Ok, I have to admit that waking up to a window full of sea and a gentle rocking motion does have its charms.
The AidaDiva is quite the behemoth. It currently hosts about 2000 guests and another 600 crew. That means there’s about 500 passengers less than possible, which is nice. There are four cavernous restaurants who provide the guests with free food and another four which provide you with a la carte food (for which you have to pay). During meal times you can definitely tell you’re on a ship with 2000
co-prisoners guests but fortunately most of the time people seem to disperse around the place. Yesterday was a sea day, so from a pure relaxation view, this was top notch. The sea certainly gives the whole thing an adventurous quality and yesterdays strong winds (up 8 beaufort) helped to enhance the impression. Our biggest worry -seasickness- so far hasn’t appeared. Even in the strongest gusts the AidaDiva rocked only gently and apart from a headache and some abdominal murmurings nothing happened.
The passengers are a strange crowd. As expected, pensioners seem to represent the vast majority and the entertainment seems to be geared towards that. There has been some terrible singing of schmaltzy piano ballads, ‘funny’ musicals, an auction of some genuinely terrible art and the good old ‘guess the steward’s weight’ shenanigans. This is obviously geared at people who would normally spend their days with the international equivalent of the ‘Jeremy Kyle Show’ and ‘Cash in the Attic’. While we try to avoid these activities, they are hard not to notice as they tend to be forced on the unsuspected public from the central auditorium whap bang in the middle of the ship. The punters seem to like it though, as the seats are often filled to the hilt. Upstairs on the open decks people in various stages of undress are trying to soak up the sun (and in line with German tastes, there is even a nudist section). The presence of regional accents is staggering, and so far by my own count East German seem to be winning. To the unprepared ear this can be grating, especially if you’re not used to it anymore. I presume the equivalent in the English world would be to be surrounded constantly by crowds with a strong estuary accent. Or John Bishop.