On this 86,000-ton, 2,044-passenger ship -- it's about the same size as those in the Vista class (Zuiderdam, Westerdam, Oosterdam and Noordam) yet carries 126 more passengers due to an extra deck -- one entirely new concept is a series of 10 staterooms tucked behind the Crow's Nest lounge on Deck 12. These will feature French-style verandahs -- which in essence is a way to describe very narrow balconies that aren't wide enough for chairs and tables but at least come with doors that open to the outside.
There also will be a series of four "panorama" staterooms -- with nearly (but not quite) floor-to-ceiling windows -- that face forward. These are located on Deck 10. As well, in a departure from the Vista-class strategy, Eurodam will have fewer mid-level suites (such as mini-suites) but will have a few more expansive suites than usual.
Pieter Rijkaart, HAL's new-builds director, showed us renderings and swatches that reflect the new decor and described the overall scheme as being minimalist (like many of today's new boutique hotels). Expect leather furnishings, dark carpets, light walls and bathrooms equipped with granite countertops.
All cabins, from insides to standards with balconies, will reflect the contemporary vibe though with varying color schemes. Staterooms will feature more monochromatic designs than the floral schemes used in the past, with rich wood tones, nickel fixtures and simple contemporary colors. In inside staterooms, for example, expect blond maple furniture and a recessed area behind the bed painted sky-blue with a sheer overlay to create a "false" window -- and a lighter ambience. Deluxe verandah suites, meanwhile, will feature richer furniture (a walnut shade), charcoal gray seats and white drapes, with pops of color like powder blue and orange.
Statistics-wise, 86 percent of cabins are outsides; of those, 67 percent come with balconies. And here's an interesting figure: 60 percent of staterooms will be manufactured offsite and trucked in (how does that work? Read our Letter from Aker Yards' Cabin Factory).
All staterooms and suites will feature Signature of Excellence amenities including Euro-top Mariner's Dream beds, waffle robes, Egyptian cotton towels, DVD players and flat-screen televisions, makeup mirrors with halo lighting, massaging shower heads, professional-grade hair dryers, fresh flowers and free fruit baskets.
Eurodam launches in June 2008; the ship will sail a series of Baltic cruises before repositioning across the Atlantic for autumn Canada/New England itineraries. It will winter in the Caribbean.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor, and Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor