This is our 5th HAL cruise and as always a great experience. You sometimes wonder what kind of travelers cruise the world because some of the reviews from past seasons spoke of untrained staff, tired looking ship, poor food etc.
This was NOT our experience. Staff was GREAT, helpful and polite even with difficult demanding passengers. The ship had been in dry dock in October so I will not comment on how it looked prior to that but in December 2013, the ship was looking clean and very well maintained. Hardly any visible rust spots on the exterior.
EMBARKATION: Easy and hassle free. We were using our French passports so did not require visas. Luggage delivered promptly.