by Tim Larison, CLIA Certified Master Cruise Counselor
with comments by Anne Larison, Family Travel Gurus Travel Consultant
On our Holland America Eurodam cruise in the Eastern Caribbean (April 2017) we especially enjoyed the dining options offered. In this report we’ll highlight some of our favorites. These dining venues are on most Holland America ships.
Lido Market (complementary)
The Lido Market is not your ordinary cruise ship buffet. The Lido features several dining stations with made-to-order selections. I liked the omelet station for breakfast, the salad station at lunch, the pasta station, and the Asian food station.
Just outside the buffet you can order a hamburger or other cooked to order grill option at Dive In at the Terrace Grill. I liked how efficient the service was here. My order was quickly taken, I was given a pager, and within minutes my pager buzzed to indicate my food was ready for pickup. The hamburger was fresh and delicious!
Also just out side the buffet was New York Pizza. Again made to order, I liked how I could choose my ingredients and the fresh pizza was ready for me shortly thereafter.
While the Lido Market did not have as many choices compared to other ships we have sailed on, the quality was as good as I have had at a cruise ship buffet.
One difference between the Lido Market buffet and buffets on many other ships is that the food is served to you. The majority of food at the different stations is put on the plate then handed over so guests are not serving themselves. This makes for a very sanitary process. It was a little confusing the first day at the opening buffet as guest were taking small bread plates to try to serve themselves. After this meal everyone got the hang of it and it worked well for the rest of the week.
Tamarind (extra service charge)
A new addition to the Holland America lineup since we last sailed on a HAL ship, I also liked this Pan-Asian restaurant. The views at our window side table (shown at the top of this blog) were wonderful as I enjoyed my appetizers and shrimp entree here.
Fans of Asian cuisine will love this restaurant. The picture above shows my appetizer that was called ‘Trail of Spices Satay Sampler’. The Malaysian-spiced lamb, Chinese pork, Thai-spiced beef, Indonesian-spiced chicken and Vietnamese-spiced shrimp were excellent. There is a variety of dishes on the Sushi and Sashimi Menu. I opted for the California Roll and the ingredients were fresh and delicious.
Pinnacle Grill (extra service charge)
My favorite meal of the cruise was at the Holland America steakhouse – the Pinnacle Grill. I’m not much of a steak eater but I could not resist ordering “surf and turf” here:
My filet mignon was one of the tenderest cuts of meat I have eaten. I’ve dined at steak houses on other cruise lines and in my opinion the Pinnacle Grill is the best steakhouse at sea. The lobster and dessert were also excellent. The Pinnacle Grill did not have the views of Tamarind (it’s located in the interior of the ship) but it’s a perfect place for a quiet romantic dinner.
I agree with Tim that this meal was one of our best. I love steak and this restaurant did not disappoint.
Canaletto (extra service charge)
Photo courtesy of Holland America
Canaletto, an informal Italian restaurant that shares space with the Lido Buffet, was good for a speciality restaurant experience at a lower cost (compared to Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill). While not the same quality as the Italian restaurants I have dined at on Disney and Princess cruises, it was perfectly fine for something different than the main dining room fare. And I love any kind of Italian food!
Canaletto is unique in that it is actually located in the buffet area. During the day the seating is open to anyone dining at the buffet. When Canaletto is open to guests in the evening it is reserved for guests with reservations. The number of soups, salads and entrees on the menu was limited but the selections we tried were very good.
Rembrandt Dining Room (complementary)
We enjoyed the speciality restaurants so much on the Eurodam that we didn’t dine in the main dining room as often as on other cruises. The Rembrandt’s food was good but in my opinion didn’t stand out as much as what we had at the buffet and the speciality restaurants. The Rembrandt also offered exotic selections at lunch – we preferred the lunch choices at the buffet.
We did like the flexible dining option at the Rembrandt Dining Room. On the cruise’s first night we arrived 15 minutes before our 5:30 pm dining time and we were promptly seated at a table for two. The dining staff reserved that table and time for us for the rest of the cruise.
The dining room staff was friendly and welcoming the few times we did eat in the Rembrandt Dining Room.
Tim and Anne at the Pinnacle Grill
The dining on our Holland America Eurodam cruise was exceptional! If food quality is important to you as you review different cruise options, we highly recommend a Holland America cruise, with its wonderful assortment of dining options.
Would you like to sail on Holland America and experience these restaurants yourself? We can help! Contact us for more information.