Rethinking Holland America: It Seems to be a Good Ship Run by Management Consultants and Penny-Pinching Accountants

Eurodam Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

3.5 out of 5
Eurodam

20 Night Circle Hawaii (San Diego To Vancouver)

Sail date: April 13, 2019

Ship: Eurodam

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 6100

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We choose HAL because it's low key, we like Lincoln Center Stage, daily Catholic mass, and America's Test Kitchen. We paid extra for Neptune class, but besides having a bigger room don't know what it really gets you. Saw a lot of staff fawning over some cruisers (perhaps repeat cruisers), but then would not give others the time of day. In the end, the penny-pinching was obvious with food and entertainment, and the overall value was low: we are rethinking any future cruise with HAL.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Getting on the ship was easy, but the elevators were jammed with passengers trying to get to their decks. We ended up climbing 5 decks with our luggage -- not a great way to start the cruise.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Main Dining is good service, attentively cooked awful cuts of meat and fish. Advice to others: do not eat in the Main Dining room, but go to Pinnacle (or if you like the "easy dining" approach, head to Lido Deck on 9 deck or "Dive In" for a hotdog or a pizza. As for specialty dining, they were HEAVILY looking for people to dine at Tamarind, the asian-infused restaurant, so perhaps that was low on everyone's list. The real, "cruise experience" dining is in the Pinnacle Lounge, and sadly you have to pay up to $25 per person per dinner to have the experience and the food that Main Dining just isn't going to give you.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We LOVED Lincoln Center Stage, America's Test Kitchen, daily Catholic mass and whatever activities we went to.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Lincoln Center Stage was the best, followed by BB King's. Main Stage had a great "house band," but the shows were truly "on a budget" (we had two comedians, one of whom was phenomenal, a few nights with solo singer/performer, and I think about 3 nights with dancing). Sadly, you could see the "cost cutting" with the Main Stage, as the only solid saving grace was the band, dancers and soloists -- they were outstanding.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Room stewards work their butts off -- they and the laundry people are unsung heros. I have never seen so few stewards for so many rooms, but the stewards took good care of us. The Main Dining wait staff were great. They were the only shining light with such dismal food. The Neptune Lounge staff never introduced themselves to us. We were there twice a day and do not even know their names. Specialty dining ranges from good/experienced staff (Pinnacle) and incredibly inexperienced staff (Canaletto). I got so tired of our last name being mispronounced by a sing-songy, high pitched voice that belonged to someone who really didn't know how to guide a diner through their experience. Again, it felt like the ship was run by cost-cutters who did not know the business.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was clean, and you could always see staff out and about cleaning. It is just a bit worn, and there are not enough seats in Lincoln Center Stage for everyone to enjoy their music. But again, staff seemed to be overwhelmed with the amount of work they had, even though none complained (or even stopped smiling).

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Very comfortable cabin, which was very spacious. Our cabin stewards kept it clean, and even better, they always seemed to work around our schedule. I totally respect their hard work and dedication.

Ship tip

Do Not Eat in Main Dining

Ports of call

San Diego, California

5 out of 5
Try to get into San Diego before the cruise and do the Trolley Tour and the Seal Harbor Cruise. They were both GREAT and we learned a lot about San Diego.

Lahaina, Maui

4 out of 5
Lot's of tourist shops.

Honolulu, Oahu

4 out of 5
We came here for Pearl Harbor, and recommend you visit only after they reopen the Arizona Memorial. When we went on the tour it was not open, and we had a docent aboard the craft that kept talking as we passed by the ARIZONA -- so we never even had the chance for a moment of silence out of respect for those who lost their lives. The tour group we used was Hoku tours, and the tour guide we had was among the very best we ever had. If you have to choose a good tour company, they were FANTASTIC. We had Kane, who was an awesome ambassador for Hawaii.

Nawiliwili, Kauai Did not visit port

Weather caused the captain to waive off of trying to get into this port. He said, "You are either 100% right or 100% wrong going into Nawiliwili," and as far as we are concerned, we liked being 100% right by not attempting to get into that port when the seas and winds were a bit much.

Hilo, Hawaii

4 out of 5
Did an excursion to the observatories on Mauna Kea -- OUTSTANDING day!

Cruise Kilauea Volcano

2 out of 5
Captain did not even comment as we passed the volcano. Since it's dormant, probably not a big deal.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

4 out of 5
Did our tourist shopping here, ate some shaved ice (it's OK).

Ensenada, Mexico

1 out of 5
We tied up for about 15 minutes to satisfy the Jones' Act -- didn't refuel or anything that we could see. We were in a hurry to get back to San Diego so that they could get an azi-pod repaired.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Overall, okay.
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