Costa Offers Unique Experience of 'Italy in the Tropics' and Exclusive Spa Cabins on 2008/2009 Caribbean Sailings

MIAMI, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- When sailing Costa in the Caribbean, guests can transport themselves to "Italy in the tropics" via an onboard ambience that captures all the charms of Italy in two ships, and for the first time, they can indulge in the relaxation of exclusive spa cabins as well. Europe's Number One Cruise Line released its Caribbean 2008-2009 lineup today, allowing guests to plan their winter getaways with Costa earlier than ever. Travelers can choose from routes aboard the grand Costa Fortuna and the breathtaking Costa Mediterranea, both of which will sail Eastern, Western and Southeastern routes from Ft. Lauderdale between December 2008 and April 2009.

Costa Brings Innovative Spa Cabin Concept to Caribbean

As the cruise line that introduced the revolutionary spa cabin concept to the travel industry, Costa is now bringing the experience to the Caribbean with the new "Ischia" wellness program aboard the Costa Mediterranea, which will undergo renovations in April 2008. Guests who book one of the 44 exclusive accommodations will enjoy privileges including a personalized wellness consultation, three complimentary treatments, two fitness or meditation classes and complimentary access to the Wellness Restaurant, offering a wide array of spa-friendly cuisine. Spa cabins, available in ocean view, veranda and suite categories, will feature aromatherapy diffusers, special shower and air filters, and a mini bar stocked with healthy food and beverage selections. In addition, guests with these accommodations will be offered priority spa reservation times.

Alternating Western and Eastern Caribbean Departures on Saturdays and

Sundays

The 86,000-ton Costa Mediterranea, inaugurated in 2003, will once again sail seven-night routes departing on Saturdays from Ft. Lauderdale. With design features inspired by the lavish palazzos of Italy, the Costa Mediterranea boasts spectacularly designed public spaces, making the ship feel much like a floating palace. With a double occupancy capacity of 2,114, the ship features numerous staterooms with ocean views and balconies. The 2008-2009 Caribbean season will also feature the return of the 105,000-ton Costa Fortuna, which will sail seven-night routes departing on Sundays. Also inaugurated in 2003, the ship features a double occupancy capacity of 2,720. Inspired by grand Italian liners of the past, stunning design elements include a spectacular display featuring 26 models of past and present members of Costa's fleet showcased from the ceiling of the main atrium. In addition to Western and Eastern Caribbean routes, the Costa Fortuna will sail special Southeastern Caribbean itineraries throughout the 2008-2009 season.

Costa's ports-of-call in the Caribbean include Casa de Campo, Catalina Island, La Romana and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Key West, Florida; Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten, Leeward Islands and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Early booking fares for seven-night sailings begin at $549 and are cruise only, per person, and based on double occupancy. Government taxes are additional. All fares are subject to change and based on availability.

Costa Offers Unique Experience of "Italy in the Tropics" Throughout

Caribbean

Costa's unique and authentic onboard Italian flair provides guests with a feeling of "Italy in the tropics" on its Caribbean routes. For many, sailing Costa offers a "new" way of experiencing the Caribbean ports of call they know and love - bringing to mind the romance and warmth of Italy without having to cross the Atlantic. From homemade pastas and delectable desserts, to Italian greetings including "buon giorno" in the morning and "buona sera" in the evening, the "amore" of the old world stays with guests long after they disembark from their cruise. Festive onboard activities include everything from on-deck bocce ball games, tarantella dancing under the stars and Italian cooking lessons during "Festa Italiana," to the famous "Roman Bacchanal" soirée, where guests don tasteful togas and celebrate as the Romans did centuries ago!

"We hear from our guests time and time again just how unique and special our Caribbean experience is and how it's unlike anything else they've tried in the region - in our 2008-2009 season, not only will they be able to enjoy this flair for la dolce vita that they know and love, but they can also enjoy our revolutionary spa cabin concept in the tropics," said Lynn Torrent, President & CEO of Costa Cruise Lines-North America. "We take great pride in the special blend of Italian warmth and style we offer onboard-within our two ships that sail the Caribbean for five months, we give our guests a lifetime of Italian style memories."

"The Group Experts" Offer 17% Commissions on Caribbean Sailings

From groups ranging from 16 to 1600, Costa has become known as "the group experts" for the ease in which they handle groups both small and large. Travel agents can reserve their groups now for Caribbean sailings in the Fall of 2008 or the Winter of 2009 and earn up to 17% commission with Amore Points while their clients may enjoy bigger discounts as well as a one category upgrade for free. Additionally, the new Wellness Cabins aboard the Costa Mediterranea apply for this discount.

Costa, named "one of the top 10 cruise lines" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, offers an experience that is delightfully different in service and cuisine, in an atmosphere filled with love, laughter and la dolce vita. It's called "Cruising Italian Style" and true to its heritage, no detail has been overlooked in bringing the beauty and hospitality of Italy to the sea. Cruising Italian Style ... that's Amore!

The ships of Costa, Europe's Number One Cruise Line, range in size from 30,000-tons to 114,500-tons, and provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian - from the progressive architecture and stylish design to the unforgettable cuisine and gracious hospitality. With twelve ships in service and three on order, Costa offers cruises that span the globe on itineraries of three nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Transatlantic, Far East, Dubai; and at the end of 2007, the Indian Ocean.

For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit www.costacruises.com.

Costa Cruises is a brand of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:CCL) (NYSE:CUK).

Costa Cruises is RINA certified with the BEST 4, a highly structured system of certifications involving social responsibility (SA 8000, 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). Costa Cruises is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

Source: Costa Cruises

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