Noordam Cruise Review by blu711eyes: Disappointed First Time HAL cruiser
Overall Member Rating
Disappointed First Time HAL cruiser
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I decided we wanted to try HAL for a change this year. We are Platinum members of Carnival and never had a disappointing cruise while on CCL. I have been on NCL, RCL, and Costa to name a few. We heard that HAL was a "class" up from CCL. We boarded on March 25th with six other family members excited about our ten day six port cruise. The cabin was lacking adequate storage for clothing. It was poorly lit. Lights in the ceiling where placed behind closet doors and over the bed. If you were trying to match clothes, take it into the bathroom for light. Additionally, the small light over the dressing table, which conveniently had a magnifying light-up makeup mirror was a waste. I couldn't see a thing it was so dark. I went into the bathroom to put my makeup on and had to place my makeup bag on top of the toilet.No other space was available. (By the way, we had an outside room but it was still dark in the cabin). By day 8 my husband and I ran out of soap. Thinking the cabin More
steward would see this, we did not call and request more. We also had no "backup" toilet paper or tissues. They were there for the first few days but must have been "borrowed" by the steward for another room and never replaced. Finally on day 9 a fresh bar was placed in the bathroom (we used the liquid body soap). The ice bucket was either empty or filled with water. We requested fresh fruit in out room twice. It took two days to get it both times. The second time we were not even given a plate or knife to slice and eat the fruit on.
In the dining room...the second night they ran out of prime rib. Thin slices of well done meat was brought to our table with an apology from our waiter. My brother requested horseradish three times and never got it. Baked potatoes were so cold butter wouldn't melt. The waiter advised us that he was sorry about the meal but that the kitchen had no more prime rib left. We sent it back. Desserts were brought to the table but coffee never seemed to make it at the same time. When we received the coffee, it was ice cold or only half a cup. Seeing that we were upset, the Maitre'D came over and promised us prime rib on the night of our choice. We accepted the offer. A birthday cake was ordered for my husband not once, but twice and was never received. My cousin asked that it be delivered to our stateroom seeing that it was never going to make it to the dining room...that didn't happen either. Two of us did not eat meat or shellfish. The dinner choices were extremely limited. Hardly any chicken dishes were offered. If we felt we could do better in Lido..think again,. Same menu with the exception of a salad bar, pasta, pizza and ice cream. Not quite the meal we were looking for. In addition, the ice cream was awful, the server was nasty and seemed like he didn't want to be bothered by anyone. My husband asked if we were inconveniencing him by asking him what flavor the no sugar ice cream was as this was never posted. Apparently the ship served soft serve ice cream but we wouldn't know. Out of eight of us, no one had any. When we asked for some we were told there was none. The entertainment was good. Thank goodness as there was a major lack of stage props other than an LCD screen. After the ten o'clock show, you might as well go to sleep as there is nothing else going on except the casino. The dessert extravaganza was pretty but too bad the desserts tasted awful. There were kids on the cruise that were caught vandalizing the ship. These must of been the same ones that enjoyed getting on and off the elevators pushing all the buttons to stop at each and every floor. The captain made an announcement that an increase in security would be in effect. Our last dinner was in the Pinnacle. We were ready to pay additional for a good hot meal. Too bad thats not what we got. Steak was sent back "tasteless". Veggies were cold. Dinner was 3 hours long. Too long..we missed the last show. At this point, we are pretty sure we do not want to cruise HAL again, and we certainly wouldn't recommend it. Sorry. Less
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