Sunday, 13 April 2014

Holland America Cruise - Hong Kong to Japan

This is our third HAL cruise, and once again, it all worked out.  We left Hong Kong on the 17th March and we were travelling with Sharon, Sully's sister, and Bruce, Sully's Brother-in-law.  The Hong Kong Port was interesting and difficult to navigate.  The building is huge and goes for miles.  You come into a large shopping mall and at the very start we were asked to wait for someone to show us the way.  After waiting for nearly an hour,  Sharon, Bruce and I decided to go and see what the problem was.  After walking quite a considerable distance, we found the check-in and asked what was going to happen to Sully.  Someone from the Port came with me and said he would show us the way.  This turned into quite an expedition - including walking through an adjoining Cruise Line check-in and waiting for staff twice to show up with keys to operate the required lifts.  I have written to HAL to advise them of the problem - hopefully they do something about it as it is not a very good look to passengers.

The room we had was the last verandah room at the back of the ship on the 6th Floor.  As it was the back corner, the deck was larger than usual and provided a great view when we sailed out of any port.  The room was large enough for Sully to get around and included a couch, chair and desk.  The bathroom was more than adequate - providing something very rare in wheelchair accessible bathrooms, a shelf.  We find that this is never included in the layout, making it hard to find anywhere to put all the things we all travel with - eg shaving cream and such.

The ship was fairly easy to navigate for the wheelchair - except for there being lots of carpet.  Sully found it easier to catch the lift to the 8th Floor and wheel to the other side of the ship and go down the lift to where he wanted to be - too much carpet and the wheelchair can be tiring.  The food again was brilliant, with the Lido and Pool deck being the pick where Service was involved - the Rembrandt being very slow where Service was involved.  Apparently they picked up a lot of new staff in Hong Kong, so maybe this was the reason, but on a Shipping Line where service is usually great, this was not good enough.

Overall, we had a great time and have already booked another Cruise through the Panama Canal next year......

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