Just off the Oosterdam (opronounced 'Oh'sterdam) (Jan 28-Feb 18). Visited Mexico and Hawaii.
As veteran HAL cruisers we love HAL. Here are our 'likes': typical HAL experience. Food was GREAT! Service, ditto. Staff ditto. Ship, excellent shape. Ships's personnel continually cleaning and polishing. We very much appreciate HAL offering religious services on board...thanks HAL. BIG SURPRISE: HAL coffee was very drinkable. Up till now all the coffee on any cruise was at best exceedingly low quality and almost undrinkable....coffee on this cruise was a very pleasant surprise :)
Dislikes: First time at sea for so long a spell, 5 days one way, 5 days another. We thought this would not be a problem but neither one of us were very happy sittin on board for so long a time. (I know this is not HAL's fault...no blame). Seas were VEY HEAVY going to Hawaii. Missed HILO (big island) due to conditions. Almost fell outa bed couple times :( (If you are reading this and questioning whether or not you would 'enjoy' lengthy times on board and are wondering how crossing the pacific to Hawaii might be, you may not want to take this cruise).
Was very upset that Mazatlan was cancelled. HAL's response that it was due to pax 'safety' is a bunch of baloney. (odd though it may seem, one of the main reasons we signed up for this cruise was the stop in Mazatlan....and the other reason was the stop in the only island we have not visited..you guessed it, the big island!)
If you ever decide to cruise from San Diego, do get there a day early and visit the greater San Diego area. We had a wonderful time visiting the huge open air farmer's market (little Italy) and the 'gaslight' district. Old town was very nice as well.
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