We recently completed our 3rd & 4th cruise with Ponant. Our prior experience was 5 years ago and it was excellent. Again, the service and friendliness of the general staff (servers, bartenders, cabin stewards, cooks, entertainers, excursion helpers, etc.) were excellent! Open bar was a nice touch. The Le Boreal is very nice, but has some limitations for a "luxury" ship. .The rooms are nice, but only 1 chair (2nd person had to sit on bed), very small table, and a very small bathroom. The TV seldom worked and the Internet was slow and often not available. The “included” red wine, white wine & champagne were terrible; the premium wines were over priced. No decent, reasonably priced wines were available. Meals/food were “just OK”; not excellent. Same things daily, over-cooked, not fresh tasting. The bread & cheeses were excellent. Breakfast (eggs) was the probably the best meal of the day .With the exception of 1 excellent lecturer, there were very few lectures and most were poor. Also, there was a Zodiac accident nearly 2 months ago where people could have died and the passengers lost many valuables; there has been no response from Ponant yet.
Ponant has changed hands twice since we first cruised with them and has gone down hill. It had been 4 to 5 stars, now it is 3 stars.