Should have noticed the first red flag when the embarkation was complete chaos. We arrived at the stated boarding time, but the main entrance was still blocked. The man at the door looked at our express papers and told us to go to the side and enter through the employee entrance. We waited in that line for 15 minutes before someone came out and told us all to go back to the main entrance. The doors still had not been opened, but now we were way in the back.
The food, which is extremely important to us, was average at best. Some items were good, but most only o.k., and some were not worth eating. The best was the carrot soup which was one of the better soups I have eaten. The meats, especially the steaks/filets, were far below average. We paid for a lunch at the Pinnacle Grill and could not even eat it! Total surprise as it is supposed to be a great specialty restaurant. And as stated by other reviews, the Tamarind provided our best meal and was worth the extra charge.
The service is equally important to us, and this is where IMHO Holland is lacking. Although we had a few crew members that presented a smile and offered good service, most seemed to only provide the minimum. It was most evident at Breakfast and Lunch. From 6 mornings at the main dining room for breakfast, we received good service ONLY ONE morning! One morning we sat fifteen minutes before anyone came to our table. Upon our order, we waited another ten minutes just to get our drinks. I asked for pastries, and after waiting another five minutes I got up and got my own. My guess is the staff is overworked and do not have enough personnel, but whatever the reason, the feeling of not being welcome on the ship is the main reason we will never sail Holland again.
We missed the Grand Turk stop due to high winds. Hated this as it is one of our favorite ports. I had a beef with Holland here as well. The captain performed the "needed maintenance testing" while supposedly waiting for the weather to calm. He knew the weather forecast and knew the wind was not going to get better. My point is he could have left after waiting and hour or so and our arrival time at San Juan could have been moved up four or five hours so we could spend extra time in that port since we ended up with an extra sea day due to missing the Turks. Further, knowing the forecast and the high probability of missing the Turks, why not port in another location instead? The captain said these tests had to be completed before the dry docking in April. Shouldn't these test be performed on their time, with no one on board? To me this just further solidified that Holland was not doing all they could to make this MY vacation. The San Juan stop was o.k. and we did something different by taking a taxi to the American Mall. Very nice mall and we enjoyed the Christmas decorations. The stop in St. Thomas was nice and we shopped in the downtown area. Nice leaving late in the evening and enjoying the sunset upon departing St. Thomas. The last stop at the private island of Half Moon Cay was also a disappointment. The beach area to us was not as beautiful as Labadee or Coco Cay, and the bbq lunch was a disaster. Never been involved with such a faulted system. We waited in line for over ten minutes to get a drink, then had to wait in another area for fifteen minutes for food that was again average at best.
The entertainment on board was perhaps the worst of any cruise so far. I have seen better performances at high school musicals, no joke!
Upon reading this review you may think we are just overcritical, but trust me this is not the case. We have been on enough cruises to know acceptable standards, and the Eurodam did not meet them.
All in all we are glad we took this cruise because it makes us appreciate RC and Celebrity that much more.