Eurodam Inaugural in Rotterdam

| July 4, 2008

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

Public Rooms Most of the standard Holland America public rooms are also featured on Eurodam. The Crow's Nest, situated with a commanding view from the forward top deck of the ship, seats 165 people and has a row of chairs looking forward through angled glass windows.

The Explorations Café, "powered by the New York Times," (located within the Crow's Nest) features several Web-connected workstations, a huge library, downloaded versions of the New York Times and an extensive library of DVDs available for viewing in your stateroom ($3 apiece per night).

Crow's Nest   Explorations Cafe

The Ocean Bar, also found on most ships in the fleet, features classical music nightly along with brandies and other sipping beverages. The Piano Bar is the traditional sing-along forum with a talented and comedic keyboardist host playing requests, punctuated by barroom jokes, on his barstool surrounded baby grand.

Add in the "Screening Room Movie Theater", several facilities for meetings onboard, and the Northern Lights nightclub with disco dancing at night, and you have a shipload of fun.

Northern Lights, the Disco/Karaoke bar is tastefully hidden away so the music and atmosphere can get busy inside without interrupting the relative calm of the rest of the ship. Eurodam is a ship that comes alive at night but still feels serene and dignified during the day.

Wine Tasting Bar   Queen's Lounge

Casino   Main Atrium   DVD Library

Summing Up Eurodam Eurodam is the best Holland America ship yet, with the focus on serving each guest in the best way possible, rather than on "wow" elements that only appeal to a select few.

I sense this is the beginning of a new era for Holland America in appealing to a larger, younger demographic. The ship is tasteful yet never stuffy. It is contemporary but never gaudy.

All of the small but perfect touches that make Holland America special are here; the movie theater with free popcorn, the free ice cream and fresh cookies, the magrodome-covered pool area so the pool can work in any weather, the spacious and so comfortable staterooms, now all with bathrobes, mini-bars and flat screen televisions with DVD players.

Yet Eurodam adds a few flourishes like the Retreat, the thelassotherapy pool and new dining venues, all while still preserving the highest standards in stateroom décor. Unlike other premium lines, Holland America has not built bigger and bigger ships in an attempt to maximize economy of scale. The Eurodam is still small enough to keep the lines short and the service prompt. It can sail through the Panama Canal and on other exotic itineraries, as can all Holland America ships.

Holland America remains one of the best values in cruising. For people who still appreciate ships where comfort, convenience and service are paramount, Holland America sets the standard, especially considering the competitive rates the line still offers.

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