Our TA indicated that the time period was when the France were on holiday. Some think that places would be closed but we did not find any place closed nor did the time period effect our travels. With one exception, one of our guides in Paris was surprised when we were driving in Paris that the traffic was so light--due to the French being on holiday!
I read one of the reviews on this website which may have been during the time we were on the River Baroness but we had a different experience. The person indicated that they were in one of the four suites. The suites are equal to two of the other staterooms. We were next door to a suite and got to peek in and see the difference. The extra cost would definitely be worth it for the suite. We had the Cat. 1 stateroom which has the french balcony, otherwise it is the same as the other catagory rooms. We did enjoy having the balcony. The stateroom itself is cramped and the bathroom difficult to move around in - I'm not a big person 5'4"; 145 lbs. We agree with the decor of the lounge - it could've been better.
The food was great - you couldn't possibly go hungry. If you didn't wish to eat in the resturant you could order something from the bar menu. As far as the staff we did not encounter anyone that was not pleasant and helpful. One pacritic indicated that you could send emails for a charge. That must have been in the past as three laptops were available for passenger use in the lounge area (this was due to the location of the wifi signal). The weather was perfect. Enjoyed the small number of passengers (the ship was sold out). The guides were very informative as well as the cruise director. We chose to stay in Paris for a few extra days at the end of the cruise. We would recommend the river cruise experience to anyone and are looking forward to planning another in the near future. This was an adult only cruise.