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Gary

Age: 70

Occupation:ret

Number of Cruises: 14

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Eurodam

Sailing Date: 2010-02-6

Itinerary: East Carrib

My wife and I are frequent cruisers (14 in total - Norwegian is our favorite) but were enticed by a new ship, good ports, and a very attractive price. The cruise itself was an excellent value, although failure to address basics mystified us.

First, the great stuff: Room was excellent (we had 7 deck balcony); food was superb although the Italian restaurant was disappointing), ports were great, private island is one of the best, tour choice good (a sailing race in St Thomas was the best tour event I've ever had off a ship), entertainment was excellent , and free computer classes turned out to be a nice surprise.

What mystified us was a seemingly "care less" attitude amongst the crew and a very inhospitable dining reservations system for those who had selected open dining,

Food was excellent overall, with excellent presentation. Lido buffet had good choices and was overall very good. Dining staff was only so so (no "good evening" and frequent inattention) . Some questions were answered by pointing!. The virtually all-male staff (why??? ) also suffered from a lack of English skills - while I don't expect fluency, I do expect to be able to understand them, especially in the extra charge dining room. .

The open dining option is a fiasco. Our first night we were seated at a table for 8, then no one joined us. A requested room service breakfast never showed up. A reservation time in the Pinnacle grill was changed without ever notifying us (we found out only because we called to confirm). So - great food, excellent choices, but lousy staff. Stay away from the Italian Restaurant. Food was ok but ambiance was a 0. I'm not sure why they bothered. We did not try the Asian extra charge restaurant

First ship I've been on where the steward never even bothered to introduce himself. Room itself was excellent (7th fl balcony) Stateroom itself was fine.

Entertainment in terms of individual acts was first rate, Bar entertainments varied - good jazz trio, so so piano bar. Ship did excellent job with Super Bowl - using main theater with plenty of food.
Free computer classes were a surprise and excellent. and my wife and I are experienced

If you're active and like some adventure, the Ocean sailing in St Thomas was the best excursion I've been on from a ship. Snorkeling in Grand Turk was excellent.

Trip did confirm that HAL's market is definitely seniors; very few younger couples and families. Of course we are now seniors ourselves so that didn't bother us. Tour choices covered all ranges.

Would we go back? Yes - I normally choose based on price and itinerary, and this was an excellent value. Disappointing mostly in that what should be and easily addressed area - courtesy, smiles, manners - clearly needed some improvement. My wife thinks that greater use of women in the crew (as found on all other lines) would help a lot.

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