Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Special Interest Cruising > Luxury Cruising
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Luxury Cruising Is it a state of mind?

Discussion to include, but not limited to: Abercrombie & Kent • American Safari • Aqua Expeditions • Azamara • Bora Bora Cruises • Compagnie du Ponant • Cruise Asia Ltd. • Crystal • Cunard • French Country Waterways • Go Barging • Hapag-Lloyd • Hebridean • Heritage Line • Lindblad Expeditions • Oberoi Group • Oceania • Orion Expedition Cruises • Paul Gauguin Cruises • Regent Seven Seas • Sea Cloud Cruises • Seabourn • SeaDream • Silversea • Star Clippers • Travel Dynamics • Uniworld • Windstar

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 8th, 2011, 05:56 PM
greg33418 greg33418 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 28
Default Anyone sailed in LE BOREAL or L'AUSTRAL??

They look very nice...anyone got feedback??...
I speak french so that's not an issue for me...
Thanks in advance..
Greg
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old October 9th, 2011, 05:20 PM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: florida
Posts: 3,131
Wink Check Search engine function,,under Other Cruises

because I know I ve seen quite a few reviews over yrs...nothing new,,however...also look under member reviews and ship reviews...
I also just google the ship name for other venues to check out.
I was interested in them,,but think they don t offer balconies..so ruled them out,,,also I DON t speak French,,but think they use English AND French...
Let us know what you find...good luck...
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old October 9th, 2011, 06:14 PM
patseacruiser's Avatar
patseacruiser patseacruiser is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,718
Default

The new ships L'Boreal and L'Austral do offer balconies. I had a friend on L'Boreal and they liked it very much except that there were a lot of Europeans and a lot of non-English speaking guests. Staff did speak English.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old October 10th, 2011, 02:20 PM
wripro wripro is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 11,611
Default

Why would one like a ship EXCEPT for the Europeans on board? Doesn't one travel to meet people from other countries and different cultures?
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old October 14th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Travelcat2's Avatar
Travelcat2 Travelcat2 is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 14,629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wripro View Post
Why would one like a ship EXCEPT for the Europeans on board? Doesn't one travel to meet people from other countries and different cultures?
We do travel to different countries to meet the people, learn about their cultures and dine on various types of food.. . . but, do not necessarily want to sail on a ship where English is a second language. One criteria we use when selecting a cruise line is the mix of passengers (international is good) and the fact that English is the language spoken on board by Officers and crew. I could be wrong, but if I spoke German, Italian, Japanese or any language other than English, I would prefer to be amongst guests on board that could at least speak my language to some extent
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old October 15th, 2011, 10:26 AM
flag fan's Avatar
flag fan flag fan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wripro View Post
Why would one like a ship EXCEPT for the Europeans on board? Doesn't one travel to meet people from other countries and different cultures?
Why would one want to travel on a ship where you can't communicate with your fellow passengers? The issue is not whether one is traveling with persons from other countries and cultures but whether they speak English. Obviously, if one speaks fluent French, this is not a problem on these ships, but if one doesn't and is limited to conversing with people that speak English, the percentage of non-English speaking people on board is a legitimate factor. Otherwise you don't really get to "meet people from other countries and different cultures" you will just be watching them as they interact with each other. (Which might be fine if you go on cruises to enjoy some relaxing time with friends/family (or alone), see the various sights off the ship, enjoy some gourmet cuisine--all good reasons for cruising that have nothing to do with meeting other passengers.)
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old October 15th, 2011, 12:07 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 63,607
Default

The Original Poster did say the spoke fluent french so I think they are looking for feedback on the ship.

I can see all the explanations if they hadn't mentioned this factor but they did.

Keith

Last edited by Keith1010; October 15th, 2011 at 12:08 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old October 15th, 2011, 01:41 PM
wripro wripro is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 11,611
Default

Those who expect everyone to speak English are the same people who expect every country to accept dollars. Why is being on a ship different form visiting a foreign country? Even if, and perhaps especially because one does not speak the language it makes it more interesting to try to communicate. jmo.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old October 15th, 2011, 03:40 PM
flag fan's Avatar
flag fan flag fan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,533
Default

Okay, let's recap this whole speaking-English on cruise ships issue. It started when one poster provided some input to the original poster by mentioning that a friend enjoyed one of the ships, except that a lot of the passengers did not speak English (not a factor to the original poster, who speaks French, but of possible interest to others reading this thread and merely an observation the poster was passing along about her friend's view of the ship).

That led to a post to the effect that meeting Europeans on a ship was the best part of the cruise experience and implying criticism of anyone who would be concerned about the lack of English-speakers on a ship. (Which I think was jumping to conclusions about the prior post.)

That led another poster to note that meeting people from other places was a nice part about traveling but that the language of those on board a ship was a factor when choosing a cruise, presumably for persons who speak languages other than English as well as for English speakers.

Then I made the point that taking into account the language spoken on board when deciding on a cruise ship was not necessarily inconsistent with an interest in learning about people from other places--in fact a language barrier would hurt, not help, such intercultural exchanges.

This led to the observation that people who expect everyone to speak English are the same as people who expect dollars to be accepted everywhere.

I don't think any of the posts implied that anyone expected English to be spoken everywhere. I know that there are certainly people like that. As an American one of the more embarrassing memories I have of a trip through Italy once (many years ago) was watching another American in a clothing store speak to a clerk in English expecting the Italian worker to know the language and getting annoyed and somewhat abusive when the clerk did not understand what the American wanted--a truly ugly American that I would like to think is the exception rather than the rule. I am sorry to say my attempts to learn Italian have been woefully unsuccessful, but when in Italy I make a point of only speaking Italian (which means I don't say much and responses are always in English, which shows I am not fooling anyone about my mastery of the language) and I try to do the same in other countries, learning phrases that I hope will be sufficient to get around. But it is always nice to meet persons from other countries that know English so we can converse and I can learn more about them. English is a common second-language throughout Europe and other places, so it is useful to know when traveling on a European cruise line, whether it is l'Boreal's or Costa or MSC or Hapag-Lloyd what to expect in terms of the ability to communicate with others on board. That is not quite the same as expecting everyone to speak English (or accept dollars).

I am seriously considering a trip on l'Boreal or l'Austral and I have found this thread very helpful and hope more people who have sailed on either ship write about their experiences, including any factors they consider significant, including the language used by fellow passengers and the make-up of the passengers--the more information the better.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old November 7th, 2011, 05:55 PM
gillianrose gillianrose is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,580
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flag fan View Post
I am seriously considering a trip on l'Boreal or l'Austral and I have found this thread very helpful and hope more people who have sailed on either ship write about their experiences, including any factors they consider significant, including the language used by fellow passengers and the make-up of the passengers--the more information the better.
OK, then, since language is part of your topic, and you say "the more information the better," I assume you will want to get the names of the ships correct. The reason L'Austral has an apostrophe in the name is because the ship name begins with a vowel. The other doesn't, so it's Le Boreal.
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old January 22nd, 2012, 10:36 AM
jlmini jlmini is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Posts: 67
Default

We were on Le Boreal last winter, from Manta(Ecuador) to Miami. We really appreciated the cruise. It's european luxury...Nice cabin...French cuisine...Ideal for people like you who speaks french otherwise....well the crew speaks english but no US/UK passengers. La Compagnie du Ponant is a french owned cruise company....
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old July 24th, 2012, 05:52 PM
zippylucy zippylucy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Default

We have been on L'Austral (Dalmation Coast) last year, and Le Boreal (Panama Canal) this past March. The first cruise had a mixture of passengers from all over the world and many spoke English. The latter cruise, was 98% speaking French only with 5 English speaking couples, one from Switzerland and one from Australia and 3 from the US. The French passengers were incredibly rude for the most part and mercifully kept to themselves. Often when announcements were made in English, for example in the dining room, the French talked all the way through them so that the rest of us could not hear them. One passenger asked us "why on earth would you want to take a French ship when you have so many cruises of your own?". Indeed; like many others, it's fun to mix cultures and experiences. The L'Austral trip, including food and service and ports, btw,
was far superior to the Le Boreal trip and that's why we took the Panama Cruise.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old July 26th, 2012, 08:49 AM
Mike2131 Mike2131 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 2,719
Smile L'Austral

We were on L'Austral to Antarctica in December and had a wonderful cruise. I suggest checking the reviews. I would recommend the ship and sail with Ponant in the future.

By the way, fluent French will be a big plus since the majority of the passengers will probably be from France. Neither of us speak French, but we had no problems on our cruise.
__________________
Michael
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old October 8th, 2012, 05:00 PM
KiwiKid KiwiKid is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Default l'Austral

Just returned from an l'Austral cruise in September from Venice down Croatia coast. Enjoyed it VERY much. Ship is very good - not great. Smaller size means it can sneak into harbours not available to larger ships. Onboard service and meals were good - cabins VERY small and bathrooms rediculously small - but then how long do you spend in bathroom each day!! I'm not that tall but found my feet hung over end of very comfortable bed. Would recommed ship for a shorter cruise but feel that the 'size' things would start to grate on longer cruise. Be very aware that it is a French speaking ship and regardless of the passenger nationalities, all/most of the onboard info. is in French.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 06:06 PM
thomastoo thomastoo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 11
Default language on board

Have sailed with Ponant twice. First time booked through travel company that had chartered most of the ship. Announcements in English or English and French. Most passengers American. Second time booked directly with Ponant and almost everyone on board French. Most announcements in French only important ones also in English. Officers all speak English and are very pleasant. Are booked with them for next July through Abercrombie and Kent who chartered the whole ship. Other good travel companies including Tauck and Grohagen also charter the ship. I would never again book directly with the Line.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:43 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
Editor
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,969
Default

Jimini, is there a difference between European luxury and American luxury, in terms of style, features or amenities? Very curious! How would you compare Ponant against, say, Seabourn? Anyway, any details would be appreciated.... Thanks.

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmini View Post
We were on Le Boreal last winter, from Manta(Ecuador) to Miami. We really appreciated the cruise. It's european luxury...Nice cabin...French cuisine...Ideal for people like you who speaks french otherwise....well the crew speaks english but no US/UK passengers. La Compagnie du Ponant is a french owned cruise company....
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:18 AM
Mike2131 Mike2131 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 2,719
Smile My 2 cents worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
Jimini, is there a difference between European luxury and American luxury, in terms of style, features or amenities? Very curious! How would you compare Ponant against, say, Seabourn? Anyway, any details would be appreciated.... Thanks.

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
I think the main difference is style and overall approach to the experience. Our 2 luxury cruises have both been expedition cruises - June 2010 Arctic cruise on the Silversea Explorer (then the PA II) and December 2011 Antarctic cruise on L'Austral. Both European companies, but with a very different approach.

We found the Silversea much more geared to what I would characterize as an American atmosphere (the passengers were probably 50% German or Austrian, 40% American, and the balance from around the world). The crew was extremely friendly and engaging. The Expedition Team sought you out at breakfast and lunch to eat with you, answer questions, and were thoroughly enjoyable while at the same time incredibly knowledgeable and professional. Food and service was excellent and we absolutely loved the experience.

L'Austral was very different. The passengers were probably 2/3 French with perhaps 10% American, 10% Japanese, a family group from South Africa, and the balance from around the world. The decor was very stylish (very new when we sailed on her) vs. a more traditional approach on the Silver Explorer. The crew was more reserved but extremely competent. The real difference was with the Expedition Team. They ate by themselves and one evening you could sign-up to dine with one of them. We got shut out on that one. They were less engaging over all and not nearly as pro-active ashore vs. the Silversea team. That is not to say they were not professional - they were very competent, just not really a friendly lot. Service was good to very good and I found the food excellent. There has been criticism regarding the amount of choices (my girlfriend definitely agrees with that evaluation), but I dined extremely well. The cruise (except for our cabin flooding in the Drake) was tremendous.

We will be on the Silver Explorer again in May 2013 (Portsmouth to Greenock). We prefer the Silversea approach, but would definitely sail with Ponant again.
__________________
Michael
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:08 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.