This was meant to be a special trip but it did not turn out that way, nothing like the 'excellence' promised. The combination of the ship condition and some aspects being well below the marketing statements was disappointing and only offset by good staff service and a great itinerary.
The entertainment was below par, all overstated show and poor quality entertainers.
Food in the Lido buffet was ordinary and not hot. We did not expect all vegetables to contain peppers or the fruit selection to be so limited. The tea and coffee was poor and compounded by no fresh milk (only long life) for the last week of the cruise. We resorted to buying our own on shore excursions. The other restaurants were better but some charged extra. Good quality tea and coffee may be an Australian preference but we also found Americans who said the same.
Our first impression was smelly cabin. A few nights into the cruise we were awoken by load banging noises. This happened for several nights and we were advised that this was the movement of the ship. It turned out they knew about the problem but wait for complaints. At least two neighbours had the same complaint. A week into the trip and after a few days of complaining we were moved to an upgraded suite which had no banging but creaking cabinetry. The last few days we also had a blocked toilet, as did others in the area. This was fixed twice and on the last two nights it was blocked again but never fixed so we used the public toilets.
We also had intermittent smells in the first cabin & noticed this in some public areas too. The sewage system problem may be bigger than HAL acknowledge.