A short review of Le Boreal which we cruised with A&K to the Antarctic region:
The overall ship ran well with 200 passengers. There were never any lines, never any waiting, never any shortage of staff to help you. They were very attentive and responsive whenever a need exists or a request made. The food was quite good, but it was limited in choice. Tons of fish was served every day and every type was offered. One different every day. And of course, there was always fresh French bread and pastries. The big downside is the menu is fixed every day. There is not an open menu, it is one specific entrée ever day – the same choice is offered in the dining room on level 2 as well as in the open buffet on level 6. The one main shortage mostly noticed is the limited number of vegetables for salads and side dishes. The complimentary drinks, wine and champagne offered during the A&K cruise were great and appreciated. The house wines were quite good and there was no desire to purchase higher cost choices.
The rooms are quite spacious and there is very few differences between the lower floors and the larger suites on the 6th floor. I think the 4th floor is the sweet spot. The showers have great flow and generous soap and shampoo is provided to everyone. The beds are a good size and are a comfortable cushion – not a hard stone like many other cruise lines. Yes, there is a pool, but not a hot tub. Some people do dip into it every day as the temperature is maintained at a bath water level. The ship has laundry service, but watch out – it is very expensive. Over 15 euros minimum for 1 pair of pants and 1 shirt to be cleaned and pressed.
There is a very small gym with 3 treadmills, 2 recumbent bikes and 1 regular bike. That is it. No elliptical trainers, no loose weights, no nautilus machine. Very limited. On a positive side, any passenger can go up to the bridge and watch the captain and crew. No invite, no special time. Just go on up and let yourself in. The theater is also nice as there is room for all guests. There is never any lecture or show that does not have seats for all guests.
A tour of the galley with the sous chef