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Pat Sager

Age: 63


Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Eurodam

Sailing Date: 2010-11-13

Itinerary: Eastern Carribbean

I have mixed feelings about our experience. In comparison, we have been on three RCL ships and would rate them as exceptional in almost everything including the food! Did one Carnival Conquest cruise and it was the only cruise that we wanted off of after three days, we were just dissapointed by just about everything. This time my co-worker kept pushing me to do a HAL cruise and really talked it up. My co-worker came off of the same cruise the week before we left and she stated that a lot of the former quality was lacking this time. She had been on many HAL's. Silly me...I should have stuck to the tried and true RCL. We usually have a tight budget and get a basic room but since this would most likely be our last since we are retiring, we wanted to go on "the best" and thought going into debt for it would be worth it. If we could do it over again, we would go on a RCL ship. If you are a senior and don't care about food quality in the dining room, I would recommend this ship highly but HAL is not what it's cracked up to be.

Food was beautifully presented and was gourmet; however, gourmet quality stopped at it's looks. I am a serious foodie with the exception of seafood...both of us dislike it heartily. I really love food such as they have on RCL..I call it semi-gourmet because it is gourmet but is prepared with everyday ingredients and it's topnotch in taste and quality. On HAL, I expected that it may be a little gourmet for our taste but knew that they would have more common things such as steak and I am adventurous and try unusual combinations of food that I've never tried. HAL's menu had a lot of seafood (to be expected). We tried different dishes and sometimes chose steaks. The kitchen staff seemed to have a problem getting the steaks cooked to order although our table mate kept sending back steaks when they looked like they were perfect. We have had better steak in mediocre restaurants in the states. Very dissapointing but we ate them anyway. One thing I ordered was a lamb shank. It had a good taste but it had only about two small bites of meat. The rest was fat! Our four table mates were frequent cruisers and they were dissapointed in much of the food. Wait staff was very nice but service varied from bad to excellent. We had a window table in a corner and got a little neglected at times. Dining room was gorgeous but the food was mostly dissapointing. I expected much better at the price we paid for the trip. The Pinnacle grill was really good and service impeccable but as for our steaks,we would rate them an 8 out of 10. Guess I expected a 9 or 10 there. I would say that Lido Deck food was generally very good for cafeteria style food. We didn't eat there for dinner but dinner food looked very appetizing. The chocolate buffet on deck was really good but it was chaos. Some people were standing in a long line for the food and others were walking in and going straight for the food. We were confused as to which we should do. Needed to be more organized.

Loved the service and luxury bedding...Didn't get that on other lines. I haven't slept that well in a long time. Very clean and the staff was excellent.

The ship was very laid back as the guests were mostly elderly. I am 63 and my husband 66 but we're very active and conservative but the ship was a little too laid back for us. I would not recommend the ship for people looking for a lot of activity but it's comfortalble and quiet for those who want that. We went to one show which was singing and dancing. It started out well because there was an opera type singer who sang, don't know the name. but it was one of the opera songs that everyone seems to love. He was great and we wished we could hear more of him; then the rest of the show was performed by just one couple with mediocre voices. It became very boring like a CD with one good song on it but you want to trash it for the rest of the songs. With all the talent on the ship, seems HAL could have more variety than that. One of our tablemates had the same opinion. By the way, we had great table mates...both couples were around our age and we enjoyed being with them.

This is not an excursion but be sure you know exactly how much your taxi is going to cost before hiring one in Grand Turk...Any itenerary changes on that ride may cost you a lot!. By all means, see what little there is to see on GT because it's interesting but don't spend a lot on transportation because just not a lot there. Personally, I enjoyed seeing the island but what we paid for the taxi was outrageous. GT is very small and very barren...not worth a lot of money to see. Get advice from the Cruise Director about transportation. We asked our taxi driver to be taken "into town" and "town" amounted to a handful of little one-room building on one street. Somehow we ended up sharing the taxi for "less cost" and was taken on a tour of the island. Guess we were gullible tourists. Lessons learned. San Juan was great and the ship docked at the downtown docks. We walked to see it and walked ourselves to death but it was a wonderful experience. Be sure to see the forts. We didn't see much of St. Thomas. Too many tourist shops and we chose not to pay a taxi to take us elsewhere. Again, listed to your cruise director, we didn't and was sorry for it. The water and beach on the private island was beautiful.

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