Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor

Le Lyrial has two restaurants where breakfast, lunch and dinner are always served. There is also a daily afternoon tea in the late afternoon. Between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner you can order from room service if you get hungry; tea and coffee are always available in the Main Lounge. Hours for meals vary depending on what time the ship arrives in port.

Food at lunch and dinner is French; expect a lot of cream sauces, fish dishes and descriptive language even foodies won't recognize.

The wait staff and chef do try to help diners with special dietary needs, but mostly in the form of explaining what is on the menu and whether it is safe to eat. On our cruise, they did not seem inclined to make special meals or versions of meals to cater to people with dietary restrictions. However, gluten-free bread is readily available and there is always a vegetarian dish or two on the menu.

Le Celeste (Deck 2): Like everything else on Le Lyrial, the main dining room is simply but elegantly designed, with white tablecloths and place settings of clear glass with gold and brown accents. (On Gala Night, the glass dishes are replaced with silver so shiny you can see your reflection in it.)

Breakfast is buffet-style with several types of cereal, fruit, baked goods, cold cuts, eggs and omelets. You'll also find several varieties of juices, plus Champagne if you feel like mixing yourself up a mimosa.

At lunch, you'll find a soup of the day (minestrone, chilled gazpacho), along with three starters, a single main course and several sides. Starters might include fresh fish from the destination you're sailing in, marinated pork or grilled beef flank. The main course could be a sole medallion with pepper and tomato condiment or duck confit. Sides always include French fries, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a more specific vegetable dish, such as zucchini and artichoke stew or green beans.

At dinner, there are always two soup choices (cream of cauliflower, chicken or beef consume, cream of turnip), plus three starters and three main courses. Starter choices might be green asparagus mimosa, quinoa-stuffed tomatoes with eggplant, octopus carpaccio, and hot goat cheese with figs and honey. Main courses could include beef filets with spinach and potato cake, pasta with sweet red pepper pesto, codfish rubbed with smoked paprika and served with green vegetables or lamb tenderloin.

There's also always a grilled fish of the day, as well as some permanent menu items, such as grilled chicken breast, a beef ribeye steak and a Caesar salad.

For dessert, there's always a selection of ice creams and sorbets, as well as a cheese plate; other options might include raspberry and chocolate cake, apple tart with vanilla ice cream, pineapple carpaccio with lemon sorbet, red berry cheesecake and Earl Grey panna cotta.

House wines are served at lunch and dinner; they're always French and might include a Jardin des Charmes rose, Le Pas de la Beaume red or Le Roujal white.

La Comete (Deck 6): In the ship's buffet you'll find a full range of options at all three meals. Seating is available indoors and out; get there at the start of each meal if you want to dine outside. Breakfast options are identical to what you'll find in the main dining room. At lunch and dinner, the buffet choices are taken from the main dining room menu, but not all of Le Celeste's dishes are available in La Comete. However, there's always an excellent salad bar and a carving station. As in the main dining room, you can always order one of the everyday menu items. Reservations are recommended for dinner in La Comete, though not always necessary.

Room Service: Room service is available, free of charge, 24/7. Breakfast, which is ordered via a door hanger, includes a selection of fruit, cereal, eggs (soft boiled, fried, poached and omelet), yogurt, baked goods and sides (ham, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms). Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juices can also be requested.

The rest of the day the menu consists of a first course (soup of the day, seasonal green salad, Caesar salad, smoked salmon platter), main course (hamburger/cheeseburger, fish of the day, grilled rib eye, chicken club sandwich), garnishes (French fries, white rice, steamed vegetables) and a small selection of desserts.

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Information

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Ship Stats

  • Crew: 139
  • Launched: 2015
  • Decks: 7
  • Passengers: 264
  • Registry: France

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