Having had a poor experience on Holland America HAL at New Year I doubt we would have taken this cruise except that we had paid for it.
The embarkation was very smooth and our room was ready for us, after a couple of days we had a letter from the hotel manager Edwin saying that he hoped the issues highlighted in the last questionnaire had been resolved. I wrote back thanking him and that so far so good. I did not receive a reply.
One of our main issues was the entertainment and the poor HAL bands, the 2 bands were excellent the entertainment dire, that is unless you wanted bingo karaoke or pub crawls around the ship. The shows were poor. The lectures, one speaker was excellent the other gabbled and had a very confused knowledge of facts, there was an excellent presentation given by the Chief Engineer Formal nights were a non event very few people wore formal attire people were in the dining room in shorts. One formal evening was billed as a photographic opportunity, there was one highlight the Black Nd White Ball where the officers appeared for about 1 hour.
We did one excursion in Noumea to the board walk in the mangroves to see wildlife. All we saw were fiddler crabs, the tour guide when questioned on the mangroves was not aware of the different varieties and had very poor knowledge of anything on the island. It was a waste of time and money.
The ship was very cold for the first few days necessitating a wrap at night. A crew member informed me the Captain was cooling the ship as we were going into hot waters!
Then the HAL cough started I too got the lurgay , the shop had run out of medicines and lozenges there was a real epidemic, the problem seemed worse in the room so we asked for the aircon filters in the room to be changed, this was done. The cough got worse, a visit to the Doctor revealed that they too had a shortage of medication. There were so many people coughing so the thought of 5 more sea days from Honolulu to Vancouver with poor entertainment we decided to jump ship. Nobody asked why nor were we given a questionnaire.
So what was good, the crew were excellent our room stewards, the lido, Cannelletos and the dining room waiters. Special mention to Angie and Rob who were so good in the gym. The food was good in the trough and it flowed well, the other offerings were acceptable.
Will we cruise with HAL again, no definitely not, we have given them 3 opportunities to maintain our loyalties we are going back to Princess
All of the ports visited are not listed this I am sure is due to the lack of tourism which was really nice.
Noumea was rather disappointing
Fiji Suva was a working town but interesting
Dravuni was a delight one of the highlights
Both Samoa islands we visited on Sundays (due to the dateline) taxis were limited and most shops were closed. We went to 2Dollar beach on the American Samoa and that was beautiful.
Our visit to The Hawain islands was lovely so peaceful and pretty.
When we jumped ship we spent 5 days in Waikiki which was wonderful with excellent entertainment.
We were shocked at the number of tramps in Vancouver