Nautica Cruise Review by dmbten: Oceania Nautica - Greek Isles Odyssey, 9/19/11
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Oceania Nautica - Greek Isles Odyssey, 9/19/11
In 2010, we cruised on the Azamara Journey which is an identical ship to the Oceania Nautica. Both ships and cruise lines are very, very good. Food and cabins were quite comparable on both ships - both were superb. Oceania crew might have been very slightly better trained. Azamara provides complimentary wine with meals and gratuities are also included whereas both are extra on Oceania. Both cruise lines are recommended. Let itinerary be your deciding factor. We had veranda cabins on both ships and recommend that - very spacious.
Oceania crew appeared to wake up with a smile on their face and stayed that way the entire day. Ship was very clean. Soft drinks are complimentary and cabin crew kept our refrigerator stocked with Diet Coke as we requested.
Both specialty dining rooms are excellent. Main dining room is also very good. After some long days of touring, we chose to eat at the Terrace Cafe where we could dine in our shorts. Food is essentially the same More as the main dining room but served buffet style. Eat outside on the rear deck if there is room - very nice eating out there.
Waves Grill on the pool deck right outside the Terrace Cafe serves lunch until 4:00. This location make a good hamburger and an excellent panini. And their french fries are fantastic - your cardiologist would not approve but the fries sure taste good!
In general, I recommend that you consider skipping all ship excursions and arrange your own private tours. With only two people, private tours are similar in price to ship excursions but more flexible. With two couples, price is cut in half. It is very easy to make all arrangements ahead of time via the internet. Note that most of these guides want to be paid in cash.
Ship's first port was Nauplion (a.k.a. Nafplio). Patty Staikou (firstname.lastname@example.org) was recommended by Rick Steves' guidebook. She also agreed to give us tours of both Mycenae and Epidavros whereas ship excursions made you choose one or the other. Patty arranged for a taxi (we paid driver separately) to pick us up at the ship. Taxi was a very clean Mercedes and driver drove us to meet Patty. The latter is a superb guide.
Zakynthos was next stop. We took ship excursion, Panoramic Zakynthos. Very disappointing. Can not recommend that excursion. Some friends took a private tour and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Monemvasia was another port. Here it is recommended that you walk to the town of Monemvasia. Lower city is quaint and easy to walk. If you are up for the hike, travel to the upper town. The latter is mostly ruins except for the 12th century Hagia Sophia. Now, if you are still energetic, you can continue up to the Citadel. Note that these "trails" are not particularly easy to traverse and you must be very careful coming back down. There are numerous very slippery rocks that must be negotiated and it is slow going. But the views are excellent.
Kusadasi (Ephesus) is a great stop. You must go to Ephesus. We prearranged a tour through www.ephesusshuttle.com. The latter provided a very clean van with separate driver and guide. Haluk Caliskan was our guide and was quite good. This company was very flexible. Ship docks for a shorter time in Kusadasi than other ports and there is a lot to see. Ephesus Shuttle modified one of their standard tours in order for us to see what we wanted to see on the time we had. They are also reasonably priced and accepted credit cards.
Other ports are discussed in the sections below this. Less
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Cabin review: Nautica Conciege Level Veranda Deck Seven 7115
We booked a B2 Veranda cabin on Deck 6 and before we left found out we had been upgraded to an A3 Veranda on Deck 7. Our cabin was second to the last on the starboard side. All veranda cabins are the same size and quite spacious. We had a queen size bed, built in closet with good handing space and four drawers. Room also had a small sofa, small round coffee table and desk with additional drawers and a refrigerator. Veranda had two chairs with small table in between. Bathroom had a shower but no tub. Lots of storage shelves in the bathroom. Even though our room was at the rear of the ship, we never felt any motion that caused us any concern at all. And the walk to the rear stairs was not very far - main dining room was down two decks and Terrace Cafe was up two decks. Noise was a non-issue. We never heard any noise.
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