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AIDA for non-German speaking


Bracarense
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  • 2 weeks later...

We only sailed HAL sofar, but we wanted some sunshine in february and did not want to fly to the Caribbean, so we booked the AidaNova for a Canary Island and Madeira cruise, leaving Las palmas on feb 9.

Ships (?) looks pretty nice on the inside, modern decor, lay-out well thought out : restaurants aft, bars etc, midships and shops etc. in the  front. We had a verandah comfort cabin on deck 12, small but comfortable.

We had a Premium booking, so we could pick out the cabin number, got 2 bottles of water every day, 250 mb free internet and a photo.

Will we sail Aida again ? No !

Why? Food is mediocre, some really good ( French Kiss restaurant) but rest is standard hotel buffet stuff. Entertainment is very German ( we knew that in advance , but still...) , renting a movie on the tv in the cabin costs you 8 euros. I must say the options on the in-cabin TV are the best I've ever seen sofar, lots of channels, it's possible to book shore exs etc.

Staff spoke English, cabin steward ( only once a day )was friendly, gym was very well equipped, shore exs were affordable and a wide choice.

So why not again ? Just too many things that became annoying : at every sail way, you can hear Ennia singing " Sail away, sail Away " for about 15 minutes ...., the specialty restaurants ( except for one or two I think) are all next to the main pedestrian thru ways, so you can never find a nice secluded spot, always people crossing the restaurants. Their drink cards are a bit of a scam. We had the Aida light card : only coffee etc. from certain bars ( not at breakfast, then you had to pay again), only " open" sodas and water, so no bottles and not in the specialty restaurants. Bar staff was in general , one exception, not very friendly.

But the itinerary was nice.... and knowing that we have 2 HAL cruises upcoming in a few months made it bearable ;-).

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thank you for your review,

 

"at every sail way, you can hear Ennia singing " Sail away, sail Away " for about 15 minutes . "

that is one think i love at Aida and miss with NCL. With NCL it is like no one notice the sail away  and with Aida every sail away is something special and many cruisers watch the sail away at the top decks. i like this.

 

Aida is not my first choise cruise line. But for a cheap cruise Aida is OK for me.

 

most germans i know loves that:

 

 

 

Edited by Steff79
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Thanks Rotjeknor for your review and for taking the "brave" step of trying Aida.  So many people don't want to come out of their comfort zone and try different lines so we salute you!!

 

I'm sorry your experience of Aidanova was not the same of ours.  However, for the money, (1098 euros for 2 adults and 1 child in an inside basic cabin), we all thought it was an excellent cruise.  We have tried most of the other lines now and would, like Steff79, state that AIDA is more akin to NCL and not HAL, Celebrity, Cunard or RCCI (all of which we have sailed on).

 

Regarding food.  We found the buffets to be of the highest quality.  There was all types of fish dishes, beef and even lobster and a great selection of other foods.  We ate in Fuego, East, the Yatch Club and Bella Nova, all of which were buffet restaurants and included in the cruise fare.  We didn't try the speciality restaurants but agree with you that apart from French Kiss and Time Machine, they were more or less situated in the passageways!  Not special at all!

 

For drinks we just had the drinks that were included - wine, cava, mineral water, pepsi, fanta and sprite.  We had a couple of cocktails, which we thought were fine.  With entertainment, I don't what you mean that it was "German".  All the shows we saw were in English with a couple of songs in German and we were entertained.  We had wanted to see Yellow, which is definitely German but it was cancelled on our sailing of 16.2.19.  

 

Steff79 stated what I was going to state - that Enya and sailaway made for a welcome change for us.  It was refreshing to see a cruise line make an effort with sailaway.  Whenever we have sailed with other cruise lines, apart from Cunard and P&O, we have just slipped out of port without much ado.  In fact, often times sailaway has coincided with the mandatory fire drill!

 

We would defintely sail again with AIDA; not for a special occasion perhaps, but for an affordable family holiday, in the school holidays- yes.  

 

After your upcoming HAL cruises, I don't know what country you are from, but I would urge you to try some of the other lines and then you might re-think AIDA!!

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On 3/10/2019 at 3:30 PM, panamapd said:

 

 

After your upcoming HAL cruises, I don't know what country you are from, but I would urge you to try some of the other lines and then you might re-think AIDA!!

We live in Rotterdam, Aida makes a call every Thursday for 7 day cruise in western Europe. Only 30 minutes to the pier, but even that will not get me on another Aida ship again . Just not our thing. To each its own. Music while sailing away.... ?  :classic_angry: But do enjoy your next Aida , we will stick to HAL or might try Cunard or Princess.

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On 3/10/2019 at 3:30 PM, panamapd said:

Thanks Rotjeknor for your review and for taking the "brave" step of trying Aida.  So many people don't want to come out of their comfort zone and try different lines so we salute you!!

 

 Agree with panamapd and sorry to hear that rotjeknor's experience did not meet expectations. We sailed the Canary Islands on AidaNova in February and enjoyed it very much. This was our 2nd Aida cruise, we're non-Germans, so we knew what to expect.

 

True it's a different cruise than other lines, it's more "Spartan" or simple, although we have to say AidaNova is a major improvement compared to her predecessors. If you set your expectations high, you might get disappointed. Comparing with other cruiselines on similar level, I think Aida is indeed a hidden gem. We had a very good deal for the four of us, so we kept our expectations on par and made the most of it.

 

What we like is the laid back atmosphere, civilised people, good kids club where they also speak English, plenty of activities, the gym is very nice (one of the best and largest gyms we've seen on a cruise with indoor and outdoor area) well maintained and clean. 

 

We booked a Vario-fare online at Aida (cabin allocated by Aida, only 2 water bottles on 1st day) instead of Premium (you choose own cabin, every day 2 water bottles and more perks), which nearly twice the Vario-fare. With this "saving" we decided to book the more secluded (specialty/a la carte) restaurants for dinner in advance, which is highly recommended if you don't like the buffet restaurants. We went to:

- Teppanyaki: kids  (and adults too!) still love the tricks the cook does while he prepared food in front of us 😄 we've seen most of them but still had a good laugh!

- Rossini: the "poshest" restaurant on AidaNova, pleasantly surprised by the high quality of food and presentation here

- Time Machine: food with impressive entertainment, entering the restaurant was for us unprecedented at sea (we got to talk to the Dutch owner of the company that installed the audio-visuals there, very interesting to hear how much effort had been put in this restaurant)

- Churrascaria Steakhouse: the meat unfortunately did not meet our expectations (sorry we're meat lovers and expectations were high!) ordered medium-rare beef mignon/tenderloin but was too well-done. Didn't bother to order another one, service was a bit unattentive here, could get something at "Best Burger at Sea" (inclusive) afterwards...

- Brauhaus: towards the end of the cruise we were pretty saturated with all the food, it looked well though, the enormous pork knuckle looked and smelled good, but I just could not anymore. My DH finished everything though

- Fuego: the only buffet restaurant we went for dinner, our favorite lunch place as well, kids love the soft ice cream machine. 

 

For lunch we went to buffet restaurants when at sea and to nice restaurants on land during port days, we had some great excursions there. When kids were at kids club, we went to the gym (we're not that sporty at all, but this was so convenient!) or just relaxed in the sun in a beach chairs  on deck or hammock on our balcony. After dinner, we had a nice stroll around, watched some entertainment (Voice of the Sea with contestants who are crew-members was great to watch!) and/or danced at the beach club. 

 

What we missed was a mini-bar and coffee machine in the cabin, but than again, for the price we paid, we could not complain!

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, MemeCruise said:

What we missed was a mini-bar and coffee machine in the cabin, but than again, for the price we paid, we could not complain!

if you go again with Aida, you can rent a coffe maschine ( but they are limited), i´m not sure if it is possible at all ships but for my Perla cruise for example:

 

19,90 EUR    ( coffee maschine and coffee for 10 cups )

 

online at service and shops at bord for pre book

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Yes. If you log in at MyAIDA you can plan your cruise. Do reservation, Book excursion and such things .  There are different buttons. 

And one button is named „service and shops at board“, there you find it.  There are other things like a bigger or smaller bath robe to order, things for kids, online news papers........ 

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Thanks Steff79! I will take a better look next time 👍 The kids birthday package that you can order for the cabin is highly recommended btw, they decorate the room, arrange nice presents and Aida goodies, like a handy toiletries bag, soap holder, toothbrush holder and birthday cakes at the restaurants, our birthday boy was very happily surprised and so were we! 

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/29/2019 at 5:08 AM, Animalgirl27 said:

What did you all do to read the daily newsletter since everything is in German?

 

I am just off a 7 day AidaNova cruise.

 

The crew all speak English (the non officers are more comfortable in English than German) but all non-safety announcements and material will be German.

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  • 2 months later...

Animalgirl27 - just saw your post.

 

There is an interactive information touchscreen display/tv thing on most decks, which lets you know what is going on! It is offers a choice of several languages.

 

Re the mandatory drill - on our sailing it was in German and English.

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On 5/29/2019 at 4:08 AM, Animalgirl27 said:

What did you all do to read the daily newsletter since everything is in German?

We don't speak hardly any German but felt that our trip last year on the AidaAura was one of the best cruises we've been on.

 

I'd downloaded the Microsoft Translator app for my smartphone and it allows offline translation from the phone's camera. Hey Presto an english version of the selected area of the daily newsletter.

 

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On 8/16/2019 at 11:53 AM, panamapd said:

There is an interactive information touchscreen display/tv thing on most decks, which lets you know what is going on! It is offers a choice of several languages.

 

As far as i know these displays are on the three new big ships(Nova,Perla and Prima) only. The older smaller ones do have maps on each deck but nothing interactive at all.

The mentioned three newer ships are in general more open for non-german speaking guest then the older ones. So i would suggest all non-german speaking guests to book on the three big ships only.

 

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  • 4 months later...
On 2/24/2019 at 5:44 PM, panamapd said:

First day back from the amazing AIDAnova.  I must admit to a bit of trepidation at first but from embarkation to disembarkation it was fun, sophisticated and exceeded all expectations.  No wonder AIDA is a well kept secret from the UK market!!  Where do I begin?  Drinks - included red or white wine or lager at meal times.  Pepsi, Sprite, natural still and sparkling water all day.  REALLY good choice of food at all mealtimes.  English was spoken by the crew and some other guests, once they knew we were English.  The daily programme was in German but around the ship they have interactive notice boards, where you can select English.

 

There were two hiccups - one was that we were meant to be in Madeira all day but only managed to be there for about 3 hours!!  No explanation given.  We have only ever had a port change once before and again that was in the Canaries so we just had to assume it was to do with the weather.  Secondly, our first cabin on deck 4 was incredibly noisy with the turning over the engines.  I phoned guest services at 1.00am and was expecting to be given earplugs.  However, we were told we could change cabin in the morning.  It was from an inside to a better grade of inside.  We were also given free drinks vochures, so got cocktails with those.

 

All in all it was a very wise decision and we will definitely sail with AIDA again.

 

Hi, Panama you have been very lucky, if he has been able to change. 
We did an AidaVita last year and it was a fabulous cruise despite the language. 
On January 22 we will try with AidaNova, but for the moment, we start our cruise very upset, Aida have assigned us, a horrible cabin with porthole window and in the front, it cannot be modified, at least it is what Aida  said 
 Other friends who haven’t done a previous cruise with Aida have been awarded much better exterior cabins. I'm really disappointed.

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AIDA does not care how often you have cruised with them before.When you book a cabin category without choosing a specific cabin then you can be very lucky or not. But the number of cruises you made with them in the past is absolutely no criteria.

 

 

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1 hour ago, CruiseMH said:

AIDA does not care how often you have cruised with them before.When you book a cabin category without choosing a specific cabin then you can be very lucky or not. But the number of cruises you made with them in the past is absolutely no criteria.

 

 

 

Thanks, Thanks CruiseMH,  I have noticed. 😌 I always say that I will never take a guaranteed cabin again and then ...

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  • 1 year later...

Just booked today cruise on aidacosma (or actually two cruises) since doing B2B from Dubai during Christmas and New Year. Never cruised on Aida before but have been checking out their new ships which look pretty good. So far I have cruised with MSC, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Since I managed Italians and MSC, I am pretty sure I can handle Germans as well. Did nearly same itinerary on Christmas 2019 on MSC so didn't book this one due to places but just want to get some sun and get away from home. 🙂

I took German classes in school for 5 years so I know my basics. Most complicated stuff will have to handle in English then.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I dont speak any German and do not know anyone that does. That being said, I want to book on Aida for that reason. I think I can pick up visuals as to what is going on and go with the flow. Is this a bad idea? Regardless, I have my mind set on it. We have been on well over a 100 cruises but none that are not primarily english speaking and I think this will be fun.

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  • 6 months later...

I have read that an English-Speaking person living in the US should phone AIDA in Germany, or contact a German travel agency that also works in English, to book a cruise.

 

Can someone please private message me with details of a travel agency they used that worked well in English, when booking an Aida cruise?

 

I also read that one should use a travel agency as they can get some included perks, whereas the cruise company will not include them (just like a travel agency in the US does).

 

My wife and I want to take a 14-night trip on AidaPerla from Barbados in late January, 2023. We do NOT speak German, but are up for the challenge of cruising on a primarily German-speaking cruise. It sounds like many English speakers have done it before and liked it. We love the itinerary it has, as it's going to all the islands we have not visited yet, and no other cruise line stops at all of these ports.

 

Thanks in advance.

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6 hours ago, robinsandiego said:

I have read that an English-Speaking person living in the US should phone AIDA in Germany, or contact a German travel agency that also works in English, to book a cruise.

 

Can someone please private message me with details of a travel agency they used that worked well in English, when booking an Aida cruise?

 

I also read that one should use a travel agency as they can get some included perks, whereas the cruise company will not include them (just like a travel agency in the US does).

 

My wife and I want to take a 14-night trip on AidaPerla from Barbados in late January, 2023. We do NOT speak German, but are up for the challenge of cruising on a primarily German-speaking cruise. It sounds like many English speakers have done it before and liked it. We love the itinerary it has, as it's going to all the islands we have not visited yet, and no other cruise line stops at all of these ports.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Hi robinsandiego,

 

just looked into the booking system of Aida Cruises. Exept of the christmas and new years eve cruise, starting at La Romana in the Dominican Republic, all cruises of Aida Perla are only bookable together with air transport from various german airports. My experience says that Aida Cruises will open for cruise only bookings, if that happen at all, only shortly before the start of the cruise, but never before they have sold the last seat of the airplanes they usually have chartered in full for passenger's transport to the Caribbean.

 

Totally non-german-speaking passengers are very, very rare on board. (Sometimes there are some belgium or dutch people where at least one in the group has some knowledge about the german language.) Keep in mind that everything on board is usually held in german language only - announcements, entertainment, all information about living on board and regarding the ports. Just the bar menus and the menus in the specialty restaurants are bilingual in german/english. Crew is speaking english as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

We are booked for our first AIDA trip, and departing in less than 10 days. We don't speak any German and honestly we are pretty confused with everything right now but I've decided to just try to figure it all out once I'm on the ship. We booked some kind of all inclusive package that includes drinks and internet. I hope we'll be able to figure out exactly how all that works, especially considering I'll have to be working from my phone/laptop on the ship. We are arriving one day early to get on the ship but we'll also need to get a COVID test in order to board (I believe it's required even though we are vaccinated). We are traveling with our two children too, and I plan on leaving them in the childrens' club on sea days. Fingers crossed everything will go well. LOL!

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