First river cruise, wanted to experience the smaller ship, more intimate setting and the smaller ports than ocean cruises.
Overall, Avalon was a wonderful cruise line, great caring and friendly staff, very good food selection, excellent accommodations. The ship and cabin are excellent. Dining experience was outstanding, with very sufficient self service options. TV entertainment was limited, the movie selections uninteresting however we only watched TV late at night. The onboard entertainment was limited but well done. A suggestion for entertainment and activities would be for the crew to have sign up sheets for on-board activities such as bingo tournaments, card tournaments, or group activities. It tended to be an older crowd, we're not quite there ourselves. It tended to attract a clientele that appreciated wine and drink, we're pretty light drinkers.
Ports and shore excursions were a great mix of selections that added great value to the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, without any issues whatsoever.
You must choose the panorama suites, the view is outstanding. The french balconies are a great feature, makes the rooms much larger than other ships and still takes advantage of the balcony feel.