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2 Singapore Ponant Le Laperouse Cruise Reviews

Rarely have I been so disappointed by a cruise. I booked, what was promised to be an "Expedition" cruise through the Indonesian archipelago, from Singapore to Darwin. The supposed highlight of this cruise (and the main ... Read More
Rarely have I been so disappointed by a cruise. I booked, what was promised to be an "Expedition" cruise through the Indonesian archipelago, from Singapore to Darwin. The supposed highlight of this cruise (and the main reason why I booked it) was the exclusive visit to an Orang-utan rehabilitation project in the Tanjung Puting National Park on Borneo. Whilst for most other passengers on the cruise, this highlight became true, unfortunately for me and nine other passengers, the visit to the National Park turned out to be a nightmare. Not only started the incompetent expedition guide the Zodiac from the main ship by 90 degrees at inclement weather for one hour into the wrong direction, but also the most simple safety rules for such an outing where totally ignored and the passengers' life put at risk. To mention but a few: No safety rip-cord around the wrist of the guide of the Zodiac; GPS was not pre-set (or even calibrated) for an ocean crossing of 4.5 kilometers in a thunderstorm, nor was the coordinates-sheet laminated or a least in a plastic folder to protect it from splashing water, etc. Needless to say that we never got to see the Orang-utans, because we did not even reach the place, where they were. Excuse or offer of compensation? Not from Ponant.. (see below) This was the only program item which would have qualified as an expedition feature of the entire cruise - everything else was run-of-the-mill, just like any ordinary cruise. If I would have wanted such a programm, I would have chosen the similar Seabourn cruise instead, notably at half the price. I had the most expensive cabin on the ship (except for suites) and was for three days without air condition, with temperatures of more than 25 degrees at night and even higher during the day. The engineer admitted that this was a common problem on this ship near the equator and started procedures. These resulted in having to sleep with noise, measured at 60 decibels (the noise of a lawnmower 10 meters away). Excuse or compensation offer? Not from Ponant... (see below) In the almost three months since I have come back from the cruise, Ponant disgracefully did not reply to any of my messages: Neither, the president of Ponant, nor the corporate head of communications, nor the customer relations department even acknowledged my complaints. I regard this conduct of Ponant as not only bad, but dishonourable. Having been so substantially defrauded by them, I will not use them again and will advise everybody to steer well clear from them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this so called ‘expedition’ cruise mainly for the Orangutan encounter in Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan. Well, because of the total incompetence of the ‘Expedition Team’ we never got there. The expedition guide totally ... Read More
I chose this so called ‘expedition’ cruise mainly for the Orangutan encounter in Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan. Well, because of the total incompetence of the ‘Expedition Team’ we never got there. The expedition guide totally miscalculated the bearings and took us for one and a half hour, over a very bumpy sea, in totally the wrong direction. How this happened is an enigma to me, as he has already been there the same morning with another group. He also had GPS coordinates for the entrance point to the river, but didn’t use them. In fact he didn’t even turn the GPS on until he realised that he was totally lost, one and a half hours later. Now if that’s not incompetence, what is! We eventually found the river’s entrance but it was by now getting dark and we were very far from the ship, we had to turn back. Very, very disappointing and all this could have been avoided if the expedition guide was better trained. The other “expedition” excursions were very run of the mill i.e what any cheap tour operators offer. When we complained about this to the Ponant Group after our return, we were ignored completely, not only by the public relations department and the Customer care department, but also by the Managing Director himself! The food on board is not bad, however the choices are very limited. The expedition personnel should to my mind give preference to the paying customers, but this was not the case, several times I had to make an alternative choice at the buffet, because the expedition staff swept the serving dishes bare. The service in the restaurants are excellent as is the housekeeping staff. The bar staff are friendly and always ready to assist.The Cruise Director, Simone, was outstanding. He could defuse several heated situations on this particular cruise. This company has certainly seen me and I suggest that anyone thinking about booking a cruise with the Ponant Group, think again and look carefully what the opposition offers, i.e Seaborne. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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