Eurodam Cruise Review by C130Nav
- Sail Date: December 2012
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We flew in and took a cab to the ship ($20) which was very easy. So was the check in. However once we got on board, I (and others in my family thought the same thing) had a feeling that "this wasn't a happy ship." Everything was very strict and frankly didn't see that many smiles. Introduction to the Captain was during the lifeboat drill where he told us that we were unruly / noisy passengers and that he was willing to leave people behind...a threat repeated throughout the cruise. You get the gist...the icing on the cake was that when we arrived at their private island, apparently no one properly coordinated with the local authorities to clear us to disembark. The cruise director (who looked a bit like Ricky Gervais, but hated it if someone said so) related how sorry he was and how mad that the Captain was...that heads were to roll. All of this seemed a bit unprofessional and led my mom (a long-time HAL cruiser) remark that this was her last HAL cruise.
In any event, we took the power snorkeling tour in Grand Turks and enjoyed it immensely. In San Juan the family split up (some took a cab to the rain forest) while others toured the two nearby forts. The forts had a nominal charge with a free tram between them; one fort is about a mile from where the ship docked while the other was about a 10 minute uphill walk. After we got back, we walked around old town and had a drink at a cafe. The ones who went to the rain forest had a blast (and did it cheaper than the cruise)...overall, San Juan was a hit. Our next stop was St Thomas - we made arrangements with a local driver on the pier -- there are many -- to take us around for the day for $30 per person. We went to the top of the island, to a flea market in "downtown" area and thence to the beach in Emerald Bay (near the airport). The beach was nice, not crowded (unlike Meagan's which we could tell from the island top -- there were 7 cruise ships in port that day!) Final port of call was the private island. Mom got a cabana -- it was very nice and we enjoyed our time there, though the BBQ on the island was just okay.
Speaking of food, we ate in the specialty restaurants three times which includes the Asian and super special dinner -- enjoyed all 3 immensely. Frankly the best beef we've had since leaving Texas last year! Otherwise ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and it was good. There was a BBQ on the back deck the night we were in San Juan...absolutely the worst dining experience as the food was undercooked. Not sure why they so underestimated the crowd -- but the Windjammer was closed and most tours came back after the regular dining room hours -- but they did have the biggest Apple pie I ever saw.
The entertainment was mostly good -- the ship's dancers and singers were okay while the comic and magician headliners were very, very good. Other ship activities were well run and fun. JC, the cruise director, did well and about lost it during "The Marriage Game".
Ship was clean and rooms were nice. Gym was well maintained and had a good set of equipment and the room and gym staff was friendly. Didn't gamble nor take any of the spa treatments. Ships shops were fine and ended up renting a tux shirt (very reasonably priced).
Overall, a good cruise though not certain I would sail with HAL again (unless I absolutely knew I wasn't sailing with that Captain again. The Captain sets the tone through his leadership style and our sense was that the crew wasn't enjoying their time on board...and it negatively affected us, which is what separates this from being a great experience.