We cruised the Rhine river on Avalon's newest ship for 2010 the Felicity. The ship is smaller in size with room for 138 passengers plus crew. It is modern in design with a spacious lounge in the bow and a smaller more casual lounge with coffee,tea, fruit drinks and snacks in the stern. There is a small exercise room with several pieces of equipment on the lower deck, the mid deck has the restaurant and the sun deck.
Our cabin was in the lowest deck without a balcony window yet it was very well appointed with twin beds pulled together to form one large bed, a small bathroom with shower and desk area. Not having a balcony window did not bother us a bit and we did not feel being lower in the water affected us in the least. We did not hear the 'roar' of the engines either as the Felicity promotes itself as a quite boat. We did however on occasion smell cigarette smoke which we complained about. Not sure why, but it usually only happened when we were in port.
The food was quite good. Breakfasts were served at 7am and they were buffets with a chef available to cook omelets or eggs the way you wanted them. I thought the baked goods weren't up to European standards as they tasted kind of boxed. I've usually had excellent baked goods (croissants, pastries, etc) on my other trips to Europe.
For lunch they had a lite lunch served in the lounge which usually consisted of buffet salad, pasta and desserts. In the main restaurant they served a buffet lunch. We ate there several times and I truly enjoyed their 'Cologne meatballs' and roast pork. They also served a set meal you could select which consisted of made to order type sandwiches - hamburger, monte cristo etc. I thought the lunches were quite good!
Dinner was outstanding!! All 5 course settings except for the 1st and last nights. Veal, duck, lamb, beef, fish were all IMO very good. Usually there were 3 standards to select from and 3 specially prepared meals. I did however not like the rosti I had one evening, it had the consistency of a frozen potato. Wine and beer are free flowing at dinner.
Night time entertainment consisted usually of a piano player however we did enjoy a trio of classical musicians one evening and a wood carving exhibition. The musicians were fantastic, the wood carving not so.
Daily tours were OK, although if I ever went again I would skip some of them to do more independent sight seeing.
The crew was always gracious to us. They were always polite, smiling and willing to help. Our Cruise Director Robert Z was fantastic and we always got a kick out of his shoe colors matching his shirt colors. I was very impressed with a younger person's ability to direct older people in the way he did.
Overall we enjoyed our trip although I must say 7 nights is way to short to visit as many ports as we did. You really don't get to see a lot of each port.