Eurodam Review

A good Panama Canal cruise, but some misses along the way

Review for the Panama Canal & Central America Cruise on Eurodam
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curmudgeon98
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2022
Cabin: Large Spa Ocean-View Stateroom

We came back to HAL after a five year absence when they offered a great casino rate for a Panama Canal cruise which had been on our "someday" list for a long time. Eurodam fits through the old locks on the canal, which makes for a more interesting transit. We kicked in for the Club Orange to let us choose one of the CQ cabins in front on deck 10 instead of the guarantee oceanview in the base offer.

I was a bit concerned about having enough to keep us entertained on this longer cruise with a lot of sea days, but that worked out pretty well. Mainstage entertainment rotated some acts on and off the ship - they typically did two different shows over several nights. Some were quite good, some less so. I'm not a fan of the "live" strings accompanying the BBC Earth movie, nor the comedians or magician. The music walk groups were quite good this cruise. BB Kings actually felt like a blues club, with a good sense of spontaneity. The Lincoln Center stage had a much sharper group of musicians and better program choice than what we had five years ago. The Billboard piano duo was pretty good as well.

Passenger count was about 1800, so fairly full, but service was generally excellent. Our cabin stewards were unobtrusive and efficient. Dining room service was pretty good, other than the one chaotic sunday brunch. Drink service was easily available, but not pushy. We weren't sure if we would use features of club orange other than the room selection, but it was handy in the dining room (Eurodam doesn't have a separate CO dining room), where we had very short waits to be seated and got more than our share of window tables. The extra CO entree at dinner was nothing special and we only ordered it once or twice.

Cabin Review

Large Spa Ocean-View Stateroom

We really appreciate the extra space in this cabin, as my wife has some mobility issues. Being up on deck 10 forward does have the issue that you get pretty much the most movement in heavy seas, though. We had all the glassware come off the counter and out of the cabinet to crash on the floor one night. The extra space isn't given any additional furnishing, though our cabin steward got us a couple of extra chairs to use, but it is nice to have more room to turn around and to get into cabinets. About halfway through the cruise, water started leaking from the ceiling (probably A/C condensation), and they quickly moved us around the corner to a standard balcony cabin.

Port Reviews

Aruba

The town was clean and safe, with good services, but not a lot to do other than go to the beaches.

Huatulco

It might not be for everyone, but we really liked this port. Very pretty setting with the ship in the tiny harbor. A nice walk over the (gentle) hill from the low-key seaside resort area to the cute town, and good food when you are there.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

We did the standard Antigua on-your-own bus transfer. A longish bus ride with an awkward transfer via smaller buses into town, but Antigua was quite walkable (though with rough cobble streets) with interesting food and shopping options.

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

We picked up a local guide on the dock who had an air-conditioned van. This was much more convenient than packing on a big bus. He took us to visit the monkeys (at a small farm where the owners feed and encourage the wild monkeys to hang around) which was quite fun, and then to a river cruise to see the crocodiles and wildlife, followed by seeing a bit of the town before dropping back at the ship. $25 pp for the transportation, $5 for the monkey stop, $30 for the river cruise.

It looked like it could be pleasant walking along the beachfront in town, especially towards the lighthouse at the tip, but the weather was quite hot and muggy so we appreciated seeing it from the van.

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