Amenities & Activities
Holland America Line’s Eurodam features an impressive array of activities suited towards a more “culturally enriched” clientele. Therefore, the Eurodam features many activities and amenities that are not found on your average cruise ship.
First up, the Culinary Arts Center, which is located in the Queens Lounge on deck 2, midship. Here you can take cooking classes with Holland America Line’s specially trained chefs from around the world. Learn how to cook a delicious five star meal or attend a wine tasting class. This center is set up in a theater-like manner, which makes it possible to perform cooking demonstrations and food pairing seminars for a large amount of guests. The Culinary Arts Center is a great place to learn some new cooking skills or learn more about the world of fine wines.
In a new partnership that is expanded upon in the “Entertainment” section below, Holland America Line will be adding newly revamped dance classes across their fleet. At least twice during your cruise, you will have the opportunity to learn how to cha cha, tango, or even ballroom dance thanks to a new partnership with Dancing with the Stars. Learn from specially trained choreographers the moves used on the actual show. These classes will do you well, as it can earn you a spot on the main stage later in the cruise, competing for a free cruise.
Feeling a little warm? No problem, you can cool off in one of Eurodam’s two nicely sized swimming pools, which are located midship and aft on her lido deck. Both pools are surprisingly freshwater, which is a rare occurrence on many large ships. Her midship pool even features a magrodome, which can be expanded to cover the entire lido area during inclement weather!
In addition to her lido, the Eurodam also features many other classic cruise activities including shuffleboard, a golf-simulator, and a basketball court located aft of her funnels.
Food is and has always been one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of cruising. The Eurodam has taken care of this for you. The Eurodam features a main dining room, the Rembrandt, in addition to 4 specialty restaurants, and the usual Lido Restaurant. The Rembrandt is your typical dining room, serving up delicious dishes that are specifically crafted for the ship’s cruising region. As mentioned before, the Eurodam also features 4 specialty restaurants: Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, Canaletto, and Le Cirque. These restaurants do cost extra, but are completely worth the cover charge.
Pinnacle Grill is Eurodam’s exclusive steakhouse that offers an unparalleled dining experience of elegant sophistication. serving up a wide array of perfectly grilled steaks as well as other enticing entrees. Here you can enjoy a finely grilled porterhouse or a savory lobster tail. The Pinnacle Grill offers a finely appointed dining experience that you won’t soon forget.
Canaletto is Eurodam’s Italian restaurant, serving up traditional, hearty Italian dishes. From the classic spaghetti and meatballs to linguini pasta, you will leave Canaletto with a full stomach and cotton candy residue on your face. Oh yea, dessert not only includes gelato, but delicious, sugary cotton candy as well! Canaletto creates the perfect Italian dish in a lighthearted, Italian atmosphere.
For your Pan-Asian cuisine, Tamarind has you covered. Holland America describes Tamarind as a restaurant that “celebrates the adventurous fusion of ingredients,” and they definitely deliver. At Tamarind, you can enjoy a wide array of Asian inspired soups and stirred dishes. From the Asia Pacific Hot Pot to the Sesame Udon Noodles, you will leave both satisfied and hopefully more culture-aware.
Le Cirque is Holland America Line’s most exclusive restaurant because it only appears once every cruise. For one night, the Pinnacle Grill is transformed into Le Cirque, Once a cruise, the Pinnacle Grill is transformed into Le Cirque which features specially tailored menu offerings, wine selections, and table decorations. This special night allows guests to sample the unique taste of Sirio Maccioni’s legendary New York restaurant. From the unique Lobster Salad to the flavorful three cheese ravioli to the unique paintings that adorn the wall, this is a dining experience that you will wish was offered more than once a cruise.
During my week on the Eurodam, the most popular entertainment option around was Dancing with the Stars At Sea. My cruise was actually the launch ship for this new, impressive partnership between Dancing with the Stars and Holland America Line. Through this partnership, Holland cruisers will have the chance to attend specialized dance classes as well as participate in a production show where they will have the chance to win a free cruise to compete in a final dance competition on the Nieuw Amsterdam next year. Basically, most of the entertainment on the Eurodam revolves around Dancing with the Stars, but it is very well put together.
During our cruise, we also had the pleasure of enjoying the magic show, Jeff Peterson and Indy the Magic Dog. The show was both interesting and funny at the same time. I believe my favorite part though was the unique ways Jeff incorporated Indy into his tricks.
The Eurodam is also home to the HALcats, a band that travels throughout the ship every day, playing various types of music throughout the day.
It sounds like I’m over exaggerating when I say I had the best food of my life on the Eurodam, but it’s true – I did. Honestly, I am not exactly sure what Holland America Line is doing, but I hope that they continue doing it! The quality and taste is truly unbelievable. Everything was so fresh and well prepared, from the salad bar to the Rembrandt Dining Room – always fresh, always warm, always packed with flavor. Holland America Line is truly a cut above the rest.
Our itinerary included calls in Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Holland America’s private Bahamian island – Half Moon Cay. We unfortunately weren’t able to dock in Grand Turk, but I can say I have at least seen the island!
Here is a quick summary of what we did in each port of call:
- Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos: Waved to the citizens of the island as we sailed away. (Not really)
- San Juan, Puerto Rico: Self-guided walking tour of Old San Juan and the El Morro fortress. The fortress is easily walked to from the port with a little guidance from a trustworthy map.
- St. Thomas, USVI: Champagne Catamaran Snorkeling. Snorkeling in the pristine waters of St. John, which is located next door to St. Thomas.
- Half Moon Cay, Bahamas: Parasailing. Possibly one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. Check out my video of the entire trip into the air here.
Layout & Appearance
The layout of the Eurodam can be a bit confusing in some areas, but for the most part has a very smart, easy to navigate layout. Almost all of the public rooms are located on decks 3, 4, 9, and 10. On these decks, a promenade basically runs aft to forward with the restaurants, bars, and other venues along the promenade. With this very basic layout, cruisers can easily find almost any room onboard the ship. I believe the only area that may have some traffic jams or cause passengers to become a little lost is the promenade area around the Queen’s Lounge. It seems that the designers packed in too many rooms in a small area, but it really isn’t a major concern. Overall, the ship calls for a simpler time in cruising – portraits of ships from years ago adorn the walls and stairways. Other than nautical art, the ship also features a vast collection of painting reproductions by Rembrandt.
Service & Crew
Have you ever sailed a ship with a bad crew? Well, thankfully I’ve never had to answer yes. Once again, the Eurodam’s mixed crew from Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Netherlands was top notch. Crew members were always willing to help and go out of their way to make you more comfortable. Holland America Line always says they strive for excellence, and I believe that this excellence is only possible due to the tremendous work put in by their crew. Our room stewards Jaka and Dela were truly extraordinary and I am very thankful to them for their hard work in making sure that all of our needs were met. Great service from a great crew is what makes a great cruise.
The staterooms onboard the Eurodam are very nicely decorated with ample space both in the stateroom and on the balcony. The bathroom even features a full bath, which in my case was used to keep shower water from spilling all over the bathroom floor. Our stateroom had plenty of storage space, but I felt that the desk area could have been larger. The balcony was one of the largest I have ever had and even had wicker furniture with plush, comfortable padding. Overall, stateroom 5155 was very comfortable and a nice place to kick back and relax after a long day in port.
Photos: Mike Faust. All photos denoted by * are courtesy of Holland America Line.