The Costa Serena is the tenth vessel to join the 17-ship fleet of Costa Crociere (Costa Cruises). The Serena was inaugurated in Marseille in May 2007 before embarking on a maiden cruise from Venice around the Mediterranean.

The vessel was constructed by Fincantieri at its Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa and is one of the largest cruise ships in the European sector.

"The central theme of the ship is Greek and Roman mythology."

The Serena, flying the Italian flag, is the sister ship of the Costa Concordia, which was delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and entered service in July 2006.

Costa has ordered ten ships worth €5bn from Fincantieri since 2000. The latest was ordered in August 2011.

The Serena can carry 3,780 passengers and offers 1,500 cabins: 914 outside cabins (500 with balconies), 586 inside cabins and 28 handicapped cabins. A crew of 1,100 gives a crew to passenger ratio of 1:3.1.

There are 17 decks (13 decks for passenger use), all named after Greek mythological characters or star signs. The ship has a cruising speed of 21.5kt and a maximum speed of 23kt. The Serena has a gross tonnage of 114,500t and is 292m long and 36m wide.

Design of the ship

The interior design of the Serena was carried out by Florida-based Joe Farcus and the central theme of the ship is Greek and Roman mythology (reflected in the naming of the bars and restaurants).

The central focus of the ship is the Pantheon Atrium, which is nine decks high and has glass elevators, boutiques for shopping, a grand staircase, live classical music performances and the Atrium bar.

The atrium is decorated with statues of Roman and Greek gods. Many of the public rooms are named after Greek and Roman deities, such as the Grand Bar Apollo, Mercury Salon and the Jupiter Theatre. The Jupiter Theatre is three decks high and hosts a variety of shows and other entertainment for passengers.

Spa

The 2,100m² Samsara Spa is spread over two decks, offering a wellness centre, gymnasium, fitness classes (pilates, yoga, spinning), thalasso therapy pool, treatment rooms (Japanese tea ceremony, rain forest, mud, massage), sauna, steam room and UVA solarium.

There are 99 Samsara cabins (12 suites) that have direct access to the spa. In addition, there is a dedicated Samsara restaurant located eight decks down on deck three, which serves healthy food.

Facilities

The ship has 13 bars (including a cigar and cognac bar) and five restaurants (two large main seating restaurants, a two-deck open buffet, the Samsara and the Club Bacco). There are four swimming pools, two with retractable glass roofs (magrodomes), one pool with a water chute, a children’s pool and five Jacuzzi hot tubs.

"The central focus of the ship is the Pantheon Atrium, which is nine decks high."

There is also a 170m² outdoor jogging track, sports hall, casino, disco, internet cafe, library, grand prix simulator, giant outdoor movie screen (situated on the swimming pool deck), golf simulator, shopping centre, video arcade, the Squok club for young children, a kids splash pool area and a teenagers club with flat screen TV, games and juke box.

Cabin choice

The Serena’s 1,500 cabins are generally 150ft² in size, while outside cabins with a balcony are 220ft². Facilities include ample storage space, interactive TV, mini-fridge, direct-dial ship-to-shore telephone, room safe, shower-only bathrooms and twin beds that convert to a queen-sized bed if required.

Passengers can upgrade in favour of more space and amenities (sitting room, whirlpool bath, butler service and daily fresh fruit, captain’s cocktail party invite). These options include the 279ft² mini-suite or the 337ft² suite or even one of the ten Grand Suites, which measure 456ft² (600ft² with the balcony).