I had experience on Costa and NCL before this cruise. So, I was comparing with that lines. We decided to choose Aida this time as we wanted to experience German style cruising and found a good price for transatlantic cruise with return flight to Germany. Also, I liked itinerary with stops at: Hamburg, Southampton, La Coruna, Lisbon, Tenerife and several Carribean islands.
Before the cruise, Aida sends you a small book with all tickets (flight, stateroom, transfers) and baggage strips. Very nice. Also, they send you a book with short description for port of calls and another book about the ship. Very nice as well. But all in German (but it possible to understand most of the information)
Embarkation: it happens in Hamburg in Steinwerder terminal. This terminal is located in industrial zone without good public transport connection. But, you have an option to choose Aida transfer from rail station for 6 euro per person. Or choose taxi (Uber or Free-now) for approx 13-15 euro from city center. Embarkation time is assigned to you and it is in range of 1 hour. So, there is no big queue in terminal as everyone have it's own time.
We had a cabin on Deck 5. There is some pros and cons.
+ Close to most of buffets and restaurants
+ Close to embarkation and disembarkation areas
+ Very private balcony. Most of the balconies on the ship are open for view from promenade or different viewing points on the ship. Balconies on Deck 5 are extremely private
+ Good condition of all amenities in the room. You can fill that this is a nearly new ship
+ Balconies on deck 5 are of a huge size
+ 2 chairs convertible to sun beds
+ Hammock on the balcony. Very nice to spend there relaxing minutes during sea day
- As deck 5 is below rescue boats level, all balconies are made "waves proof". There is a lot of big metal parts. They partially obstruct the view from balcony and from the room
- Balcony door is not typical sliding door. It is opens outside. And doesn't have mechanism to lock it on close. You just close the door. So, the door doesn't close tightly and you hear a little noise from outside and wind blows inside of the room when strong winds are in direction of your side of the ship.
- Mattress is terrible. With springs. And Aida doesn't not provide top-mattress by default. When you lie on the bad you fill with your body each spring. By request steward can provide top mattress.
- Beds are not fully convertible to king-size. Two beds can be joined together, but Aida doesn't have mattress or top-mattress of king-size. So, you will have a gap in the middle
- Bed sheet is of terrible quality. Looks like cheapest from IKEA that is in use for several years and had 100 cycles in washing machine. On some of I was not able to sleep well, had to ask next day to change
- Bathroom doesn't have all small things you might find on other cruise line: body lotion, shower cap etc. I'm even not saying about bathrobe or slippers. All what you can find in bathroom: towels and 2 body/hair soaps
- Service in the room happens 1 time per day. And, because of low count of personnel, you will not find towel animals in your room. Simply because steward doesn't have time for that (We got 1 only after tipping).
- Air conditioning in the room was loud sometime. It was not possible to turn it off. And it was not providing enough fresh air during the sleep.