Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 28

passenger ratio in the industry. With 370 crew members, it also has one of the highest ratios of crew to guests. Unique to the EUROPA 2 is what might be described as “wasted space,” which means spacious corridors and walkways that make the ship’s interiors feel like those of a luxury hotel. The ship’s atrium has massive windows and high ceilings, which also contributes to this feeling of space. The corridors are lined with original and engaging art works by such distinguished artists as David Hockney and Damien Hirst; a gallery features shows and pieces for purchase. Boutiques offer high-end jewelry and clothing. The library houses computers for passenger use. The suites – all with verandas – are between 301 and 1,066 square feet, with flat-screen TVs, tablet computers, a coffee machine, Wi-Fi (complimentary), portable phones and tablet PCs and complimentary mini-bars, replenished daily with beer and soft drinks (the upper-tier categories include a selection of complimentary liquor). Miele Culinary School My suite had a jetted tub, which I enjoyed at every opportunity, especially since fragrant bath salts were provided. The complimentary liquors were wasted on me, but they would be a welcome amenity to anyone who liked to have a cocktail or aperitif within easy reach. The 560-square-foot Grand Ocean Suites have bathrooms with daylight views, double sinks, TVs within the mirrors, rain showers, steam showers and whirlpool tubs. The Penthouse Suites, at 840 square feet, add a bigger veranda (108 square feet) a separate dining table and a daybed. As for the two drop-dead-gorgeous Owner’s Suites, the luxury level rises to include butler service, a private whirlpool with a view of the ocean and the ability to freely partake of just about anything the ship has to offer. Paintings by famous artists adorn the walls. The decor in all the suites is understated: clean lines everywhere; luxury fabrics in natural earthy colors; modern sofas and chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows leading outside and allowing lots of natural light to brighten the day. The beds are very comfortable, the linens are high-end and the selection of pillows serves every preference. 28 Some luxury ships only put out the ‘welcome” mats for kids during school vacations – if at all. EUROPA 2 is decidedly family friendly, with seven family “apartments.” The free Baby Welcome Package enables parents to order extensive baby equipment for their suite, freeing up considerable luggage space. Children under 11 travel free; youngsters 12-15 cost about $65 a night when travelling with two adults in the same suite. Child care is offered for ages two and up; I visited the cheery area reserved for very young kids and was impressed with the care the highly trained nannies provided. Programs are tailored to all age groups up to age 15. The brightly-deco rated Kids’ Club serves four- to 10-year-olds and the somewhat more “sophisticated” Teens’ Club caters to 11- to 15-yearolds. A nice feature for parents who would like to sleep in while the children want to play: The late-riser service will pick up the kids from the suite and look after them until parents want them back. As I had previously sailed on the EUROPA, I expected the dining