Eurodam Cruise Review by TheCarl
- Sail Date: October 2011
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Spa Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
If our experience is any indication, everything you've heard about the service on Holland America is 100% true. The staff of this ship was constantly pleasant, punctual and perfectionist. Management must be doing something very right to have such a dedicated, loyal workforce.
We are major foodies, so this was a major factor in our decision. Word has it that aside from the Luxury class ships, this is about as good as it gets. We were quite satisfied. Not blown away, but again, we have high standards, and pride ourselves on knowing all the best hidden gems in our locale, so to say we were happy is a solid recommendation for most.
The main dining room provides excellent options for pretty much every meal, all beautifully presented and served with an authentic smile.
Lido's buffet options were relatively impressive, and their nearly all-day access was great for an anytime snack.
The only premium dining area we visited was Tamarind, and it was exquisite. They served an exciting blend of what seemed to be a blend of Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese style cuisine that went above and beyond our expectations.
The pizza stand, open on the back deck until half past midnight, was -- well, it wasn't amazing, but midnight pizza is great in any form as far as I'm concerned.
Being our first cruise, I'm not sure the level of quality I should expect for shipboard entertainment, but overall this was probably our least favorite part of the cruise. We enjoyed attending the events for the sake of novelty, but the talent level just didn't seem to befit our excellent experience. I do realize, however, that much of this may be a subjective call. We were much younger than most on the cruise (28 vs primarily a boomer/retiree audience) so it's possible we just weren't the target for these shows. In exception were the smaller "game show" events in the Lounge, which were pretty funny at times, and the on-going commentary from the Cruise Director "JT" - his sense of humor was welcomed and enjoyed throughout the trip, and seemed very accessible to any audience.
My laptop battery is dying as I write this, so I will attempt to come back and finish another time. LOVED this trip though -- definitely recommended!!!
This is one of HAL's "Spa" rooms, which means it comes with some added touches - a table-top waterfall (good feng shui, calming sound), organic robes (itchy... could have gone less organic), massaging shower head (no complaints on that one!) and yoga mats and DVD's (never touched these myself).
In terms of access, this is an excellent location. One quick flight of stairs either way takes you to Lido pool and dining, the fitness center, the spa, the Retreat and the Crow's Nest -- and the expanse of the Panorama deck is just outside your door (a gift and a curse - read below for more on this). The entertainment venues are a bit more of a hike, but the ship isn't too huge to make that a real concern if you're able-bodied.
The one downside of this cabin was the noise factor. Just outside the cabin is an exterior door that leads to the top deck outside of Lido's domed roof. No springs means this door SLAMS (quite forcefully and loudly) every time it's used - not constantly, but frequent enough to disturb our sleep nightly. Furthermore, just outside that door is a gate leading to the Retreat which SQUEAKS almost just as loudly. During our cruise I asked them to oil the gate (didn't figure I'd bother requesting a new door), and unfortunately it's the one request that was not granted on this trip. The Retreat is partially above this cabin, which results in some chair-sliding from above here and there, but this was not a frequent issue (the Retreat cabanas, though beautiful, do not provide easy access to the pool and were not particularly popular during this cruise, so that may have been a factor.)
The noise wasn't enough to make this cabin a bad spot. We absolutely loved it and would take it again in a heartbeat (but we might bring our own WD-40 to take care of that gate...)
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Grand TurkBeautiful beach and serene waters but that's about it. We took a cab to "historic downtown", and arrived at a collection of 5 shacks on a corner. Not sure if the cabbie was pulling our leg, but we went with it. Made the best of it (conch fritters at Barbie's are a must if you end up here) but wouldn't head back any time soon.View All 1,747 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
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San JuanLoved our experience in Old San Juan. Created our own walking tour of the town and loved every minute of it. Historic architecture, brick roads, great food and amazing views of the Atlantic. Grab the stuffed avocado and plantanos at Cafe El Punto and the empanadas at Pirilo - you won't regret it.View All 3,095 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
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St. ThomasThis one's a looker. Great sight-seeing, lush mountains, beautiful beaches. The shopping wasn't our taste -- the typical jewelry, upper-high-end retail, and cheesy gift shop combo, and no local food to be found, sadly. $25 to tour the island was worth it for the scenic overlooks and a look at life in this locale.View All 4,104 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
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