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20 Ponant Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We chose this ship as it was small and seemed an ideal way to visit Croatia. Previous reviews were worrying with comments about smoking on board but this was not a huge problem. The French do smoke out on the decks but not inside. The pomp ... Read More
We chose this ship as it was small and seemed an ideal way to visit Croatia. Previous reviews were worrying with comments about smoking on board but this was not a huge problem. The French do smoke out on the decks but not inside. The pomp and ceremony didnt appeal on boarding but it went smoothly. The cabin on deck 4 was fine. Quite compact but a lovely shower with plenty Hermes toiletries replenished daily. Excellent service of the cabin. Nice balcony, comfy bed and very smooth sailing every day for 8 days. There was a single chair and an ottoman if you wanted room service. We used this once, it was ok. The times to eat were quite rigid and we did see crew clearing the food away at the buffet right on deadlines! The bars were fine, lovely crew, drinks and nibbles ok. The cocktail party was a joke. No cocktails in sight just champagne or water. No cocktail food as such, a couple of cooked carrot balls and dried olive inedible pastry. Which brings me to the food. french, we thought it would be a highlight.... breakfast on level 2 was great. Couldnt ask for more, fruit, pastries( they were cold and tired and needed to be reheated) On level 6 it was a buffet free for all. Food difficult to reach and at several stations. Lunch was the same and dinner on level 6. We ate maily on 2, al la carte. Food was plain, steak inedible, vegetables, boiled, reheated, deserts teasteless often. Wine was ok. The food was presented well but the taste was a total let down. As for Croatia. If you dont like smoking beware. Montenegro smoking inside cafes etc. people quite friendly, time ashore was enough. The day in Split, walking to the old town was terrible via a chaotic port. Dubrovnik, lovely. We found the crew very friendly and helpful. Most were French, rest were from USA, Uk, Australia. Would we cruise again? No. Mention must also be made of the very poor Ponant online site. We received photocopied docements a weeks before departure with no instructions on how to find the ship in Venice. It leaves from San Basilio. A vaporretto 5.1 will take you there. We found this out ourselves. Ponant offered no information at all in this regard. Entertainment was a small group of excellent dancers each night. We did our own excursions not with a group. Disembarkation was fine Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Ponant met our needs with their short 7 night cruise down the Dalmatian Coast. We had some friends who had taken this cruise and recommended it.Looking back on the experience we would have to say it exceeded their recommendation. Although ... Read More
Ponant met our needs with their short 7 night cruise down the Dalmatian Coast. We had some friends who had taken this cruise and recommended it.Looking back on the experience we would have to say it exceeded their recommendation. Although we only slept there the cabin was excellent, the crew (with one exception) were great, a special mention to the cabin cleaning staff who opened cabin doors with a smile,were always helpful and kept our cabin clean and tidy. The captain was brilliant (the tour of the ships bridge was memorable). Whether it be fine dining or buffet the food was amazing and one of the red wines ( the captains pick?) was a stand out. Special mention to the dining staff and their great sense of humour - great service with a laugh thrown in. In summary a very special experience and yes we would take another cruise with Ponant in a heartbeat. Well done guys. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was the second cruise that we did on Le Lyrial ( Ponant ) . All of our needs were taken care of by a very professional staff and crew . We had an excellent cabin ( # 614) that was very close to one of the restaurants and the swimming ... Read More
This was the second cruise that we did on Le Lyrial ( Ponant ) . All of our needs were taken care of by a very professional staff and crew . We had an excellent cabin ( # 614) that was very close to one of the restaurants and the swimming deck . We enjoyed the buffet restaurant on the sixth level for lunch and dinner and were able to make an advance reservation at a certain table each evening for dinner . The service by the staff at this restaurant was excellent . We participated in four excursions that included the waterfall tour , sailing , kayaking and a walking tour . Each excursion had great guides and were well worth the extra money . We stayed in Venice for three nights and thought it was very crowded , hot and very expensive to get to and from the airport and the cruise terminal . Ponant did a very nice job in setting up our itinerary with very good guides . Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our first consideration was to visit places we had chosen in the Adriatic. Not all of our needs could be met wiht any of the cruise options we explored and narrowed it down to a number of cruise providers that best met our needs. We were ... Read More
Our first consideration was to visit places we had chosen in the Adriatic. Not all of our needs could be met wiht any of the cruise options we explored and narrowed it down to a number of cruise providers that best met our needs. We were not familiar with some of the stops on this cruise but were prepared to accept those offered as good examples of the Croatian coast and towns. A second consideration was the size of the ship. We wanted to travel on a smaller vessel that was large enough too provide a high level of comfort and service but small enough to enable easy access in ports. We had travelled on a large ship previously and wanted to avoid queues and delays in the various ports we visited. A third consideration was the all inclusive price. The ease of attending the restaurants and bars without having to consider budget was important. When travelling with a group of friends the release from worrying about whether your preferences will weigh more heavily on a restaurant or bar bill makes the experience more relaxing. Our experience was that all of our needs were met on Le Lyrial. Of particular note was the quality of service provided by the friendly crew. In the short time we were on board we got to know a number of the wait and bar staff by first name. We also attended an informative, interesting and at times humourous presentation on navigation provided by the captain. We also noted that the captain took his turn as crew on the vessel taking guests ashore on one of the visits. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The Good. The wait staff, front reception or any staff you met on deck exceptional! Rooms are very nice and clean and housekeeping excellent. I have travelled on a few River Cruises expecting a closet on a Small Ship. Not the case very ... Read More
The Good. The wait staff, front reception or any staff you met on deck exceptional! Rooms are very nice and clean and housekeeping excellent. I have travelled on a few River Cruises expecting a closet on a Small Ship. Not the case very nice. Shore excursions great. Our safety briefing was conducted by someone who did not have a great command of the English language. I left the session still not sure what to do in an emergency. We were asked to go back to our cabins to get our life jacket to ensure we knew how to put it on. What?? The boat would have sank by the time everyone returned. Now the bad, the food on the boat ough. Keep in mind I Love KD at home! So I am easy to please. Breakfast- eggs Benedict under a heat lamp, scrambled eggs in a large tray looked like yellow porridge, lunch had us looking at a Sword Fish as they gutted it. Every time I looked I saw guts from this animal dumped in a pail and the last view cutting the head off. This was the chef’s show for lunch ough. Dinner, it started day one no service. We had to flag down a waiter who was doing his best to keep up. Some tables almost finished their dinner before we received our appetizers. This continues throughput my trip and I returned two meals. The dinners around my table were returned or not eaten, however the pastries chef excellent. Tauck should include more on shore meals. When you look at the cost of the cruise and then add on shore meals you were responsible for this proves to be an expensive trip. Read Less
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
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
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
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
Sail Date July 2018
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
Sail Date September 2017
A wonderful experience in every aspect. Le Ponant is a beautiful yacht with thirty-two cabins and ideal for the itinerary with so much stunning scenery. Comfortable cabins, with good bathroom and shower, hairdryer. Friendly ... Read More
A wonderful experience in every aspect. Le Ponant is a beautiful yacht with thirty-two cabins and ideal for the itinerary with so much stunning scenery. Comfortable cabins, with good bathroom and shower, hairdryer. Friendly Captain and Crew readily available to interact with passengers. Excellent food and waiters, with formal dining and dining on deck being our preferred option. Ports of call beautiful and unique with zodiacs at our disposal. Opportunities to swim off the back of the yacht as well as opportunities at most ports of call with sections of beach set aside with Ponant beach umbrellas set up by the wonderful crew. At Calvi, we were served champagne and oysters on the beach. Excursions optional but so interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation was effortless. We have traveled quite extensively and this experience is the most memorable and fun we have undertaken and we would do it all again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This cruise was chosen as a celebratory event for a 50th wedding anniversary and was chosen because it had an art theme. It also had an interesting itinery and the cruise dates fitted in with the dates to visit family in Sweden during ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a celebratory event for a 50th wedding anniversary and was chosen because it had an art theme. It also had an interesting itinery and the cruise dates fitted in with the dates to visit family in Sweden during their summer holidays. The features included special excursions to coincide with the Venice Biennale with open tickets to the evnts whilst in Venice. The cruise had attendance of some art specialists from the international firm of Christies and this provided interesting insights into the bsuiness world of collectable art assets. The food was well balanced with some specialties such as fresh oysters and calamari at selected ports. The excursions were led by very competant guides and with the exception of being placed in a french speaking group (an issue that was rectified at the first rerst stop) the information and content was very interesting. In Dubrovnik we were treated to some excellent singing in the Rector's palace by a local group of male acapella singers known as the Klapa Subrenum singers. The Adriatic was at peace during the whole trip and the ship was very quiet being electrically propelled. Passing though the Corinth canal was a treat and worth a special mention in case the choice of ship size is important. The small ship format was importnant to us as we had only cruised twice previously ( on the Orion under Australian waters and SS Catherine on the Rhone river cruise with Uniworld) and so prefered the more intimate and casual style which we were happy with. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This back to back cruise was my fourth with Ponant and as on previous cruises, I enjoyed myself immensely. The wonderful ship, the staff, who did everything to ensure a leisurely, safe and carefree cruise......it just all fitted. The food ... Read More
This back to back cruise was my fourth with Ponant and as on previous cruises, I enjoyed myself immensely. The wonderful ship, the staff, who did everything to ensure a leisurely, safe and carefree cruise......it just all fitted. The food was delicious and offered great variety; even for a vegetarian like me. I would also like to mention the cleanliness in the cabin as well as all over the ship and especially the friendliness of the staff. The shore excursions were always very well organized with English - and French speaking guides. Thanks to the cruise designer I found the excursions interesting and always very informative. In most cases, except maybe once or twice, there was plenty of time to get the maximum enjoyment out of the excursions. Although I travel on my own, there was always a lot of diversion in the form of entertainment and activities on and off the ship. To sum it up, the whole fortnight was again a great, unforgettable experience for me and I hope to be on board of "Le Lyrial" or any other of Ponant´s ships very soon. Since I travel on my own, I would appreciate maybe more cruise-choises without single supplement. This is also the wish of some friends of mine, who also usually travel on their own. Thanks again to everybody at Ponant who is involved in making these cruises so wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our cruise on the Le Lyrial was quite enjoyable with great food and wine. The Asian crew made sure you had everything that you wanted without a fuss to make sure that you enjoyed your time on board. Saying this I have to say that ... Read More
Our cruise on the Le Lyrial was quite enjoyable with great food and wine. The Asian crew made sure you had everything that you wanted without a fuss to make sure that you enjoyed your time on board. Saying this I have to say that the Cruise Director, Guest Relation Manager and Shorex Manager were extremely rude young women who would only speak to you if you were french. One of these women was not going to listen to me until I said (are you gong to listen to my complaint - twice). There was no organisation for tours going ashore and one day the Shorex Manager was yelling at people asking where to go to meet the tour guide. Meals at dinner in the Le Celeste was very rushed. Entre plate taken and one swoop next dish placed in front of you at the same for the next course. Ponant is having four new ships delivered in the next two years and that means more english speaking people therefore Ponant needs to have all French staff except other languages. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Sailed aboard the Lyrical The ship epitomizes its French origins - go for show, worry about substance another time. The boat is modern, sleek, and almost well designed. The cabins are nice. The food itself is mediocre. I have had ... Read More
Sailed aboard the Lyrical The ship epitomizes its French origins - go for show, worry about substance another time. The boat is modern, sleek, and almost well designed. The cabins are nice. The food itself is mediocre. I have had better on other cruise lines. They make a great show of presentation,when serving the food but calling a hot dog a tube steak does not change the fact that it is still a hot dog. The first meal after embarkation was 35 - 45 minutes late. No explanation. A few things which would have improved my experience on board. When they say it is a small ship, they are telling the truth. You get one washroom. That is it. There may be other washroom facilities on board the ship but the only other one I saw, besides the one in my cabin, was kept locked. If you are at one end of the ship and need the washroom, you have to move quickly, and hope your roommate is not using it. The bulk of the serving staff were French, and they let you know it. If you were not French,well they condescended to serve you. You were expected to be impressed, and pay for some of their fantastic wines. Internet charges are reasonable, I think. They started at 30 Euros, and went up from there. I don't know how good the wifi service was on board because I never used it.. Of course when I got off the boat there are lots of places which provided wifi for free. The staff claims to understand English, but only to their advantage. When I put the gratuity for the staff on my credit card at the end of the trip, I expressed the amount in dollars. When I asked for a receipt, the staff member would not give me one, but assured me it was correct. Except it was not. They got the amount right. But they put it through in Euros, not in dollars. Sailing on Le Lyrial was an interesting learning experience for me. I don't think I will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
A very enjoyable cruise on a well presented and managed ship. My wife has been reluctant to cruise and this was her first. At the end of the cruise she was speaking about the next. What made this very enjoyable was the small ship ... Read More
A very enjoyable cruise on a well presented and managed ship. My wife has been reluctant to cruise and this was her first. At the end of the cruise she was speaking about the next. What made this very enjoyable was the small ship concept which made for a very pleasant uncrowded time on-board ship - we had 240 passengers with all cabins taken. A good mix of nationalities. The staff were attentive and efficient. As you would expect from a French ship the food was excellent and lived up to what you would expect from any good French restaurant. While the whole ship had an open bar, the selection of French wines in the restaurants could have been better. The ship's public areas were well appointed and not crowded. The cabin was spacious, modern and well appointed with a very usable balcony. The on-shore excursions were well organised and informative. Of course, there were some ports where doing your own thing was appealing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We found the Trip a great experience, the crew friendly professional and helpful at any time .The food and beverages of high quality and selection. The selection of stops for swimming excellent. The stop for Sardinia,-Porto Cervo a waste ... Read More
We found the Trip a great experience, the crew friendly professional and helpful at any time .The food and beverages of high quality and selection. The selection of stops for swimming excellent. The stop for Sardinia,-Porto Cervo a waste of time. Bonifacio a great location. Also we enjoyed the mix of people on the boat and the occasion of meeting Mr. Stephen Winter who gave us an insight on the cruise business in general and the Le Potent concept in particular. All in All nothing to complain about except two small issues: - The introduction after coming on board held in english was very poor and the information given was only a fraction of the same in French. This needs to be improved. - The beds are simply too small and this could eb improved by having them facing the wall on side as it would be perfectly OK just to enter from one side or the foot end. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This APT tour from June 14-30 on the new Le Lyrial French ship with city stays in Venice & Istanbul was a disaster from beginning to end. At $2000/day for my wife and me, the trip was plagued by one issue after another. The Venice City ... Read More
This APT tour from June 14-30 on the new Le Lyrial French ship with city stays in Venice & Istanbul was a disaster from beginning to end. At $2000/day for my wife and me, the trip was plagued by one issue after another. The Venice City stay was poor value. Three ports, Korcula, Otranto & Mytilini were cut due to time moored at a Trogir ship yard to repair damage caused by a collision with the Split Wharf and then a refusal by the port authority in Otranto to allow tendering to shore in choppy but not insurmountable conditions. This was then exacerbated by a fouled anchor which prevented the ship calling into Corfu as a belated alternative to Otranto. There were other issues such as an exceedingly poor attitude , organisational inefficiency and unresponsiveness by the APT Cruise Director over much of the early part of the holiday. It was generally felt that this trip was well below previous experience with APT and certainly not worth the $2000/day cost per couple to most of the passengers. It failed in almost all respects to live up to what was promised in the glossy APT brochure and other material which promoted the expectation that smaller ships can dock at more wharfs and visit attractive smaller places and enable ready access to and from the ship instead of having to line up for the tender to shore. Although the ship and cabins were lovely, the cuisine and beverages were no better than what we've experienced on Holland America and inferior to that on a Hurtigruten cruise down the coast of Norway. In summary, it's such a pity that this trip fell way short in almost all respects from everybody's expectations and prior experience and no doubt all passengers are awaiting a more formal and satisfactory response from APT than the paltry $500/cabin credit that's been offered to date. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The cruise was booked by a travel agent for a group of about 125. The travel agent handled all excursions and several cultural and historical presentations during the cruise so I can't comment on how the ship would have handled them. ... Read More
The cruise was booked by a travel agent for a group of about 125. The travel agent handled all excursions and several cultural and historical presentations during the cruise so I can't comment on how the ship would have handled them. I can comment about the ship, the cabin, dining and other activities on the ship. On arrival, we were warmly greeted by ships crew and escorted to our room where our luggage waited. Our room on the 6th deck near the buffet restaurant was ship-small but had drawers and closets to handle clothing and gear. The bed was high enough to stow empty luggage. The split bath has a toilet in one room and a sink and shower in the other so a visit to one meant a visit to the other. A sink in the toilet room would have been useful but there was not room . A small desk between the bed and the bath wall would have been useful as a dressing table if there had been a large mirror over it. Instead, the large mirror was on the wall of drawers at the foot of the bed making a "pinch-point" in the room - if one spouse was trying to apply make-up or fix hair while the other needed to get in the drawers or to the other side of the room. The veranda was nice with a table and 2 chairs. There are two dining options for most meals - the 6th floor buffet and the 2nd floor restaurant. We prefer the 6th floor for choice, speed, and the option of eating on the back deck. The buffet staff are beyond helpful. They knew our food/drink/location preferences after the first day and were quick to take our plate and seat us. The set up of the buffet requires a bit of wandering around. A hot food station to the left of the door has meat/fish (or eggs/bacon/sausage at breakfast) and starch and vegetable dishes. To the right of the door is a salad and cold meat station. At the back is a carving station and a soup station (porridge at breakfast). To the left of that is a bread and cheese station. Desserts included a variety of small french pastries, cookies, sauces, ice cream and puddings. A core of offerings was the same daily but with new items at each meal for variety. The 2nd floor restaurant is the more elegant space however the tables are packed tightly. If you are on the outside by a window, you are there for the duration.The wait staff is gracious, quickly refilling water and wine. Service is European slow - an hour and a half for dinner is typical and sometimes after a day of excursions, we just wanted to relax with our feet up. The menu has 2-4 nightly options for each course that are all ordered at the beginning. These are more gourmet than the buffet. There were not a lot of daily activities since our group had excursions each port day. There is a library with a small offering of books even a few in English and some computer stations if you have purchased wi-fi. We did not so I cannot comment on the speed. The cruise director, Maria, offered daily Spanish, Italian and French language lessons that were well attended. There were also a few team trivia sessions that were great fun. The entertainment included classical piano each evening, a lounge singer with a sound-track backup, a couple of guitarists, and a dance group that was making its debut. The dancers seemed to mostly change costumes and fling their bodies around with sultry looks on their faces, but possibly this is very European? This is our second cruise on a Ponant ship and we would definitely cruise again if the itinerary fit our needs. We like the smaller ship atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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