Nautica Cruise Review by DaveandVal: Our 22nd Cruise a real winner!
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Our 22nd Cruise a real winner!
We travelled from Vancouver with Cathi & Bruce who also rated this cruise and certainly agree with most of their observations. Here are a few additional points: Val and I are close to 70 years of age and probably more sedate than Cathi and partner; our chief interest is in the actual cruising experience rather than shore excursions or specific destinations although this itinerary took us to places we have never visited before and maybe won't see again. We are often quite happy sitting on an outside deck with a good book watching the sea go by. Flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong: uneven service on Cathay Pacific; the unscheduled diversion to Taipei made the long tiring flight even longer.
Pre-Hotel: Also stayed at the Marco Polo Hong Kong for two nights, club floor room overlooking the cruise ship pier. Excellent service and fine room. Would heartily recommend. Hotel porter carried our luggage to the ship's check-in desk. Check-in process painless and quite speedy. Able to More access our room with little delay and luggage delivered promptly.
Cabin: adequate, picture window, beds very comfortable. Not a great deal of storage but sufficient even for a 35-day cruise (country club casual dress code helped), plenty of hangers, small bathroom with good shelving and cabinet space, very small shower stall - turn round and you open the shower curtain! Excellent cabin stewardess from Bulgaria. Our few 'standing orders' attended to promptly each day.
Public Rooms: Very attractive ship with nice decor. Easy to find one's way around. Good library with two laptops; excellent service in computer lab; pleasant white glove afternoon tea service daily in Horizons with string quartet accompaniment; congenial Martinis Bar with outstanding pianist; Art Director actually added to, rather than detracted from, this cruise. Pool areas well maintained despite the usual 'reserving' of non-reservable seats. Dining rooms and Terrace cafe attractively decorated.
Food: Outstanding, particularly in the Grand Dining Room and Tapas on the Terrace. No problem accessing the (free) specialty restaurants but food didn't surpass the regular food services. Excellent menus, generous portions, mostly cooked to order and attractively presented; reasonably priced and quite extensive wine list. Buffet breakfast and lunch service in the Terrace Cafe well above average.
Service: Possibly this ship's greatest feature; a multinational group of staff who always had a smile and welcome (usually by name), irrespective of where one happened to be; impeccable service in all dining areas despite the open seating policy and randomness of table assignment; helpful in every way; nothing was too much trouble. Why dine ashore with food and service like this? The red carpet 'Welcome Home' from long shore excursions was a nice touch. Leslie Jon an outstanding Cruise Director with best Team Trivia afloat.
A few minor complaints: Insufficient lounge chairs on deck 5 and same in poor state of repair. Reservation of deck chairs on this deck and in pool area could have been discouraged more forcefully. A DVD/CD player in the cabin would have been appreciated. Bar drinks/service charge rather exorbitant. Room service charge for bottles of liquor outrageous - fortunately, Oceania still allow a reasonable quantity of liquor to be brought on board. Summary: We are small ship enthusiasts and Oceania has certainly captured our attention - so much so we are already booked for 42 days on Regatta next year! Less
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