Jump to content

First time Aida cruise with the Aidacosma.


Tan1415
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Going with my parents on a cruise to canaries islands on the Aida cosma this January. Surprising the lack of information on this forum. Most of my issues is the language barrier. Aida website doesn’t even have English on it. It’s really weird. Germany has become pretty much multilingual too. For sure the crew like all cruises are multilingual too. Anyway posting now asking for information and will post a comprehensive review and guide after.

1 thing is for sure, if you don’t know little bit if German language. It will be quite impossible to work through the website and more importantly the registration forms etc.

 

I have cruised with msc and Royal Cartibean before. But Aida seems different.

 

1) What confuses me is semi inclusive. You get drinks at buffet restaurants. Does this mean you can just walk into a buffet restaurant for a drink? And not only during meal times?


‘there is the option light drink package. Really reasonable as I am not an alcohol drinker. 90€ pp for 8 days. Can I use this to buy drinks at the bars and the seated service restaurants?

I am confused as a poster Rotjeknor mentioned it’s basically a scam and you can’t buy drinks  in restaurants with this package. Would be weird.

 

2) Dining; there seems to be 3 levels of dining. 
buffet where drinks are included.

serviced included dining, that doesn’t include drinks

lastly a la carte restaurant where u need to pay drinks. Prices seems reasonable. But is prices including the 15% charge?

Breakfast is only at buffet?

I am mobility impaired. Having only buffet options would be negative for me. Will take my rollator with me I guess. Always a hassle carrying a tray and a cane.

 

3) wellness

is unclear if it’s included or not? Or do you have to pay for entrance or just for extras?

also are the saunas and wellness pool with swimwear or nude? And is it mixed male/female?

 

that’s all the questions for now. But pretty sure more will come up. Thanks for reading and looking forward to responses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tan1415 said:

Hi all,

 

Going with my parents on a cruise to canaries islands on the Aida cosma this January. Surprising the lack of information on this forum. Most of my issues is the language barrier. Aida website doesn’t even have English on it. It’s really weird. Germany has become pretty much multilingual too. For sure the crew like all cruises are multilingual too. Anyway posting now asking for information and will post a comprehensive review and guide after.

1 thing is for sure, if you don’t know little bit if German language. It will be quite impossible to work through the website and more importantly the registration forms etc.

 

I have cruised with msc and Royal Cartibean before. But Aida seems different.

 

1) What confuses me is semi inclusive. You get drinks at buffet restaurants. Does this mean you can just walk into a buffet restaurant for a drink? And not only during meal times?


‘there is the option light drink package. Really reasonable as I am not an alcohol drinker. 90€ pp for 8 days. Can I use this to buy drinks at the bars and the seated service restaurants?

I am confused as a poster Rotjeknor mentioned it’s basically a scam and you can’t buy drinks  in restaurants with this package. Would be weird.

 

2) Dining; there seems to be 3 levels of dining. 
buffet where drinks are included.

serviced included dining, that doesn’t include drinks

lastly a la carte restaurant where u need to pay drinks. Prices seems reasonable. But is prices including the 15% charge?

Breakfast is only at buffet?

I am mobility impaired. Having only buffet options would be negative for me. Will take my rollator with me I guess. Always a hassle carrying a tray and a cane.

 

3) wellness

is unclear if it’s included or not? Or do you have to pay for entrance or just for extras?

also are the saunas and wellness pool with swimwear or nude? And is it mixed male/female?

 

that’s all the questions for now. But pretty sure more will come up. Thanks for reading and looking forward to responses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi,

 

Aida IS different to Royal Caribbean and MSC.

 

During opening times at the buffet restaurants, white and red wine as well as still water will be served by carafes, brought to the table. Soft drinks, sparkling water and beer you will get at a service station - self service. This is free of charge for everyone, regardless of a drink package.

 

You may enter a buffet restaurant only for a drink, but only during opening times - refer to the daily programme for specific opening times..

I'm not sure which drink package you mean. Looking after the price you stated, it should be the alcohol-free package. You get drinks at all bars, and "some" drinks in "some" serviced restaurants. Drinks which are included, are marked in the bar menues. Others have to be paid by showing your card. Be aware that each of the serviced restaurants has a different drink menue, i. e. fountain water is included in the package, but in some serviced restaurants they offer only bottled water, which is not included in the package.

 

The is no 15 % (or whatelse) surcharge on any bill. All prices are final without anything added thereon.

 

Breakfast ist usually buffet style. It MAY be offered a breakfast with table service at the steakhouse and/or the French Kiss Restaurant - but that is to be paid, and seats are limited. If you want to choose that, I suggest to buy it in advance to get sure to get a place there.

 

Wellness: Entrance to Fitness and some courses are free of charge. Sauna is to be charged and should be reservated (and paid) before by booking given time frames to use. Sauna is nude and mixed, pools are swimwear required.

 

All reservations can be made via MyAida or by your travel agent as well as you struggle with the language. All reservations must be paid at the time of the reservation. If you wish to cancel, you should do that until four days before the cruise starts and the payment will reimbursed.

 

Best regards

 

Diddn

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Onboard language on AIDA is German. You won´t find any daily programs or announcements in any other language than German (except for safety announcements which are in English too). Of course the crew does speak English as this is the official crew language. Therefore there is no need for an English website.

 

As Diddn stated the prices are all including any taxes & fees, so no 15% upcharge on anything. The drink packages are valid at all bars (except Champagne), the buffet restaurants, the included served restaurants but not the upcharge served restaurants.

 

You can find more about the ship here (all photos of menus are from last year, so the prices may have changed).

 

steamboats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, steamboats said:

Onboard language on AIDA is German. You won´t find any daily programs or announcements in any other language than German (except for safety announcements which are in English too). Of course the crew does speak English as this is the official crew language. Therefore there is no need for an English website.

 

As Diddn stated the prices are all including any taxes & fees, so no 15% upcharge on anything. The drink packages are valid at all bars (except Champagne), the buffet restaurants, the included served restaurants but not the upcharge served restaurants.

 

You can find more about the ship here (all photos of menus are from last year, so the prices may have changed).

 

steamboats

Thank you. I have a better understanding now with regard to the drinks. This review is better understandable now.

21 hours ago, Diddn said:

Hi,

 

Aida IS different to Royal Caribbean and MSC.

 

During opening times at the buffet restaurants, white and red wine as well as still water will be served by carafes, brought to the table. Soft drinks, sparkling water and beer you will get at a service station - self service. This is free of charge for everyone, regardless of a drink package.

 

You may enter a buffet restaurant only for a drink, but only during opening times - refer to the daily programme for specific opening times..

I'm not sure which drink package you mean. Looking after the price you stated, it should be the alcohol-free package. You get drinks at all bars, and "some" drinks in "some" serviced restaurants. Drinks which are included, are marked in the bar menues. Others have to be paid by showing your card. Be aware that each of the serviced restaurants has a different drink menue, i. e. fountain water is included in the package, but in some serviced restaurants they offer only bottled water, which is not included in the package.

 

The is no 15 % (or whatelse) surcharge on any bill. All prices are final without anything added thereon.

 

Breakfast ist usually buffet style. It MAY be offered a breakfast with table service at the steakhouse and/or the French Kiss Restaurant - but that is to be paid, and seats are limited. If you want to choose that, I suggest to buy it in advance to get sure to get a place there.

 

Wellness: Entrance to Fitness and some courses are free of charge. Sauna is to be charged and should be reservated (and paid) before by booking given time frames to use. Sauna is nude and mixed, pools are swimwear required.

 

All reservations can be made via MyAida or by your travel agent as well as you struggle with the language. All reservations must be paid at the time of the reservation. If you wish to cancel, you should do that until four days before the cruise starts and the payment will reimbursed.

 

Best regards

 

Diddn

hi,

Thank you. I read the review. And is weird the logic that bottled water is not included in the serviced restaurants. Or that the drink package is not included at a la carte.

I m really curious.

 

the language barrier is most daunting when pre cruise. So much to fill in. Hope I don’t miss anything because of the language.
 

would be scary if it was a non European cruise where you need to arrange visa etc. That would be nightmarish.

 

tbh I find it silly that they don’t do an English language on website…as basically it’s just a one time exercise. Not sure the reasoning behind this. Travelled quite often with German travel agents like tui.

 

 

Edited by Tan1415
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! We cruised on AIDAcosma at the end of February. It was just my husband and I, and we do not speak any German. We used Google Translator to translate all of the emails we received. We booked through AIDA's website, using Google translator along the way. The only way I could get the booking to go through was by paying with American Express. When we had issues (before sailing), I was able to call their 1-800 number and get help. The telephone menu was in German, so I had to guess what numbers to push, then there was often long holds, but if I was able to get anyone on the phone, their English was better than mine. I also similarly emailed AIDA a few times with questions. Since my emails were in English, they always responded in English. We had the drink package, the Premium All Inclusive. It was very cheap, like maybe $25 a day for the two of us? It included everything at the buffet and specialty restaurants but we didn't try the a-la-carte so I don't know about them. Each specialty dining restaurant's menu has a page on what drink is included with which package. (For example, click on the Ocean's menu 

https://www.aida.de/v10/fileadmin/user_upload_v8/An_Bord/Essen_und_Trinken/Restaurants/Oceans-Das_Fischrestaurant/restaurant_menuekarte_oceansrestaurant_co_220224.pdf and you'll see the first few pages showing you the different drink packages and symbols of which is included in which. The link is in German but you can run it through google translate.) The room attendants and the waiters all seem to speak better English than German. The nightly entertainment was mostly in English. (One of the shows was called London Calling!) 

 

We had sit down breakfast at French Kiss every morning. 

Edited by happilytorn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also wanted to add, for the daily activities, I used google translate app's camera function to translate everything. Worked very well. The interactive screens by the elevators I think has an English option for certain functions. I think all of the restaurants had English menus.

Edited by happilytorn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/2/2023 at 10:23 AM, Tan1415 said:

tbh I find it silly that they don’t do an English language on website

 

The reason is that AIDA is not meant to be for international guests. They are aiming for german-speaking clients only.

their whole concept( entertainment, daily program, food) is designed for the german market only.

They don`t prohibit non-german speaking guests but they do nothing to support them as well.

 

I know that sometimes they are offering a few cruises on their newest and biggest ships (Nova and Cosma) also on the spanish market,especially for cruises leaving from spanish ports.

But these are only a few and only for max. 200-400 spanish guests.

But apart from that they practically only want to have german-speaking guests.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course, Aida warmly welcomes all international guests. But they only focus on the German-speaking market.

 

For the homepage: Meanwhile, all common Internet browsers have a translation button. And they already work very well. Which browser do you have?

 

Multilingual homepages are no longer necessary.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Rotterdam they had a tram (streetcar) beautifully decorated in their ships livery (maybe even still). Even though Dutch (Nederlands) and German (Deutsch) is kind of similar (both Germanic languages), not too many Dutch people speak German. So apparently they are actively trying to get non German speaking passengers onboard as well. Rotterdam is not just a embarkation port for Germans from the south of the country (for whom Rotterdam might be closer to home than Hamburg).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/11/2023 at 3:22 PM, roman70 said:

Of course, Aida warmly welcomes all international guests. But they only focus on the German-speaking market.

 

For the homepage: Meanwhile, all common Internet browsers have a translation button. And they already work very well. Which browser do you have?

 

Multilingual homepages are no longer necessary.

I have os

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

 

although we are not German, and my wife nor my children speak any German, we do regularly cruise with Aida.

There is simply no other cruise line that is as child-friendly as Aida, and that includes Disney.

 

Aida prices already include gratuities, what you see is what  you pay, although there is an option to tip your servers .

 

Buffets are the focus of the food experience k especially on the smaller vessels. But they are of higher quality than on American ships, and during meal times, soft-drinks, house wine and beer are included.

 

on the larger ships (Prima, Perla, Nova and Cosma), you have also more sit-down dinner options, that do require reservations in advance (except the German Beer bar/restaurant), but are included. All drinks are extra however, unless you have a drinks package. Then, some drinks are included but still limited actually.

Quality of these sit-down restaurants is in general somewhat higher than on mainstream American lines, and compareable to HAL/ Celebrity before Covid19.

 

The A-La-Carte restaurants are extra and of high quality, especially Rossini, which can be Michelin star level, depending on the Chef, as the menu changes every 2 days. Unknown of on other Mainstream Lines.

 

Service in general is fine, but quite less polished than on US ships, especially since after Covid19, as many crew are new and also seemingly less trained. As the focus is on buffets, there are less crew and it also shows in other areas. Waiting times for drinks can sometimes be ling, we often go to the bar ourselves.

Cocktails are mostly better and stronger than on US lines.

 

Entertainment: the Show ensemble is generally of a very high standard and shows are in English for the most part.

The Ship Party Band is mostly absolutely Brilliant.

 

Spa/Sauna: Finally a cruiseline that knows how to build a good spa/ sauna area and has proper sauna etiquette. Everyone is compulsory naked and sauna/spa is indeed mixed. I think that you must be at least 16 to enter the sauna.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Special Event: Q&A with Laura Hodges Bethge, President Celebrity Cruises
      • Hurricane Zone 2024
      • Cruise Insurance Q&A w/ Steve Dasseos of Tripinsurancestore.com Summer 2024
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...