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!