As the Eurodam slowly drifts past castles, lighthouses and tiny islands, I relax in a leather recliner at the Crow’s Nest bar, looking back on a wonderful 10-day “Fjords and Kilts” cruise through the north Atlantic.
My adventure began on Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I boarded the 930-ft.-long ms Eurodam. Launched last month, the Eurodam is not only Holland America’s newest and largest ship, but she is also the company’s first Signature-Class vessel, featuring 11-passenger decks.
Once aboard the $450-million floating resort, I checked into my 5th floor veranda suit, then headed straight for the food.
With three restaurants and 24-hour room service, the Eurodam offers many dining choices. For my first meal, I hit the buffet, located on the Lido deck. Here I devoured a variety of salads, fruits and fresh seafood, including my favorite cruising food, smoked salmon.
After lunch I enjoyed a glass of merlot outside at the Sea View Bar at the ship’s stern, overlooking the water. While sipping, I listened to live Jazz and studied my upcoming itinerary: seven ports of call over the next 9 days, with stops in Norway, England and Scotland. This included a total of 2,400 miles traveled and two-and-a-half days at sea.
The next morning I found colorful sailboats and scattered islands painted on my cabin’s large glass door. We had dropped anchor in Oslo, Norway.
Eager to experience the historic port, I had a quick breakfast at the Lido, then went ashore for an excursion aboard an 18th century Norwegian sailing vessel. Coordinated through the Holland America, the three-hour journey took me and about 50 other Eurodam passengers through numerous island inlets and fjords of the North Sea. Along the way, we drank local beer, ate shrimp from a wooden barrel, cruised beneath the 13th century Akershus Castle and learned of Oslo history, including about the fire in 1624 that completely destroyed the city.
Back on board the Eurodam, I played basketball on the Sports Deck and then napped beside the Lido pool. For dinner, I ate at the Asian-inspired Tamarind Restaurant. I concluded the night with an old-fashioned “Pub Crawl.” For $25, I joined a few other passengers and Melissa the ship’s party planner, for five exciting cocktails and five different on-board bars. Thank goodness you never have to worry about driving home aboard a cruise ship.
The next day, while the Eurodam sailed to Flam, Norway, I explored the ship. Besides restaurants and bars, and cabins for 2000 passengers and 930 crew members, the vessel has many resort features, including the full-service Greenhouse Spa, a fitness center, Internet café, movie theater, casino, cooking center, art gallery and much more.
Next week I continue my journey through the north Atlantic, with stops in Norway, England and Scotland.
After her summer season in North Europe, the Eurodam will cross the Atlantic for fall cruises in Canada/New England, followed by Caribbean sailings for the remainder of 2008. For more info on sailing aboard Eurodam or other Holland America ships, visit www.hollandamerica.com.