Just got back from a week on the Eurodam to the Eastern Caribbean. What a great week!
A little background info: It was just my wife and I traveling together, both in our upper 20's. This was our first cruise with HAL so we were excited to try it out. We have previously sailed on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess. We had read a lot about the "demographics" on HAL but weren't worried as we are not late night partiers and go on cruises to relax and indulge not to stay up all night and party. We have enjoyed all of our cruises and are not "married" to one line. We like to try different cruise lines and we mainly cruise for the itinerary not the ship.
Flew out the day before on a relatively "on time" flight. Stayed at the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport North hotel. Very nice hotel with free shuttle from the airport and then free shuttle the following morning to the port. Very close to each, and an Outback Steakhouse that we walked about a block to and ate supper at. Included is a continental breakfast but unfortunately we slept a little late for that...oops. Went out front and caught the shuttle to the port about 11:45 or so.
Embarkation: We were in a suite so when we arrived to the port they sent us to a special area to check in and get our ship ID cards. After that we went upstairs and waited in line with everyone else. Our last cruise on the Dawn we were in a suite and were personally escorted by our butler to our room (nice touch). Took a good 30 minutes to follow the line onto the ship - I think their computers were having problems.
What a beautiful ship! We love contemporary and that's what this ship is all about! Very modern with darker color schemes and silvers. No flashy colors and gaudy golds. We started our cruising by going to the zoo - or lido as some call it :) Crazy as usual for the first day, but good food. Like clockwork as I read on here, at 1:30 the call was made that the rooms were ready so we headed to ours.
Stateroom: We were in stateroom SB 7132. It is the aft corner suite, port side. WOW! Best room we have ever had! And the balcony...I had read on here those that had previous aft corners would not like this "small" balcony on the Eurodam. Well let me tell you, if you haven't had one, you will LOVE this one! By stepping it off, it was about 50 feet from one end, around the corner to the other end. We had a dining table with 4 chairs, two arm chairs with ottomans, and three lounge chairs on our balcony. Not even the least bit crowded with all that furniture. We almost feel like we wasted the balcony as there was so much of it. Back to the room...so much storage everywhere. Cabinets, drawers, and closets everywhere. We were only on for a 7 day cruise, but didn't even fill a third of them. The room was perfect with plenty of room everywhere. Had double sinks, tub with shower, separate shower, and a separate vanity area that my wife loved. Quiet room, quiet balcony, perfect. WiFi was good in the room and on the balcony.
Dining The dining on the ship overall was excellent. Of course there were a few meals here and there that needed attention, but overall very good. The main dining room for us seemed to lack more than anywhere else. Service was very slow one night, and food was nearly always lukewarm, and never hot. The lido was the best buffet we have ever had on a cruise. The food was fresh, hot, and a good variety. This is excluding the eggs for breakfast which need attention. We ate at the Tamirand one night and it was outstanding. Service was top notch and food was perfect. We also ate at Pinnacle Grill one night and again service and food were great. We only had room service once and that was for breakfast...it was as room service can be expected. Ate at the Terrace grill a couple of times. VERY slow, but good food.
Port Reviews - Separate area below I guess?
Service Overall the service was excellent. Again, a few duds here and there but nothing major. Our room steward Budhi was outstanding. Most everyone always said hello and seemed like they enjoyed their job. It was nice not to be hassled to buy pulltabs, drinks, bingo cards, etc. etc. etc. every 15 minutes. Much more laid back, sophisticated atmosphere than other cruise lines. Nancy was our CD and seemed to do her job well. Again, nice not to have announcements all day, every day.
Entertainment We went to all of the evening shows except one by the Eurodam Singers and Dancers. There was a stunt comedian and a stand-up comedian. Both were excellent. The singers and dancers were alright, nothing to wow you. Definitely have seen much better production shows on other lines, but we don't cruise for production shows either. Casino was entertaining...and costly. Didn't visit the bars much. We had read that the HAL ships are dead after 10:30 or 11 but didn't seem to be the case on the Eurodam. Lots going on later at night, and lots of people out. Bingo was entertaining also...actually won a game!! Nice that it doesn't cost you upwards of $100 to have a chance like on NCL. We were never bored and there was always something going on around the ship. We did go to one of the cooking shows at the culinary arts center. I hope no one really went to learn anything cause I'm not sure they knew what they were doing...but it was entertaining and funny to watch.
Neptune Lounge Included with our suite was access to the Neptune Lounge. Unfortunately I don't think we utilized this as much as we could have. It seemed like a long like from the back corner of the ship. We did pop in for snacks and drinks, and booked our reservations through the concierge.
Half Moon Cay - Oh what a beautiful place on earth! The best beach we
have ever been to, hands down. We rented a cabana - eggshell - and
spent the day doing nothing but relaxing and snorkeling. Found some
sand dollars and a starfish but that's about it. The cabana through HAL
was $299 for the day. A hefty price tag, and not sure I would go for it
again. It was a great experience, but seemed a little over priced. We
only got 1 can of soda each and a couple bottles of water. Then we had
chips and salsa, fruit plate, and vegetables delivered as well. At
about 1-1:30 the staff seemed to want to rush us out. By 1:30 they had
taken all the plates and glasses and all the snacks away in order to
"clean up". At 2:00 they were changing beside our cabana and swimming
in the ocean. :( Just a side note, the gift shop there is closed by
2:30. Beautiful island, and well taken care of...would go back any day,
Disembarkation One word. Chaos! Didn't block off stairways, didn't shut down elevators. We were able to disembark any time from 7-10, so we ate a leisurely breakfast and tried to leave around 9:15. Got off the ship about 9:50. Again, on NCL our concierge escorted us off the ship. HAL needs to take a few pointers from NCL for their suite perks. But we did get through the grumbling crowd and made our way to the airport for our flight home.
Overall it was an excellent cruise. Would we cruise on the Eurodam again? Absolutely!