We have cruised on HAL for a dozen plus cruises in Deluxe Suites or Penthouse and recently took our first Celebrity cruise on the Summit in a Celebrity Suite. While planning this cruise I was very anxious for comparison between HAL and X. I decided to post some HAL/X pros and cons.
§ HAL - At each desk there is a camera to take the cruise ID picture. On X, after you checked in you then proceeded to a 2nd location for the picture taking.
§ X - Presented with champagne or mimosa as you board.
§ X - Michael Club – very pub like with many small craft beers. Also had nice entertainment each night.
§ X – Martini Bar with its frozen bar top. Loved the Martini sampler.
§ X – Revelations – better dance location compared to Northern Lights on HAL.
§ HAL – Crow’s Nest – with the panoramic views from the full width of the ship.
§ HAL – Piano Bar – No explanation needed
§ X – Cellar Master self-service wine bar. Maybe a nice idea but never saw anyone use this venue.
§ X – Multi-room staterooms other than Penthouse
§ X – Bath room more luxurious but the raised bath/shower difficult to get in and out
§ HAL – More storage. I prefer the closets that convert from stacked shelves to hanging.
§ HAL – DVD player in room
§ HAL – larger balcony with nicer balcony furniture and cushions
§ X – Lack of US outlets/plugs
§ X – Lack of lighted make up mirror.
§ X – Grab bars needed in bath/shower.
§ X – Shower height too low.
o I think the Buffet and Main Dining room are comparable.
§ X – Normandie specialty restaurant is excellent. Normandie has a $40 upcharge but Suite guests get one comp’d meal. We ate two meals there and both were just outstanding. While I do love the Pinnacle Grill I do think Normandie is better. I do not know if Normandie is open for lunch.
§ X – Bristo on 5. A very nice casual restaurant with a minimal upcharge $5.
§ X – The two times we ordered room service they called to let us know it would arrive within 5 minutes. Give you time to get a robe on if necessary.
§ X – Saturday Brunch – many different food stations.
§ X – No room service for breakfast on disembarkation day. The only breakfast option is the buffet.
· Suite Perks
§ HAL – Neptune Lounge. I really missed the NL, from a simple continental breakfast to the full service concierge staff. Also the famous coffee machine.
§ HAL – Breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill.
§ X – Was not sure how to utilize the butler and when to call the Butler vs the room steward?
§ X – All inclusive drink packages. We had the premium package which included all bottled water (still and sparkling), coffee drinks, and wine and cocktails up to $12 – anything over $12 you just pay the difference.
§ X – There were many activities that involved the ships officers which got them engaged with the passengers. Example: Dancing with the stripes, Water volleyball game, poker tournament, Navigation under the stars.
§ HAL – Can remain in stateroom until time to disembark.
§ HAL - Suite Luncheon – my favorite is the Indonesian Luncheon in the Pinnacle Grill.
§ HAL – Suite cocktail party. We were not invited to any Suite functions.
§ HAL – Elemis products in the bathroom especially the tingly shower gel.
§ X – Not of enough bar staff in the Main Dining room. It would routinely take 30-45 minutes from the start of dinner until a cocktail would arrive. While wine would arrive quickly. Cocktails are not served by the wine stewards. Can’t recall if the same person is in charge of cocktails and wine on HAL.
§ X – No bar/lounge in close proximity to Normandie restaurant. It would be nice to go for a cocktail without having to travel to a different deck for dinner. On HAL the Pinnacle Lounge is next to the Pinnacle Grill.
§ X - Laundry – DH’s tuxedo shirt arrived laundered but not pressed and unfortunately he didn’t realize it until 15 minutes before dinner. He thought it had pressed and folded. On HAL shirts arrive on hangers.
§ X – The sofa in our suite was just plain uncomfortable for sitting and sleeping. I have slept on a HAL sofa sleeper and it’s quite comfortable and very comfy for sitting.
Will we continue to sail on HAL – ABSOLUTLY!
Will we consider future cruises on Celebrity – ABSOLUTLY!
I posted my review of our July 8th Summit cruise here:
My blog - https://foxyterrier.wordpress.com
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Rymdam - Alaska - 2002
Maasdam - Western Caribbean - 2003
Noordam - Baltics - 2004
Zuiderdam - Eastern Caribbean - 2005
Noordam - Greek Isles - 2006
Westerdam - Eastern Caribbean - 2007
Oosterdam - Mexican Riveria - 2008
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - 2009
Noordam - Western Caribbean - 2010
Veendam - Bermuda - May 8, 2011
Celebrity Summit - Bermuda - July 8, 2012
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas - Caribbean - March 15, 2013
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