Sail away on Holland America’s new ship

/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Select sailings through spring 2009

The deal
Holland America’s latest addition, the ms Eurodam, embarked on its maiden voyage in July and has since officially settled in for its schedule of fall and winter runs in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Set sail to tropical destinations aboard the elegant new ship, and lock in some remarkable rates, to boot, thanks to the promotional cruising rates our editors have rounded up from just $199.

Our ship review
Expect a vacation fit for a king — or queen — aboard the Eurodam, a fitting expectation given that the ship was named by its godmother, Queen Beatrix, of the Netherlands. With a passenger capacity of 2,104, Eurodam is the largest of Holland America’s fleet, and the first of the sophisticated new Signature Class ships. The new vessel is also marked by exceptional cuisine and personal service, furthering Holland America’s reputation as a big-name, mainstream cruise line that can offer a luxurious vacation experience at an economic rate.

Spa-goers will especially delight at the ship’s 56 Spa Staterooms, private shaded cabanas, and the Greenhouse Spa and Salon. The cabanas are stocked with pillows, bathrobes, fresh fruit, and juice for guests to enjoy, as well as passing waiters armed with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.

When it’s time to dine, the highlight aboard the Eurodam is the Pan-Asian cuisine of Tamarind. This fine-dining restaurant is open for lunch and diner and offers dim sum, classic Asian dumplings, and sushi as well as Rijsttafel, the Dutch version of spicy Indonesian dishes.

By day, the Culinary Arts Center showcases cooking demonstrations and classes, and by night the stage transforms to host live music as the bartenders serve up sophisticated cocktails. Located nearby is the hot-spot casino and Northern Lights nightclub, while the Eurodam’s piano man can be heard playing Billy Joel and other passenger requests at the popular piano bar.

Snag a spot on the 3-night Eurodam Bahamas sailing on offer from Orbitz, priced from $199, plus receive a free $340 onboard savings booklet. The Eurodam sets sail October 15 on this one-time sample cruise from Fort Lauderdale and will first stop at Nassau, Bahamas followed by a stop at the cruise line’s private island, Half Moon Cay. 

Eurodam’s Eastern Caribbean sailing season begins December 6 and features 7-night excursions priced from just $499 — inclusive of a $340 onboard credit. In addition to these great savings, CruisesOnly offers 15 percent discounts on all shore excursions. After departing from Fort Lauderdale, spend two relaxing nights at sea before visiting Grand Turk Island, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Eurodam also docks in St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay before returning to Fort Lauderdale. This sale rate applies to sailings on December 6 and 13, but other embarkations are available at slightly higher costs through April 2009.

The dollars
Prices are per person, based upon double occupancy, and include port charges. Additional taxes and fees will apply. Shore excursions, personal expenses, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, specialty restaurants, spa treatments, and some taxes are not included.

The catch
The October 15 Bahamas sailing is almost here — you’ll have to act fast, or you’ll miss the boat!

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