This was our 3rd HAL cruise in the Deluxe Verandah Suite category, last two were on the Ryndam. However it has been 7 years since our last cruise and this time we were very dissappointed. Very doubtful we will cruise HAL again.
On our last cruises we rated the main dining room food and service a 9 out of 10. On this cruise the food was about a 3 and the service a 5. We were traveling with 4 other people. On multiple occasions medium rare steaks and prime rib came out well done. Medium steaks came out extra rare. On the night with filet mignon and lobster, the filet was about 1/2" thick. No restuarant would stay in business (except maybe Golden Corral Buffet)with food like this. A duck breast dinner was 4 slices about 1/8" thick and 2" round. Rack of lamb dinner consisted of 2 pieces. OK for an appetiser, not a dinner!
On the 2nd day of the crusie and after the dissapointing first night meal, we tried to make reservations for the Pinnacle Grill ($25/person additional cost).
After less than 24 hours into the cruise, Pinnacle Grill was sold out every night except the last night while in port in Victoria. Seems that many others had figured out they needed to go to Pinnacle Grill for decent food. We did go that last night and I ordered a Porterhouse steak which as large, at least normal restaurant size. I'd rate food and service at Pinnacle Grill an 8 out of 10. Still had to flag down a waiter to refill water and after asking for a second cup of coffee, a 5 minute wait.
On our last cruises, the Crows Nest was night club and lounge. It is now library and lounge where there was a solo guitarist. A waster of this large space.
Throughout one day Country Line Dancing was promoted in the Northern nights lounge. This is tiny and could not accommodate anywhere near the number of people that were coming to this after the 8 PM show in the Vista lounge. Exactly the same thing happened with what was suppose to be Beatles/60's entertainment in the Piano Bar. Imagine 250 people trying to get into a lounge set up for about 70.
Why in the world were these not held in a much larger space such as the Crows Nest (move the library to a smaller space).
This was the bright spot. Entertainment in the Vista Lounge was much better than previous cruises.