We have been on six cruises, two with HAL. My husband and I chose HAL again, specifically for the Hydro Therapy Pool. We loved it on the Zuiderdam a few years ago. For this cruise we booked the Thermal Suite and Hydro Therapy for the entire week. It was heavenly.
Embarkation was quick and easy. We booked an SC suite, aft. When we arrived, we were given a badge to indicate that we were booked in a suite, our teenage daughter wore it proudly and the badge got us to a separate check in area where we were checked in and on the ship in a matter of minutes.
We went directly to our suite, which was lovely. We were met by our two cabin stewards, Elwin and Allus. They were attentive from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. Our suite was kept tidy each day and the service and attention to detail by Elwin and Allus was very much appreciated. The SC aft suite was exactly what I had hoped for. The wrap around verandah gave us a 180 degree view and we enjoyed it every day. We had our Thanksgiving dinner on the verandah at sunset.
My husband and I did a lot of relaxing, workout and spa time. It was wonderful. Our daughter spent most of her time at "The Loft" which was the teen club. Since it was Thanksgiving week, there were more teens on board than usual. Our daughter said it was the best, most fun and well organized cruise she has been on. We were extremely satisfied with the the activities for the teens aboard.
We visited the Neptune lounge daily, and it was a nice retreat to have cappuccino, expresso and light continental breakfast, sweets and light finger sandwiches. We had tea service and hor dourves in suite each day. Another perk of the suite. Gilbert, the concierge called every day to make sure that tea and hor dourves were delivered and satisfactory. I was missing the tea and hor dourves by Saturday afternoon when we arrived back home. Oh, and the laundry and dry cleaning was a wonderful perk of the suite as well. We came home with all clean clothes...loved it!
All food aboard was very good. We dined in the Rembrandt only once, but had it delivered twice for in suite dining and it was delicious. The Pinnacle was the best. Breakfast in the Pinnacle for the Suite guests is a perk you shouldn't pass up. The wait staff remembered my husband's request for a double expresso. The second morning we dined the expresso was delivered just as he was about to order...amazing and based on that attention to detail alone...we would book on HAL again. The Tamarind was very good, beautiful view. The Lido was always good as well as the room service.
We spent a lot of time on our verandah and suite this cruise. Why go on deck when you have those kind of views? Plus, we were all about relaxing this trip. We have sailed in small cabins with portholes, verandahs and suites. Once you go suite, it is hard to sail any other way.
We couldn't dock at Grand Turk due to rough seas, which was fine by us. We had no excursions planned. We weren't really looking forward to Puerto Rico, but ended up loving Old San Juan. The people were great, John the Baptist Cathedral, beautiful. Barrachina was a wonderful restaurant, much enjoyed and home of the original Pina Colada. My husband bought some good cigars. St. Thomas was beautiful. Half Moon Cay was fantastic and pristine, I wish we could have stayed longer. We rented a cabana and it was stocked with fruit, snacks, soda, water as well as so many comforts such as air conditioning, padded wicker furniture, table for four, misters...and oh what a view. Would definitely do that again and probably will. HAL even had managing cabana attendants to check quality control and we enjoyed the conversation very much.
Debarkation was a breeze. We ordered breakfast in suite and then were the first to be called, another perk of the suites.
Thanks to the crew on the Eurodam for a fantastic Thanksgiving cruise....we hope to be back very soon!