Holland America’s refreshed Eurodam sparkles
I recently stepped aboard Holland America Line’s beautiful 2,104-guest Eurodam for a look at the fresh new innovations that were recently added to the ship. These include substantially refreshed suites and brand-new innovations that have been transplanted from the line’s forthcoming new ship, Koningsdam.
The results are exceptional, taking Holland America’s greatest strengths and accenting them to provide an even richer onboard experience that guests likely won’t be able to pull themselves away from.
These new enhancements start at the suite level. Holland America didn’t just give these luxurious rooms some new soft fabrics and slap a coat of paint on the balcony; they were rebuilt from the ground up. Wall surfaces, carpeting and furniture is completely new, and bathrooms have been entirely redone in a newer, more attractive colour scheme. Neptune and Pinnacle Suites benefit from a Bose Bluetooth speaker that can wirelessly connect to your iPhone playlist, and you can charge that iPhone with the new USB power outlets situated bedside. Suite lighting is also much improved, with dedicated reading lights on either side of the bed, and soothing pot lights recessed into the ceiling.
Other suite enhancements include a massive LED flat-panel television screen inset into the wall, hooked up to a video-on-demand system that features complimentary movies and television shows. If you want to watch the entire series of Downton Abbey, Holland America’s got it.
Moving onto the public rooms, my undisputed favorite addition to the Eurodam is the Gallery Bar, which takes the place of the former Northern Lights disco. First introduced in 2002 aboard Zuiderdam, the Northern Lights disco never quite found its footing. Now, this formerly unassuming public room tucked away on the port side of Deck 2 has been given new purpose and a dramatic new look.
Stylish and sophisticated, the Gallery Bar includes an exclusive cocktail menu created by famed mixologist Dale DeGroff. My favorite: the “‘Slightly Less Than Perfect’ Perfect Manhattan’ – it’s refreshing and decidedly elegant.
The cocktail list perfectly fits in with the room, which is itself quite elegant. New furnishings accompany a bevvy of eclectic works of art. This is a real winner for Holland America.
Just outside the Gallery Bar, on the starboard side of the ship, is the Billboard Onboard venue, part of Holland America’s new Music Walk. You can get custom cocktails here, too, with musically-inspired names that are the perfect accompaniment to the live music.
One of Holland America’s strengths has always been its live onboard music. Billboard Onboard takes that to a new level, with musical performances by two pianists performing at the same time here.
You might remember the former Piano Bar that used to be here: a cool but closed-off space that guests either walked past or couldn’t get seating in. Now, with the walls completely removed and the Sports Bar gone, the new Billboard Onboard encourages guests walking past the casino or to and from the main show lounge to stop and linger.
If you’re looking for a more cerebral experience, head up to the Lincoln Center State, formerly known as the Explorer’s Lounge. Here, world-class musicians perform chamber music each evening, with mid-afternoon performances offered as well. Calling this “chamber music” seems a shame; what you really get are great classical music performances that range from, well, classic pieces to new takes on popular songs, including classical versions of songs performed by artists like Radiohead.
Finally, you can’t beat the music in B.B. King’s Blues Club – also on Deck 2, and just aft of the Billboard Onboard venue. Here, B.B. King’s All-Stars Band brings the best of Memphis music to the sea – and it works surprisingly well. This venue utilises the Queen’s Lounge, and ironically it seems better suited to B.B. King’s Blues Club, with its crescent seating arrangement and cozy high-backed lounge booths.
Holland America is refitting their existing Vista-class fleet with these new features over the next year, and Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam and Zaandam will receive the new Suite Enhancements during their regularly-scheduled drydocks.