I've spent a fair amount of time in the Centraal Station over my weeks in Amsterdam. There was my own arrival, a long wait for a friend's arrival (long, because I had the wrong day), the eventual arrival of that friend, several day trips out and back ... I'm not crazy about bustling crowds, but this place is more than okay. (Okay, I'm looking at the functionality here and ignoring the grand architecture.)
The ticket dispensers are easy. Even if dispensing machines in the past have left you scarred, these are polite and self-explanatory. Don't let people waiting behind you get you flustered; there are plenty of machines. (Somewhere there's a human selling tickets, but I never went there.) Directional signs are well-placed, and there are information people all over the place (as well as in designated booths). Side note: if you're doubtful, ask someone in an official capacity. I took the wrong train when I first got to town because I asked another foreigner.)
Small things: I've heard no less than a dozen impromptu piano concerts played on the grand piano in the main hall. That always creates a nice mood. While I was waiting for the friend who was arriving the next day, I watched two maintenance guys scrupulously scrape up dried gum and wipe down all the marble molding around the window seats. I mean, they were wiping it down with a little hand-held pieces of cloth like they were at home. (They were also helpful to travelers with questions.)
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