Written by on Monday July 20, 2015
Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam is a mid-sized ship who along with sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam make up the line’s Signature Class. Catering to just over 2,000 guests this ship is towards the higher end of the mid-sized ship category.
Myself and a few colleagues were lucky enough to be invited onboard the ms Eurodam for lunch and a tour of the ship earlier this month. Upon arrival at the Cruise Port first impressions were that the ship was larger than I expected and once onboard the amount of space was evident.
The public spaces were very elegant with fresh flowers and fine art dotted around, but never pretentious in any way. I liked that most of the main onboard facilities were spread out across just three decks rather than five or six that is common on the larger ships.
The Eurodam has 2 main dining rooms – The Lido Buffet Restaurant and the more formal Rembrandt dining room, which is split across two levels. The buffet selection in the Lido restaurant was extensive and varied with a fantastic salad bar, and specialist teas and coffees on offer.
Our lunch onboard was served in the Rembrandt dining room with views looking out across the Port. As we entered the lift to make our way down for lunch we noticed that the floor mats were inscribed with the day of the week! I thought this was a great little reminder as it’s easy to lose track of days when you’re on holiday!
As expected the food at lunch was fantastic and the waiters were never intrusive but nor were they ever far away if you needed anything.
As well as the main dining rooms you can also dine at the specialist restaurants Tamarind, Canaletto or the ever popular Pinnacle Grill. A small cover charge does apply to these restaurants but I know from the recommendations of my colleagues that these are worth every penny!
The Tamarind is the new Asian dining option available only on the signature class ships ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam. The restaurant is located on the top deck (Deck 11) with fantastic views out to sea with everything from Sushi to Cantonese Duck and Vietnamese style Lamb on the menu.
The 24-hour option for In-Room Dining at no extra cost is another nice benefit on Holland America. Some cruise lines will charge a fee for this service at certain times of the day/night but this is free on HAL.
The entertainment venues onboard were also extensive, with many different bars and lounges such as the Crows Nest, the Silk Den and the Piano bar. The main entertainment venue is the Mainstage Theatre which spans three deck levels and offers Broadway style shows and entertainment. Holland America line are also the only cruise line to offer ‘Dancing with the Stars’ onboard where you can attend a Dance lesson with the onboard dance team and maybe even be chosen to join in with a dance-off performance in the show lounge!
Another entertainment highlight is the BB Kings Blues club where you can experience the music of Memphis at sea. This venue made it’s debut on ms Eurodam but it has proved so popular that it has been rolled out onto six other ships and will also be available on the brand new ship ms Koningsdam which is due to launch in 2016.
Another thing that stood out for me was the little extra things that Holland America offer their guests through their ‘Enrichment at sea’ and ‘Explorations Ashore’ programmes. They have invested heavily in their onboard programmes and now have one of the most enriching programmes of activities at sea with everything from Digital workshops to cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts centre. The onboard Location programme also brings each destination to life as they bring the ports of call to you with regionally inspired cuisine, events and entertainment.
The outdoor areas onboard were also ideal - there are two pools onboard – the open air Sea View pool and the Lido pool which has a sliding roof and is ideal for those overcast days. The Retreat is also an area where you can reserve a Private Cabana onboard for a small fee and even order meals or enjoy Spa treatments. Pure Indulgence!
Holland America are well known for their large staterooms – they are on average 25% larger than most other ships and carry all of the usual amenities, but it’s the extra touches such as the bathrobes and fresh fruit in your stateroom that make Holland America a little bit different. Most Oceanview and above staterooms also have full bathtubs – not seen on most other cruise ships, but as the ship was mid-cruise we didn't get the chance to experience these for ourselves.
If you are looking for a cruise with refined onboard service, high quality dining and a rich sense of destination immersion then Holland America Line offer the ideal cruise for you.
It’s easy to see why people return to Holland America year after year. It's the little extras that make it as they offer just that little bit more.
Nicola Payne, Product Manager