I booked a SZ guarantee at a great price. Four days prior to sailing I was assigned a SA Deluxe Verandah - BONUS! Having previously been upgraded to this category I knew I would have an amazing and spacious suite on the same deck as the Neptune Lounge. This came in very handy grabbing snacks with my son.
I was a huge fan of HAL prior to this sailing but now I have mixed feelings...here's why:
1) Caribbean brochure promises "table service" in the evenings in the Lido Restaurant. Upon arrival there the staff looked at me like I had three heads when I inquired about food being delivered to my son and I at a table. Instead it was expected that I would leave my toddler in a high chair and roam around the buffets collecting suitable food for him. No one to help.
2) Pools - there are two. The brochure makes no mention of a dedicated adult pool. The Seaview pool on the AFT had a pseudo sign saying adults only. Several inquiries with various front office staff later I had the real story...if there are 50 or more children on a sailing, they are restricted to the Lido Pool. That is just fine except the LIDO pool was freezing. At a Q & A with the captain someone even asked why that pool was so cold. I never saw anyone swimming in it. My bathing suit went unused for the entire cruise.
3) Club HAL - on the first sea day I went there to play with the toys with my son. I arrived when it opened at 9am and was informed that they were being washed. I asked why on a sea day and was told it was routine. No alternatives were provided.
4) There were no movies appropriate for kids under 3 available in the library. The few movies I inquired about were no longer available. Previous guests had not returned them. Why no buy new ones?
Other things also went wrong. As a travel agent I will question clients who want to go on a Western Caribbean cruise. Costa Maya was a waste of time and we did not stop in Grand Cayman due to Weather. In general, I found the food and service excellent from the servers and room attendants but mediocre everywhere else.