As soon as I saw the itinerary for the 15 day Norway and Scotland cruise HAL offered on the Rotterdam, I was enthusiastic. Three sea days, ten ports, cities, fjords, an island, and all in places I long since wanted to visit. A perfect cruise to try out how much I'd enjoy cruising solo.
And HAL didn't let me down. The itinerary was good: departure from Rotterdam, plenty of time in each port, without any stress and leisurely sailing to the next location, interspersed with a single sea day just after the "middle" (and two sea days at the start and finish but I consider those traveling days).
I very much enjoyed myself. Despite traveling solo, I never was bored or felt lonely. As You Wish Dining is perfect for meeting new people every night without the pressing need to socialize further beyond dinner, though the brief chat here and there with previous dinner partners was quite pleasant. The ship wasn't too big for my liking, and, despite my fears, I rarely noticed there were almost 1,400 people sharing it with me--except during de-embarkation breakfast, so that's a lesson learned for next time.
My cabin, on the lowest (Dolphin) deck, while not big, was pleasant enough, and quiet enough to offer a good night's sleep. Being on the starboard side, I often had views of the coastline while we sailed. And being located near the gangway/tenders made for quick and easy access off and on the ship.
Were there downsides? Yes: during this cruise the ship suffered under a noro virus that spread like wildfire, despite all the hard work on part of the crew to try and contain it. Losing a day and a half of holiday and sightseeing time (and missing out the Scottish Highlands) was sad and a tad annoying, but these things happen.
All in all, would I go again? Absolutely.