This was our first river cruise. We have taken cruises before on Oceania (London to Copenhagen), Royal Caribbean (Caribbean), Disney (3- Day), Celebrity (3 - Day), and Norwegian (Alaska).
Embarkation and debarkation was very easy - even though we had not booked the Movenpick through Avalon, the man in charge of the concierge desk had our luggage delivered to the ship.
Embarkation and debarkation was much easier than our previous ocean cruises. The ship also cleared each port with immigration, customs, etc. very easily - we were able to go ashore virtually immediately. They even told us to put our passports away - that we would not need them when going on the excursions - that surprised me - much different than other cruises we have been on where in one case they even kept the passports for the entire cruise. Getting on and off the ship at each port was very easy as well - we just scanned our card they gave us and walked off or on - there was no one standing there to verify our identity, thereby slowing things down considerably, as was the case in the past ocean cruises we have been on.
The staterooms were somewhat smaller than on the other cruises we have been on, but were adequate and nicely appointed - I did notice that the Viking ships docked next to us had a true balcony - we had no balcony - the doors just slide open and there is a railing. Although Avalon's pre-cruise instructions purport to limit luggage to one large piece each, we brought 3 large pieces of luggage plus 2 carry on luggage pieces and had no problem storing the luggage under the bed.