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We have been having a great time on our Holland America cruise checking out the sights of Norway this last week! Here are come great reasons to book HAL cruises for your next cruise getaway:
1) Mind blowing itineraries: HAL Cruises ships visit dozens of countries across six continents. Have you always wanted to visit Russia? Holland America goes there. What about Antarctica? Well, Holland America goes there, too. Maybe a trip to Rio de Janerio during Carnival is more your style. Guess what, HAL Cruises go there, too!
I am really loving the range of ports offered by Holland America. On this cruise, we are visiting Norway, Amsterdam, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Finland and Russia. Many of the ports that we visited in Norway are only serviced by other Luxury cruise lines. Now that is what I call variety!
2) Small sized ships: We are on the Eurodam, which is one of the largest ships in Holland America’s fleet. This ship accomodates 2,104 guests and 929 crew. This is half the size of some of the mega ships on the ocean today.
Depending on the experience that you are looking for out of your cruise, bigger might not always be the better choice. The small ship size enables the ship to sail into smaller ports where the large ships can’t go.
3) Food!: I have nothing but good things to say about the food that we have been eating on this cruise. Food every night in the main dining room has been consistently well prepared and yummy (well seasoned, appropriate temperature, etc). The food in the specialty restaurants (Tamarind, Pinnacle Grill and ‘An Evening at Le Cirque) has been phenomenal.
My biggest food surprise on Holland America has actually been the buffet food! There is nothing that I have eaten at the buffet that hasn’t been exceptional.
I will give warning…they have a lot of stations in the buffet where things are made to order for you (I ate fresh crepes almost every morning, and there were also omelette stations at breakfast and grilled sandwich stations at lunch). The food was delicious and fresh, but it can take a little longer to get through the line.
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The variety of buffet food on HAL cruises is also extraordinary. We were on the Eurodam for 19 days, and every time we went to the buffet, there was a plethora of new foods to try, so it never got old.
4) Many small, intimate feeling public spaces onboard: The Eurodam is a medium sized cruise ship that is really designed to have a small ship feeling. It does not have the huge, centralized atrium space that is so popular on many modern cruise ships.
This all has the effect of making the ship feel cozy but not overcrowded, and you hardly ever realize that you are on a ship with 2,000 other people!
5) Enrichment activities that go beyond mindless poolside games: Today, Aaron and I took a class in doing the Jive and he signed up for a series of cooking classes taught by one of the chefs on the ship. We also went to a class on drink mixing, and I saw part of the talk on the history and culture of Copenhagen and Berlin (and this is just in one day!)
Nothing against mindless poolside games, but sometimes I want a little more. I want some adult oriented activities!