My wife and I both had fathers from Germany, yet we speak no German. This for the most part was a plus on this cruise: the Captain gave his twice daily messages in German and then English; almost all the crew members spoke fair to excellent English as did the majority of passengers, and we never heard a single comment in English that wasn’t directed to or from us. It was a stress free environment. We were the only passengers from the US, and the only other non-German speaking couple was from Holland. Menus were available in English at all restaurants.
We had been on a River Cruise on a German ship around 1978, but since then have been on 25 or so family or couple cruises, including on Oceania, Viking, Sea Dream, Crystal and Windstar to name a few. Food quality is a priority for us, and the Berlitz guide gave Europa 2 high marks in that category; as it turned out though the food was mostly excellent that was the least of our enjoyments.
From the captain on down the crew was friendly, informed and competent. The passengers were relaxed, and always greeted each other and us as we passed by. Once a conversation was started they were friendly and happy to converse in English. Many had relatives in the US and especially the Midwest. They were never late for any activity or excursion, but were not aggressively early either. Dress was quite informal and while some wore jackets to dinner I saw no ties or formalwear of any kind. If anyone was wearing expensive clothes they were well camouflaged.Passengers were on the older side but not Riviera old and all were completely mobile.
I chose a cabin in the lowest price category: a guarantee cabin would have been less expensive but I wanted a specific location which was adjacent to the hallway/elevators to avoid potential balcony smokers. It worked. The ship had a few smokers but hardly noticeable.
The cabin had two sinks, a shower and separate jacuzzi, separate toilet, loads of storage space, a couch, table and desk, sufficient plugs for devices, and a balcony large enough for two loungers (had to request the second) along with a table and two chairs, The shower was very nice and we had 4 towels for the two of us. The included refrigerator was stocked with beer soft drinks and water, all included and updated daily. Cabin was cleaned twice a day by our room steward and assistant. It was perfect for our needs.