We sailed on HA from San Diego through the Panama Canal departing on 10/06/21 on Nieuw Amsterdam which was the continuation of the ship's Alaska cruises that marked HA return to North American cruises after pandemic. While the cruise was certainly a decent value there were some issues that made it less so than the same trip on HA in 2018. Most notably are the surcharges on food in the dining room and on specialty restaurants (18%); and on the variety of foods served in both the Lido and the MDR. We have always enjoyed the specialty restaurants secondary to the more desired offerings which now are only available for a surcharge. We are already paying for the privilege of fine dining with a more elaborate menu than the offerings in MDR so when they added a surcharge on the overall price and limited the menu with several customary items at a premium charge we felt that they were looking for dollars in all the wrong places.
This was in addition to extra charges for similar items in the MDR, where the daily offerings were rather redundant with little variety. They did vary the menu by changing the name of the dish but that did not change that it was basically the same by another name. In the Lido the lunch menu was nearly identical to day before and rather bland if not cold and dried out. Popular offerings were gone quickly and not replenished or if they were it was slow. This was not my fond memories of dining on HA ships.
There were other issues as well; one that was serious enough to file a formal complaint5 days into cruise. Expected to hear from Guest Services but 2 weeks later have not. Realizing that cruising has changed but hopefully not permanently, we are optimistic that it again will be the vacation one expects and not so disorganized as this trip apparently was. We were told that supply plus personal issues were the contributors to many of these issues but some things were a bit off and need attention.