Three weeks before departure our Personal Cruise Consultant, Katriana, called to offer us a reasonably priced upgrade from a VB to SA, or to the Penthouse suite. With a half hour to decide, we splurged on the upgrade to room 7001. What a great decision. For our first cruise, it spoiled us forever. Our 23 year old daughter had some privacy, her own bathroom, and we were able to spread out and enjoy each other's company. Our large dining table was splendid for breakfast each morning, high tea, and for playing cards. We spent hours on the large balcony.
Food was great; we ate each night in the main dining room or the Pinnacle Grille. The shows were standard cruise line quality but entertaining and distracting ... where else can you catch a great dinner, a show, drinks, and dancing at this value?
Ports of call surprised us. We didn't see any of the issues so prevalent about narco-terrorism in Mexico but we did see a lot of Federal Police, which was comforting.
The only negative were the toilets. We had a persistent problem with toilets clogging on the floor, which was annoying. The staff seemed to address this as a "usual" problem but we were without the use of our bathrooms for 2 days during the 12 day cruise and didn't like hiking up to the Lido deck to use the public facilities. We were offered a generous shipboard credit, though, upon contacting HAL after the cruise.
In all, a wonderful way to spend a family holiday.