After a nice flight from White Plains to Fort Lauderdale we arrived at Il Lugano Hotel around 11:00 PM on Friday February 13, 2009. Il Lugano is a relatively new 4 star hotel at the Intercoastal, 1 block from the beach. The hotel is astonishing! Modern, sleek design with an Italian flair. The room was on the 9th floor with open views. The only word to describe the room is huge. Living room, dinning area, kitchen, bar, laundry room, separate bedroom. Both the living room and the bedrooms have sliding doors to the spacious balcony. Complimentary Continental breakfast. It was a shame we arrived at the hotel at night and couldn't use the pool,the exercise room or just lounge in the well appointed cabanas overlooking the water. The only problem with the hotel was getting a taxi to go to the port. The concierge radioed for a car but it took almost an hour to arrive. So, make sure you call for a car before you even go downstairs for breakfast. The hotel is 6 miles from port and the fare was $25 dollars. However, from the airport to the hotel it took about 30 minutes and we paid $55 dollars. Even though I loved Il Lugano I wouldn't stay there again because of the distance and the car fares. Also not being on the beach was a minus. But I love discovering new hotels and this one was a great discovery.
We had Penthouse 7036 so we had priority embarkation. When we arrived they asked for our cabin # and escorted us through security and check-in was a breeze. We were escorted to the ship and also to our cabin where Patricia, the concierge, showed us our room. Beautiful! The foyer, powder room, kitchen, dinning area, office area, living room, bedroom, bathroom and walk in closet. The verandah was huge with a hot tub that fits 4. I loved the earth color of the room. Very relaxing. We ate breakfast everyday in the cabin. Actually, we spent a lot of time in the cabin. It was so beautiful that it was difficult to leave.
We booked a retreat cabana, Naples on the port side. Loved it. It was a meeting point for us. The attendants were nice and service was good. Lunch was included as well as champagne and strawberries in the afternoon. I-pod and Evian water were available as well as bathrobes. Bathrooms were on the same deck. The only drawback was going to the pool. We had to go down 2 decks since the cabanas are on deck 11 and the Lido pool on deck 9. And we had to go inside walking in the air conditioning decks to get out in the sun again back and forth. I think that's why I was feeling my throat at the end of the cruise. I don't think I would book a cabana again because of that and also it didn't look like getting a chair on sea days was a problem at all. After the first day my husband and my daughters got tired of the same lunch menu at the cabana and just ended up going to the Lido for lunch. I loved the Pita Pocket and had one every day.
Our first port was Grand Turk. My daughters did the Flowrider and had fun. They were tired after 1 hour of going against the "flow". But they had a great time and I took some funny shots of them falling. I didn't think the beach was that nice. Make sure you bring water shoes because it's very rocky getting in the water. Unfortunately the water was too cold for my likes even though the water looked beautiful. The pool area is very nice but again the pool was also very cold. I would like to go back to Grand Turks again when the ocean water is warmer so I can swim a little.
Next port was San Juan. We've been to San Juan many times and every time I love watching the ship sail past El Morro. Make sure you are on the port side if you want to see the Old Fort. This time we took the Rain Forest excursion. We loved it! We had a great guide, Carlos was very funny. The Rain Forest was very interesting and beautiful. Great pictures. We had perfect weather. Not too hot and not too cold. Just right. After the tour we walked around old San Juan and had lunch before walking back to the ship.
After San Juan we stopped at St. Thomas. We've been to pretty much every beach in St. Thomas so this time we decided to take The Ultimate Tour which included a drive around the island with great picture stops. 2 hours at Mageans Beach (again the water was a little on the cold side)and a visit to Blackbeard's Castle. Since the Eurodam was berthed further away from town we took a cab back and paid $4 per person. I have to mention that every time we went back to the ship there was a cold towel waiting for us to freshen up and cold lemonade. That's service!
Our last stop was Half Moon Cay. This is probably my favorite private island. It's just beautiful. The beach is gorgeous and you don't feel like on top of each other like the other little private islands. This one is actually spacious. Very pretty. We had cabana # 11 Grey and a butler. I don't think I'll have a butler again. It was not worth it. My husband doesn't drink and I only had 1 Margarita because it's impossible to have more than 1 drink in such short period of time. We arrived at 10 AM and by 1:30 PM they were already cleaning the cabana. The food was good but again between the snacks that come with the cabana and lunch at 1 PM we didn't have time to be hungry to enjoy a meal. I didn't think either the cabana or the butler was necessary. Next time I'll just rent a clam shell and have lunch at the bbq pavillion. Actually, my husband and one of my daughters went to the bbq and said the food was better and a lot of choices were provided.
In summary, Eurodam is a beautiful ship. Art work everywhere. Fresh flowers. Attention to details. Very good service. Food was good. Shows were good. I really can't think of anything bad to say about either the ship or the crew. From the men who were always cleaning the common areas to Susan the Cruise Director, they always had a smile on their faces. I didn't encounter a single problem during our cruise and after 25 cruises I know what is good and what isn't and if I'm paying for it I want good service. And that's what we had at the Eurodam. A Dam nice cruise!