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Aussieflyer

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About Aussieflyer

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Canberra, Australia
  • Interests
    Cooking (and eating), travel any type

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  1. The landings were amazing. South Georgia was so different from what I was expecting and the peninsula was stunning. Loved being the first cruise of the season as there was lots of snow and ice and no other footprints. As I am quite short I found it very difficult to get back into the zodiacs when returning to the ship. It wasn’t till the last day that they supplied a stool which made it so much easier. From memory Silversea had a stool for all its wet landings when we were in the Arctic.
  2. Le Lyrial had the same bathroom set up though we didn't find it a problem. You are right though that having a separate toilet did make the main bathroom smaller.
  3. We were on the same cruise and whilst I agree with much of portofinoitaly's review, I have to disagree about the standard of the food. We found that overall the standard of catering was very poor. The fish, which DH ordered once, was inedible (very dry and 'fishy' tasting), the red meat was tough, especially the piece of steak I ordered, and the chicken I had was dry and overcooked. We were quite disappointed with the standard. Although there were dishes that were excellent, I cannot say that there was one meal that I would rave about. IMO the catering on Celebrity and Cunard was better and people we dined with who sailed Oceania said that the food on that left Ponant in the dark. Wines and other drinks were very good though. The other issue with the catering is the layout of the restaurants. Their design means that there is a bottleneck just inside the doors as people line up at the salad bars. As the buffet restaurant was closed on some days due to high seas this made it doubly frustrating to battle through the crowds in the main restaurant. We also felt that the standard of their expedition staff was below that of Silversea that we have sailed on before. The lectures and recaps in English were not always well prepared and presented. And also that Ponant didn't quite have a clear idea of what expedition cruising is all about as they seemed to have 'entertainment' more suited to a mainstream cruise. Most passengers on expedition cruises, we have found, are not interested in dance lessons, trivia competitions or origami, or even gala dinners and white evenings. That is not to say we didn't love the expedition and the locations are breathtaking. We would be happy to sail Ponant again but certainly would not have high expectations for the food and would be aware that it is rather different from other lines.
  4. When we were in Ushuaia last time we booked a tour to Martillo Island and Estancia Harberton. We booked directly with the supplier (Pira tours) as they only allow 80 people per day in groups of 20 onto the island to walk among the penguins as it's a designated nature reserve. It was a fabulous experience. While we were there a catamaran from Ushuaia came past but they could not land and could only watch from the water.
  5. Given it's such a small ship and a special itinerary, I didn't think it was overly expensive. Though I probably wouldn't be a candidate.
  6. Can you please add Nov 3 ..... Aussieflyer..... Ponant Le Lyrial..... Montevideo to Ushuaia..... 16 nights Thanks
  7. We had the forms signed and duly sent off though interesting that there was not an auto reply to say they had been received. Whilst I think the on sea experience will be great there have been a few issues with the land based operation, though that seems to be common for most cruise lines I think. :) In the process of chasing up boots as I have quite a small foot but also a wide calf and the ones provided onboard are unlikely to fit. DH however will have no problems with boots.:)
  8. Very annoyed that the necessity for a doctor to sign the forms (and the detail of the questions which in some cases are well outside what a GP would know about you eg.when did you last visit a dentist, what is your aptitude, physical and endurance, for the cruise).We don't have a regular doctor at all. I expected a health declaration of course but was assuming it would be like the SS form when we went to the Arctic a few years back, detailed but but no doctor needed. As well, I can see doctors refusing to sign as they may be leaving themselves open to litigation if something went wrong. The fact that the necessity for doctor is hidden in the small print of the T &Cs and that the form is not available to view before booking is perhaps the worst thing. Undecided as to what to do now. Had we known before we probably would not have booked.:(
  9. I've just transferred the booking to an agent who I have worked with before. As soon as he takes over I will get him to send it to me. The agent does a fair bit of trade with Ponant so will be able to supply the form easily I am expecting.
  10. Thanks for the fabulously detailed report. We have just booked and paid for Le Lyrial leaving Montevideo on 3 November and visiting South Georgia and Antarctica. Your information about temperatures and weather was great. I have a question about the health declaration form - did you have to visit a doctor to have this completed? I remember when we did the Arctic on Silversea a few years ago we had a checklist questionnaire but don't remember having a doctor fill it out. I got an emailed form from Ponant yesterday that has the health form and it seems to need a doctor's visit. It's a little difficult as it was in French :-)
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