This was our first river cruise, though we've been on a number of ocean cruises, including the Star Clipper and Aranui. Our cruise director was very good, the ship was very good, and our stateroom was very good, though the view of the river from the bed was 50% blocked by a wall (we opted for state room 312, the Royal Suite, and found this aspect of it very disappointing).
My criticisms or suggestions would be the following:
1. While the food selection and preparation was excellent, the dining room was very noisy, particularly at dinner time, and seemed understaffed (the staff including 2 trainees . . . .). Avalon should consider 2 seatings and better staffing.
I'm not sure what a "French balcony" is, but we were in Cabin 312, a Royal Suite. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom layout and fixtures excellent, though the shower was a bit difficult to use without spilling water out of the area, and the sitting area was satisfactory. As noted earlier, my only complaint is that while Avalon advertises that the beds are set facing floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows, my half of the bed faced a solid wall between 2 such windows.