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Holland America Line: Eurodam

Eurodam Review

Insider Take

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Mega-ship distraction like zip-lines, rock climbing and water slides.

Onboard Experience

Holland America's newest class, Eurodam (and her newer sister Nieuw Amsterdam), is the first of the line's new "Signature-class" of vessels and the first with the best of everything all the previous ships have to offer. For example, until the year 2000, all Holland America ships had a dedicated movie theater, but it was missing on the four "Vista-class" ships. Happily, the movie theater is back - bigger than ever with plush loge seats and with the traditional old-fashioned popcorn machine. From the Explorations Cafe to the Silk Den lounge and the poolside cabanas, Eurodam is a jewel of modern cruising.

Eurodam is the first Holland America ship with all the line's "Signature of Excellence" enhancements built into the original design. This includes tableside waiter service at dinner in the Lido, a new Culinary Arts Program with a show kitchen for demonstrations and classes, expansion of spa and fitness facilities, upgraded Club HAL Kids' Centers, and new shore excursions. The Explorations Cafe powered by the New York Times is a book and DVD library, Internet center, music listening area and sidewalk cafe. Staterooms now offer the best mattresses and duvets sold in Europe, and top level suites offer flat screen TVs and DVD players. There's early boarding and a choice of four dinner seatings.

Private cabanas holding lush Balinese lounge chairs big enough for two people are available in two different areas of the ship. The "Lido Cabanas" are in the deck area of the main pool inside the magrodome. The other area is "The Retreat," high atop deck 11 forward, but facing astern. The Lido cabanas can be leased for $30 on port days and $50 on sea days. Retreat cabanas are $45 (port days) and $75 (sea days). Both come with flavored mineral waters, chilled fruit, Evian spritzes and champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries served in the late afternoon. A masseuse can be summoned for a private massage for the same fee as in the Spa.

An outstanding new feature is a computer center sponsored by MicroSoft. The technology company, also from Seattle, quadrupled bandwidth of the Internet connection and also offers a variety of onboard computer classes now free of charge. (Previously, Vista-class Holland America ship advanced computer classes carried a fee.)

Because the ship's designers have filled it with intimate public areas that feel like private clubs or lounges, it's easy to forget you're aboard an 85,000-ton middle-liner, unless, that is, you venture into the casino, larger than on other Holland America ships and now with an active Texas-Hold'em table.

If you want to read a book and enjoy the sunshine, there are a great number of comfortable spots both inside, or even better on the line's signature teak and cushioned deck loungers on its open promenade deck. Service staff is always warm and near at hand, but very discreet.

Decor

While Eurodam's superstructure is that of an enhanced Vista-class ship, similar to Oosterdam, Carnival Spirit or Cunard's Queen Victoria, her décor is a combination of tasteful modern styles with soothing yet vibrant colors such as silver and teal with avocado green and peach highlights. A huge, solid glass chandelier resembling an inverted volcanic cone is suspended from the atrium ceiling. A glass staircase with gold-plated bannisters wraps around it.

Public Rooms

Most of the standard Holland America public rooms are also on Eurodam. The Crow's Nest, situated with a commanding view from the forward top deck of the ship, seats 165 people and has a row of chairs looking forward through angled glass windows.

The Ocean Bar features classical music nightly along with brandies and other sipping beverages. The Piano Bar is the traditional sing-along forum with a talented and comedic keyboard host playing requests, punctuated by barroom jokes, on his barstool surrounded baby grand.

Northern Lights, the Disco/Karaoke bar is tastefully hidden away so the music and atmosphere can get busy inside without interrupting the relative calm of the rest of the ship. Eurodam is a ship that comes alive at night but still feels serene and dignified during the day.

Restaurants

The regular dining room, Rembrandt, is two decks high and features tables for two to ten people. The ceiling has a changing color "wave" effect, while the tables are always fully set with water and wine glasses and a full array of cutlery. The room offers both traditional cruise dining with early and late seating and pre-assigned tables and servers, or guests can opt for anytime "As You Wish" dining where you eat when and with whom you choose.

The newest alternative dining venue, a first for Holland America, is the Tamarind Restaurant featuring Asian fusion cuisine. The cover charge is $15 per person for dinner, but it is free for lunch serving dim sum. The nighttime choices include Asian-inspired entrees such as sea bass with hoisin-lime glaze, wasabi-soy-encrusted beef (I tried this, it was tender and delectable), steamed lobster with garlic, or shrimp Szechwan with basil. Also on tap are Peking duck and Asian curry dishes.

The sushi is perfectly spiced with subtle wasabi flavoring and a slightly sweetened pickled ginger. I found it unusually tasty for normally predictable dish as sushi. Nearby is a beautiful new cocktail lounge called the "Silk Room" featuring "Saketinis," or martini-like beverages similar to martinis but based on sake.

The top alternative dining venue is the Pinnacle Grill, now on every ship in the Holland America fleet. This restaurant features Seattle-style Pacific Northwest cuisine, such as steaks, chops, and cold-water fish like salmon. The Pinnacle Grill menu on Eurodam is different from the other ships and has dishes in the "experimental" stage for possible permanent inclusion on the menus of all ships.

Canaletto is an Italian-theme venue created nightly in a section of the Lido restaurant. There is no cover charge for this restaurant, which features waiters and tables set in the dining room style to offer table-side Italian service of lasagna and other pasta dishes. Next to Canaletto is "Slice," the pizza restaurant, open nearly 24 hours a day.

The hamburger bar offers delicious Belgian-style fries served in a paper cone with catsup or mayonaise on the side.

The Lido Restaurant, which Holland America now lays claim to inventing (and I have no reason to doubt it), has a separate salad bar, several carving stations, and the infamous HAL ice cream and hot cookies, always free of charge, and available after lunch and throughout the day. They are several flavors of ice cream and toppings available.

Room service is offered 24 hours a day at no additional charge. Dining Room menu choices are available en-suite during dinner restaurant hours. The regular en-suite dining menu is limited and varies by breakfast, noon to 10:00 p.m., and after-hours dining choices.

Watch for specialty nights such as the "Chef's Dinner" for 12 people with wine-pairing - cost $89 per person.

Also the "Le Cirque" night in the Pinnacle Grill when they serve itrems from the menu of the iconic New York restaurant.

Tipping

For years Holland America was known for its no-tipping policy, but today gratuities of $10.00 per person (including children) are automatically added daily to the shipboard account for dining and stateroom service. Visit the front desk to adjust that amount. There is also a 15 percent service charge automatically added to bar bills.

Entertainment

Holland America Line is pleased to announce the launch of the B.B. King’s Blues Club aboard the ms Eurodam. Five nights each week on cruises through June 20, 2013, join world-class musicians from the B.B. King Blues Club Band as they create a dynamic energy that will move you to sing and dance along. The eight-piece band features two vocalists backed by a drummer, bassist, guitarist, sax player, trumpet player and Hammond B-3 organ player.

To create its own B.B. King’s Blues Club at sea, the ms Eurodam's Queen’s Lounge has been transformed into a vibrant blues musical experience, trimmed with portraits of the Memphis Blues legend, illuminating the prominence of Memphis Blues and its influence on everyone from B.B. King, Sam & Dave and Otis Redding to The Rolling Stones and Neil Diamond. A special stage has been crafted to resemble a Memphis club with guitars hanging in the backdrop. Exclusive specialty cocktails from the land-based clubs will be served, featuring the tasty, rum-based Lucille and Rock Me Baby concoctions mixed with different fruit liqueurs and juices.

The "Mainstage" showroom is the best yet on a Holland America ship, with state-of-the-art theatrical stage effects like video screens and laser lights. In this showroom, Holland America has replaced the bench and coffee-table seating with true theater-style seating. The sight lines in the balcony are greatly improved over previous Holland America ships by replacing the brass and glass safety railings with deep but lower buttresses where one can easily see over the top.

The production shows are contemporary revues with talented singers and dancers and extensive costume changes. One of the shows on the inaugural voyage was "The Opera Babes," two young ladies equally gifted with classic soprano voices performing traditional opera pieces and more contemporary material. Another show was a tribute to Elton John by Jonathan Kane - not just the usual production show featuring his songs, but an entertainer who looks like and sings the songs of Elton John, like attending a concert by the original. It was a good show, especially for Elton John fans, and certainly a departure from the old Holland America presentations.

Eurodam has a sing-along piano bar, a sports bar (with several flat-screen TV monitors connected to satellite feeds), a karaoake bar and of course an expansive casino.

The new Culinary Arts Center, with overhead video monitors for those seated far from the action, is set up very much like a TV Food Channel set, and must be adjudged a marvelous addition. A number of demonstration classes are offered at no charge. Hands-on classes, limited to about a dozen students, charge modestly. As these classes are very popular, be sure to sign up early.

Cabins

The cabins are just as enticing as the rest of this beautiful ship, with complimentary bathrobes, Elemis bath products, flat-screen televisions, and DVD players with movies available in the extensive Explorations Cafe (library, web cafe and reading room) powered by the New York Times.

Sizes vary from smaller inside cabins to expansive suites. All feature the line's "Signature of Excellence" enhancements such as extra-plush mattresses, Egyptian cotton towels, make-up mirrors, massage showers, fresh flowers and complimentary fruit.

Passenger staterooms include two Penthouse verandah suites of 1,000 sq. ft. and 318 sq. ft. verandahs. Deluxe suites vary from 380 to 570 sq. ft. A standard verandah suite is a very generous 300 sq. ft (at least one-third larger than the average cruise ship cabin). There are some larger than average inside staterooms of 255 sq. ft. as well as the standard 175 sq. ft.

There are a number of Concierge-class staterooms whose occupants get exclusive access to the private Neptune's Lounge, which offers free coffee, pastries, DVD movies (for in-suite viewing) and concierge services such as making shore excursion and restaurant reservations for the guest.

On the top deck near the Retreat and the Greenhouse Spa are 56 luxury verandah Spa Suites. These suites are smaller than the average verandah stateroom, with smaller balconies as well, but they feature organic bathrobes, a selection of flavored mineral waters, a constantly flowing water fountain and a Bose docking station for playing music from an iPod. There is a special breakfast spa menu with fresh-squeezed juices and organic muffins. Special night-time chocolates are infused with relaxing herbs.

There's no self-service laundry on this ship, although several laundry packages are available through your room steward.

Overview

Fir of the line's best "Signature-class" vessels; more dining options, movie theater, beautiful decor, onboard classes.

Best For People Who Want

The best of everything Holland America has to offer; large staterooms, alternative dining, classy surroundings, sophisticated public rooms and entertainment.

Cuisine

The beautifully presented, banquet-quality, continental cuisine in the Rembrandt Dining Room has improved in recent years as a result of more contemporary menu selections such as seared tuna and grilled rack of lamb. Gone are the bland entrees of a few years ago.

Service

Eurodam's gracious, ever-attentive staff are some of the best at sea in the premium class due to the line's most organized system of grooming crewmembers. With schools in Indonesia and the Philipines feeding the crew for the fleet, the average crewmember has been on board for five years and really knows his/her stuff. They take pride in their jobs and seem to enjoy the passengers' company as much as their counterparts'. You never see them congregating and ignoring their duties.

Fitness/Spa

The Greenhouse Spa offers the usual assortment of massages and facials, and it has a thermal suite where guests can indulge in essential oil infused steam baths, relax in a massage thelassotheray pool and relax on heated ceramic lounge chairs until the warmth envelopes your body. Pricing for ther thermal suite is $25/day per person, or $150 per person per cruise for the first person and $100 for each additional person per cabin.

A nice alternative to a massage is a day pass to either the thelasotherapy pool with extremely strong water jets to soothe your muscles ($20/day), or you can go to the steam and aromatherapy center and relax on heated loungers and take steambaths infused with essentail oils. Day passes to this are also $20/day. Or you can buy a weekly pass to both for $250 unlimited.

The Eurodam has two outdoor swimming pools, one with a Magrodome roof that can be closed in case of inclement weather. There are also several hot tubs available at no charge. The large gym has state-of-the-art strengthening and aerobic equipment, and there's a jogging track on one of the upper decks. There's a nominal charge for some of the exercise classes.

Children's Facilities

Club HAL now includes kids and teens three to 17, whereas previously you had to be at least five for them to take any notice. Dedicated youth coordinators run full days of events for each age group. New teen areas The Loft lounge and The Oasis have sundecks with their own waterfalls, hammocks and covered snack areas.

Group babysitting is available in the Club HAL facilities from 10 p.m. to midnight at a charge of $5 per child per hour. Limited private babysitting is available through the Front Office for ages 3 to 12.

Attire

On the two weekly formal nights, half the men opt for a dark suit rather than renting a tuxedo. Casual on these ships means comfortable, but T-shirts, jeans, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are all forbidden in the dining rooms and public areas. It isn't allowed, but also not unusual for people to change back to casual after dinner on formal nights. As long as you stick to the deck areas or casino, no one will frown at you.




Ship Overview

In 2008, Holland America Line introduced Eurodam, the first ship in its Signature-class, so named because it contains all of the line’s Signature of Excellence features. It is distinctive for an exquisite art collection based on the theme The Dutch Golden Age—An Inexhaustible Tradition, highlighting works by Dutch masters and contemporary artists.

Signature-class vessels were so named because they are the first ships in the fleet to be launched with all the so-called Signature of Excellence features fully integrated into them. Larger than the other midsize ships in the fleet, they are pure Holland America, with all the traditional amenities and services plus some added bonuses. You’ll find familiar public spaces as well as a second specialty restaurant and adjacent lounge, a new bar that anchors the Explorer's Lounge, and an Italian eatery tucked into a corner of the Lido.

No-smoking Spa staterooms near the Greenhouse Spa feature Asian-inspired decor and spa amenities. Poolside are private, draped cabanas, and one deck up the tented Retreat cabanas are filled with amenities that include the use of handheld fans, an Evian spray mister, iPods with music preloaded, and chilled water. You can look forward to icy refreshments and afternoon champagne. Cabanas are reserved by the day or by the cruise (for an extra fee).

Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Spa staterooms and suites can be completely no-smoking
  • With sea views and intimate seating alcoves, the Silk Den Lounge is one of the prettiest in the fleet
  • Guests love culinary presentations in the state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen

Cons

  • Shelves are okay, but drawer space is inadequate in standard accommodations
  • Some spa staterooms offer unusable Juliet balconies
  • Teens are somewhat slighted here compared to other Holland America ships
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 929
  • Entered Service 2008
  • Gross Tons 86,273
  • Length 936 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,052
  • Passenger Capacity 2,104
  • Width 106 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 18, 2017

Review of Eurodam

Age: 68 Occupation:Retired Number of Cruises: 1 Cruise Line: Holland America Ship: Eurodam Sailing Date: 2016-02-14 Itinerary: Carribean Our cruise aboard Holland America's Eurodam was a much anticipated, long saved for cruise--and a deep disappointment. We began with the Holland America folks losing our luggage for the entire trip (seven days). When questioned, the baggage supervisor and his boss both attempted to blame the airline, then finally

(and reluctantly) acknowledged they had sent it off on the wrong ship. The most they would do to ameliorate the inconvenience was to give me three blue work shirts and a white t-shirt--I had to wear the same wrinkled slacks and smelly socks for seven days. I ran out of medications my last two days and they were of no assistance in filling them, even with advance notice. The food was excellent, particularly in the main dining room. Trying to eat in any of the other dining areas was, however, a challenge. You could order and get the food with no problem but, then, had to hold onto it (along with other numerous passengers) until someone got up from a table. It was then a rush to get the empty spot. There is simply not enough seating in any of the venues to accommodate the 2,100 passengers squeezed onto the Eurodam. The stateroom with verandah was excellent--roomy and well maintained. The room service and housekeeping were also excellent. Again, seating is a problem--there isn't enough of it for the fully loaded ship. One had to arrive at the entertainment venues a good hour early to insure adequate seating. The pool area was "every man for himself" when it came to seating, as were the deck chairs. The excursions, all paid for, were simply miserable. At one beach call, our reserved umbrellas were taken. There was minimal (almost no) staff available to supervise or direct people around. There was nothing to eat or drink. On another excursion, climbing and descending a seven foot ladder was required, a painful experience for my disabled partner (there was no notice of this until the excursion was paid for and on board). Finally, in Jamaica, a stop most anticipated by us, it was utter chaos. There were no Holland America crew in sight to direct confused and even panicky passengers, who had to fight for shuttle transportation. Again, it was a deep disappointment after saving for so long to take this cruise.

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By Andy_CR

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 26, 2016

Carribean

Our cruise aboard Holland America's Eurodam was a much anticipated, long saved for cruise--and a deep disappointment. We began with the Holland America folks losing our luggage for the entire trip (seven days). When questioned, the baggage supervisor and his boss both attempted to blame the airline, then finally (and reluctantly) acknowledged they had sent it off on the wrong ship. The most they would do to ameliorate the inconvenience was to give

me three blue work shirts and a white t-shirt--I had to wear the same wrinkled slacks and smelly socks for seven days. I ran out of medications my last two days and they were of no assistance in filling them, even with advance notice. The food was excellent, particularly in the main dining room. Trying to eat in any of the other dining areas was, however, a challenge. You could order and get the food with no problem but, then, had to hold onto it (along with other numerous passengers) until someone got up from a table. It was then a rush to get the empty spot. There is simply not enough seating in any of the venues to accommodate the 2,100 passengers squeezed onto the Eurodam. The stateroom with verandah was excellent--roomy and well maintained. The room service and housekeeping were also excellent. Again, seating is a problem--there isn't enough of it for the fully loaded ship. One had to arrive at the entertainment venues a good hour early to insure adequate seating. The pool area was "every man for himself" when it came to seating, as were the deck chairs. The excursions, all paid for, were simply miserable. At one beach call, our reserved umbrellas were taken. There was minimal (almost no) staff available to supervise or direct people around. There was nothing to eat or drink. On another excursion, climbing and descending a seven foot ladder was required, a painful experience for my disabled partner (there was no notice of this until the excursion was paid for and on board). Finally, in Jamaica, a stop most anticipated by us, it was utter chaos. There were no Holland America crew in sight to direct confused and even panicky passengers, who had to fight for shuttle transportation. Again, it was a deep disappointment after saving for so long to take this cruise.

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By pnovsam

  • New

Feb 21, 2016

Motel 6 of Cruiselines

Returned today from a week on the Eurodam. My 9th cruise but my first on Holland America. Definitely my last! Poor service overall. Lido dining is like a bad cafeteria. Dining room dining is no better. Poor service with bad food. Entertainment tired and boring. But the BB King Blues is a marvelous exception. Cabin stewards fine. Staff not very friendly overall and not well trained. Ship decor outdated and drab. Would recommend this ship to no one.

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  • New

Nov 15, 2015

Caribbean

I have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and now, Holland America, for my past 3 cruises (number 4 coming soon). We have done the majority of our cruises beginning in our 50's, and Holland America is by far the best cruise line we have been on. If you want to relax, have superb service and excellent accomodations and amenities, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HAL. Consistently good if not excellent. We did not, however, eat at Lido (the buffet),

but loved the Dive In for excellent burgers, hot dogs and fries pool-side (hey - you're on vacation)! The specialty restaurants are excellent. I had the best Italian meal of life in Canoletto's. Okay, it needed refurbishing but was still very nice and spacious. We were in a Neptune suite. Our suite attendants were superb, the suite amenities unmatched compared to other cruise lines we had sailed on. We cruise to be at sea, and visit new ports, which is all the entertainment we need. Do what you love to do, otherwise, just disembark and wander around. Sunset cruises are special. Perfect from start to finish. We went to islands previously visited (which we wanted to see again), and some new ones.

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  • New

Jul 15, 2015

Baltic

Holland America assigned me a cabin directly below a bar-entertainment venue. The music & noise carried directly and loudly into my room--as if there were high amplifiers above and little or no sound insulation. As a result I could not get to sleep before 1am on most nights. I complained loudly & often, but the crew told me that I could not switch rooms because all were occupied and that they would "advise" the entertainers. It did not help.

HA subsequently reduced my bill by $140--a pittance compared to the $4000+ I spent with HA for this trip. Never again with HA for me! Food quality was ok but variety far more limited than Royal Caribbean. Noisy cabin!! Weak shows and entertainment. Poor quality singers &dancers--and old movies in the main entertainment venue!

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