Eurodam Baltic Review June 15-27

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#1
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Hello from the Eurodam! We are on our last day at sea and we disembark tomorrow. I thought since we had some minutes left on our plan that I would start my review today!

It might be a bit disjointed, but bear with me, and feel free to ask any questions along the way. I'm going to split it up, and post some pics. Also, we will be flying home all day tomorrow (Monday) so don't be anxious if I'm not back on right away!


We were on the Baltic Cruise from June 15-June 27.


Wednesday June 15, 2011-London Hotel

We slept not so good. I think we were concerned about making sure we got up in time to catch our shuttle back to the airport. I had arranged for the shuttle back home via the Internet. Our pick up time was between 6-6:30. We made it downstairs at 5:55 and our shuttle driver was already there. Excellent! He was very polite and we had a nice chat while picking up the other passengers and getting to the airport. We arrived back at the baggage claim around 730 or so. We beat the plane that we supposedly were coming in on. For the ship transport you have to give Holland America flight details on a plane that arrives on the morning the ship leaves. Otherwise they won’t have you on their list and they won’t pick you up. Since we beat all the people coming off the planes (it was very busy there today! Perhaps because it was a weekday. So it was most likely taking people longer to go through customs). So we sat for about 45 minutes and waited for our turn to board the bus. The HA lady was very nice and made sure she didn’t leave without us! We boarded the bus and made our way towards Dover. The bus ride took about 2 hours, the traffic wasn’t too bad.




The bus ride to Dover took about an hour and a half. The bus was nice and most people took a nap on the way there. We arrived in Dover around 10:30am. We learned when we arrived that we would not be able to get onboard the ship until 1 or 1:30 because of the code red and the extreme cleaning of the ship because of the outbreaks of the noro virus from the cruise before us. That actually worked in our favor as we really wanted to go up to the visitors center at the White Cliffs of Dover. There was a free shuttle bus that they offered us to go both into the city proper and/or to the Dover castle. We went up to the castle. We asked and the lady said to go up and around and take the next right to get to the visitors center. No problem. There was a sign that said there was no sidewalk, again, no problem. We started off. We were able to get a geocache (google "geocaching" for more info...basically a "scavenger hunt" everywhere in the world). that I didnt think we were near, so that was a bonus.


At one point my husband said we need to cross the road and walk on the other side because of the bushes on this side and that curve coming up. We were doing the right thing and walking into traffic. We hadnt seen a car in about 10 minutes even, and I thought he was being a bit silly, but I humored him. So DH crossed the street and I started to follow himright at that moment a car came screaming around the corner.right at me. I squealed like a little girl, and for a moment I didnt know if I should go back or go forward.Finally I leaped forward and the car whooshed past me. Seriously. I almost got run over. It was so scary! My heart was beating really fast and DH was not happy at all. Not mad at me, just his reaction to me almost being hit!
After that we continued on our walk up the road, being extra cautious now, but of course we didnt see too many more cars!

Finally we made it to the top. We had a great view of the Dover Castle and the Eurodam! Took some pics and continued to the visitors center for the White Cliffs. It was beautiful up there! Took some pics and hung out, then decided it was time to head back down. DH decided he was NOT going to go back down the road where I almost died, so we took the footpath back down to the ferry. We wouldnt be catching the shuttle back to the ship, but I figure that was a good tradeoff for not dying!
It was about 2.5 miles back to the ship, but the day was lovely, the sun was out and I was living and breathing! By the time we got back to the ship it was 1:30 and people were boarding! We got our boarding card (yellow) and waited in the staging area for about 20 minutes or so. When we were called we went through security and were on board! It was a bit different than in the past because we didnt board IN the ship, the gangplank went onto the Promenade deck, THEN we went into the ship.
We made our way to the 8th floor and entered our room. We are in the last room on the port side, aft. Our little balcony is fine, and I was glad that we were on the left so when we left I could take some pics of the white cliffs without the ferries and other noise in the frame.

We ate a quick lunch in the Lido. Overall people seemed to be behaving themselves! Lol. Since it was a code red we were served rather than self-serve, but that worked out fine. I love salad and thats what I got. DH got a ruben sandwich. We ate and headed back down to unpack.
I did go down to the front desk to sign up for the private ship tour. I had read all about it on Cruise Critic and decided that it was something I wanted to do. DH didnt have any desire to do it, but told me to go for it. The lady at the front desk clearly was confused as she kept telling me to just go upstairs and go on the tour, finally I got it through to her by saying that I wanted to go on the expensive paid tour. She then understood. She didnt know what day it was going to be on, but she charged it to the room. Later tonight she called and said that they didnt know if they would even have the tour because of the code red, but that I would be informed later in the cruise if it would happen. I sure hope it does! Im looking forward to it!
Oh and did everyone know that you don't have to wear your lifejacket to the lifeboat drill anymore? What a surprise! And they didn't take roll call either! Hummmm. They say it's mandatory, but don't take roll call. That was a first for us!


We left a bit late, I think because of late arrivals and something about the ferry. I had wanted to get pics of the cliffs before we went to dinner, but just as it was 5:30 (early dining) the ship starting moving. So I went with DH to the dining room, saw where we were seated, told him what I wanted and rushed out to the promonade to take my photos. I even got some of the Dover Harbor guide going down the rope ladder back onto his ship once we got out of the harbor area.
Our dinner table is lovely. We are at the back of the dining room right by a window. We have a great view of the back of the ship. Of course for the first night it was mostly a few of water and ferries criss crossing their way back and forth to France. Dinner was good. We always like the food. Maybe we are too pedestrian, but we arent food critics and always enjoy the food, We like the three courses of food and eating slowly and talking with our table mates. We are at a table for 6, and are with 2 other couples from the States. I thought that this cruise might have a more international feel to it as we left out of England, but so far I dont see it.
We are not the type to want to hang out in the bars and listen to the music, so I cant give any thoughts about those. We went to bed early as we had had a long 4 days prior to getting on the ship and were tired from the long day of walking.


more later!!

Below is the "road of death" that goes up to the White Cliffs Visitor Center. NO sidewalks...they do warn you, but that didn't help when I almost got run over!


The beautiful White Cliffs of Dover and the Castle


Room 8160 and my DH on the Eurodam


And me and DH on our verandah ready to start our vacation!
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#2
Norfolk UK
797 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi Sue

We are leaving tomorrow on the 27th June Baltic cruise. Thanks for the review. Which night was the Chefs Dinner with all the baked alaska parading, please? We were hoping to book the Tamarind for that night, but weren't sure which night it was.......

Thanks
#3
West Sussex, England
280 Posts
Joined May 2006
Hi Milamber,

All being well, we will be with you tomorrow on the Eurodam! We are driving to Dover in the morning. Hoping daughter will be there in time too - she's planning on leaving Glastonbury at 4am and travelling via her house in London (for a shower and to pick up her suitcase) to Dover! If she doesn't make it, she will just have to find a cheap flight to Copenhagen on Tuesday!

We were on the Eurodam a few weeks ago in the Mediterranean and the Masterchef Dinner was on the last night of the cruise. From memory it has been the last night on every HAL cruise we have done, so I expect it will be the same on this one ie on Friday 8th July - the night before we arrive back at Dover.
#4
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by milamber
Hi Sue

We are leaving tomorrow on the 27th June Baltic cruise. Thanks for the review. Which night was the Chefs Dinner with all the baked alaska parading, please? We were hoping to book the Tamarind for that night, but weren't sure which night it was.......

Thanks
Yes, it was tonight, the 26th, the last night before we dock tomorrow. can't say I was much impressed with it, it was exactly the same as it was when we cruised last to Alaska...but the tenderloin that I had tonight was yummy!
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#5
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
First day at sea
Today was a very lazy day for us, especially me. Again, I go on vacation to be on vacation, so we got up late, went up to the Lido, had a bagel, came back to the room, read some of my vacation books. Went up for lunch, went back to the room, read some more, got dressed up and went to dinner. Now Im back in the room. Some people will be flabbergasted that I did nothing but hang in the room all day, but I love to read and having the time to read while being gently rocked by the ship is MY idea of vacation!



DH did a bit more than I did today! He roamed the ship, wrote 2 pages on an 8 page paper that will be due soon, changed some dollars to Euros in preparation for Germany, read some in the room with me, wandered the ship some more, ran 2 miles in the gym, then went to dinner with me!

So for todays review you dont get too much. I am not allowed to play Bingo anymore onboard because my husband says that I am too competitive. I get mad when I dont win and its not fun! Lol. I dont sing, neither one of us drinkso Im not sure how much this review will help anyone as we are both pretty laid back when it comes to our vacations. Put us on a ship and were happy! We tend to go with the flow and not complain about stuff. But honestly so far I dont have any complaintsok, maybe onethe hand sanitizer squirter people standing at the doors to the Lido take their job way too seriously! Lol. On our way into the Lido we got squirted. We found a seat. I wanted a diet coke, so I went out to the pool deck bar, presented my drink card, was told I needed my room key to activate it, went back into the Lido, got squirted. Went back out to the pool bar, got my Diet Coke and went back into the Lido and they wanted to squirt me again! Lol Its not really a complaint as I would rather people be squirted with the hand sanitizer than have me get sick. It was just amusing.



Tomorrow we are in Copenhagen. We have not signed up for any tours, but we will be paying for the shuttle to get into the city proper (around Triviloi Gardens). We will be geocaching in the area, and if I can prevent us from having to walk another 10 miles Ill be happy! We figure that we will see a lot of the city while geocaching and many of the caches are placed in tourist spots anyway.
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#7
Durham NC
6,832 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Where'd you leave your luggage when you went to the White cliffs?
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Patrick
About 550 Days at Sea since 1998. Gave Up Cruising for Swimming, Biking and Running...
Completed Marathons: 18 Completed Half Iron Distance Races: 3

#9
1,371 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by sue117


Tomorrow we are in Copenhagen. We have not signed up for any tours, but we will be paying for the shuttle to get into the city proper (around Triviloi Gardens). We will be geocaching in the area, and if I can prevent us from having to walk another 10 miles Ill be happy! We figure that we will see a lot of the city while geocaching and many of the caches are placed in tourist spots anyway.
OOOH. We love geocaching. Our daughter's homeschool group had a geocaching class this year. The teacher even had the class make a travel bug - Guy Smiley. We also have been finding caches as a family since 2005 off and on. We haven't tried one in Europe yet and we will be on a Baltic cruise next year so please let us know the best ports to look for the caches.
Diane
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#10
19,114 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
sue117
Thank you for reporting on your cruise.
It's reassuring to know that the crew are vigilant with passengers using the hand sanitizer.
#11
Eastern North Carolina
4,939 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Love your pictures. Very pretty indeed.
Please keep the review coming, love reading it. I am also a geocacher too. Maybe one day I will be able to visit the Baltics. I had a desire to go there for a long time since I have been to Alaska now and really love the mountains and cool weather.

David
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#12
1,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by sue117
We will be geocaching in the area, and if I can prevent us from having to walk another 10 miles Ill be happy! We figure that we will see a lot of the city while geocaching and many of the caches are placed in tourist spots anyway.
DH and I enjoy caching while traveling. It's a great way to find some spots we might never see, and beyond the initial investment, it's a great bargain! I'm currently lining up my cache list for our upcoming Alaska trip!

I have a travelbug in Germany that has traveled almost 23,000 miles.

Thanks for sharing!
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14 cruises on HAL, 4 on Princess, 1 on NCL, 1 on Carnival... 12-day road adventure in Alaska, 14-day road adventure in Alaska
#13
112,920 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Am enjoying your review.

Looking forward to the rest.
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Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#14
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by GMoney
Where'd you leave your luggage when you went to the White cliffs?
Once we handed over our suitcases ta the airport we didn't see them again until we were in our room. So we didn't have have to worry about them while in Dover. We did have our "carry ons", but they were backpacks, so we could carry them around.
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#15
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by schoolinmy3
O We haven't tried one in Europe yet and we will be on a Baltic cruise next year so please let us know the best ports to look for the caches.
Diane
ALL of them! There are caches everywhere. The closest one to the ship that we found was in Helsinki, it was 200 feet from the ship!
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Holland America Eurodam 12 Days N. Baltics June 2011
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#16
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Copenhagen
Copenhagen was good. We paid for the shuttle bus to take us into town because we didn’t have any official excursions scheduled. You have to pay to get into Trivili gardens, and we didn’t want to do that, so we just walked around and geocached. We saw lots of neat buildings, walked around the pedestrian only shopping area and got rained on. We didn’t bring an umbrella, but that was ok, we had our raincoats. (but I would recommend that you bring a travel size one…it could come in very handy!) We actually ended up walking about 6 miles because we had to walk an extra 2 miles to go back to where we had already been in the city because of a mystery geocache that I had the wrong coords for, but overall it was a good day. We saw many people that had the Holland American sticker on their shirt so we knew that we were seeing lots of the “right” places downtown as a result!



I’m sure that everyone wants to know about life on board the ship. Well, I will admit up front that my husband and I are hermits. We work all day with people. Meeting new people, talking with people, solving people’s problems, so when we go on vacation, we like to relax. And that generally doesn’t mean “making nice” with strangers.


So we didn’t participate in the team trivia, we didn’t go to the Ocean bar and hang out. We didn’t go to the Northern Lights and trip the light fantastic. We hung out together, read a lot of books in our room and in other nooks on the ship. I’ll tell ya, the Silk Den is a gold mine for being quiet! Most of the time people weren’t in there, it only started hopping towards the evenings. We didn’t order room service in the mornings, we went upstairs and got a nice hot omelet each morning. We ordered breakfast room service in the past and usually it was a bit chilled. Not that they did anything wrong, but I prefer hot toast right out of the toaster.



I DID take someone’s advice here on Cruise Critic and order club sandwiches for our trips ashore. What a life saver!!! I ordered them the night before, ordered them DRY (with no mayo), stuck them in the little fridge (wrapped up in the linen that the silverware came wrapped up in since I had no plastic baggie (that would be a great thing to put on your list if you are going to go on a cruise….plastic baggies)). They came in handy in Russia and also in Germany and when we were walking around on our own and weren’t near the ship.



This is looking out into the port from being docked. The windmills were beautiful!


Patrick and our first cache in Copenhagen. If you look VERY closely, you can see the geocache under the bench on the right hand side! It is a film canister.


Thought this picture was hilarious. "probably" the best beer?? lol
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#17
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Germany
We opted for the Holland America excursion to Berlin in Germany. Neither of us had been to Berlin and I really wanted to see it. We had the “city tour” and time on our own. We figured that a bit of a bus tour wouldn’t be a bad thing. The train pulled up right next to the cruise ship docks. It was very convenient. It was a train car only for the cruise passengers on excursions going to Berlin. So we didn’t stop for any other passengers or any other people getting on and off. That was helpful.



We DID stop on our way there because there was a man who had had a mild heart attack. He had passed out twice before we stopped, and finally the decision was made by the tour manager to send him to the hospital. His lips were blue and he was very pale, but he was conscious and talking. But she figured it would be better to be safe, so off he went in an ambulance to the German Hospital. We heard on our way back that he had been discharged and sent back to the ship, so it was good that he didn’t miss any of the cruise (although he DID miss Berlin!).


Our tour guide was very good, although she talked non stop. Don’t get me wrong, she was very knowledgeable, but I’m not sure we needed to know what every single building was that we passed. Eventually we did get “released” from the bus and we had 4 hours on our own in Berlin. It was honestly amazing to be standing by the destroyed wall, and to be in East Germany. I guess because all that history happened in my lifetime it made it more “real” or something. Then we had the 3 hours train ride back to the ship.

It was an exhausting day. The trip was long and we were glad to be back on the bus. I’m not sure that we will ever take an excursion that was that long again. We’re more happy to stay in port and be able to go back to the ship when we are tired and not have to wait for the bus, and the train….

At the Brandenburg Gate


Checkpoint Charlie --DH..the retired Army Sergeant was NOT happy with the "fake" soldiers set up for pictures on the other side of the little building here in the middle of the street. So you won't see it in the picture!


In the old East Germany


Everywhere the wall USED to be and isn't anymore they have put down these cobblestones to "commemorate" it. I thought it was neat.


The Holocaust memorial. Very well done and interesting.







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#18
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
(I have no idea why the "up and down" pictures aren't up and down! They are that way on photobucket! Oh well, you can turn your headsideways to look at them! lol. Sorry about that!)

And one of many photos I took of the parts of the wall that are still standing



More examples of the cobblestones showing where the wall used to be. This is, of course, now in the middle of a street.

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Holland America Westerdam 7 days Alaska Sept 2013 review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1914651
Holland America Zaandam 14 days Hawaii Nov 2012 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1739500
Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas 4 days Bahamas March 2012 (review at: http://tankhounds.wordpress.com/cate...se-march-2012/)
Holland America Eurodam 12 Days N. Baltics June 2011
review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1435759&highlight=sue117
Holland America Zuiderdam 7 days Alaska Sept 2009
Holland America Oosterdam 7 days Alaska July 2008
Holland America Oosterdam 7 days Alaska May 2005
Holland America Statendam 15 days Hawaii Dec 02-Jan 03
Holland America Statendam 15 days Hawaii Dec 00-Jan 01
Holland America Ryndam 7 days Alaska May 1995

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker
#19
Texas
402 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Tallin
Tallin was beautiful. Very easy to walk from the ship to the old town. It really is a town of contractions…the new city right next to the old city with its cobblestone streets and the old castle wall. I must admit that we were happy every time when we were walking around and saw people with the Holland America excursion stickers on their shirts. Means that we were seeing things that others paid for…and we didn’t!



We had a hard time finding geocaches here though! We must have had about 6 or 7 that we tried to find that we couldn’t. Either they were hidden very well, or we weren’t good at finding them, or we were just bad lookers that day!


The memorial to the sinking of the ferry in 2002 (I think) that killed over 800 people was very moving. And scary too. We saw a lot of ferries when we were in that part of the world and it’s no wonder so many people died. Think of a small cruise ship that would just suddenly sink or roll over. It’s not like those ferries are open aired boats…they have enclosed cabins, with no verandas, just like a cruise ship. So if it suddenly tipped over…there is no way that people could escape.






We also avoided the photographers like the plague on the cruise. I know that my weakness is photos, so we just went around them and refused to have our pictures taken when we got off the ship and when they came around at the formal nights at dinner. HOWEVER, if I had known this little piece of knowledge, it might have changed my attitude towards those pictures…..there was a note on like our 3rd to last day in the daily program that said that you could get ALL the pictures taken on the cruise of you for $300…if I had known that I would have made my husband get all sorts of photos taken! Every time we got off the ship, at EVERY station set up at nights before dinner. The photo people set up the photo shoots…5 different backgrounds most nights). We would have gone to each one and had our photos taken. THAT would have been a deal. I’m not sure if there was “fine print” attached to that $300 offer, but if one of the nice photos was $40 (an 8x10 and 2 wallets) that would have been a bargin!



We did sign up for a “blacklabel photo” experience on this cruise. We did it on the formal night when DH was in his tux and I was also dressed up. Samantha took a million photos (ok, maybe 300) and then we set up an appointment to come back and look at them on another day. They were all very nice (of course) and even nicer that Sam could photoshop our out wrinkles on the extreme upclose shots. We did buy a package, but be warned…they are NOT cheap! (was it worth it?....maybe. Since we didn’t really buy any knick knacks as souvenirs I think it was ok, but if we spent a ton on excursions and other things then we probably wouldn’t have splurged on the photos). We went with the “digital” package, so we could have the photos on a CD Rom to do with what we pleased when we got home. If (of course) was more expensive than getting the package when they ship the photos to you all done up and nice on cork board. But now we can use them in holiday cards and do up our own presents for people. The black and white photos are very nice…I think that black and white does wonders for anyone…makes us all look nicer I think! Lol I'll post one or two here and you can decide!



This is the memorial to the sinking of the Ferry in Tallin




Wall of the "old town" Tallin




"Fat Margaret" In Tallin




One of our "Blacklabel" photos




Another of our "blacklabel" photos


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Holland America Prinsendam 14 days Caribbean Dec 2017
Lindblad/National Geographic Orion 10 days Antarctic Explorer Dec 2016
Holland America Prinsendam 20 days Arctic Explorer Aug 2016
Holland America Eurodam 14 Days Caribbean Dec 2015
Grand Circle Cruise Line (Viking)-River Cruise-Christmas Markets Along the Rhine- 10 days- Dec 2014
Holland America Westerdam 7 days Alaska Sept 2013 review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1914651
Holland America Zaandam 14 days Hawaii Nov 2012 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1739500
Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas 4 days Bahamas March 2012 (review at: http://tankhounds.wordpress.com/cate...se-march-2012/)
Holland America Eurodam 12 Days N. Baltics June 2011
review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1435759&highlight=sue117
Holland America Zuiderdam 7 days Alaska Sept 2009
Holland America Oosterdam 7 days Alaska July 2008
Holland America Oosterdam 7 days Alaska May 2005
Holland America Statendam 15 days Hawaii Dec 02-Jan 03
Holland America Statendam 15 days Hawaii Dec 00-Jan 01
Holland America Ryndam 7 days Alaska May 1995

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker
#20
87 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Great review! One question - do you know if HAL provided a shuttle to the Old Town in Tallinn and how steep was the climb to see the sites once you got there?
Thanks