As an Amazon Affiliate, we may earn a commission on eligible purchases made through our referrals. Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. All information related to any credit cards below was collected independently by Frequent Floaters and was neither provided nor reviewed by the respective card issuers.
- Introduction – My “Free” Holland America Cruise on the Eurodam
- Embarkation Day on day Holland America Eurodam and The Amazing HAL App
- Do You Have to Dress Up on Holland America Cruises And do Men Have to Wear a Suit
- What are Main Dining Meal like on Holland America Cruises – It is True What You Hear About HAL
- Do You Have to Share a Dining Table on Holland America Cruises? What about Set Dining Times or Flexible Dining?
- Are Specialty Restaurants Worth the Cost on Holland America Cruises
- Cabin Review Holland America Aft Cabin 6168 on the Eurodam
- Review of “The Retreat” on the Holland America Eurodam
- How Does Onboard Entertainment on Holland America Compare to other Cruise Lines
- Holland America Disembarkation Day Plus Do Back to Back Cruisers Have to Get Off the Ship?
- Final Thoughts From my First Ever Holland America Cruise on the Eurodam
Depending on how long your cruise is you may or may not want to splurge and visit specialty restaurants. As an example if you are on a 3, 4 or 5 day cruise you may not become “tired” of main dining enough to make it worth the expense. Then again if you say book one of the cheapest interior rooms and have extra money to spend that you saved on the cabin this can be a way to elevate your cruise outside of your cabin.
For our cruise we had 3 upgrade options, that is, a steak restaurant The Pinnacle Grill, an Italian choice Canaletto as well as an Asian fusion Tamarind. We pre booked and paid in advance (with a small discount for doing so and paying with discounted AARP HAL gift cards) the last two. We were happy to splurge a bit since this was, at least the base price, a free match cruise offer. But how were they and were they worth it? Take a look.
I am generally not a fan of Italian on any cruise line because it is hard to make it really special. On NCL I avoid their Italian but I was interested to see if HALs offer was better but I went in with low expectations of being “wow’ed” if you will. The location of Canaletto on the Eurodam is the first issue – it is simply a carved out section of the buffet seating (yuck). The result is not a private dining “feel” and also more noise than one would expect from a specialty dining restaurant.
That said we did enjoy our visit and the service was very good – something that was demonstrated across the ship. We started with bread and some snacks to get the dinner started (sorry I forgot to take a photo before we dug in – bad blogger).
For appetizers my wife got some shrimp and I had the antipasti plate. We had no complaints about either one and both were quite good but the latter could be assembled yourself off the buffet should you want it so nothing extra.
For the main course we choose the Ossobuco with mascarpone, saffron arborio risotto, asparagus, roasted carrots because this is not something we can get at home or care to make. It also was quite delicious and I would recommend trying it as your selection.
We were quite full by dessert time so we split a tiny Chocolate Hazelnut Tart Nutella, chocolate sauce. It was VERY rich but flavorful and a good ending to a solid specialty meal.
Overall the food was good, the service was good but the location of the restaurant and the setup took so much away I would not book this again. The other issue is, again for the price, the main dining meals were simply so very good (including the service) that this specialty just did not justify the price vs. what was already included. Now on to the Asian fusion Tamarind.
Like the Italian we started with some kind of bread and dipping sauces that all were flavorful and piqued my appetite for what was next.
My wife had the dim sum and I had the Thai Beef Salad – rare-seared beef, cilantro, scallions, cucumbers, fresh mint, toasted peanuts, kaffir lime dressing. My wife enjoyed her choice and I love love loved mine (the photo is from main dining as it was available one day and I did not get a photo in the restaurant). Now this is the thing – some of the same items from the specialty are also just as perfect in main dining so is it worth the fee for the specialty?
My dinner choice was Fire Prawns, Thai-Chili Jam, shishito peppers, shimeji mushrooms, asparagus. Once again rich and wonderful flavors and I enjoyed every bite. I would order the same meal over again without reservations.
Overall these were both nice dinners with no real complaints about flavors or quality of the food or the service. It was much nicer at Tamarind having it’s own dining location vs. Canaletto part of the buffet area but neither really were worth the price vs. the main dining room (to me) that is, neither of them were that much better than what was included.
While not a specialty restaurant I wanted to include a specialty drink that is a Smoked Cherry Old Fashion with Woodford Reserve Bourbon that I ordered. Since I had a drink package I only had to pay about a dollar to upgrade and try this. Take a look:
Bottom line HAL Eurodam specialty dining is good quality food and a pleasant overall experience should you choose to visit them but sticking with main dining is also a good option for less money. – René
Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.