We've just returned from our first Jazz Cruise, which is a private charter on HAL's Eurodam. That alone makes my review a bit different, since it wasn't a standard HAL cruise. So, I have nothing to say about HAL's entertainment offerings, etc. Nor, really, can I comment on regular dining room experiences since we only dined in the Rembrandt main dining room once. So, please, keep that in mind as you read this.
That said, we enjoyed Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill each one night. The food was quite good, though not outstanding. The service was good, though by comparison I thought Disney's speciality restaurant was better. The food in general was good, but again, not amazing. The Lido's buffet was a bit crowded to move along the buffet and the tables. Food is served for you by the cooks, which means sometimes helpings are either too much or not enough, and it gets backed up when things run out. Our one night in Rembrandt our server was friendly, but obviously not invested in us personally. We ran through the meal and weren't disappointed to leave and get on with the entertainment that evening.
I understand that the charter nature of our sailing perhaps had something to do with this, but still....
The passengers on our cruise, I'm told, are typical of most of HAL's guests: a bit on the older side of the age spectrum. We're in our 40's and were pretty much the youngest folks on the cruise, excepting the musicians.
The ship looked to be in need of a thorough cleaning. It wasn't bad bad, but a bit less than squeaky clean for sure.
Public areas on board were nice. The Crow's Nest was great and the library really remarkable. It was nice that the midsize level of the ship meant that you could get from one end to the other in a reasonable amount of time. The spa was also nice. We opted to buy the weeklong "membership" that meant we had access to the hydrotherapy pool and heated loungers whenever we liked. We took advantage of this daily and loved every second. We booked a couple treatments, and of course had to endure the product recommendation speeches, but the services (massage and facials) were fine.
Crew friendliness in general, I felt, left a bit to be desired. They were pleasant, but just so. A few genuinely were happy to greet you, but most seemed to just see a blur of faces passing through on yet another week.
Entertainment on our cruise was all jazz and in a word: AMAZING. World class performers through and through. I couldn't recommend the experience enough if you're a jazz fan. People come and go from event to event (sometimes it's tough to figure out how to prioritize) and are mostly very conscientious and courteous. We are looking forward to our next jazz cruise, though it will be a year or two before we can afford it again as it is a bit more (but worth every penny).
Disembarkation took forever.