The story of my cruise aboard the AIDASol
Last Saturday, in fact, the AIDASol opened the 2021 cruise season in Germany as the first ship of the fleet to return to sailing. Cruising Journal was on board for this important departure so continue reading for a recap of all the most important details!
Before the cruise, it is necessary to carry out a PCR test within 72 hours before boarding. A further rapid test will then be carried out at the terminal, immediately before boarding. Both tests are the responsibility of the company. Given the current arrangements, the rapid test will be repeated on board. This will not be necessary for the guests who have already been completely vaccinated for Covid-19. AIDA Cruises is collaborating with Helios clinics in order to carry out the tests. Throughout Germany there are several sites where swabs can be carried out and as mentioned, everything is at the expense of the company. It will also be possible to carry out the test in your own trusted testing center or at your family doctor and in that case, AIDA credits the guest’s account with € 50 for each swab test done.
Of course, life on board is different than it was on cruises before Covid-19. Hygiene and cleanliness are always a top priority. A substantial change has occurred in the dining on board. Those who know AIDA, know that the cornerstone of onboard dining was the buffet, but given the latest provisions today the buffets have been replaced by traditional restaurants with à la carte menus. Different menus are offered every day and in addition two special dishes inspired by the restaurant’s theme are also offered.
At the moment the nightclubs are still closed and there are no pool parties. In public areas as well as in all places where safe social distancing cannot be maintained, it is mandatory to wear a surgical mask or higher level of protection. When having drinks in the restaurant or bar it is of course possible to remove the mask. During theater performances, on the other hand, the mask must always be worn. Furthermore, at the bar, drinks are not allowed at the counter, you have to sit down and place the order with the waiter.
In the first cruise departures from Germany, shore excursions will not be possible due to current regulations, however MSC Cruises has aimed to restart in Germany beginning in July with the MSC Seaview to offer protected shore excursions.
In any case, even if it was not possible to go on shore, AIDA has so much to offer on board!
A particularly exciting moment during this trip was the passage in the Baltic Sea when we skirted Denmark and the island of Rügen. Everyone really enjoyed the impressive Cliffs of Møn, also known as chalk cliffs, that in some points reach a height of 120 meters and go for a distance of about 6 km.
AIDA supplied guests with the typical program of activities and entertainment which includes the AIDA Stars and AIDA Favorites shows or the daily “Prime Times” with the entertainment manager.
In addition, the company invited some artists on board. During our trip, the special guests were stand-up comedian Kay Ray and illusionist Cody Stone.
The highlight of the Ahoi Tour was clearly the meeting with its sister ship the AIDADiva near Skagen. This was an incredibly moving moment. The guests cheered, the crew cheered too, and there were many greetings. Everything was a bit strange as we were aware that on the AIDADiva at that time there were only 80 crew members on board who are waiting impatiently to welcome the guests again.
At the end of the cruise, there was another very beautiful moment: the passage under the Danish Storebælt Bridge. This is about 18km long and is located between the two Danish cities of Slagelse and Nyborg. It was built between 1988 and 1998, and previously to that it was possible to move between the two cities only by ferry.
The Ahoi Tour with the AIDASol is definitely an experience that I can recommend to everyone! It allows you to spend a few days relaxed and carefree. The safety measures adopted do not interfere with the success of the trip and have even brought an advantage: with just 900 people on board, the sense of relaxation and tranquility is truly unprecedented!