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- 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
I can not tell you how excited I was for this cruise. First off because it had been over half a year since I had been on a cruise ship (not very Frequent Floater like I know) but also because I have been so dedicated for so long to Norwegian Cruise Lines that I have not for a very long time had the chance to try very many other lines.
Regular readers know this was a “free” cruise offer from my Caesars Diamond status that I got free by matching from my Wyndham Diamond status. I put free in quotes because while my offer was for a free inside cabin I paid $300 x 2 to upgrade to a rear balcony cabin. Next I paid even more to upgrade to a cabana in The Retreat on the top of the ship. Plus I had to pay port taxes as well as hundreds of dollars in tips – so nothing really free about this cruise but still greatly discounted.
We flew down to Fort Lauderdale on Delta Air Lines in 1st class using a combination of award tickets as well as award tickets with regional upgrade certificates. Flights were on-time and the service was outstanding and it is great to travel to my cruise in style almost for free (only a few bucks in fees). Our bags made it inside of 20 minutes of arrival to the luggage carousel so no free bonus awards points for us.
I was impressed with the well organized and location for ride share pickup right outside Delta’s Terminal 2 arrivals location. We ordered a LYFT because, what became an ongoing theme for our entire trip, UBER was way, way more expensive for an “XL” type ride. I am not the kind of traveler who requires “black cars” but with large cruise luggage, including 2x carry-ons each, having a larger car is nice for comfort and space.
For the hotel we chose the Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale Plantation as it was only 8000 Hyatt points per night vs. hundreds per night in cash and the points were a quick and simple instant transfer from my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The hotel also was close to a number of dining options as we were spending two days there plus it had a pool and we wanted to start working on our tan before the cruise. Our stay was fine and the personnel were great but know this hotel is scheduled for a major overhaul (and it does need it). But like our flights not having to pay for our stay before our cruise is always a winner.
The beginning to my Holland America adventure was not without stress. I had a major tech issue that I really tried my best to avoid but was, for lack of a better term, “Bonvoyed” but overall the flights, hotel and transfers were all working as planned (so far).
Next up my eye opening experience of just how good and remarkable check-in for a cruise can be and why all cruise lines are not this good! – René
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