Costa Cruises made headlines in the cruising industry recently with their announcement that everything old can be ‘new’ again.
According to Neil Palomba, President of Costa Crociere, the cruise line is going to go under an extensive rebranding to give it more of a connection to its Italian heritage.
The ‘Cruising Italian Style’ is coming back gradually to Costa after a long absence and much to the delight of previous passengers. “We are passionate and joyful in everything we do,” he added. “We want to create amazing experiences for our guests and we are proud to be Italian.”
Cruising Italian Style was a symbolic catch-phrase that set Costa Cruises apart from the rest. Costa has been around since 1860 but entered the passenger ship service in 1948. Competition was stiff but word quickly spread of Costa’s ability to provide superior food and friendly, efficient service establishing the foundation of Cruising Italian Style.
In the past 10 years or so Costa removed this specific identity and pursued what its parent company, Carnival Cruises and other major players in the industry were doing.
Whilst in 2014, during the delivery of the Costa Diadema, Costa has gone back to its success formula and is reinstating Cruising Italian Style fleet wide. Costa promises that it is more than just a tagline and the moment the voyage begins, guests will be Cruising Italian Style.
What this means is to offer a truly authentic Italian experience with all the warmth and friendliness from the staff and crew.
The Italian connection continues with the return of the ‘Buon Viaggio Celebration’ (bon voyage party) which begins the cruise and ends with ‘Arriverderci Night’. This is just a sampling of what is to follow for the rest of the sailing.
Meet the captain at the ‘Buenvenuto A Bordo’ a cocktail party and become a national for fun at the ‘Festa Italiana.’ It is as if an Italian street festival has been transported to the water.
Play bocce, dance the Tarantella, create a Venetian mask or enter and have your face painted Italian-style. There will also be cooking demonstrations to pick up some authentic recipes to try at home.
Guests will notice a change with the exquisite cuisine made with the flavors and products of the Mediterranean nation. Italian specialties will touch on fare from Milan to Sicily and include gourmet pizza, pasta, frosty gelato, frothy cappuccino and steaming-hot espresso served in cozy, romantic bistros.
Get ready for your Costa cruise with its version of the Roman Bacchanal. This is yet another favourite and signature nighttime Costa activity from its previous days of cruising Italian style. The Staff will see to it that guests are involved and having a fun time. Walk in the Bacchanal Parade with nothing but a toga wrapped around your body. A farewell talent show will finish off the sailing.
Other nations that share the Mediterranean with Italy are also well represented with the ‘Notte Mediterranea’. This is a special series based on other countries. Entertainment and buffets are themed to the country represented. It could be Spain, France, Greece and Turkey. Special “Guest Passports” are distributed and are stamped each night. Get all nights stamped and you can win a special discount on your next cruise.
Join in conga lines and dance to the rhythm of the steel drums with ‘Notte Tropical’. Complete with Italian flair this event includes ice carvings and tasting typical Cicchetti tapas.
Costa has been gradually pursuing this tagline since 2014, with menu revamps and different performers.
Costa is also aiming to increase their market in Asian waters, with four ships heading to there in 2016.
According to Palomba, the changes are coming as “We needed to take advantage of this increasing demand by adding more ships to the Asian market”.
The new neoCollection fleet which will be a premium Costa experience consists of neoClassica, the neoRiviera, and the neoRomantica which are set to go on longer sailings and to more exotic destinations.
Costa believes its vision of returning to its previous signature ‘Cruising Italian Style’ will make the line the “most successful and profitable brand in Europe while exceeding guest expectations.
Images courtesy of Costa Cruises
Written by Veronica Shine