Well I am back from the cruise and do not have good things to report. All of the complaints by prior cruisers were correct. While this was my first HAL cruise many who were more experienced were even more upset as this was not near HAL's traditional white glove service. Specifically - here are my critical comments about the ship and the service - the good ones will come in the next post: 1. The attitude of the staff in general was poor. Even the officers seem unconcerned with the passengers issues or requests. Most avoided eye contact so as not to have to speak to passengers. Others did things like cut in line for food in front of passengers who had been waiting a long time. Very unprofessional behavior across the board. 2. The language barrier wit the majority of the staff was significant. FOr example, when I asked how a dish in the dinning room was made or if an ingrediant could be excluded the waiter just stared at me - (this happened repeatedly). 3. We had to search for the wine steward and wine list every evening 4. My water was never refilled until I requested a refill and wait staff often took my dishes before I was finished. The food was hit or miss - some was very good but some was VERY bad. This was particularly true with the various cuts of meat. 5. No one directed us to our cabin - the Staff stood around the elevator doors talking to each other and when I approached they seem bothered to be interupted and pointed down the hall. I am not sure they even understood what I was asking them. 6. No one ever offered to bring me a drink in the casino and even the dealers had trouble tracking down wait staff. I felt a bit angry having to fight to buy a drink. 7. The Hotel manager rudely told me the reason there were no college football bowl games broadcast on the ship was because the company did not want to pay the $10,000 it would have cost. (That would have been a drop in the bucket in the drink prices they could have collected!) 8. It was clear that corners had been cut across the board. The tile in the bathroom was already chipping, things did not look new - I almost wondered if they had used recycled materials from other old ships. 9. The ship is unbeleivable noisy. At the aft of the ship there is a large thudding noise which gets louder as the ship goes faster. If it is at full speed you must almost shout to be heard at the very aft tables in the dinning room. The clatter of the china makes a terrible noise as well. 10. The boat rocks more than any cruise ship I have been on and the waters were pretty calm during my cruise. (Take motion sickness medicine if you are at all prone to problems) 11. While some did not like the ports of call I did - Guatemaula, Cozamel, Key West and Half Moon Cay. 12. The shore excursion staff was not knowledgable and did not even know about thier own excursions so as to answer questions about HAL trips ashore. 13. Many of the public restrooms stunk to high heaven and often were out of order. I referred to one stretch of hallway as the Stinky Hall. These are my general complaints - and seem to be those of others I spoke to as well. However, this cruise had many good points which I will detail in my next post.