Eurodam Cruise Review by dollyrox
- Sail Date: December 2014
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Neptune Suite with Verandah
Embarkation was quick until we were about to board the ship and encountered the "picture line" which had everyone standing in line at least another fifteen minutes while the ship's photographers tried to persuade each boarding passenger to have their visage immortalized.
Once on board, we had immediate access to our cabin since it was now after 1:00. After dropping off the luggage, I elected to take the ship's tour. This was conducted by a personable young man. Unfortunately, he was new to the ship himself and was a little unsure in his guidance. It was good, however, to get an overview of the ship's layout.. This is a beautiful ship, very "clubby" in feel with an oriental flair. It has two public pools, one of which is for adults only and is located on the rear of the ship where smoking is allowed. Everything is clean and well kept.
Following the tour I returned to the room to unpack. The cabin was quite attractive, with ample storage, a tub in the bathroom, and a roomy balcony. There were three hanging lockers and I particularly enjoyed having plenty of hangers. There was a lighted magnifying mirror at the dresser which was really needed since the sun from the balcony was so bright on the wall mirror that they had a darkening film on it making applying make-up impossible. Our room steward Sugi and his assistant Putu were wonderful, efficient, friendly, and made amazing towel animals. They always had a smile and a happy greeting.
The lifeboat drill on this ship is conducted the first afternoon on deck, in the blazing sun. Many passengers were not on time, causing those who had complied with the time to have to stack up like sardines against the ship's hull and wait until all were accounted for. Some of the passengers became faint and had to seek seating although not in their appointed station. This seems a rather barbaric way to conduct a drill since I had become accustomed to indoor drills. Holland, however, to their credit, seems to take safety quite seriously, conducting crew safety drills several times during the week with the accompanying ear piercing whistles and on one occasion shutting down all the elevators. They even launched some lifeboats at one port in order to test them out.
Food on the ship was sort of a mixed bag. The Lido, which is the buffet area on the 9th floor, was excellent, with many fresh and tasty offerings. The fresh fruit and bread varieties were wonderful. Ditto, the hand scooped ice cream! The offerings at the "Dive-in" burger bar on the pool deck are delicious, and the pizza served in the adult pool area is quite tasty.
I was a little less enthusiastic about the main dining room, the Rembrandt. I guess I have been accustomed on other lines to a two page menu. Here, it was compressed to one page, perhaps to cut down on waste.. The entrees have a distinctly Caribbean flair, which is fine if you enjoy jerk seasoning. I, unfortunately, am not one who does. I was generally stuck between ordering steak, chicken or salmon, which varied in quality day to day. The portions were quite small and the saucing very skimpy.. The desserts were pedestrian, at best. Holland pushes their Pinnacle restaurant and I am hoping that the lack of selections in the main dining room is not an attempt to "up sell". The last night of the cruise, which was billed as the "International Dinner", had such strange and unappealing selections that my husband and I elected to eat at the Lido, a rather sad farewell.
Our dining choice in the main dining room (two person table, requested three months prior)) was not honored on the first night so we elected to go to anytime dining the second night. We then received word that they could honor our original request, so we returned to our early seating. This, of course, took a toll on the service which never quite recovered, no fault of the wait staff. Sony, in the anytime dining section was a standout waiter, although we only had him one night.
One of the largest flaws, in my opinion, of this cruise was the lack of daytime activities and the nighttime entertainment.. The first night there was no entertainment and four of the other nights consisted of the ships singers and dancers performing. They are quite talented but, enough is enough! They pretty much missed the demographic of this cruise's clientele, however, the sets and costuming were nice. There were only two nights of "outside" performers ( a comedian and a steel drum band). This, to me, is an obvious attempt at cost cutting. The daytime activities were few and far between. The Trivia games were a particular disappointment. Our team was fortunate enough to win on all six contests, but no prize was offered whatsoever after it was found that four of our six players were non-drinkers, and the prize was a bottle of champagne. They would not trade it out for cokes! I don't think that the cruise lines realize how important these silly Trivia contests are on cruises, especially on lines that court the more mature passenger. Prizes need not be large (a deck of cards, a ball point pen, a note pad, mug, Frisbee, ANYTHING) just something to commemorate a win. Most lines give a tee shirt to the teams with the highest cumulative wins during the week. Another shortsighted cost cutter for the line that will come back to bite them. The other daytime activities seemed just thrown together, as if this was the first time they had been presented (cooking, flower arranging). One time, the sample offered was not the recipe presented. The galley tour was a disaster, with safety sirens going off throughout and crowds far to large for the narrator to be heard. There was very little planned in the way of activities other than music, in the evening.
The crew, throughout the ship, were unfailingly smiling and friendly. The pool bar staff was never pushy, and perhaps, best of all, Bingo was kept low key.
The casino was small, and although smoking is allowed, the smell of smoke was not particularly pervasive.
The shops were lovely and seemed well populated with customers, especially during their "side walk" sales.
There is a small movie theater on board with comfortable seats which shows relatively new PG rated movies. There is also a catalog in each cabin of 100's of DVD's that are available free of charge from the front desk.
This was not the cruise I had expected from Holland America, which I consider to be an upscale line. The food and entertainment were major disappointments.
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