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8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Monaco

8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Monaco (Monte Carlo)

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Europa 2
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Day 2
    Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Day 3
    Portofino
  • Day 4
    Elba
  • Day 5
    Corsica (Ajaccio)
  • Day 6
    Alghero
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Minorca
  • Day 9
    Palma de Mallorca (Majorca)

Europa 2

Europa 2 - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Pros

Gorgeously designed small ship, with stellar service and dining options

Cons

Programs aimed at German clientele; pricy fares don't cover alcohol

Bottom Line

One of the more beautiful ships at sea, suited to sophisticated tastes


Cruise Reviews

The Europa 2-even the name exudes luxury, style, and quite a Eurocentric flair to life that I have come to learn and love on my eight night sailing to the beautiful Mediterranean. The cost-incredibly expensive, but the ... Read More
The Europa 2-even the name exudes luxury, style, and quite a Eurocentric flair to life that I have come to learn and love on my eight night sailing to the beautiful Mediterranean. The cost-incredibly expensive, but the experience-unmatched. PRE-BOARDING DOCUMENTS The catalogues and call-back service was phenomenal, as well as the website being easy to navigate, although at times a bit outdated, and while the general vaccination, immigration, and visa requirements were clearly listed, it was a while before I realised the sentence "these notices and requirements only apply to citizens of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland." Still, this is a German cruise liner, and it's honestly surprising they even attempted to embrace the outside world at all-unlike the stuffier Europa. Included cancellation fee and bankruptcy insurance was nice, but as always the terms were very strict. I opted to not. EMBARKATION Because it was clearly impossible for Hapag-Lloyd to arrange travel to a country outside of Germany on an "international cruise ship", it was necessary for me to find travel arrangements myself-sigh.Embarkation commenced sharp at 16:00, ending 18:00, but it was very swift and once onboard we enjoyed the happy reception staff with welcome champagne. A TOUR OF THE SHIP The whole ship is all about relaxed luxury, with spaciousness and natural light in a contemporary style while its exterior is sleek. The details are fantastic from indented handrails in the main stairways to leather-covered tissue boxes to polished teak handrails on all balconies. I think I look at handrails too much, eh? A two-level pool deck is fantastic, with a 49 feet rectangular heated pool and a large sliding glass roof to cover if needed, but the summer Mediterranean meant we never had much of an opportunity to see it in action. Balinese sleep beds were extremely cosy, as we would be lucky to find out multiple times, alongside sun beds, drink tables, bar and food bar (of which Hapag-Lloyd loves to brag about its afternoon waffles), and a retractable movie screen. It simply is beautiful, contemporary, and high-quality at every turn, with museum-quality art collections, and after a retouch in 2018, everything is super chic and modern. The atrium has grey, black, and chrome with armchair-style seating and the Piano Bar, with a specially commissioned grey Steinway next to the reception desk, in case the nice lady working there wanted a cocktail, because don't we all? A glass viewing wall provides multi-deck natural light, before you walk to a Wempe jewelry and boutique. I, of course, not having a net worth of $10 million, didn't go in except to buy a beautiful Cap'n Knopf. He inhabits our house now. This is just, a benchmark in cruising and exudes discreet quality at every tun with impressive diversity, flowers everywhere, even, and just in case you thought this wasn't luxurious enough, a caviar night each cruise. A caviar night. BARS After a long day exploring the beautiful beaches of Europa, head down to the Europa 2 bars and lounges, with Collins, a cigar smoking Cuban beer bar, Sansibar, with indoor-outdoor seating and an a la carte menu with tapas-style nibbles and special wines, Club 2, THE place for comedy and cabaret, the aforementioned piano bar, Belvedere, which also houses the library, the aforementioned waffle-stuffed pool bar, and Grande Reserve, which is just fine wine and weddings. I had neither. FOOD The Europa 2 has more dining venues than its sister ship and, in relation to its relaxed comfortable luxury, no set mealtimes. And the food is simply spectacular. Absolutely amazing. Fancy China and glassware, impressive amounts of cutlery, unusually plentiful tables of four, and each restaurant's detailed individuality, and of course, the food itself. Weltmeere is the flagship restaurant, and for good reason; an international menu changing daily. Elements serves everything from Indian to Vietnamese to not-so-traditional Chinese dishes, with the aroma of lemongrass, seafood, and lime prevailing. I forgive them this time, but their "Chinese" dishes were often anything but. Sakura I did not get to experience as it packed quick, but Serenissima was my go-to-spot for lunch, with everything from open lasagne to steamed lobster and the chandeliers were stunning. Finally, the French bistro Tarragon, with its famous meal beef tartare made at table, and boy did it live up to expectations, while the Yacht Club Buffet allowed me to experience fine cuisine and a panoramic ocean view. MY SUITE, AND THEY'RE ALL SUITES All the "cabins" in the Europa 2 are rightfully called suites, and each with a veranda! I chose the aptly-named Veranda Suite, as it was the cheapest, but it doesn't feel that way, certainly. 376 square feet with a walk-in wardrobe, exclusive living area with a chaise lounge, a bathtub and separate shower, free minibar stocked with beer and soft drinks, a writing/vanity desk, and door-touch keycard holder. All also have a Nespresso coffee machine and coffees, quiet-close storage trays, and integrated infotainment system as well as one free hour of Internet a day. The layout is well-designed and practical and the overall decor is relaxing and elegant. ENTERTAINMENT The Theatre, a two-level showlounge with LED lighting and a thrust stage is prepared for by the company's own production team and is mostly visual, much to my English-speaking-minority delight. Club 2 also was the go-to place for parties and discussion or the Piano Bar if you're feeling classical. CHILDREN'S CLUB Knopf Club, Kid's Club, Teen's Club. Everything was cool. SPA Superb, a centre of serenity and calm, with everything from a beauty salon to three dry saunas to two GOLF SIMULATORS-WHAT?! Needless to say most everything cost extra but what're you gonna expect, right? SERVICE In a word, yes. DISEMBARKATION Quick, to my chagrin, but relaxed, much to my pleasure. SUMMARY Amazing, all in all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I’m putting up this review almost 11 months after our first cruise on Europa 2, as I noticed recent reviews are sparse. In part, that’s probably because the ship gets booked up so far ahead by the German market that very few ... Read More
I’m putting up this review almost 11 months after our first cruise on Europa 2, as I noticed recent reviews are sparse. In part, that’s probably because the ship gets booked up so far ahead by the German market that very few non-Germans manage to get cabins. Since our Venice to Mallorca cruise on Europa 2, we’ve done another one on Seabourn Odyssey and one on Crystal Serenity, both good but which make us realise we love Europa 2 even more. We’re now booked to go again next year. Here are the pros and the cons: Pros The ship is incredibly spacious, beautifully designed, has high ceiling heights, modern art and is taken into dry dock to refresh every two years. Design is Northern European and fresh, light and modern rather than the standard US ‘country club’ vibe. It feels like a top end 5 star+ designer luxury hotel at sea where every little thing flows and works together. By contrast Crystal Serenity seems like a half-refurbished 4 star hotel and Seabourn Odyssey like a tired 5 star. With just over 500 passengers and so much space there as never, ever, a fight for loungers or seats on outside decks. The pool deck is excellent, with a good choice of sunshine and shade and nice parties on some evenings. Spotlessly clean and a nice deep pool for a proper swim. Bouillon with sherry is on tap from mid morning. Food is exquisite whichever restaurant you choose. Lobster and king crab claws in the buffet restaurant, foie bras for breakfast if you fancy it in the first class Weltemeere MDR (excellent variety at dinners there). The Italian, French and Asian speciality restaurants are all superb in terms of decor and cuisine. We only found that Sansibar, the bar/nightclub on the aft deck, did lunches on our final days and really enjoyed those in a beautiful shady beach club environment. Non-German passengers have an English-speaking hostess (we were so lucky with ours, Lisa, who was absolutely charming), but almost everything is bilingual. The double-heighted theatre is exceptional and most shows are musical and to a very high standard. For pipe and cigar smokers, the bar Collins (open 24 hours) is the height of sophistication. We had a Penthouse Suite which was magnificent, modern and we were thoroughly spoiled by two amazing butlers. But next time we will go for a standard suite as these are very roomy and there are so many places you want to be on deck. It’ll be interesting to see next time if the VIP service we felt we received was due to our high suite level, the fact we weren’t German or if it’s the same level of service across the board! Cabin servicing very efficient and all spotlessly clean. Nice bespoke toiletries. Everyone on Reception was charming. Wait staff on the whole were excellent, mainly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and all seemed to work together well. The captain and crew were brilliant. Frank, the hotel director, hosted a table for us with Lisa one night and was a delight. The captain, Ulf Walter, was very much present and inspired great confidence in the ship and Hapag Lloyd. I believe he is off to captain the new HL inspiration. Saddened that we hadn’t seen the volcano erupt at Stromboli one evening, he decided to go back around the island again the following night for a second, successful, view. Zodiacs were suddenly launched one day to explore caves near Capri and we were greeted by crew on another tender with Champagne. The wine list is exceptional and pretty good value for money...Whilst alcohol must be paid for, there are often complimentary drinks and cocktails and international passengers receive an onboard credit for alcoholic beverages. Enrichment was pretty good (in English as well as German)...it’s funny when you are the only ones to turn up to an enrichment lecture though (it’s done in English after a German one). Had an amazing lobster cookery course in their high end cookery school. We loved the ports chosen apart from Messina in Sicily. Capri and Mahon were fabulous. Excursions well priced but not many in English. Fellow passengers are pretty refined, classy and keep themselves to themselves. A younger crowd than on Seaboirn or Crystal. Cons If you aren’t German you are going to be one of a dozen or so international guests. So don’t expect to make lifelong friends or spend your cruise chatting. That’s fine by us! Hapag Lloyd markets these as international cruises but no-one has told the Germans that and they often ask (nicely, I hasten to add) why you are there! Insufficient staff and long waits sometimes in speciality restaurants. Sakura, the Japanese Restaurant, was particularly poor in service one evening. The weekly caviar night seem to be when things fall apart. Smoking on balconies allowed (fine by us) but this will put off many people. Drinks (actually not even mineral water) in bars and restaurants not included. We didn’t mind as we had an OBS and the choice was terrific and the gin tasting free. Few English excursions. All in all, if you’re looking for a classy cruise don’t be put off by the fact you aren’t German. This was a real eye opener...they really know how to do hospitality and to enjoy themselves. We’re so pleased we are going back but worry that the second time can’t possibly be as good! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
After a tour of Sri Lanka we joined the ship in Colombo. Our second cruise on E2. I really want to love Hapag Lloyd they do try most of the time, what with 2 yearly make overs and lots of pride (& money) I thought ALL the early ... Read More
After a tour of Sri Lanka we joined the ship in Colombo. Our second cruise on E2. I really want to love Hapag Lloyd they do try most of the time, what with 2 yearly make overs and lots of pride (& money) I thought ALL the early wrinkles would be gone, they are not. At pick up from the appointed hotel we were turned away from full coaches and waited for another to arrive. Not a great start. We were to pass sister ship Europa during this voyage yet this was not arranged during daylight, missed opportunity! The ship is looking wonderful, but pinch points are just as bad. On our very warm cruise the robes provided were heavy toweling.Wi Fi speed is very slow and MUST be improved. Still attracting very few non German passengers, yet the whole crew are English fluent and a pleasant British hostess is employed to assist non German speakers if required. There is no way for staff to identify non German speakers or their cabins so one repeatedly requests the "English Menu" or whatever. Dress code only asks for men to ware a jacket in restaurants but many took them off so what is the point?? Still no drinks package, just a $200 allowance and some in room drinks. That's OK as the wine and drinks list is excellent and affordable with no "service charge". There is a rather tacky Raffle for the crew and a donation box available, The annoying thing is having to pay for bottle water at lunch and dinner. OK that is the German way, so I expect they never ask for "a glass" but lots of us find this irritating and it is time to sort this problem. Many ships bottle their own. Sansibar can suffer from heat and smokers. We had coughing smokers to left and right of our cabin balcony, smokers are common on this ship! In the cabin the vast number (8 beside my bed) of light switches are now loosing their markings which is no help to the very difficult system. Beds are still 2 singles pushed together with very heavy bed covers x2. Cabin walls are so poor at sound deadening voices are heard. The new TV's are huge screen but films and channels are limited, with no BBC nor USA. I reported the bathroom basin plug not closing twice but it was not fixed. Watch out if you want to reserve a sun bed, friends had all their possessions moved off by another passenger (yes German) . No charm school here. On board, and beach, parties are still excellent, however some passenger started to fall down drunk onshore, and the ships Dr needed to come and collect them up! Food and drink quality and service was high. However food style will remain Germanic and not please every pallet, take baking for instance. "Elements" Asian food could be disappointing with mostly Indian Chefs. Out of meal times I found options very limited and room service rather poor. How old fashion to order via reception desk staff who do not even see your room number displayed.The "Yacht Club Grill" was bad. Some shows/bands were excellent but sometimes the timing is spread thin and the Club2 underused. Some lectures are made available in English. The "Entertainment Officer" Frank was seldom seen and stuck to his TV studio! The use of the new and excellent "Belvedere"room for concerts is still not good, what with pillars to block sight lines and fridge noise. On the final day/disembarkation we had no berth alongside at Bali and all bags and passengers needed to be Tendered ashore. Not the end of the world, but they packed us in in an uncomfortable way, our final memory of the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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