Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 by Peter Knego
Peter Knego concludes his top-to-bottom tour of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brand-new, five-plus star MV EUROPA 2 with a look at the ship’s lower public spaces and several grades of suite accommodation.
All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2013 unless otherwise noted.
Deck 6 begins with the mooring deck on the fo’c’sle head, which is longer than those on most new ships of similar size. Inside, there is crew accommodation and a large block of suites that includes 38 Category 1 Veranda/Ocean Suites, 36 Category 2 Veranda/Ocean Suites and 8 Category 7 Spa Suites.
As with all passenger levels on the EUROPA 2, the forward Deck 6 vestibule is adorned with striking artwork, including a resin and ceramic sculpture entitled “Loop 2012″ by Eva Hild.
Deck 5 begins with crew accommodation and a large block of passenger suites, including 32 Category 1 Veranda/Ocean Suites and 4 Category 6 Spa Suites. Aft of the aft staircase, Deck 5 is home to EUROPA 2’s lavish Ocean Spa.
At the entrance to the spa on the starboard side, there is a pair of free-of-charge golf simulators with virtual recreations of some of the world’s most popular courses.
A fully equipped salon offering hair, beauty, pedicure, manicure and other treatments is accessed on the port side of the Ocean Spa entry. Including the golf simulator and gym area, the spa complex is over 10,000-square-feet. The spa, itself, measures 6,674-square-feet.
On the starboard side, there is a fully equipped gym with views of the sea.
Just aft of the gym on the starboard side, there is a small aerobics room for Pilates and Spinning.
There are eight treatment rooms and couples’ villas in the Ocean Spa.
The Ocean Spa has no less than four saunas and a hammam (Turkish bath).
There is also an ice wall for those seeking an instant, post-sauna “cool down”.
A relaxation area is available before and after treatments.
There is also teak-lined, sheltered open deck space aft of the spa on the Deck 5 fantail.
Deck 4 is entirely devoted to public spaces and dining venues. While the other decks enjoy a 7.5 foot (2.3 meters) overhead clearance, Deck 4 has been designed with lofty 11.9 foot (3.50 meter) ceilings.
The upper level of the in-the-round style Theater begins the line up on Deck 4. The Theater has an oversized LED screen and the latest in stage technology to facilitate large productions with Cirque-style acrobatics.
Continuing aft of the Theater, a spacious central passageway connects the public areas on Deck 4.
The Herrenzimmer (or Gentlemen’s Smoking Room) is located on the port side of Deck 4 and seats 34 guests. Its warm wood tones and complementary blue leather seating are infused with natural light through large picture windows.
Herrenzimmer has its own exclusive bar and, despite its name, caters to all guests with a yen for tobacco, regardless of their gender.
Directly across from the Herrenzimmer on the starboard side, the Jazz Club seats 60. It also has its own bar area and is the setting for intimate cabaret-style entertainment.
On the starboard side of the Deck 4 passage, there is a small photo gallery.
The reception area spans the width of the ship on Deck 4 and has soaring, chandelier-festooned, glass-paneled alcoves on either side.
A quiet sitting area is on the starboard side of the reception and a recessed bar is on the port side.
The detailing on EUROPA 2 is muted but supremely elegant.
No expense was spared in providing quality fittings and fixtures on this ship.
Aft of reception on the starboard side, there is a jewelry shop and boutique.
On the port side of Deck 4, aft of reception, the Grand Reserve is a 12-seat wine cellar that fronts and can be combined with the Tarragon Restaurant.
Tarragon seats 44 guests and is paneled in white tiles with colorful Deco-style paintings of French bistros.
Situated in the midst of the Deck 4 dining section of the ship is a future cruise desk.
On the starboard side, there is a private dining room or Speisezimmer that can be booked for up to 16 guests (charges apply).
Elements is an elegant, burgundy and gold-toned Pan-Asian Restaurant that seats 48 guests on the starboard side.
Directly across from Elements on the port side, Serenissima is a Tuscan-style Italian specialty restaurant that seats 56.
The main dining venue, Weltemeere, seats 266 guests. Quite possibly the most handsome and striking room on the new ship (or just about any afloat for that matter), it is laid out in intimate alcoves. Burgundy accents stand out beautifully in its otherwise muted gray and gold backdrop.
Murano glass chandeliers, clearly inspired by the works of Dale Chihuly, are breathtaking focal points with a cutting edge that sets EUROPA 2 apart from her more staid luxury counterparts.
The pastoral artworks on either side of the aft portion of the dining room lend themselves to a an upclose inspection. They are actually paper mosaics comprised of tiny snippets of picture postcards.
My only criticism of the Weltemeere would be that it does not extend fully to the stern with a view over the ship’s wake (like its counterpart on the EUROPA). Instead, it overlooks a mooring deck.
On Deck 3, the lower level of the Theater is accessed via a striking lobby with a large panel with quotes from a wide range of public figures including Oscar Wilde, Elvis Presley and Elton John.
On Deck 3, in addition to the lower level of the Theater, there is also a medical center (not shown) and tendering lobby.
Deck 2 (crew areas)
Deck 2 is off limits to passengers. This is a stores and machinery deck.
Among the stores are temperature-controlled rooms for liquor and perishables as well as frozen stores for meat.
The Engine Control room is also at the epicenter of the ship, taking its commands directly from the bridge.
EUROPA 2 is powered by four MaK 6M43C Caterpillar diesels that give the ship a top service speed of 21 knots.
The two Mermaid pods have two 7.25MW synchronous-motors which are fed by PWM MV7000 converters using insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology.
The ship has eight suite categories in four overall sizes. All feature an optically separate and inviting living area; well-conceived, top-quality fittings to enhance well-being; high-class contemporary art; 24-hour suite service; welcome champagne; tate-of-the-art technology – flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi (extra charges for use), tablet PC and portable telephones; Nespresso coffee machines.
Owner’s Suites (2)
Note: Owner’s Suites were not available for inspection. These two largest suites on the ship measure approximately 1,065 square feet (99 square meters). Their décor and layout are similar to the slightly smaller, next lower category, Grand Penthouse Suites.
Grand Penthouse Suites (2)
Grand Penthouse Suites have 840-square-feet of living space with separate living, sleeping and dining areas.
Penthouse Suite Bathrooms come with two washbasins, TV, a shower with steam sauna and a whirlpool with ocean view and upgraded amenities.
Penthouse Suite balconies are similar to those in all categories and measure 108-square-feet.
There is an additional powder room in the Penthouse Suites.
Spa Suites (16)
Spa Cabins measure 452-square-feet inside with a special design that allows guests to see the sea from their bathrooms.
Spa cabins also have a special violet and beige color scheme.
As with the other categories, Spa Cabins have standard 108-square-foot verandas.
Spa cabin bathrooms not only have daylight views but two washbasins, a TV in the bathroom mirror, a separate toilet, a rain shower with steam sauna and a whirlpool tub.
Grand Suites (24)
Grand Suites are identical in size to the Spa Suites but without the special peer-in bathrooms.
Bathrooms have two wash basins, TV in bathroom mirror, separate tub and shower.
All suites on EUROPA 2 have capacious walk-in closets.
Grand Suites feature a 108-square-foot veranda.
Grand Suites also have separate powder rooms.
This Grand Suite has been fitted with special wheelchair access features, including a modified bathroom and ramps for veranda access.
Veranda (141 count)/Ocean Suites (59 count)
Veranda and Ocean Suites are similar but the latter have bathrooms with windows. They come in several categories depending on their location but all measure 301-square-feet and have separate bedrooms and living areas. Also, note a number of these have adjoining doors to form a total of 7 Family Apartments out of two Veranda Suites.
Guests in all suites on EUROPA 2 are welcomed with champagne and fresh fruits.
Walk-in closets are fitted with logo’d pants and shirt hangers and well-placed rods to hang them on. The plentiful drawers have a built-in self-closing mechanism that with a tap, gently retracts them inward.
Teak-covered balconies have a cushioned lounger, wooden cocktail table and a pair of chairs.
Standard bathroom have marble surfacing and a separate tub and glass-enclosed shower featuring hand-held and rainforest dispensers. There was even a ledge to sit on in the showers.
Hapag-Lloyd provides more standard amenities than most other luxury cruise lines. From shower caps to gels, shampoo, moisturizer, toothbrush, emery boards and sewing kits — each are color-coded and have the ship’s name on them.
There are even sea fennel bath salts in the form of “fizzy bath tablets/sprudelnde badetablettes” for the full-sized tub.
In the living room, an L-shaped sofa provided an optimal social area as well as a great place to stretch out with a book or lay back and watch television.
The custom detailing is nothing short of fantastic. The vanity cabinet features an Nespresso espresso maker with five types of espresso, arranged in strength from decaf to the most potent.
Of course, there is a drawer with cups and saucers of varying size.
Another drawer with chop sticks, coasters, bottle openers and more.
And yet another with tableware and napkins.
There is even a self-lighting, unfolding vanity mirror. Not shown here, there is a stocked mini-bar/fridge with the following: complimentary still and sparkling waters, soft drinks, beer, four types of fruit juice and a fizzy “bio drink”. Of course, anything consumed is replenished during the twice-daily suite turndowns.
Even the staff accommodation if of the highest standard. This is a stateroom with picture windows.
End of EUROPA 2 Double Decked!
Very Special Thanks: Martin Cox, Moritz Krause, Cindy Tanenbaum