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Costa Atlantica Singapore - Costa Cruises Part 1


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A complete review and guide to Costa Atlantica, the newly arrived Singapore based Italian Cruise Ship. Includes videos, photographs, port addresses and detailed information on amenities and activities on board the ship.

About Costa Atlantica

Costa Cruises is one of the biggest cruise lines in Europe, existing since the 1850s. They recently sent one of their ships, the Costa Atlantica to service the Asian Pacific Region. The two types of cruises that sail out of Singapore are the 3 night cruise that goes to Malacca and Penang and the 4 night cruise that goes to Phuket and Langkawi. Chloe and myself just got back a few days ago from the later and here is our review!

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Check out our Costa Atlantica Trip highlights video!

What's so special about cruises?

Never been on a cruise before? Here are some interesting tidbits on cruises you might not have known.

  • Food is unlimited (buffets), all-inclusive with your package and essentially 24 hours. Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner and Midnight Snacks. You can also opt to have Breakfast in your Cabin here.

  • Passports are kept by the ship. So its a hassle-free process when you embark at the port stops. There is no need to go through the immigration process which is automatically done on your behalf. Just scan your Costa Card and off you go!

  • Payment on the ship is done through this same Costa Card which you can link to your credit card or enable with a cash deposit. They typically give you free $100-$200 USD ship credit with certain packages so look out for that, its important! You can even use this credit to buy from their retail shops (Gucci is one of them), Casino and Spa Services and its automatically added to your card already.

  • Costa Cruises has an "All-Inclusive Alcohol package." which is an amazing value package for drinkers. It's basically unlimited Alcohol at any of the 12 bars aboard the ship for about $20 USD / day. Make sure you get it on the first day if you have credit to spend, otherwise you will probably just end up wasting your spare credit at the casino like we did. Opps!

  • Day trips at these ports typically last 5 to 10 hours. Its like having a holiday on a holiday! During disembarkation you can choose to go on an arranged tour through the ship or rough it up free and easy.

  • Cruise ships are decked out with amenities and services. There were 4 swimming pools, a 24 hour gym, a spa, children clubs, bars and discos, a casino, fashion retail area and tons of activities to do on the ship. Although if you're Asian the buffet area will be your main territory, haha!

  • Good cruises have extra amenities like theaters and Jacuzzis. Costa Atlantica had free different performances nightly at their 3 story theater from Magic Shows to Musicals and they were of extremely high standards. More on that later.

The total cost of a 4 night cruise is about $600 SGD. Maybe cheaper, I saw some groupon deals going at $300+ before tax. And children travel free. With a ship as massive and well facilitated as Costa Atlantica, its like a floating hotel. With all meals included, as well as the transport to your mini-holidays, I feel some cruises can be an amazing bargain. That's why its important to choose the right ship so you get the best experience possible.

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Departing Port Addresses

  • Day 1 - Singapore Port - Marina Bay Cruise Center - 61 Marina Coastal Drive Singapore 018947 (You have to take a taxi)
  • Day 3 - Phuket Port (8 hours port stay) - Pier of Phuket Marine Department Entrance of Phuket Deep Sea Port Ao Makham, Thanon SakdidejPhuket.
  • Day 4 - Langkawi Port (5 hours port stay) - Porto Malai

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 Setting sail from Singapore

The Ship

People who appreciate art will be intrigued by all the paintings and statues around the ship. The ship has a very European feel - even all the activities are catered to the more European crowd. Like disco parties, Mr Costa contests, Karaoke nights, Cooking classes and sports activities which the shy Asian crowd did not fully embrace, we were guilty too! Gotta find a way to get us out of the buffet and casinos!

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Things to do on Costa Atlantica

Events:

  • Cooking Classes
  • Art & Craft sessions
  • Salsa Classes
  • Beauty pageants (Adults, Teenagers and kids have their own!)
  • Costume themed parties
  • Karaoke nights

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Sports and Activities:

  • Olympia Gym
  • Sports Court for basketball / Soccer
  • Jogging Track on Deck
  • Four swimming pools, four Jacuzzis. One pool has a retractable cover and water slides

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Entertainment:

  • Ischia Spa and Beauty Parlor
  • Fortuna Casino - Slot machines and table games
  • Dante Disco - Their very own night club
  • Paparazzi Lounge - Live Jazz Music
  • Caruso Theater - 3 Level theatre where you can enjoy different shows every night
  • 12 Bars! - Hangout at the Cognac & Cigarbar or challenge your friends with your own cocktail creations
  • Arcade and children's pool, groups and facilities.
  • Shopping centre and Library
  • WIFI access at all popular common areas

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Note that they provide tour excursion and money changing services, which are at "hotel rates." They also have Internet which is at $10 USD / hour so stock up on pre-paid and maybe auto roaming so you can teether from your phone's internet. If you find all these activities and information too overwhelming, don't worry just refer to their daily 'Today' newsletter for the recommended daily schedule!

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The Food

There are three main dining options.

1. Ginger & Fred on Level 9 - By far the most popular restaurant, this is a self-service 'all you can eat' buffet open close to 24 hours. Now there are 6 main stations so make sure you try them all. The best station and always the one with the longest queue is the Western station which is distinctly better than the Asian and Indian corner. They also have a Noodles bar and Sandwich bar on the outside of level 9. Again, the Sandwich bar is way better then the Noodles bar. So you can choose to eat your meals in the comfort of air-corn or at the outside deck with the cool sea-breeze and view.

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Lastly, there is a Napoli Pizzeria station in the middle. The Pizzas taste fantastic but they don't have much ingredients on them and there are only two variations - tomato and cheese. The burgers from the sandwich bar however over tons of meat so help yourselves! This is open from 12noon - 4pm.

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2. Tiziano on Level 2 - This is the 'Fine Dining' restaurant you have your welcoming dinner at on Day 2. Remember the table number you're given. That will be the same table you're assigned to for the rest of the cruise. Formal attire is encouraged but they don't enforce it, so I guess just dress comfortably? We wore shorts and slippers everywhere and next to us were some Hong Kongers in their fancy suits and gowns. I think we kinda killed the romantic buzz for them, opps!

The food here is really similar to the buffet, but its much better presented with more garnishing and sauces. They typically offer two set courses, a western and Chinese one which you can mix up as you please and feel free to order extra helpings. So its really like a ala-carte buffet served to you course by course. They sometimes have one or two dishes which the buffet does not have, like the Lobster we had on our welcoming day. The soups and mostly everything else is the same though. The service staff here are splendid and usually during dinner they break out into a song and dance! A waiter asked my permission before going ahead to dance with Chloe hahaha!!

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3. Club Atlantica on Level 10 - This is their premier and only paying restaurant on the ship, priced at $33.50 USD per head. If you were one of the lucky ones with $200 USD credit you might wanna spend some of that credit here. I can't comment on it further as we didn't try it, but it seemed popular, especially with the expat crowd.

Highlights of our Trip

1. The live music. I particularly loved Cafe Florian, the most beautiful cafe which had a violist and pianist ensemble on one of the nights. We felt compelled to spend some of our ship credit there to appreciate their artistry and a crowd formed the moment they started performing.

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2. The service - The service staff were amazing, we don't have a level of service like this in Singapore. Especially the Westerners and Filipinos. Our Cabin Steward 'Darwin' was extremely friendly. Staff happily posed and smiled whenever I whipped out my camera, something I am not used to. We felt really special and well taken care off the whole time we were there.

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3. The theater performances were BRILLIANT. Its of a level you would easily pay tickets for at art venues around the world. And they were free! Day 1 was a Magic and Contortionist show, Day 2 a Song/Dance Musical and Day 3 an Acrobatic Performance... think "So you think you can dance". They should really highlight their spectacular shows more on their broaches! And the coolest part? These high level performers also do other duties on the ship while not performing! What a humbling experience it must be to work as crew on the ship!

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4. The view from our room. Imagine waking up to a scene of the sun glistening across beautiful islands right outside your balcony. This postcard perfect view followed you everywhere you went. While you were eating, swimming and even at the gym. And you can never get enough of it!

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The view from our balcony

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5. Phuket and Langkawi - The holidays on a holiday!

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In our Phuket trip we enjoyed eating and shopping in the non commercialized Phuket Town most before briefly checking out Patong Beach, an area thronging with tourists. For a more detailed write up and pictures check out our Phuket Holiday blog at the end of this article!

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We enjoyed Langkawi even more. The ride up the Cable Cars at Oriental Village into the clouds was breathtaking and the highlight of our trip. For the full write up and more pictures check out our Langkawi blog at the end of this article!

Final Verdict

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Towards the end of the trip, Chloe and myself were playing one of our silly games and one was naming our "Top 3 Best Holidays Ever" at the same time. And of course this trip made it to both our lists!

The promotions they have at the moment are insane value for money. Costa Atlantica is like a floating hotel with all meals included, which magically transports you to two extra holiday destinations. Children travel free and you get on board credit! I think they are an absolute amazing bargain at the moment. They are doing all these promotions because they are still new to Singapore. So try and make a booking before they become too popular with Singaporeans and remove their freebies and increase their prices!

You can check out the list of travel agencies in Singapore they work with below, or perhaps take a look at some of the popular groupon sites and see if they still have deals.

Make your booking now!


Articles from our Costa Atlantica Adventure:

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Part 1: Costa Atlantica Overview

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Part 2: Phuket Stopover

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Part 3: Langkawi Stopover



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Costa Atlantica Photo Gallery


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Disclosure: Media Invitation

You can also check out Chloe's blog! (Warning: Its in Korean)

 

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