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L'Austral Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
106 Reviews

Great Itinerary and Enrichment Lectures, Cramped Cabins, and Poor Food Service

L'Austral Cruise Review by billmccl

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2016
  • Destination: the Western Mediterranean

The itinerary of Morocco and Andalusia was our primary attraction. The itinerary and the tours were up to expectations. Excellent and recommended

We expected a 6 star cruise line, although Ponant and their ships are fairly new in the cruise industry. We appreciated the modest number of passengers, and we look for the cruise lines that have smaller ships. We have been Seabourn fans for some years, but are now avoiding them as their ships have grown from ~150 to over 700.

Ponant provided an excellent and engaging set of talks and lectures which we thoroughly enjoyed on the history of Morocco, Andalusia and Islam. We long for the more intimate cruising experience with an emphasis on historic and cultural presentations. Ponant delivered on this promise.

Ponant’s service outside of the dining room was excellent, their staff well trained. The food was not up to our expectations, a surprise given the French ownership of the line. The dining room service was the weak point in an otherwise excellent service experience. We routinely required almost two hours to eat in the dining room with extended waits for the food.

Perhaps our biggest problem was with the staterooms. They were incredibly small and cramped. Significantly smaller than the Seabourn staterooms.

We will not likely cruise with Ponant again in the future because of the cramped staterooms.

billmccl's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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