Sailed on the Eurodam out of Ft. Lauderdale on an Eastern Caribbean cruise. We booked this ship based on the praises for Holland America. In the past we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess, but we wanted a luxurious experience with excellent service, so hence our choice. What a mistake.
I must say that the stateroom -- a Luxury Verandah Suite -- was very nice. Lots of space and oversized bathroom. The verandah furniture was satisfactory, though it needed some re-varnishing or replacement. It was discolored and had numerous nicks, scratches and stains.
Our stateroom attendants were very good, efficient and eager to please. A couple of times that I asked for something special it would be delivered within minutes.
Casino staff was very friendly, though not enough dealers for all the table games. You could either play Let It Ride or Three Card Poker, but not both, as they couldn't open both tables at the same time. Slot machines were More
tighter than any other cruise machines I've experienced.
Except as noted, and a couple of other times, the service in general left a lot to be desired. If anything, I must say it was rude and with a bit of an "I'm better than you" attitude. Once time I asked for a bottle of cold water in one of the bars and was given a bottle that was not cold. I went to two other bars, to no avail. I asked if I could find a bottle of cold water and the answer was "not on this ship". No offer to help or suggest alternatives. Mind you, I had to pay for this water.
Had a lot of pictures taken, so we stopped by the photo gallery one evening on our way to dinner. The gentleman there showed us the pictures and told us to let him know when we come back how many we would like, and he would give us a deal, depending on the number. When we came back, a second gentleman told me, when asking about the volume deal, that what I was saying was not true. There were no deals at all on pictures. He argued with me and basically called me a liar. We were about to leave without a single picture, when the first gentleman showed up, brought our pictures and actually gave us a very good deal on a large number of them. This type of inconsistency is really not acceptable.
As far as the food, it was mediocre at best. This included the Lido Buffet and the Rembrandt Restaurant, as well as room service, the poolside grill and the pizza stand. The only place that I found the food superb was at the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant -- at an extra cost of $25 per person -- well worth it, though.
Another small point I noticed, but it reflects the whole experience, was the afternoon tea in the Rembrandt Dining Room: from a buffet line !! This should not be. What happened to the white-glove, table side service?
Food service on board stopped at 8.30 pm or 9.30 pm. After that, it was either stand-up pizza, a small snack or room service. I found this inconvenient. No place to eat anything on board, except as noted. One evening we ordered room service: a burger and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. No fries available. The burger was as tender as a hockey puck. The grilled ham and cheese was two pieces of toast with a slice of cold cheese and a slice of cold ham. On another evening, when food service stopped at 8.30 pm, we tried to go for pizza, only to find that the venue was closed "because of a crew member party".
All in all, found Holland America to be way below what we expected and what was described. Poor service, poor food, lack of attention to details. Maybe since they were acquired by Carnival their standards went down. Definitely will not cruise with them again. Less
It is convenient but, because it is under renovation, it is confusing. Holland America docks in the farthest point possible and you have to take a shuttle bus from the parking garage to the ship.
Hopefully this will get better after it is renovated.