3 Athens (Piraeus) to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

In a nutshell: perfect itinerary, outstanding service, and excellent food, but the ship is old & cramped. The entertainment & activities were way below par. With a starting port of Athens and and ending port of Istanbul, ... Read More
In a nutshell: perfect itinerary, outstanding service, and excellent food, but the ship is old & cramped. The entertainment & activities were way below par. With a starting port of Athens and and ending port of Istanbul, the itinerary was fabulous for extending our vacation. We learned that many others on the cruise did exactly the same thing. The embarkation process could not have gone more smoothly. We were super impressed compared to the torturous experiences with larger ships on Carnival. We arrived just when boarding began and our room was ready and luggage delivered. Yay! Our veranda stateroom was small and the bathroom tiny. An average person sits at a weird angle on the toilet and almost hits the ceiling in the postage stamp sized shower. However, there were towels galore and they were replaced at the slightest sign of use. The veranda held 2 chairs and a table. That's it. First day out, we ran into heavy winds at Mykonos and had to abandon that port to sail directly to Kusadasi, Turkey. Many passengers stayed in their rooms as the small ship was heavily buffeted by the wind & swells. By dinner time, things calmed and we enjoyed a great meal at the main dinning room. All the dinning areas (main, buffet, & 2 specialty restaurants) had outstanding 5 or more course meals. The service was impeccable. We made friends with some of the servers and their were smiles all around. So, this part of the cruising experience was excellent. The after dinner entertainment was very basic, mostly with 4 singers and 1 comedian. Yep, that's it. The entertainment & activities were targeted to 70 & 80 year olds. I'm hardly young but I found this was not nearly as much fun as that of bigger ships with more diverse passenger ages. The music included a show band, a string quartet, and piano bar. Other activities included bingo, trivia, 2 karaoke nights, and attempts as special events. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My husband and I just returned from a 10 night cruise aboard Oceania's Nautica in the Mediterranean. We went on the cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had been to about half of the ports previously, but neither of us ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 10 night cruise aboard Oceania's Nautica in the Mediterranean. We went on the cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had been to about half of the ports previously, but neither of us had been to Greece or Spain before. First, the pluses. The size of the ship was perfect for us, not too big or too small. The staff, with the exception of the "destination services" staff were wonderful. We dined in all of the restaurants and they were all fabulous. Our favorite was Toscana. Our stateroom was very nice. It was well laid out with ample storage. The bed was extremely comfortable. The outlets in the room accommodated standard plugs from the US, so we did not need to use converters or adapters. We loved the itinerary and the idea that we woke up each morning in a new place. We had three issues that prospective passengers should be aware of regarding the Internet, the excursions and the pre- and post-cruise arrangements. The Internet was important for us because my husband had to keep in touch with his office while we were gone. Using your cell phone is very expensive, especially when they add on maritime charges, so we thought that emails would be better. The Internet is very expensive and does not work well. We bought a package, so the cost was only 70 cents a minute. Unfortunately, many minutes were wasted trying to get to websites. The staff member in charge was very nice and credited us with some minutes to compensate, but it is still a ripoff based on what you get. You should look very carefully at the excursions. Most of them don't involve any real activities. Most of them involve you sitting on a bus with an occasional stop for a photo opportunity. They were very hit and miss. Some were fabulous and others a complete ripoff. We brought this up to the staff and they acted like they could care less. One of the biggest complaints we had was in Turkey. We paid $99 per person for a tour of Kusadasi. At the end of ALL of the excursions in Turkey was a "rug demonstration". The rug demonstration only took about five minutes, then they began to use high pressure sales tactics, similar to those you would get during a time share sales pitch, to try to sell you a rug. Mind you, the rugs were EXPENSIVE! They probably had some that were less, but most of them ranged in price from $10,000 to $40,000! I couldn't believe that we paid money to go on the excursion only to be lead to the rug merchants. My hunch is that Oceania gets a kickback on any rugs sold to their passengers. The last issue was with regards to the pre and post cruise hotel arrangements. Oceania charges WAY more than the hotel charges. Save your money and make your own arrangements. We made our reservations for the cruise and pre and post packages a year in advance. They only use two hotels in each city that we planned to stay in. We researched them before deciding. Long story short, when we arrived at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, where we had pre-paid $2798 for three nights at club level, they did not have our reservation. The other four parties from our ship also had no reservations. The hotel was fully booked and we were taken elsewhere. This was after sitting for more than four hours waiting for the hotel and Oceania to try to sort it out. They told us the hotel they were taking us to was an equivalent five star hotel, though it is not one that they ordinarily use, but it wasn't. It paled in comparison. It wasn't near the beach, it didn't have a swimming pool and the lobby had not been updated since the hotel was built in 1919. I checked the rates through Expedia for the dates we were there. The junior suite we were in went for $426 per night. The club level room at Hotel Arts was $606 per night. We paid about $933 per night. The last comment I will make is regarding air arrangements. Oceania uses Delta for most of their passengers. Delta was horrible. They cancelled a flight when we were leaving Barcelona on a Tuesday morning. The flight we had the following day left three hours late because the crew was "stuck in traffic", therefore we and about 200 other passengers missed our connecting flights in Atlanta. We didn't get home until Thursday afternoon. Make your own arrangements and don't use Delta. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was our first cruise on this line. We previously have cruised with Radisson Seven Seas and Crystal. The ship is beautiful, and at first glance you would say it is a luxury cruise. But it does fall a bit short of our other luxury ... Read More
This was our first cruise on this line. We previously have cruised with Radisson Seven Seas and Crystal. The ship is beautiful, and at first glance you would say it is a luxury cruise. But it does fall a bit short of our other luxury experiences. There seems to be a lot of "nickle and dime" expenses. Not that it adds up to that much, but that it is annoying. I would rather have these items included in the price. For instance: Charges for the laundry room (there is only one on the ship-always crowded and a line to wash) charges to takes exercise classes, charges for soft drinks and bottled water. It seems when leaving for a shore excursion that water should just be given to the participants (just add another $10 onto the price of the tour). It also seems intrusive to be in the middle of a 6 star dinner (food was excellent!) and have a ticket to sign for your soft drink (small glass, 1/3 of a can of soda for about $3.50) SOmething about having this great meal served and at the same time have to sign a drink voucher, destroys the atmosphere. We were in a suite with a lot of nice amenities, but one was not a complimentary stocked mini bar. Soft drinks should be included as part of at least the suite amenities. I know a lot of other people were complaining of the same thing, so really, the line should charge a little more in the overall cost and just include these things. At that point, when attracting the luxury cruise "crowd" they will be happy. Otherwise service was good and again, the food was fantastic. I would suggest avoiding the pool food--or eat on shore-however. It is not even close to the quality that the other restaurants offer. Another comment I have is there is really no entertainment at night worth seeing. I have come to enjoy the production style shows on the other cruises we have been on and kind of missed it this time. I did enjoy one guest speaker and found him very interesting. But again, missed the Broadway level talent I have experienced on other lines. I hope that with time this line will come around and match their atmosphere with the experience and get rid of the little charges for things and give cruisers the sense of value for their money. I realize it is an illusion, but just include it in the price and we'll be happy! If this line included wine with dinner and complimentary soft drinks,add a little to the entertainment, they would be right up there with their other luxury competitors. In terms of the itinerary, we were in the Black Sea area. Ukraine and Russia, while interesting in there own historical right, are not really ready for tourists. Just "okay" and I think this was the general thought of most other people we were with. But, Nessebur, Bulgaria and of course Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey were fantastic. We had the pleasure of a fantastic guide for our Turkish stops. Lale Kosagan, of www.privatetoursinturkey.com, was a terrific guide and we achieved a great appreciation for the country and completely enjoyed our time there. We would return again. Overall, if you are considering this line, the cruise prices are good, the service is good (not quite as good Crystal) but workable and nothing to complain about, the food rivals other luxury ships we have been on, and found the grand dining room (as well as the two satellite restaurants) to be extraordinary. We arranged private guide/car through the ship for Ukraine and Russia and found this to be acceptable and easy for us. We found the room in good condition and enjoyed the suite amenities. We did however find the ride at night was often very bumpy, and we think this was because we were at the front of the ship and that the Black sea has a lot of current because of a number of factors. But it was never enough to make us sick. We just have always been midship. However on this line, if you want a suite, you are either at the very back or front of the ship. The exercise room has medium quality equipment. There is no room dedicated to classes. They just share the floor with the weight equipment. There were a few classes that I noticed, but not a big emphasis on this and the fact that they charge for yoga and perhaps others (I can't remember which classes were a fee) people were not interested. I have seen better exercise rooms on Crystal. But, if this is not important to you...who cares? The spa and restrooms with steam were very nice. So we would recommend the line with thought that you will have a lot of little silly expenses and just don't worry about it. Make sure you take water on the Ukraine tours because most of those countries only take their own currency and there was not money exchange available on the ship. SO in other words, you could be stuck with out anything to drink until you return to the ship, or are able to get to an ATM. Don't expect any fancy entertainment and make your own drinks in your room from liquor you buy onshore. Their drinks are expensive and not really a good value--like a soda is about two big sips, and that for $3.50. You'll see little ads in the daily brochure for "$4.99 martini day" and to me, this seems to not match the style of the ship. You don't go to a 5 star restaurant and see "today is pina colada day for $5.99!) But, hopefully over time they will get it and improve this one area. One last comment, this is not really a ship to bring the kids. Not much for them to do and the ship does not make an effort to get what kids are onboard together so they can make friends, like we have seen on other lines. If it is a port-intenisve itinerary, with only a few sea days, it does not really matter because your kids will be busy the whole time in port. But if there are a lot of sea days, then your kids will definitely be bored. I could not find a lot of reviews about this line before we booked, so hopefully this will help any of you luxury cruisers who are thinking about this line. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 3.9

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