I have just entered a review on the first half of our Uniworld "Grand France" cruise. River Royale compares favorably with the River Baroness for one reason, food.
The decor of the Royale works better than the Baroness; in particular the reception area and dining room seem to be better designed. The mosaic behind the reception desk is truly striking. The lounge, also is more comfortable and has a better layout.
Warning; there is only only one suite and it is poorly designed and overpriced compared to those on the Baroness. We could not imagine how 214 sq ft got classified as a suite, particularly arranged so poorly.
The food on the Royale was delicious, definitely a cut above the Baroness. (be aware, however, the comment about grass fed v grain fed beef still applies).
The breakfast and lunch buffets were comparable on both boats, but the chef on the Royale turned out spectacular dinners including one of the best confit de canard I have ever had. As before the wine flowed freely and the staff were above and beyond.
The service was exceptional. I must single out Patrice the HD, Aniko the purser, and Ivana at the front desk. I left items in our safe which they rescued and Fedexed to me the next day at no charge.
There was one major-to us and friends-drawback. The dress code for dinner was not enforced. This meant sloppy jeans, sneakers, and unfortunately gym shorts and a t-shirt were regular presentations in the dining room.
The ports were terrific, but having been in this part of the world before I think they could have been even better. The pace was once again intense and discouraged some passengers.
A great 2+ weeks.