EX­TRAS

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - All Eyes On Deck -

Chil­dren are very wel­come but not over­whelm­ing. With such an in­ter­est­ing play area called Four El­e­ments, I can see why the chil­dren rarely ven­ture through­out the rest of the ship. I wanted to hang here too! The large open space, which spans the two top decks at the back of the ship, is a glassed-in won­der­land for chil­dren. Thrill-seek­ers can ride the twist­ing wa­ter­slide with seethrough sec­tions that ex­tend over the deck, or ven­ture onto the chal­leng­ing ropes course over­head, which has on-site staff guid­ing kids of all ages through the ob­sta­cle course.

AIDAperla’s well- equipped gym is one of the most spa­cious I’ve ever seen at sea, and both the gym and the beau­ti­ful spa have treat­ment rooms and loung­ing ar­eas that look out over the wa­ter. Un­like many other cruise lines, AIDA owns and man­ages their own spa and gym; there is a much more low-key, ca­sual, and calm at­mos­phere as a re­sult. There are also a se­ries of spe­cialty saunas on the “cloth­ing op­tional” side of the spa and lots of small plunge pools out­doors and in­side as well.

AIDA ships of­ten travel through cooler weather lo­ca­tions, so the main pool area on the top deck is par­tially en­closed by a high glass roof, but there are lots of other places on the top deck to en­joy the sea air such as the minia­ture golf course (which glowed in the dark af­ter the sun went down and changed a sim­ple game into an oth­er­worldly ex­pe­ri­ence).

The ex­cur­sions booked through AIDA are with Ger­man- speak­ing guides. I rec­om­mend book­ing a pri­vate tour with an English-speak­ing guide if that’s im­por­tant to you.

Cruis­ing on AIDA with its wel­com­ing Ger­man cul­ture made the magic of a cruise even more spe­cial and felt like a warm Ger­man town on the sea. Cruise ships take on in­di­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties and the liv­ery de­sign of AIDA makes that per­son­al­ity come to life even more. When­ever I left the

AIDAperla, those smil­ing lips and big eyes al­ways • seemed to wel­come me back.

Start­ing in No­vem­ber 2018, AIDAperla will be spend­ing the win­ter sea­son in the Caribbean for the first time.

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