On May 7th 2014 we had the pleasure of visiting AIDA Cruises' AIDAstella whilst the vessel was berthed alongside the Cruise Terminal at Harwich International Port.
We were able to arrange the visit after we contacted Michael Ungerer, President, AIDA Cruises to request permission to visit AIDAstella to officially present our drawing on board.
AIDA Cruises were happy to welcome us aboard AIDAstella. We were very excited to be working with AIDA Cruises for the first time and to be granted permission to visit one of their ships!
On the morning on May 7th 2014, Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester and Gavin Pamment, Chief Photographer, Dream Designs Colchester arrived at Harwich International Port just before 10:00. Before entering the Cruise Terminal to obtain their visitor passes they took some photographs of the ship berthed alongside.
Harry also took the opportunity to unveil his especially assigned drawing of AIDAstella in front of the ship with some help from Gavin, before he later officially presented it on board the ship. Upon entering the Cruise Terminal and making their way over to the Passes Office, Harry and Gavin were informed that they were strictly no visitors!
Luckily Harry spotted AIDAstella's Hotel Manager, Helmut Süss in the Cruise Terminal and explained the situation to him. He inform Harry that he would attempt to find out what the problem was. Eventually after waiting in the Cruise Terminal for sometime Julia Baumgartl, Photo Gallery Manager came to meet Harry and Gavin and was able to escort them on board once they had been given clearance from both security at Harwich International Port and the security team on board AIDAstella.
Boarding AIDAstella on Deck 5, Harry and Gavin were taken up to Deck 9, where they got to view some of the passenger amenities, including the AIDA Shop, Photo Gallery and Wine Store, before they were lead through the Theatrium to the Stella Bar, where the official drawing presentation was to take place.
A short while after arriving at the Stella Bar, Jan-Philipp Schmid, Entertainment Manager and Heiko Schliek, General Manager came to meet with Harry and Gavin. They were both very keep to see Harry's drawing and before long invited him to officially present his drawing to them, joined by Julia. AIDAstella's very own photographer was also their to capture the moment!
Following the official drawing presentation, Harry and Gavin enjoyed a drink in the Stella Bar with Jan-Philipp Schmid, Entertainment Manager, Heiko Schliek, General Manager and Julia Baumgartl, Photo Gallery Manager. They also chatted for sometime about our website and our many previous drawing presentations as well as AIDA Cruises' new ship AIDAprima arriving in 2015.
Julia then invited Harry and Gavin on a guided tour of AIDAstella. Moving up through the Theatrium from Deck 9 to Deck 10, they got to see Café Mare, Bualo Steak House and the AIDA Bar located near the front of the ship with its uniquely designed star shaped bar!
Heading back along Deck 10, towards the stern of the ship, Harry and Gavin viewed Brauhaus, a casual dining area which features its very own on board brewery and hosts shows and demonstrations as well as a quick look inside the Bella Donna Restaurant at the stern.
Continuing the guided tour, Harry and Gavin were taken up to Deck 11 where they explored the East Restaurant, which includes a Sushi Bar. They also got to see the California Grill and Beach Bar.
Heading outside they explored the free range area which features a large outdoor television screen. They also got to take a look at the pools, sundeck areas and Pool Bar. Julia also invited Harry and Gavin to explore some of the upper sundeck areas on Deck 15 above the Body & Soul Spa, which have a number of elevated deck areas offering stunning views from the very top of the ship!
Moving back down to Deck 11, Harry and Gavin viewed the Body & Soul fitness center and gymnasium on board AIDAstella. Located in the adjacent Theatrium are a number of other sporting facilities include the Timeout Bar and counters to book biking, diving and golf.
On Deck 14 Harry and Gavin viewed the outdoor Sports Court and also saw AIDAstella's funnel up close and took the chance to have a photograph taken together benief it. Inside on Deck 12 they explored the Anytime Bar with its futuristic entrance design.
Before finishing their guided tour, Julia took Harry and Gavin to the forward stairwell on Deck 10, where she showed them the amazing video wall aquarium which spans seven decks, from Deck 3 up to Deck 10! Finally on Deck 3 they saw the Pier 3 Bar, located just above the waterline and features doors on the size of the ship which can open when in port or anchored at tender ports.
Upon completing the guided tour, Julia escorted Harry and Gavin to Reception on Deck 5, where they were met by Heiko Schliek, General Manager again who presented them each with an AIDA Cruises souvenir cup and a crystal model of AIDAstella.
Having toured many of the passenger amenities aboard AIDAstella it was now time to disembark. Julia was kind enough to escort Harry and Gavin back to the Passes Office in the Cruise Terminal where they collected their passports before leaving the Harwich International Port.
Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester, said:
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!