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48 Ponant Le Lyrial (Ponant) Cruise Reviews

We selected the Abercrombie and Kent-Ponant cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands for its relatively small size - 170 passengers - and the reputation of the expeditionary staff. The expeditions were excellent and the ... Read More
We selected the Abercrombie and Kent-Ponant cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands for its relatively small size - 170 passengers - and the reputation of the expeditionary staff. The expeditions were excellent and the lectures were quite good with the exception of some inappropriate, disparaging remarks about our president and an Al Gore-glorifying, climate change zealot of a geologist who brooked no dissent and skepticism despite the legions of scientists who believe otherwise. The food was plentiful but uninteresting and repetitive with thin soups, little chicken, lots of pork and unappealing cream-filled desserts. Announcements were typically helpful but during a time of rough seas - 28 hours at 11 Beaufort - little was heard from the crew about conditions and anticipated changes. Mostly, our voyage was quite calm and comfortable and our Drake passage was smooth. What was most surprising for a high-end cruise at this price point (we paid $80,000 for two), was the A & K chartered flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia! Everyone flew round trip coach in a cramped, crowded LATAM jet with abysmal food and no service. There were no other options for either three-hour trip! Also, quite audaciously despite the high prices, passengers were solicited to contribute to an employee emergency fund when A & K should manage this easily from profits. P.S. We were in a suite on the 6th berth in the middle of the ship but I don’t recall the suite number. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The following are my opinions and observations: --LeLyria Chartered by A&K-- Overall, I thought the A&K tour was disorganized and communication was poor. I wasn’t impressed with the A&K staff in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia or ... Read More
The following are my opinions and observations: --LeLyria Chartered by A&K-- Overall, I thought the A&K tour was disorganized and communication was poor. I wasn’t impressed with the A&K staff in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia or on the ship—they appeared not to have much interest in the guests. In my opinion, on several occasions, they were rude and unprofessional (especially the A&K staff in Buenos Aires). On one instance, they told several individuals that they were holding up the bus because they didn’t pick up their charter flight boarding passes. However, there wasn’t any notice that we had to pick them up before boarding the bus. Customer service from the A&K office went downhill after they received your final payment. Often times, they didn’t answer calls or didn’t follow-up with requests for information. Surprisingly, the primary photo coach did respond via e-mail to questions I asked during the photography Webinar. The packing list was not useful. Fortunately, I realized it wasn’t going to be as cold as the list made it sound so didn’t carry numerous layers of cold-weather items like most did. I only wore gloves once on a windy zodiac trip. The sizing of the rental boots and parka was not accurate. Fortunately, you were able to exchange the boots on the ship. I even went and tried on the rental boots at REI at the recommendation of the Ship to Shore Traveler representative, however the boots were not the same. The provided walking poles were useful. You definitely needed more than the recommended 300mm lens. You didn’t need much camera storage or extra batteries (unless your batteries were old and didn’t hold a charge) because the times photographing the wildlife were so short and infrequent. I didn’t have to charge my camera batteries once and I took over 3500 (JPEG/RAW files) photos with a DSLR. A dry bag or professional camera backpack was definitely needed if you are carrying two cameras ashore. A camera with a 300mm or less lens easily fit underneath your parka for protection from splashes. If it didn’t fit underneath, you would need the dry bag or professional camera backpack (e.g., second camera or lens greater than 300mm). The backpack provided by A&K was not sufficient. The buses in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia used for tours and airport transfers did not have air conditioning. You were rushed through every stop on the tour in Buenos Aires. As an example, you had less than five seconds at Eva Peron’s grave. The included meals at the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires were provided buffet style in a ballroom; certainly not what I expected on a tour at this price point. The Arakur resort in Ushuaia was a glorified banquet hall without A/C. Again, a buffet lunch was provided in a large room. The Ship: Le Lyrial (Ponant) Chartered by Abercrombie and Kent-- Jan 2020 The ship management and reception personnel on Le Lyrial (Ponant) ship were efficient and friendly. Whenever I reported a problem, a repair person was sent to my cabin immediately and they even followed up the next time they saw me asking if the repair was completed. However, I certainly didn’t expect to have repair personnel in my cabin over five times during a 15-night stay. My cabin had stains on the carpet. One vent appeared to have mold or a lot of debris inside it. Water leaked in the balcony door during a bad storm and the remaining three days afterwards. They placed duct tape, but that didn’t stop the water from entering. I had to put towels on the carpet and had a large industrial fan in my room one day. Overall, the décor was showing wear and tear in several public areas. They ran out of Diet Coke and ginger ale six days before the cruise ended. The food usually had to be sent back because it was undercooked. The presentations were not as detailed or informative as I expected. Only basic information was provided. The daily “re caps” were not helpful or interesting. Nothing was said about the next day’s schedule that couldn’t be read in the evening program. Helpful additional information should have included the weather forecast (e.g., temperature) and the type of camera lenses needed. Having the weather provided 15 minutes before boarding the zodiac didn’t help since you had to be dressed and in line almost 45 minutes before your boarding time to ensure the maximum amount of time ashore. The Zodiac excursions were too long. Even the A&K expedition staff member was checking their watch to see if it was time to bring us back to the ship. The wildlife at the landings was amazing; however I did expect to have the A&K staff point out more unique situations than they did. After all, there were over 19 A&K staff on our trip. Instead, as an example, you had to ask where a chick or penguins with an egg were located. With such limited times ashore, I felt this was essential. We did encounter a severe storm crossing the Scotia Sea and missed our stop in the Falkland Islands. According to the Captain, it was the worst in 17 years. (The Drake crossing was the calmest of the season.) No attempt was made to substitute for the missed day in the Falklands, a major stop on the trip and reason for choosing this itinerary. The A&K staff member was very rude when several people asked at the “daily recap” if there would be an additional stop or a tour added in Ushuaia. We also missed stopping at Gold Harbor in South Georgia. Otherwise we had 8 landings and 3 Zodiac tours. I never received a post-expedition log book as stated in the pre-travel documents and numerous times during the journey. Even without the weather complications, I would not travel with or recommend A&K again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We liked the idea of French food and smaller portions and not American food which we get on Seabourn. We also wanted to visit Croatia in a small ship. We loved the ship and the open bridge policy. We found the Captain, officers and crew ... Read More
We liked the idea of French food and smaller portions and not American food which we get on Seabourn. We also wanted to visit Croatia in a small ship. We loved the ship and the open bridge policy. We found the Captain, officers and crew terrific and well trained. The ship was attractive but the pool rather small. We would have liked sun umbrellas as there was no shade around that area...nor in the deck area with sunbathing chairs. Our cabin was small but had great storage & well designed. The bathroom was small but had an excellent shower. The separate toilet was very small. We liked our balcony with 2 chairs and small table. The TV sound was poor and we would have liked better news channels. The boutique had quality clothes. We liked dining in the formal restaurant on Deck 2 very much at night but loved lunch and breakfast on the deck (6) in the open air mainly. We enjoyed the Chef’s barbecue and delicious grilled fish. The French pastries were delicious as were all the meals. We saw two shows, one was modern dancers and the other a French Canadian magician. Both excellent. We had a superb tour guide in the pretty island of Rab, one of the best we have found anywhere. We enjoyed all the ports we went to but of course a couple were very crowded as it was high season. The good thing about Ponant is the ship is small enough to visit quieter places. The few, French, children who were on board were beautifully behaved. It is not ideally a cruise for children though. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This might be a lengthy review, but I feel it needs to be because when booking with Ponant, I found little to no reviews on this company, especially for people who were bringing children. We traveled with our kids 8 and 10 and just got ... Read More
This might be a lengthy review, but I feel it needs to be because when booking with Ponant, I found little to no reviews on this company, especially for people who were bringing children. We traveled with our kids 8 and 10 and just got home from an 8 night Mediterranean cruise onboard the Le Lyrial. We LOVED this ship. The staff were amazing, there was a kids club that I couldn't pull my kids from (more on that), and we were very pleased with the food. Cabins: Cabins are adequate in size. We have been on Royal Caribbean and Disney boats and the Deluxe Balcony stateroom was just as big, with a decent sized balcony. We had cabins 323 and 325, both rooms were perfect for 2 ppl per cabin with plenty of storage. They took out the balcony divider between out staterooms so we could come and go between the cabins. These staterooms do not connect from the inside. Kids Club: There was a kids club on this cruise, which I don't think is offered on all the itineraries. If there's a kids club, it will be listed. My kids loved kids club. The activities they provided for the children were entertaining. No there is not a basketball court, or all the other kids stuff you find on the Disney and RC boats, but my kids never complained about not having that. In fact, they told us this was the best kids club they've been too. Port stops: Because this is a smaller boat, you port in smaller ports and getting off the boat is so much less stressful. Ponant organizes everything to a "T" and we were very impressed with the tours they provided. We generally do not book cruise ship tours, but these tours never had any more than 20 ppl in a group, again a BONUS being on a smaller boat. Food and Dining: Food was great! There are 2 restaurants and we never had a problem getting seating at either of them. I do wish they had a couple more options for the included house wines. With this being a french boat, I was looking forward to tasting some good french wines. They do have them, but they come at a cost. Pool Deck: Never crowed. On a Mediterranean cruise one would have thought you would have problems finding a chair. We never did. Also, ppl do not reserve chairs with towels, which was nice! There were 122 people onboard our ship. Amazing! I can't imagine we will ever be able to go back to a bigger boat after being on the Le Lyrial. I would also like to add that our tour manager, Nina was phenomenal. She organized all our excursions, and they went above and beyond to make sure we had the best experience possible. For example, we booked an excursion that was not offered as an inclusion to the US passengers, and was given only in French. My husband and I knew this going into it. We fully expected that we were going on a French speaking excursion and were OK with that. To our surprise, Nina had organized an English speaking guide to accommodate us that day. It was like we had our on personal guide. We did not expect this at all! But again, this is Ponant, and Nina was just exceptional. All in all we will book again with Ponant. Not having to deal with the crowds on embarking and disembarking is so worth the extra cost! Plus the attention you get on the cruise is priceless. Sail Date: July 2019 Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was chosen as it is a smaller ship with only 220 guests. We never felt crowded and the choice of services meant everyone was spread out. A lovely group of people cruising and the whole experience was very refined. Absolutely 5 ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as it is a smaller ship with only 220 guests. We never felt crowded and the choice of services meant everyone was spread out. A lovely group of people cruising and the whole experience was very refined. Absolutely 5 star food and wine. Staff also excellent. When we stopped at each port the information and excursions made available were extensive. We did some excursions and other days did our own thing. The room was spacious enough. We were very pleased to have our own balcony. The main reason we chose Ponant was because the entry level stateroom has a balcony which I think is essential. The housekeeping was very good and attentive to our own needs with pillow menu and room service available 24/7. All inclusive. We had a classical pianist playing every night in the front bar which we really enjoyed. The dancing was great also but a bit dated. Very old fashioned French style. Overall an excellent cruise and we look forward to another. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked Ponant without ever having sailed with this cruise line. Overall, I would rate as very good for the value. The accommodations were comfortable, Hermes products, comfy beds and linen. Small but efficient pool area. Bars ... Read More
We booked Ponant without ever having sailed with this cruise line. Overall, I would rate as very good for the value. The accommodations were comfortable, Hermes products, comfy beds and linen. Small but efficient pool area. Bars were generally comfortable and service was nice but they did run out of simple things for a couple of days like bloody mary mix and cranberry juice. That seemed odd that they didn't restock while in port. They seemed surprised when we questioned it. The meal service in the restaurant and buffet area was decent but not overly attentive. Sometimes orders were mixed up and sometimes you had to ask for wine but if you are not too sensitive to this your expectations will be met. The actual food was nicely done especially appetizers and deserts. There were some mains that were less than great such as pork loin which was very tough. There was one caviar testing that was nice but they held it on the pool deck in the blazing sun. I think they will rethink it. Shows were cute but this is a small ship so mostly ballet type dancing and some singing. I did not attend the lectures. The outdoor lounges are lovely but the allowed smoking area made it difficult for non-smokers if sensitive to this. The pool deck was not always attended too and there were towels all over the place by midday and you have to walk up to the bar upstairs to have a drink -- no pool service. The bars sometimes seemed overwhelmed but if you don't mind waiting you are ok. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just finished a 16 day Durban to Mahe (Seychelle Islands). We were a bit worried about the ship due to some not so good reviews. But, all I can say is it was a fantastic experience! We are generally traveling on Crystal and always happy, ... Read More
Just finished a 16 day Durban to Mahe (Seychelle Islands). We were a bit worried about the ship due to some not so good reviews. But, all I can say is it was a fantastic experience! We are generally traveling on Crystal and always happy, but this line has some very unique itineraries so we thought we would give it a try. To begin, the service is OUTSTANDING. Our Butler Hassan, the restaurant manager Kevin, the expedition guides, our daily food servers, our cabin attendant Rona, all exceeded our expectations. Due to the fact several in our group suffer from food allergy and are vegan, we were pleasantly surprised to find the chef provided very good meals for us. Enjoyed the daily salad bar, and the daily poolside BBQ of a variety of themed items. Several in our group loved the amazing breads, the french style cuisine, the terrific breakfast and option for a casual or more formal daily dinner. It is an all-inclusive ship with open bar. We tried several amazing “featured cocktails” and enjoyed them at the pool bar at sunset. The itinerary was terrific. We boarded the ship in Durban after a few days at the Oyster Box Hotel—which was also OUTSTANDING. Then visits to a variety of uninhabited islands. The snorkeling, diving and nature talks very, very good. Our daughter had a minor dive problem with her ear. The ship doctor and dive master were right on top of it every second and very helpful. We really appreciated their help. Smoking is only allowed off the back of ship. Other reviews complained about this, but I found it no problem. No smoking in rooms or public places. The Captain was quite personable and spoke English and French fluently. This was so nice that we booked two more cruises with really unique itineraries. Looking forward to going back. Loved this ship and staff! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by language, there was nothing it was left chance. The ship was immaculate and in wonderful shape, however it pale by comparison to the genuine friendliness and graciousness of the crew. They are relaxed elegant manner in meeting guest’s requests, made it an absolute delight to be on board. As Antarctica cruise, the coordination of people in and out of zodiacs was masterful and without incident. The food was wonderfully proportioned in the main dining room and for those of preferred self service, there was a buffet on the sixth deck. The lectures from the expedition crew we're insightful, pertinent pertinent, and well delivered. The trip lived up to the value proposition of a luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This trip began in Buenos Aires with a night at the Hyatt located in Recoleta. We have sailed with Ponant previously so knew the expeditions off boat would be great. We had two trips in zodiacs each day whilst on the Antarctic peninsula, ... Read More
This trip began in Buenos Aires with a night at the Hyatt located in Recoleta. We have sailed with Ponant previously so knew the expeditions off boat would be great. We had two trips in zodiacs each day whilst on the Antarctic peninsula, one a landing and the other a zodiac trip to take photographs. All were amazing and the expedition staff were extremely knowledgeable and generous with their time. We were so lucky with the weather that all but one zodiac trip went ahead. The recap of each day allowed for questions and expanded our general knowledge of what we had seen. Attention to detail to ensure our boots were sterile before stepping ashore was reassuring in not contaminating the otherwise pristine antarctic shores. Life on board was fabulous - great food and wine (even without a drinks package) extremely comfortable cabins and fabulous service not only in restaurants and bars but also in our cabin. We were so impressed that we have booked another Ponant cruise in the Arctic in July. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose this trip because it offered 3 stops on South Georgia Island weather dependant and I felt there was a chance of at least getting one stop. As it happened we had five on shore excursions, one Zodiac cruise around a bay and another ... Read More
I chose this trip because it offered 3 stops on South Georgia Island weather dependant and I felt there was a chance of at least getting one stop. As it happened we had five on shore excursions, one Zodiac cruise around a bay and another ship cruise down a Fjord so that exceeded my expectations. I loved a lot of things about the ship, and the customer service was exceptionally good. However there was room for improvement and I noted a few ideas on my evaluation form. It is essential I say that the trip exceeded my expectations in more ways that I could ever have anticipated. My nit-picking centred around the following items: I expected more lectures would be scheduled and that lectures would be presented by seasoned experts; I wished for inexpensive and ‘on tap’ internet access; French food, as offered, was a limited cuisine and I wished for flavours such as those from Asia, the Middle East and Africa; occasionally foods were overcooked and inedible (but there was always more to choose from); the staff didn’t understand the difference between vegan and vegetarian; and the free Antarctic jackets were badly designed with unshielded pockets so rain soaked into them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first cruise with Ponant and we were not disappointed. It was 5 star all the way. The food was magnificent and delicious for every meal. Our cabin with veranda was completely adequate for our needs as we do not spend much ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Ponant and we were not disappointed. It was 5 star all the way. The food was magnificent and delicious for every meal. Our cabin with veranda was completely adequate for our needs as we do not spend much time in there. The toilet was separate to the bathroom which was unusual and very pleasing. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of storage. My only criticism is that the balustrade for the balcony is steel so if sitting on the veranda, one cannot see much at all. A perspex or some other transparent material would be better. Maybe becaue it is an icebreaker - I don't know? Rhis is also our first cruise on a small ship and we were dispoointed some times in the lack of activities in the afternoon. Is this because the passengers are having nana naps?! Staff were excellent and catered to our every request. Shore excursions - we only did one in Tangier which was really good and the other in Casablanca which was only satisfactory because we were put on a bus with French speakers and their French guide who dominated our English speaking guide and monopolised the microphone on the bus. There is not a lot to see in Casablanca and I felt that the tour was "padded out" with useless information to fill in time. One could easily walk from the port to the mosque and that's all you really need ro see. While we loved the cruise, I am not sure that I would do a small ship cruise again as we had some not rough seas, but serious swells that made quite a few people sea sick. I have been on big ships with rough seas and never felt sick like I did on this one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship as it was small and seemed an ideal way to visit Croatia. Previous reviews were worrying with comments about smoking on board but this was not a huge problem. The French do smoke out on the decks but not inside. The pomp ... Read More
We chose this ship as it was small and seemed an ideal way to visit Croatia. Previous reviews were worrying with comments about smoking on board but this was not a huge problem. The French do smoke out on the decks but not inside. The pomp and ceremony didnt appeal on boarding but it went smoothly. The cabin on deck 4 was fine. Quite compact but a lovely shower with plenty Hermes toiletries replenished daily. Excellent service of the cabin. Nice balcony, comfy bed and very smooth sailing every day for 8 days. There was a single chair and an ottoman if you wanted room service. We used this once, it was ok. The times to eat were quite rigid and we did see crew clearing the food away at the buffet right on deadlines! The bars were fine, lovely crew, drinks and nibbles ok. The cocktail party was a joke. No cocktails in sight just champagne or water. No cocktail food as such, a couple of cooked carrot balls and dried olive inedible pastry. Which brings me to the food. french, we thought it would be a highlight.... breakfast on level 2 was great. Couldnt ask for more, fruit, pastries( they were cold and tired and needed to be reheated) On level 6 it was a buffet free for all. Food difficult to reach and at several stations. Lunch was the same and dinner on level 6. We ate maily on 2, al la carte. Food was plain, steak inedible, vegetables, boiled, reheated, deserts teasteless often. Wine was ok. The food was presented well but the taste was a total let down. As for Croatia. If you dont like smoking beware. Montenegro smoking inside cafes etc. people quite friendly, time ashore was enough. The day in Split, walking to the old town was terrible via a chaotic port. Dubrovnik, lovely. We found the crew very friendly and helpful. Most were French, rest were from USA, Uk, Australia. Would we cruise again? No. Mention must also be made of the very poor Ponant online site. We received photocopied docements a weeks before departure with no instructions on how to find the ship in Venice. It leaves from San Basilio. A vaporretto 5.1 will take you there. We found this out ourselves. Ponant offered no information at all in this regard. Entertainment was a small group of excellent dancers each night. We did our own excursions not with a group. Disembarkation was fine Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Ponant met our needs with their short 7 night cruise down the Dalmatian Coast. We had some friends who had taken this cruise and recommended it.Looking back on the experience we would have to say it exceeded their recommendation. Although ... Read More
Ponant met our needs with their short 7 night cruise down the Dalmatian Coast. We had some friends who had taken this cruise and recommended it.Looking back on the experience we would have to say it exceeded their recommendation. Although we only slept there the cabin was excellent, the crew (with one exception) were great, a special mention to the cabin cleaning staff who opened cabin doors with a smile,were always helpful and kept our cabin clean and tidy. The captain was brilliant (the tour of the ships bridge was memorable). Whether it be fine dining or buffet the food was amazing and one of the red wines ( the captains pick?) was a stand out. Special mention to the dining staff and their great sense of humour - great service with a laugh thrown in. In summary a very special experience and yes we would take another cruise with Ponant in a heartbeat. Well done guys. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had been to Croatia on our own, driving a car, 30 years ago. It was fascinating to see how it had changed (and how it had not changed) since then. We had a delightful time, met some interesting people, enjoyed the excursions as well ... Read More
We had been to Croatia on our own, driving a car, 30 years ago. It was fascinating to see how it had changed (and how it had not changed) since then. We had a delightful time, met some interesting people, enjoyed the excursions as well as the time to explore on our own. We have not been on many cruises and the fact that Le Lyrial was a small ship was appealing to us. The food was very good and beautifully presented. We found the food choices in the casual dining area were much more extensive than the formal dining room and wish we had eaten more dinners there. All of the staff from the Captain to the maids were very effecient and personable. Everyone was very friendly. It was a bit off-putting to have the cruise advertised as "all-inclusive - to include gratuity" and then find an envelope with a "suggested" amount for gratuities in our cabin toward the end of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was the second cruise that we did on Le Lyrial ( Ponant ) . All of our needs were taken care of by a very professional staff and crew . We had an excellent cabin ( # 614) that was very close to one of the restaurants and the swimming ... Read More
This was the second cruise that we did on Le Lyrial ( Ponant ) . All of our needs were taken care of by a very professional staff and crew . We had an excellent cabin ( # 614) that was very close to one of the restaurants and the swimming deck . We enjoyed the buffet restaurant on the sixth level for lunch and dinner and were able to make an advance reservation at a certain table each evening for dinner . The service by the staff at this restaurant was excellent . We participated in four excursions that included the waterfall tour , sailing , kayaking and a walking tour . Each excursion had great guides and were well worth the extra money . We stayed in Venice for three nights and thought it was very crowded , hot and very expensive to get to and from the airport and the cruise terminal . Ponant did a very nice job in setting up our itinerary with very good guides . Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Unlike other reviewers, I was very pleased with my time spent aboard the Le Lyrial. The entire crew was very personable and took care of my every need. I found it amazing how the cleaning staff mysteriously appeared to clean my cabin ... Read More
Unlike other reviewers, I was very pleased with my time spent aboard the Le Lyrial. The entire crew was very personable and took care of my every need. I found it amazing how the cleaning staff mysteriously appeared to clean my cabin and turn down my bed at night. My omelets were cooked to perfection every morning and there was an abundant selection of entrees at the buffet. Yes some were better than others but there was quite an assortment to choose from. You could also dine out on the deck. The restaurant Le Celeste was a formal sit down restaurant and offered French cuisine. I had some of the best Vodka tonics onboard and the wine flowed freely and far from undrinkable as stated by others. On so many occasions our Captain, Regis Daumesnil, helped us board the tender for shore excursions or greeted us as we returned to the ship. He was very hands on and personable. My only complaint was that I purchased a CD "The Best of Croatia" and when I tried to play it, it was blank. That was my only disappointment. I am hoping I can be sent a replacement. The ship was nicely appointed and I would travel again with this line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our first consideration was to visit places we had chosen in the Adriatic. Not all of our needs could be met wiht any of the cruise options we explored and narrowed it down to a number of cruise providers that best met our needs. We were ... Read More
Our first consideration was to visit places we had chosen in the Adriatic. Not all of our needs could be met wiht any of the cruise options we explored and narrowed it down to a number of cruise providers that best met our needs. We were not familiar with some of the stops on this cruise but were prepared to accept those offered as good examples of the Croatian coast and towns. A second consideration was the size of the ship. We wanted to travel on a smaller vessel that was large enough too provide a high level of comfort and service but small enough to enable easy access in ports. We had travelled on a large ship previously and wanted to avoid queues and delays in the various ports we visited. A third consideration was the all inclusive price. The ease of attending the restaurants and bars without having to consider budget was important. When travelling with a group of friends the release from worrying about whether your preferences will weigh more heavily on a restaurant or bar bill makes the experience more relaxing. Our experience was that all of our needs were met on Le Lyrial. Of particular note was the quality of service provided by the friendly crew. In the short time we were on board we got to know a number of the wait and bar staff by first name. We also attended an informative, interesting and at times humourous presentation on navigation provided by the captain. We also noted that the captain took his turn as crew on the vessel taking guests ashore on one of the visits. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. We did a back to back cruise. First week was the Greek Islands and the 2nd week was Croatia. We did a lot of research on these areas and these cruises fit the bill. The excursions were ok to good. ... Read More
The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. We did a back to back cruise. First week was the Greek Islands and the 2nd week was Croatia. We did a lot of research on these areas and these cruises fit the bill. The excursions were ok to good. Staff was perfect...always accommodating and there to help. Cabin was lovely and well laid out and appointed and very clean. Food was very disappointing. Honestly we thought that being a French ship it would have had really great food. Lunches were definitely better than the dinners. The d'oeuvres at dinner were the same every night...sushi...and not even good sushi. Cheese course and breads were amazing. Desserts were ok to good. Another suggestion I had was between meals there was absolutely nothing to snack on if you wanted something and no where to buy anything. This was a big call out that several passengers complained about. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose Ponant to sail the Adriatic because Le Lyrial is a small ship and like the other reviewer said the Captain was excellent and not aloof at all. Very hands on always helping us embark/disembark. His presentation in the control deck ... Read More
We chose Ponant to sail the Adriatic because Le Lyrial is a small ship and like the other reviewer said the Captain was excellent and not aloof at all. Very hands on always helping us embark/disembark. His presentation in the control deck was highly informative and fascinating to hear. The food was excellent and in the French style - serves were not too large but delicious. The French wines were fabulous. Well done Mr Sommelier. All the room staff and bar staff were very friendly and very attentive. The only small criticism I have is the bed was too big! It was a King size and we only need a Queen. This would add more room to our suite but we did have a private balcony as well. We loved it so much we have booked another cruise and have recommended Ponant to our friends. Can't wait to do the Kimberleys. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Having cruised before on larger ships we liked the concept of small ship cruising. Everything about the ship was exceptional. The staff were helpful and friendly and the dining room Cuisine was to die for. The itinerary took us to ... Read More
Having cruised before on larger ships we liked the concept of small ship cruising. Everything about the ship was exceptional. The staff were helpful and friendly and the dining room Cuisine was to die for. The itinerary took us to places we had not visited before and we appreciated the easy access that smaller ships enjoy which made transfers so easy . The ports we visited all had unique histories with interesting places to visit and enjoy the culture, food and people.We travelled in the peak season so naturally tourists were everywhere . That made us appreciate the serenity of our ship and surroundings when we returned on board. We did not participate in the nightly entertainment (To tired after long days) but feedback from other passengers was very positive. Once you have had a great experience like this you never forget. We will certainly sail again with Ponant when the next opportunity arises. We recommend you do a cruise with Ponant. You won't regret it !!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise as we do not like big cruise ships. We have cruised on Sea Dreaming before (American based) and was hoping for something similar from Ponant. What a let down. It started off great when we arrived in our cabin - very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we do not like big cruise ships. We have cruised on Sea Dreaming before (American based) and was hoping for something similar from Ponant. What a let down. It started off great when we arrived in our cabin - very spacious and own balcony. Than the set backs 1. Smoking - all outside decks including the main bar were filled with filthy smokers puffing cigarettes and cigars - not able to go outside without being consumed by smoke 2. Service - If you have been to France, you will understand the service. First morning after 24 hour flight we wanted a coffee. No coffee available until 6.30 am. We arrived at 6.15am and waiter was setting up. Coffee was made but he said we could not have milk until 6.30am . The milk was 1.0 metre away from him in the fridge behind him! That standard was present throughout whole trip. Apart from the Filipino staff who were actually quite pleasant and genuine. 3. Food - can be described as business class aeroplane food - all pre-heated and 5 courses could be served to 244 passengers inside 60 minutes 4. Eating times - set dinner time - 7.30-9.00pm - absolutely ridiculous that we could not eat after the sun went down! We tried to come in around 8.30pm but NO food left on buffet! 5. Drinks - we are not big drinkers but like an occasional drink. Not one barman could actually make a reasoable vodka and soda with fresh lime? That is just one example. 6. Not a luxury cruise in any sense of the word. Pre-heated food, limited choice menu, set eating times limited to daylight hours - really disappointing This may be better than the big ships but do not choose this cruise if you have any expectations other than average Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because the destination was attractive and we had enjoyed a similar cruise along the Croatian coast on Le Lyrial in 2017. Also Le Lyrial is a lovely ship with spacious lounge and restaurant areas. The only amenity ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the destination was attractive and we had enjoyed a similar cruise along the Croatian coast on Le Lyrial in 2017. Also Le Lyrial is a lovely ship with spacious lounge and restaurant areas. The only amenity lacking is adequate outdoor shady areas. The destination venues were well chosen and the opportunity to see Paxos [otherwise fairly inaccessible ] particularly welcome. The "Cuisine et Vins de France' theme was not very successful. The formal dinners were too elaborate and accompanied by far to much explanation. The choice of wines with dinner was generally excellent; however those chosen for the 'tastings' were highly esoteric . The staff were delightful and very helpful in every way. One aspect of concern to us was the attitude and behaviour of some of the antipodean passengers. Despite many reminders many totally ignored the very undemanding dress code for the Gala dinners and one group of ten Australians were unreasonably demanding about almost everything. The entertainment was rather 'downmarket' compared with our previous Ponant experience and, although talented, the acts and dancing were somewhat inappropriately risqué at times. Embarcation and Disembarcation were handled with great efficiency and our two night stay in Athens before the cruise proved a very good idea. A better effort to introduce passengers to each other would be helpful. Being English doesn't mean that we can't speak some French ! We have already booked a Ponant cruise for 2019 which is a good recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not ... Read More
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not get value for money. As has been previously stated by other reviewers, the standard of meals is not consistent. We had three Gala Dinners and these were all of varying standards, nothing particularly memorable about any of them. The alternative buffet on deck 6 was awful, I have had better more appealing meals on the larger cruise lines. I had room service a number of times and they were delivered without any covers over the plates! The last night farewell affair was laughable in that the entire staff were paraded onto the pool deck with rock music, whilst I understand that staff need to be acknowledged for their service this was over the top. As a non-French speaking passenger there was a feeling of condescension from the reception staff and in particular from the female cruise director, there were a number of non-French speakers on board and we all had the same opinion. The wait staff and cabin staff were much better, polite and willing to assist at all times. I will definitely not be cruising with Ponant again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Dalmatian coast on the Ponant ship Le Lyrial. Food and service: fair to poor. Wine: poor. No choice at dinner: 1 red, 1 white, 1 rose. All wines were French for the entire cruise. Whites were undrinkable. Outdoor furniture in common areas: ... Read More
Dalmatian coast on the Ponant ship Le Lyrial. Food and service: fair to poor. Wine: poor. No choice at dinner: 1 red, 1 white, 1 rose. All wines were French for the entire cruise. Whites were undrinkable. Outdoor furniture in common areas: poor and most uncomfortable (no cushions). Westin hotel dinner: poor. Cabins: small. Shows were poor. Singers were very good. We enjoyed the ports however don't sail on Ponant. We chose this cruise for the ports, and booked through Tauck. Departed Venice on May 24, 2018. Cleanliness, laundry and room staff all OK. Dance lessons were good. Only one type of beer available in the restaurant. Waiters were friendly but service was poor. We were a couple and looking to sit with other people for dinners. Maitre d' was unable to help us and in fact did nothing. Champagne was not drinkable - tasted off. Boutique was very expensive. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Hello: We did not like : * The shore embarkation and disembarkation on the Zodiac : "wet shoes" * The primary school- like disciplin : prohibited to walk out of the flaged pathways, swimming prohibited, etc … * The ... Read More
Hello: We did not like : * The shore embarkation and disembarkation on the Zodiac : "wet shoes" * The primary school- like disciplin : prohibited to walk out of the flaged pathways, swimming prohibited, etc … * The disembarkation timing, compulsatory and early in the morning (sometime departure at 6h30), no other possibility of disembarkation if one miss the departure. * The short time spent on shore. The loud announcements at any time, from the cabin speakers. The lack of Holiday spirit ... permanent stress Kind Regards Jean-Claude and Jeanine in french : On n'a pas aimé : Les débarquements/embarquements en Zodiac « pieds mouillés » La discipline de type maitresse d'école : interdiction de sortir des sentiers balisés, interdiction de se baigner, … Les horaires des débarquements imposés très tôt le matin (certain départ à 6h30), sans aucune possibilité de débarquer si on « rate » le départ. La courte durée des escales. Les annonces haut-parleurs dans la cabine à toute heure Le manque d'esprit de vacances , le stress permanent Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Le Lyrial (Ponant) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 4.5
Dining N/A 4.1
Entertainment N/A 3.5
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.9
Family N/A 3.9

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