Istanbul and Ephesus(Kusadasi) have been on my bucket list for a long time. Add Athens and several Greek islands, in addition to embarking and disembarking in one of my favorite cities - Venice, and it was a dream itinerary. The ports did not disappoint. Even our last port before returning to Venice, did not disappoint. Who knew that Argistoli, Cephalonia, Greece would be this beautiful, quaint town of tiled roofs, sparkling turquoise water decorated shore walkway, and loggerhead turtles bobbing up hoping for for a handout? Istanbul was amazing, and I always felt safe. The Basilica cistern, Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque were standouts. HAL made sure there was nothing that identified us as members of a tour group. But we felt comfortable walking around the Sultanahmet and Grand Bazaar on our own DIY tour. Olympia, Athens and Ephesus quenched my thirst for ancient civilizations and architecture. Santorini was magical, even on our one rainy day. Our verandah cabin was comfortable, though a post in the wall jutted out so far that moving big suitcases from one side of the cabin to the other was difficult, and we had to make sure our bedding did not slip down and create a tripping hazard. The verandah railing needed a needed a good sanding and a new coat of varnish, but everything else seemed to be in good repair. The service was stellar in both the cabins and dining room. Some of our towel animals were unidentifiable, but provided a source of amusement, as we tried to guess what they were. We did not have a bad meal in the Lido, MDR, or room service breakfast. We did a pre-paid unlimited laundry package which was an excellent choice because had so little laundry to do when we returned home. Some of my tops have been ironed for the first time since Impurchased them. And not one item was misplaced. Our waiters (Abdul & Dede) and wine steward (Pearly Ann) made excellent recommendations for meals and wine. I did two wine tastings, which were both educational and fun, and a great way to meet people from other parts of the world. BB King All Stars never disappointed. How they remained enthusiastic night after night is a puzzle. This group plays energetic, fairly loud music which might not appeal to everyone, but we loved it. We encountered one problem in which we involved Guest Services to resolve. Not only did they immediately resolve the issue, but Rosa, the supervisor, called back twice to ensure that all was well, but she also sent a spectacular bouquet of flowers to apologize. 5 days later, we brought the bouquet to the dining room and bequeathed to Althea, one of the dining room managers who'd befriended us, because the flowers were still gorgeous and showed no sign of wilting. There are some opportunities for improvement, but they did not spoil our voyage. Two people near us during the muster drill had physical issues that made standing for the entire time very difficult for them. The quality of Coffee, juice and water service in the Lido depended on where one sat. Disembarkation - in writing- appeared to be well organized, but in practice was a bit confusing. The written instructions did not list all the group colors, and had listed the incorrect deck for the disembarking gangway. Some groups were never announced. Once we arrived at the HAL transfer bus, all went well. But HAL should be proud of how well their representatives deliver excellent service with a smile, even when they must be exhausted from the long hours and hard work. I hope to keep in touch with some of them, who made my first HAL cruise so memorable. We will be back on HAL once we have a chance to decide our itinerary, and timing.

My first cruise whetted my appetite for more.

Eurodam Cruise Review by cat shepard

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Istanbul and Ephesus(Kusadasi) have been on my bucket list for a long time. Add Athens and several Greek islands, in addition to embarking and disembarking in one of my favorite cities - Venice, and it was a dream itinerary.

The ports did not disappoint. Even our last port before returning to Venice, did not disappoint. Who knew that Argistoli, Cephalonia, Greece would be this beautiful, quaint town of tiled roofs, sparkling turquoise water decorated shore walkway, and loggerhead turtles bobbing up hoping for for a handout? Istanbul was amazing, and I always felt safe. The Basilica cistern, Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque were standouts. HAL made sure there was nothing that identified us as members of a tour group. But we felt comfortable walking around the Sultanahmet and Grand Bazaar on our own DIY tour. Olympia, Athens and Ephesus quenched my thirst for ancient civilizations and architecture. Santorini was magical, even on our one rainy day.

Our verandah cabin was comfortable, though a post in the wall jutted out so far that moving big suitcases from one side of the cabin to the other was difficult, and we had to make sure our bedding did not slip down and create a tripping hazard. The verandah railing needed a needed a good sanding and a new coat of varnish, but everything else seemed to be in good repair.

The service was stellar in both the cabins and dining room. Some of our towel animals were unidentifiable, but provided a source of amusement, as we tried to guess what they were. We did not have a bad meal in the Lido, MDR, or room service breakfast. We did a pre-paid unlimited laundry package which was an excellent choice because had so little laundry to do when we returned home. Some of my tops have been ironed for the first time since Impurchased them. And not one item was misplaced.

Our waiters (Abdul & Dede) and wine steward (Pearly Ann) made excellent recommendations for meals and wine. I did two wine tastings, which were both educational and fun, and a great way to meet people from other parts of the world.

BB King All Stars never disappointed. How they remained enthusiastic night after night is a puzzle. This group plays energetic, fairly loud music which might not appeal to everyone, but we loved it.

We encountered one problem in which we involved Guest Services to resolve. Not only did they immediately resolve the issue, but Rosa, the supervisor, called back twice to ensure that all was well, but she also sent a spectacular bouquet of flowers to apologize. 5 days later, we brought the bouquet to the dining room and bequeathed to Althea, one of the dining room managers who'd befriended us, because the flowers were still gorgeous and showed no sign of wilting.

There are some opportunities for improvement, but they did not spoil our voyage. Two people near us during the muster drill had physical issues that made standing for the entire time very difficult for them.

The quality of Coffee, juice and water service in the Lido depended on where one sat.

Disembarkation - in writing- appeared to be well organized, but in practice was a bit confusing. The written instructions did not list all the group colors, and had listed the incorrect deck for the disembarking gangway. Some groups were never announced. Once we arrived at the HAL transfer bus, all went well.

But HAL should be proud of how well their representatives deliver excellent service with a smile, even when they must be exhausted from the long hours and hard work. I hope to keep in touch with some of them, who made my first HAL cruise so memorable. We will be back on HAL once we have a chance to decide our itinerary, and timing.
cat shepard’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin V 10038
We did not believe a yoga mat and a higher deck justified the additional charge. Had this not been a free "upgrade", we might not have believed we received good value for what we paid.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews