costa luminosa - costa crociere - cruise ship review & photos

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Costa Luminosa Facts & Figures
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On May 5, 2009, Costa Cruises' brand new flagship Costa Luminosa left Venice on her maiden voyage, only a few days after being handed over by her builders Fincantieri. The 92,600 ton vessel is the first of three newbuildings that will be added to the Costa fleet in as little as eight months; all part of an aggressive expansion program. I joined Costa Luminosa on May 2 for an overnight cruise from Venice to the Adriatic Sea and was taken by her easy layout and friendly crew. Costa Luminosa's interiors are designed by Joe Farcus and are somewhat toned down when compared to earlier Costa ships. The theme on board is "light" and the ship features 120 Murano glass chandeliers and a two-deck high pool area that is covered by a sliding glass roof. 

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Costa Luminosa - Atrium Supernova Costa Luminosa - Atrium Supernova Costa Luminosa - Atrium Supernova Costa Luminosa - Atrium Supernova
Atrium Supernova Atrium Supernova Atrium Supernova Atrium Supernova

There she is. The 10 foot long and 910 kilo heavy lady lies smack in the middle of the 9-deck high Supernova Atrium on Costa Luminosa. The metal sculpture was made by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero and is one of the most eye-catching pieces of art on board Costa Crociere's new flagship.

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Costa Luminosa - cabin corridor Costa Luminosa - Balcony stateroom Costa Luminosa - Balcony stateroom Costa Luminosa - Balcony stateroom
Cabin corridor Balcony stateroom Balcony stateroom Balcony stateroom

Costa Luminosa's 1,130 staterooms and en suites (of which 65% have a private balcony) can be found on six decks. The average balcony stateroom is quite large, with ample closet space for a week long cruise. The flat screen TV features programs in German, English, Spanish, French and Italian - the same language as all announcements on board. One tip is to book one of the aft facing balcony stateroom; they have larger balconies and the view is spectacular.

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Costa Luminosa - Lido Dorado Costa Luminosa - Lido Dorado Costa Luminosa - Lido Dorado Costa Luminosa - Andromeda Buffet Restaurant
Lido Dorado Lido Dorado Lido Dorado Andromeda Buffet Restaurant
Costa Luminosa - Lido Dorado Costa Luminsa - Lido Dorado Costa Luminosa - Delphinus Pool Bar Costa Luminosa - Andromeda Buffet Restaurant
Lido Dorado Lido Dorado Delphinus Pool Bar Andromeda Buffet Restaurant

The hand of Joe Farcus, Carnival's prominent interior designer, is all too obvious when stepping on board. On Costa Luminosa, Farcus has succesfully combined elements of earlier Costa (and Carnival) ships. Copied from Costa Concordia and Costa Serena is the Samsara Spa, with dedicated Spa staterooms and a restaurant. The Lido Dorado with its sliding glass roof is another feature made popular on earlier ships. New to Costa Luminosa are the chocolate Bar (yummie!) and the  skeeler court. This is definitely a family-oriented ship and the kids will love the 4-D cinema, the Grand Prix simulator, sports court and the 3-deck high theater with Surround Sound. Proudly flying the Italian flag, this is a pan-European resort at sea!

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Costa Luminosa - Upper decks Costa Luminosa - Lido Delphinus Costa Luminosa - Lido Delphinus Costa Luminosa - Lido Delphinus
Upper deck Lido Delphinus Lido Delphinus Lido Delphinus
Costa Luminosa - Lido Delphinus Costa Luminosa - Arriving at Venice, Italy Costa Luminosa - Docked at Venice, Italy Costa Luminosa - Aft decks
Lido Delphinus Arriving at Venice Docked at Venice Aft decks
Costa Luminosa - Children's open deck Costa Luminosa - top deck Costa Luminosa - Teen's Zone Costa Luminosa - Squok Club
Children's open deck Top deck Teen's Zone Squok Club

At first glance, the combination of colors and motives used in Luminosa's interior spaces is rather overpowering. Still, once you get used to it you notice it works. Joe Farcus always adds a touch a genius to his ship designs and Costa Luminosa is no different. With lots of muted earth tones, the interiors are definitely toned down to reflect a more European taste. Still, the design team couldn't help using a mind boggling array of furniture and artwork. My favorite spot is probably the Libra Bar with its many intimate seating alcoves and its funky silver couches. The Altair Discotheque is another highlight with its two-deck high wall of TV's. 

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Costa Luminosa - Taurus Restaurant Costa Luminosa - Taurus Restaurant Costa Luminosa - Taurus Restaurant Costa Luminosa - unique door handles
Taurus Restaurant Taurus Restaurant Taurus Restaurant Unique door handles
Costa Luminosa - Libra Bar Costa Luminosa - Libra Bar Costa Luminosa - Libra Bar Costa Luminosa - Altair Discotheque
Libra Bar Libra Bar Libra Bar Altair Discotheque

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the gigantic, two deck high Taurus Restaurant. Count on meals to be served much later than on US-based ships to reflect the Mediterranean habits. If you are looking for a quick bite you can head for deck 9 and the Andromeda Buffet Restaurant. The walls of glass offer spectacular views of sea and shore and there are many smaller food outlets scattered across the room, including Oriental specialties, a pasta station and pizza bar. My tip is to first "walk the room" and see what's available before you attack one of the buffets!

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Costa Luminosa - Altair Discotheque Costa Luminosa - Libra Bar Costa Luminosa - Vega Casino Costa Luminosa - Vega Casino
Altair Discotheque Libra Bar Vega Casino Vega Casino
Costa Luminosa - Vega Casino Costa Luminosa - Grand Bar Elettra Costa Luminosa - Grand Bar Elettra Costa Luminosa - Grand Bar Elettra
Vega Casino Grand Bar Elettra Grand Bar Elettra Grand Bar Elettra
Costa Luminosa - Forward lobby Costa Luminosa - Altair Discotheque Costa Luminosa - Grand Bar Elettra Costa Luminosa - Antares Piano Bar
Forward lobby Altair Discotheque Grand Bar Elettra Antares Piano Bar

With a bit of luck you may eat your lunch alfresco at one of the tables on deck 9 aft near the Delphinus Pool. The are underneath the yellow tent-like awning is very popular - mostly because the pool bar serves up all kinds of coffee specialties. On sunny days you can plunge into the pool here, or find some more peace and quiet on one of the other open decks.

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Costa Luminosa - Sirius Coffee Bar Costa Luminosa - Sirius Coffee Bar Costa Luminosa - Antares Piano Bar Costa Luminosa - Gallery Shops
Sirius Coffee Bar Sirius Coffee Bar Antares Piano Bar Gallery Shops
Costa Luminosa - Bar Virgo Costa Luminosa - Bar Virgo Costa Luminosa - Phoenix Theater Costa Luminosa - Phoenix Theater
Bar Virgo Bar Virgo Phoenix Theater Phoenix Theater

After having spent 24 hours on board, I can safely say this is a ship for all ages. As the kids are entertained in the Squok Club, the teenagers will hang around the Grand Prix simulator. Their parents will love the Sirius Coffee Bar with its divine chocolate truffels (great with cappuccino!) or the ballroom-sized dance floor of the Grand Bar Elettra. Life is good on Costa Luminosa. Or, as the Italians say, ”La vita č bella”!

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Photos and text: © 2009 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com. Title photo © 2009 Jan Ramaker

First published on August 9, 2009

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