79 Cape Town Luxury Cruise Reviews

Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship ... Read More
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship like those again! The Club Veranda rooms were small, but very comfortable. We used the balcony often, and it was adequate size. The entertainment for such a small ship was surprisingly excellent, great caliber musicians. The white night was absolutely fantastic - great spread of food, desserts, and entertainment. A fabulous evening, and a great touch. The AzAmazing evening concert with the Cape Town Symphony was also excellent. Upon arrival to the concert hall there was plentiful food and drinks, and it really was a special evening that we thoroughly enjoyed. Azamara also brought on local African tribal musicians and dancers at various points throughout the cruise, I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but they were all fabulous, and truly a great and unique experience you don't want to miss! All staff and servers and room stewards we encountered or dealt with were all excellent, and performed their duties with smiles and with class. Everyone was top notch. My wife and I did the Chef's table. The seas were quite rough the entire day, so many people canceled, so by the time we sat down for the special dinner, it was just us and one other couple. It was an excellent experience, the food was very well done, though a little rich for our American tastes, but we still enjoyed it. The special wine pairings were also excellent. We took advantage of the Experience More / Indulgence package, which I thought was completely worth the $1,499 price for 2 people which included free unlimited wifi, chefs table, ultimate beverage package, $250 spa credit, and $700 OBC. With the unlimited wifi, better drinks, and shore credit, it made it a no brainer for us, and totally worth the cost. My only complaint and only reason I hesitated to give 5/5 stars is the food. I have to say, we had some truly excellent meals, and we only ever ate at the included dining venues other than the 1 chef's night tables. However, it was hit or miss in the main dining room. A few nights, the meals were just not very good. Edible yes, but very bland and sometimes dry. However on other nights in the same main dinng room, the entrees were fabulous, and perfectly flavorful and cooked. Perhaps it was just a few random off nights, who knows. Overall though, we found the food to be very good. We did an Azamara excursion in nearly every port, and though expensive, we enjoyed each one. Port Elizabeth - Pumba Game Drive was excellent Richards Bay - St. Lucia River cruise + Imfolozi Game Drive was amazing, and was our favorite excursion. Durban - Local African Spice/Medicinal Market was really fascinating! Though in a slightly unsafe area of Durban, with the guides we felt totally safe. This was really incredible to see all the local herbs and fascinating African medicinal plants/herbs/animals. Really would recommend this tour, wish it was longer actually, as it felt too short at only 3 hours including the drive time. East London - not sure why Azamara even bothers with this port. Absolutely nothing to do, and they only offered a few shore excursions which were all sold out immediately, so we were willing but unable to join any of the excursions. My recommendation to Azamara : Skip this port, and add an extra day in Durban!! Cape Town - What an incredible city. We did the Paarl and Franschhoek Wine Tour. I know some of the wineries were changed last minute, but we truly enjoyed this all day tour, especially the Paarl winery of Nederburg. Awesome wines, and a beautiful Winery. On the second day in Cape Town we did the Cape Point Natural Wonders tour. This was also excellent, with a beautiful drive along this winding coastal road all the way down to Cape of Good Hope where the two strong currents of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet, you can hike up to the lighthouse, and walk around the point area, then go to a beach to see African penguins and an excellent lunch overlooking the ocean. This was a great tour, and would highly recommend it! Sorry for the long review, but I felt it was necessary to write a review for the South Africa Itinerary, as it is a new voyage, and there was limited information. Would absolutely recommend Azamara, and this particular itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking ... Read More
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking worn as some wallpaper is peeling. The food is standard AZ as not bad at all but not gourmet. Service all over ship and friendliness is what sets them apart. On departure day we were leaving as a walk off very very early, we let them know ahead of time all was set and were told they could get and our bags to the terminal and that we were not part of another large group. We were at the gangway area at the specified time and no one could accommodate us as they were were not ready. In the end the port manager had to drive us with our bags. AZ evening was terrific, well planned and enjoyable. White night was wonderful with great fun and food. The entertainment was ok their troop was good with enjoyable recognizable music. We did not use their tours but the port stops were excellent. We travelled as as couple and we love the casual friendly nature of other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the ... Read More
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the quiz-masters. If you picked up a crossword, very often you could only answer the clues if you were a US citizen. All the photos of sporting stars displayed around the ship, were all of Americans, none of which were known to me. When the Superbowl was held, it was shown live on the big screen, and repeated the following morning together with a party in the Cabaret Lounge. For all the British, Irish, French, Italian passengers, and other from rugby loving nations such as Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, we were not afforded even a TV screen to watch the 6 Nations Rugby tournament. Those wishing to watch the rugby had to do so on our mobile phones. on free to air. If you were American, there was a choice of US beers on the complimentary drinks menu, whereas the only British beer was Newcastle Brown, one of the less popular beers, and even this was not available throughout the whole cruise. If you wanted one of the popular British beers such as Boddingtons, Guinness or Strongbow you would have to pay $5.95 per can. The daily American newspapers contained 8 pages whereas every other country had to make do with 4. The list goes on..... I have been on many American cruise ships in the past and have never experienced so much bias towards US passengers. On the plus side, the staff were exceptional, the ship was well appointed and, unlike other cruise ships where they sell you drinks packages and then hide the waiters, the drinks were free-flowing!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in ... Read More
My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in Cape Town the ship was late in arriving in dock . In fact over a day late but it did not warn passengers On the day , no one answered phone calls and there was no communication at all . On the dock side , passengers were left standing in v long warm queues without explanation or apology. Not a staff member in sight for several hours .Eventually on board after 3 hours and a bottle of water later , there were still no apologies . Due to late arrival , our departure was delayed until the following day and we missed a day at Walvis Bay .. still no apology but a statement ‘ force major ‘ .. ie not their responsibility The staff on the whole were ‘ miserable ‘ They never welcomed us back on board , never wished us a good day, never offered refreshments or towels on boarding .. in fact generally we felt as though we were an irritant and an inconvenience rather than a guest . It was not a warm nor welcoming atmosphere and there was not an officer in sight . The ship was generally clean and well kept although some of the sanitizers did not work. Ok .. it is a little warn and old fashioned but that wasn’t a problem .. The main Dinning room was disappointing. The food was rarely warm and often poor quality and was thrown at you in a cafeteria way rather than with the elegance as advertised . The staff were rushed off their feet and had no time for small talk . Lunch times were a better experience.The dress code was v relaxed throughout the cruise. with many t shirts and trainers in sight . The speciality restaurants were a much better standard but visits were limited. Communication was extremely poor and there was no interactive facility to check bills, book restaurants etc .. We struggled to find information and as this was our first cruise with Oceania ended up relying on other guests who had cruised with then before to help us , The room was comfortable but the air conditioning became warm at night ! In searching for something positive , I find it’s quite difficult . !!!! The happy hour between 5 and 6 was only in Horizons or the martini bar which is a very small lounge with limited space and extremely packed . We spilled over into an area where some musicians were playing and were told to be quiet !! During this time the glasses and hence quantity also shrank ! Illogical rules and regulations which the staff hid behind dogged the enjoyment of guests and dulled socialising ... hard to explain but readily realised when on board. The ship vibrates and kept us awake at night . We were mid ship but our friends in the owners suite at the back moved furniture and other items to limit the noise . Unfortunately we missed a second port Port Elizabeth due to high winds and this was again very disappointing for many guests . Some of the organised trips were good but expensive . Others were badly organised with guides not turning up etc .. and not running to time or schedule . I could go on but it is beginning to sound more like a rant than a review . ... The disembarkation went well . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our ... Read More
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our suite was great, as were the staff and the public areas. Food ranged from good to very good, sometimes excellent. There were shortcomings. Three scheduled ports were dropped before we left because of security issues. People booking this cruise in the future need to know they may not get all the ports they paid for. Also, not all the ship excursions were well-run and supervised. And the enrichment speakers could have been better. The Ship. Built in 1994 and heavily refurbished in 2017, the Cloud looks like a real ship. It’s almost perfectly maintained. Painters were frequently seen doing touch-ups, a sign of a well-run vessel. Suites have pleasant, usable balconies, two chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a desk, and small but utilitarian bathrooms with a shower. Storage space was okay. We asked to have one chair removed, as it crowded the room and wasn’t needed, but the staff refused. Soundproofing between rooms was inadequate. Basic wifi was free and worked well most of the time. Air conditioning was okay. We had Room 622—a perfect location. The pool area had sufficient lounges, but one of the whirlpools was too cold and sometimes closed and complaints failed to correct the situation. The captain, Vincent Taillard, and the ship officers were cordial but standoffish. The social director, Moss Hills, was delightful. And quietly famous. Years ago, with another company, he helped lead the successful abandonment of a sinking cruise ship. The Food. We’re critical people, and we mostly enjoyed the meals. A few dishes seemed too edgy. The breakfast buffet could have used more variety. And, like seemingly all cruise ships, the Cloud featured awful frozen hash-brown potato patties. A reuben sandwich at lunch was terrible. How about some simple recognizable grilled sandwiches? Overall, we had good choices and found the food at least good and sometimes excellent. I had fillet mignon four times—really good each time. Wine and cocktails flowed freely. We enjoyed every glass of wine we drank, although we realize they don’t serve $40-a-bottle wine. Room service food was good. Waiters were good. The Restaurant, where you don’t need reservations, was the best. La Terrazza, which features Italian in the evening, lacked variety. The Grill, on the outdoor deck, features a grill-your-own meat on a hot volcanic rock. We went once. Never again. I guess some people like the concept. We don’t. Why not just have a good outdoor grill/barbecue? There is a specialty French restaurant that requires a steep extra charge. The Expedition. The Cloud fell short here. Admittedly the itinerary was ambitious, including places were many ships never go, in a difficult environment. We wanted to experience the sights and culture of west Africa first-hand. We did. Every port offered a least one shore excursion covered by the ship fare. Some were great. Some were okay. Some sadly lacking. Some didn’t deliver what was promised when we reserved. Guides were sometimes poor. Supervision from the ship expedition staff was too-frequently lacking. The expedition leader, Nicki D’Souza, was not up to the task. Silversea needs to hire people from Tauck to demonstrate how to run tours. We had one great speaker—a former top assistant to Nelson Mandela. But where were the black professors, journalists or politicians from west Africa? Not on our ship. Conclusion. We’re not sure we’d book the cruise again. It’s really expensive. The missed ports and the shaky shore excursions were irritating. We could and should have gotten more for our money. But we accomplished a lot of our goals and we learned and we had fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of ... Read More
We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of cruising...clearly overwhelmed, everyday her service cart was the last to leave the passageway....where are the supervisiors to help with the proper training and make sure her staff have the tools they need to be successful. At one point it was suggested we keep a regular schedule by getting up in the morning at the same time each day!!!! Beverage service was so bad in the Grand Salon about 1/2 into the cruise they decided to go with premade drinks for the shows so the waiter didn’t have to take all those bothersome drink orders...some evening you had to ask several times for a beverage...Had to ask 2-3 times for a glass of ice, and we had to laugh one night in the MDR I asked for a wafer cookie for my ice cream....it arrived with ice cream on the pointy end, clearing taken from some other order....or previous order!!! Noticed little cheap things like no breadsticks on the table at lunch, at breakfast no little jars of jams, had big containers on the buffet to scoops out of...no hor’dourves at the formal night. If you want honey for your tea you have to scoop!!! In the Seabourn Square the honey was put into the cup, as they don’t have any little jars....guess one needs to bring their own from home....not exactly luxury! The food is for the most part quite good. However we were on 2 segments and the menus were the same for both segments. Ordered room service 2 evening when we were “fooded-out”, club sandwich which I have had in the past and was quite good...it use to be 4 sections this time it was only 2! To the good the nibbles up on deck 10 in the evening are excellent....noticed on some occasions the carpets were not cleaned of crumbs from afternoon tea!!! We did really enjoy our CD Ross Roberts, excellent...and the speakers and entertainment staff were good as well... This itinerary was very interesting but we would not go back to any of the ports except Cape Town and Singapore....if you are not a sun person you will find the the Indian Ocean really hot and humid! My only hope is that Seabourn gets it’s act together as this is the 3rd year the service isn’t what we expect....suggest more rigorous interviews and training on land and more extensive....before you subject paying passengers to amateur hour!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Due to the delay we only embarked on 26Jan 2019 sadly missing two days of fun we were looking forward to..nevertheless once on board we were in awe of the beauty & magnitude of the ship & then the fun started. We loved the various ... Read More
Due to the delay we only embarked on 26Jan 2019 sadly missing two days of fun we were looking forward to..nevertheless once on board we were in awe of the beauty & magnitude of the ship & then the fun started. We loved the various lounges & bar areas for relaxation & good music. The dining sittings in the restaurant caters for everyones needs & the staff serving guests with a smile & then having the opportunity to meet wonderful people at the table we share with.Our highlight the sushi restaurant (my favourite). Our balcony cabin for two very spacious & clean..the staff (& that includes everyone) very friendly & helpful at all times & they work long hours daily. Its also fantastic on the pool deck soaking up the sun & having fun with activities organised by the entertainment team.Its your lucky day if you win something.The shows in the theatre outstanding!!!Professionalism beyond words! The cruise overall is too much to see & do & theres too little time..definitely another cruise planned for the future.. 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
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on ... Read More
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on this cruise was time and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Itinerary Planning - This is a shared responsibility between Oceania Corporate and the Captain of the ship. These itinerary’s are made years in advance and must be executed by the Captain at the helm. Durban - 3 hours late, Maldives - 5 hours late, Phuket - 5 hours late - Unacceptable. The reason given, currents were bad or wind was high. This tired ship can only do about 18,5 knots, we didn’t have high seas or storms to contend with, this was an example of poor planning and not having enough time reserve between ports of call. The skip of Mombasa for terrorist threat is understandable but could have been communicated sooner, the add of Praslin in the Seychelles deserves an “At a boy”. Ship - Loved the size of the ship and the old world charm but its time for an upgrade. The common areas were in good shape and are still receiving the TLC they deserve. Would like to see Toscana and Polo combined to make room for Red Ginger with the scheduled refurbishment. The Nautica Lounge has a nice layout to it but when the entertainment uses the dance floor instead of the stage it can be difficult to see what is going on. Didn’t see a lot of activity in the casino, this space could get better utilization. Enjoyed the spa deck on the front, a quiet space for reading, and the hot tub there was great. Dining - Ate in all the venues and service level was top notch. This was really evident in the Terrace Grill. During the morning rush there were countless “Good Mornings”, tables were reset quickly, and beverage servers ever present. Enjoyed the regional specialty nights especially the game night of Kudu, Springbock, Crocodile, and Impala. For the GDR did not experience the same quality as previous sailings, the deserts were routine. Saw the same menus in Toscana and Polo as year prior, shouldn’t these change a bit. Entertainment and Activities - You can’t expect the same performance level that is received on a 2500+ passenger ship. With that said this group or entertainers and dancers held there own and then some. You got to know these performers throughout the 30-day cruise as they were the ones hosting the various activity games onboard. I think you will see Paulina and Luke have their own headline acts soon. John’s comedy/magic show should become a regular act. He was pretty darn good at having fun at the daily trivia forum. Was glad to see bridge lessons being offered as corporate had said they wouldn’t prior to the cruise. Bridge should be expected on a cruise of this duration. The string quartet every evening in the atrium was well received and glad to see them get two headline shows. The off-board entertainers and lecturers were pretty good. Ports and Shore Excursions - Took this cruise mainly for the itinerary and was not disappointed. Arranged mostly private tours with the CC forum prior to embarkation. These were well done and received a more intimate experience than the Oceania sponsored trips. The tendering process was orderly with a sensitivity to private excursions. Oceania needs to cut their fees in half to be competitive. Met some interesting fellow travelers from various points of the world. By sharing evening dinner or Happy Hour you get to exchange in some great conversations. We enjoy Oceania and will return. 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
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the ... Read More
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the bush, it all worked out & the Lodge was amazing! We had 4 game drives and 1 bush walk. Pre-Safari, we booked a night at the Residence Boutique Hotel. The Residence is a beautiful, intimate hotel that used to be the Chinese Embassy. It is in a gated compound, very safe. They arranged for their driver to pick us us from the airport, gave us a driving tour of Johannesburg the next day, and delivered us safely to 54th of Bath Hotel booked by Oceania. 54th on Bath is a very nice hotel basic. I think it is part of the Omni Group. Breakfast was included and we all had omelettes. There were 8 from the Nautica going on Safari. Flight was quick and soon we were on our way to Lion Sands. Our time there was the highlight of our trip! We wished it was longer. Soon we were on a flight to Cape Town. we did not have time to see any of CapeTown precruise. We sailed roughly 1 hour after boarding. We were tired! We were in a "penthouse" cabin 8065. It was of course very small compared to the Marina penthouse cabins. I wanted to upgrade all along but the reasonable price upgrade was not offered until we were on safari & my travel agent said it was gone within minutes. Our butler, Vinod was a Gem! He helped with some dining problems and was just overall the best we have ever had. The food was very good in the main dining. My favorite thing was in Toscana, the Carbonara, but you have to eat it quickly because it seems to harden up. We had to request escargot in the MD. It was perfect. The escargot in Polo is soupy and neither of us cared for it. I not sure when it asks about excursions, aside from the Pre-Cruise safari, we booked everything privately because I do not like tour buses or large groups. If you do this cruise and you feel the same consider booking something through the ship while in East London (a place I will be blocking from my memory soon). We booked through Kevin Agram. We did not have him as our driver. Our driver knew nothing and insisted on taking us to the "townships" for 2 hours and then segregated beaches! It was the lowlight of our trip, having already seen them in every town we visited in South Africa. We did do great excursion through Red Dunes safari in Namibia, but if you want to see seals, book a catamaran tour. I heard they jump right on the boat! Richard's Bay & Durban we used Trinity Tours, Brian High. We went to several game reserves and same things as the ship but cheaper and we had a lovely dinner at the Oyster Box Hotel in Durban - don't miss the curry bar. Also do not eat Curry unless you at the Pot & Kettle in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Very good wine at Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc. $7 per bottle! In Mossel Bay, we used Tours for South Africa and went to Botlierskop Game Reserve (same as the ship) but much cheaper and included lunch. In Port Elizabeth, we used Afroventures Tours and had a wonderful day safari where we actually saw 3 lions!! When we came back to Cape Town we had a day tour to Stellenbosch to taste wines. It was late get started because of immigration problems or something. So we only got to see 1winery (Waterford - Excellent) and then we had dinner at the Wijnhose. I kept saying the winehouse & no one understood me! Excellent food and flights of wine. I would definitely go back to Stellenbosch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd world. We didn’t feel safe and was the only port that required us to take malaria medicine. We were surprised Oceania offered a 2 hour walking tour. DON’T TAKE IT! Street vendors aggressively follow you and pressure a sale. Streets are dirty. We were only allowed to take photos when given permission. Definitely not worth stopping. As for ship: Food and service were outstanding. Loved the “dine anytime” arrangement. It was fun to share a table and meet other guests but we always had the opportunity to dine alone. Being in the Owners Suite gave us special privileges and we were able to eat in specialty restaurants whenever we requested to do so. Stewards were exceptional! Entertainment not quite as elaborate as other cruises but I suppose that’s due to size of ship. On shore: the Belmont property, Mount Nelson Inn, is fabulous! If you are staying in land pre or post cruise, make a reservation! And don’t miss Table Mountain and The Cape. Two spectacular sites in Cape Town. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise the very first day it came out. We'd done North Africa and wanted to do South Africa with a pre-cruise safari. Regent did a fantastic job providing us with a Shamwari 5 Star game resort where we were so lucky to ... Read More
We chose this cruise the very first day it came out. We'd done North Africa and wanted to do South Africa with a pre-cruise safari. Regent did a fantastic job providing us with a Shamwari 5 Star game resort where we were so lucky to have seen and photographed a leopard and a white rhino at sunset against a setting sun. Our suite onboard was very convenient to the elevators and our cabin attendant was so attentive. The food was fantastic as well as the musicals. The weather however proved a bit of a disappointment as we had to forgo a port in Nambibia and Mozambique. Internet service was problematic and the food too salty. Salt shakers are on every table so why not use those? The only disappointment was the awlful air routing to and from Cape Town that resulted in 10+hours spent in Lufthansa's Frankfort's lounge going and coming. This was our third Regent cruise and the second one with Captain Serena who is an outstanding, vivacious captain. Spending Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Years Day was truly one of our most memorable cruises. The 1600 photos we took are indeed a photographer's dream come true. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just booked this at the very last moment as it was sailing from Cape Town to Southampton and were delighted there was space. This was our first Cunard experience, but I think virtually all other passengers were long-time fans of ... Read More
We just booked this at the very last moment as it was sailing from Cape Town to Southampton and were delighted there was space. This was our first Cunard experience, but I think virtually all other passengers were long-time fans of Cunard. I really cannot find anything to complain about. Check-in was professional and we received our suitcases relatively quickly. The cabin was a decent size, as was the wardrobe and small balcony but perfect for two. We chose late dining and never once had repeat food. It was excellent, as was the service. We mostly had a late breakfast in the Lido where the choice was as good as I have ever had in a top Hotel. Lunch we occasionally took in the dining room, but there were so many opportunities to eat we had to choose between lunch or afternoon tea. We ate in the dining room every night. Talks were excellent, particularly Ian Brown and John McCarthy. Entertainment was mostly professional, bar staff were attentive. The daily quiz was a daily challenge. If I were to have one gripe, and I really shouldn’t, the drinks were expensive. But that’s nothing in the scheme of things. Really, it was 17 nights of pure joy. It’s not a cruise for youngsters, the dress code is jacket for gents every night, and formal on four nights, but there’s something very pleasant about a dress code. Well done Cunard - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was a treat for a special occasion. All of Cunard's advertising exudes 'Luxury and Glamour'. We did not know that we had paid all that money to join the last leg of around the world cruise for a 'don't ... Read More
This cruise was a treat for a special occasion. All of Cunard's advertising exudes 'Luxury and Glamour'. We did not know that we had paid all that money to join the last leg of around the world cruise for a 'don't care home'!! Our checkin and boarding was a disaster as we were checked into the room I had booked, but in some one else's name! We subsequently were hawked about a couple of floors to find the right cabin and then spent the afternoon dodging wheelchairs and aged people with walking sticks etc.. The only luxury in evidence were pictures and marquetry decorating the walls in public areas. Subsequently the bars were empty and no audiences for the brilliant musicians. It was like a ghost ship with no ambience. The so called 'glitzy gala balls' were no more than Hammersmith Palais on a bad day with 5 employed male and 1 female dancers to get people on the floor and guests turning up in casual clothes, one woman near me in my evening finery was wearing a fleece and track suit trousers! We ate a mere twice in the main dining room, first night the steak was like shoe leather, second night we had to suffer an unacceptable being. This was fixed dining and no other tables were available so we had to eat in the Lido everyday. This is definitely not what I expected. Cunard response was a 'snowflake' phoned me up to palm me off with a £200 pound voucher off a P&O cruise. What an insult. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Cabin and Sailing We both really enjoy sailing with Seabourn, however it must be said that we are starting to see a few cracks in the wall apart from the service which continues in our mind to be 110% Subsequent to our 2017 sailing ... Read More
Cabin and Sailing We both really enjoy sailing with Seabourn, however it must be said that we are starting to see a few cracks in the wall apart from the service which continues in our mind to be 110% Subsequent to our 2017 sailing in Alaska with the mini refit in December we were rather disappointed. The pool deck after we were advised had been replaced remained faulty and was at one time cordoned off. Dining wise, we found that although there was ashore, an abundant supply of salad vegetables, the buffet did not always reflect this. The main dining room experience was not that of a calmly run restaurant but one where all the waiters where walking at top speed all the time.That said the new Thomas Keller Dining experience was first class. We also noticed that on a considerable no. of times the guest services telephone just kept on ringing, one time in excess of 4 mins. Look all these things are not big deal but just drag down the whole perceived ambience and sailing experience with Seabourn. Lets hope our May sailing with Ovation provides for a better experience, at least the cabins should be top notch. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was first part of back to back. Capetown to Mumbai. Seemed like good ports. On second leg no outside entertainment. All we had was stable of singers on board. Did have local dancers at one port. A cheap way to stick it to passengers. ... Read More
This was first part of back to back. Capetown to Mumbai. Seemed like good ports. On second leg no outside entertainment. All we had was stable of singers on board. Did have local dancers at one port. A cheap way to stick it to passengers. Main and veranda dining rooms very limited selection. The main dining room had a hamburger every night that had texture of baby food. Salad selection just about same each night mesculan. Not much, not good. All dressings lacked flavor. For an Italian owned ship pasta was pasty and bread sticks on table were soggy half the time. The gelato they served was the worst ever had including all over Italy. Seemed to be water vs. cream. Fish burnt, soup tasteless, portions bigger on our flight home then in dining room. Waiters ability to help in choices non existent due to their lack of English skills. First cruise of 30 days that I lost weight on. Plenty of alcohol. In the cabins no mid sized towels. Only bath and hand. Overall color scheme dark and old. Low ceilings in public rooms. They are going into dry dock about a year late. Limited deck chairs with shade at pool. They increased pool dining area at expense of shade for chairs. No cushions on chairs. Had trouble getting a diet 7up or sprite. Not a US ship so guess not important to them. Balcony chairs have no cushions only straps. They were not comfortable. Entertainment with their singers at times recorded music, might as well have had a CD to listen to. Using their laundry service clothes returned all wet. This is not the way to spend your time or money. There are plenty of good cruise lines that you can travel on. Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and probably many others that provide a value for the money spent. I have had over 50 cruises since 1972 this rates as the worst. NEVER AGAIN 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
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
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
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
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
We chose this cruise as we have already sailed on the Oceania line (Riviera). An added bonus was the fact that the departure port was in our home city of Cape Town. We also wanted a longer cruise and 30 days was wonderful. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have already sailed on the Oceania line (Riviera). An added bonus was the fact that the departure port was in our home city of Cape Town. We also wanted a longer cruise and 30 days was wonderful. The Nautica was an ideal size with only about 600 passengers and there was never any inconvenience when trying to dine in any of the restaurants. The food was really good and varied and I never heard any complaints from any other diners. We had a change in Executive Chef mid way through the cruise and I have to say that, whilst the previous Exec Chef was great, we noticed an added standard of excellence when Chef Gary Potiphar took over. Compliments to all of the staff involved for the most amazing Christmas decorations. They were beautiful. The Xmas and New Year festivities were totally celebrated and there was a lovely spirit of friendship and goodwill all over. The Cruise Director, Ray Carr, was outstanding. A man with a great sense of humour and a very good rapport with his staff. We didn't attend any of the evening shows but those who did said they were very good. The ports along the coast of Africa were 'ok'. I feel that Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, and Richards Bay could have been avoided altogether and more time spent possibly in the Seychelles. A pity we had to miss Madagascar due to the plague there. We were notified of this well in advance of sailing and it crossed my mind that we could possibly have taken in Mauritius instead of having the couple of extra sea days. We took none of the ships' tours as they are vastly overpriced. Mainly we took advantage of Tours by Locals. We would certainly travel on the Nautica again were we to find an itinerary that suits us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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