January 2016 - Eurodam to Caribbean - Western
We left Cincinnati early on January 3, 2016 to meet friends aboard the Holland America Lines ms Eurodam. This was our first cruise with HAL and we were presently surprised (although still very loyal to Princess). Our balcony or verandah stateroom was quite large with a couch, large balcony on the rear of the ship and a bathtub much appreciated by my wife. Service for the stateroom and evening dinner was outstanding as were the meals. Serving procedures in the Lido Buffet were said to be for health purposes, but were slow and cumbersome with long lines. The ship was very clean and well laid out -- a quite different format from Princess ships. The BB King All Stars band was the best rock band we ever heard on a cruise. Lot's of people up dancing -- FUN!. There was a good comedian, but other entertainment did not match the standards of other cruise lines in our opinion. Our first destination, Half Moon Cay, was expecting a storm when we approached, so the ship sailed on. We noted a small credit on our bill. Ocho Rios, Jamaica was OK, but very hot the day we were there, so we did not spend a lot of time on shore. Georgetown, Grand Cayman, had Margaritaville and a nice cabana bar right by the shore. The Key West Hop-on, Hop-off bus, was a nice choice for a warm day. We saw the whole island and visited Ernest Hemingway's home and writing studio and had a nice lunch in one of the large cabana bars there.
Our friends were first-time cruisers and they were quite impressed with HAL and the cruise experience.
Fort Lauderdale Airport (Delta Concourse) is just bad. It is a big, crowded "cattle corral," has three "concession stands;" not restaurants by any means, and one set of crowded smelly restrooms. Can't Fort Lauderdale and the airlines and cruise lines get together and do something about this? It's a place to avoid!
This was a great winter getaway for us and we came back to 12 degree temperatures in Cinci and a car window left down allowing 3 inches of snow inside the car! A cool reception at 12:30 am.
We appreciate, Skymiles Cruises, and agent, Aime Kimpel, for efficient handling of our arrangements and the extra Skymiles not offered by the cruise line.