I had a great time on the 2016 World Cruise and expected a similar experience on this Grand Voyage. I enjoyed most of the ports but food quality and dining room service were not up to the usual HAL standards. On at least 7 occasions I had problems with steaks I ordered. Either they were not cooked as ordered or the quality of the steak was poor. The ships excursions were only average and some were overpriced. I enjoyed the ships onboard entertainers and their shows were great. Two of the add on acts: UkeBox and 2 others were very good as were the folk music type groups that were brought on board but the rest of add on acts were poor. The excursion desk employees were not the friendliest I have met. Chantal the future cruise person was fabulous. Some of the guest lecturers were not that interested and covered subjects unrelated to the cruise destinations. The ship itself really shows its age. I was very disappointed in the lunch food in the Lido. Very little variety and it seemed that I saw the same things everyday. Breakfasts were generally very good. Room attendants were excellent but overworked.
the rooms are quite dated. The small Television and cheap DVD players never work well. I have never liked the bathroom door set up on this ship. The sliding door is quite noisy and wakes up the other person in the room when opening and closing. Some of the furniture was in bad shape. Panels between the balconies were loose and rattled in wind. Some of the light switches did not work properly.
Cartagena is a very interesting port. Many places to go on your own with much history to see including a great free underwater archaeology museum right next to the ship
Took a great seaside hike on my own.
Took private to Pisa and Lucca. Both great cities but crowded