This was the first time in quite a while that my Mom and I had traveled together, and we had a wonderful time. I flew into Fort Lauderdale, while she drove in from Georgia - very easy to get into Port Everglades and drop off luggage and park. Since she has so many days at sea with HAL, embarkation was a breeze but it seemed like other guests were also having an easy time of it. The Lido was packed when we first got on, the only time I ever felt crowded the entire trip, except for disembarkation.
Our cabin, 11005, was a spa cabin, meaning we had a little water feature in the room which made a lovely flowing water noise, a yoga mat and yoga DVD for use on the cruise only, free fruit bowl, and a standing only balcony (there are no chairs out there as with other verandah cabins) but it was bigger than I thought it would be and plenty of room for two people to stand and one of the cabin chairs could be put out there if you wanted. Very nicely decorated in soothing tones of green and brown. GREAT view being so high up and with only four other cabins on our side, was very quick to get to the room, instead of having to walk past the long rows of cabins on other decks.
One note: we fortunately had good weather, and I could see where this high deck location could be problematic if you had bad weather. The food was excellent in both the dining room (where we dined each night) and the Lido (where we did breakfast and lunch). Service was also excellent in all instances. The two days of sea were filled with activities if you wanted, and the ship is big enough that you could also easily find space to be by yourself and do nothing.
Entertainment was for the most part very good. As a nonsmoker myself, noticed smoking is allowed in the casino and sports bar, easy enough to avoid if you want or need to. Also on deck, very easy to avoid and not as much of an issue as inside. I know HAL did a survey at the end of the cruise asking our opinion on smoking and I know this is a tough call from a customer service perspective. Lovely public rooms. Being in the spa cabin, we were right by the Explorations Cafe and Crow's Nest, two of my favorite places on ship, so I think this was another reason I like this cabin location so much. Great book selection in the Explorations Cafe and they have a free book exchange, which was a nice touch and great way to recycle.
As for disembarkation, we had to get off early due to an early flight on my part and the crush of people trying to get off the ship was fairly extraordinary - I'll stick with later disembarkation from now on! Overall a fantastic trip and I highly recommend HAL - it's very understated and quietly elegant. I love the smaller size ships (we have about 2,100 on board)and the number of places I was able to find on board at all times where I could be by myself and watch the ocean go by or spend time with my Mom.