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Mein Schiff vs. AIDA – a comparison which cruise ship to choose

Mein Schiff vs. AIDA Cruises


With 13 hours of sardine can, also known as Lufthansa Economy Class, I have enough time to review the last two weeks and to think about the two German-speaking cruise operators.

Audience on Mein Schiff vs. AIDA

On AIDA, the average guest is definitely younger! That may be due to the advertising image, but it’s certainly also due to the pricing model.

Costs & meals

While all meals and table drinks – beer, house wine, water – are included on AIDA, every water and cocktail, even during happy hour, must be paid for additionally. So per week, if one is thrifty, nevertheless good 100 euros per head come together additionally. With AIDA, you can almost always find restaurants or snack bars that are open, but it’s also a comfort factor if you don’t have to walk across half the ship for a drink of water. On the smaller ships of the AIDA fleet (the older ones) there are still water dispensers in the cabin corridors, but they have been abolished on the larger newbuilds. On Mein Schiff, all imaginable drinks are included – 120 alcoholic and non-alcoholic are on the average menu of each bar – and the only thing that would have to be paid for is champagne and co. We saved ourselves the bubbly as well as the visit of the speciality restaurants. There are on Mein Schiff, unlike on the AIDA’s, also restaurants with service at the place and 5-6 course menus. These are excellent and if you’re not really in the mood for sushi or Wagyu and Kobe steak, you can also confidently save extra money on dining on Mein Schiff.

AIDA only has buffet restaurants, which are included in the cruise price. Any gastro service with waiters adds up to your bill.

Quality & Organization

The quality of food, drinks, but also of rooms and other on-board facilities is similar on both fleets. Personally, I think the food quality is excellent, both on Mein Schiff and AIDA. Of course, there are little things that make the difference, as described above service at the seat vs. buffet. For example, my grandpa also likes on AIDA that the Serrano ham is cut off the piece there right in front of him – I honestly didn’t notice this food station much. The live cooking stations on Mein Schiff are better organized – I don’t have to stand in line for 20 minutes for my morning omelet because only one person is responsible for all the guests on one hot plate, but there are beepers, similar to the ones at Vapiano at home, that you can hear and that start beeping as soon as the omelet (or the wok dish at noon/evening) is ready.

On the point of organization excellence, I noticed positively that the Atlantik À la Carte Restaurant works partly with a waiting list. When we were there once at rush hour and only in 20 minutes a table became free again, we got a number with and could sit down at the adjacent bar and enjoy one of the countless cocktails as an aperitif until we were picked up and accompanied to the free table. We didn’t skimp on cold drinks during this vacation – must be worth it.

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Friendliness on Mein Schiff vs. AIDA

Not only at the bar, but also in all other areas, I think the friendliness of the staff is exemplary. In my opinion, this applies to both fleets, both AIDA and our current trip with Mein Schiff 3.

Higher-ranking managers ask, for example, during meals whether everything is running smoothly. We had rather poor service only once on this trip. The waiter did not have his best day and threw a few orders (we were a total of four people at the table) out of order. It was no big deal for us, and even he apologized at the end.

Feedback on our part is also not long fiddled with – for example, I did not have the feeling that a massage was done really well. I addressed this directly afterwards (during the massage, too, of course, but it didn’t help) – the manager of the spa area promptly offered me to repeat the same treatment free of charge the next day. That is strong!

What rather caused displeasure was the unfriendliness of some guests. Placing orders without “please” and “thank you” is one thing. But to become really unfriendly, when the crew (coming from more than 40 countries and not always speaking German) at the towel counter doesn’t understand right away if you want deposit cards or new towels, when the average German answers with “hmm” to an “Oder” question, is not acceptable at all. Since even I would not know what is meant and would have to ask a second time … I do not know if I was only now so present, because everything is included or whether that was also so with the trips with the AIDA. I guess rather not, because one is more inclined not to take everything for granted if you pay extra for each drink and thus also for the service.

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