Ship Review: Eurodam offers various amenities, dining choices

The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, offers an array of onboard events and activities and some of cruise travel’s more appealing dining options. Photo by Michael Coleman
The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, offers an array of onboard events and activities and some of cruise travel’s more appealing dining options. Photo by Michael Coleman

The question facing passengers during seven-night Caribbean cruises aboard Holland America’s Eurodam this winter isn’t what to do onboard but whether there’s enough time to enjoy all that’s being offered.

The 2,104-passenger, 86,000-ton ship features a host of events and activities in some 31 public rooms.

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Onboard: Eurodam offers palate pleasing culinary fare

An all-female Asian team of servers greets passengers in Tamarind, Holland America’s superb Pan-Asian themed restaurant aboard the 2,104-passenger Eurodam.
An all-female Asian team of servers greets passengers in Tamarind, Holland America’s superb Pan-Asian themed restaurant aboard the 2,104-passenger Eurodam.

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Holland America’s Eurodam as she sails an Eastern Caribbean itinerary this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

HALF MOON CAY, Bahamas, Dec. 4, 2009 — Here on this sun-drenched oasis where Carib Indians used to smoke meat over open flames centuries ago, cruise ship passengers aboard Holland America’s Eurodam ponder their evening’s gourmet culinary choices.

The ship features a two-level main dining room (Rembrandt); there’s a casual eatery to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner (Lido); a pool grill (Terrace); and of course a pizza venue aptly named Slice.

But, as guests splash in these turquoise waters, thoughts move to Eurodam’s superb, reservations-only specialty restaurants where Pan Asian, Pacific Northwest and Italian offerings abound.

Tamarind, with seating for just 144 patrons, features Asian-inspired entrees from sea bass with a hoisin-lime glaze to steamed shrimp and scallops with garlic, ginger and chili. The wasabi soy-crusted beef tenderloin is not to be missed. The all-female Asian team of servers may also offer Rijsttafel, a Dutch adaptation of the traditional Indonesia dinner of rice accompanied by more than a dozen, often spicy, side dishes. Meals are just $15 per person. The venue is open for complimentary lunch – look for dim sum, an assortment of classic Asian dumplings, and accompanying fusion sauces for dipping.

Excellent fare and service with a smile are Pinnacle Grill staples.
Excellent fare and service with a smile are Pinnacle Grill staples.
Pinnacle Grill is without question one of cruise travel’s most beautifully-appointed alternative dining venues. Featuring Pacific Northwest specialties (Holland America’s ancestry dates back to Rotterdam in 1873 but corporate headquarters are now in Seattle) look for select cuts of Sterling Silver beef plus seafood appetizers and entrees. Select wines from the Pacific Northwest are a nice accompaniment. Distinctive Bvlgari china, Frette linens and elegant Riedel stemware add to the experience. Meals are $20 per person.

Canaletto, meanwhile, comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido restaurant is transformed each evening into an Italian venue. It’s casual and walk-ups are accepted although reservations for the 72-seat locale are encouraged. The family-style menu features traditional Italian favorites daily with entrees rotating nightly.

In the main dining venue, Rembrandt, Eurodam features what Holland America dubs “As You Wish Dining’’. Passengers may choose either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, they can make specific reservations daily, or they may simply walk into the venue anytime during dining hours.

Rembrandt features regional favorites, vegetarian and healthy lifestyle options plus a daily alternatives menu which includes fish, chicken or sirloin steak. Look for Rosenthal china, starched linens, silver service and fresh flowers in the venue, daily.

Rounding out Eurodam’s culinary journey is a late-night feast in Lido, evenings, after 11. Complimentary room service is available 24/7.

Sushi is prepared fresh daily by chefs in Tamarind, a 144-seat venue.
Sushi is prepared fresh daily by chefs in Tamarind, a 144-seat venue.

Photos by Michael Coleman

Port Postcard: Trunk Bay in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

dec 2, 2009 (1)

One of the world’s most beautiful quarter-mile, white-sand beaches, Trunk Bay in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, played host today to guests aboard Holland America’s Eurodam. The beach break was one of 22 shore excursions offered by the ship in St. John and neighboring St. Thomas. Guests aboard the vessel have a day at sea tomorrow en route to Holland America’s private Bahamian island — Half Moon Cay — Friday. The ship is in the midst of a seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary.
Photo by Michael Coleman

Onboard: Eurodam sparkles under Caribbean sun

The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, docked Monday on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos. She’s in the midst of a 7-night itinerary and will call on San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, later in the week. Photo by Michael Coleman
The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, docked Monday on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos. She’s in the midst of a 7-night itinerary and will call on San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, later in the week. Photo by Michael Coleman

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Holland America’s Eurodam as she sails an Eastern Caribbean itinerary this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

GRAND TURK ISLAND, Turks & Caicos, Nov. 30, 2009 — The question facing passengers during a seven-night Caribbean cruise this week aboard Holland America’s Eurodam isn’t what to do onboard but whether there’s enough time to enjoy all that’s being offered.

The 2,104-passenger, 86,000-ton ship features a host of events and activities in some 31 public rooms.

Highlights include demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by “Food & Wine Magazine”; health, fitness and wellness opportunities in the ship’s Greenhouse Spa and Salon; and Digital Workshops, daily, where passengers learn the nuances of personal web page design, photography, computer safety and maintenance.

Holland America has been making its name the past couple of years tied to an ambitious, hands-on passenger approach to culinary education. Eurodam has its own dedicated space, a theater-style venue on Deck 3 which features an elaborate show kitchen complete with large plasma video screens and a display counter where guests participate in cooking demos, culinary classes and one-on-one learning. Top chefs, leading cook book authors and wine experts lead the charge.

The spa, meanwhile, offers a range of services and treatments complete with a gymnasium featuring both aerobic and strength training equipment. Eurodam features 46 “spa’’ suites, located close to the facility.

The ship features self-guided i-Pod tours where guests learn more than just how to get around. Tours feature details about Eurodam’s multi-million dollar art collection.

There’s a screening room showing feature films — odd these days at sea aboard modern vessels but an extremely nice touch — plus an Internet café (Explorations on Deck 11), a casino, shops and art gallery.

Eurodam features two pools — Lido surrounded by cabanas for rent and Sea View, an adults-only retreat on Deck 9 aft.

On the entertainment side look for a piano bar, string quartet, and two bands: The Neptunes and Marisha & The HALCats plus the ship’s singers and dancers performing nightly on the main stage.

Look also for bridge play, afternoon tea, volleyball and basketball games on the Sports Court, Pilates, cycling, Wii games and trivia contests. Eurodam also features a port shopping ambassador who hosts seminars and guides passengers on their port quests to find the best trinket or diamond.

There are nine bars/lounges onboard plus seven restaurants where everything from burgers to gourmet offerings are on tap.

Still trying to decide what to do? Let’s not forget Eurodam’s varied port calls featuring tours and beach offerings under the Caribbean’s warm sun.

Later this week: The culinary choices aboard Eurodam abound, from Pan-Asian to Pacific Northwest specialties. We’ll take a closer look in the day’s ahead.

Follow us onboard Holland America’s Eurodam

eurodam
Passengers enjoy a bird’s eye view from Holland America’s Eurodam, Saturday at sunset, as the ship departed Fort Lauderdale. Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas is in the background. The 2,104-passenger Eurodam has just begun a seven-night Caribbean voyage to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is onboard and will be posting dispatches from the ship this week.
Photo by Michael Coleman