November 2007 -- To celebrate both the
debut of Costa Fortuna in the Caribbean and Costa Cruises'
60-year Diamond Anniversary, Costa offered the opportunity for
travel partners and media to tour the ship and spend a night on
board upon her arrival in Fort Lauderdale.
Once checked in, I discovered we were assigned a suite for our
overnight "slumber party" (sadly, we were docked all
night). Although we didn't spend much time there, I certainly
appreciated the spacious and extremely comfortable accommodations.
My favorite feature was the dressing area with vanity table in a
small hallway leading to the marble bathroom where I found two
sinks, deluxe toiletries, and a combination jetted tub/shower
enclosed by sliding doors. With its large closets and plenty of
drawer space, I didn't want to leave. And I haven't even mentioned
the sitting area with sofa and easy chair and huge veranda.
More than 60% of Costa Fortuna's accommodations have an
ocean view, and 60% of those also feature a private veranda. With a
double-occupancy capacity of 2,720 passengers (maximum capacity
3,470), accommodations include Grand Suites (8), Suites (42),
Mini-suites (14), Oceanview Staterooms with Veranda (456), Oceanview
Staterooms with Windows or Portholes (321), and Inside Staterooms
(490). Twenty-seven staterooms are equipped to meet the needs of
handicapped travelers; numerous connecting Oceanview Staterooms are
suitable for families.
I felt right at home on Costa Fortuna, and small
wonder--at 105,000 tons, the ship is basically a slightly smaller
Euro-clone of parent company Carnival Cruise Lines' Conquest-class
vessels and we'd just sailed on Carnival Freedom the previous week.
That made it a bit easier to complete my whirlwind tour, although
the size and mix of Costa Fortuna public rooms is slightly
different. For instance, in the style favored by Europeans, the
casino was made smaller to add room for the Conte Di Savoia Grand
Bar that houses a suitably large dance floor.
Costa Fortuna is bold and sparkling without being garish or
gaudy. Copies of posters and advertisements from the 1920s and 1930s
adorn Costa Fortuna's public areas and interiors celebrate
Italian passenger liners as well as the entire Costa fleet, past and
present, up to the time of Costa Fortuna's launch in 2003. In
fact, you'll find the fleet of 26 former and present Costa ships
"sailing" on the Atrium ceiling. Oddly, the up-side
vessels add a whimsical touch to an otherwise dignified space and
the view from the Atrium upper levels is fun, although it reminded
me somewhat of the movie Poseidon Adventure. Another bit of
fancy are door handles fashioned in the shape of a Costa funnel.
In a word, her interiors are stylish, but not boring. Designed by
Carnival's ship architect Joe Farcus, public spaces are reserved,
yet without being humorless. Artwork throughout is captivating,
although if I had one disappointment it is that the decor in Club
Grande Conte--the specialty restaurant--was somewhat