Long Review! This was my second cruise ever. First one was in 2010 with Carnival to Western Caribbean. This one was East Caribbean.
The ship was very clean but I expected it to be more "wow factor" in the main deck as HAL advertises about how luxury it is. The rest of the ship is very nice but again the main lobby is not that impressive.
The stateroom was nice. Closet space was very generous. I was glad to see that there was bathtub. Stewards were really nice and cleaned the room twice a day and if you take a nap they come back and fix the bed again.
The crew and staff members especially Asians (I believe were mostly from Indonesia) were very, very nice and ALWAYS smiling.
Food was OK, nothing to rave about, Just OK. I did not go to Rembrandt dining room a lot. I went twice; the first night of the cruise and the second formal night. I was traveling solo and it was a bit awkward to be alone on a table. The food in the Lido restaurant was basically the same as in the Rembrandt dining room so I did not mind. On the second formal night I had to wait for the dessert menu for very long time so I gave up and went to the Lido restaurant to get my dessert there. Another thing is that they use the same pan for ALL ingredients when preparing omelets. Some people are vegetarian and do not want to have meats previously cooked in the same pan. I don't eat pork. I asked the chef to wash pan and utensils in soap and water and he gladly did. On the Cook-out night, they used the same tongs for all sorts of meat; pork, shrimp, chicken, beef....etc; I passed by and did not take any.
Grand Turk was run down and small. I enjoyed the sceneries in St Thomas very much. I think $21 for the sky tram is a bit overpriced for such a short ride. Half Moon Cay was very relaxing; I did not do any excursion. San Juan was less than what I expected but overall OK.
In ST Thomas the dockage site (Crown Bay) was so far from downtown (30 min walk or $5 taxi ride) unlike the main dockage which hosted Carnival, Royal Caribbean,...etc (5 min walk).
Entertainment was OK. I enjoyed the magician night very much. The other shows were OK. Singing was OK. Emily was the best. There were 2 karaoke nights and it was so obvious that the guests who performed were not random choices because they were nearly the same whether the singing was with the karaoke machine or with the life band (the second one was picking randomly from papers with names on it in a pot; but they were the same as the first night; AL from Chico, CA, Jean, the child Sean Michael....etc)
Another thing I didn't like is that you have to go through the cigarette smoke filled casino in order to reach the main stage. A lot of people commented on how awful the smell was. I wish the casino was strategically placed so you do not really need to go through it to reach main stage.
Finally, It appears that the ship is "religious-sensitive" and had mass service daily and Sabbath available for guests. I tried to go the Friday prayer for Muslims but I was told it was only available to crew members as it was in a restricted area. This is completely understandable but why don't they put one in an unrestricted area like what they did for other religions?