Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 29

Travel choices on her younger sister to be well beyond the ordinary. They were – and I was able to sample the cuisines of the world from Chateaubriand with Béarnaise sauce (one of my favourite dishes) at the French brasserie, Tarragon, to Mediterranean classics at the elegant Serenissima to Asian Fusion cuisine at Elements. The sushi bar, Sakura, is a passenger favorite, and with good reason. Here, the sushi master prepares nigiri, maki, sashimi and other delectables that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. There are seven restaurants in all, plus an eighth option that can be booked for private dining for a surcharge. Tarragon With dozens of champagnes and some 500 different wines onboard, individual tastings can be arranged with real vine rarities. As verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the EUROPA 2’s collection of 35 gins is world’s largest aboard a ship. I don’t like gin – at least I thought I didn’t – but after I attended a complimentary tasting, I found the taste of the French Saffron gin was really pleasant. But wait – there’s more. Midafternoon is tea time, so many varieties, both leaf and in bags, are serve in the library, along with cakes, pastries, mini-sandwiches – and piano music. My temptation was located on the pool deck where freshly made waffles with ice cream and/ or a choice of toppings are also served every afternoon. Sushi In response to the growing popularity of culinary travel, the chef de cuisine of Tarragon, teaches cooking classes (based on the cuisine of the ship’s cruise destinations) in the Miele Culinary School. The extra charge (about $100) includes accompanying wines, cooking aprons and recipes (and the meal, of course). During my cruise, a sushi class was taught by one of the sushi masters, and while I didn’t excel, I did learn to make some edible rolls. Though I’m not given to visiting gyms at sea, the EUROPA 2 has one with ocean views and state-of-art equipment by Technogym; personal trainers are available. There’s also state-of-the-art golf simulator, which allows guests to play virtually on several famous courses. A PGA golf professional provides video analysis and support. One of my favorite spots is the Ocean Spa, which has a hammam, whirlpool, a Finnish sauna, herbal sauna, bio sauna and Tepidarium – a relaxation room with heated loungers. As it’s possible to customize so many experiences on EUROPA 2, it’s also possible to book a Personal Spa, with a private lounge, sauna and whirlpool. I simply crave the massages, for is there anything as pleasurable as being massaged at sea, with no obligations or cares to dim the sense of well-being? Another favorite area is the goodsize pool located under a retractable roof, which makes it possible to swim laps in any weather. Lounges around the pool and on the deck EUROPA 2, Crew 29