After I posted Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now, a few people wrote to me to ask if I liked the new ship. In my first post, I tried to be as objective as possible, withholding my opinions. But because you asked, yes, I do like Europa 2 — quite a lot. If I were to put them in order, my favorite aspects of Europa 2 would be:
- Space. As noted in a previous post, Europa 2 has the highest space ratio of any cruise ship. You don’t need to be 6’5″, as I am, to appreciate the double-height ceilings, the overall airiness and the additional real estate. I like the fact that Europa 2 would feel uncrowded when sailing at full capacity with 516 passengers. I enjoy space to breathe, and my guess is, so will those who cruise Europa 2.
- Decor and furnishings. I appreciate the color schemes, which I suppose could be characterized as lots of earth tones and generous use of wood. I don’t quite know how to describe the design. Is it Nordic-inspired? Perhaps. It’s certainly a clean design that appeals to my inner aesthetic.
- Eight restaurants. In my hometown I have a handful of restaurants that I like to frequent. Europa 2 emulates that experience by allowing me to dine in a different restaurant each evening. I might find myself in France one evening (Restaurant Tarragon), Asia, the next evening (Restaurant Elements), and Italy, the next (Restaurant Serenissima). I’d need to cruise for nine days/eight nights to experience all of the dining venues — make that 10 days/nine nights. After all, doesn’t room service count as a dining venue?
- Those big bathrooms. I don’t suspect that I’ll be residing in any of the large suites on Europa 2, but I can still appreciate my aspirations to do so and imagine myself sprawled across a sofa in those spacious suites. As I wrote in an earlier post, however, the bathrooms were the Wow! factor. They were, in fact, much more than bathrooms. They were more like mini-spas with windows looking out on the sea.
- Healthy options. Europa 2 has one of the best cruise ship gyms I’ve ever encountered. I’d spend 45 minutes each day of my cruise using the fitness facilities and another 45 minutes or so using the spa facilities. And I also know that I could maintain my healthy lifestyle on Europa 2. During my 24 hours on board, I had breakfast in The Yacht Club, where I found the healthy and trendy (and expensive) chia seeds on the buffet. Breakfast in The Yacht Club wasn’t all that much different than breakfast at Whole Foods in my experience.
I’m sure there’s a lot more that I would come to appreciate about Europa 2, but with only 24 hours to experience the ship, these five emerged as top of mind.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com