I have just returned from the transatlantic crossing on the Eurodam from Copenhagen to New York. These are my comments:
Staff-excellent courtesy but training needed
Food-THE WORST I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED ON A 5 OR 6 STAR SHIP. WATERY FRUIT JUICES, UNAPPETIZING PRESENTATIONS, INEDIBLE MAIN COURSES (THE TURKEY WAS APPARENTLY A PROCESSED ROLL AND HEATED IN A GOOEY GRAVY)The "as you wish dining program" appears to fail since a reservation is needed if waiting is to be avoided. The reservation can only be made for one day ahead. If you don't call at 7AM your time choices are limited. The food in the Pinnacle(extra charge steakhouse was terrific but at $40.00 per couple on top of the cruise fare not a bargain. The Italian restaurant had good veal but the menu choices were very limited and you had to go to Deck 9 daily to read the menu.
Room service - breakfast prompt and correct. At dinner every item was incorrect or improperly prepared. The room service selectiobs are very limited and inflexible - no french fries to go with steak sandwich or burger - no choice of salad dressing etc.
Itinerary and excursions - Excellent
Summary - If HAL can get the food improved significantly this can be a great cruise ship. With the current level of dining it barely rates a star.
I'm just back today from a mini-cruise on Eurodam. It was a 3-night "cruise to nowhere" from New York. We sailed south as far as Norfolk, VA before turning back towards New York.
I found the food to be excellent. In the main dining room, there was a lot of variety, and everything the three of us in my party ordered was terrific. We ran the gamut from filet to prawns, salmon, crab salad, vegetarian cutlet in curry -- you name it, we ordered it, and we didn't have a single complaint about anything. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room were terrific, too. We found lines a bit too long to our liking at the Lido buffet, but found the food very good.
We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. So many choices, so little time!
The entertainment was ok, musicians doing a better job than singers. Nice venues for dancing, a terrific karaoke evening in the disco.
The stateroom we had was a category VF on Verandah deck. It was spacious enough, even for 3 people, with two chairs and a foot stool and small table on the balcony.
We found the service to be unfailingly friendly and efficient. We have no complaints about service.
Self-disembarkation this morning was a breeze. We were off the ship and sitting in Penn Station before 9am.
Our major complaint was not enough organized activities during the day or in the evening. We're not big on casinos, and the one on Eurodam was very smoke filled and unappealing. The bars and lounges were lovely, especially Silk Den which has individual sitting areas with sheer curtains, as does the disco.
The pool area was lovely, and you can rent cabanas for $30/day and up. The spa was lovely, and the gym behind it was very large and very well equipped.
This ship is only a little over 86,000 tons, so it is not at all large by today's standards, but appears to be larger than that, with lots of choices of venues to visit. But more going on in those venues would have been appreciated.
did they detract from the pool area for those who did not book them?
The only distraction was the jealous looks the folks in the cabanas were getting from others walking by! The cabanas are equipped with a luxurious looking chaise that two can fit on, a bowl of fruit, cold soft drinks, and a pool attendant hovering nearby to see if you needed anything.
We are booked on this ship Nov 1. We were originally sailing on The Pearl but found this new ship and changed our mind. I hope that was not a mistake. The reviews have not been very positive on this ship. I have never sailed on HA so I am looking forward to a change. This will be my 7th cruise and I have yet to say any of them were horrible. A cruise is what you make it. Yes, food must be palatable but I will settle for just good. It may be my first and last cruise on HA but at least I will be able to say I tried them. Hopefully I will find my experiance delightful. This will also be our first inside cabin. We have always had an oceanview or balcony. Chose inside just to save money with the economy the way it is.
Unfortunately, have to agree with DOC 101 food wasn't up to HAL usual standard. Only ate breakfast in the main dining room twice. After they massacred my Eggs Benedict I opted for cereal and toast the second time. The dining room staff were not up to par either. One evening our waiter took the unused silverware our fellow diners had been playing with all through dinner and proceeded to lay it out for our use! I too think they need more training. Speciality restaurants were excellent, food and service. The quality of food in the Lido also excellent. The open seating forum doesn't allow passengers to get to know their servers and I think this could be the reason we weren't in love with the service. We liked the idea of dining with different people each evening and had some really interesting conversations at dinner. The layout of the ship was odd. The public areas seemed to be compartmentalized and dark and didn't seem to encourage passengers to sit. Several evenings the bars were quiet. Some were empty. Entertainment on the ship was excellent. The internet service is extremely slow and frustrating. Not technical enough to know why. Add to that the fact that we had no TV for several days and their boast of having the state of the art communications systems didn't sit well with me. At times the only channels on TV were advertising HAL services or documentaries we'd seen on HAL last year! The intinery was excellent and we met some great people.
Avoid cabin 8102, there was terrific wind noise rushing through the door when the wind was in a certain direction. It disturbed our sleep on several occasions and the noise could be heard even when we were docked! With all due respect to the Sandy, a 3 day cruise to nowhere is a little different from a 16 day transatlantic crossing.
Agreed that 16 days is not the same as 3 days. Since I was on the 3 day and not the 16 day, my opinions are based on my 3 day experience. I had Eggs Benedict in the dining room one morning, and they were fine. Perhaps we lucked out with the food for the few meals we had onboard, but our only complaint was the universally heavy handed way restaurants on land and sea use the salt shaker.
The cabin tv had some great old movies like the original, "Sabrina" and "The Godfather," among others. CNN was on all the time, as well as a movie about the Eurodam inaugural.