Trans-Atlantic cruise on HAL Eurodam, April 14 -- 27, 2012
Ft.Lauderdale, Madeira, Malaga, Alicante to Rome.
Our first cruise with Eurodam and Holland American Line has been, in many ways, most pleasant. We love to cruise, and have been on more than 60 different cruises, and this has been one of the very best. Holland American Line has got a new friend in us.
For all of you who are "money wise" and looking for a good deal - This is it! Absolutely very good value at an affordable price.
Compared to other cruiselines, there was champagne, vip treatment, gooseliver and caviar - at the price of hamburgers, spagetti and beer. Real value for money -- can't be better !
Eurodam is a happy ship, the way that the crew and staff are very nice and friendly (mostly Indonesians and Filipinos), well trained and always polite.
Often they remember our names, and talk to us as friends. We appreciated the friendly atmosphere; a ship with a nice, smiling and caring crew !
The ship (from 2008) was immaculate; very clean and well maintained.
No rustspots, and maintenance was on-going daily.
The fresh orchids on all the tables at Lido Buffet, fresh flowers in the dining rooms and real plants everywhere impressed us very much.
Internet connection, which is normally very slow and expensive on other cruiselines, has been relatively faster on Eurodam. Actually the most speedy internet of all ships we have sailed on so far. It is also very good that we get a summary of use after each time we log out. The fact that we got wifi in our stateroom was a big plus.
Rembrandt Main Dining room - lunch and dinners were always good and elegantly presented. A step ahead as compared to most cruiseships.
The select dining system which HAL call "As You Wish - seating plan" was functioned very well, as they had 2 hoststations, and waiters that showed you to your table all the time. We where never in line more than 1 minute. Most of the time, no line at all.
Lido Buffet restaurant and the food "activities" by the pool side have been some of the best we have experienced on a cruise ship.
There is a great variety and tasteful food, and always nice presentation.
They also served freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast at no extra cost, and had maybe 10 different kind of juices. We always enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the Lido.
The sous chef even went out of his way to please his Filipino guests by offering them a special sauce from the Philippines to accompany the roasted baby pork we had for lunch on the last sea day.
Tamarind was a positive surprise. Both lunch and dinner were very tasteful, with wonderful dishes. Very friendly and knowledgeable servers, and an elegant Asian-inspired interior/ambience.
Dimsum lunch is free of charge, and dinner had a charge of $15, which was well worth the price. Will absolutely recommend to try this modern Asian contemporary cuisine.
The best Asian food we have had the pleasure of tasting on a cruiseship.
The Pinnacle Grill restaurant feels upscale, with its sophisticated decor and the Bulgari china. To be the signature restaurant on Holland America, the food and service has potential to be even better. The waiter refused to give me a small taste of lobster instead of appetizer, soup and salad.
He also saw that the beef was more done than the ordered medium, but did not offer to change it.
When we ordered a plate of cheese to share, he asked if we wanted cheese instead og dessert. No - we wanted both, to his surprise.
The sweets were delicious all over the ship.
The Le Cirque menu at the Pinnacle Grill was better than the regular menu. Good, yes -- but it was missing something to make it fantastic. It would not take that much to heighten the experience.
Easy and simple things like maybe a hot towel before the meal. We missed warm rolls/bread and maybe a sorbet before the main course, and a cheese trolley in The Pinnacle Grill. These small things will not cost much in money and effort.
The Pinnacle dinner menu had a price of $25, which is a bit less than most specialty signature restaurants on cruiseships.
The Le Cirque menu was a once a week event at a price of $39.
As Tamarind and Pinnacle are popular, they will be fully booked early, therefore consider booking a night at the specialty restaurants online, before leaving for your cruise.
We liked having had the chance to visit the galley twice (one tour and one galley buffet).
Every evening we were able to listen and dance to ballroom music at the Ocean bar.
Shows and entertainment were good. A lot of activities (they had a lounge devoted to cooking classes and demo) and resource persons were interesting.
We joined the dance lessons (although they could have been longer than 30 minutes). Enjoyable crew shows as well.
Cabin was nice. We had an outside view on deck 4 (Cabin 4130). We discovered before the cruise that this had catogary "total obstructed view" and we where a bit disappointed until we entered the cabin. We had a view of the lifeboat (as all outside cabin in the middle of the boat, on this deck has.)
But it was not at all "totally obstructed," maybe 50% or less.
That is what other cruiseline call "partly obstructed view". Our window was not just a port hole but was a whole glass wall.
The cabin was roomy, very clean, had a bathtub, new flatscreen TV, high enough bed, so it is easy to put even the largest suitcase under, as stow away.
We where offered a balcony cabin, on the sunny south side, at an additional price of $ 1.000. We had a look, but chose to stay in our assigned cabin. Small details like garbage bins in the cabins with possibility for paper recirculation are well thought off.
Shampoo, soap and lotion of an exclusive brand.
Lights in the large hanging cabinets, and a few drawers, would have been nice, but thats all we missed.
We are looking forward to sail with HAL again -- most likely in the next trans-Atlantic or repositioning cruise. We have found another favorite cruiseline in Holland American Line.
Thank you for a wonderful cruise, on a ship with a nice, smiling and caring crew !
See you again !
Maria and Morten of Norway