1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Le Boreal
We saw this ship while on a another cruise and was impressed by its look and finish and commented that we should try this company/ship. When we saw a cruise around French Polynesia we were excited, the online information sounded great, the cost was high compared to other all inclusive lines. I booked direct with Ponant in Sydney and the staff were very helpful and I was able to obtain the cabin I thought would suit us best. Boarding in Papeete was unprofessional and dysfunctional, no staff were on the ground to help you or tell you what you needed to do, we were treated as if we were just off for the day sightseeing and not as new guests arriving. There was also NO security screening of any kind. The cabin was adequate, storage was limited but after a day or so we sorted out the room. The bathroom was small in size but well designed, large walk in shower with good water pressure, a rain shower and a hand held, with a glass door/wall. Another great feature is a glass wall panel the looks out into the cabin, this made the space seem much bigger and you can look out to the ocean while in the bathroom, there is also a seperate toilet. The bed/ linen/ pillows were good, over the 7 nights we only saw our room steward once, the room was well maintained and keep clean, toiletries were replenished as required.the fridge in the room did not get cold at all. The ship itself is well designed and easy to get around, being on the small side, the public spaces were limited but they worked well. The dining areas were well presented and I will give more detail re this by area. The Bistro dining area was very well laid out and it opened out onto the pool deck, plenty of seats for two, great selection of food and it was always presented very well.The staff in this area were very helpful and the wine supplied was quite drinkable. We enjoyed every meal we had in this space. The main dining room was formal, the issues I had was there were no tables set for two, I am not a fan of sharing a table for meals, at this level of ship I think this is a major failure in design. We also had very erratic service in this restaurant it went from fantastic to us walking out one night as we sat waiting for 20 minutes for anybody to supply a menu or any form of service. I must admit the Maitre'd did his best to make amends and we did not have any issues again, the food was well presented and very enjoyable. The one major concern we had was the public announcements, all were in French which was as expected, but the English announcements were always short and sometimes not at all and you had the impression that you were only getting half the information. The other guests on the ship were predominantly French and they excelled themselves at being rude and impolite. We have been to different areas of France and spent weeks in Paris over the years and I have never encounted this before. We befriended a couple from Quebec and even they said the same thing, so I know I was not being sensitive, the other English speaking people told me they had the same issue. The staff ranged from rude and unhelpful to lovely, I found the most problems at the main reception desk on level 3, I rang on one occasion and the lady who answered could not speak any English. I always knew that English would be the second language but the office staff were at times just rude while answering you in English. This is the first time in all the cruises we have done that I was pleased to disembark, I wonder was it a "tour group" mentality that the other passengers had, or the fact that it was cruising in a French territory, but either way it was unpleasant. Would I cruise with Ponant again, I am not sure, I loved the ship but..... I feel Ponant have not decided if they are a French Domestic Cruise company only because thats how it seems onboard or if they are truly a global cruise company, compared to Silversea and Azamara they have a long way to go.

It's one of the best.... only if your French

Le Boreal Cruise Review by Jordy

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Prestige Stateroom
We saw this ship while on a another cruise and was impressed by its look and finish and commented that we should try this company/ship.

When we saw a cruise around French Polynesia we were excited, the online information sounded great, the cost was high compared to other all inclusive lines.

I booked direct with Ponant in Sydney and the staff were very helpful and I was able to obtain the cabin I thought would suit us best.

Boarding in Papeete was unprofessional and dysfunctional, no staff were on the ground to help you or tell you what you needed to do, we were treated as if we were just off for the day sightseeing and not as new guests arriving.

There was also NO security screening of any kind.

The cabin was adequate, storage was limited but after a day or so we sorted out the room.

The bathroom was small in size but well designed, large walk in shower with good water pressure, a rain shower and a hand held, with a glass door/wall.

Another great feature is a glass wall panel the looks out into the cabin, this made the space seem much bigger and you can look out to the ocean while in the bathroom, there is also a seperate toilet.

The bed/ linen/ pillows were good, over the 7 nights we only saw our room steward once, the room was well maintained and keep clean, toiletries were replenished as required.the fridge in the room did not get cold at all.

The ship itself is well designed and easy to get around, being on the small side, the public spaces were limited but they worked well.

The dining areas were well presented and I will give more detail re this by area.

The Bistro dining area was very well laid out and it opened out onto the pool deck, plenty of seats for two, great selection of food and it was always presented very well.The staff in this area were very helpful and the wine supplied was quite drinkable.

We enjoyed every meal we had in this space.

The main dining room was formal, the issues I had was there were no tables set for two, I am not a fan of sharing a table for meals, at this level of ship I think this is a major failure in design.

We also had very erratic service in this restaurant it went from fantastic to us walking out one night as we sat waiting for 20 minutes for anybody to supply a menu or any form of service.

I must admit the Maitre'd did his best to make amends and we did not have any issues again, the food was well presented and very enjoyable.

The one major concern we had was the public announcements, all were in French which was as expected, but the English announcements were always short and sometimes not at all and you had the impression that you were only getting half the information.

The other guests on the ship were predominantly French and they excelled themselves at being rude and impolite.

We have been to different areas of France and spent weeks in Paris over the years and I have never encounted this before.

We befriended a couple from Quebec and even they said the same thing, so I know I was not being sensitive, the other English speaking people told me they had the same issue.

The staff ranged from rude and unhelpful to lovely, I found the most problems at the main reception desk on level 3, I rang on one occasion and the lady who answered could not speak any English.

I always knew that English would be the second language but the office staff were at times just rude while answering you in English.

This is the first time in all the cruises we have done that I was pleased to disembark, I wonder was it a "tour group" mentality that the other passengers had, or the fact that it was cruising in a French territory, but either way it was unpleasant.

Would I cruise with Ponant again, I am not sure, I loved the ship but.....

I feel Ponant have not decided if they are a French Domestic Cruise company only because thats how it seems onboard or if they are truly a global cruise company, compared to Silversea and Azamara they have a long way to go.
Jordy’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Ponant Le Boreal price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Prestige Stateroom
Cabin PS 539
Good position on the ship, more central, close to the stairwell. the a/c did not seem to work very well, the cabin was always stuffy/warm, they did have it looked at but was only a little improvement in cooling.
  Le Boreal Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews