We are experienced cruise travelers with over 40 voyages across many different lines and all sizes of ships. While the majority of our travels have been with Princess, this was our 5th cruise with HAL. After our last HAL experience in 2012, we were not sure we would return. That trip, a transatlantic voyage, left us wondering what had happened to the quality one expects from HAL. We were sorely disappointed with several things, but most notable was the very poor quality of food and service in the main dining room. This was not just us being picky, many reviews at the time expressed the same experiences we had. None-the-less, we like the "smaller" size of HAL ships, and the walk around promenade, so when the price was so reasonable for the Eurodam, we went for it. We are pleased to say, it turned out to be one of the best voyages we have ever taken. Embarkation at Port Everglades was very quick and efficient- I've often said no one does logistics like HAL, and this was no exception. Just before noon, we were onboard, our cabin was ready, and we were on our way to the Mariners' luncheon. We were struck, almost immediately, by a very positive vibe on this ship. The crew members all seemed very happy and not one, in a week, walked by us without smiling and saying hello. We walked into the main dining room with a bit of trepidation after our last HAL experience. I must say that someone must have listened to the complaints because from our first lunch until our last breakfast, every meal was wonderful. The food was tasty, it was hot if it was supposed to be and cold if it was supposed to be, and the wait staff could not do enough for us. A very positive change was many more tables for two (our preference) and not only did we have a lovely table at fixed main seating, this carried over to breakfast and lunch. Another nice change was the evening entertainment with something for everyone. The main gathering place, the Ocean Bar, always had live music- the HAL Cats or a guitarist/singer "George" who knew his audience and played so many favorites, everyone was tapping their feet and singing along. Cruise Director Dave Shea did a great job guiding folks along their vacation with efficiency and a good sense of humor. Another big positive was the cleanliness of the ship- someone was always wiping things down and there was never a speck of dirt or a piece of trash anywhere! After experiencing a "Code Red" situation once before, this was a welcome sight, and kudos to the staff for their efforts. A few other positives to mention- The thermal suite was nice as always, we purchased the full cruise package and used it everyday. Morning room service for coffee was on time to the minute, the addition of the Dive In burgers and hotdogs made my mouth water each time I walked by, and cabin service was topnotch. We joked about our "stealth cabin steward" who serviced our room seemingly the minute we left even though we did not see him! We told as many officers as we could about the fabulous service we were receiving throughout the cruise. Stops were the standard Eastern Caribbean, for us the ship was the destination. We could not stop at Half Moon Key due to the high winds- no big deal for us but I'm sure others will grumble about this. Contrary to a statement from another reviewer, we did receive a refund for the port charges at this stop- it was clearly marked on our last invoice. All too soon, the last day was upon us and it was time to disembark. A very nice touch was the cruise director and staff lined up in the port building to thank us for our business. I have only seen this on a river cruise, never from a major line. A small touch that goes a long way. All-in-all, for a cruise I didn't really want to take, I was blown away by the return of HAL to the standards that we knew them by. We are very hot on river cruises now and are booked for next year but it is with eager eyes that we are perusing the HAL 2016 schedule and figuring out how soon we can get back!  

A Return to HAL! They're Back!

Eurodam Cruise Review by jkadventures

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
We are experienced cruise travelers with over 40 voyages across many different lines and all sizes of ships. While the majority of our travels have been with Princess, this was our 5th cruise with HAL. After our last HAL experience in 2012, we were not sure we would return. That trip, a transatlantic voyage, left us wondering what had happened to the quality one expects from HAL. We were sorely disappointed with several things, but most notable was the very poor quality of food and service in the main dining room. This was not just us being picky, many reviews at the time expressed the same experiences we had.
None-the-less, we like the "smaller" size of HAL ships, and the walk around promenade, so when the price was so reasonable for the Eurodam, we went for it. We are pleased to say, it turned out to be one of the best voyages we have ever taken.
Embarkation at Port Everglades was very quick and efficient- I've often said no one does logistics like HAL, and this was no exception. Just before noon, we were onboard, our cabin was ready, and we were on our way to the Mariners' luncheon. We were struck, almost immediately, by a very positive vibe on this ship. The crew members all seemed very happy and not one, in a week, walked by us without smiling and saying hello.
We walked into the main dining room with a bit of trepidation after our last HAL experience. I must say that someone must have listened to the complaints because from our first lunch until our last breakfast, every meal was wonderful. The food was tasty, it was hot if it was supposed to be and cold if it was supposed to be, and the wait staff could not do enough for us. A very positive change was many more tables for two (our preference) and not only did we have a lovely table at fixed main seating, this carried over to breakfast and lunch.
Another nice change was the evening entertainment with something for everyone. The main gathering place, the Ocean Bar, always had live music- the HAL Cats or a guitarist/singer "George" who knew his audience and played so many favorites, everyone was tapping their feet and singing along. Cruise Director Dave Shea did a great job guiding folks along their vacation with efficiency and a good sense of humor.
Another big positive was the cleanliness of the ship- someone was always wiping things down and there was never a speck of dirt or a piece of trash anywhere! After experiencing a "Code Red" situation once before, this was a welcome sight, and kudos to the staff for their efforts.
A few other positives to mention- The thermal suite was nice as always, we purchased the full cruise package and used it everyday. Morning room service for coffee was on time to the minute, the addition of the Dive In burgers and hotdogs made my mouth water each time I walked by, and cabin service was topnotch. We joked about our "stealth cabin steward" who serviced our room seemingly the minute we left even though we did not see him! We told as many officers as we could about the fabulous service we were receiving throughout the cruise.
Stops were the standard Eastern Caribbean, for us the ship was the destination. We could not stop at Half Moon Key due to the high winds- no big deal for us but I'm sure others will grumble about this. Contrary to a statement from another reviewer, we did receive a refund for the port charges at this stop- it was clearly marked on our last invoice.
All too soon, the last day was upon us and it was time to disembark. A very nice touch was the cruise director and staff lined up in the port building to thank us for our business. I have only seen this on a river cruise, never from a major line. A small touch that goes a long way.
All-in-all, for a cruise I didn't really want to take, I was blown away by the return of HAL to the standards that we knew them by. We are very hot on river cruises now and are booked for next year but it is with eager eyes that we are perusing the HAL 2016 schedule and figuring out how soon we can get back!
 
jkadventures’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Eurodam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SY 8075
Cabin was nice sized and well maintained. Being right below the lido deck, we did experience some early morning noise but nothing that was too intrusive
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins