Hapag Lloyd Europa
The MS Europa experience is relaxed and contemporary, as the ship has a welcoming feel and a sense of grandeur. Most of Europa's crew are bi-lingual younger staff from Germany, however on international sailings everything is in English and German.
Public rooms include the Clipper Bar, with some fabulous art to enjoy; Club Belvedere where you are served afternoon tea; the Europa Lounge for shows which has brightly coloured comfortable seating and a stage, and for cocktails there is Sansibar, which is located above the Lido Cafe.
You will find a well stocked gym where Hapag Lloyd Cruises pride themselves in keeping the equipment updated; there is a an electronic golf simulator, golf club, and a golf driving range, and a PGA golf pro is on all cruises. Europa has an arts and crafts room, a small cinema and a business centre. I particularly liked the illuminated globe in the very well stocked library.
There is a seven-deck-high central atrium, with two elevators and an Atrium Lobby and bar on the lower level with the reception, concierge, shore excursion desk and a baby grand piano. Beautiful fresh flowers can be found all around the ship and in suites.
There is one swimming pool, with a large screen for movies. The sun loungers have teak armrests, and thick cushioned pads. There is a walking/jogging area plus the ship has a small deck for nude sunbathing, located by the funnel.
We were served lunch in the Europa Restaurant, a very varied menu that was beautifully presented. We were a table of 12 people, looked after by four waiters and a headwaiter, tending to our every need. When the four waiters delivered our meal they all served the dishes at the same time, it was very impressive and perfectly synchronized. My entree was Fillet steak that was perfectly cooked and had a smooth velvety texture.
Europa has four dining venues including one run by the famous Chef Dieter Muller - this is the only restaurant at sea with 3 Michelin stars. Venezia Restaurant for Italian fare, the main Europa Restaurant and a self service restaurant with plenty of waiters to help carry your selection to a table. Outside there is a heated canopy for cooler weather and you will find blankets to lay on your lap too.
Children are welcomed on board and nannys provide daily activities (for those over four years of age). Nannys are also available to look after the children during dinner, and they dine at a table in the self service restaurant, enabling parents to dine on their own if they choose. The kids get to eat at the Captains table during the cruise too.
Dress code on board is smart casual with two formal nights on a 7-night cruise.
All the staff provide an excellent attentive service and are all young. We met the Captain who was very nice and he is very passionate about his ship.
Hapag Lloyd Europa is suitable for couples and singles aged 50 - 70 with a passion for culture as the entertainment features classical music and art. During the current cruise Europa is hosting an international opera competition where the 2nd round will be held in a few days in a Cathedral in Dublin. The judges are the passengers along with some professional opera stars.
Written by Jacqui Ridler