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About Diddn

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Cologne, Germany

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  1. Suggested tips (for cabin attendant and restaurant waiters) are 8 € per person per day. Bar prices are very affordable (i. e. soft drinks about 2.50 €, tap beer about 3 €, several house wines starting at about 16 €/bottle. And good to know: Service charge is already included in drink prices. As service is always between very good and excellent, feel free to give some extra tip. 😉 As the ship (or the tenders/zodiacs) usually go directly to the 'hot spots' (whenever possible; depends on destinations), you may do a lot on your own in most cases.
  2. Hi, we are on that cruise. Stay in Dublin for Columbus is scheduled from 0800 till 1800 hrs (08 am - 6 pm) which means that the ship would have left after returning from the show. Disney Magic will leave at 9 pm. I just checked the schedule for Columbus with CMV and their german subsidiary's websites again and found no change. Enjoy the Disney Cruise. (Sad that we will not hear her shp's horn.)
  3. Regular coffee at breakfast is included as well as tea to all restaurant opening times (tea bags as well as some different kind of teas to create your own mixture). During lunch and dinner instant coffee powder will be provided for free in the restaurants only. Other coffees like cappucchino etc. will be served at every bar during the specific bar opening hours and will be charged. Btw: Aida actually changes from Pepsi to Coca Cola products. Most ships have changed already, the remaining ships will get the change during the next four or five weeks. Prices increase with the change from 2.20 EUR to 2.50 EUR (1/4 liter). Fountain sodas during lunch and dinner are still for free in the buffet restaurants (as well as house wine - red/white - and tap beer).
  4. If you have booked through a travel agent, they are able to arrange name changes (correction of names) for free (but not passenger changes) as long as there are no tickets already produced.
  5. Just want to add that service charge is already included in the prices. No mandatory ad-ons at all.
  6. @cathaana: I am sure there are several english speaking people working for Aida Cruises - they even run a website in english language. As Aida Cruises is a bit different - not only in language - it should be better imho to contact an independent travel agent especially for non-german-speakers to get the right explanations of the differences of their cruise concept and the booking process under german law. As all other competitors, the cruise line's own staff will always sell their own product only. To get a better information, an independent, cruise specialized travel agency would be the best choice.
  7. Would be difficult to find an agency in the US. Why don't use a german agency? German agents are able to handle international bookings for Aida Cruises as well. But be aware that german law will be valid. The main terms are: - Pricing of the cruise is in Euro. Pay only directly to the cruise company - easy by credit card or paypal. Bank transfer will even work. - Prices include all port charges and taxes, if applicable. Price tags must show the "end price" - even on board no additional charges will apply to prices stated in the price lists. - No surcharges, e. g. for the agency, apply. - Travel insurance is NOT included. Should be arranged local, if needed/wanted. - Initial payment at time of the booking is 20 to 30 % of total price (regarding to the tariff you choose). Final payment has to be done 30 days prior sailing. - Rebooking / changes are not free of charge (some exemptions by using the premium tariff). - Cancellations are even not for free. Cost will start with the amount of the initial payment and will rise by shorter time distance to the sailing date and varies by the tariff chosen. - Payments are secured by law. As every tour operator, even Aida Cruises has insurance against insolvency. If you still want to book be aware that you will likely the only non-german speaking couple on board. Emergency announcements will be held as well in english language, but all other communication (announcements, daily programme, entertainment, signposts, bar and restaurant menus, ...) is held in german language only. There is no 'international host' or whatever. Most excursions will be conducted in german language either. As crew is from all over the world like on other ships, most of the crew members are fluent in english. Other passengers do not expect to communicate to other passengers in other languages as german - and many germans still do not speak english at all or do not speak english well for several reasons. With other words: Expect to be completely on your own. That can be interesting (we are just back from a cruise on a ship dedicated to the spanish market where we were the only two germans on board and it was funny even without being able to speak spanish), but it also can be boring. Feel free to pm me if you want more information.
  8. Not totally sure, but I remember 2 holes (without the third one). A limited number of adaptors can be rented out at the purser's desk (as long as supplies last). Deposit of 10 € will be refunded at the time of bringing back the adaptor. In most cabins an adaptor (for 2 round pin EU-plugs) was already plugged in in one of the outlets underneath the desk/sideboard. But that rather seem to be remainings from former guests than standard part of cabin equipment.
  9. @ john watson We stayed in the neighboring cabin 310 once and the layout of the cabin in the video fits to 310 next door (which has a unique layout, means that the bathroom of 310 is 'behind' the desk of 308) as well as the short view of the corridor at the end. I am not in doubt that the video shows cabin 308. You may compare with the deckplan, but be aware, that the small rectangular space between 308 und 310 partly belongs to 310 - it is part of the bathroom of 310 which cabin door opens at the opposite side to a small office space next to the dining room (not visible in the deckplan).
  10. At your time to board we are still in the air. Hope that we arrive between 6 and 7 p. m. at the pier. First flight leg to Amsterdam starts at 6 a.m. local time, that means midnight in Panama. A long trip for us, so the first evening should be short for us. Just look for my girlfriend's shoes to find us. Have a save trip to Panama City - see you onboard.
  11. Hi 2bamboo, we (Susanne and Dietmar) are joining you at this beautiful itinerary. Last time for us on Star Clippers was last year in summer, and after they cancelled a cruise in spring this year we can't await to get back on the Star Flyer again now. As we have a flight from Europe arriving in the late afternoon we hope to be onboard ready for dinner.
  12. Taxi costs between Steinwerder Cruise Terminal and City Center are about 25 - 30 Euro per car each way (metered fare). Grasbrook Terminal and Altona Terminal are much closer to the city center. Therefore taxi is cheaper from this other terminals.
  13. 331and 328 are our favorite cabins. Both are very similar in size to the neighboring cat. 2 cabins. They are built where the corridor has a small corner - that is all the difference. Bed is placed underneath the porthole. That means, that only one side of the bed can be entered from the side. We even stayed in 310 and 311 with access from the dining room. Both of them have a slightly larger bathroom than other cabins, resulting in more shower space. While the access to 310 is through a little office (separated from the dining room, not visible on the deck plan), 311 is accessable from the dining room directly. I would book 310 again, but 311 is far more noisier. The first table of the dining room is directly behind the wall. No experience with the cat. 3 cabins at the aft. For our next trip (starting in 86 days - yeah!) all cat. 3 cabins on the upper deck were already booked at the time of our booking, so we decided to move one more deck lower instead of spending more for a cat. 2 cabin. But, naturally, it is much more comfortable to stay on the upper cabin deck. On all Star Clippers ships the gangway will be outside of the ship's hull. The difference between Royal Clipper and the other two ships is, that Royal Clipper has a tender platform installed on each side of the ship which can be 'folded' out. The two smaller ladies have a smaller platform, every time installed onto the outside gangway directly. While it is (re)movable, you will not find it on a deck plan. I hope my english was good enough to answer your questions and to explain the differences regarding the cabins and tender platforms.
  14. Yes, you are able to explore all destinations on your own. If guests will be tendered due to an anchor place, scheduled tender boats will run mostly at the full and half hour from the ship to shore and at the quarter and three-quarter of an hour back to the ship. You can easily plan your independent stay. Dining at local bars and restaurants for lunch is possible at the most ports. Some stops are just at a beach, and at some of these stops there will be a beach barbecue arranged by the ship's kitchen. Don't worry about cat. 2 cabins. All cabins are relatively tiny, but nice decorated and have all things you would expect at a cruise ship cabin or a hotel room. Your way out to open deck space needs about one minute time. We love balcony cabins on larger cruise ships, but never missed a balcony at Star Clippers ships. Due to the fascination of travelling on a sailing vessel, you will automatically spend more time as usual at the open decks - believe me. ;-)
  15. We did that itinerary some years ago. In all ports of call we just strolled around in the nice towns, enjoyed street life, tasted some local specialties... If wether will be fine, there will be given recommendations by the cruise director about swimming/water sports. Be aware that Palmarola is not a port of call; the island will be circumnavigated in the afternoon till sundown with very nice views. From Sorrent you may do some excursions: Capri island (ferry boats are running; schedule is isted at their office boxes in the harbour). Naples, if you want to see a biger town. Or heading to Pompej or Herculaneum - both cities has been destroyed ba the vulcano 2000 years ago. While Pompej is more kwown and some bigger, in Herculaneum preservation is better. If you haven't been there before, visit Pompej. There they will explain haw life was in ancient times. In Herculaneum, you will see that easier on your own. We have been all there before our Royal Clipper trip, so we decided to stay in Sorrento. Be aware that there is only one of that excursions possible due to the time frame and the distances between. Last but not least some words about Civitavecchia. We arrived early by plane and had a pre-arranged driver who took us and our luggage directly to the ship. While embarcation starts in the afternoon, we were able to leave our luggage and the driver took us back to the small town of Civitaveccia, which we already knew from a former visit. Civitavecchia can be easily visited by feet; 2 - 3 hrs (including a 'glass of wine-stop' in one of the few cafés) is enough. Next to the harbour is a nice 'city'-beach, not overcrowded (maybe on sundays). Even next to the harbour entrance (about 200 meters) is a nice restaurant, "Da Baffone". Looks a bit like a tourist trap, but isn't! Family-owned, original italian food for low prices (try their pasta or fish!), nice italian service (one of the staff is able to communicate in english, and an english menu is available), it is that a 'must' for us, when we are visiting Civitavecchia. Open for lunch and dinner, but not continously open in the afternoon. The cook needs his break. If you want to dive into italian life, take a table outside in the small corner (not in front of the restaurant). That is the meting point for the locals where they use to have lunch. Ask for sharing a table, if all tables are occupied - that is usual there. If there are possibilities for scuba diving onroute should be answered by the cruise director who may arrange a scuba diving excursion if possible. Sorry, no own experience with that. Enjoy your cruise - the itinerary was one of the best we had in the mediterranean sea. And to answer the pirate question: I have never seen Star Clippers passengers in costumes. (That is, related to italian cruising, a Costa thing.) There are no 'themed' evenings on board. Be sure, under sails you will feel like a pirate if you want that - even without a costume. ;-) Greetings Diddn counting the days until our next Star Clippers cruise: 96 :-)
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