We decided to take this cruise because we had never been to northern Europe and wanted to see St. Petersburg. The HAL cruise seemed to best fit our schedule as well as the embarkation port. In general the Eurodam met most of our expectations. The food was consistently good though the dining room was always overcrowded. Seems like they crammed as many tables as possible into the room so we were constantly struggling to get out of our seats without hitting the folks behind us. The servers had the same issue so many times we had to pass the food around ourselves. It also seemed as if they had too many tables for each team of servers since many evenings we had to wait for our orders to be taken and received. Room service was always prompt and full-service. The tour director, Ian, was very knowledgeable and gave lots of interesting information on each port we entered. Unfortunately several times the sound system did not work and there were periods of dead silence in the Crows Nest area where we were as we sailed into or out of port. There were many activities though it was very disappointing to find no bridge director on board. Bridge games were scheduled but with no director it was a very hit and miss affair. The Internet access was good for a cruise ship with many available stations. The only problem was the staff coverage of the area. On at least 2 occasions the system wasn't working, either access or printing and no one knew how to fix it. This seemed to happen mostly when we were in port and the Internet guru was off. Hard to believe in a ship this size only one person knew anything about computers. Happy hour in the Crows Nest was always great though with so many people there most of the time there were again not enough servers to enable one to get drinks in any kind of timely fashion. The entertainment in the Crows Nest, guitarist, was excellent. The ship evening shows were ok - nothing spectacular and pretty typical of most cruise ships entertainment that we've experienced. The ships decor was pretty plain - no grand atrium or razzle dazzle like on other ships we've been on.
The main problem we had with HAL was the completely erroneous information given prior to the cruise, and during the cruise, regarding touring in St. Petersburg. The ship emphasized in a letter and on all daily newsletters that you had to take the ship tours in St.Petersburg or you could not embark without going through a pretty lengthy and complicated process to get a Russian visa. Thank goodness we had read reviews on cruise critic and knew this to be false. We booked tours through DenRus tours and had no problems whatsoever. They provided the same blanket visa provided by the ship tour. We walked right off the ship and they were waiting for us. Each tour only had about 10 people so we had very nice service at less cost than the ship tour. Lunches were included at nice Russian restaurants. We were told by other cruisers who went on the ship tours that lunch was on their own and they were taken to a local MacDonald's. Hard to believe.
Most of the ports were good though we did not take advantage of the Berlin tour as Warnemunde was quite a distance from the city and we did not want all that train or bus travel.
A positive for the Eurodam was there did not seem to be as much annoying attention to buy drinks as on other ships we've been on. We were usually asked once and then left alone. The spa was about average, definitely some pressure to buy products here. The gym was spacious and very well-equipped.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise as the ports were interesting, service was generally good, library was excellent, food was consistently good. We were disappointed in the accuracy of statements made by the cruise line as well as the other areas mentioned above.