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254 Cape Town to Africa Cruise Reviews

Invited by a group of friends who had enjoyed the experience before. What a pleasure to find out that it was so affordable and we had the opportunity to pay off the trip in advance, Firstly - Hats off to Allison, the cruise consultant. ... Read More
Invited by a group of friends who had enjoyed the experience before. What a pleasure to find out that it was so affordable and we had the opportunity to pay off the trip in advance, Firstly - Hats off to Allison, the cruise consultant. Very patient. Embarkation. Organised, but long queues. Music in the background definitely helps the time pass. Maybe if the entertainment committee could walk among the crowd and hand out lollies or sweeties it may also relive some of the frustration regarding time spent shuffling along. The cabin was snug and comfy. Pop out for a coffee and come back and all is neat and tidy. What a pleasure. Not sure where the bar key was!!!. Dining was quiet an experience. It was so nice to see all the waiters dress for the Little Italy theme. One guy even had a watch strap with the colors of their flag. Such attention to detail. The " big bosses" were not dressed in the theme, but I think that in future a bow tie with the flags colors should be considered. Captains dinner. On the first day the news letter had a little picture of the clothing etiquette. I hate to see food go to waste. Can the Pizza chefs not put tomato puree to the ends of the crusts - so many people did not finish all their food. Buffet board displayed waffle and ice cream - but there was none. Chef advised us that the pancake/flapjack base was the same as a waffle and then we had to buy our own ice cream...oops - no tickets for that. Being the first time on the cruise, all was a bit overwhelming on the first day. Come the elegant evening we hid not dress appropriately (and hubby had bought a new white shirt especially for the occasion). Maybe recap the little picture of the clothing etiquette that day as well. All the waiters' service were excellent, bar none. Anticipation of our needs and having the ability to diplomatically cater for our preferences. Although the tables have the name of the waiters, I would have preferred to have in brackets ( Pronounced - U guys have Fun - how their name is pronounced). It would have been better for me to remember their names, and I could have acknowledged them here. Stephen (with a PH) and his crew were fantastic. He is very amusing and thinks on his feet. The shows were top class and very enjoyable. The food that got wasted really made me sad. Can Stephen, with the introduction, maybe say that as the food is free people should rather go back for seconds and thirds rather than waste. Next batch of plates ordered should rather be smaller. LOL. The treasure hunt in the Manhattan Bar was hilarious. Have not laughed so heartily in simply ages. Noddy badge to whoever came up with the idea of mimicking a passenger when walking down the isle in the Theater. Simply so funny. All the staff, regardless of where I was, stepped aside to allow me to go first. Please convey to them that it did not go unnoticed. Daily program - To make people more aware of the company/ship maybe include a basic crossword puzzle. The " prize" can be as simple as a cap or T-shirt. This will make people research the facts of the ship, e.g. "Answers will be found at the - yesterday, today and tomorrow show." The answers can be on the next daily program. It can also include what certain flags mean on a ship - Flags of different countries - Names and Origin of the entertainment team. Doremi - How did it get its name and what does it mean. Search grid - ABC of fish - Angle - Barracuda - Catfish, etc. I personally did not travel with children, but saw on the program something about Kids. Goats have kids - people have children. Just saying. Shore excursions - Due to finances we could not go ashore. Our deal was the basic package with drink tickets. Nothing else. No frills. Maybe you can initiate a lucky draw for first time cruses (oops already lost out), who are not going ashore to participate in the behind the scenes tour. My husband was so impressed when docking at Walvis Bay, the Captain was excellent, knew what he was doing, and had no need for tug boats. Job well done! Disembarkation - One person (per station) should be solely responsible to restock the breakfast platters. We disembarked and went looking for food. Not a good ending to an absolutely awesome trip. We never had children so I cannot comment on that. We also did not go to Sinfonia Lounge - La Baroque - Buddha Bar - Casino or the Disco so I can not comment on that. Thank you very much for accommodating us smokers. A bigger extractor fan in Shelagh's house would be appreciated as my non smoking friends would not go to that entertainment area as the smoke on the non-smoking side was to strong. I would go again in a flash and again and again. Was the best holiday I have every had. Feel free to edit the awesome amazing comments to use in a review. The other is hopefully taken in the vain it was meant - constructive criticism?, and by no means negative. I would really - really - really (get the message?) like to win a cruise. Thank you. Genevieve (and Garth) Fitzpatrick - Bok Radio cruse. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were considering taking a cruise - with my parents, and then these spots opened up. We have spent much time preparing, and getting ready. It was a great relief to see that the cape town terminal has been upgraded and that ... Read More
We were considering taking a cruise - with my parents, and then these spots opened up. We have spent much time preparing, and getting ready. It was a great relief to see that the cape town terminal has been upgraded and that boarding has been improved significantly. We are considering taking another cruise towards the end of this year, maybe even the next. I was surprised to find the amount of activities catering for Children of all ages - this would make this option available to friends with small Kids as well. The balcony Cabin we booked was a huge surprise - it was a lot more spacious than we thought, and it was a real treat to simply just fall asleep with a open balcony door - knowing that everything is safe, and we have our own private nook of the world. I recommend this to all our friends - definitely Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship was shabby- worn out dirty carpets, grubby and dirty upholstery in the public rooms. The staff were obviously demoralised and indifferent to the passengers. The worst feature was Silver Seas arrogance in taking us to horrible ... Read More
The ship was shabby- worn out dirty carpets, grubby and dirty upholstery in the public rooms. The staff were obviously demoralised and indifferent to the passengers. The worst feature was Silver Seas arrogance in taking us to horrible ports - 2 days in Richards Bay - a coal export port in South Africa. Fine if you enjoy coal dust with your meals on deck. Second class entertainers and a Cruise Director who seemed bored and was just going through his usual patter. Dirty sun loungers on the very small and crowded sun deck. Worn out, thin and torn deck towels Grossly overpriced tours arranged by the ship. Very poor meet and greet - mainly concerned with getting a swipe of your credit card ! No meaningful meet and greet after returning from shore visits. Food - good but not exceptional for a cruse line that pretends to be at the top of the cruising league. I am not alone in this view - it represents the view on many fellow passengers that I spoke to on the cruise that left Cape Town this January. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. ... Read More
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. The ship staff was very professional. Excellent service without being overly solicitous. The dining experience was overall outstanding. Top cuisine choices from Japanese to French to Italian and to general cuisine. The entertainment under direction of Adam was outstanding. The young voices were first class. At least two singers were worthy of the Opera staage. The selection and presentation was very professional. The Silver suite was very spacious and the hotel services provided by Al and Niki were excellent. The ports of call were determined by the cruise itinerary and not the very best. Two days in Richards Bay was too much. Too bad you could not find a place to dock closer to Plettenberg Bay and George which is the heart of the Garden route. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, ... Read More
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, they are not smiling and it looks like we disturb them - the butler of our room was not proactive and the few request we made got poor reception - a lot of small details were not addressed properly: the public restrooms around the pool were dirty and hand soap as well as hand towels were missing, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon no towels were available around the pool, some of the cushion of chairs around nd the pool were dirty - the quality of food at the restaurant on deck4 was inconsistent at lunch as well as dinner time; it was very far from the quality of the meals served by Oceania and even by Princess - except for the speciality restaurant such as the Italian and the French relais&châteaux restaurant ( but we have to pay an additional 60$us for this one) where the meal were very tasty, the other restaurants meals suffer lack of nice presentation and or lack of flavors especially the fish and sea food plates that tasted barely nothing - unlike all other cruise lines that we experimented, there was no special of the day breakfast offered at breakfast time: the breakfast menu was always the same and was identical at the in room service Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I have cruised often as a solo traveller but this is the first cruise line, in my experience, that completely ignores the needs of those travelling alone. A welcome cocktail party, afternoon tea party or coffee morning to bring solos ... Read More
I have cruised often as a solo traveller but this is the first cruise line, in my experience, that completely ignores the needs of those travelling alone. A welcome cocktail party, afternoon tea party or coffee morning to bring solos together would be so simple to organise but there was nothing. The new open-seating concept in the main dining room works against solo travellers. Finding dining companions is a lottery every night. And crew are impatient. On my first night on board I wanted to dine at 8pm and, upon arrival, asked to be seated at a large table with other solos. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I should have eaten at 6.30pm as a table of singles had been available then. Refusing to be intimidated into eating alone, I told the Maitre d’ I would sit to one side and await the arrival of others and, sure enough, there were soon enough solos to fill a table but we shouldn’t have to battle 'solos discrimination' for that to happen. The speciality restaurants on board offered three evenings when solos could sit on a table together - one at 6.00pm, one at 6.30pm and one at 8.30pm. When I tried to book these a few days into the cruise, the Maitre d’ there told me I could not be fitted in and should have booked immediately upon boarding. So, 190 solo travellers on board (this number told to me by Crystal themselves) for 17 days and the solo speciality dining provision was just 3 tables for eight spread over the whole period. In fairness, I did eventually manage to eat in the speciality restaurants but why does everything have to be a battle? Is Crystal trying to tell us solos something? Another evening a fellow solo braved the Brazilian restaurant on her own and left almost in tears. She was, quite simply, ignored throughout the meal while surrounding tables were well served. She said she had never been made to feel invisible in her life before. Some of the staff and crew are a delight but there is a problem with those who fail to respect single female travellers. We have paid over the top 'single person supplements' yet we receive inferior service that occasionally verges on the offensive. ILLNESS ON BOARD I knew I was going to be ill the first time I walked the promenade deck on Christmas Eve. The air extract for the whole ship is sited on that deck (as told to me by the Front Desk) and, as I passed the outlet vents that first day, I was astounded by the sour stench being emitted. Comparing notes with other walkers later, they also smelled the foul air and told me they'd held their breath at that point on each circuit! Sure enough I picked up something evil confining me to bed with aches, pains and flu like symptoms. Nearly two weeks later I was still feeling drained with a hacking cough and chest and back pain. I tried to report my suspicions of the source of my illness and was told Crystal check the 'air conditioning' daily. Whether that includes the emissions direct to a passenger deck I was not told. I asked to see the results for the days I walked that deck but my request was denied. I was told data is not released. My request for contact details for the shore-based person who is responsible was also denied. One of the staff on the front desk felt obliged to shout over me during a long conversation when she repeated herself endlessly and continually quoted ‘Crystal Policy' as the reason she would give me no means to escalate my complaint. She wanted to keep my complaint ship-based and offered me customer services. Is that Crystal policy so that onboard problems and issues remain 'contained' and shore-based management don't get to see there's been a problem? Is there a duty log? Was my complaint even logged? If I were CEO Tom Wolber I'd put in place a method by which complaints CAN be escalated. How else will he know what is going on if he only ever receives a sanitised/edited version of events? And why is he trying to hide from the day to day reality of passengers' experiences? Incidentally, later in the cruise that foul stench had gone convincing me even more that there had been an emission problem. FOOD SAFETY A minor point but it could bring someone down with food poisoning. I refer to refilling from the front! I noticed that crew were refilling foodstuffs as they were taken so fresh produce was used to fill gaps made by passengers at the front of displays. Products to the rear were left to fester and come up to room temperature (to be taken away and chilled again?). This is poor food hygiene practice and makes one wonder what goes on behind the scenes. CHAMPAGNE This is supposed to be 6-star, all-inclusive cruising but this ship ran out of champagne almost a week before the end of the cruise! And even though we were in port for three consecutive days during that period, none was taken on board. The reason given for them running out? 'New Year's Eve!' Yes, it must have come as a total shock to Crystal that New Year's Eve has occurred during this cruise!!! Occasionally, if I spoke to the right person, a glass of champagne could be found for me but I'd have to try all the bars AND the theatre and it really was a case of pot luck. One day, miraculously, a bottle was found and offered to me to have in my cabin. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, what use is that to a sociable solo who wants to meet others over a glass of champagne at the bar? Am I to carry my own bottle around with me? 6-star? I don't think so! OK, I've got all that off my chest now and I'd hate anyone reading this to assume all was bad. It wasn't. My bed and the quality of pillows and bed linen, the food in general, the entertainment and the majority of warm and wonderful crew are all pluses. Crystal are getting a lot right but where they’re getting it wrong impacts so negatively on the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This cruise, Symphony/ So Africa was a bucket list add on to a remarkable safari experience..As the title says the jury is still out.. Pros; beautiful ship, great staff, super spa, casino that was fun but only successful for the casino ... Read More
This cruise, Symphony/ So Africa was a bucket list add on to a remarkable safari experience..As the title says the jury is still out.. Pros; beautiful ship, great staff, super spa, casino that was fun but only successful for the casino owners HAHA. Awesome food. awesome venues for food and drink. Clergy aboard (a plus) Great evening enterainment, Good music. Several tours very good ie: 4x4 adventure in Walwis Bay. ***Now the cons--- The first night the toilet in 5024 developed an airlock. Overflowed all night and I stepped into ankle deep cold toilet water (clean???) in the am. Fortunately I was able to grab the counter and stop my fall. This overflow was corrected within the hour BUT no one called, messaged or knocked on my door to show any concern for the inconvenience.. Very poor customer relations! The activities that were available, knitting,, needlepoint, bridge were certainly not exciting Exercises and yoga were too early for me.. Gymn was usually pretty full. . Computer classes were of such a broad spectrum of ability that after feeling out of place for a couple I left. The staterooms at the edge of the Crystal reception area were very noisy, could use a door to separate Concierge desk out of earshot. Running out of champagne was inexcusable especially while So Africa has an acceptable bubbly right there. "Gentlemen Ambassadors" are a great idea but personalities should be vetted a little bit. One dinner at the solo table was enough (good dancers they might be). No solo events were provided not even a meet and greet venue. There were quite a few solos on board (poor cousins?) The ports of call were somewhat lacking in interest unless you were lined up for a tour and even then some complaints were heard. Shuttle services "into town" were disgusting as we were dropped off at substandard malls. Not even interesting malls and who wants to pay $$$ to be on a cruise that thinks a trip to a mall is appropriate.. In all it was a new experience for which I am grateful. I will cruise again and as often as my age (87) and physical condition will let me. Crystal? Maybe another try who knows but the cruise planners should do a little more planning and look a little more into their ports of call in this particular geographic area if the ships go that way again.. I see I am not alone in my comments re: solo travels Pay attention Crystal folks..Your prestigist position may diminish rapidly if cruisers note the negative comments that are on this board.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back. The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock. At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when ... Read More
I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back. The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock. At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when you eat at the back of the ship on deck 11 you are likely in for movement. Staff seemed spoiled by Crystal but not the passengers. The food spend seemed way down. The Waterside (MDR) is now very attractive and perhaps over staffed, yet in 16 days I never got a decent dessert. Old "A Tour of the Galley" notes tell of 8 pastry cooks, well I never saw a decent bit of cake. Restaurants close earlier than some want so returning to the ship after paying plenty for a tour, all you could do may be join the crowd at the cramped Bistro, (popular with staff meetings from the Captain down) unfortunately this area needs redesign. Uncomfortable chairs, poor snack selection.Prego and Umi Uma also look tired now. As for our little cabin, no flower, fruit, champers, gifts, nor chocolates on boarding. We did get a single bloom twice in 16 days! The very next hotel I visited gave us all that. The tender boat ride was well done, these being large tenders. The entertainment was well put together, the Crystal dancer's and Band being excellent. Some of the bar crooners were not so good. In the bars service was shall we say tired, I tried to explain how a British champagne cocktail would go together but they were not interested. Afternoon tea was poorly served and one common tea bag was out of stock. The ship feels old and the experience has gone backwards. No matter how smart the decor nor how many staff I did not feel value and wont be returning. The new cabin TV's are huge at the foot of the bed. Plenty of movies and lectures can be viewed, but it serves no other purpose, still no menus, bill nor room service ordering. Using the old phone to room service often joined a long cue and delivery and food was poor. Despite a number of LBGT passengers at no time did Crystal welcome us with any get together. Despite the fact the award at the Crystal Society "party" for most cruises with Crystal went to a Gay couple. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Staff is wonderfully friendly and helpful. Food is amazing in variety, quantity and quality with a variety of venues and styles.The main dining room always accommodated our table preference with no/minimal wait no matter what time we ... Read More
Staff is wonderfully friendly and helpful. Food is amazing in variety, quantity and quality with a variety of venues and styles.The main dining room always accommodated our table preference with no/minimal wait no matter what time we arrived. Ship is modern, comfortable, with plenty of on-board activities and "hide-outs" for spending free time. Evening entertainment was magnificent - especially the "Rocket-Man Elton John Tribute" performance - and even the Cruise Director had a great sense of humor which he shared following each performance. Special comment about "Bluenea" jazz duo whose musical artistry at some of the the lounges was amazing. Variety of South African stops and excursions provided a broad array of experiences from very modern to very rustic. Daily briefings and tour guide yielded great insight into unique cultural perspectives for each stop. Only negatives were multiple required immigration interviews and last-day lengthy debarkation delay due to fog which caused much chaos in rearranging flights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda ... Read More
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda category, as 6001 is above the theatre which vibrated and sounded through our floor & walls. The new cabin was fine and saved the cruise. The staff was wonderful in our opinion as was the dinning and food experience. The workout facility (an important part of our daily regimen) was well stocked, clean and open early enough for our needs as well. The public areas were very nice and always attended by super sweet staff. The entertainment and daily activities were terrific and we enjoyed quite a few throughout the cruise...kudos to social director, Annabelle & her morning ”chat over coffee and needlepoint”. We did not utilize the shore excursions offered by Oceania as we prefer to do on our own and save $$ as ship excursions tend to be too expensive in our opinion. The only bad experiences on our cruise were a miscommunication about the “free unlimited internet package” and a faulty toilet flusher. We decided to upgrade our cabin when an offer was made via email from the cruise line which promised certain additional amenities, among which was this internet package. This was a must as my husband was on a working holiday. In addition, one other extra was access to the concierge club (and their daily world newspapers) which did not exist on this smaller vessel. This was also a huge disappointment and inconvenience. Our experience with the ship’s concierge was wonderful though. She was professional, very good at her job as well as friendly & a delight to deal with when we needed additional questions answered or help with other issues. All in all, we would recommend Oceania Cruises and the Nautica but would emphasize these small negatives. PattiG Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. ... Read More
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. Giuseppe, the general manager, solved an issue I had with my cabin and resolved this matter quickly and to my absolute satisfaction. The food was excellent, but the wine selection could use some improvement. I chose the "magic card" which allowed me to drink any alcohol beverages. Knowing that each glass of wine plus an 18% gratuity on top of it was "not knowing the price" well worth it for me. However, some wines I could not choose with my unlimited beverage card because it did not allow for bottled wines, only the ones by glass. Otherwise, I enjoyed 99% of all excursions I had chosen. The entertainment was wonderful even though I think it could improve a little. What I missed was yoga or meditation classes. I would have been perfect offering those for sunrise or sunsets. I loved this cruise so much that I booked the world cruise directly on board and I am looking forward to many more adventures. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Cruised on this vessel Dec 6, 2017 to Dec. 21 2017 off South Africa. 3 Ports were cancelled Service was sub par Food was sub par Maintenance was sub par Attitude of staff was sorry can,t help you We have spent over 55 ... Read More
Cruised on this vessel Dec 6, 2017 to Dec. 21 2017 off South Africa. 3 Ports were cancelled Service was sub par Food was sub par Maintenance was sub par Attitude of staff was sorry can,t help you We have spent over 55 days travelling on Insignia and Nautica and have never had Now we find that the information given to us on departure that the credit balance due to the cancellations would be applied to our credit cards was not correct after three attempts a cheque has not been issued. I would warn anyone thinking of using this firm or their parent company Norwegian to exercise great caution. Last year we took a 35 day cruise on the same ship from Hong Kong to Athens and had the finest cruise of our lives, what can possible change so drastically in an organization of this size that would lead to this kind of decline. As you can probably tell I Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather is not in Oceania's control, the response and alternative planning is, which they failed to do. They COULD have added more game drives in the ports we did manage to reach but instead we just sat there, bored to tears. They also COULD have left some ports an hour or two earlier to make up for slowed sail times due to rough seas so that we could have arrived earlier at ports, but instead we just sat there. And our biggest complaint is about the "inclusive" air program. NEVER SUCKER FOR THIS!! When the airlines they book have delay issues, Oceania refuses to try to accommodate you on other flights, thus we missed one whole day of our pre-cruise tours. Their response?? Put in a claim on our travel insurance. They disavow any responsibility for the extreme disappointment of most of the passengers on this cruise. They had a free cocktail party to "compensate" us-big deal. Found Nautica disappointing as well, especially compared to Marina. We "upgraded" to Concierge, again a sucker bet. No Concierge lounge, as on Marina, small cabin, very little benefit to upgrading-don't do it. In fairness, the staff and officers are great, with the exception of the staff at the poolside cafe who are indifferent and slow. Found the food in the specialty restaurants very good, especially Toscana. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari booked and were disappointed but we made a beeline for the shore excursion desk and booked another game Reserve at another port. If you have an excursion canceled don’t wait, book something else quick as they sale out fast. Now we have 5 sees days instead of four. This change was due to predicted bad weather. I’ll make this short, we missed Mossel Bay, Maputo-Mozambique, Port Elizabeth and were 4 hours late returning to Cape Town we missed our shore excursion to Robben Island. Two were missed due to rough seas, Maputo was due to immigration arriving too late and their equipment failed so we could not get off the ship and the late return to Cape Town was due to strong currents...That’s 4 shore excursion we missed, one being the elephant sanctuary I really wanted to see. We had a package that included 5 shore excursion each, the free ones were refunded as ship credit and the paid ones were refunded with cash. We had to buy stuff on the ship to use up the ship credit and left $50 credit on the ship. They had a cocktail party to make it up to us but as we’re not drinkers we declined to go. Not sure how they could make all these missed excursions.... So now we had 8 seadays counting the late arrival in Cape Town. With the weather bad the exterior areas were closed. And we found the common areas all busy thus we were in our cabin more than we thought. The ship is smaller and didn’t seem as stable as the bigger ships. My husband was sick 3 days. This was our 17th cruise and we’ve never had such bad winds and swell. Even the seasick meds didn’t work. Be warned, the coast can be rough. The ship was a great small ship. As I first got on I thought, ‘this is small’ but I soon grew to like it. No long lines anywhere on the ship. Only lines were at the MANY passport control stops in every country, face to face. Get off the ship, line up for immigration, and get back on the ship to wait for shore excursions. Could that be handled better I wondered... The ships decor is very rich. Lots of dark wood and seemed formal. Lots of beautiful art work on board. The library was my favorite spot. Lots of good books too. The entertainment was adequate. The string quartet was exceptional as was the classical pianist they had on board at the time. The speaker was also adequate but her slides were lacking. Oceania missed a great chance to feature Africa on this sailing, needed more cultural events, African dance or even an African movie on the many sea days we had. The main dining room was perfect. We ate at a single table for lunch and a shared table at dinner. We had lovely table mates. There were plenty of choice on the menus. Food was pretty good but expected more from the hype. Specialty restaurants had even more choices and were located in prime viewing areas. Very well appointed and service excellent in all dining areas. Don’t miss the afternoon tea. And try the South African pineapples, they are small and delicious. Ate breakfast in our cabin most mornings and service was good and quick. Only ate at the buffet a couple of times and it was just ok. Our cabin, 6077, was very nice. Decor was dark wood again. Sofa was by the balcony. It was a bit small but there was plenty of room for us. Lots of drawers and closet space. Bed was very comfy. I didn’t care for the giant mirror across from the bed but oh well. The bathroom was were the ship showed her age. Tiny shower, you can sit on toilet and wash your hands at the same time but we managed. Thank goodness for the support bar in the shower for the rough sea days... Not much shopping on the ship, just two small shops. Shopping in ports was iffy too. Only a couple of ports had locals at the ship. I was looking for local typical souvenirs. Found some at Howick Falls on an excursion out of Durban. Then more in Walvis Bay, Namibia. There is always some at the airport. Service was great on the ship. We were remembered by most of the crew as time went on. Everyone was friendly and were eager to meet our needs. Cabin attendant was excellent! We were on the precruise 3 day Cape Town tour. We stayed at The Southern Sun Cullinan. It was very near Victoria and Albert shopping center and the ferry to Robben Island. They have a shuttle that drops you off every half an hour. Very handy. The tours included a trip to Stellenbosch and to the Boschendale Winery where we had a lovely picnic lunch under the trees along with wine tasting. Great time. The drive there was very scenic. We also went to Aquila game Reserve for lunch and animals. Lots of springboks, zebras, a few rhinos and hippos. The lions were in a separate enclosure so they don’t eat the other animals. They are trying to reintroduce the animals in the reserves. Most of the animals come as rescued animals. The lions were from a hunting farm, sad. We saw 2 elephants. What they lacked in numbers they made up for with their antics. Play fighting, spraying each other with water from the hippo pond. It was amazing to see these animals up close. The last day of the Cape Town tour we drove out to the Cape of Good Hope, traveled up the funicular to the top. It was amazing to be standing on top of the tip of Africa! It’s not the southern most point but was spectacular. We also visited Boulder Beach and saw the penguins. The one place we didn’t have on the tour was Table Mountain. We arrived a day before the tour and since it was sunny and no clouds were on top of the mountain we took a cab to the incline. It’s a must do if the weather cooperates. Beautiful view, nice trails, a coffee shop and lots of dassies to see, a small guinea pig like animal. I recommend going a day early to see everything and getting settled. It’s a long flight from Canada. In Richards Bay we went to the Dumazulu Cultural Center. The tribesmen take turns living in the village. They treat you to some of their ways of living there, show spear making, basket weaving and offer you a taste of their beer, everyone drinks from the same cup, so be first. It tasted like beer, my husband said. It was interesting and again the drive was good. In Durban we did a city tour the first afternoon and a trip to the Nelson Mandela Capture site the next day. City tour was just that. Capture site was interesting and they are building a new museum which they dearly need. The monument was spectacular! In East London we did another game Reserve, Inkwenkwezi. We saw the same animals here and a few more. The lions were tawny and white lions. One mom had a toddler. So neat to see so close, maybe 10 feet away. I sat in the Jeep and talked to the lioness. I told her how beautiful she was and she thought about lunch. We also saw a herd of giraffes which I loved. They ran across the path in front of us. Amazing! Some of them were in the trees and all you could see were their heads sticking up. We had another 2 elephants here too but only a peek a boo sighting. Our next stop was Walvis Bay Namibia. The landscape was very different here with the desert going to the Ocean. I loved it. We went to Dune 7, the largest dune nearby. You can climb up and roll down. Talk about sand everywhere... We saw flamingos at the seawalk. There were only a hundred or so as it was off season when thousands arrive. The desert drive to see the Welwitschia plant, the two leaf never die plant. Can live 500 years. Desert was fun... Another seaday and we arrive late to Cape Town. Last night on the ship was relaxing, no show just packing. Embarking and disembarking were pretty easy. We took a cab to the airport for about a quarter of the ship transfer. We didn’t have enough time before our flight so we went. Absolutely nothing to do at the airport so if you have time do something in Cape Town. Flight time home 30 hours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this ... Read More
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this trip. Otherwise, I am feeling cheated by a line that we have loved in the past. Cheated out of the holidays as there isn't a single decoration on the ship (a first for a Christmas cruise for us....the ships are usually wonderful) which we had looked forward to in lieu of having anything up at home. Cheated out of money....promises were made about concierge class when we upgraded and the amenities they promised do not exist on this ship. We could have stayed with oceanview and been fine....can't use the balcony as they seas have been rough. The hot tubs are not hot. The food is beyond bland even in the specialty restaurants. Jacques Pepin should be embarrassed to have his name on this. Entertainment is the worst of any Oceania ship we have been on....we don't expect much but this has been terrible and exacerbated by several ports being cancelled. We missed Mossel Bay because the seas were too rough to tender in yet somehow despite having all that extra sailing time we were late to Richards Bay so our game drive was cut short and our guide took the fact that he waited all morning for us out on us by talking to everyone he passed on the road, stopping to watch dung beetles, stopping for a potty break nobody wanted or needed given that we has less time to tour and then said "You could have seen more if you had been on time". Seriously??? Like we had any say in the matter? Then we got to Maputo, where the last time they called there it took 5 hours to clear the ship through immigration (they want to fingerprint and photograph everyone on the ship), the customs people showed up late and then couldn't process people so we left. This appears to be an ongoing problem so I am not sure why Oceania keeps going to this port. Got to Durbin about 1.5 hours early (again, despite having extra sailing time) and went on our scheduled coastal and city tour which was driving in a bus down the highways and interstates with no views to have a 5 minute stop at a beach and a 5 minute stop at a vacant lot in a neighborhood overlooking the city to take pictures of the city through a barb wire fence and then drove through the slums of Durbin. If you scheduled this tour, I suggest you skip it and take a shuttle to the marine park/shopping area. You cannot walk out of the port...must have a bus or taxi though there were few of those around so we couldn't go out in the evening. The tour of Tala Game Reserve was wonderful! Do this! So, that brings us to now. Last night they announced that bad weather is expected so we will overnight in New London and miss Port Elizabeth....don't know why we couldn't stay at New London all day the second day so we could do another excursion or go shopping....anything off the ship but we will leave at 10 a.m.. So, we get one more day on land and three more excruciating days at sea. If you booked your excursions via O Life, you do not get any credit for ones you miss due to cancellations of ports so you cannot even use credits to drink or spa. Our much anticipated African adventure has become a feeling of being held hostage at sea. We started with Oceania on our honeymoon when then the line was new. 15 years later, this will be our last trip with them. I thought this would be a luxurious way to sample Africa but all we are seeing is the inside of a ship. Maybe we will get to see Namibia but I am not holding my breath. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
MSC is already well known to us as this was our 4th trip and one on the Opera. We enjoyed every moment of everything that was offered - from food to entertainment and again service. We only live about 20 minutes drive from the Cape ... Read More
MSC is already well known to us as this was our 4th trip and one on the Opera. We enjoyed every moment of everything that was offered - from food to entertainment and again service. We only live about 20 minutes drive from the Cape Town harbour and was very excited when we spotted the ship on our way on the N1 taking us into town. The embarkation was fun and did go smoothly regarding all the people waiting to board. Well done to MSC - really do not know how you managed it. As it was a chartered trip from the Afrikaans Radio Station, we booked shows beforehand and every show started on time and was thoroughly enjoyed. We encouraged friends to attend to the one show that was offered by MSC and they enjoyed it as we enjoyed it on our other four trips in the past. We enjoyed the food in the different restaurants and boy those pizzas did go down smoothly!! It was a special treat to visit Namibia, especially Luderitz because the dangerous swells prevented previous cruises to stop there. The disembarkation at both Walvis Bay and Luderitz and back in Cape Town was again perfectly arranged. What more can I say? My husband and I will do a trip every year if only we could but then again this all inclusive holiday still works out much cheaper if you take into consideration what it offers. Thanks again MSC Sinfonia. Keep it up and may she sails for many more years. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have chosen this cruise because of RSG. All the shows we have seen were great. The help we got to get on-board was good seeing that my mom was in a wheelchair. The food was average. The burgers and pizzas were terrible. We ... Read More
We have chosen this cruise because of RSG. All the shows we have seen were great. The help we got to get on-board was good seeing that my mom was in a wheelchair. The food was average. The burgers and pizzas were terrible. We were told that if we buy the drink packages (tickets) we will not pay tax where if we pay per drink we will. This was not true. On our account on the last day we were charged with the tax (totally different to what we were told). I think this is very bad as you feel that you were done in. The staff was not very friendly. It is if they were told not to speak to the passengers. Some of them also cannot understand you clearly when you speak to them in English. A smile now and then will be appreciated. Overall we have enjoyed our trip but I don't think I will recommend it easy to someone else. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were on the "RSG op die Water Fees" cruise, and what a disaster it was! To start off there was no clear indication of normal and fast tract lines at the book in, after hours in a line we could not find a seat in a ... Read More
We were on the "RSG op die Water Fees" cruise, and what a disaster it was! To start off there was no clear indication of normal and fast tract lines at the book in, after hours in a line we could not find a seat in a restaurant to have lunch, and this is what irritated me most about the cruise: VERY BAD FOOD AND NO PLACE TO SIT! the buffet was sub standard and the so called "hamburgers and hot dogs" not fit for human consumption! I constantly had to battle to get even a cup of coffee and a place to sit and enjoy it... The ship simply doesn't have the infrastructure to COMFORTABLY serve the amount of people they allow on board! The staff were rude: I reported the safe in my cabin as not working and was told that it does "work if you stick something into it to open it" I feel it was VERY EXPENSIVE for what I got - only the suppers in the formal restaurant was of a standard I expected, for the rest it was great disappointment! Any person who enjoys this experience has never been on a Royal Caribbean Cruize! I would rather stay at home that ever venture on a MSC cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We explore Cape Town Before our departure. The embarkation was beter in the past when you received everything before getting on the ship. The disembarkation is never a problem it is very smoothly and fast. The Sinfonia is worth to take ... Read More
We explore Cape Town Before our departure. The embarkation was beter in the past when you received everything before getting on the ship. The disembarkation is never a problem it is very smoothly and fast. The Sinfonia is worth to take same of your own time and explore the ship , because if you do not do it , people will tell you about places on the ship you didn't see . The time you are on the ship and the time you spend in your cabin , then you can not complain about the cabin, the only improvement the can do is Air fresher for the bathroom . The restaurant is was great . Starting off the people working there know there job and is always helpful , then the food ... what can I say it is very good , excellent . This time it was sad not to see more of the ships own entertainment , but I can understand that because of the festival on the ship . All the ports we visit was excellent , the staff helping you off the ship and then on again. The excursions was great . Something from myself to all your personnel of MSC . In life you can never satisfy everybody , but I think you have done a excellent job You will always get people complain about everything but they do it only because they want to do it. If you take the time you spend on the ship and all the things you do then I can just tell you keep it up it was very good . thank you again. I will see you again on the ship in November 2017. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this Cruise because of the particular Shows on the cruise brought to us by RSG Radio Station. Our first experience was the Shuttle Service from the Airport which was very well organised. Embarkation went pretty smoothly as ... Read More
I chose this Cruise because of the particular Shows on the cruise brought to us by RSG Radio Station. Our first experience was the Shuttle Service from the Airport which was very well organised. Embarkation went pretty smoothly as we used the Quick Pass method for a small extra fee. This however meant that we missed out on the embarkation photos which we had paid for in advance. We were pleasantly surprised by the comforts on the ship. However, next time I will remember to state specifically that we require two single beds. The food was great. We tried the dining room once but decided that the buffet was much more to our liking. Most of the staff on the ship were very friendly, kind and helpful. (A special thanks to Mahendra in the Buffet area) The different locations where the Shows were held were mostly comfortable and easily accessible. We disembarked at one port only. I was very sceptical as it meant using a Life Boat and I have difficulty walking and use a walking stick. But the strong young men that helped us on and off were very professional and it became a wonderful experience. Our overall experience was great. We loved it and would certainly want to go on many more cruises with MSC Thank you MSC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Relaxing and good value for money, the best break away for me and my wife During this time no need to prepare food or washing dishes, just relaxing and do the thing you realy want to do without worrying about the things at home and ... Read More
Relaxing and good value for money, the best break away for me and my wife During this time no need to prepare food or washing dishes, just relaxing and do the thing you realy want to do without worrying about the things at home and work Intresting places to visit and to explore thing that you normaly not do at home at you own time, no run arround at the office or at home, just your own speed The chance to sleep later and no worrys about the clock that wake you up for work no dogs barking in the streets and no cars hooting all the time, just the sea and you talking to each other, what a way toe enjouy live the way you want to The food is very good, nice to eat some other foods that you not eat at home everyday, the food experience is a adventure on iets own, all the different food make choices difficult but very interesting Thank you to all the personel on the MSC Sinfonia Anton Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We decided on a 5 day cruise featuring South African performers so that we could relax and also see some shows. The shows are top class and also having the opportunity of chatting to the performers when seeing them at the various bars and ... Read More
We decided on a 5 day cruise featuring South African performers so that we could relax and also see some shows. The shows are top class and also having the opportunity of chatting to the performers when seeing them at the various bars and lounges was a plus. The staff were very helpful and we felt pampered and spoilt. The communication of every days activity and general information provided was to be complimented. We felt relaxed and rejuvinated at the end of our trip. So glad we decided on a balcony cabin as this afforded us such beautiful sunsets and also a quiet place to relax. The only disappointment was the Sun Sea and Sand excursion at Walvisbay which was not worth the money it cost. Too rushed and not really well executed. It felt as if the excursion was not organised with the the various places we visited. We probably might have been better off taking a local taxi. Nevertheless we had a wonderful time on the Sinfonia! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We went to Mozambic in 2010 and when I disembarked, I knew 3 days was not enough, this time I went on a 5 day cruise and it is STILL NOT ENOUGH. Food were really good, pizza all day and all night long, Children under 18 are kept busy the ... Read More
We went to Mozambic in 2010 and when I disembarked, I knew 3 days was not enough, this time I went on a 5 day cruise and it is STILL NOT ENOUGH. Food were really good, pizza all day and all night long, Children under 18 are kept busy the whole day so that they don't get bored, pubs and bars - I thing they did well with the amount of bartenders that there was, waited a while for drinks. The Spa was to die for. All treatment I did felt like heaven! Cabins was spotless throughout the day. The entertainment on board was good, games, like put put, cards was a little expensive, but we have enjoyed it all together. We are planning our next cruise as we speak. This time, we will be a couple of crazy, fun women that want to let loose. So MSC, hope you will be ready for us!! Can not wait to get the new cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife had just recovered from Cancer. 5 operations and much hardship and it was a way of celebrating the fact that she had been pronounced cancer free. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience overall despite the negative comment I have ... Read More
My wife had just recovered from Cancer. 5 operations and much hardship and it was a way of celebrating the fact that she had been pronounced cancer free. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience overall despite the negative comment I have made later on in this review re children. We most certainly will be looking at going on a further cruise in the future. The kind of cruises we would be interested in would possibly involve rivers and or fjords where we can enjoy peace and tranquility. Whilst we do enjoy a party we also would simply enjoy sitting in our cabin reading and/or enjoying the vista. As we have only been on this one short cruise we obviously have minimal experience at present and hence would need to explore further cruise options to be able to make an better informed decision in the future. In the interim many thanks for your gracious hosting of us and the most positive way my wife could celebrate being cancer free. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We booked this trip for my 40th birthday, we were so excited, the kids could not wait. We have family members who have been on cruises and they were telling us about all the choices of food and you will eat so much. Well unfortunately our ... Read More
We booked this trip for my 40th birthday, we were so excited, the kids could not wait. We have family members who have been on cruises and they were telling us about all the choices of food and you will eat so much. Well unfortunately our food experience was anything but great in fact it was utterly disappointing. The first evening we dined in the restaurant, the portions was very small and not really tasty. The second evening we tried the buffet (if you can call it that), even more disappointing, there was no carvery, no seafood in fact the only meat for the evening was minced meat with peas and potatoes, which tasted awful. We boarded the Friday morning at 11, luckily a lot of people told me to pack the kids swimsuits in my hand luggage and it was a great day so they could start swimming right away. When I enquired about towels I was told by the pool attendant that it was in our rooms and that the rooms will only be ready by 2 the afternoon, so my kids had to sit in the sun to get dry. The afternoon's menu was burgers, the most awful burger I have ever tasted and pizza, which was only cheese and tomato and if you were lucky every 4th or 5th one had ham and olives on. The kids entertainment area was also nothing like the pictures they have on their website, my kids kept asking me where all the games was that was on the website and I could not answer them. The Saturday evening they watched a video and some kids fell asleep during on the cold tiles, as there wasn't even a rug on the floor. The cabins was about the only thing decent on this trip, small but at least tidy and clean and the cleaning staff was always friendly. Overall this was a very disappointing 40th birthday trip for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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