1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
3 couples (brothers & sister & spouses) took this trip for the Glacier Bay stop. 2 of the couples had been to Alaska previously--but never had seen Glacier bay. Our age grouping is late 60's to early 80's. My wife ... Read More
3 couples (brothers & sister & spouses) took this trip for the Glacier Bay stop. 2 of the couples had been to Alaska previously--but never had seen Glacier bay. Our age grouping is late 60's to early 80's. My wife & I had never been to AK and after reading many reviews on CC, decided to select the Eurodam for the GLacier Bay stop. We flew in to SEA the day before and stayed at Cedar Brook Lodge near Sea-Tac. Very nice facility--nestled in a woodsy--outdoor setting. Would highly recommend this facility. Free morning buffet included in the price ($215) Hotel had free shuttle from SEATAC. We used Seattle Express to travel from hotel to Pier 91 and Pier 91 to SEATAC --they were prompt & had nice vans. Got to Pier 91 around 945 am and got stuck waiting outside terminal building as folks from the ship were still disembarking. Got congested outside terminal (people & bags).They started letting people inside around 1045 am. Once we were inside and dropped off our luggage--we were processed quickly and sat in the upstairs waiting are until our group # was called. Princess Ruby was also boarding at the same time, from the same waiting area, Got on the ship around 1115 am, dropped the carry on's off in the cabin and headed to the Lido buffet Got our lunch and then went outside on the Lido deck to watch the activity on the Ruby Princess & Eurodam. We had the Signature Beverage Package as part of our Explore 4 promotion, got some drinks and watched the people and ship activity--went to the Lifeboat drill at 315 pm. and then went back up to the Lido deck to watch cast off of the Ruby & Eurodam. Ruby left first @ 4 pm. Eurodam left 445pm. Delay was never explained--not a big deal. One comment about the SBP drink package--it also included the 15% Service charge as long as the total for the drink & SC together was under $11, not $9 as I was led to believe. To buy the package separately was $363. Cheaper than on Royal Caribbean. 15 alcohol drinks per day was the limit. I never exceeded that limit and I tried hard. "Miami Vice" was our favorite drink. Our previous cruise was July 2018 on Oasis of the Seas (6000 passengers), that is our basis of comparison for this cruise. Wife does not like seafood much and complained about lack of menu options, but I found the MDR menus varied. Lot of Asian/Indonesian items on the menu--wife would not try them. Sigh. Ate in the MDR six nights and Pinnacle Grille one night (part of our Explore 4 package). Good food & service in the MDR & Pinnacle. Our table servers in the MDR were outstanding. Food portions on Eurodam were smaller than Oasis, but adequate for most folks. I sometimes had an appetizer size second entree Wife thought the French Onion soup on the Oasis was better than Eurodam. Very little cheese on the soup on Eurodam vs Oasis. Shrimp cocktails on Eurodam were of better quality & size than Oasis. Steak, salmon, French Onion soup, Caesar salad were offered every night. Eurodam has a late night (1030--1130 p) buffet in the Lido, was always too full to try it. We had SY7078 (Signature suite) and my siblings had SA 7061 (Neptune suite) & PS7036 (Pinnacle Suite) Our suite was adequate in size, but not as roomy as the JR Suite we had on the Oasis. Lighting for the closets was lacking somewhat. Shower stall in the bathroom was tight. We had a shower tub combo in the bathroom as well. I never used it, USB ports and 110/120 outlets by the bed were adequate. Went to BB King performance several nights--they were V good. Female singer was combo of Aretha & Tina Turner and has some powerful pipes on her. Got the club jumping. The group played late 70's & early 80's hits & disco type tunes. Saw the magic & comedy shows--good--but G rated. Saw the BBC Alaska wild life movie in the main showroom--good but short--less than 45 minutes. Short clips from other films. Casino had $6 Blackjack table--spent several hours in there. Wife tried the slots and was happy with that activity. We did not partake of other offerings on the ship. Lincoln Center chamber group played several afternoons & evening. I attended one performance and that was enough--very dry, odd ball classical (IMO) music. 2 violins, a bass & piano. Lots of scooters & walkers & canes on board--beware when moving about. They are dangerous. We lucked out with the weather. Cloudy leaving SEA, Juneau was misty & cloudy, but bearable, it cleared later in the day. We found a taxi that took us to the Mendenhall Glacier & picked us up again at our time, for $27 /ea., I had a National Park pass that saved us $5 each (Entrance Fee to Park Visitor Center). Walked to Nugget Falls & back (1 mile each way). Easy trail. Glacier Bay was cloudy, but were able to see clearly. Margerie glacier was calving while there. Sitka was clear & sunny. Took ship excursion (4 & 1/4 hrs) out on the bay looking for Otters, Bald Eagles, Whales. Saw lots of Otters, Eagles, a few whales in the distance and stopped at the Raptor Center. Only had about 15 minutes to look at the Eagles & Owls, etc under rehab--not long enough. Tour was SI10 $160/ea. After getting back to ship, we sat out on the Lido deck and watched Eagles sitting in trees near the harbor watching for fish. That was neat. Ketchikan--sunny--walked around downtown ( very close to ship pier), shopped and got T shirts, etc. My 26 year old son who came along on cruise did an ATV ship excursion into the forest area and was pleased-- $200 for the trip. Got back on board and again watched Eagles doing their thing. Bar service on Lido deck was V good. My son is a social animal and hung out with the bar crew after hours and as a result we got V good bar service from those people when they were on duty. Victoria--arrived 6 pm. (sunny) took shuttle bus ($15 RT) to town and walked around. 4 ships were in port, so DT was crowded. Arrived in SEA 6 am Sat. left the ship at 845 am., on SEA Express and at the AP by 930 am. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Where do I begin...To me, HAL is how cruising is supposed to be. The ship was very elegant and classy, like you would picture an old-time cruise ship, but not antiquated at all. It was also very "green" and environmentally ... Read More
Where do I begin...To me, HAL is how cruising is supposed to be. The ship was very elegant and classy, like you would picture an old-time cruise ship, but not antiquated at all. It was also very "green" and environmentally conscious and that's something that is very important to me. I never saw a single paper towel or napkin (even in the public restrooms you dried your hands on little washcloth-sized towels) and no disposable plastic ANYWHERE. The drinking glasses in the buffet area were a really heavy plastic that we thought were glass at first, but the plates are all glass/stoneware and the bowls were a very heavy resin type material. In the buffets, you don't serve yourself, you just tell them what you want, so there aren't a thousand people touching the spoons and messing with the food. The food here was remarkable, considering the amount that's served each day. The main dining room was fantastic (atmosphere, food and service) and in the afternoons there were little happy hour specials at different bars on the ship where you get your second drink for $2. We actually had a TUB in our cabin and the bath towels were huge. They even provided blankets for the balcony and up on the outside decks. It was all just amazing. Yes, HAL is sometimes referred to as the "geriatric cruise line", but that is a misnomer. I have been on at least a dozen cruises, and this one was by the far the busiest, but it wasn't geared towards keeping children entertained. (This was my first time on HAL so I can't speak regarding their other ships). That said, they do have a kids' program and I can't imagine that a kid would get bored, (I would be delighted to take my grandchildren on this cruise) but there were no water slides or rock-climbing walls or things like that other than whatever they have in the dedicated kids' area. One thing I was a little afraid of was that it was going to be a more formal atmosphere than we wanted, but that wasn't the case at all. Even on the Gala nights the wardrobes ran the scale from formalwear (but not much) to jeans and everything in between. In a nutshell, we are new HAL fans and are already thinking about our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I once considered Holland America the most upscale of the mainstream cruise lines. I found the service, amenities, entertainment and dining far superior to Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean. However, after my weeklong Alaskan cruise ... Read More
I once considered Holland America the most upscale of the mainstream cruise lines. I found the service, amenities, entertainment and dining far superior to Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean. However, after my weeklong Alaskan cruise on the Eurodam in May, I believe HAL has slipped to just average. That much being said, "average" is still a great vacation when you're cruising Holland America. We still had a wonderful time on board and you will too. The staff went out of their way to make us feel special from embarkation until our last minutes on board. We sailed round trip from Seattle and spent a day touring the city before boarding. Pike Place Market was our starting point. We spent hours there seeing the sights and tasting the free samples. We also went for one of the underground city tours, which was a fascinating way to learn about the history of Seattle. HAL's cruise terminal is about a $40 cab ride from downtown hotels. There were no porters standing by to help us with our luggage, which shows more poorly on the port authority than the cruise line. I finally found a group of four porters, standing around socializing. They were eager to help once I asked them if any of them were working. Check-in was easy and smooth. We were Neptune Suite guests so we breezed through embarkation. The only delay was for the obligatory pre-boarding photo from the pesky cruise photographers. It normally wouldn't be so bad, but it was cold and rainy in Seattle and we were uncomfortable waiting for photo-ops. One great change for Holland America is letting guests into their cabin as soon as they board. I loved being able to drop off our carry-ons before exploring the ship. We were met in Cabin 7065 by our two room stewards, who greeted us and asked us if we had any special requests. We did. One of the great perks of staying in a Neptune Suite is complimentary laundry and dry-cleaning. We had a lot of wrinkled clothing from our flight in. The stewards took care of it. We then headed to the Neptune Lounge, another great perk for suite guests, for a light snack. While there, I made reservations, with the concierge, for the Tamarind restaurant ($25 surcharge), Pinnacle Grille ($35 surcharge) and Sur La Mer ($49 surcharge). Experience has taught me, if you can afford it, the premium restaurants are worth the extra money. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship, although starting to show some wear. You can walk from one end to the other except on decks 10 and 11. To go fore and aft on those decks requires you to go down to deck 9. The midship pool area (Deck 9) was covered, giving folks a place to sit outside, without wearing jackets. There were plenty of bars, although there were times when we had to search to find an open one. Here's a tip: Deck two has two bars adjacent to the casino. One of them is almost always open. The Lido Deck (9) bar is also open most of the day. The other bars are open sporadically, making it a challenge to find adult beverages at times. The gym is fairly well equipped, although most of the treadmills were broken. Some didn't incline. Others would only run two minutes at a time. Some didn't have a place to put a tablet for reading. This led to a wait for the machines, even at 6:30 in the morning. My wife ended up walking around deck three, where three laps=one mile. There were plenty of weight machines and free weights in the gym. No wait for weights (sorry, I couldn't help myself). I was a bit put off to find exercise classes that were once free, now costs money. The spa & salon are nice, but terribly overpriced. The biggest rip-off, to me. may be the thermal spa which is marketed at $279 per couple for the week. $169 for a single. Our traveling companions found it overcrowded and difficult to enjoy for more than an hour at a time. We did splurge on a couples massage ($379 for 75 minutes). It was very relaxing, but three times what we would pay for a similar massage in Florida. Our cabin (7065) was large, well equipped and starting to fall apart from age. A broken drawer, makeup mirror and stained furniture were my chief complaints. It was still a wonderful place to share a pre-dinner bottle of wine with friends and we loved the oversized balcony. The best part of the cabin were our stewards Gede and Franz. They seemed to know intuitively what we would need or want and provide it. We had the signature beverage package, which includes 15 drinks per person per day. It was comped to us as part of our cruise package. However, even if we paid for it, I think it would be a great value. I was never able to come close to 15 drinks, even with several cappuccinos throughout the day. Of course, that may be because our traveling companions brought six bottles of wine on board and preferred to drink that with us. A note about the bottled wine. No-one checked our carry-on while we brought the extra wine on board. We were only charged a corkage fee ($18) if we brought a bottle to the restaurant. Even that was waved one night when we also bought two bottles of wine from the menu.. I found the main dining room below average for both dinner and lunch. The menu options were not appealing and they were very limited. The service was friendly and efficient, but the food didn't cut it. However, all of the upscale restaurants were great. The Tamarind ($25), serving Asian food, was my favorite for service and food. We literally ordered every appetizer and dessert on the menu to try and they gladly brought it for us. I also liked the Pinnacle Grille. The service was top notch, although the kitchen was not five star. Too many little things that gave me a sense the head chef took the night off. The pizza parlor on deck 9 aft was a huge hit, Great individual pizzas with most of my favorite toppings. They did run out of mushrooms halfway through the cruise. I liked the salad bar, which never seemed crowded. Huge bowls of fresh lettuce and vegetables. The Dive-in hamburger stand was SLOW SLOW SLOW! It frequently took 20-25 minutes to get a burger or chicken sandwich. The entertainment was not great. There was no pre-dinner cocktail music on board. Most cruise ships have two options for pre-dinner music. The Blues Club was fun and lively, although it was basically the same show every night. Billboard On Board sounds like a Dee Jay, but is actually a piano duo. They were great, but only played late. I would have loved an earlier show. The comedian just wasn't funny. In fact, the illusionist was far funnier, more polished and provided a super show. Fortunately, the comedian has left the ship. The illusionist is staying on board for an extended run. My favorite part of the entertainment was the game room on deck two adjacent to the casino. We had loads of fun playing old fashioned games with other on chilly sea days. The best part of the Eurodam is the service. Everyone on board seemed to have a "can-do" attitude aimed at giving people a positive cruise experience. The ports in Alaska are very all similar to me. In fact, the excursions are also very similar. In Juneau: I highly recommend the helicopter ride to Herbert Glacier for dog sledding. It is a once in a lifetime experience that we've done on three Alaskan cruises because it's so much fun! Expect to pay a lot ($600-$800 per person) depending on who you choose for a tour operator. Glacier Bay: is a trip around a bay with a few glaciers. I found it boring to watch glaciers from a mile away, having just gone dog sledding on one! But HAL had some nice touches, offering hot soup to chilly guests on board. In Sitka: We took the free shuttle into town and hired a private taxi for a tour. The three hour tour was 1/3 the cost of the similar tour offered by the ship. The plus side was we had a private car instead of a crowded bus. In Ketchikan: we took our only Holland American shore excursion, the off road kart ride. It is a blast. We got filthy and had fun doing it. Highly recommend it. Victoria, BC: is a waste. We docked at 6:00 for five hours. At dinnertime! So, we were left with a decision to et on board and waste time in port or skip dinner. Alaska is supposed to be a once in a lifetime cruise destination. We've now been there four times. It's that good. And while Holland America, has slipped a bit in service, dining and entertainment, I had a fantastic cruise. You won't be disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because of the chance to see the Inner Passageway up close, and because it sailed round-trip from Seattle. Visits (and excursions) in both Juneau and Sitka were beautiful and worthwhile; Ketchikan is just one big ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the chance to see the Inner Passageway up close, and because it sailed round-trip from Seattle. Visits (and excursions) in both Juneau and Sitka were beautiful and worthwhile; Ketchikan is just one big souvenir shop and hardly worth the stop. This was only my 2nd ocean cruise (the first was on Viking; all others were various river cruises) and I admit to having been spoiled by smaller ship size and ambience. In my opinion, this ship does not deserve a 4.5/5 rating. We ate at the Lido, in the Dining Room and in Pinnacle Grille and, at best, the food deserves a 4 (in the Lido, a 3 would be all I would give it). Service in the Dining Room and Pinnacle was good and efficient. Lido was hit or miss service (usually ended up filling and refilling all drinks ourselves), and food was cafeteria quality (except for omelet station, which was good tho' lines were usually quite long). Food stations were not organized well for crowd flow and table bussing was often slow. Onboard entertainment was not very exciting: America's Test Kitchen was just watching from a distance as someone else prepared a meal, and the Billboard OnLine performers were just OK. Best entertainment was the movie "Alaska in Concert," which was excellent (shown two times on one night of the cruise). I had paid for a spa pass and was sorry I had. The 6 lounge chairs in the spa were usually full and there was a separate aqua pool but no hot tub. Sauna's were nice but how long can you stay in one of those? WiFi was awful: slow and sporadic and you can only connect it to one device at a time. Very expensive for what you get. The worst thing about this cruise was the constant "upselling" that went on. We were interrupted several times during lunch conversations with waitresses telling us about specials in Pinnacle and Tamarind (the additional cost restaurants). Every fitness and spa experience was an infomercial and the absolute worst were the ship photographers who were in your face at meals, on the deck and as you were heading off for shore excursions. If I heard "let's see those smiles!" from the male photographer once I heard it 24 times during the 7 days of the cruise. Finally, I would not recommend going on the Eurodam as a single traveler. Fortunately, I had family travelling in another cabin, but the large ship size makes it more difficult to meet and connect with new people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We have sailed many times with Hal and have always had a good experience. This cruise had the potential to have problems but Hal solved them in prompt fashion. We were assigned to cabin 7138. The first evening we experienced vibrations ... Read More
We have sailed many times with Hal and have always had a good experience. This cruise had the potential to have problems but Hal solved them in prompt fashion. We were assigned to cabin 7138. The first evening we experienced vibrations so severe that we could not sleep. Hal solved the problem by finding a new cabin for us. Since the sailing was full they went out of their way to help us. The best thing about Hal is their commitment to service and concern for passenger comfort. They came through for us beautifully. We feel dining is the best of the large ship lines. We were pleased with the food preparation in all of the dining venues. They have really upgraded their pizza and dive in restaurants. The dining room is great but we did notice that the menus are beginning to show a cut back in finer offerings. There are many choices but less so than in the past. Entertainment has been improved by adding several music venues. They were all good.We also enjoyed a dance troupe and a magican and comedian. Daytime activities are stll lacking and need to be increased. The strongest element is the service provided by staff in all areas from cabins to dining to activities. The ports are all great with the exception to the stop in Victoria. The ship arrives so late there is little time to do much./ A free shuttle usewd to be provided to the town but now a $15.00 charge is in effect. We had another great cruise and look forward to our next. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
5 star first: HAL has the best access to Glacier Bay. We cruised all the way up and spent time at the foot of the glaciers. ( Some cruise lines advertising GB don’t go as far into the bay). The service was impeccable and the food ... Read More
5 star first: HAL has the best access to Glacier Bay. We cruised all the way up and spent time at the foot of the glaciers. ( Some cruise lines advertising GB don’t go as far into the bay). The service was impeccable and the food was excellent. We ate at Lido for breakfast, in the MDR for dinner with one dinner at Tamarind and both NY pizza and Dive In for lunch. Drinks were mostly good with a couple not but not really a complaint. Wonderful to wake up & walk out on our verandah to spectacular scenery. Room was comfortable and our steward very efficient. Now 3 stars: the entertainment was horrible at BB King’s Blues Club. Billboard On Board was nice. We were disappointed to find most presentations sales-based but I guess that’s across the board on cruises. 1 star: We were shocked at the rudeness of people. We saw people blowing by the elderly practically knocking them down. And at one activity, a couple snuck out before the bartender could charge them for the mixology class. How low class! And yes, obnoxious dinner companions! In summary: A wonderful vacation. We will cruise with HAL again and enjoy it. Did everything go perfectly? No. But does it ever?Those who are complaining just want to find something to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We really enjoyed this cruise for the most part, the price we couldn't believe, we got it on a flash sale. We hadn't really intended to cruise back to Alaska but when I saw the price, there was no saying not now. Our cabin ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise for the most part, the price we couldn't believe, we got it on a flash sale. We hadn't really intended to cruise back to Alaska but when I saw the price, there was no saying not now. Our cabin was perfect, at first it was to be an obstructed, but 2 hours after paying for our cruise the price dropped again, they upgraded us to an unobstructed cabin and even offered a balcony for a few dollars more, we chose to stay with the oceanview. The food was a bit different then we were used to on RCCL. we did like RCCL better but it was fine, kinda fun to try something different. We did like it better when we could select our own food items like on RCCL ships, I like my asparagus a bit more raw then mush. But it was fine, some of the little plates we had no idea what it was and no one explained it. We loved tea at 3pm, but most people had no idea that they did this. The entertainment at night was a huge disappointment, we have been spoiled by RCCL, 9 cruises, so expect a bit more to do at night especially on Gala Nights. Their comedian was horrible, people even got up and walked out on him, we thought to do that too, but stayed stupid, what a waste, the magician was just ok, nothing great, just ok, the dancing was not even as good as most high schools and they do not sing its all canned. The lights are interesting BUT they need better techies, more then half the time, more then half of the programs were all mixed up, starting and stopping, lights not in sync. The piano and quartet in Lincoln Stage was not our cup of tea, there was more to do then listen to that and there were not enough seats anyhow. They did have classes that we loved, we took all the photography ones, not any of the windows as we have apple, we didn't do cooking classes either as just want what we were interested in but heard they were great. Loved the way they handled Glacier Bay, loved the blankets on the decks. We would do another Holland cruise to Alaska. We did not like the fact that they kept trying to sell you the alternative dining plans, they wouldn't take no. also the photography, we always get the photo packages, not this time, but they too kept bugging us about their black and white, $350-400 for 1-2 photos is ridiculous. Not one time did any of the crew ask us to give them a good review, on RCCL, the waiters drive us crazy asking. We did not purchase any excursions this time, just walked around each port. The biggest disappointment was the length in a few ports, Ketchikan was way to short and Victoria a big joke, arriving after 6pm, everything was closed that we wanted to see after a very long walk into town, only a few souvenir stores and pubs were open, with 3 ships in town it was ridiculous, people were not happy at all. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves. Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves. Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within 2 minutes of getting off the shuttle, and we walked towards the terminal building. It was a little chaotic getting into the building to show our passports, but it was smooth from that point forward. We showed our passports, went up the escalator, and got into the very short priority line to get our key cards. We boarded quickly, and were able to go to our room right away. I don't know when our bags arrived as we were at lunch, but we had them pretty quickly. Ship - The ship is understated but elegant. There had been some mechanical repairs done a few weeks before our cruise and there was a lot of vibration in the MDR. There were ample options for getting out on deck to view scenery/glaciers/wildlife. I loved the Explorations Cafe area and the lounge chairs up by the front windows, but it could be hard to get those as they were very popular. We were able to grab two for the morning of sailing into Glacier Bay, but we also got up there before 6 AM and it was starting to fill up already. Food - Overall - the food was OK with one notable exception (Tamarind). The Lido was typically crowded and chaotic. Dive In and NY Pizza had tasty options but took a while (usually 20-30 minutes each). MDR was nothing special as far as food. As far as Specialty Dining, we had the Explore4 package which included a Pinnacle Grill dinner. This was not much of an improvement over MDR (I had crab legs but they were over-cooked and reminded me of imitation crab). We did also book Tamarind based on others' reviews and everything there was excellent. We used in room dining on 3 occasions - breakfast the day we arrived in Ketchikan (early morning arrival), late night desserts one evening, and to request a bottle of distilled water. Service each time was very quick. Excursions - We booked all of ours through the cruise line before getting on board, and didn't make any modifications. As a result, we didn't really interact with the excursions desk staff at all. The three that we took were enjoyable and ran on time. Ports - My one regret from this trip is it did not include Skagway, but from what I can tell, there were no routes offered through this line that would have included Sitka and Glacier Bay with Skagway, and I wouldn't have wanted to give either of those up. Juneau and especially Ketchikan both had a bit of a tourist trap vibe, although that being said, we loved our time at Mendenhall Glacier. Sitka was my favorite stop, and scenic cruising in Glacier Bay was the biggest highlight for me. Victoria was pretty but we got in in the evening and the port is a few miles from the downtown area. We just walked along the pier rather than getting too far from the ship. We also had excellent weather for most of the trip - it was rainy in Ketchikan, but we had clear weather every other day including the Glacier Bay day. Entertainment - Lincoln Center Stage and America's Test Kitchen were highlights for me. We did not go to the B.B. King Blues Club, and we watched a Billboard On Board performance one evening. Something billed as "Hot Country" should probably include at least some songs from this century, but the performers were good. We only went to the Main Stage for an exc talk (Whales of Alaska) and the Ask the Captain event. The evening events didn't interest us much. I also went to watch a BBC video presentation in there one afternoon, but they were having technical difficulties so I (and many others) left early. Overall, the entertainment offerings were somewhat lacking. I would have enjoyed ATK cooking classes that were hands on in addition to or place of some of the staged demonstrations, even for a small fee. Service - Overall, we found the service to be excellent - attentive and courteous - with one exception, which was our wine steward in MDR because we don't really drink. He was less interested in helping us when realizing this. Disembarkation - This was very efficient. Again, suite perks played a role here as we were the 2nd group to be called. We were off the ship, had our luggage, got into a cab, and made it to our hotel by 8:15 AM. Overall, we were very impressed with our trip and had a great time. We enjoyed the route, stops, scenery, and ship. There is room for improvement in dining and entertainment. This cruise line would not be for everyone, but we were not looking for wild parties or water slides, rather a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. I felt the trip was well paced and look forward to cruising with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my first trip to Alaska and was very excited to be on it. We choose a Spa Veranda Guaranteed cabin with an upgrade possible. Well the upgrade did not happen (not sure what they would upgrade us too) about 10 days before we ... Read More
This was my first trip to Alaska and was very excited to be on it. We choose a Spa Veranda Guaranteed cabin with an upgrade possible. Well the upgrade did not happen (not sure what they would upgrade us too) about 10 days before we sailed we go our room assignment 10046 The cabin was good on the 10 th deck and next to the door but there was no problem with noise this was my 3rd ever cruise and the others two where on MS Westerdam so that was my ship to reference too. first my one and really only complaint was the ship felt funny in the way it was vibrating, I did read that there was a problem and it had to stay in San Diego for a extra day or two. but it was like someone was shaking the bed every 5 seconds it was pretty consistent for the first 3 days, then when in Glacier bay it stopped and then returned when we went to Sitka i guess the speed of the ship was the reason. Dinning was good really only used the main dining room one time.. we to each of the specialty restaurants once Italian one was very good the food was good service great Steak house was good the service was great but the food was not as good as i remembered it Asian was really good best food on the ship great service The buffet was standard fair the burgers and fries at the Dive in was fantastic Pizza was good but long wait I did not see any shows there so i can comment on the entertainment my two excursions where great 1. helicopter ride to the glacier and dog sledding i cant say it was cheap as it was not but i loved it 2. I also did a sea food feast and boat ride to a resort island that was very enjoyable I will go again Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise in many years. We were very happy with the cruise ports except for Sitka. Ketchikan was delightful and we took a cruise excursion to Misty Fjords. Excellent with photo ops galore. The cabin- 4053- was an excellent ... Read More
This was our first cruise in many years. We were very happy with the cruise ports except for Sitka. Ketchikan was delightful and we took a cruise excursion to Misty Fjords. Excellent with photo ops galore. The cabin- 4053- was an excellent choice with a huge balcony and great views. The stewards were top notch and extremely accommodating. The food was delicious and I highly recommend the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. We ate at these specialty restaurants 3 times. But wait until you get on the ship to book more than 1 nite. They gave people a 25% discount on the ship. That was aggravating but not worth complaining about. The embarkation was very simple and the long line moved quickly although they paid zero attention to your assigned boarding time. Same with disembarking. No attention to what assignment they gave you to get off the ship. There was a bad mixup the final night with our flight. We used the luggage service and they got the wrong flight on our bags even though our boarding pass they gave us was correct. We ended up getting our luggage 3 days after we arrived home. The Crow’s Nest has awesome views. The entertainment was not anything great. I expected much more. I also didn’t like the constant upselling in the shopping area which was mostly jewelry. Overall it was a great cruise and I would sail on Holland America again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled ... Read More
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled due to weather, but 2 were cancelled in ensenada and victoria for maintenance ,trouble with an azipod ,was that why the ship continually vibrated. Only attended one enrichment lecture ghis was poorly presented with lighting on stage and poor speaker. Entertainment was badly lacking walking into bars at night about 9pm was like the marie celeste , there was o nly bartenders around. Billboard piano players were awful bland boring excrutiati g to listen to. Bb king club was lively music better but this was the same act every night for 20 days if you didnt like blues /motown you were unlucky. Lincoln centre was enjoyable if they were playing music you like but they had to cater for all the ship and was set up like a concert except it was open to one of the corridors and people talki g walking past. Mainstage had a few good acts( outstanding was benjamin makisi) ,if you were stood/ sat at back there was a lot of noise from billboard pianists though i supposd you got two concerts at same time. There was not a lot of dressing up even on gala nights a lot of guests looked scruffy. . Food was good , in main di ing room and lido buffet,wine choice on signature package was barely drinkable. I would not sail on the eurodam again even if i was offered it free. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has ... Read More
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has doubled. I ordered an after dinner drink of cream de mint, kahlua and white cream de cocoa. I got a shot glass of nothing but cream de mint. I said this is wrong. They refused to fix it. Kids took over the adult aft pool. We loved the violin and cello guys. The blues group was good. That’s about it. I was more than ready to leave before the end of the cruise. We gave our room steward a tip at the end. Aidet. - he was the best. I doubt our $29 per day for tips goes to those who work so hard. I had a $20 massage in each port. - way better than the ones the ship charges 7 times more for. We are next headed to an adult only ai in mexico. Much better value. We tried to play pickle ball on the ship but it was over-run with basketball players. Ai places have tennis courts. I don’t have to wait for a ticket to be herded off the ship like cattle. I can tip who I want and the drinks are included. Thoroughly disgusted after this last cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and ... Read More
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and Canadians. Incidentally, we met up with the Cruise Critic roll call members the first morning of the cruise and enjoyed their company throughout the week. Here are a notable features from our cruise: * Great: Crew, passengers, the ship itself, the food * Good: the weather, the happy hours (2nd drink $2 and passed appetizers) * Missing: HAL cats, the onboard ship's band we enjoyed on previous HAL cruises * Also missing: hand-wash stations and sufficient Purell hand sanitizing stations * Fabulous: the Lincoln Center chamber orchestra and the BB King's Blues Club band * Fantastic: the new Humanity dance show with Step One dancers and light show * Always present but not welcome: sales, sales, sales. Spa treatments, cabanas, on-board jewelry shopping, liquor, future cruises, on-shore jewelry shopping, fee restaurants * Excellent: folklorico dancers, guitarist, comedian Tim Kaminski * Fleeting: one show each by truly excellent guitarist and good Elton John/Billy Joel vocalist-pianist * More detail on food: the Lido had tasty food, well prepared, and served by cooks so that there was very little passenger tong handling. The dining room food was creative, inspired and varied. * Off-putting: the drink prices, especially the wines. Just no. Cheapest white $9 per glass for a bottle that retails for $7 and wholesales for $3 * Inconsistency: Smart casual in the dining room: Night 1, a passenger at a nearby table wearing a ballcap in the dining room. Night 3, a warm day and evening, my spouse appears in a collared button down shirt and long shorts, gets sent back to the room for long pants, oops, our bad. But what's this? Seated next to us: a teenaged boy in basketball shorts and shirt. * More inconsistency: 2nd Gala Night: female wearing capris and a t-shirt with words on it, plus a visor; her dining partner (likely husband) wearing shorts, a baggy t-shirt and a cap. * Final inconsistency in the DR: final night, smart casual again, man wearing shorts and t shirt. Not sent back to change. Also: not a warm day, so no excuse for the attire. * Final missing: an atrium that's a gathering place. The Ocean Bar wraps around the small atrium, but the ship simply isn't large enough for a central space with a music and dance floor. However, with that comes fewer passengers and a more pleasant ambiance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been ... Read More
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been on the Eurodam before and just couldn't believe how poor the dining experience has become. We used the Lido for breakfast but nothing else and eventually gave up with the main dining room. To get around it we used the Pinacle for lunch and the other specialty restaurants when necessary. As usual the service in all areas was wonderful and the key that keeps us coming back to Holland America. There can be improvements with the availability of live entertainment and they have severely changed the Signature Beverage Package limiting the selections of beer and wine to the point that we probably will no longer purchase it on future cruises. This cruise was an eye opener for us and the cutbacks are now coming to the point where we will be reconsidering using Holland America in the future. There are many other cruise lines available and the quality of the Holland America staff can't continue to offset the recent cutbacks. If necessary they may need to increase prices, but leaving things as they are will be suicide. We intend to give Holland America one more try, but if improvements aren't made it will unfortunately be our last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional ... Read More
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional and helpful crew, including check-in personnel. Attractive public spaces including the main dining room, the theatre and the bars. The negatives: Cabin. Our cabin was a spa suite. The online description indicated a larger space. It was larger but otherwise, terrible. The furniture was worn out and frayed. The carpet had several large stains. The bathroom was the smallest we’ve ever had on our past 20 cruises (with various cruise companies). A tiny bathroom with one sink in a ‘suite,’ seriously? There was a large empty wall with four holes that were covered with tape. (We were told by our attendant that the space used to have a TV; when the TV was removed the holes were not patched.) The WORST part of the suite was that the very small balcony had a metal wall; you could only see the sea when you were standing. If you sat in one of the two chairs you were staring at a metal wall! HAL should have warned us when we booked this suite. Dining. The quality of the food was hit and miss. Some very good and some, yuk. When one of the four of us didn’t like a dish we were not asked by a waiter if we would like something else. One time we asked for another entrée and we were politely told that there would be a $10 charge for an additional entree! The waiter was not trying to scam us; that was on the bottom of the menu in small print. NEVER heard of paying for a second entrée on any other ship. I want to point out that the servers were very nice but it seemed like they were overworked; we could hardly get any assistance once our food was served. As an example, when I ordered hot tea I got the cup and the tea bag but could not find anyone to bring me hot water—this happened two evenings. In the buffet they were featuring seafood one day; we went to get some shrimp and the attendant would only give each of us six shrimp. If we wanted more we’d have to get back in the one long line. The Retreat. We decided to rent a cabana for the 17 days so that we could have a nice outdoor place to get away from the crowds. It was lovely and the service by the staff in the Retreat was very good. However, the maintenance and smells from that were over and over. After the third day of workers sanding, scraping, varnishing, etc. in the Retreat area we complained to guest services. We were assured that the workers would not be in our area again. WRONG. Two days later a worker was applying some type of sealant (identified by a ship’s officer) in the cabana next to us. No warning! All of us had to leave. Then on the next to the last day the cleaning crew was working on the deck immediately above the Retreat area and we got sprayed a few times by their water hose. Retribution? Who knows? Entertainment. On every cruise we’ve been on (same size ships) there has been some type of production show. Not on the Eurodam. One light show with dancers was very good. Otherwise really poor. For example; one show was animal video clips, ones we had seen at home on National Geographic, set to music. What? Showing stuff we’ve seen for free at home on our TV. That’s entertainment? I will say that a couple of singular entertainers were good; otherwise very disappointing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not informed of any of the following money saving changes: No singers and dancers and orchestra, 5 piece band replaced. Entertainers, comedians, singer, musician were good. Dancers to light show with recorded music also was entertaining. A repeat of the show a second night was a waste, as was showing a movie. Numerous changes in the Dining room resulted in smaller portions, fewer choices, $10 charge if you wanted a second entre at lunch or dinner. No bread basket at breakfast. Both the card room and game room were rented out to Quilters for the entire cruise. No Bridge director. No Art Auction Dining Room closed for lunch on at least 4 of the last 5 sea days. Stores were taken over by high end merchandise: no small souvenirs. Very friendly staff and great cruisers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was ... Read More
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was great. Food was good, but portions were small and seconds cost $10. Beef Wellington came and I got the tip of the filet, smaller than a meatball. For dessert ordered ice cream, dish came and appeared to have scooped with a melon baller. New York Pizza had no prices, paid $28 for cardboard and ketchup. No on ship singers and dancers, report was they were cut to save money. One evening the entertainment was a movie you could see on BBC America. Room steward for good, if not a little over eager. Came several times at 6:00 PM for nighttime turn down when I was dressing for dinner. For the money, traveling as a single, I expected more and got less. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, ... Read More
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past. We normally take cruises of 10-14 days so this 17 day cruise was our longest yet. Rating this cruise itself is difficult as it was a bust in that we only saw two of the five scheduled stops in Hawaii. This was mostly because of bad weather. So rather than focusing on the cruise we will provide our observations of Holland America in general. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship and the perfect size. The service was outstanding. The food was great. The entertainment was enjoyable. Embarkation and Debarkation were as easy as any ship on which we have traveled. Why then only three stars? Using a baseball analogy, it is widely accepted that many of the cruisers on Holland America recognize that they (we) are in at least the bottom half of the seventh inning in life. What we want to do with the last two innings is based on our individual prospective. The great majority of HA travelers are like travelers on the other lines we have been on only with a few more of life's scars. They want to have a good time, enjoy the scenery, the food, the drinks and everything else that can be found on a cruise ship. Life has been tougher on some than to others and HA seems to have experience dealing with those issues. This was scheduled to be a seventeen day round trip cruise from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands with stops in Kona, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hilo on the Big Island. Because of predicted bad weather the captain decided to by-pass Kona and head straight to Honolulu. When we arrived in Honolulu the wind was strong and all of the afternoon tours, including the luau's were cancelled. We were then told that because of bad weather predicted for Kauai (they suffered a severe storm) we would not go there. When the weather forecast did not improve we were told we would be staying in Honolulu an extra day and then return to Kona the following day. This meant that Lahaina, Maui would be taken off our schedule. No excursions were available through the ship for the second day in Honolulu so everyone was on their own. The following day we arrived in Kona, a port where the ship's tenders are needed to go ashore. We did not drop anchor. Even though the seas looked calm to most with no white-caps to be seen anywhere, the captain decided the harbor was too dangerous to transport people on the tenders. As fairly seasoned cruisers we realized that we had been in tenders in much worse than we were witnessing in Kona and that got us thinking as to why that decision was made. Our reasoning is that because we were traveling with so many people with considerable life issues it would be impractical, if not impossible, to transport all those people safely with the crew that was available to assist them. Therefore, we lost our third port and we headed back out for another sea day. We have been on cruises where ports were missed and we understand that is always a possibility. What made this tough for us this time was that in lieu of going to Kona or Maui as scheduled the cruise director suggested people could gather for a game of CHECKERS in one of the lounges! When we arrived in Hilo for a last possible Hawaiian stop the gangway was not put into position at the designated time. The captain advised us that because of rough water the gangway was not holding steady and a safe walk off the ship may not be possible. He was assessing the situation. I think he may have heard the mumblings of the several hundred of us who had gathered in the atrium and the gangway was opened shortly thereafter. We had a great day in Hilo doing a private tour with a company known as Big Island Aina Tours that we HIGHLY RECOMMEND. We spent the next six days sailing back to Ensenada, Mexico and then on to San Diego for debarkation. While the cruise was not what we had planned or hoped for, we still had a great time. (If you can't enjoy yourself on a cruise ship chances are pretty good that you can't enjoy yourself). Getting back to that baseball analogy: If you are a person who enjoys some of the finer things in life and just wants to live with grace and dignity during the last few innings you can have a really nice time on Holland America. You can't beat the service or the food. But, if you have the problem we have in that you still live with the allusion that there may be at least one more headfirst slide into home left in you (albeit in slow motion), HA may not be the place for you. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ago. We have cruised on Costa Line (honeymoon in 1972 and Mediterranean in 1991); Carnival, Celebrity and HAL. As seasoned cruisers, we have developed expectations as to our experiences on board. I will be basing this review on whether our expectations were met on this cruise. We flew to San Diego from San Antonio, TX (direct flight on Southwest). We had arranged transfer through HAL. The transfer service was efficient and personnel were friendly. I highly recommend arranging a transfer ahead of time. Embarkation went smoothly. The only glitch was that we had Priority Embarkation and although our bags were tagged as such, we did not receive our luggage until 4pm. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship, with understated elegance. The five days at sea were fantastic. The activities during the day were well planned. There was something for everybody. Kudos to the activities director! Sometimes we had trouble deciding what to do because of the amount of varied activities offered.Our favorite activities were the talks in the theater about Hawaiian history, given by a Hawaiian with so much knowledge about his land! There were Hawaiian ambassadors on board (as well as on the 5 days at sea returning to San Diego) who provided their personal insight in the history and culture of Hawaii. We learned the Hawaiian alphabet, there were hula and ukulele classes, classes to make leis and kukui bead bracelets, sunset celebrations with chants, beautiful and authentic hula dancing and sing alongs. These were fabulous. We felt like we were in Hawaii since Day One. I praised and thanked the Port Guides and the ambassadors for giving us this unique experience. One thing they told us that if we liked the experience we need to let HAL know, because with budget cuts this program might cease. I made sure to let HAL know that this a must. As long as I am talking about entertainment, let me talk about the evening events. In the evenings there was a pianist in the Ocean Bar (5pm to 7:45pm). If you wanted to dance you could, in a dance floor big enough for perhaps three couples, but the music, although good, was mainly for entertainment. Then there was the 'B B King Lounge', (3 shows nightly, one hour each), with jazz and blues, and themed music. The dance floor here is fairly comfortable, but the seats on the main floor and in the bar area fill up quickly. This was the only venue conducive to dancing. 'Billboards on Board' are two pianists on two pianos, singing and encouraging sing-alongs. This was fun. They had 3 shows nightly, each one one hour long. They had themed nights and took requests and were very popular. They are not HAL employees. Apparently they are contracted, although there is a Billboards Bar with HAL bar staff. But, no dancing here. For us, a highlight was the 'Lincoln Center Stage', a partnership between HAL and the 'Lincoln Center'. There is a strings quintet who give 3 performances, one in the afternoon and two in the evenings. As the cruise went on they were performing to Standing Room Only crowds. They are classically trained musicians with a varied repertoire, from chamber music to popular songs, arranged especially for them. We always went to the shows before and after dinner. They are a treasure, and HAL should feel proud of having this partnership. The musicians are provided by the Lincoln Center, they are not HAL employees. Contrary to daytime, there is a lack of variety and originality at night. Other than the theater shows, this was it for the evenings, unless you are a gambler (we are not), the "Sip and Savor' and Sampling events for a fee, (another way to get your money), the Jewelry shops spotlights, and.....Bingo. As for the theater shows: there are no more review shows with dancers and singers in HAL. This was a big disappointment. The shows were generally good though. There were two comedians, both hilarious; a magician/comedian who was excellent; a pianist/comedian, very talented and funny; a clarinetist and a guitarist (both talented but more suitable to a lounge venue than a theater); an Australian singer with an amazing range of voice. Our very favorite were 'The Alley Cats', a Doo Wop quartet that are bringing back the a-capella singing with that 50's feel. They are beyond fabulous. Think 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and you get the idea. They brought the house down. There was also the BBC Planet Earth with live musicians. This is thrilling. The night the Philippines crew did their authentic show, there was not an empty seat in the house. Having said that, the 'show' one evening was a movie we could have watched in our rooms. Thumbs down on this one. One show that was fantastic, and not to be missed is "Humanity" by Step One Dance Company. This blew our minds. Although the majority of the acts were great, many comments were heard, as well as the Cruise Director being asked about the lack of the review shows. Is HAL trying to save money by cutting the review shows? Service around the ship was excellent, meeting our expectations. The only draw back was that whenever we asked for a glass of water at a bar or the theater, we were either ignored or served with reluctance. I know there is no remuneration for water, but we are paying guests and if we want water we should get it without reservations. If we ordered cocktails or wine, there was no problem. Our cabin steward exceeded our expectations. He made sure our flowers were fresh and the fruit replenished. He noticed my husband had a mild cold, so he brought us extra tissues so we had them anywhere in the cabin. He was attentive and caring. Dining: we had Open Seating. The first night service was horrible. The assistant waiter came and served water and gave us the menu. Did not say Good Night or greet us in any way. Then the head waiter came with his notepad ready and without introducing himself he asked for our order. My husband ordered steak and had to ask for a steak knife. One of the assistant waiters was talking to someone on the other side of the half wall dividing our section from the one on a level one step above. He was joking and yelling right behind us. This is not right. Our experience was not what we are accustomed on a cruise. When we made reservations for subsequent nights we were specific not to seat us at that table or his section. We found a good team and asked to stay with them if possible. We did and were very happy with them, as expected. Food was hit and miss, but overall good. Be aware that HAL is now charging a $10 surcharge if you order a second entree. This does not apply to appetizers, salads or soups, or desserts, just entrees. They also charge $20 surcharge for lobster. We ate at the four Specialty Restaurants: Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, Canaletto, and Rudi's. Rudi's is the Pinnacle Grill transformed into a Chef Rudi restaurant with his recipes and ambiance. They were all a delight, with superb service and amazing food. Also, because of the Neptune Suite, we could have breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill (included). Fabulous service and a great menu. We did this on sea days. The Photo Shop has not gone electronic. No more looking through thousands of photos to find yours, and then see hundreds thrown away. This is fantastic! I gave kudos to the staff. You insert your card in a computer and through a face-recognition program the computer finds your photos and you buy them as if you were buying from home online. Shore excursions: varied and well planned. The excursions followed the descriptions in the brochure. These are the excursions we took: Honolulu: Pearl Harbor and the Mighty Missouri. This is a must if you like history and this is your first visit to Hawaii. The "gangway" to the Arizona Memorial is damaged and unsteady so we did not go inside the Memorial. We knew this so it did not catch us by surprise. You are standing right in front of Battleship Row, where everything happened. Goose bumps! They showed a movie that was informative and poignant so we did not feel like we had missed much by not visiting the actual Memorial. Then we boarded a Navy launch to go the Missouri. On the ride we took great photos of the Arizona Memorial and the other markers. The Missouri is impressive. Standing there where the Japanese surrender actually happened was exciting to say the least. We also went to the Punchbowl, the National Pacific Cemetery, and saw highlights of Honolulu including the King Kamahameha statue and the Iiolani Palace (photos only.) We still had time to go to a Luau. We thought about booking on our own, but the logistics of getting there and back were too risky, so we booked it with HAL. It was fun, food was great, seeing how they prepare the Kahlua Pork was interesting. I tried poi (my husband did not). I leave it up to you to decide if you like it or not, but it is something worth trying if you are in Hawaii. The show was colorful and pretty, but the audience participation got to be too much. Overall, it was fun. Kauai: we took a helicopter ride. This one we booked on our own. We read the reviews from the rides booked thru HAL and were not impressed. We booked Jack Harter Helicopters and cannot say enough about them. They were efficient throughout the process and answered all our questions before we got there. They picked us up at the pier. The ride was the most thrilling thing we have done in a long time. There are places in Kauai that are only seen from the air. We were not disappointed. This was a 65 minute ride, compared to 45 minutes with the HAL excursion. Highly recommend Jack Harter. (The helicopter views in Jurassic Park are in Kauai as well as in Maui.) Their driver took us back to town, which is within walking distance from the ship. We had a delicious lunch overlooking the ocean. Maui: Road to Hana. Reviews said this was an unpaved, windy road. It is now paved. There are many curves and bridges but the guide was so informative, and he made so many frequent stops that the time went fast. Scenery is gorgeous. The water falls are numerous and beautiful. We had lunch at Waianapanapa State Park, at the Honokalali beach, a unique black sand beach. Spectacular! We ate coconut ice cream, freshly made, and went to Ho'okipa beach to see leatherback turtles. This was a fun and informative excursion. Kona, Big Island: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to the recent eruption, most of the park was closed, as was the Thurston Lava Tube, but we were able to walk on lava fields from an 1868 eruption and learn everything about lava and volcanoes. The Kohala Coast gives amazing views. The Coffee Plantation is beautiful and Kona Coffee is fabulous. Try the apple bananas. The Punalu'u Bake Shop is a delicious stop. Our guide was fantastic. Hilo, Big Island: Historical Hilo and Akaka Falls. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. He moved to Hilo from Minnesota 22 years ago and does not regret it. Hilo is beautiful, full of history. We stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There are the plain salted macadamias and macadamias covered in every kind of goodies. Their shop is very pretty. Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls are spectacular. The Lyman Museum and Mission House are very informative. Ensenada, Mexico: Bufadora Adventure. Bufadora is a specatacular blowhole, one of the biggest in the world. You have about an hour and a half in the Bufadora area. You walk about 20 minutes through a long street full of vendors of every kind. They will offer samples of margaritas, piña coladas, they will entice you to go to their shops. I suggest that unless you want to spend your time with one of them, say "No thank you"and keep walking. The blowhole's peak time is at high tide. We got there at low tide and the seas were calm. We waited patiently and saw quite a few big sprays, about 30 ft high. The spray can go 60-100 ft in the air with the right conditions. Our guide told us the best times are Nov to May. She was fantastic. We experienced a traffic jam going back but we were all in a good mood. Our last stop was an old hacienda that is now an activities center, and tried a margarita at the spot where the margaritas were invented. The story is fascinating. At the end of the tour we asked our guide where we could have fresh lobster and she recommended a restaurant that was a bit hard to find but worth it. The port guides on the ship give suggestions as well. Calle Primera (main street) is very picturesque and the break water (malecón in Spanish) is absolutely beautiful. Debarkation was smooth. no problems. Back in San Diego, we took the pre-arranged transfer to the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and ... Read More
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and with mostly senior cruisers at this time of year and on a cruise this length. But for those with a love of old-style cruising, the itineraries and the value really can't be beat. The Eurodam loses points for an interminably long line for check-in in San Diego (disembarkation was much more efficient) and for virtually no welcoming ritual (no champagne) but after that initial disappointment, what's not to like? Excellent food in the dining room and, for an extra price, at Tamarind, the Asian-fusion specialty restaurant--and good food, too, and lots of choices in the Lido buffet (once you figure out the times to come so you don't have to search relentlessly for an empty table). The staff is mostly Filipino and Indonesian and always smiling and eager to please; what pleased us most is that they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves and each other and took much pride in whatever task they took on. The public areas have recently been renovated are are quite glamorous--and we appreciated the vintage cruise ship photographs on the walls, the tasteful art (especially the stunning Bas Sebus print in our verandah cabin), and the many musical choices for listening. This wasn't a cruise of fervent dancers, but we could have danced every night ("Mustang Sally" to "Uptown Funk") at the fabulous BB King Blues Club. Our favorite things about this cruise were the two astonishing dance and light show performances by One Step Dance Company, truly, the most spectacular productions we've seen in more than 15 cruises and the superb culinary talks/demonstrations by the American Test Kitchen host Annette. No alcohol, or even bottled water, is included so bar tabs can quickly mount, but if you only want a glass or two of wine at dinner, drinks by the glass are probably the way to go. We signed up for free-style dining and, once we learned the right time to come, never had to wait for a table for two. This was a truly enjoyable, relaxing--and delicious--time. And we loved all those sea days! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were ... Read More
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were stuck onboard there was a lot of sickness and coughing. We made port in Honolulu but were there for 2 days. The service and food were very good but the entertainment was ok and the shows were only 45 minutes in length. Our shore excursions had to be canceled due to the fact that we never made it into the 3 (in my opinion) more important ports. The cruise line offerer a small refund of $100.00 per person for our trouble and disappointment. I would also recommend travel insurance for cases like this. The medical staff was good but the charges were extreme. We would NEVER sail for that long on open water with no ports for that long. Disembarking was chaotic and a possible dangerous situation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. Always friendly, smiling, anxious to please. The language barrier was seldom a problem, and when it was, simply asking for a repeat solved it. This ship has a capacity of around 2,000 passengers. I bet there were no more than 100 under the age of 65. There were literally more mobility scooters and walkers than children on the ship. That's one reason we selected HAL--a quiet, peaceful environment in which to enjoy our days at sea and meals in the dining venues. A huge storm hit Hawaii the same time we did. That meant that three of the five port calls in Hawaii were canceled. We were disappointed, but not terrifically so; we have been to Hawaii enough times to have experienced it pretty thoroughly. If it had been our first trip to the islands, I would have been seriously bummed. The ship itself was in very good shape. The furniture, decor, and cabin amenities were in excellent condition. The big TV in our Verandah cabin had useful ship's info (menus, weather, etc.) as well as TV shows and movies. My wife discovered that closed caption can be turned on in all the movies, not just those under the Closed Caption menu. We had Open Seating dining. We traveled with another couple. We would show up at the Main Dining Room around six each evening that we ate there, telling the maitre d that we wanted a table for four, not shared with others. On one formal night we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but in every other case we were seated either immediately or within five minutes. One disadvantage to our method is that we usually ended up at a table in the back, right above the azipods, where there was significant engine noise. Speaking of engine noise, I explored the various decks to see whether there was a location to avoid to get a quiet cabin. Surprisingly, the only areas that I could hear mechanical noise (at least in the passageways) was on the lower decks (A and 1), midship. I believe it was exhaust noise from the diesel engines. I was surprised that there wasn't mechanical noise near the aft cabins, since there sure was a lot of it in the main dining room in the tables at the back. Our cabin was nice, although the cabin I selected (5039) had a substandard size balcony. Our friends on the fourth deck, in the same class of cabin, had a regular-depth balcony. Speaking of balconies, we noticed that when we took the glass elevators midship, we could see the entire balconies for the cabins adjacent to those elevators. I would have been very unhappy to have such a public balcony. Overall, a great cruise. The staff, the ship, and the food were outstanding. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of ... Read More
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of our ports for safety concerns. The ship staff and crew made the trip very enjoyable anyway. Entertainment was very good. No food complaints about the main dining room. Service and food were were fine. Selection was amazing. The captain is to be commended for taking excellent care of his passengers in rough weather. Our cruise director came up with several on board activities when we were unable to go ashore. We learned a lot in the America’s Test Kitchen where Annnette cooked up some great dishes. I would not hesitate to take another cruise with Holland America. This was our third and longest. They are a cruise line serving seniors well. If you want water slides and rock walls you will need to look elsewhere but if you want excellent service, food, and a spotless ship consider them. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
After having only previously sailed with Celebrity up to this point, my wife and I went on this cruise based on reading favorable comparisons between the quality of HAL and X. While the Eurodam is a nice ship and we definitely had a fun ... Read More
After having only previously sailed with Celebrity up to this point, my wife and I went on this cruise based on reading favorable comparisons between the quality of HAL and X. While the Eurodam is a nice ship and we definitely had a fun and enjoyable time on-board, there were definitely some differences with our past cruises. Here is a list of some of the things we saw as Pros and Cons: Pros - Comfortable, well maintained ship with a number of nice common areas to spend time at during the cruise. - Crew was very helpful and nice. - Cabin (Veranda) had a bath tub/shower combo, which we hadn't experienced before outside of suites. - Well stocked board/card game room (they even had Settlers of Catan). Cons - Average age was probably over 70. While my wife and I don't want a party barge experience, the number of people in wheel chairs outnumbered the 20-30s crowd. - On ship entertainment was likewise geared towards the older crowd. - We had open seating which with X gives us an individual table. While you might be in relatively close proximity to another table, it is your own table. We assumed HAL would have a similar experience, but every night at the MDC we were asked if we wanted to sit with others and one time we ended up having to sit with another couple. - I think we prefer the Caribbean from a cruise port perspective. Read Less
Eurodam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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