My daughter and I booked this cruise wanting some sun and fun and a vacation over a week long. This was great. We know HAL well and her pace suits our needs. We LOVE food, being waited on, quiet time, and a little entertainment. We don't care about lot of drinking and don't want to be onboard with a bunch of screaming kids or drunks. So that did eliminate some cruise lines for us.
This was a great value for the money and we got a last minute balcony upgrade which was super. The ship is small and we wanted that specifically. She had been dry docked as she is 20 years old and showing a bit of wear. Our cabin was super and perfect, but a few did have hot water or a/c issues. This was a lot of older people and there was a lot of cranky complaining.....hurt them more than me, but let's get real people.
Food was excellent; Canaletto outshined Pinnacle Grill which was surprising. Main dining was good - a couple nights slow and meals were weren't thrilled with, but all in all above average. Excursions were fun and priced well. Service, as always, is top notch....though I was shocked there wasn't more pushing of antibacterial hand washing; usually a huge focus of HAL. We took elderberry in large quantities to avoid any illness, but there were a few sick people (handwashing, handwashing, handwashing - and don't touch the surfaces!) Entertainment in the tertiary facilities was really amazing; Lincoln Center Stage had unbelievable talent. World Stage was sub par and seems to be an area HAL has decided to abandon.
The crew is the shining pride of HAL and did not disappoint. The only exception here was that the entertainment crew is given a lot of freedom of facility (unlike the hard working service staff who may not fraternize). They ran around the ship a bit out of control and I've never seen HAL permit that before. Usually they can roam public areas and eat at Lido, but not make a spectacle of themselves. Here they did and I must say it made me a bit sad to see this lax.
All in all I'd go again and consider it a fabulous vacation, but I do worry for HAL that the slight lapses in loosey goosey operations are just a fluke and not a new trend. I'm stiil a fan and huge recommender of HAL for those who want service, food, and quiet. If you want an amusement park - you won't want HAL.
It was great and a treat to be on a balcony!