I can’t stand the concept of cruise tours. The thought of being cooped in with thousands of other humans on a the swimming equivalent of Centre Parks, surrounded by raving twentysomethings, drunk couples, and staff that is trying to sign up Zumba classes is as attractive as 7 days with Kim Jong Un in Pyoengyang. Then my parents started to rave about the ships of a German Cruise Ship Company called ‘Aida’, which seemed to make sure to eliminate most of the excesses of the so-called ‘partyships’. Then my brother started suggesting that we should try one. So yesterday morning at 04:00 I got up to get a flight with Turkish Airlines (very pleasant, btw) to Antalya via Istanbul to do the manly thing and face my prejudices and try myself at – no, not cruising – but being a good tourist.
After having the most entertaining transfer from Antalya Airport to the Harbour with a cab driver who obviously thought Sebastia Vettel had nothing on him, we saw our new abode for the first time: the AidaDiva, a 251 meter long behemoth in white, not inelegant, but certainly imposing. The cabin is cheerful and functional with a generous balcony and a moderately sized bathroom. Think Ibis hotel with extra colour and luxury furnishings (the sofa is made by Cor).
First duty was to take part in the Emergency exercise, so packed with our swimming vests, we made our way to our lifeboats, and with usual German efficiency and almost military precision we stood for a few minutes in the cool Turkish night and listened to our deck officers prepare us for the worst.
Then drinkies (in the interestingly not overcrowded bars. Where are all those people?). And bed.