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Last but not least: FOOD! What would an Italian ship be without its fair share of food outlets? Let's start with the room at the top. Hovering high above the La Dolce Vita Atrium on E la Nave Va ("And the ship goes") Deck is the spacious Club Atlantica. Looking more like a nightclub than a restaurant, this room serves as an elegant a la carte dining venue at night, offering dishes devised by Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi. The extensive menu here can be enjoyed for 20 Euros per person, not including wine and a 15% service charge. It is a popular place, so don't forget to make a reservation.

Included in the cruise fare are the bountiful buffets up on Ginger & Fred Deck (9). The spacious Restaurant Botticelli offers all the casual food you can think of in a classy, light and spacious environment. Instead of one huge room, the designers have cleverly spread the casual food outlets over a number of separate spaces, each with their own buffet section. The result is very enjoyable, but opening hours are somewhat limited. I would have expected Costa to offer late night bistro service here, but all Night owls will find is pizza. 

For full a la carte menus at breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests can head for the huge double-deck, 1,300 seat Ristorante Tiziano aft. During our ship visit we enjoy a nice lunch here (excellent pasta!) waited on by rushed and rather uninterested staff. Frankly, I had expected a little more of the Ristorante Tiziano than a "dining hall" full of chairs and tables. If you plan to sail on Costa Atlantica, be sure to ask for a table all the way aft, overlooking the ship's wake through large windows. Oh, and please note that second seating for dinner doesn't start before 9pm on Costa's European itineraries. After all, us Europeans like to linger over dinner!

Club Atlantica

Bar Aurora
Buffet Ristorante Botticelli
Tiziano Restaurant
Tiziano Restaurant
Tiziano Restaurant

Club Atlantica

Club Atlantica
Buffet Ristorante Botticelli
Buffet Ristorante Botticelli
Tiziano Restaurant
Tiziano Restaurant
   

Costa Atlantica has an superb layout, with very spacious open decks and comfortable staterooms. I am somewhat surprised though that Costa appointed Joe Farcus to decorate their new ships. While I am definitely a fan of Farcus' weird, wonderful and sometime brilliant designs for the Carnival fleet, his very distinct decor feels a bit out of place on Costa Atlantica. While the clean-cut interiors of earlier Costa ships (like Costa Classica and Costa Romantica) are certainly not to everyone's taste either, I consider these ships to be better advocates of Costa's Italian heritage than the sometimes psychedelic-looking interiors of Costa Atlantica. But ... no matter what her interiors look like, a cruise on this ship should appeal to anyone that is looking for an upbeat and fun week at sea. Costa offers excellent value for money and welcomes people from all ages and all walks of life with open arms.

Costa Atlantica in the North Sea Canal

 

All photos and text: 2004 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on June 26th, 2004. All rights reserved.