We chose to take this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our 37th anniversary. Alaska was a bucket list destination. We chose the Eurodam based on a recommendation from my father who has cruised with Holland America previously. We also didn't want a party boat. This ship seemed to cater to an older crowd and that was fine with us. We booked the cruise through Costco, which provided extra shipboard credits and also covered the housekeeping gratuity ($13.50 per day).
From Sea-Tac we took a shared shuttle to pier 91 at a cost of $22 per person (online price). The embarkation process had long lines but was well organized and they moved quickly. Our luggage was delivered to our stateroom quickly, and there was plenty of storage. There were storage areas under the bed for suitcases, and two drawers under the foot of the bed for clothes. The closet had a safe where you can store valuables. The room was not large, but we never felt crowded. I can not say enough good things about our attendants (Ya-Ya and Jar). The room was always in perfect shape, and they were considerate and thoughtful. They always remembered our names and a friendly greeting was always given when we saw them in the hallway. On the day of our anniversary they made some towels into swans in the shape of a heart and put rose petals around them on the bed. Very nice touch!
There were many activities aboard ship. I attended the test kitchen where we learned how to cook salmon. There was also an art gallery and art auction. The Lincoln Center Stage had a string quartet and pianist that were top notch - most had masters in music performance. They played daily concerts and were fabulous. Each evening in the auditorium there was a live show. The singers and dancers were quite good, and they also had a magician and a comedian. Of course there was also a small casino with slots and table games. The craps table cheerfully accepted my donations! There was also a number of bingo games that gave away good prizes (free 7 day cruise for 2, $25k, etc.). Relatively few people attended so the odds of winning were pretty good! The cards cost $35 or so for 2 cards so it was a fun distraction for us.
The food on the Lido deck (buffet) was good and had a large variety. They had sushi, a burrito bar, extensive salad bar, and a lot of grilled and fried meats and seafood. There was also a sandwich station where you could make up sandwiches and take them ashore if you wanted. There were also a couple of walk up restaurants where you could get made to order pizza or burgers at no extra charge. The best buffet meal was the next to last day - lobster tails and filet Mignon - all you could eat!
We only ate at the dining room for one meal, and the options were different than the buffet. It was also good. We used some of our shipboard credits to purchase drink plans. We chose the non alcoholic plan which cost over $20 per day per person. This covered specialty coffees and soft drinks, as well as bottled water. All coke products, coffees, and bottled water can be purchased ala carte so I am not sure the package was worth it. Our shipboard credits covered them so we didn't get too upset about the cost.
I used the fitness room a couple of times. There was a good view and there was the typical selection of ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers, and bikes. All had TV's and plug ins for headphones. There were weight machines and free weights. Classes were available also but I did not take any.
We really liked Glacier Bay. The scenery was breathtaking and the naturalist from the US National Park Service was informative.
We went on two shore excursions that we arranged separately from the cruise line. They were somewhat disappointing, and we didn't really save much money compared to the shore excursions available through Holland America. We would consider booking through the cruise line next time. As for the ports of call, it didn't seem that there was enough time in port. It would have been better if the ship arrived in port earlier, say 7:00am and stayed in port until after dinner. As it was, we didn't really have enough time in Victoria, BC, the ship docked at 6:00pm and only stayed for 5 hours. It made for a rushed trip.
The ship is about 10-12 years old, and is clean and well maintained. We have only been on one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) on a larger ship (Voyager of the Seas). The Eurodam seemed to have a closed in, less open feel and was not as well lit. There are also not as many activities for the younger crowd kids (no ice rinks, wave pools, or rock climbing walls). This was fine for us, but if you are looking for that type of experience the Eurodam is not for you. The shopping was also heavy on the jewelry and not much else.
The disembarking process was well done. We had an early flight home so we were able to get assigned to the first group. We carried our luggage with us and we got off the ship and through customs in no time at all.
We had a great time and would consider Holland America again.
Whales were too far away to get good pictures.View All 906 Whale Watching Reviews
Fortress of the Bear was really cool!
A lot of tourist shops filled with Chinese made trinkets. There are shops with native/Alaskan made products if you look.
Breathtaking scenery! Best part of the cruise!