We arrived independently in Aqaba Jordan & as there was not shuttle bus as advertised we made our own way to the ship which caused some consternation with the Port Security. Anyway they threw our suitcases in the back of their ute & took them to the ship.
1. The waiters,cooks, bar & housekeeping staff were absolutely wonderful, bright, forever cheerful & lots of fun.
2. Our outside B24 cabin with 2 portholes was spacious enough , comfortable with a 2 seater settee. The bulkheads are pretty thin but we had considerate neighbours.
3. The excursions were the highlight of the cruise & the excursion staff very accommodating, efficient & friendly .The excursion guides were excellent & very knowledgeable. Bus cleanliness in Turkey was absolute . In Greece & Italy the windows often needed cleaning.
4.We did not tire of the food over 6 weeks but this was helped by using the Veranda Restaurant & choosing exactly what we fancied rather than being served in the Swan Restaurant.A variation by buying fresh food locally would have made dining more enjoyable.Young local Greek & Italian wines would have made a better experience instead of the French wines offered. The house red made for sleepless nights. We found the drinks expensive . On comparable ships the wine came gratis with the evening meal.
5.We found the Swan Restaurant had a high noise level when full making it difficult to hear.The dark furniture & formality made it depressing. The Veranda Restaurant had a much more relaxed ambiance & was much lighter & brighter. .During the Black Sea voyage the temp was turned up to 25'C at the request of the aging passengers .Dining on the pool deck most of the time was our preference.
6.The ship had an inherent propeller vibration which was noticeable in most areas of the ship.
7. The average age of the passengers was probably around 70 to 75 years, much older than expected.
8. An international passenger list in my opinion is much more appealing than predominately one nationality. It could be said the Minerva caters as an exclusive & indulged English old peoples home. The very cultured Southern English speech impediment was amusing.
In all, a very enjoyable & informative cruise .