Louis Olympia - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Louis Olympia


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 310 out of 500

Accommodation: 118 out of 200

Food: 242 out of 400

Service: 251 out of 400

Entertainment: 63 out of 100

Cruise: 262 out of 400

Overall Score: 1246 out of 2000

Louis Olympia Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 37,773

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Louis Cruises

Former Names: Thomson Destiny, Sunbird, Song of America

IMO Number: 8814744

Builder: Wartsila (Finland)

Original Cost: $140 million

Entered Service: Dec 1982/May 2012

Registry: The Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 705.0/214.8

Beam (ft/m): 93.1/28.4

Draft (ft/m): 22.3/6.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (16,480kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 11

Total Crew: 540

Passengers (lower beds): 1,450

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 26.0

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6

Cabins (total): 725

Size Range (sq ft/m): 118.4-425.1/11.0-39.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 9

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 0

Wheelchair accessibility: Fair

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 7

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 0

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Euros


A comfortable family-friendly ship for casual cruising

Overview. Louis Olympia is best suited to adult couples and singles taking their first or second cruise, and families with children, all seeking a modern but not glitzy ship with a wide array of public lounges and bars, a middle-of-the-road lifestyle, and decent food and service. It operates in the Greek Islands and Mediterranean.

The Ship. Originally built for Royal Caribbean International, the all-white ship is smart-looking, with nicely rounded lines, sharply raked bow, and a single funnel with a cantilevered, wraparound lounge - a fine place from which to observe the world around and below you.

There’s a decent amount of open deck and sunbathing space - but it will be crowded when the ship sails full, which is most of the time. There are some nicely polished wooden decks and rails and two swimming pools - the aft one designated for children, the forward one for adults.

The interior decor is bright and breezy. There’s a good array of public rooms, most with high ceilings. All are located one deck above the dining room and include the main showlounge, casino, and nightclub. There’s also a small conference center for meetings, as well as an Internet café with several computer terminals.

There are no cushioned pads for the sunloungers. Standing in line for embarkation, disembarkation, shore tenders, and for self-serve buffet meals is an inevitable aspect of cruising aboard all large ships. Passenger niggles include the dated look of the ship’s interiors.

The best part of cruising aboard Louis Olympia lies in the destinations, and not the ship - although it is perfectly comfortable, and Louis Cruises provides a consistent, well-tuned, and well-packaged product.

Accommodation. This is provided in several categories and price bands: interior cabins (parallel or L-shaped bed arrangement), outside-view cabins (parallel or L-shaped bed arrangement), deluxe cabins (with parallel twin beds that can convert to a queen-size bed), suites, and Grand Suites.

Most cabins are of a similar size - dimensionally challenged when compared to today’s newer ships - and insulation between them is poor. The cabins also have mediocre closets and little storage space, yet somehow everyone seems to manage. They are just about adequate for a one-week cruise, as you’ll require only a small selection of mainly casual clothes. You’ll probably need to store your shoes and luggage under the bed.

Most bathrooms contain a washbasin, toilet, and shower, with very little space for toiletries. Although they are reasonably cheerful, the shower enclosure is small, and has a curtain that you will probably end up dancing with.

In some cabins, twin beds are fixed in a parallel mode - some are moveable and can be made into a queen-size bed - while others may be in an L-shape. In almost all cabins there is a threshold of about 9ins (23cm) at the bathroom door to step over.

You can get more space and a larger cabin if you book one of the 21 slightly more expensive deluxe-grade cabins on Promenade Deck. These have twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, set diagonally into a sleeping area adjacent to outside-view windows. There’s more drawer space, more closet space, and the bathroom has a half-size tub and shower combination. Bathrobes are also provided. The largest of these deluxe-grade cabins is Cabin 7000.

For even more exclusivity, you can book one of nine suites. All are located in a private area, have fine wood paneling and trim, and come with additional space and better, more personalized service.

The additional space includes a lounge area with sofa (this converts to a double bed - making it ideal for families with children), coffee table and two chairs, a vanity desk, combination TV/DVD, an abundance of drawers, illuminated closets with both hanging space and several shelves, excellent storage space, king-size bed, and bathrobes. The bathroom is fully tiled and has a full-size enamel tub (rare in ships today) with shower, pink granite-look washbasin, and plenty of storage space for toiletries.

Suite occupants also get a semi-private balcony - whose door is extremely heavy and hard to open - with drinks table and two teak chairs. Book one of the two Grand Suites, and you’ll get even more room - plus views over the bows and a larger balcony (these can be overlooked from the open deck above), more floor space, and a walk-in closet. Missing are a bedside telephone and a bathroom telephone.

The accommodation deck hallways are also very narrow on some decks.

Dining. The Seven Seas Restaurant, a large room, consists of a central main section and two long, narrow wings - the Magellan Room and Galileo Room - with large, ocean-view windows. The low ceiling creates a high level of ambient noise. There are two seatings. There are tables for two (but only 14), four, six, or eight, and window tables are for two or six.

If you enjoy eating out adventurously, you could be disappointed. The menus are standard and deviation is difficult. Bottled water costs extra. There is an adequate wine list. Wine prices are quite modest, as are the prices for most alcoholic drinks.

Other dining options. For casual, self-serve breakfasts and lunches, the Veranda Café is the alternative choice, although the tables and seats outdoors are of metal and plastic, and the buffets are basic and old-fashioned. The low cruise fare dictates the use of plastic cups and plastic stirrers - teaspoons are unheard of. At night you can ‘dine’ under the steel and canvas canopy, where the café becomes a pleasant, outdoors alternative to the dining room - and includes waiter service.

The excellent Italian illy coffee brand is featured aboard this ship, together with a selection of fine teas, in several bars and lounges.

Entertainment. The Can Can Lounge, the venue for all entertainment events and social functions, has a stage and hardwood dance floor. It is a single-level room, designed more for cabaret acts than for large-scale production shows. The revue-style shows are typically of the end-of-pier variety type, with an energetic, well-meaning cast of young people who also double as cruise staff during the day, together with some professional cabaret acts.

Another, smaller room, the Oklahoma Lounge, has a stage and dance floor, and is often used to present late-night comedy and other acts.

Spa/Fitness. Although the Ocean’s Spa facilities are not exactly generous, there is a gymnasium, sauna but no steam room, changing rooms for men and women, and a beauty salon. You can book a massage, an aromatherapy facial, manicure, and pedicure, among other treatments. Sports facilities include basketball, badminton, and table tennis.