This was my first cruise on Holland America, but have been on 5 all together; 2 on Royal Caribbean, 1 on NCL, and 1 on Celebrity, and this recent one on Holland America m/s Eurodam. I traveled with my brother and parents who haven't been on Holland either. This cruise was one of the best out of the 5. The ship was beautiful with a lot to do. This cruise ship has a night club and casino, but not as big on partying as Royal Caribbean and NCL. This cruise was more relaxed and laid back.
The embarkation was very smooth and organized. We rented a car prior to embarkation and returned it to a nearby rental car drop off. The offered a free shuttle to the cruise terminal which saved us cab fares. We got to the terminal at about 1:30 and there wasn't a huge line. We were on the ship by 2 and in our room within 30 minutes.
Our stateroom was very nice with a spacious bathroom with a tub. This was nice, because it wasn't a phone booth style shower like Royal Caribbean has on their ships. The room was spacious as well as the balcony. The room had a refrigerator, safe, and a big closet with decent storage space. All the furniture was comfortable and there was no problems. Towards the end of the cruise, our A/C wasn't working right. But they fixed it in no time and everything was back to normal. Our stateroom attendants were the best we've ever had! They were excellent and everything was made up all the time.
We had the open seating dining in the main dining room. It was good because you could go whenever and you weren't rushed, but I wouldn't recommend it. Having your own waiter is nicer because they keep you posted on what's going on around the ship. We missed a lot of the memos and having a waiter will change that. The dining on this cruise was excellent! There was plenty of varieties of food in the dining room and in the Lido buffet. I love mexican food, and past cruises didn't have it, but this one did! The food in the dining room was the best iv'e ever had and the Lido buffet was really good. What was good about the buffet food was that everything is made to order and fresh and nothing sits out all day. It was still very good. Also, HAL allows you to bring alcohol on board. You will have to pay a corking fee for wine, but you save a lot of money anyway.
The activities were good and it seemed like it was kid friendly, but NCL has more activities than this one did. There was a basketball court that me and my brother went to every day and there were two pools on board, one Lido deck aft, one midship. There was also other good activities and shows as well including a really good magic show. There was a good fitness center (but really crowded), a casino, night club (northern lights), and much more. Only one thing I wish that I didn't like was the smoking on board. They allow smoking in the casinos and areas outside that bothered me at times. I couldn't sit in the casino for a long time because the smoke would bother me. HAL says the Eurodam will be going smoke free soon.
As said, this cruise was very nice and I will recommend taking it. It was really disappointing to leave because we had such a great time. It is definitely worth what we paid which was about $2000 for a balcony for 4. The rate they were offering allowed the 3rd and 4th passenger to sail for free. This cruise definitely is one of the best I've taken.