Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Jim_Iain - Le Bellot 9/11/2023 - Live Post - First timers on Ponant


Jim_Iain
 Share

Recommended Posts

I found that Ponant has a nice selection of Staterooms but after consulting with our friends from Australia they recommend we try a Prestige Stateroom.    After looking at the deck plan I settled on 618 which is aft and tucked between the Owner's Suite and I believe a Prestige Suite (their map doesn't have a color code).

 

While it may not make a difference, I chose a room on Port side.   My logic was that if we are sailing East that most of the land would be on that side of the ship.

 

image.thumb.png.3af5d3e8108688c6e74f0f2e00b8bdb9.png

 

image.thumb.png.e5a58fb4c888ec69b619801cb84f8201.png

Edited by Jim_Iain
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Here's Ponant's brochure for Le Bellot and her sisters, including the color code for the cabins:

 

Le Bellot, Le Bougainville, Le Champlain, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Jacques-Cartier Le Lapérouse.pdf 3.91 MB · 15 downloads

 

Fantastic.    The one I had were in color but just didn't have a legend.    I have saved in my resource folder.   I'm sure it will come in handy.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, abbydancer said:

Probably too late for you to even consider this, but the best 7th inning stretch I've ever been to was in Milwaukee.  

Yes probably too late.    I can already tell this week is going to fly by.  

 

One of my Daughter's Birthday is on Thursday.   I will be running over the Ceres, CA about 1 1/2 hours away to pick her up so we can celebrate with her -  Possibly Mountain View but more likely Villa Napoli closer to our house at Mary / El Camino.   I've been going there for 40 years and it is kinda our go to place.  

 

Think of any places in Mountain View on Castro? 

Edited by Jim_Iain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

Yes probably too late.    I can already tell this week is going to fly by.  

 

One of my Daughter's Birthday is on Thursday.   I will be running over the Ceres, CA about 1 1/2 hours away to pick her up so we can celebrate with her -  Possibly Mountain View but more likely Villa Napoli closer to our house at Mary / El Camino.   I've been going there for 40 years and it is kinda our go to place.  

 

Think of any places in Mountain View on Castro? 

email coming

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first started booking I was of the impression that Ponant was fully inclusive including tours but later found that only certain cruises - Expedition Cruises include excursions.      I've found that in the search it indicates Shore Excursions in each port of call & Transfers included.

 

An Example the Same cruise on 10/9/23 on Le Dumont D'Urville is a Smithsonian Journeys cruise and include all excursions pricing is approximately $2,000 more.  As I understand it Ponant often does a Charter with Smithsonian and other companies.

 

Here are the Excursions and pricing for this cruise

 

image.thumb.png.c35ae3b328bb3f292511add59f3e0693.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, MisterMet said:

A beautiful looking ship.  I’m with you on this thread too!

Trip

 

Thanks -- I have to admit that their ships are very sleek and Contemporary.    Look forward to posting pictures of the interior of the ship.    I love the style and color selection.    Everything looks so comfortable and inviting.

 

Thank goodness they didn't follow suite with Celebrity and hire Kelly Hoppen to design the interior.    I swear she had never been on a ship and most of her design has been a disaster.   So many failures on Form over Function.   Example which guest have named  munchkin chairs in the All Suites Lounge that only a 6 year old could fit in.   Desk Chairs that are beautiful but won't fit under the vanity etc etc. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

 

Thanks -- I have to admit that their ships are very sleek and Contemporary.    Look forward to posting pictures of the interior of the ship.    I love the style and color selection.    Everything looks so comfortable and inviting.

 

Thank goodness they didn't follow suite with Celebrity and hire Kelly Hoppen to design the interior.    I swear she had never been on a ship and most of her design has been a disaster.   So many failures on Form over Function.   Example which guest have named  munchkin chairs in the All Suites Lounge that only a 6 year old could fit in.   Desk Chairs that are beautiful but won't fit under the vanity etc etc. 

We’ve never been on an Edge Class ship before but have read on CC about the decor not being functional at all.  I’m on 5’3” and my wife is 4’11” so the munchkin chairs may work!  Lol 😆😆.  Sometimes Interior Designers don’t build functionality into their designs.  Ponant looks like a combo of both.

Edited by MisterMet
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

 

Thanks -- I have to admit that their ships are very sleek and Contemporary.    Look forward to posting pictures of the interior of the ship.    I love the style and color selection.    Everything looks so comfortable and inviting.

 

Thank goodness they didn't follow suite with Celebrity and hire Kelly Hoppen to design the interior.    I swear she had never been on a ship and most of her design has been a disaster.   So many failures on Form over Function.   Example which guest have named  munchkin chairs in the All Suites Lounge that only a 6 year old could fit in.   Desk Chairs that are beautiful but won't fit under the vanity etc etc. 

Last cruise we put the desk chair on the balcony and moved one of the balcony chairs under the desk.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/2/2023 at 6:34 AM, Jim_Iain said:

 

I've learned a lot after reading all the Live reviews here on Ponant and yes there is a huge difference in their offering. 

 

The first thing I learned is that Ponant has two types of Cruises Expedition and Explorer Cruises.     After I booked I learned that our cruise is an Explorer Cruise with the biggest difference being ALL EXCURSIONS  are extra and no fee excursions.  

 

They have the same itinerary on the same ship but a "National Geographic" Cruise which is higher priced and considered an Expedition and includes all excursions.  I haven't figured out yet how you can tell in advance of booking without asking.

 

 

I'm not going to help alleviate the confusion, but National Geographic cruises are marketed outside the United States. The cruises with shore excursions included are Smithsonian Journeys and they are marketed only to English speakers, primarily in the US. For example, this trip on Le Dumont d'Urville is similar to yours: A Voyage Along the Great Lakes – with Smithsonian Journeys

 

The Smithsonian Journeys cruises are full of English speakers and aside from included excursions, the main differences are that announcements are made only in English, there are well-known lecturers and there is a native English speaking "fixer" on board to assure guest satisfaction.

 

I reported on the one Smithsonian Journeys cruise we did Norway last year. The tl;dr on that was that we had no complaints and it was a wonderful cruise, but we missed the French. As I went to hunt for the link, I see we discussed this -- it seems like a year ago! All About the Ponant Smithsonian Journeys Cruises (as of August 2022).

 

In their own words, Ponant describes the partnership here: https://us.ponant.com/croisieres/themes/smithsonian-journeys

 

image.png.8868eb586ce3cbdf1aecb215881aa878.png

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, MisterMet said:

We’ve never been on an Edge Class ship before but have read on CC about the decor not being functional at all.  I’m on 5’3” and my wife is 4’11” so the munchkin chairs may work!  Lol 😆😆.  Sometimes Interior Designers don’t build functionality into their designs.  Ponant looks like a combo of both.

 

You would work well.    They often refer to me as NAA  No A$$ AT ALL and I was one of the few that could fit in one.    They eventually moved them to the Kids Club and replaced them with larger ones.  

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, abbydancer said:

Last cruise we put the desk chair on the balcony and moved one of the balcony chairs under the desk.  

 

Wait until you see the rooms on Ponant.    I of course haven't experienced them but they are beautifully designed and really look functional from the YouTube Videos I've watched.     They have beautiful earth tones and look very well thought out.

 

I've also drug my outdoor table in because the removed the Dining Tables and all they offered were TV Tables -   On the other hand I loved the TV Tables for a desk for my PC since I could't get a chair under the desk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, AussieBoyTX said:

 

I'm not going to help alleviate the confusion, but National Geographic cruises are marketed outside the United States. The cruises with shore excursions included are Smithsonian Journeys and they are marketed only to English speakers, primarily in the US. For example, this trip on Le Dumont d'Urville is similar to yours: A Voyage Along the Great Lakes – with Smithsonian Journeys

 

The Smithsonian Journeys cruises are full of English speakers and aside from included excursions, the main differences are that announcements are made only in English, there are well-known lecturers and there is a native English speaking "fixer" on board to assure guest satisfaction.

 

I reported on the one Smithsonian Journeys cruise we did Norway last year. The tl;dr on that was that we had no complaints and it was a wonderful cruise, but we missed the French. As I went to hunt for the link, I see we discussed this -- it seems like a year ago! All About the Ponant Smithsonian Journeys Cruises (as of August 2022).

 

In their own words, Ponant describes the partnership here: https://us.ponant.com/croisieres/themes/smithsonian-journeys

 

image.png.8868eb586ce3cbdf1aecb215881aa878.png

 

Thanks for the Clarification.     They also list them on Ponant's site and really don't explain it well.   Looks like they have something similar with Olsan.   

 

In retrospect when I calculated out the cost of the tours on our cruise the additional price is not a bad deal.

 

I'll definitely take a read of you live post.     I love living vicariously with so many of these good reviews.   

 

Obviously I have a lot to learn and really appreciate all the help and recommendations.    

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my other thread on Celebrity some guests have really been giving me good advise on a walking tour of Makinac including the Fort, Governors Summer Mansion, Skull Cave and Somewhere in Time Pavilion.    

 

I also was advised that I have to find Wisconsin's Official Pastry -

 

It's none other than the Racine Kringle. This Danish old world tradition has been the pride of Racine for over 100 years and takes its name from certain knots and cleats in Scandinavian sailing lingo.

 

                                   image.jpeg.c8debd1faf2091748fbe3a02327910f6.jpeg

 

I will be on a mission to find one.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jim_Iain said:

On my other thread on Celebrity some guests have really been giving me good advise on a walking tour of Makinac including the Fort, Governors Summer Mansion, Skull Cave and Somewhere in Time Pavilion.    

 

I also was advised that I have to find Wisconsin's Official Pastry -

 

It's none other than the Racine Kringle. This Danish old world tradition has been the pride of Racine for over 100 years and takes its name from certain knots and cleats in Scandinavian sailing lingo.

 

                                   image.jpeg.c8debd1faf2091748fbe3a02327910f6.jpeg

                                   [skimpy filling]

I will be on a mission to find one.

 

They are to die for!  There are at least two bakeries in Racine that specialize in them.  I have tried both and definitely recommend this one:  

O&H Danish Bakery

5910 Washington Avenue, Racine, Wisconsin 53406

1-800-709-4009

 

almond-kringle.jpg.webp.e5f7746eec79d7245c323c51b62b958e.webp

[more filling]

 

You can find O&H Kringles at Trader Joe's in the fall (but it disappears right after Christmas).  You can also buy online from the bakery, but the shipping costs are killer:

https://www.ohdanishbakery.com

 

I'm not sure of the other bakery that I tried, but Racine Kringle rings a bell.  Its Kringles are available at Aldi [owned by a related German company as Trader Joe's but aimed at a lower price point] but are not as good.

 

There are many flavors, but Almond is the best [IMHO but I'm right!]

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

On my other thread on Celebrity some guests have really been giving me good advise on a walking tour of Makinac including the Fort, Governors Summer Mansion, Skull Cave and Somewhere in Time Pavilion.    

 

I also was advised that I have to find Wisconsin's Official Pastry -

 

It's none other than the Racine Kringle. This Danish old world tradition has been the pride of Racine for over 100 years and takes its name from certain knots and cleats in Scandinavian sailing lingo.

 

                                   image.jpeg.c8debd1faf2091748fbe3a02327910f6.jpeg

 

I will be on a mission to find one.

Well worth the mission. The pecan is my favorite, raspberry #2.  Should you get addicted, mail order works well and sometimes Trader Joe's carries them fro O& H.

 

Forgot about Sprecher Brewery.  Aside from the obvious beers, they make one of the best root beers you will ever drink.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

They are to die for!  There are at least two bakeries in Racine that specialize in them.  I have tried both and definitely recommend this one:  

O&H Danish Bakery

5910 Washington Avenue, Racine, Wisconsin 53406

1-800-709-4009

 

almond-kringle.jpg.webp.e5f7746eec79d7245c323c51b62b958e.webp

[more filling]

 

You can find O&H Kringles at Trader Joe's in the fall (but it disappears right after Christmas).  You can also buy online from the bakery, but the shipping costs are killer:

https://www.ohdanishbakery.com

 

I'm not sure of the other bakery that I tried, but Racine Kringle rings a bell.  Its Kringles are available at Aldi [owned by a related German company as Trader Joe's but aimed at a lower price point] but are not as good.

 

There are many flavors, but Almond is the best [IMHO but I'm right!]

 

Your post wasn't there when I posted mine, weird.

 

Kindred Kringle Spirits!

Might just have to pay that crazy shipping cost!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, highplanesdrifters said:

Well worth the mission. The pecan is my favorite, raspberry #2.  Should you get addicted, mail order works well and sometimes Trader Joe's carries them fro O& H.

 

Forgot about Sprecher Brewery.  Aside from the obvious beers, they make one of the best root beers you will ever drink.

 

I can tell we will probably have to go for the Raspberry and Pecan.    Rasberry is Iain's favorite while I'm into all types of nuts.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I'm getting excited --- you would swear I was a kid on Christmas Eve.   Excuse cross posting but love technology, web assets and information. 

 

Ponant have Web Cams on all of their ships -

https://us.ponant.com/le-bellot   just choose Web Cam -

 

image.thumb.png.e71c5e4658865bfd961f964080bf3155.png

 

I also frequently use CruiseMapper.com to see where a ship is, weather conditions and speed of the ship.

 

Le Bellot departed Toronto on her way to Milwaukee about an hour ago.

 

image.thumb.png.60bceb7e3e26b59f005f7fdea9d8e470.png

 

Le Durmont d'Urville which is doing the itinerary in revers is sitting in Milwaukee right now and I think departs in about an hour

 

image.thumb.png.ee730d1d068cc4e14ed9f6d22e81535e.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warning - Techn- Nerd Time -  

 

Another site I rely on is WeatherUnderground -

 

Looks like the heat spell will break in Milwaukee and we should have perfect conditions for our stay.    Morning showers on departure day as we don't depart until 5PM

 

image.thumb.png.eb2c8e8ae48b2e67d036cd21535baf37.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to share a picture of Le Bellot with you.  Thank you Pam for sending to me.

 

She and her husband live in a small town on St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Brockville, Ontario.    Le Bellot passed their house yesterday and they took the Brochure Quality Picture from their boat.    Thank you..

 

Pam is a long time member and lurker on CC but doesn't post.   Maybe we can encourage her to post if we promise we won't bite.   I'm amazed at the number of people that write me about never posting.   Many are turned off by the snarkyness of some posters.  

LeBellot.thumb.jpg.50c6c91da88a8b499f186820548bd50b.jpg

 

 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...