My husband and I have been on over 20 cruises, and this was the worst. Before booking this cruise around Cuba on the Louis Cristal, we went to a presentation by Cuba Cruise that was advertised in our local Toronto, Ontario newspaper. We were shown a very slick movie highlighting the Louis Cristal, and many of the wonderful things that we could enjoy while on this luxurious cruise ship including two restaurants where we could enjoy formal dining. A warning, Don't believe everything you hear or see! We were told that the menu was developed by a French chef and he would be on board to oversee the kitchen. There was no evidence of any French influence in the food. We were told that we would be served a variety of wonderful dishes at every meal. Not so. Breakfast was the same buffet every day although we ran out of bananas after the second day. Only one restaurant was open for us and it was an Alberta steak house which cost $34.95 per person extra and had no ambiance and was adjacent to the buffet. La Scala, the other restaurant mentioned was closed the whole trip. We were told that the ship used Canadian Currency and that the two official languages of the ship were English and French. There were in reality three official lanaguages on the ship. English, German, and French and every announcement was made in all three languages which became tedious after a while. The entertainment was the same every night except that the entertainers wore different costumes which became boring after the third day. The food at times was almost inedible. Breakfast and lunch were always a buffet and the food was cold and of poor quality. The dinners were in the dining room and not much better than the buffets. Often food was returned to the kitchen as it was cold or inedible due to the quality of the meat or fish. When the buffet was closed, there was no choice but to go to the bar to purchase a hot or cold drink. Plus, no toilet paper was allowed to be put in the toilets, so the garbage cans in the bathrooms stank.
The ship was old but clean. The ports were interesting. Oh, did I mention that in Cuba before we were allowed to disembark in the ports everyone on the ship had to have their temperature taken? The passengers and staff included which meant excursions were often late leaving port. The Louis Cristal offers you a means of transportation around the Island of Cuba. However, as a cruise it will disappoint. The Cuban people are very friendly and the island is certainly worth a visit.