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90 Cape Town to Africa Cruise Reviews

It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, ... Read More
It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our first sailing with Oceania. We picked this cruise largely because of the itinerary and the price, which was moderate for an upscale line at $523 a day for both of us, not including air. From my research it seemed Oceania’s closest competitor in size of ship, amenities, and on-board experience is Azamara. Both lines appeal to the same type of passenger who is looking for an all-inclusive, upscale cruising experience. Having sailed Azamara before, I was curious how Oceania compared with them. Overview The Oceania Nautica is one of the smaller ships on which we’ve sailed holding around 680 passengers. One of the more noticeable differences in sailing on a small ship is the lack of public areas from which to choose, less entertainment choices, and smaller cabins. Those deficiencies were somewhat mitigated by the smaller ports the ship can dock at, flexibility, more personalized service, attention to detail, and inclusive amenities. I can’t really say there is any more or less feeling of crowdedness on the smaller ships than with a larger ship. It seems to be all relative to the space per person. Where we notice a difference from sailing on larger ships was embarking or disembarking the ship. The smaller number of passengers reduced the lines and wait times considerably. Also, the smaller ships are more nimble than their larger brethren allowing them to alter their itinerary or add a fresh local food to the menu. On this cruise, the chef added fresh Hake, which was amazingly delicious. They also featured an African night with a lot of local meats (crocodile being one) and produce. The public rooms are nicely done on the Nautica and have a feel of warmth and elegance. The ship was exceedingly clean and well maintained. There are four dining options aboard the Nautica making it equal to or a step above larger ships. While the state rooms are small, the appointments and linens are a step above what you would expect from the more major cruise lines. We missed not having any status on Oceania (as we do on other lines) so we received no discounts usually granted to more frequent travelers. However, there wasn’t much need for the Elite status as all guests enjoy the same privileges as Elite travelers on other lines, which include fancy coffees, a few free happy hours, a daily 2:1 happy hour, use of the steam sauna, and the best one -- no charge in the specialty restaurants. It appeared to me that Azamara includes more inclusive perks like some free shore excursions, well drinks, house wine, spa memberships, and laundry. By my calculations the inclusions on Oceania amount to an added value over non-inclusionary ships of $60 a day ($10 spa, $5 soft and juice drinks, $15 specialty restaurant costs, $20 internet, $10 coffee). I estimate the value of Azamara’s slightly higher because of the inclusive laundry, shore excursions and alcohol at $90 a day. Embarkation The embarkation experience was one of the best in our 31 sailings. It took about ten minutes from start to finish. There were no lines, no customs, no waits, and no hassle. I only wish all our embarkations were this easy (see my 2013 review of Celebrity’s Infinity). Evaluation This isn’t something I have ever included in a review, but the Nautica’s evaluation process was the strangest I’ve encountered at sea. The good news is that in an attempt to save trees and be up to date, it’s a digital evaluation. The bad news is that it’s very user unfriendly. It’s so unfriendly, the staff had to schedule a time to explain to passengers how to fill it out. There are three major issues with the form, all of which seem fairly easy to solve, but apparently the home office has turned a deaf ear to making improvements. I figured it out on my own, but not after some frustration. The Ship The ship has had minor refurbishing every three years, but no major refurbishing since it went into service in 2000. Even so, the public areas were well maintained, all the elevators worked continuously, and the décor was traditional with lots of wood. There were a lot of places to sit and read a book, or write a cruise review, while enjoying a cup of espresso or a drink. The Nautica is scheduled for a major two-week refurbishment in June 2020. The color scheme will go from traditional dark woods to modern cool gray and blue with a chandelier above the entry staircase. My art-loving wife is hoping they get rid of some of more dreadful modern art. The public decks were Decks 5, 9 and 10. Getting lost was not easily done! Deck 5 is the location of the show lounge, small casino, piano lounge, two small shops, coffee bar, and main dining room. Entrance on the ship was on Deck 4 and involved a gangway of very low steps making a bumpy ramp basically. This is easier than big steps on larger ships. There were many people on-board with mobility issues who seemed to be doing okay getting around. One benefit is that the elevators were usually available without a long wait. Dining If food is your thing, like it is mine, then you will be reasonably satisfied on the Nautica. The specialty restaurants offer passengers a specific cuisine apart from the main dining room with a quality of fare a slight step above the main dining room. Tuscana features Italian fare while Polo is a steakhouse. All of the dining rooms feature “anytime” seating. While the main dining room doesn’t accept reservations, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table for two. We tried to eat as much as possible in the specialty restaurants, Tuscana and Polo, but getting reservations was very difficult. I am guessing the huge demand is largely because there was no surcharge for them. It is very unusual for a specialty restaurant at sea not to charge a small fee, which is the good news. The bad news if since there is no charge, the demand is high and it’s difficult to get a table for two, or even sharing on sea days. Because of the demand, guests are only allowed to make one reservation in each ahead of time and then cue up daily for a cancellation. Personally, I would rather pay a surcharge and have more access to the specialty restaurants than to pay nothing and have limited access. All of the waiters and waitresses who served us were extremely personable, helpful, and attentive. We enjoyed the service in the main dining room as much as that in the specialty restaurants. However, finding a knowledgeable wine steward was difficult. Polo is set in the décor and menu of the 40’sand 50’s. The quality of this specialty restaurant wasn’t quite up to that of others we’ve dined in. The presentation of the food was excellent. The service was good. The item to eat here are the steaks. The two fillets I had were done to perfection. We were not as impressed with the starters, soups, or salads. We tried Polo twice and that was enough. Tuscano’s service and food seemed to be a bit better than Polo. The menu is extensive so it will take several visits to completely explore it. Everything we tried was very good. We tried to eat at Tuscano’s as much as possible, which meant dining there about four times in 14 days. Unlike most other cruise lines, Nautica didn’t offer any Chef’s dinners. With the talented chef’s aboard the Nautica, this was disappointing. I would have loved to have paid a significant surcharge for a unique dining experience. This is something that I hope Nautica will consider going forward. Some lines make free juice available only in the mornings and charge for all espresso and soda drinks. One thing we appreciate about Oceania is the fact that juice, sodas, and espresso coffee drinks are available anytime during the day at no charge. There was a happy hour every day from 5pm to 6 pm that allowed guests to buy 2:1 drinks. However, their policy is rather ridged in what 2:1 means, which is the second drink must be exactly the same drink as the first, not just the same price, and it cannot be shared by another person. We felt this strict policy didn’t make a lot of sense when a person may have wanted two different drinks costing exactly the same. It also encourages over consumption of alcohol, especially when there are two people just wanting one drink each. Speaking about over-consumption of alcohol, the “all you can drink” beverage packages also encourage over-consumption. I realize that “over consumption” is a relative term. Still, we have always found we do far better buying alcohol, wine, and beer by the glass or bottle than getting a beverage package. Wine I am an oenophile, so I am admittedly more interested in the wine experience on a ship than the average passenger. That said, there are much better wine experiences at sea than with Oceania. Unlike the Azamara, Oceania is not as friendly to oenophiles. The most notable wine friendly lines are Azamara and Princess, which encourage you to bring on you own wine and don’t penalize you with high corkage fees for bringing wine on board. Oceania limits how much of your own wine you can bring onboard and charges a stiff corkage fee of $25 per bottle, making it among the highest of any line at $25 a bottle. The more wine friendly lines only charge $10 per bottle. Another perennial complaint of mine on most cruise lines is the high price of their onboard wines, which are priced about 4x’s or more over retail. For example, a $15-$20 bottle of La Crema Chardonnay goes for $86. That’s simply unreasonable. They more wine friendly lines have mark ups of 2 ½ to 3 times. Because of the steep corkage and markups on the wine, we chose not to bring our bottles on board and limited our wine consumption to beer or wine “by the glass.” The Nautica had three wine tasting events during our 14 day cruise. The cost was $75 to $125 per person, which the highest charge of a wine tasting I’ve encountered at sea. We did attend two wine tastings and found them to be very informative. The bottles tasted were in the $80 to $200 range, but keep in mind of the significant mark up. While the presentation was certainly informative, I didn’t feel the cost of the tasting represented a good value. Fitness and Spa This is an area in which the Nautica is above average. They have a good selection of weight machines and free weights. There an adequate number of cardiovascular machines (stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills). They also had seven stationary bikes used for a spinning class on sea days. Be sure to sign up early for these as the classes fill quickly. I only had to wait for a machine once in 14 days. Notably, and unusual for most lines, every cardio machine was working for length of the cruise. Another pleasant abnormality, the men’s lockers worked perfectly and there were a sufficient number of lockers which were all keyed. There was always a locker available, never forcing you to leave your belongings unprotected. The men’s locker room featured a steam sauna that was reasonably hot and in perfect working order for the cruise. On many other cruise lines the saunas just don’t get hot enough to break much of a sweat, but this is not the case on the Nautica. And an extra bonus was the steam room did not have a daily charge, which can cost around $10 to $20 a day on other lines. The locker rooms are incredibly maintained and cleaned. Every time that I used the locker room and sauna there was an attendant cleaning it up. The Nautica does not have a spa bar featuring a lighter, healthier fare or fresh fruit juices and smoothies. This would be a wonderful addition to their spa area. You can get fruit smoothies, however, at the grill by the pool. Entertainment We thought the entertainment was a step below larger ships. This is more probably due to the lack of a theater than the talent of the entertainers. Generally speaking, the shows were not highly innovative and featured the normal array of comedians, singers, and instrumentalists. That said, we still found them worth attending and looked forward to most of them. The ships company featured some very good vocalists and dancers. It was refreshing that the Nautica had a a very good live orchestra rather than rely on sound tracks, which is becoming common on other cruise lines. The theater is not a theater at all, but rather a large lounge which unfortunately makes viewing the show especially challenging. If viewing the show is important, you will want to be sure to snag a front row seat. The on-board entertainment found in the lounges was adequate. There was a string quartet that was very good, the ships band, and a piano player. Enrichment The enrichment and port talks were disappointing. First, there simply were no port talks, which we found highly unusual. There was a delightful South African lady who told personal stories about growing up in South Africa and her world adventures. The second lecture was a Hollywood writer who gave talks on Hollywood, and while they were interesting, we much rather would have learned more about the history, religion, and politics of the countries we were visiting since one of our goals for traveling is learning about the world. I expected much more in this area from a luxury cruise line catering to a more upscale and informed clientele. Internet I run a small business and being connected to my staff is imperative, even on vacation. I depend on having a functioning Internet while on board any ship. Signing up was incredibly easy. Included in the fare was one free, unlimited Wi-Fi access. Additional devices were $25 a day. Between us we had four devices, so since we were unwilling to pay an additional $75 per day, we had to coordinate and share our login, which often was a logistical challenge. The Internet connectivity and speed was acceptable, but not great. I got access 70% of the times I attempted to get online. When I did get online I had chronic issues getting emails and websites to down load. In addition, the Wi-Fi signal is not consistent around the ship and there are many spots where you can’t get the Wi-Fi signal. Unfortunately Verizon did not have a repeater on board (unlike other lines) so using my smartphone for data while at sea was not possible. I have previously learned to forgo the expensive Internet packages and just go with my smartphone when there is a repeater on the ship and when there are a lot of days in port. Shopping The shopping experience is on par with most every other cruise line, boring! There is nothing exceptional to highlight here. Ports of Call, Port Talks and Shore Excursions Our cruise started and ended in Cape Town, stopping at Walvis Bay, Namibia, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, East London, South Africa, Richard’s Bay, South Africa, Maputo, Mozambique, and Durban, South Africa, debarking at Cape Town, South Africa. There were no port talks given on the Nautica. While there was some prerecorded information covering the excursion packages on the television, there wasn’t any useful information about the port if you wanted to go it alone. It would have been so helpful to know about the safety of taxis, availability of Uber, if walking to town through the port area is even allowed, best sights to see, what areas to avoid, etc. They also did not provide maps of the harbor or surrounding area, which is a first in our cruising experience. We found the hourly shuttle service helpful, but not frequent enough. We would have preferred a departure or pick up every 30 minutes As a result, we were totally on our own to gather whatever information we could from guests and the Internet. Had we been visiting ports in developed countries this probably would be more forgivable than when the ports are in a third world country. The lack of a port talk is a significant flaw in the Oceania experience and would keep me from booking with them in the future if a competing line was offering the same itinerary. If the strategy behind limiting information on the ports was to drive passengers to book the ship’s shore excursions, it worked. We uncharacteristically opted for the ships excursions. Typically we save 25 to 75% off the ship’s prices by making our own arrangements. On this cruise, we didn’t have time prior to the cruise to do our normal research. We also found that the African tour companies were unusually unresponsive by email. We typically have good luck using tour companies that are highly rated by www.TripAdvisor.com. Another great place to book private tours prior to departure is by looking under “Tours” and on the chat boards on www.CruiseCritic.com. We’ve never been disappointed following the advice of previous travelers. A new website to us is www.toursbylocals.com. We found this to be a very responsive and wonderful way to find independent guides. Walvis Bay is a difficult port to negotiate as the dock is a mile or more from the city center. The town can be easily done on your own. There isn’t a whole lot to see, so I suggest you book a tour to Sandwich Bay. The scenery of the dunes coming down to the ocean and the drive along the beach are unique. See if they will also take you out to Pelican Point to see the hundreds of thousands of seals. We overnighted here so we were also able to go visit Moon Valley, which is similar to the Badlands of South Dakota. We were able to climb Dune #7, which was the highlight of that outing. Port Elizabeth is a place with more touring options. There is a nice mall there if you want to stay in town. There are a number of day trips that can be taken to surrounding sites. We opted to visit Addo Elephant reserve. We found it to be a worthwhile excursion. If you are booking excursions off-ship, give yourself plenty of time to disembark. The local authorities insist on face-to-face immigration that can take up to an hour after docking to clear. East London is a pretty sleepy stop. We were warned about walking around much. There is a mall about 5 miles from the ship that is probably safe. We chose to visit a Xhosa village constructed for tourists. There they had women and children singing and dancing. They separated the men from the women and gave each group talks on the Xhosa culture and a taste of homemade beer, brandy, and a traditional meal. The food and drink were “interesting” and we were very grateful for getting back on the ship and having a meal and a beer more familiar to us. Durban is the third or second largest city in South Africa, depending on what source you reference. Getting around is very easy and secure as Uber operates there. We elected to go visit a replica Zulu village with some singing and dancing via a ship’s tour. While it was “ok”, the drive up to the village and the views from their coffee/tea shop were almost worth the trip alone. We had a very good guide who kept us entertained up and back with useful information on life in the city. The other point of entertainment is that the pilot which joins the ship to guide it in and out of port arrives and departs by helicopter. It was a show in itself. Richard’s Bay is a bit of a sleepy stop. I would recommend getting a guide and heading off to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park. It takes about 1:15 minutes each way, depending on traffic. We were able to spend about 4:30 hours in the park. Typically, going to game parks in the middle of the day is the absolute worst time to see the animals, but when you are on a cruise there are no other options. That said, we really were lucky. We saw several dozen elephants in the park, twice as many as we did at Addo and at closer range. We also saw seven grey rhinos, four water buffalo, four giraffes, and scores of impala and warthogs. It was certainly worth the $200 USD per person that we paid an off-ship tour company we booked through East Coast Safari (www.ecsafari@iafrica.com). Maputo About the only redeeming quality of visiting this port is that you get to say you’ve been to Mozambique. There is really nothing here. We took a city tour that could easily have been done individually at almost no expense. To support the local economy (which has a 50% unemployment rate), Oceania uses local people who are not trained tour guides. While we really applaud the company for their social concern, the quality of the tour is not surprisingly substandard. All the points worth seeing are within an easy walk of where the passenger ships dock. Those sights are the train station, the iron house, the botanical gardens, and the old fortress. Then if you want to shop for local crafts, the ship usually runs a shuttle out a market where there are several blocks of vendors. The local beer is 2M, which is worth a try. In Summary So, back to the question I posed earlier. How does the Oceania experience compare with Azamara? All things being equal in price and itinerary, the nod would go to Azamara. On the positive side for Oceania, the wonderful service and friendliness of the crew, the lack of a charge for the specialty restaurants and free Wi-Fi for one device was a definite plus and unique in my cruising experience. The entertainment was also very good for a small ship. The weaknesses with Oceania as compared to Azamara are the lack of informative and relevant port talks, the weakness of the enrichment talks, the lack of any included beverages like wine, beer, or well drinks, the high markup on wine, no chef’s table events, and the lack of any included shore excursions. Certainly, the Oceania is one of the better cruising experiences. The dining is undoubtedly one of the better at sea. The ability of a smaller ship to get into, or nearer, ports the large ships can’t may be reason enough to pay the extra fare. For me, I will certainly sail the Oceania Nautica again when I find an itinerary at a cost equal to or slightly higher than that of a larger ship. I figure the inclusions are on Oceania are worth about $60 a day, which brings the cost down in comparison to larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our 5th Seabourn cruise and every time I say 'this was my favourite'! We enjoyed every minute despite having some dodgy weather to cope with and missing a couple of ports because of that. We felt that this was the happiest ... Read More
Our 5th Seabourn cruise and every time I say 'this was my favourite'! We enjoyed every minute despite having some dodgy weather to cope with and missing a couple of ports because of that. We felt that this was the happiest cruise we'd been on, more or less everyone was cheerful and that was down, as always, to the superb Staff who yet again went over and above to make it as enjoyable as possible for the passengers. It was helped along by a fantastic Cruise Director and his two Assistants who were such fun and so hardworking. The Executive Chef was far more prominent than normal, with live cooking regularly on deck with the Head of Food and Beverage - what a team! They worked together so well alongside the Cruise Director. Service was perfect in the main Dining Room and Earth & Ocean was superb. Hardworking staff made the Colonnade enjoyable - the food offering in all restaurants could not be faulted. There was great fun crossing the Equator, I won't spoil it for anyone reading, it is an event! All in all, a fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
i booked this date because I we did not want to go on the Jazz cruise. As it was our first time on a cruise ship, we were quite amazed with everything. The interior of the ship, wow! Our cabin was a real surprise. It was so beautiful and ... Read More
i booked this date because I we did not want to go on the Jazz cruise. As it was our first time on a cruise ship, we were quite amazed with everything. The interior of the ship, wow! Our cabin was a real surprise. It was so beautiful and clean. The service was also A1. The dining room were so beautiful. We ate one night in the dining room, but prefer the buffet on the 13th floor. As we were on holiday, the time schedule did'nt work with usl But the food in the dining room as well at the buffet were fantastic. The entertainment - shows, arts and craft, bingo were very good. I wish we had more shows. The entertainment team could get a big YES from everybody. They were suburb with everyting they did to keep us entertained. I must draw the attention to Marco - he was a feast. My granddaughter went with us and we saw her the morning that she left the cabin and then at night when she come back from the disco. They kept her entertained the whole day. We saw her once or twice running up the stairs for the scavenging hunt. And to our enjoyment we had 2 days extra. This was a bonus. So my experience: I know there was some people that were complaining about the extra days - but not me. I enjoyed every moment. Wish it could last longer. I don't think anyone could say they did not enjoy the cruise. If they do, they don't know how to enjoy life. The whole cruise was FAB-U-LOUS!!! Thank you again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We returned on Saturday 26 January 2019 from our fantastic trip on the MSC Musica. The extra 2 days were a great bonus and we actually had the most fun on those 2 days as the weather was exceptional. Thanks again for doing the booking ... Read More
We returned on Saturday 26 January 2019 from our fantastic trip on the MSC Musica. The extra 2 days were a great bonus and we actually had the most fun on those 2 days as the weather was exceptional. Thanks again for doing the booking for us and keeping us informed along the way. I left this feedback with MSC. I rated most of the activities a "10" not just as a default rating but an honest rating of our fantastic experience on the MSC Musica. From the moment we stepped aboard, we were super impressed with the facilities and service. The theatre shows were fantastic and Darren is a great host, although his jokes are like "dad" jokes (lol). The meals were great and the evening "fine dining" as a highlight and Vitali (from the Ukraine) was an excellent waitor. There are enough activities to occupy yourself with but we thouroughly enjoyed doing NOTHING for 7 days as we realised that we had not been on a family vacation for more than 8 years. The bonus was the extra 2 days at sea due to high wind conditions in Cape Town. Here the MSC staff excelled! Updates were given on a regular basis and I loved the daily newsletter with activities for the next day. I commend the staff for serving us for an extra 2 days and hats off to the Captain for putting our safety above keeping to a time schedule. We arrived this morning (26 Jan 2019) and I have already been telling all my friends and family about our cruise and that they must make plans to book a cruise as well. It is really value for money, compared to booking a holiday at a holiday resort. It was also very interesting to talk to total strangers and the best of all was meeting people we had not seen in many years. My wife met 4 colleagues that she had not seen in over 25 years. The best was - none of them were travelling together. What are the chances of that? I met a man who was my manager in 1990 - almost 30 years ago!!!! How about that! And we recognised each other. Another chance meeting, while waiting to disembark - chatted to a total stranger and discovered that she worked with my sister-in-law many years ago - I immediately called her and the two of them were chatting away about the good old days. We loved that we did not have to spend any money on the cruise, except for the last night as our drinks booklets had run out! While walking down the corridors or anywhere on the ship, it felt like you were in a 5 star hotel. The design and finishes of the interior is top notch. Loved the pool - and the tidal effect created by the forward movement of the ship! This will go down as the best holiday that I have gone on in my 53 years on this planet! I am missing the ship already! We might do the Mauritius or Portugese Island cruise next time. To all the staff on board the MSC Musica, THANK YOU for making it a memorable holidy for my family and I. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Activities on the cruise was chosen to fit all ages and tastes.There was something on the program for everyone Was easy to decide which activities to participate in. The live shows were of excellent quality and high standard. Very good ... Read More
Activities on the cruise was chosen to fit all ages and tastes.There was something on the program for everyone Was easy to decide which activities to participate in. The live shows were of excellent quality and high standard. Very good value for money. The buffet was adequate to cater for all tastes, cultures and dietary requirements. Each person could have a full plate of whatever was their taste. The restaurants had excellent, well trained waiters. Their skill and professionalism did not go unnoticed. Was also extremely impressed with the way the staff handled the delayed disembarking time due to bad weather. As a person who works with difficult people all the time, the professional manner of staff impressed highly. The extra programs that was distributed, as well as the handling of the challenges some passengers were noted and admired. You have excellent people working on board. Thank you for a great experience!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and ... Read More
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and service was very good. Ken Beattie was one of the best guest lecturers we have ever had. We did the Oceania precruise out of Johannesburg which included Victoria Falls, and Chobe Marina Reserve (2 game drives and one river experience). Had a great time. We are very glad that we got to visit/experience these ports. Most were not the usual tourist ports which meant they didn't have as much infrastructure, but that was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We have been to most of the typical tourist ports. It was great getting to interface with some of the locals and learn about totally different life styles. One of our best/favorite cruises (and we have cruised a lot (>800 days), due to the unusual/different nature of the ports, and the onboard experience. We have cruised most of the usual cruise lines, but this was our first on Oceania. We were very pleased and would be very pleased to cruise with them again. One item that was less than ideal was the showroom. Their are 8 sister ships of which this is one, and they were all built with a single deck/level showroom, which means most seats have a lousy/restricted view of the stage (especially frustrating for watching dancers). Lecturers, singers, etc. are not a problem since you can see the top half of the performer. Some evenings the entertainment was a movie. In my opinion they should have live entertainment every night. However, we still had a fabulous time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I had always wanted to experience something that would set apart from all the other distractions of one's life that would leave a life lasting impression deep within my memories. Not only was it far better than expected, but it has ... Read More
I had always wanted to experience something that would set apart from all the other distractions of one's life that would leave a life lasting impression deep within my memories. Not only was it far better than expected, but it has made me book my next cruise already for Jan 2020. I am literally counting the days till embarkation!! Thank you MSC for opening my eyes to cruising the open seas in a truly unforgettable manner. We had a longer stay due to the strong winds in the Cape Town port and the staff continued to entertain, smile and keep the good vibes going! How could one not be super greatful. I was ecstatic as were all my friends on the ship. Cannot wait to see the Tucano Lounge again, only 11 months to go and already I can taste the Bloody Mary's, that await me. MSC Musica all the way baby!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We as family decide to cruise from Cape Town to Walvisbay for the first time everything was good breakfast was okay Lunch in Restaurant was also okay but accept for one thing the Pizza at night as well as day was to hard dry and a waist of ... Read More
We as family decide to cruise from Cape Town to Walvisbay for the first time everything was good breakfast was okay Lunch in Restaurant was also okay but accept for one thing the Pizza at night as well as day was to hard dry and a waist of time because to little topping. Burgers also very dry. Enjoyed the entertainment and activities because all could benefit from it old and young. Services excellence especially Information Desk you do not wait long and they cater for all. Cape Town was a bit of a nerve wrecking situation because some of the people especially me and the first time travelers were nerves and plans was suppose to be canceled for pickup at port. Photo prices really ridicules as it should be less because it should be part of the memories and all cruise package that you will treasure at home and also for marketing purposes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Went on MSC musica cruise from 20.01.2019 till 24.01.2019 but due to gale force south easterly winds in Cape Town we remained on ship for 2more days only docking on the 26th of January. Wow from the moment we got on the ship everyone was ... Read More
Went on MSC musica cruise from 20.01.2019 till 24.01.2019 but due to gale force south easterly winds in Cape Town we remained on ship for 2more days only docking on the 26th of January. Wow from the moment we got on the ship everyone was friendly. The hospitality from the staff was excellent. The cabins were emaculate, clean and tidy, everything was beautiful and on it's place, with friendly cleaning staff who cleans the cabins daily. The atmosphere on the ship was tantalising. Despite the delays the staff members were so accommodating and hospitable. As a nurse I found this extremely therapeutic and relaxing to be waited on hand and foot. The food, oh the food was amazing. A wide variety of cuisines with balanced flavours was one of the highlights of my cruise. There was so much entertainment you could keep yourself busy for hours. The onboard photograher took amazing pictures that I will cherish for years to come.MSC musica I applaud you. Thank you for making this cruise one of my best yet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were 10 family members that went on the MSC Musica cruise from 20th January 2019 to 24 January 2019. We thoroughly enjoyed it and what an experience. The staff were very professional and helpful, especially the two waiters, Zamah Sery ... Read More
We were 10 family members that went on the MSC Musica cruise from 20th January 2019 to 24 January 2019. We thoroughly enjoyed it and what an experience. The staff were very professional and helpful, especially the two waiters, Zamah Sery and Santos Robles of L Oleandro Restaurant gave us excellent service. The entertainment (the shows in the theater) to my opinion was not that great. The dancing was excellent, but the singing was terrible. If it was not for the dancers and the acrobats it would have been a huge failure. The other entertainment in the lounges were excellent. The games and entertainment on the deck was well organised. What really impressed me is that they could quickly organise events for the extra two nights we had to spend on the ship. Well done to all the staff. This needs to be done! We will definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We LOVED Oceania's ms Nautica! Only 650 passengers (maximum possible = 684), and a huge, very international crew. An older but well-maintained intimate ship, full of beautiful art; fabulous food (the best we have ever savoured ... Read More
We LOVED Oceania's ms Nautica! Only 650 passengers (maximum possible = 684), and a huge, very international crew. An older but well-maintained intimate ship, full of beautiful art; fabulous food (the best we have ever savoured afloat); excellent singers and dancers; a personable cruise director (he made up for the humourless captain); and great cabin/dining service in every respect. Very comfortable (if small) cabin and adequate (if miniscule) bathroom. Bellíssimo, a most talented Ukrainian string quartet (from the Putin-menaced Donets region) played classical and popular music for hours ever day; good evening entertainment, especially the specially invited singers and comedians; a daily MENSA quiz, puzzles, and challenging games of trivia and an art scavenger hunt; reasonable enrichment program, delivered by a knowledgeable astronomer and an egocentric Canadian biologist who attempted to introduce the history and culture of the ports of call, but was out of his depth whenever he strayed from his narrow speciality; FREE internet with superb connectivity; a good library (but lacking almanacs, a good dictionary, and an encyclopedia). All this comes at a cost which tests the limits of our cruising budget. However, it illustrates the old adage, "You get what you pay for." When we look back at about 60 nights of cruising with Celebrity; 300+ nights with Holland America; and single cruises with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Swan-Hellenic (now bankrupt), and MSC, we would say that Oceania is superior to all of them. When we did not purchased any of the rather high-priced (and often mediocre) ship-organized excursions, we simply took the shuttle bus, which the Shore Excursion desk almost always organized, and went to wherever it took us. They were always safe spots, even in Durban, from where we could walk without fear of being mugged. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Me and my husband was going to go on the cruise to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly in October. I was going to cancel but my daughter insist the two of us must still go. I'm so glad I went, it was the ... Read More
Me and my husband was going to go on the cruise to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly in October. I was going to cancel but my daughter insist the two of us must still go. I'm so glad I went, it was the best way to honour his memory and to go create new memories for myself and try to heal the wounds. For a week I could get pass my pain and sorrows. The entertainment and Activities was great the Theatre was absolutely stunning I loved every minute of it. The MC has a fabulous personality. Everything was amazing the two extra days was a bargain. The staff is awesome they really go out of their way to keep passengers happy. The only negative thing is the waiting to get off the ship. Sitting around wasting time. Would love to do it again its an experience you can't explain. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I was invited by a friend to tag along. Was my first cruise. The staff/crew were extremely friendly and helpful. A wider variety of cocktails should be made available. I had a cocktail booklet and it was very limited. As far is the ... Read More
I was invited by a friend to tag along. Was my first cruise. The staff/crew were extremely friendly and helpful. A wider variety of cocktails should be made available. I had a cocktail booklet and it was very limited. As far is the photographs are concerned....excellent photographers but the photographs are just not affordable. Whilst we are aware these are based on dollar exchange you need to take cognisance that the majority of the passengers were South African and particularly Capetonian. I think it was such a waste to destroy such beautiful photographs which I could not afford. Please look at making your photographs more affordable in order for more people to purchase. The shows were excellent and there was always something to do. Despite our docking was delayed by two days due to strong winds....the show continued. The food was amazing and staff always friendly and very hospitable. I would recommend the cruise anytime. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I choose it to relax, which I definitelydid. The dining service was beyond excellent especially the waiters named Anga and Rikki from Indonesia.( Dining on the 6th floor) The staff on the whole always helpful and friendly. Marco was ... Read More
I choose it to relax, which I definitelydid. The dining service was beyond excellent especially the waiters named Anga and Rikki from Indonesia.( Dining on the 6th floor) The staff on the whole always helpful and friendly. Marco was the best when it came to entertainment on the 13 floor. Overall the entertainment staff were top notch. The live music was excellent and the shows too. Room service regarding cleaning was top notch. Food was excellent except for the juice they served at breakfast on the 5th floor was terrible. the kiddies room was awesome and the ladies working in it. The cleaning staff impressed me , at the rate the deck and dining rooms were kept clean. Embarkment was not to wonderful but also not too bad from the South African side. Cabin wise , i feel some of the furniture could be removed since it fills the room and not really needed. Overall it was an excellent cruise and awesome experience. I will definitely go on more cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink ... Read More
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink package. Casino was very quiet slots extremely tight, but Manager explained Oceania has just taken contract back from previous independent operator and will be making improvements and changes... PROS: Superb food in all venues. Best shellfish and steaks at sea without question. Most nights a local or specialty offering available on top of regular menus. All desserts and home baked breads delicious. Service was tops. Bar, room, cabin, butlers, restaurants.... always a smile and a greeting, day after day... a happy and delightful team working connected by pride in their work. SUPERB Entertainment good, stand outs : the Bellissimo Quartet with classical strings, then did a wild rock show on strings too!! Cruise director, John E. With his own hilarious show, also extra crew shows such as Beat the Chef , party undet the stars in Seychelles. Clever, fun and innovative fresh ideas. Great team No more to say... back with Nautica, next we go! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had a wonderful time aboard the Musica. All the staff from cleaning yo management were friendly, helpful and made us feel at home. Our cabin was cosy and regulary cleaned for us. The ship overall is huge with plenty of ... Read More
We had a wonderful time aboard the Musica. All the staff from cleaning yo management were friendly, helpful and made us feel at home. Our cabin was cosy and regulary cleaned for us. The ship overall is huge with plenty of activities to prevent anyone from becoming bored. We mostly enjoyed the live music in the lounges and the theatre every night. The food was top notch, one didnt have the time to get hungry because there was always something to nibble between meal times and all meals were of excellent quality. My family and i are already looking forward to our next MSC cruise in the upcoming months . Embarkation took about just over two hours, which was a bit long but thats probably due to the volume of people getting off and on the ship. Well done MSC. Keep up the good work and see you soon :) :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I enjoyed getting away together, leaving the teenagers at home and having time to spend reconnecting after a difficult year. We had booked Easy Onboard and this made embankment easy. I am visually impaired and found that ... Read More
My husband and I enjoyed getting away together, leaving the teenagers at home and having time to spend reconnecting after a difficult year. We had booked Easy Onboard and this made embankment easy. I am visually impaired and found that I was constantly offered assistance by staff experienced in giving aid with dignity.The staff was fantastic, friendly and helpful. We enjoyed visiting Swakopmund for an all too brief visit. The desert is beautiful and the German ambience of Swakopmund was charming. We spent much of our time on our balcony watching the sea and enjoying the sun and sunsets. It was sheltered from the wind and very comfortable. The piano, jazz music and vocalists in the bars enhanced the experience. We enjoyed a day at the Spa, relaxing in the thermal area and enjoying a massage and facial. Gale force winds meant our cruise was extended a few days waiting for the harbor master to allow us to dock. Even in these difficult circumstances the staff remained cheerful and kind and the entertainment continued. During this time we soaked in the beautiful sight of Table Mountain, Sea Point and Camps Bay. We plan to cruise again next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A Life long dream had me looking at cruises Anil the waiter at the bar is the best I ever had making it unforgettable and made us return to deck 5 every time Mbali at reception is a great friendly person doing extra to sort out the ... Read More
A Life long dream had me looking at cruises Anil the waiter at the bar is the best I ever had making it unforgettable and made us return to deck 5 every time Mbali at reception is a great friendly person doing extra to sort out the person in front of her Francesco great service with excellent food served. Entertainment made me ho lounge hopping. The lead singer in theater....Emanuel is fantastic. But his parterner just dont compliment him. Our excursions to Swakopmund was great just needed more time in Swakopmund. The food in Buffet Lounge is out of this world and the midnight feast is the best ever. Not being able to dock.... the personnel put their own dissapointment behind them making sure we are comfortable serving us with a smile. I can only say thank you too MSC Musica crew for the time of my life! And thank you to Francesco who made dining unforgetable. Anil made sure we will miss his friendly service back on land. Mbali sorting my friend and myself out friendly and professionally. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My friend and I decide to go on a cruise for my 60th birthday, she never been on a cruise thus a new experience for her. On our arrival our cabin was clean and ready for us to occupy. Everything was clean and nothing to really complaint ... Read More
My friend and I decide to go on a cruise for my 60th birthday, she never been on a cruise thus a new experience for her. On our arrival our cabin was clean and ready for us to occupy. Everything was clean and nothing to really complaint about everything was to our satisfaction. The food was good and even thou we stayed two days on board longer because of the weather that did not allow us to dock at Cape Town port the crew make great food with what was available. Most of the crew was very friendly and what stand out are the people servicing us during dinner and after dinner coffee. Phila Khamrang was very friendly and her service excellent, with her our food servicer Putu Darsana was very kind and helpful; both were very friendly and kind. Most of the personal in the dinner room was professional and friendly. The lady that served us our after dinner coffee was the best Tanuj Deeno and is excellent in what she is doing. We made some awesome friends and had a fantastic time. The music was a blast and we went to the disco and it was really like the old age home coming out and we all had so much fun with the most awesome music. We loved all the shows not one stands out as they were all of a very good quality and very entertaining. During our extra stay everyone was very helpful explaining the situation not being able to go into the port and was very professional in helping us all with travel arrangements etc. I love eating in the dining room we were seated at table 516 and had an awesome time. The food was tasty and the portions sensible size. The 24 hour dining facility was not really to our liking the coffee taste horrible but if one thinks how many people go through constantly the fast foods was hot and available. I found the duty free shops to be extremely expensive but I travel a lot and it seems duty free is more expensive these days maybe because people think it should be cheaper. The day tour to Swakopmund was very over priced for that price they could have supply the passengers a light meal, we only had a hour in Swakopmund and was nearly late - we went out late. For cost they could make it a day tour. Overall Wonderful Cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose MSC due to my great previous experiences with them. Their staff are so friendly and very efficient. I will always esteem MSC very highly to my clients and ensure their cruise will be magical. The dining and entertainment varieties ... Read More
I chose MSC due to my great previous experiences with them. Their staff are so friendly and very efficient. I will always esteem MSC very highly to my clients and ensure their cruise will be magical. The dining and entertainment varieties were my highlight and not to mention the luxury of the balcony cabins. You will never regret booking with MSC they offer exceptional overall service for a 3* cruise ship. It was fantastic to experience a variety of cultures and cuisines. My only concern was their lack of security cameras in important guest areas like the bag drop department. This should be re-evaluated. Amazing crew, amazing staff. MSC delivers exactly what they promise, more than just a cruise. You feel like you are a VIP guest and you can enjoy your cruise carefree with all your needs taken care of. Once again thank you MSC for never seizing to impress! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Well, this trip is me time, and what better place to spend it on the MSC, no better place to be, from embracking, just to see familiar faces who is gonna be on that boat, and as you get on that boat, its a 5 start hotel, food, not that i ... Read More
Well, this trip is me time, and what better place to spend it on the MSC, no better place to be, from embracking, just to see familiar faces who is gonna be on that boat, and as you get on that boat, its a 5 start hotel, food, not that i am a big eater but i really enjoy the food, staff, the different pubs and the disco that you end off, just a small disappointment in the disco, that last time it closed at 6, but this time it closed 3, but never the least it was great, had no sleep, cause i told myself its for a weekend, the entertainment, was great, from Miss MSC to the snow party, and the staff was great. When it got to the sunday morning, it was sad to leave the boat, but all that i told myself, i will be back. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation from Cape Town was a bit chaotic, but excitement overruled. I have been on quite a few cruises and they have always been awesome and would recommend it to anyone. All the shows are spectacular and not to be missed. The ... Read More
Embarkation from Cape Town was a bit chaotic, but excitement overruled. I have been on quite a few cruises and they have always been awesome and would recommend it to anyone. All the shows are spectacular and not to be missed. The entertainment crew are fantastic in getting a crowd going and I have seen young and old joining in a lot of activities they would not normally do in their ordinary lives. There is no words to describe the delicious food and the non stop availability of food, fruit and desserts so compliments to the all the chefs, kitchen staff and waiters. The rooms are fabulous and always kept clean. Disembarkation went smooth and orderly. I went on this cruise to show my sister from Namibia what I could not explain in words. I think she gets it now. We had an awesome time and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My friend and I were looking for a cruise and found this one on the internet. It was a wonderful experience for me. The embarkation process [ from 11:30] until we were in our cabin was to long for me. The disembarkation went very smooth. ... Read More
My friend and I were looking for a cruise and found this one on the internet. It was a wonderful experience for me. The embarkation process [ from 11:30] until we were in our cabin was to long for me. The disembarkation went very smooth. The cabin was excellent and always nice and clean. The beds are fantastic. I enjoyed the balcony very much. The food were outstanding and there were something for anyone to eat. Even the two extra days we were on the ship - the food were still enough. The crew and waiters were always friendly and helpful. I did not take part in the outdoor activities because that is not my kind of thing. But I enjoyed the shows and the documentary films very much. I really enjoyed the lounges where I could relaxed with a book. The hospital crew were great and help my friendly and very quick. I certainly will make use of your cruises again in the future Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The cruise was a pre-birthday gift from my wife in anticipation of my 50th birthday anniversary. This was indeed a birthday gift that will be treasured and valued as we journey on our path of life. So much looking forward to the next trip ... Read More
The cruise was a pre-birthday gift from my wife in anticipation of my 50th birthday anniversary. This was indeed a birthday gift that will be treasured and valued as we journey on our path of life. So much looking forward to the next trip because of the excellent entertainment, hospitality and ambience on deck.The balcony cabin was well appointed and the view and experience amazing. Cabins were cleaned on a regular basis and service always came with a smile. I just loved the interaction and entertainment provided by the entertainment crew. The cruise was breathtaking, the facilities was admirable and entertainment mind blowing which contributed to the greatest holiday ever. My wife and I indeed had an absolute awesome and magnificent experience on the Musica. We solute Heart 104.9 & MSC Musica for affording us this awesome experience. If we could be in two places at the same time, believe us, it would definitely be with Heart and MSC Musica because you Rock. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My Wife and I Love Listening to Heart 104.5 Radio. We heard about their Jazz Cruise and enquired if there were any vacancies which there were so we Booked for their LoveJazz Cruise. We Booked a Disabled Cabin but to our diss appointment ... Read More
My Wife and I Love Listening to Heart 104.5 Radio. We heard about their Jazz Cruise and enquired if there were any vacancies which there were so we Booked for their LoveJazz Cruise. We Booked a Disabled Cabin but to our diss appointment we got a normal Balcony Cabin which we were unable to get Our wheelchair through the door. After going to the Guest Services to complain we were given a seat for the shower as my Wife is unable to stand in the shower it was tiny but a shower seat was able to fit in. Apart from this small hiccup we had a wonderful time on board. The corridors were a little narrow to navigate the wheelchair as the laundry trolleys were also parked in them and it was a tight squeeze to pass them with the chair. The Public Areas were very Grand and wide so we were able to navigate them easily. There were plenty of elevators so we were able to get around to all the Decks. The Shows were great but no ramps to reach the seats upfront so we had to sit in the back as the wife could not navigate the steps. But we still had a good view of the action on stage. We enjoyed a good laugh with our Local Comedians who were on board. The Jazz Bands were good but played rather late in the evening for us Seniors I am 70 & my wife is 68 but we managed to stay up until 1-30am to listen to them. The Casino was beautiful to see although we are not Gamblers we went to have a look see at it. We.got to see most of the Ship the Shopping Area's and bought to MSC Jackets, as we forgot to pack Jackets and it got quite Chilly in the Evening's on Deck. It was my Wife's first time on a cruise and she thought enjoyed the experience that we have Booked again for next year on the MSC Orchestra,and we have a Disabled Cabin with all the bells and whistles yaay Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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