We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

I know there is a cruise forum, but some people asked that I post a review here as well.

I read some poor reviews of Louis Cruise ships and I was not sure what to expect. I traveled with 14 relatives and the trip was set up by Freegate Tourism- a company that usually deals with other travel agents, but they set up flight, accomodations in Athens, tour of the Parthanon, and the 4 day Louis Cruise. There was a slight delay (2 hours)getting on the ship as the boat arrived late and needed to be cleaned and restocked.

I thought the staff on the boat worked extremely hard and for the most part were very friendly. The food was fair to good. The sit down dinners were nice and you had a large selection. I went in not expecting great food, but it was okay.

After the 2nd 4.5 Euro beer I had the waiter recommended the all inclusive package 80 Euro which covered beer, wine, soda, coffees and many mixed drinks. I got my moneys worth.

The room and bathroom were small but I knew this going in. We really are only in the room to sleep. It seemed like any time you left the room it was cleaned and bed made immediately.

We saw a few of the shows which were okay. The performers really seemed to work hard. If you did not like them there were other things to do disco, casino, bars etc. We always had fun and found something to do.

We took the excursion to visit Ephessus. This was nice and we had a knowledgable tour guide, although at the end of the tour they tried to steer you into a rug salespitch.

At the other ports we mostly went on our own. The only problem with this was that in Santorini and Mykonos, they take all of the people that booked excursions through Louis of the boat on the tender boats first. So we had to wait 45 minutes which is limiting when you are only at a port for 4 hours.

At Santorini we took the tram up and walked around this beautiful place. We found a taverna with a view overlooking the water and city and enjoyed the view. There was a huge line to get back on the tram so we decided to walk down the hill as we had to get back to the boat. My wife has bad allergies to animals and she did not want to take a donkey. This was a difficult hike. The donkeys are walking past and bump into you at times. The stone is slippery, fairly steep and the donkeys do there business there so be careful. People in flip flop sandals were slipping and falling be careful if you do this. They charged 4 euros to take a donkey and some of the donkey handlers tried to charge a "walking fee" toll to walk down the road which is a scam.

Also the boat automatically charges you something like 32 euros per person for tips for the staff. If you do not want this you have to tell them or they bill you. I thought the staff worked hard so I left it on.

So overall we had a great vacation. I felt like the Aquamarine was fine. The only thing I really disliked was waiting for the tender boats. I would go on Louis Cruise again.

George's Taxi
Taxis & Shuttles, Private Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, City Tours
Private Greece Tours
Archaeology Tours, Private Tours, Multi-day Tours, Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours
Athens Free Tour
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Walking Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Athens Limo Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Walking Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, Archaeology Tours
Western Canada
Level Contributor
1,047 posts
562 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

Thank you for the post.

I was on the Christal and absolutly loved it.

Isn't Santorini a gorgeous place? There are numerous posts on the abuse of the donkeys so we used the tram which was excellent.

Dean in Canada

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
33 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

I found your review of the Aquamarine quite useful. I am a member of 12 people taking the 3 day cruise on the Aquamarine in Sept. I am wondering about meal times - what were the choices? Our group is leaning towards the earlier seating, but does that leave you enough time to get ready after touring all day - especially after Rhodes and Kusadesi.

wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

JCT

We signed up for the earlier meal time. This was okay except for 1 day (I think Santorini) when we did not get back on the boat until 8. The staff made other arrangments and there was a buffet open.

The later setting might be better and the staff was pretty accommodating.

Have a great trip!

Michigan
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

I have a few questions for you: My college age daughter and I will be taking this cruise in Sep. I am wondering if you think taking the Excursions in each port is the best way to go. Part of this is a safety issue, and the rest is just getting the most for our money. Also, did you have add add'l nights in Athens? I am thinking of booking a hotel and driver as we will only be there one day before and one day after the cruise. We arrive seperately as she is coming from London and I from the US. According to posts on Trip Advisor the hotels used by our vacation company are not very good, just well located. Any info is appreciated!

Thank You,

Susan

wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

Michigan

The tours offered by the cruise ship might be a good idea. You get off the ship much more quickly. It was nice to walk around Mykonos on our own. The Ephessus tour was interesting, but that was the only tour we went on. In Rhodes Old Town Was neat to walk through and you do not need a tour for that, but you have more time there and I do not remember which tours were offered.

Crete would be a good place to take one of the tours as there is not too much near the port.

Santorini was also nice to explore on our own just walking and seeing the beautiful scenery.

We stayed at the Hotel Polis in Athens. It was a pretty good location and clean rooms with friendly staff, breakfast and internet access.

Chestertown...
Level Contributor
15 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

Apologies first for such a long review. After much back and forth discussion on Tripadvisor about the supposed merits and horrors of the Aquamarine and the Louis line, we returned from our cruise (June 2008) with more or less the same opinions as ILS6515. I would just add that the standards of cleanliness were extremely good. Some staff member was cleaning every inch of boat at some time during the day. The second sitting for dinner does take some pressure off you. If you ask early you can sometimes get your seating changed if you have the early one as we did.

Food safety standards were followed. The buffet servers wore plastic gloves, There were glass protective panels in place and there was disinfectant hand wash available at the beginning of the buffet tho I didn’t see many people using it. In the dining room I noticed that every single plate that came out of the kitchen had a plastic cover over it, even the smallest piece of dessert cake. I wondered about that and then realized that it was an excellent way to protect the food from contamination. The servers carried food in on trays balanced at shoulder height in the usual one handed style. This puts food directly in line with the server’s nose and mouth and the plastic covers must have been to protect food from germs. A nice touch.

Our two 20-something boys took the unlimited drink option and I’m sure they got their money’s worth partying but the rest of our family didn't as we don't drink that much. At meal times coffee and tea is free but not inbetween.

I noted that the written policies of the cruise line do not prevent you from having your own liquor and soft drinks in your cabin, just not in "public areas". I think that if you want a before or after dinner drink you could have it in your cabin or even discreetly on the Promenade Deck which has nothing on it but lifeboats and very few people use it. Of course there wouldn't be any ice or chairs, but standing at the rail, gazing at the stars and enjoying the Metaxa and Ouzo bought at reasonable prices ashore could be very pleasant.

You can also have your own water if you don’t mind room temperature. Be aware that the water and soda left in your cabin is not free.

Before discussing shore excursions I want to address several comments about how the tours get off first and the independent travelers last. We had heard about that and we simply ignored those instructions. As soon as the doors opened we walked out with the first group. The ship staff that checks you on and off the boat don’t know who you are with and and could care less. The groups are rushing to get off and no one knows who is with what leader anyway. So just do it!

Lastly, regarding the shore excursions, you don't really need them. In Myconos there's nothing to do but walk around to sightsee or shop. (Oh, big complaint here, the ship docked about 2 miles out of town and charged us each 7 E, about $10 for shuttle buses. I figured if all 1,000 people bought that the company made around $10,000. What a rip off. They should just include that ride. There were taxis plying the waterfront and a little walk toward town you could pick one up. If you are a group that would pay. They didn’t seem to come to where the buses are, they must be prevented from doing that.)

On Rhodes where we had all day, the historic walled town is steps from the boat. The Lindos beach that the excursion takes you to is reported to be very touristy. Instead we took a cab for 10Euro to Kalithea.

It is close by and divine! But you need to be a little adventurous. A Moorish style spa and park built by the Italiens in 1920, it had fallen into disrepair and is recently renovated.Rather than my giving a lengthy description, look it up tho it is hard to find anything in google, here is one website ….. http://www.faliraki-info.com/Kallithea/ This do it yourself excursion was by far the hit of our trip. Everyone loved it and felt like royalty for a 2 euro entry plus rental of beach lounges. Getting a taxi back was a little iffy. There were none waiting and the reception office said they had no phone?? If we had kept the taxi phone number we could have called ourself. The man who runs a little food wagon in the parking lot, from which we had purchased lunch and snacks, was kind enough to call for cabs for us. He refused payment but you should at least buy something from him. The return was 12 E since they came to us. You can also take a bus there for 2 euros per person and then you’d be able to get back by bus.

On to Turkey and the trip to Ephesus. When you get out of the dock there are many taxis waiting to take you there. The going rate, after a very brief haggle, is 50 euros per taxi for 4 persons. We had 8 people and paid 90 E for a larger van though could probably have done it for less. Entry fees are on you of course. The taxi takes you to the site, which is at least a half hour away in the countryside, drops you at the upper entry and then waits for you at the exit at the lower level. You pay after you get back so there’s no problem with them not waiting for you. You need at least one hour but can take as long as you like. On the way back we saw the tour busses in the parking lot of the local rug factory so not only do you save money,. You don’t waste your time with that nonsense. Merchants in this area are used to cruisers and accept dollars, euros and other currency.

Montreal
3 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

Dear ils6515 from wisconsin,

I'm going on the same 4-day cruise in October and was wondering about the $80euros all-inclusive beverage plan that you mention:

"After the 2nd 4.5 Euro beer I had the waiter recommended the all inclusive package 80 Euro which covered beer, wine, soda, coffees and many mixed drinks. I got my moneys worth"

Is the cost $80euros total for all 4 days on board? Some people travelling with me think it may be per day (?) I would think it's for the entire cruise because it sounds a little expensive for one day!!

Please advise, that will be a great help to us in our expenses planning :)

N. from Montreal/Canada

wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

the 80 euros was for all 4 days and included alot of choices.

Have a great trip!

Montreal
3 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

Thanks a lot for the FAST response !!!

Efharisto (thanks) N.

Montreal
3 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Our 4 day Cruise on the Louis Cruise ship Aquamarine

I forgot to ask one detail :

Are water bottles included in that plan ?

I'm sure many people will be asking me !!!!

Thankssss