We recently took an amazing cruise with HAL starting in Venice and ending in Barcelona (Mediterranian Romance). We booked nearly a year in advance because I am a little crazy like that but it REALLY paid off this time! We got a room at the top of the ship! Now, some people may not like the top of the ship but I can't imagine why. We had the most spectacular views and almost no neighbours! This proved to be very beneficial as the customers on the ship were horrible to be around.
The staff were amazing! Friendly and always going the extra mile. I was verrrrry impressed with the service. We even made fast friends with some of the staff. The other passengers however were a different story. Many people were rude and just plain grumpy! We were very happy to have a room that was removed from everyone! Another perk was that we could jump on the internet right in our room. Whereas other people on the lower decks couldn't get a strong enough signal in their rooms, because we were so near the library our room never had an connection issues!
The only issue we had was dining. They have the As You Wish dining option but it's not very clearly explained. We chose a dinner seating time thinking that if we missd it we could always do the As You Wish... the one time we did that we kind of got lectured by the waiter about how we should have gone to our dinner seating. After that experience we were turned off the dining room. Between the lecture and having to dress up for no apparent reason other than to show off to the other passengers we decided it wasn't worth it. We stuck to buffet dining which was fine because there was always a large selection with very little hassle and no worries about missing our seating time.
Every port of call was amazing! Any day trips we did were all the ones organized by HAL. They were well organized however due to some late people in the morning sometimes they would get off to a late start. :(
I loved every moment of this vacation! I only wish cruise ships would allow pets and then I would have stayed forever!!!