Ponant Cruise Line – The Cruise Line from Hell
In October my wife and I boarded Ponant Le Champlain at Boston USA for a 2 week cruise to Mexico. My description “the cruise line from hell” relates to the “campylobacter” food poisoning I suffered. Food poisoning/upset stomachs is not necessarily unusual but in this case I became seriously ill.
The food poisoning in my case can easily be directed to the “raw” foie gras that was served on top have beef as a main course.
Campylobacter bacteria can invade your body system and develop symptoms called “Acute axonal neuropathy (AMAN)/Guillian Barre Syndrome. An illness caused by campylobacter bacteria that attacks the nerve ends of legs, arms and the ability to stand. If it goes to the lungs it can be fatal.
On getting home my food poisoning symptoms got worse and I could no longer stand, walk or use my hands. I was admitted to hospital and after extensive tests over two weeks AMAN was diagnosed. We are now almost into March and I still have difficulty walking, standing and very limited use of my hands. It is possible I’ll never walk properly again or have use of my hands.
I made contact with Ponant by email and letters to head office (that had to be signed for on receipt) but Ponant have totally ignored my concerns and seem to have shut down any contact with me. Although I have no evidence of other guests being ill the serious effect on my body could not have been an isolated incident.
It seriously concerns me that this cruise line could have decimated other passengers on the cruise and what is more important they can easily carry on in the same manner
Dining - Being made seriously ill by the food served has a very negative view in my mind.
Embarkation - Fortunately we boarded in Boston. The second leg of the cruise was in Mexico. For those passengers boarding then it was total chaos. The original port the ship wasn't allowed to dock and to be honest nobody on board had any idea what was going on. Those guests wanting to board were moved from port to port.
Enrichment - There were lectures throughout the cruise - in French.
Entertainment - 10 quiz questions and a round of bingo before lunch was the highlight.
Fitness - The pool was good.
Onboard Experience - This cruise line is something to totally reject. Believe me 2 weeks in hospital is something you really don't want.
Public Rooms - These were well furnished and comfortable BUT concerts etc are normally held in the theatre - Not with Ponant they were in the bar.
Shore Excursions - The shore tours of the historic Mexico were very good. Although we booked a all day excursion with an English speaking guide. Our guide could not speak a word of English and totally ignored us all day. A very expensive experience.
Value for money - putting aside the fact that I ended up in hospital and now have been severely impaired in my mobility was it value for money. Believe me NO. I urge everyone DO NOT, DO NOT go anywhere near this company. We have cruised for over 20 years and this line is not 5Star.
The cabin was small but adequate. The balcony was/is a complete waste of space. The opaque railings stop any view of the sea and it is difficult to sit comfortably.