Italian line Costa Cruises has a treat in store for junior cruisers. It’s called ‘Captain for a Day’ and it’s offered on two ships, Costa Diadema and Costa Fascinosa. Kids can see what life is like at the helm on a daylong adventure that begins with donning their captain’s stripes and ends with dinner at the captain’s table in the main dining room.
Youths participating in the program will receive a captain’s uniform for the day to wear to their captain’s training. They’ll learn the ins and outs of the ship, nautical terms and how to navigate with their own map and compass. Instruction also includes getting familiar with signal flags, learning each flag’s particular meaning and how to spell their name and leave secret messages with the flags. They’ll also see how weather affects the behavior of the sea and have a chance to broadcast the day’s weather forecast on the ship’s in-cabin television network.
“Kids get excited when they see the captain and officers walking around our ships and many say they may want to be a cruise ship captain when they grow up,” says Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, for Costa Cruises North America. “With the Captain for a Day program they’ll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the role the master fulfills onboard, learn a few tricks of the trade and enjoy an experience unlike anything else they’ve ever done while at sea.”
The Captain for a Day program, which can be booked onboard, offers three levels:
The Aspirante Comandante (Captain Trainee) package includes a uniform to wear for the day, the full captain’s training and dinner at the captain’s table in the main dining room with other participants. After dinner, the junior captains graduate and receive a diploma with two 8-by-11 photos to remember their experience. The Captain Trainee package costs about $57.
The Comandante (Captain) package includes all of the perks of Aspirante Comandante, as well as a captain’s hat autographed by the ship’s master for the trainee to keep. Comandantes additionally receive two 11-by-17 photos. The Comandante package costs $90.
With the Comandante Superiore (Senior Captain) package, trainees get to keep their uniform, including an autographed captain’s hat, in addition to all of the Aspirante Comandante and Comandante perks. The Senior Captain package costs $140.
Both ships are sailing in the Mediterranean this fall and fares vary by cruise length and departure date.