Meet Hapag-Lloyd’s EUROPA 2
Saturday, September 20, 2014
This morning, I saw something onboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2 that I have never seen before on any other cruise ship that’s barely a year and a half old: they painted the pool.
Not that the swimming pool needed to be painted, mind you. At least, not that I could tell. But with today marking EUROPA 2’s official ‘turnaround day’ – that is, the end of Voyage 1427 and the start of Voyage 1428 – the swimming pool was drained this morning as I strolled out to get breakfast on the outdoor terrace at The Yacht Club and a fresh coat of soft lime paint was being applied.
More attention to detail: one of the girls working in the Yacht Club went around today with a pair of scissors, snipping errant threads off of the straps that held the plush seat cushions in place. Threads and a bit of general wear-and-tear are always to be expected, but here they’re promptly dealt with. You could eat off the floor of this ship. It’s absolutely spotless.
Three other massive cruise ships – Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Constellation, and Costa Pacifica were docked along with us today. Most of these vessels were, like EUROPA 2, performing their ‘turnaround’ – that is, the disembarkation of guests from one voyage, and the embarkation of guests from another.
With thousands of people funneling in through the single entryway into the Port of Istanbul – and with a complicated on-shore process demanded by the Turkish authorities that requires guests to carry a specialized barcode with them in addition to their stateroom keycard, I opted to stay onboard EUROPA 2, where there are no lines – only soothing relaxation.
I also took the time to once again fully explore this beautiful vessel, and again, I like what I saw. One of my favorite public rooms at this point is the Jazz Club, which is an intimate space on Deck 4 that’s decked out in vibrant shades of purple and pink. It’s unusually daring for a luxu