This was our 6th cruise on HAL and both DW and I think the quality and value has slipped since our first cruise on the older Westerdam in 1996. On that first cruise we were escorted to our oceanview cabin by a member of the staff, as were most, if not all the other guests. Hasn't happened since.
The only staff member who really made an effort to do more than the required tasks was the Neptune Lounge concierge, and we rewarded him accordingly at the end.
Our first breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill my wife ordered eggs benedict and they were cold. After 3 tries to get poached eggs that were at least warm, she gave up. The adjoining table gave up after just 2 tries. The next day she only gave them kitchen 1 chance for warm eggs before switching. How hard can it be to serve warm eggs?
The wine stewards tried to upsell nearly every night. We're at the start of a cruise and they're already out of some wines?
Even after at least a few years of having the "anytime" dining, I still feel the "anytime" folks do not get as good a service as the fixed seating diners. I sup[pose it's to be expected since the staff doesn't get to know you with new people at a table every night, but we pay the same price and should get equal service.
Final gripe. The MDR was closed for lunch on the 1 and only sea day of this cruise. That left almost all of us jammed into the Lido buffet.
Enough of what's wrong - now, what's still good.
The cabins are clean, the beds comfortable and the food (mostly) good,. The entertainment was well done .The ports of call were well chosen and for our portion of the cruise I felt we had adequate time in each port. We didn't use the ship shore excursions. The Captain and senior staff were frequently visible and the Captain made regular announcements on the course. He alerted us to the fact we would be sailing past the Stromboli volcano, allowing many of the passengers to see it erupting in the night.
Despite the glitches I would have probably sailed with HAL again if not for the new wine policy. If that remains unchanged, this will be my last trip with HAL.