9 Athens (Piraeus) to Mediterranean Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

We are active, mature, independent experienced travelers who've been on 10 cruises or so. We had booked Oceania's Lima-Miami cruise, which they must have oversold because they kept sending emails inviting us to voluntarily switch ... Read More
We are active, mature, independent experienced travelers who've been on 10 cruises or so. We had booked Oceania's Lima-Miami cruise, which they must have oversold because they kept sending emails inviting us to voluntarily switch to other cruises. We eventually swapped for this and were awarded an amazing Vista Suite at the front of the boat. That set a fabulous, luxurious tone for this, our second voyage with Oceania. It had a spacious living room with dining table, bedroom, large bath and a guest bath, plus generous veranda, butler service, premium benefits like 6 bottles of alcohol and Bulgari toiletries. We didn't want to ever leave the suite! Friends in the "penthouse suite" were extremely disappointed with their tiny bathrooms and said that would fit into our guest bath. We enjoyed this itinerary, returning to some of our favorite cities (Athens, Barcelona--both of which we extended before and after the cruise), and getting to Israel and Pompeii/Herculaneum for the first time. Would have been ideal to add Santorini instead of one of the lesser Greek ports. However, as others have said, the level of quality is not the same as our first cruise with Oceania five years ago. Food was good but not scrumptious including in the two specialty restaurants. We heard multiple complaints about rubbery lobster and tasteless meats. We were surprised that nearly everything shut down at 10 or earlier so if you wanted something sweet for a nightcap, you had no options (except room service). There were three major flaws that marred the cruise for us, with one that put our health at risk. 1. After embarking, everyone was hustled into the terrace cafe while the rooms are still being prepared. That means you have the largest crowd you'll ever have in one place at one time. When we arrived, it was a zoo. There were no seats and no one to help direct traffic or offer alternatives. This was a poor welcome and should be immediately fixed. 2. The quality of the excursions were uneven, with some very poor guides and only a few fabulous ones. Unacceptable for the prices we were charged. 3. One such excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea in Israel put the entire bus at risk. The air conditioning did not work as we rode for one hour 45 minutes after having been in the Dead Sea, in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The guide and driver were not quickly responsive or apologetic. This same bus had to be "fixed" at lunch because its engine could barely putter over any rise. We were told the bus had been fine the previous day. In fact, my husband and I were on this exact same bus the day before and it already was rattling along. Another bus in the same excursion actually had to back down several rises because it could not make it up--that was also "fixed" during a lunch break. So clearly this tour company requires more stringent oversight. The passengers on our excursion all struggled with the heat and dehydration; one nurse on board was pondering how she was going to help so many people in distress. We were extremely fortunate no one suffered a catastrophic health issue before we were finally transferred to another bus. We all filed complaints the next day. A week later, on our last night,we received notice we would get a 50% rebate--presumably because we did get our full excursion after all. We found that response to be insulting, as if the risk to our health was not that big of a deal. We wrote a letter to Oceania to follow-up. We were told we would hear from guest relations. It's been three weeks now. No word. So much for your world your way. Hard to recommend them as much as I would like to. And, we wonder: are they still using the same tour company in Israel?! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. ... Read More
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. Some travelers mentioned receiving shipboard credit after complaining to Oceania (which would need confirmation). If that was true and correct, Oceania should have done across the board for all passengers. During the passage of the Suez Canal/Red Sea, the ship was attacked by flies. The crew had to do extra duties every night to fumigate the Terrace Cafe and other public areas. Oceania is very concerned of the safety of the passengers especially when sailing through the potentially high-risk areas. The captain advised all blinds or curtains would need to be pulled together after dark to avoid the attractions of the privates and the open decks were closed for public access. Closing the deck after dark caused some inconvenience because some passengers such as myself would normally have their exercise walks after the big dinners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The itinerary on the cruise was excellent - a passage visiting Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Dubai. Cairo was cut from the itinerary one day after the final payment date, which was a disappointment and some passengers felt a ... Read More
The itinerary on the cruise was excellent - a passage visiting Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Dubai. Cairo was cut from the itinerary one day after the final payment date, which was a disappointment and some passengers felt a devious move. A few passengers made alternate plans to visit Cairo by alternate means either during or after the cruise. The embarkation in Athens and debarking in Dubai were effortless. The Nautica is a small ship, making for an intimate experience with fellow passengers and crew. The food is excellent across the board, be it in the dining room or terrace grill. Toscana the Italian venue served perhaps the best Italian food we have eaten anywhere. The Polo Gill was fine, but not outstanding. Because it is small, there generally isn't much to do at night on board. There is a single nightly show at 9:30, which can be on the later side for some folks. The ship's crew performers were perhaps the best we have ever seen after 26 cruises across different companies; the same could not be said for the talent that was brought on board to perform for 1 or 2 nights. The balcony cabins are an acceptable size, but the bathroom is very small. The beds feature a special matress which was very comfortable. The ship tours are very expensive, generally at least twice as expensive as private tours - we found a private overnight tour to Luxor for $300 per couple, while the ship charged $699 per person for the same tour. I definitely would go back on the Nautica because the crew makes you feel very comfortable and the ship has a very nice ambiance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, ... Read More
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, service, staff, programs all were as good as we expected and worth the money. Our original idea that a cruise was the best way to see this part of the world was verified in spades. It was really nice to come back to the sanity and safety of the ship, and to know what you would be eating, and sleeping in every night. The cabin stewards were not quite up to usual standards, not as responsive but still very pleasant and helpful. The time in port was just about right for this trip. This was certainly a part of the world where you could spend 6 hours or 6 weeks. We come back to Oceania when we want it right. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was my first cruise with Oceania (have cruised in the past on larger ships/other lines) and Mom's 9th cruise with Oceania (5th on the Nautica). Traveling with an experienced cruiser makes a difference! We flew into Athens a day ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Oceania (have cruised in the past on larger ships/other lines) and Mom's 9th cruise with Oceania (5th on the Nautica). Traveling with an experienced cruiser makes a difference! We flew into Athens a day early to ensure ourselves and our luggage arrived safely. Our hotel was walking distance to the Acropolis, so we spent the morning of our departure exploring the Acropolis and didn't depart for Piraeus until after 2:30 p.m. This enabled us to walk onto the ship without delay (apart from clearing the security line at the port terminal along with passengers on other ships who were returning from shore excursions). Staterooms on the 6th floor were not ready, so we headed for a snack at the Terrace Cafe before heading into our room to unpack. Our stateroom with veranda was quite nice, and we were well taken care of throughout the cruise by our stewards. We were on the Starboard side, and for most of the ports, we had great land views while in port. Almost every dish we had on-board was outstanding. I definitely enjoyed the portion sizing such that I could enjoy appetizer, soup/salad and main course - rather than the typical American portion size that would feed me multiple meals. One tuna appetizer was so good that I considered cancelling the main course and asking for another serving. I enjoyed being able to sample menu items from Red Ginger (a special not available aboard Nautica at this time). This was the first time on a cruise that I've done shared seating. For us, this worked out fabulously and we made some great friends at meals who we then saw throughout the cruise - on tours and at some of the shows. Past cruises were on large ships, so the small ship experience was new and refreshing. I think the only amenity I missed from a larger ship is the movie screen over the pool. The clientele on this ship is older, so climbing walls and water slides are unnecessary. Traveling with an experienced Oceania cruiser allowed me to join in on a few experiences I would not otherwise have enjoyed - like the Captain's reception and an invitation to dinner with several of the crew. This made for a more personal experience. We did tours in every port (which is exhausting), so I didn't participate in as many of the onboard activities during the day as I might have. On our day at sea, I met up with the group learning needlepoint in order to find fellow travelers of like mind - which was another avenue for meeting people aboard who we saw throughout the cruise. Shore excursions are expensive when booked through the ship. As these were ports that I was not familiar with, we did rely on the ship's tours. In the future, we will likely branch out to explore other options. Of the 10 tours, only one was a dud. We enjoyed a number of guides who were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. Disembarkation was painless. We chose to take our chances on finding a cab, and there were several available when we left the ship. That cost us roughly half of what a transfer into town through Oceania would have cost. Our original plan had been to take the train in to town, but exhaustion and common sense had us rethink that plan. The cab allowed us to get to our hotel promptly and utilize their shuttle for a day in Rome before flying home. (Hotels before and after and airfare were not booked through Oceania). As an aside, we originally booked this cruise because of the starting point in Istanbul. When the itinerary changed in late January, we thought long and hard about changing to a different cruise. We were pleasantly surprised with the substituted ports. I am still hoping ti visit Istanbul in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Lovely Ship, Very well maintained and my first trip with Oceania. We have done quite a few in the past with other lines..Service is their main focus with food being the second.The veranda is standard size BUT the bed was amazing, I wanted ... Read More
Lovely Ship, Very well maintained and my first trip with Oceania. We have done quite a few in the past with other lines..Service is their main focus with food being the second.The veranda is standard size BUT the bed was amazing, I wanted to pack it in my suitcase. The steward for our room was professional, friendly and unobtrusive. The stateroom was clean was well maintained This a small ship which I loved because you get to know a lot of passengers and everyone is friendly. A small ship can also go ports that the large cruise ships must pass up. This is a good consideration when choosing a ship with more diverse ports. Shore excursions are very pricey so you want to consider and alternate tours. All i all very nice trip.. at the end of the trip in Rome we were met by a private tour company Rome Connections.. Amazing Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Great itinerary - Oceania goes where most others don't Small ship experience, personally it did not matter to me either way. I like them both! Great service and amenities Veranda cabin 6000 right in the front. Great view ... Read More
Great itinerary - Oceania goes where most others don't Small ship experience, personally it did not matter to me either way. I like them both! Great service and amenities Veranda cabin 6000 right in the front. Great view every morning but the racket at 6AM when the ship dropped anchor would wake the dead! Also beware of rough waters in this cabin if you are prone to sea sickness. Otherwise the cabin was fine, quiet, with plenty of storage space in room and bathroom. Luggage can be stored under the bed or they will store it for you on the ship. Bathroom was small as expected but adequate with lovely amenities and towels that were replaced often. Plenty of bottled water and fizzy drinks supplied. Service was impeccable. Balcony was good for drinks but views were marvellous. Sleep quality was fantastic! Great beds and linen made in Italy. TV was small but they had US news by satellite. They had 3 movie channels where they streamed all the new movies on the first 2 days (when no one watches) and repeated the movies on the same day only! DVD selection was clearly pirated and old. Don't know why they do not have on demand movies as they do in airlines. Entertainment: In one word: Rubbish/Crap! On board activities: this is probably one of the dullest cruises I have been on. The casino & bars were always empty. They had a couple of trivia and bingo events at times that no one wanted to attend. In a cruise of this nature I was expecting some nice lectures but those were the most boring of all! The lecturer kept talking about himself instead of the subject, I was compelled to walk out. No more than 10 people ever attended any of these boring lectures that had more to do with philosophy rather than history or info about the ports. Shore excursions: good but over priced. We had arranged our own private tours in each of the ports and it was a struggle to get off the ship when a tender was involved as the very unpleasant woman in charge, let off only those who were on the ship's tours. It took exactly an hour to get off the ship if you had a private tour. Of course, every morning she denied that this was her MO. Food: to me was the most disappointing aspect of all, especially since this is their biggest selling point. The ingredients were high quality but the cuisine was average at best and not very varied. Out of the 2 specialty restaurants, Pollo was better than Toscana probably because Toscana had the worst service ever! They both probably had the same kitchen so food quality was the same and cooking was done with more care than at the Grand Dining room or Terrace Cafe. Waves Grill had limited items cooked on order so no complaints there. The Terrace cafe offered breakfast and lunch/dinner buffets. There were plenty of items at breakfast but they ran out of many fruits half way through the cruise. The guys at the egg station kept rotating and kept breaking my yolks which I was not happy with! Lunch and dinner items were the most bland and boring. There were rarely any Asian or Indian choices as I heard many passengers lament. Even if there was, it was inedible! I had the restaurant manager taste an aloo tikki with me and declare it tasteless! Considering there were so many Indians on board there was no excuse. Last time I was on a Celebrity cruise and had the most amazing Asian/Indian dishes at the buffet. Dinner at the Grand Dining room was a selection of hits and misses. The soups were bland and unseasoned. I was constantly told that this was because the average age on the ship was senior and they liked it like that even though people complained constantly. The appetizers, salad dressings and sauces on the other hand were way over-salted at which point I was told that some chefs had a heavy hand in salting. Clearly, the kitchen did not know who they were cooking for! Malaysian Beef Penang was inedible whilst the Miso glazed sea bass/bream in hoba leaf was to die for! Although the piece of fish was small so I supplemented with the vegetarian entree with it and that worked out perfectly. I am not much of a dessert person but all the chocolate goodies seemed to be excellent. Afternoon tea was a disappointment. The venue was lovely with the 180 view but the water was never hot enough to make good tea. The tea selection was not up to par, just normal tea bags from any supermarket. The sweet selection was adequate but the sandwiches were not quite right. Everyone wanted just a straight selection of salmon, egg, chicken and cuke in small finger sized amounts. We received large sandwiches with mixed fillings that were not very appetizing. Most importantly customer suggestions were ignored at every turn and there was no effort to improve on anything although a great show was made of listening to the complaints and responding. Judging by the reviews on this site no one at this company pays any heed to the customer reviews at all, as others have complained about the very same and absolutely nothing has changed. I did try to talk to the people concerned on board and they always agreed with me but said there was little they could do unless the orders came from above! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
1. To start at the beginning: I have cruised many times with small and large vessels I have never had trouble stepping in to a bathroom. The first thing I noticed was a bathroom raised up far more than any other I recall making entry with ... Read More
1. To start at the beginning: I have cruised many times with small and large vessels I have never had trouble stepping in to a bathroom. The first thing I noticed was a bathroom raised up far more than any other I recall making entry with a knee replacement ver very uncomfortable 2. I use a very small and portable rollator (Spry). The Maitre D of the dining room made certain I knew that the dining room was not (I don not remember exact words but "ADA compliant) 3. The Nautica prior to booking or during the process never told us that the itinerary and ports of this cruise were very "rigorous" and not quite appropriate for a disabled individual, even though they knew I walked with a rollator 4.I had chosen to have private drivers in many ports so can not comment. I can say that Santorini involved a climb up about 18 stairs to a cable car to get to town The town was a very steep donkey trail. No cars can get in. Donkeys are used to move merchandise. On this kind of cobblestone I had to push my rollator 5. Rome is a separate issue. I had gotten permission in advance to join the tour to the Vatican. We had cleared everything in advance. We got to the bus to go to the Vatican, my rollator was stored. I had just gotten on the bus, my son had not, when some lady barges at me telling me I could not go on this bus, I could not go on this tour, that she was not going to watch out for a disabled individual, that I should get off the bus and I would not get my money back!! (PS I dont need anyone "watching out for me) 6.The morning of disembarkation I got my foot stuck (again) in the door to the bathroom.when I went to wash up. I was in pain and sat down to try to extricate myself..I yelled for help.. skip to the final behaviors of the crew: They must have come in to the stateroom when hearing me ... I found myself lifted up and placed on a wheel chair, dressed by someone and then carried down the gangplank and placed on the warf with our luggage. I heard people telling us never to come back on the Nautica that it was a ship for people to have fun, not disabled and sick people Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Even though I have been on 50+ cruises, this was my first cruise on Oceania. On most levels, they met or exceeded my expectations. The ship was beautifully maintained. The staff was engaging and friendly. Food was very good, often ... Read More
Even though I have been on 50+ cruises, this was my first cruise on Oceania. On most levels, they met or exceeded my expectations. The ship was beautifully maintained. The staff was engaging and friendly. Food was very good, often excellent. Afternoon tea was beautiful. Specialty restaurants were outstanding. I was booked in a penthouse suite, 8035, and found it spacious and well appointed. Bedding was comfortable. Balcony area was adequate with two relaxing chairs, two ottomans and a small cocktail table. Bathroom space is smaller than Seabourn, but larger than SeaDream. Bulgari amenities, Q-Tips, cotton pads etc were provided. Erik, the butler, provided great service without being intrusive. Even cashmere "throws" were provided in the stateroom in case you needed a cozy wrap. Champagne was iced down upon arrival and complimentary soda and H20 was refreshed throughout the cruise. The gym/spa was large for a "small" ship. It had all of the usual equipement...treadmills, bikes, elipticals, free weights and Precor stations. Classes (spin, yoga etc) were offered, often requiring and extra charge of $11.00 per class. The locker room was nice...razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, combs and body lotion were provided gratis. The steam-room in the men's locker room was large and rarely used. All in all, you could get in a great workout. Embarkation/disembarkation was simple with NO wait time. The only time I encountered any lines were on tender days but even then wait time was brief. Shore excursions were well organized, but overpriced. Better to go on your own. Drinks could also be on the pricier side, but happy hour was offered daily from 5pm-6pm. One important note is that Oceania deals with a bank located in Ireland. This means ALL purchases charged to your credit card may incur a foreign transaction fee. If you contact Oceania, they will refund this charge, though it is easier to use a fee free card (ie:Capital One). It was a very enjoyable cruise and I wouldn't hesitate to book with Oceania in the future. I did miss the marina on Seabourn/SeaDream. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
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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