From start to finish, this 22 days Mediterranean cruise has been the worst cruise we have taken. It all started on day 1 when our Signature Beverage Package cards were not in our suite. Several hours later, the Neptune concierge advised that we only had an 11 day card beverage card because the 22 day card was very expensive. It took four additional days for the front desk supervisor to call Seattle to get this corrected.
The next day, we arrived for breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill to be told that the espresso coffee machine was broken. Service in the PG was poor and erratic at all times. The only other breakfast I had at the PG, the staff told me that my wife must be seated by 9 am or she could not have breakfast. Needless nasty attitude for premium paying customers. I advised that I would order for her and that she would arrive by 9 am, which she did. For the next 15 days or so, the espresso machine at the PG was broken. No effort was made by staff or the Matire D to obtain an espresso at breakfast or dinner. Since I do not drink American Coffee and always have espresso for breakfast, I could not enjoy breakfast in the PG. The poor service assured I would not return.
The Maitre D was absent during our second dinner at the PG and was also absent on my second and final breakfast there. Our group of 8 arrived at the Pinnacle Grill for our only dinner there and the Maitre'D pointed us to the Main Dining Room because he did not have a table for 8. He later realized that we had a reservation for 6 and another for 2 and that we were in the right place for dinner. Made us feel unwelcomed at the Pinnacle Grill. Up until this cruise, I regularly dined at the PG during 30-50 % of the cruise days and always had breakfast there. The needless attitude by staff for simple requests caused us to abandon the PG for breakfast and dinner on this 22 day cruise.
Room service fared little better. Room service rarely arrived between the times requested and almost always missed breakfast items. Eventually, we stopped ordering breakfast from room service because it was not worth the hassle. Only after day 19 when the Dining Manager came to seem me personally did room service improve the last 3 days of our cruise. Despite this breakfast was still 20 minutes late on the last Sea Day.
The espresso machine in the Neptune Lounge was also broken and inoperable for many days. Other times, when it supposedly worked, it would not produce coffee drinks properly. Having to get a hold of a Neptune concierge to get a coffee was difficult on many occasions. It was also time consuming.
On three occasions, personal items left in the pool area and the dining room disappeared. On one night, my daughter left her favorite cap in the dining room during the late seating when there were less than 20 people left in the dining room and it was still not recovered. We do not believe fellow passengers would be taking our personal items on three separate occasions, which leaves only crew members as our likely suspects. Having had this happen to us 3 times with no items returned left a bad taste in our mouths about the crew.
For the vast majority of days on this cruise, I had to stand in line at the Explorations Café to obtain my coffee and then stand in line at the Lido to obtain breakfast for my family. This is not the type of service I expected when I booked a Neptune Suite.
On the tendering days, there was no cold water when boarding the return tender. I saw the Celebrity ship had plenty of cold water for its guests while HAL ran out on every day we tendered.
The dry cleaning seemed to return the clothes with the same stains intact no matter how many times we sent the items back. Eventually, we simply became accustomed to this and accepted it as “normal.”
The daily program frequently misinformed about events on board. I went to see a scheduled movie on the first sea day of our second leg, only to learn it was a mistake. Another time, I missed the variety show because it was not on the schedule.
Even the casino advised that I could not retrieve the money on my stateroom card because their system needed updating. The next day, I was told that I could still not retrieve my money. On my third trip to the casino, I was finally able to retrieve my money.
We experienced a total lack of service on this ship, especially for premium paying guests. On numerous individual occasions, crew staff were inattentive to simple requests. When my wife wanted a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover from the spa, she was told she needed to purchase a treatment. Certainly, someone could have checked that we were Neptune Suite passengers and been a tiny bit more attentive.
Disembarkation was a total mess. We had opted for the early-off option because we had an early flight but had to wait more than 40 minutes to get off the boat. The elevators did not allow access to A deck so we had to carry our large bags down two sets of stairs. Proper ending for a terrible cruise
Being a Neptune Suite passenger on this 22 day cruise simply meant we were entitled to pay more for the same service as everyone else, albeit in a larger room. As a loyal HAL customer for many years and the past six years in a row, who regularly books a Neptune Suite, I have been thoroughly disappointed with virtually all aspects of this cruise.