We had a family of five: my 86 year old mother, my sister and her husband in their 50/60's, their teenage daughter, myself in my 50's. My mom took us on this cruise to get us to love cruising, and it worked! This cruise was really geared to age 40 and up, the teenager only went along because it was part of a much longer trip, and while she enjoyed some of the ports, it was not the best experience for her. However, for the rest of it, we were amazed by the beauty and luxury of the ship, the incredible service, and particularly the all-inclusive nature of the cruise.
We decided on the Song because it was a newer ship, and that paid off. The public areas are abundant and have the most comfortable furniture and beautiful views. The first half of the cruise (we left from Clarkston) was so unusual, it often felt like we were cruising on the moon or through the Grand Canyon. The second half was as lush and beautiful as a river cruise can be. I loved cruising from Clarkston, it seems like if you went the other way, you might be disappointed by the dryness of the second half. Instead, the anticipation for places like Multnomah Falls built as we went throught the dry side of the Cascades.
The history lectures with the Lewis and Clark theme made the cruise and the excursions so much more meaningful...to learn about the history, geography, and economy of the area, and then see those places, it was truly a living history experience. And much of the information was about or touched on current information, so you didn't need to be that interested in history to find the lectures fascinating. The excursions were fantastic. Do not miss Cape Disappointment...awful name, stunning place. One thing we did which was somewhat different was rent kayaks at our first port, in Richland. They bring the kayaks, bikes, and even jet ski's right down to the shore of the riverfront park that the boat is docked at. That was lovely. We were also going to do this at Stephenson, but ended up docking at Hood River instead. Most of the ports were eminently walkable right off the boat, with miles of paved trails along the river. Astoria was amazing that way, although being a hilly city, you definitely want to catch the shuttle bus that will take you up to the Astoria Column. But once you take the bus down to the visitor's center, you can easily walk in the town and along the waterfront.
We were on the 4th deck, it was a very convenient location and easy for my elderly mom to get everywhere with not many steps. I was worried about noise since the main lounge was on that floor, but the cabins are incredibly quiet so that was not an issue at all.