For four days the MS EUROPA 2 from Hapag Lloyd Cruises became our new home to enjoy the concept of “casual luxury” and to gather impressions on board. They offer the highest standards, exclusive service, modern entertainment, informal atmosphere and international flair. These are descriptions of life on board MS EUROPA 2 and that is exactly what we wanted to convince ourselves of. Four days are not much time to explore a cruise ship, but it was enough time to get an impression of this luxury ship. We would like to share these impressions in our next blog posts with you. We will take you with us on our luxury trip from Rhodes to Piraeus on board the MS EUROPA 2.
The MS EUROPA 2 offers 7 restaurants with sea view, all included in the price. The “Sakura” – an excellent sushi restaurant, the Grande Réserve – a wine lover’s restaurant with rarities, an Asian (Elements), an Italian (Serenissima) and a French (Tarragon) restaurant and of course a main as well as buffet restaurant. However, you can not dine every evening in the sushi restaurant. On the first day on board it is recommended to make a restaurant reservation. You can tell the reception staff your preferred restaurants and they will organize on which evening you can dine in the restaurants.
The restaurants remain specialty restaurants, just without any extra charge. You can try to have some sushi at night without reservation by asking if there is a free table in the restaurant. However, this is usually not the case. In the main restaurant “Weltmeere” and in the buffet restaurant “Yacht Club” you can always find a place to eat and no reservation is needed. Especially the yacht club is wonderful with its open atmosphere. This restaurant offers great food as well as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic aperitif when entering the restaurant. We recommend you to try out all the restaurants.
What to Do on Board
The cruise ship offers two sun decks, a pool and 2 jacuzzis. Of course, there is also a theater, a small boutique, a library and the OCEAN SPA.
We found the Miele Cooking School very interesting, where you can book a two-hour course for 80 euros per person including accompanying wines, an apron and recipes. Unfortunately, these cooking classes do not take place on sea days and also only in the morning. If you prefer to cook and enjoy a morning wine instead of visiting for example Naxos, the cooking school is probably the right place. Otherwise, the cooking school should rather take place on sea days in the afternoon or evening. It would be great, of course, if the cooking school would be included in the travel price.
Also to be mentioned is the fully equipped hemodialysis station on board. The treatment on board does not cause higher costs than at home, but one should inquire beforehand whether the dialysis doctor is on board. But the ship offers also other advantages, such as the free rental of city bikes and many free amenities in your own suite.
Free Amenities in Your Suite
For example, you get the newspaper “Die Welt” in the morning, a tablet PC with information about the ship and a free way to send e-mails and to receive e-mails via the reception, a really well equipped minibar (although the piccolo was missing next to the beer) and a Nespresso coffee maschine. We especially noticed the night light in the hallway and the “Do not disturb” switch for the suite door. The cruise ship offers a very modern equipment in the suites, even the phone has a tablet function.
There is also a very good assortment of breakfast, which you can order for cabin breakfast. You can fill out the from until 4 am and hang it outside the suite door. In addition to the sweet breakfast, a small and large breakfast, there are also luxurious breakfast variations. For example, the wellness breakfast includes chia seeds, spelt rolls, vegetable sticks with avocado dip, dried bacon and cottage cheese.
Or you can choose the gourmet breakfast including goose liver terrine with orange confit, smoked fish variation with honey mustard sauce and a prawn cocktail. The cabin breakfast definitely offers something for everyone. We have never experienced such a great variety for cabin breakfast on board a cruise ship. By the way there is enough space to enjoy the breakfast in front of the sofa or on the veranda.
The Daily Program
he daily program lays on the bed every night. You can find in it the usual information about the sea route to the next destination, the time for sunrise and sunset and the weather forecast. Directly underneath is also an information on the position of the other cruise ships of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet. So while we were on the MS EUROPA 2 with course on Santorini, the MS EUROPA was on its way to Victoria in Canada, the MS Bremen was in Russia and the MS HANSEATIC was near the Azores. When you read this information, you immediately think of the seven seas and the journey on the cruise ship feels so real. We found that wonderful.
Of course there is also a short and inspiring description of the next destination port, in this case Santorini. If that is not enough, you will find detailed tips for the shore leave, sights and a map in the attached port information. The daily program continues with the program on board. Below we find early sports at 8 am, free aqua fitness and even a bathing time for children and teens. Two times a day the younger guests on board have an hour in the pool, where they can mostly be alone. The program continues with bodystyling and relaxation training in the afternoon. On other days the offer can also be belly special and pilates. Lacking in between only lunch time and dinner in the yacht club.
On other days there are lectures in the on-board TV, the board TV magazine “STUDIO 2” by the cruise director and cinema in the evening. We miss the live lectures and offers in the program. In the evening we could find at least a pianist in the piano bar, a jazz evening in the jazz club, a band in the Sansibar and the show in the theater at 10 pm. In the theater Marcel Kösling, for example, will entertain the guests with a magical comedy show. Next year, he will also perform aboard the Mein Schiff 3, the AIDA stella and the AIDA mar with his show “Kösling geht aufs Ganze!” After the show we also took a picture with the young and sympathetic artist.
Our Conclusion on the Daily Program
Overall the daily program of this cruise is rather simple. We now know where we can burn the extra calories from dinner and where to find some live music in the evening. However, the MS EUROPA 2 promotes a diverse range of sports and health-oriented activities, according to the trend to experience an active holiday and wellbeing. At first sight, we do not make the connection between an active holiday and a cruise. But apparently we are wrong, because there is a trend towards the healthy and active cruiser. On this cruise aboard the MS EUROPA 2 you can stay fit while discovering the world.
The obligatory show in the theater is part of the program as well as on other cruise ships. They offer a broad variety of artists and shows. Among them, there are several premieres and even shows, which are only performed aboard the MS EUROPA 2, such as a tap dance show by the New York Dance Company. Unluckily we can not write about the program on sea days, because on our cruise we did not experience a sea day.
Our Final Concluion on the MS EUROPA 2
The MS EUROPA 2 is a very modern and elegant cruise ship. This applies not only to the cabins, but also to the interior design of the lobby, the restaurants and the sun decks. The variety of restaurants is great and the cabin breakfast offer is excellent. In addition, the suites invite you to relax and eat breakfast with a sea view on your own veranda.
The daily program is very simple. We would love a little bit more variety and more offers, however there are enough activities for sporty passengers. All in all, the MS EUROPA 2 offers all the comforts to relax and travel around the seven seas, but this offer has a very high price. The average travel price is over 5000 euros for 10 nights cruise without drinks (only tea and coffee are included in the price). You will find more details about the days on board, the food in the restaurants, the service and the land excursions in our upcoming blog posts.