First HAL cruise. Embarkation in Singapore was chaotic. 2 1/4 hours to get through check-ins. Cabin was fine, not noisy, Entertainment was good and a versatile backing band. Food in service restaurants was good (as was company!) though wine was very expensive $38 for house wine - very few passengers ordered wine. Buffet meals were "basic" and opening times were "restrictive". The excursions were very poor value. Tanjuk Priok, Java (for Jakarta) - we did not do the tour as we had pre-notice it took 4 1/2 hours (traffic jams) both ways to get to Jakarta. So we were offered a shuttle to a shopping mall in a shanty town with open sewers and filthy surroundings. Semarang,Java trip was enjoyable - no problems. Bali also good - employed our own taxi driver both days - HAL tours did not appeal and were very expensive. Lombok was a filthy dump and should never have been on the itinerary. Komodo was a walk in the rain forest and a sighting of 4 dragons on our return to base - bit of a con and not worth the money. Ujung Padang - little to see - why was it chosen as a port of call. But our return to Singapore was a delight. Should have stayed there the fortnight.
We were both ill. In my case very ill. A visit to the medic was fruitless. I was invited to sit on a filthy bed (previous occupant (s) ha d obviously been "ill" ..... come on HAL it takes nothing to change a sheet. I had a serious chest infection - I was offered a small bottle of cought linctus! Even the "ship's thermometer wouldn/t work! On return to UK my doctor immediately put me on a course of strong antibiotics and arranged X-rays and scans as she diagnosed a pneumonia condition and enlargement of my spleen as a result of the infection. (Bottle of cough linctus!) I cannot be certain whether the infection was picked up on board but the filthy conditions in Indonesia did not help.
We noticed that we had a large visitation of indonesian people which we guessed were crew members families one day. Nice thought for tthe crew ..... but we would liked to have been told in advance.
Cabin good, clean, well staffed - loved the towel decorations