Hub and I booked a balcony cabin rather last-minute -- back surgery on his part necessitated us letting go a steal of a deal on Empress of the Seas and rebooking a different trip. We were looking forward to sailing on HAL again, as we appreciate the relative calm on board (we drop the average cruiser age by 20 years when we embark) and had not been on a Dam ship in four years.
(As background: I have 27 cruises under my belt and he has 24 -- on Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, and HAL.)
Embarkation was smooth as we waited until after noon to come on board. We were puzzled when the port agent walked us to a HAL employee, who escorted us to our cabin: turns out they were afraid 'construction materials' might have been left on our balcony, which was not the case.
A "faux port" built by Carnival. Ick.
7 Artists on Simonson is always worth a visit, and Jennifer will steer you right to new galleries and good places to eat.