AIDAcara is the first and oldest cruise ship operated by Rostock AIDA Cruises. When AIDA Cruises was still called “Deutsche Seereederei”, it had a “club ship” built in Finland. It was baptized in 1996 with the name "AIDA".

The small cruise ship did not get its current name until December 2001. Since it was commissioned, the AIDAcara has been renovated and rebuilt a total of six times. The last redesign took place for the 20th anniversary in the dock of the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain.

Compared to the AIDA ships of the Sphinx class and the current Hyperion class, the AIDAcara looks small and manageable. During the last two new buildings in particular Aida Prima and AIDAperla appear enormous in size, the exterior of the AIDAcara appears elegant and sleek to our taste. And yet it seems to have fallen a little out of time.

AIDAcara in the port of Santos / Rasilien

AIDAcara in the port of Santos / Brazil

That is probably the reason why the sub-brand for the AIDAcara and two other smaller, older AIDA ships AIDA Selection was created. AIDA Selection invites you to slow down travel and visit smaller ports. “Experience the country and its people with AIDA Selection” is the label's motto. AIDA Cruises thus followed the example of the parent company Costa Crociere. This previously tested the use of old and small ship units under the “neoCollection” brand, apparently with success.

Even before AIDA Selection was introduced, we came to appreciate AIDAcara during a South Atlantic crossing.


The AIDAcara has 590 cabins on nine passenger decks. Only 48 cabins have balconies or terraces. That is absolutely not a top value. It should be noted, however, that AIDAcara was created at a time when balconies were seen more as a luxury on cruise ships that could be dispensed with.

The guest cabins are on decks 4 to 7. Inside, sea view and balcony cabins are available. Some of the cabins are barrier-free. A few junior and premium suites complete the range at the top.

Inside cabins

Inside cabins are 14,50 square meters. These cabins are marketed as 2 and 3 bed cabins. It should be tight when the third guest bed is actually used.

Outside cabins

The basic equipment of the “sea view” cabins corresponds to the interior cabins. The cabin size is between 13,50 and 17 square meters. Depending on the size and design, 2 to 4 guests “live” in this type of cabin.

Outside cabin of the AIDAcara

Outside cabin of the AIDAcara

Balcony cabins

The size is put at 20 square meters. This includes the approx. 3 square meter balcony. In terms of equipment and structure, balcony cabins do not differ fundamentally from the larger outside cabins.

Junior suites

Junior suites are 31 square meters. They are wider and more comfortable than the balcony cabins. The bathrooms have bathtubs. The associated balcony measures six square meters.

Premium suites

There are four premium suites. The 55 square meter suites, which are placed next to each other on deck 7, are made for two to three people. They are practical and chic at the same time. The bathrooms of these suites are also equipped with bathtubs. The 80 square meter terrace in front of the four suites is shared by their residents.

Barrier-free cabins

The guest will find handicapped accessible cabins on decks 6 and 7. The view may be restricted by the lifeboats.

Rating of our outside cabin # 7124

The outside cabin we live in is designed for three guests. At 17 square meters, it is larger than the standard outside cabins intended for two guests. An upholstered bench placed in front of the window becomes a third bed when it is folded out. A narrow armchair and a small table complete the furnishings. The “sea view” is severely restricted by the lifeboats positioned in front of the cabin.

Outside cabin - view obstruction by lifeboat

Outside cabin - view obstruction by lifeboat

Our 18-day stay with a lot of cloakroom is stress-free. The AIDAcara's cupboard and storage space is sufficient. We like the color scheme and the other equipment of the cabin. The standards include an interactive TV, safe and telephone. The bathroom is very small. It contains everything necessary and nothing more.

Outside cabin with sufficient storage space

Outside cabin with sufficient storage space

The cabin is set up once a day. The bed linen is changed regularly. Nobody bothered folding animals out of towels. Those who want more service choose ships from other shipping companies.

Eating & drinking on board the AIDAcara

AIDA Cruises promise “culinary great moments” on the AIDAcara. They offer two buffet restaurants included in the tour price. Gourmets eat in an à la carte restaurant.

Restaurants included in the tour price

Market restaurant
In our opinion, it is the most popular restaurant on board. The guest should feel transported to a market hall on deck 8. Determining features are: fruit baskets in the entrance area and buffets in the form of market stalls.

AIDAcara's market restaurant

AIDAcara's market restaurant

What is unusual for a buffet restaurant is that meals are served in two evenings, so-called “connoisseur times”. In between the restaurant is closed for half an hour in order to prepare it for the second time.

Calypso restaurant
The restaurant on deck 9, which is popular with guests, is intended to spread Caribbean flair on board with palm trees, parasols and cheerful colors. The area of ​​the neighboring Lambada Bar is also used during meal times. We find the Calypso a pleasant restaurant. A live cooking area, a pizza station and also a soft ice cream machine are part of the equipment. A large outdoor area with a bar makes staying in warm regions of the world a pleasure.

Calypso restaurant

Calypso restaurant

Both restaurants are served by a central kitchen. Certain, recurring themes are given for the dinner. These are called, for example, "Spain" (in the market hall) and "Fiesta del Ranchero" (in the Calypso restaurant). The menu of the day is based on these topics.

On sea days will be on the pool deck at 11:30 am the pool brunch started. Kaffee und Kuchen are served in the afternoons on the pool deck (deck 10) or in the Calypso restaurant.

Pool brunch

Pool brunch

Our rating of the restaurants
In general: the quality and abundance of the dishes are right. However, there is a lack of sophistication and some of the dishes we would have wished for warmer. Those who like to eat well will generally get their money's worth in the restaurants. There is a light food for allergy sufferers. Water, beer, white and red wine are offered free of charge. The wines are served in carafes.

Guests in the market restaurant

Guests in the market restaurant

The Selection Restaurant, subject to a surcharge

The AIDA Cruises service concept is geared towards self-service. - Guests who value service and higher quality are dependent on the AIDAcara's Selection Restaurant on deck 8, which is subject to a surcharge. Before the renovation in 2016 it was called Rossini gourmet restaurant.

Selection Restaurant - the former Rossini Restaurant

Selection Restaurant - the former Rossini Restaurant

It is supplied by its own kitchen. The restaurant seats a maximum of 93 guests. The ambience, the food and the service of the restaurant are exemplary. The extensive wine list is also satisfactory. Wines are served by the glass or bottle.

Bars & Lounges

AIDAcara has five bars; A reasonable number considering the size of the ship. We like the location and the presentation. On AIDA cruise ships, the drinks served in the cafés, bars and lounges are all chargeable.

AIDA Bar on deck 8
An oversized, five-pointed star forms the counter. Those who don't like to sit at the bar can spend the time in one of the many, not particularly comfortable armchairs. There is dancing to live music in the bar.

AIDA bar AIDA bar


Lambada Bar on deck 9
The Lambada Bar is located between the fitness area and the Calypso Restaurant. Palm trees, parasols, awnings and green tendrils conjure up a Caribbean atmosphere. The bar is regularly used for events on board.

Calypso Bar Deck 9
The bar, located outside on the back deck behind the Calypso Restaurant, is a very pleasant place on warm nights. When the restaurant is closed, it can only be reached via the 10th deck. But where there is a will, there is also a way.

Calypso bar

Calypso bar

Pool bar on deck 10
Well attended at all times.

Anytime Bar & Disco
A trendy and coolly furnished location on deck 11. From time to time it is also used for events on board.

Anytime bar

 Anytime bar

The general rule is: The price level of the bars is appropriate. Service is engaging and good off-peak.

Sport, relaxation & wellness 

The sports offer

Im Body & Soul Sport (Deck 9) thanks to the latest fitness equipment, weight benches and other equipment, the athletes among the passengers are challenged. Both individual exercises and group courses are offered. A Cardioscan has also been standard since the last modification.

Body & Soul Sport

Body & Soul Sport

If all of this is not enough for you, you can book bike tours, dives and more at the Landtag. These services are chargeable.

If you want, you can work on your golf tee on deck 9, take part in ball games on deck 10 in the open area in front of the pool or use the jogging course around the ship on the boat deck (deck 6). The jogging path is 375 meters long. The boat deck also invites you to relax with deck chairs. The swimming pool is little more than a paddling pool.

AIDAcara's pool deck

AIDAcara's pool deck

Those who stick with the unforgettable Sir Winston Churchill, "absolutely no sports", use the loungers on the pool deck and deck 11. There are sun loungers aft on deck 7 or - as already mentioned - on the boat deck.

The Body & Soul Spa

AIDA Cruises offers large spa areas with an area of ​​around 2.600 square meters on the Sphinx-class ships. The significantly smaller AIDAcara inevitably offers less spa area. But it can also be 1.100 square meters of spa landscape.

Body & Soul Spa

Body & Soul Spa

The Body & Soul Spa is located aft on deck 10. In addition to the wellness treatments typical of ships, various sauna experiences are also offered. An oasis of calm is also available. On deck 9 in the area of ​​the Body & Soul Sport, the hairdressing studio ensures that the hairstyle also lasts on stormy days at sea.


To entertain the approximately 1.200 passengers on board the AIDAcara a lot is done. The AIDA club team provides an extensive and balanced entertainment program every day.

The center of on-board entertainment is the 800-seat theater. It is located in the bow area on decks 8 and 9. The AIDA entertainment shows are presented on the small, technically well-equipped stage. There are also lectureships and information events on excursions there.



We are amazed that many of the benches in the AIDAcara theater have no backrests. The seating comfort is poor. This also applies to the seats with backrests. The view of the stage from many of the seats is inadequate.

This feeling harms the much acclaimed Aida shows. The dance ensemble and the singers of the AIDAcara inspire the audience. However, we cannot establish a quality advantage in terms of entertainment on ships from other providers.

Music entertainment also takes place in other areas of the ship. All the musicians do a good job on our trip.

The laser shows on the pool deck are a crowd puller. They received a lot of applause. Perhaps the generously poured champagne will do its part. On the occasion of the crossing of the equator in a northerly direction, Neptune insists on getting on board. The passengers must be baptized. More than 600 of the almost 1.200 passengers are waiting for the christening.

Neptune with court

Neptune with court

The art gallery located next to the AIDA Bar on deck 8 presents and sells works by popular artists. She also organizes recurring art auctions in the AIDA Bar.

If you don't want to keep your fingers off the internet while on holiday, the AIDAcara has an internet station on deck 6 on both sides of the reception.

The friendly and lovingly equipped kids clubs are located on deck 8 on both sides in front of the theater.

In the kids club

In the kids club

And since shopping experiences are part of a successful cruise, you can indulge your emotions in the small AIDA shops on deck 8. Clothing, Gaastra fashion, cosmetics, jewelry and watches are sold.

Information about the AIDAcara


June 1996

Ship class

not known


193 meters long, 28 meters wide, 6 meters draft


38.557 GT

Machine, power & speed

Four diesel engines; Drive: diesel-mechanical; 21.720 KW; about 20 knots


9 passenger decks


Kvaerner Masa Yards AB, Turku


not known




Number of passengers with double occupancy 1.180


approx. 370 employees

Flag & home port

Italy, Genoa

Board language


Currency on board



Christiane Herzog (†)



The AIDAcara is number one in the order of the AIDA ships. She was designed as a "club ship". As a floating holiday resort, it should make guests' stay on board as pleasant and entertaining as possible. Crusaders who like to forego social norms and especially appreciate the freedom of the buffet restaurants, feel comfortable on board. The reduced cabin service compared to domestic and foreign competition is apparently not perceived as a restriction by passengers.

Outside area of ​​the Calypso Bar

Outside area of ​​the Calypso Bar

Surcharges must be paid for more services. The diverse sports, wellness and entertainment options, on the other hand, are standard. Accompanying children and adolescents are carefully looked after and not just kept. AIDAcara meets the expectations of German vacationers for casual and unconventional cruise vacations.

Those who travel a little more slowly and quietly and also don't want to do without their AIDA family are in good hands on the AIDAcara.



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