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Cruise Ship Information

Costa Fortuna is a cruise ship for Costa Crociere built in 2003 on the same platform as Carnival Cruise Lines' Destiny-class. She was inspired by the Italian steamships of the past. Models of these ships are on display in the ship's public areas. In the atrium, models of the 26 past and present ships of Costa's fleet are displayed upside down, on the ceiling, up to, and including, Fortuna herself.

Atmosphere on board 

If U.S.-based cruise lines are slowing down the rapid fleet expansion that occurred over the late 1990's and into the first few years of the 21st century, Europe-based cruise lines are a different story.

Costa, a member of the huge Carnival Corporation family of cruise lines, is taking the lead. Costa Fortuna, launched in November of 2003, represents a continued evolution. The strategy of the Genoa-based company, as it unveils its new ships, is to provide a mostly European passenger base with the same amenities -- high balcony ratio, an alternative restaurant, and a splashy decorating scheme -- as those that North American travelers now demand.

What's particularly interesting about Costa Fortuna is that it's actually built on the same platform as sister company Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory, and also resembles Carnival Destiny and Carnival Conquest in many important ways. Add to that an American touch on the decor -- this ship, like Costa Mediterranea before it, was designed by Carnival's uber-design-master Joe Farcus. What you get, ultimately, is a pan-European cruise experience mixed with American-style comforts.

Onboard, the ship's decorating theme pays homage to classic Italian vessels (every public room is inspired by -- and named after -- a particular ship) and Farcus has blended a bit of elegance with a defiantly whimsical flair. Costa Fortuna is not as neon-flashy as Carnival and yet is definitely more lively, in color and texture, than traditional European cruise ships.

Family with Kids/Teens

We were less than wowed by Club Squok, the ship's kids' facility. There's no breaking down of rooms per age category (kids from 3 - 12 head to one room), although teens do have their own rather utilitarian area next door. We're told that Club Squok counselors go to a great deal of effort to involve kids onboard in various events, so activities are fairly wide-spread. There is a dedicated toddler pool area with a mini-jungle gym.

Past Passenger Programs

The Ponte Vecchio shop features duty-free Italian designer goods as well as sundries. The library also houses the six-station Internet area, with 17-inch flat screen monitors and e-postcard capability. The 40-seat card room drew bridge fanatics, and the Sanremo Casino has 120 slot machines, along with six roulette wheels, seven Black Jack tables, a mini dice table and five video games. The Puccini Ballroom holds the Piano Bar and private parties were scheduled there, too, during the cruise. The Business/Conference Center has very comfortable chairs with pop-up writing tables and simultaneous translation facilities.


Fitness And Spa

Costa Fortuna has four pools (including one that's kid-dedicated). The main pool area features two pools, a waterslide, three huge whirlpools, a theater area with professional-style lighting and tiered levels of lounge chairs. We loved that when weather got cool, crew members decked each chair with a variety of wool tartan rugs in different colors and plaids.

Our favorite pool area -- we appreciate peace and quiet -- is the Lido Colombo, which can be covered in inclement weather. It's got two huge whirlpools.

It must be admitted -- the spa is rather utilitarian. If you've been on a Carnival Destiny-class ship you've seen it, down to the whirlpool in the center of the fitness facility that appears as if carved out of rocks (that's the most interesting thing about it). The fitness area is well-enough equipped.

More interesting is the ship's tennis court -- it comes with stadium seating (for big-audience events), unique to Costa Fortuna. There's also a running track.

Food & Dining

Mealtimes on Costa Fortuna generally follow cruise traditions rahter than set the pace for new innovations. At breakfast, expect casual fare in Restaurant Buffet Colombo 1954 -- the usual suspects, including omelets made to order, along with cold cuts and cheeses, which are generally more appealing to a European palate.

We loved the breakfast service in the ship's dining rooms more than in the ship's lido buffet. Along with order-off-the-menu items, there was also a dining room buffet featuring continental choices (from danish to cereals), so you could combine the convenience of the buffet with the more elegant and relaxing atmosphere of the traditional dining room.

At lunch expect more of the same, with the addition of an outdoor grill out by the pool, where you can get twice-cooked burgers and grilled chicken and French fries. There's a daily "tea time" in the buffet venue. Lunch in either of the dining rooms (though Restaurant Michelangelo 1965, located aft, has three sides of windows) is a fantastic treat -- particularly on sea days. The menu offers daily specials (the risotto quattro formaggia was divine), and you can always get grilled chicken or steak.

Dinner, as befits a European-style cruise, is the big event on Costa Fortuna -- and most of the attention is focused on a more formal-style meal that can last three hours. Alternatives are basically limited to the Restaurant Buffet Cristoforo Colombo 1954, which is transformed into a candle-lit pizzeria from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., and the chic-chic Club Grand Conte 1927, at the top of the ship, which is quite swish (and has a piano player) -- the ultimate onboard restaurant for a romantic experience. The latter has a 23 Euro service charge.

Room service is limited, as is fairly typical on European ships. Continental breakfast (cappuccino and cafe Americano, pastries, juices, cereal and yogurt) is available. There is also a space on the breakfast request form where you can write in a hot dish -- though there's no menu from which to select. Otherwise, the 24-hour service is limited to a snack selection -- a choice of three sandwiches. For a "snack," there's a service charge of 2 Euros.


One of Costa's most distinctive qualities is the diversity of entertainment. On this ship, because lounges tend to run cozy rather than large, there was something for everyone -- from big venues like the Conte di Savoia 1932 Grand Bar, designed for elegant dancing, to the Bar Conte Verde 1923, for jazz.

Costa Fortuna's elaborate theatrical productions are aimed at its European passengers, particularly on European itineraries, but are unusual and fun diversions.



A standard gratuity of €7 per adult per day for cruises up to eight nights or €6 per adult per day on longer cruises is automatically added to shipboard accounts and distributed to cabin stewards and dining-room staff. The applicable charge for teens between the ages of 14 and 17 is 50% of those amounts; there is no charge for children under the age of 14. Passengers may adjust the amount based on the level of service experienced. An automatic 15% gratuity is added to all beverage tabs, as well as to checks for spa treatments and salon services.

Fellow Passengers


Expect to find that about 15 percent of passengers hail from North American; the rest are primarily from Italy, Spain, France and Germany (and, as a result, on important announcements and during the muster drill each message is repeated in five different languages).

Our recommendation

The Costa Fortuna is one of the most coveted ships in the Costa Fleet. The recent remodels on this amazing vessel make your experience more beautiful, modern and comfortable. With the amazing Galileo Disco and Observatory on the top deck, you can enjoy the 360 degree views during the day then party in the disco at night. Truly a beautiful ship with many wonderful amenities.