Never having cruised before on either ocean or river but having lurked on the forums for some time I had a good idea what to expect, and found all the information on forums extremely helpful.
From start to finish this holiday was a joy. The door-to-door arrangements were handled extremely efficiently and expeditiously and the Cruise Director, Hendrik, exhibited his knowledge and efficiency daily.
The cabin was compact but as others have said we didn't use the available storage space by a long way. The bathroom ditto. We do in fact tend to spend time in hotel rooms either reading or watching TV, or napping, and being able to watch the scenery gliding by with no noise but gentle lapping even with the sliding door open was so relaxing.
The mix of passengers was American (the majority), Australians, Canadians and British. One South African couple and one from the Dominican Republic. The open seating at mealtimes meant that everyone got to be at least on nodding acquaintance with other passengers. The only drawback was the level of noise at dinner (the only time everyone sat down together) when hearing people's conversation from the other side of the table could be a problem.
The included and optional tours were all accompanied by knowledgeable guides with excellent English skills. I have been on tours in the past where the accents of people supposedly speaking English have made them incomprehensible.
We saw and learned so much in a very short period of time.
Avalon did a fantastic job from start to finish.
Would I go on another river cruise? You bet.