3 Hapag-Lloyd Europa 2 Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

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catalogues and call-back service was phenomenal, as well as the website being easy to navigate, although at times a bit outdated, and while the general vaccination, immigration, and visa requirements were clearly listed, it was a while before I realised the sentence "these notices and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
What a beautiful ship that is! Due to the fact that it is new the outside of the 225 metres ship is off course top notch - once entered things are even more impressive. The Lobby is comparable with a Dubai 5 Star Suite Hotel and the ... Read More
What a beautiful ship that is! Due to the fact that it is new the outside of the 225 metres ship is off course top notch - once entered things are even more impressive. The Lobby is comparable with a Dubai 5 Star Suite Hotel and the glas-elevators going from deck 4 to 10 are stunning. You are actually not really feeling like you are on a ship at all the first minutes. They do have a max of 500 guests - with the tour now there were about 470 = more or less fully booked but on a ship of that size you could carry twice more and that advantage of just beeing with 470 you can feel every minute onboard - it never feels loaded and crowded there. 7 restaurants are onboard - i am totally surprised about the level of quality they can serve on that stunning ship - its almost like you would eat in a 1 star Michelin Restaurant. All restaurants are a la carte except the Yachtclub (Buffet) and the Sansibar (Bar with Snacks). Have eaten Italian, French and also in the Asian Restaurant as well as in the Sushi place where food is just awesome. Portions are a bit smaller but very fine made with just really good ingredients (where do they get that that fresh?) - the wine and champagne lists are complete and top wines they serve by glass as well. The prices are astonishing low, for a bottle of "normal" champagne 40 Euros, Dom Perignon or Roederer Cristal for a 160 Euros a bottle - you wont find that elsewhere. Longdrinks and other cocktails for about 5/6 Euros - glasses of wine and softdrinks about 3 Euros etc = that has been a nice surprise. Acutally you can eat fine dinners which are all inclusive (even a la carte restaurants) and drink the choice of your favourite drink for almost no fee. The Spa and the Fitness Center are situated on deck 5 - with a full 200 squaremetres balcony for the spa and large windows for the Fitness - equippment is top notch as well as the service - quite rooms with marble warmed beds, large hottub etc etc and different saunas - again i was surprised what they are able to offer - never thought a ship could do that + it stays exclusive and you never have to search for machine to use in the Fitness area since they have plenty. Spinning room is availbale as well with about 15 bikes. The Service is then off course fine as well since 370 crew members are serving 400/500 guests - you always find someone to serve whatever your needs are - i noiced in the Sansibar restaurant that a kid asked for mashed potatos which was not on the card but after checking they made it fresh for this boy - this kind of service i just can imagine must be difficult on larger ships... also the waffle service at the pool with fresh fruit is "hit" for the travellers and surely for the kids onboard - they do have btw a 10 percent max kid policy which makes it not too loud ;-) I did not really use the tours offered - just the tender service every 20 minutes for each port, just programs like champagne and gin tastings which were offered on the ship i attended and were fully happy with that... i think they do have 37 gins onboard ;-) so you can try some of them... During the day when many are visiting places and attending tours the staff is cleaning the ship from A to Z - they do have one employee just cleaning the wooden railing all year long ! never thought about that a ship needs that much of attention. Anyway - will go there again and made actually the next booking - since the waters from Barcelona to Rome were that calm and the temperatures that high this summer i took the Northern Europe Tour for next year - sure i will enjoy it ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Best ship ever! Stunning, amazing, there are no words to describe the infrastructure. It is clear that it concerns a German cruise line, but that is also the Unique selling point of this product. Food, service, ports, it was all ... Read More
Best ship ever! Stunning, amazing, there are no words to describe the infrastructure. It is clear that it concerns a German cruise line, but that is also the Unique selling point of this product. Food, service, ports, it was all just perfect. The WOW-effect is in all the details. Kids for free, welcome packages for the kids. For the baby we just ordered in advance all pampers, milk solutions, drinks, food, ... and it stood all prepared with toys in the suite. The cruise line also has 2 expedition vessels, that experience they also use on tis luxury vessel. They have scientists on board giving lections, but they also have zodiacs. When we were in Corsica the captain gave order to put the zodiacs in the water. We were able to do a very surprising trips through the hidden bays of Calvi. 7 restaurants, 6 bars, biggest gin collection on board of a ship, highest ratio passenger/staff that exist, biggest basix cabins (suites) that exist. And this ship is more like a boutique hotel, it can not be compared with any other vessel so far. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Europa 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.9
Dining 5.0 4.9
Entertainment 3.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.6
Family 5.0 4.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.6
Rates 5.0 N/A

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