Cruise travelers focused on the Caribbean, Mexico or Alaska probably don’t see many ships from Costa Cruises. Those areas commonly visited by those from North America are not the playground of the Italian cruise line. Just about any other place in the world? The distinctive yellow funnel of Costa ships are commonly found. Make that focus the Mediterranean and we’re talking about Costa’s back yard; a part of the world they call home while other lines simply visit on a seasonal basis. Costa is rarely the first choice of cruise travelers from North America, but maybe they should be. Let’s look at some unusual reasons to choose a Costa cruise
A European Cruise Experience
The first hurdle to get past before considering a Costa Cruise is how comfortable one might be traveling with those of other cultures, backgrounds or from different parts of the world. If looking around the dining room and seeing familiar faces, like a trip to the grocery store at home might bring, Costa could be a bad choice. But if exploring the world with a bit more local flavor is on the table, a more international passenger mix on Costa could work well.
Destination Immersion Before Leaving The Ship
Many cruise travelers who live in the countries of Europe, think of the Mediterranean as we do of the Caribbean. They too sail there often due to the close proximity, abundant ports they can drive or take a ferry to, and ability to build past guest benefits along the way. Like I know a great guide and driver in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, they know locals at nearly every port along the way.
A Taste Of Luxury
Sailing in the Caribbean we commonly see more ‘foreigners’ on higher-priced, more luxurious lines and fewer on big ship budget-oriented lines. Sailing with a more internationally sourced group of passengers on a comparatively inexpensive Costa cruise brings that unique interactive element without the expense of a luxury cruise. In a way, sailing with Costa is a try-before-you-buy way to experience the more international makeup of passengers we have seen on Seabourn, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises and others.
A Taste Of Italy, The Real One
Like visiting a friend’s home who has an Italian heritage, there is no better Italian cuisine on any other cruise line. That’s a big, broad claim probably helped along the road to credibility by ships full of Italian chefs and crew members. Relating back to the world of North American Caribbean cruising, sailing with Costa is like we might imagine dining at Jimmy Buffett’s house when Guy Fieri drops by for a barbecue.
Seriously Safe Cruise Travel
As one might expect after the grounding of Costa Concordia, Costa Cruises might very well have overcompensated for the safety issues raised after that tragic event. That’s a good thing for those who have not considered cruise travel due to personal safety concerns. That’s not to say other cruise lines are not as safe. They are. Costa earns bonus points in the safety area for having lived through a serious event that resulted in higher standards for the worldwide cruise industry.
Dirt Cheap Pricing Close To Home
The flip side of not sailing year round in the Caribbean brings some of the most attractive pricing available for a 7 day cruise. The Costa Caribbean season runs basically from November through March, so late spring break, summer and early fall are not possible. Still, a 7 day Caribbean sailing in December of 2016 starts at $695 per person.
All of the above make for good reasons to choose a Costa cruise. Also significant, Costa is part of the Carnival Corporation family of brands that includes Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn, the UK’s P&O Cruises and new impact travel cruise line Fathom.
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