Our large ship was seen from the train, a white, twelve-story castle, painted with a bright red kiss mouth. They shone in the sun as the tallest building of Warnemünde, higher than the old “Hotel Neptun”. All owners of the Beautiful weekend tickets stared at our beautiful ship.

What if the whole gang went with us on the trip?, we thought. Some families proved, in fact, than the AIDA passengers. At Pier 7, in Karl’s strawberry store bought strawberry punch in the special offer Take-away in convenient one-liter cans.

“I didn’t think that I can get strawberries in August somewhere,” said one of the children of the rich family father to his kin. A hundred metres further on at the security check he had to give up its liquid strawberries, however, it was not the Punch for safety reasons the ship. Perhaps the security people worked with Karl from the strawberry store. You brought back to him the confiscated Punch, and ensured that he remained more liquid.

The whole cruise ship was a single Bar

Although Olga and I were the first passengers on Board, were already strangers towels in strategic places: on the sun deck, in front of the grill station and at the Pool. Flying towels, a new travel option, which you could book with AIDA, were likely, we thought. Before the owner of the towel came on Board, he was reserved a warm spot on the sun deck. With over 3000 passing guests, not a bad idea.

More passengers entered the ship, left their suitcase in the cabin and ran to the food smell. The lunch time took only an hour and a half to eat a great challenge for anyone who had set the goal in all five of the Restaurants of the ship. We were not hungry, the sun is mercilessly slammed, it was an unusually hot day for the Baltic sea.

“We need a shadow, please let us Bar search,” said my wife. The Bar you had to look on the AIDA for long, however, the entire ship was a single Bar.

On the big screen the varied artistic program presented, the expected us: dancers, acrobats, singers and actors was to us – and, as a big Highlight, of course, the musical ears would massage with the snappy title of “I find Schlager toll”, supported by DJ Janneck, a young, intelligent-looking man with thick glasses, I never believed that he would find Schlager toll.

From our previous trips, we knew that a program was for a cruise is as indispensable as the barf bag for a plane. Both of these will not be used by anyone, but must not be missing anyway. On many bags the airlines do not write “We take it personally”.

My wife and I, we’re not on hit, take it personally, but see it as a type of children’s disco for the older Semester. While we sat at the Bar, filled the ship with life. The first children threw themselves in the Pool, at the barbecue station, a curious eater tested, especially if the Teriyaki dishes are raw, and tasted, they wanted to avoid the dinner queue.

“AIDA warns today” in front of the Baltic sea resort of Warnemünde

“Begin your journey of discovery with our Cocktail of the day: Prima spray,” he advised us the bar menu. We followed your advice. All AIDAs are the same, but each is in own way beautiful. Our was very good in mixed drinks. With each Prima spray, we took to us, was the Baltic sea a little restless, clouds covered the sky.

In the newly printed edition of “AIDA today” in the section “Good to know” a security note for the Baltic sea resort of Warnemünde: There is a latent risk due to attacks of any terrorist-related “would”. So we should “be vigilant” and to have a closer contact to Warnemünde is best to avoid. Who would have thought? Of our ship from the Baltic sea resort looked completely peaceful, and sleepy. However, as an old African folk wisdom says: “In the silent water the fat sit most crocodiles.”

Exactly 17: 45, after five Prima spray and a cuddly conducted search and rescue exercise, began in the Baltic sea resort of to wobble suddenly. At first slightly, then rocked it harder and harder, and waving of the peaceful people on the shore, the anglers on the rocks, the couple in the Grass, jumped on and began to like crazy with the hands.

The whole city trembled and moved away suddenly with ever-higher speed of us. The ship tooted twice, loud, and DJ Jannick played a pathetic outlet of music, a mixture of Wagner and Schlager. The dangerous Warnemünde was washed away from under the nose.

Soon the last piece of Land from the horizon disappeared, and we were delivered to the Baltic sea. No country, no human, as far as the eye could see. Only the gulls screamed at us. They wanted to make us something Important about the upcoming trip, say, warn us, or console. But the music is not played too loud, we understood you.

From food to Fitness, from the Pool to the Dance

Each cruise ship. on all floors of an inconspicuous door, or a secret little Elevator with the inscription “Authorized Personnel Only”, going all the way down Colorful decorated walls, soft carpets, and the chandelier disappear behind these doors, all painted white, and the team is not smiling.

Above the eternal Sunday is announced, and already at noon, wine will be served. Down there is always Monday. Here, and only late in the evening to drink in the Crew Bar on the first floor, where the fish watching through the bull’s-eye the Sailor.

on the first evening we were invited by the Crew to the heart of the ship, where the international team is spending their rare evening hours. I think, on each AIDA ship the same division of tasks applies: The Filipinos are the Cleaning and the security is handled by the Ukrainians dance and sing, and the top entertainment management, the tears running jokes and good humor produced, comes from Austria.

In the Bar under the water the roles are reversed, however: The Filipinos sang and played the piano, the Austrians remained silent, thoughtful, and Ukrainians guzzled at the counter.

I wondered how all these people came to their Professions and where they learned to cooperate well. This team worked like a well-oiled machine.

The crusaders were left on the ship not a second self, you have been provided with Offers: From the dining table I went to the gym, from sports to the swimming pool, from the water to the dance program, and then to talk about the sights of Tallinn, and finally to Drink at the Bar with views of the Baltic sea of clouds. There were two large and five small, which hung low over the sea, and always in the same place. Sometimes, it dripped from them a little bit.

Exercise the Crew in secret training camps?

Somewhere on the mainland this AIDA had to have people in a training ship, where the Filipinos, and the Ukrainians and the Austrians learned together, I thought. Somewhere, probably in the mountains of Austria, there was this secret training camp, had never seen the water and not a ship looked like.

There, the Austrians exercised call Piles with the proper emphasis,””, Ukrainians learned how to dance on a rocking Deck, and the Filipinos, as it is served quickly and in a good mood, three thousand people in one hour, the Breakfast. Only those who played the tourists on this training ship? Or they were replaced by rubber dolls, which were worn from the Pool to the Restaurant and back?

I wanted to come to this secret absolutely on the ropes and the team asked. However, neither the Ukrainians nor the Austrians wanted to tell me something. No, they did not mean that there is a ship, they all have cross-visits are a beginner, in Eastern Ukraine, a dance school or unromantic in Bielefeld and event management learned.

The Filipinos gave me no information, what they had worked earlier in the Philippines. To each question she responded with a question of his own. “A Aperol Prima spray?”, they asked and laughed.

The Text is an abridged excerpt from the new book “The crusaders” by Vladimir Kaminer, publishing the wonders of space, 224 pages, 20 Euro

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