You get what you pay for ... sometimes!: Eurodam Cruise Review by ragstoriches

Eurodam 1
Member Since 2009

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You get what you pay for ... sometimes!

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen
It had been many years since I'd sailed (always with Cunard) and I was truly excited to experience a new ship and new ports.  Obviously, either cruising has changed drastically or I picked the wrong cruise line.  I was not prepared for very cramped cabin (a friend traveled as well) with little closet space and "secret" drawers under bed and settee (had to store luggage under the beds).  Had we not had a verandah, the cabin would have been unbearable.  Note to HAL, blackout curtains for white nights are much needed.   Nor was I prepared for fellow passengers who seemed to think formal nights included golf shirts or culottes.  The food in any dining area was average at best but be advised, it's worth it to pay the extra $'s to dine in one of the "premium" venues rather than be seated at a huge table with people you probably don't want to know in the Rembrandt dining room.  That's the only way you'll get a table for two unless you More want to eat dinner at 5:00 p.m.  The nicest people on board were the stewards, waitstaff and general laborers although one suspects they knew little more English than the rudimentary "good day" or "good night".  I found towel animals, with paper eyes, on my bed at night just a little creepy.  Beware of wording in brochures.  Yes, wi-fi is available but the service is lousy and you'll pay through the nose even if you have your own laptop.  Need a bottle of water before going ashore ... sign here and it'll be charged to your cabin.  DVD's are available ... at a price.  Another word of warning; stay well clear of "bigger" people at buffets.  They will flat run you over to get to all that food!  The most entertainment I witnessed was a line dancing class by the aft pool which was so sad that it was hysterical.  Shore excursions were terribly overpriced for what one got. 

Thankfully, as we were continuing on to London from disembarkation in Dover, I had privately arranged a car/driver to show us Dover, Canterbury, Leeds and other sights along the way before taking us on into London.  That was a mere $430 compared to what I could have arranged via the ship in the neighborhood of $1000.  Need I say, if you want a tour of any kind, arrange it with a reputable company elsewhere.  You'll get more bang for your buck and not be stuck with 40 other people who can't keep up or are constantly complaining.  In retrospect, this wasn't an "expensive" cruise and I suppose we got what we paid for, but there was no ambience or charm involved anywhere.  In fact, the main desk seemed clueless when it came to most things and often acted as if they were doing you a favor to listen to your questions while most answers were totally ambiguous at best .  Everyone was more interested in signing you up for another cruise in the future.   In most cases, one felt like cattle being herded along and it wasn't pretty.  Additionally, what was up with repaneling the "wood veneers" along the hallways for two days (on our cabin level at least) on an almost brand new ship?  Work started at 7:00 a.m. and continued all day long - very noisy and difficult to climb over!  I'll be reading far more recommendations before my next cruise! Less

Published 07/16/09

Cabin review: VD Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

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Port and Shore Excursions

Face it - the only reason to go to Amsterdam is to see the red light district and perhaps sample the wares at a "coffee house". And that's all it's good for. The city is exceptionally filthy and crowded. You can take a canal tour (easy walk from ocean terminal) but all you'll see is bottles and other trash floating along. Skip this unless you really want to buy and smoke pot legally!

A delightful city. Again, find yourself a decent map! Head to the Nyhavn and find a cafe serving smorrebrod (the shrimp is terrific in this local open faced sandwich). Take a barge ride along the canals to get a feel of the area and the palaces are lovely. If you get the chance to be there at night, get to Tivoli Gardens! No need to be worried about getting around on your own ... you can walk, take taxis or even venture the metro (the people are quite nice and helpful!).

A forgetable experience in all respects. Oslo, Kiel and Stockholm were all better places to visit.

Read 546 Helsinki Reviews

Several passengers really enjoyed an excursion in the more immediate area of Warnemunde. We chose to take a tour of Berlin's Top Ten sights. Bad mistake. Very expensive, didn't get to go inside any buildings. Basically it was a 3 hour train ride on an old train to Berlin, driving around on a bus all day long save for a few stops to take pictures, a totally inedible meal at some buffet in Berlin, more bus, and then another old train back. A very long day (14 hours or so) with not much to show for it but a short fuse. Be very aware, you'll need Euro's to use any public bathrooms (a fact that wasn't explained earlier). Also, if you feel like the Allied Forces were in "the right", your tour guide might rub you the wrong way. All in all, we found the city a hodgepodge of not too attractive architecture - but all very meaningful according to our guide. Surely for $249/person, one could round up a few other people and actually experience the city more fully through another tour company.

If you love history and amazing architecture, this is the place. Unfortunately, the best way to do it is via shore excursions which weren't bad but there will always be the folks that get lost in the Hermitage or the Peterhof Palace (or anywhere else for that matter!)that slow everyone down. Still, the city is quite clean and seems to reflect a certain amount of pride the Russians have. Some historical facts the guides refer to are odd (i.e., when the Czar and his family died - as if they caught the flu) but they speak English well and/or try hard. Church of the Spilled Blood shouldn't be missed (inside or out!). An evening at the Yusopov Palace is a bit hokey but interesting nonetheless if you have any knowledge of Russian history. Don't do your souvenir shopping where the bus lets you off (except for the market across from Church of Spilled Blood where you can bargain). Anything you want is cheaper and just the same quality in the ocean terminal.

Cute little medieval type village but don't exchange too much money there as no one is willing to buy it back anywhere and there isn't a lot to spend it on anyway! Only a few sights really worth seeing (Toompea Castle/Alexander Nevsky Cathedral) and hoofing it is the best way. As with other ports we visited, spend money on a guide to European Ports of Call as their maps are far better than those provided by HAL.

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Member Since 2009
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