Posted August 25th, 2013, 08:20 PM
I'm very tempted to take a 7-day western Mediterranean cruise next summer aboard this ship...
I've secured a quote from an agent, and am just mulling it around. It's not inexpensive; for even a standard room it runs about $15K for two on a 7 day cruise. That's with a 5% early booking discount.
I went on a couple cruises back in the 80s with my parents when I was a teenager. I cannot recall the names of the boats now, but they were a let-down. This ship looks beautiful and the itineraries are quite nice. Also, many of the things that I found ridiculous about those earlier cruises seems to have been eliminated from the Happag Lloyd format (no tuxedos and assigned dinner companions, "captains dinner" etc.).
Despite my preference for non-formal attire, I don't want to immerse myself into a too casual scene where people are running around in beach wear all day.
The issues cited by others as reasons for hesitating, like paying for drinks (I don't drink), and being surrounded by non-English speaking passengers actually make me like the idea all the more.
I've looked at Seabourn and am not as excited about their itineraries nor the longer duration. Jumbo ships do not interest me in the least.
While I like the Europa 2 the best so far, any insights into other small ship lines would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Unfortunately there are few reviews of Europa 2 from passengers in the U.S. All you seem to be getting are cheerleaders from Oceania and Azamara which, IMO, are not in competition with Europa 2. From my perspective, the big question is whether or not you would be concerned that most of the passengers (around 90%) speak German. Also German passengers have a different way of doing things than those of us in the U.S.
If you are looking for a cruise line that includes alcohol and/or, you may want to look at luxury cruise lines (IMO, Regent). If you would like a premium plus experience, look at Azamara next year when they will become all-inclusive. Of, if you do not drink much and want the most beautiful ship at sea with incredible food (in the specialty restaurants), look at Oceania. Hope this helps:-)
Tolerance, compromise, understanding, acceptance, patience - I want those all to be very sharp tools in my shed.
Total nights: Regent = 365 / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 84 nights: 1 Explorer, 2 Voyager and 2 Mariner)
Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (9), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)
Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Barcelona - Miami / Cape Town – Rio (2 sailings) / Cape Town - Cape Town / E. & W. Caribbean (4 sailings) / CHRISTENING CRUISE - Explorer - Monte Carlo-Monte Carlo / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Istanbul / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona 2 sailings) / Miami-Miami (Amazon) / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Rome to Lisbon / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo