Taxi from Riverside hotel was about 10-15 minutes ($20). The Riverside Hotel is in Los Olsos and was a fun place to stay for a couple of days prior to departure. There is many restaurants close by. The room we had was 12th floor new building on the corner with a large wrap around balcony and huge bathroom with jacuzzi tub. On traveling to port the dropping off luggage with porters was immediate/efficeint. Embarkation was efficient. Stateroom available immediately. We arrived about 12 ish.
Room steward introduced himself & his assistant to both DH and I and asked if we needed anything. Our balcony was above the canister life rafts and the cabin 4025 is recessed back on the ship. this means that the cabins that protrude to the right and left that are on higher decks can seeing into your balcony somewhat. I thought this would be an inconvenience but unfortunately what was worse was the continuous smell of cigarette smoke. It made the balcony unusable and a complete waste of money. I wanted to dine on the balcony, but I would of been miserable. The cabin has white pipes below the balcony and you can see the life boats to the right and left. there is no clear view straight down from the balcony. The cabin has a door connected to the room 4027 if needed. the door needed to be locked when we arrived, my DH opened the door on the neighbors. yikes. I will not sail with HAL again due to their smoking policy.
The food was acceptable in the MDR. My favorite dishes were found on Lido (Indian and taco salad bar- I need some flavor). My favorite dessert was in the Lido desk too pineapple upside down cake. In the MDR, I find that the waiters have so many tables and they work so hard to be efficient yet cannot interact much with the guest. They remember your names which is amazing, They remember your after dinner drink, I don't know how they do this.
The ports were interesting. Not many excursions to take that varied from island to island. No scuba diving excursion on island of Curacao-arranged own excursion for scuba.
Arrange own excursion on Dominican Republic and on Bonaire and on Grand Turk.
The cruise as a whole was good and relaxing.