Holland American Line is built on tradition and quality, in a successful and conservative style.
You will not find flashy neon lights; fancy, screamy modern colours in the furnitures or a lot of new "outdoor toys," such as waterslides, flow riders and climbing walls.
What you will find is discreet classic elegance in the interior and shipbuilding. Add a collection of classic art, string quartet with chamber music, and bands playing dance music of Evergreens for us, who have past their first youth.
This, in combination with great food and top service in a friendly and personal way, attracts and appeal to a mature crowd, with a mix of Europeans and North Americans.
Last April, we sailed our first cruise with Holland American Line, on Eurodam, after many other cruises with different cruiselines and ships.
We love to cruise, and this on HAL was one of the best.
On July 29, we went back to join the same ship in Stockholm for a 10 nights Baltic Sea cruise.
As we have been to almost all destinations before, this cruise was for the ship, the food and to see our new crew-friends onboard again.
Fantastic to come back to a ship where several of the crew remembered us, and greeted us by our names.
We where flattered, and felt special !
Eurodam, which is one of their largest ships in the HAL fleet, is a happy ship, in the way that the crew and staff are very nice and friendly (mostly Indonesians and Filipinos), well trained and always polite.
The ship (from 2008) was immaculately clean and well maintained. No rustspots, and maintenance was on-going daily.
Rembrandt Main Dining room
- lunch and dinners were always good and elegantly presented. A step ahead as compared to most cruiseships.
The sweets were delicious all over the ship.
The select dining system which HAL call "As You Wish - seating plan" functioned very well.
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 beautifully presented. Freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast at no extra cost,
and 10 other different kinds of juices.
The fresh orchids on all the tables at Lido Buffet, fresh flowers in the dining rooms and real plants in public places impressed us very much.
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.
On the privious cruise, I wrote that the food and service in this signature restaurant had a potential to be even better. This time, - it was better !
But still missing a little 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.
These small things will not cost much in money and effort, and lift the visit to what it shall be, - "Fantastic.".
The Pinnacle dinner menu has a price of $25, which is a bit less than most specialty signature restaurants on cruiseships, and well worth it`s price.
The Le Cirque menu is a once a week event at a price of $39, also worth its price.
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 also got wifi in our inside stateroom was a big plus.
was nice, clean and very roomy.
As we booked late this time, there were only inside cabins left. On entering the cabin (1025) on Maindeck, we were again positively surprised
with more than 200 sqft, and felt even larger. I measured 25 sqm in all. Plenty of cabinets and a sofa.
The cabin was roomy, very clean, had a new flatscreen TV, and high enough bed, so even the largest suitcase is easy to stow under.
Bed-mattresses was super, a real dream-maker. 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, would have been nice, but thats all we missed in the cabin.
During the day, dress is casual.
In the evenings, dress is categorized either as smart casual or formal.
There were two formal nights on our 10 day cruise.
Smart casual for men is slacks and a collared shirt and perhaps a jacket
For women, it's a skirt or trousers and sweater or blouse.
Formal is understood as dark suit or jacket and tie for men, some prefer wearing a tuxedo.
For women a suit, cocktail dress or gown .
Those who prefer not to wear a formal attire, on those 2 formal nights, have the alternative dining at the Lido and the Italian restaurant,
The ship adds $11.50 per person, per day, to shipboard accounts. This is distributed to all crew members with 70% to those who work directly with
passengers, such as waiters and roomattendents, while the remaining to chefs and "behind the scene" crew.
Passengers may adjust the amount, or give a little extra directly. A 15 percent charge is added to all bar and wine bills.
We rated Eurodam a proud 5+ (the very highest) the first time. This time it would have been the same, if it was not for one person of the staff.
He made us feel not so welcome for a future cruise. (I have written about those episodes here in Cruise Critic.)
But we shall not let his attitude shadow our next cruise with HAL, and look forward to the Trans Atlantic with Nieuw Amsterdam in October.
- and Pepper.