I recently completed a 13-day cruise on the Hapag-Lloyd (HL) highly rated small luxury ship the Europa 2 ( E2), 516 maximum passengers. Our route started in New York City with two weekend overnights, then went down the east coast of the U.S. to Baltimore, Charleston, Miami for another overnight, Key West, Harbour Island (tender), and ended in Nassau.
I had done one prior 16-day E2 cruise over the Christmas holidays 2015-2016 around South Africa and Namibia in a PH suite with my husband, and a 14-day classical music focussed cruise ( Ocean Sun Festival) on its sister ship the MS Europa September 2016 in the Mediterranean in a veranda suite, solo. I am comparing this experience with the two prior with HL.
My travel partner this cruise was an old German friend. We were in a veranda suite a bit towards the bow.
We were on the starboard side of the bow in a veranda suite on deck 6. The suite was generously sized and luxurious, (comparable to or slightly larger than a base veranda suite on the Silver Spirit) with plenty of storage space in the walk-in closet, and in drawers below the desk area, with more than enough room for the contents of the three full-sized suitcases and two carry-ons we had brought. Suitcases easily fit under the bed. It had two semi-attached beds in the German style with independent beddings and mattresses, two nightstands with drawers and two different bedside lighting options. There is a semi-separated sofa area with a chaise lounge section on the sofa with soft cushions, a fridge, and a TV which also had channels for menus of the day, your bill, movies, and shows about the ship, language can be adjusted. The veranda had one adjustable chaise lounge, a table, two non-adjustable upright chairs, and removable cushions. The railing area is see-through, so even if you sit low you can still see the ocean. Linens and towels were highest quality. Unlike in the PH suite on our last trip, you could not raise the head of the beds. The lighting system was high-tech, and came with a manual, or the stewardess could show you the basics. You can select different moods or “scenarios”. Bring your charging adapters, as the outlets are only for the German style. There are two hair dryers, one in the bathroom, one in the desk/dressing table area. The bathroom had a separate large shower with a seat, and a deep non-Jacuzzi tub, one sink, and plenty of storage.
This is a fun port with friendly natives, You can see historic old Charleston, and it was easy to explore on our own as we docked right in town. Don't miss the market, above which is the fascinating Museum of the Confederacy, and also the Charleston Historical Museum is very interesting. Eat, drink, people-watch, and go a bit off the beaten path, I wish we had more time here.