As this was a 'Get Warm' cruise, I will skip any mention of the ports as we had been to them all before and they are pretty standard for the Caribbean. After not sailing on HAL for 7 years, we were looking forward to seeing how they were stacking up these days -- mediocre I would say.
Was thankful the staff had stopped pushing drinks constantly, so that was a bonus. Because it was the week before Christmas, there were a lot of families and children -- which was a nice change actually from the usual Old Folks Home feel (and we are in that category also). The Eurodam is 4 years old they say -- pretty ship, but like other HAL ships, they can't seem to get away from those winding walkways and small bars. The public rooms were all nice, and we particularly like the Crow's Nest where the Library (glad to see the daily quiz was still available), Games, Internet, and bar were combined. The comfortable lounge chairs to view the ocean was a very nice touch. There is only 2100 people on this ship, so it never felt crowded and appreciated the show lounge was big enough for a change.
What's with the only one show a night (usually at 10:15 p.m.) on most nights. Speaking of the shows -- singers and dancers did 5 of the 7 nights -- come on. And the shows reflected it too -- not good. The quality of the singers and dances was less than expected, which wasn't helped by lame production numbers. The lighting and sound were not done well (every night). The comedian and magician were very good. We liked the Piano Man and the Jazz trio, and the house band and singer were good but not available when convenient for us. Happy Hour in a couple of bars a day was a great idea, and we took advantage of that most days. The wine was a different manner -- usually on a cruise one expects to pay $40 for a $15 bottle of wine, but $40 for an $8 bottle of wine is awful, and not good wine at that.
And there is an $18 corkage fee -- apparently you can bring your own wine on the ship, but you would never know that by the website, which should spell that out.
The food was good (not great), but good overall. We did anytime dining and spent over 2 hours on several nights on dinner -- we also sat in the regular dinner service a night and it was the longest wait of all. The service staff, while friendly and competent, seemed to have to cover too many tables and food was not coming out of the kitchen. The staff overall were friendly and like others on here, think they used the language thing to their advantage when they wanted. We had an aft balcony cabin, something new being on the very end of the ship. Nice room, good sized deck. Noisy. It's a long walk to the end of the ship. But a nice cabin once there and loved having a bathtub. My one BIG compliant (and it is not just HAL) is that there is FOX News on the TV. There is also CNN, but that changes to international and also at least shares both sides of news. Either add MSNBC for your liberal cruisers, or better yet take FOX News completely off the ship. I hate having to explain to non-US residents that we don't all believe the un-truths spread by FOX News. While we enjoyed our cruise, we'll probably head back to Princess where there is more to do and see.