Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to a Luxury Cruise

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Luxury Cruising
Is it a state of mind?
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#2
antwerpen
1,016 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
and as usual the two sisters Europa and Europa 2 are not mentionned at all ...
free drinks ??? - the most illustrious example of a degraded product - after all inclusive - is Crystal , once my favourite before all in with all the changes and cutbacks. Berlitz degraded Seabourn as well ...
luxury in 1995 was obviously something else as today
same on some airlines in first and business
and if you dare to mention it you are difficult ...
#3
Washington State
22,165 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
It appears that this article is about luxury, all-inclusive cruise lines which would would not include Europa or "luxury-lite" cruise lines such as Oceania, Viking Ocean and Azamara.

Vistaman, "free" or included drinks is not what one might assume. Regent, Seabourn, Silversea and Crystal include very high end alcohol in their lounges, in your suites and in their lounges.

Agree that there are some airlines and cruise lines that have cut back somewhat (was not aware that Crystal could be included among them). In terms of the other three luxury all-inclusive lines, the food quality has gone up - especially in the last year (the fares have increased as well).
#4
1,213 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
In the article it states:

'5. Free Beverages

On most of the luxury lines (think Azamara, Crystal, Regent, Paul Gauguin, SeaDream, Seabourn and Silversea), there is no charge for alcoholic beverages, premium coffee beverages or soft drinks -- at the bar, in the restaurants and lounges, or even in your stateroom, where your mini-bar will be stocked with a bottle of wine or Champagne, beer and soft drinks.'

Since it acknowledges the fact that not all luxury lines are inclusive of alcoholic beverages, there is no reason to exclude mention of the Europa, and the Europa 2, especially given that not all their quoted Cruise Lines are designated by Berlitz as being luxury.
#5
Washington State
22,165 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by English Voyager
In the article it states:

'5. Free Beverages

On most of the luxury lines (think Azamara, Crystal, Regent, Paul Gauguin, SeaDream, Seabourn and Silversea), there is no charge for alcoholic beverages, premium coffee beverages or soft drinks -- at the bar, in the restaurants and lounges, or even in your stateroom, where your mini-bar will be stocked with a bottle of wine or Champagne, beer and soft drinks.'

Since it acknowledges the fact that not all luxury lines are inclusive of alcoholic beverages, there is no reason to exclude mention of the Europa, and the Europa 2, especially given that not all their quoted Cruise Lines are designated by Berlitz as being luxury.
Firstly, it seems that only Cruise Critic considers Azamara a "luxury" cruise line (most of us do not read Berlitz). They do not have the same level of included alcoholic beverages as Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea (the four luxury lines most referred to by CC members). Note: The Paul Gauguin is probably considered luxury - as is SeaDream but is not discussed much on the four luxury cruise boards so I cannot comment on the two cruise lines.

Europa, from what I understand, is not inclusive and is very family friendly (maybe a good thing). Reports that I have read are extremely positive about Europa, however, it is aimed more towards the European market (specifically those that speak more than one language). So, unless/until Europa becomes less European specific, it isn't likely to be included in write-ups of other luxury cruise lines (my opinion only).

I do wish that CC would create a separate board for Europa so it is easier to read "general" luxury cruise line subjects. Right now it seems that the majority of threads on the "Luxury" section of CC is about Europa.

P.S. Speaking only for myself, we would not consider Europa due to the language issues, the lack of all-inclusivity and the children onboard. This is likely not an issue for the many that do sail on that cruise line but is enough to keep us away.
#6
antwerpen
1,016 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
travelcat,
I think you do speak about the EUROPA 2 , as the "Europa" is the older and more formal ship of Hapag Lloyd. The Europa is now "German only", despite nearly all crew do speak English as well. There are no more bilingual cruises and there seems no more an international hostess neither. The Europa 2 is calling to the international market.
I agree in full with you that SB, SS and Crystal ( i do not know Regent and i only had a lunch once on Seadream ) do include better brands of alcohol, otherwise said 12 years old whisky, VSOP cognac and better wodka's and gins.
and in Europa not everybody does speak several languages at all -
#7
Washington State
22,165 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
vistaman,

Thank you for explaining the difference between the two ships. It may take quite a while for EUROPA 2 to be able to complete with the English-only speaking lines. I can certainly see that it would be perfect for German speaking passengers. In my opinion, one of the reasons why so many cruise lines are placing ships in China - meant specifically for the Chinese market is due to language differences. In the case of China, there would likely major customs and food issues as well. I assume that most people would love German food!

TC2
#8
antwerpen
1,016 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
typical German food is more on the MS Europa , where also a Bavarian Buffet is done on cruises of one week and more .
on the Europa 2 , that event is not done despite some initial complaints of the German pax when she was launched.
on the other side the "cruise classics" are not served ( beef wellington chicken kiev ... ) unless you describe the duck with orange sauce as a classic on cruise ships.
however on one evening buffet on the Europa 2 the " high rib " is available and if you are very hungry a "porter house "
there is also a difference in drinks :- real - Champagne and long drinks vs martini's
#9
1,213 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Travelcat2
vistaman,

Thank you for explaining the difference between the two ships. It may take quite a while for EUROPA 2 to be able to complete with the English-only speaking lines. I can certainly see that it would be perfect for German speaking passengers. In my opinion, one of the reasons why so many cruise lines are placing ships in China - meant specifically for the Chinese market is due to language differences. In the case of China, there would likely major customs and food issues as well. I assume that most people would love German food!

TC2
With French, Italian, Asian, and Sushi Restaurants, as well as the main, and self service, restaurants, very little German food is evident on the Europa 2.

You may enjoy reading Solent Richard's blog on his recent cruise on the Europa 2.
It contains some excellent photos of the food that can be enjoyed on the ship.

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com...land-explorer/
#10
Washington State
22,165 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by English Voyager
With French, Italian, Asian, and Sushi Restaurants, as well as the main, and self service, restaurants, very little German food is evident on the Europa 2.

You may enjoy reading Solent Richard's blog on his recent cruise on the Europa 2.
It contains some excellent photos of the food that can be enjoyed on the ship.

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com...land-explorer/
Thank you for posting the very interesting blog. The ship is definitely beautiful but not necessarily better than other newer luxury ships (note: Regent's new ship also has an infinity pool -- it is pretty to look at but we found it was prone to a lot of movement when the ship was sailing.). The food also looked quite good.

The biggest surprise to me was the balconies (or lack thereof). Most people in North America would not be pleased with open balconies.

The statement about only having 11 non-German speakers onboard speaks volumes to me. This is the main reason that we would not sail on Europa II (and I assume that many German's would not be thrilled to be on a ship where only English is spoken).

I can see why Europa II is popular in Europe but also see why it may not be in North America (mainly speaking of Canada and the U.S.)
#11
antwerpen
1,016 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
it is true very few Germans were travelling on Crystal despite everytime when one of the ships was in Hamburg a rather big port function was organised
despite it is history ; the former Vistafjord ( ended 1999) was bilingual and a lot of German speaking pax were very loyal to her
sometimes the fact of being bilingual was working