19 Barcelona Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. ... Read More
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. Unfortunately, the rest of the cruise was quite bland, including the food. We had one really great dinner in the steakhouse. Most of the other dinners were quite forgettable. More emphasis was put on the "presentation" instead of on the "substance". Buffet breakfast was okay, but they didn't seem to have enough servers to efficiently dish out the food during the buffet breakfast and lunch. I do have to admit that the hot cinnamon buns are incredibly addictive. Breakfast in the dining room was very good. Buffet lunches were very disappointing. We were fortunate to be off the ship for most lunches. "Tea time" was actually very nice to come back to the ship for after touring at 4:00. The string quartet music was very pleasant and the snacks were very nice. Entertainment in the evening was actually quite good. It only lasted about 45 minutes each night and this was fine, considering that we'd been touring during the day and likely had another early morning the next day. The entertainment was usually musical and humorous . Cabins were okay. We had a balcony cabin with about 215 square feet of space. Space was well used. We have been on a number of other cruise lines. This experience was not really any better overall than the others (Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean). Oceania promotes itself as an upscale cruise line. I pity the poor soul who paid full price for any of their cruises, considering they are almost always advertising 2 for 1 pricing. That practice in itself should be outlawed. This is just misleading advertising. In summary, the cruise was nice. Nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be ... Read More
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be opulent. We selected the upgrade to the concierge level veranda rooms and got a great cabin near the back...most of the remaining doors in the hallway went to much larger suites. We rarely ran into any other guests in the hallway. The boat is scheduled for an overhaul soon, so I think it's not as flashy right now, the bathroom and closets were not luxurious in any way, but we didn't really care. A super comfortable large bed, comfy couch, desk and private veranda were our requirements and it was great. Best features of the upgrade...3 days of free laundry service, 24 hour free room service, access to the canyon spa private deck area. We would order room service for a cheese and fruit tray to be delivered about the time we'd be returning to the ship. We'd buy local wines in port and drink a bottle nightly as we pulled out of port! The spa deck had a salt water jetted water spa kept at body temperature. I relaxed in it daily after touring and only once had another guest make use of it as well. I liked the fact that no one else was walking around looking at people sunbathing or in the hot tub! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have just returned from a wonderful cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, visiting Malta, Rhodes, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Oman over 21 days. This was our 10th Oceania cruise although we have cruised on other lines as well and it ... Read More
We have just returned from a wonderful cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, visiting Malta, Rhodes, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Oman over 21 days. This was our 10th Oceania cruise although we have cruised on other lines as well and it included an itinerary that was hard to beat. Sure some days were long but it also included plenty of recuperative sea days. Nautica had clearly just experienced a refresh because carpets and soft furnishings in many locations were new. We found the service very good at all venues and really enjoyed the opportunity a longer cruise gives to really settle into the cruising life. Our fellow cruisers were wonderful and having 21 days to meet so many people and share so many incredible places was fantastic. We probably prefer the larger Oceania class ships, but there is still much going for the R class ships like Nautica and the more intimate smaller ship experience, plus the itineraries they offer. It seemed a cruise popular with well travelled and experienced cruisers who knew the ropes and made good use of the specialty restaurants making it a little challenging to get extra bookings. But the food across the ship was very good and we enjoyed the Grand Dining room more than we have in the past. Entertainment was the usual Oceania fare, although the inclusion of a classical pianist for two performances was much appreciated, and a string quartet at Oceania's signature (daily) afternoon tea was delightful. The enrichment lectures were informative and we enjoyed a number of excellent wine tasting classes conducted by the Head Sommelier. My wife enjoyed bridge lessons, but that seemed like too much hard work for me. Other activities included Trivia (hotly contested), needle work, Bingo, sporting events and others. All in all a cruise I would highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I sailed on Nautica from Barcelona to Dubai October / November 2017 This was our 3rd time with Oceania, having already sailed on Riviera and Marina. This was our first time on one of Oceania’s smaller ships but we knew ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Nautica from Barcelona to Dubai October / November 2017 This was our 3rd time with Oceania, having already sailed on Riviera and Marina. This was our first time on one of Oceania’s smaller ships but we knew what to expect in terms of size and layout as we had previously sailed with Azamara on Quest, which also being one of the original Renaissance ships, is the same design and layout. On balance we preferred the added intimacy of these smaller ships Standard cabins are not large but adequate and the en-suite is it has to be admitted a bit on the small side. They are however beautifully furnished with very nice bedding and toiletries From start to finish we had a great time. The ports of call were mostly very interesting, the highlights being Israel for Jerusalem, Egypt for The Temples of Karnack and Jordan for Petra, amazing The things though that make this so enjoyable were the ship’s staff, who were without exception so very friendly and helpful. We do not remember a single moment when we were not greeted with a warm smile and a hello, even when just passing the staff in one of the corridors And then there was the food. The Terrace buffet restaurant was good if not excellent, but we did enjoy taking our breakfast and lunch out on the open rear deck most days. We did actually eat here on two occasions in the evening and were quite happy with the food But it was the main restaurant and the two speciality restaurants where the ship excelled. I saw a couple of past reviews where folk complained about the food which makes me wonder what ship they were really on, have they got mixed up ? My wife and I eat regularly in some top London restaurants and on all three cruises we have done with Oceania, the food and the restaurant service compares very favourably and can only be described as excellent. In fact it is indeed like dining in a top notch restaurant every evening The main restaurant served consistently good food with excellent service. We avoided eating too early as the queue was quite long due to the theatre show times creating a rush to eat early. We preferred to eat later after a quick pre-dinner drink in Martini’s Bar so we never had a problem and basically were able to get a table straight away. This ship only has two speciality restaurants (Polo Grill & Toscana) whereas the large ships Riviera and Marina have four, Polo Grill, Toscana, Red Ginger and Jacques. Hence we were delighted that Nautica’s main restaurant menu often featured some of our favourite dishes that we had previously enjoyed while on our earlier cruises on both Riviera and Marina. For example, the fantastic Miso Glazed Sea Bass we had enjoyed in Red Ginger We had three superb meals in the Polo Grill, the Rack of Lamb was my favourite, while Toscana was also memorable. Four times we ate here and I have to say for me the Veal Chop with Porcini was just so, so good, I had to have it again, three times in fact ! Also well worth the cost is the Prestige drinks package if you like a glass of wine or two and may be a Martini before or a Cognac after dinner. An excellent range and again the bar staff were so very friendly Our fellow guests were mainly very friendly and interesting so we struck up a few friendships with several couples which made for many a convivial evening If we have any issues with Oceania it’s the cost of the ship’s shore excursions, they can be very expensive Apart from that, we had a fabulous holiday Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We sailed Oceania 5 years ago and loved it. This time we felt something different. We found out that it was bought out by Norwegian Cruise Lines. That explains it all. When we entered the room we had to get housekeeping to come back ... Read More
We sailed Oceania 5 years ago and loved it. This time we felt something different. We found out that it was bought out by Norwegian Cruise Lines. That explains it all. When we entered the room we had to get housekeeping to come back and clean the room. The service was not consistent throughout the ship. There were some wonderful people, trying very hard to please us and there were some that were actually rude. Many times I got up to ask for water or coffee. In the main dining room, had to wait for tea, or dessert. Sometimes we were served our meals at different times. The specialty dining was good but the main dining room and the buffet food varied. The food lacked the consistency that it had before when everything was delicious. The shuttles at the port were not run well. Sometimes they only provided service every hour and if that shuttle was full, you had to wait for the next one. We took taxis from the ports. When I told someone on board the problems with late shuttles or shuttles not coming--they said it was the ports problem not theirs. Going from a dedicated Oceania customer who adored the trip 5 years ago, I will no longer travel or recommend Oceania cruises. I must say, however, that there were some lovely employees on board who tried their best but there were some that really needed to be retrained (or trained or let go). I also feel that they may have cut back on staff to save money. IT JUST WASN'T THE SAME. The buyout could be the explanation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
After having just read the review by Shoko I feel like we shared the exact same experience! I, too, discovered that Oceania was bought out by NCL and also found out that NCL is trying to 'come up' to Oceania's high ... Read More
After having just read the review by Shoko I feel like we shared the exact same experience! I, too, discovered that Oceania was bought out by NCL and also found out that NCL is trying to 'come up' to Oceania's high standards. Well, in dong so, I often felt that Nautica was going DOWN to NCL! My husband and I were always promoting Oceania to our friends in EVERY area from service to food to the way that we were taken care of when we landed in the ports, etc. After this cruise we won't be able to do so and will have to consider whether we will take our next cruise on Oceania or pick a different line! While embarkation did go smoothly and I was greeted by our darling room attendant who was most eager to know what she could do to make sure we had everything we wanted exactly as we desired for our stay, I was amazed that something as simple as not having the Kleenex box filled in the cabin had been overlooked; Then we were to disembark it was almost as if we were to be literally thrown out as quickly as possible since items in the fridge had been disposed of the night before our departure. While most of the servers in the various dining venues went above and beyond to be charming and helpful (and I've mentioned them in my review sent directly to Oceania) there were the occasional who were close to downright rude; this would never have happened on a past Oceania cruise. For the most part the food was good and occasionally excellent but when one orders a Jacques Pepin signature dish (steak/frites) and gets an inedible piece of meat that is overcooked it makes one wonder. The final disappointment was the manner in which we were treated when it came to the ports. In the past there have always been shuttles when we didn't get off within EASY walking distance to the town/city. Here we either didn't have a shuttle (Gibralter) OR the shuttle came every hour and if it was filled you had to wait for the next one! When asked, we were told that Oceania had decided not to pay for the shuttle services! IF we were paying for an inexpensive cruise line I could understand being nickel and dimed but Oceania is NOT an inexpensive line so this seems to be a clear case of NCL thinking, yes? In conclusion, we'll consider our options for the future...something we never did before as we went directly to Oceania without a second thought. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Friends recommended oceania cruises because of the good food. The food was good, but compared to the other cruiselines where we booked balcony huts in Europe since 2010, this was by far the worst in size, also the bathroom was far too ... Read More
Friends recommended oceania cruises because of the good food. The food was good, but compared to the other cruiselines where we booked balcony huts in Europe since 2010, this was by far the worst in size, also the bathroom was far too small. The service was very good and the ship is very quiet compared to MSC, Norwegian, Costa. The food was good, but not exceptional. Dinner in the Polo restaurant was disappointing, The ship did embark in city centres, which was very convenient. The prices are ridiculous, especially prices of the wine at table and the prices of transfers. Book your own transfers! Because we did not like to be on a waiting list for dinner in the grand ding room, we went there around 9, when there was no waiting list. Therefore each night we saw only the last 10 minutes of the entertainment. The library is big, very quiet and 24/7 open. We will consider cruising again with oceania, but not with the old ships like the Nautica. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Let me start off by saying WOW!! I have sailed on other cruise lines to more local destinations in South Africa so it wasn't my first time @ the rodeo BUT my experience on the Oceania Nautica was nothing short of mind blowing!! ... Read More
Let me start off by saying WOW!! I have sailed on other cruise lines to more local destinations in South Africa so it wasn't my first time @ the rodeo BUT my experience on the Oceania Nautica was nothing short of mind blowing!! Embarkation and dis-embarkation were easy breezy, previous experiences on other cruises led me to dread these two activities and in fact I had nothing to worry about. It is a boutique cruise with roughly 500 - 600 guests so you make friends very easily. We stayed in a Veranda suite and the cabin was a good size with enough hanging space for clothes. The bathroom was a bit of a low point really as was the shower curtain but I have had much worse on other cruises. It was compact as to be expected but I felt like it could have been better. Friends of our in higher priced suites had much better bathrooms though. The Ship has two specialty restaurants on board as well as on deck Cafe, a Buffet restaurant and the "Grand Dining Room". There are two official Bars as well as a Lounge where they had evening shows which also had a bar. You can smoke in a dedicated Smoking Area in the top Bar as well as a certain area on deck. The Food is UNBELIEVABLE, every meal was just divine. I especially loved the 4 - 6 course meals we had in the Grand Dining hall with lots of wine between each course. Everyone we spoke too commented on how good the food was with comments like "The best cuisine @ sea" being spoken, The Casino was okay has few old machines but I feel it could have an upgrade. The staff were delightful at the restaurants and bars but we found the reception staff to be a little cold. We made such lovely friends on board and didn't want to leave :( To me a cruise is the absolute best as you unpack once and a new city or country comes to you every day. I can't wait for our next trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise for its itinerary to sail around the coast of Spain. We wanted to try a smaller ship, as we had sailed on all big ships in the past (1900+, and mostly 3000+). I guess you would consider Oceania a hybrid luxury line, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary to sail around the coast of Spain. We wanted to try a smaller ship, as we had sailed on all big ships in the past (1900+, and mostly 3000+). I guess you would consider Oceania a hybrid luxury line, with many amenities of a luxury line, but not all inclusive. The small ship experience is a mixed bag. Obviously it is easier to get around, has a more intimate feel, and one rarely waits in line (with a few exceptions). There are fewer things going on, and the atmosphere is calm and relaxing if you like that. (The first day at sea we strolled around getting familiar with the ship and saw more people in the library than we have ever seen in a cruise ship library.) There was a lot of sitting around going on. On the up side, not once were we approached by a photographer, which was lovely. They do have a studio onboard if I remember correctly in case you would like a photo. Oceania is known for its cuisine, which I can assure you, is excellent. Salads especially were very fresh and crisp. And fresh fruit and berries. Choices are interesting and beautifully presented. Escargots offered 3 different ways that I can remember. We prefer to eat in the dining room whenever possible, but don't miss the carving station in the Terrace Café for an occasional lunch. You will see roast suckling pig, prime rib, roast turkey, even salmon Wellington. You may have to wait at the egg station at breakfast, but getting a great lunch at the Terrace Café was usually quick and easy. Waves has great sandwiches, like Q-ban, Surf & Turf, and Reubens. Transfers were perfectly well organized, on time, and used comfortable coaches. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service for our room, the dining rooms, and the front desk were all fine. Where I think there is room for improvement is the entertainment onboard and the shore excursions. The orchestra was certainly good, and the Nautica singers and dancers (only 4) were quite talented. You really can't have a big production show on a small ship, so they did a pretty good job for a small venue. The other shows were OK but nothing great, except the unique Duo Yorba show, 2 musicians playing a slew of different homemade instruments. They were very entertaining, playing music from around the world, and worked very hard to put on a good show. The performances of the string quartet and pianist who played in a couple of areas around the ship at various times were enjoyable. The shore excursions were nothing special, most times having 36+ people. We had to wait in line on some occasions, once for 45 minutes to get into the Alcazar. Some of the radio/headphones didn't work on some of the tours. So the tours were large groups (like the big cruise ships have) unless you pay more to go in a smaller group. These smaller-group tours are available in some ports. Overall the shore excursions were pricey and pretty average. We will probably sail with Oceania again only on one of their larger ships. The atmosphere was a little too quiet and sedentary on this cruise, although we did enjoy our cabin and the dining. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our first Oceania cruise and sadly our last. For the following reasons: The Nautica did have good food, some of the best we've had on a cruise ship. The service was OK but it was very slow at several of our meals in the main dining ... Read More
Our first Oceania cruise and sadly our last. For the following reasons: The Nautica did have good food, some of the best we've had on a cruise ship. The service was OK but it was very slow at several of our meals in the main dining room. I think they have trouble dealing with the surge that can occur when there are no set dining times. The ship is very old and it didn't do well in slightly rough seas. On a couple of days the crew placed seasickness bags near all the elevators. Also due to the age of the ship the decor is very dated. The woods are very dark with dark colors throughout. It's a bit drab but well maintained. It's a small ship with not a lot to do: - the shows put on by the 4 member ship's cast were pretty good - the shows by the entertainers they brought on board (e.g. comedian & flute player) were cheesy and 2nd rate. - the pool area was acceptable - beyond that not a lot of worthwhile things to do People we met on board were nice, but this is definitely an older crowd. The ship eliminated one of our ports of call without advising us. We had scheduled a tour on our own at this port but because ship did not give notice of the change we lost our fee for the tour. When we complained, Oceania said "too bad we can change itinerary whenever we want, you should get trip insurance to protect yourself" (trip insurance would have cost more than the money we lost on the tour). Not the great experience we were expecting from a high end cruise line, we'll try others in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We just returned from our fourth Oceania cruise, this one aboard Nautica, which was also our first "O" ship back in 2008. Things are only getting better. The ship, built in 2000 and refurbished in 2010, is due to go into dry ... Read More
We just returned from our fourth Oceania cruise, this one aboard Nautica, which was also our first "O" ship back in 2008. Things are only getting better. The ship, built in 2000 and refurbished in 2010, is due to go into dry dock next spring for major refurbishment to bring her to the more contemporary theme from the nearly-new Marina and Riviera, but she has been immaculately maintained and is still in excellent condition. Yes, she does look a bit dated by today's ship standards, and, yes, there minor wear is visible here and there, but the continuous maintenance on the ship has kept her in immaculate condition. All hard surfaces in both the public areas and in our penthouse cabin were clean and polished, and all soft surfaces were in excellent condition and comfortable. This cruise was a 24-day repositioning cruise running from Barcelona to Dubai, the longest we have ever taken. Since Nautica hosts only 684 passengers, I thought we might get bored. However, O provided many onboard activities, including enrichment lectures by two very competent speakers (discussing the oceans of the world and the Middle East), and the extended length of the cruise made it easy to meet and get to know many wonderful people (both passengers and crew), and to relax fully during 9 sea days. Passengers on this cruise skewed older than other O cruises we've taken (probably the average age was north of 70), but that's to be expected due to the length of the cruise and its cost. Fellow passengers were well travelled, congenial and most were quite active despite not being young anymore. Ports included Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Haifa (Holy Land), Aqaba, Salalah, Muscat and Dubai. The best ports/sites to visit, in my opinion were Rome, the Holy Land and Aqaba. Rome (visited Vatican this time) is always amazing, and is easy and inexpensive to access via train from Civitavecchia, Petra (accessible via a 2-hour ride from Aqaba) is amazing due to its scope (the well-known Treasury is only the tip of the iceberg), and 3 days in Haifa provide excellent access to Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Nazareth, and other emotionally powerful historic and religious sites. Because of the continuing political troubles in Egypt, we missed Egypt, one of my top "bucket list" sites, but O let us know well in advance and added an additional day in both Israel and Aqaba, which provided a more leisurely tour schedule, so the loss of Egypt was amply made up. O is known for its food, and this cruise did not disappoint. The quality and variety of the products were excellent, and preparations were usually creative and properly prepared. I've been on a diet, and there were always plenty of healthy low-calorie options, as well as the more elaborate preparations with buttery and creamy sauces, up to 32 oz. prime rib dinners, etc. The Terrace Café buffet has added two a-la-minute cooking stations, as well as a fresh pasta station since our last cruise on Nautica. Sushi was available every night, and there were several themed meals several days during the cruises (ie., Italian, Mideastern, Thanksgiving, etc.). Breakfast was a special pleasure due to the variety of fresh fruits and berries, but of course the more typical eggs, bacon/sausage, etc. were also available (eggs freshly cooked to order if you chose). O's excellent bread was made daily was almost impossible to pass up, but because of the variety of other options, I managed to only gain 3 pounds during a 24-day cruise! Yahoo!!! Toscana, which serves Italian food, was our favorite specialty restaurant, but Polo, which serves steaks/seafood was also very good. The quality of meats was high, up to O's claim they serve only dry-aged premium cuts in the specialty restaurants. Waves Grill near the pool has been upgraded to include the menu originated aboard Marina, including a Koby beef hamburger and a surf/turf sandwich with alternating slices of filet and lobster. The ice cream bar includes a yummy selection of healthy smoothies with just fruit and ice blended if you wish to go low-cal. The malt I allowed myself the last day of the cruise was wonderful too (it was a good thing I hadn't given in earlier, or I'd have gained several more pounds). The menu did repeat after about two weeks, but the variety was wide enough you could avoid repetition, or enjoy a previous favorite, if you chose. If I have a criticism of the food, it is that it was under-seasoned for my taste. However, since we live in an area where spicy food is the norm, I expect that is criticism is just my taste, since a few passengers complained that dishes we found very mild were over-spiced. Given the fact they serve about 650 meals during each meal, I am impressed with the high quality of the food. Is it as good as a 5-star restaurant on land? No. But it is the best food I've tasted at sea. We upgraded to a penthouse cabin for this cruise, from the verandah cabins from our previous cruises, and it was worth the money we spent. The Nautica penthouse cabins are 1.5 times the size of the standard verandah cabins and include a marble bath with a tub/shower, instead of just the shower in the standard verandah cabins, and the bath is nearly double the size of the verandah cabins. There was plenty of storage space, a mini-frig which the staff will stock with your preferred non-alcoholic beverages upon request, and O has stopped stocking them with the expensive alcohol minis no one ever uses. In penthouse level cabins a variety of hot and cold canapés were offered in the afternoon, but they were the one food option item I found to be less than stellar quality; they tasted pre-made and not particularly fresh. Our butler was wonderful; he was well trained and professional; while he took his job seriously, he had a good sense of humor and congenial attitude. Our cabin stewards were equally well trained, competent and friendly. Cabins were promptly serviced morning and afternoon, and beds were turned down when we returned from dinner. O's crew was almost universally good natured, and smiles and "good morning, Madam/Sir" were always present. O's alcohol policy is liberal, as long as people do not abuse alcohol, and we had no problems bringing both wine and spirits aboard at embarkation and after port visits later; the butler/cabin steward were happy to provide additional ice, wine glasses, and even limes as we asked. The only caveat is alcohol brought aboard must be consumed in the cabin, or there is a corkage fee if wine is consumed in the restaurants with meals. Premium drinks in the public lounges started at around $10, but with a half price happy hour and daily specials every day, we found no need to buy the alcohol package offered. Entertainment, which is not one of O's areas of excellence, was certainly adequate if not great. The classical quartet was excellent, the 8-piece band generally quite good and the staff and specialty entertainers competent, if not great. The staff entertainers were better than the material they were given; the Gary Musack productions were often pretty corny and were over-choreographed, resulting in stiff variety productions. Something about entertainers in their 20's singing and dancing material from the 1930's to 1970's is just a little off-kilter. Overall, my impression is that O has maintained its high standard of service and product since our first cruise five years ago. We were sad to leave, knowing we were seeing Nautica in her current "clothes" for the last time, but looking forward to the improvements which are coming after her refurbishment next year. This was the best cruise we've ever taken, truly the trip of a lifetime. Thanks O! We'll book again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a ... Read More
Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a simple hello whilst eating in breakfast at Waves by the pool to being at the end of the steps when leaving the ship to go on shore and ensuring we didn't trip. No other cruise director ever since then has done so much to engage with people and ensure a safe and happy trip. I only wish we could have him as a cruise director on every ship. This was magnificent cruise in terms of destinations and experiences. We embarked in Barcelona which is a beautiful city and port with the port being right in the city. We then sailed quickly across the Mediterranean overnight to Rome - it was quite rough at sea as there were storms about and it felt like being in a washing machine - I was filled with some dread that the entire cruise would be the same but the rough weather only lasted that first night. We then visited Naples and Pompei, Patmos Greece, Ephesus in Turkey and it was wonderful time of year to go there as the weather was mild. Then followed Rhodes in Greece where we encountered a rainy day and then Limassol in Cyprus which was so interesting and I have fond memories of sitting in the square having coffee. Then an amazing 3 days in Israel where we visited Haifa, Jaffa and Caesaria. The Suex Canal transit was beyond amazing and we saw some incredible ships travelling back and forth and enjoyed the Egyptians waving to us from shore. Cruising the Red Sea we then sailed to Jordan and spent two days in Aqaba. Then we cruised the Red Sea for 3 peaceful days of smooth sailing before beginning the cruise of the Gulf of Aden and spent our time trying to spot the pirates - we found none. The Captain has reassured us that he was in touch with international forces all the way. Salalah in Oman was the next port of call followed by Muscat in Oman and we visited the Sultan's palace. The cruise ended in Dubai in the UAE and we did an amazing troy from dawn till dusk of Dubai covering so much of the city. We disembarked in Dubai the next day after experiencing an incredibly memorable journey. Unlike some other Oceania cruises the entertainment on this cruise was quite good with some solo performers. Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was only the second cruise that we have taken since we have always traveled independently in the past. Our first cruise was also with Oceania, but on the Riviera. I realize that it's not fair to compare the Nautica with the ... Read More
This was only the second cruise that we have taken since we have always traveled independently in the past. Our first cruise was also with Oceania, but on the Riviera. I realize that it's not fair to compare the Nautica with the Riviera which is brand new and wonderful, so I won't. We spent extra days in Barcelona before boarding our ship and all went smoothly. Our stateroom was just fine, nothing spectacular, but comfortable, with more than enough storage space. Having been to some of the port cities previously, we didn't select any ship excursions, just walked around by ourselves for most of our stops with the exception of an excellent tour of Lucca, near Florence and a privately booked tour with a local at Ephesus. Can't recommend that enough. We are not much for entertainment so I really can't comment on that aspect, but Oceania isn't known as a party ship anyway which was perfect for us. On at sea days, it was difficult to find a vacant chair and the pool was rather smallish and quite crowded. My only criticism would have to be the food. I know that the food on Oceania is regarded as excellent and in most cases it was, but the food prep at Waves near the pool and the selection of salads was not very satisfactory. Breakfast was also a disappointment in that the selection was rather limited (I know, I said I wouldn't compare) but compared to the Riviera, it was inadequate and no one could prepare a decent freshly cooked egg. The dining room staff, with the exception of the specialty restaurants, seemed to be a discontented lot with quite a few grim faces and at one point, a loud argument erupted between 2 of the staff members. All of the bar staff, though, was terrific. The negative comments would certainly not prevent us from taking another trip on the Nautica since, all in all, we enjoyed our 10 days very much.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We traveled on Oceania in its inaugural year and it was fabulous.  In many ways, it is still a notch above other lines but it also is less than what it was.  The food is decidedly less varied, with cheaper selections.  There are no ... Read More
We traveled on Oceania in its inaugural year and it was fabulous.  In many ways, it is still a notch above other lines but it also is less than what it was.  The food is decidedly less varied, with cheaper selections.  There are no fresh pancakes or waffles in the morning and precooked items could break windows.  Lunch was fine but the dining room dinners were boring and somewhat repetitive with little shell fish on the menu.  Polo restaurant has slipped.  The lobster bisque was horrible and the ship does not know how to make real Caesar salad.  The ports of call were handled well but the ship provides no free water like Azamara does.  It also has no comfort station upon return with cold drinks nor cold hand towels. Too many ports are only half day.  The hotel they used in Egypt made hundreds of people sick from the food and the line at the doctors was unreal as our cabin was right across the hall from the doctor.  Entertainment was lacking.  The magician did the same tricks he did inaugural year and they should fire him.  The comedian was fine as was the quartet.  There are also not enough chairs at the pool and they do not enforce the policy of not holding deck chairs for hours at a time and then not returning.  The ship is clean, the crew is exceptional and service is polite and prompt.  But the line is trading on it past and needs to fine tune.  Bean counters have gotten to it.  They had no flowers nor wine for past repeat cruisers, no ship board credit until cruising five times and with what they charge should be giving kids free soda, instead of 2.50 a can plus 18% gratuity.  They are penny pinching and it is distinctly unclassy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Others have posted comments about this Nautica cruise, which sailed on 27 June from Barcelona, and I am not in total agreement with these comments, however everyone has their own views. My husband and I dined one night with one of the ... Read More
Others have posted comments about this Nautica cruise, which sailed on 27 June from Barcelona, and I am not in total agreement with these comments, however everyone has their own views. My husband and I dined one night with one of the other reviewers. Nautica was well-maintained and all the staff were very helpful and friendly. When you asked how they were, the reply 'excellent' did get a bit wearing, though. The staff and the ship are definitely the line's biggest assets. We found the dining room dinners unimaginative and only "so-so". Other cruise lines, including Princess will generally accommodate realistic "off-menu" orders, provided sufficient notice is given. My husband asked the dining room Manager one evening, for a repeat the following night of a main course of that evening's menu. The answer, ratified by the ship's Maitre'd, was that this was not possible due to "health and safety reasons". This is a nonsense as other cruise lines can do it and was clearly an excuse. Oceania's strap line is "let us exceed your expectations" - sorry Oceania, you fell at the first hurdle here. We were very disappointed with Toscana. If you don't eat veal, there is very little other choice, as so many dishes have veal in some form or another. I do not eat veal on principle because of the way the animals are kept in mainland Europe. In an half-empty restaurant, service was indifferent, with a wrong main course order one night. The lobster was tough and overcooked, then swamped in a chilli pasta mess. We heard of several other passengers cancelling their reservation in Toscana, after being disappointed on the first visit. Much better was the lobster in the Polo Grill, where we ate four times, Michael, the manager, being very accommodating. The food here was the best on the ship, especially the lamb rack. Dinner in the Terrace was also only so-so, with so many of the dishes being lukewarm. The dish of the day, cooked in the wok, was typically bland for the American palette; we have previously been told Americans dislike garlic and spice in their food. After the Cairo visit had laid low about half the ship, who went down with Pharoah's Revenge, all the dining venues were quiet. Even so, the ship was far from full, with only 610 passengers. The only swimming pool is sea water, which is changed regularly. This is far more hygienic than fresh water pools on other ships because we saw hardly anybody shower their sweat and sun cream off before getting into the pool, a really disgusting habit. Would you like to swim around in other peoples sweat residue? Another plus is that Oceania cover the sunloungers with white towelling which is changed daily. Other cruise lines take note about the hygiene benefits of this. My husband got ringworm off a sunlounger that must not have been clean. We partook of virtually no entertainment, so won't comment. What was annoying, though, was the repetitive announcements by cruise director, Dotty, whose booming voice echoed round the ship like a foghorn. The issue which really wound us up (and many others), surprisingly not commented on by any other contributors who were fellow passengers, was the Great Oceania Visa Rip-Off. I'm going to make a separate posting about this to warn future passengers. In short, Oceania charged us $49 for an Egyptian visa we didn't need, and which the Egyptian immigration staff we spoke to onboard said cost nothing. (I speak a little Arabic) This was just a money-making scheme by Oceania. We were also unhappy at the onboard price hikes since June 2008. Bar bills now attract 18% 'gratuity', whilst stewards' gratuities have also gone up around 20%, but I bet the staff haven't seen such a pay rise. Drinks prices were a deterrent too. A bottle of average Californian red cost $42 + 18%! Another "cutback" was the lack of "Britain Today", the daily page of news from the UK, with the excuse that there were not enough Brits on board to justify printing, there were 40 - it had been supplied last June when we had half that number. It was only due to the persistence of one of the passengers, that it was provided half way through the cruise. Another slight annoyance was the introduction of a flow impeder on the sink taps, apparently only a week before we boarded. If this was done, as someone suggested, to save water - why was it also not added to the shower? The only way to fill the sink without waiting for ten minutes was to use the shower head. The shore excursions are also inadequate and over priced, and the shore excursion department need to be brought into the 21st century. Their presentation on the ports to be visited are amateur and consist of slides of dubious vintage. They need to take a leaf out of Princess Cruises and show videos of all the ports. The daily programme for disembarkation day said that passengers had to be off the ship by 9.00 am at the insistence of Turkish immigration - utter rubbish!!! We disembarked at 09.45 and we were by no means the last and there was no sign of immigration questioning why we had not previously disembarked. This is clearly a ruse by Oceania to clear the ship, so don't get conned next time if it happens to you!! Despite getting everybody off the ship so early, they still cant make cabins available before 1.00 pm, or 3 pm (depending on cabin grade), unlike Princess where you can embark straight to your cabin from 12.00 noon or even earlier and with a passenger complement of at least triple. . Overall, the cruise was not as good as that on Nautica in June 2008. The service and the cleanliness of the ship were again excellent, however the food was not and the visa rip-off soured the atmosphere. We had cruised on Silversea in February. In the present climate, Oceania is poor value for money when set against the all-inclusive Silversea experience. I've decided there are two categories of cruise ship - those that play bingo and those that don't. Oceania play bingo, Silversea don't. One of our fellow passengers has complained about the Big O prizes or lack of, which I totally agree with, particularly as it is pushed daily. The comment made by the Cruise Director about what items were finally available for points redemption, was that their deliveries had not arrived!! What a weak excuse. By contrast Silversea took a very liberal view when our accumulated points were insufficient for the item we wanted -we got it anyway! - Bingo versus no Bingo! All cruise lines are making economies or trying to squeeze extra onboard revenue, when you're already hooked. Oceania's efforts show up badly and tarnish, what was supposed to be a quasi-luxury brand. Nautica's penny pinching and revenue generation ruining what had been a lovely experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
I will try to be as complete, candid and unbiased as possible.  I will not tell you everything is perfect or that everything is terrible. All cruises have good points and bad points. Hopefully, the good far outweighs the bad.Pre-cruise, ... Read More
I will try to be as complete, candid and unbiased as possible.  I will not tell you everything is perfect or that everything is terrible. All cruises have good points and bad points. Hopefully, the good far outweighs the bad.Pre-cruise, Barcelona: We arrived after a relatively simple two flight legsLAX to Heathrow, Heathrow to Barcelona around 7:45 pm and took the VERY EASY "Aerobus" from the airport to Placa Catalunyasteps from our hotel, the Hotel Continental. A taxi could not have been much simpler or easier and the cost was minimal.The Hotel Continental is both incredible AND disappointing. The incredible: The location. There could not be a better location in all of Barcelona. We had a Las Ramblas View Balcony Room on the "Third Floor" literally looking straight down on all of the action on Las Ramblas. Right out the front door was a choice of restaurants, shops, bars and more. It was NOT noisy when the doors were shut and the drapes drawn. There were electric shades, operated by a switch near the door, which closed the room off from the outside light. The disappointing: My wife hated the bedthought the mattress was too hard. The room was rather small and the reports were correct about the "plastic furniture". I was fine with it.  It's not like we had to live there for more than three nights and, to me, the location was unbeatable. To my wife, she would have preferred a more upscale five-star hotel with a big soft bed.There was free internet and a public computer down in the main lobby area. The 24 hour buffet was well stocked including free 24 hour beer and wine.  Of course, it wasn't exactly Napa Valley Cabernet they were servingbut free is free.Embarkation: We checked out of the hotel around 11 am and took a taxi right to the ship. Embarkation was well run and easy and we were on the ship in minutes enjoying a nice lunch at the buffet. First, of course, we stopped by Polo and made our reservations for our nights in Polo and Toscana.The Nautica: This was our second cruise on the Nautica. We were on it in 2006, just after Oceania acquired it and refurbished it. Three years later I can tell you the ship is in great conditionlooks brand new. Hard to believe it is a 10 year old ship. There is not a single instance where I noticed any material wear. Our cabin (#7051midship deck 7, category A1 Concierge level) was exactly as I remembered from last timespacious, well appointed.  King sized bed, small love seat type sofa, desk, small table, balcony with two deck chairs. Public areas are limited, but appropriate for this size shipnever felt crowded, always able to find a seat in any venueincluding deck chairs on at-sea days and reasonably located seating for the shows even when arriving barely on time.Dining: This cruise confirmed for me that this is one of the really strong points for Oceania. The food was consistently excellent, menus were varied and offered many choices. Service was good (We'll get to the few issues later on). We generally ate in the Main Dining Room for all meals except our two nights in Polo and two in Toscana and the two occasions we had room service breakfasts delivered to our cabin. Toscana, in particular, was excellent. Some of our friends found Polo a little disappointingmostly in the quality of the steak.  Of course, I ordered lobster both nights so I wouldn't know.Entertainment: As much as Dining is a strong point, entertainment is Oceania's weak link. Of course, if entertainment doesn't matter much to you, it is no big deal. As there is never more than one show per night (at 9:45) and there could not be more than half the ship there, obviously, over half the passengers really didn't care. There were basically only three "headline" performers on the ship: Comedian Tom Drake, Guitarist Vincenzo Martinelli and Magician Harry Maurer. Being a small ship, I actually had the opportunity to meet, socialize with and have drinks with both Tom and Vincenzo as well as Piano Bar pianist and part-time headliner Jerry Blaineand these are all great guys and wonderful performers. Tom is quite funnyand a perfect match for a cruise shiprelates well to the audience and really seems to love this job. Vincenzo is an amazing guitarist. We have had the opportunity twice now to enjoy Jerry's work and he almost seems like family. So, when I question Oceania's entertainment, it really isn't an aspersion aimed at these guys. They are all quite good. What Oceania lacks is in quantity and variety. On a 14 night cruise, with only three individual headliners to draw from, you end up overexposing all of them. as good as Vincenzo is, hearing flamenco and classical guitar for four shows gets to be a bit much. Some nights, there was no real main showthe time slot was replaced with "Movie Night".  Three nights, the show was staged as a singing show spotlighting one of the female assistant cruise directors, Joanne and Lucy and one night by Jerry moving his act to the "big room". If one is accustomed to the entertainment one finds on the big ship cruise lines, this line-up can be quite disappointing. That said, we still enjoyed the showsthough we always felt a little let down to find only "movie night" on the program.Activities, night life and at-sea days: More noticeable to us than the entertainment deficiencies is the relative lack of activitiesas much a result of ship size and passenger demographic as it is any fault of Oceania's. With a small ship, you simply have limited venues and limited staff. And a majority of passengers seemed to be in bed by 9, so even where activities were scheduled, they were sparsely attended. I am a night person and, I guess, relatively young compared to the overall ship demographics. At night, after the aforementioned show, there was typically only one activity on the agendathe "disco". On a typical night, there were more crew members than passengers in the disco.  I guess that's one reason I found myself socializing with as much of the crew and entertainers as I did. There was Karaoke only two nights and very few volunteer performers.  I actually found myself singing four times (CCR's "Lodi" and "Looking Out My Back Door", the Beatles' "Back in the USSR" and the Boxtops' "the Letter") and those who know me well know well that I can't carry a tune.  Of course, that's what usually makes Karaoke fun.  But, on the Nautica, there was hardly anyone there to enjoy it.  Again, the passengers' fault, not Oceania's. What was Oceania's fault was the dreadful selection of Karaoke choices.  I wanted to do the Kinks' "Lola"and it was on the list, but wouldn't work.  Past that, NOTHING by Jimmy Buffett (and this is supposed to be a cruise ship??).  They had a few Rod Stewart tunes, but NO "Maggie May"!!!Trivia: Okay, for me, this is a BIG item. I love triviaand never miss a session on an at-sea day or when returning from port on time. We had a team comprised of members of our CruiseCritic.com Roll Call and won virtually every trivia session, even trouncing the competition, including a team made up of Cruise Director Dottie and the Crew the one day she turned the quiz over to one of our members to host (thus taking a valuable member off of our team). All lots of fun. But, here is the "downer": All cruise long, they were hyping the "Collect 'Big O' points".  On other cruise lines, there is "instant gratification" for winning a trivia sessiona key chain, a t-shirt, a water wallet, a hat, a luggage tag, a ball point pen or some other meaningless logo trinket.  I do have a drawer at home filled with these itemssouvenirs of a sort from many wonderful cruises.  Most sort of worthless, but occasionally a really nice prize like a t-shirt or a tote bag. Now, last time on Nautica, we had this "points" thing and, at the end of the cruise, they put out a table with a variety of items. We were sort of expecting the same this time.  I figured I'd walk away with maybe a hat and a t-shirt or something of the sort based on how many Big O points I had collected. Imagine our surprise at the end of the cruise when the ONLY items offered in exchange for all those Big O points (in my case, over a hundred) were Oceania Mouse Pads or plastic screwdriver/penlight combos.  Who even uses a mouse pad nowadays?Here's the thing, Oceania: DROP THE "BIG O" POINT THING.  It only infuriates people. If you are not going to give out some sort of meaningful prize, don't tell people to collect "points" for 14 nights. Other cruise lines give out better "prizes" for winning a single trivia game or other activity.  You look really cheap giving a mouse pad to someone who's won every activity for 14 nights. Rather than do what you are doing, it would be better to tell everyone in advance that the activities are for the fun of it only and no prizes will be awarded.  For me, I'd likely play anyway.  I enjoy the "sport" of trivia and other contests and no reward is necessary to gain my participation.  The "Big O" points would be fun if they meant somethingbut, in this case, it was more insulting than anything. So, don't publish "Big O Points" multiple times in each day's "Currents" and stop announcing it on the ship.The funniest part was the night AFTER they had the Big O point redemption, they had the "Game Show" titled "Brain of the Nautica"sort of a 15 person trivia challenge where contestants were knocked out of the running after missing their third random question.  I won.  My prize??? Three more "Big O points"!!!The ports: Actually, the biggest attraction on this cruise was the itinerary. The ports were sensational.  Of course, some better than others.  If I were to tweak this itinerary, I'd actually do it by removing two portsCrete and Cyprusand trading them for more time in Egypt and Israel. In Crete, we visited the Palace at Knossos on a ship's shore excursionand, though an interesting archaeological site, it pales compared to what one finds in Egypt and Israel. My assumption is that by cutting out Crete, you could get into Alexandria sooner than noon, maybe even the night or afternoon before, allowing passengers to do a more complete two days in Cairo and Giza if they so wanted. Cyprus was pleasant, but really little worth seeing compared to the other ports. It would be great to replace it with a second day in Ashdod. Jerusalem was easily a full day's worth of touring and it would have been nice to also visit Masada and the Dead Seabut, not enough timeand we wouldn't have wanted to have given up our day in Northern Israel out of Haifa eitherwe hired a private guide and went to the incredible archaeological sites at Megiddo and Caesaria.We also really enjoyed Tunisia and Malta and Ephesus is always enchanting. This was our first opportunity to visit the Terrace Houses and I highly recommend them.   Ports:Barcelona: We have been here several times, so we didn't really need to see anything but we did tour some of our favorite placespretty much on our own. We visited the Picasso Museum, took the interior tour of the Sagrada Familia, then took the rear elevator up and walked down [Note: For those visiting the Sagrada Familia, there are two elevators. 2.5 euro per person. The one near the front usually has a line with waits up to half an hour or more. The one in the back typically has no line. The front elevator allows for a ride both up and down, the one in the rear, for some odd reason, up onlybut the walk down is pretty cool with great photo ops along the way.], Park Guellwhere we went inside Gaudi's house.  We also took in a tapas dinner and Flamenco show at Tablao de Carmen in El Poble Espanyol on Montjuic-pretty good dinner and show.Tunisia: Arranged for a tour for sixwith fellow CruiseCritic Roll Call membersthrough Chris Sheridan at TouringMalta.com http://www.tourinmed.com/index.htm. Excellent tourcovered several sites including Ancient Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and the Medina.Malta: Same thing as for Tunesiaa private tour for six arranged with Chris Sheridan. We went to Valletta, Mdina, Hagar Qim and Marasxlokk. Hagar Qim was really incredible.  Sort of a several thousand year old Maltese Stonehenge. Best guide of the tripChristine Muscat kristinmuscat@hotmail.com She is the President of the Maltese Tour Guide Unionan Anthropologist by education.  Excellent.Crete: We took an Oceania Shorex to the Palace at Knossosnot our favoriteokay archaeological site.  But it's a short day in Crete and not much else to see there.Alexandria: We took the Oceania Shorex entitled "Roman Influence on Alexandria". It hits the basic three ancient sites really left in this townPompey's Pillar, the Catacombs and the Roman Theater. Another short day as we arrived only at noon. some from the cruise chose to do an overnight in Cairo, but we figured the first days was sort of a waste anyway as we wouldn't have much time to see Cairo that day.  The Shorex was fine.Port Said: We joined a group of six for the private van tour booked through Oceania. Went to Sakkara, Memphis and the Pyramid/Sphinx.  Yes, it is a long drive back and forth.  But the tour was pretty goodbetter than doing it with 30-40 people in a big bus. When you add the entrance fees and cost of lunch, it doesn't really come out to any more $ than the shorex.  Lunch was at Felfelavery good.Ashdod: We booked a private tour with Joel Berman of jtours.com. Very knowledgable. Retired Israeli army officer born in South Africa. Went to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum) in the morning, then a pretty exhausting tour of Jerusalem the rest of the day.Haifa: Joel met us again at the ship in Haifa and took us on a full day tour to Megiddo, Ein Shemer Kibbutz and Caesaria.  Megiddo and Caesaria are two incredible archaeological sites.  This was a pretty good choice of tours IMHO.Cyprus: We did another shorex to Paphos and Kourion. Paphos is pretty dull. Not really much there but some old mosaic floors. More of the same at Kourion.Kusadasi: We did a private tour for four of Ephesus including the Terrace Houses through Ekol Travel. Really good tour with a guide who stayed with us throughout. Terrace Houses should not be missed.Istanbul: We did a full day tour for four to the Cisterns, Spice Market and other sites along with another couple with Nejat Incedogan. [Note: Nejat does have some physical limitations, so if you want a fast paced tour, he may not be your guy.]. All four of us had been to Istanbul before, so this was really just to see some of the unusual sites we hadn't seen. Went to the Orient House at night for the Dinner/Showalways intriguing.Another day, we did a tour of the Dolambache Palace and visited the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaarthen vegged out the rest of the timewe were there four nights total including the overnight on the ship.  On the day of the overnight, we just hung out onboardnever left the shippretty quiet though. Post-cruise: By the end of the cruise, we were really exhausted.  So many full days of touringin hot weatherlots of walking and steps and dust and dirt. We were ready to just relax and wind down. Last time on Nautica, we stayed pre-cruise at the modern 5-star Conrad, so, this time, we wanted something completely different. We checked into the small 17-room Sari Konak. Room was very small, but nice. I walked out onto our balcony and realized we had the most incredible, completely unobstructed close-up view of the Blue Mosque. we stayed three additional nights post cruise and toured the Dolambache Palace, the Cisterns, the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar and other sites at a very leisurely pacea really nice wind-down from the cruise.  Ate at the Orient House for the Dinner show one night, ate a lunch at the "Pudding Shop"as we had done three years ago (I like the place).  Otherwise, ate in small restaurants in the Sultanhamet.  One night, we ate with some of our cruisemates at the "Family Restaurant"Great misprint on their business cards says "She does the cook" (sic)!!Assorted comments re dining:1) Whenever we asked to sit with other people (We're sort of "social" and like to meet and talk to people), the Maitre d' would tell us it was "slow" and they'd seat us at a table for twoeven when it clearly wasn't "slow".  This was a big deal to my wife and at one point she suggested it might keep her from wanting to go back to Oceania in the future.2) They never ask if you might want some Iced Tea and even when you ask for it, it tends to take a LONG time to get it, then they rarely refill it.  I drink LOTS of Iced Tea and this one is a big deal with me.3) I am "Type 2" Diabetic and should not be eating sugar. So, I go out of my way to order "SUGAR FREE" jam for my toast and "SUGAR FREE" syrup for my pancakes. Somehow, Oceania doesn't quite catch onto the idea.  Yes, they stock and deliver the sugar free jams and syrup.  BUT, they deliver the pancakes with heaps of POWDERED SUGAR on them.  You'd think if someone had ordered "sugar free" pancake syrup that maybe they wouldn't want the sugar loaded right onto the pancake??? One time, my wife made it a point to specifically tell the waiter that the pancakes should NOT come with sugarliterally, pulling him aside and going on about it for 3 or 4 minutes.  You guessed it, they were delivered with sugar anyway.Crew: I used to think that Oceania's top assets were 1) Food, 2) Itinerariesbut, from this cruise, I am thinking maybe the best asset they have is the people.  We really had a great opportunity to spend a lot of time with a number of the crew membersspecifically Joanne, Lucy, Terese and Ian from the Cruise Director's staff, entertainers Tom, Vincenzo and Jerry, as I had mentioned before, Rocky from the jewelry shop and others and found them ALL to be genuine, friendly, good peoplemore fun and sociable than some of the passengers.  For 14 nights, I felt like part of the familyand that is a tribute to nothing but these individuals.  Tom (who, as we all learned, is married to Dottie, the Cruise Director), is much more than an entertainerhe is a "true believer"Oceania should put him to work selling the cruises.   And Oceania should consider themselves lucky to have Jerrythe guy puts in first class job night in and night out. Ian and the girls really go out of there way to get to know the passengersat least the ones who take part in games and activities.  After two weeks I feel like I've known these kids for years.  If there is one thing that will bring me back to Oceania, it's these guys (okay, and maybe the food and itineraries).Sickness: Though I never got sick on this cruise, we kept hearing from a lot of our fellow passengers that something was going around. There seemed to be a much higher incidence of this on this cruise than any other I've been on. We had tourmates who had to miss multiple ports. I can't really blame Oceania. I know that when so many people are confined to a limited area and there is a lot of personal interaction that, if someone catches something, it tends to spread.  And, I am not a medical doctor, so I really know little about the causes of this particular epidemic. I do know that Oceania had a number of disinfectant hand cleaner dispensers around the ship, though I didn't see enough people using them. I don't know what more Oceania could have done, so I will leave that to others to comment on.Overall: Despite my nitpicks (Don't get the wrong ideaI am not bringing up those negatives to put down the cruise line or the experienceonly to be thorough and honest), the cruise was and overall very positive experience. Oceania is a heck of a good product. There are some things that can be improved upon (as with everything) and there are some things that are merely beyond their reasonable control.  But, for the most part, it's pretty goodWell run, clean, high quality, luxurious, elegant. The ship is extremely pleasant, uncrowded, nicely and tastefully decorated and well-maintained.  The food is excellent, the itinerary sensational. We really enjoyed our 14 nights onboard and really hated to see them come to an end. We will very likely be back, especially with these tempting itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order ... Read More
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order doubles to taste the booze.On the plus side, the staff was very attentive (though only one or two staff took the time to learn our names in two weeks, remember our desires (like real creamas we sat at the same tables with the same wait staff).  Destination staff was really lacking in attentiveness, responsiveness to problems with tours and general demeanor.Polo and Toscana were saviors as the dining room was at best hit or miss.  HAL and Princess do a better job at mass dining with no special orders allowed:  not even shrimp cocktail when not on the menue.Itineraries seem to be the saving grace for Oceania.   They are unique compared to others and the ship size for the money (though not cheap by any means) allows docking at smaller ports.Sea Dream II docked along side in Kusadasi.  A breath of fresh air.  I took some friends for a tour (having sailed SD many times, I knew the Captain, Christophe, Frank, and others).  Christophe took us on the tour and while in the spa treated us to a 10 minute massage.  I honkered down at the Top of the Yacht for at least one complimentary champagne (it was noon somewhere).  We almost jumped ship as there were a few cabins available and they were on their day 2 of 9.  Alas, the dog would not have appreciated us.  SD II....now we are talking small and wonderful!!Having done a few two week and longer curises, this was the first that I could not wait to get home.  Enough was enough.OH!!  We received a gift early in our cruise on our bed one evening:  a small tube of sanitizer....was that a clue or what.  No other notification from the ship but several cruisers had to have IV's due to dehydration.  I think the greatest profit center on our cruise was the doctors office!!OH!! The internet computer program on Oceania "sucks".  At amost a $1.00 per minute and slow as mollasses.  Silversea is only 40 cents a minute and twice as fast.  Oh, Well there is a Starbucks at almost every port with free WiFi.And to my predecessor's comment about the magician, Harry Maurer and the "lovely" Carol Ann, they were delightful and entertaining.  Besides, I wanted to see the 3 ring trick and the rope trick again and again.  The certainly outshined the social hostess singing (good voice lousy program).Speaking of quality, the cruise director Dotti, was always entertaining except for her growner joke about the 3 legged dog...(I gave that to her and she used it !!!) and her husband Tom, the comedian, were spectacular.  OK!  That should be enough flavor for one cruise and one review.ASHDOD AND HAIFA Israel is one of the most interesting countries I have sailed to. A full day walking tour of Jerusalem didn't even scratch the surface. When you go a local guide on a personal tour is an absolute necessity. Haifa is the gateway to the Golan Heights. GO GO GO! We actually left the ship in Ashdod overnighted at the Crown Plaza in Haifa and rejoined the next night. The local color in Haifa and the added touring time was well worth the cost of the hotel. Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt were overkill. They both are about 3 hours from Cairo and the National Museum (a must) and Giza to see the pyramids (once is enough and once is necessary). Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
Travelled in a group of 10, only 2 of whom had cruised before. We had an extraordinary experience onboard Oceania. The food in all dining areas was exceptional. Ate twice in Toscana and had the lobster. The Polo Grill has a great ... Read More
Travelled in a group of 10, only 2 of whom had cruised before. We had an extraordinary experience onboard Oceania. The food in all dining areas was exceptional. Ate twice in Toscana and had the lobster. The Polo Grill has a great Porterhouse steak. We mostly ate in the Grand Dining Room for breakfast and dinner. (no reservations required). Highly suggest the creme brulee for dessert. Ate a couple of breakfast in the buffet which were also nice, with a view, but we preferred the catering of the sit down meal. Only 1 day at sea, so we were busy. In Marseilles, we walked to town (about 10 min) and took "Hop on/off Bus" around town. 17 Euros each. Great view atop the Notre Dame de la Guard, but be prepared for lots of walking up the stairs. Then on to Monaco, again we walked to Castle area & took open tram around the town. 7 Euros each. Then we took a local bus (#100) to Nice, France. 1.30 Euro each way. Scenery of the French Riviera was spectacular. Took about 45 min each way. Destination Services were very helpful in handing out maps & highlighting routes. Next day, we pre-arranged a driver with "Driver in Rome" and toured Rome. Tour Guide was very knowledgeable took us to all the major sites, including the Catacombs, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to be a small van with only 10 people getting on & off, as compared with a larger group of people. For Florence, we booked "Bob's Limo Service" & highly recommend as well. For the Amalfi Coast, most of group went with "DriveAmalfi" and went to Pompeii and found it to be a great experience. The rest of us took the ferry to Positano (right next to where our tender docked). It was 12 Euros return and well worth it. Scenery from the boat along the coast is breathtaking. Great shopping in Positano, including a shoemaker who made me a pair of sandals while I waited. You could also find lots to do in Amalfi, just by walking around and visiting the unique shops with plenty of ceramics. We didn't do much in Sicily, other than to walk to main square and shop. Some on the ship went on an excursion to Taormina and raved about it. Then it was off to Malta, one of my favorite stops. Took a bus from beside dock (1 Euro) to centre of town. Big fountain there. Toured St.John's Co-Cathedral, which is a must see! Then strolled Republic Street (pedestrian street). Again lots of unique stores & a few internet cafes. There were also stores on the pier itself, including duty-free & Hard Rock Cafe. Finally a day at sea to enjoy the ship. The pool was always crowded so we didn't spend much time there. There were usually ample lounge chairs to be found. We tried to make it for "High Tea" each day. I would highly recommend that as well. We also did the team trivia most days and met lots of great people there. The library is probably the most beautiful room on the ship. The casinos were always full at night. A few of our group would 'donate' nightly. The computer room had about 20 computers. I did take a few complimentary classes on photo downloading. Our final stop was in Santorini. We were tendered to shore and some took donkey to top (you end up walking 1/4 of the way); we rode the cable car (4 Euro each way). Lots to see just in Fira, but we took local bus to Oia (1.20 Euro each way) and had great view from higher up. About a 30 min ride. Would highly recommend the trip to Oia. Found a great bakery in Fira for baklava (ZOTOE). Next day we embarked in Athens. Very organized! Room service provided prior to leaving. In conclusion, this was a wonderful experience. We found the other passengers to be friendly and well dressed for dinner (some men in jackets). The median age seemed to be 45-60's. Ship was easy to navigate and all the staff went out of their way to acknowledge you. p.s. forget to mention the laundry; there were 4 washers & dryers and a very busy spot. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
We just returned from our 28th cruise, on the Oceania Nautica, and my wife says it is her best ever. I had booked several customers on Oceania who raved about the service and we wanted to find out for ourselves. We flew to Barcelona a ... Read More
We just returned from our 28th cruise, on the Oceania Nautica, and my wife says it is her best ever. I had booked several customers on Oceania who raved about the service and we wanted to find out for ourselves. We flew to Barcelona a day early to enjoy the city, staying on the Ramblas in Hotel Royal. $159 plus tax and we had a room overlooking the Ramblas on the 4th floor. No noise. And it is a short ride to the pier. We stayed in a category B2 balcony cabin 6077. The next cabin forward was a B1, and more expensive. All the balconies on the B2, B1, and A1,2,3 (concierge) are the same size. Only suites on deck 8 are larger. Balconies are very private. The cabin is typical of balcony cabins, but no refrigerator. The shower is very small. Service is exceptional, with 400 staff for 684 guests, and they really appear to enjoy their work and provide exceptional service. Dining is open seating in the Dining Room, and Tapas on the Terrace (the high end buffet style dining), and by reservation in the two specialty restaurants Toscano and Polo. There is no service charge for the specialty restaurants. There are plenty of tables for two, and only twice did we have a short (5 minute) wait for a table, in the Dining Room. Dinner menus seemed to have a lot of steak and beef, but there was an ample choice of fish, which included sea bass, grilled tune, corvina, swordfish, salmon, and a wok seafood dish of shrimp, scallops and salmon. Desserts were excellent, including creme brulee in the dining room and specialty restaurants. Tables for two are arranged close enough to others to talk, but separated enough to be "separate". The single pool was never crowded and there are plenty of loungers, including double seating lounges, all with cushions and terry cloth covers. The casino is small but adequate. We had not expected much entertainment, but during the 10 days we had three shows by a staff of 4 singers, and we also had a terrific illusionist, and two musical/singing performances by a husband wife team...the husband is the orchestra director. There is also a pianist in the piano bar nightly. Dancing was available nightly in a variety of locations, usually the Horizon Lounge on Deck 10 forward where a sextet from the orchestra played until 11 or 12 at night. There are no live "port talks", just a repeating short TV talk by the cruise director, and it had no port map with the daily newsletter. It wasn't until the 4th port that we discovered that for a few hours each port morning there was someone near the purser's desk who distributed local maps and provided directions and port information. These passengers are, for the most part, 55+ and well travelled. We heard no "griping" all cruise! While advertised as country club casual and the brochures show men in jackets, there were very few jackets, no ties, and women did wear nice dresses in the evening, including some cocktail dresses. The day wear was like any other ship. Internet service is VERY slow but they do have wireless hotspots all over the ship. The internet lab had about 24 stations, and there were 2 more in the library for use if computer classes were in session. They had good TV with CCN, Fox News, BBC, and a number of movie channels. There were no lines onboard, for anything, even tenders, except for embarkation check-in, which was done onboard in a lounge. There was absolutely no "pushing tropical drinks" and no onboard photographers, at all. Fine! In Barcelona they allowed me to go back on the pier, purchase wine, sangria, and gin and bring it back to my cabin. Our itinerary was termed Art Reigns Supreme and the ports reflected that. Sailing from Barcelona, we visited Marsaille, Monte Carlo, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno/Florence/Pisa, Amalfi, Taormina, Valetta Malta, one day at sea, and an overnight in Athens before debarking. A smaller ship, we often were in choice berths, with the larger ships further from the port. Lots of walking! And I think I have now seen all the churches and museums I could stand for a while, but the art was superb, including Gaudi in Barcelona, the Vatican Museum, the Accademi in Florence, St John's in Valetta, and of course the Acropolis, Agora, and Plaka in Athens. Without doing a travelogue, I will add that I did use Bob's Limos and Tours http://romelimousines.com/ in Civitavecchia and Livorno, and we were very pleased with experience, especially with the driver in Livorno/Florence/Pisa, who even took us via the Tuscan countryside at our request. In Athens we did use George Taxi and Limo http://www.greecetravel.com/taxi/, where George's son Dennis picked us up in a limo instead of taxi, as his father, the taxi driver, was on vacation in the islands. He took the time to help me find the house I lived in there from 1972-75, and at our request took us to local, non tourist, restaurant for lunch were we enjoyed salata horiatiki with a giant slab of feta and kalamata olives, tzetziki, moussaka, lamb fricasse, and swordfish kabobs. The "free air" included was Lufthansa from Dulles to Barcelona via Frankfort, and Air France from Athens via Paris to Dulles. Lufthansa was superb, and both offered multiple meals, and complimentary wine and cordials. All our baggage made it, leaving a day early, but some passengers whose flights were through London, never got their luggage until we arrived in Athens, due to the security scares in London. On the way back, at our connection in Paris, at gate check-in they researched all carry-ons and body searched every passenger. Having watched the news on Fox and CNN we had no problem, but it meant we didn't try to bring back bottles of olive oil or liquor, as we had planned. Oceania is a bit pricier than the premium lines (HAL, Princess, Celebrity), but the service and ambiance is wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 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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