Le Lyrial (Ponant) Cruise Review by Travel6060
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: Mediterranean
On arrival, we were warmly greeted by ships crew and escorted to our room where our luggage waited. Our room on the 6th deck near the buffet restaurant was ship-small but had drawers and closets to handle clothing and gear. The bed was high enough to stow empty luggage. The split bath has a toilet in one room and a sink and shower in the other so a visit to one meant a visit to the other. A sink in the toilet room would have been useful but there was not room . A small desk between the bed and the bath wall would have been useful as a dressing table if there had been a large mirror over it. Instead, the large mirror was on the wall of drawers at the foot of the bed making a "pinch-point" in the room - if one spouse was trying to apply make-up or fix hair while the other needed to get in the drawers or to the other side of the room. The veranda was nice with a table and 2 chairs.
There are two dining options for most meals - the 6th floor buffet and the 2nd floor restaurant. We prefer the 6th floor for choice, speed, and the option of eating on the back deck. The buffet staff are beyond helpful. They knew our food/drink/location preferences after the first day and were quick to take our plate and seat us. The set up of the buffet requires a bit of wandering around. A hot food station to the left of the door has meat/fish (or eggs/bacon/sausage at breakfast) and starch and vegetable dishes. To the right of the door is a salad and cold meat station. At the back is a carving station and a soup station (porridge at breakfast). To the left of that is a bread and cheese station. Desserts included a variety of small french pastries, cookies, sauces, ice cream and puddings. A core of offerings was the same daily but with new items at each meal for variety.
The 2nd floor restaurant is the more elegant space however the tables are packed tightly. If you are on the outside by a window, you are there for the duration.The wait staff is gracious, quickly refilling water and wine. Service is European slow - an hour and a half for dinner is typical and sometimes after a day of excursions, we just wanted to relax with our feet up. The menu has 2-4 nightly options for each course that are all ordered at the beginning. These are more gourmet than the buffet.
There were not a lot of daily activities since our group had excursions each port day. There is a library with a small offering of books even a few in English and some computer stations if you have purchased wi-fi. We did not so I cannot comment on the speed. The cruise director, Maria, offered daily Spanish, Italian and French language lessons that were well attended. There were also a few team trivia sessions that were great fun. The entertainment included classical piano each evening, a lounge singer with a sound-track backup, a couple of guitarists, and a dance group that was making its debut. The dancers seemed to mostly change costumes and fling their bodies around with sultry looks on their faces, but possibly this is very European?
This is our second cruise on a Ponant ship and we would definitely cruise again if the itinerary fit our needs. We like the smaller ship atmosphere.
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