Posted March 6th, 2011, 02:21 PM
I was on the same cruise, and loved it, albeit for some additional reasons as well as those recited in the original post.
We also got upgraded, and to a midships cabin directly below the Lido, but unlike a review on a different thread, we did not notice any noise.
Our cabin was great!! it was even larger than what we thought was a large cabin on the Seabourn Spirit, as was the veranda. We were traveling with another couple in ann adjacent cabin, and at our request our steward folded back the barrier separating the two verandas, effectively doubling the size.
The food, the service, and the entertainment were wonderful -- something for every taste. I especially enjoyed the string quartet providing classical music between 6 and 10 every evening (it might have gone on to 11, but I retired at 10).
I also took the catamaran cruise. Having been traumatized by "Jaws", I didn't dare the water, by my wife and friends did and enjoyed it immensely, whilst I contented myself with about ten rum punches and an increasingly interesting conversation with a fellow bibulous hydrophobic, prompting our shared philosophy of the ecology of drink (that is, just as wolves increase the health of caribou herds by culling out the weak and infirm members of the herd, alcohol kills off weak and infirm brain cells--hence our agreement that we became increasingly intelligent with each rum punch).
Speaking of ecology, an added advantage was HAL's alcohol policy, which permits passengers to bring wine, but not spirits, aboard. Thus, with only the added cost of a very cheap screw-top bottle of white wine, one can, after pouring the dreadful stuff down the sink, pour Ardbeg into the empty bottle and reseal it.
One unexpected blessing was the silver lining of the dollar's decline against the looney, as it meant that the cruise attracted many Canadians, all of whom were more attractive, intelligent, educated, and well-informed than a few our our compatriots.
The only drawback, for me, was the fact that I had to pay $129 in order to use the steam room after daily exercise in the gym. The extra fee was necessary to use the Thermal Suite, which included the steam room and sauna, some sort of thermal pool and heated tiled chaises longue. I didn't want or need the latter two, annd on RCCL (and, of course, Seabourn) one can steam and shower after exercise without extra payments. If I had any recommendations or requests to submit to HAL, it would be to seal off the steam and sauna from the other parts of the suite, thereby limiting the extra fee for the sybarites who like that sort of thing.
All in all, it was a wonderful ship and I would heartily recommend it to anyone.