We signed up for this cruise because we can drive conveniently to San Diego, and we like the HAL cruise line. It was mostly very pleasant. A few plumbing issues around the ship, but when we reported it from our cabin, a maintenance person came within the hour & had it fixed. We thought the food in the Main Dining Room was great - we are not fussy about food - and we ate most all the breakfasts and lunches there also. The buffet was OK, we just prefer not to have to walk around with plates. The public spaces were great - the lounges, library, shops, casino & bars on Deck 5 have been configured to flow with each other. We thought that was great rather than the little cubicles on most ships. The library is especially nice, right next to the coffee bar. Lots & lots of comfortable chairs arranged nicely. Drinks reasonably priced, and a "Happy Hour" buy-one-get-one-for $1 daily in some of the bars. We were disappointed that HAL doesn't have draft beer in any of the bars, but we More
managed. Our stateroom was spacious, bathroom with tub, 5 closets, great towels & robes.
We stayed in port at Puerto Vallarta overnight. Cabo San Lucas only 6 hours. We went on shore in PV to take a taxi to a restaurant we first went to in 1982, then again in 1987. Still great service & food, some nostalgia for us. Didn't tender into Cabo, have been there several times.
The service, both in the cabins & dining room, has diminished somewhat in the past couple of years, fewer stewards and waiters for more passengers?? We had Open Dining time, and seems like it is more difficult for the waiters to serve people when the passengers at each table change daily. We will try to not have this option on our next cruises.
I went to one of the cooking demonstrations, and wish that I had attended more of them. Enjoyed it very much.
The entertainment was pretty good. Enjoyed the singers & dancers, one comedian was really entertaining, and the Olympic gymnast was very good. The music onboard was variable. We didn't like the singer with the HalCats, or the trio in the Ocean Bar. But this is totally our opinion. We did enjoy the Adagio Strings Quartet very much. Less
Cabin 3402 on Lower Promenade Deck, Zaandam. Upgrade from Guaranteed Inside. This cabin was listed as "completely obstructed view", but we could see the ocean looking left and right out of our window, and the walking deck directly outside. We were concerned about other passengers looking in, but I went outside & tried to see in, both in daytime & at night with the cabin lights on - the finish on the window prevented it. Very nice bathroom w/tub, 5 closets with shelves, adequate wooden hangers. 7 drawers in the main part of the cabin. Loveseat/sofa that was good for TV watching. Beds were very comfortable, 4 nice pillows. The best robes and towels we have had for a long time. Very convenient to the elevators and the door out to the walking deck, but still quiet.