I am not easily impressed, but our first river cruise (Moscow to St. Petersburg) was just great! Russia was so surprising - I grew up thinking that all buildings in Russia were old and gray. Just the opposite: Moscow was very modern. In St. Petersburg, we found beautiful 17th / 18th century buildings. For me, the most amazing part of Russia was the churches. I thought that the socialists there had destroyed all the churches, and they did do that to many, but there were a lot of beautiful Russian Orthodox churches throughout our trip. Beautiful icons covered the walls of the churches, some of which were 500 years old. While we saw many sites, Peter the Great's Palace and Catherine the Great's Palace were fantastic.
Secondly, no trip is enjoyable if the boat and the crew are not of high quality. The Rurick had been renovated a year ago, so it was like new. While our room was small, we had no problems with it. The Veranda was great to watch the scenery as it went by . The restaurant was very nice with good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe most important was the crew. They were great! 100%. They learned our names in a day. They solved any issues we had. When we stopped on the river, the crew would tell us exactly where to go to buy items and where not to go. In the restaurant, the waiter and waitress we had (we sat with others at a corner table) would essentially "reserve" our table by serving the drinks that we liked before we even got there.
There was always something to do on the boat. I really liked the afternoon talks we had about the history of Russia. They were not political - mostly just the facts, I understand a lot more about Russia now.
Because this river cruise was so good, we are taking another river cruise in Europe in 2015.
The cruises aren't cheap, but you get your money's worth. And as they say, "You can't take it with you".
Our room was fine. The veranda let us watch the scenery as the boat moved down the rivers / canals. Bathroom was tight, but it was what we expected, and was more than satisfactory. We were at the top of the stair, which made it easy to get to other levels of the boat. Also it was convenient to be on the same level as the restaurant. We heard no sounds from the adjoining room.