The new Holland America (HAL) Eurodam ship is fabulous! This was my second cruise, the first one being with Carnival. Funny thing, the cruise with Carnival was more expensive than HAL and no where near the quality.
You can do as much or as little on board as you want. There is a full day of activities, from culinary workshops, to technology, karaoke, shows, and more. We brought a number of books, which never got cracked as there were too many interesting things to do on board. The cruise director, Jason, is fantastic and funny. We also had one of the worlds top magicians, James Cielen. He is not to be missed!
The food was remarkable, esp the Tamarind Restaurant for fine asian cuisine served in a romantic setting. The Lido restaurant and Rembrandt Dining room were wonderful, with a great selection of food every day. The Rembrandt had a special menu every night, always a four course menu including great fish, seafood, beef pork and chicken.
The staff were especially friendly and helpful. One of our dining room staff, Rio, was tremendous, had a great sense of humor and was very efficient. We also had a great server in the Tamarind, Gemelia. The cabin crew kept our room immaculate, fresh towels, robes and towel animals on the bed!
The ports of call were great, we actually worked in St. Thomas and San Juan (being US territories), so it worked out to be a very inexpensive business trip as well. We liked San Juan, but found the town on St.Thomas (Charlotte Amalie)to be dirty (this is where the ship docked). We stopped in Grand Turk, which was beautiful (nice beach and aqua water).
The most beautiful stop was Half Moon Cay Bahamas. This is private island for Carnival, Holland America, etc. They had large 300 people tenders that get you back and forth to the island quickly. The Beach was huge with a very fine white sand - the water was clear, cool and a bright aquamarine color. There was a complimentary barbecue on the beach, and lots of beach chaise lounges for everyone. HAL has beautified this beach island - the stop here was worth the whole cruise indeed.
Lots of great shopping on board, and the spa is also worth a visit. Once you are on the cruise, you should book a treatment or massage at least once.
Only one negative, there is smoking in the casino and piano bar, which made it off limits for us. It did not ruin our trip, as we don't gamble. In our guest survey they did ask specific questions about the smoking, and it appears HAL may be considering a change in policy on smoking. If they were smoke free, there could not be a better trip!
We will be going back on this cruise line!