We were so happy to be on this Transatlantic cruise from Amsterdam to Ft. Lauderdale. It was the first ocean crossing for this new ship. The ship is beautiful and with only 909 passengers, we were pampered by the attentive staff. Weather prohibited stops at Brugges and the Azores so we had 9 full days of sea time. It was relaxing and we enjoyed every minute. The food was plenty as were the beverages...we felt the food in the main dining room was not as good as in the past, but the presentation and service was excellent. The prime rib was superb but the other beef selections were less.
Our cabin stewards were outstanding and were eager to meet any of our needs. We did feel that the VD balcony cabin was smaller than we expected. The larger shower space deleted the cabin living space. We had the Signature Beverage package which was more than adequate...however, on day 12, it no longer included freshly squeezed orange juice. This was not stated in the information in our stateroom. We had to call Guest Services 2 times and visit the desk once to have the charge deleted from our statement. Suddenly, the juice wasn't covered with no explanation. Also there wasn't any HAL logo wear available on the ship, even though we saw unpacked boxes against the wall in the shop where it would be displayed. After 18 months of no HAL sailings, it was difficult to understand why there wouldn't be any logo wear available...wouldn't it seem that HAL would want to sell the remaining logo wear? It seemed HAL wanted its passengers to purchase high end luxury handbags and jewelry with their OBC....resulting in more spending. There were conflicting statements regarding these handbags...Seth, the Ambassador said they were "refurbished and gently used" while the staff in the shops said this wasn't true. We wondered who we were to believe.
All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise and we booked another while on board. Being the first cruise, there were expected glitches in beverage ordering in the main dining room...we felt sorry for the wait staff trying to work with the computer system. At times the system was "down" but this is to be expected on the first go-around.