When booking this cruise I suspected that it would be busy, and it was. We came home tired! With only two days at sea but seven port days, there wasn't enough time to relax and enjoy the ship. At least one more sea day would have been very welcome. The scenery was not spectacular; this is not Alaska. St. Petersburg was brimming with beautiful buildings, history, and a different culture. The other ports were more alike, except perhaps Talinn (Estonia). We ended up taking two non-HAL shore trips (very good) and two HAL shore excursions (ok but things we didn't like-- see below).
The ship was clean, service excellent, entertainment ok (a matter of preference). Shopping was not a priority for me but my daughter thought the onboard shopping rather limited. I was happy to see two features that let us know we were on a SHIP, not a floating resort, as HAL says: lots of windows in the public areas so you could see the water (and know which was aft) plus a full promenade deck so you could really walk the whole perimeter. We liked the food better than Norwegian, Carnival, or Cunard. Not being that fussy about gourmet food, we liked almost every we ordered.
If you want to relax on a cruise, carefully consider the number of free days. It seems a waste to NOT get off and see something, but booking a tour locks you in. Hard to choose. Choose your excursion carefully. When they say a lot of walking, they mean it!! Embarkation and debarking were very smoothly and quickly accomplished.