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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I had an invitation to cruise the Baltic - a chance for me to retrace my footsteps as a young traveller in this part of the world which has seen so many changes, Le Soleal lived up to all promises, with exceptional French service and ... Read More
I had an invitation to cruise the Baltic - a chance for me to retrace my footsteps as a young traveller in this part of the world which has seen so many changes, Le Soleal lived up to all promises, with exceptional French service and superb food and beverages at all times. Tours were well organised and wonderfully instructive. Relaxing on the ship was a great experience, though we were underwhelmed by the nightime offerings of entertainment and onboard lectures were inadequate (the only negative feature of the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the dining experiences at both restaurants with exceptional variety of foodstyles and ingredients. I appreciated the fresh fruit and salads available at each meal and loved the opportunity to try different dishes and styles of cuisine. The wine list was superb and the martinis excellent! My cabin was spacious, well -organised and beautifully maintained throughout the cruise. My special treat was to visit the bridge on our day at sea and hear all about navigation from the officer in charge. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Weboarded in Stockholm after a three day stay there, we met the ship at the address stated on our paper work, we were greeted by the captain ( a very dry and funny guy) they're still looking for my luggage ( just joking) his crew who ... Read More
Weboarded in Stockholm after a three day stay there, we met the ship at the address stated on our paper work, we were greeted by the captain ( a very dry and funny guy) they're still looking for my luggage ( just joking) his crew who were absolutely fantastic. We had a cabin on deck 6 which was close to the main dining area, perfect for us. We chose the starboard side but in hindsight it wouldn't matter which side of the boat you're on when travelling through the Fjords the scenery was fabulous. Dining was in two areas, the formal and not so formal and both areas had everything covered, the food was sensational and a want for nothing, the food varied always with wonderful breads and desserts, the wines with the meals were just right and if one wanted something more special that was also available at a price. The room service incase one slept in for lunch or dinner was also fabulous. The bars, which I think there were 3, are fantastic the bar tenders super knowledgable and speak multiple languages of course the cocktails were included in the fare so why not a Bloody Mary at 10 am and Pisco sours in the afternoon. The entrainment on the ship was a bit lame and boring it would have been nice if they had a dinner dance or if the musicians who played on the boat separately could have joined together in a band, I felt that the musicians and the opera singer were only there for their own holiday and a fill in. ( my opinion and really need to do some work on it) In the morning there were yoga classes and some dance classes which were fun the teachers had a great sense of humour. We didn't elect to go on any tours as we like to do our own thing when getting to port which was fine for us as we didn't miss the great lunches or cocktails!!! We didn't hear any complaints from people who did go on the tours, passengers weren't given the big sell and we felt very comfortable. The service we received on the ship was absolutely fantastic from George the cabin steward to the ships captain everyone was so obliging. Our cruise quite a mix of race of passengers mostly French who I might add were lovely and we tried to converse regularly, The ship was near capacity at 240 passengers and 142 crew - in my world - perfect - plenty of room to move around no one in each others pockets. I loved every minute of this cruise except for the so called world famous opera and the lame musicians, Please do something so that people can dance after dinner to reasonable music. My wife loved the yoga and dance classes All in all a fabulous time Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to cruise around Norway. Also we had cruised with Seabourne and Silverseas and we decided to try a cruise with Ponant We enjoyed the cruise and found the atmosphere great and staff very friendly. This came all the way down ... Read More
We wanted to cruise around Norway. Also we had cruised with Seabourne and Silverseas and we decided to try a cruise with Ponant We enjoyed the cruise and found the atmosphere great and staff very friendly. This came all the way down from the Captain who was remarkably attentive seeing us off and welcoming us from onshore excursions. The entertainment on the boat was excellent and the shore excursions were well chosen with excellent guides. We found the food on board adequate but it lacked variety. Also there was insufficient fresh local content. There were wonderful fresh berries in The market in Bergen yet we were never offered these berries for breakfast. Similarly we were not offered the varieties of fish, particularly herrings available onshore. The wines offered with meals were mediocre. I found this surprising on a French boat. It is true that I could have purchased better wine but I believe that if you serve good quality meals the wine should be of equal quality without the need to pay extra for a decent bottle of wine. At times the service in the restaurant on the sixth floor was poor. There were not enough waiters allotted to this restaurant and consequently water glasses were not replenished and used plates were not taken away in a timely fashion. My only other comment is in regard to the lectures on Scandinavia given during the cruise. I felt that these could have been improved. The images were difficult to see and the talk was not well organized Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
The itinerary was fabulous, with varied and interesting ports of call: Beautiful Stockholm, elegant Helsinki, opulent St Petersburg (3 days), unspoilt Tallin with its exquisite Old Town and lovely local shops, finishing in elegant ... Read More
The itinerary was fabulous, with varied and interesting ports of call: Beautiful Stockholm, elegant Helsinki, opulent St Petersburg (3 days), unspoilt Tallin with its exquisite Old Town and lovely local shops, finishing in elegant Copenhagen. We spent a few days exploring Stockholm prior to departing for the Balic Sea and spent a couple of days in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise. The service was outstanding throughout the entire cruise with smiling helpful staff making you feel very welcome at all times. Much of the crew is from the Philippines with the cruise director and officers mostly being French. Everyone spoke excellent English. Embarkation and disembarkation ran extremely smoothly. The ship's decor is understated and elegant. Its three lounges/theatre allow plenty of room for passengers to relax in common areas and never feel crowded. The more formal restaurant on Deck 2 can seat the entire ship in one sitting. There is no need to book a table and staff will accommodate your wishes to sit alone or with a group. With about half the passengers being French and the other half English, your preferred language and preferred dining companions are taken into consideration when offering you a table for dinner. The more casual buffet and carvery restaurant is on Deck 6 and, despite being more casual, bookings are advised. There is no specific dress code, but smart casual is expected in the dining room. Some passengers choose to dress more formally for the Captain's dinner and most men wear a sports jacket, but many women are in pants. There is certainly no need for formal attire. The food is of excellent quality with a French influence. We loved it. The cabins are located towards the bow of the ship and most common areas towards the stern resulting in no discernible engine noise. Our cabin was well appointed, attractive, very comfortable and spacious, with a king-size bed and excellent storage. A desk, lounge chair and small table were very useful. The floor-ceiling doors leading to the good size balcony were wonderful and you could pull back the drapes and lie in bed and look out at the passing landsccape if you wished. A fabulous lecturer gave extremely informative and entertaining lectures on each port. We didn't pay much attention to the entertainment, choosing instead to chat with fellow passengers in the bar. The spa was wonderful. We would certainly travel with Ponant again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
What an amazing adventure. Embarked at Stockholm after a couple of days on our own exploring the city- the experience was totally seamless and the crew were there to meet us and make us feel so Welcome The accommodation was just ... Read More
What an amazing adventure. Embarked at Stockholm after a couple of days on our own exploring the city- the experience was totally seamless and the crew were there to meet us and make us feel so Welcome The accommodation was just beautiful and it didn't matter what we asked for nothing was too much trouble. Food was outstanding and the entertainment was great We touched several ports and had 3 days at St Petersburg before heading back and disembarking at Copenhagen The best thing about this trip was the size. My first time cruising and I did not want to get on a ship with 2000-4000 other people. We wanted small and intimate, and that's just what we got - totally spoilt! We would book another in an instance, I just wish I could get more time off work so we could do more adventures! Ponant have so much to offer and many different places to go Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We paid a premium price for this cruise to see what a more luxurious ship was like. We expected much more than we actually got. Ship only 2 years old, so quite modern and trendier than other cruise lines. Cabin same size as normal ship, ... Read More
We paid a premium price for this cruise to see what a more luxurious ship was like. We expected much more than we actually got. Ship only 2 years old, so quite modern and trendier than other cruise lines. Cabin same size as normal ship, although the toilet was separate which was good. The lounge areas were uninspiring. Afternoons entertainment violinist and a jazz singer, piano player. They were quite good for afternoon entertainment. Night there was sometimes a dance show, but nothing in the main lounge area. No music, no dancing, zero atmosphere. If you wanted to sit in there it was quite boring. Ponant have to lift their game if they want to come into the Australian market. Food just average, we expected better for the price we paid. Staff very good, no complaints there. Restaurant staff very helpful. Front desk staff not greatly friendly. Ship always clean and neat. Read Less
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