After our short stay in Punta Cana and the transfer to La Romana we were able to check in at the AIDAdiva today.
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Check-in at THE AIDA in La Romana
Arriving at the port terminal Casa de Campo, we have met a lot of departing guests, all of them boarded their airport transfer bus. Since the check-in had only started shortly before our arrival (i.e. from 2 p.m.), there was still relatively little going on. An AIDA employee first informed us about the whole exit & check-in procedure for the Dominican Republic:
1. First, you hand over your suitcases,which are then placed in front of the cabin door in the late afternoon/early evening. So you should remember to pack the most important things (bathing suits, sunmilk, etc.) in your backpack, because you don’t get back to your luggage so quickly.
2. If you want to go on a cruise ship in La Romana, you have to leavethe Dominican Republic first, as long as the nearest port is not in the Dominican Republic. And that costs each individual a proud 20 US dollars. For this purpose, there is a small immigration desk in the check-in hall, which will take care of the cashing and the exit stamp. Our first question, of course, was whether the whole procedure would be repeated when we arrived in La Romana. Here it depends a bit on when you fly back to Germany: if you leave within 24 hours after entering the Dominican Republic, you are in “transit” and do not have to pay the entry and exit tax again. This is different if you stay in the Dominican Republic for more than 24 hours. Then you have to buy the tourist card again at the port and pay the exit tax on the day of departure. So if you stay a day longer you have an additional cost of 30 US dollars per person. This should be taken into account when planning your trip.
3. After the entire customs procedure has been completed, you can go to the AIDA check-in counter, where you will be greeted by AIDA staff. Here a short photo of one is taken for recognition and then you get your boarding pass, which is at the same time the room card, the payment means on board and the boarding pass.
Luckily our cabin was already finished, so we were able to go straight towards the ship to the room 🙂
Our balcony cabin 8175
We have been allocated the balcony cabin 8175, which is located at the stern of the ship. The complete deck plan of the ship can be found here.
The cabin consists of a double bed, an armchair that can be converted into another bed, a closet with enough space and a small desk. On the balcony there are 2 chairs, a small table and a hammock. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get loungers for the balcony cabin, as these are reserved exclusively for the suites. From the balcony you have a great view to the back. From time to time, soot accumulates from the ship’s chimney on the balcony, which is removed daily by housekeeping. One floor above is the market restaurant, but we never heard any noise. On deck 5, i.e. 3 floors under our cabin, there is the kids club, on whose outside we could also look. But again, we never heard loud noises. Engine noises are also almost never heard. However, you can feel strong vibrations of the rudder when the ship maneuvers in the port and “parks”.
AIDAdiva’s company’s company
Via the tender gates on deck 3 you get to the ship. There is also the ship hospital, a small bar/shop and the diving center. Until you orientate yourself on a ship and know where to find what, some time goes by. But since there are deck plans on the stairwells on each floor, this can be done faster than you think.
The AIDAdiva has 13 decks with 1,025 cabins that can accommodate 2,500 passengers. About 2/3 of the cabins are outdoor cabins, the majority have a balcony. The reception with attached excursion counter and internet terminals is located on deck 5, so actually a bit away from all other areas of the ship. The center of the AIDAdiva is the theatrium, which extends over three decks (9 to 11). Various events take place during the day in the theatrium, such as art auctions or excursion presentations, and in the evening formats such as theatre shows, “Who becomes a millionaire?” or the entertainment show “Philipps Prime Time”. The current daily program “AIDA HEUTE” is always clamped to the cabin door the night before and can be informed about the different parties, shows etc. In the area around the theatrium there are most of the eleven bars, an activity and excursion counter, the TV studio, a photoshop, the art gallery, the AIDA shop and a casino. The disco “Anytime” is located on deck 12.
You will be spoiled in a total of seven restaurants. There are four buffet restaurants: the main restaurants are the “Market Restaurant”, whose food is daily under a different motto, and the “Wide World”, where international cuisine is available. The “Bella Vista” and the “Pizzeria Mare” are also buffet restaurants. There are also three specialty restaurants serving a la carte: Rossini, Buffalo Steak House and Sushi Bar. Our “regular restaurant” for breakfast was mostly the “market restaurant” and in the evening the “wide world”. We found the food very tasty and varied. Sometimes you really couldn’t decide what to eat because the choice was just huge.
On decks 11 and 12 you will find the most sought-after place on sea days: the pool deck with a total of 3 pools and 4 whirlpools. There are enough sun beds available, so that we could always find two loungers on sea days. The “Body & Soul” spa area can also be found on the deck and houses a real wellness oasis. But since we had about 30°C every day and found it kind of strange to go to the sauna or the whirlpool in the Caribbean, we did not use this area at all. The sport is also not neglected at the AIDAdiva. At the top of deck 14 there is an outdoor area with jogging course as well as volleyball, basketball and squash field. A gym can be found on Deck 11.
The mandatory sea rescue exercise on board
On the day of arrival, the emergency alarm sounded punctually at 8 p.m. on the whole ship: 7x Short and 1x Long – that is, for all newly arrived guests: time for the sea rescue exercise. So into the orange life jackets and off to our sample station, which is located on deck 5 directly under the lifeboats. Here the cabin numbers were called individually, checked off on a list and some instructions were given on the behaviour of evacuations.
Leaving the ports with the spill songs
The final highlight of each day is the departure from the ports. One stands on the top deck (or on the own balcony cabin), enjoys the view and the last view of the harbour until the ship has dropped the first centimetres from the pier and the two exit songs “A.I.D.A.” by Solano (Enya – Orinoco Flow Cover Version) and “AIDA Sailaway” by Martin Lingnau. Again and again a nice atmosphere 🙂
Here are the songs on YouTube:
Our itinerary “Caribbean Islands 1” with the AIDAdiva
In the next 14 days, the Route Caribbean Islands 1 will take you through the southern and eastern Caribbean with the AIDAdiva. 11 shores on Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Antigua as well as 3 days at sea.
Check-out on the ship for individual tourists
At check-out there are two different procedures, depending on whether you have booked a flat rate via AIDA or individually. Since we had booked individually, the procedure was as follows:
1. If you want to pay your in-flight bill in cash, you can do so at the reception on the eve of the day of departure or even until 8.30 a.m. the next morning. If you have already deposited your debit or credit card, the debit is simply made automatically.
2. It is possible to have your luggage transported to the port terminal. If you want to use this service, you have to put your luggage in front of the cabin door by 4 o’clock at night. From 9 a.m. you can pick up your suitcases at the port terminal. If you do not use this service, you would have to carry the suitcase yourself at 9 o’clock in the morning. It is not possible to store the large suitcases on board, there is only one conference room for storing the hand luggage.
3. Each individually departing guest must make a personal representation to the local authorities upon arrival in the Dominican Republic. For this purpose, we had to arrive at the AIDA Lounge at 7.30 am on the day of departure – together with our passports, our airline tickets and the completed entry forms that we had received in advance from AIDA.
4. By 9 a.m. we had to vacate our cabin. We had already put our suitcases in front of the door at night, so that we only had hand luggage with us, which we could store in the hand luggage room until check-out.
5. The end of the journey for all individual guests is at 11 o’clock,i.e. at this time we had to leave the ship at the latest.
All travelogues from our AIDA Cruise (Caribbean Sea)If you read the list of islands that AIDA is heading for on the route Caribbean Islands, you might think it was a dream for a moment: Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua. To reach eleven islands in 14 days is already a house number. But that was also the reason for us to choose this route. A cruise is predestined to get to know the Caribbean with its thousands of dream islands in a relaxed way. Here you can find all travel reports of our 14-day Caribbean cruise with AIDAdiva.
Day 01 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Short stopover before our cruise
Day 02 Dominican Republic: AIDAdiva – Our 14-Day Cruise in the Caribbean Sea
Day 03 Day at Sea
Day 04 Aruba: ABC Islands – Diving at the Renaissance Plane Wreck
Day 04 Aruba: Oranjestad – Tourist Attractions & Things to Do by your own
Day 05 Curaçao: Curacao – Island Tour, Attractions & the best Photo spots
Day 05 Curaçao: Ocean Encounters Curacao – Diving with Dolphins
Day 06 Bonaire: ABC Islands – Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park
Day 06 Bonaire: Kralendijk – Travel Guide & Things to Do
Day 07 Day at Sea
Day 08 Grenada: Diving on the wreck of the cargo ship Veronica L.
Day 08 Grenada: Molinere Bay – Diving at the Underwater Sculpture Park
Day 08 Grenada: Saint George’s – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
Day 09 St. Vincent: Kingstown & Hiking La Soufriére Volcano
Day 10 Barbados: Wreck diving in Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Day 10 Barbados: Snorkeling with turtles in Carlisle Bay
Day 11 St. Lucia: Diving in the Caribbean with Scuba Steve’s Diving
Day 12 Dominica: Dolphins, Whale-Watching & the capital Roseau
Day 13 Guadeloupe: An island tour & the town of Pointe-a-Pietre
Day 14 Antigua: St. John’s, Nelson’s Dockyard & Fort Berkeley
Day 15 Day at Sea
Day 16 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Relax one day on the Beach