I chose this cruise because a stateroom on the middle deck was available without the single supplement. The cruise director and staff were all terrific, experienced and patient. This was my first Avalon cruise, having done one last October on a Viking boat. They are comparable in every way for quality. I would try another cruise with Avalon on another river route. Amsterdam is quite busy, so I might recommend that first-time cruisers go southbound from Amsterdam to Basel, which is calm and quiet for the disembarkation. Amsterdam's airport is close to the river (about 40 minutes) while the airport at Basel is more than an hour and fifteen minutes from the dock, but the transfers will work well in either port. There was a nice variety of passengers from Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The cabins were tended three times daily. Meals were just right with lots of variety. I like to spend as much time on the boat as possible and for me the excursions are always optional. Cheers to the entire staff, crew and service team. They were European and Southeast Asian and just wonderful to meet.
I like to open the curtains and watch the world glide by, especially at night. There was a convenient minibar and the bathroom was immaculate. The cabin was served three times a day. Bottled water is complimentary in the rooms.