Firstly, my wife and I, plus our son, our daughter and our Grandson all managed to sail together for the first time logistically this had not happened in the past. We boarded the Eurodam on Christmas Eve in Ft.Lauderdale, from the seamless check in, to the cabins all waiting for us this was what we wanted to start our vacation.
To have an eight year old on board on Christmas Eve waiting and wanting to know how Santa would find him while at sea was something to be seen and heard. We chilled for a couple of hours on the Lido deck before taking an evening dinner in the MDR, knowing fully well that a certain person wanted to get back to his cabin to place the cookies and a drink out for Santa. To see a child's face light up on Christmas Day is priceless as he opens up present after present, most of which are on his Santa list. To crown the morning off Santa arrived on board around 11:00am, which only added to the joy of being a Christmas child.
Christmas Day was a sea day and as is the norm a formal night at dinner. As a family we all enjoyed our Christmas dinner together in the MDR, complete with our Christmas cracker hats, it's a British thing. Some nice champagne and a good bottle of wine. HAL provided each room with some Pinot Grigio and champagne, which we all thought was a really nice touch. From the crack of dawn we had all enjoyed a long day so an early night was needed to get ready for Grand Turk the following day.
The whole staff had shown to be exceptional in their wanting to be of service so it was kudos all around this goes for all the restaurants, we tried them all except for Cannaletto only because we went to The Pinnacle twice and Le Cirque plus The Tamarind all of which served up wonderful meals. The Lido surprised us with the quality of foods offered at both breakfast and lunch, and the MDR was up to the usual high quality HAL is known for.
The ports of call lived up to our expectations, we had visited several in the past and the tours all received high marks.
It must also be mentioned that the Club HAL staff did an excellent job of fully entertaining our Grandson and the many others with a variety of activities day and night. This may not be seen as an experience to the more normal non holiday cruises for the more mature HAL clientele, but these people went above and beyond to make this a memorable cruise for some very grateful children and parents alike.
Only my family went ashore, unfortunately I had a stay on board day. They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We went over to the Isla Verde beach area to do some Jet Skiing which was a success. Holiday time and a lot of people on the beach, but worth the trip.
Poor snorkel location with very few fish. This was at one time a great location but the reef was destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago.