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Costa Message: Forever Italy

A couple of months back, we were in Italy, which in our world is always a nice place to be. Today would be an even better time to be there, because it’s Republic Day, a national holiday to celebrate the end of Italian royalty (except for Sophia Loren, of course).

The ship we boarded in Naples that day was the almost-new Costa Diadema. At a press Neil Palombaconference that week it was made abundantly clear by Neil Palomba, President of Costa Crociere, that his cruise line is first and foremost for Italians and that — while owned by Carnival Corporation — it’s run by Italians.

As they say in Italy…si?

He sounded a little defensive, almost as if he was getting some heat with talk of Costa ships going off to America and China, among other worldly cruise hotspots. More than 60 per cent of Italian cruisers choose Costa and this week the cruise line is showing once again it’s not forgetting its roots.

The press release that announced Republic Day celebrations four times on three Costa ships made a point of saying the ships would be flying the Italian flag. Thinking that the ships must be registered elsewhere (most are registered in tax Diademahavens), we found that all three are registered in Italy. As is the Diadema — you can see its flag modestly displayed halfway up the funnel. 

The celebrations are while the ships are docked at ports in Denmark, Germany and Norway, so we can only assume Costa wants to show the locals what they’re missing by not being Italian…as well as involving the Italian embassies, of course.

This is the 69th June 2 since the Italians exiled the monarchy for its unpopular decision to back Benito Mussolini, the dictator who ruled Italy during the early years of World War II, and it’s 68 years since Costa became a cruise line. They’ve grown old — or up — together, and Costa’s never going to miss a chance to remind Italy’s people.

In the news…

• Chinese ship capsizes on Yangtze River; hundreds feared dead
• New Royal Caribbean sale starts today: up to 30% off fares

Today at portsandbows.com: Tallest of the tall ships

Norwegian Spirit
7 nights
December 5, 2015
Port Canaveral (return): Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Maarten
Inside: $519
Cost per day: $74

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