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Luxury Cruising Is it a state of mind?

Discussion to include, but not limited to: Abercrombie & Kent • American Safari • Aqua Expeditions • Azamara • Bora Bora Cruises • Compagnie du Ponant • Cruise Asia Ltd. • Crystal • Cunard • French Country Waterways • Go Barging • Hapag-Lloyd • Hebridean • Heritage Line • Lindblad Expeditions • Oberoi Group • Oceania • Orion Expedition Cruises • Paul Gauguin Cruises • Regent Seven Seas • Sea Cloud Cruises • Seabourn • SeaDream • Silversea • Star Clippers • Travel Dynamics • Uniworld • Windstar

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  #1  
Old April 6th, 2013, 12:48 PM
English Voyager English Voyager is offline
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Default Hapag-LLoyd Europa 2.

It does appear that Hapag-Lloyd is making a determined effort to appeal to a wider market with their new ship.
All cruises are bilingual (German/English) with a more informal atmosphere- there are no formal dress nights.
Entry level suites at 301 sq.ft plus a 75 sq.ft veranda,and a choice of 8 restaurants.
As a solo traveller, there is the offer, in the UK, for their Malta-Venice, Venice-Malta cruises in August/September with sole occupancy of a Category 1 Suite with no single supplement, and free flights from the UK.
An opportunity for me to sample an 'Europa' experience.
Is a similar effort being made by Hapag-Lloyd in the USA?
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  #2  
Old April 7th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Voyager View Post
It does appear that Hapag-Lloyd is making a determined effort to appeal to a wider market with their new ship.
All cruises are bilingual (German/English) with a more informal atmosphere- there are no formal dress nights.
Entry level suites at 301 sq.ft plus a 75 sq.ft veranda,and a choice of 8 restaurants.
As a solo traveller, there is the offer, in the UK, for their Malta-Venice, Venice-Malta cruises in August/September with sole occupancy of a Category 1 Suite with no single supplement, and free flights from the UK.
An opportunity for me to sample an 'Europa' experience.
Is a similar effort being made by Hapag-Lloyd in the USA?
Don't see any bargains here and also would not put up with their smoking policy or lack thereof.
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  #3  
Old April 7th, 2013, 02:28 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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I can understand the smoking policy but why would one look for bargains on a luxury cruise line? Perhaps a good deal but not a bargain!
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  #4  
Old June 2nd, 2013, 05:29 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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It looks like a beautiful ship.

Keith
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  #5  
Old June 2nd, 2013, 03:35 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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The Hapag Lloyd ships are all beautiful with great food and service. The consistently rank higher than all the U.S. based luxury lines. Up till now it helped to speak German though.
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  #6  
Old June 3rd, 2013, 05:51 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Henry, as usual you are correct.

Keith
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  #7  
Old June 3rd, 2013, 02:53 PM
cathaana cathaana is offline
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What is the problem with their smoking policy? I know smoking is allowed in some areas and in some of the suites (you are asked not to in those), but is it really that bad? I only noticed a couple of smokers on the Hanseatic last year who were fairly easy to avoid.
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  #8  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Regent, Silversea and Crystal (effective 2014?) do not allow smoking in staterooms/suites or balconies. That seems to be the standard for U.S. and Canadian customers. Seabourn is the one hold-out and is no doubt getting all of the smokers who were formerly sailing on the other lines.

I do not know much about Hapag-LLoyd Europa 2 but do not believe that it is inclusive (tips, alcohol......). IMO, in order to do well in the U.S. and Canada, they would need to be competitive in all areas to the above named cruise lines.
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  #9  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 03:21 PM
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Strangely for a line that is interested in breaking into a new market you see very little advertising or promotion from them. And I doubt seriously they will follow U.S. lines when it comes to smoking. They'd lose too much of their German clientele which is their bread and butter.
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  #10  
Old June 29th, 2013, 07:36 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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I would love to tour the ship one day but it's just not on my list to cruise.

Keith
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  #11  
Old June 29th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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Whereas I am very interested in cruising with them because I get tired of the same thing over and over. It would certainly be a different experience.
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  #12  
Old June 30th, 2013, 04:22 AM
cathaana cathaana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
Regent, Silversea and Crystal (effective 2014?) do not allow smoking in staterooms/suites or balconies. That seems to be the standard for U.S. and Canadian customers. Seabourn is the one hold-out and is no doubt getting all of the smokers who were formerly sailing on the other lines.

I do not know much about Hapag-LLoyd Europa 2 but do not believe that it is inclusive (tips, alcohol......). IMO, in order to do well in the U.S. and Canada, they would need to be competitive in all areas to the above named cruise lines.
Tips are included. Even if they weren't, this is a German cruise line and therefore tipping might be appreciated but definitely not necessary.

I prefer alcohol not to be included since I don't really drink and it always means a fare increase if they start to include drinks. Tea, coffee, and ice tea is always available and the prices for alcoholic beverages are fairly decent.

As for the smoking, I only noticed it twice on my recent Europa cruise (and I am a fairly rabid non-smoker ).

Last edited by cathaana; June 30th, 2013 at 04:26 AM.
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  #13  
Old June 30th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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yes, tips are included.

Keith
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  #14  
Old July 2nd, 2013, 12:39 PM
cathaana cathaana is offline
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For those of you interested, I posted some notes and photos of the Europa in the Other Cruise Lines forum.
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  #15  
Old July 2nd, 2013, 02:49 PM
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Thank you.
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  #16  
Old July 5th, 2013, 10:39 PM
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Finally read a write-up on the Europa 2. It apparently has accommodations for children and their nannies -- not something that U.S. luxury passengers are looking for. The staff speak both English and German and they even offer some excursions with English speaking guides (not many and they were described as being "vanilla".) In the USA Today article (dated July 5th), it sounds as though they are trying but have a long way to go in terms of attracting English speaking passengers.

Last week, the 516 passenger ship was carrying around "a half dozen" Americans.

Another issue could be the German views on nudity. There are coed saunas, steam rooms and showers in the spa. This is something very common in Germany.

Another cultural difference is the way dinner is served. Europeans waiters take food orders first, before taking drink orders. Americans, of course, like their drinks brought out quickly, thank you -- and keep them coming.

If this were a new Silversea, Regent, Seabourn or Crystal ship, we would consider booking (without the quirks and children). They identify themselves with Seabourn. IMO, they are more closely related to Silversea since they are European-owned. Perhaps they could learn something from Silversea in terms of catering to English speaking passengers.
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Total nights: Regent = 226 / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 12
Sailings per ship: Voyager (9), Mariner (3), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (1)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Cape Town – Rio / E. & W. Caribbean (3 sailings) / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Singapore to Sydney / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo

Upcoming cruises: Stockholm to Copenhagen - 28 nights - Voyager / Miami to Miami - 14 nights - Riviera / Rio to Barcelona - 18 nights - Mariner / Cape Town to Cape Town - 15 nights - Mariner / Explorer - 2016

Last edited by Travelcat2; July 5th, 2013 at 10:48 PM.
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  #17  
Old July 6th, 2013, 03:53 AM
cathaana cathaana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
Finally read a write-up on the Europa 2. It apparently has accommodations for children and their nannies -- not something that U.S. luxury passengers are looking for. The staff speak both English and German and they even offer some excursions with English speaking guides (not many and they were described as being "vanilla".) In the USA Today article (dated July 5th), it sounds as though they are trying but have a long way to go in terms of attracting English speaking passengers.

Last week, the 516 passenger ship was carrying around "a half dozen" Americans.

Another issue could be the German views on nudity. There are coed saunas, steam rooms and showers in the spa. This is something very common in Germany.

Another cultural difference is the way dinner is served. Europeans waiters take food orders first, before taking drink orders. Americans, of course, like their drinks brought out quickly, thank you -- and keep them coming.

If this were a new Silversea, Regent, Seabourn or Crystal ship, we would consider booking (without the quirks and children). They identify themselves with Seabourn. IMO, they are more closely related to Silversea since they are European-owned. Perhaps they could learn something from Silversea in terms of catering to English speaking passengers.
The 'accomodation for children and their nannies' refers to connecting suites called Familien Appartement (2x20sqm). I doubt you will find many children on board though considering the cost of about 10.000 Euros for the cheapest cruises.

Taking food orders before drink orders is not normal in Germany. And it's certainly not a Hapag Lloyd thing either since they didn't do that on either the Hanseatic or the Europa. But drink orders are often taken by a different waiter, so maybe the 'drink' waiter didn't get to them before the 'food' waiter did.
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  #18  
Old July 6th, 2013, 02:41 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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TC2,

Perhaps I'd be more tolerant of children on American luxury lines if they came with nannies. But they rarely do. Mostly it's just oblivious parents.
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  #19  
Old July 6th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathaana View Post
The 'accomodation for children and their nannies' refers to connecting suites called Familien Appartement (2x20sqm). I doubt you will find many children on board though considering the cost of about 10.000 Euros for the cheapest cruises.

Taking food orders before drink orders is not normal in Germany. And it's certainly not a Hapag Lloyd thing either since they didn't do that on either the Hanseatic or the Europa. But drink orders are often taken by a different waiter, so maybe the 'drink' waiter didn't get to them before the 'food' waiter did.
It sounds like the U.S.A. Today article was incorrect about a few things. That is too bad because so many people will read it and believe what they have stated is true.

I do want to mention that we do find children on board luxury cruises during the summer and school breaks. Some passengers pay considerably more than 10,000 Euros on these cruises. For the most part, if there is a children's program, we expect children to be onboard. These programs coincide with school holidays and summer break (based on U.S. dates). There are some luxury cruise passengers that do not wish to sail with children at all and are therefore not happy if they take a cruise when school is in session and they see children on board.

It still seems that Hanseatic has a long way to go in order to present a product that English speaking guests will want to try. We have been in situations where were amongst the few guests who spoke English. It was very difficult to find people to have a conversation with. I'm sure if would be the same for non-English speaking passengers walking onboard Oceania, Regent, Seabourn or Silversea..... some of the crew would speak their language but only a handful of passengers.

wripro: So, you think that a nanny would prevent little ones from dive bombing into the pool? Not sure that I agree with you:-)
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Total nights: Regent = 226 / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 12
Sailings per ship: Voyager (9), Mariner (3), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (1)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Cape Town – Rio / E. & W. Caribbean (3 sailings) / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Singapore to Sydney / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo

Upcoming cruises: Stockholm to Copenhagen - 28 nights - Voyager / Miami to Miami - 14 nights - Riviera / Rio to Barcelona - 18 nights - Mariner / Cape Town to Cape Town - 15 nights - Mariner / Explorer - 2016

Last edited by Travelcat2; July 6th, 2013 at 04:29 PM.
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  #20  
Old July 7th, 2013, 03:17 AM
cathaana cathaana is offline
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I found the article and I think in that part they were talking about the separate area for children and the baby sitting service Hapag Lloyd offers (if there are 4+ children on board).

Hapag Lloyd has a number of 'kids cruises', usually during spring/summer/fall breaks when they offer special tours and activities for children. My next cruise on the Europa will be one of those.

I do agree that outside a bilingual sailing I'm not so sure I would recommend Hapag Lloyd. The English speaking couple on my last cruise seemed pretty happy though. It might be better on the Europa 2 but I didn't find anybody who had sailed her (I asked around on my Europa cruise). We thought about booking them, but the mostly one week-routes they do at the moment are a bit boring.

Last edited by cathaana; July 7th, 2013 at 03:20 AM.
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