AIDAnova – an amazing experience

Our company was invited to join a two days tour onboard AIDAnova in May 2019, from Palma de Mallorca to Civitavecchia in order to see and understand what it means life onboard Aida Cruises passenger vessels for the seafarers we recruit.

It was an amazing experience!
We landed in Palma de Mallorca where we met our colleagues from HR Department, Mr Khalid Dughmoush – Manager HR Fleet Recruitment and Miss Nevena Gaco – Operator Fleet HR Engine. We were also accompanied by Miss Martina Mateva – representative of the Bulgarian agent Komak Manning.
I was first impressed by the huge cruise terminal from Palma de Mallorca, built by Aida Cruises for Aida passenger vessels.

At the check in point, a special lady was waiting for us, Mrs Katja Hermann – HR Manager AIDAnova. She was our host and guardian angel from our first step onboard until we departed. She helped us with the check in and accommodation onboard and later on she presented us the meeting agenda as well as the AIDAnova tour. Mrs Katja Herman, although onboard for only one month, knew every corner of the vessel by heart!

We first visited the crew members areas – offices, cabins, recreational spaces on open decks, open jacuzzi, health areas, restaurants, training rooms, bars. Then we visited the passengers’ areas. In the passengers area, the vessel is structured with decks for cabins and decks for spending time. There are 17 restaurants, 14 bars and lounges, 2 clubs for children, art gallery, a theatrium – a 3 deck high show lounge with a stage in the middle for live entertainment, casino, shops, body & soul salons, fitness clubs, photo gallery, cooking studio, sport deck areas, sun opened decks with swimming pools, rock climbing walls and high ropes, sun deck games area, etc. We walked for four hours just to admire every part of AIDAnova!

After the ship visit and a wonderful dinner in crew members restaurant, we started our meeting agenda.

Mr Patrick Schlechtendahl – Head of F&B – introduced us to the specific requirements in the F&B department onboard AIDAnova. He runs a department of about 750 crew members (restaurant, bar, galley and provision). He wants to have in his team people oriented toward other people’s needs, with a good knowledge and pronunciation of German in regards to wines, beverages and service, always with big smiles on their faces.

Mr Thomas Eberlein – Commerce Manager – talked to us about the importance of cooperation between all departments, so that proper revenue to be obtained. He is in charge with all revenues, and under his direct supervision are Casino, Shore-ex, Shops and Spa Departments. He mentioned that 2000 new employees will be needed until 2030, considering the development plan of Aida Cruises. Mr Thomas informed us about benefits and bonuses of the crew members and where to focus on our recruitment. He would like to have onboard young people with friendly attitude and German language.

Jorn Veraart – Head of Guest Service – a very kind a smiling person, who wants to have in his Front office team, people who smiles as much as him, hospitality persons, people oriented, with impeccable German language. Receptionists are needed asap onboard AIDAnova, and he is willing to train all of them, even if there is no previous experience.

Mr Mario Stube – Facility Manager who presented us his department and explained what it means the HVAC installations and Waste Water and Sewage Plant. Recruitment in this sector should be focused on highly qualified HVAC engineers and experienced Environmental Engineers. Due to the new technologies onboard AIDAnova, all Engineers should start as assistants for their first contract in order to get used with the very modern technology onboard.

Mr Gordon Bergier – Staff Chief Engineer – has presented us the Engine Department in detail, with a visit in the Engine Room. We were impressed by the modern technology including the LNG system. All those machines and huge engines, chillers, processors, made me feel like being inside an alien spaceship.

We also met Mr Gerhard Hoffmann the Chief Engineer from AIDAnova, a real gentleman who always smiles when entering the Engine room. We talked together about our Romanian crew members and their very good performance onboard.

Dr Claudia Benkovic presented us the hospital onboard, with all facilities: medical assistance 24 hours, Icu units, lab testing for ECG, blood & urine, X rays, isolation rooms, farmacy with German medication, etc.

During our visit on the bridge, Mr Jan Peter Lindner – Staff Captain – presented us his expectations from the Deck Officers: persons who can work independently, qualified in their job, with minimum two contracts onboard Aida or Costa vessels. Continuous training is required for all deck officers.

We also had the honor to spend some moments on the brigde with Mr Boris Becker the Captain of AIDAnova. He is a real gentleman full of wisdom and advises for everyone. “Manage expectations and act as a role model, weather working or free time.”- I liked that a lot.

We have also met our embarked crew members and we talked about their life and expectations onboard. I was very glad to meet them there, in their work environment.

Life at see is not easy at all, as I discovered myself onboard. For a seafarer it is a challenge every day, from the first hour in the morning, until late at night. But their mission onboard is to keep all passengers happy.

AIDAnova is an amazing experience, which I recommend whether as passenger or as crew member!

Maria Cristian – Marine Personnel Officer, GOOD WINDS Marine Services SRL