2 Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Mediterranean from Athens (Piraeus)

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
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
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 5.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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