4 Cape Town to Africa Oceania Insignia Cruise Reviews

The cruise was our longest, so far. Forty days total. We wondered if it might be too long on a small ship. When we booked, we were offered a "free" three-day pre-cruise. We enjoyed our tours of Cape Town and the surrounding ... Read More
The cruise was our longest, so far. Forty days total. We wondered if it might be too long on a small ship. When we booked, we were offered a "free" three-day pre-cruise. We enjoyed our tours of Cape Town and the surrounding area. While talking to the onboard Ambassador, we learned the Oceania took a major hit with the offer and will not be offering it again. I don't know about other freebie offers?? Embarkation was a breeze. We were settled into our P-3 cabin before we knew it. This cabin definatley needs some work. Carpeting needs to be replaced, chalking issues in bathtub, mold growing on the bottom of the sliding door. There were cleaning issues-peanuts on the balcony floor, toothpick on carpet between the cabinet and the large door that closes in front of the cabinets, also someone else's old luggage tags in a cabinet. I am not super fussy and did not report any of this, but I felt it was not up to O's standards. Two days after we sailed, the dreaded signs started to pop up. Plastic covers on the elevator buttons, salt shakers disappeared--you get the picture. We had a gastro virus on board, but not noro (sp??) according to the medical dept. The was also a cold and cough going around. O was on top of it the whole time. Two ports were cancelled which must have caused a major uprising upon passengers. A special meeting with the captain, chief engineer and GM was called. I think it was to try to explain the cancellations, while using the excuse that these officers would answer general questions about the ship, etc. Most people wanted better reasons as to why these ports were cancelled and the GM tried hard to redirect the type of questions. Reasons for the cancellations were weather on a sea day that slowed the ship down and tide related. This is the fourth O cruise that we have been on that ports have been cancelled. We did mostly ship excursions. They were ok. Overpriced as usual, but we are at a place in life where it is the easiest and safest way for us. We had been warned not to expect guides or transportation to be the best in Africa, so we were ok with that. Our highlight was the overland trip to Kariega Settlers Drift Game Reserve. Worth every penny! Entertainment was better than usual. Enrichment activites were interesting. There were two very good lectures to ease the sea days. Leslie, the cruise director did his best to keep things lively. In my opinion, unless you like to play blood-sport trivia, throw bean bags into wood with holes in it, learn how to dance, there's not a lot to do on sea days. The Spa was nice.. We had massages. Expect a bit of upselling. Food and service was excellent. Staff is super friendly and accommodating. Our butler, Grince, was on top of everything!! My husband mentioned, once, that he would like a glass of orange juice. There was a glass of fresh OJ in the fridge every day. All in all, this was a good cruise. A few less sea days would have been nice. Forty days went by in a flash. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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
Review of cruise Cape Town to Singapore - Insignia Feb 9, 2016 Three years ago we were on an Oceania cruise from Istanbul to Cape Town. That was, by far, the longest cruise we'd taken, thirty days. I worried at the time that I ... Read More
Review of cruise Cape Town to Singapore - Insignia Feb 9, 2016 Three years ago we were on an Oceania cruise from Istanbul to Cape Town. That was, by far, the longest cruise we'd taken, thirty days. I worried at the time that I would get cabin fever, stuck on a boat that long. The itinerary was across the Mediterranean and down the west coast of Africa, with stops in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Namibia.  We loved it, and were sad t o leave the ship in Cape Town since it was next headed for Singapore. When last year's round-the-world cruise was advertised, we signed up fore the Cape Town to Singapore leg right away. When that leg was cancelled due to mechanical difficulties, we signed up for this year.  The itinerary was very attractive, around the Cape of Good Hope and up the East coast of Africa to Mombasa, then across to India, then Burma (a new addition), then Maylaysia and Singapore.  Cochin, India was the only place I'd been before between Cape Town and Kuala Lumpur, and Burma was transitioning to an elected government. Burma was the highlight, but Zanzibar, Madagascar, the Seychelles and the Maldives were also new and interesting.  There were a few ports I didn't understand.  Richards Bay, South Africa, our fourth stop in South Africa, was a wasted day, with a free shuttle bus to a mall that could have been in New Jersey.  Mangalore, India was not a major attraction - compared to Mumbai, Goa, or Cochin. We went around Sri Lanka without stopping. Burma was a country just opening up to major tourism growth, with fascinating culture and stupendous sites. The people were excited about the transition and filled with hope.   We used mostly Oceania arranged excursions, booking enough to qualify for the 25% discount, which made them comparable to the privately booked tours, without the option of customizing.  Some were excellent, others were duds.  Comparing our introduction to Zulu culture in Durban with the introduction we got to Masai culture in the Serengeti,  was a major disappointment. Bored dancers, confined crocodiles, and an extensive gift shop, with the major message that brides cost nineteen cattle.   Onboard activity included a variety of guest lectures, some very specific to the next port, some totally off base.  There were several one or two night entertainers, backed up by the onboard band, with mixed results.  Only a couple worth the second show. We had two sets of three days at sea between stops, which are very relaxing. Major reading opportunities, and the Oceania library did not disappoint. My wife took the art classes offered on sea days and loved it.  Our friends played bridge. There was an active Ma Jong group. This was a leg of the 181 day round-the-world cruise, and 200 of the passengers were RTW. They had already been on board for sixty days when we arrived, but we're very friendly and welcoming. We had long conversations with several, but I'm still not enamored with the itinerary as a unit.  Food, as expected, was a highlight. The Grand Dining Room has an ever changing menu with everything from a hamburger and fries to a six course dinner, and the two specialty restaurants have fixed menus with reliable old favorites.  We are experienced cruisers and fans of Oceania, especially their food and service. Our last cruise was on the Riviera.  We especially enjoyed the two new speciality restaurants, and were promised there would be items from the menus in the main dining room.   They kept the promise, but I didn't read the fine print.  They had three of the specialties,from Jaques, rotated every three days. Similarly with Red Ginger. It was a disappointment.  Service was extraordinary, with several waiters learning our names and preference for Diet Coke.   Cabins were as expected, having sailed on sister ships.  Storage was adequate, bathroom was cramped, and the bed was no longer the most comfortable ever. The balcony was ideal for sea days as a place to read.   Arrival and departure were seamless.  Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
It is almost as if we were in a different universe than the "Not what I paid for" cruiser. We are frequent Oceania cruisers and found the food and the service on Insignia very good. Yes, we were unhappy about the ... Read More
It is almost as if we were in a different universe than the "Not what I paid for" cruiser. We are frequent Oceania cruisers and found the food and the service on Insignia very good. Yes, we were unhappy about the "deals" since we had booked early and paid top dollar. But as the deals were announced our agent went to bat for us and we did get some compensation in the form of ship credit. There were no production shows but there were many guest entertainers who were on board for a brief stay. This provided for diverse programs which we felt were better quality than the cruises where there was an in house team of entertainers. The orchestra was excellent and there was dancing in Horizons every evening before dinner as well as before the show in the Insignia lounge. West Africa is probably not for first time cruisers, but we found the ports interesting and we learned a lot about the history and cultures of the region. Two improvements over our previous Oceania cruises: we found the destination staff to be extremely helpful to those not using the ship excursions and the lecturers, especially Dr. John Freedman, were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015

Top Oceania Insignia Itineraries

Insignia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates N/A N/A

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