Previous guests of Tauck's river cruises might be disappointed by the size of the cabins on Le Lyrial (unless they're staying in a suite). Most of the cabins onboard are small at 194 square feet. While cramped, they are attractive -- simply, but elegantly decorated in cream, white and gray, with blue carpets, accent pillows and armchair or couch (or both depending on cabin category).
In addition to size, we were struck by two other facets of the cabins onboard Le Lyrial. First, they have virtually no artwork. There are no paintings; one wall, which essentially serves as the bed's oversized headrest, is padded white leather with an embossed sunburst pattern on it. The only thing resembling art is a door-sized photo print of sun reflecting on water with a faded sky above on the door that you can use to slide across the bathroom's glass wall.
The second is the layout of the bathroom. Divided into two compartments, one simply has the toilet in it. The second has the sink and shower and, as previously mentioned, a half-glass wall so you can see into the cabin (or into the bathroom from the cabin). Though this is not an uncommon bathroom layout in France, we didn't like having to go from one room to another to wash hands after using the toilet.
Le Lyrial's cabins fall into nine categories, but all have twin beds that can convert to a king; an armchair, sofa or daybed; small drinks table; mini-bar stocked with included drinks (sofa, water, beer, wine, spirits); iPod docking station; desk with bench-style seat; flat-screen TV(s) with several channels and a selection of movies on demand; bathrobes, slippers and hair dryer; a safe; and two golf umbrellas for use during the cruise. Each room has at least three outlets; most are 220-volt, European style, so you'll need an adapter and possibly a converter (depending on your electronics) if you've got more than one item to charge. There is only one bedside outlet.
Storage space in suites is more than enough for two people, but all other rooms are not as amply outfitted; there are barely enough places to put everything two people with large suitcases will have brought. Drawers, while deep, are quite narrow -- there are four in the main area in most cabins, and another three (smaller) in the closet, along with three shelves. We did find there was plenty of hanging space though we had to ask for more hangers.
Standard bathrooms have two small glass shelves, and there's no shelf space around the sink. Inside the shower is a small metal ledge for toiletries. Small bottles of Hermes shampoo, conditioner and body gel are provided, as are Hermes bars of soap. There are two drawers beneath the sink; in one you'll find shower caps and a mini vanity set, but there's still room enough to put stuff. We referred to the other drawer as the silverware drawer as it is divided into three narrow spaces (think the knife section of a silverware drawer tray).
There are three wheelchair-accessible cabins on the ship. (The ship has two elevator banks, which go from Deck 2 to Deck 6. For anyone in a wheelchair who wants to go to Deck 7, there's a wheelchair lift on the aft stairs.)
Superior Stateroom: The largest non-suites on Le Lyrial are also the only rooms without balconies. These 226-square-feet rooms are all located on Deck 3, have a picture window and a daybed rather than a sofa or armchair.
Deluxe Stateroom: Located on Deck 3, these 194-square-foot rooms have a 43-square-foot balcony and the standard room layout, with one large room for the bed, sitting area and desk, a closet located in the narrow hallway that leads to the door and the two bathroom compartments. Note: You cannot have the closet and bathroom door(s) open at the same time, as they're directly opposite each other and the hall is too narrow. The balcony has two chairs. In most rooms, the steel balcony sides are too high to be able to see anything when seated.
Prestige Stateroom: These rooms make up the bulk of the cabins on Le Lyrial. Spread across Decks 4 and 5, they are identical to Deluxe Staterooms but are located on higher decks.
Deluxe Suite: The entry-level suite category for Le Lyrial, the 291-square-foot Deluxe Suites have a 65-square-foot balcony. There's no separation between the bedroom and sitting area, the latter of which has a daybed, table and chair; the small dressing area has two full-sized closets and the bathroom is similar to the lower-category staterooms.
Prestige Suite: Located on Deck 5, the 388-square-foot Prestige Suites are really just two Prestige Staterooms that have been combined into one larger room, with one of the bedroom spaces reconfigured into a sitting room. Each of the adjoining rooms has an armchair, flat-screen TV, full closet setup and two bathrooms, each set up exactly as they are in standard cabins. The sitting room also has a sofa and the balcony is 86 square feet.
Privilege Suite: Although the same size as Prestige Suites, Privilege Suites are located on Deck 6 and have an entirely different layout. Here you'll find one large bathroom -- with bathtub -- located off the bedroom, while the sitting room has a sofa, table and dressing area with large closet. Both rooms have a flat-screen TV.
Grand Deluxe Suite: There's just one Grand Deluxe Suite on Le Lyrial (cabin 604). The 484-square-foot room has a 108-square-foot balcony, a smallish bedroom and a large living area with sofa, drinks table, dining table with room for four and a desk. Both rooms have flat-screen TVs. There are two bathrooms: one is a large master bath with a spa bathtub and double sinks. It's fronted by a dressing area with large closet. The second bathroom is a guest bath with toilet and sink.
Grand Privilege Suite: This is yet another suite that has been created by combining two cabins: a Privilege Suite plus a regular stateroom. At 581-square-feet, it's one of the two largest rooms on the ship. It's got two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sitting room in the middle and a 120-square-foot balcony. The first bedroom has a master bath with spa bathtub, while the second bedroom has a bathroom setup that's identical to that found in standard cabins. Both bedrooms and the living room have flat-screen TVs, and the only dressing areas with closets are in the sitting room and the smaller of the two bedrooms (not in the master bedroom).
Owner's Suite: The top-level cabin on Le Lyrial is the ship's single Owner's Suite, despite the fact that it's the same size as the Grand Privilege Suite. Among its highlights are a 129-square-foot balcony, bedroom with master bathroom featuring a spa bathtub and dual sinks, and a large living room with sofa, dining table for four and a large dressing area. There's also a guest bathroom with toilet, and a second closet in the living area.