Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 394 out of 500
Accommodation: 150 out of 200
Food: 270 out of 400
Service: 272 out of 400
Entertainment: 71 out of 100
Cruise: 291 out of 400
Overall Score: 1448 out of 2000
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Holland America Line
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9378448
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: $450 million
Entered Service: Jul 2008
Registry: The Netherlands
Length (ft/m): 935.0/285.0
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods
Passenger Decks: 12
Total Crew: 929
Passengers (lower beds): 2,104
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 41.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2
Cabins (total): 1,052
Size Range (sq ft/m): 170.0-1,318.6/15.7-122.5
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 708
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 30
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110/220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 5
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/170
Onboard currency: US$
A large, spacious ship with family-friendly Dutch-style interiors
Overview. The ship has a bright interior decor designed to appeal to younger, more vibrant, multi-generational holidaymakers. In keeping with the traditions of Holland America Line (HAL), a large collection of artwork is a standard feature, and pieces reflect the former Dutch East Indies.
The Ship. Eurodam has two funnels, positioned close together - one behind the other instead of side by side - the result of the machinery configuration because the ship has, in effect, two engine rooms - one with three diesels, and one with two diesels. A pod propulsion system is provided, so there’s virtually no vibration.
There are 22 rent-by-the-day cabanas, with goodies such as Champagne, chocolate strawberries, an iPod pre-stocked with music, bathrobes, fresh fruit, and chilled towels. These are designed for two adults and two children, so they may not be the promised ‘quiet’ spaces, after all. They are located in an area on observation deck and around the Lido Pool.
There is a complete walk-around exterior teak promenade deck, real teak steamer-style sunloungers, and a jogging track around the forward third of the ship.
There are two centrally located pools outdoors, one of which has a retractable glass roof, plus a children’s pool.
The lobby spans three decks. Adjacent are interior and glass-walled elevators with fine ocean views through 11 decks. The information desk (on the lobby’s lowest level) is small and somewhat removed from the main passenger flow on the two decks above it.
There are two decks of public rooms. Perhaps the most dramatic is the showlounge, spanning four decks in the forward section. Other facilities include a winding shopping street with several boutique stores, card room, an art gallery, photo gallery, and several meeting rooms; a casino is large and equipped with gaming tables and slot machines. One of the most popular public rooms is Explorations - a combination coffee bar (drinks are at extra cost), lounge, library, and Internet center, all in one attractive, open ‘lifestyle’ environment, adjacent to a Crows Nest Lounge.
On other decks (lower down), you’ll find a Queens Lounge (this acts as a lecture room), a Culinary Arts Center, where cooking demonstrations and classes are held, and a number of other bars and lounges. The ship also has a small movie screening room - a nice feature.
Gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account. Passenger niggles include include noisy cabin air conditioning (the flow can’t be turned off, the only regulation being for temperature control), and the many pillars that obstruct passenger flow and lines of sight throughout the ship.
Families. For families with children, Club HAL’s KidZone provides a whole area dedicated to children’s facilities and extensive programming for different age groups (five to 17), with one counselor for every 30 children. Ice cream is free at certain hours. There are no self-service launderettes - something many families with children miss, although special bulk laundry packages are available.
Accommodation. There are numerous price categories. Most of the suites/cabins have an outside-view or ‘private’ balcony. Note that many of the cabins on Upper Promenade Deck have lifeboat- or safety equipment-obstructed views. Avoid cabins directly under the aft pool deck because deck chair dragging noises can be really irritating.
Some cabins that can accommodate a third and fourth person have very little closet space, and only one personal safe. Occupants of suites get exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge and concierge service, priority embarkation and disembarkation, and other benefits. In many of the suites/cabins with private balconies, the balconies can be overlooked from various public locations.
Penthouse Verandah Suites. These offer the largest accommodation (1,318 sq ft/123 sq m, including balcony) and include a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, walk-in closet, dressing room, living room, dining room, butler’s pantry, minibar and refrigerator, and balcony. The main bathroom has a large whirlpool tub, and two washbasins. Personalized stationery and free dry cleaning are included, as are hot hors d’oeuvres and other goodies daily.
Deluxe Verandah Suites. These suites measure 563 sq ft (53 sq m). They have twin beds that convert to a king-size bed, vanity desk, lounge area, walk-in closet, minibar and refrigerator, and bathroom with full-size tub, washbasin, and toilet. Personalized stationery and complimentary dry cleaning are included, as are hot hors d’oeuvres and other perks.
Verandah Suites. Actually they are cabins, not suites, and measure 284 sq ft (26 sq m). Twin beds can convert to a queen-size bed. There is also a lounge area, minibar, and refrigerator, while the bathroom has a tub, washbasin, and toilet. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a private balcony.
Outside-view cabins. Standard outside cabins (197 sq ft/18 sq m) have twin beds that can convert to a queen-size bed. There’s a small sitting area, while the bathroom has a tub/shower combination. The interior cabins are slightly smaller (183 sq ft/17 sq m).
Some 37 cabins have interconnecting doors. All balconies have solid steel lower sections instead of glass - so your view is a little restricted when seated).
All suites/cabins have ‘Signature of Excellence’ premium amenities: plush Mariner’s Dream beds, waffle/terry cloth robes, Egyptian cotton towels, flat panel TVs, DVD players, make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, large hairdryers, fresh flowers, and fruit baskets.
Dining. The bi-level Rembrandt Dining Room - a stunning room - is at the stern. Both open seating (you may have to wait a considerable time for a table), and fixed (assigned tables and times) seating are available. It provides a traditional HAL dining experience, with friendly service from Indonesian and Filipino stewards.
The waiter stations in the dining room can be noisy for anyone seated adjacent to them. Live music is provided for dinner each evening. Once each cruise, there’s a Dutch Dinner (hats are provided), and an Indonesian Lunch. ‘Lighter option’ meals are always available. HAL can provide kosher meals, although these are prepared ashore, frozen, and brought to your table sealed in their original containers.
Other dining options. The 130-seat Pinnacle Grill is a more upscale, more intimate restaurant, with higher-quality ingredients and better presentation than in the larger main dining room. It is on Lower Promenade Deck and fronts onto the second level of the atrium lobby. Pacific Northwest cuisine is featured, plus an array of premium-quality steaks. There are fine table settings, china and silverware, and leather-bound menus. The wine bar offers mostly American wines. Reservations are required and there’s a cover charge (but the premium-quality steaks are worth it).
There’s also Tamarind, a 144-seat pan-Asian (fusion cuisine) restaurant; there’s no charge for lunch, but there is a cover charge for dinner.
For casual eats, there’s an extensive Lido Café. It includes a pizzeria/Italian specialties counter, a salad bar, Asian stir-fry counter, deli sandwiches, and desserts. Movement through the buffet area can be very slow. In the evenings, one side of this venue is turned into an extra-cost Canaletto Restaurant - a quasi-Italian informal eatery with waiter service.
Also, a poolside ‘Dive-In at the Terrace Grill’ features multi-choice signature burgers (and special Dive-In sauce), hot dogs and fries.
An extra-cost Windsurf Café in the atrium lobby (open 20 hours a day) serves coffee and snacks.
Entertainment. Theater-style seating is provided in The Mainstage Showlounge, the venue for colourful Las Vegas-style revues and major cabaret shows. Stage shows are best seen from the upper levels, from where the sight lines are quite good.
Spa/Fitness. The Greenhouse Spa, the largest yet for HAL, includes a thermal suite, hydropool, several private rooms for body pampering treatments, and a large fitness center. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a basketball court, volleyball court, and a golf simulator.