Eurodam Cruise Review by tonbou: Mediterranean D-Day & Baltic
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Mediterranean D-Day & Baltic
We arrived at Rome Airport at 7.30am. We were whisked through Customs and Immigration in no time at all, and had collected our luggage shortly afterwards. There waiting for us were our Holland America travel agents as pre-ordered. We loaded our luggage into a truck and retired for a leisurely coffee. We then stood in the airport corridor as other HAL passengers joined us, until at 10am we boarded our coaches for the one hour trip to the port at Civitavecchia. Our check-in for the ship was also smooth, but followed by another wait for boarding at 12. Our luggage arrived in our Stateroom (cabins are non-existent on HAL) at 3pm. Not a good start to a holiday after 24hours of flying!
My first Impression of the ship was lots of glass and glitter, "expensive bad taste", but maybe that's just a matter of taste. One became used to it with time.
Our Stateroom was spotlessly clean, more than adequately spacious, and thoroughly serviced by Ibrahim and Lucia to maintain it in More that condition. It was a pity that weather conditions made it impossible to fully enjoy our balcony.
The dining room staff were friendly and flawless in their service. Our stewards, Ash and 'Toni, soon learned the peccadillos of the six on our table, and served accordingly.
The meals were beautifully presented, with excellent ingredients combined with imaginative menus. The food, however, rarely reached exceptional levels but tended to be usually 'rather nice'. Exceptions were the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind Restaurant where food and service were usually top-rate, and the Canaletto restaurant where food was mediocre (with the exception of the Zuppe de Pesce ) and the service even worse. (We ate there only once!)
There was a wide range of entertainments to cater for many tastes.
Beware of hidden extras. There is a 15% tax added to all alcohol sales, and a compulsory levy of $11.50 / person per day for tips for the crew, presumably to subsidise under-payment of wages by HAL (that's the American way!).
In retrospect, the holiday experience was very good value for money, but I would not pre-book shore excursions as there a plenty of cheaper alternatives available on arrival in most of the various ports.
I think we will stay with P & O in future. Less
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