This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves. Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within 2 minutes of getting off the shuttle, and we walked towards the terminal building. It was a little chaotic getting into the building to show our passports, but it was smooth from that point forward. We showed our passports, went up the escalator, and got into the very short priority line to get our key cards. We boarded quickly, and were able to go to our room right away. I don't know when our bags arrived as we were at lunch, but we had them pretty quickly. Ship - The ship is understated but elegant. There had been some mechanical repairs done a few weeks before our cruise and there was a lot of vibration in the MDR. There were ample options for getting out on deck to view scenery/glaciers/wildlife. I loved the Explorations Cafe area and the lounge chairs up by the front windows, but it could be hard to get those as they were very popular. We were able to grab two for the morning of sailing into Glacier Bay, but we also got up there before 6 AM and it was starting to fill up already. Food - Overall - the food was OK with one notable exception (Tamarind). The Lido was typically crowded and chaotic. Dive In and NY Pizza had tasty options but took a while (usually 20-30 minutes each). MDR was nothing special as far as food. As far as Specialty Dining, we had the Explore4 package which included a Pinnacle Grill dinner. This was not much of an improvement over MDR (I had crab legs but they were over-cooked and reminded me of imitation crab). We did also book Tamarind based on others' reviews and everything there was excellent. We used in room dining on 3 occasions - breakfast the day we arrived in Ketchikan (early morning arrival), late night desserts one evening, and to request a bottle of distilled water. Service each time was very quick. Excursions - We booked all of ours through the cruise line before getting on board, and didn't make any modifications. As a result, we didn't really interact with the excursions desk staff at all. The three that we took were enjoyable and ran on time. Ports - My one regret from this trip is it did not include Skagway, but from what I can tell, there were no routes offered through this line that would have included Sitka and Glacier Bay with Skagway, and I wouldn't have wanted to give either of those up. Juneau and especially Ketchikan both had a bit of a tourist trap vibe, although that being said, we loved our time at Mendenhall Glacier. Sitka was my favorite stop, and scenic cruising in Glacier Bay was the biggest highlight for me. Victoria was pretty but we got in in the evening and the port is a few miles from the downtown area. We just walked along the pier rather than getting too far from the ship. We also had excellent weather for most of the trip - it was rainy in Ketchikan, but we had clear weather every other day including the Glacier Bay day. Entertainment - Lincoln Center Stage and America's Test Kitchen were highlights for me. We did not go to the B.B. King Blues Club, and we watched a Billboard On Board performance one evening. Something billed as "Hot Country" should probably include at least some songs from this century, but the performers were good. We only went to the Main Stage for an exc talk (Whales of Alaska) and the Ask the Captain event. The evening events didn't interest us much. I also went to watch a BBC video presentation in there one afternoon, but they were having technical difficulties so I (and many others) left early. Overall, the entertainment offerings were somewhat lacking. I would have enjoyed ATK cooking classes that were hands on in addition to or place of some of the staged demonstrations, even for a small fee. Service - Overall, we found the service to be excellent - attentive and courteous - with one exception, which was our wine steward in MDR because we don't really drink. He was less interested in helping us when realizing this. Disembarkation - This was very efficient. Again, suite perks played a role here as we were the 2nd group to be called. We were off the ship, had our luggage, got into a cab, and made it to our hotel by 8:15 AM. Overall, we were very impressed with our trip and had a great time. We enjoyed the route, stops, scenery, and ship. There is room for improvement in dining and entertainment. This cruise line would not be for everyone, but we were not looking for wild parties or water slides, rather a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. I felt the trip was well paced and look forward to cruising with HAL again.

Great time and beautiful views

Eurodam Cruise Review by am27

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Suite with Verandah
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within 2 minutes of getting off the shuttle, and we walked towards the terminal building. It was a little chaotic getting into the building to show our passports, but it was smooth from that point forward. We showed our passports, went up the escalator, and got into the very short priority line to get our key cards. We boarded quickly, and were able to go to our room right away. I don't know when our bags arrived as we were at lunch, but we had them pretty quickly.

Ship - The ship is understated but elegant. There had been some mechanical repairs done a few weeks before our cruise and there was a lot of vibration in the MDR. There were ample options for getting out on deck to view scenery/glaciers/wildlife. I loved the Explorations Cafe area and the lounge chairs up by the front windows, but it could be hard to get those as they were very popular. We were able to grab two for the morning of sailing into Glacier Bay, but we also got up there before 6 AM and it was starting to fill up already.

Food - Overall - the food was OK with one notable exception (Tamarind). The Lido was typically crowded and chaotic. Dive In and NY Pizza had tasty options but took a while (usually 20-30 minutes each). MDR was nothing special as far as food. As far as Specialty Dining, we had the Explore4 package which included a Pinnacle Grill dinner. This was not much of an improvement over MDR (I had crab legs but they were over-cooked and reminded me of imitation crab). We did also book Tamarind based on others' reviews and everything there was excellent.

We used in room dining on 3 occasions - breakfast the day we arrived in Ketchikan (early morning arrival), late night desserts one evening, and to request a bottle of distilled water. Service each time was very quick.

Excursions - We booked all of ours through the cruise line before getting on board, and didn't make any modifications. As a result, we didn't really interact with the excursions desk staff at all. The three that we took were enjoyable and ran on time.

Ports - My one regret from this trip is it did not include Skagway, but from what I can tell, there were no routes offered through this line that would have included Sitka and Glacier Bay with Skagway, and I wouldn't have wanted to give either of those up.

Juneau and especially Ketchikan both had a bit of a tourist trap vibe, although that being said, we loved our time at Mendenhall Glacier. Sitka was my favorite stop, and scenic cruising in Glacier Bay was the biggest highlight for me. Victoria was pretty but we got in in the evening and the port is a few miles from the downtown area. We just walked along the pier rather than getting too far from the ship. We also had excellent weather for most of the trip - it was rainy in Ketchikan, but we had clear weather every other day including the Glacier Bay day.

Entertainment - Lincoln Center Stage and America's Test Kitchen were highlights for me. We did not go to the B.B. King Blues Club, and we watched a Billboard On Board performance one evening. Something billed as "Hot Country" should probably include at least some songs from this century, but the performers were good. We only went to the Main Stage for an exc talk (Whales of Alaska) and the Ask the Captain event. The evening events didn't interest us much. I also went to watch a BBC video presentation in there one afternoon, but they were having technical difficulties so I (and many others) left early. Overall, the entertainment offerings were somewhat lacking. I would have enjoyed ATK cooking classes that were hands on in addition to or place of some of the staged demonstrations, even for a small fee.

Service - Overall, we found the service to be excellent - attentive and courteous - with one exception, which was our wine steward in MDR because we don't really drink. He was less interested in helping us when realizing this.

Disembarkation - This was very efficient. Again, suite perks played a role here as we were the 2nd group to be called. We were off the ship, had our luggage, got into a cab, and made it to our hotel by 8:15 AM.

Overall, we were very impressed with our trip and had a great time. We enjoyed the route, stops, scenery, and ship. There is room for improvement in dining and entertainment. This cruise line would not be for everyone, but we were not looking for wild parties or water slides, rather a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. I felt the trip was well paced and look forward to cruising with HAL again.
am27’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Neptune Suite with Verandah
Cabin SA 7069
We got very lucky and were upgraded to a Neptune Suite a few weeks before the cruise. The cabin was spacious with more than enough storage, the bed was very comfortable, and the balcony was roomy. The bathroom had both a tub/shower combo and stall shower, as well as double sinks, and there was a separate vanity area between the entrance and the bathroom door. Our stewards were excellent - very friendly with superb attention to detail. We enjoyed the suite perks including Neptune Suite, no charge laundry (they put far more effort into laundry than I do at home - everything arrived neatly pressed in a basket wrapped in tissue paper!), the option to skip the craziness of the Lido for breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, and speedy embarkation/disembarkation.
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