Eurodam Inaugural in Rotterdam 2

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

CruiseMates' editor Paul Motter reports from the newly-presented Holland America ship Eurodam, just officially "named" in Rotterdam, Holland.

The Retreat Eurodam offers private cabanas holding lush Balinese lounge chairs big enough for two people in two different areas of the ship. The "Lido Cabanas" are in the deck area of the main pool inside the magrodome. The other area is "The Retreat," high atop deck 11 forward, but facing astern. The Lido cabanas can be leased for $30 on port days and $50 on sea days. Retreat cabanas are $45 (port days) and $75 (sea days). Both come with flavored mineral waters, chilled fruit, Evian spritzes and champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries served in the late afternoon. A masseuse can be summoned for a private massage for the same fee as in the Spa.

The Greenhouse Spa offers the usual assortment of massages and facials, and it has a thermal suite where guests can indulge in essential oil infused steam baths, relax in a massage thelassotheray pool and relax on heated ceramic lounge chair until the warmth envelopes your body. Pricing for ther thermal suite is $25/day per person, or $150 per person per cruise for the first person and $100 for each additional person per cabin.

 
Cabanas in Retreat   The Thermal Suite

   
Fitness Center   Pool Area with Magrodome Ceiling   Inside Private Cabana

The main pool area has a massive retractable magrodome roof so the ship can open the pool to the outside elements in warm weather, or enclosed when the weather becomes inclement. The magrodome worked quite handily when an outside buffet celebration in Hamburg had to be moved from the aft pool deck area because of rain.

Onboard Shopping The spacious and light 1000 square-foot, shopping area is unavoidable to persons walking forward to aft on deck three. But the inviting openness of the shops encourages browsing without being pushy about it. Rather than heavy display cases and locking doors, the shopping area is open and wide enough to allow people to walk through unimpeded. To close the shops while in port, invisible by day cage doors drop down from the ceiling, but otherwise the stores simply blend into the décor.

   
Shopping   More Shopping   Jewelry Shop

Shopping selections include a high-end jewelry store created by Holland America called Merabella. It offers a one of a kind jewelry collection with loose stones, matching pieces for women and fine watches for both sexes. There is also a souvenir boutique with shirts, necessities and Holland America logo-wear.

Culinary Arts Center Included in the Queen's Room is a fully functioning stage kitchen for culinary classes presented by Holland America staff chefs and guest authors of specialty cookbooks. The classes are presented in conjunction with Food & Wine magazine, and typically include a free one-hour demonstration with follow-up classes available for a $29 entry fee. Paid classes are limited to 12 people, but demonstartions are free and may be attended by hundreds. At least two classes are taught every seven days, with more scheduled on longer cruises.

Even the kids get culinary arts classes 45 minutes long, with the focus on simple dishes for breakfast and lunch.

Dining Options In addition to the Rembrandt Dining Room, there are four alternative dining venues. Some at no additional cost and some carry a cover charge.

The regular dining room, Rembrandt, is two decks high and features tables for two to ten people. The ceiling has a changing color "wave" effect, while the tables are always fully set with water and wine glasses and a full array of cutlery. The room offers both traditional cruise dining with early and late seating and pre-assigned tables and servers, or guests can opt for anytime "As You Wish" dining where you eat when and with home you choose.

The newest dining room, a first for Holland America, is the Tamarind Restaurant featuring Asian fusion cuisine. The cover charge is $15 per person for dinner, but it is free for lunch serving dim sum. The nighttime choices include Asian-inspired entrees such as sea bass with hoisin-lime glaze, wasabi-soy-encrusted beef (I tried this, it was tender and delectable), steamed lobster with garlic, or shrimp Szechwan with basil. Also on tap are Peking duck and Asian curry dishes.

The sushi is perfectly spiced with subtle wasabi flavoring and a slightly sweetened pickled ginger. I also tried this and found it to be unusually tasty for such a typically predictable dish as sushi. Nearby is a beautiful new cocktail lounge called the "Silk Room" featuring "Saketinis," or martini-like beverages similar to martinis but based on sake.

   
Tamarind Restaurant   A Sampling of the Sushi in Tamarind   Duckling Dinner in Tamarind

The top alternative dining venue is the Pinnacle Grill, now on every ship in the Holland America fleet. This restaurant features Seattle-style Pacific Northwest cuisine, such as steaks, chops, and cold-water fish like salmon. The Pinnacle Grill menu on Eurodam is different from the other ships and has dishes in the "experimental" stage for possible permanent inclusion on the menus of all ships.

Canaletto is an Italian-theme venue created nightly in a section of the Lido restaurant. There is no cover charge for this restaurant, which features waiters and tables set in the dining room style to offer table-side Italian service of lasagna and other pasta dishes. Next to Canaletto is "Slice," the pizza restaurant, open nearly 24 hours a day.

The Lido Restaurant, which Holland America now lays claim to inventing (and I have no reason to doubt it), has a separate salad bar, several carving stations, and the infamous HAL ice cream and hot cookies, always free of charge, and available after lunch and throughout the day. They are several flavors of ice cream and toppings available.

Room service is offered 24 hours a day at no additional charge. Dining Room menu choices are available en-suite during dinner restaurant hours. The regular en-suite dining menu is limited and varies by breakfast, noon to 10:00 p.m., and after-hours dining choices.

Continue Article >> Eurodam Entertainment (Part 3)

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