We were married in September and took the Jan.8-15 7-night Mexican Riviera Cruise for our honeymoon. It was my first cruise and my wife's third.
We flew into San Diego around 11am and were warmly greeted by name by the staff. They directed us outdoors to a nice full-sized tour bus. We boarded the bus, and since we were the first to board the bus we sat in the front seats and waited for the other passengers. After waiting about two minutes, the driver hopped in and off we went, the only ones on the entire bus!
--So far so good, but I had heard nightmare stories about boarding, long lines, etc. Perhaps because we were early, there was no nightmare, and we were checked in and on board our ship all in less then fifteen minutes.
We booked a Superior Veranda Suite and it was wonderful. Jetted tub, separate shower, twin sinks, tons of closet space and plenty of drawers, and the best part of it was the balcony itself. I cannot imagine going on any cruise (and never will) without having a deck.
I have done a great deal of traveling and found this to be one of the most favorable and memorable vacations I've ever spent. I seriously cannot think of any single thing or occurrence regarding this ship that would make me want to choose a different cruise line. To be grossly picayune, the ice buckets are quite small and calling room service sometimes resulted in a long wait. Finally, after figuring out where they kept the ice machine, it became much quicker and easier for me to simply walk a few steps down the hall and get it myself instead of waiting for someone to bring it.
The only other negative thing I can think of was their special night of Le Cirque, the restaurant offering at a special rate. The meal was certainly excellent, but I paid extra for the wine pairing and I was shocked when they brought a very heavy and sharp Bordeaux to accompany my Halibut. We ordered coffee with dessert, but it was not served until after the creme brulee. It may seem like a small thing, but for a world-class establishment such as Le Cirque, those were glowing errors.
Conversely, dining at the Pinnacle Grill was equal to or even better than the Le Cirque experience. The hostess at the Pinnacle was top-notch. On our first time there, we were brought to the back of restaurant and seated next to a table of ten, with little children present. When the hostess showed us our table, she caught the look of utter disappointment in my wife's eye and before we even said a word, asked us if we wished to be seated elsewhere. That's true professionalism in action.
The Lido was excellent for wonderful breakfasts and lunches and the midnite buffet contained food presentations that were stunning. We paid extra for spa treatments and massages, facials, and the use of the steam, sauna and hydro-pool, and it was worth every penny; highly recommendable.
The Promenade Deck runs all the way around the ship, which is perfect for long walks or jogs, and I found that not all ships have that available.
The bars? All very good, although the sports bar could've benefited from a few more TV's, but that's probably because it was during the NFL playoffs, and that attracts a fairly good crowd.
Suffice to say, everything about this trip was nearly perfect, and by the time it ended, my wife and I were nearly heartbroken at having it come to an end. From start to finish HAL showed us a very good time and wonderful hospitality. I recommend them highly.