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   Cruise Travel - Cruise Ships


Royal Olympic Cruises, Ltd.

MTS Triton

Rating:Two and a half Stars
Submit your review hereSubmit your review
Operator:Royal Olympic Cruises, Ltd.
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 1971/ 1995
Length / Tonnage: 315 / 14,110
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 353 / 706
Officers / Crew: Greek / Greek
Operating Area: Europe in summer, Caribbean in Winter
Telephone / Fax: Tel 113 1266 / Fax 113 1266

Review by Mark H. Goldberg, TravelPage.com, Cruise Editor

Ever hear of a cruise ship built for an airline? NOPE? Well...HERE's one...though before her construction had proceeded very far at all, the Cunard Line had taken over the building contract and she debuted in 1971 as the CUNARD ADVENTURER. Once displaced by the entry into service of the CUNARD COUNTESS, the ADVENTURER was offered for sale. She attracted the attentions of Knut Kloster, "granddaddy" of the modern cruise business. Knowing the right ship for the right route at the right time, Kloster bought her for his NCL's "Bahamarama" cruises, 3/4 night Bahamas cruises from Miami. With a pair of NCL style funnels in place of her original obscenely tall stack and with her interiors both spruced up and lightened up, she was renamed SUNWARD II. About fifteen years later, she was replaced by larger tonnage. Another shipowner who knew the right ship for the right lines when one came along is the Potamianos family and when the SUNWARD II came up for sale in 1991...they grabbed her. Painting her in the Epirotiki livery did wonders for her...I remember saying: "I never realized what a pretty ship she is (her original guise was AWFUL...unrelieved white hull, superstructure and funnel)...and decided that I had to sail in her. A late November 1996 visit to the TRITON reconfirmed my idea and in the summer of 1998 I did just that...I tried her out on one of any ship's toughest assignments...a 3 night weekend cruise...She came out better than all right!

Public Areas
Though neither public rooms nor deck space is gonna win a design award, the main public rooms are better than adequate. Topsides, the Lounge of the 9 Muses serves as both observation lounge by day and cocktail lounge by night. Should you question why a room named for characters in Greek mythology has a pirate ship for it's decorative theme, please understand that it was put in by NCL and it was really too good to scrap...maybe it could be called the Lounge of the 9 Earring wearing Pirates...This room leads out to both the stairs giving into the best casino in the entire Royal Olympic fleet as well as a very serviceable 100 seat cinema...while further aft on the same deck as the 9 Muses is an outdoor area doubling as sun deck by day and disco by night.

Elvis fans will surely appreciate the deck bar, imaginatively named "Jail House Rock"...Take this for what it is...the swingingest and probably best open air disco in European waters. The TRITON gets a lot of young people and this space is great for them...and maybe even better for library aficionados like ME. The main lounge and main bar are located on Ouranos Deck...now don't be naughty...that word means "heaven" or "sky" in Greek...Shows are performed in the 300 seat Sirenes Lounge, a room enhanced with all the equipment a leading Miami cruise line could fit for the purpose of producing variety shows...so it was no wonder that that sounds of the TRITON's evening entertainment was so well reproduced...she also has about the best Greek show we have seen as well as heard...and the screaming of "OPA" for a change did not send us running in the opposite direction. Abaft the main lounge is the Kafeneion Brazil...the ship's main bar...on our sailing presided over not by the expected Greek mariner but by Antony, a gent from the Philippines and quite a master at mixing...he's simply one of the best bartenders we've ever met at sea.

Wrapping around this deck is open promenade, a major plus on any ship, but the demands of the TRITON's size forced the decision to locate the pool and fitness center one deck below, in spaces accessible to passengers only by a pair of staircases at the after end of Ouranos Deck... and not at all from within the ship's passenger accommodation spaces. When she's full and spending days at sea, expect space in the immediate area of the pool to be at a premium...even on a port intensive itinerary lunch times drew big crowds here...but the ship has plenty of open deck space so you won't have any problem finding your place in the sun. Finally, the TRITON has the best shopping arcade in the Royal Olympic fleet and I found plenty of logo items to add to my already overstuffed cases...

The TRITON has GREAT food...I do not exaggerate when I say this: In her Dining Room, the TRITON serves some of the best food I have had all year! Passengers dine here at two smoke-free sittings...but in honesty...you better watch the clock and when lunches or dinners are served in "open sitting"...get there early because the room fills up quickly and you may face a wait for a table...Be patient...they will stay open long enough to feed you...and the food is SO good!!! Of course you could take your lunch food from the buffet...though for me there is a bit of a problem with TRITON buffets and it is simply that the vessel's layout provided but one location for the buffet...right by the pool...I think it's the ship's biggest drawback...and if THAT'S all the negatives I could find...well then...it's not very much, is it? SO...allowing for the location of the pool...and you HAVE to go up and then down from almost every cabin...and the smallish size of the surrounding lido...don't make for a great place to set up a buffet but that's where it HAS to be... SO... I found the buffets a bit disconcerting...but it's not a problem for the food in the TRITON's dining room is so good...it's actually better than it has any right to be! Typically, like every Royal Olympic ship, the TRITON's kitchens have specialties...and to my discomfort and a big belly bulging over my belt..I HAD to try 'em all! What's good? EVERYTHING was...at every meal.

Right off the bat I want to applaud the company for their honest and straightforward style of grading cabins...there are no suites at all here..."Deluxe cabins"... "TA" grades are as good as it gets...ANYWAY...the TRITON's "TAs" are fine...and rather bigger than her standard cabins. Eight cabins are graded "TB"...avoid all four Dionysus Deck "TB"s...we had one and our friend Connie had the adjacent one...and both were noisier than airplane factories.. Stick to "TA"s or pick an "A"...Standard cabins...grades "A" and lower...are small but in most cases the beds are parallel and with more storage space than you will need for a short cruise, the size should not be a cause for concern. Cabin service is VERY good, with hard working cabin staff maintaining the rooms in their charge to the highest standards of cleanliness and tidiness.

Who Goes
The TRITON is another GREAT choice for the first time passenger, the group traveler or anyone choosing her for itinerary...a ship for a BIG market niche...she is very popular with her many group passengers, most of whom come away from the vessel thoroughly satisfied with the ship, the cruise, the itinerary and most important of all, with Royal Olympic Cruises...

This year for the summer season TRITON will be sailing from Rome on a 7 day itinerary with stops at Messina, Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Athens, Corinth Canal, and Delphi plus one day at sea. In the fall she will switch to 10 day voyages from Venice with stops at Corinth, Corinth Canal, Thessaloniki, Kavalla, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Heraklion, Athens, and the Corinth Canal plus 2 days at sea.

No pretension, ostentation nor airs here, the TRITON is a great choice for the first time passenger. When operating her 3/4 day cruises she won't appeal to very sophisticated cruise passengers both for the scope of the itinerary or for the style of the voyage. The well travelled, well heeled will likely quickly grow impatient with many of the other passengers...particularly other peoples' young...But if you're a kid on a European tour or ANYONE on a package tour which features a cruise in the TRITON...you are in luck...You will have a great time...maybe the time of your life...not only for the great food, good service, open air disco way up top...but for the sights and sounds of her ports and the people you will meet in this lovely ship. I like her!

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