Have you ever been on a cruise?

Despite my job as a professional traveler, it took me 34 years, basically half a life, to go on my first cruise. I had lots of ideas on what it would be like and what sort of people would be attending it, and I was pretty certain I would feel out of my comfort zone; that somehow it wouldn’t be my thing to be stuck on a ship for 10 days straight. In truth I had a pretty wonderful time and enjoyed an experience I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.

Recommendations are what many people are looking for when deciding on a destination or a travel provider. In an ideal case we have friends to ask, or our favorite travel blogs to consult and see if they have the info we are looking for. If your besties have no clue what cruises are all about, because they haven’t been on one before, then maybe this new app feature could be for you.

German cruise liner AIDA has recently added a special feature to their AIDA cruises app which allows guests of the ship to upload moments in the shape of photographs to a timeline which is then shared with anyone who is using the app. Most people use it while actually traveling on the ship, so moments get shared in real-time, offering a unique inside look into the world of cruising. It essentially works like Instagram, but has the advantage that it’s all cruise content, so you don’t have to work through a ton of hashtags to get an idea about the type of thing one sees on a cruise.

But it doesn’t stop at pretty sunsets and boat pictures. As cruise ships stop somewhere fabulous and new almost every day, passengers share impressions of the destinations visited, allowing for some great inspiration on places you may not have considered before.

This is how it works:

After downloading the app, you go into AIDA lounge and create a profile for yourself. To share pictures you can choose between simply uploading a moment of before, during or after going traveling, or you can set up an entire trip and upload photos into that particular journey. An advantage here is that people using the app will see with each pic uploaded which boat you are traveling with. This not only makes it easier for inspiration seekers to choose their own trip, it’s also a nice way of connecting guests traveling on the same ship and exchanging information on hotspots and places others may not have discovered otherwise.

If sharing your photos with everyone isn’t your thing, simply put your profile to private and all pictures will only be available to your eyes. It remains a lovely way to remember the best moments of a trip when you look back on those images in a few years.

Depending on where you travel wifi can be spotty, making it hard to upload pictures in real time. Frequently one ends up taking an hour out of one’s evening to re-upload all the pictures when back in a wifi-zone. Needless to say that this is not necessarily one of the fun bits while traveling. Even better that the smart developers behind the AIDA lounge have made the app smart enough to automatically upload all photos you’ve posted on the app throughout the day, as soon as wifi is back on your smartphone – no need to physically fiddle with it again.

There really are a lot of perks to this app for anyone planning a cruise or going on an AIDA cruise themselves. Or simply to see what it can be like with the eyes of real people sharing an unfiltered perspective. The best part? The app is completely free. Anyone can download and use it, regardless of whether or not they have a cruise coming up. So what’s stopping you? Download the AIDA cruise app here for iphone or here for android.

If this post has made you curious, do check out the video in which I talk in more detail about how it all works and leave us any questions you may have in the comments!

*This post was created in collaboration with AIDA.