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Cruise · 2017 · AIDA Cruises'  AIDAperla

Barcelona - Palma De Mallorca - Ajaccio - Civitavecchia - Livorno - Barcelona

   AIDA Cruises'  AIDAperla  is the twelfth and newest ship of the AIDA fleet !

Classy Italian with a kiss 'AIDAperla' berthed next to the marina in Ajaccio :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 1610CEST (Ajaccio)

AIDAperla  The Ship
  • IMO 9636967
  • MMSI 247385300
  • Call Sign IBRL
  • Registered in Genova ⁄ Italia
  • First Cruise 28 May 2017
  • Passenger Beds 4759
  • Staterooms 1643
  • Crew 900
  • Crew ⁄ Stateroom 0.55
  • GT 125572
  • GT ⁄ Stateroom 76.4
  • Length 984ft / 299.95m
  • Beam 123.5ft / 37.65m
  • Beam Superstructures ~162ft / ~49.50m
  • Draft 27.1ft / 8.25m
  • Height ~177ft / ~54.00m ( a.s.l.)
  • Engine Power 48MW
  • Speed 21.5kts
  • 13 Restaurants
  • 18 Clubs & Bars
  • Brewery
  • Cooking School
  • Theatrium 1200 Seats
  • Discotheque
  • Casino
  • Conference Center
  • Kids Club
  • 15 Pools
  • 2 Waterslides
  • Skywalk
  • Basketball Court
  • High Ropes Course
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Miniature Golf Course
  • Wellness & Fitness Center
  • Jogging Track
Data Sources: AIDA / AIDAperla Bordportal / DNV GL / www.schiffe-und-kreuzfahrten.de / www.cruisemapper.com / MT / Wikipedia

Together with the sister ship, 'AIDAperla' is the biggest cruise and passenger ship on the German market, operated by 'AIDA Cruises', founded in 1996. As well as the sister ship 'AIDAprima', new technological features have been introduced, like the air lubrication system for example, it makes 'AIDAperla' much more fuel efficient, while gliding on a carpet of air bubbles under the hull. Engines of both the vessels are dual fuel, burning heavy oil or LNG. An emissions filtering system reduces air pollution furthermore. Additionally, the bow is designed for economic cruise, reducing fuel consumption, as well. It looks like the vertical bow of a battleship, or the world's first cruise ship ever, 126 years ago, when German director of 'HAPAG', also known as 'Hamburg America Line', Albert Ballin invented cruise shipping in Hamburg, sending record breaking transatlantic liner 'Augusta Victoria' with her 3 funnels to the Mediterranean and Levante. 'AIDAperla' was floated out from her Mitsubishi Heavy Industries dry dock in Nagasaki on 20th March 2016 at 08:40am, and entered service on 28th May 2017 with a cruise for travel agents in the Mediterranean Sea.

The concept of 'AIDA cruises' does not feature a main dining room, but a variety of different complimentary theme buffet restaurants with cutlery stands on every table, plus some further full service restaurants on reservation and surcharge basis. Many beverages in the buffet restaurants, like water, lemonade, fruit juices, coffee, tea and beer, are included in the cruise fare. Contrary to most other cruise lines, 'AIDA Cruises' ships do not have a theater, but an open venue called 'Theatrium' midships, which is always accessible freely for everyone, no reservation procedures and entrance fees apply here. Different types of entertainment, excursion information and promotion, as well as the big evening music shows are held in the 'Theatrium' over the day, even public rehearsals sometimes. Bars are located directly next to the 'Theatrium'. The language spoken on board is German, and guests are mostly from German speaking countries, with very few from others, while staff speaks English as well, of course.


Booking - 7 nights 'Mediterranean Pearls' with  AIDAperla

I booked the cruise with 'AIDAperla' 7 months before departure online on the website of 'AIDA Cruises'. Only the 'Premium' fare type was available for booking. It includes the daily gratuity, free selection of stateroom, a 250mb internet package and 2 bottles of each 1 liter of water per day, delivered to the stateroom. It was an option booking, converting to a fixed booking automatically after 3 days, if not cancelled by the passenger. I had to pay a deposit of 20% of the total fare at the date of conversion to a fixed booking and made a money transfer at my bank. A few weeks later, I completed the manifest online at 'MyAIDA', where the passenger can also see payment status, a cruise countdown, as well as some offers for excursions, beverage packages and the like. About 5 weeks prior to departure, I made the final payment of the cruise fare, displayed as payed only 2 days later in 'MyAIDA', and 2½ weeks before departure, I received the travel documents with traditional paper mail.


The Cruise  Day 1 - Friday 14th July 2017 - Barcelona   ... - 08:00pm

As always, I arrived at the port of departure already one day in advance and stayed a night in a Barcelona hotel. The public 'T3PortBus' departs from Moll De Les Drassanes close to 'Rambla De Mar' and stops at every cruise terminal along Moll Adossat. A single ticket costs €3.00, the return ticket €4.00. I arrived with my baggage at 'Moll Adossat Cruise Terminal D' with the cruise bus at 12:03pm after a 20 minute drive.

I proceeded directly to the baggage check in, which is outside in front of the terminal, my baggage was equipped with a tag from my travel documents, and I then passed the security without waiting. At a first desk, pictures of my passport and a portrait picture of me were made with a simple smartphone, and at another desk, I was handed over my 'Bordkarte', the boarding card, and got informed about the security drill at 06:30pm in the 'Theatrium', asked to bring my life vest from the stateroom with me. After proceeding to the gangway, another check was made there. I eventually entered 'AIDAperla' on deck 6 after just 20 minutes from arrival with the cruise bus and passed the on board check counter, let a small contact point read my 'Bordkarte'. Another 5 minutes later, I arrived at my stateroom 11261 on deck 11, port side of the ship, held the 'Bordkarte' against the reader next to the door grip, a small green light flashed, I opened the door, stepped into the stateroom and inserted the 'Bordkarte' into the slot next to the door, in order to activate the power supply for the stateroom, the TV was playing an info movie. This was a very quick check in and boarding procedure. Already 75 minutes after arrival with the cruise bus, I found my baggage in front of the stateroom door.

Slightly hungry, I approached the 'Fuego' at 01:50pm, it was very crowded and I went out immediately. In the afternoon, I decided to visit downtown Barcelona, left the ship through the security, was passed by a squeaky computer voice saying 'Good Bye!' after successful reading of my 'Bordkarte' and took the cruise bus. The weather wasn't really good, it even rained a little bit in the morning, but Barcelona is such a great town!

This fascinating and proud Catalán metropolis is more than the famous 'Sagrada Família', still under construction since 1882, where architect Antoni Gaudí is buried in the crypt. The man who influenced the cityscape with 'Parc Güell', 'Casa Milà', and even the bench street lights along Passeig De Gràcia. Broad and clean grand boulevards and architectural landmarks on almost every street corner. By far more Catalán flags than Spanish one's in this self-confident, wonderful and obviously wealthy Catalán capital.

Eventually, I returned to 'AIDAperla' at 04:00pm with the cruise bus again. The squeaky computer voice said 'Welcome!' after successful reading of my 'Bordkarte', and I had a first meal on board in the 'Fuego' at 04:20pm. Already at 05:55pm, the security drill began in the 'Theatrium', mandatory for all passengers boarded in Barcelona, it was an event that took 30 minutes, most of the time was not security related. It was pointed out that everyone also had to attend the mandatory security drill on the evening next day in each their muster stations. Life vest handling was demonstrated. The show was bilingual plus some Spanish by Entertainment Manager Silvia Minardi. She is from Italy, and simply added some Italy to the show.

I was on deck at 08:09pm, when the horn blew, while 'AIDAperla' moved away from the pier, with the departure theme music sounding from the loudspeakers, Enya's 'Sail Away'! At 08:45pm, 'AIDAperla' left the harbor of Barcelona and turned south towards the Balearic islands. I had dinner in the 'East', the buffet restaurant with Asian cuisine, and later a light meal in the 'Fuego', delicious!


No good weather on departure day in Barcelona with a sunset behind mountains and clouds :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Barcelona · 14jul2017 2107CEST (N41°16-E002°11)

The Cruise  Day 2 - Saturday 15th July 2017 - Palma De Mallorca   06:00am - 10:00pm

Early in the morning, at 05:00am, 'AIDAperla' passed the harbor entrance of Palma De Mallorca, and berthed at the new 'Cruise Terminal 6' just 15 minutes later. Actually, the terminal is under construction, but a big temporary tent houses everything that is necessary, even shops. Some taxis were waiting in front of the terminal. After leaving 'AIDAperla' at 08:07am without a breakfast, I went about 900 meters to the public bus stop 'Escola De Nàutica' right next to the harbor exit, sticking to the blue painted way and the red and white zebra crossings. Just 15 minutes after I left the ship, I already sat in a bus of 'Línea 1' to the city, the ticket costs €1.50. The bus continues to the airport by the way, a ticket costs €5.00 to 'Son Sant Joan' airport. At home, I was wondering how I could spent the long day in Palma De Mallorca. I already knew the town very good from earlier visits, and thus decided to get out of the town by a very special way. I arrived at the main bus and train stop 'Plaça D'Espanya Estació Intermodal' after a 20 minute drive with the bus, approached the historical 'Tren De Sóller' station, situated in Carrer D'Eusebio Estada, at the north side of the 'Estació Intermodal' complex, and purchased a ticket for the 'Ferrocarril De Sóller'. The return ticket with the historical train costs €32.00. The woman at the counter began to speak to me in German language, oh dear, am I looking like a German?

At 09:30am, boarding started for the 'Tren De Sóller' 10:10am departure, and at 10:12am, the train eventually departed from Palma De Mallorca 'Estació Intermodal'. Nearly all seats were occupied, some few passengers even took their heavy baggage on board the train, passengers were mostly from Germany and UK. The train itself runs on a track opened in 1912, originally used for cargo purposes, transporting citrus fruits. The train was electrified in 1927 by a German company, and it carries passengers only now in lovingly renovated cars with a lot of timber and wooden seats. The train first goes through Palma De Mallorca like a tram, passes commercial areas, and eventually enters rural areas with gardens and plantations. Lots of high-voltage lines and even waste piles sometimes disturb actually beautiful views. The ride later goes into mountainous areas, and long tunnels make it a little bit boring. Just 1 hour after departure, the train stopped at 'Mirador Del Pujol' for 5 minutes. Passengers could get out of the train for making photos of the panoramic view on the city of Sóller and even the sea. It was 11:19am, when 'Tren De Sóller' arrived at Sóller. My return ticket included the historical tram to Port De Sóller as well, I thus changed to the 'Tranvía' which departed a little bit downhill from 'Tren De Sóller' station at 11:32am. It was a ride of 15 minutes with the crowded 'Tranvía' to Port De Sóller, situated at a round bay with a narrow passage to the sea. I walked a little bit through Port De Sóller, a nice little town with beaches, hotels, restaurants and bars, until the 'Tranvía' took me back from Port De Sóller to Sóller at 12:34pm. The ride uphill took 22 minutes this time, passing through gardens and citrus plantations with a view on the near mountains. There was some time left to walk around in the city center of Sóller, also a nice town with an old cathedral, shops, restaurants, very touristic with visitors from many countries, until the 'Tren De Sóller' departed from Sóller at 02:04pm. As well as on the outward journey, the train stopped shortly in the cities of Son Sardina and Bunyola. The return journey to Palma De Mallorca took exactly 60 minutes this time. The 'Tren De Sóller' was an experience, but I wouldn't do it for a second time, the many high-voltage lines really ruin the actually spectacular views on the mountains and landscape. Back in Palma De Mallorca, I walked through the shopping district, heading the famous 'Catedral De Mallorca', the 'La Seu', located at the sea front along the 'Dalt Murada', the historic fortress wall.

Palma De Mallorca, nearly 2000 years old, founded by the ancient Romans, the wonderful capital of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca offers more than just beautiful beaches in small bays and misbehaving mass tourists from certain countries. Very interesting architecture, narrow alleys with many location typical bay windows and a glamorous flair in this probably most prosperous Spanish town.

Eventually, at 03:53pm, I took the bus 'Línea 1' from stop 'Avinguda De L'Argentina' to 'Port', where the bus arrived at 'Escola De Nàutica' just 14 minutes later. The journey goes along the marina and Porto Pí, a barrio of Palma De Mallorca with big shopping temple 'Centro Comercial Porto Pí' close to the main cruise terminal. It has lots of shops, restaurants and a very big supermarket in the basement. At 04:22pm, I arrived at 'AIDAperla', passed the security in the tent, hand disinfection and checks of my 'Bordkarte, at the gangway and on board, all very quickly within only 2 minutes! It was sunny all day long, and I took a sun bath on deck for about 90 minutes, until I got hungry. After coming back from my excursion, I found my stateroom uncleaned, but when I returned from the sun deck, it was made up.

Later, at 09:15pm, the mandatory security drill started, for me in the 'Fotogalerie', it took 40 minutes, but most of the time was just waiting, The life vest was uncomfortable at the neck, and the entire event was not so nice, contrary to the show held by Silvia in Barcelona the day before. At 10:20pm, to the sounds of Enya, 'AIDAperla' departed from Palma De Mallorca, backwards out of the harbor and then she turned to the sea a few minutes later. The view on nocturnal and illuminated Palma De Mallorca was spectacular, but unfortunately, the lighting of the local gem 'La Seu' turned off suddenly. It was a very good day, and it was great to be back in Palma De Mallorca again.


Palacio Real next to famous Catedral La Seu and Museu Diocesà along Dalt Murada in Palma :
Palma De Mallorca Dalt Murada · 22jun2015 1440CEST (Palma De Mallorca)

The bay of Port De Sóller in the northwest of Balearic island of Mallorca :
Port De Sóller · 15jul2017 1148CEST (Port De Sóller)

Panoramic view from deck of 'AIDAperla' on Palma De Mallorca with port and Dalt Murada :
Palma De Mallorca Panorama Port · 15jul2017 1934CEST (Palma De Mallorca)
Illuminated barrios Porto Pí and El Terreno of Palma De Mallorca with Castell De Bellver on the hill :
Palma De Mallorca Panorama Port · 15jul2017 2205CEST (Palma De Mallorca)

The Cruise  Day 3 - Sunday 16th July 2017 - Sea Day

This sea day was filled up with activities like relaxing, eating, lying on deck in the sun with silent chill out music, eating and drinking again, and again, joining the 'Scout TV' shows in the 'Theatrium' about future destinations in Italy with excursion suggestions, and, ooops, eating once again, enjoying the sun on my balcony in the evening, and, of course, eating once more, yummy! The weather was just fine all day long, with a short cloudy break in the late morning, but the sea was rough with white caps and waves up to 5ft or even more. Heavy wind moved shoes and other things over the deck. 'AIDAperla' sailed with just under 10kts, rolled and pitched slightly, passengers walked swinging from one side to the other in the aisles. A cruise is funny! Wind and sea calmed down in the late afternoon, when I found my stateroom made up. At 'Silvias Prime Time' in the evening, she interviewed captain Boris Becker in the 'Theatrium', no seat and no space was left free, it was the event of the day! The 'Brauhaus' turned into Oktoberfest again, and later in the evening, the 'Tropical Beach Party' was celebrated around the main pool, while 'AIDAperla' sailed on a calm sea towards new shores.


Overlooking the fairway of 'AIDAperla' just before sunset :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2046CEST (Fairway)

The first picturesque sunset on this cruise :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 16jul2017 2051CEST (N41°03-E007°09)
Unbelievable spectacular and colorful drama on the horizon :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 16jul2017 2101CEST (N41°04-E007°11)
Heading northeast into the darkness towards French island of Corse :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 16jul2017 2109CEST (N41°04-E007°12)

The Cruise  Day 4 - Monday 17th July 2017 - Ajaccio   08:00am - 08:00pm

Still at home, I was wondering what to do in Ajaccio, the capital of French island of Corse, and why this is one of the destinations on the cruise at all, this little big city turned out to be a charming place on earth, many palms, relaxed, typically French, wonderful! And this is how I felt, pleased to be there, after I haven't been in France for way, way too long.

At 07:27am, 'AIDAperla' berthed in Ajaccio, right in the center of the town at Quai L'Herminier, first passengers left the ship 30 minutes later. Every sight is in walkable distance, even the big 'Monument Commémoratif De Napoléon Ier' and 'La Grotte De Napoléon' at Place D'Austerlitz at the other end of downtown Ajaccio were just about 30 leisurely walking minutes away from the ship. Around the corner, passing the market at Place Foch with fresh fruits, fragrant cheese and soaps, very French atmosphere here, and then always up the long avenue. After breakfast and making some photos on board, I left the ship at 09:23am for a first exploration. I returned some 3½ hours later for lunch and a sunbath on deck, my stateroom was already cleaned. At 03:36pm, I left the ship again for a second visit of the picturesque city center of Ajaccio, the afternoon sun lighted some buildings now, like the 'Musée National De La Maison Bonaparte', the birth place of Napoléon, perfect for photography. I also visited the 'Cathédrale Notre Dame De L'Assomption' and the other big 'Monument À Napoléon Ier Et Ses Frères', Napoléon is really everywhere around in the town. Getting back on board was a quick procedure of each a few minutes both times, security check in the 'Terminal Maritime Et Routière', hand disinfection at the gangway, and check of the 'Bordkarte' after entering the ship.

At dinner time, the 'Weite Welt' restaurant served deli from Corse, and still being very pleasantly surprised about Ajaccio, 'AIDAperla' moved back from the pier at 08:28pm, after the sun set behind the mountains, and with the support of Enya's 'Sail Away' departure theme music, turned and left Corse. I looked at the fairway and back to Ajaccio still for a very long time, the colors at the horizon changed every few minutes after this very sunny day. In the 'Theatrium', game show 'Das Glücksrad', the German version of the 'Wheel Of Fortune', was running, karaoke in the 'Brauhaus', and disco in the 'Beach Club' around the main pool. Shortly before midnight, 'AIDAperla' passed the Strait of Bonifacio, with me sitting on my balcony and watching the glistening lights of Bonifacio in the darkness. I had land based LTE internet access again, and a last view on Corse. Tomorrow would be a very important day, I would return to Roma, the Eternal City, the weather forecast was excellent, I was already very, very excited, and totally clueless of how emotional this would be for me.


Corse capital Ajaccio welcomes 'AIDAperla' on a very sunny day with picturesque panorama :
Ajaccio Panorama · 17jul2017 0905CEST (Ajaccio)

Leaving Ajaccio after sunset behind the mountains :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2052CEST (N41°54-E008°45)

View on mountainous French island of Corse :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2101CEST (N41°52-E008°42)

View on Archipel Des Sanguinaires along Golfe D'Ajaccio :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2112CEST (N41°50-E008°39)

The light in the dusk changes every few minutes :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2117CEST (N41°49-E008°37)

The fairway and the smoke from the funnel looking back to Ajaccio :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2118CEST (N41°49-E008°37)
Last view on the lights of French island of Corse :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Ajaccio · 17jul2017 2133CEST (N41°46-E008°35)

The Cruise  Day 5 - Tuesday 18th July 2017 - Civitavecchia / Roma   08:00am - 08:00pm

I'm back in Italy! Did I already mention that I love Italy? Even their prohibitions sound like music, 'vietato fumare!', what a charming country Italy is! Well, it was not my first visit in Italy this year, I had been to Venezia, Napoli, Capri, Costiera Amalfitana, and just a week before this cruise in Sicilia with Catania, picturesque Taormina, and the Isole Eolie with Panarea, Stromboli, Lipari and Vulcano. Can I ever get enough of Italy? No, never! At 07:07am, 'AIDAperla' passed the harbor entrance of Civitavecchia, the ship turned and berthed at 07:41am at the new terminal under construction, pier 12. First passengers left the ship 25 minutes later, including me, after I had a quick breakfast upstairs in the 'Fuego'. The shuttle bus departed at 08:12am for an 8 minute journey. Port Of Civitavecchia offers a free and frequent shuttle bus service to a location outside the port area called 'Largo Della Pace' Fermata Bus Navetta Civitavecchia at Via Prato Del Turco, from where it is a 15 to 20 minute walk - 1500m - to the train station of Civitavecchia. It is allowed to walk the distance through the harbor, but it is a long way, and the shuttle bus may save some valuable time. The last shuttle bus was supposed to depart 75 minutes prior departure of 'AIDAperla' from 'Largo Della Pace'. I discovered a good location for making photos of 'AIDAperla', and eventually proceeded to the train station.

At 09:22am, the train to Roma Termini departed 6 minutes late. Seat reservation is mandatory for the fast 'FrecciaBianca' Trenitalia train, a seat can be selected on the ticket machine screen, I found my seat occupied, and just took another one. Ticket machines offer different languages, but for destinations, Italian city names should be used. Selecting the desired train, a choice of different trains with each departure and arrival times is given, purchasing the ticket for €16.00 with credit card and PIN just took a few minutes, some ticket machines don't accept cash. There were many free ticket machines available, and every ticket, even the big ones, must be validated at one of the green validator devices in the stations, everywhere in Italy. I checked different strikes internet pages in the evening before online, no strikes were announced. Otherwise, I would have taken a bus transfer operator to Roma and back at 'Largo Della Pace'. The journey went along the coast, passed fields and forests. The train did not stop until Roma Termini, the main station, where it arrived at 10:06am with just 3 minutes of delay.

I was back in La Città Eterna, the heart of the Roman Empire, the epicenter and holy ground of history! S·P·Q·R - Senatus Populus Que Romanus - Senate And People Of Roma, this is what you can see everywhere, especially on gully covers, and what you can take as a reminder of the great history of this ancient city, as you walk through 2500 year old ruins, and breathe the history of mankind! Again, I felt moved, realizing the meaning of this great city, where our modern civilization was founded in the 'Foro Romano', right adjacent to the grand 'Colosseo', which is nearly 2000 years old. I admired the ancient Greeks and Romans since school time, and just some walk from Roma Termini, I suddenly stood in front of the giant 'Colosseo', magically and very emotional! It was scaffolded partially, when I have been to Roma 2 years ago, appeared to me as so big, and then so small again from another perspective. I spent many hours in the 'Foro Romano E Palatino' 2 years ago, thus I could focus on some things, I missed then, like the 'Fontana Di Trevi', hidden totally behind a plastic canopy 2 years ago, but today, it was shining in bright colors, surrounded by masses of tourists. I walked through the pedestrian street over to the 'Pantheon', masses of tourists again, and further to Piazza Navona, with its 3 big fountains and an Egyptian obelisk with hieroglyphs. Back towards ancient downtown Roma to Piazza Del Campidoglio with 'Statua Equestre Di Marco Aurelio' and both the 'Statua De Castor' and 'Statua De Pollux'. Around the corner, grand boulevard Via Dei Fori with the emperor statues of 'Avgvsto', 'Nervae' and 'Traiano' on the north side and a statue of 'Caesar' on the south side of the boulevard. What a great place on earth, with art and history at every corner!

However, at 03:13pm and a stay of a little bit over 5 hours, my train departed from Roma Termini back to Civitavecchia, where it arrived at 04:21pm with just 3 minutes delay. The ticket for the regional train costs €5.00. I went back to 'Largo Della Pace' at Via Prato Del Turco after arrival in Civitavecchia, waited about 10 minutes for the departure of the shuttle bus, was back at 'AIDAperla' by 05:03pm, passed security and hand disinfection without waiting, was offered refreshing drinks by some crew members, and eventually entered the ship, where my 'Bordkarte' was checked a second time after security. It was a very sunny day again, and I took another sunbath on deck before dinner.

The 'Weite Welt' restaurant served cuisine from Toscana this evening, and at 08:11pm, 'AIDAperla' departed from Civitavecchia to the sounds of Enya again. After passing the harbor entrance some 15 minutes later, the ship turned west for a while, but stopped abeam the harbor of Civitavecchia then at 08:50pm. I was on deck all the time, but did not hear any announcement about the reason. 'AIDAperla' seemed to test bow thrusters and azipods many times meanwhile, turning circles. I was wondering whether there might be any technical problem, but 'AIDAperla' began to sail again at 09:40pm, heading west into the darkness.


One of the greatest places on earth is the Eternal City of Roma with art and history everywhere :
Roma Panorama Balconata Del Pincio · 26jun2015 1951CEST (Roma)

View on ferry harbor of Civitavecchia in the evening :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Civitavecchia · 18jul2017 2018CEST (N42°06-E011°46)

Leaving Civitavecchia with the last sunlight :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Civitavecchia · 18jul2017 2028CEST (N42°06-E011°45)

Last view on Civitavecchia :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Civitavecchia · 18jul2017 2058CEST (N42°06-E011°45)

Heading another spectacular sunset :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 18jul2017 2025CEST (N42°07-E011°44)

The sky gets more and more colorful :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 18jul2017 2032CEST (N42°06-E011°45)

The sun sets between Isola Del Giglio and Peninsula Monte Argentario :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 18jul2017 2041CEST (N42°06-E011°45)
Another day of a great cruise is over :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 18jul2017 2045CEST (N42°06-E011°45)

The Cruise  Day 6 - Wednesday 19th July 2017 - Livorno / Firenze / Pisa   09:00am - 08:00pm

It was 07:38am, when 'AIDAperla' arrived at the harbor entrance of Livorno, where she docked at 'Cruise Terminal Alto Fondale' berth 46 and 47 at 08:12am. It is forbidden, to walk in the harbor area, and the shuttle bus is mandatory therefore, as well as the fee of €5.00 for a return ticket. 'AIDAperla' was cleared at 08:47am, and I left the ship. In the hall, next to the exit on the other side, I purchased a ticket for the shuttle bus at a counter, the shuttle bus departed 10 minutes later from the terminal for a 12 minute drive to the 'Municipio Di Livorno' in Via Claudio Cogorano, some meters north of Piazza Grande, from where it is some further meters towards east to public bus stop 'Grande' in Via Grande. A public bus ticket to Livorno Centrale station with bus line 'LAM Blu' purchased on the bus costs €1.70, busses depart many times per hour, but I chose to walk, since I had plenty of time until the next Trenitalia-train to my first excursion destination today would depart. I arrived at station Livorno Centrale at 09:44am, purchased a ticket at one of the machines for the 10:12am departure to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, validated the ticket which costs €9.70, and entered the train which departed on time then. It was supposed to be another sunny day, but with some thin and high clouds sometimes, and I had no idea into what kind of adventure the nature would put me into later.

After some intermediate stops, Pisa was the first one among them, the train arrived in Firenze Santa Maria Novella at 11:34am, the main train station of Firenze, the city that promotes itself as Infectious Beauty. I proceeded through the historical old town to the giant 'Duomo Di Santa Maria Del Fiore' with 'Campanile Di Giotto', further towards Ponte Alle Grazie, with view on famous Ponte Vecchio, and then the stairs up to Piazzale Michelangelo with its great panorama on entire Firenze, maybe the only place to get the big Duomo and Campanile together on a picture. What an overwhelming view on every single sight of Firenze and the nearby typical Toscana gardens and cypresses, wow, this is Italy! Back down the stairs to river Arno, and over Ponte Vecchio to 'Palazzo Vecchio' with its famous 'Statua David Di Michelangelo' and 'Statua Ercole E Caco', masses of tourists, not only on Piazza Della Signoria, but also pushing through the narrow alleys. Once again, I came along the Duomo and Campanile, before I went back to Firenze Santa Maria Novella main train station.

It was a little bit strange, I already had purchased a train ticket to Pisa for €8.40, got it validated, and was about to enter the train, when the display showed that the journey was cancelled. Since I did not know the reason, I also did not activate plan B, the bus from Firenze to Pisa airport, which is in walkable distance to Pisa main train station. Instead, I rushed into the adventure of the day, of which I still did not know that it would escalate nearly every hour. I was a little bit annoyed, when the next train to Pisa finally departed at 03:31pm, because it meant a time loss of valuable 40 minutes, and my visit in Pisa would be shortened. At 03:57pm, the train stopped in Empoli due to a fire on the track, what I found out later due to my lack of Italian language skills. Total chaos in Empoli, but I was directed to 'Pullman', after asking staff in the station. Train service replacement buses, great, in Germany there is lots of bus replacement service, I already feel like at home! But this is nature, and there is a big draught this year in Italy. A giant mass of stranded passengers was occupying the entire piazza in front of the station, no taxis around. I had already seen a bus departing, and thought that I was a lucky one, when a second bus stopped with the front door just in front of me. The door opened, an official stepped out and indicated what kind of persons he would allow to enter the bus first. Bambini, Donne, Anziani! For that, my Italian was sufficient. Some persons were picked out of the mass in a lengthy process and were allowed to enter the bus. Meanwhile, I was already waving my 'Bordkarte' in front of the official, trying to tell him that I would miss my nave crociere. Eventually, the mass behind me just started to push me into the bus, the official gave it up. It finally departed at 04:37pm, with a mix of passengers, by the way, not just children, women and old people. The bus arrived in San Romano at the train station after a trip of endless 28 minutes. I jumped into the next train towards Pisa, after trying to ask staff and other travelers about the departure time, and whether this is the right train to Pisa at all. However, the train departed in San Romano at 05:19pm and arrived at Pisa Centrale 26 minutes later.

Full of doubts, I could miss the ship on the one hand, and the only and main sight in Pisa on the other hand, to which I was so close to now, just a 20 minute walk away, I decided to risk it, went very quickly to Piazza Dei Miracoli with 'Duomo Cattedrale Di Santa Maria Assunta' and the world-famous 'Torre Pendente', shot some photos while the sun was already moving behind the buildings. But I had luck again, a short minute without tourists fooling around and stepping on the green lawn, which is forbidden, in front of my camera. I took the time to marvel the really gigantic and impressive building ensemble, before I went back to Pisa main station very fast, just to find out, that the chaos caused by the fire on the track meanwhile had extended to obviously entire Toscana railroad system. The next train to Livorno was delayed, I purchased a ticket for €2.60 at a machine, validated it, and got back to the taxi stand outside the station hall, but taxis were not available, even after waiting for longer. I gave it up and decided to take the train back to Livorno.

At 07:03pm, less than 1 hour before departure of the ship, the train from Pisa to Livorno finally departed with a delay of 31 minutes. Shortly before the train arrived in Livorno at 07:17pm, I coincidentally met a family of 4 from the ship, and we tried to find a taxi after arriving in Livorno. There were no taxis, and we ended up in the local bus 'LAM Blu' from Livorno Centrale to bus stop 'Grande' in Via Grande, it departed 7 minutes after we arrived in Livorno by train. Since the last shuttle bus already departed some time ago, it was announced to be at 07:00pm, the woman of the family had contacted the ship's emergency number printed on the 'Bordkarte' several times with her smartphone meanwhile, in order to find out how to get to the ship without the shuttle bus. We were stranded at the shuttle bus stop some 20 minutes before departure of the ship, no taxis in sight. We tried to call one, but no success, when suddenly a taxi van raced around the corner at Piazza Grande, directly towards us, being in slight despair meanwhile. We jumped into the taxi 6 minutes before departure of the ship, and the driver made it quickly. At 08:03pm, we entered 'AIDAperla' after a quick security, very luckily, and we were told that 20 other passengers are still being expected. The fire on the railroad track delayed the departure of 'AIDAperla' to 08:42pm. The ship passed the harbor entrance some 15 minutes later, and sailed away from Italy, with some very lucky passengers on board. The 'Weite Welt' restaurant served cuisine from Toscana this evening again, and I granted to myself the biggest serving of gelato since ever! After midnight, the lights of Corse were in sight, and I had a late meal and something to drink.


Firenze is the capital of one of the most famous Italian regions known as Toscana :
Firenze Panorama Piazzale Michelangelo · 19jul2017 1250CEST (Firenze)

Duomo and the famous Torre Pendente of Pisa without tourists fooling around on this picture :
Pisa Duomo Cattedrale Di Santa Maria Assunta Torre Pendente · 19jul2017 1805CEST (Pisa)

Last view on industrial harbor of Livorno :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Departure Livorno · 19jul2017 2101CEST (N43°32-E010°16)

Another sunset on this cruise :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 19jul2017 2051CEST (N43°33-E010°17)
Small Faro Meridionale Della Meloria in the dusk :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 19jul2017 2106CEST (N43°32-E010°14)

The Cruise  Day 7 - Thursday 20th July 2017 - Sea Day

After the adventurous day before in Toscana, I had the best Italian salami since ever for breakfast, was the chef out for shopping in Italy? I spent this day on sea mostly with lying in the sun, eating, drinking and enjoying the life on the ship. To be honest, it was eating, drinking, lazing around in the sun, eating, drinking, lazing around in the sun once more, and, yes, eventually again, eating, drinking, lazing around in the sun! Did I forget something to mention? Well, at 09:00am, all sunloungers on deck were already occupied, almost every single one with just towels, thus, I comforted myself on my balcony's sunlounger, enjoying the sun and the sea, until clouds appeared late in the morning. It even began to rain, and people on deck fled their sunloungers, to my advantage, since the sun was shining again not much later. Sun and some warm wind around my nose, great! 'Silvias Prime Time' in the 'Theatrium', she interviewed general manager Martin Röstel, a great 'Laser Show' was presented, and later in the evening, the crew show took place in the 'Beach Club'. Shortly after midnight, the lights of Catalunya were already in sight, I enjoyed a snack in the almost empty 'Fuego', and suddenly met general manager Martin Röstel, accompanied by entertainment manger Silvia Minardi. We greeted, and what else could I have said to her but that I love Italy! She was delighted and said 'GrazieSchön!'.


What is left of the last sunset on this cruise :
Cruise · AIDAperla · Sunset · 20jul2017 2106CEST (N41°45-E004°06)

The Cruise  Day 8 - Friday 21st July 2017 - Barcelona   06:00am - ...

Early in the morning, at 05:05am, 'AIDAperla' passed the harbor entrance of Barcelona. The ship berthed at 'Moll Adossat Terminal D' some 35 minutes later. The weather was not good, grey clouds were finishing my great and sunny cruise with 'AIDAperla'. At 09:32am, I left my stateroom after a last good breakfast in the 'Fuego'. There was the option to put the baggage in front of the stateroom until 02:00am, it would be carried to the terminal, but as always if possible, I took the baggage from the ship on my own. I left the ship 5 minutes later and went out of the terminal within 2 minutes, some few taxis were waiting in front of the terminal. I had booked a hotel in downtown Barcelona, and chose the cruise bus back to 'Rambla De Mar', it took only 6 minutes this time. In the afternoon, I made a harbor cruise with 'Las Golondrinas', shot some pictures of 'AIDAperla', and in the evening, I walked up to Muntanya De Montjuïc, and watched 'AIDAperla' leaving Barcelona for her next cruise, but unfortunately without me!


Panoramic view on lively Catalán capital Barcelona from Muntanya De Montjuïc :
Barcelona Panorama Muntanya De Montjuïc · 21jun2015 1503CEST (Barcelona)

Conclusion  AIDAperla  'Mediterranean Pearls'   1250nm

'AIDAperla' is a very interesting ship with a special design and layout. The all inclusive and buffet concept was perfect for me. I would have wished longer opening times of the restaurants in the evenings sometimes, because they often began to close, while I rather spent time on deck for enjoying sunsets and departures of the ship. However, the 'Fuego' was open until midnight, but with a limited choice of food.

Crew and staff was always friendly and nurturing, even overenthusiastic sometimes with clearing and cleaning the tables in the restaurants, making them ready for the next guests, it could have been me. I was approached in German language often, but also with salutation 'Sir' by crew members from Asia, which might be unusual in the eyes of a German traveler.

There was always free seating in any restaurant of my choice, except the 'Markt Restaurant' on most evenings, it was always well frequented. Hand disinfection and wash basins wait at the entrances of restaurants for responsible passengers. Small traffic lights on the interactive screens in the staircases showed the status of each restaurant, with free seating or full occupancy. Choice of food was very good with a big variety, changing every day, in the 'East' with Asian cuisine, in the 'Bella Donna' with Italian cuisine, and in the 'Weite Welt' restaurant with special deli from the countries the ship was sailing to, changing every evening. Always fine desserts and gelato, fresh fruits, and Continental as well as American breakfast every morning. Complimentary hot and cold beverages in the buffet restaurants, like water, lemonade, fruit juices, coffee, tea and beer, all you can drink. Nearly everything was fine and tasted well. And, it was not necessary to dress up, wonderful!

Shows in the 'Theatrium' with talk and information events, beach parties on the pool deck and folk music in the 'Brauhaus', the entertainment program was very good. Some shops are on board, offering all day things, toiletries, clothes, candy and gifts. From my observation, ship is kid friendly, I also saw people in wheel chairs and with rollators. Elevators were programmed a little bit self-willed, and caused amusement sometimes.

As on most ships, orientation support lacks here on 'AIDAperla' as well. No port and starboard signs, and no stateroom direction signs in the staircase halls. I even saw signs directing to ahead and back, instead of bow and stern, which I would expect on a ship. Maybe, I'm way too maritime.

Passengers boarded in Barcelona had to go through the security drill 2 times, in Barcelona, and in Palma De Mallorca, where a mandatory security drill was held for everybody on board. Entertainment manager Silvia Minardi collected all passengers from Barcelona in the 'Theatrium', and she just inserted Italy in the security drill, perfect for those who love Italy!

I noticed only one single bad German habit, occupying sunloungers early in the morning with towels and other things, just for security, and don't use them for long time then, it seems to be unavoidable, if you are traveling with the Germans. But otherwise, no alcoholic excesses, very few smokers, no moaning, most passengers were completely relaxed and unobtrusively, very pleasant, nevertheless, discreet party mood at the hot spots in the evenings!

Thank you 'AIDA Cruises', for making this a great cruise with many very emotional moments and memories for a lifetime on a very special and great ship, 'AIDAperla'!


AIDAperla  Extérieur
View from starboard Skywalk along Lanai deck promenade :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 1444CEST (Exterieur)

View from port Skywalk along Lanai deck promenade :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 1600CEST (Exterieur)

View from boat deck smokers area along Theatrium glass facade :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 1614CEST (Exterieur)

View from Lanai Bar on glass panorama elevator and Skywalk with transparent walking surface :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2048CEST (Exterieur)

View from starboard Skywalk along illuminated Lanai deck promenade at night :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2246CEST (Exterieur)

View from Weite Welt restaurant outdoor area on Lanai promenade at night :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2249CEST (Exterieur)

Colorful illuminated big lamps on Lanai deck promenade :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2302CEST (Exterieur)

Buffalo Steak House outdoor area at night :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2308CEST (Exterieur)

View from boat deck smokers area along Theatrium glass facade at night :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2321CEST (Exterieur)

View on Weite Welt restaurant outdoor area along Lanai promenade at night :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 2140CEST (Exterieur)

The sports outdoor deck :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 0910CEST (Exterieur)

The main pool outdoor area :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 0917CEST (Exterieur)

AIDAperla  Intérieur
Entertainment director Silvia Minardi's daily talk show in the Theatrium interviewing the captain :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2027CEST (Interieur)

The Theatrium with 1200 seats over 3 decks is always accessible freely for everyone :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2317CEST (Interieur)
The Brauhaus restaurant also houses the ship's brewery :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 2334CEST (Interieur)

The Four Elements with a High Ropes Course also has a Rock Climbing Wall :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 0900CEST (Interieur)
Planets of our solar system are hanging from the ceiling in the Four Elements :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 0901CEST (Interieur)

The main pool indoor area :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 0913CEST (Interieur)

Long corridors on a long ship :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 20jul2017 2115CEST (Interieur)

AIDAperla  Stateroom

My balcony stateroom 'Verandakabine VH Premium' #261 on deck 11 on the port side had a double bed, bedside tables, couch corner with small table, convertible to a stool, closets, commode and chair, a safe for valuables, sockets for EU plugs, but none at the bed, as well as USB sockets to charge electronic devices and a telephone, there was no minibar. The interactive TV with OSD and special remote control for different services on board, on-board accounting and general information, also offered TV programs in several different languages. Bathroom with shower and gel dispenser, toilet with quite loud flush, big mirror, washbasin and towels, as well as a clothesline. Appearance was well cared and clean. I slept well on the bed, stateroom was quiet, no annoying loudspeaker announcements, but they could be heard on TV channel 6. The usually 6-page and closely printed daily planner 'AIDA Heute' with all necessary information was delivered to the stateroom every day, but was also downloadable as PDF at 'bordportal.perla.aida.de'. Security information on the stateroom door, as well as please-do-not-disturb labels next to it, and an air conditioner thermostat. The 'AIDA App' is available for guests with smartphone or tablet. At 'bordportal.perla.aida.de', the guest can - for example - book excursions, make table and wellness reservations, as well as monitor on-board expense accounting, see route information, deck plans, restaurant descriptions, and much more. I logged in my smartphone without problems, using the PIN from my travel documents, browsed through the daily program of events, and also logged in to the internet via WLAN / WiFi from there, bandwidth usage was shown at log in and log out, internet speed was good. Some features are offered to guests on the interactive screens in the staircases, too. The big balcony was equipped with hammock, small table and 2 sunchairs, each with foldable backrest. Pool towels were available for free at the pools during day time.


Balcony stateroom 'Verandakabine VH Premium' #261 on deck 11 on the port side :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 1755CEST (Stateroom11261)

183ft² (17m²) stateroom with private bathroom and 65ft² (6m²) balcony suitable for 2 guests :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 16jul2017 1757CEST (Stateroom11261)

Cruise information displayed on TV screen in stateroom :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 20jul2017 2252CEST (Stateroom11261)

AIDAperla  Photos
'AIDAperla' in Palma De Mallorca :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 15jul2017 1610CEST (Palma De Mallorca)

'AIDAperla' in Civitavecchia :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 18jul2017 0836CEST (Civitavecchia)
'AIDAperla' berthed in Barcelona with a tanker alongside :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1603CEST (Barcelona)

Good weather on 'Las Golondrinas' harbor cruise in Barcelona :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1607CEST (Barcelona)
'AIDAperla' is the second vessel of the Hyperion Class :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1609CEST (Barcelona)

'AIDAperla' is registered in Genova Italia :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1610CEST (Barcelona)
The typical 'AIDA Cruises' painting along the hull :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1612CEST (Barcelona)

The bow is designed for economic cruise and looks like the one of a battleship :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1608CEST (Barcelona Exterieur)
'AIDAperla' is equipped with 14 lifeboats with a capacity of each 313 persons :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 1611CEST (Barcelona Exterieur)

View from Muntanya De Montjuïc in Barcelona on 'AIDAperla' :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 2014CEST (Barcelona)
'AIDAperla' sets back from Moll Adossat in Barcelona :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 2037CEST (Barcelona)

'AIDAperla' turns in the harbor of Barcelona :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 2042CEST (Barcelona)

'AIDAperla' leaves the harbor of Barcelona :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 21jul2017 2044CEST (Barcelona)
My balcony stateroom #11261 on 'AIDAperla' :
AIDAperla · IMO9636967 · 17jul2017 1214CEST (Ajaccio Exterieur)

AIDAperla  Links

  AIDAperla - www.aida.de

  AIDAperla - www.aida.de - Deckpläne

  Schiffstester Matthias Morr - AIDAperla - Live-Rundgang  Video 01:38:19


AIDAperla  Cruise Critic Review by JMHamburg

 Cruise Critic does not provide reviews for 'AIDAperla'