Costa Cruises' new flagship vessel, Costa Firenze will debut in Genoa, Italy, in December 2020, as a follow up to the 2019 Vista-class Costa Venezia.
Themed on the Italian city of Florence, the 5,246-passenger, 135,000-gross-ton ship underwent sea trials in October 2020 and is currently in the final stages of build at Fincantieri's shipyard in Marghera, Venice.
Like Costa Venezia, Costa Firenze has been designed specifically for the Asian market, with a selection of Chinese dining venues and a large casino on board. Though, due to the line's programming changes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ship will now spend its first year in Europe, sailing Western Mediterranean itineraries.
The central focus and social hub of Costa Firenze is the grand three-deck atrium, Piazza della Signoria, featuring a circular bar with plenty of seating surrounded by ornate marble columns topped with Italian sculptures and Renaissance-style decor.
Costa Firenze features 13 restaurants and seven bars and lounges.
There's a strong emphasis on Italian cuisine, with dining venues including Palazzo Vecchio and Ristorante dei Medici main dining rooms; Restaurant Versilia buffet; Fiorentina Steak House; Teppanyaki; Frutti di Mare; Restaurant Casanova and Lanai BBQ. There's also a dim sum and burger bar, Pizza Napoli, Seafood Shack, Dolce Vita ice-cream parlor and the option of room service.
There's a solid selection of drinking venues, including The Fashion Lounge, Viareggio Lounge, Bella Bar, Tuscany Lounge, Lounge Della Moda, Versilia Pool Bar and Bar del Conte.
The main piazza is sandwiched between the two-deck Teatro Rosso theatre and the large Casino Dea Bendata.
For outdoor fun there's La Laguna, a multi-story water park with two slides and a splash zone, two swimming pools, one with a retractable roof, a mini-golf course and the Rope Garden ropes course.
There's plenty of sunbathing space on board, including the adults-only Giardino Delle Rose, a Florentine-style rose garden with loungers and parasols on Deck 15, plus ample space on Deck 10 (Versilia Sunshine Deck) and Deck 11 (Lido Deck).
For wellness and fitness there's the Bellezza Spa and Gym, an alfresco fitness area called the Fitness Garden, the Activity Deck and a jogging track.
Kids are well catered for with The Squok Club for three to 11 year olds, while the outdoor Teen Zone and indoor Teen Lounge provides spaces for teenagers.
There's also an art gallery, the Ponte Vecchio Boutiques, the Card Room, Photo Gallery, Shore Excursions and Guest Services desk.
The ship's 2,136 cabins -- spread over 11 decks -- are available in Inside, Outside, Balcony and Suite categories. All cabins can accommodate up to four passengers.
Single cabin options are available in all room types. Cabins for disabled passengers and interconnecting cabins are also available.
All cabins feature a bathroom with shower; one Queen bed/two single beds, with two additional beds available for third and fourth passengers; adjustable air conditioning with thermostat; flat-screen TV, hairdryer, toiletries, pool towel, safe, telephone and sockets for power supply 220 -110 Volt/60 Hz.
Balconies feature an outdoor table and two chairs.
Suites are available in Mini Suite or Suite categories. Suite-class cabins feature larger balconies, soft toweling bathrobe and flip flops, a courtesy bottle of sparkling wine, personal butler service available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and a premium bathroom with a hydro-massage shower.
Suite-class passengers also get priority boarding and disembarkation, a dedicated restaurant, a day pass at the spa and discounts on excursions.
Gratuities are not included in fares and are priced at:
Adults: €10 per day
Children aged 15 to 18: €10 per day
Children aged four to 14: €5 per day
Children under four: free
Costa Firenze will sail seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Genoa, starting December 27, 2020, calling at La Spezia, Naples, Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille.
From May 16 to October 10, 2021, the ship will sail an adjusted Western Mediterranean itinerary, calling at Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Ibiza, Barcelona and Marseille.
Costa Firenze is expected to reposition to Asia in late 2021.
In 2006, Costa Cruises became the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market and provide passengers with the experience of "Italy at sea."
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A great cruise and I am not sorry that the ship will leave the fleet.