February 2016 - Eurodam to Caribbean - Western
Our cruise aboard the Eurodam was a deep disappointment. Holland America began by shipping our luggage off on another ship for the entire seven days. Guest Services was untruthful, trying to blame it on the airline (I watched Holland America handling the luggage prior to departure) and refusing to let me speak with a supervisor. When I finally reached a "supervisor," the most he would give for the cruise was three blue work shirts and one white t-shirt to last the trip. I had to wear the same wrinkled slacks and smelly socks every day for the entire cruise. Medical personnel were of no help in my effort to get three remaining days of medications and refused to give me reimbursement forms with which to proceed by cash.
The dining was excellent in the main dining room, but trying to eat at the other venues was a sheer challenge. You could heap your plate or fill your tray with food easily, but then had to stand and wait (regardless of the hour of day) along with other passengers for a table to be cleared--and then make a rush for it. The same applied to the pool area and the deck chairs--when Holland America says the ship's capacity is 2,100 passengers, they mean it. All 2,100 are fighting for seats.
Most of the excursions were a disappointment as well due to lack of attention by Holland America. We had reserved an umbrella at Half Moon Cay but, due to "choppy waters," none of the HA shore staff showed up. There were several staff from the ship trying to fill in, but they were totally inadequate for the task. All the umbrellas were taken and, by the time we got under one, it was almost time to leave. There was nothing to eat or drink.
Jamaica was a fiasco, with debarkation in total chaos. There were no Holland America personnel--or anyone else--there to assist, and it was a surging mob of frantic, almost panicky passengers trying to find their way around. Getting a shuttle for an excursion was "every man for himself."
The other excursions were enjoyable but, again, crowded.
As noted, dining in the main dining area was excellent. The Veranda stateroom was also excellent--it was roomy and impeccably kept. The housekeep and service for the room was outstanding.
When it came time to disembarkation, I was told I would finally be able to retrieve my luggage. I was told to report to "Shore Operations," supposedly "just off the ship and easy to find" and we would be reunited. Once again, however, it was a stampede and we were directed not to stop or ask questions--we were quickly ordered onto a bus for (paid) transportation on a bus. Mysteriously, our luggage showed up at our home airport.
For a first cruise (which we had save at length for), our experience with Holland America was a deep disappointment. We tried to enjoy as many of the venues as we could, though seating was limited. With the exception of "Guest Services," the crew was extremely polite and friendly.
My biggest relief of the cruise was getting home and being able to put on clean clothes.