My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, 7 days to the Eastern Caribbean on the Ms. Oosterdam. This was the first U.S. itinerary for the new ship. We were on board with many seasoned cruise travelers, many of whom had travelled with HAL on other cruises.
The Embarkation process was simple and efficent. We had a veranda cabin which was nice; the cabin steward was always available and attentive.
The food and dining room service was another thing. We were extremely disappointed with the whole dining room experience. The food was mediocre and often not warm enough or in the case of ice cream ordered for dessert was melted to almost just liquid. The quality and quantity of the food was poor. There were always many staff rushing around but they never seemed to get anything accomplished. Several times coffee or tea ordered at the end of the meal never showed up.
The entertainment was o.k., but nothing special. The shore excursions (we took two) were fine. There are many lounge areas to relax in, however, several times we were told we had to order something to drink to stay there. There was never a shortage of people trying to sell drinks. Same for picture taking people. It seemed as though everything required a photo op.
Overall, very disappointing. We don't expect to travel the HAL line again.