We are in our early forties and found that HAL fit our needs perfectly. The ship was a bit outdated but clean. We loved our balcony room and although it wasn't cheap, it was worth every penny.
We are foodies and the food in the main dining room was what you would expect on a cruise, decent but not up to the par of our favorite premium restaurants in southern California. The pool side grill looked like bad cafeteria food and we never ate there. The Lido was fine for breakfast and our friends loved breakfast room service. Lido for lunch was okay if you wanted salads and some light simple meals. Main dining room lunch was better and service was okay, allow 1 hour for lunch. Pinnacle grill food,service and manager were all excellent! We ate several lunches and dinners there and will continue to do so in the future. The lunch wasn't quite as outstanding as the dinner, such as shoestring potatoes listed on the menu but regular fries served, but still worth the $10 charge. Pinnacle dinners were fabulous, bone in ribeye filet, lobster, lamb chops, lobster Mac n cheese were all great,plus you can pick your own side dishes which I really appreciated so I could order two veggies and no starch, asparagus, mushrooms and creamed spinach all great. Le Cirque night was also excellent with Lobster salad but considering the $40pp charge, we will probably skip that and do the formal night in the MDR next time to get lobster there. MDR listed King crab legs on menu but they were dungeoness. I was able to eat salmon every day and could have had it at every meal which was good, salmon eggs benedict in Lido were outstanding.
We will definitely continue to cruise with HAL and have already booked an Eastern Caribbean 7 day cruise on the westerdam for Nov 2011.
Porter excellent, MDR dinner staff terrible, very slow, wine guy rarely seen even though we wanted a drink. Good thing we had taken advantage of HAL's policy of allowing you to bring wine on board and had a drink before dinner. It took two hours for dinner every evening and we were trying to make it to the 10pm show. Luckily there was still seating for the 10 pm show if you arrived at 10. Cruise director, Party planner and captain all wonderful.
Dance classes fun, shows all very good, cooking demos fun but crowded so get there early to get a seat. dancing in e Crows nest in the evening very fun.
The best thing we waver did was spend the $114 for our vows renewal!!! It includes a night at Pinnacle, flowers in room, champagne at renewal, chocolate strawberries and appetizers in room before and basically your own private party with the captain and party planner. We will do this every year.