Eurodam Cruise Review by Herbs Mom
- Sail Date: August 2015
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Neptune Suite with Verandah
SERVICE – As we’ve always found, service was top notch. Our room stewards knew us by name from the beginning and were always one step ahead of us. People at the front desk were always pleasant and helpful. Our laundry was always returned within 24 hours perfectly pressed or folded. The “Destination Specialist” was excellent to answer questions about each port, helped us figure out where the train stations were in each port and did whatever he could to make our time in port good for our needs.
On our first morning, we had a problem with the toilet. The Neptune Lounge concierge came right down to see about the problem and called the appropriate people to fix it. We were already in port and on our way out – she stayed so we could leave. When we got back the problem had been fixed and the bathroom was spotless.
EMBARKATION – We got to the ship a bit early, but our luggage was taken right away. We went inside the terminal and waited less than 30 minutes until we were checked in and on the ship. Our room was clean and ready and we went to enjoy a wonderful lunch.
FOOD – We ate most of our meals in the Main Dining Room, early seating. Our waiter was very pleasant and helpful. We never felt rushed to finish to give them time to get ready for the later seating. There was a nice selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts. My taste tends to be a bit simple, but my husband enjoyed the many different entrees.
One of my favorite treats was the Fries at the “Dive-In” on the Lido deck – always extra crispy, fresh and really hot. We did eat one dinner at the Caneletto, one of the up charge restaurants, and enjoyed it. It wasn’t traditional southern Italian cooking, but several different choices.
One nice treat was an “Oktoberfest” on the Lido deck in the afternoon in Warnemunde, complete with a local band – a nice selection of German-type food and the band playing gave a fun atmosphere before we left Germany.
ENTERTAINMENT – Because we were usually so tired from our busy days in port, we didn’t go to any of the shows in the large showroom, but we did enjoy “Adagio” – a piano/violin duo in a small area not far from the Main Dining Room. We also usually enjoyed “The Band” while we enjoyed a drink before dinner.
CABIN – On this cruise we had a Neptune Suite on deck 7 and it couldn’t have been more perfect. If anything, it was a bit large for just the two of us. There were 6 closets and many drawers to put our things in. We had a king-size bed, a sofa, 2 chairs and a table. In the bathroom we had double sinks, a tub/shower and a separate. Our verandah had a table and chairs and 2 chairs with footstools – and lots of room! We enjoyed sitting out there, especially when coming in to Stockholm and leaving Stockholm. The carpet was a bit worn, but not too bad. The biggest problem was cigarette smoke coming from other verandahs when we would have to leave (and yes, HAL still allows smoking on verandahs)
EXCURSIONS – As with just about all cruise lines, shore excursions are priced exorbitantly high, with large groups. But almost all of the ports had public transportation close by or the HopOn/HopOff buses were there ready and waiting. We did our research for each city ahead of time and knew where we were going to take trains, where we’d do the HopOn/HopOff, etc. The ship’s “Destination Specialist” was always ready and willing to help point out the way to the train station, give advice on fun little things to see, etc – and even where we could find “Free WiFi”. The exception to this was St. Petersburg where we booked ahead with SPB-Tours. We had the best tour guide, a spotlessly clean Mercedes mini-van, bottled water each day and lunch in local restaurants (not the fast food court in a mall).
DISEMBARKATION – We set our luggage out the night before leaving the ship and found it very easily right off the ship, took it to the waiting HAL bus (prearranged) and arrived at the airport quickly. The gentleman on the bus with us was very good to help us find our airline and get where we needed to go. This is one area where we like taking the HAL bus – easier with the luggage and they certainly get you to the airport with time to spare.
For us, there are very few negatives with Holland America. Pricey and slow WiFi and pricey shore excursions are common complaints with most cruise lines. My biggest complaint is that Holland America still clings to the smoking policy allowing passengers to smoke on their balconies. This greatly limited the time we could spend on our balcony because the smoke from other balconies would come on to ours, making it hard to breath and definitely took away the fresh air. Most other U.S. based cruise lines have now banned smoking on balconies, and I hope HAL will follow their lead.
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