Costa Firenze Review and Specifications
Specifications of Costa Firenze
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||Fincantieri (Marghera, Italy)|
|Building cost||USD 780 million|
|Owner||Carnival Corporation & PLC|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||324 m / 1063 ft|
|Beam (width)||37 m / 121 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||135225 gt|
|Passengers||4232 - 5260|
|Decks with cabins||13|
|Sister-ships||Costa Venezia, Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama|
Review of Costa Firenze
Costa Firenze cruise ship is currently under construction and scheduled to enter service in 2020. This is the second liner of Costa Cruises (following the 2019-built sistership Costa Venezia) designed specifically for China's cruising market. Both vessels were produced by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri - Venezia at Monfalcone Shipyard (near Trieste), Firenze - at Marghera Shipyard (near Venice). Each vessel has GT tonnage 135,500 tons, 2116 cabins and passenger capacity 4200 (max / double-occupancy 5260 pax).
History - construction and ownership
Costa Cruises is a Genoa-headquartered subsidiary company owned by Carnival Corporation. Costa is Europe's second largest cruise line (after MSC) with year-round operations in the Mediterranean. Costa was founded in 1854 as a cargo shipping company. It started passenger shipping services in 1947, with regular Transatlantic crossings between Europe (Italy) and South America. In 2000, Costa Cruises was acquired by Carnival Corporation (shipowner).
Ship's design features more efficient use of both indoor and open-deck spaces, with several multi-functional areas. The activity (Lido) deck features aqua park with a water slide, high-rope garden, mini-golf course. The pool deck is covered with a retractable glass roof. The Beach Club (adults only complex) is beneath the glass roof and features a swimming pool, waterslides, rock climbing wall, sports deck area. This deck also has a giant LED wall for movies and other outdoor video entertainment.
The ship has dedicated club lounges for teens and kids, including for toddlers. The panoramic glass elevators also connect the outdoor areas. There is a glass-bottomed skywalk, huge wellness complex (Organic Spa and Fitness), Plaza (with numerous bars and shops), Atrium Lobby Lounge (meeting place with a stage for street performers), large-capacity Theater (main show lounge).
Another agreement (with the German shipbuilder Meyer Werft) was signed in July 2015 and included the construction of 4 new ships. The contract was finalized in April 2016. Of these 4 vessels, 2 are for Costa Cruises (Costa Smeralda from the new Helios-class vessels) and the other 2 for AIDA Cruises (Carnival's German brand).
Managed by Costa Group, the Costa and AIDA combined fleet is Europe's largest. In 2014, one out of every two cruise ship tourists in Europe sailed on either AIDA or Costa ship. In 2015, Costa Group had 20 offices in 14 countries, around 27,000 shipyard employees and total passenger capacity of over 68,000 berths (across the combined fleet). Costa Group also is the leader of China's rapidly growing cruise market in Asia.
Besides the ship's staff and crew, Costa cruise passengers are 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
Costa Firenze itinerary program starts with a scheduled for October 2020 a month-long inaugural season in Europe/Mediterranean, from the Italian homeports Trieste and Savona. Follows (starting November 2, 2020) a 51-day relocation from Savona to Hong Kong.
Costa Firenze's inaugural cruise (7-day itinerary Trieste to Savona) starts on October 1, 2020, and visits Bari, Barcelona and Marseille. On October 8, departing roundtrip from Savona the ship cruises to Marseille, Barcelona, Savona. Departing from Savona on October 12, 19 and 26, the liner has scheduled three 7-day itineraries visiting as call ports Naples (replaced by Civitavecchia-Rome for itinerary October 19), Messina (replaced by Palermo for itinerary October 19), Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille. The last voyage currently available for booking is the 51-day Suez Canal repositioning cruise leaving out of Savona on November 2, 2020, and scheduled to end in Hong Kong (China) on December 22, 2020.
Bookings for all (five) 5- to 7-day Mediterranean itineraries and the 51-day Europe-China relocation voyage were opened on May 6, 2019.
Costa Firenze has a total of 2,116 cabins in 4 main categories: Suites, Balcony Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms with picture windows, Inside Staterooms.
All cabins provide a shower in the bathroom, twin beds which easily convert to a queen-sized bed, a hairdryer, safe, desk, and flat-screen TV. Balcony Staterooms also feature sofa beds as well as paid-for minibars. Wifi is available in all staterooms for an additional charge as well as in public areas. Suites receive free 24-hour room service, slippers, bathrobes plus drinks package and personal valet.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Costa Firenze offers a total of 15 restaurants and 6 main bars. The food offerings consist of classic Italian dishes, fast food, traditional Asian and Chinese cuisine. Italian food includes the menu of 3-star Michelin chef Umberto Bombana in Casanova Restaurant. However, authentic Chinese cuisine is available in the main and speciality restaurants at any time.
Follows the complete list of Costa Firenze restaurants and food bars.
- The Main Restaurant (waiter-served) and the Lido deck buffet restaurant offer Chinese and Italian food from the early hours until night.
- The speciality Lu Hot Pot restaurant is where vacationers can cook their own choice of vegetables, seafood, and meat in a stock pot that is placed in the middle of the dining table.
- Another option is the street food, with Dim Sum offering traditional Chinese food and the Japanese Yan Teppanyaki where chefs work at the passengers’ tables.
- Casanova Restaurant is the ship's stand-out speciality restaurant. Its menu was created by Italian chef Umberto Bombana of 3-star Michelin restaurant Otto e Mezzo Bombana.
- Frutti di Mare is a seafood restaurant serving Venetian and oriental dishes.
- Lanai BBQ Restaurant and La Fiorentina Steak House both feature sea views.
- Napoli Pizza delivers classic Italian pizza anytime anywhere onboard.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Costa Firenze was specially designed to showcase Italian food, lifestyle, and culture, which is why the ship's atrium is modelled on the St Mark’s Square in Venice and there are a couple of real gondolas onboard. The Gondola Lounge is where travellers can have a virtual reality trip through the port city in a gondola and the Grand Canal Restaurant features a “canal-side” walk to admire the Bridge of Sighs - Ponte dei Sospiri. The restaurant replicates the architecture of Venetian alleys and guests are served by waiters specially dressed as 17th century Venetians. Costa Firenze voyages also offer a Venice Carnival party night with Italian entertainment and Venetian masks.
Every night there are shows in the theatre with a focus on Italian productions like Venezia Innamorata, which is based on the life of Venetian lover Giacomo Casanova. The Lounge delle Stelle is where guests can join Costa Venezia Film Festival, being entertained with songs from popular films and watching Venice Film Festival movies.
Despite the Italian ambience of Costa Firenze, the vessel has been designed exclusively for Chinese passengers with much of the entertainment Chinese, including the Golden Party where there are gifts and surprises to be won every ten minutes.
Typical family entertainment is at the heart of the experience, including kids' clubs, mini golf, Rope Garden, and Water Park Laguna for onboard fun. Chinese guests can also enjoy duty-free shopping with luxury brands like BVLGARI, Cartier, and Tiffany.
The ship also features some of the most popular Asian entertainment. 11 rooms are dedicated to karaoke, and the masquerade ball is a colourful take on the famous Carnevale in Venice. Half a dozen main lounges are available for pre-dinner cocktails, plus Bella Bar for bubble teas and fruit juices.
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Costa Firenze Wiki
The vessel is named after Firenze - Florence's historic downtown (centro storico di Firenze) which in 1982 was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Firenze is also the capital city of Italy's Tuscany region, after which is named the fleetmate Costa Toscana (2021).
In January 2016, the shipowner Carnival Corporation signed an MoA agreement with Fincantieri to build 4 new vessels. Contracts were finalized in April 2016. Of these, 2 units were for Costa Asia (Venezia and Firenze), 1 for Princess (Enchanted) and 1 for P&O Australia (TBN-2022). With this shipbuilding order, Carnival Corp had a total of 17 new ships on order scheduled for deliveries between 2016-2020. All four units areFincantieri- built (at the shipyards Monfalcone and Marghera) with scheduled deliveries in 2019-2020.
The shipbuilding order was placed on April 2, 2016. Vessel's construction started with the keel-laying ceremony held on May 26, 2018. Like the sistership Venezia, Firenze's shipbuilder is Fincantieri (Marghera Shipyard / near Venice Italy). The propulsion system is diesel-electric. Ship's powerplant consists of all 5x Tier-II compliant MAN marine diesel engines (two model 14V48/60CR and three model 8L48 / 60CR) providing total power output 62,400 kW.
Between 2019-2021, a total of 4 new ships were scheduled to enter service for Costa Cruises, increasing company's fleet capacity with 43% (fleet of 17 liners). The Costa ship Firenze is scheduled for delivery on September 30, 2020. The naming ceremony is to be held in Venice.
The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock) on November 6, 2019, at the Marghera Shipyard. The float-out ceremony's godmother (madrina) was Franca Pierobon (a shipyard employee). The launch ceremony was attended by Vanessa Li (Costa Asia's VP) and Luigi Matarazzo (Fincantieri SpA's General Manager for company's Merchant Ships Division).
Following its inauguration in October 2020, the newbuild is scheduled for a month-long Mediterranean cruise season. The inaugural cruise itineraries are planned from homeports Trieste and Savona. On November 2, 2020, starts the 51-day repositioning cruise from Europe to China (Savona to Hong Kong via Suez Canal) for year-round deployment in East Asia.
Costa Firenze is one of all 7 newbuilds ordered by Carnival Corporation for Costa Group (scheduled deliveries 2019-2023) and part of company's EUR 6 billion investment plan. Venezia and Firenze are Costa's largest vessels ever homeported in China.
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