My wife and I had cruised with Princess three times and wanted a change. The Eurodam cruise over Christmas fit our needs and we booked with a local travel agent. I made separate arrangements for our flights to FLL and for a hotel the night before embarkation. Port Everglades had six cruise ships leaving the same day so I am glad I made hotel and flight reservations early.
Check-in at Port Everglades was smooth and quick. So much better a facility than the Princess facility in Seattle ( but not as nice as the one in Barcelona). We boarded and were directed to the Lido for a buffet lunch. I had an excellent salad and grilled sandwich with chips. And yes, the sandwich was hot, no complaints.
Our stateroom on the 5th deck was ideal and so very clean. HAL knows how to run a tight ship. The verandah was especially nice. The tub was clean and the hot and cold water controls were easy to use.
The ship is beautiful and not gaudy or garish. It felt like a comfortable private club.
Food: Breakfast and lunch in the Lido was more than adequate: freshly-squeezed orange juice each morning, eggs Benedict prepared in five or six varieties, delicious muffins, bacon, sausage and, my special favorite, smoked salmon (lox) each morning with onions, tomatoes, cream cheese and even capers. Lunch was usually a salad and sandwich although there were hot entrees available every day.
We ate dinner in the Lido, the Raphael dining room and the Pinnacle "special" restaurant. The meals were excellent and the steak in the Pinnacle was outstanding, and big! My wife indicates that the Caesar salad in the Pinnacle (prepared table-side) was the best she had ever had.
There was a small glitch in the reservations for the Pinnacle; we reserved for Christmas Eve and they mistakenly entered it as Christmas Day. They found a table for us when we arrived Christmas Eve (formal night), however and it was a wonderful experience.
My only complaint is that the wine stewards constantly are asking whether we wanted a drink. We do not drink and it gets tiresome to tell the stewards repeatedly that all we want is a Coke or water.
Entertainment: The musical reviews were pretty good, although my wife was somewhat more critical. We did not stay for the magician but instead chose to watch three movies in the screening room. What a delightful spot and they even have popcorn. We especially enjoyed the Christmas Eve program with singing by the Philippine and Indonesian crew. Seeing about twenty chefs in a row with their white hats was truly special.
Disembarkation was smooth and orderly. I highly recommend the express luggage program. They picked up my luggage the night before we disembarked and I next saw it on the carousel at my destination airport.
My highest complements go to the master of the ship , Captain Jonathan Mercer. He truly cares about his ship, his crew and the passengers.
We have cruised three times before with Princess and I may cruise with them again. However, if it is a choice between Princess and Holland America, I will sail with the Dutch.