The Eurodam

The Eurodam is a member of the Holland America Line. There are 12 ships all ending in the three letters ‘dam’ and inevitably the main tee-shirt advertising slogan used is ‘dam good cruise’.

Eurodam weights in at 86,273 tonnes and is 936 feet long. Excuse the mix of measurement and metric, but that’s how they have been given to me. Around 2104 passengers can enjoy Eurodam and the services of the 929 crew. They all use 14 guest elevators, regularly.

Most of the balcony staterooms have an unhindered view. There are other ‘cheaper’ rooms with either no outside view or just a large window. (Why would anyone going on a cruise go for a no view room?) Each stateroom has king sized single beds joined together and a small couch. There is a TV, a fridge/mini bar, and an en-suite.

There are two Penthouse veranda suites on the ship. Each have a king sized bed, an oversized whirlpool bath and shower, an additional shower stall, a living room, dining room, dressing room, private veranda with a whirlpool, pantry, 1 sofa bed, microwave, refrigerator, guest toilet, private stereo system and floor-to-ceiling windows. Anyone for a ticket?

There are 5 restaurants on board. The lido is available almost 24 hours a day and is where most have their meals if they don’t want to ‘dress up’. It serves ‘fast food’ and lots of ice cream in a cone too. The Rembrandt is where many choose to have an a-la-carte meal in the evenings, although it also serves breakfast at a slower pace to the Lido, and some lunches. The Pinnacle Grill offers a level of elegant sophistication unmatched anywhere on the seven seas. The Tamarind offers a truly exceptional pan-Asian fare. We enjoyed the experience here whilst enjoying the departure from St Petersburg, and returned for a second meal as we departed Warnamunde. The mouth-watering dishes were worth returning for. It is at the Canaletto that the meals are designed around the authentic Italian experience and offers a variety of dishes to enjoy and share.

On board activities and entertainment include a casino, library, basketball and volleyball courts, 2 swimming pools, one with a sliding roof, duty free shops and two show lounges. Missing is a climbing wall, an ice skating rink, and a big screen TV on the outside deck.

The spa and fitness centre is a very busy location with lots of pampering packages being provided. There are also nail technicians, hairdressers, a Botox treatment doctor and an acupuncturist. The gym is very well equipped and you can view the port of entry as you do your exercises each morning.

At each port, the destinations’ crew organise excursions of varying length and interest. For example, ‘The Best of Tallin”, “Imperial St Petersburg”, “Countryside Cycling and A Stroll Through the Old Town”, “Ice Bar Winterland & Helsinki Highlights”, “Stockholm by Land and Water”, 91 separate excursions in all.

If you enjoy doing your own laundry, you can, but why be in your room crouched over a bath getting your hands tender from squeezing excess water? Or, you can purchase an unlimited laundry package to save you all that backbreaking evening toil.

To make the cruise all that much better, Holland America have employees from both Indonesian and the Philippines, to care for the kitchen, dinning room, and staterooms. They are all friendly and enjoy a happy conversation.

Internet connectivity, these days, is very important to most people from many nations. I would have to say that cruise companies have to deal with the monopoly that one company has on providing this service via satellite links. If 24 hour TV from BBS, NBA, and other international broadcasters can be provided, surely an efficient Wi-Fi could be provided free. Time Plans are provided but at USD.75 per minute for a short connection, which we would all agree, is extremely overpriced. You could take a Plan of 1000 minutes for USD250.00. So when the ship pulls into a port, the staff and passengers all pull out their phones and laptops to get on to free Wi-Fi.

In all, the Eurodam is the favourite of many die-hard cruisers. It is not a super-ship and so getting on and off in ports is not too much of a task. We have now enjoyed 2 cruises on a ‘dam’ ship and would recommend them, especially for your first cruise.

Some Cruise Questions

Is that Island surrounded by water? Did you learn ‘anything’ at school?

Does the ship have a long cable so we can get cable TV on board? Well, I hope you don’t feel the tugging when we get too far away from land.

Do the crew live on board? NO, they live in 5 star ashore and are flown out by helicopter each day.

Do you use sea water in the toilet? Quite frankly, do you need to find out, and why?

When you polish the brass in the lifts, do you have to do it on each level?

 

 

140312 Celebrity Solstice Inspection

I ate my first ever salmon steak today!

The Celebrity Solstice is the newest cruise vessel to cruise Pacific waters this summer – just 5 years since it’s commissioning in Germany.  She carries 1,500 crew to care for 2,850 passengers within her 122,000 tonnes.  90% of the stateroom cabins have a balcony from which you can enjoy the sea breeze in the early mornings and a private ‘before dinner drink’ in the evening.

With 8 restaurants to choose from, much of your time is taken up enjoying the tastes of the world.  This cruise ship has some very unique hidden away places to dine in very elegant settings, like the “Murano” or the “Silk Harvest”.  There are many bars and cafes, around the 15 decks, that can be experienced at most times of the day; there is even a specialised ice-cream servery.

The main entertainment theatre is situated on 2 levels and runs 2 shows of world class performances each evening.  There is also a conference room theatre that enables a more intimate night club singer to enthral you into the wee hours of the night.

If you wish to have a company conference or product launch on board, there are 3 small conference rooms which combined, enable a group of 150 to attend.  The ship staff care for all the bits and pieces that go into conferences and the attendees have all the facilities of the ship when conference is not in session.

A particular ‘hit’ with many cruise ‘tragics’ is the continuous art show on board.  On most of the cruises, there are art auctions of the highest standard.  One such painting on board was one by Picasso himself.

There is one half of an acre of lawn on the top deck.  It is rare to have to ‘mow the lawn on the ship’ but Celebrity have managed to grow the lawn, and other plants around the ship, in volcanic soil, thus passing the stringent government quarantine departments of both Australia and New Zealand.  Bocci can be played and picnics can be had on the lawns.

Celebrity Solstice has a “Blue Aqua Plan” which gives the serious cruiser a little edge on the normal passenger.  The state rooms are no larger but have more elaborate fixtures and fittings.  There are preferential boarding procedures and day tours are a lot easier to get to when your ship docks at a port.

Children are well catered for with parents often being called to collect their ‘forgotten’ extras.  There are children’s games rooms, a teenage disco and ‘soft drink’ bar, and a half-court basketball area for the energetic.  The children are ‘tagged’ according to age groupings so they can only enter their own age groups activity on the ship.  Some kids even have a GPS provided so they can be identified quickly by security staff.

On a cruise, most passengers avail themselves of the gym and spa area.  There are personal trainers on board for you to have assistance in perhaps, loosing that extra food that was ‘so delicious’ last night.  The Aqua Spa uses Phyto products to help soothe that tired aching body of yours in delightful surroundings.  There is a large outside pool area with 4 individual spas and a covered-in pool that has a retractable roof.

Night-life is well catered for on any ship and this ship is no exception, with many bars and nightclubs to spend the night after the show, waiting for the midnight supper that comes around.  “Oh no, not more food.”

Celebrity Solstice? a great ship with super facilities for all kinds of persons willing to enjoy the lazy lifestyle of an experienced ‘cruiser’.

Oh, about that salmon.  You probably wonder why I make this declaration.  Ever since I can remember, I have disliked the smell of seafood – hence the dislike to even ‘try’ a morsel.  Yes, I did enjoy the experience of eating salmon today, thanks to the chef of Celebrity Solstice adding some delicious salt-free sauce.  And, I just ‘may’ repeat the experience in the future if the salmon does not repeat itself on me.

140206 Voyager of the Seas Inspection

Today, I had the privilege of accepting an invitation from Lyn (there’s always a first time), to inspect the Royal Carribean Lines “Voyager of the Seas”.  She (the ship, that is, NOT Lyn) has been doing summer cruises around the Pacific and New Zealand and was in Melbourne for the day.  Often, these companies invite travel agents to inspect the ship to help with selling their product, and we get to be on board for a few hours.  So I have had to pass on to Lyn all what I found out about the ship.

Australia’s first megaliner is longer than three football pitches and has 13 decks of ‘WOW’.  Experience three swimming pools, a full-size sports court, a huge fitness centre and kids’ facilities, a climbing wall, a boulevard of shops and cafes, a magnificent spa, an ice skating rink and a golf course, ah! mini-golf course.  Now, that’s the sort of ship I could live with indeed.

There are two sister ships, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas which carry around 2,000 passengers compared to over 3,100 on Voyager, and they are currently plying the waters of the South Pacific at this time of the year.  The Voyager is going to be upgraded in May so when it returns in the next season, it will have a whole lot more facilities available on board.

Surprisingly, costs on a ship per day are rather less than we often think, as we get as much food from many different restaurants as we like, world class entertainment, lots of sports facilities, the bed gets made daily and ‘pulled down’ at night, and lots of personal Royal Caribbean service, without opening our wallet for the entire cruise.

When you make the decision to take a cruise, call Lyn during office hours for further information and sailing dates of the many cruise liners which we are agents for, or better still, drop by to pick up some cruise brochures from our vast range.  Lyn is an Accredited Consultant of the International Cruise Council of Australia.

130321 Queen Mary 2 Inspection

Today, I was privileged to have lunch on, and take a tour of, the 151,000 tonne Queen Mary 2 while it was visiting Melbourne.  What a ship!  It carries 2600 passengers, mostly seniors, although there is a kids club on board.  The dinning room caters for 1600 meals per hour.  All food is fresh except specialty meals such as diabetic.

I hope you enjoy the photos that are shown, and then get back to me with your booking some day soon.