This was the third HAL cruise for me and second for my wife so we knew what to expect.
We were travelling with our three young children (1,4 and 6) plus my parents and 11 year old niece so spread across verandah cabins 10004, 10008 and 10010 on the Observation Deck tucked behind the Crows Nest. Embarkation was smooth however the obliging staff who allowed our baby to sleep through the ID photo was offset by the security staff who insisted she be removed from her baby carrier to go through security which resulted in screaming child. We only started cruising with HAL as they were the only line that would allow a baby under 12 months to cruise to New Zealand.
Despite their reputation for focussing on senior travellers we found the staff literally fawned on our children and assisted with emergency nappies and nappy bags etc. We had ordered the bubbly package to our cabin and nibbles and these were waiting for us. Our cabins had an incredible view although the only surprise was that the balcony dividers could not be opened as on other cruises we have taken which meant we couldn't connect as planned. But this was a minor inconvenience. Overall we had a fantastic cruise.
We had cabins 10010, 1008 and 10004. We were originally in Ocean view cabins but took a last-minute upgrade offer and ended up on floor ten with three verandah cabins. Location was excellent (one flight of stairs up from the Lido and next to the Crows Nest). View was spectacular. Only downside was that unlike the lower decks you were unable to connect the balcony's which we always like to do as a family. Room was excellent and we were all very impressed with the Quad share room and how the bed dropped from the roof each day. We tested the storage limits of the cabin with 4 in one and 3 in another and it was tight but OK. Room was well maintained and whilst you could hear the lift chimes it was not too intrusive.
Loved the history and beautiful beach. Great little boutique shop up through the old fort gate
Great little island. We visited twice. Swimming with kids in the morning and then back for shopping at the stalls and walking the hill in the afternoon. Unspoilt
We walked into town (about 1km). The kids enjoyed McDonalds and we enjoyed the Lautoka Hotel and an nice Chinese Restaurant (don't be fooled by the exterior of the hotel-it's great inside and decent food). The markets were good to visit as well