and clients should think of it as a “feast for the senses,” instead.
Costa Deliziosa // © 2010 Costa Cruises
After a recent sailing on the ship, it was clear to me that, as far as this goal was concerned, the Deliziosa succeeded in a big way. Sure, the food was great, but some of the Deliziosa’s best features can be found outside its dining rooms.
One of the ship’s most important features, for instance, is its Samsara spa, which the cruise line calls “among the largest and most luxurious wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship.” In addition to a wide range of wellness offerings, a huge fitness center, a Thalassotherapy pool, Turkish baths and a Samsara Ristorante that features healthful cuisine, the spa — versions of which can be found on previous Costa ships — was expanded on the Deliziosa to include special dedicated cabins and suites located within the wellness area itself. The 52 Samsara cabins and four suites come with privileged access and amenities, including special shower filters that remove chlorine and other impurities from the water; special bathrobes, towels and sheets made from organic cotton; an ionizer (in suites); and much more. Guests in the Samsara cabins also get unlimited entry to the communal spa facilities; a personalized wellness consultation; two complimentary treatments; special access to the Ristorante Samsara; and more.
The Deliziosa appeals to the senses through its unique entertainment options as well. In addition to a theater and casino, the ship has a 4D cinema; a state-of-the-art golf simulator; a Grand Prix driving simulator; a PlayStation World featuring the latest PlayStation games; and a roller-skating track (with skates available for rent). The ship also has a fully retractable main pool area with a huge video screen that can be used for a variety of entertainment offerings. Finally, if your clients prefer to view their entertainment on the small screen instead, the entire ship — cabins and public areas — features a dependable Wi-Fi connection.
Of course, while the Deliziosa strives to excel beyond its culinary offerings, the food is still a major draw. In particular, the Club Deliziosa restaurant features menus created by Michelin-starred chef Ettore Bocchia. Also, one of the most popular areas of the ship is La Cioccolateria, a coffee and chocolate bar that serves after-dinner cocktails, espresso drinks and a chocolate fountain into which guests can dip a wide range of treats, including strawberries, pineapples, figs and more.
Travel agents that sell a Costa Cruise should be aware that the ambience onboard is definitely European. While some clients may not find this appealing, this can also be one of the ship’s biggest draws. The international mix of passengers and the sophisticated atmosphere onboard the Deliziosa greatly added to the entire experience. At no time did the American passengers I spoke to feel put out by the ship’s European flavor. For instance, there was no problem with excessive smoking (which is restricted to certain areas), all of the ship announcements were made in a range of languages, including English, and the service and hospitality were remarkably warm and friendly. It would be hard to understand why an American passenger would feel uncomfortable by this European flavor — especially on itineraries within Europe where, presumably, a passenger’s goals might include wanting to meet Europeans.
Another benefit to a cruise on the Deliziosa is the value it represents. While Costa is definitely a contemporary line — with prices that reflect this — the onboard experience feels much more upscale than other similarly priced ships. Whether this is mostly due to the European ambience, the ship’s stylish decor and artwork, its high level of service or the more mature onboard offerings, is not clear. What is clear is that clients — particularly those seeking an adults-only or romantic getaway — who sail onboard the Costa Deliziosa will be treated to a delicious treat for their senses, without breaking the bank.
Ship: Costa Deliziosa
Total Staterooms: 1,130 (Inside, Outside With Window, Outside With Balcony, Mini Suite With Balcony, Suite With Balcony, Panoramic Suite With Balcony, Grand Suite With Balcony, Samsara Inside, Samsara Outside With Balcony, Samsara Suite With Balcony)
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 934
2010 Itinerary: In May, the Costa Deliziosa will return to Savona, Italy, and then continue to Copenhagen, Denmark, her summer homeport, to offer seven-day cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic countries. In the fall, the ship will be deployed on 10-day trips to Egypt from Savona, Naples and Messina, Italy.