There is no doubt that we are seeing more and more innovative ships that mark a before and after in cruising, more sustainable, technological, and with new concepts that generate a lot of curiosity and debate. Today I am here to tell you about one of them, Costa's new flagship which, like its sister ship (Costa Smeralda), has arrived to redefine the experience of traveling on the sea. This was my experience aboard the Costa Toscana.
Toscana is a ship that will surprise you, especially coming from the most classic Costa boats. The concept is very different from others. There is no atrium, no two-story main restaurant, nor is there a classical theater. Instead, we find a three-story central square inspired by the Roman Colosseo, with a large floor that transforms into a stage for shows, and with a lot of bars and gastronomic corners around it. Throughout the ship, we have several restaurants with different decorations but corresponding to the main restaurants and all serving the same menu. The conventional theater gives way to a more eclectic show lounge, which hosts everything from events to musical shows and entertainment games, and even serves as a disco at night.
What I like the most about the ship is the number of outdoor spaces it has, especially the Piazza del Campo, right at the top of the stern, with wonderful views; and the promenade that goes around the ship completely on deck 8 with the Infinity Bar at the stern (deck 7), where you can enjoy a drink at sunset while admiring the wake left by the ship in the sea.
In general, it is a ship that is quite different from the rest and that has both lovers and detractors who prefer a more classic and cozy proposal. I love it. I think that both worlds have their advantages, and I like the open, fresh, and dynamic concept of the Toscana, especially to enjoy the outdoors in good weather. It's all a matter of trying and going with an open mind.
I opted to book a balcony stateroom. I would highlight that it is quite spacious although I did miss a little more closet to store clothes. The decoration of the cabins of the Toscana is very colorful and contemporary, matching the rest of the ship. The balcony is great to enjoy the navigation or the views in port. If you understand a bit of Spanish, I show you the details of the cabin on my YouTube vlog.
Something that has a lot of prominence on board is gastronomy. In addition to the main restaurants and the buffet (which was open for breakfast, lunch, and snacks), there are many payment options such as Pizzeria Pummid'oro or Teppanyaki, which I have told you about on other occasions.
One of the new restaurants I tried was Sushino, a sushi bar that offers à la carte options, takeaway format to enjoy anywhere, or unlimited buffet mode, for a price of around €20. I was pleasantly surprised and it is a great option to eat something different and fast at any time.
Another addition on board is the Heineken Club & Bistró, a bar with all kinds of beers, exclusive cocktails, and food such as nachos and hamburgers. You can also enjoy musical performances, video concerts, and even karaoke evenings.
Finally, for lovers of fine dining, the Ferrari bar offers various elaborate tapas such as a crispy sweet potato cigarette or smoked tartar, a complete tasting menu, and the option of pairing with a selection of brand wines. In addition, Toscana has Archipelago, the top restaurant on the ship with three tasting menus designed by Bruno Barbieri, Hélène Darroze, and Ángel León, which I already tried on Costa Firenze and which I repeated here. I love it.
The entertainment options are not a few. Precisely, by having the Colosseo at the same time as the event room, every day there are several shows simultaneously and they are repeated throughout the week so you don't miss any. My favorites are the acrobatic shows at the Colosseo since the space allows you to see it from any angle and the lights and screens together with the mobility of the stage or even the ceiling is quite impressive.
As for amusement, it shows that we are back to normal after the pandemic with all kinds of activities, like quiz games in the bars, the return of The Voice of the Sea contest, exercises and dances in the pool, and all kinds of theme parties. The dress codes, at least during my cruise, were only two nights: the classic white night and the formal night. Even so, we had parties like the silent disco (one of the funniest, with three different DJs to choose from with headphones), the Steampunk party at the Colosseo, or the Candy Party by the pool in the afternoon, with pop hits. I definitely love the night parties at La Spiaggia (the indoor pool), especially the silent disco and the white night.
Speaking of the indoor pool, on board we also have three outdoor pools, several hot tubs, a spa with a thermal area (for a fee), solarium areas, and a couple of thrilling waterslides. Inside the ship, we find the gym, the casino, and an arcade area for all ages. For children, the ship offers the well-known Squok Club, as well as the Teen Zone for teenagers and childcare services for the youngest ones.
This section will depend on the itinerary you choose, which in my case was the Western Mediterranean. When I was on board, we only could leave the ship with official excursions (something that has now changed), so we booked 2 tours with Costa:
The first one we intended to do was the Oceanographic in Valencia but, due to the bad weather in the city, we didn't get to set sail. We spent the night in Barcelona and left the next day for the next destination. As compensation, Costa offered us a credit of €50 per person to spend onboard.
The one I was able to do was the one known as "Palermo and a kiss in Cefalu". The excursion is made by bus with a panoramic tour of Palermo, without getting off, and then goes to Cefalu, just over an hour away. Upon arrival, you take a tour of about three hours through the cathedral, the beach, and the most central streets and then you return to the ship. I really liked Cefalu, and it is an excursion that I recommend since going from the port on your own can be quite complex. In addition, it has the perfect duration to be able to spend the morning sightseeing and return to the ship at midday to have lunch and continue enjoying the ship all afternoon.
As I was looking forward to visiting an aquarium, I decided to book the Aquarium of Genoa. I had already visited it before, but I wanted to return. It is an excellent way to get closer to marine life and be able to observe all kinds of animals from the smallest fish to seals, sharks, or even dolphins.
I would rate the experience onboard as very positive. Everything worked perfectly and there were no problems (except for a lost suitcase that quickly appeared and the impossibility of docking in Valencia, although it was due to weather conditions, something impossible to control). In general terms, the ship feels very similar to the Smeralda, although somewhat more colorful and with some changes that are a success. I reiterate that the best thing about the ship is its external areas to enjoy the sea, as well as the contemporary decoration of all the interior places.
The crew as always was wonderful and I greatly appreciated the return of activities that had been suspended during the pandemic and that make cruises return to the way they were before.
If you want to know more about my adventure aboard Costa Toscana, you can't miss the content on my Instagram profile and TikTok. Also, remember that I shot a three episodes series onboard in Spanish which you can enjoy too. It is a great way for you to practice a new language!
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