We traveled with a large group (13 adults, 3 children ages 3 - 6 and one infant)to celebrate a BIG birthday. While our embarkation was delayed at the hotel by a slow shuttle service, when we got to the cruise terminal (just after 1 pm EST), our entrance onto the ship was efficient and so easy. This was important, given the young children who were with us. My only disappointment with Holland America was that there was no discount given for the six rooms that I had booked and although they promised a complimentary upgrade when I booked, that never happened. Bummer!
We all had veranda rooms and they were spotless and ready for us when we arrived. The stewards were great about opening up the verandas between our connecting rooms which made it feel like we had adjoining rooms. We had three rooms on the starboard side and three rooms on the port side, toward the front of the ship on the fifth deck.
The Eurodam was beautiful and the food was wonderful. Several of us ate at the Pinnacle Grill and on another night ate at the Tamarind. While both were excellent, we felt that there was much more value in the Tamarind experience. The ambiance was lovely and the food offerings and service were worth the extra $15 pp that we paid. While the Pinnacle was nice, it wasn't as impressive as the Tamarind and I probably wouldn't spend the $25 pp for that experience again.
A real positive for us was HAL Club for the children. They LOVED attending, which gave their parents some much appreciated alone time on the ship. The young women who planned activities really got to know the kids personally and offered activities that were well-suited to their age and developmental levels. It would have been nice if they had offered the opportunity for the parents to share email addresses with each other so the kids could have stayed in touch following the cruise. It was an excellent experience for my grandchildren and they loved it!!
Another positive was the Crow's Nest, with Jamie offering his lovely voice each evening. While the room was empty many nights, it offered a quiet and entertaining experience for those looking for that. The adjoining Explorations Cafe was also a quiet place to play games or read. One morning I went there first thing for a morning coffee and a quiet read and it was lovely.
The Eurodam is going smoke-free in most places soon and that will be greatly appreciated. With only two swimming pools on board, we were disappointed that one swimming area was so smokey that we couldn't go near it. The smoking also got in the way of enjoying the verandas, in that it isn't pleasant to be outside when smoke intrudes.
Our rooms were pleasant and well-cared for while we were there. Service was excellent throughout the ship. One of our favorite experiences was the stop at Half Moon Cay, the Holland America cay. The turquoise water and white sugary beach was the most incredible beach experience I have ever had! We wished that we could have stayed longer and it was a great way to end our cruise. Overall, it was an excellent cruising experience and I left, excited to book my next cruise!