This was our first cruise on HAL, having some 30+ cruises on Royal, Princess, and Celebrity under our belts. Don't think I'll try HAL again because, despite the positives, the negatives outweighed the positives and we were glad to disembark.
Start with the negatives. Why Euroslam? Because the hydraulic/pneumatic self-closers on the balcony doors are worn out and all we could hear on our balcony was slam, slam, slam because other PAX were too dense to figure out how to close their doors by holding onto the handle and closing them gently. That, and constant balcony smokers made us feel like we wasted our money paying the extra for a balcony. We stopped attending the production shows because the volume of the music was too loud and then the vocals were amplified above that. We sat with our fingers in our ears for one show, and when I complained I was told that the volume was not too loud and that there was nothing shipboard personnel could do because the volume of the shows were More
set by the contract. We also stopped eating in the Lido after a day or two and chose instead to eat in the MDR. Why? The Lido was always crowded and compacted by the way the hot food lines jut out into the walkway. With one row of people in line, one row of people shopping over their shoulders, only a narrow space was left to try to get by. Plus, with no serving trays, it takes multiple trips to get your drinks, salad, and entrée. Not worth it. A passenger safety factor that I worried about was that the ship allowed scooters (and even child strollers) to be stored in the hallways and elevator lobbies at night - despite HAL's clearly stated policy that scooters and wheelchairs are to be stored in passenger cabins when not in use.
Now for some positives. The food in the MDR was better than what we have encountered on other lines - which are constantly cutting back food quantity, choices, and quality. Disembarkation for excursions was handled in an organized fashion similar to Princess. The ship was clean and well maintained, and there were plenty of hand sanitizers about. The room stewards were hard working and always personable and kept our fruit bowl filled and the room spotless. The dining room staff were exceptional, and everyone from the head waiter to the assistant waiters were always smiling and helpful.
What would bring us back? If HAL bans smoking on passenger balconies we might pack our ear plugs and try to tolerate the production shows and the slamming balcony doors on the Euroslam again. Otherwise, it's back to totally non-smoking balconies for us. Less