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Louis Cristal

Edmonton, Canada
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184 posts
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Louis Cristal

We just returned from a wonderful time aboard the Louis Cristal - doing the 7 night tour of Greece and Turkey.

We noticed only limited information on the internet with Louis Cristal - so thought we would share some thoughts.

The cruiseship is definitely not as bad as we had thought. It definitely is a little dated - but is clean and well maintained. They have ton of staff aboard and all were extremely polite and friendly. The staff really made the cruise. The waiters and bartenders all were very kind and nice.

We stayed in the Imperial Suite which was amazing. Lots of room indoors and an great patio deck for lounging out. Perfect to lay out while in port or on the water suntanning.

We opted for the all inclusive package which was definitely worth it. Includes water, pop, ice cream and liquor. We definitely had our fair share!

The only complaint about the ship would be the food. It is definitely hit and miss. Some stuff would be okay, some would be not very good at all. Also lots of Greeks in particular older Greeks on the cruise - who we will say are not all that friendly. They also like to touch all the fruit on the buffet lines - so beware!!

I can see why the staff seemed happy to talk to two canadians who actually smiled and were polite back to them!

We loved all the ports. Istanbul was much better then expected - the sites amazing and so much to see. We went with a private tour guide through otti tours who was amazing - saw a lot more then what the excursion through the ship did and roughly the same price.

Izmir was also very nice - we spent the time in a local restaurant having local beer and narguli (fun!).

Kusadasi felt very modern and Ephesus was very nice as was the House of the Virgin Mary. We went through Otti Tours as well for that tour - which was good - but not as good as in Istanbul.

Patmos was very nice - beautiful, beautiful little island. Did the cruise's excursion of the Monastery and St. John's cave and chapel and was pretty good.

Mykonos was actually pretty dissapointing. It was cloudy and windy that day - so not sure if that made an impact - but the town was not as pretty as I imagined.

Santorini was okay. We stayed there prior to our vacation and really enjoyed it. On the cruise ship it was only okay. The journey up from port is a terrible first impression. The lines on the tram were long and we decided to walk up. The island and country should be ashamed of how the donkeys are treated.

We took a bus to Kamari and enjoyed a perfect beach day.

Crete was also a beautiful island. Would be a nice place to explore more. We went to Knossos Palace which was very dissapointing. We utilized the bus system which was cheap and quick.

We then walked around the main part of town which was very nice.

All in all - we were very happy with the Louis Cristal cruise - the staff were amazing. The food though definitely could be improved - but would highly recommend eating off port as much as possible.

Any questions - would be glad to answer!

Brisbane
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64 reviews
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11. Re: Louis Cristal

Sounds like a good cruise. Thanks for posting.

Sydney
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212 posts
100 reviews
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12. Re: Louis Cristal

Great to see some info on the Louis Cristal. Thanks 2canucks12 for your review. We will be taking the cruise at the end of July next year, joining in Istanbul and I have been searching for reviews.

The cruise will be at the end of our trip to Europe & UK that we start at the beginning of June. We plan on spending 3 nights in Istanbul before the cruise as my husband wants to visit Gallipoli (we are Aussies) and wanted a cruise that we could start in Istanbul and end in Athens for our flight back to Sydney - Cristal fitted the bill. We also didn't want a "too formal" cruise, so we didn't have to pack specific clothes just for the cruise.

Have been trying to find out which ship excursions to take and where to do our own thing. In Izmir how did you get to the local restaurant? What would you recommend for Mykonos? Should we do the ships excursion in Santorini due to the limited time there? In Crete were they local buses that you used?

Is the all inclusive drinks package something we need to organise before the cruise or can we purchase this when we are on the cruise?

Can anyone offer any suggestions on a tour that we can do when we disembark in Athens? Our flight out will be at 6.30pm later that day and would like to fill in time seeing some sights. Where could we leave our luggage?

Sorry for all the questions, but info on the Cristal is limited.

Makati
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6 posts
20 reviews
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13. Re: Louis Cristal

Thanks for your reviews. We may take the same cruise in April. Was it smooth sailing? Do i need to bring a stash of dramamine?

Edmonton, Canada
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184 posts
3 reviews
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14. Re: Louis Cristal

The ship is only a moderate size, so you do feel some waves. The first day when you go from Athens to Istanbul was rocky, and is usually according to staff. We were at the very front of the ship, and noticed it a little. Nothing severe though if you do get sea sick easily, I would recommend bringing dramamine as it would be harder finding in Greece.

Enjoy!!!

Castle Rock...
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498 posts
26 reviews
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15. Re: Louis Cristal

But not much on Louis

Castle Rock...
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498 posts
26 reviews
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16. Re: Louis Cristal

Sorry, double post. We just got back in Nov.

Edited: 27 January 2012, 00:58
Gembloux, Belgium
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2 posts
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17. Re: Louis Cristal

Hello !

We will travel with the Louis Cristal at the end of the month (From Athenes to Istanbul, too).

First anxiety : the ticket we received didn't mention clearly the place of the boarding. And it seems that there are +/- 10 places to board on more than 2km in the Piraeus port !

Could you help us with that ? Where should we go to board ?

Furthermore, is there an hotel you would recommand near the boarding place ?

Thank you very much for sharing your experience !

Edmonton, Canada
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184 posts
3 reviews
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18. Re: Louis Cristal

Great question! I would send Louis Cruises an email to see if there is anything they can share. We utilized a car service and they seemed to know exactly where they were going. There must be a cruise schedule somewhere. I wouldnt worry too much as if you go fairly early there should be no issues. From one end to the other in car (ie. taxi) is only maybe a 5 minute drive.

My recommendation is to go a little early and it should be all okay.

As for hotel, personally I would not stay in Piraeus. I am sure there are some decent hotels there, but the drive from the central part of Athens is only maybe 20-30 minutes tops. Personally, I would stay there and enjoy one more day in the heart of Athens then the port town.

Gembloux, Belgium
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19. Re: Louis Cristal

Thank you very much for your answer !

We will stay a day to visit Athenes, but it will be after the cruise.

Hope everything will be fine (as I'm pregnant, I more worried than usual) ^-^

Sydney, Australia
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463 posts
97 reviews
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20. Re: Louis Cristal

We returned today from a week cruising on the Louis Cristal - I cannot say I am a fan.... It was not at all obvious where to find our cruise ship, mainly because we had no idea which cruise liner we were booked on! Our travel voucher did not make it obvious at all (issued by a travel agent). The agent failed to mention the sheer site of the port and we finally found our ship at E11, which is the furtherest port. It's a long, long way....

Upon arriving there were no welcome drinks like other cruises but the room was much bigger than I'd expected. We were told we had been upgraded when we checked in - but we hadn't. It was the same room we'd booked and paid for.

We then attended the welcome briefing to be told that 8 Euros per person per day would be automatically be charged to our account for tipping. Apparently this was expected so that Louis could attract quality staff and it was the best way for us to let the crew know they did a good job. Only problem was, we had just arrived and were being asked to commit to a tip when we hadn't received any services!!!! If you weren't happy with this you had to go to Reception and fill in a form.

So for two people for a week you will pay $112 Euros in tips, plus extra tips for staff outside of the tipping pool (they let you know they are not in the tipping pool and a tip is expected) and if you order drinks from the bar you will also be charged a service fee.

We didn't go for the all inclusive drinks and were glad as for the week for two of us we ended up spending around 40 Euros in total. This was because water is freely available at meal times (we're big water drinkers) and we spent a lot of time on shore.

Internet cost me around 70 Euros - and that wasn't using it everyday or very often. It is very slow and a couple of Euros can easily be charged whilst you wait to log in to your email. It's absolutely hopeless and ridiculously expensive. We had planned to organise our own shore excursions online once we got on the ship but this was not possible as sites were too slow to load. We were stuck with the ship excursions - which were expensive (way too many people in a group) and not very good. I suggest you do your ground work before you get on this ship.

The ship was clean, and the staff were lovely. Housekeeping seem to vacuum all day and all night and the walls are paper thin so don't expect a good night's sleep if you're a light sleeper. We found the tricky lock on our door and so were not interrupted, but many people around us complained of housekeeping coming in at 7:15am wanting to clean their rooms.

The food is repetitive and like said above (or perhaps another post...) it's a bit hit and miss. I found breakfast awful, lunch was better and dinner was the best. Desserts were like glue mostly (but there was a beautiful walnut and honey cake which was a stand out). Huge glasses of water were available (would have held probably 750mLs so you don't need to buy much water).

Anyway, this cruise wasn't for me. I'm going on Disney in a couple of months so am hoping that's better!