To­tal Im­mer­sion

When in Rome Ger­many … Port­hole cruises as the lo­cals do on AIDA perla.

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - What’s Inside - BY SHARON KENNY

Those smil­ing red lips and ex­otic Cleopa­tra eyes on the bow make AIDA’s cruise ships the most strik­ingly dra­matic-look­ing ships in any cruise port, from China to Mi­ami to the Mediter­ranean. Yet out­side of Ger­many, AIDA is al­most un­known, even amongst cruise-lovers.

Iwas the only Amer­i­can, and the only non-Ger­man speaker on my week­long cruise on AIDA’s new­est ship

AIDAperla … and it was one of my best and most unique cruises ever.

“Aren’t you wor­ried that no one will speak English?” a friend asked me be­fore I left.

“Well, not speak­ing Ger­man wouldn’t stop me from vis­it­ing Ger­many,” I ex­plained. “So what’s the dif­fer­ence?”

More than 95 per­cent of AIDA guests are Ger­man speak­ers, but all of the crew speaks English, and very well too. In fact, it’s the of­fi­cial lan­guage the crew uses to com­mu­ni­cate since they are from all na­tion­al­i­ties. All of the ma­jor an­nounce­ments are made in Ger­man, but most are re­peated in English. If you are an ex­pe­ri­enced cruiser, you won’t have any dif­fi­cul­ties.

In fact, be­ing on a Ger­man line while cruis­ing through Ger­many, the Nether­lands, France, and Bel­gium (plus a day in the UK) made the cruise more im­mer­sive in the Euro­pean ex­pe­ri­ence, both in the shore ex­cur­sions and then back on board. I had all the cruise ad­van­tages — not hav­ing to un­pack and repack for each des­ti­na­tion, no wor­ries about trans­porta­tion — yet the ship was like a beau­ti­ful small Ger­man town. I could take a leisurely walk around the so­phis­ti­cated lit­tle town each evening and try a dif­fer­ent in­ter­na­tional restau­rant, check out what was hap­pen­ing in the town square, watch the cabaret show per­haps, have a drink at an out­side ter­race bar to catch the sun­set, and af­ter­wards en­joy the beach party un­der the stars on the top deck. There was even a late-night take­out cur­ry­wurst (curry-fla­vored pork sausage) stand and a ta­pas bar out­side the disco where rev­el­ers could take a break from the loud dance mu­sic and neon lights to have a snack and hang with their friends on the street out­side.

And just like a real town, the guests were a mix of fam­i­lies, groups of friends, cou­ples, and peo­ple of all ages.

But the dif­fer­ences on AIDAperla go well be­yond lan­guage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.