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cjw928

Trying to book an Aida cruise in USA?! Help!!

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A few years ago my husband and I were in Nassau and saw this really cool looking Aida ship, ever since we've wanted to learn more about them. We understand the ships are German and we'd be pretty lost since we dont speak German but we still would love to try them out. Is there any way to book an Aida cruise from America?? We live in Florida and we love to cruise, and we'd love to something new like Aida. If only I could figure out how....

 

And advice is greatly appreciated!!!

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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.

 

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Yes, it does scare us a little that even the food menu wont be in English but I think the challenge can be fun. We're young and we tend to stay to ourselves anyway,  so it's ok if we dont meet a lot of people who we can talk to. We want to travel the world and I thought this was a great way to get out feet wet, see if we can handle going to other countries without being able to speak the language. We love cruising and we've heard such great things about Aida that we really want to try it ourselves. Maybe it's not for everyone but the idea really intrigues me. Thank you for your long reply! I appreciate your help

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How interesting that you would love to go on Aida since we (both german) prefer the multinational or american ships for their diversity. I wish I could help you about booking from the USA but I can´t. However, if you somehow manage to book and need some translations, this is where I could help.

You have to be aware that a big part of the people on Aida choose Aida because there are still quite a lot (even younger) germans who do not speak english very well. All shows, all games, all talks, all entertainment will only be held in german.

 

We´ve long avoided Aida but will now travel with them in July since the price and routing are of interest to us.

Apparently -the way we understood so far- TUI Mein Schiff is the holy grail when it comes to german cruise lines and even better than Aida. We´ve been on Mein Schiff and it was very lovely but we hated the shows that were strictly german and not very good.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BlueBear4Travel
correction in spelling

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what ship or what route do you prefer? have you already selected something?

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On 6/14/2019 at 8:47 PM, BlueBear4Travel said:

You have to be aware that a big part of the people on Aida choose Aida because there are still quite a lot (even younger) germans who do not speak english very well. All shows, all games, all talks, all entertainment will only be held in german.

 

We´ve long avoided Aida but will now travel with them in July since the price and routing are of interest to us.

Apparently -the way we understood so far- TUI Mein Schiff is the holy grail when it comes to german cruise lines and even better than Aida. We´ve been on Mein Schiff and it was very lovely but we hated the shows that were strictly german and not very good.

 

The holy grail of German cruise lines is Hapag Lloyd. 😉 Basically it's HL for high end luxury (they have the highest rated ships in the world according to Berlitz), Tui for premium (think Azamara or Celebrity) and Aida for basic cruises (P&O Australia, Costa).

 

There is a German cruise reviewer who has extensive videos of Aida (Matthias Mörr). Might be worth watching even without being able to understand. I think the newer Aida ships are quite different from the older ones.

 

My parents have been on Aida a few times so there are English-speakers around. I would expect most guests to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of English as most would have had at least 4 years of English at school.

 

@cjw928 

I might be able to suggest a few German TAs that would probably take a US client.

Edited by cathaana

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I am from Slovakia / yes, it is EU country / and I always book Aida and TUI cruises with German TA ***** 

I prefer to speak english, but I never had problems with it on these ships. The value of this cruises is high - in price there are tips included, some drinks like vine and beer - in mealtimes, basic internet and so on.

If you need more info from discussion boards, look for German page wasserurlaub.info and use google translation.

Next time I will use Aida, is the trip to Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius this Christmas and we are looking for it really much

Edited by mispi

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Great itinerary, @mispi

 

@cjw928

Why not try contacting Aida though their Facebook page? I would assume their social media team has somebody on it that speaks decent English.

 

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@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.

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1 hour ago, Diddn said:

@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.

 

Since cjw928 said that they specifically want to book Aida, talking to them about their product offering would make sense. Doesn't mean you need to book through them.

The one thing a TA might be able to offer that Aida probably won't is an onboard or direct credit so that's always a consideration.

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I`m not sure in whether AIDA does sell it`s cruises on the international market at all. As per my info they do only sell it in german-speaking market and alsi in Spain(but only their new built bigger ships)

YOu can contact them via facebook,but i doubt that there will be much options to book them from the US at all.

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 5:14 AM, cjw928 said:

A few years ago my husband and I were in Nassau and saw this really cool looking Aida ship, ever since we've wanted to learn more about them. We understand the ships are German and we'd be pretty lost since we dont speak German but we still would love to try them out. Is there any way to book an Aida cruise from America?? We live in Florida and we love to cruise, and we'd love to something new like Aida. If only I could figure out how....

 

And advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Call 1-800-575-AIDA

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Let me describe my experience with booking Aida cruise. First I've tried to book on Aida web site. But this option simply didn't work for me: at some point I've got a message that error occurred and I need to use Aida hot line.

There is only one Aida hotline, as far as I know: +4938120270722

It is not a toll free number so better to use some VoIP messenger to dial in (like Skype, it cost me 1 euro for 25 minutes call to Aida hotline, much cheaper than regular international call).

Managers on the line speak English so there is no issue to book a cruise via the telephone. They ask minimal information: name, born date, nationality and email. 

After booking is complete you will get a reservation number on your email. Using that reservation number you can log into MyAida section on aida.de website.

From this point you have different options for cruise payment: using direct bank transfer (invoice will be sent by email) or online using variety of options in MyAida: paypal, credit card etc

 

Please note: all emails are in German(use online translation), all documents that aida send (Except of visa information for port of calls) are in German, MyAida website is very limited in functionality when switched to English so you need to use German language (but you can use embedded google translation in Chrome browser). All payments are charged in euro, so, if you wish to avoid awful conversion rates from you bank, make sure you have a euro account with enough euro for you cruise on it.

 

good luck

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Hi everyone. I have a question regarding our recent online booking with Aida.

 

My partner attempted an online booking, which was all in German. Upon receipt of the booking reference number, we've noticed that my title is wrong, as I should be listed as Mr and not Mrs. :classic_wacko: Once we've received our booking paperwork and I contact them about the change, will we incur a charge? We didn't book Premium. :classic_sad:

 

Edited by FirstTimeFreddy

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10 minutes ago, FirstTimeFreddy said:

Hi everyone. I have a question regarding our recent online booking with Aida.

 

My partner attempted an online booking, which was all in German. Upon receipt of the booking reference number, we've noticed that my title is wrong, as I should be listed as Mr and not Mrs. :classic_wacko: Once we've received our booking paperwork and I contact them about the change, will we incur a charge? We didn't book Premium. :classic_sad:

 

Don't think it is important. All important information, including Name, passport number etc are editable on myaida portal. Just give them a call and ask. 

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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.

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On 8/7/2019 at 7:07 AM, Diddn said:

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.

Thank you both. I emailed them and they were happy to change our titles and also make an address correction free of charge. 👍  Though I will say that I've never used Google Translate so much in my life! 😂 Thankfully MyAida does have some English translation available, but otherwise Google has become my best friend. But it's a German cruise line aimed at primarily the German market, so I'm not surprised. The Nova looks like a great ship and we're very much looking forward to our Canaries cruise in November. We're aware that most staff speak English, but we have our translation Apps ready to go once onboard and we're making the effort to learn some German too. 😉

Edited by FirstTimeFreddy

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FirstTimeFreddy - you will have a fantastic time!! 

 

We sailed on the AIDAnova in February, to the Canaries in February.  We had sailed many lines and have been to most locations but we still had trepidation with this booking and sailing with Aida.  We needn't have worried.  The ship is beautiful!!  Most the crew, and other passengers, spoke English.  I have some rudimentary/rusty German but once people knew you spoke English, they were more than happy to switch to English.  There are also information screens for the daily programme which will let you switch to English to find out what's going on.

 

In terms of difference say between MSC and Costa, I really couldn't see any major differences.   If anything, I would say I thought the food was better on AIDA.  Added to that, wine/beer at mealtimes was included plus the service charge!  For a family of three we paid 1098 for a basic inside cabin.  It was over the half-term.  

 

I must add my 9yr did not use the kids club at all.  There was enough for him to do without attending but on MSC and Costa we have to drag him out of there to spend time with us or to go ashore! 

 

Another thing, my husband and I booked spa days but because of childcare I couldn't go.  My husband went and he said everyone in the spa was naked.  (Some passengers sat on towels, others did not).  Now my husband didn't mind using the spa but I would have wanted to wear a bathing suit - but that would possibly have made the other passengers uncomfortable so that is something you may want to consider!!

 

To the original poster.  We live in the UK.  We booked though a German travel agent but they deal with absolutely all cruise lines all budgets and their website is easily found online.  As we had used them before, we just booked through them just in case we had any queries.  Out of interest I went onto aida.de and was able to make a dummy booking and would have had 100 euros onboard spend had I have done a confirmed booking!!  I found the website easy to navigate.  I then had other queries and went directly through AIDA and they answered promptly and in English, which I found reassuring.

 

 

 

 

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They have added three big ships to their fleet during the last 3,5 years which they need to fill. They have almost doubled their available beds in their fleet during the last three years. Only with german speaking market this is almost impossible to fill and make profit.

So they opened up a bit for foreign markets(especially spain).The language is still german and almost everything on board is of course focused on german speaking passengers. But as many germans do speak some english and crew must be able to speak english it is not that big problem.

As 99% of the guests are german/austrian you will dive deep into this culture and some things might be strnage to foreigners(e.g. the nakedness in the spa)

If someone is open for new experiences AIDA is definitely a good choice.

 

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On 8/16/2019 at 10:42 AM, panamapd said:

FirstTimeFreddy - you will have a fantastic time!! 

 

We sailed on the AIDAnova in February, to the Canaries in February.  We had sailed many lines and have been to most locations but we still had trepidation with this booking and sailing with Aida.  We needn't have worried.  The ship is beautiful!!  Most the crew, and other passengers, spoke English.  I have some rudimentary/rusty German but once people knew you spoke English, they were more than happy to switch to English.  There are also information screens for the daily programme which will let you switch to English to find out what's going on.

 

In terms of difference say between MSC and Costa, I really couldn't see any major differences.   If anything, I would say I thought the food was better on AIDA.  Added to that, wine/beer at mealtimes was included plus the service charge!  For a family of three we paid 1098 for a basic inside cabin.  It was over the half-term.  

 

I must add my 9yr did not use the kids club at all.  There was enough for him to do without attending but on MSC and Costa we have to drag him out of there to spend time with us or to go ashore! 

 

Another thing, my husband and I booked spa days but because of childcare I couldn't go.  My husband went and he said everyone in the spa was naked.  (Some passengers sat on towels, others did not).  Now my husband didn't mind using the spa but I would have wanted to wear a bathing suit - but that would possibly have made the other passengers uncomfortable so that is something you may want to consider!!

 

To the original poster.  We live in the UK.  We booked though a German travel agent but they deal with absolutely all cruise lines all budgets and their website is easily found online.  As we had used them before, we just booked through them just in case we had any queries.  Out of interest I went onto aida.de and was able to make a dummy booking and would have had 100 euros onboard spend had I have done a confirmed booking!!  I found the website easy to navigate.  I then had other queries and went directly through AIDA and they answered promptly and in English, which I found reassuring.

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for this post. This is very reassuring and we can't wait until we cruise in a couple of weeks time. 🙂

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I called the phone number on the Aida website during German business hours.  I used Skype. The person answering the phone spoke English and booked our cruise.  I had to call back a few times and each time the person answering the phone spoke English.

 

My confirming and follow up emails are in German.  I get a weekly email that is in German.  It is easy to translate with online tools.  So far the emails are about things like making sure your passport is current, booking excursions, etc.

 

I am sure there will be a few surprises but that is all part of the adventure!

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