This was my second time on the Eurodam, the first being back in January of 2010. It was interesting to see how the ship has evolved since then. I cruised solo this time and found the Eurodam well suited for the purpose.
Embarkation and debarkation. Not much to say about it. This was my 6th HAL cruise and every time getting on and off the ship has been swift and painless. I really wish HAL could teach airlines how to organize these sorts of processes.
Comments about my cabin are below. It was an inside cabin and offered at a cheap price due to the possibility of noise. It was no different than any cabin I've booked anywhere. Great value for the money.
The food on the ship was a disappointment 7 years ago. Not this time around. The variety of food offered on any given night and the quality were both amazingly good. One thing I noticed in the Lido Market was that they always had chicken, fish, beef, and pork on offer as well as lamb most nights. No matter your preference for meat, they had you covered. For vegetarians the salad bar was huge, the ingredients always fresh and there were a variety of non-meat cooked meals as well.
I tried a cheeseburger at the Margaritaville in Ocho Rios, and frankly the burgers served on the Eurodam at the Dive In Cafe were vastly superior. That's sort of how it went with all the food. The made to order pizza was amazingly good as well and a big upgrade over what they offered on my first Eurodam cruise.
The usual variety of shipboard activities were very good as always. I only took in one show which was a viewing of "Frozen Planet" but with a live orchestra performing the movie's musical score. It was incredible to watch and listen to and I highly recommend it. It's a refreshing change from musicals and comedians.
As far as service goes I would give the crew 6 stars if I could. Everybody knows their jobs. Everybody works incredibly hard. Stop and watch them and see how much they get done at any given time. Yet, they are so efficient that you can take it entirely for granted because they make themselves so unobtrusive.
One thing I really noticed were a number of little changes that were all obviously aimed at reducing lineups and congestion. The end result is a lot less crowding during tendering, less waiting in line at restaurants, and generally just a very pleasant experience due to a lack of hurrying up and waiting. Again. Airlines take note.
The four ports we visited were: Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Key West.
Half Moon Cay was paradise as usual. If you haven't seen this place, you're doing yourself a massive disservice. HMC was the main reason I chose to go on HAL again. The beach and water are in a league of their own.
Ocho Rios is not my favourite port. We ended up docking on the industrial pier instead of the main cruise ship pier which meant a short walk over to the cruise ship pier and downtown. Once in downtown I was beset by the usual collection of locals who won't take no for an answer. I'd prefer almost any stop over this one.
Grand Cayman was its usual outstanding self. I meant to do 7 Mile Beach but ended up getting sidetracked shopping. There's lots to see and do in the downtown of Georgetown, and it's very safe and pleasant to walk about. Possible activities on Grand Cayman are well known and too numerous to mention but I highly recommend it as a port of call.
Key West was a rain out unfortunately. I will have to go back to see it again I guess...
I talked with one of the Club HAL workers and there were about 24 kids on board. From what I could see they were having a grand old time. I would take my kids on a future cruise, even though Eurodam lacks a lot of the kid-friendly stuff (movie screen, waterslide, rock climbing walls, etc etc).
Bottom line is I had a phenomenal time, had a great vacation, and I really liked some of the subtle changes HAL has made to make their ships even more enjoyable and efficient.
I would go again in a heartbeat.
8137 is on the Navigation Deck, to the aft of the ship. It's an inside cabin that is always inexpensively priced because "you may experience some noise at some times of the day".
I never did. It was just as quiet and comfortable as any other cabin I've been in. I'd book it again in a heartbeat to save the money.
As a bonus, it's just a few steps away from the Lido Market and aft pool and bar. I found the location to be terrific, very convenient.
The room itself is a very simple square with a queen (two twin) bed centred at one end. It had a desk and that's about it, no sofa or extra chairs. It did have a huge amount of closet space and while I travelled solo, the closets would easily hold the belongings for two people.
Fort Lauderdale is a nice city.
Not a lot to do, and more hassle than there should be from locals. I would just as soon see HAL skip this one.
This is a great stop. Safe, clean, lots to do, prices for stuff you want to buy aren't all that silly.
There are plenty of guides for what to do here, but 7 mile Beach and Stingray City are two of the obvious ones.
Don't turn your nose up at the turtle farm, either. It's inexpensive and a lot of fun. If you have kids, they will love it....I guarantee it.
Best. Port. Ever. Don't miss it.
Baby powder soft white sand beach. Super clear turquoise water that's nice and warm. Delicious BBQ lunch. Perfect weather (most of the time). Best place on earth.