For 70 years, Costa Cruises has led the way in Italian style and hospitality on the seas. In fact, they are the only cruise company in the world that flies the Italian flag! Recently in September 2021, I was thrilled to travel to the Mediterranean to experience Costa’s newest and largest ship: Costa Smeralda. With 20 expansive decks featuring over 1,500 cabins, 17 bars and lounges, 12 entertainment venues, 11 restaurants, 3 pools, 1 unbelievable spa and a museum… it is no surprise to learn that this is the 5th largest cruise ship in the entire world!
Keep reading to learn all about my favorite features of Costa’s newest flagship, the magnificent Costa Smeralda…
In my opinion, it is always worth splurging on a room with a view and even better, a room with outdoor space! One of my favorite aspects of cruising is sitting on my personal balcony and watching the world sail by. It is such a relaxing way to begin each day and it really gets you in the holiday cruising mindset. With that being said, Costa Smeralda offers a variety of rooms with great views and outdoor space.
I’d personally choose their Premium Veranda cabin with both an enclosed balcony and terrace. Having that extra lounge space with the enclosed balcony which perfectly flows onto the terrace is definitely a treat and lets you enjoy the scenic views from many different angles. Costa Smeralda’s cabins focus on a simplistic yet stylish and practical design making use of every inch of space. And no matter which cabin you book, all bathrooms are spacious (for a cruise ship) with a beautiful marble design and also excellent water pressure.
With 11 restaurants and just as many bars, there is certainly no shortage of places to enjoy cuisines from around the world along with wine and handcrafted cocktails on Costa Smeralda! Being an Italian cruise line, you can expect delectable pasta, pizza (the pizza offerings on board were my personal favorite), fresh seafood, traditional desserts, and local wines and cheeses. Although Costa Smeralda isn’t dominated with buffets, the ones that you can visit are not overwhelming and truly focus on quality rather than quantity.
But aside from Italian food, you can eat your way around the world on Costa Smeralda with my personal favorites being Sushino, the bottomless sushi bistro, and LAB, an interactive kitchen lab where you can cook up creative global dishes alongside talented chefs. And for those who enjoy a nice drink, I’d recommend the Campari Bar dedicated to the famous Italian liqueur.
Two words: snow room. Costa Smeralda’s jaw-dropping spa complex includes a Hammam room, pool with suspended chairs, 16 treatment rooms, a salt room, relaxation room, beauty salon and yes… an actual snow room. The purpose of this room is to enjoy it for about a minute to aid your respiratory health, improve blood circulation, and alleviate and soreness or inflamed muscles.
And Costa Smeralda’s spa pool isn’t just any pool but more specifically a Thalassotherapy pool – which means therapy of the sea. This special hydrotherapy pool is for adults only and offers forceful jets of warm seawater, similar to a hot tub but much larger. Relaxing in this type of pool should improve your circulation, help with joint pain, and many other therapeutic effects. If you’re interested in exercising on board Costa Smeralda, there is a fully equipped gym with daily classes, as well as a jogging track.
From silent dance parties to a design museum, the variety of entertainment on board Costa Smeralda feels limitless. You can expect live music and shows every evening throughout their 12 different entertainment venues, with the Colosseum theater being the largest spread across 3 decks so it is quite a towering masterpiece of architecture. It is the heart and soul of the ship, often featuring acrobatic shows and interactive evenings of music led by a master of ceremonies.
I was really blown away after seeing Costa Smeralda’s Design Museum, the first museum of its kind on board a cruise ship! You can enjoy walking through over 4,000 square feet of gallery space featuring the history and excellence of Italian design with the most representative “Made in Italy” items. As far as pools go, there are 3 throughout the ship, as well as 10 hot tubs and an Aqua Park featuring many twisting and turning slides for all ages to enjoy.
No matter where you’re cruising to in the Mediterranean with Costa Smeralda, you will never run out of things to do on board. I truly believe it would take someone a few days to see absolutely everything on this impressive ship. In reality, arriving in a new and exciting destination with Costa Cruises every other day or so is just the icing on the cake because their newest flagship is the real star of the show!