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Swan Hellenic Minerva ship visit

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    Swan Hellenic Minerva ship visit

    I was fortunate enough to have a place on today's visit, courtesy of cruise.co.uk.

    Minerva sailed into Portsmouth Port this morning, so I had a very quick journey to the ship. I would love to sail out of Portsmouth one day - no travel planning, I could just phone a local taxi company and be there within minutes!

    We had to sit down and wait for the check in desk to open, and fill out the usual health declaration. When the desk opened visitors were given coloured badges to tour the ship in groups. I had a white 'Trade' ID, so was in a group of SH staff and travel agents, with only a couple of other cdot members.

    We were taken on a shuttle bus to board the ship, which has an elegant look. Certainly a lot smaller than my recent cruises on RCI ships. We were taken to a lounge for an introductory talk with the choice of Bucks Fizz, sparkling wine or Pimms.

    We then toured the ship, viewing a number of different cabins. The cabins looked comfortable, albeit smaller than some of the others that I've stayed in. The showers seemed to be spacious, with l'Occitane products in the cupboard. The balconies varied in sizes, some with chairs and some big enough to have loungers. Some suites on the port side of the ship had baths. Nice, but a bit of a luxury.

    The library was very impressive. It was the biggest that I've seen on board, and had a large selection of fiction and non-fiction books. I found it very impressive.

    There was a variety of bars and lounges, with different atmospheres. I could certainly see myself relaxing in one of them. The drinks were described as pub prices. I picked up a drinks menu and they did look reasonable. The cocktail of the day was Pimms and lemonade at £3.50.

    The gym was pretty small, but to be expected on a small ship. It was located inside, so not so good as some of the others. I like to stare out to sea while on a treadmill on sea days.

    The treatment centre was small, again to be expected on a small ship. The prices looked reasonable, and we were told that they have offers during the voyage.

    It was a bit chilly out on deck today, but when the weather is good passengers can eat outside. There are two main restaurants, with open seating.

    The pool is small, commensurate with the size of the ship! It was described as a plunge pool.

    We were taken in to lunch, with a limited menu, but very tasty. As a vegetarian, I was quite impressed that the veggie option was a quorn dish. We were offered red and white wine to accompany the food.

    We were told that there is not a lot of entertainment on offer. The nature of the line is for enrichment, so there are speakers on board depending on the itinerary. The demographic of most of the passengers means that things quieten down at around 11pm!

    Excursions are included in the headline price, but need to be booked in advance to ensure a place.

    A lovely ship, which I would be happy to sail on - especially out of Portsmouth. It is difficult to judge a ship just by walking around, but it did seem to have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

    Thanks to cruise.dot and Swan Hellenic for an interesting day out!
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    Hi Yogini

    Glad you enjoyed your day visit and thanks for posting.



      Thanks Yogini

      Nice to see that you book little old ships and great big ones too!

      My review of Epic: http://wp.me/PfRKD-Iy
      See my cruise blog: HERE


        Hi Yogini, Thanks for your review of your day visit to Minerva. As a fellow vegetarian, it was good to read that you were provided with a suitable meal.

        When cruising on other ships, I've often met fans of Swan Hellenic.The people I met were very academic and serious, certainly not party people. As the emphasis on Swan Hellenic is enrichment, I understand why the cruise line appeals to them. I would hate to be on a ship that quietens down at 11.00pm. Possibly, for that reason, not a cruise line I'm likely to sail with.

        Pleased to hear you enjoyed your day and thanks again for an interesting insight to Swan Hellenic. - Jan
        Last edited by Blondie, Oxford; 16th June 2014, 09:28 PM.


          Thank you for this detailed account of Minerva. I recall being impressed with images of her library on Voyages of Discovery site when she was going in for a refit before starting her life with Swan Hellenic. I thought then it would be a very fine ship, one that I would like to cruise on. Maybe one day!


            Thanks Yogini. We were not fortunate enough to be picked this time, so your review is very welcome. Minerva is about our size of ship, so perhaps, one day. Judith


              Sounds like a very intimate ship Yogini, Very relaxed outlook,I will search for some images of Her. Thanks for the review. Jan.


                Thanks for a comprehensive review base on a day's visit. Like the L'occitane they provide in the cabin.


                  I should have been there too, but couldn't make it I'm glad you had a good time.............................................. ...............Carol


                    Just seeing if I could reply to this


                      Thanks for the review as always interesting to read about the different ships.
                      Cheers Drew and Linda


                        Thanks for the insight Jan. It sounds lovely for those that enjoy that sort of cruise, but I think I'll stick with the Hoi Polloi ...........Wilba


                          Wilba, surely, the "the" in "the hoi polloi " is redundant? I apologise, just thought I would give a sample of the kind of conversation you could have on Minerva ,to add to these reviews.


                            Originally posted by Embarco, Oadby View Post
                            Wilba, surely, the "the" in "the hoi polloi " is redundant? I apologise, just thought I would give a sample of the kind of conversation you could have on Minerva ,to add to these reviews.
                            No need to apologise, my grammar is about as good as my astro physics knowledge............Wilba


                              Originally posted by Wilba View Post
                              No need to apologise, my grammar is about as good as my astro physics knowledge............Wilba
                              S'ok Wilba.

                              'the hoi polio' has entered the English language as a 'set phrase' and whilst not grammatically correct, it is perfectly acceptable in everyday speech.


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