My wife, son, his GF,daughter and her BF sailed on the Eurodam on the 11/28 sailing. My wife and I had sailed on HAL on seven previous ocassions. My children sailed on the old Westerdam in 1993. They have sailed numerous times on RCCL.
Embarkation: As we had a Penthouse Suite, we and my family were ushered through check-in rather quickly. Although my children each had their own cabin, they were allowed to proceed with us. We were on the ship about 20 minutes after we arrived at the port (around 11:45a.m.). We waited about 10 minutes on the ship before we were taken to our room to drop off luggage. We ate lunch in the Rembrandt. It was very good. My children's rooms were ready at 1:30. Our luggage arrived around 3:00 P.M. Our room stewards were Harris and Toto.
Dining: We had a table for six for the 8:00 pm dinner time. Except for the first night, service was good but not great. The wine steward didn't come to our table until 8:30. It wasn't his fault. He had two tables of 8 passengers with each couple ordering a bottle of wine so he was extremely busy. HAL needs to get more wine stewards. I felt we were ignored the first night by our waiter since service was very slow. After Saturday night, service improved. We ate in the Tamarind one night and all six of us loved it. Incredible food and service. We eat there again in a heart beat. We used room service for breakfast 5 of the 7 mornings, including disembarkation. We ate in the Pinacle Grill the 2 other mornings. Breakfast was good. For lunch, we ate in the Lido 1, the Rembrandt, 1, and in the Retreat 1. The other times we ate onshore.
Stateroom: We were originally in an SC cabin. We were offered a great price on the PS suite two weeks before departure which we took as I know this opportuhnity would never come up again. It is a beautiful suite with a living room, dining area, powder room, pantry with large refrigerator (no freezer), separate bedroom and bathroom. We normally had drinks in the suite before dinner. We also played games using the dining room table. When we did the Pub Crawl, we had dinner served in our room since the Pub Crawl started at 9:00 pm. I used the jacuzzi tub on the deck once as did my daughter and her BF. I did not use the jacuzzi tub in our bathroom.
Ports: We did the Ultimate Snorkel tour in Grand Turk. We booked the 8:00 tour since we wanted to spend some time at the cruise port. The snorkeling was very good. We stopped at two different sites. I would strongly recommend it. A lot of fish and good coral with a lot of color.
We went out on our own in San Juan visiting both forts and Old Town. Spent about 5 hours (including lunch) walking around. My wife and I returned to the ship around 3:00. My children stopped at a bar. We were the only ship in port.
In St. Thomas, we took a cab to Redhook and then the ferry to St. John. We went to Cinnamon Bay. I love the beach there and they do have facilities, including a restaurant. The day was absolutely gorgeous. There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from. We were the only large ship in St. Thomas so the crowds in St. Johns and St. Thomas were minimal. We got back to St. Thomas and went shopping. This is a family tradition. We made it back to the ship around 4:00.
Half Moon Cay: This is the reason we chose this cruise and it turned out great. I had rented the Grand Cabana in July and it was truly worth it. The bartender and food servers could not have been more accomodating. The weather was great as well. I would rent the GC again without a second thought. I would invite more people as I think the staff would enjoy being busier than they were with us.
Retreat Cabanas: We rented the Cote d' Azure cabana for the week. We used it the two days at sea (although the first day was overcast) and the afternoon after leaving Grand Turk. Although I enjoyed it (my wife doesn't like the sun), I wouldn't book it again.
Embarkation: We had a 1:15 flight so there was no rush leaving the ship. We left our cabin at 9:00 a.m. and we're at the airport around 9:40.
Overall: Although the service was not up to my previous experiences on HAL, it was still very good. The six of us had a great time. Half Moon Cay made the trip. I will still travel on HAL in the future.