My wife and I were looking forward to our first cruise. We got all sorts of advise from all sorts of folks. Of course, everyone had a different opinion. We took the advice of my elderly cousins that said HAL was the best line out there based on their 45 years of cruising. Given they've been all over the world, we felt comfortable giving HAL a shot.
We booked via their website. It was about 45 days away from departure and got a great deal on a veranda cabin. It was a guarantee cabin but were bumped up to VB a week or so later. This was a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to San Diego.
First Impressions: We flew from SFO to Vancouver on Alaska. HAL reps were in baggage claim and directed us to our bus which arrived within 30 minutes of picking up our bags. Bus was clean and everyone onboard was looking forward to the cruise.
Decent space, immaculate bathroom, bit noise due to aft location