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Sail Date: April 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
Le Lyrial (Ponant) Ratings
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