Staterooms start out on the small side of the industry average with insides at 160 square ft., outsides with porthole at 150 - to 165 square ft., and standard verandah staterooms at 216 square ft. One plus: Nautica has plenty of standard cabins with balconies.
All are, however, outfitted in an attractive blue and gold color scheme with dark wood accents. Oceania has definitely upgraded where possible, adding duvet covers, plush top mattresses and high cotton count bedding, not to mention fabulous thirsty bath sheets in the bathroom. Rooms come with beds in the twin or queen configuration, along with a desk/vanity, a loveseat (in most cases), and plenty of built-in cabinets for storage. There's a television with a variety of channels, including CNN International, BBC, Fox News, and The Discovery Channel (though options could vary depending on location). The ship also offers a range of first run movies (an eclectic mix that featured everything from "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" to "Annie Hall," and from "The DaVinci Code" to "The Devil Wore Prada."
All cabins also come with an in-room safe. Closets and drawers are certainly adequate for a two-week trip.
Bathrooms are small, shower-only and functional. Bath products, such as lotion, shampoo and shower gel, are made of sea kelp and other ingredients from the ocean.
Nautica has a handful of cabins classified as "concierge," and though these are the same size and layout as the standard balcony staterooms, they come with a few added amenities; concierge passengers get a leg up on embarking early, securing restaurant reservations, and getting suite-level perks like the Caswell-Massey toiletries and free shoeshines.
For those wishing for more space -- and more service -- there are three different suite categories. In the "basic" penthouse, which is almost the width of two regular cabins, there's a full-size couch, a small dining table, television with DVD player (CD's work there as well) and a minibar, stocked with the usual sodas, beers, and splits of Mumm Champagne. It's decorated in the standard Oceania blues and golds. Bathrooms are completely adequate -- with soaking tubs and plenty of storage. In this category and beyond, the amenities are upgraded -- including a contemporary range of products from Caswell-Massey.
Balconies are longer as well, and include two reclining mesh chairs along with footstools and a small table. The flooring is a lovely teak. The only quibble? There's enough room on the balcony for a small, dining-worthy cafe table -- and in pleasant weather, breakfast on the verandah would be blissful.
One size larger is the Vista Suite (786 square ft.). The Owner's Suite (962 square ft.) is the largest onboard and includes a living room, dining room and bedroom layout, wraparound teak verandah, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, and separate guest bathroom. Both suite categories have been entirely refurbished and sport gold and maroon color schemes.
All three suite categories are entitled to butler service, and ours was first-rate, bringing evening hors d'oeuvres that we didn't really need, arranging for dinner reservations, handling requests for dry cleaning and pressing, and delivering room service (inhabitants in these staterooms can order hot food at breakfast or enjoy course-by-course dining off the Grand's lunch and dinner menus). One interesting twist is that each morning we were presented with a canape menu from which we selected what we wanted for that day (if anything); choices ranged from quiche lorraine to a cheese platter, and from chocolate covered strawberries to a fruit brochette.
Other benefits in this arena include two free "pressings" upon embarkation, and an extra night's dining privilege, upon request, in both the Polo Grill and Toscana. The ship also has a voluminous library of complimentary DVD's for loan; a listing is provided to each cabin.
And if you're residing in a suite, make sure to take advantage of the free entrance to the spa's thalassotherapy pool. That's a major perk.
Next: Nautica Dining
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