I'll try to keep it simple by listing all the significant positives and negatives of HAL.
- excellent service from the room stewards. They are amazing.
- Barnaby, the comedian Kevin Jordan and the magician Joseph Tran were all great to watch, with a special mention to Barnaby for being very, very entertaining
- great selection of food in the lido and the main dining room
- very good enrichment programs in the form of culinary demonstrations, computer skills classes, and lifestyle classes
- good selection of movies that can be delivered straight to your room for free
- the dancers/swingers were painful to watch. The shows were much too repetitive, lacking storylines and they made up the bulk of the showtime entertainment unfortunately.
- strange rotten egg smell in random parts of the ship at random times
- the ship creaked relentlessly. Not very confidence inspiring. Also, it was a smaller ship so the swaying was quite uncomfortable for a while.
- one of two hot tub pools in the adult pool area didn't function the entire cruise. The three hot tubs in the family pool area worked and were frequently occupied by kids splashing water at each other. Fun.
- movies sometimes took too long to be delivered.
- movie screening room was too small. It was often full 15 minutes before the movie started.
- food was horrible. Bland and soft describes it all. The lobster was mush. All the steak were way too soft and bland. Ugh. Lido food wasn't bad.
- food servers in the lido don't listen to you. You can ask for 1 strip of bacon and consistently get 4 on your plate instead.
- ping pong tables were in disrepair by the end of the cruise. I blame the kids. They were also set up on the outside deck for half the cruise, making playing actually impossible due to wind. They smartened up and put two near the lido pool later.
- some scheduled activities were cancelled unexpectedly without announcement either. No ice sculpting or adult pool games. Thanks for the headsup JT.