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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goodbye Coral Princess, Hello "dam" Eurodam

Not having ever experienced a cruise before, I didn't recognize how much I liked the Coral Prncess until

experiencing the "Eurodam".

At first I thought perhaps I'm not giving the new ship a chance. Even though Robert and I have done amazingly well

together, we both reached sniper status by the time we made our way off the Princess and onto the Eurodam. We

schlepped our luggage from Pier 19 to Pier 26 through hoards of people just standing with theirluggage, staring off

at signs, realizing they have to take care of themselves again. Eight cruise ships carrying 2000 to 5000

passengers each dumped us out at the same time in Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale. The headache from my first

exertion in 15 days exacerbated by the jacket I'm wearing because it "seemed cool in the morning but now the

humidity is 95%" didn't bolster my flagging ability to embrace the new. Robert and I both scowled through strings

of matted hair, beads of sweat, and plastic Walgreen's bags into the camera as the spritely photographer positioned

us in front of the blue screen for our onboarding photo momento.

The Eurodam is a new ship, only two years old, while the Coral Princess is about thirteen. Eurodam is glitzy,

sleek, modern, and cold. Not talking temperature here. Coral Princess was newly renovated, warm and inviting.

The stateroom on the Eurodam is bigger but the flow of the space sucks. We're dancing and bumping into each other

constantly. There's just no way to easily get around the beds that are about 9 inches apart from each other with a

one foot pass through between the foot of the beds and the wall. The sitting area is too much trouble to sit in

since it's on the other side of the beds.... and who really sits around in the cabin anyway. Our room in the Coral

Princess was smaller but because the flow of the room was good, Robert and I flowed through it more naturally. I'm

glad we had that experience together first. We're used to being together now and it makes this tight squeeze a bit

less awkward for us.

The pool deck on the Eurodam is taken up with cabanas that cost extra to sit inside. They cut off the view of the

sea for everyone else. The "special" area for the Coral Princess was tucked away at one end of the ship. We

commoners didn't even know it was there and he pool deck was open to the sea and the sky for everyone. "Pay extra

seems to be the common theme on the Eurodam." And they have stands with items for sale all around the pool.

AND the buffet is open only certain hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of 24/7. Gone is the free

spirited "eat when hungry" to "we better go eat now before it closes." Not a big deal at all really but there is a

sense of "gotta do it now or lose out" that didn't exist on the Princess.

There is good news about the Eurodam though. The age range of the cruisers on this week-long adventure is more

diverse. We had a lot of fun with Jeff and Wendy (40ish) from Ottawa, Canada and Julia and I can't remember his

name (50ish) from Springfield, Illinois. The first thing they said when we arrived for dinner was, "there are so

many old people on this cruise." After I told them I'm 65, :) We assured them this isn't an "old" crowd at all.

Last night on the Princess, we sang Happy Birthday to Dee who was celebrating her 90th birthday with four of her

friends all about the same age. Actually, it was very cool! BTW, Dee and her friends weren't the "old" ones.

And we've had more people talk with us in the few hours we've been aboard this ship than the whole 15 days aboard

Coral Princess. Our sad goodbyes on the Princess were with Milos (23 from Serbia) and Oxana (25 from Russia), the

wait staff in the buffet dining room, and Rex (Philippines) our room steward.

It's interesting.... the ambience of the Coral Princess was perfect for both of us. I felt very comfortable and at

home on the ship but the overall energy of the passengers for the most part was not inviting or friendly at all.

The physical appearance and feeling of the Eurodam is not conducive to either of us and we feel a bit off kilter

because of that but we're having more fun with the people in the few hours we've been onboard than we did for two

weeks with the other group. Ah! The life of a cruiser. More to come.

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