Embarkation: Fast and efficient. Cabin was ready and cases arrived quickly. Only downside, Boarding started at 12:00noon according to sign and we boarded about 12:45, went straight to MDR for Mariner Lunch but doors were closed. They served 12:00 - 1:00 pm!!
Cabin: Standard balcony cabin on Rotterdam Deck. Cabin was clean and steward was efficient and attentive throughout the cruise.
Dining: Despite comments that we had read about the quality of meals declining, we found quite the reverse and were very pleased with the quality of the food and the selections available. We had open seating and dined with different, interesting people every night. Ate once in Canelletto. Food was OK, nothing super. Would benefit from its own room, you still feel you are in the Lido. Pinnacle was very good and we enjoyed our meal there. Portions were large. Staff were attentive. We ate three times in the Tamarind. Ambiance was very good, view wonderful and we really enjoyed the food. Our wait staff were excellent and we selected them for every visit. It is a different atmosphere from the MDR and makes a very pleasant change. The steak was fantastic as were most of the dishes. We brought our own wine aboard including buying a local wine in each port we stopped at and we had great wines and not so great ones but it was fun trying them all.
Entertainment: Highlight was the BB King Blues Band, they were great for listening and dancing to. We enjoyed Michael in the Piano Bar and the two ladies of Adagio. Not too keen on Richard in the Crows Nest. The Hal Cats were the best Hal Cats group I have heard on the three H-A cruises we have done. They played every style, rock, classical, showtunes, popular hits and I never found them loud, their singer was excellent. Commenting on entertainment is very subjective and while I felt the main stage performers were all very talented, singers and dancers I was less than enthralled with all but one of the "BroadwayShows" I felt the singers were "old time singers" and the shows were the type of show that was staged 30 years ago. The excessive use of technical effects could not liven them up with as stated the exception of one show. The guest entertainers were good but not very varied with an excess of stand-up comedy.
Staff: Cruise Director JT was good but the DJ's appeared new to the job. On the whole, the staff throughout the boat were pleasant, friendly, helpful and always willing to assist in anyway they can. I have great respect for the H-A staff on board and the work they do. Ian was knowledgable about ports and future cruises.
Excursions: We did not do any of the H-A Excursions as we found equivalent or better private tours for half the price of the H-A tours. The one we were going to do was cancelled due to lack of interest!
Ship Activities: We attended some of the talks on port visits and took part in the Team Trivia but not much else. Being a port intensive cruise we were happy to sit with a book on our balcony when we had some free time.
Disembarkation: Again handled efficiently. We had a late time so could enjoy a leisurely breakfast and did not have to rush to get off. When our time was calledwe were off and in the taxi line within 15 mins.
Overall. A very good and interesting cruise on an excellent boat with the best of crews. I am sure we will travel with H-A again.