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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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Default Eurodam Review: 03-26-2011

Cabins 7077 (Superior Verandah) 7093 and 7125 (interiors).
Our cabins had some nagging issues; water wasn't nearly hot enough, the a/c wouldn't blow cold enough, the room didn't have any ice or towels upon entry. Things were quickly fixed. Having a jetted tub was a luxury; I felt the look of the Superior Verandah was superb. For 400 square feet (jetted pool, two sinks, excellent storage, nice couch, huge veranda), our fee for a seven night cruise was $1600 and I believe that to be simply outstanding. Interior cabins looked nice as well, but ... well, they are interiors.

Daily service by stewards here was great. They quickly responded to any request and constantly asked what they might do for us.

Dining:

Lido: I found the Lido deck food to be generally very good to outstanding. The International offerings gave a nice chance to try new things and while they didn't always suit my palate I liked the options. Breakfast was fine, loved the fresh waffles. Fresh squeezed orange juice was to die for. Lunch lines weren't terrible, and the food was good.

Room service: Prompt - in fact, early most times for our cabin. I know my son-in-law had issues with them getting the apple pie right, but absolutely loved the hamburger served in the room.

By the pool: The turkey burgers were a hit on 2 of 3 tries; the french fries excellent.

Specialty dining: Tamarind was outstanding ... for dinner. Lunch, just fair. In fact I would agree with others that this equal to the best you'll find in Toronto or NYC. The Pinnacle Grill OTOH was simply phenomenal for both dinner and lunch. Service was impeccable.

We enjoyed an evening with Le Cirque and on our particular cruise were fortunate enough to have Sirio Maccionne and his wife onboard. They did two different Culinary presentations and of course were dining in the room on LC night with the Captain. Egidiane Maccionne (his wife) got up from her table twice to make the rounds to all the other tables to ask how we were enjoying our food - so caring, I felt like I was speaking to any wonderful Italian mother in the middle of her own living room. And for what it's worth ... the food was outstanding.

Cattalano offered super service by the maitre d and my server. The antipasto was good. I loved the Lasagna, but my Italian stepdaughter found it too salty. The breaded veal was typically good. One must keep in mind that this service and food is offered at no surcharge and at that offered a better value than the MDR.

The MDR We had anytime dining, and again, sort of hit and miss on the service. We had the same server on two of the four nights we dined there and he was great one night. notsomuch the second. Food was outstanding, rarely a miss for entrees, the appetizers were sometimes phenomenal (a wild mushroom and potato pancake tower). Desserts ... were ok. Most of my family really enjoyed the standard super brownie.

FWIW, the NY Strip steak was ordered by one guest night after night and although ordered MW was still very very good. Oh, and the Chocolate Midnight buffet? Feh.

Embarkation/disembarkation
Getting on - we were at the dock at 10:45 and were among the first 10 parties online. We couldn't enter the building until 11:05. Getting our cards and such took a brief amount of time, and we were waiting to get onboard by 11:20. We started in our group by 11:30; by 12:15 we had just about finished dining at the Lido and were given the "all clear" to go to our room.

Getting off: no problems. You are, of course, able to stay in your room to the last minute (hello Celebrity?). Called off at 9:40 AM, bags quickly gathered and curbside shortly thereafter.

Service
Superior in every respect to my experiences on Carnival and Celebrity. Really, everyone you meet goes out of their way, and this was likewise my experience with their main office.

Ship notes/Ports
We appreciated having a pool for adults at the rear of the ship and I in particular loved the Crows Nest (observation deck, Internet lounge, coffee for fee and pastries for free, plus a library). Cabanas, I felt, were unnecessary. The ship was generally in good not great shape.

Half Moon Cay is reason enough to use Holland; Old San Juan and T&C were great hits. St. Thomas? feh. Mid-sized ship sailing gave us all a very pleasant feeling of being alone and in many ways you can feel the difference between it and being an M/S-class Celebrity. As a simple example, I am a solitude sort and I found "experiences" going on all over the ship that weren't being broadcast by loudspeaker. I loved that.

Entertainment in the main hall from HAL people was fair; the comedian good; the magician great; the singer on the Lido deck barely fair. Jason, as said many times, is a great Cruise Director.

A pretty good amount of chairs around the back pool.
Other clientele:
Normal distribution of people with 90% US, mostly 45-65. My 17 year olds (two ladies) found plenty of gentlemen to take up their time. Club Hal seemed to be moving along well. Ship tended to close up by midnight, which was well enough for me.

Final thoughts?
A value cruise, offering superior food and surprises along the way. My entire party loved the cruise from nearly every facet. Eurodam jumped to even with the Solstice class ship in my mind ... and maybe a little ahead.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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Glad you enjoyed your cruise. We love the Eurodam and will be on her again at Xmas.

"Cattalano offered super service by the maitre d and my server" It's Canaletto not Cattalano - funnily enough many years ago I worked with a gal from Toronto with the surname Cattalano - maybe your know the family and were thinking of them.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:50 PM
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I agree that Eurodam puts HAL on a whole new level. They are the nicest ships for HAL yet (along with the new Nieuw Amsterdam).
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Old April 5th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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Default Holland America v Celebrity

The cruise director, on our last night, asked that we consider differences and I think these became stunningly clear. From a crew that is geographically centered (and yes, I think it makes a difference) yet diverse, to the manner in which they do everything, the space to guest ratio's ... it made for different cruise.

Example: The theater nearly always filled up, but good seats seemed to be available right up to 10 minutes before showtime. The Lido was busy, but never jammed. You could nearly always find a seat in Pinnacle or Tamarind. The pools had a surplus of places to park your butt. You could feel the nearly 2:1 ratio of guests to staff but even more, it was that my face wasn't getting lost among 3000 others.

If someone is about relaxing, about taking time away from life then the Eurodam really puts that out there. For most of my sailing, I've been stubborn about Celebrity but I can see how spending more to dine in the Olympic (than the PG) or paying a premium for a room doesn't translate into a better experience at all.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Loved your review of the Eurodam. We sailed her last year and especially enjoyed the Tamarind!

We are set for the Nieuw Amsterdam in October for a TA from Venice to FLL. Cannot wait!

HAL really does have their guests at heart and make a real effort to keep everyone happy and enjoying their cruise.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:43 PM
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While I agree that the Eurodam is a good ship, I was somewhat disappointed in her, being one of the newer HAL ships. I thought the decore was somewhat muted as compared to other ships as far as colors went. The art work was, as always on HAL ships, beautiful, and seemed to have a recurrent theme (Rembrandt). On other ships, some pieces were more decorative throughout the ship, i.e., chairs near elevators. There were more flower arrangements in more of the public rooms on Euro, however, and as usual, HAL lives up to their beautiful and different floral styles for which they are known. The older photos lining the hallway walls, esp on decks 6 and 7, were the same as on 4 (I think) on the Westerdam. The layouts are basically somewhat similar as well. All PG's had great artwork, but while I found the Eurodam to dress the men in jackets (if they were not dressed appropriately) as compared to the Westerdam, who accommodated everyone without offering any jackets; the food in PG on Westerdam was so great (and so was their chef, Michael Roeggner) that there was no comparison with Euro's Brendan (despite the fact that it was the same menu). I think Brendan must have had a bad week that week. He seemed to be either over in the PG Bar or standing by Maitre'd area, looking at everyone coming in, who is coming in, etc. He did not look happy 98% of the time we saw him. In my stateroom (exactly the same on Westerdam, but on starboard side that time), I had cotton swabs/Qtips and plastic bottle amenities on Westerdam. On Euro, the only plastic bottle I had in bathroom contained lotion--all other soaps, shampoo/conditioner were in bottles in showers. I questioned if the dressing area also had qtips/cotton swabs and after I asked for them, they arrived promptly, and in the same container as was found on Westerdam. The cabin on the Euro had prettier colors, however. This was my second cruise on this Westerdam, the first one was 4 yrs ago and I absolutely hated it--we used to say, "Well, there's Holland America, and then there's the Westerdam." We had problems starting with the captain, all the way down, and could not wait to get home. We thought we'd give it one more shot and we're glad we did. They did a full 360 degree turn around our second voyage (last Thanksgiving) and it was one of my fave cruises on HAL. We also had problems with the photography dept on Euro which was resolved by the last day, thanks to the Concierge and the Corporate Bar Manager. The photos were beautiful (we bought the $399 CD/book/all photos taken on the cruise package), but they lost a few (or so they said, which later showed up in the portfolio) and the some of the photographers spent 15 min or so with each couple (not groups, mind you, but couples--the groups took much longer!) that alot of people left the line to go into dinner. They had you pose with your foot turned out, hands in/out of pocket, turn this way, turn that way==too long to set up poses and that ticked off alot of people (including us). Other than that, had a great trip, great cabin, so-so meals in PG, but made alot of new friends. Will be going on Nieuw Amsterdam next year--can't wait!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:43 PM
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I loved your review and particularly like the way you set out separate paragraphs for each topic. I find it very hard reading a huge, long post that has no paragraphs and usually give up halfway through as not worth the effort.

We have sailed Eurodam five cruises and would return without hesitation. I agree Eurodam is doing a fine job with all food venues, maybe the best in the fleet at the moment and we have sailed almost all HAL ships many times.

Lido was excellent in comparison to the five HAL ships we have sailed in the last 15 or so months. We thought lunch was amazing with so many choices. Our only complaint is how close they made the passageway between the food service station and the first row of tables. It should be a wider space between IMO

Pinnacle is outstanding for breakfast (deluxe veranda suites and PS) and lunch and dinner are consistently excellent.

She has a fine, hard working crew who do a great job.

Stan Kuppens, one of Eurodam's two Hotel Managers is one of the very best in the fleet and makes it look easy though, of course, we know it is not. He is expert at running the hotel division of Eurodam. Her two Captains are also wonderful and it filters right down to the newest sailor who just joined.

We have b-to-b's booked for Nieuw Amsterdam and fully expect to like that ship as much as Eurodam. Can't wait to see and sail HAL's newst.

Thanks for a fine review. Really enjoyed reading it.

Last edited by sail7seas; April 5th, 2011 at 11:50 PM.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 02:04 AM
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2Katz3fsh

In future, it would be so much easier to read your posts if you broke them up into paragraphs. I started reading the one above but gave up 1/4 of the way through. It's very hard on the eyes to read.

Thanks.

Last edited by DeeDee; April 6th, 2011 at 02:06 AM. Reason: added posters name
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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First of all, thank you for your kind comments.

Second ... wow! FIVE cruises on the Eurodam alone? I'm guessing some of them must have been in Europe. We hope to return, but our next trip will very likely be a transatlantic and the best value/ports tend to be with Celebrity right now.

I'll end by saying my last trip with Holland was in the middle 90s on an earlier version of the Nieuw Amsterdam and I left thinking that I'd sailed on their line twice - my first time and my last.

When it's said and done, they have succeed by doing what is truly the most difficult thing in any business - which is adding by subtracting. I probably will never assent to spending $8000 to sail Seabourne or another luxe line, but I feel what they deliver is close enough for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
I loved your review and particularly like the way you set out separate paragraphs for each topic. I find it very hard reading a huge, long post that has no paragraphs and usually give up halfway through as not worth the effort.

We have sailed Eurodam five cruises and would return without hesitation. I agree Eurodam is doing a fine job with all food venues, maybe the best in the fleet at the moment and we have sailed almost all HAL ships many times.

Lido was excellent in comparison to the five HAL ships we have sailed in the last 15 or so months. We thought lunch was amazing with so many choices. Our only complaint is how close they made the passageway between the food service station and the first row of tables. It should be a wider space between IMO

Pinnacle is outstanding for breakfast (deluxe veranda suites and PS) and lunch and dinner are consistently excellent.

She has a fine, hard working crew who do a great job.

Stan Kuppens, one of Eurodam's two Hotel Managers is one of the very best in the fleet and makes it look easy though, of course, we know it is not. He is expert at running the hotel division of Eurodam. Her two Captains are also wonderful and it filters right down to the newest sailor who just joined.

We have b-to-b's booked for Nieuw Amsterdam and fully expect to like that ship as much as Eurodam. Can't wait to see and sail HAL's newst.

Thanks for a fine review. Really enjoyed reading it.
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