Embarkation and disembarkation not a problem. It was well organised using a number system to filter people on and off. Would work better if everyone could count!
Luggage was quickly transferred to cabin. Cabin was showing it's age in some areas but was clean and tidy. Throughout the voyage cabin steward was excellent.
The buffet food was of better standard than some other cruise lines, usually hot. the choice of bread and rolls was very limited and the coffee was poor.
The real letdown was the main dining room. We chose select(anytime) dining.
On previous HAL ships we were able to reserve a table now this option is no longer available. Table service was very slow, with several serving mistakes being made. The food was,at best only barely warm, portions were very small and sometimes not cooked to their best. The general standards of desserts were poor. On occasions we didn't bother to order. The attitude of the staff was a lot different to previous HAL cruises, not the usual cheerful lot.
The Canaletto restaurant has been our favourite. Just a section of the buffet cordoned off during the evening. In the past it was a free option, but now there is a service charge. The service charge in the Pinnacle grill has also been increased.
These are just two of the many ways HAL are using to prise extra money out of the guests. Drinks prices are expensive with 15% charge added on top.
Apart from the two lead singers the shows on formal nights were poor. In England they would be called "end of the pier" shows. The dancing and general production was the worst.
Other areas of the ship were ok apart from some being very cold. The air conditioning was being "deep cleaned". Cleaning fumes entered our cabin at night making my wife ill for a day. For two nights we slept with our balcony door wedged open. The next night we were kept awake by someone working on the air conditioning ducting above our ceiling. Contractors were cleaning the ducting at NIGHT! When I complained to the front desk they knew it was happening. Some form of warning would have helped. This is a good example of the disregard toward passengers.
Overall, well below the standard expected from HAL. This will definitely be our last voyage with this cruise line. We have cruised with many other lines
and will return to those. Anyway, we are both fit and in our sixties so we are really too young for HAL.