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AIDA for non-German speaking

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Hello all.

We are considering an AIDA cruise for next year and we are wondering how would we feel since we don't s speak German...

Are their ships children-friendly? We will be travelling with our 3 years old daughter.

 

Thank you all.

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The ships are definitely kids friendly. They do have nice kids clubs and activities. Food is all buffet style.

 

Crew does speak English but you might not encounter many non German speaking passengers. Expect 98% Germans, Austrian, Swiss... (maybe not citizenship but speaking).

 

steamboats

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Thank you steamboats.

 

Concerning the language: do they give information in any other language? Do they have something like a daily brochure in anything besides German?

 

When you say all the food is buffet style, do you mean they don't have the usual MDR with A La Carte menu?

 

Thank you.

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No, AIDA has no à la carte MDR but three buffet style restaurants. There are specialty restaurants (Rossini and Buffalo Steakhouse - cover charge) and some ships do have the Brauhaus with a menu (brewery, but there you pay extra for beverages).

 

During the mealtimes beverages are included (regular coffee, teas, sodas, beer and wine - only house wine and draft beer).

 

I don´t think there are any non German daily programs or announcements (but I´m German). Security Announcement might be in English too.

 

AIDA is not focused at all on non German speaking passengers. They do not sell outside the German speaking market.

 

steamboats

Edited by steamboats

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Thank you for your replies.

 

We have to think well...

We love the look of the ships and they have one or two itineraries that interest us.

So far the only drawback is the German only language... Let's see if we can cope with it.

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Another line to consider is TUI, part of Royal Caribbean, whereas AIDA, I believe is part of Carnival.

 

You might find TUI and the "Mein Schiffs" (My Ships) better for you. They are more a German version of Celebrity, and upscale.

 

http://tuicruises.com/

 

TUI has some new-builds and also two Celebrity classics, Galaxy and Mercury, and I loved Galaxy when she was with Celebrity, and TUI poured about $60 million in her to take her in the direction they wanted.

 

Make no mistake about it, these cruise lines are geared to German speaking people. However, you might be surprised how many more Germans speak English, than Americans who speak German.

 

The web sites are in German, and I could not find a link for an English translation, so you know the market they are geared towards.

 

Also, learning some German words and phrases will never hurt! It's not that bad. If I could do it....

 

Good luck and best wishes! :)

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AIDA is a "daughter" of Costa which is belonging to the Carnival group.

 

TUICruises is a joint venture of TUI and RCCL (both hold 50%). TUICruises operates three vessels: Mein Schiff 1 und 2 (former Celebrity Mercury and Galaxy) and the new built Mein Schiff 3 which has been christened on June12th and is currently on the first cruise.

 

TUICruises is even more geared to German speaking passengers than AIDA. It´s a bit more upscale with a buffet style restaurant but also a main dining room (plus some specialty restaurants). They do have open seating in the MDR and flexible times. Staff for sure will also speak English but you can´t expect any English dailies or menus.

 

To be true, I wouldn´t recommend any of those two cruise lines to someone speaking no German at all.

 

steamboats

aka Carmen

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The ships are definitely kids friendly. They do have nice kids clubs and activities. Food is all buffet style.

 

Crew does speak English but you might not encounter many non German speaking passengers. Expect 98% Germans, Austrian, Swiss... (maybe not citizenship but speaking).

 

steamboats

 

 

thank you for the advice.

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Indeed ships are child friendly and I adhere to most of the information given by the other people.

Safety and other anouncements of importance are indeed in English and German. The staff is bilingual English and German.

Another excellent point are the excursions at fair price and well organised.

Yes majority is indeed German. However they started since one or two years to consider other markets as Dutch, Belgian, Swiss mostly in Europe. Don't forget they will have new ships comming soon.

 

The origine of Aida is the former East German "DSR - Deutsche See Rederei"

Indeed belonging now to the Carnival group but through Costa.

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Another line to consider is TUI, part of Royal Caribbean, whereas AIDA, I believe is part of Carnival.

 

You might find TUI and the "Mein Schiffs" (My Ships) better for you. They are more a German version of Celebrity, and upscale.

 

http://tuicruises.com/

 

TUI has some new-builds and also two Celebrity classics, Galaxy and Mercury, and I loved Galaxy when she was with Celebrity, and TUI poured about $60 million in her to take her in the direction they wanted.

 

Make no mistake about it, these cruise lines are geared to German speaking people. However, you might be surprised how many more Germans speak English, than Americans who speak German.

 

The web sites are in German, and I could not find a link for an English translation, so you know the market they are geared towards.

 

Also, learning some German words and phrases will never hurt! It's not that bad. If I could do it....

 

Good luck and best wishes! :)

 

I speak fluent German, no problem, but I just went to the TUI website and tried to order a brochure, but U.S. (Vereinigte Staaten) was not an option. Wirklich schade...

 

We have cruised on Mercury before when she was with Celebirty and would love to see and cruise on her again.

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We have no brochure of Mein Schiff, but we booked a Baltic cruise on Mein Schiff 4 last summer and are now booked on a Norway cruise with Mein Schiff 1 for July 2017. We paid in Euro.

 

Mein Schiff 4 was very enjoyable, but an English speaker without any knowledge of German would be lost. We translated everything for our daughter in law and booked private English tours in Gdansk and St. Petersburg. There were a few other families like us on board, I heard children speak English in the elevator and the reception desk said they had about 10 non Schengen passports on board. Those had to be stored with the ship and were handed out as needed.(St. Petersburg and on return to Kiel)

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I speak fluent German, no problem, but I just went to the TUI website and tried to order a brochure, but U.S. (Vereinigte Staaten) was not an option. Wirklich schade...

 

We have cruised on Mercury before when she was with Celebirty and would love to see and cruise on her again.

 

I was never on the ship during the Celebrity era, only as a Mein Schiff, but she is very nice today. For those who miss her but got a hang up about the German language there will soon be an opportunity travelling on Marella, Tui cruises British "sister" as the old Celebrity ships are getting tranfered over to the British cruise line.

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TUI's British cruise line was Thomson and is now Marella. The Dream, Celebration and Spirit are leased from Cypriot, Louis Lines. Their newer ships are Discovery 1 (previously RCL Serenade of the Seas) and Discovery 2 (previously RCL Legend of the Seas) through an arrangement with RCL - TUI is not owned by RCL which is part of Carnival. TUI's Mein Schiff 1 will join the fleet in May 2018 as Explorer and Spirit will be returned to Louis Lines in Oct 18

This winter Discovery 2's home port is Montego Bay Jamaica and the cruises are offered to Canadians through Sunwing as it visits Havana. Discovery 1's home port is Bridgetown Barbados and Celebrations's home port is La Romana Dominican Republic. Dream is in The Canaries

Next winter they will be sailing one ship in the Far East - spreading their wings and really looking forward to that

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Quick question (we have to 'decide' if we go on a rather expensive trip next year, looks like it's always fully booked): does Aida offer excusions woth english guides?

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Quick question (we have to 'decide' if we go on a rather expensive trip next year, looks like it's always fully booked): does Aida offer excusions woth english guides?

 

No, although the crew does speak English too the onboard language is German only (except for security announcements which are in German and English). As there are rarely any non German speaking guests onboard there won´t be enough people for a tour in English.

 

steamboats

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Sue Kay is correct my error

TUI Marella offer cruise only which is often booked by ex pats in Spain and Majorca who then arrange their own flights if necessary

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We are non-German speakers and enjoyed very much AIDA and MS.  Most of the time with AIDA and MS, we do our own tours either with a local English-speaking guide, or go around on our own in a rental car or public transit.  We usually study the area beforehand and already know the background and history, and simply need a way to go around.

 

The only time we joined an AIDA tour was in Israel (Haifa) because of the concerns with local traffic jam. We simply go around ourselves while everyone else stayed in the German tour.  Also the AIDA tours includes lunch and is cheaper.

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In 2018 I cruised on both TUI and AIDA for the first time. I speak German, but my husband does not. 

 

TUI was really only German ship and nobody wanted to communicate in any other language - even the staff spoke only German. All the shows were german and they even sang only german songs :classic_blink: .

 

AIDA staff welcomed us in english already at embarcation, when they saw our passports. The emergency drill was bilingual and all emergency announcements were in german and english language. Daily programme was only in german. Shows and entertainment was partly in german, partly in english (singers were all non-german). The staff and the passengers spoke to us mostly in english.

 

I felt very welcomed at AIDA eventhough I am not German, however on TUI I felt like a stranger. That is why I have already booked new AIDA cruise for this year and I will probably not cruise with TUI again.

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Captain John - wanted to know how easy it was to book the AIDAnova for our Canaries cruise in February.

 

I booked through a European travel agent that is easily found on the website.  I then had direct emails from AIDA in German.  There is an option to translate the pages into English.  (I understand a bit of German but it was useful to have a translator tool!).  

 

The most reassuring part for me was that I asked questions, in English, to AIDA via their website AIDA.de and the response came back in English.  The responses were prompt, friendly and they seemed flattered that UK citizens wanted to try their ships.

 

As I stated before, it will be my first AIDA but based on the price and what is included, I am confident it won't be my last.  (Steamboats has posted recent pictures - it was on the Royal Caribbean website under the topic "Spectrum Blocks are in the House" our perhaps Steamboats might attach them here?).  Hope that helps.  If there is anything specific you wish to know, let me know and I will answer upon our return 23rd Feb!

 

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5 hours ago, panamapd said:

Captain John - wanted to know how easy it was to book the AIDAnova for our Canaries cruise in February.

 

 

Thank you very much for the reply. Glad you found it a relatively easy experience to book. To be honest, I didn't even think of looking for an Aida board on Cruise Critic. I'll now spend some time poking about here to get a feel for the product.

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Here are the photos of the AIDAnova. And here´s the full article (or series - starts out with the daily blog of the cruise itself and ends with serveral entries about the ship including the 360 degree photos - text is in German but google translate usually works pretty well).

 

steamboats

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CC Senior Executive Editor Colleen McDaniel did a lengthy review of the AIDAperla from the perspective of a non German speaker. Or check out her DHs article.

 

steamboats

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Thanks Steamboats, lots of reading to do. Even having a quick glance at Colleen's overview has thrown up some differences I'm not used to ('free' sit down restaurants with the purchase of a drink for example).

 

I am from Scotland, and I am mostly used to American cruise lines, although in the past few years have cruised MSC which was initially an adjustment - I imagine the same is required for Aida. Even the ship design and layout is very different - although not in a bad way at all. Look forward to doing more research.

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First day back from the amazing AIDAnova.  I must admit to a bit of trepidation at first but from embarkation to disembarkation it was fun, sophisticated and exceeded all expectations.  No wonder AIDA is a well kept secret from the UK market!!  Where do I begin?  Drinks - included red or white wine or lager at meal times.  Pepsi, Sprite, natural still and sparkling water all day.  REALLY good choice of food at all mealtimes.  English was spoken by the crew and some other guests, once they knew we were English.  The daily programme was in German but around the ship they have interactive notice boards, where you can select English.

 

There were two hiccups - one was that we were meant to be in Madeira all day but only managed to be there for about 3 hours!!  No explanation given.  We have only ever had a port change once before and again that was in the Canaries so we just had to assume it was to do with the weather.  Secondly, our first cabin on deck 4 was incredibly noisy with the turning over the engines.  I phoned guest services at 1.00am and was expecting to be given earplugs.  However, we were told we could change cabin in the morning.  It was from an inside to a better grade of inside.  We were also given free drinks vochures, so got cocktails with those.

 

All in all it was a very wise decision and we will definitely sail with AIDA again.

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