We chose to cruise with A-Rosa because the travel agent booked us on a specific Christmas Markets cruise for four nights. The markets were the only reason we decided to bite the bullet and try a river cruise (it was our first ever cruise of any kind, river or sea). It was also advertised as being an English speaking cruise. Two days before we were due to board, we got an email saying that due to low water levels in the Rhine our original cruise had been cancelled and we were being transferred to another ship, sailing to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. And it was a German speaking cruise. Never having cruised before, we didn't quite realise the importance of it no longer being an English speaking cruise.
We should have boarded our original cruise in Cologne but the new cruise was departing from Duisburg, about a 90 minute coach trip from Cologne. When we boarded our ship (having had to walk down a muddy path from the coach to the gangway), we were immediately struck by how hot it was on board. We're Australian, we were cruising in Europe in winter but even so it was far too hot for us in all the public rooms. In our cabin, we were at least able to turn the heating off and open the window for a bit of fresh air.
When we congregated with the rest of the passengers for the welcome by the Captain and crew, that was when we discovered what a German speaking cruise really meant. We couldn't understand a word that was said. We then discovered that all entertainments were conducted in German, so we were unable to take part. We were also the only non-German speaking passengers on board so we couldn't even socialise with our fellow passengers.
We got a cabin upgrade when our cruise was changed, so we were no longer on the lowest deck but the one above it (I think our cabin number was 110 but can't be certain). The cabin was perfectly adequate, there was room to shove our suitcases under the bed so we weren't falling over them, the window was big so there was plenty of light and there was enough room to store our clothes etc. The bathroom was really nice, with a roomy shower.