Venice to Barcelona on the Eurodam was our 20th cruise. Some cruises are better than others, but this was definitely one of the best. THE SHIP: We've been on other HAL ships, but not the Eurodam. Frankly, even though this ship was recently in drydock, it seemed a little old and shabby around the edges. The pictures in the hallways were old black & white photos of ships being built - not attractive or interesting. And let's face it . . . unless your cabin is right next to an elevator, you spend a fair amount of time walking in long hallways! The layout of the ship was similar to other HAL vessels. They have reconfigured some of the entertainment venues. Instead of a closed-in lounge for classical music, they've arranged chairs theater-style along the walkway from the Anytime Dining room to the main theater. There's a sign requesting silence during a performance. We always seemed to be on this path when there wasn't a performance, so I don't know if passengers obeyed the sign or if they were disruptive. Also on this pathway was the new venue, Billboard OnBoard, and the B.B. King Blues Club. ENTERTAINMENT: The B.B. King Blues Club group was excellent - great blues and R&B music with talented performers and energetic dancers among the passengers. This venue was usually very crowded. We enjoyed a set on two different evenings. Billboard OnBoard replaces the old piano bar with two dueling pianos, located directly opposite the casino. The first night we really enjoyed the concept and the performers, but as the cruise wore on we realized that the performers were hit or miss. For this concept to be successful, the two musicians need to have worked together for some period of time or it just falls apart. The main show singers and dancers were simply awful. Their individual resumes were impressive, but the singers were either screeching or offkey, and the choreography and dancing was very amateur. The ship singers and dancers are usually a highlight for us and we make a concerted effort to attend all of their shows. This time we actually walked out of 3 different productions because they were so poor. DINING AND FOOD: Excellent. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his seafood selections every night. My choices varied from seafood to beef to pork to vegetarian, and I was usually very satisfied with my choices. Our dinner in the Tamarind was also very good and the food was presented beautifully. Service was sometimes a little slow, but mostly we were extremely happy - and we are probably more critical diners than most. We had almost all of our meals in the dining room. On the few occasions that we ate in the Lido buffet, we thought the food was fine, but we just really didn't enjoy the atmosphere. ROOMS: HAL replaced the boxy TV's with a nice flat screen, but I think our room had the old carpeting because it was kind of dingy looking. The bed lights were tacky, and insufficient lighting in general gave our balcony cabin kind of a dark look. Worst of all was the darkly tinted mirror above the vanity - it was impossible to do my hair or make-up. I dried my hair using the small mirror on a stand provided by HAL, and needed to do my makeup in the bathroom. Whoever thought a tinted mirror in this location was a good idea must have been a man! OTHER AMENITIES: The gym was nicely updated, and the instructors for the early morning stretch classes were good. The library was a MESS! The fiction and bestseller sections were not in alphabetical order by author and the librarian wasn't the least bit concerned about it. Her explanation was that the passengers "just stick the books back in wherever they want." We actually had a little downtime, so we went to the library and spent a couple of hours alphabetizing these sections. So when we're asked what the most unusual thing we've ever done on a cruise is, we now have an answer! CLIENTELE: There were many Australians and British folks on this cruise, followed by Canadians and Americans. People were generally well-educated, congenial and interesting. Formal nights (now called Gala Nights) were not super dressy, but most men did wear jacket and tie and the women wore dressy pantsuits or short cocktail dresses. SERVICE: Top notch and very friendly, just what we expect from HAL. PORTS: See our comments below. We did not use HAL for any excursions. In some cases we just wandered around town, in others we used independently arranged excursions. VENICE - embarkation was smooth and easy. Didn't spent any time here. DUBROVNIK - Easy and picturesque city to explore on your own. Ship charged for shuttle to/from Old Town. We saved money using one of the many taxis lined up at the dock. KOTOR - This was a real surprise. Kotor is very charming, very old, with lots of winding streets and alleys. Another easy spot to do on your own unless you want to venture into the countryside. We'd love to go back to Kotor. CORFU - Ship shuttle was $16 per person round trip. We wandered around on our own for a few hours. Not one of our favorite ports, but not bad either. SALERNO - We did a private all-day tour of the Amalfi coast which was great. ROME - We've been here often. We booked a car to take us into the city, and took the train back to Civitavecchia. This time we did an independent food walking tour of 3 different neighborhoods. It was terrific - we ate our way through Rome! We also visited the beautiful basilica San Paolo di Fuori Mura (St. Paul's Outside the Walls) - would highly recommend it. LIVORNO - Booked a full day excursion into Florence with a 2 hour walking tour. It's unfortunate that it takes so long to get into Florence from the port. Next time we'll probably choose to do something closer, and take another trip into Florence when we're on a land tour of Italy. MONTE CARLO - Had a great time here. Took a half-day excursion to the medieval town of Eze, France, visited a perfume factory, and had a general tour of Monaco with free time to explore on our own. We'd enjoy going back to this port. TOULON - We intentionally chose to skip this port and treated it like a much-needed Sea Day after a very port-intensive cruise. Most of the people we talked to who got off the ship in Toulon were unimpressed. OVERALL: We think cruising is always an adventure. Even when some aspects are disappointing, overall we know that HAL staff will take good care of us and we'll have a great time. We're looking forward to more adventures real soon!

AN OUTSTANDING ADVENTURE

Eurodam Cruise Review by Wisconsin Travelers

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2016
  • Destination: Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Venice to Barcelona on the Eurodam was our 20th cruise. Some cruises are better than others, but this was definitely one of the best.

THE SHIP: We've been on other HAL ships, but not the Eurodam. Frankly, even though this ship was recently in drydock, it seemed a little old and shabby around the edges. The pictures in the hallways were old black & white photos of ships being built - not attractive or interesting. And let's face it . . . unless your cabin is right next to an elevator, you spend a fair amount of time walking in long hallways!

The layout of the ship was similar to other HAL vessels. They have reconfigured some of the entertainment venues. Instead of a closed-in lounge for classical music, they've arranged chairs theater-style along the walkway from the Anytime Dining room to the main theater. There's a sign requesting silence during a performance. We always seemed to be on this path when there wasn't a performance, so I don't know if passengers obeyed the sign or if they were disruptive. Also on this pathway was the new venue, Billboard OnBoard, and the B.B. King Blues Club.

ENTERTAINMENT: The B.B. King Blues Club group was excellent - great blues and R&B music with talented performers and energetic dancers among the passengers. This venue was usually very crowded. We enjoyed a set on two different evenings. Billboard OnBoard replaces the old piano bar with two dueling pianos, located directly opposite the casino. The first night we really enjoyed the concept and the performers, but as the cruise wore on we realized that the performers were hit or miss. For this concept to be successful, the two musicians need to have worked together for some period of time or it just falls apart. The main show singers and dancers were simply awful. Their individual resumes were impressive, but the singers were either screeching or offkey, and the choreography and dancing was very amateur. The ship singers and dancers are usually a highlight for us and we make a concerted effort to attend all of their shows. This time we actually walked out of 3 different productions because they were so poor.

DINING AND FOOD: Excellent. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his seafood selections every night. My choices varied from seafood to beef to pork to vegetarian, and I was usually very satisfied with my choices. Our dinner in the Tamarind was also very good and the food was presented beautifully. Service was sometimes a little slow, but mostly we were extremely happy - and we are probably more critical diners than most. We had almost all of our meals in the dining room. On the few occasions that we ate in the Lido buffet, we thought the food was fine, but we just really didn't enjoy the atmosphere.

ROOMS: HAL replaced the boxy TV's with a nice flat screen, but I think our room had the old carpeting because it was kind of dingy looking. The bed lights were tacky, and insufficient lighting in general gave our balcony cabin kind of a dark look. Worst of all was the darkly tinted mirror above the vanity - it was impossible to do my hair or make-up. I dried my hair using the small mirror on a stand provided by HAL, and needed to do my makeup in the bathroom. Whoever thought a tinted mirror in this location was a good idea must have been a man!

OTHER AMENITIES: The gym was nicely updated, and the instructors for the early morning stretch classes were good. The library was a MESS! The fiction and bestseller sections were not in alphabetical order by author and the librarian wasn't the least bit concerned about it. Her explanation was that the passengers "just stick the books back in wherever they want." We actually had a little downtime, so we went to the library and spent a couple of hours alphabetizing these sections. So when we're asked what the most unusual thing we've ever done on a cruise is, we now have an answer!

CLIENTELE: There were many Australians and British folks on this cruise, followed by Canadians and Americans. People were generally well-educated, congenial and interesting. Formal nights (now called Gala Nights) were not super dressy, but most men did wear jacket and tie and the women wore dressy pantsuits or short cocktail dresses.

SERVICE: Top notch and very friendly, just what we expect from HAL.

PORTS: See our comments below. We did not use HAL for any excursions. In some cases we just wandered around town, in others we used independently arranged excursions.

VENICE - embarkation was smooth and easy. Didn't spent any time here.

DUBROVNIK - Easy and picturesque city to explore on your own. Ship charged for shuttle to/from Old Town. We saved money using one of the many taxis lined up at the dock.

KOTOR - This was a real surprise. Kotor is very charming, very old, with lots of winding streets and alleys. Another easy spot to do on your own unless you want to venture into the countryside. We'd love to go back to Kotor.

CORFU - Ship shuttle was $16 per person round trip. We wandered around on our own for a few hours. Not one of our favorite ports, but not bad either.

SALERNO - We did a private all-day tour of the Amalfi coast which was great.

ROME - We've been here often. We booked a car to take us into the city, and took the train back to Civitavecchia. This time we did an independent food walking tour of 3 different neighborhoods. It was terrific - we ate our way through Rome! We also visited the beautiful basilica San Paolo di Fuori Mura (St. Paul's Outside the Walls) - would highly recommend it.

LIVORNO - Booked a full day excursion into Florence with a 2 hour walking tour. It's unfortunate that it takes so long to get into Florence from the port. Next time we'll probably choose to do something closer, and take another trip into Florence when we're on a land tour of Italy.

MONTE CARLO - Had a great time here. Took a half-day excursion to the medieval town of Eze, France, visited a perfume factory, and had a general tour of Monaco with free time to explore on our own. We'd enjoy going back to this port.

TOULON - We intentionally chose to skip this port and treated it like a much-needed Sea Day after a very port-intensive cruise. Most of the people we talked to who got off the ship in Toulon were unimpressed.

OVERALL: We think cruising is always an adventure. Even when some aspects are disappointing, overall we know that HAL staff will take good care of us and we'll have a great time. We're looking forward to more adventures real soon!
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VD 5130
THE GOOD: Plenty of storage and closet space, comfy bed, nice balcony with a tiny table, two chairs and two footstools. Nice flat screen TV.

THE BAD: Darkly tinted vanity mirror made it impossible to do hair and make-up. Who made this terrible decision?!
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