Embarkation went well and the ship left on time. The problems we encountered were with the dining room and lido buffet. The service was very slow the first night and the last in the dining room. Food was not what we were used to on our HAL cruises in the last two years. The beef was very tough, everything was drenched in gravy or butter, and HAL does not offer a SPA menu at all. The no sugar added desserts are limited and not tasteful. The lido was basically the same food, same fruits all week primarily melon, no crab legs on the buffet at Christmas as in the past. The service at the lido was limited, tables remained dirty for longer than necessary and they ran out of water glasses all the time. Don't get me wrong, everyone was very polite and tried to be helpful but it seemed they had cut back on service staff.
We did enjoy Christmas dinner in the dining room. They did a nice job that evening.
The activities were few and far between, Julie Barr, their comedian is great but there was no adult show at all, nothing after midnight.
The Pinnacle grill was a disappointment. My husbands steak and my son's were overdone. I did enjoy the salmon, it was delicious. I ordered the cheese plate for dessert and I kid you not, five tiny squares of cheese and some grapes. I just got off the Carnival Dream two weeks before and the same dessert had me reliving my days in Europe.
Debarkation was very smooth, however breakfast in the lido was a disaster that morning, they closed early and again ran out of water glasses.