This is a brief review of our cruise on Eurodam Nov 1-8 to Eastern Caribbean. Our ages are both 54, and we are fairly objective in our views, with no previous HAL ship history. Our frame of reference is based on previous cruises on new ships on other lines that we cruised upon. Overall we had a great cruise, with excellent food and good service at bars, stateroom, and restaurants.
Embarkation - arrived at the terminal at 11:00 am, tipped the porters to take the luggage and then waited in line. The terminal doors opened at 11:30. We received our ship cards quickly and were onboard by noon, I thought this went very efficiently. Went straight to the Lido to eat, and the crowds did not buildup until later. Dining room was also open for lunch.
Stateroom was a standard inside room, which was totally adequate for storage and space, since we are use to that type of room. Room had great lighting, and bathroom plumbing worked great. While only seeing and talking once or twice with room steward, Beny was very efficient and kept room always clean and stocked with towels. He placed our daily papers/info on our bed, if I had not already picked them up first in the outside "mailslot". He provided towel animals and nightly turndown.
Food we thought was excellent throughout the ship. We ate at Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill both for lunch and dinner, Cannelleto for one dinner, Lido for breakfast and lunch, and AYW dining in dining room. Tamarind should not be missed! We loved the atmosphere, the service, and food both at lunch and especially at dinner. Pinnacle Grill was good and more intimate vs dining room. We had the land/sea (steak/shrimp) and lobster tail. Much like a refined big city American steakhouse experience. Canaletto had a changing menu, we ate on Tues night, which featured chicken marsala, which was very good. Canaletto provided a little more intimacy vs DR, and offered a chance to eat an Italian cuisine, although each night's choices are limited and may not appeal to everyone. We enjoyed the DR and thought the food was excellent, and our service was great. While having AYW dining, we reserved a table for two the first night, and because we liked the location and server - Guntur, we just kept reserving the same table the day before we were going to eat there. The reservation system for all the restaurants worked efficiently for us. We had made the Tamarind and PG dinner reservations online. On embarkation day, we reserved the DR for the first two days, Canaletto, and specialty lunches. Lido food was very good, both at breakfast and lunch, and many different choices available. Always had to do a 360 degree check to see what all the choices were, before deciding. While sometimes crowded, we never had a problem negotiating the lines and finding seating. We liked sitting on the aft outside tables at breakfast and lunch. Outside grill for burgers was good, and pizza was okay, but nothing special. Dinner at the Lido reflected basically same menu as DR. Each night from 11-12, a small buffet was available for late night snacking, with daily different cuisine. Also at Half Moon Cay the BBQ (burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs) was great, and very efficient serving lines. Service across the ship seemed good to us. We never waited more than 5 minutes in a bar lounge to be asked about a drink. On the pool decks, staff passed around frequently asking anyone for drinks. Only negative was on the aft pool deck, where "slobs" left their food trays and plates under chairs and different locations, and I do not necessarily fault the staff in finding and removing the trays quickly. Be nice if people had common sense manners to clean up a little after themselves.
Front desk staff were always courteous and seemed to me trying their best to handle sometimes discourteous passengers. Would be nice if hotel manager or assistant would be behind the desk to handle those tough customers, especially on embarkation day, to reduce the longer line and wait.
Entertainment was very good, with 2 production musicals, 2 very funny comedian shows, and Justin Miller classical guitarist and musical historian. Very nice theater, and never had problem finding seats. Bars and lounges had different musicians scattered about. While casino somewhat smaller than other cruise lines, we had minimal problems finding open slots and space at the table games, since people would and go. The casino staff were young and very friendly and helpful, whether winning or losing.
Ship interior was very nice, and I assume HAL style colors and carpeting. Personally, we thought Crown Princess and Celebrity Constellation were prettier with more attractive colors and carpets, and had more "wow factor". The atrium seemed too small and less used than other cruise lines. The glass ceiling centerpiece, as noted by many, is fairly unattractive. The glass sculpture should have been done in multi colors and colored lighting, like in the Bellagio lobby in Las Vegas. Ship outside spaces provided plenty of chair lounges and walk space. We liked the decks above the lido on the sides and front and center to sit and view the passing ocean. We did not use the cabanas, and seemed liked they were minimally used.
Only negative regarding ship was the aft pool decks, because the deck and chairs were spotted with soot particles. We noticed this on 3 different days, and the soot actually spotted our clothes and smeared on the bottom of your feet. The aft pool had soot particles throughout the water on one day. Not sure if this always happens, but never experienced this on other ships. Staff hosed down the deck every night, I think to get rid of the previous days soot and water mixed residue. Because of the scattered food trays left by people, the chair lounges moved in every conceivable direction by people, and the black soot residue, the aft pool area seemed to me somewhat dirty and unattractive later in the day.
Shore excursions were all great, at Grand Turk - Catamaran sail/snorkel/beach, Tortola - Catamaran sail/snorkel/beach, St Thomas - Eco kayaking/snorkel, Half Moon Cay - snorkel.
Debarkation - Lido for breakfast was a bit more crowded, but again plenty of tables open on the aft deck. Sat around in a lounge, got in line to debark at 9:15, and was off the ship, picked up luggage, passport inspected, and in a cab by 9:45. Again, if play by the rules and realize some lines is the normal process, debarkation and embarkation are not hectic and really pretty efficient. Overall another great cruise comparable to our previous cruises with Celebrity and Princess. Ship clientele were mixed across the age spectrum, and while many in the older generations beyond us, there were plenty of younger generations onboard as well. Formal nights seemed to have most dressed accordingly throughout the night. Based on previous comments and listening from previous HAL cruisers, Eurodam is a mass audience ship, and does its best to meet high expectations, but not sure if can meet the high end user and HAL customer expecting the personal service once obtained on the older, smaller ships.