Friday, February 20, 2009

Costa Fortuna: Entertaining In So Many Ways

Italian-style cruising on Costa Fortuna began with a buon viaggio celebration was and topped off by Costa Cruise Line's signature Caribbean activity, the Roman Bacchanal. Costa Fortuna's supercharged social staff worked overtime to get everyone in the mood and encouraged everyone to be a part of the action. Just watching them begin their sentences in Italian and end them in English (or Spanish, French, or German) could be exhausting. I wish I could keep up their lively pace.

Activities aboard Costa Fortuna included some of Italy's favorite pastimes, such as playing games of bocce, dancing the Tarantella, tossing pizza dough, and making Venetian-style masks during the Festa Italiana, an Italian street festival at sea. Other nights were filled with festivities as well. A welcome-aboard celebration, hosted by Captain Claudio De Fenza on the first formal night culminated with a huge birthday cake to commemorate Costa’s 50 years of sailing in the Caribbean. Notte Tropical, a tropical deck party with a Mediterranean twist concluded with the presentation of an alfresco midnight buffet. Unfortunately, tropical rain moved our deck party from the main lido to the smaller, covered pool, but didn’t dampen passenger spirits. And during the Roman Bacchanal about half of our fellow passengers donned bed sheets for a rollicking toga party featuring Julius Caesar and gladiator games.

There was also a nod to the traditional cruise ship entertainment. Pool games, trivia, bingo, and sophisticated production shows blended nicely with classical concerts in lounges where a wide range of musical styles invited dancing or listening. My favorite show by far was headlined by John Ciotta (pictured above) performing beloved Italian songs and those made popular by Italian-American artists such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Dancing certainly wasn’t confined to the pros on the main stage. It was a delight to see passengers take to one of the largest dance floors at sea in the Conte di Savoia Grand Bar and move to the beat of Latin, rock and roll, and Italian favorites. Ballroom dancing pairs were as charming to watch on Costa Fortuna as they are on television. The number of passengers dancing poolside—every day—was truly remarkable, particularly when the music was Italian or Greek favorites. Thunderous applause greeted the musicians at the end of nearly every number.

Italian language, arts and crafts, dance lessons, and cooking classes were extremely popular and well attended during our cruise. On Valentine’s Day, the arts and crafts project was painting special picture frames for their loved ones.

So, you want to know if Cruise Diva wore a toga to the Roman Bacchanal? You had to be there to know.

For a look at Costa Fortuna, including a link to the photo tour, visit Tomorrow I’ll share another installment from our Feb 8th cruise here on the blog.

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