Aida Blu: Traveling on a ship that speaks German

Aida ships have been sailing the Mediterranean for years, so I decided to go on one to see what it means to take a cruise “Made in Germany”!

Aida Cruises is part of the Costa Cruises group, but don’t be fooled by the Italian flag at the stern, as this company is dedicated exclusively to the German-speaking market.

Built in 2010, the Aida Blu can accommodate up to 2176 passengers and is 252 meters long.

I had the pleasure of trying this ship in both summer (2018) and winter (March 2023), and my impressions of this ship, and more generally of the service Aida offers its passengers, are overwhelmingly positive!

Attracted by the possibility of embarking from my home port of Civitavecchia, we embarked on an itinerary that, with the exception of Malta, was entirely dedicated to our beautiful country, touching the ports of Catania, Palermo, Naples and Olbia, and then returning to Civitavecchia. In reality, Olbia was only a stop on paper, since strong winds and heavy seas forced a last-minute change in the itinerary, forcing the captain to skip the stop in Sardinia and return to Civitavecchia a day earlier. If it was a disappointment for us, for our German friends, on the other hand, the overnight stay in Civitavecchia gave them the opportunity to visit Rome and its wonders in peace and quiet!

The language onboard the Aida Blu is German. This is the case on all the ships of the Aida brand, dedicated exclusively to a clientele that speaks this language.

The captain’s daily announcements are in German, the ship’s log is in German, and even the menus in the restaurants are in German. Except for the announcement of the mandatory emergency drill, which is done in the comfort of one’s stateroom on the TV, and then going to the assigned muster station to sign in, nothing is translated or communicated in English! Everyone, but really everyone, speaks German, even the Asian waiters at the buffet, who were happy to speak a more familiar language when we asked them to speak English!

Catering Services

Aida Cruises is a company that includes service charges and beverages in the basic price of the cruise: still or sparkling water, red or white wine will be brought to your table by the waiter in a carafe at the buffet, while for Coke, Fanta, Sprite and draught beer there are free dispensers.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, liquors, spirits, wines, select beers and bottled beverages are subject to a charge: you may elect to upgrade to the Beverage Package, but in this case the package must be purchased by everyone in the stateroom, including children!

Onboard Aida Blu, there is no main restaurant with a choice of menu, assigned table for the duration of the cruise and table service; instead, there are three buffet restaurants, each offering a different culinary offering with variations each night:

The Belladonna Restaurant on deck 10 offers an Italian-inspired menu,

The Markt Restaurant on deck 9 offers Mediterranean cuisine,

The East Restaurant offers East Asian menus, and there is also a Sushi Restaurant, a Japanese specialty restaurant with an a la carte menu.

For those who do not like buffets, there are a la carte restaurants such as the elegant Rossini, the Sushi Restaurant or the Buffalo Steak House.

Alternatively, you can choose one of the specialty restaurants, where food is included on the menu but drinks are separate. The Brauhaus on deck 10 is the ship’s pub, offering a typical German menu such as shin with potatoes, a favorite of Aida cruise passengers, and the beers are brewed right onboard!

Another specialty restaurant is Best Burger@Sea, the hamburgeria on deck 11: on several occasions we have seen crew members come here to get a nice sandwich!

Unlike the buffets on Costa or MSC, Aida Blu‘s buffets are not open from morning until late at night, but there are set times for breakfast (7 to 11 a.m.), lunch (12:30 to 3 p.m.) and dinner (6 to 9:30 p.m.). For those who like to get up very early in the morning to admire the deserted ship or enjoy the beautiful sunrises at sea, the only option for breakfast is a corner set up by the pool with a small selection of croissants, tea and coffee.

For those who want to snack late at night, the only options for dinner are the Brauhaus or Best Burger@Sea, but no later than 11 p.m., otherwise everything is closed!


The heart of the ship’s activities is the Theatrium: there is no actual theater on Aida Blu; instead, there is an amphitheater in the central atrium with a semi-portable stage in the middle, where the ship’s artists perform their 35-40 minute song and dance shows in the evenings.

The Theatrium is a large open space that spans the height of three decks.

Since Aida Blu is only 32 meters wide, you can see the sea from both sides of the Theatrium, thanks to a large window that lets in plenty of natural light during the day.

From the armchairs on either side of this beautiful wooden staircase that connects the three decks, there is a fantastic view of the sea in all its immensity! A beautiful design choice!

The Theatrium is used for evening performances by trapeze artists, contortionists, and sing-alongs, as well as blind dates with the artwork on display directly behind it, bingo, Q&A with the captain and crew, and presentations of excursions or other ships in the Aida fleet.

The evenings that were definitely the most attended by the ship’s guests were the Abba Tribute Night and the Queen Tribute Night… too bad we had already seen both shows on the previous 2018 cruise… same music, same set, same choreography.

During the day, it is possible to see the actors rehearsing in the Theatrium, which literally becomes an “open door” rehearsal: it is curious and interesting to see how the show is put together, and indeed many people attend the rehearsals, but the surprise effect disappears a bit because you know what you are going to see!


Our stateroom had four beds and a balcony on deck 5, near the Kids Club.

Five years ago, we had booked a porthole stateroom, but were surprised to find that the fourth bed, hidden in the ceiling, almost completely blocked the view when opened, making it seem like we were traveling in an interior stateroom. With that in mind, we opted for the balcony stateroom on this cruise… but again, the same problem: when the fourth bed is made up, access to the balcony is practically blocked by the bed itself, with the risk of banging your head every time you try to get out! Once outside, however, the balconies on deck 5 are lower than those on the upper decks, and best of all, there is a very comfortable hammock (found in all staterooms with balconies) in which to swing to the music of the waves!

Inside the stateroom, we find a six-door closet with plenty of crutches, a TV, a safe, and a hair dryer in its own small drawer. There are no USB sockets, and they are located only on the desk, not on the sides of the bed.

It is important to note that there is no minibar. There are few drawers, but many open shelves.

The bathroom has a glass shower and a retractable clothesline, but there is little room to store your belongings.

On deck 7 of the Aida Blu, in a small room, there is a self-service laundry with washer, dryer and iron available to guests: it works with the cruise card and for the small cost of € 5 I took home clean clothes!

Alternatively, you can always use the ship’s laundry service (for a fee).

The Aida Blu is a very colorful ship, dedicated to families with children; it brings a lot of happiness and there is always a reminder of the brand colors: blue, red, yellow and green.

The stops on this cruise are very long, allowing passengers to enjoy the beauty of the cities visited without stress! The itinerary is clearly aimed at foreign customers, having touched Malta and then Catania, Palermo, Naples and, in theory, the last stop in Olbia, skipped due to bad weather!

For each destination, Aida Blu organizes different excursions… very popular are those by bicycle.

It is well known that in Northern Europe there is a great passion for bicycles!

Wellness Center

Body & Soul Spa is the beautiful wellness area located forward on decks 12, 14 and 15.

Access to the spa is only € 5 per hour per person (massages and treatments are extra!).

On the ground floor of the Body and Soul Spa you will find the reception area, the hairdresser’s and various treatment rooms, while on the first floor you enter a large area with a large Jacuzzi in the middle, surrounded by palm trees and bamboo canes.

On either side of the tub is a turnstile to access saunas regulated at different temperatures, emotional showers and other rooms where treatments are given (for a fee). There is also a corner where you can help yourself to infusions and herbal teas.

The ceiling of this truly relaxing space is a very high roof that extends to deck 15. This roof is made of glass to allow the sun or stars to illuminate this beautiful setting!

From the rooftop terrace of the Body and Soul Spa, there is a priceless view of the bow, where I have often seen people watching the ship depart!

It is on this outdoor terrace of the spa that the iconic Aida Blu plaque is located.

It is important to remember that in Germany, and more generally in Northern Europe, the spa is a place where nudism is tolerated and widely practiced! If you are not prepared to see people walking around naked, it may be best not to go to the spa! Several signs (yes, even in English!!!) warn of the presence of naked people and remind you to change your clothes before leaving the spa to avoid embarrassing scenes!

Those who do not want to go to the spa can still use the outdoor Jacuzzis on the pool deck; there are two on each side of the pool, which I was surprised to find had heated water!

The Jacuzzis were very busy even when it was raining outside or there was a very annoying wind.

I would like to emphasize that Aida Blu passengers are very respectful of the rules: never did we find people in the Jacuzzis for whole half hours without giving others the chance to use them, and never, on our summer 2018 cruise, did we find the poolside loungers occupied for hours at dawn with personal items without anyone using them.

In the stateroom, we found robes for the spa and towels for the pool, or alternatively, towels can be picked up on the pool deck and should be left in the basket provided at the end of the day to be washed.


One deck below the spa is the gymnasium. Like the spa, it is cheerfully decorated with palm and bamboo trees.

It is a very bright room and very popular (even with the crew!) as it is equipped with many machines. There is plenty of room to work out on your own, and if you want, you can follow the instructions on the big screen or choose to attend classes that offer fitness, yoga and spinning workouts.

As an alternative to the gym, you can always opt for Latin or group dance classes, or indulge in table tennis, shuffleboard, jogging, or the activities offered at the multi-purpose court on deck 14.

Kids Club

For the youngest cruise passengers on Aida Blu, there is a beautiful Kids Club located aft on deck 5, which is very popular.

I often saw the Kids Club animators around the ship doing various activities with the little guests, and in general I found it to be a very welcome service!

The Kids Club is divided into three different areas: one room has arts and crafts workshops, another has a small theater, and the largest room has an entire area dedicated to fun, with a beautiful two-story castle and a pool full of rubber dice.

Outside the Kids Club is a beautiful terrace overlooking the stern with plenty of room to play and even a small pool!

Located on deck 12 between the disco and the small game room, the Teen Club offers daily activities for teens on the ship or in the outdoor sports arena, including volleyball, basketball, darts and shuffleboard tournaments.

Entertainment and lifestyle onboard

Aida Blu is a rather quiet ship, where the time onboard is slow and relaxing: there are many nooks and crannies where you can admire the sailing or read a good book in peace; during the day the ship is very quiet, with no live or background music, while in the evening the atmosphere becomes a bit more lively, but without overdoing it!

The Forward Lounge on deck 11 is definitely a much appreciated environment. In an absolutely quiet and bright environment, thanks to the large windows that offer an excellent view of the bow, you can read a good book in the library or play one of the many board games provided for guests.

The animation for adults is much softer than that of the domestic companies, the entertainers do not insist on taking part in the games: for the cruise passengers who decide not to go on the excursion, the entertainment offer is not extensive: the usual Latin or group dance classes are offered, or there is the game of bingo. In the Theatrium, information sessions are offered (in German, of course) about future ports of call or other ships in the Aida Cruises fleet and their itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Canary Islands or the Orient.

Every night there was a show at the Theatrium:

“Who Wants to be a Billionaire”

“Black & White Night”

“Alpengluhn” and a typical German Oktoberfest party with pretzels and beer: we were on the outside deck, but thanks to the woolen blankets we were able to enjoy the fun games organized by the entertainment staff.

“Silent Disco Night”, in my opinion the most fun night, very well attended by both guests and crew members!

“Abba Tribute Night”

“Queen Tribute Night”, followed by the Commander’s Farewell Address.

The music continues in the Aida Bar on deck 11. Musical entertainment onboard Aida Blu is provided by a guitarist, a pianist, three young DJs and a 5-piece pop band that rotate through the ship’s various bars, but the performances are always relatively short and the entertainment team is never present to invite guests to dance or participate more actively in the musical evening. The only room that stays open late is the Disco, while the Aida Bar, the only large bar where live music is played, starts to get crowded after 11 p.m.

Overall, the entertainment is always very low-key, but this reflects the style of Aida Blu‘s clientele, who are quieter and less inclined to stay out late than us Italians!

Of course, there is no shortage of amenities onboard, including a casino, a shopping area with clothing, an accessories corner, a souvenir and perfume corner, a photo corner, and an excursion office with an area reserved for booking upcoming cruises.

The outdoor decks are really well designed in my opinion, with plenty of space to sunbathe, have a drink and read. The pool deck is not on one level, but spans three decks, with a central pool that is tiered, so the sides have plenty of room for sunbathing! The small pools have different depths so that young and old can have fun in safety.

All in all, Aida Blu is a ship that always looks out to sea and is designed to enjoy the beautiful weather that our Mediterranean climate offers!

Will we sail on an Aida ship again? Definitely yes, because we like the cheerfulness of the colors, the serenity of the clientele, the schedules in the ports, which are really very convenient, and the prices, which are sometimes very attractive, considering that tips and drinks are already included.

Aida Blu is a small ship, without too many frills or attractions like her big modern sisters, but it is a ship that welcomes you with open arms after a long day and makes you feel at home with its warmth and “Willkommen zu Hause”.

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Saskia Pacifico


Lisa M
This article Is very well written, an amazing adventure i'd really like to try!!! Compliment to the author!!!😍😍