We started our journey at 2:30AM on Nov 2 when we got up to catch our super shuttle to the Phoenix airport. We had a 6am flight to Ft. Lauderdale. The flight was uneventful and we arrived about 4pm. We called the hotel Sleep Inn Dania, FL. They met us about 30 minutes later and took us to the hotel. Back ground information. I am 62 and wife is 58. We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on the cruise. We were in a group of 4 other couples. We knew two of the other couples and met two new couples. It was great meeting the new couples. One couple the husband is 73 and the wife is 57. They have been married for 26 yrs. Very nice people as was everyone else. The Hotel was great. Room was great. Was very impressed with everything. Free breakfast in the morning and free shuttle to the airport but you need to make your shuttle time as soon as you check in. They fill up fast. Got to the ship about 10:30am and had to wait till 11:15 to be able to board the ship. We were one of the first to More
board. We were not able to take our carry on to the room. I suspect that if I just went to the room it would of been okay but decided to take the carry on with us up to the Lido deck for lunch. We were able to take our carry on to the room about 1pm so it worked out. Our luggage arrived about 2pm and we unpacked. the room was very spacious with lots of room to hang things. We had a shower/tub which was great. Much to my surprise we ate most breakfast and lunch on the lido deck. Had dinner each night in the dinning room. My thought was to eat everything in the dinning room but it was fun to end up doing what I did. Shows were okay. I liked the comedy guy who told all clean jokes which proves you don't need vulgarity to tell jokes. There was also a guy who did unicycle and even had a member of the audience on his shoulders. Very impressive. Our cabin steward was Mohamad Ali who told us that he had a famous brother. He was great and very attentive to our requests. We did our own thing on excursions so much cheaper and we got to do things our way. Did some duty free shopping in Colon, They have a good variety of liquor but did not have what I wanted. Get your liquor in Colon as the prices are lower there then on the ship. They ship will tell you different but its not true. I was not all that impressed with the food. Some nights were good and some nights it was not. Please remember that my comments are subjective and not meant to influence you in anyway. I expected more flowers and ambiance but did not fine it. Our dinner staff people were great Ida and Harry table #162. We tipped extra to our cabin steward, dinning room staff and the Wine steward. A friend got a wine card and some how the wine steward forgot allot to punch it. Don't know how that happened!!! Over all we had a nice time. My D/W enjoyed the cruise more then I did. I would sail HAL again but would not be my first choice. On the other hand my wife had opposite opinion.