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.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.
Photos by Michael Coleman