Celestyal Experience

Former names: Costa Romantica, Costa neoRomantica

Celestyal Experience last position

Celestyal Experience last location was at Aegean Sea (coordinates 37.93800 N / 23.63766 E) cruising en route to PIRAEUS (GR). The AIS position was reported 2 weeks ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Celestyal Experience

Year built1993  /  Age: 27
Flag state Italy
BuilderFincantieri (Marghera, Italy)
Building costUSD 325 million
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorCosta Cruises
Speed19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph
Length (LOA)220 m / 722 ft
Beam (width)31 m / 102 ft
Gross Tonnage56769 gt
Passengers1578 - 1894
Passengers-to-space ratio30
Decks with cabins8
Last Refurbishment2017
Sister-shipsCosta neoClassica (Grand Classica)
Former namesCosta Romantica, Costa neoRomantica
Christened byMaria Alessandra Fantoni (for Costa Cruises)
Celestyal Cruises Coronavirus update

Celestyal Experience Review

Review of Celestyal Experience

The 1993-built (as "Costa Romantica") Celestyal Experience cruise ship ("Costa neoRomantica" until 2020) is the second of the two Costa Cruises Classica-class liners, together with Costa neoClassica (now Grand Classica). In July 2020, the 27-years-old liner was sold to Celestyal Cruises and renamed "Celestyal Experience".

Costa neoRomantica cruise ship

The 56,769-ton, 1344-passenger ship Costa Romantica started a whole new life after the 2011 refurbishment resulting in the new Costa neoRomantica ship. The new Romantica added ~3000 tons to her weight, along with two brand new half decks and many new cabins (including with balconies). A service fee of six euros (approximately $7.20) is included to the onboard account of every traveler, every day. Half that sum is charged for kids under the age of eighteen years. This sum is divided as follows: two euros to the cabin steward(ess), two euros to the waiter and assistant waiter, and two euros to the personnel in Il Giardino. A 15 % service fee is included in bills for beverages and for salon and spa services.

Besides the ship's staff and crew, Costa cruise passengers were also served by Peper robots - the latest cyborg technology implemented fleetwide in 2016. These humanoid robots greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the cruise by providing information and tips on onboard dining, entertainment, enrichment program (workshops, pre-scheduled events), casino and shopping promotions, shore excursions and tours. Pepper robots are mobile and communicate in 3 languages (English, German, Italian). They can also interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and facial expressions.

Cruise itinerary program

Celestyal Experience ship's itinerary program starts in 2021 (March 6) with a 7-day Inaugural Cruise itinerary (themed as "Three Continents" / Holy Land). The maiden voyage visits Greece (Piraeus-Athens), Turkey (Kusadasi-Ephesus), Israel (Ashdod-Jerusalem), Egypt (Port Said-Cairo), Cyprus (Limassol) and Rhodes Island.

On April 3, 2021, Celestyal Experience officially starts its summer 2021 cruise program based on the 7-day "Idyllic Aegean" itinerary that visits Piraeus-Athens, Rhodes Island, Agios Nikolaos (Crete), Thira (Santorini Island), Adamas (Milos Island), Mykonos Island, Kusadasi-Ephesus. In late-summer 2021, the ship operates the 7-day "Eclectic Aegean" itinerary (17x shore excursions, call ports Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Volos Island, Santorini, Piraeus-Athens).

During its inaugural cruise season 2021, Celestyal Experience also sails the "Versatile Aegean " itinerary (7-day) in which is added Thessaloniki (new homeport for Celestyal Cruises), Istanbul (overnight), Canakkale (Troy, Turkey) and Volos Greece (port to Meteora's monasteries).

Celestyal Experience was scheduled to undertake the itinerary program of Celestyal Crystal ("Three Continents" in spring and winter, and "Idyllic Aegean" in summer and autumn). Early-booking prices started from USD 700 per person (double-occupancy cabin rates).

Costa neoRomantica itinerary program was previously based on late-spring Transatlantic crossings, summer Canary Islands cruises and early-fall starting Around the World Voyages.

Since April 2017, the ship was based in Asia. Costa neoRomantica arrived in homeport Shanghai China on April 10, 2017, following a 23-day repositioning cruise (departing March 18) from Port Louis (Mauritius) and visiting Port Victoria, Male, Colombo, Phuket, Singapore, Danang, Hong Kong. The ship was then drydock refurbished in Shanghai to be customized for the Chinese passenger sourcing. neoRomantica's first Asian cruise started on April 24, 2017 (roundtrip itinerary out of Shanghai).

The new Costa Asia itineraries visited popular port destinations in Korea (Sokcho, Busan), Russia (Vladivostok) and Japan (Aomori, Hakodate, Kanazawa, Maizuru, Niigata, Sakaiminato, Sakata).

For summer 2019, the ship was homeported in Japan for roundtrips from Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Fukuoka. Itineraries ranged from 4- to 8-night visiting ports in Japan, Korea and Russia. In 2020, neoRomantica was planned for homeporting in Sanya China. Costa Asia's China fleet in 2020 consisted of 4 liners (Firenze, Serena, Venezia, neoRomantica).


Costa neoRomantica / Celestyal Experience) staterooms (a total of 789) include 34x Suites, 46x Balcony, 507x Inside and 56x Spa cabins, in all 14 grades. Most of the ship's passenger accommodations are sized 175 ft2 (16 m2) Oceanviews and Balconies. A total of 27 are the wheelchair-accessible cabins. The largest staterooms are the fore-located Grand Suites (505 ft2 / 46 m2).

Celestyal Experience cabins are in more categories (compared to Costa neoRomantica), with a total of 166 balcony suites (6x Grand, 132x Junior, 22x Balcony Suites, 6x Bridge-View Balcony) plus 12x Window Suites. Hier-tier suite passengers enjoy exclusive Suite Concierge services (priority check-in and embarkation, an exclusive dining venue, express luggage delivery and unpacking).

Fleet-first is the A Celestyal first are 4x Wellness Spa cabin categories - all with large-sized balconies.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The Botticelli Restaurant is the main dining room on Costa neoRomantica. It is located on Deck 8 aft and has large windows on three sides, giving great sea views during the day. One of two sets of shades is drawn at night - plain room-darkening shades (ordinary dinners) and shades depicting classic Costa posters (festive dinners). Also for festive dinners, candles are placed on the tables. Il Giardino is ship's buffet restaurant. It is located aft on Deck 10 and is divided into small areas with wicker furniture. Outside the Il Giardino, there is an outdoor area called La Terrazza. Here there are tables for 4 with padded chairs. Service in the buffet is divided into stations. Costa neoRomantica also offers complimentary 24-Hour Room-Service

Costa neoRomantica cruise ship

Follows the complete list of Costa neoRomantica restaurants and food bars.

  • Ristorante Botticelli (complimentary 2-level aft Dining Room with 2 fixed Dinner seatings)
  • Ristorante Club neoRomantica (specialty a la carte restaurant; features French and Italian cuisine, Steakhouse menu and extensive wine list; dinner-only, reservations required)
  • Ristorante Samsara (serves healthy and low-calorie food; with complimentary dining room for guests in Samsara Spa cabins, and a specialty restaurant for other passengers at a surcharge/reservations are required)
  • Ristorante Giardino (self-service buffet restaurant, complimentary; offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea at 4-5:00 p.m., and dinner; in the evening is transformed into Pizzeria, complimentary, with waiter service)
  • Grill Capri (fast food station, complimentary)
  • Pizzeria Capri (lunch and dinner only pizza restaurant, complimentary).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Even though Costa Romantica cruise ship shows her age - in the low percentage of balcony cabins, for example, or fewer recreative or dining possibilities - travelers are very impressed with its Club Squok program for children. The kids' amenities are, as was typical in the mid-1990s, quite little and narrow. Costa neoRomantica provides one dining room, the new Samsara restaurant, a grand buffet, casino, eight bars, one show lounge, 2 swimming pools, and 4 jacuzzis plus SPA. There are advantages and disadvantages to such an international cruisers base. On the pro side, it is scholastic to be exposed to distinct customs, cuisines, and points of view. On the con side, some of the people might seem rude. Because they suppose most travelers are not going to understand them, they do not greet others or apologize when suitable. While Italian is the lingua franca of the cruise liner, only Italians speak it onboard; the Filipino crew members speak English.

Costa neoRomantica cruise ship

Follows the complete list of Costa neoRomantica lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Cabaret Vienna (main show lounge; hosts grand scale show productions, musicals, classical concerts, ballet performances, circus, and laser light shows)
  • Cigar Lounge and Bar (also selling cigars and fine liquor)
  • Sala Carte (cards room)
  • Casino Excelsior (served by the Excelsior Bar)
  • neoRomantica Atrium (multi-deck "Atrio Centrale" - an open-floor area with live music and entertainment)
  • Enoteca Verona (Wine and Cheese bar; has 100+ choices of cheeses and 80+ labels of wine)
  • Grand Bar Piazza Italia (bar lounge serving specialty cocktails, sparkling wines, starters; with live music entertainment)
  • Biblioteca and Internet Point (combined Library/computers room)
  • Galleria Via Condotti (duty and tax-free shops for brand watches, jewelry, perfumes, fashion clothes, Costa-logo merchandise, sportswear, gifts, tobacco, and liquor)
  • Galeria Foto (Photo Gallery and Shop)
  • Mondo Virtuale (Video Games Arcade)
  • Cafeteria (chocolates, specialty coffee bar, and patisserie)
  • Cappella (Wedding Chapel, also used for religious services)
  • Salone Disco Tango (Disco Nightclub)
  • Squok Club (kids lounge with Mini Club (3-6 yo) and Maxi Club (7-11 yo) playing rooms; with complimentary kids programme and supervised activities; complimentary babysitting)
  • Centro Banessere Samsara (2-level Spa and Wellness complex, with Fitness and separate Spinning/Aerobics Room; Venus Beauty Salon, Massages and Treatments Rooms, Japanese TeaRoom, Relaxation Room, Thermal Suites, Solarium, Tepidarium (heated loungers), Laconium (low humidity sauna), Aroma Steam Baths, Thalassotherapy pool, Turkish Bath, Solarium, Saunas, Kinesis Room. All neoRomantica's Spa cabin passengers have free access to most of the Spa complex.
  • Gymnasium (cardiovascular equipment with views overlooking the sea; VisioWeb screens enable guests to connect to the internet and their iPods to use during workouts)
  • Lido Saint-Tropez pool area (with poolside bar and cabanas)
  • Lido Montecarlo pool area and terrace (Montecarlo pool with one Whirlpool; served by Montecarlo Bar and Capri Grill and Pizza)
  • Lido Biarritz pool area (pool with a sunbathing area; served by Montecarlo bar)
  • Solarium (open-air relaxation area)
  • Pista da Jogging (Power Walking/Jogging Track).

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neoRomantica is Costa's 2nd (last) Classica-Class liner, with sistership Costa neoClassica (now Grand-Classica). The vessel was built in Italy (inaugural cruise on January 1, 1993). Its first drydock was in 2003. The 2011-2012 drydock refurbishment (October-March) was actually a major refit at the cost of EUR 90 million. During this extensive drydock stay, 2 new half-deck extensions were added with 111 new cabins and balconies (for a total of 120 staterooms), increasing ship's weight from 53000 to 56000 GT tons.

Romantica debuted as "Costa neoRomantica" in March 2012. Public rooms decorations feature Carrara Marble and rare woods. Ship's decks are named Monte Carlo, Madrid, Vienna, Verona, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam - after the most famous European cities.

Costa deployed neoRomantica to Asia in 2017, for roundtrips from homeport Shanghai (Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal). The new itinerary program started on April 24, 2017. During winter 2016-2017, the ship offered Indian Ocean itineraries (13-day roundtrips) to Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar leaving from Mauritius (Port Louis). The list of other Costa Asia ships in 2017 also included Atlantica (since 2013), Fortuna (since 2016), Serena (since 2015) and Victoria (since 2012).

in July 2020, Carnival Corporation (via its subsidiary Costa Cruises) sold the liner Costa neoRomantica to Celestyal Cruises. The vessel joined the fleet in early-August under the name "Celestyal Experience". Both scheduled for 2020 neoRomantica cruises for Costa Asia (ex-Japan roundtrips) were cancelled.

4-day "Far East From Fukuoka (USD 560 pp)

Date / TimePort
18 Aug 15:00Departing from Fukuoka-Hakata, Japan
19 Aug 13:30 - 22:00Maizuru, Japan
20 Aug 06:30 - 13:30Kanazawa, Japan
21 Aug 14:00 - 22:00Busan, South Korea
22 Aug 08:00Arriving in Fukuoka-Hakata, Japan

5-day Far East From Fukuoka (USD 680 pp)

Date / TimePort
22 Aug 15:00Departing from Fukuoka-Hakata, Japan
23 Aug 13:30 - 22:00Maizuru, Japan
24 Aug 08:00 - 17:00Kanazawa, Japan
25 Aug 10:00 - 19:00Hamada, Japan
26 Aug 08:00 - 19:00Busan, South Korea
27 Aug 08:00Arriving in Fukuoka-Hakata, Japan

Following the fleet expansion, all scheduled for 2021-2022 Celestyal cruise itineraries remained unchanged.

During its Costa Cruises service, the vessel (IMO number 8821046) was Italy-flagged (MMSI number 247817000) and registered in Genoa. The vessel's construction started on April 23, 1992, with the keel-laying ceremony at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard (near Venice Italy). The ship (Costa Romantica) was launched on November 28, 1992, and delivered to Costa Cruises on September 25, 1993.

Costa neoRomantica refurbishment 2017 review

The list of Costa Romantica deckplan changes after the 2011-2012 drydock refurbishment in Genoa (done between October 29 /2011 and March 1 /2012) includes:

  • Two half-decks were added at the ship’s bow.
  • The Theater was replaced with Samsara Spa (wellness complex on deck 8 forward).
  • Oceanview cabins were transformed into balcony staterooms.
  • 111 new cabins were added, 120 of the existing staterooms were upgraded with balconies.
  • Samsara Club Restaurant was added on deck 9.
  • Other major renovations included all public areas and cabin amenities were also upgraded.

In 2017 (April 10-24), Costa neoRomantica was drydock refurbished in Shanghai. The liner was specifically customized for catering to China's passenger sourcing. In 2017, neoRomantica started a new Costa Asia cruise program leaving roundtrip from Shanghai on a year-round basis.

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