Saturday, June 28, 2008

Eurodam, The Inaugural: Sailing From Southampton

It was great to board ms Eurodam early Saturday morning for several reasons. The first is the most important, though… the food. Getting to London, of course, meant an all-night flight and the food on Delta wasn’t terrible, but it was, well, airline food. Lunch aboard Eurodam was served in the Lido Restaurant and my selections included an incredible cheese and crab chowder, Caesar salad, and pasta with a creamy, cheesy, white sauce.

After a nap (I didn’t sleep much on the plane), I joined colleagues for dinner in Tamarind, Eurodam's Pan-Asian specialty restaurant. Typically, I flunked the chopstick test, but enjoyed sushi and sashimi (with a fork), shrimp filled dumplings in lemongrass sesame broth (with a spoon), and a rare Wasabi & Soy Crusted Beef Tenderloin served on an oak plank with jasmine rice and stir fried veggies on the side.

Holland America Line has outdone themselves with the new restaurant concepts here on Eurodam. Tamarind carries only a $15 cover charge for dinner and lunches are complimentary. Pinnacle Grill, where we’ll dine tomorrow night is even more of a bargain than when I sailed on Westerdam just a few months ago. With new menus, the surcharges of $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner are great values. Eurodam also has a complimentary Italian restaurant, Caneletto (located in the Lido Restaurant) and Slice, for pizza (available on a nearly 24-hour basis).

As-You-Wish dining is now available throughout the Holland America fleet and offers the choice of an open-seating option in the formal dining rooms in addition to the more traditional fixed seatings.

There’s a lot more to share about Eurodam, but we’re losing an hour tonight as we cross a time zone on our way to Rotterdam—we arrive there in the morning after sailing down Holland’s River Maas. So, I’ll leave you with the cute towel critter pictured above—created by my cabin steward, who taught me the secret of how to make them myself. This little touch is just a sample of the level of personal service aboard Eurodam. I’ll be going from my cruise with a newly acquired skill. Right now, I'm going to sleep.

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