We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship!
1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well.
2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey.
The cabin is not big however it offers a lot of storage. Everything is well designed and modern and room was very clean. Good thing is a blackout curtains that perfectly block the light for a comfortable sleep. Nice balcony.
The biggest problem is noise isolation: we could clearly hear voice of neighbors and people in corridor. Also the doors slam loudly if people do not hold them (and most did not). Because of that we used the earplugs at night but still did not sleep well enough. You can imagine what a good sleep means at vacation so the fact of poor noise isolation makes the cabin not fully comfortable.
Not too much to do in the port. We did a hike to the lake and back to the port through the forest. Nice walk but nothing really special. There is a grocery store and ATM to get the local currency in the port.
A small boring town. We spent there a time waiting for a public bus to the Atlantic road. Please make sure to purchase the bus ticket in advance. There is no ticket shop at the bus terminal and the route is very popular. We bought a ticket with Framm app onsite and was lucky to travel by the first bus. Atlantic road is a place to visit. You can easily spend a whole day there - a very beautiful piece of nature with easy access by a public transport. We paid like 50 eur for the two round trip tickets. And for another 20 you could get the boat to the Haholmen island. That is way cheaper that HAL sells the same tour.
Went on Floibanen funicular to the top. Spent there like two hours enjoing the city view and free kayaking on a small lake. Then explored the city and the fish market. Do not buy cheese on the fish market. You could buy the same cheese but 2 times cheaper in the local supermarkets.