We really enjoyed this cruise and it knocked one of those things off of our bucket list. It was certainly an adventure. Between the tender issues, running aground on the river and our fabulous eco lodge tour, it will be a cruise that we'll never forget.
3 out of 5
We had an awfully long wait to get on the ship. I think it might have been because of the passport collection that was necessary for our visit to Brazil. It wasn't communicated why it was taking so long to get through the lines.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The food in the main dining room was cold the two times we ate there. The great thing about HAL is that the Lido buffet serves the same food for dinner as you can get in the dining room. So, we ate there almost all of the time and we were satisfied with the selection, taste and temperature of the food in the Lido. There could be a little better selection of deserts though.
2 out of 5
Very difficult to find interesting things to do on the ship during sea days. The lecturer that was supposed to talk about the indigenous people talked about the current political discourse over the burning of the Amazon rather than the people and history. Most activities listed did not have an explanation so it was hard to determine if it was something we were interested in. We had basic Portuguese lessons after we left Brazil, they might have been more helpful before we went to Brazil.
3 out of 5
The World Stage shows were pretty good. The Billboard Onboard musicians couldn't sing very well. The replacement musicians for Brazil were fabulous, unfortunately, we only had them for Brazil and then got the regular ones back.
No children with us.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
One of the great things about HAL is the service. All of the service folks that we had contact with were fabulous. Service with a smile and they rarely say no. Sitting out by the pool and need some coffee, they'll go get it for you. HAL is well known for it's service and it was nice to see that the service hasn't suffered any cutbacks yet.
5 out of 5
Very clean, easy to get around. The elevators were so fast!
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Huge cabin. I read the reviews after we were assigned this cabin, and I was a little concerned. Normally, we book guarantees and almost always get a great cabin. We didn't have any problems with this cabin at all. Some things that might bother others didn't bother us. The windows open onto an aft deck and the lights are on out there all night. As long as you close your curtains, it doesn't bother you much. There are occasionally some noises that you hear when you have an aft cabin, but that is pretty much everywhere on the lower decks. There wasn't any engine noise, but sometimes you'd feel and hear the thrusters. Also, the retrieval of the lines can be heard. Most of the time that happens when you aren't sleeping anyway, but we hadd one late night departure where we could hear it. Overall, I liked the room and didn't think that the noises and lights affected our sleep.
Tender issues getting ashore. One thing to keep in mind when you are sailing a specialized cruise like this one is that 4 & 5 star mariners have tender priority and the ship is full of 4 & 5 star mariners. This makes the wait for a tender really long for us lowly 3 star and below.
Reading about the Amazon is certainly different than visiting it. Depending on the time of year, the river can be low and there are almost no bugs. Although the Amazon is a wide river, the ship was usually close to a bank for photos.
Did not visit port
This is just an immigration stop. You don't get off at this port.
We did an overnight eco lodge tour through HAL. It was fabulous! Although it was expensive, it checks off all of those boxes you have for the Amazon....see and touch a cayman, see monkeys, hike in the jungle, visit an indigenous village, see birds, flora and fauna.
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