My wife and I were fortunate to be able to go and celebrate our 20th year anniversary by going on the HAL Eurodam for the 12 night Baltic itinerary. This trip presented some challenges for us, but I want to start out by saying that we had a wonderful time in Europe and we were very pleased with the service, hospitality, and problem solving ability of Holland America.
Our adventure started out prior to getting to the airport as traffic to LAX was very heavy. When we got to the airport our flight was delayed for almost 2 hours and so we were already behind before we even took off on our first leg of the flights! When we got to Chicago, we were told to run to the next gate as they were holding the flight to Brussels for us. We got on the plane and figured that there was no way our luggage would make it! (stay tuned folks!) The flight to Brussels was no problem, but since we left late, of course we were again rushed in the airport. We had to wait in a long line to clear customs and then go through security. In our rush sprinting through the airport, I left my cell phone in the security checkpoint and didn’t realize it until we barely made our connecting flight. On this flight the air conditioning was not really working and the plane was very warm. Prior to landing, we could see the Eurodam in port and we both were quite happy. Needless to say, after 20 hours of travel we made it to Copenhagen but as predicted our luggage did not! After spending another hour in the luggage area filing a lost luggage claim, we left for our hotel and some much needed rest.
In Copenhagen we stayed at the Marriot AC Bella Sky by the airport. It was a very modern, unique, and comfortable hotel. Once we were settled in, we were notified that our luggage would either be delivered to our hotel the next morning or be delivered directly to our room on the ship. Well thankfully we packed an extra set of clothes, so we were OK with that and we ate a well overpriced dinner at the hotel and crashed for the night.
The next morning, we woke up and were informed that our luggage would go directly to the ship and to expect it later that day in our cabin. So we took a cab to the port and checked in. When we got to the port it was quite crowded, but organized. We preceded through security and were given a number and asked to sit down until our boarding group number was called. About 20 minutes later we were at the counter and checked in. We were fortunate to get a great upgrade on this trip and we were soon in our room, but our luggage was not! We went to guest services and gave them all the information regarding our lost luggage and they assured us they would work on things and get back to us. They also gave us a few toiletry kits and some t-shirts and shorts. They also gave us free same day laundry. We set sail and made the best of things knowing that HAL was doing their best. We took travel insurance and so we planned to shop for clothes in Kiel or Estonia.
The Eurodam is a beautiful ship and my wife and I found her to be in great shape. We had a large outside cabin and it was well laid out and very spacious. We went to the Lido for lunch and then up to the deck for sail away! Let the vacation begin. The ship is well laid out with the exception of the Lido. We always found it to be overcrowded and the tables are too close to the buffet lines making things hectic. Also it was difficult to find a table on many occasions.
Food: The food on this ship ran the spectrum from outstanding to not so great. I want to start out by saying that the Lido had really good food and the selections were really good. They have the best breakfast at sea! The choices were impressive and each morning my wife and I looked forward to trying new breakfast items. We ate breakfast, and lunch there almost every day and even ate dinner there about 5 times. We were given a complimentary meal at Tamarind and we really enjoyed it! I strongly recommend the wasabi crusted fillet and the giant chocolate fortune cookie. The service, the food, and the atmosphere made for a very memorable evening.
The main dining room was very mediocre in our opinion. First off our waiter was not very friendly or efficient. He was quick to take our order and slow to bring out all courses. The menu choices were not that great and food was not served hot. The salads were often soggy, and many dishes were not seasoned very well. The dishes that we did enjoy were the prime rib, the lobster, and the chicken Kiev. The deserts were good.
Entertainment: We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. We didn’t go to the main showroom, but we did the other venues regularly. Our favorite place to go each evening was the piano bar with Stryker! We had a great time signing along and enjoying great cocktails! We also loved the BB King Blues Club! The band was very talented and provided great music every night!
Bars: There are a lot of bars on this ship and we really enjoyed spending time at the Crow’s Nest and the Atrium Bar in the evenings. They had regular happy hours each evening with drinks for buy one and get the second for a dollar. The bar tenders were very friendly and created great cocktails. We had our regular bar tenders Roberto and Kenneth that kept the good times rolling! We met great people every night from all over the world!
Ports: We enjoyed the Baltic ports! We researched things a few months prior to our trip and decided to go with TJ travel for our excursions in Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Berlin. All the excursions were great and the two highlights were Berlin and St. Petersburg. The price and quality of the
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