Keen observers and experienced cruisers familiar with cruise ship décor will notice some particular similarities between Costa Luminosa and Australia’s own Carnival Spirit.

There are many differences in terms of the holiday experienced offered onboard as the two ships are designed for passengers from different markets, however the two also come from very similar blueprints. It makes for a certain level of comfort if you’ve ever managed to take a cruise on both or indeed others cut from the same proverbial cloth, of which there are actually more than a dozen sailing for various lines around the world.

Costa Luminosa comes from the Costa Cruises stable and is one of ten well-known cruising brands that make up Carnival Corporation. More of a distant cousin than a sister brand, but Costa is indeed related somewhat distantly to Australia’s own P&O Cruises as well as fellow stable-mates Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard and more.

The 2,260-passenger vessel is some years younger than Carnival Spirit however and also incorporates design elements from what is now Carnival Vista, which launched just last year, making this ship something of a hybrid.

Geared very much toward the customer demands and travel style of its core Italian clientele, Costa Luminosa features a wide array of multi-lingual crew, even though English is still the base language used onboard. The ship features an soaring atrium, expansive indoor swimming pool, dual-level nightclub and even a Formula 1 simulator modelled on, of course, a Ferrari. It wouldn’t really be Italian without a touch of the iconic Italian car maker somewhere onboard.

Families are well catered to, with a Kids Club themed from the popular Peppa Pig cartoon series, with all the characters appearing for the little cruisers to play amongst. There are also a number of specialty dining outlets including Club Luminosa, a dedicated restaurant for its most loyal guests.

The ship recently returned to Italy having completed a mega 98-day “round the world” voyage which saw it head as far south as Australia and New Zealand, also including an Asian tour. While not a cruise line widely sold locally, Costa Cruises is available from many travel agents and puts forth a strong case for you to spend part of your next European or Asian holiday onboard.