Bob's your uncle, Chartres, Estonia, food, Holland America Line, MS Eurodam, Saint Peter, Tallinn, travel, westminster abbey
First place we hit was Tallinn, in Estonia. Initial exposure to completely different culture, but…What a let down. Visited the Old Town (supposedly the most worthwhile area). Tacky souvenir shops all selling the same nested Russian dolls…and uninviting restaurants around the Square selling herring, herring, herring. Expended far too much energy walking up the damn cobblestoned inclines. There IS one church (the Nevsky) with an interesting triptych set of windows: each of the three panels shows one (sainted) figure apiece. Never saw that before. All other cathedrals I’ve seen show several figures in their windows. There was a line of people waiting to see a father confessor (and make an appropriate donation). Frankly, I never want to see another church again. I’ve seen Westminster Abbey, Saint Peter‘s, St. Patrick‘s, Chartres and Notre Dame, ain’t that enough??? For one lifetime? Oh, and St. John’s. And this place felt totally touristy. However: the one shop in town that interested me sold old sheet music and records -hey! They had a 3-LP set of a Russian musical (!) of The Three Musketeers. Didn’t want to lug it; now that I’m home, of course, I regret that decision. We did not pause to eat there, as nothing looked that appetizing. Wish I had this day back.
THE REMBRANDT DINING ROOM on the Holland-America ship EURODAM. Best dish I had there was a sauteed halibut, tender and tasty. Food generally B to Bplus. The cellar was out of the wine I wanted. There IS better food onboard, on other decks -but they charge a supplement in restaurants like The Pinnacle Grill. We found the Lido Buffet to be OK, the least formal, with a good range of choices. Up there, at breakfast, you could get poached eggs on toast, they had an omelette station, waffles, pancakes and -my choice- a Muesli that had been pre-soaked in cream/half and half. Toss a few slices of banana on top and Bob’s your uncle (and your aunt’s Fanny, a Brit riposted when I said this).
Nanci Eisner said:
Hi John, I was on the Eurodam in 2010. Had a horrible experience with the Main Dining Room. I was in the Casino when I realized it was time for dinner. The showroom was getting out at the same time & if I remember, the Casino was on the opposite side of the ship. Anyway, I had to wait in line for the ladies room and I was literally 20 minutes late for the dining room. They refused to serve me. I said I’d skip the appetizer. They still refused. I ran around like a maniac trying the “specialized” restaurants willing to pay. They were sold out. I was told to go to the Midnight Buffet. I did that & it turned out to be a dessert Buffet. No food anywhere except peanuts in a bar. At 1am, I finally got some late night pizza. I believe I was treated like that because I was a woman alone & the help are foreign chauvinist pigs. I wanted a table by myself. Again, it became a hassle and it never happened.
My first cruise in life was with Margaret on Holland America to Nassau…a jazz cruise. My second cruise was with Margaret on a portion of their World Cruise of 1978 from NYC to Acapulco via Columbia & The Panama Canal. I loved that line. No longer. I had great accommodations on the Eurodam and it was a short cruise in 2010, but the dining room experience really stayed with me. They told me to go order room service after I dressed for formal on that fateful Saturday evening. Why would I want to eat from a limited menu in my cabin? Bad girl, go to your room. No thank you. Yes, I complained upon return and they offered me discounts on their premium restaurants or a free meal or something. Not a satisfactory conclusion & I’ll never sail Holland America again. I’ve done about 15 paid for cruises prior to this disaster in 2010. I agree the Lido buffet was terrific.
Have fun & Happy July 4th.
Holland-America wasn’t first-rate -next time a smaller, less middle-class
ship; I hear Seabourne might qualify. On HA, the service staff now is all Indonesian, and they have a grinning obsequioussness
that’s off-putting. Fortunately, we had a private tour guide in St. Petersburg, and so were able to avoid the unendurable lines at The Hermitage that afflicted our fellow (boring) passengers.
Also, six stops in ten days is just too much -especially at the age we find ourselves!
How’s by you?
Post me and tell me how you’re doin’.
Nanci Eisner said:
Hi Back again, John…when I was with Margaret on HA, the staff were either all Indonesian or from the Philippines, I forget which, but all the same. However, the officers were, I guess, Dutch, or mixed European. My dining room fiasco in 2010 had European males heading up the Dining Room. I go everywhere & anywhere by myself. Never have I encountered such obvious rudeness. I think since Carnival took over HA (& Cunard & a host of other lines in addition to Carnival), the service has changed.