When my mother and I were discussing what to do for Thanksgiving, she came up with the idea of a cruise. Well, who am I to argue with spending the holiday at sea. We quickly booked ourselves on the Holland America Line, Eurodam for a 7 day Tropical Caribbean sailing. As my mother likes to do things in style, she also booked herself a special suite as well as a private cabana in the ship’s retreat. (I love traveling with my mom.)
On the first day, things are a bit hectic as people find their way around the ship and the ships crew reorganizes for a brand new set of guests. However, it didn’t take long before we settled in to the relaxing and easy going pace having our first champagne toast on the very large balcony of my mom’s suite.
I had a spa balcony room on the 11th deck just down the hall from the private retreat. What a perfect location this turned out to be since we spent all our days at sea by that cabana.
The ship first headed to Nassau and although we’ve been there numerous times we decided to at least hop off for a drink at Senor Frogs. That place is always a fun spot.
Dinner that night was in the ship’s beautiful Pinnacle Grill where I had the tastiest crabcakes and 16 oz bone in ribeye. (The dessert is my husband’s.) Needless to say, I needed a good walk around the promenade deck a few times to work that meal off.
Our next stop was Grand Turk. Here, we got off the ship to try and get a wifi connection. There’s not a lot to do here but snorkeling and diving which neither my husband or I were up for doing. So, we just strolled around by the water taking pictures of the ships. I know it doesn’t sound too exciting but it somehow was quite enjoyable to us.
Tamarind, the Asian fusion restaurant was tonights’ dining choice. I always enjoy their food and it was as good as ever. Excellent thai beef salad and a lobster dish that was delicious.
We ended up at sea for the next 2 days due to the unexpected hurricane that was on its way to Costa Rica. As I said, the cabana was our true retreat on these days. We had everything we could want with fruit, water, lunch delivered and later in the day, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.
Our next dinner at the Pinnacle Grill was a special treat. One night of every cruise the Eurodam hosts a tasting of De Librije, a Michelin starred restaurant in the Netherlands owned by one of the Culinary Council chefs, Jonnie Boer. I met the Chef a few years back at a culinary council lunch and remember loving his halibut dish. Tonight’s meal was a feast for the eyes and stomach as we ate our way through 5 different courses plus the amuse bouche and all paired with wines selected by Jonnie Boer’s wife, Therese. She is partner and Sommelier extraordinaire at the restaurant who helped bring the restaurant to its highly acclaimed status. Starting with the incredible amuse bouche of foie gras, egg and tomato risotto, there was more foie gras (in the shape of an oyster) on my oysters on the beach dish. Next I had the pork belly with caviar and goat cheese, then the seared bass and finally miso glazed duck breast. The wines were all Spanish from a smooth and crisp Verdejo to a full bodied and bold Toro. How I still had room to even try to dessert was a miracle but how could I forego roasted white chocolate or my husband’s deconstructed apple pie. Oh yes, this was yet another night to walk around the promenade deck a few times.
Thanksgiving day was a treat at sea lounging around and sipping bubbly followed by a full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. I loved how they gave both white and dark meat on the plate with just enough stuffing to satisfy that craving.
One thing on the ship that is quite special and also new is what they call Music Walk. As you walk through one particular deck of the ship you come across Billboard onboard where 2 pianists sing and play favorite songs and hits. Then, the BB King Blues Club in the ship’s Queen’s Lounge playing motown, blues etc. and then what was our favorite, the Lincoln Center Stage where each night before dinner we watched incredible classical music performances by a fabulous group consisting of 2 violins, viola, cello and piano. On the last night on board, these musicians took part in a very special presentation of BBC’s Frozen Planet where they accompanied footage from the incredible program with live music. It was a stunning finale to this ultra relaxing holiday retreat.
All the best,