This was our third cruise on HAL. We had a wonderful time, however there were some drawbacks. We choose this line because we are seniors and enjoy going first class when we travel. Unfortunately on this particular trip the ship had approximately 200 children on board. A group of these children banded together and created havoc on the ship. So much so, that the Captain announced that he would pull into the next port and put these families ashore and press charges against them, if need be. These particular children were rude to other passengers, caused damage to the ship, were unsupervised, and ran through the Lido Restaurant and Neptune Lounge grabbing food and creating general chaos. We saw children as young as five roaming the ship unsupervised and playing in the elevators. It was obvious that the parents of these children were on vacation from them.
We pay extra to be in a Deluxe Veranda Suite, but unfortunately on this trip, we do not believe we received any value for the extra cost. The Neptune Lounge did not live up to the first class amenities. The food was substandard. Children and adults were using their hands to take food and would eat off the serving tray. The staff did nothing to stop this. Our room was not a clean as it should have been. In fact, we met one couple who had the staff clean their suite over again before they would use it. We enjoy the ability to have breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, however it was average at best. The waiter told us that they share the kitchen with the main dining room, so it makes it difficult for them to create a quality product at times.
On the plus side, the Vista Dining Room was Excellent. The wait staff could not be more attentive. They go out of their way to please passengers. All special requests are easily accommodated. Which makes you wonder why the Pinnacle Grill is not as good as it should be. The food was always well prepared and delicious. They definitely do an excellent job. We like the early sitting for dinner so we can see the early show. The entertainment was not as good as in the past. HAL needs to pay more attention to having quality entertainers. The age group we enjoy being with on HAL cruises really appreciate acts such as: commedians/magicians, and musical impersonators (Elton John, Elvis). In the past these acts have brought standing ovations. We enjoyed the activities on board and looked forward to them on a daily basis. The passenger talent show was outstanding.
Our shore excursions were wonderful. All the guides were well versed on their particular island information and made the trips interesting and enjoyable. There was plenty of time on each island to do what you wanted to do.
We met wonderful people and will definitely cruise with HAL again. We feel this was an unusal situation and are not afraid to try HAL again.