We flew to Boston the night before our cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel at the airport, which was very nice.
The embarkation went very smoothly and we were on board before noon enjoying lunch on the Lido deck. We knew the ship was old but I still think it looked lovely and have no complaints. Our cabin was a Verandah stateroom with a nice balcony which we really enjoyed. There was plenty of cupboard space, a large king bed and a hide-a-bed for my brother to sleep on at night. There was always lots of hot water and good water pressure in the shower. We were very pleased with our choice of cabin.
I cannot say enough good things about the staff. They were always friendly, polite and courteous and willing to help with anything. Our cabin was always kept neat and tidy. We used room service several times and it was always delivered promptly. The fire drill was another story... it was a complete fiasco, but thankfully we never needed it.
The food was OK, but simply OK, that's all. Some things were quite good but other areas were definitely lacking. The French Onion Soup was definitely not authentic French Onion Soup, the black forest cake was nothing like it should be and the Rocky Road Ice cream was just plain vanilla. They also used frozen shrimps for the shrimp cocktail and it was really tasteless. The coffee was not very good and several times they only had decaffinated coffee, which is totally unacceptable!
The ports of call were all very nice. We did not take shore excursions but went on our own and rented a car several times. Bar Harbour is a very nice little place to visit and we took a tour on Olie's Trolley which was very nice.
We only went to one show and I was pleasantly surprised. They had a concert with two world class singers who did a very nice job.
In summary, they could definitely improve in the food area, but we all enjoyed our cruise and felt we had pretty good value for our money. Would I use HAL again? I might, but I would definitely read your cruise reviews first.