This was our 14th cruise, the second on Ponant, and we sought it out because we are tired of the large ship cruises. Ponant offers expeditionary experiences, rather than the traditional "rest, relax and party" cruise, so we approached our time with that expectation.
We were incredibly impressed. The ship is graceful, beautiful and very comfortable. Appointments are sophisticated and of the highest quality. Cabins are a bit smaller than you might encounter on a huge ship, but actually better laid out than most and are attractive, comfortable, with plenty of storage, and very luxurious beds. (The toilet might have felt a little cramped, if you are a larger person, but was still quite functional.) We were very happy.
The entire Ponant team, from the Captain on down, were friendly, personable and attentive. The food was very, very good - especially the deserts - and the "always available" menu was good too, if you didn't care for beef cheeks or some of the other more exotic offerings. The poolside luncheon options were really fun, also. There were a couple of options that still make me salivate, just thinking about them. The ham & egg galette is one example. Wine offerings were wonderful too. Bartenders remembered your drinks and were happy to try something they'd never heard of before.