We began the cruise by sailing out of Istanbul, Turkey, at night surrounded by lights of all colors on buildings and bridges and the overwhelming sounds of prayers from minarets nearby and up into the hills. We ended the cruise by sailing into one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town,
South Africa. In between we visited small villages to large cities in emerging nations to established nations, and through our experienced tour guides or our inexperienced- but- so- excited tour guides we learned about the people, transportation, foods, and religions of so many very different cultures.
Generally the seas were smooth, two rainy days, warm to humid, hot weather. We prefer a ship the size of Nautica. The staff is into service, captain so congenial and cruise staff very talented. The cruise director, Dottie, was great, and there was talented entertainment including a comedian, fantastic pianist and the group,The Olympic Duo. Margaret was the best dance instructor and entertainer. Super cooking demos and samples. Special guest speakers were very good.
We think Nautica has the best library at sea with extremely comfortable couches and chairs, computer access and abundant book collections.
Our cabin was fine with plenty of storage space, good TV and was supplied with slippers and comfy robes and wonderful bedding. The food consisted of daily delicious, fresh baked goods, light salads, fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, wonderful cheeses and freshly cooked poultry and meats. There were free sodas and bottled water –especially needed when touring in Africa. Enjoyed all the restaurants but preferred eating on the outside deck, Terrace Café.
Depending on the port, local representative(s) came onto the ship to provide maps, tour info, stamps and mail service, postcards, and/or currency exchange. This was in addition to info provided by the ship’s tour experts. In Africa musical groups and dancers in costumes performed on the piers and often many local products were available for purchase.
Mostly we took ship’s tours for reasons including health issues and that we were in areas of the world we didn’t know. Not inexpensive, but all were good or excellent except one and Nautica satisfied our serious complaint. Other times we took free shuttle buses that the ship had running into towns.
Complaints: Too few deck chairs on the “promenade deck” deck 5. We were very disappointed in that the special guest speakers did not talk about Africa although this was the focus of the cruise.