The trip got off to a great start. The boarding process was organized and unstressful. Our rooms (2) were a comfortable size and the only reason things were a little tight is mostly to our over-packing. We shared a dinner table with a wonderful family who was travelling with kids about the same ages as mine. We thoroughly enjoyed their company. The food and wait-staff were also very accommodating and the food was excellent. My 14 year-old son is a chow hound and seconds were brought to him when we asked for more. Giovanni was our cabin steward. No problems there. He was available and took very good care of us. The problems that created the negative position of this review was to behavior of our fellow shipmates. Most were from Europe and spoke no English. My family is also of European descent and I had actually looked forward to some communication and mingling with these folks. Although I had read in other reviews about the rude behavior of some guests, I did not believe it. The bad part is that the staff did nothing to intervene when problems arose. Typical examples are: not controlling their children who were loud, screaming and disruptive, guests pushing through to the front of the beverage and buffet lines, removing chairs from our table while we were sitting there waiting for others to join us-without asking, cutting to the front of a long line of passengers waiting to get back on the ship in one of the ports. (One Italian man walked past all of us and placed his camera on the scanning machine right in front of my son and I took it off and told him to go to the back of the line) On the basketball court, some of the older men would run the younger boys and girls off the court to play soccer. The Navigator staff did nothing when these and similar incidents occurred even when reported. It was THE topic of discussion for the US guests and some of the other English-speaking peoples on board this cruise. Please understand. These were not isolated happenings. It was constant for every meal and typical for every encounter with these folks. Plain and simple, they just behaved badly. I expected that as an American I would be in the minority due to the fact that we sailed from Rome. However, I was not prepared for the lack of manners and the refusal of the staff to maintain some order. I believe that the employees of these ships rely on tips. I suppose that if corrected, many of the disorderly people, would not have been as generous.
Crete-No problems- Very nice. Palace of Knossos was a little disappointing following Athens and the Acropolis, but interesting anyway. Sicily had anti-American posters up. My daughter lost her digital camera there and the police would not take a lost and found report. (Neither the local or the port police) Expect the port employees in Sicily to be outwardly abrupt and unfriendly if you are English-speaking. Ephesus was our favorite. I would go back there tomorrow. The Turkish people were beautiful and kind. My daughter and I did the Turkish Baths. What fun!!!! In Athens, the tour guide held her cell phone next her her microphone and there was constant feedback through our headsets. She was difficult to understand due to her strong accent. Our guide on Crete was fabulous. She tried to help us find the camera that had been lost previously. Back on the Navigator, the shore excursion desk was closed every time we went to check about the camera or to make new reservations. I was grateful that we had booked a few trips while still at home.
Cabins were fine. I slept well and the balconies really were great!