From the 18th to the 22nd I cruised for the first time in my life! In 2010, I’ve been at the ferry from Calais to Dover, but that’s something different. So I was really excited about this journey and I want to share some memories with you.
The trip was more or less sponsored by AIDA for young trainees who are trained as travel agents, so it was totally free for me. I only had to pay for additional drinks at the bar and the wifi on board.
The ocean carrier was AIDA. Our ship was AIDAsol which offered 5 buffet restaurants and 3 á-la-carte restaurants. The buffet restaurants were free, as well as the drinks there (soft drinks, tea, water, coffee…). There were 15 decks all in all. Such a huuuge swimming hotel. :D
I got up at 4am at the 18th to get to Hamburg by train. I arrived at 11:30 am and met my friend Miro with whom I went to Loving Hut, my favorite vegan restaurant, to have lunch. Sadly, we only met for a short time, but it was nice talking to her again, haha. Afterwards I went to the bus stop where the shuttle should pick me up. When I received the participants list I was looking for the girl I had to share a cabin with on facebook and found her! That’s why we met at the bus stop to go to the harbor together.
The check-in was super slow, so we were really bored. But our balcony cabin was awesome! The internet worked as well, so I took a lot of snaps and videos for snapchat. We met up with the rest of the group, got a short introduction and watched the ship setting off. What an awesome view over the cost of Hamburg!
Nearly endless corridors. :D We were on deck 7!
After the introduction we had burgers at the Restaurant “California Grill”. Sadly it was the only restaurant which was open at that time so it was kinda crowded. In the evening we went to the East Restaurant together. They served food from Asia and that day the topic was Sri Lanka. I found so much vegan food at the buffet! Heavenly! They offered a wide range of different foods, desserts and even fruits. Everything was delicious so I couldn’t complain at all!
The East Restaurant
Thursday morning, right after the breakfast (We visited the Mark Restaurant which had buffets full of different foods. Cornflakes, bread, fruits, yoghurt, eggs, meat…. I don’t care about the last things mentioned, but I was so happy, that they even offered rice milk and soya milk! There was so much food, I couldn’t decide what to eat first) we visited every area of the ship to check out the attractions. Later a woman from the entertainment department showed us the rooms where the artists changed their cloths and where they come from. Every evening there are shows in the huge theater and the artists are graduates from famous drama schools all over the world.
The Markt Restaurant!
Part of the pool deck!
At lunch, we visited the Bella Donna restaurant which was a specialist in Italian food. There was also a lot of vegan dishes which was awesome for me. Afterwards we went on a small trip, because today’s harbor was Amsterdam! Sadly, we had to pay the trip by ourselves, so I’ve spent 35€ on the trip to Amsterdam. But it was totally worth it! We went to a huge flea market, visited small shops, the Anne Frank House and took a lot of photos! Amsterdam is such a beautiful city, believe me!
I’m not sure where we had dinner this evening, but I guess it was the East Restaurant again.
In the evening we watched a show. It wasn’t that good but also not bad… I’m just not really into Beatles music. :D
Amsterdam, my new love! <3
The huge theater on board!
The next stop was Dover in the UK. We arrived there at about 9am on Friday, so around the time we got ready for breakfast, we saw the ship arriving. Right after the breakfast we went on a free trip together to Canterbury, a small town in the south-east of England. Our guide was an old English lady who was really friendly and spoke clear English so everyone could understand her. We visited a huge cathedral (with awesome, colorful windows) and had some free time afterwards. My new friend and I went through the city center and went shopping at Primark. I bought a new pair of shoes and hair bows. Sadly, I didn’t exchange any money, but I could pay with my credit card. In another shop where I wanted to buy a postcard, I could even pay in Euro!
Cute, small Canterbury. <3 I bought Oreos there. :D
In the afternoon the department heads answered our questions about everything on this ship. We went to another show in the evening again. This one was so much better! The oriental costumes were amazing!
Later, we visited the pool deck where a huge Octoberfest party took place. Some travelers even wore Dirndl! But the music was awful so we left and went to the Anytime Bar where they played everthing but the German folk music. I drank my one and only cocktail this evening. Alcohol-free of course.
On Saturday was a passage day, so no trip today. In the morning we were educated about booking and selling AIDA journeys to our customers. We had the rest of the day for ourselves, so we went to the Brauhaus for lunch. Well, most of the food was only available for dinner so I’ve eaten a Salad and went to the California Grill restaurant to have another burger. If I had brought my bikini with me, I would have tried the spa area with was free as well!
The Brauhaus. It's so cute!!
In the evening we were invited to the Á-la-carte restaurant “Buffalo Steak House”. As you can tell from the name, it’s a meat serving only restaurant. I asked our advisor if they can make a vegan dish for me. Honestly, I was kinda afraid of ending up with a plate or carrots or something… But I got a three-course menu with looked so much better than the original menu! And it was sooo delicious! I was so happy, that the head chef put so much effort into my dishes. He actually knew what it means to be a cook and to fulfill ones guests’ wishes. This was basically the best experience ever.
My awesome vegan food!! Thank you so much! <3
In the morning, we arrived in Hamburg. The night before I put my baggage in front of my cabin door, so the staff picked it up and I could get it back when I leave the ship. The advantage is that I don’t have to carry my luggage myself. Actually I wanted to sleep late, but my friend got up early so I woke up too. I went to breakfast at about 8:30am … Unhappily it was really crowded so I had to share a table with a family. :D I enjoyed my last breakfast at the Markt Restaurant and said farewell to the awesome ship.
It was an awesome experience and the ship didn’t seesaw as much as expected. The first night was horrible because the air condition was super loud and I also heard the waves of the ocean. I wasn’t even seasick, haha. Thank god.
All in all, I liked the service on AIDAsol. The
food was always delicious and warm, the staff in every area was super motivated and friendly and the cabins were always clean! I’d really recommend you to try such a cruise! And I’ll definitely go on one again if I have the money and the time.