All 251 suites have balconies. Standard "Veranda Suites" are spacious, measuring 301 square feet, comparable to other luxury newer-builds. But these suites feel larger, perhaps because of the Scandinavian-style streamlined decor and custom blond-wood built-in cabinetry designed to hide wineglasses, a Nespresso machine, tray of coffee capsules and cutlery.
Bedrooms are set apart from sitting areas with sofas by floor-to-ceiling open wooden slats that extend a few feet from the wall. Sleeping areas include two twin beds pushed together to make a queen in most cabins. You could spend all your time shifting position on the soft but supportive bed. (Pillows, mattresses and cloud-soft white duvets were personally tested at home by Europa 2's director of product management.)
Most cabins feature a generous walk-in closet with his-and-her drawers and a safe large enough to hold a laptop. Cunning cabin touches include a leather bedside container for change, watches or jewelry and, over the large desk, a large lighted vanity mirror that can be hidden behind beige lacquered panels. Items in the mini-bar, refilled whenever you want, include beer, a variety of fruit juices (we loved the healthful cherry), rhubarb soda, Coke and flat and sparkling water. Nice touches include fresh flower and a beach bag, containing a tube of sunscreen that you can take home.
On the technology side, all suites feature flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi (generally reliable and 19 euro cents per minute) and Samsung Galaxy tablets you can use to surf the web, send free email from the ship's address, play games or take photos. TVs come with keyboards you can use to web surf or check your bill. There also is a wireless phone you can take around the ship, in addition to a desk phone and bathroom phone. We also appreciated the electronic "no service" signs to keep stewards from knocking.
However, you practically need an electrician's license to operate cabin lighting. There are mood and useful lights galore, including goose-necked small reading lights affixed to the wall on each side of the bed. We counted three-dozen switches, including one for a night-light, in our standard Veranda Suite cabin. Luckily, there's an instruction manual devoted just to lighting. And be prepared to bring an adapter: plugs are European.
Balconies boast at least two good-quality cushioned deck chairs, small table and cushioned lounger or two.
The stunning beige bathrooms incorporate limestone tile and counters, separate deep soaking bathtub and spacious glassed-in shower with a bench. They have generous storage, typically four glass shelves and five drawers in the vanity. We applaud the two hair dryers and robes supplied in standard cabins, as well as the good-quality Europa 2-branded shampoo (containing sea fennel), conditioner, shower gel, body lotion and fizzy bath salts. You'll also find dental floss, a sewing kit, shower caps -- even eyeglass cleaner and breath mints.
There are two accessible suites, with wider doors and roll-in showers. Europa 2 also offers "family apartments." These consist of two cabins with connecting doors and a shared veranda that can be locked off from the kids' side.
Veranda Suites: The largest category (141 aboard) are soothing sanctuaries with 301 square feet and light cream/tan/beige color schemes. The balcony is a spacious 75 feet, accessed by sliding glass-doors. Each suite has two twins pushed together to make a queen, with a 4.5-foot-high, light-wood headboard. Beds cannot be separated, probably due to space considerations. There are two bedside tables with two drawers each, under-bed storage, an L-shaped sofa with room to put your legs out and desk with cushioned chair and three large drawers. Storage space is exceptional: Walk-in closets have his-and-her drawers (five on each side) and two rods for hanging clothes. Bathrooms have elegant Villeroy & Boch basin sinks, vanities with five drawers, separate tubs and showers with both standard and overhead rain showerheads.
A stateroom tip: Avoid aft Veranda Suites 762 to 769, located under the late-night, open-air Sansibar, and Veranda Suites 501 to 513, located above the Jazz Club, if you don't want to be subjected to late-night noise.
Ocean Suites: The staterooms in this category, which are in the same category as Veranda Suites and priced the same, also measure 301 square feet, and have a darker burgundy/rose/tan color scheme and a grander bathroom with louvered window that can be opened to the living area to let in more light and sea views. Ocean Suite bathrooms have two sinks, a whirlpool tub and that rain showerhead. The living area and balcony are the same as those of the Verandah Suites. Balconies are 75 feet with two cushioned deck chairs, a small table and lounger. There is not a walk-in wardrobe.
Family Apartments: These are for families with kids up to age 15. Two cabins, each 215 square feet, have connecting doors and a balcony that extends 150 feet and can be locked on the children's side. Kids sleep in bunk beds, get smaller sized bathroom fixtures and a play area stocked with age-appropriate toys and games, as well as a gaming console and a wall that can be written on. Adults have twins pushed into a queen and a bathroom with the rain showerhead. The toilet on the adult side is separated from the main bathroom and can be used by teens. There are seven family apartments on Europa 2.
Grand Ocean Suites: Also called Spa Suites, Grand Ocean Suites have the burgundy/rose/beige color scheme and feature bathrooms with steam showers, two sinks and a toilet and sink in a separate space. Measuring 452 square feet, with 108-square-foot verandas containing two deck chairs and two loungers, Grand Ocean Suites are clustered on Deck 6. Spirits in the mini-bar are included.
Penthouse Suites: Penthouse Suites are the same size and layout as Grand Ocean Suites. You get the same spirit-filled mini-bar as the Spa Suites, but also butler service. Butlers do everything from packing and unpacking to ironing and serving as a personal concierge. Two Penthouse Suites are accessible for those with disabilities.
Grand Penthouse Suites: These two beauties boast 840 square feet with separate living and sleeping areas, a dining table that seats four and a sumptuous bathroom. You'll have double sinks, a large whirlpool with an attached daybed for two with water views through floor-to-ceiling windows and a steam shower/sauna. The ceiling has electric "stars" that twinkle. There's a king-sized bed and guest bathroom as well. Two loungers and chairs sit on the 108-square-foot balcony. Butler service is provided, as is all the mini-bar spirits you care to drink. Unlimited Wi-Fi anywhere on the ship is complimentary.
Owner Suites: The two top suites, near the bridge on Deck 10, are apartment-sized (1,066 square feet) and over-the-top. Carpets are light beige, and the furnishings include white leather Eames lounge chairs and dining room tables for four. Like Grand Penthouse Suites, bathrooms have steam saunas with a bench and ceilings with electric stars that twinkle overhead. The large whirlpool tub has an attached daybed fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows for relaxing. King-sized beds can be adjusted to have your head higher than feet and vice versa. Living room, bedroom and bathrooms have TVs (they're set in the mirror in the master bath). There's a guest bath and a vast 161-square-foot balcony. As with the other high-end suites, you'll receive butler service, free Wi-Fi and all the mini-bar booze you care to drink.