My husband and I have gone on 4 cruises in the last 2 1/2 years. This was our first on Holland America. (The other 3 were Royal Caribbean.)
The Eurodam was lovely. Decoration not as glitzy as other ships, more quiet elegance. (Except for a rather eccentric chandelier that extended for at least two stories that looked like something from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. We enjoyed chuckling over it.)
Our stateroom, which had obtained at a reduced rate, was well-decorated and clean, much bigger than in past experience. Separate bathtub and shower and a large balcony with seating for 4. Our steward made sure that we had plenty of towels, replenished several times a day. We avoided using the wildly overpriced items in our refrigerator, but in order to get fresh drinking water, we had to buy quart bottles at $2.95 each. (We also made use of the melted ice in our ice bucket, which was presumably potable.)There wasn't any program to buy bottled water in advance as we had on RC. Disappointing.
Without exception, the entire staff was unfailingly courteous, helpful and cheerful. (The only rudeness we observed was among some passengers who were squabbling over deck chairs!) The food was much better than any we'd experienced on our other cruises, even the food on the buffet line, which was constantly fresh and replenished. (One exception: the burgers served on the deck were leathery and overcooked. French fries were great, though.)The dining room served exceptional food. We chose "free-style" dining, which seemed to put the staff in a timing bind. When our time was up, a young man in a red uniform went around with a little xylophone, playing gentle notes, indicating it was time to leave.
The entertainment was on a smaller scale than on the other cruises, but professional and well-done, nonetheless. (No live orchestra, but sometimes a 3 or 4-piece combo.) The cruise director was very likable and seemed to really relish interaction with the passengers. Shows were a little more family-friendly, with less bumping and grinding. The costumes and dancing were dazzling. There was a wonderful magician, James Cielan, who gave two shows and charmed everyone with his personality as well as his tricks.
We enjoyed the ventriloquist very much, but the stand-up comedian was crude and kept inviting his audience to complain to the management about his content. Clearly, he felt this venue was beneath him.
No climbing wall, no surfing mechanism, just standard cruise issue pools, spas and jacuzzis. It was quite relaxing, really. (Ironically, we had to avoid too much sun, but there were many places to enjoy the shade, too.)
I had some annoying cold symptoms while on the cruise, and went to the medical clinic on board. It was a little bit tricky to find, and the doctor kept rather short office hours, but I was seen quickly and issued a very effective antibiotic. The visit cost $100. (We'll see if insurance covers any of this.)
We really enjoyed Half Moon Cay, the company-leased beach property. It was beautiful, pristine, and again the food service offered there was outstanding.
The majority of passengers were over 50, with very few children. Some folks were downright feeble. There was a lot of joking about the advanced age of the passengers, but it came across as a teensy bit disrespectful of the customers, in my personal opinion.
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on Holland America, and we'd go on another HAL cruise in a heartbeat.
(Here's a tip: don't try to take the lovely fruit offered at the buffet home--off the ship--with you. It's illegal and can get you a $300 fine. Fortunately, on his last sweep of our room, our steward cleared out the couple of oranges I was about to take with me. I was annoyed at first, but later realized he was doing us a favor.)