We were on this cruise as part of a family group. It was out first time on HAL and 7th cruise overall.
Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were on board by noon. We immediately went to the Lido for lunch. My grilled Reuben sandwich was cold inside.
Food was average. The deserts were poor and plain. We had early dining. The menu choices were nothing special and the food quality was average. We had asked to be assigned a large table with others not from our group. One dinner a table mate ordered a scrambled egg. The waiter held up the entire table dinner for over an hour while this was prepared. We were never told why the delay. The whole time the rest of our meals sat on the wait station getting cold. I drink water with my meals. I sat for over a half hour waiting for a water refill. I finally had to ask. It seems that the only wat to get good service is to use the extra cost speciality restaurants.
Food in the Lido never improved. Subsequent grilled sandwiches were cold in the middle. The made to order omelets were very good but limited tin choices for ingredients. Even pancakes were slow in coming. I did like the fresh squeezed orange juice.
Dining options outside regular meal times were limited. Only the pizza station was open late. The burger grill was not even open for all dinners.
Our room steward did a good job keeping the room clean but unlike other cruises we never got to know him. The art work in the room should be burned. It bordered on obscene. I did like that our cabin had a bath tub instead of the usual micro shower.
Entertainment was mixed. The Magician James Cielen was superb. The music act Livewire was also fantastic. The comedian was pretty good as well. The Eurodam Singers and Dancers were very poor. The dancing was good but all the music and singing was pre-recorded with them lip syncing. It was so obvious that the piano kept playing while they were changing players.
Half Moon Cae has a beautiful beach. HAL also put on a very nice BBQ for lunch. They really need to build a pier there and get rid of the tenders. The sea was too rough and getting on and off them was difficult. Someone with mobility issues or in a wheel chair simple cannot get there.
There was a large political group on board and they tied up many of the public rooms which was an annoyance. The Techspert teaching the computer classes was very good.
Les in the piano bar was fun and very good.
The public rooms on the ship were plain and signage as to which side of the ship you were on was almost non existent.
The photo gallery was extremely OVERPRICED. A single sheet of prints in now $40.00!!!! The quality of the photographers was armature at best.
We enjoy doing the trivia on cruises. We had a first this cruise when a Chocolate Lovers trivia was published in the daily schedule but no one from the cruise staff showed up to do it. About 100 passengers finally left after an hour.
Bottom line: I'm sticking with Princess.