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China train travel, Yangtze and Tibet questions

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I have a couple of questions, I am in the planning process of a trip arriving in Beijing 4/29 and departing from Shanghai on 5/18.

We will be 3 adults and I am considering some train travel, ie Beijing to Pingyao, Pingyao to Xian, my question is if I book 3 people for the soft sleeper will we have the compartment to ourselves or do I need to book all 4 berths?

Is it difficult to get permit for Tibet?

Also, is the Yangtze river cruise worthwhile, I have seen very mixed reviews. It seems very expensive for "4" days that are really 2 days as day 1 you board the boat at 10:30 in the evening and the last day you are off at 11:30 am.

I appreciate any insight people have to offer.

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