Marcia’s cruise aboard the Costa Fascinosa continues to Slovenia and Costa execs speak of the tragedy aboard the Concordia

Venice was yesterday, the next stop on my abbreviated cruise (a kind of taste test of the new Costa Fascinosa,) is the port of Koper in Slovenia.

Koper is a lovely old city in the northern Adriatic known in Italian as Copodistria. It has other Latin names: Capris, Caprea, Capre or Capristo and is not far from Trieste.  After World War I the area became part of Italy and after World War II it was controlled by Yugoslavia. Many guests are heading to the 15th century Praetorian Palace.

I’ll remain on board to talk with Costa execs about recovering from the horrible tragedy of the Costa Concordia shipwreck last January in which 30 lives were lost.

Gianni Onerato, Costa’s President, is very forthcoming. He spoke of the loss, “We will never forget,” he said, and of the line’s new security measures. They involve intense training for all officers at a Netherlands-based program, making joint navigational decisions, monitoring the ship and making certain ship’s officers are identifiable during boat drills.

And the boat drill, conducted before we sailed on our second day in Venice, was thorough. Since Costa guests are primarily European, the safety message and instructions on donning life vests, were conducted in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English.  It was a moving experience.  I believe so many of the officers, crew and passengers were thinking, as I was, of passengers on the Concordia.

The Fascinosa is a big vessel, accommodating some 3,800 guests. She is tastefully done and features exquisite modern art by some of Europe’s leading artists. “Fascinosa” means something akin to fascinating and the décor and names of rooms have a slightly fey feel and are often named for classic films.

Consider the Blue Velvet Lounge – which is red with black-and-white accents. The casino is The Millionaire Club, one dining room is dubbed Otto e Mezzo (8 ½) and the central pool is Blue Moon.

Decks are named for operas: Gilda, Aida, Carmen, Butterfly, Tosca, Turandot, etc.

My cabin was a standard ocean view. It was comfortable, serviced well and very clean.

The spa and fitness center are large and state-of-the-art and dining is classic Italian.

My last port of call, from which I will head home, is Trieste.

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