Transatlantic For The First Time: Eurodam Cruise Review by spudsmack
Overall Member Rating
Transatlantic For The First Time
Embarkation - took about 40 minutes from arrival to processing to the stateroom on board, where we soon met our room stewards. Didn't see much of them during the cruise, the room was always picked up or turned down when we returned. We read to be wary of the 4th floor, but no problems with noise from below. The stateroom had plenty of storage and was comfortable when spending time on the balcony.
Activities - Took a couple of days to get the lay of the land, plenty of places to read or get a drink, lots of activities to keep busy during the days at sea. Spent time every day in the Greenhouse Spa, bought the supplemental pass for unlimited access and found it well worth while. The workout area didn't get much use from the other guests so finding a machine was easy. Yoga on the More days at sea proved to be a bit challenging with some of the rolling seas. The staff for massages were great and we all knew each other half way through the trip. The hydro pool and thermal suite were terrific to rejuvenate after a day in port and before the start of evening dinner. Participated in the "Dancing with the Stars", Culinary Arts Center, and Digital Workshop. Would have liked to have somebody who was bi-lingual (Windows and Apple) but being sponsored by Microsoft the technician wouldn't even acknowledge the word "Apple". Internet was extremely slow and expensive. You have to pick your time to login, everyone on shore or late evening to get half way decent speed.
Dining - Had late seating at a table for eight. We were lucky to have two couples who were 4-star mariners who taught us the tricks of the trade. If you have the slightest interest in another cruise book it while on board. The dining staff was superb, very attentive, and always had our iced tea waiting. Great selections from the menu and even got a special request meal courtesy of our 4-star table mates. A word of caution, table of 8 takes longer from begining to end than a table for two, so if you need to be somewhere at 9:30 just let your table steward know and he should be able to accommodate. Pinnacle and Tamarind are not to be missed, Cannaletto - pass.
Entertainment - Holland America went to great lengths to build a terrific theater environment, however the on board singers and dancers were pretty lame. Third tier Las Vegas entertainment if far better. Guest entertainers were good and worth a look. There should be a way to get a scaled down Las Vegas type of show for 2000+ passengers. The special side bars had some talent to be seen. Caution for the active at heart, the ship is pretty much asleep by 11:00 due to the age demographics, 70's and 80's are the norm but not as many walkers/wheelchairs as I feared. If you want to view the Northern Lights speak to customer service, they will put your room on a list and give you a wake-up call if the night watch sees them.
Port/Shore Excursions - Did not book anything through the ship. A huge markup compared to what you can book on your own. Hiking to the top of pulpit rock in Stavanger. Hiking glaciers, boating on lakes, spelunking through lava tubes in Iceland. Sea-kayaking in St John's. Walking on the bottom of the Bay of Fundy in Halifax. If you want the sit on a bus with 45 others, book through the boat. Transiting through Prince Christian Sound (Greenland) is a highlight, starboard side is best.
Disemarkation - Seeing New York at night, 5:00AM, should not be missed. Statue of Liberty, port side, and the twin tower lights starboard (morning after 9/11) where moving. Booked the Hilton through HAL, last ones off.
All in all a great trip, great itinerary, superb boat and crew! Planning another on HAL soon. Less
Didn't see much of the room steward during the cruise, the room was always picked up or turned down when we returned. We read to be wary of the 4th floor, but no problems with noise from below and the elevator was right outside our door. WI-FI transceiver was just above the elevator for good reception. The stateroom had plenty of storage and was comfortable when spending time on the balcony. Room service for breakfast on port days is the way to go.