Embarkation was delayed since we were told by Captain Scott that because we were not at the usual pier for boarding, embarkation was delayed. We were told that this happens many times with HAL and the Captain thinks that we are all first time passengers with HAL. He should therefore change his excuse for ill performed embarkation and not blame it in the Port, but HAL instead
Once on board, we proceeded to the Vista Dinning room for lunch. Service & Choice of food was excellent. The waiters could not do enough for you and were always concerned for your satisfaction.
We booked the SA Category. Were were mid-ship. The cabin was spacious and very clean. Our balcony was very inviting with a table, 4 table chairs and 2 additional arm chairs. There was a dressing area before entering the Bathroom. The bathroom had a double sink, bathtub and separate shower. However to our surprise, the counter was not granite, but Formica. Suites of this category on other cruise lines offer two entrances to the bathroom- one for the dressing area and one for the bath area and the counters were granite. It seems that HAL has lower quality of furnishings and decor for their level of quality.
Our dining experience was somewhat different and not pleasant the first couple of nights. Since we traveled with another couple, a table for 4 was requested in the second seating. To our surprise, we were seated in the rear of the dinning room set for 6. Our table faced the rear of the ship. Since it was dark outside, the curtains were not drawn as should have been, and my wife and I stared at a black window during the first night. Our friends were kind enough to switch seats the second night.
However, during the first night, the Manager came to our table to see if everything was fine. We have told him that since the table was booked for 4, to kindly remove the additional place settings or please switch the table. He evidently ignored our request. The second night during his rounds, he skipped our table.
Bar service was also difficult to have since the bar attendant never came to our table for service. Our complaint was made to the concierge.
On the third evening, we received a temporary table on the first level of the Vista Dinning Room. Service was so efficient we requested this table for the remainder of the cruise. The Dinning Manager for this section, Mr. Sekon was very accommodating and granted our request. We thanked him for his efforts. We did notice that they lowered the amount of wait staff in dinning room which makes it difficult for the waiters who now also clear the tables
Entertainment was dull. Very surprised that after dinner hours, there was no entertainment in Queens Lounge, Crown Nest etc. The ship was asleep at 9:15PM - The only place to go was either the Piano Bar or Casino. If we wanted to go to sleep after dinner, we could have stayed home
This is the first cruise in which we were not able to see entertainment or enjoy a dance after dinner. Very disappointing.
The DJ was so boring and he was the only staff member organizing a game at the pool that he actually put us to sleep. HAL must be cutting back and it shows