The cruise part of my tour: on board the Louis Olympia

I boarded the Louis Olympia looking forward to cruising; after all, it has been a full-on few weeks with touring. I wanted pampering, rest and relaxation. My impressions of the ship, however, are less than favorable.

This ship has passed its used by date: it is tired, old and shabby. It has certainly seen better days. The engine laboriously chugs and the ship sways and vibrates as it cuts its way through the sea. Seriously, I’m a little worried about making it safely back to land by the end of the cruise!

My cabin – particularly my bunk – reminds me of a caravan I used to stay in as a youngster, although it’s spacious and comfortable enough. My bathroom is like a portaloo I rented when I was renovating my house! Even my porthole is rusty. I’m sleeping in a single bed, and I can feel the springs in the mattress. The TV is a relic from the 90s, and there is not even a DVD player, so I am forced to watch BBC News, because that’s the only English speaking channel I can find.

The waiters aren’t overly friendly particularly if alcohol isn’t purchased with meals. No one smiles much, and they are often rude, slapping plates of food in front of guests. The other day, I had to ask three waiters for a cup of tea at lunch before one materialised, and don’t get me started on how long it took to get some milk! Today, I told a waiter off for the way he made my tea (hot water and milk do not go in the cup TOGETHER, at the same time!). He knew he was doing it wrong, and sort of smiled at being caught out.

And the ship charges for EVERYTHING (apart from meals in designated areas, served at designated times. Unlike Holland America, if I have room service, I am charged for it.).

There is a feeling of people everywhere. They crowd the Reception area, the corridors and onto the tenders. They swarm like flies on the buffets, as if THIS particular meal was going to be the last time they were going to eat EVER. (Side note: the food is passable, but I can see myself tiring of it very quickly.)

While this ship ain’t no Holland America, I’m quite comfortable on board. I can find my way around easily, and have settled into the cruising lifestyle, right down to ignoring the “you can not bring alcohol on board” rule, which I feel obligated to disobey at every chance! Two small bottles of ouzo smuggled in… booyah!

And I’m not doing any of the optional excursions. Instead, I’m getting off at the ports and poking around. I always think: “How am I going to fill in my time?” but by the time I take some photos, browse the shops and maybe have something to eat and drink, it’s time to board the ship again.

And that gratuity I have to pay? I’ll be halving it, because seriously, this ship – and the service – ain’t worth diddly squat.

Please share!


  • Gary Lum October 10, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    If I ever do this I won’t be using this cruise line. Thanks Diane.

    • dileeshus October 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Good decision, Gary 🙂

  • georginabarnett October 10, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    That’s disappointing Di. I hate the gratuity thing. Pay your people properly, I say. Particularly if they aren’t living up to the standard. Isn’t that why you give a tip, because the service and standard is beyond expectation?


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