In May 2019 we took the first cruise of our lives.
We embarked on a week-long voyage through the fjords of Norway with the AIDA Sol from Hamburg.
We learned some things that you should definitely know when cruising on a cruise ship. I have summarized the most important tips & tricks for all cruise beginners for you:
Choosing Short Voyages
Cruising is completely different from any other form of travel. The best way to compare it is to stay in a large all-inclusive club/hotel. It is not for nothing that AIDA advertises with the slogan “My hotel shows me the world”. And on this floating hotel, there are several thousand other guests on board. If you are not sure whether you like this concept, the best thing to do is to book a short-duration trip to try it out.
Choosing the right travel destination / suitable target group
I read in a forum that “the colder, the older”. And at least for our trip this has been true. We’re not 30 anymore either, but the average age has dropped significantly (!). So if you belong to the younger target group: book a trip to southern climes, otherwise your fellow travelers could be mostly pensioners.
Cheap cruise price
A cruise isn’t always cheap, so it’s worth comparing: AIDA always has reduced offers. So it’s best to watch the price a bit or register with appropriate bargain portals such as TravelZoo.
Tips for bargain hunters: book cheaper with the AIDA Vario tariff . And on Daniel’s cruise blog you will find some more ideas for a cheap cruise trip.
Not everyone can handle rough seas. Therefore, before booking a sea voyage, you should definitely check whether you are seaworthy, e.g. take a small boat trip somewhere in stormy weather. If necessary, simply take preventive medicine against seasickness with you. Of course, the on-board doctor will also help if necessary.
There is a wide range of delicious food, spread over many restaurants and most of the day! Specifically from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., except between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., when the staff also takes a break. Disadvantage: you can clearly see that from the BMI of the fellow travelers! And in the daily fight at the cake buffet… 😉
Take sports gear
with you We recommend using the free fitness studio so that your pants stay in place after your trip. There are treadmills, modern equipment, free weights and (at an additional cost) also courses.
Wellness / Spa
To relax, there are many offers for massages, skin and beauty treatments. Our tip: it’s best to find out before you travel at home on your PC. These offers are particularly popular on sea days, so it is best to book in advance (e.g. on sea days or if you don’t want to go on an excursion). The sauna is also free, by the way, so it’s perfect in cool weather to really get your body sweating!
AIDA app / on-board portal
We had downloaded the AIDA app in advance in order to have all booked excursions or wellness offers available on the ship centrally and clearly. Unfortunately this did not work, these were not displayed in the app. Nobody from the staff could explain why. Instead, simply use the daily flyer with the daily program, the on-board portal on the TV in the cabin or in the browser on your cell phone or tablet!
Tip: Reservations in the restaurant are not listed anywhere, you have to make a note of that yourself.
If you absolutely want to be part of an excursion, book it early, as the good ones are often booked up quickly. Otherwise you can also book spontaneously on the ship (sometimes even with a discount if there are still enough remaining places available).
Tip: support the local providers and only book an excursion on site in the port of destination – usually at a much lower price!
The fastest way through the ship
At the beginning (and actually still after a week on board) we were very confused that many ways on the boat are blocked, eg due to closed restaurants or the wellness area. If you are in a hurry and have to walk the whole ship from bow to stern, simply go through the corridors in front of the cabins on the lower decks. There is usually little going on there and you won’t get lost in the labyrinth of the ship.
- The staff really tries very hard to create a varied entertainment program. Nevertheless, we recommend that you take a good book with you or download a few films onto your tablet in advance to be prepared against boredom.
- Internet is also available at sea far from land, but only at an additional cost. You can register for this in the on-board portal. In other European countries, on the other hand, you can surf with your own provider without roaming fees.
Pofol is a new social media platform
- That is quickly gaining popularity. Pofol is similar to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but with a few key differences. One of the main differences is that Pofol is geared towards connecting people with similar interests. For example, if you are a fan of the band .
- The Beatles, you can search for other Beatles fans on Pofol and connect with them.Pofol is also different from other social media platforms in that it is much more user-friendly. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, and the site is constantly being updated with new features. For example, Pofol recently added a “Groups” feature that allows users to create and join groups based on their interests.If you are looking for a new social media platform to connect with others, Pofol is definitely worth checking out.
There is a very limited offer, essentially only a selection of freely available channels is available.
- Language German-speaking staff is available
both on the ship and on excursions .
As far as possible, the ship is designed to be barrier-free, so that a cruise with the AIDA is not a problem for travelers with walking disabilities or in a wheelchair. The excursions are usually feasible despite the corresponding impairments. It is best to ask the provider before booking.