Wilba - Answered a Question by Tyler (02 Feb 09 07:57)

I suggest you look at their safety record over the past few years & then it might give you a clue as to why their are no reviews of this cruise line on this site!!!!

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Whiting - replied to Wilba (02 Feb 09 11:32)

I agree with you there, can only recall one of their ships going down off the coast of greece.

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Tyler - replied to Wilba (03 Feb 09 07:35)

Phew, that was close, glad I asked the question. What a fantastic site this is, very useful indeed. Many thanks for the advice.

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Stone - Answered a Question by Tyler (02 Feb 09 14:56)

The Orient Queen is a small ship 15,781 tonnes. It was built in 1968 for NCL and named Starward. In 1994 it was bought by the now defunct Festival Cruises and renamed Bolero. In 2000 they chartered it to First Choice Holidays. Since then it has passed to various other owners, being renamed by one owner, Orient Queen Shipping as Orient Queen. Louis Cruise Lines purchased it a few years ago. As has already been mentioned their safety record hasn't been great. One of their ships the Sea Diamond struck a reef in Santorini and sank losing two French passengers. Another ship the Aquamarine had to make an emergency stop in Milos after a five foot hole was discovered in the ship's hull. Marketed as a 'budget' cruise line, would suggest you make up your own minds before committing. There's many recommended cruise lines out there and good deals offered on this site and you can read the reviews before parting with your cash! Happy cruising- Jan .

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Walker - Answered a Question by Tyler (02 Feb 09 17:24)

Yes we've sailed with Louis, but on the Perla. Be careful about the Santorini incident, as there are new figures out suggesting that the route was not carefully charted enough, so the whole thing is back under discussion. Certainly, some Santorinians were doubtful about it being the captain's fault when we were there last year-Louis ships are in almost every day, so they are fairly familiar with the route. The ships are all old, with few "cruise"amenities, a tiny pool and home-made entertainment. The food is quantity not quality, but perfectly palatable. The whole point of going with them is for the itineraries, which we found the best ever-small ships can dock in small ports, so we had experiences such as afew hours in Patmos then short sail to the next island the same day etc.. Our ship was spotless, tiny cabin but every thing there-and more towel animals than the big ones! The staff were polite rather than friendly but got everything done. There is a great mix of people on board- we found lots of Aus. & S.African back packers. Although we love the big ships, we'd go back on Louis tomorrow for the itineraries and passenger mix. Plus the price is usually good!!! Happy sailing-Jo.

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Wilba - replied to Walker (03 Feb 09 11:04)

Hi Jo. I think it's also worthy of note irrespective of fault or blame, people who were actually on this 'sinking' complained of badly executed emergency procedures, ill trained crew, general chaos, no instructions given in English, insufficient lifeboats (Titanic!!), climbing down rope ladders to the rescue tenders!! I think a very long bargepole would be my consideration! As Jan Stone commented there are a load of cheap deals out there by bigger & more reputable companies......Regards Wilba.

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Walker - replied to Wilba (03 Feb 09 20:53)

Thanks, Wilba! Actually, we were staying in Piraeus for a few days before embarking 2 years ago, and became friendly with a top brass from the British Navy. When we mentioned where we were going, he said "Shall I shoot you in the foot now?". He obviously knew something....Cheers! Jo.

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