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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Ponant to sail the Adriatic because Le Lyrial is a small ship and like the other reviewer said the Captain was excellent and not aloof at all. Very hands on always helping us embark/disembark. His presentation in the control deck ... Read More
We chose Ponant to sail the Adriatic because Le Lyrial is a small ship and like the other reviewer said the Captain was excellent and not aloof at all. Very hands on always helping us embark/disembark. His presentation in the control deck was highly informative and fascinating to hear. The food was excellent and in the French style - serves were not too large but delicious. The French wines were fabulous. Well done Mr Sommelier. All the room staff and bar staff were very friendly and very attentive. The only small criticism I have is the bed was too big! It was a King size and we only need a Queen. This would add more room to our suite but we did have a private balcony as well. We loved it so much we have booked another cruise and have recommended Ponant to our friends. Can't wait to do the Kimberleys. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as we do not like big cruise ships. We have cruised on Sea Dreaming before (American based) and was hoping for something similar from Ponant. What a let down. It started off great when we arrived in our cabin - very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we do not like big cruise ships. We have cruised on Sea Dreaming before (American based) and was hoping for something similar from Ponant. What a let down. It started off great when we arrived in our cabin - very spacious and own balcony. Than the set backs 1. Smoking - all outside decks including the main bar were filled with filthy smokers puffing cigarettes and cigars - not able to go outside without being consumed by smoke 2. Service - If you have been to France, you will understand the service. First morning after 24 hour flight we wanted a coffee. No coffee available until 6.30 am. We arrived at 6.15am and waiter was setting up. Coffee was made but he said we could not have milk until 6.30am . The milk was 1.0 metre away from him in the fridge behind him! That standard was present throughout whole trip. Apart from the Filipino staff who were actually quite pleasant and genuine. 3. Food - can be described as business class aeroplane food - all pre-heated and 5 courses could be served to 244 passengers inside 60 minutes 4. Eating times - set dinner time - 7.30-9.00pm - absolutely ridiculous that we could not eat after the sun went down! We tried to come in around 8.30pm but NO food left on buffet! 5. Drinks - we are not big drinkers but like an occasional drink. Not one barman could actually make a reasoable vodka and soda with fresh lime? That is just one example. 6. Not a luxury cruise in any sense of the word. Pre-heated food, limited choice menu, set eating times limited to daylight hours - really disappointing This may be better than the big ships but do not choose this cruise if you have any expectations other than average Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. We did a back to back cruise. First week was the Greek Islands and the 2nd week was Croatia. We did a lot of research on these areas and these cruises fit the bill. The excursions were ok to good. ... Read More
The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. We did a back to back cruise. First week was the Greek Islands and the 2nd week was Croatia. We did a lot of research on these areas and these cruises fit the bill. The excursions were ok to good. Staff was perfect...always accommodating and there to help. Cabin was lovely and well laid out and appointed and very clean. Food was very disappointing. Honestly we thought that being a French ship it would have had really great food. Lunches were definitely better than the dinners. The d'oeuvres at dinner were the same every night...sushi...and not even good sushi. Cheese course and breads were amazing. Desserts were ok to good. Another suggestion I had was between meals there was absolutely nothing to snack on if you wanted something and no where to buy anything. This was a big call out that several passengers complained about. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Having cruised before on larger ships we liked the concept of small ship cruising. Everything about the ship was exceptional. The staff were helpful and friendly and the dining room Cuisine was to die for. The itinerary took us to ... Read More
Having cruised before on larger ships we liked the concept of small ship cruising. Everything about the ship was exceptional. The staff were helpful and friendly and the dining room Cuisine was to die for. The itinerary took us to places we had not visited before and we appreciated the easy access that smaller ships enjoy which made transfers so easy . The ports we visited all had unique histories with interesting places to visit and enjoy the culture, food and people.We travelled in the peak season so naturally tourists were everywhere . That made us appreciate the serenity of our ship and surroundings when we returned on board. We did not participate in the nightly entertainment (To tired after long days) but feedback from other passengers was very positive. Once you have had a great experience like this you never forget. We will certainly sail again with Ponant when the next opportunity arises. We recommend you do a cruise with Ponant. You won't regret it !!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not ... Read More
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not get value for money. As has been previously stated by other reviewers, the standard of meals is not consistent. We had three Gala Dinners and these were all of varying standards, nothing particularly memorable about any of them. The alternative buffet on deck 6 was awful, I have had better more appealing meals on the larger cruise lines. I had room service a number of times and they were delivered without any covers over the plates! The last night farewell affair was laughable in that the entire staff were paraded onto the pool deck with rock music, whilst I understand that staff need to be acknowledged for their service this was over the top. As a non-French speaking passenger there was a feeling of condescension from the reception staff and in particular from the female cruise director, there were a number of non-French speakers on board and we all had the same opinion. The wait staff and cabin staff were much better, polite and willing to assist at all times. I will definitely not be cruising with Ponant again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because the destination was attractive and we had enjoyed a similar cruise along the Croatian coast on Le Lyrial in 2017. Also Le Lyrial is a lovely ship with spacious lounge and restaurant areas. The only amenity ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the destination was attractive and we had enjoyed a similar cruise along the Croatian coast on Le Lyrial in 2017. Also Le Lyrial is a lovely ship with spacious lounge and restaurant areas. The only amenity lacking is adequate outdoor shady areas. The destination venues were well chosen and the opportunity to see Paxos [otherwise fairly inaccessible ] particularly welcome. The "Cuisine et Vins de France' theme was not very successful. The formal dinners were too elaborate and accompanied by far to much explanation. The choice of wines with dinner was generally excellent; however those chosen for the 'tastings' were highly esoteric . The staff were delightful and very helpful in every way. One aspect of concern to us was the attitude and behaviour of some of the antipodean passengers. Despite many reminders many totally ignored the very undemanding dress code for the Gala dinners and one group of ten Australians were unreasonably demanding about almost everything. The entertainment was rather 'downmarket' compared with our previous Ponant experience and, although talented, the acts and dancing were somewhat inappropriately risqué at times. Embarcation and Disembarcation were handled with great efficiency and our two night stay in Athens before the cruise proved a very good idea. A better effort to introduce passengers to each other would be helpful. Being English doesn't mean that we can't speak some French ! We have already booked a Ponant cruise for 2019 which is a good recommendation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our travel agent recommended Ponant and we were very satisfied with everything on the ship . The cabins were very nicely decorated and had a lot of space ( deck # 6 ) . The food and service were excellent . There was a little confusion by ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended Ponant and we were very satisfied with everything on the ship . The cabins were very nicely decorated and had a lot of space ( deck # 6 ) . The food and service were excellent . There was a little confusion by the staff when we arrived at the Athens port and when they went to check in the passengers . They originally announced that they would check in people by cabin level but only had three people at check in and that confused everyone in line . After that , the staff was first class and provided everything that we asked for . We also enjoyed the shore excursions . The guides were well trained and easy to understand . Early in the cruise , there seemed to be some confusion on who could get onto the excursion boats first ? The staff did not announce that the excursions were to get on the boats first and this lead to some confusion . All in all a very nice cruise . Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Have cruise we other small ships such as Windstar and Seaboure. The Ship it self was fantastic having only been launched in 2015. The cabins were small and difficult for 2 people to dress for dinner etc if both in the cabin at the same ... Read More
Have cruise we other small ships such as Windstar and Seaboure. The Ship it self was fantastic having only been launched in 2015. The cabins were small and difficult for 2 people to dress for dinner etc if both in the cabin at the same time. `The food was fantastic and the service second to none, except being a french owned boat the crew and staff assume you are french which is fine to start with but after a couple of days can be very annoying if you do not speak french. With circa 240 people on board having 19 sun loungers with large french families of unto and over 16 per group will not end well when travelling to destinations during the day. Overall a good cruise but with important details letting it down can't feel disappointed. One being that from the top enrtainment and pool bar you had to go down 2 deck levels to find a WC?. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Did the 17 Day Gallipoli Dawn Service cruise with APT on Ponant's Le Soleal. Found that APT is good at producing glossy brochures but a little short on delivery. Kept advertising that it would land ticket holders to Dawn Service onto ... Read More
Did the 17 Day Gallipoli Dawn Service cruise with APT on Ponant's Le Soleal. Found that APT is good at producing glossy brochures but a little short on delivery. Kept advertising that it would land ticket holders to Dawn Service onto the Peninsula around dusk on the 24th. This was patently misleading as all operators had been advised as early as June 2014 that this would not be possible. Also advertised full complimentary bar throughout but then tried to walk back on that in there cruise guide issued with tickets to only house wine and beer with lunch and dinner. Something which now appears in the fine print of their advertising. Food and standard of wine onboard was second rate. Whilst shore excursions are included in the price they are pretty basic, and in bigger ports with a bit of planning could be undertaken on one's own. Having sailed with both Azamara and Seabourn recently I would recommend them well ahead of APT. Our Gallipoli cruise cost us on a daily basis twice as much as a recent Antarctic cruise with Seabourn, and was well short of the luxury that Seabourn promises and delivers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We had high expectations for this cruise having sailed with Seabourn and other high-end ships before around the Greek Isles. The food was really average and didn't vary enough from day to day. The chef at breakfast looked annoyed by ... Read More
We had high expectations for this cruise having sailed with Seabourn and other high-end ships before around the Greek Isles. The food was really average and didn't vary enough from day to day. The chef at breakfast looked annoyed by our requests for omelettes (at the omelette bar!) and picked on us for eating pork (we're Indian, and clearly his sensibilities were miffed by this revelation). This is also not a cruise for non-French speakers and even though we do speak some French the French language (excursions, lectures) is pretty constant and most guests were French and avoided us, as did the mostly French-speaking crew. The waiters were lovely and welcoming but otherwise the staff was pretty useless, especially the woman at reception who had absolutely zero information about ports of call (we kept being told they hadn't been there before but I doubt this...). The cabins are small and the cleaning staff are unhelpful and pushy. The evacuation drill is annoying and needlessly fascistic. And finally---the continuous photo shoots with hired models (while we're swimming!!!) was really ridiculous. The models were everywhere. Also, rubbish 'pool' which is more like a puddle and small gym. Read Less
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