Europa 2 - Smoking

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#1
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
In checking the ship's smoking policy I note two things:

1. They permit smoking on each cabin's veranda;
2. They permit smoking on all "External Decks"

While smoking is unpredictable can any cruisers share their experiences with veranda smoking (likelihood)? As to "external decks", does this mean that any time you go outsidethe interior of the ship you are faced with the possibility of smoke wafting towards you?

Thanks.
#2
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Smoking is only permitted on the portside of the terrace to the Yacht Club Restaurant, and the starboard side of the outside area of the Sansibar.

Smoking is not permitted in the pool area, and the Pool Bar.

On the external decks along the sides of the ship, where deckchairs are available they are placed in pairs in partitioned alcoves so if people are smoking anyone walking along the deck tends not to notice smoke.

Over several cruises on the Europa 2 I can only remember seeing one person smoking.

Equally I have never smelt smoke coming from the verandas of surrounding suites.


I hope that Hapag-Lloyd's smoking policy will not deter you from considering a cruise on the Europa 2.


If you have not already read them there are several member reviews on the Europa 2:

http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/member...hip&ShipID=716
#3
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks so much for your detailed response English Voyager; Yes, the smoking policy raised significant concerns for me - I would particularly find it disagreeable to be confronted with smoke on my veranda. You've gone a long way to reassure me.
We are looking seriously at the "At Sea" cruise to Cyprus in May; we've never done that type of cruise and just need to assure ourselves we will have a comfort level and sufficient activities available.
#4
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
sandbag7,

I note that the cruise you are looking at is , excuse the pun, completely at sea.

If you are looking for sea days packed full of things to do, then Hapag-Lloyd is not for you as sea days tend to be very low key.

When I queried this with the Cruise Director he said that it was the German way.

If on a sea day you just wish to relax and unwind in a luxury environment, with superb food and wine, then the Europa 2 is to be recommended.

Otherwise, for a first cruise on the Europa 2 I would suggest that you look at one with ports of call.
#5
California
685 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I have done one cruise on the E2, Africa xmas and New Year 2015, and one on MS Europa 3 months ago. My veranda neighbors did not smoke, and most people were non-smokers, but it was clear there were definitely several smokers on board on my cruises. A couple performers at times smoked in the bar near the reception area on both ships ( certain hours pax were allowed to smoke there). Sometimes the door to the smoking lounge would be propped open, leaking smoke. Occasional sniffs of smoke were discernable on the decks where smoking was allowed.

And though smoking was technically not allowed at the pool, on New Years Eve, multiple tipsy people lit up at midnight under the Magradome where the big party was and no one tried to stop them, including DH and me, we just "lightened up," and decided not to care, as we were too busy feasting on the Malosol caviar and other delicacies, and went on the decks to enjoy the moon and the wide open deck chairs and clear air, leaving the smokers be as they acknowledged their aging and mortality by letting all hang out with the New Year.

HL thus had somewhat more smoke than the English language ships I have been on, with my n of 2, but I am not allergic to smoke anymore ( I was for about two years, even small amounts, so I empathize with people who are). But right now I am pretty sure I am going to die of things other than outdoor miniscule second hand smoke exposure, and it is not a moral issue for me, so I personally simply do not care.
The food and beverage and luxury was so awesome I would go even if I knew someone were chain smoking on my neighboring balcony!

So, YMMV, but likely a sedate, non-festive time Sea Cruise will be mostly older non-smokers. If you go, enjoy! I will be on SB Quest instead for a different itinerary in the spring and hope I do not wish I were on the E2 sea cruise instead.

There is a library with English books, and English movies on your TV, and enrichment talks are mostly in both languages, but bring reading materials anyway.
#6
Washington State
23,038 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Catlover54 - I appreciate your posts and are trying to figure out what you enjoy so much on this ship. After reading about the smoking issues, I went to the website and couldn't even figure out where to find the information.

Do you speak German? Not trying to be sarcastic at all -- just curious why you find "E2" so wonderful.

Note: While I cannot find the smoking policy, we would not sail on a cruise ship that has smoking on the balcony.

Thanks much!
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Tolerance and Patience are two things we all need..........
Total nights: Regent = 400 (TITANIUM) / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 104 nights: 3 Explorer, 2 Voyager and 1 Mariner)

Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (11), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (3 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
#7
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Travelcat2
Catlover54 - I appreciate your posts and are trying to figure out what you enjoy so much on this ship. After reading about the smoking issues, I went to the website and couldn't even figure out where to find the information.

Do you speak German? Not trying to be sarcastic at all -- just curious why you find "E2" so wonderful.

Note: While I cannot find the smoking policy, we would not sail on a cruise ship that has smoking on the balcony.

Thanks much!
The website is preventing me from posting a direct link to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises English language website.

Google search 'Europa 2 Information From A-Z' and there is a section on the Smoking Policy.

Pending a response from Catlover54 to your question, two incidents that helped cement the appeal to me of the Europa 2.

About two thirds through a guided walking tour I had a bad fall, and elected to return to the ship.
That evening by chance I met the Tour Office Manager who asked how I was feeling.
Having told her, she then said that she had given instructions for the price of the tour to be refunded to me.
When I said that I had completed about two thirds of the tour she said that that didn't matter, the point was that I had not completed the tour.

On one cruise, I was the only English speaking passenger on board, and yet the Captain always repeated his noon address from the bridge in English.


A major appeal is the quality, and breadth and depth of the food and drink provisions.

An extract from:

http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/...cetv-film.html


'Every four to six weeks Europa 2 takes delivery of nearly 6,000 different food and non-food items, weighing on average between 100 and 180 tons. Additionally, fresh food items, such as fruit and vegetables, arrive on board once a week.

On the beverage roster there are 450 various cuvees – or 19,000 bottles of wine – red and white – originating from 14 different countries plus champagne and sparkling wines. The vessel also stocks over 20 different vodka brands and nearly 40 different gins.'


During my recent cruise through the Norwegian Fjords, one evening in the main restaurant I asked the waiter if any Norwegian cheese was available, and if there was I would like some.
He said he would have to enquire.

A little while later he returned with a plate containing a beautifully presented selection of five cheeses.


The following video from HL's English language Experience.tv series highlights the Wine & Spirits Selection on board the Europa 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAblWpi3yb0
#8
California
685 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
TC2, though this thread has drifted from smoking issues, I see EV already responded to the "what's so great about the E2" question you posed.
I wrote a review on CC of my E2 cruise from xmas 2015, linked to below, which complements the extensive "LIVE Out of Africa" thread I wrote about it while on board, which I believe you were at least partially following along at the time, and which included ship pictures, menus, etc. Wonderful food, premium wine selection, service, physical beauty, classical music which I prefer, and creative excursions like the elaborate "Dinner in the desert" in Namibia impressed me on that cruise.

There are also other E2 reviews, including by EV, on CC. However, as noted I have limited experience on the ship, and if the food and service falters over time, as it has on so many luxury ships, I may change my tune. I am hoping to take another cruise on the E2 this year, this time probably with a German friend so it may not be fair to compare the experience, and am meanwhile doing another SB cruise in April, with DH. DH prefers to be around pax whose primary language is English, as he really likes to socialize, but he loved all the other things I mentioned, and is willing to go with me again on the right itinerary if our SB Quest second try does not live up to expectations (Odyssey last year, however, was 5/5 great). I would even experiment with Regent again (a lot can change in the four years since I was on and underwhelmed for the price) and would do a little "scout" run like I did on Crystal if they were not so hostile to solos in their advance pricing, and we were retired with more ability to risk having a suboptimal experience on a big vacation. I still follow the Regent forum a bit, with some hope, (appreciate your terrific input), as well as SS, last on there February 2015.

Based on the smoking policy alone, the presence of some children, your great status on Regent, and the language issue, I do not think you would be happy on the E2, but it is still a luxury ship, an alternative for some, and this is why it is so wonderful to have choices!



http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=522236
#9
antwerpen
1,046 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
however if i do blame other -previously 5 star rated - companies of rather "not so luxurious" or not so " exclusive " cutbacks in the F and B operations :
ranging from changing fresh lobsters by frozen tails , prosecco on parties , no freshly made orange juice , basic canapes , every day the same limited cold ( very cheap and basic ) cuts and breakfast cheeses , rather tasteless breads ( items from 3 different companies )
then i am judged as the "very bad" guy
#10
Washington State
23,038 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Thank you all for your input on "E2" (I do have difficulty with the acronyms on both Europa and Oceania - many people are as clueless as I am )

Catlover54, you are probably right that "E2" would not be for us. Although we have been doing luxury cruising since 2004, prior to that we went to several Club Med's around the world and did tire of having to repeat things in more than one language. Like your DH, our preference is to be around English speakers (the country they are from doesn't really matter). The biggest issue, as you noted, is the children and smoking issue. It amazes me that smoking is allowed anywhere other than an enclosed area.

BTW, we did the "Dinner in the Desert" with Regent a few years ago. It was one of the best times that we ever had on a cruise ship. Regent no longer does this excursion so I Googled it to see if we could arrange something on our own when we returned to Namibia last year and could not find anything.

English Voyager: I'm very impressed with how your injury on an excursion was handled. Bravo for them!

vistaman: On a cruise ship - even "E2", it is difficult to have fresh lobsters (unless they catch them during the cruise). So, are they fishing while in port? Really curious.

We have not tried Seabourn (due to their smoking policy which has now changed) or Crystal (because of their convoluted "open seating"). While I'm sure that they have great food and service, these items have been something that we cannot ignore.

In terms of Regent (our favorite cruise line - followed by Silversea), there has been a surprising improvement on their newest ship (also on two of their three older ships but not quite to the same extent as the Explorer). Their "everyday menu" includes lobster tail (served poached, steamed, broiled, etc. - yes - they were frozen but taste amazingly good), Filet Mignon and several other extremely good items. IMO, food quality on the Explorer is excellent (in the past I considered it good very good and sometimes excellent). Also, on the Explorer, two specialty restaurants are available for lunch (Prime 7 - a steakhouse rotates being open with Chartreuse - a French restaurant. On sea days, they are both open except for Sunday when a lavish brunch buffet is put on in their main dining room - with everything from caviar, shrimp, crab, a multitude of appetizers, a crepe station, egg station and it goes on and on.

I'm going on quite a bit about the Explorer because it has really blown us away. Better food - better everything (except the lowest category suites). Regular suites are a good size, have large bathrooms with two sinks, a good size shower and a bathtub along with a larger balcony and lovely walk-in shower - better than on most Regent ships.

Okay - better stop now as it might seem like I'm advertising Regent which is not my intention. I truly was curious about "E2" and what they offer. However, some of the things I've mentioned (and Catlover54 picked up immediately) are deal breakers for us.
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Tolerance and Patience are two things we all need..........
Total nights: Regent = 400 (TITANIUM) / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 104 nights: 3 Explorer, 2 Voyager and 1 Mariner)

Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (11), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (3 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
#11
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Lots of good insight from these posts; Catlover54 your posts from your Christmas/New Years trip were most helpful, especially the menu information: I see some delightful and thoughtful options. I have not experienced great food at sea (Sea Dream which I booked for the cuisine was most disappointing) with the exception of an occasional meal on Oceania, so I'm pretty impressed with the possiblities. That being said, we've done more personally organized land tours with fine dining designs than cruises, so we're realistic about the comparative limitations of dining at sea. The absence of a dress code is one of our prerequisites so we will never join the bling crowd on SS, Crystal or SB.
EV, we are not looking for an action packed cruise so the fact that we are looking at an at sea adventure bookmarked by two of our non-favorites, Dubai and Cyprus, is not an issue - we merely want to be sure there are sufficient places to relax in the Spa, Gym and Pool area, given that everyone on board will be sharing. My limited experience with German tourists has been that they colonize the pool at 6 AM if they can; I'm led to believe that won't be a problem on E2.
Personally we will be most pleased to share a ship with non-English speakers so we don't have to participate or overhear even one more political or sports related conversation, alcohol fueled or not; we've enjoyed more than 20 cruises from yachts to sailing ships to medium cruise ships with enjoyment and participation, but a little peace and quiet is what we're looking for now. With good food.
#13
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks EV; my wife will love the tea! I prefer raw fish to raw meat (though I do like my beef "Blu") and I satisfied my itch for caviar many years ago while being feted in the good ol' USSR with some top quality product served with the iciest of Vodka, but the food does look enticing; I'm kind of concerned though with 7 straight at sea days - how do they keep food fresh for that period?
If the ship is as crowded on our cruise as it appears in the videos we will be quite happy.
#14
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
From English Voyager:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2kCOsRiI9o[/quote]
'Every four to six weeks Europa 2 takes delivery of nearly 6,000 different food and non-food items, weighing on average between 100 and 180 tons. Additionally, fresh food items, such as fruit and vegetables, arrive on board once a week.

I guess "once a week" is the freshness answer; we usually try to eat our meats and vegetables within 2 days of purchase so I'm a little concerned with stretching to at least 9 days on the At Sea cruise.
I looked at an alternative cruise that sails about a month earlier, but the HL website says the itinerary has been changed and directed me to a (inoperative ) page for information. I've written to HL for an explanation - we shall see.
#15
antwerpen
1,046 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
travelcat ,
i did oppose a particular company - every year highly rated by Condé -
previously serving fresh lobsters on the welcome dinner - served with some show and taken out of the shell in front of the guests
now substituted by a frozen tail
that particular - previously five star reated - cruise company wasthe only one in that level not doing some special in the "lobster" area so the Indian summer cruises including Maine of course
and still people find nothing else can compare ...
#16
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by sandbag7
From English Voyager:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2kCOsRiI9o
'Every four to six weeks Europa 2 takes delivery of nearly 6,000 different food and non-food items, weighing on average between 100 and 180 tons. Additionally, fresh food items, such as fruit and vegetables, arrive on board once a week.

I guess "once a week" is the freshness answer; we usually try to eat our meats and vegetables within 2 days of purchase so I'm a little concerned with stretching to at least 9 days on the At Sea cruise.
I looked at an alternative cruise that sails about a month earlier, but the HL website says the itinerary has been changed and directed me to a (inoperative ) page for information. I've written to HL for an explanation - we shall see.[/quote]

sandbag7,

I would be rather surprised if a Cruise Line would take on board fresh produce with a greater frequency than weekly.

After all the Trans Atlantic run tends to be about 8 days, so 9 sea days on the Europa 2 is no great stretch.

Incidentally, what is the alternative cruise you are considering?
#17
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
English Voyager:

We were looking at 1708, Seychelles and Maldives except I don't know because of whatever changes have been made. I would prefer an Ocean cabin but very few are available and I want to know the itinerary before I book. Leaving tomorrow for an Oceania cruise so I guess I'll look into the situation when I get back.
#18
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
sandbag7,

I have checked both Hapag-Lloyd's English and German language websites, and both show a full itinerary for the Europa 2 cruise EUX 1708.

Also, suites are available in Categories 1-3, and limited in Category 4.

Unfortunately, this site does not allow a direct link to the English language website but does to the German one.

http://www.hl-cruises.de/reise-finden/EUX1708#overview


http://www.hl-cruises.de/reise-finden/EUX1708#prices


Have an enjoyable cruise on Oceania.
#19
Chicago area, USA
856 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
English Voyager: we heard back from HL as to their schedule for EUX 1708 addressing my concerns; as I mentioned my other concern is the availability of an Ocean suite which we would prefer; I also need to check the feasibility of flights. We'll see what we can do with the somewhat limited internet on Oceania; we're supposed to have free internet with our Cabin Grade.
Thanks again for the info.
#20
antwerpen
1,046 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
sandbag 7,

i do not know out of chicago , however for the combination of the flights to destinations you did mention :
did you try Emirates, ( or even Qatar or Etihad )
for example out of Europa those earlines are a lot cheaper as the "european big ones "