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This Ponant cruise greatly exceeded our expectations! We're first time cruisers and read many reviews before choosing this cruise line. We were looking for a smaller ship that would provide a more personal experience which could get into some of the tighter ports and avoid the crush of hundreds of other travelers with the same agenda. Embarkation was smooth. Once we cleared security at the terminal, it wasn't long before we were escorted on-board, being greeted by a smiling ship's captain and senior officers as we embarked. The Cruise Director, Kamel, and entire on-board staff we interacted with were professional, friendly, helpful and smiling. This made for a very enjoyable upbeat cruise. The ship was clean and had a very elegant feel. Each of the public areas were spacious and kept immaculate. The dining was exceptional. Whether we chose the more casual dining experience on Deck 6 or the more formal service on Level 2, the smiling staff were attentive and helpful. The food was fresh, inventive, beautifully plated and offered a variety to satisfy all tastes.We especially enjoyed the fresh fish of the day. Ponant truly delivered on its promise of 'gastonomie francaise!' There was a good choice of excursions at each port of call. Our ability to enjoy these excursions was enhanced by the on-board guest lecturers that discussed the history, geology, flora & fauna of Alaska. The zodiac excursion to the face of the Dawes Glacier and Endicott Arm was a clear trip highlight. Although this was a smaller ship with 120 staterooms, we were delighted with the quality of the nightly entertainment and hourly activities one could participate in, whether it be games for the kids, yoga, stretching, zoomba and a fitness room for the healthy-minded on-board or cozy spots in their library to curl up with a good book. Ponant also offered pre- and post-cruise travel options, which we did not participate in. We would not hesitate to travel with this company again. We're already planning our next cruise with them!

Dream vacation that exceeded our expectations!

Le Soleal Cruise Review by Bobblldew4now

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
This Ponant cruise greatly exceeded our expectations! We're first time cruisers and read many reviews before choosing this cruise line. We were looking for a smaller ship that would provide a more personal experience which could get into some of the tighter ports and avoid the crush of hundreds of other travelers with the same agenda.

Embarkation was smooth. Once we cleared security at the terminal, it wasn't long before we were escorted on-board, being greeted by a smiling ship's captain and senior officers as we embarked.

The Cruise Director, Kamel, and entire on-board staff we interacted with were professional, friendly, helpful and smiling. This made for a very enjoyable upbeat cruise.

The ship was clean and had a very elegant feel. Each of the public areas were spacious and kept immaculate.

The dining was exceptional. Whether we chose the more casual dining experience on Deck 6 or the more formal service on Level 2, the smiling staff were attentive and helpful. The food was fresh, inventive, beautifully plated and offered a variety to satisfy all tastes.We especially enjoyed the fresh fish of the day. Ponant truly delivered on its promise of 'gastonomie francaise!'

There was a good choice of excursions at each port of call. Our ability to enjoy these excursions was enhanced by the on-board guest lecturers that discussed the history, geology, flora & fauna of Alaska. The zodiac excursion to the face of the Dawes Glacier and Endicott Arm was a clear trip highlight.

Although this was a smaller ship with 120 staterooms, we were delighted with the quality of the nightly entertainment and hourly activities one could participate in, whether it be games for the kids, yoga, stretching, zoomba and a fitness room for the healthy-minded on-board or cozy spots in their library to curl up with a good book.

Ponant also offered pre- and post-cruise travel options, which we did not participate in.

We would not hesitate to travel with this company again. We're already planning our next cruise with them!
Bobblldew4now’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 318
Our accommodations on-board were first rate, elegant and spacious. They definitely made the most of every space within the room to accommodate our belongings without making us feel closed in. Our room had both a balcony and large picture window to let in the light and enjoy the scenery.
Our steward, Ike, was friendly, attentive, and despite caring for many passengers on our deck, remembered our names each time we came down the hall toward our room. He continually asked us if there was anything he could do to make our trip more enjoyable. We felt like we had a personal valet!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Wildlife Tour
    One and a half hour tour of the Chilkat River and all the channels in a quiet airboat. Saw some eagles and moose.
    View All 10 Wildlife Tour Reviews
  • Rainforest Hike
    Great day in Ketchikan... we arrived just in time to enjoy their 4th of July parade down Main St. Had a guided tour of the Rainforest Sanctuary & Raptor Center, then visited the Totem Heritage Center. An excellent docent explained the work at the center and history of various totems. Then headed to Creek Street, where we could wander on our own.
    View All 91 Rainforest Hike Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    Our guide took us up north on the Klondike Highway relating the history of the Klondike Gold Rush and the settlers who dreamed of striking it rich. We traveled on the completely modernized and refurbished narrow gauge railcars, the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Out of this world experience of scenery and history on this 20 mile trip from the top back down to Skagway. So glad we did this!
    View All 1,032 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews