This was a wonderful cruise for all of us. There was plenty for everyone to do and a lot of time to relax for the more mature members of our party. The veranda was so nice. We saw loads of wildlife from our balcony (including a swimming bear!!!). If at all possible, you will want to splurge on this luxury.
This was the best we had ever experienced! There was NO line. We arrived later than I had planned (1pm) due to a marathon that closed down the freeway and delayed many passengers. We ended up sailing about an hour later then planned. I was happy that HAL made that call. We were able to go straight to our room. We had missed the Mariners luncheon so I was worried that the Lido would be a mess but was pleasantly surprised when I found that the line was not huge but instead manageable.
Rooms- 7090,7092 and 7094 VA
The rooms were a little small. We were glad that we chose to book separate rooms for the kids now that they are 15 and 20.These rooms were located by the elevator. If you are a light sleeper don't book these rooms, otherwise the location is great and the noise didn't bother me. The stairs are right outside these rooms to so it is convenient to get to everything. The veranda doors were opened right away so the kids and grandma could traverse to any of the three rooms at any time. The bathrooms had a tub, but otherwise were standard.
We enjoyed our dinning experience thoroughly! We did try to book Pinnacle a couple of times throughout the cruise but they were all booked for a party of 6. If you are a large party, book before you go or forget it. The MDR did a great job. We ate there every night and alternated between the MDR, Lido and room service for breakfast and lunch. We did the anytime dining option. I will do that from now on. We eat early (just after 5) so when we arrived I gave all three room numbers, asked for a window seat and got one almost every night. I have never had such a great matradee experience. We tipped him extra at the end of the cruise. My favorite thing was the steak and the brie in phyllo dough. My least favorite? The crab and corn chowder. Really, there was no flavor at all. But all in all, the food was good. Expect Salmon and Baked Alaska to be offered every night. Loved it! Also, my daughter is a vegetarian and while all of the cruise lines have plenty of food to offer, if the staff noticed she wasn't eating her standard "veggie loaf" or pasta they always came over to ask her if they could bring he something different. That was the first time that has happened to her. She felt very special.
It was fine, not great but they did bring in a Magician that was good and one of the comics was good. The regular singers and dancers were fine. Nothing compares to Disney for Entertainment so I try to keep my expectations down. All in all we had fun at the shows. Dancing with the Stars was a ton of fun and the lady that won on our ship was a former Olympian!
This was a REAL disappointment! After our last HAL cruise my daughter practically demanded that we take another one because the kids program was so good. This time she and my niece went to the first meeting and would not go back. It took me all week to finally get an answer out of them as to why. Apparently there is a game that they play called "Two Truths and One Lie." where you are supposed to tell two truths and one lie about yourself and the teens are supposed to figure out which one is the lie. Without going into nauseating detail, suffice it to say that both of the girls were embarrassed to the point where they wouldn't return to the program. (I didn't find out until Friday evening as I'm filling out the survey)I'm thinking maybe a little more training as to what you can say to teen age girls may be required by HAL. I put this on the comment card and moved on. The girls were old enough to participate in most of the adult activities onboard and they had fun so no big deal.
In one word GREAT! We loved the service and will definitely sail with HAL again.
All of the ports were amazing. We rented a van in Juneau and saw Mendehal Glacier, in Sitka we went to Fortress of the Bear, in Ketchikan we went to Saxman village and Glacier Bay was crazy gorgeous!!! Victoria was nice too. We did the City sights and Castle tour. Everything was good for all age groups. Note that if you rent a car in Juneau and plan to walk to the rental location it is fine unless you have to tender in. The walk is too far for a 70 year old unless you manage to dock, then it should be fine.
We look forward to sailing with HAL again in the future!