Eurodam Cruise Review by JL: Somewhat of a disappointment
Overall Member Rating
Somewhat of a disappointment
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I am a first time HAL cruiser. I've previously cruised on Princess and MSC. Eurodam is a relatively new ship. I've booked a balcony cabin on deck 5 Veranda. Cabin was roomy, clean, and well appointed. It's roomier than other ships that I've cruised. The bathtub is a nice addition and my 7 year old used it often.
The food quality was not as I expected. The presentation was very good. But there was always something missing in the execution and the taste. For example the consistency of gumbo soup was too watery, like chicken noodle soup. Lamb chop would have been excellent except they were overcooked to almost well done. Lobster was cooked okay, but was not too fresh as it was darkening on the edge of the meat. I've also dined at Tamarind specialty restaurant, and it's the same experience. Good presentation, but poor execution. The chicken satay was overcooked and too dry. The szechuan shrimp would have been excellent, but there was too much batter. Batter was undercooked as More well as the shrimps. The beef filet ordered on the last night was done very well, medium rare as ordered, and the quality of the meat was excellent. Wine stewards in the main dining room was MIA. They never showed up until repeatedly asked for them, and not until the appetizer was already served.
The dining room always looked busy and understaffed. The servers were scuffling around, but the food was never on time. I had As You Wish Dining option. I dined at Rembrandt main dining room four times, and placed in four different corners with different wait staff. The first wait staff was very good. They were courteous, attentive, and provided the classic dining room experience. The other three staff members were indifferent, clueless, and just terrible. And I've never seen Maitre'D in the dining room. In other cruises Maitre'D is often seen going from table to table greeting diners and making acquaintance. But I've never seen him in any dining rooms during the week.
Eurodam is a large ship, and it has about a dozen public areas, or lounges. Somehow about 1/2 of the public areas were not staffed until after 5pm or so, and they were vacant. On the other hand the casino was always crowded 24/7. The pool was overcrowded. There are about 100 lounge chairs on Lido pool. About 1/3 of the chairs were empty, but someone put a book on it to "reserve" the chair.
The overall theme in the ship was too much subdued. My cruise was the Christmas week, but the ship was just dead. I've expected some holiday spirit, music, and entertainment, but there was just nothing. One day around 8:30pm after dinner I've walked through the entire ship. There wasn't single live music playing, or entertainment offered.
The kids activity was so so. Three of the Club HAL staff were well mannered, nice, courteous, and good to the kids. But there was this one girl, obviously out of place, rude and ill mannered with gum chewing like a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.
The printed daily schedule delivered every day was not very organized. It was just hard to read and to figure out what's going on throughout the day. Both Princess and MSC had all the activities organized in a time table so you know exactly what's going on where with one glance.
To summarize, I would give this cruise a B-. There wasn't a single epic failure, but there were enough of those small annoyance and disappointments that affected overall experience in a negative way. I will probably not select HAL for the next cruise. Less
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