This was my first solo cruise after losing my husband. We had sailed on NA in 2012 and I welcomed sailing on a familiar ship. I had booked a guarantee obstructed ocean view and was assigned exactly that. The day before I left home my TA got an email from HAL to upgrade to a balcony for a minimal amount which I did. My cabin was 6134, port side and fairly close to the elevator, a definite plus for me. The cabin was as I remembered. There was plenty of storage space for me, didn't need to use all of it, in fact. As this was a very port intensive cruise (5 ports in 7 days) I didn't get to take advantage of the balcony as much as I do on a Caribbean cruise. The cabin steward was pleasant, but seemed to have more cabins assigned to him as he was not as visible as I remember from previous cruises. In fact, all of the crew were very pleasant and always a greeting in passing in corridor, etc.
I had opted for 8pm dinner and was assigned to a table for 6, but actually only 3 attended dinner. My dinner companions who knew each other helped to make my solo cruising experience wonderful. They were very friendly and welcoming. I looked forward to meeting up with them and conversing during dinner. One of them was Ruth and I recognized her from her picture on the Cruise Critic Message Boards! I ate in the dining room all except 1 night when I went to the Pinnacle Grill with a group of folks that I had booked two private excursions with. I found something on each night's menu that I liked and was satisfied with my choices. I did notice that there were far less choices than previous. I liked the cold fruit soups, prime rib, roast turkey, sautéed sole and the fruit crisps.
I went on 2 HAL excursions: "Shopping in Sorrento": only 1 hr and 40 min free time in Sorrento after drive there (lots of traffic) and stopping at cameo factory and wood inlay demo. "Old Town Nice and Eze: I felt this was much better value, we walked around Old Town with guide and then had over an hour of free time at Flower Market. Then we boarded bus and went to Eze, a hilltop town. When I saw the walk up the mountain, I chose to remain at the bottom and walked around a small outdoor market was some food and some jewelry. The other 3 excursions were privately arranged by members of the Roll Call. I enjoyed them.