Have never been to any of these countries, ports, or cities. What a opportunity to see as much as possible on one cruise! I chose HAL because I had cruised with them previously x 5. I had read some reviews that made me concerned that ... Read More
Have never been to any of these countries, ports, or cities. What a opportunity to see as much as possible on one cruise! I chose HAL because I had cruised with them previously x 5. I had read some reviews that made me concerned that their level of service, etc. had diminished, and it was 2 years since I was on a HAL ship. The demographic (avg. age) is older than the huge ships, but this is a niche I think is needed in the cruise industry.
No worries once I got to the check-in desk in Copenhagen - very speedy, and I was on the ship in a short time. It felt so comfortable. Easy to get around, elegant décor, fresh flowers, art, & plants everywhere. Very few intercom announcements. My cabin was an inside, #7014, very quiet and never felt motion of the ship. The storage was very spacious for me, as I travel solo now. It would have been very tight for 2 persons, but I had no problem storing everything I brought for 24 days (and I bring a lot)! Shower only, which I prefer. I had 2 room stewards who were the nicest and most efficient I have ever had on any cruise.
I felt that the dining experiences were much improved since my last HAL cruise. More choices, better tasting, and plated attractively. Of course food is so subjective, and I read comments that the food is bland, not my opinion at all. I ate in Pinnacle x 2, Caneletto x 1, and the very special Le Circ x 1. All just excellent service and food. Lido was also better this cruise with the staff serving the plates, seemed to make the lines a lot faster. Very tasty Asian choices each days. Those persons critical of the "bland" food should have tried them! The Dive-in fries & the Taco Bar are sooo good,
I enjoyed the cooking demonstrations, and the flower arranging demonstrations. Also the afternoon teas, and the "Sip & Savor" presentation. There are lots of activities, no "hairy chest" or belly flop ones, those are reserved for the "other ships", thank goodness, Daily movies in a screening room with very comfy overstuffed chairs. The evening entertainment was varied, some singer/dancer shows, other singers & musicians. The "Frozen Planet" shows were just excellent. I attended the "Adagio Duo" every time that I was able - few cruise ships present classical music. "The Band", the Blues Band, and the Piano Man seemed to always have a crowd also.
I found the service in all areas to be excellent, the front desk personnel were most helpful with a change I needed to make in my return air reservation, dining room staff, everyone greeted passengers whenever they met in the hallways or public rooms. The ship officers were very visible each & every day - many of them ate in the Lido for lunch.
Loved the ports & excursions I took. Some HoHo buses, some private tours, some HAL tours. I would like, please, for HAL to equip their tour guides with headphones. One of them had 40 passengers all trying to get close enough to the guide to hear her.
I think the WiFi cost is pretty high - $100 for 250 minutes when the connection speed is not very fast.
Summary - I'll stick with HAL whenever I can, if they have an itinerary that I want to see. It is so easy to take a cruise when you don't have to go thru a long "orientation" to the ship & its culture. Read Less