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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: River Royale

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • New

Jul 17, 2012

Burgundy Provence

This was our 1st river cruise.we were greeted by pascal the captain and Eric the manager.they already knew (from our driver)that we were Canadian. It felt good to be greeted with a smile and a "bienvenue a bord" Good experience with food good,tours excellent. But nothing to do on the ship. The food was great from breakfast to dinner but during the day if you get hungry get your own from on shore if you have a chance. Dining room is not open

between meals. It felt like being in a residence for old people. Stateroom 309 very small, thank god we had a French balcony. We opened the patio door to get the illusion of having a bigger cabin. Very clean and the bed were very comfortable but the pillow were too soft for me , I ask for another one and stuffed it with the one I had. A little bar fridge would be great...we could buy food from the markets so we could have something to eat on our return from the tour and before our dinner. Room service also would be great. Onboard activities did not offer much to do. Renoir lounge with a pianist and maybe a singer would also be more inviting and interesting. Or perhaps a show with dancers,singers, or anything to get passengers in the lounge . We had a presentation of life on board with Eric that was very interesting. We sat on the deck of few time after our tour and thought a little background music would be nice. Wine and cheese maybe could be served. Most of the excursions we ok and most of the tour guides were good. This was our 1st river cruise. We have done 5 big ship cruises which we like a lot. The staff on river royal were great which we don't get on big ship, but it's understandable with 2000 passengers to compare with 120 passengers . Only 2 tables for 2 are available and they are in located in a corner. More table for 2 would be nice. Since we have been with a lot of people during the day it would be nice to have table near the windows for 2 for a romantic dinner. Once, we had dinner with a older couple who were arguing about the wine with the staff. They were very annoying and it was embarrassing for us such that we almost left but there is no other place to have dinner. At another dinner we were with a middle age American couple that were bluffing about their money,properties, her diamonds and how much she loved her red wine. This is why more tables for 2 would should be a necessity. We went into the hot tub but the water wasn't heated. Why is this? The tours were always on time. Every day, we had to rush to go to the briefing at 6PM for the next day's activities. They should do a newsletter and put them at our door. The disembarking was really smooth. Overall river cruising is great depends where you want to go but we will still go on the big ships because there is more to do such as options for restaurants and dining rooms and balcony dining.

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  • New

May 24, 2012

Provence and Burgundy

I did the Provence and Burgundy cruise in May 2012. Fabulous service, decor, staff, sightseeing, destination. The food was fabulous. The breakfast buffet offers everything anyone could want, hot or cold, including an omelet station. Lunch was also buffet style and equally good. Dinner was always a four-course delight, with a good selection to choose from. If you don't like the offerings, you can get a plain steak or chicken. One night there

was an Epicurean Delight with special wines for each course. Local specialties are offered and they were always good. My room (107) was small, with tone-on-tone decor, but and a very plush bed. It was very comfortable. Tiny rooms are to be expected on a river cruise, so I'm not complaining. There was plenty of storage space though; two big drawers under the bed, a large closet with at least five shelves and space for hanging items on good wooden hangers, and a large drawer under the bathroom sink. There is an umbrella, a hair dryer, plenty of high quality L'Occitane toiletries, and a safe. My room was on the Champagne Deck. It's actually the bottom deck, but the rooms are exactly like the ones mid-deck only with two portholes instead of a picture window. I never found myself feeling claustrophobic without the picture window, and felt enough light came in. I can't see paying $500 more for a big window. There was no noise from the engines, which I worried about beforehand. As on most river cruises, there isn't a lot of entertainment or other onboard activities. There is a pianist in the lounge; he played during tea time and in the evenings. I did not make use of the gym or jacuzzi. I did use the WiFi, which is free. It worked well for a moving river boat, but it was slow. This is to be expected. I loved Les Baux and highly recommend this optional excursion. It is paired with a visit to an olive farm with tastings. The people at the front desk are a mixture of nationalities, the captain is French, and the rest of the staff are mostly from Eastern Europe. Everyone spoke English well. They were a terrific group -- unfailingly polite and friendly. It doesn't seem forced or unnatural. I think they enjoy their jobs. One waiter I had the most is from Poland; his name is Jakub. He had a wry, low-key sense of humor and gave great service. The maitre d', Marius, is a real riot and full of personality, very cheerful, and hysterically funny. No task was beneath him. Our hotel manager, Aniko, was in training but did an outstanding job. Our tour manager, Alexandra, was very efficient and knowledgeable. Nothing ever went wrong. Passengers were from all over -- South Africa, Australia, the UK, Japan, and lots of Canadians and Americans. There were two other solo women travelers at my table the first night, so I wasn't the only one. I made friends with all the passengers easily and never felt alone. I think 99% of the passengers were over 40, which is not a bad thing, since I'm over 40 myself. Many people were confirmed river-cruise lovers and repeat Uniworld customers. The local tour guides were fantastic -- the complete package. Uniworld provides listening devices on the tours. They are great; you don't have to stay right next to the guide but can wander through a church, for instance, and still hear the guide. The destination, Provence and Burgundy, was fantastic. I'm so glad I took this trip.

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