TUI Mein Schiff Cruises is a nice cruise line, but not for everyone.
I had the pleasure of participating in a historic event. The July 24 2020 cruise aboard the Mein Schiff 2 was the first large ship cruise after the coronavirus lockdown in the world. Here I must admit that the TUI did a great job with the new safety measures. Muster Drill was conducted in small groups, the crew checked the temperature regularly. Passengers and crew were wearing masks and paying attention to keep an appropriate distance at all times. Hand sanitizers and temperature scanners were everywhere throughout the ship. I felt much safer aboard than in public places on land.
Mein Schiff 2 is new and fresh. The decor is pretty nice, although it's a rather simple Scandinavian style. The ship has many nice places to admire the views, a very large swimming pool ( as for a ship) and a very wide Spa and Fitness offer.The atmosphere was very calm and relaxed, there was plenty of space everywhere, especially since there were only about 1,200 passengers out of a possible 3,000 passengers on board due to the virus and capacity limitation. Nevertheless, I think that even with normal occupancy, Mein Schiff ships have a good space-passenger ratio and are never overcrowded.
The service is good and most of the crew members are very friendly. One exception is the X-Lounge (a panoramic premium lounge for Suite guests). In such a place you would expect exceptional service, but we felt there as if we were invisible and the crew was completely out of control over the situation. Considering the situation, the fact that this was the first cruise, maybe there were shortages of the crew or something, but TUI should look at the matter and solve the problem because it is not KFC, but a premium lounge on a premium ship.
The food is not bad, but very geared towards German customers which may not suit everyone.The food is especially delicious at the specialty restaurants, however those are extra paid and very expensive.
I have to say that Captain Thomas Roth did a great job. He tried to compensate for the lack of the port by giving the best views both during the sailaway from Hamburg and during the panoramic stop in Kristiansand where he circled the port for a long time to give everyone a chance for great views. There were two very magical moments on this voyage. The first was the horn battle with AidaPerla while departing from Hamburg, and the second was the family meeting with Mein Schiff 4 and 6 in the middle of the sea on the return to Hamburg during which all 3 sister ships sailed right next to each other in formation. Thank you to TUI Cruises for organizing this and for great memories that will stay forever.
As I mentioned, this is not a line for everyone because if you don't know German you can feel lost, The whole entertainment, but also the announcements (including Muster Drill) were only in German. Another thing is that the whole concept of TUI Cruises is aimed at Germans (which is understandable), but I do not recommend this line to people looking for American-style cruises with entertainment, parties, discos, fun etc.However, from my own experience, despite minor shortcomings caused by the human factor, I generally rate Tui Cruises very well.
On this very special cruise we did not get off at any port because there was only a panoramic stop in Kristiansand in Norway so I cannot evaluate the shore excursions.
The cabin was one of the best things about this cruise. This Übersee suite was very large and spacious. It was elegant and the bathroom was one of the best I have ever had at sea. There was also a great big balcony, even with an own hammock. There was also plenty of storage space which is often a problem on cruise ships. I also appreciate some small details that made the cabin really luxurious, such as a coffee machine, comfortable bathrobe and slippers, blankets for the balcony, private binoculars, two umbrellas, and a tablet for intelligent control of lights, temperature etc.