TRAVEL

The Costa Marina: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

09/22/2011 12:39 pm ET | Updated Oct 30, 2011

The Costa Marina is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Costa Marina.

To The Middle East

The Costa Marina sails to such destinations as Monaco, Malta, Spain, Italy and the Middle East, on cruises that typically last from five to 14 nights.

German Cruisers

The Costa Marina is a midsize ship at 577 feet long and 83 feet wide. It can carry about 776 passengers and a crew of 393. The ship is marketed exclusively to German cruisers.

Special Features

The Costa Marina has distinctive glass walls that give it an open, airy feel. Costa says that the ship's furnishings are minimalist in design, adding to the uncluttered atmosphere of the ship. The Marina's amenities include dining and drinks at three restaurants and four bars. Exercise and relaxation areas feature two pools, three hot tubs, a fitness center, a sauna and a jogging track. Some popular entertainment options are a library, a theater, a casino and a disco. Children get special attention at the ship's Squok Club, which features Sony PlayStation video games. Adults can dance under the stars at the glass-domed Laguna Club.

Accommodations

The Costa Marina boasts 383 well-appointed staterooms. The ship offers a variety of cabin categories, including standard inside and outside staterooms and a variety of suites. All staterooms are equipped with bathrobes, slippers, a safe, shower, telephone, hair dryer and satellite TV.

Cost

Fares vary, depending on such factors as the itinerary, cabin selection and date of travel. On the Costa Marina, passengers can experience such itineraries as a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise for $999 in an inside cabin or a suite with the same itinerary for $2,199.

Excursion

One Costa Marina passenger recommended the excursion to Tunis, Tunisia, describing it as "Our favorite port." Why? Because it was clean and had great shops inside the port terminal. Also, there were no surprises regarding taxi tours, because prices were clearly posted before the tour began and an English-speaking dispatcher escorted passengers to the taxis. The village of Sidi Bou Said was particularly impressive, "with gorgeous white washed houses and blue doors... really worth seeing." Tunisia itself turned out to be a pleasant surprise, the passenger said, and children could even take a camel ride at the dock.

Dining Options

Passengers on the Costa Marina can choose from the main dining room, Crystal; the casual Yacht Club Buffet; and the Club Laguna, which becomes a nightclub after meal service ends. European fare is the norm, with an emphasis on German-inspired dishes. Room service also is available.

Maiden Voyage

The Costa Marina was originally known as the Axel Johnson. It was built as a freighter for a Finnish shipping company in 1969, then converted to a cruise ship in 1990 for Costa Cruises.

In The News

Our research revealed no notable news stories or safety concerns regarding the Costa Marina.

WATCH:

The Costa Marina as it enters Civitavecchia, Italy.

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