I just returned from my 7 day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean with my Husband and two other couples (Nov. 8-15, 2008). We are in our 20's and booked this ship because we wanted quiet with not a lot of kids. I think we were among the youngest people ont he ship but it was very quiet and it worked out well because we found we wanted to use amenities at different times from the older crowd. This is our third cruise, the first two being on princess and carnival. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.
Flights We are from just west of toronto but choose to fly out of detroit on spirit air because we got a very good deal. Our flight arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 1:50 Pm on saturday. We were a bit worried about making it to the ship on time but there were no delays and we were on board by 3:00.
Embarkation This was the fastest embarkation process I have ever experienced. There was no one in line since we arrived fairly late and we had our cars and were up the gangways in less than 15 minutes.
The Eurodam as a new ship is absolutely beautiful and everything is still sparkling new. There were always staff cleaning or polishing something, definitely the cleanest ship I have been on. There was also complimentary hand sanitizer everywhere to clean your hands. Lots of little touches demonstrated to us the higher quality of the Eurodam. For example they provide hand towels in the bathrooms to dry your hands rather than paper towels and all of the public bathrooms have completely enclosed individual stalls. We enjoyed sitting in both the explorers lounge and the silk den for a few games, coffee and hot chocolate. Since we had our own group we didn't participate in many of the onboard activities, except for trivia and bingo once each. The explorers lounge had tons of games and books for anyone who might get bored, not to mention, dvds for rent for $3 a day. Both of the pools were beautiful. The one with the dome over it is open to children but the other is not and this was well enforced, it was nice to have a pool to go to that was quiet. We didn't see many people renting the cabanas by the lido pool or up in the relaxation/retreat area. To me they didn't really seem worth it. By the lido pool there was tons of comfy wicker chairs with cushions to sit it and tables, and the aft pool has the usual deck chairs. The pools were nice and deep so you could actually swim in them, with wading areas around them. They were always kept at a nice temperature as were the hottubs. There were a few areas that we were disappointed with. First the main atrium area is very understated and not impressive at all. Second we couldn't find any time in he culinary arts lounge that there were cooking classes except the first day. We did go to one cooking demonstration. We went dancing and to meringue classes and had a great time, dj glenn does at good job at playing a variety of music.
First of all the lido food is absolutely fantastic in both taste and variety. Breakfast The orange juice is fresh squeezed in the morning and there are tons of other juices to choose from. There is a waffle station, continental breakfast, buffet station and and omelet station. The staff are very attentive, they often got our drinks for us and carried our trays as well as pushing in and pulling out our chairs when we sat down. Lunch Lunch was also an excellent variety with a grill, pizzeria, sandwich station, two stations for foods of the world, a buffet and a salad bar. We also ate lunch one day in tamarind for dim sum which was also delicious (and free) one of our favorite parts of the eurodam was it's free ice cream station where you could get various types of ice cream in waffle cone, regular cone or bowl. There was an abundance of toppings for sundaes including flavor shots. Dinner Four nights we ate dinner in the main dining room and once in canaletto. I am disappointed to say that canaletto needs some serious work. The first night we ate there and the service was absolutely terrible. It took us over three hours to get through our meal and that was not because we were eating slowly. I think it was just our waiter though because a new waiter came to serve us dessert and he was much faster and more amiable. The anti pasta and dessert was delicious but the pasta i got was a plain creation that i easily could have whipped up in about five minutes at home (and i am not a good cook). Overall the dining room had fairly good food, even though some of it was bland. There was fairly good variety but some night i was left wondering what i could order because i didn't like anything on the menu. The service was an entirely different story. I have to say it was fairly bad. Not because of lack of effort ont he part of the staff but because there were not nearly enough of them. Nearly every night out plates would sit when we were finished with them for about twenty minutes before dessert menus came, and often the food took quite a while to come out. This was not a particular table or waiter because we had as you wish dining and had a different table every night. My friend and I went to afternoon tea one day which is not to be missed. they have delicious finger foods and desserts, even if you don't like tea! Midnight snack in he lido was also good but i couldn't eat it most nights because i was so full from the day!
Cabin My husband and i booked a large inside cabin while our friends booked the regular one. What a difference! The regular insides were extremely small, way smaller than on other ships I had been on. The large inside was comfortable with room for a couch and a vanity. Our bathroom had the distinct smell of urine in it every day and I am not sure why but it didn't bother us too much. Our room steward was excellent. cleaning our room and turning down our bed three times a day.
Ports of Call
Grand Turk This stop was rainy for us and so we didn't enjoy it much. We did swim in the pool at margaritaville which was pretty much empty, but didn't get to see much else of the island which was apparently destroyed by Ike. The ocean water was murky and brown, not very appealing at all.
San Juan we absolutely loved san juan. we rented a minivan from allied car rentals and drove the hour to get to the rain forest. the driving was not bad at all and we didn't even get lost. I would recommend that you book ahead through if you want to rent a car, it's way faster to getone from hertz at the sheraton but they were all booked up. We hiked in the rain forest to la mina falls where we went swimming. It was very refreshing and beautiful. Then we did a walk around old san juan with a tour of the old fort where they were having a festival with singing and dancing.
St Thomas. As we have been here before we decided to go back to Megan's bay which is stunning, with beautiful water and very relaxing. I hate swimming in he ocean but i love it there.
Half Moon Cay
This stop was better than expected, it is absolutely beautiful with crystal clear water. The island is very clean with lots of fun things to do and they had a great bbq for us. I would do it again in a second!
Disembarkation Again we chose the early option where you carry off your own luggage and it was so painless! we were on our way to the airport in less than 20 minutes.
Overall we loved the Eurodam and would sail on it again any day given the chance!