Eurodam -- Great Ship, Great Cruise Line: Eurodam Cruise Review by flag fan
Overall Member Rating
Eurodam -- Great Ship, Great Cruise Line
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
The Eurodam is a beautiful ship. The decor was understated elegance, with beautiful art throughout. It was spotless and the brass sparkled. Being Holland America's newest ship, this is perhaps not surprising. The Lido deck was a little crowded with loungers, tables and chairs, a bar, a food stand, and cabanas all taking up space. Much more space is available at the pool at the back of the ship, which is reserved for adults.
Holland America has (or had) a reputation of catering to older passengers. That was not the case on this sailing. There was a wider range of ages of passengers than I have seen on other ships. Retirees probably were the largest group (but that has been the case on other ships I have been on) but there were large numbers of passengers in every age group, including young adults (20s-30s). Children were present, but did not see a lot of More them--they may have been in Club HAL or just not that many because it was school time.
The cabin (I was in a standard verandah) was also nicely furnished with a table that raised an lowered, a love seat, chair, and desk stool (which opened for storage) and very comfortable bed. The flat-screen tv came with a DVD player--a very nice touch that is only available on suites on other lines. (Also the aspect ratio is adjustable to match whether the picture is wide-screen or not.) The highlight, though, was the bathroom; it came with a bathtub (another feature found only with suites on other lines) and a shower nozzle that was removable. A lot of space. The cabin gets an A+.
Service was excellent. My cabin was always cleaned promptly and well. And there were towel animals every night--a little treat that I had not had on any other line and did not think was necessary, but turned out to be a pleasant little extra. Waiters were prompt (some of the fastest service I have had) and bartenders were quick. Everyone was uniformly pleasant and helpful.
There were plenty of activities to keep passengers busy on the sea days--in addition to the usual: bingo, trivia contests, games, there were interesting lectures and a culinary center that had cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and cooking classes.
There were plenty of dining options and I tried most of them. I had regular late seating in the main dining room (Rembrandt Dining Room) and found the food excellent--there were plenty of choices and the food was uniformly good. Special restaurants were the Pinnacle Grill--extra cost, but excellent steak. There was a little tableside show with the steak Diane I ordered being set on fire; the Tamarind--also extra cost but well worth the price, a special atmosphere, outstanding food (probably the best on board), and impeccable service (a must-do for anyone on this ship); and Canalleto--a no-cost Italian dining room which is set up at night from part of the Lido buffet--it was actually my favorite meal on board, perhaps I'm Italian-American and love pasta--it really was excellent. The Lido buffet was a great place to eat lunch. Perhaps I was lucky, but I never had a problem finding a table and the lines I was in moved quickly. There were lots of choices--sandwiches, salads, pasta (the lasagna was excellent!), tacos (ask for the taco shells, there are chips and toppings out, but you have to ask for the shells and the meat stuffings), and an "International" option each day--usually Asian. All the food was, again, excellent. Although water and tea are available for picking up yourself, other beverages are provided by roving waiters--for me there was always a very short wait before one would come around. Napkins and utensils are at each table, so you need to carry only your dish and water/tea. There are no trays, which I thought I would miss, but it was no problem. Every night at about 11:00pm there is also a late night food in the Lido, which changes every night. In addition there is pizza available near one of the pools, a grill (hamburgers/hot dogs) near another pool, and ice cream as part of the Lido restaurant. If you can't find something you want, you're just not looking.
Another nice touch was that although you have to pay for all drinks, you don't need to sign anything. They take your cabin card to charge you and they just give it back. I heard that you only have to sign if a charge is over $27. Tips are automatically included. It makes paying for things quick and easy.
Entertainment was excellent. The singers were top quality and the songs (at least for one of the production shows) covered a wide range, newer hits as well as the usual 50's and 60's pop hits, and even a classical thrown in (the other show focused on 50's hits). There was also variety, with a comedian one night, a magician another night, and a music group another. (I only went to the production shows, though, so can't comment on the quality of the other acts.) The ship musicians that provided music at the Lido pool and at different venues was Marisha & the HALcats; they were excellent, Marisha was a great singer and showman (showwoman?) and the HALcat musicians, who played during the production shows, were extraordinary. Another ship group--the Adagio Strings--provided light classical music at various lounges; they were also excellent and a nice change from the pop/rock music. The Piano Bar also had a fun piano player; it was always lively in there with people enjoying themselves.
The casino is relatively small, but they have a number of different tables, including several for blackjack, a poker table, and some others, including a roulette table.
The Eurodam has cabanas for rent on board, some on the pool deck and some in a retreat area. I rented a retreat cabana one day and found it a great place to relax. There is fruit and water provided (and champagne for sailaway). Very pleasant. I would particularly recommend it for someone who has an inside cabin and wants to have at least one day with their own "verandah".
On this itinerary, there was only one port that required a tender--for Half Moon Cay. This was handled very well, with enormous tenders coming from shore so disembarkation was quick and easy. Getting on an off the ship was easy. Disembarkation was very well done. Unlike other lines, they do serve breakfast on disembarkation day (although I didn't have any). You are given a time to get off and can wait in your cabin until then; much better than everyone crowding around a few lounges.
Overall, this was an excellent Less
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