We were 1st time cruisers, so we can only say what we liked and what others may have told us. Having read previous reviews we had only modest expectations as we felt we'd be the youngest passengers at 59 and 65 and the age of the Canadian Empress. However, the cruise exceeded our expectations and we had a very good time!
We missed being the youngest by a few years, that was a 52-year-old woman accompanying her mother. The ship may be older but she ran well on this trip! We compare life on board to camping in our pop-up camper, only without the extra bed to use as storage. Other passengers told us the tiny cabins are typical of river boats. It was also somewhat noisy - from ships' noises, not passengers - even though nights were spent at dockside. Therefore, we felt a bit sleep deprived at the end of the trip.
We were busy every day! Each day combines cruising, fine dining, excursions and entertainment. With the OUTSTANDING weather on this trip, cruising was fantastic, including SPECTACULAR sunsets! Dining included 3 meals each day, due to the capacity crowd, they provided 2 seatings at noon and evening; you had to chose which early or "main" at the beginning of the trip. Snacks were always available at all times in the Lounge (didn't partake), they were also served near the end of each evenings entertainment, plus the great bar Steward kept munchies out at all times. I heard no complaints about the meals even though there was no choice in foods, you got what they served. Meals were also served in smaller portions that usually found at restaurants but, given the frequency with which full meals seemed to occur, we heard no complaints!
Cramped, approx. 8'x7', with an odd-shaped bed from which 1 person must crawl over the other to get out. The odd shape resulted in the bottom sheet never being fully tucked at one corner. The combined commode/shower worked well and the water got good and hot! The A/C and heat unit was noisy and periodically made a "THURRUMP!" sound, frequently disturbing sleep. The shower fan, recommended to be left running at all times to provide fresher air, was excessively loud but it did block a lot of other noise, sort of like white noise can do.