This was our seventh Uniworld Europe river cruise over the past ten years, (when we first discovered Uniworld after many years of ocean-going cruises). We're both in our mid-to-late 60s.
We flew into Bordeaux three days early, and stayed at the very nice, centrally located Intercontinental Bordeaux Grand Hotel (which really was grand in every sense). From our hotel we were able to walk easily down to the river and to many of Bordeaux's most famous spots, various shopping areas, and many restaurants,... although you also have the option of getting around on the tram line that runs in front of the hotel with its closest stop just around the corner.
On embarkation day we took a cab from our hotel to the ship, which was tied up along the beautiful river walk in the Chartron section of the city. (If you fly into Bordeaux on embarkation day, Uniworld provides a no-extra-charge group transfer to the ship). As usual, there were uniformed ship staff on-hand to greet us where our cab let us out, and they took our luggage aboard. Immediately adjacent to the ship was a large, permanent skateboard park with a professionally-staged competition going on, along with lots of locals enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We were a bit concerned about all of the noise, but thankfully we never heard anything inside our cabin that faced the skate park. Upon entering the River Royale, we were welcomed aboard by the Purser and the Hotel Manager, and it was an easy process of exchanging travel credentials and welcome aboard info. Lunch was served in the lounge, and when the cabins were ready, (I believe it was a bit before 2:00 PM), we were escorted to our cabin.