Background Information: We are married 26 & 32 and have been on 3 cruises in the past 3 years.
Hotel Info (if any): None
Activities: We found the activities to be very limited atleast for our age group. We especially missed the line dances and pool deck dance party's that other cruise line have often. The clubs/bars tended to be dead after 10 pm or so along with activities limited at this time. On other lines there was always a late nite band or comedy show to see. I feel that HAL caters to people 60 - 80 yrs in age. Bridge and other card games along with bingo seemed to be the highlight of activities.
Service: The service was very good! The Indonesian and Filipino staff were very helpful and always smiling and saying hello. Even if you looked as though your hands were full coming from the buffet they would carry your tray for you or open a door. Cabin stewards were excellent. Dining room staff was also very good with the exception of one night.
Shore Excursions : I felt the shore excursions were poor. We booked 2. One in Grand Cayman (Stingray swim at Sandbar) and the other at Cozumel (Beach Snorkel). In Grand Cayman the sandbar was packed with 20-25 boats all close together fighting to get a couple stingrays to come by. Most stingrays seemed full and didn't want to eat. Our boat broke down and we were 1 1/2 hrs longer then expected. Thus we didn't get to go to 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman. We were very unhappy! I complained to the Asst. Shore Excursion Manager and told her what happened and she told me many people didn't get to the beach that wanted to. I thought she was very ignorant! I also told her that we were interested in the Cozumel (Beach Snorkel) and if there was anything they could do since we experienced engine problems on the Stingray tour. Her answer was that it was out of their hands and not their fault the boat had engine problems. I also asked her if I could expect to see fish on the Cozumel (Beach Snorkel) and she said unfortunately fish are wild animals and they can determine if we will see fish or not. At this point I was so pissed at this lady. I was not the only one who had a negative shore excursion. A few other passengers also were complaining. THE SHORE EXCURSION DEPARTMENT NEEDS THE MOST HELP ON THE SHIP!!!
Travel To Port of Embarkation: Travel was fine from Philadelphia to Ft. Lauderdale by air. I traveled the same day and did not experience any problems. Stateroom: Our stateroom was a large obstructed outside. We had a large window that faced the side of a life boat. We were ok with this since we were aware and this was our choice. My inlaws also had a obstructed large outside but actually had a view where the lifeboat ended. The stateroom was well designed with a very large bathroom and a tub which was very nice. Dining: Food selections were very good and the quality was higher or the same as princess. The Lido would be better if there were more food choices for breakfast/Lunch. Also there was really no place to get food late in the night except for room service. Anytime dining was annoying at times. They allow you to make reservations for either 5:45 and 7:15 but they fill up quickly. We did not choose to make reservations but didn't have to wait long most nights. One night we waited 1 1/2 hrs but they had passed us over and I could see on the computer that we were supposedly seated at table 105. Interesting to say the least. There were many empty tables that were reserved but I don't feel you should be able to reserve a table with anytime dining.
Children's Clubs: N/A don't know how good they were since the few kids on board seemed to have no supervision. During the ice carving they were way to close and were grabbing huge chunks of ice and taking it in the hot tubs and pools.
Entertainment: The entertainment was ok. Joel Mason (Elton John impersonator) and Julie Barr (Comedian) were very good but other than that the shows were just ok. The russian/french acrobat team were about average but corny at times. Also the ships version of American Idol was poor. It was much better on other ships. Since entertainment was poor I tended to spend/waste alot more money in the casino looking for something to do.
Disembarkation: The best of any cruiseline I was on. You have until 1am to place bags outside your stateroom which was nice. You can also stay in your room till your color/number is called which keeps crowds down around the ship and helps with the disembarkation process. Other cruiseline should take a lesson from HAL.