by Mike Newburger
March 17, 2007
This particular cruise was on the western side of mexico, and included stops at Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vailarta. The ship is medium sized, and had 1905 passengers on board. The ship never felt crowded, even though it was at capacity.
For us having been on 3 previous HAL cruises, this was very familiar territory. The staff was very friendly, and the mostly Filipino/Indonisian employee I was always greeted with a 'good morning' and a smile. This was in marked ccomparison to the Pride of Hawaii which we were on last summer with primarily American staff, which unfortunately lacked the training or attidue that this staff had.
As far as food, the cafe on the Lido deck was very good, and we had breakfast there almost every morning. The croissants were frest and very tasty.The eggs Benedict suffered, however, onot only in taste, but the english muffin was not cooked at all.We did not eat at the upsace premium restaurant (a $30 p/p additionalfee)but friends who ate there raved about the quality of food and service. Dinner was a bit flexible (5:30-6:00 which we enjoyed. We originally had chosen the later 8 pm sitting, but we were able to swithc, which we enjoyed.
Our cabin on the Veranda deck had small outdoor sitting area, which was nice. We had ample closet space, and the king size bed took up 80% of the room. The flat screen TV was nice, and there were several movies available as well as Intl. CNN and ESESPN. There are a few levels of cabins with balconies, and ours was the smallest in terms of square footage.
As far as entertainmnet, there wwas a variety show to appleal to almost vveryone. we aren't bar freqeunters, but there was lots of late night activity for those who wanted to enjoy such events. The most popular show was the ship's verion ov "American Idol' and the singers were very talented. The dancers/singers/ piano player/ magician /comedian were all acceptable.
We had 3 days at sea, which my wife loved, and it was very relaxing. HAL is very good at giving its guest a very good value for their money. They want you to be a happy camper when you walk off the ship after having a great week of food and fun activities. this ship this summer will be repositioned to Alaska this summer, and that should be good for the company and the guests that come on board.