Most recently, AIDA started to offer boat tours for people who never went on a cruise or for those who would like to take a look at the new cruise ships. On this guided boat tour, the guides will guide you through the ship and show you all about ship life, cabins, bars, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, etc.
I’ve already been travelling with AIDA and took the chance to take a closer look at the AIDAprima.
The visit took place in Hamburg, where the prima is towed at the Cruise Center Steinwerder. If you arrive by car you can park for 18 € a day (4 € / hour) directly at the parking lot in front of the cruise terminal. If you arrive by train or plane, it is a bit difficult to get there. The easiest is a taxi (cost: about 25 € from central station). Otherwise you take the S-Bahn S3 / S31 to Veddel (cost 2.20 € from central station) and then a shuttle to AIDAprima (cost: 2.50 €), which leaves from Veddel every 30min.
The guided tour takes about 4-5 hours and starts at 10am, including a 1 hour lunch break with food in one of the buffet restaurants. There are usually several groups of 20 people per group, and at the end you get a Surprise-bag with a few AIDA souvenirs.
When you are assigned to your group, you also have to hand over your identity card and receive a boarding pass. If the group is complete, it already goes through the security check and on board.
The entrance to the ship is on deck 6 and the first thing to enter is the shopping plaza. Here you will also find a Currywurst booth and a Tapas Bar, as well as the AIDA Shop a Travel Shop, a Jewelery, a hairdresser, a perfumery and a nail salon. From this place you can also go to the D6 Disco and the Nightfly Bar as well as the Spray Bar by Moet & Chandon. The special feature of the Spray Bar is that the area is chargeable and can only be reserved if you consume drinks for at least € 20. Through the spray bar you can get to the bow of the ship.
Further up, there are mostly cabin decks or and of course the sundeck. During your tour you can also take a look at the cabins and they’ll show you different cabin types. An inside cabin as well as outside cabins with window or balcony.
Before the morning tour continues, there will be a short welcome at the Theatrium followed by lunch, in our case at the Bella Donna restaurant.
Of course, the rest of the restaurants will be visited as well during the tour. New on this cruise is especially the French Kiss Brasserie, where you can get both a piece of cake as well as sandwiches.
There is also a cooking studio on deck 7 where (children’s) cooking classes take place.
At the top, on Deck 15 and 16 there’s the Beach Club with the AIDA bar and a swimming pool. In addition, on deck 16 in the front area of the ship, there is the Patio Deck with Bar, which is accessible only to guests of suites and panorama cabins.
At the rear of the ship there is enough space for children and teenagers in the Four Elements. There is the outdoor slide, a climbing course and a large screen. Outside there’s the Joggingparcours, a miniature golf course and the Skywalk with panorama elevator, which run along the outside of the ship.
Before leaving the cruise again, you have a little bit of time to look around at the shopping plaza or to buy something. Also new here is the Magnum ice cream parlor where you can create a Magnum ice cream according to your own wishes.
During the tour you may also meet Pepper, the board robot. He gives tips on events and excursions and poses for selfies as well.
In summary, it is definitely worthwhile to take a look at the ship before booking a trip. Especially if you have already been traveling with the smaller ships so far. During the visit you get a pretty good impression what’s expecting you on the bigger ship. But also AIDA newcomers get a good insight and can thus decide whether they want to go on a trip on board soon.
Personally, I find it a bit more comfortable on the smaller ships. I also think that apart from the market restaurant, the seats and tables in the restaurants like East, Bella Donna, Weite Welt, etc. are pretty tight together and the tables are quite close to each other. Also new is the fact that the AIDA Bar is no longer exists in its classic style but that it is now up in the Beach Club. And the sports area is now down on deck 6 and is doesn’t have the big glass front as on the smaller ships.
PS: To see the whole spectrum of images that I took while being on board simply play the video below!