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Sail Date: July 2018
AIDA Prima Western Mediterranean Of course you have seen these outrageous looking ships with eyes and a huge kiss mouth right on the bow, and you might be a little curious to find out what on earth it's about. I decided to find out ... Read More
AIDA Prima Western Mediterranean Of course you have seen these outrageous looking ships with eyes and a huge kiss mouth right on the bow, and you might be a little curious to find out what on earth it's about. I decided to find out for myself, and I went straight ahead for the flag ship herself. AIDA isn't like anything else that I've experienced on the seven seas. This is possibly as far away from classical cruising that you can get right now. If you love the freedom to do your thing, and have it your way then you're in for a good time. I actually can't remember standing in line a single time during this cruise. Some things that stand out is the multitude of buffet restaurants on the ship. Together with the restaurants featuring table service they offer excellent food in nice environments. The variety should cater for most tastes . You can choose between European, Italian, Venetian, French, Oriental, gourmet, a steak house, a cooking studio an Alpine brewery and a couple of fast food places. In the buffet restaurants you can help yourself to water, soft drinks and good enough beer and whine. The restaurant experience is an important part of cruising for a lot of people, and the buffet options on a ship doesn't seem to appeal to most review writers, but AIDA certainly challenges any pre-conceived ideas about grabbing your own food on a cruise ship. My wife was concerned about this, since she really enjoys being served at the table, but the quality, variety and environments in the different restaurants pleased her to the degree that she never even went to any of the restaurants with table service. However I did so. Out of pure curiosity I tried out French, Venetian and Alpine cuisine without getting disappointed. Even so, the impression was that people abandoned these venues going for the buffets instead. Another feature that makes AIDA stand out is the Theatrium. It doesn't offer as many great seats as a theatre, and it's nowhere near as fancy as a classical atrium, but it's extremely (multi-) functional. For a family where everyone is an individual with his and her own way of enjoying a cruise it's ideal way to come, go and regroup during a show in a way that you seldom can do on a cruise. If the Prima has a theme it has to be innovation. The Theatrium isn't the only multi-purpose venue onboard. In the aft you'll find a kind of water playground that turns into a movie theatre at night. In case of a big televised event, like world cup football this will be the place where the passengers can enjoy watching a game on an enormous screen. The beach club is a kind of hybrid between indoor and outdoor that changes according to the climate, and it becomes a nightclub and event space in the late hours where you can actually swim up to the action. The Lanai deck is a delight. It's a wide out door deck that runs around a large portion of the vessel. Here you will find fancy stairs, classical German beach baskets, an aft bar with great views, the outflow of a restaurant, and infinity pools. And who said that exit passages have to be horribly industrial in their appearances? Here AIDA got themselves a game changer with stylish venue design, plenty of interactive screens, a reception area, a cafe' where lots of items like fruit and sandwiches for your time in port are free of extra charge. And as if this wasn't enough there is a robot to play with while you wait to get off the ship. Like other great cruise lines there is no baksheesh nonsense /gratuities/ service charges. The ship is well kept right through, and all crew are totally cool- just the way I like it. Of course this shoe does not fit everyone. If the classic design of ships, service, musts and don'ts is your thing then you may not be so impressed with AIDA. Another odd thing for most cruisers is the FKK-Bereich, a nude section right up up the top of the centre of the ship. Certainly not for everyone, but for the few a way to get away from the crowds and get a nice place in the sun at the same time. And the flip side. AIDA is all in for the German speaking market. So you either need a working command of German or you need to be cool about not always knowing what's goin on. Since you really don't have so much interaction with the crew you don't get any extra attention for being the odd ones. We were about 60 people from outside the main target group so the ship put on an international English language gathering with free drinks in one of the night clubs. The tiny little outdoor pool area is far from sufficient. The hours you when you can serve yourself alcoholic beverages in the restaurants are limited and strictly kept. It's not the most generous cruise line when it comes to the port chuttles, but not among the worst either. Access to the Sauna is only at a surcharge. Our kids liked the cruise, but they enjoyed most other cruise lines better because AIDA really does not cater specifically for kids who do not speak German. The ports were well chosen. Ajaccio on Corse is a delight. If you pass on a trip on this beautiful island and stay in the capital you can enjoy a pretty town and the beaches after a lunch onboard. Civitaveccia is for a visit to Rome and not much more. Livorno is definitely nicer than Civitaveccia, but you'r better off if you choose between Florence, Lucca or Pisa. The last stop on the cruise, Barcelona offers something for everyone. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first time and maybe the last time with the Aida, unless Aida offer information in English. We have just returned from 1 week cruise with the Aida. Actually we have had a nice holiday, But it bothers us the ship is all ... Read More
This was our first time and maybe the last time with the Aida, unless Aida offer information in English. We have just returned from 1 week cruise with the Aida. Actually we have had a nice holiday, But it bothers us the ship is all spoken and written in German. We can miss the every day program or the informationscreen, or the menu in German. But we can't miss the disembarkation information on the last day. When we go to the guestservice to ask about the disembarkation, they left to our fate. They said the only have information for Germans guest. They was no luggage tag, gathering place or time and the final invoice. Good things: transfers ok, check in pretty quickly, balcony hut on deck 9 fine, friendly service in the restaurant, afternoon a movie (but German spoken without subtitles). Bad things: no roomservice, no refrigerator in room, all information written and spoken in German, the two 1-personsbeds as 1 bed can not be separated. Could be better: the shows and variation in and lukewarm food in the buffetrestaurants. In totally I prefer the other ships. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
met up with my brother who lives in Hamburg I came from Canada for a two week break nice ship enjoyed a great cabin on the 16 deck ,great housekeeping ,superior culinary staff, great chefs buffet food and or French service available ... Read More
met up with my brother who lives in Hamburg I came from Canada for a two week break nice ship enjoyed a great cabin on the 16 deck ,great housekeeping ,superior culinary staff, great chefs buffet food and or French service available food was extremely good ,fresh at all times from simple 24/7 curry wurst to fancy filet tenderloin ,great restaurant selection wonderful mostly Filipino staff who spoke German and English extremely friendly and helpful enjoyed some excursions weather wasn't great but lots to do on board.we used the Metropolitan cruise starting and ending in Hamburg ,wonderful entertainment will use this Cruise line again soon.Lots of stores to spend your money ,great auction opportunities to purchase art and other items Didn't enjoy the babys which many young couple brought along (its free after all)Noisy at times in the dining room.However I'm considering bringing my grandchildren along lots do do for them ,but they must be little older 8 plus Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise was not on the AidaPrima but on the AidaBlu, unfortunately I can't choose this ship on Cruisecritic??? The AidaBlu is a nice modern cruiseship with veru nice staff and friendly people, most of the passengers are German, ... Read More
This cruise was not on the AidaPrima but on the AidaBlu, unfortunately I can't choose this ship on Cruisecritic??? The AidaBlu is a nice modern cruiseship with veru nice staff and friendly people, most of the passengers are German, friendly and nice people. The food is very good and so is the entertainment. The Live music was very good with good musicians and singers, they played a lot nice seventies and eighties songs and a lot of people stayed till late in the evening to listen to the music and dance to the music. The dj was excellent, he played every night very nice music and people loved him. I liked the dance workshops of Kata, she really entertained a lot people with her dancing classes. Th fitness room was no so busy nut has all important equipment, I used it a few times, sauna and spa was good and clean, I really like my stay on this ship. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
this was our first cruise with aida...and i loved it. We are Dutch, so the fact that there is almost nothing spoken on board but German is no problem for us. This ship does not cater to Americans and they are proud of it. The food is ... Read More
this was our first cruise with aida...and i loved it. We are Dutch, so the fact that there is almost nothing spoken on board but German is no problem for us. This ship does not cater to Americans and they are proud of it. The food is amazing with wine and beer included in the buffet restaurants. In the restaurant french kiss you can get great french cuisine for free, you only pay for the drinks. There is no big theater, the shows are performed on a stage in the atrium. This makes for a very relaxed environment...you walk in and sit when ever you want. The nightclub nightfly is something different. Burlesque style cabaret in German...it makes for an interesting evening out. With a large inside pool and a smaller outside pool this ship is totally built for European weather. the rooms are very beautiful and i have never had a shower facility that was this big in an inside cabin. the ship has the biggest spa at sea, and its beautiful. all in all i loved the cruise even though i didn't really care for most of the ports of call. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Last week we made a cruise with AIDA again. This time on one of their smaller ships. The trip went from Palma de Mallorca to Hamburg with 5 days at sea. It was a repositioning cruise. Despite that the ship was smaller we enjoyed it the ... Read More
Last week we made a cruise with AIDA again. This time on one of their smaller ships. The trip went from Palma de Mallorca to Hamburg with 5 days at sea. It was a repositioning cruise. Despite that the ship was smaller we enjoyed it the same as the larger ships of AIDA. The whole concept is the same but accommodated for fewer guests. The sauna area was actually a little bit to small considering this to be one of the USP's of AIDA. The GYM and the staff were great. Since this is not our first cruise with them AIDA succeed to live up to the expectations. The moment we embarked the ship we felt immediately at home which is their main slogan "Lacheln wie zu Hause". This time we took a inside cabin which was of sufficient size. The cabin was comfortable as well as the beds. Dinning in buffet restaurants are good as to be expected and if you want more, you can also go for the a la carte restaurant Rossini. This being a repositioning cruise, AIDA had a chef assigned to the restaurant who was the winner of the German version of "Master Chefs". The menu served was great and surprisingly sophisticated. The shows abroad are mainly in German though the singers perform in English. It is known that AIDA mainly focusses of native German speaking guests but that doen't have to be a problem at all. And the the wellness. As always that is super at AIDA though the sauna area on smaller ships is to small. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
AIDA might be a great cruising company, but the AIDAcara (ship) is just too old. Our interior cabin was on the fifth floor, close to the elevators. The elevators didn’t bother us, but all the other things unfortunately did. We always ... Read More
AIDA might be a great cruising company, but the AIDAcara (ship) is just too old. Our interior cabin was on the fifth floor, close to the elevators. The elevators didn’t bother us, but all the other things unfortunately did. We always experienced a hell of a noise when the anchor was being thrown out. The housekeeping made a lot of noise in their storage room, and in the hallway. When arriving to a new destination the captain said something through his microphone, but it was always very incomprehensible and too soft, but just hear enough to wake us up. The air conditioning wasn’t working properly and made a lot of noise. The beds were separated in a L-shape, and were attached to the wall. Even if they weren’t attached to the wall, it would be impossible to put them together. One of the two beds isn’t even a real bed, but is actually a convertible couch. I can’t remember one night that I slept without difficulties. The interior of the boat is remarkably old, even though it has been renovated a couple of years ago. The upper deck with the swimming pool isn’t well arranged. There is too little space in the shadow and too little space out of the wind. It’s not allowed to “reserve” a nice spot with your towel, but if you weren’t awake around 5 o’clock there wasn’t any chance of having a nice place during the entire day. When you finally found an nice place to lay down for a minute, you could just stay half of a minute because than it was time for the animation of the day. Basketball, baseball, you can’t imagine. Flying balls, running people, ... it was awful. The swimming pool is as big as a parking lot for disabled persons, and after a couple of days the water gets the colour of an expired Pina Colada. The cruise we did was rather cheap, but on board they take advantage of EVERYTHING. The drinks in the bars are extremely expensive, excursions are scandalously expensive, on-board activities are way too expensive, ... . As I had some work to do on my computer, we needed internet. With the price we paid for internet, we could have had an upgrade of our room. The internet is extremely expensive, and the most advantageous option is to take internet for an entire week. And even if it wouldn’t be the cheapest option, you better do take one entire week. The internet is slow, and it functions less than half of the time. And if you go to reception to complain or ask for informations, they look at you like if you’re the biggest moron on earth. Personnel, except from the Asians, is extremely unfriendly. They are all grumpy, and if you don’t speak German properly or if you are having difficulties, they don’t make too many efforts to help you further in English. It’s all about the Germans, as 95% of the passengers is German. The boat had a delay of a couples of hours, but the next day we arrived one hour before the hour we should normally have arrived at. I don’t understand how this was even possible with such a slow boat. When leaving the boat with the tenders, there was also always quite some delay and a queue on the stairs till the 6th floor. And instead of letting people who were going on a planned excursion first, they were just letting everyone go as they wanted to go – a real mess. The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets were huge. But no matter what theme it was (Spain, Brazil, France,…), the food was very often the same. The taste wasn’t good, a lot of things didn’t look fresh and nearly everything was with pork meat or with some kind of fish. Poor vegetarians… The flow to get the food was like the traffic between Brussels and Antwerp – a real disaster. Finding a place to take a seat was even harder than getting your food on your plate without being pushed by anyone. After the first couple of days we decided to first look for a place to sit down, and then go and get the food. And even if there was a lack of space, the personnel wasn’t speeding up, and the clearing of the tables went as slow as the boat. We had the possibility to drink free table wine and water, but if we had glasses we had none of those drinks on the table, and if we had the drinks we were missing the glasses. We had to ask for everything. The plates and the cutlery weren’t clean, and before entering Brazil the cutlery for one entire day was hanging on a special construction which was placed in the middle of the table. When the waves were getting bigger, the sound of the rattling cutlery got higher. When we were in Brazil the cutlery suddenly disappeared from the tables, because of the hygienic conditions of Brazil. If you were too late to join lunch, there was the possibility to eat a piece of pizza or a salad in the “pizza corner”. The pizzas were good, but for one or another reason there were no more drinks available to drink with your pizza. In terms of the food my impression is: nice try, but try it again because it’s worthless. We joined a wine tasting on board. I’ll never do another wine tasting when being surrounded by Germans. 90% of the tasted wines were German wines. I expected some high quality. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen on this ship. We spoke to other guests that already made a couple of cruises with AIDA, and every single person told us the same: this boat is the crappiest one of the entire AIDA float. The cruise like we did it (Buenos Aires – Santos), will be deleted from their programme. We heard a couple of explanations, but we don’t know for sure what to believe. It’s a shame, because although the boat isn’t that good, the different locations are worth visiting. If you don’t have too high expectations, and if it’s your first cruise, this ship might be ok. I will however never go again on a cruise with the AIDAcara, and I’m not sure if I will ever book again with AIDA.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
Background Information: I went to Canada to visit my Canadian friends. My German friend and I went on the cruise after I finished my visit to the Canadian friends. Sorry no hotel information pre- or post cruise as I stayed at my Canadian ... Read More
Background Information: I went to Canada to visit my Canadian friends. My German friend and I went on the cruise after I finished my visit to the Canadian friends. Sorry no hotel information pre- or post cruise as I stayed at my Canadian friend´s house and went home the day of disembarkation. Ship Information: On-board language is German. Although all Crew members do speak English it might be difficult to get along without some German language knowledge. All the information sheets, entertainment, menus, anouncements are in German only (except safety anouncements which are also in English). Passengers: 1200 mostly from Germany, Austria, Switzerland but also from other - mostly European - countries AIDA offers freestyle cruising with no dress code (except that they ask for long pants in the evening and no swim outfit in the restaurants). There are no formal nights. Gratuities are included in the cruise fare and service charge is included in your beverage purchases and spa treatments. GST is included in the prices for everythig you buy on board. Activities & entertainment: Broadway style shows in the theatre which I liked Laser Show on the first evening is great lots of parties with different mottos/themes both inside and on the pool deck (for example sailor´s Party, Bavarian Party, officers shaking cocktails and many more) great live music bands lots of sports including diving lessons, shuffleboard, workout in the gym, different gym classes (some of them you have to pay extra for), volleyball, yoga etc. there is no casino on board (which is great for me as I don´t like casinos and in my opinion they only take space which can be used for other venues) but they offer bingo games On our cruise there was a lecturer on board who was good. Not all AIDA cruises have a lecturer on board, it depends on the itinerary. Various bars & Lounges - we expecially loved the nightfly bar lots of workshops & cooking classes for an upcharge great spa with relaxing treatments and ocean view sauna (note: sauna is German/Scandinavian style - nude with only a towel, no swimsuits allowed) Service: Crew is very friendly & helpful self service laudry for a small fee is great if you travel for a longer time port & shore excursions see port Reviews Please note that shore excursions booked with AIDA have German speaking guides normally. They don´t offer any other language. travel to embarkation port: We took the Montréal Airport bus from Airport to Lionel Groulx Metro Station and from there the Metro to Square Victoria which is near the port. You could easily walk from there to the port if you don´t have to manage luggage. A taxi from Square Victoria to the port was less than 10 CAD. The bus/Metro ticket is valid for 24 hrs and can be used for city sightseeing, too. Cabin: We had an inside cabin on deck 4 in the back of the ship. I liked the design. Enough storage and the bathroom was nice, too. AIDAs cabins are smaller than on most cruise lines (approx 13.5 square metres for an inside cabin, balcony cabins are bigger). AIDA provides shower gel, shampoo and hair dryer in the cabin. Sometimes some noise from the engine but not too much. As the cabins in the back are sold for a lower price it is o.k. Dining: AIDA has buffet as their main dining. I absolutely love their buffets. The presentation/decoration is wunderful. You find fresh sliced fruit for every meal and a wide selection for soups, salads, entrees, desserts. The restaurants are styled almost like the main restaurants with service on other ships - there is no "buffet lunch at work" feeling which I experienced on other cruise lines. Drinks with your meal are included in the cruise fare (except champagne, upscale whine etc). Specialty dining with service at the table is available for an upcharge - we didn´t try it as we were very happy with the buffets. Buffets tend to be crowded in the first 15 minutes or so after the restaurants open. We went later and had no issues. Only a few tables for 2 or 4, mostly 6-10 to a table. AIDA wants their passengers to meet other passengers. children´s Club: is offered (in German) but as we didn´t travel with kids I can´t rate it disembarkation: As we disembarked in N.Y. we had to store our luggage outside the port until we went to the airport. This can be an issue. We booked storage separately and went there by taxi. You don´t get a set disembarkation time Slot with AIDA. You just walk off any time you want. You must leave your cabin by 9 AM and the ship by 11 AM in the US (you may stay on board after 11 AM on disembarkation day for an upcharge in European ports). Summary: great itinerary, nice ship which only feels crowded if you want to dine at 6 PM very friendly crew Read Less
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