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

Not up to the standards of better cruise lines

L'Austral Cruise Review by DavidCS

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: Asia

Chosen because of itinerary - shore excursions featured in promotional materials.

Ponant completed mismanaged all shore activities from arrival at airport through nearly all shore excursions. Ponant rep could not find driver and bus at Narita airport keeping us waiting more than an hour causing us to arrive at destination after dark so that we could not see the first featured garden. Most local guides spoke with such thick accents that they could not be understood. In addition, since there was no continuity of guides, many repeated information that had been given to us previously. On one day we waited more than two hours to be processed by Japanese customs because Ponant had not prepared properly for the customs agents. Further Ponant representatives made no attempt to ensure that the queue was maintained in an orderly fashion, allowing cutting in to the line. On that day we were delayed so long that we were too late to enter the Hiroshima peace memorial (another highlight of the trip missed).

Further, the PA announcements could not be heard in cabins, it was necessary to open the cabin door to hear the announcements through the corridor PA systems. In addition the details of when and where it was necessary to congregate were often changed at the last minute.

On a more positive note, our cabin (a suite) was excellent, although the standard veranda cabins appeared to be too small compared with either Seabourn or Crystal's similar cabins. On board service was excellent.

Dining - breakfasts were outstanding, luncheon buffets generally good except for the hot entrees. Dinners suffered from poor quality of the main entrees (tenderloin anything but tender) fish seemed not to be fresh.


DavidCS's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin suite 516

Cabin was excellent in all respects; excellent cabin service


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Arrived too late to enter memorial due to mismanagement of immigration process

View All 12 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Reviews
Shukkeien Garden

Outstanding Garden

View All 1 Shukkeien Garden Reviews

Excellent garden tours. However guide was often difficult to understand

View All undefined undefined Reviews

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DavidCS
1 Reviews Written
17 Helpful Votes
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