There isn't much to say other than one of the best cruises we have taken. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on the 27th and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Convention Center. The hotel is conveniently located half a block or so from the Port entrance. We were in easy access to restaurants, shopping, and Wine World. We had a late lunch at the 15th Street Fishery marina restaurant and the food and service were very good. Servings were more than adequate for the prices charged and we had no complaints.
EMBARKATION: fast and convenient. We arrived at the port about 11:30am and when we asked where suite boarding was, the lady directed us to the counter and we(DW, DM (76 years young), Aunt (79 years young) and I were checked in within 10 minutes and onboard within 15 minutes. We had a nice lunch in the Lido and were allowed to go to our rooms by 1 pm.
ROOM: We were in suite SC 5186, which is an aft corner suite, NICE ROOM. DM and Aunt had the room next to us 5188 also very nice. We had JJ (the room attendant) open the partition and we had a huge around the corner deck to relax on. I've read other reviews that complain about the depth of the decks but I can say our deck was more than adequate. We had 2 lounge chairs on the side portion of the deck, 4 chairs and a small table on the corner, plus 3 larges chairs( moved 1 from DM and Aunt's deck with foot stools. The table and 4 chairs were probably overkill and made the deck cluttered more than anything. We were able to move around freely on the deck. We can't say enough about JJ and how well he took care of the rooms and us. He was never intrusive but was always available. He ensured we were supplied with ice daily and replaced the water whenever we needed some. The room was always clean and we are still wondering how he did it so fast without us ever seeing him. Actually we caught him on the last day because we were sitting on the deck waiting for disembarkation to start when he came in. He was going to leave but knowing he had to get ready for the next cruise, we told him to go ahead take care of the room so he wouldn't have to come back.
FOOD: We ate in the dining room 3 nights and the food was very good. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill and it is a step above the dining room in service and food quality. We also ate at Tamarind one evening and the service and food were outstanding. Uri and Komang were an absolute riot and we thoroughly enjoyed Tamarinds. We ate in the Lido for one of the evening meals and the food was on par with the main dining room. The Lido tended to get crowded on the sea days at lunchtime but we were always able to get a table for 4. The food was hot and good. Breakfast also tended to be crowded but if you went early for breakfast (DM and Aunt) it was too bad. Something we noted is that if you went to the side opposite the dock, there were not as many people on that side and the lines were shorter. e had pizza one day at Slice and it was a very good thin crust with a variety of toppings besides the pepperoni and cheese. Judging from the number of folks trying to eat their way through the cruise. Particularly noteworthy on the Lido was the freshness and quality of the fruits available.
ENTERTAINMENT: I usually don't take in too many shows but with DM and Aunt, I went to the 10 pm show almost every night and they were quite good compared to other cruises we've taken. Although not Broadway or Vegas, the cast put their all into the show and it was obvious in their performances. The acrobat show was superb. One evening it was a string instrument performer, he was definitely good at playing multiple stringed instruments but his comedy act needed some polishing. Overall the entertainment was very good.
CASINO: Super staff, tight slots. Although DW won the slot tournament($500) and I got 2nd place ($200), we saw few folks hitting the jackpots. We played 3-card Poker and both DW and I did pretty good. We came away with money as well as we saw several folks hit the jackpot hands. Everytime we played, someone at the table hit the big hands to include ourselves. Although we didn't win every night, we won often enough to keep going back. The pit bosses and dealers are a great bunch of folks that made our time in the casino fun. BARS: Great drink and relatively reasonable drink prices. The Piano Bar seemed to be the hot spot for the entire cruise. Folks were hooting and hollering to the wee hours of the morning. You could hear them having a great time over the casino noise. They had other shows in the Queen's Lounge but we didn't go to any of them so I can't comment on them. They had a nice string quartet in one of the bars but I can't remember the name of the bar.
MEET and GREET: The DW setup the Meet and Greet, 26 of 28 folks showed. Peter (the hotel manager) came up to the Crow's Nest but everybody was having a great time chatting I don't think he even had a chance to talk to anyone other than the DW and a couple of the CC members one on one. The ship provided Mimosas, chocolated-dipped strawberries, and hors d'oeuvres (SP?).
ONE THING OUT of HAL's CONTROL: Rude passengers! I understand the comments about HAL being an older crowd. When you looked over the crowd in the shows, it was a sea of white and gray. I think we had a good mix of age groups but the majority were older (late 60's and 70's crowd). I think they left their manners at home. They cut you off in lines or walking in the halls without so much as an excuse me or even feigning an apology. God forbid if they had a power cart! It was sad to see the rudeness and blatant disregard for others. My DM would have put a foot in my keester if I ever acted the way some these folks behaved. It was probably the most disappointing thing on the entire cruise but que sera, sera, we had a great cruise despite it all. OVERALL IMPRESSION: Outstanding crew, wonderful ship, and great food. Eurodam is definitely a winner and worthy of a second or third cruise.