Aida Perla, the complete guide

Aida Perla is the second Hyperion-class cruise ship built for Aida Cruises. Like previous cruise liners from the Mitsubishi shipyards, this new generation is also a highly technological, full of innovations and a modern interpretation of on-board living environments and lifestyles.


Aida Perla is characterized by informality, flexibility, and range of service hours (for example the Spa and gymnasium both close at midnightwhilst buffet catering is open from 6am to midnight). The interior design is almost identical to Aida Prima: featuring light, pastel and white tones, light tapestries, and a lot of clear wood, that gives a lightness and freshness to the passenger environments.

Cabins are divided into several categories (with 22 different styles, for a total of 1643 cabins giving a maximum capacity of 3400 passengers). 32 Cabins are suites (in turn, of 5 different types), range from 40 to 125 square metres and each have their own private solarium, separate living room, 2 bathrooms, and other amenities. Panorama cabins are located on the Patio deck and have direct access to the indoor pool. 1101 of these cabins have a “veranda” (10 categories, comprising 69% of the overall cabins), including Lanai, with a private Wintergarden and balcony furnished with a sofa, table, and sun loungers. Meanwhile 198 cabins have a window (4 different types) and 312 are interior cabins (3 types), almost all doubles with separated beds (only a few with double beds that cannot be converted into double beds). Standard amenities include: a large bathroom with spacious shower, desk with armchair, large flat screen TV, adjustable air conditioning, safe deposit, and a telephone. There are also 29 disabled accessible cabins, distributed to decks 5 and 6 in various categories and all located near the lifts for easier access.

The Aida Perla numbers are really impressive with: 16 passenger decks, 12 restaurants, 18 bars and lounges, 3 large pools and 4 smaller ones, 4 jacuzzis, a water park with two slides, 10 lifts, a wellness area of 3,100 square metres, and an 8,050 square feet solarium. On board there are 5 completely free buffet restaurants, three free on-demand restaurants, 4 traditional  restaurants, and a hot-dog kiosk.

Let’s take a quick walk around the ship and explore better what the Aida Perla has to offer…

Starting from Deck 3 where the gangways and landing areas are located. Also on Deck 3 there are the Bike Station and Dive Centre (where you can get equipment for swimming and underwater), plus the ship’s medical centre (medical examinations and treatments are chargeable). Finally, Bar Pier 3 is an open-air all day restaurant offering free drinks, fruit, sandwiches, desserts and, for a fee, Starbuck’s coffee and other special products.

On Deck 4 you will find the 24-hour Reception, with German and English speaking staff, who will help you with all your enquires including: shore visit information, booking on board tables and for any food-related problems. Along the corridor there are laundries open to passengers, equipped with all necessary facilities including: washing machines, dryers, and irons.

Deck 5 is entirely dedicated to cabins throughout its length.

Deck 6 on the other hand features are wide range of passenger facilities, the Lido, for example, is dedicated to passenger areas including an extensive outdoor promenade with tables near the restaurants. Starting at the bow we find the scenic Spray Bar, a modern two-level lounge for adults, run in collaboration with Moet & Chandon and from the upper level you have access to the bow, with a dizzying sight facing the sea. It is possible to book the tables in this very suggestive setting to full appreciate his invigorating experience.

Also in the bow, is modern disco with a wide dance floor and several seating areas, both near the dance area and in more secluded corners. In the afternoon there are dance lessons, while in the evening the programming varies from theme evenings to special shows and light games.

Nightclub Nightfly on the starboard bow is reserved for adults, where  tables can be reserved for performances inspired by Moulin Rouge or other European performances. It has its own bar and, outside the time of the shows, there is sometimes entertainment with piano.

The Aida Plaza is one of the most active and amazing centres of the ship. Here the Tapas & Bar, offers the famous Spanish dishes, where you can order free of charge from the strictly with Spanish descriptions menu and you only pay for any drinks. You can book aperitif tables and offer a good selection of Spanish and international wines. Also in the Aida Plaza is the Scharfe Ecke which offers free hamburgers, hot dogs and other fast food specialties from the afternoon.

The Aida Plaza is occupies 2 decks, on Deck 6 you can also enjoy musical entertainment and small shows. A staircase leads Deck 7 from where the commercial gallery goes on to the centre of the ship a true shopping mall at sea. Moving from Jewellery and Watchmaking comes to Photoshop (which also sells cameras and electronic equipment).

Continuing from the bow to the stern on Deck 6 we pass the fully automated Casino. No croupier and no chips here: the roulette, poker and black jack games are all managed through computers giving one a truely “self-service” experience. Of course there are expert staff on-hand that provide the necessary assistance should you need it. The gambling area is served by the Casino Bar and that also offers poker lessons and tournaments, and of course traditional Bingo.

Meanwhile on Deck 7, at the bow you will find the great Body and Soul Sport Complex. The gym contains avant-garde equipment including a large fitness room, a spinning lounge and a 30-lesson programme of a different types. In the Zen Lounge there are workshops and private lessons, and in addition to Pilates courses, there are also meditation, Zumba, and Yoga sessions. At the exit of the Fitness Centre you will find the Sport Shop, a well-stocked shop that sells equipment and sportswear. Then they open on the top of the Aida Plaza the Nail Spa (manicure and pedicure salon), perfumery (which also sells cosmetics and toiletries) and Travel Services (where to book the next cruises). Treat yourself to a Magnum Bar at the corner before you land!

Belladonna Buffet RestaurantMarkt Restaurant and East Restaurant are 3 of the main restaurants on the deck 6.

Another great shop in the Aida Plaza is a bit of an emporium which offers: clothing, Aida branded souvenirs, and toys. At Blutenmeer you will find fresh flowers and home and garden furniture. Cafè Mare offers  a selection of coffees from around the world. The Hemingway, a small library closes the theatre on the port side of the ship, with comfortable sofas and small alcoves with portholes to give a sea view. Cafè Mare also offers board games, cards, and a selection of DVDs. On the starboard side of the ship, you will find the Kunst art gallery , with very nice works inspired by Aida Cruises as well as more classical and valuable paintings.

Continuing to the stern there are other dining venues. The Kochstudio is a cooking school where courses are held and with dishes cooked by the passengers themselves. The recipes are chosen and inspired by the ship’s itineraries. French Kiss is a feature French brasserie, open all day. In the morning, breakfast is served at the table for light meals with cold cuts and French cheeses and stuffed freshly baked baguettes. In the evening, however, they offer complete, yet free, dishes inspired by French cuisine.

Going to the stern you meet the characteristic Brauhaus, a real German beer bar with tables and benches that serves typical dishes such as spatzle, shin, Wiener Schnitzel, and so on. Beer, of 4 different types, is produced directly on board. In the evening on the small inner stage traditional and jodler singers perform, offering a truly unforgettable evening.

Closer to the stern you will find the Weitere Welt Restaurant, another of the free restaurants of the ship, featuring daily regional or national dishes. Inside the Weitere Welt Restaurant, the style of furniture is simple but extremely pleasing, with large screens that reproduce the swirling of the waves on the shoreline. It also has tables on the terrace, on the port side of the ship.

At the end of the stern is the Lanai Bar, which features a smoking area and a set of sofas overlooking the stern. An aperitif with a view on the wake from the ship will surely be one of the most beautiful moments on board Aida Perla.

Climbing to Deck 8 there are more open air spaces. The special wicker sunbeds and the extraordinary  suspended Jacuzzi pools  hang over  the sea. A large bow area is occupied by the Body & Soul Organic Spa, with over 3 square kilometres divided into relaxation areas, saunas, solarium, thepidarium, Turkish bath, and so on. The ship opens a large relax area with indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi, Thepidarium, and a refreshment area with tea and herbs and fresh fruit. On the port side of the ship is access to 4 different saunas (bio sauna, Finnish sauna, and higher or lower temperature saunas), a Turkish bath, and another outdoor area with Jacuzzi and sundeck. There is also a range of private treatments, including acupuncture, thalassotherapy, massages of various kinds. There is a very nice relax area with view on the bow with high ground floor on both sides of the ship. Daily entrance to the Spa is subject to a charge.

The Sunset Bar, on both sides of the Theatrium, features large sea-front windows, comfortable walk-in sofas and scenic chairs within the transparent spheres, on the port side of the ship. On the port side of the ship you will also find the payment Sushi Bar and the Gourmet Rossini Restaurant one after the other, both provide a range of menus which offer alternatives to on board catering. On the starboard side of the ship, there is Vinothek, with a large selection of gingerbread wines and Buffalo Steakhouse, with tables on the outside deck, which offers American beef and other meat dishes.

The decks 9 to 12 are entirely occupied by various types and categories of cabins. Whilst deck 14 proposes several attractions and takes the name, Activity Deck. For children there is the Mini Club which offers free entertainment activities according to a daily schedule there is also available, for a fee, baby-sitting for children from 6 months of age. The Mini Club is for small passengers up to 3 years of age and offers separate areas for recreational activities and for changing and washing children. Finally, the Kids Club is dedicated to older children, divided into three different age groups (3-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-11 years). In the Club’s Spaces there are games, small sports contests, treasure hunts, movies and cartoons, and dancing with the Aida characters (the most likable are Itzi, Dodo, Achwasachwas). The Kids Club also has a large outdoor area with pool, water fountains, slides, etc.

Staying on deck 14 we find the fifth free buffet restaurant, the Fuego, named after one of the Four Elements, the combination of activities on the Activity Deck.

The Four Elements consists of climbing, swimming pools and water games, a stage for live shows (which in the evening turns into a cinema); Two aquatic slides that also cross the outer ship (Aida Racer); a slide suspended in the void. The entire structure has a removable glass cover. Bar 4 Elements serves fresh fruit smoothies and excellent milkshake.

Do not leave deck 14 before you have tried the spectacular Skywalk, on both sides of the ship’s stern, where you walk suspended 45 metres above the sea.

On the deck 15 is the wonderful Beach Club. High palm trees, a wood  and bamboo cane bar, pool and Caribbean cocktails. There is also a stage for live music and various kinds of entertainment, two Jacuzzis, comfortable sun loungers and sea views . From the second level, to deck 16, there is access to the outdoor solarium areas. From the base level, to the deck 15, you can access the outdoor pool, connected to the indoor one by means of a swim passage. 2 bars serve to drink until late evening.

Exiting from the Beach Club and heading towards the stern there are sunbeds, MiniGolf and a walk on both sides of the ship that give access to the boules area, shuffleboard, and backgammon. The Pool Bar offers drinks, cocktails and coffee. At deck 15 one can also find the Wave Club, dedicated to teenagers, divided into Orcas (12-13 years) and Teens (14-17 years). Along with the 3 different Clubs dedicated to children and young people aboard, the on-board activities are dedicated to these young sailors.

On deck 16 you will find the Patio deck, an exclusive and reserved area for adults in the Panorama cabins. It has two swimming pools, and its own Bar, it enjoys a beautiful view of the bow area. At the centre of the ship is a sports field that offers various activities with a varied daily programme.

On deck 17 there are numerous Solarium areas. Whilst on deck 18 at the centre of the ship there is a small nudist area with Jacuzzi and sun loungers.

This completes our tour of the ship a truly amazing cruise liner, in addition to the extensive range of activities for all types of passengers, the modern feel of the ship and the appealing architecture and colours used, is undoubtedly the range and quality of the gastronomic offerings. The possibility to dine on board in 5 completely different free Buffets, where the drinks are free (water, beer, red and white wine, bottled drinks, coffee and tea self-service); Some free restaurants on reservation (drinks are charged), other restaurants charge.

Aida Prima astonished us with its technological innovation and service offerings. Aida Perla not only confirms the company’s commitment in this direction, but rather takes the cruise experience to another level especially for those who have the chance to try the Hyperion class.

The ship is characterised by modern, bright, functional and practical environments with vast panoramas over the sea. The incredible range of well-crafted attractions with relaxation and tranquil areas make it a ship for everyone. You don’t need to know German because all the staff speak English and it is not uncommon to meet Italians as well with whom to entertain pleasant discussions about this extraordinary cruising reality but that offers an experience beyond all expectations.

Read all the Reviews of the Aida Perla, with opinions, information, Photos and Videos on Cruising Journal.


Gabriele Bassi