7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Board the Eurodamris

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Flying Norwegian Air from France to Florida

Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris was our departure point for our 10-hour flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

To say we were excited is an understatement, as we were looking forward to taking our first cruise.

We had left and travelled the 2 hours by TGV from Lyon to Paris, giving us enough time for our 4.45 pm flight. With a temperature of only 2 degrees Celsius, although sunny, we couldn’t wait to enjoy the warmer temperatures of Florida.

Related Post: 5-Day Cruise to Mexico

Terminal 2 Charles de Gaulle has limited eatery choices in the departure terminal once you go through customs, so buying a filled baguette is a good idea.

We chose to fly with Norwegian Air on their new Dreamliner for only €320 each.

We both had plenty of legroom, quality TV screens for each seat, a touch self-shading window (no request for “shades up” anymore) and two meals included on the ticket. Great value.

Earplugs in and night mask on, we caught a couple of hours of sleep to prepare us for the time difference.

The Mood Lighting on the Dreamliner changes colour to blue and green to red …


Cruising from Fort Lauderdale

Day One of our cruises was our first, and we were still excited.

For the next 7-nights, we would cruise with the Holland American line on the Eurodam.

Our 7 Night Cruise would include the following:

  •  1 – Sailing – Leaving Fort Lauderdale
  •  2 – Turks and Caicos Islands
  •  3 – Puerto Rico
  •  4 – St Thomas US Virgin Islands
  •  5 – Sailing
  •  6 – Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
  •  7 – Sailing – Return to Fort Lauderdale

To check out the range of cruises, click the link for Holland America Line

We booked our cruise at a discount rate through Cruise.Com

The motel where we were staying offered a free shuttle to the port, about a ten-minute ride.

It allowed us to chat with fellow travellers as we waited in the sunshine and found some local wildlife to admire.

The hotel’s local Iguana in a palm tree

Onboard the Eurodam East Caribbean Cruise

The Eurodam has a capacity for 2,104 passengers with 805 crew.

Compared to our 5-Day Cruise to Mexico, the Eurodam is smaller, making the cruise personable.

We spent the afternoon exploring the ship, timetable of events, decks, bars and restaurants before deciding on free room service for a bite to eat until dinner was served.

When the Eurodam finally left Fort Lauderdale, the heavens opened, and the storm was predicted to accompany us to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Loving our cruise
The covered swimming pool with a roof opens.

Cruising at Sea

Our first full day onboard the Eurodam was a sailing day with plenty of scheduled activities.

We were up early, and with no one around, breakfast was pleasant chatting with the staff, mainly Indonesians and Filipinos.

Maura chose congee, to the staff’s surprise, as Asian passengers mainly eat it. Congee is a slowly boiled rice you can top with meat, spring onions and dried fish. This a reminder of our Asian adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Related Post: How to Explore the Best of Vietnam

With many people “hunkered” down due to the swell of the sea, we chose a couple of activities, one being the Microsoft classes on the new Windows 10 and its features.

We opted for fine dining in the evening and were seated with two other couples.  Sharing stories with fellow passengers is a pleasant way to enjoy the evening.

The Grand Staircase

Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands)

The pilot boat struggles to come alongside

Well, we got as far as seeing the islands of Turks and Caicos.

The islands were once a hideaway for many pirates, including Jolly Roger. It’s also where Christopher Columbus made landfall. It was also the islands John Glenn descended to after orbiting the earth.

Due to a heavy swell and wind direction created by the storm we were trying to avoid, the captain opted to forego landing.

And judging by how breakfast food trays “hit the deck” on the ninth level, it was a good call.

We were a little disappointed as we had missed snorkelling the third-largest coral reef in the world.

The cruise planner organised more activities to keep us all amused indoors, as the doors to outside decks were closed again. It meant we had an extra day sailing rather than a stop on land.

Oh well, a good way to test if we had our sea legs; fortunately, both of us felt comfortable in the rolling ocean

San Juan, Peurto Rico

Coming into San Juan, Puerto Rico

“Land Ahoy”, and we are the only ones up early for photo opportunities of the rising sun coming into the historic port of San Juan.

Today we planned to explore this beautiful old town founded in 1521.

After breakfast, we found Bad Ass Coffee Cafe on the pier. With free wifi and great coffee, we were engrossed for the next hour catching up on our social media accounts and email.

The Bad Ass Coffee Legend


Four Places to Visit in San Juan

1. Wandering Old San Juan

Castillo San Felipe del Morro San Juan

Our walk took us along the old town wall to Castillo del Morro and Fuerte San Cristobal.

Both forts were similar to those we had seen when visiting Cadiz, Spain.  Built-in the 16th century to protect the island from invaders.

Puerto Rico was the first island in West Caribbean when travelling from Europe, so its freshwater was a “jewel” in earlier times.


2. Old Town of La Perla

La Perla, San Juan

Between the two forts was an old town called La Perla, where traders would stay when visiting the old town. Situated on the coast, it would undoubtedly get the brunt of waves in bad weather.

3. Old Town of San Juan

Colourful Streets of old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Colourful Streets of old San Juan, Puerto Rico

For San Juan to expand, an area of the old town wall was demolished in the late 19th century, and the new city developed.

For us, the old town’s narrow streets with colourful houses brought back memories of Andalusia, Spain.

It’s a pity the large American vehicles are given access, but at least when you even think of walking across the road, the vehicles stop to give way. Nice.

4. Food and Drinks to Sample in San Juan

Mofongo in Puerto Rico

Two travelling friends both recommended we try rum and mofongo.

Bacardi Rum is produced in Puerto Rico, and Mofongo is made from sweet potato mixed with either meat or vegetables.

Piña Colada is another locally invented favourite tried by Maura and enjoyed.


St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

We were up again on deck to photograph the entrance to the port of St Thomas. After another early breakfast, we were down on the pier, ready for our 15-20min walk to the old town.

St Thomas has a varied history of pirates, sugar plantations and slavery, making it once a prosperous town for the Danish colony.

When slavery was abolished, and the island’s profitability was gone, the island was purchased for USD25 million by the USA in 1917.

The port of St Thomas became a strategic port guarding the Panama Canal as the island separated the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea.

Today it is one of the busiest tourist ports, capable of up to 20,000 visitors daily. On our visit, three cruise ships were anchored.


Four Things to Do and See in St Thomas US Virgin Islands

1. St Thomas Old Town

St Thomas Old Town

Climbing the famous “99 steps” on Government Hill led us to Blackbeard’s Castle, with views across the harbour.


2. Statues of the Three Queens

Statues of the Three Queens

However, what took our interest on the hill was the statue of the “Three Queens.”

These ladies protested against work, living conditions, and wages. They were active in the rebellion of 1878 when the fire burnt half of the city.


3. Swimming at Magen Bay Beach

White sand beach with blue water
Magen Bay Beach

Returning to the ship, we grabbed swimsuits and towels as we had booked one of the cruise shore excursions for the afternoon.

Private buses had been organised for the 15-minute ride up and over the hills to Magen Bay Beach. The seventh of ten best-rated beaches in the world.

Magen Bay Beach is a private beach with a US5 charge each.

While the cruise ship offers an excursion to the beach,  you can take a taxi for US20 each and return.

To Maura’s disappointment, the beach has lifeguards and a restriction on how far out you can swim. With the water warm and very salty, there is no chance of seeing anything underwater.

However, we did love the white sand, and with the sun shining, it was just what we wanted to experience in the Caribbean.

We also saw some local fauna, so Terry was happy to test his wildlife photography skills.

An iguana at the beach


4. Devine Rum Punch Cocktails

Da Lime and Da Coconut Bar

Back to the ship for a quick shower, and two hours before sailing, we walked along to the Marina shopping area to da Lime in da Coconut Bar for a Rum Punch.

Dark rum is a local product and is amazing.

Perfect with Reggae music in the background and a Rum punch to savour. And we were back in time to the cruise ship to set sail and watch the sunset.


Another Cruising Day at Sea

Our morning started well with the sun shining and the sea calm with deck chairs all around the ship looking inviting for some sun and book time.

By evening, the wind was back, and the sea swell increased.

One of the things we love about cruising is room service is free.

Deciding to stay indoors, we ordered room service and watched a movie called The Finest Hours.

Not the best movie selection considering the storyline was about a coastguard rescue of a half-broken ship in a fierce storm.

As we watched the movie in high definition, we had the 4D effect of waves crashing up against our cruise ship and the ship moving side to side.  Arrh!


Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

The beach of Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay island is located n the Bahamas and was the highlight of our cruise.

The island is owned by Holland American Line, with 2.5% of the island developed for cruise ships.

Our ship arrived on time, but we had to wait over an hour until the sea calmed to disembark safely. Because there is no pier, we had to disembark by tender, where you exit through the side hull door of the ship onto a waiting boat.

Thankfully the sun did its best to shine as we enjoyed swimming in the turquoise sea, soaking up the sunshine, walking along the white soft sands and enjoying a BBQ lunch by Eurodam.

A beautiful day to end our Caribbean cruise.

Beautiful water and our ship in the background


Enjoying the Final Night of the Cruise

Holland America Line

Tonight the ship sails to arrive early in Fort Lauderdale, where our cruise finishes.

We enjoyed dining with another couple for dinner, with each notable chef serving a signature dish: good company and the end to an interesting voyage.

Tonight the ship sails to arrive early in Fort Lauderdale, where our cruise finishes.

We enjoyed the experience of our first cruise for its fine dining, meeting new travellers and new places visited.

Have you taken a cruise?


  1. Marlene Paddy says:

    Looks as though we should have continued our cruise down to the Carribean but we finished at New York. Same ship though.

    • Terry&Maura says:

      Yes it’s a beautiful place to explore – history, sun and surf – a great combination 💕

  2. Clem says:

    I love this post! (one of the reasons is because I live in the Caribbean, Dominica). If you are a Nature lover, you’d enjoy stopping there at your next Caribbean Cruise! I have put some great articles on my time in Dominica on my travel blog, feel free to check them out!

    • Terry&Maura says:

      Thanks Clem. We would love to spend more time in the Caribbean. Dominica sounds lovely. Yes we will check out your blog 🙂

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