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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.


MS Europa

Your Rating:Five Stars
Reviewed by: Judith Ann
# previous cruises: 21 to 30
Date of Trip: February 7, 2005
Itinerary: Australia

This is an intimate cruise ship, carrying about 140 passengers while we circumnavigated australia. There were no children onboard. The passengers are largely european (german, austrian, swiss). English is spoken by all the crew and staff, but announcements and signage is in German.

Overall, the best cruise ship I have ever sailed on!

Public Areas
Beautiful public areas w/ high ceilings. Very high sq ft to passenger ratios. Outdoor pool w/ motorized ceiling, hot tubs, an art gallery, no casino, nice gym, golf driving.

Entertainment staged with no blocked views and enough seating for everyone on ship. A shop sells high end wempe and escada, among other things.

Food and Service
The menu is continental heavily influenced by german cuisine. They translated the menus daily for us into English. Nice. In main dr, the service is formal. Only 1 seating for any meal. Silver service, nice crystal, and all the accoutrements for fine dining. Flambees, table side serving. They will remember whether you like butter and what kind of bread you want. A lot of seafood, shellfish, and game dishes. Also the traditional German/Austrian offerings (crew dishes) are on menu. You can look at all the menus for the day on your suite tv. Italian restaurant and oriental restaurant with changing themed menus offer variety as well as the casual lido which has outdoor seating. The lunch buffet outside has different food than the main dr. Often they barbecue or have special festive lunches outside. Suckling pig, roasted goose, oyster festival. Wine list is international w/ emphasis on european. Sommeliers do not have a quota and give real advice. There were wine-tastings and a wine expert/guest onboard as well as a guest chef who prepared 2 special meals. All I can say is wow.

The cabins have 2 twins/queen beds, large sliding glass doors to balcony which has lounger, 2 deck chairs and a table. Inside a sofa, upholstered chair, desk and vanity. Walk-in closet with built-in drawers, umbrella, extra blankets. Bathroom v. Spacious w/ separate glassed in shower stall w/ lots of hot water. Full sized tub. Single sink. Tv system includes your own email, movies, music by choice, and videos. Very well appointed in all respects.

There are lectures for enrichment (all german), beauty makeover people, and evening entertainment. We most enjoyed the classical music offerings which sometimes would be before dinner in the main multi-level lobby. Black tie. Very civilized w/ glass of champagne. Singers, dancers, and several bands in different locations play for listening and dancing. The passengers seem to enjoy ballroom dancing...I would say that the non-classical music entertainment is average. The opera/classical is above average.

There is a spa which I never used, but many people did. I used the gym daily--few ever there. About 8 pieces of equipment, free weights, ping pong. Shore excursions daily for extra charge. Concierge assists with any other arrangements. We often rented a car and drove around rather than be bused w/ others. You can do anything you want. They will advise and help you make arrangements. The clientele esp like nature and the outdoors so many of the excursions focused on that.

Who Goes
85% Europeans, predominately German and Austrians of middle age or greater. Highly educated, many doctors, professors and industrialist types. Very polite, not rowdy. Solicitous to us as the "token" Americans. We have been so many times, we see many of the same people each yr. The Europa always does a world cruise, so some people get on in Hamburg and stay on until it returns to Germany, months later!!! The management is first rate as are the crew. You feel safe w/ them. They are not casual about safety. They spoil you the whole time. If you mention you like something, it is likely to show up w/ your breakfast or in your suite! The hotel manager is Austrian but also studied at Cornell hotel school. That is the kind of quality personnel they employ. And yes, we have had the hotel manager to dinner at our home when the ship came to our city in USA!!!

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