Eurodam - 10/25 to 11/1 This was our first Holland America cruise so I don't know if the issues I had were normal for the line or due to the newness of the ship. We were celebrating our parents 65th anniversary and our party consisted of the anniversary couple, their 4 daughters, one son-in-law, and one 25 year old grandchild.
Embarkation - we arrived at peak time ( 1:00 ) and though the lines were long it moved pretty quickly. We went directly to the staterooms which were ready and dropped our carry ons.
Cabins: We were a group of 3 staterooms and had booked a "G" guarantee. We were all upgraded to "C" cabins midships all together on the main deck which was great. My sister had also booked a verandah cabin and was also upgraded. Very nice! I thought the ship was very pretty and our cabins were very nice. Plenty of storage although we didn't find out about the drawers at the foot of the beds, under the dust ruffle, until the last day. A nice touch was that they used real hangers that actually come out of the closet!
On the down side - we never saw our cabin steward and don't know his name. There was no note in the cabin as there typically is on ships telling you the name. Apparently we were supposed to have fresh fruit, blankets, robes, and towel animals in our cabins but we had none of that. Calls by another cabin in our party resulted in getting robes for my cabin but not for the others. She did get fruit however and a balloon animal one day. You cannot call housekeeping but must dial information services and tell them what you need. Seems silly to me. My sister on 8 had the same lack of cabin steward attendance.
Dining: We had the early seating (5:45 ) The food in the dining room was fine, we had no complaints excepts for one chocolate dessert that was inedible to me but my mother ate hers! Our waiter and assistant waiter were terrific so we ate there every night. We had lunch in the Tamarind twice which is beautiful and required reservations though it was empty both times. The only down side is that the menu is the same every day. The iced tea was fabulous but is not available to purchase on the ship - a big mistake. We had breakfast in the dining room several times and the service was terrible. Each time we had to go to the front to ask for things like water, coffee and a waiter. They often ran out of food like bagels or muffins! And we went at 8:30 - hardly the end of breakfast. Also this is the first ship I've been on that didn't seat you with others for breakfast or lunch. There were two of us one morning for breakfast and we were seated at a table for 6 and no one else was ever seated there. Meeting new people at those mealtimes is one of the joys of cruising.
Pool grill: There is no drink area out there for iced tea, water or coffee. The grill has long lines because it is one window through which you order and receive your food as opposed to a buffet like line on other ships. Not well designed. The Lido buffet was typical but crowded - hard to get around. The tables near the lines should be removed.
Pool areas - We mostly had beautiful weather but spent little time at the pool. The Lido pool has a movable roof which got used in the rain but even when it was open the pool deck was too hot and steamy to sit there. It's totally enclosed by glass but the windows don't slide open as they do pools on many other ships. The cabanas had to be suffocating.
Entertainment: We enjoyed all the entertainment aboard from the shows to the piano bar and comedians. However a giant must have designed the seats in the theater. They are roomy leather seats with the arm rests at nearly shoulder level! Even those of us 5' 10" and up found those arm rests uncomfortable. There was less lounge entertainment than we are used to but it was all enjoyable.
Excursions: We didn't take any of the ships excursions though we did get off at each island and enjoyed a bit of sightseeing and beach time.
One of the nicest areas of the ship is the Explorations Cafe/Crow's nest. It's the library/internet/bars/jigsaw puzzle and game area although the "game room" is in another location. It has comfortable seating and fabulous views.
We wanted to adjust the tip for our non existent cabin steward and found out that you can only adjust, up or down, across the board. There is no mechanism for adding more for outstanding service for anyone or adjust down for any one person or department. I don't know if this is a Holland America rule but it is ridiculous. So I adjusted down and gave cash to our waiter and assistant waiter. Automatically adding tips this way gives staff no incentive for good service (which reminded me of NCL that also does this) and the service shows.
None of us are first time cruisers and have sailed Costa, Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. I always thought Holland America was on a par with Celebrity but the Eurodam service was way below. I can't recommend it to anyone though we had a good time.