5 Initial thoughts about Cruising with Ponant.

Lois No Cruise Control ©️

In interest of declarations this is classed as an Ad for Ponant. They had initially invited me to an overnight cruise last year, however due to an error they’d double booked. They kindly invited me to chose a Voyage from them to show me what a Ponant Cruise should be like. At no point did they ask me to write anything, nor do they have any say over what I write.

I am a naturally optimistic soul, if you’re wanting nit picking, you have stumbled among the wrong Cruise Blogger. You will not find constant criticism and complaints here. I very much appreciate every moment in life and will always look for the positives!

Well firstly, Ponant was indeed fabulous. However, I don’t think a Ponant Cruise is a Cruise for all British Cruisers…

1. The Food.

The food on board Ponant’s Le Bellot was divine. No food on any cruise line, including the ultra luxury lines like Silversea and Seabourn came close. Every dish was delicious and a work of art laid out on your plate. I was in foodie heaven.

Breakfasts were a French affair of fruit, cheeses, hams, breads, eggs, waffles, pancakes. Lunch consisted of salads , soups, burgers, steaks at the more casual Le Grill on the Pool deck with outside seating. Alternatively go for a more formal lunchtime affair by visiting the main restaurant Le Nautilus. Around afternoon tea time, delicious treats appear in the main Lounge, then Dinner is a scrumptious affair at 19:30 in Le Nautilus, the main restaurant, fine food and a wonderful Ocean view, perfection!

I absolutely loved the food and found no fault ! My husband however felt the portions were small and they were probably a bit too fancy for him.

2. Entertainment.

I was expecting a small range of entertainment on board a small ship with a maximum of 192 guests, and 124 guests on our specific sailing. I was completely wrong! There were many performers on board considering the size, a History Lecturer, who spoke in both English and French. He either undertook separate French and English sessions or undertook a hybrid of both. Whilst speaking one language, subtitles would appear on screen in the other and he seemlessly switched back and forth between the two. It worked so well.

A dance troupe of 3 very talented dancers who often performed in the theatre, sometimes the lounge too.

A very talented singer who usually performed with the three dancers. Singing both French and English songs. There were also three musicians on board. A pianist, who performed a couple of piano recitals in the theatre.

A gentleman who played the guitar and sang. He used a loop pedal to perform covers of modern songs such as Ed Sheeran. There was also another female vocalist who played the piano and also sang with the gentleman who played the guitar at times. They usually performed in the main lounge or the Blue Eye.

3. The Upsale.

I have never experienced the level of upsale on Ponant on any other Ultra Luxury Line. Yes the more mainstream lines are all about the upsale. One of the reasons I love Silversea and Seabourn is that you do not get asked to spend more and more money. There was initially quite a hard core upsale attempt at a more exclusive drinks package during the first few days of the Cruise. This doesn’t happen on other Ultra Luxury lines. Yes, there will be drinks such as Cognacs, exclusive Whiskeys etc which will cost more, but the mainstream array of drinks will be included in the cruise fare. I don’t drink much myself and am most definitely no alcohol connoisseur, however I expect to chose which supermarket available gin I’d like to drink and not have to pay an extra €25 a day for a simple supermarket sold Gin. Despite this weird practice, the drinks on offer with the included package were more than substantial including a nice range of non alcoholic cocktails, you’ll need to pay for a smoothie though! There was also a weird moment at the end of the cruise, we were informed we all HAD to attend the theatre to be read out the letter delivered to our stateroom about disembarkation. During this captive audience we were shown a selection of someone’s holiday photographs and a short video and informed we could buy it for a price. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Cruise DVD for sale, a nice memento for some.

4. The French

Our French fellow passengers were absolutely lovely. We tried to converse and at least speak the polite pleasantries like good morning, good night, please, thank you, sorry etc in French. This made complete sense to us, it’s a French Cruise Line. I feel our effort was appreciated and everyone was nothing but friendly with us even if the conversations ended quite quickly due to the embarrassing extent of our French. The main thing I noticed was that we took a few days to get into the French set of mind. You could tell the American, Australian and British passengers as they all queued politely to enter the Restaurant and expecting to be sat, as is the formal way in these countries. Once we realised the French way was to just go for it and find a table, we were sorted! Don’t queue, head in and find a table that suites you. Makes complete sense really and much more efficient. However, don’t sit at the wrong table. We sat at a table, with no signage , a pristine, untouched table. The waitress appeared and shouted at us that it was not our table. Being polite Brits we moved immediately as she seemed very stressed about it all. No one else sat at this table and I am still none the wiser to her random outburst. She still served us wonderfully on the neighbouring table, just don’t sit at the wrong table!

5. The Decor.

Le Bellot is quite simply beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. Bright, clean, spacious, a joy to cruise upon. I rarely noticed anyone cleaning the public areas of the ship, however they were spotless , all week long. Our Cabin was also spotless, and was a small, perfectly formed private area on the Ship.

Would I cruise with Ponant again.

Oui !

Head over to my YouTube channel to subscribe so you won’t miss when my Ponant Vlog Series is released!

I aim to write and tell you more about the cruise.

However please bare with me around my full time career and I have also just returned from a Holland America Line Cruise I have so much to share about.

If you have any pressing questions , please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask! My email lois@nocruisecontrol.com is probably the best way.


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