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 cafÃ© (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.