First and foremost, you must attend the lifeboat drill. If you refuse to participate, well, you could be left at the dock waving goodbye. The cruise director mentions that over the PA system, and it says so in your contract.
My cruise started on Feb 10th. I've cruised several times but this is my first HAL. I would definitely cruise with them again.
The only complain I had, the two weeks went way too fast! It was hard to leave the ship.
For the first 48 hours of the sailing there was no self-serving even for coffee/tea/water. The staff wants to make sure people were "virus free". Even after the 48 hours, you could self-serve with mostly everything except the hot foods to which the staff will scoop it on your plate.
One thing I liked, they had more "free" stuff to drink different juices, lemonade, and iced tea and of course water. Well, nothing is really "free" since I paid for it but you get the idea.
I went to open dining seating about four times in the Manhattan Dining Room. It was good but I much preferred the Lido buffet.
No complaints. I was on Dec 6 inside cabin. Good enough for me. Loved my cabin steward, Budi. Excellent job.
Not to take away from anyone's talents, I find the entertainment the same old same old almost on any ship. I don't watch the main shows much anymore. I tend to take an aisle seat way in the back. If I'm bored, I just discreetly step out.
Julie Barr, a comedian, was very funny. Both her R-rated and the clean show she had me in stitches.
Chris John is a musical impressionist who impersonated Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Macy Grey, Billy Joel and more. He was very good.
The best main show I've ever seen, Cantare. Four men from the United States are almost like Il Divo. The best show I've ever seen on a cruise. I went to see both show times I couldn't get enough. Was even suckered enough to buy the cd.
The HALCats band was pretty good. They used two different singers, Nicky and Travon. Both pretty good. At the piano bar was Jimmy Maddox. He was pretty good. I'd poke my head in once in a while to listen here and there.
Plenty of stuff to keep people busy. I enjoyed some of the computer workshops such as Creative Photo Editing and Making Movies. There were also workshops about the digital camera.
Played trivia a couple of time including the travel trivia with two others and won a free cruise ................ pin. I tried to get the social director to just say "free cruise". No such luck.
The only disappointment was the first evening of the single and solo travellers meeting, there wasn't a staff hosting it. (Grand Princess did a good job two years ago). So as strangers we don't know who's who. I only met two people the first night and the meet was short lived. Two days later they had a solo traveller's lunch which was easier to meet since they had a table reserved for us.
I was told by one of the social directors that passed solo/single passengers said they didn't want hosted events. Well, on the first night walking into a bar/lounge, how do you know whose solo? Wasn't overly impressed here but hey, met a lot of nice people on the ship.