Mrs. Tbugs and I were not even planning to take a cruise on Feb. 6 but when I woke up and turned on the 7 am news and saw the huge blizzard that smacked into Washington, DC, I thought that lots of people cruising on that day would be stuck at home. I called Holland-America at 9 am and asked if they had cabins available at cut-rate prices for the Eurodam that same afternoon. They did! By 10:30 am, we were packed and on the road to Fort Lauderdale. That is a great advantage of living in Florida. Covered dockside parking is available directly across the street from the ship at $15 per day.
Embarkation was a breeze and we were escorted to our veranda stateroom. It is the standard size around 195 square feet. The bathroom has a tub with shower. The cabin has a small flatscreen television but who comes on a cruise ship to watch television?
The ship is beautiful. Lots of artwork everywhere. The ship was kept very clean by the crew.
Okay, let's get down to important things: FOOD!! The food was very good. The beef choices in all the restaurants was excellent. I had filet mignon at The Pinnacle, beef tenderloin at The Tamarind, and sirloin steak in The Rembrandt (main dining room). All were absolutely great. The lobster tail in The Rembrandt on the 2nd formal night was succulent and sweet. I had duck one time at The Tamarind and that was wonderful. The salads and soups could be improved upon but that is minor. Desserts were excellent, too. I recommend the Boston Cream Pie and the Napoleon.
Service at the Rembrandt Room was poor one night due to unassigned seating. The other two times we dined at The Rembrandt we had assigned seating and the service was excellent. The Tamarind and The Pinnacle pride themselves on service as well as food and it is well deserved.
The cabin steward left towel animals on the bed each night along with fresh towels, chocolates, and plenty of ice. He was there when we were not and got things cleaned and straightened without being in your way at all. The steward would always greet us by name when seeing us in the hallway.
Drinks were always available. Most ran about $5.75 plus 15% tip. Some were a bit more and some were less. There were always two bars that had 2 for 1 drinks from 5 until 6.
One of the games played on the ship was Team Trivia. Our 5 person team won 4 out of 7 games and tied for 2. We kind of cleaned up with the prizes of luggage tags, hats, tee shirts, and sweatshirts. Great time with these guys - Armand, Pat, and Paul.
One of the negatives about the Eurodam is the heavy amount of cigarette smoke in the hallways, public areas, and casino. I walked past one of the large suites when leaving and the cigarette smoke from that suite would have been overpowering for the next guest - in my opinion. As you can tell, I am not a smoker.
Entertainment aboard the Eurodam was top-notch. The magician was just plain magical! He made a live poodle appear from thin air. The comedian, Elliot Max, was probably the funniest clean comic I have seen. The Irish guitar and fiddle player (Wildfire) was good. The fiddle player, Clair, is gorgeous and has the energy of the Energizer Bunny. The singers and dancers were also very good. Nothing special to their shows but pretty good talent.
There were a few minor slip-ups on the part of the ship but nothing at all to distract from an excellent vacation. My souffle at the Pinnacle came to the table and was chocolate and not vanilla. The server apologized profusely and the manager sent over champagne as his apology. I told them that the wrong flavor of a souffle was not worth apologizing for and certainly would not be a blemish on the wonderful vacation.
Half Moon Cay is the private island and is beautiful. I understand only about 50% of the time the ships come, can guest go on the island due to choppy water for the tenders. The water is just too beautiful to describe. The island barbecue had very good food and the island is kept quite clean. The tender service could be improved upon but it is not easy to shuttle 2000 people to an island.
During the departure from Half Moon Cay, something went wrong with the anchor which delayed arrival into Fort Lauderdale for about 4 hours. It did not bother us, since we drove, but lots of passengers had to re-book flights. The passengers who used Holland-America to book flights had no problems but others were given free time on the telephones and Internet to make arrangements. Holland America and the front desk staff of the Eurodam deserve applause for the trouble-shooting they performed at that time.
I usually cruise on Celebrity ships but this trip on the Eurodam was very nice and I would recommend them to anyone.