Saturday, March 28, 2009

Costa Cruises Celebrates 50 Years of Cruising from Florida

When the Costa Fortuna sailed into Port Everglades on December 21, 2008, she celebrated Costa’s 50th Caribbean cruise season from South Florida. In 1959, Costa Cruises became the first cruise line to offer regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades with the elegant Franca C, setting the stage for the modern day cruise vacation that so many travelers from South Florida enjoy today.

“We’re proud to bring a little bit of Italy to South Florida each year with our seasonal departures from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean and value the loyal clientele we’ve established in this market over the years,” said Maurice Zarmati, president and ceo of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “Our modern, state-of-the-art ships may differ from the smaller vessels that set sail in these waters 50 years ago, but one thing remains the same – our warm, authentic and genuine Italian hospitality and flair that keeps guests sailing with us year after year.
”The convivial atmosphere onboard back in 1959 aboard the Franca C was marked by Italians and Americans mixing and mingling against a glamorous tropical backdrop. The 552 berth ship featured sleek, elegant interiors designed by Nino Zoncada and accommodations, all in one class, featured bathrooms and air conditioning, heralding a new era of pleasure cruises. Guests sipped cocktails and played cards on the lido deck, creating the indelible impressions of cruising’s heyday that would eventually become a more accessible luxury for guests to enjoy.
Today, Costa Cruises is still bringing its signature style of “love, laughter and la dolce vita” to guests departing on cruises from South Florida.

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