I know that this is rather a late posting as we took the cruise last September/October but I still thought I would give some feedback (from my perspective) on the Avalon Tapestry 7 day cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.
Embarkation and disembarkation: This was very smooth on both occasions. I have been on ships where the passengers are held in one of the public areas for hours waiting to get off and this was nothing like that. We tagged our luggage and then identified it before loading onto the transfer bus which went to Zurich (booked as an extra on the cruise itself and so much easier than having to find your own way from Basel to Zurich). We did not stay at the post cruise hotel in Zurich and I must say it did not look inspiring. We had a booking in the city centre which was much better.
Passengers: The majority of passengers were from the US, with a few from Canada, one (that we met) couple from NZ and about a dozen Australians. Ages varied and at mid 50s we were among the youngest. Quite a few passengers seemed to have been regular cruisers together (some for over 15 years), though many were, like us, a couple. As with most group things, passengers tended to find other like minded people to "hang out with". We met some great people on this cruise and have kept in contact with several.
Cabins: We were on the middle level, about half way down. Our cabin was what we expected, cozy but certainly large enough for the two of us. There was room to fully unpack and to place the cases under the bed. The full length windows and French doors let lots of light into the cabin and it was lovely to leave the drapes open at night to watch the traffic on the river and the town lights as we passed by. Bedding was adequate, though my husband requested an extra pillow and this created a problem as there were no spares, though our cabin steward did "create" a pillow from towels.
Public areas: You must always keep in mind that this is small ship cruising. There was one bar/lounge area, which was impossibly crowded for the tour director's chat each evening before dinner and when there were special performances. The dining room was only opened for meals. There was also a small foyer area with a few seats. The sun deck offered another spot though it rained on several days of the cruise, so this was just too cold. The speakers from the lounge area went through to the sun lounge so whenever the cruise director was giving a running commentary, there was virtually nowhere to escape if you did not want to listen. Dining: This was the most problematic area of the whole cruise. There were just enough seats for the number of passengers and it was something of a mad rush whenever mealtimes were announced. Lunch was particularly bad, as this was a buffet and there just wasn't enough room to move in the small area. Breakfast, although also a buffet, seemed to be less frenetic. The food quality was satisfactory, nothing spectacular but good wholesome fare. Wines were included for main meals although there was a menu of extra coast wines that some people did purchase. The "bun fight" to secure a table each lunch and dinner made us dread meal times and this really affected our enjoyment of the cruise overall. The term "Gates of Paradise" was used to refer to the dining room; several among the passengers referred instead to the "Gates of Hell".
Shore excursions: This was a cruise jam packed with shore excursions, most included in the fare. On most days, there were two excursions - a morning tour followed by an afternoon one, just too much. Tours left early in the morning, usually about 8 am. We stayed back on the ship on one day as it was wet and cold and we were tired. Because of the timing of the cruise, the pace got faster as the cruise progressed. Maybe if we had done the reverse itinerary, it would have been a little easier.
Did we enjoy the cruise? Yes, we visited towns and cities that we probably would not go to otherwise. The tour guides, especially on the walking tours, were informative and all spoke excellent English. The ship staff were excellent; very friendly and professional. Would we do another river cruise? Probably not, but then again many of the other passengers loved the cruise and would certainly book again. It's perhaps just not our "cup of tea".