25 Cape Town Romantic Cruise Reviews

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
We started planning this trip in May 2018, we booked in June 2018. We planned a holiday around this trip. First we flew down from Johannesburg on the 21st January, we explored Cape Town and did a few excursions which went very well. This ... Read More
We started planning this trip in May 2018, we booked in June 2018. We planned a holiday around this trip. First we flew down from Johannesburg on the 21st January, we explored Cape Town and did a few excursions which went very well. This was our first time on a cruise and we were very excited after reading a lot of reviews and feedback from other people who have done the trip. The start was not so good due to the wind and the boat not being able to enter the harbor, but eventually on Saturday we could board. Off we started exploring the boat after if left the harbor. We ended up in the spa area and seeing that we booked in advance the massages we decided to go for our massage the same day, we booked for 16H30. We went to our cabin to prepare and went for the Jacuzzi inside the spa area which we though we could use any time during the cruise, well the next day we were told we used our day and it was only valid for the day, not like it was mentioned for the whole trip. We also planned for the 4 days and bought drinks packages in advance, this could not be returned and had to drink 3 drink packages in two days. The rest of the trip was good, really enjoyed it will however recommend not to purchase packages in advance it works out cheaper when you buy onboard. The cocktails being served was also not well prepared and brought in a normal plastic glass, it was not presented as I expected of a cocktail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first cruise in our lives. In a way we were very impressed but looking deeper under the surface MSC has lots of space to improve their service delivery. Very well aware of fact that this point is most likely not MSC ... Read More
This was our first cruise in our lives. In a way we were very impressed but looking deeper under the surface MSC has lots of space to improve their service delivery. Very well aware of fact that this point is most likely not MSC Musica's responsibility but need to be said that waiting for approx 3-4 hours in a queue to go on board without any seating nor refreshments or clean toilet facilities is not a good start. Starting with the cleanliness of the cabin on arrival, we are very well aware of the fact that staff has only very limited time available to clean the cabin. However, on arrival I would expect it spotless. Though our cabin steward Arnaud Napetoke was very helpful and professional communicating with the guests: 10 out of 10! But next time take some extra minutes to clean also drawers in cabin and bathroom. Further going to the self-help restaurants: the range of food was certainly enough. However, staff issues in my opinion again like chef and waitress are very busy on their cellphones and laughing a lot (which is great obviously if they are happy) but failed to attend to guests. Cleanliness of tables leaves to be desired for. Very often at beverage stations were no cups or not stocked with coffee/tea,sugar. However, the staff in restaurants where one was served was extremely knowledgeable! The cleanliness of tables on the pool deck area leaves also lots of space for improvement. The few bar attenders were good but one needed wait for a while to be served. It would be great before purchasing any beverage voucher to know exact prices on board to make choice of vouchers easier. Missed general signs for toilets which could be easily implemented. This would make a search a lot shorter speicifically if passengers are getting "green" and looking for the closest bathroom). We acnnot comment on shore excursions as we didn't do any. The entertainment team was 15 out of 10, they did a great job and so also the evening professional entertainers. Fantastic shows! 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 where on the cruise that got stuck at sea ! Not their fault, but the lack of communication was. It was a guessing game, not cool. And then the repeat of the food got old very quickly. There is way to many people on the ship ... Read More
We where on the cruise that got stuck at sea ! Not their fault, but the lack of communication was. It was a guessing game, not cool. And then the repeat of the food got old very quickly. There is way to many people on the ship and as for the Q's they never stop literary from start to Finnish. The dining was average at best no variety, as for the wine most where not in available, lunch was repeated too many times. Breakfast was fine. The cabin was fine but not the size we where told it would be we where told 28.5m and it was 15m. There was no control of smokers on board and the smell of efuent was every where. The submission of the insurance claim how ever went without a problem well done. The cruise on a whole was not bad but for that price I think they can and should do better. Well that's my opinion. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my first cruise. It wasn’t well organised. On arrival nobody assisted us with anything. We were left to wonder the ship figuring things out for ourselves. Some things we only found out towards the end of the cruise. One of us ... Read More
This was my first cruise. It wasn’t well organised. On arrival nobody assisted us with anything. We were left to wonder the ship figuring things out for ourselves. Some things we only found out towards the end of the cruise. One of us fell ill on board, only to be informed they were sold out of meds. Sold out!? During the cruise dinner arrangements were really poor. Our designated table was taken and we had no seats. Nobody assisted and we weren’t permitted to use another table or restaurant. We were left to order (and pay for) room service and to use the specialty restaurant (and pay for that too). When asking reception for anything they were just plain rude and arrogant. Embarkation incolved standing in a queue for three hours watching buses of guests, presumably booked by travel agents, being given priority boarding. Yes we tried purchasing easy on board beforehand, only to be told they’re sold out. After a day, the cruise couldn’t be over quickly enough. This trip ruined cruises for us and we will never, ever do it again. Not even for free, it was that bad. 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
We selected this trip as it was arranged by Bokradio and this is where it was advertised regularly as well as we are listeners of this radio station every day. The number of Afrikaans singers whom committed to the trip also contributed to ... Read More
We selected this trip as it was arranged by Bokradio and this is where it was advertised regularly as well as we are listeners of this radio station every day. The number of Afrikaans singers whom committed to the trip also contributed to our decision to go on the trip. The arrangements were excellent and as myself is a double amputee we were accommodated through early on board as well as preference treatment when disembarking at the Cape Town harbour on return. As a disabled person we were accommodated in a quite large suite and I could easily move around with the wheelchair in the room as well as the shower was also comfortable.The food, service and music was excellent every day. Thank you for also having a special place on the pool deck for disabled people it was needed and really appreciated. Just one comment I would like to make on the pool deck is that people should not be allowed to put towels and stuff on all chairs for their friends it should be first come first serve.I have seen this created some unhappiness with some people. Yes I would again go on the bokboottrip Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I recently went on a cruise with the MSC Musica and it was by far the best experience I have ever had in my life! The cabin we slept in was nothing short of perfect and not even to mention the food and drink on the ship! the food is of top ... Read More
I recently went on a cruise with the MSC Musica and it was by far the best experience I have ever had in my life! The cabin we slept in was nothing short of perfect and not even to mention the food and drink on the ship! the food is of top quality and available anytime of the day! the drinks and bar tenders are exceptional and the overall experience with all the staff was great. They definitely make you as comfortable as possible on the cruise! The entertainment and shops was out of this world and I will definitely be back on board soon and definitely recommend the cruise to anyone for the experience of a lifetime. Disembarkation at the halfway stop was so easy and everyone assisted in anyway they could. If you want to have a party or just plain relax old and young there is loads for everyone to do on this cruise. Thank you MSC for this awesome experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It was our first cruise and what an experience it was! We specifically want a cruise from Cape Town (no need to fly to Durban) and a cruise to Walvisbaai and one with a theme - Bokradio with it's shows was spot on! Me and my husband ... Read More
It was our first cruise and what an experience it was! We specifically want a cruise from Cape Town (no need to fly to Durban) and a cruise to Walvisbaai and one with a theme - Bokradio with it's shows was spot on! Me and my husband went on our own (25th anniversary treat), but meet two nice couples while waiting to board and they made the cruise extra special, especially our shore excursion in Walvisbaai. The vibe from start (while queuing to go on board) was great! Bokradio's music and all the passengers friendly and in a wonderful spirit! It was like this throughout the cruise! Our cabin on 14th floor was nice, clean with everything you need - close to the entertaining deck, but unfortunately far from our buffet restaurant! The food was nice - we did not eat in the dining restaurants because we asked for the 16:30, but received the 20:30 sitting - to late for us and the same time as the shows we do not want to miss! The shows in the beautiful theatre - we attended Steve, Manie and Ray Daylan - was VERY GOOD. The two shows of the crew itself - Tribute to Queen and Wonderland - was a nice surprise AND EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD!! We also spent some time in the lounges after shows, but with the Bokradio's artists singing in the Chrystal Lounge one evening there were NOT NEARLY ENOUGH SEATS for everyone and we spent most of the time standing with our drinks! We did spend some time on the deck and in a short while in the Jacuzzi (difficult to get a spot!), but I cannot spend to much time in the direct sun and it was a struggle to get an available chair and table under the small roof! Often there was only one person sitting at a table and keeping 4/6 chairs for friends/family for much longer than half an hour! The shore excursion to Walvisbaai / Duin 7 / Swakopmund was a highlight! We were 4 couples hiring an taxi outside the port for a very reasonable price and our "Chauffeurs " went out of their way to make it a memorable day for us! The communication from MSC throughout the cruise was very good - we liked the news letters we received every evening in our cabins with the program and high lights of the next day. The embarkation also went very smooth and organised. All in all - we had a wonderful time on the MSC Musica and will talk about it with friends and family for some time still! 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
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the ... Read More
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the activities. The destination was appealing but to be given a port that was a coal mining destination Port Richard and get covered in dust isn't my idea of interesting port even captain agreed and told us he had notified the company of this. Must have been a cheap port to go to. The overall staff really very good and helpful, food good, cabins not up to today standards. Entertainment needs to be updated though an older crowd they need to realise we are not one foot in the grave. Lovely table but also of the same opinion. Perference given to people who book Fred Olsen direct. Independence passages required to desembark no later than 10.00 a.m. But Fred Olsen passengers were allowed to stay on board as long as necessary before their flight departure. I hope Fred Olsen take note of these comments Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My family and I decided to do this trip as I have been on a previous cruise alone. I always knew my husband and kids will enjoy themselves. I was quite impressed with the Sinfonia as I have been on the Opera before. The splash park was ... Read More
My family and I decided to do this trip as I have been on a previous cruise alone. I always knew my husband and kids will enjoy themselves. I was quite impressed with the Sinfonia as I have been on the Opera before. The splash park was very exciting, especially for me.The only downside was the long wait for embarkation at the Cape Town terminal. We waited in the queue for almost 3 hours in the heat of Cape Town with no shady area. The security checks was also too long. Secondly waiting for our food at the restaurant was long too and the food was not as delicious as the food offered elsewhere. We enjoyed the shows, even thought the kids shows that was too short. The kids loved the clubs had friendly staff and activities they did. Our family had an amazing time. We will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I booked the cruise in celebration of my hubby's 40th surprise birthday. Our group consist of 14 adults and 7 kids, we were 21 in total. Wow, what an magnificent experience , something unforgettable, we had the best time of our ... Read More
I booked the cruise in celebration of my hubby's 40th surprise birthday. Our group consist of 14 adults and 7 kids, we were 21 in total. Wow, what an magnificent experience , something unforgettable, we had the best time of our lives, a real blast! There are plenty activities all around the ship to keep all ages entertained, so no time of getting bored . The food, was amazing and you could never get hungry as there were food galore. The life entertainers were terrific, you could never just sit down. The clubs were always packed and the bar staff was on top of their game I must say, they were always more than happy to assist. Money well spend, will definitely recommend at any time.. Over all the best experience, entertainment I had over the years. One critique, the check in time process need urgent attention, we are waiting way to long 2-3 hours max in the queues to get on board. It's really frustrating and tiring:( Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were considering taking a cruise - with my parents, and then these spots opened up. We have spent much time preparing, and getting ready. It was a great relief to see that the cape town terminal has been upgraded and that ... Read More
We were considering taking a cruise - with my parents, and then these spots opened up. We have spent much time preparing, and getting ready. It was a great relief to see that the cape town terminal has been upgraded and that boarding has been improved significantly. We are considering taking another cruise towards the end of this year, maybe even the next. I was surprised to find the amount of activities catering for Children of all ages - this would make this option available to friends with small Kids as well. The balcony Cabin we booked was a huge surprise - it was a lot more spacious than we thought, and it was a real treat to simply just fall asleep with a open balcony door - knowing that everything is safe, and we have our own private nook of the world. I recommend this to all our friends - definitely Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Great Restaurants, good food, lots of entertainments friendly staff and very clean. Every staff was willing to help and assist. The food both at restaurants and buffet was very delicious and well prepared. The programs was well set and ... Read More
Great Restaurants, good food, lots of entertainments friendly staff and very clean. Every staff was willing to help and assist. The food both at restaurants and buffet was very delicious and well prepared. The programs was well set and entertaining. I have been on the cruise for the third time now. Every time I get in the ship I feel like it is for the first time. Friendly staff, good food and cleanliness is everywhere. I convinced a number of people to join me on the cruise, They were all happy, they had good time. We danced, we chatted and we were clubbing together. It was such nice experience never to forget. The bedding was changed everyday, Everywhere you go in the ship was clean. The staff all looked happy and looked enjoying what they are doing. This time I am planing a longer nigh cruise and bring more friends so that they can also experience the best that MSC is offering. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda ... Read More
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda category, as 6001 is above the theatre which vibrated and sounded through our floor & walls. The new cabin was fine and saved the cruise. The staff was wonderful in our opinion as was the dinning and food experience. The workout facility (an important part of our daily regimen) was well stocked, clean and open early enough for our needs as well. The public areas were very nice and always attended by super sweet staff. The entertainment and daily activities were terrific and we enjoyed quite a few throughout the cruise...kudos to social director, Annabelle & her morning ”chat over coffee and needlepoint”. We did not utilize the shore excursions offered by Oceania as we prefer to do on our own and save $$ as ship excursions tend to be too expensive in our opinion. The only bad experiences on our cruise were a miscommunication about the “free unlimited internet package” and a faulty toilet flusher. We decided to upgrade our cabin when an offer was made via email from the cruise line which promised certain additional amenities, among which was this internet package. This was a must as my husband was on a working holiday. In addition, one other extra was access to the concierge club (and their daily world newspapers) which did not exist on this smaller vessel. This was also a huge disappointment and inconvenience. Our experience with the ship’s concierge was wonderful though. She was professional, very good at her job as well as friendly & a delight to deal with when we needed additional questions answered or help with other issues. All in all, we would recommend Oceania Cruises and the Nautica but would emphasize these small negatives. PattiG Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We are retired and live in a small town (Montagu) some 180 km from Cape Town and chose the cruise for its length of 21 days as well as for the countries visited culminating in Venice. The embarkation/disembarkation processes were well ... Read More
We are retired and live in a small town (Montagu) some 180 km from Cape Town and chose the cruise for its length of 21 days as well as for the countries visited culminating in Venice. The embarkation/disembarkation processes were well organized and stress-free. the dining facilities and food were tops as were the entertainment programmes. The staff in all sections of the ship were great and gave great service, especially our watrons/stewards on table 587 in the Il Galleone Restaurant.Of the ports visited we decided not to go ashore in Dakar as our travel agent advised us that no inoculations were required for any of the countries visited. We therefore had no protection against Yellow fever and were not prepared to take the chance of going ashore there.We loved all the other excursions with the harbours of Malta and Dubrovnic being spectacular and with the awe-inspiring entrance to Venice being the cream on the cake! I would recommend this cruise to anyone who loves cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises (14 to 24 days), as this is more value for Money especially the Grand Voyages. The ship is a floating Hotel with 5 Star service. The Cabins offers all you need for a holiday including.: A safe, air-conditioning, bathroom with shower, TV and Bar Fridge, as well as Wireless Internet access (for a fee). Dining consist of a Buffet / Self Service restaurant and as well as a main restaurant. We preferred the Self Service Buffet for breakfast and lunch as it is more informal specially during the day when you are most of the time at the pool area. The Main restaurant for Dinner with your friends or the couples that were allocated to your table to recap on the days activities or excursions. Its also nice to dress up for the dinner, specially the Gala Evenings. Our waiter at table 526 by the name of ADI SANTIKA from INDONESIA was very professional and always friendly and helped full and always tried to make us feel at home. The onboard entertainment is of international standard, specially the Sinfonia dancers. Unfortunately we found that the female singer of the group did not fit in. We also enjoyed the activities presented by the entertainment team under the management of the Cruise Staff Manager CSABA PANUCZA at the Pool Deck and various lounges. The presentations by Alyson were at times a bit boring. Her tone of voice is not that of a speaker/presenter and she loses you within 5 Minutes. Steven Cloete and his assistant Alex was FANTASTIC. Zirk and Amanda Lourens Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We went to Mozambic in 2010 and when I disembarked, I knew 3 days was not enough, this time I went on a 5 day cruise and it is STILL NOT ENOUGH. Food were really good, pizza all day and all night long, Children under 18 are kept busy the ... Read More
We went to Mozambic in 2010 and when I disembarked, I knew 3 days was not enough, this time I went on a 5 day cruise and it is STILL NOT ENOUGH. Food were really good, pizza all day and all night long, Children under 18 are kept busy the whole day so that they don't get bored, pubs and bars - I thing they did well with the amount of bartenders that there was, waited a while for drinks. The Spa was to die for. All treatment I did felt like heaven! Cabins was spotless throughout the day. The entertainment on board was good, games, like put put, cards was a little expensive, but we have enjoyed it all together. We are planning our next cruise as we speak. This time, we will be a couple of crazy, fun women that want to let loose. So MSC, hope you will be ready for us!! Can not wait to get the new cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a destination specific cruise. Lecturer Mike Boll was fabulous giving histories of the countries visited. All nationalities were onboard which was a great mix. Entertainment was average & the so called "pool deck ... Read More
This was a destination specific cruise. Lecturer Mike Boll was fabulous giving histories of the countries visited. All nationalities were onboard which was a great mix. Entertainment was average & the so called "pool deck party" was a real disappointment - lacked food, poor music selection & no ambience or time given in setup. NCL takeover of Oceania is evident...cost cutting....toiletries not replaced in concierge room & had to be requested, room not serviced appropriately upon embarkation & wine prices (+18% gratuity!) expensive, wait service thin. The Horizon room was empty usually by 9:30-10 pm! Shore excursions were overpriced as usual. Food was above average, particularly in the specialty restaurants. The whirlpool private area available to concierge & above staterooms lacked lounges & chairs for those wanting to visit, & were taken by the same people regularly, as were the lack, & hogging, of lounges on deck 5. Concierge rooms are not worth the extra money on the smaller Renaissance class ships. The cruise director was corporate in presentation & too formal, & lacked the necessary social interaction for all levels of clientele. The most appealing aspect of the cruise was that staff recognised returning passengers & were very friendly & obliging. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but ... Read More
We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but decided to go based on above recommendations. First,confusion by shore staff on both transfers from embarkation hotel to ship and back to hotel at conclusion of sailing. Second, weather prevented sailing for 1 1/2 days. No back up plan by regent staff. Third, dining was slow and food often came to table barely warm. There was nothing very special with the food served at any time. Fourth, a total of three ports were not visited due to having to remaining in port due to weather. Again regent had no backup plan to compensate for lost ports. Fifth, little things like dirty windows going uncleaned throughout sailing, no air conditioning in a tour bus, and i could go on. Our expectations of a quality cruise were not met. Sixth, this was our first and now certainly the last time we sail with regent seven seas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by ... Read More
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by the lovely Eugene and Darya and dancing each evening in the Queens room as well as great music in the Yacht Club. There are 6 male dance hosts that dance with single ladies as well as ladies who's husbands don't dace. These are lovely guys and were very good at maneuvering ladies around the dance floor. There was also a sequence dance taught each day that we could do in the evenings. This is the only cruise we've enjoyed where I have not put on weight...gotta love that! Embarkation was a bit disjointed as we went to the ship first before being re-directed to the convention center for check-in and then sent by bus to the ship. Lovely cabin -6094 - Princess Grill. Plenty of hanging space. Very quiet. Meals in the Princess Grill were good but a bit limited. Until that is, I requested salmon and was told that it was available - I just had to ask. Also, if I wanted anything from the lunch menu for that evenings dinner - again, just ask! We loved the dance demonstration each evening at sea by the professional dance couple - they were fantastic. We only went to the show 5 nights from the 16 and thought they were a bit amateurish although the magician was very good. There were other activities around the ship on the sea days but we didn't partake in any so cant comment on them. Cant wait for our next cruise on Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I just completed our first Europa 2 trip, Capetown to Capetown 12/19/15 to 1/3/16, with port stops along the way in Luederitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia, and then on to Mossel Bay, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. We had six sea or ... Read More
My husband and I just completed our first Europa 2 trip, Capetown to Capetown 12/19/15 to 1/3/16, with port stops along the way in Luederitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia, and then on to Mossel Bay, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. We had six sea or mostly sea days on this 15 day cruise, so we had opportunities to test most of the offered services on the ship. We have done several other luxury cruises in the recent past, including on Silver Sea, Regent, Seabourn, and AMA Waterways, for comparison, plus I have done two Holland America trips to Alaska. Below is a summary of key points for English-speaking cruisers considering this ship, and at the end is a link to the Cruise Critic subforum I wrote about it as I cruised, if a reader wishes much greater detail ( or wants to ask questions). On the link you can see my day-to-day blog as the cruise progressed, as well as links to Photobucket pictures my husband took of the ship, its food, atmosphere, and ports on the itinerary. In case the link breaks, it can also be found on CC entitled "Out of Africa, Live from the Europa 2, Cape Town-Cape Town” and is in the “luxury cruising” subforum of the “special interest cruising” forum. We were in a penthouse suite, with a butler (unexpectedly upgraded), so it is possible experiences in a base suite without a butler might be different. Note neither I nor my husband have any relationship with Hapag-Lloyd, receive no compensation for writing reviews, and am not employed, directly or indirectly in the travel industry. My comments are thus independent. Overall, we had a terrific time and I rate the experience, which must be judged relative to other luxury lines, as 5/5 overall based on both the experience on the ship and the itinerary. South Africa and Namibia are very interesting, scenic places to visit with a fascinating history and generally friendly people, though the countries have problems, and visiting it on the Europa 2 was a pleasure. My husband would have rated the cruise 4/5, if he were writing the review, rather than 5/5, primarily because he missed serious socializing with other English-speaking cruisers (see below), as we were in a tiny minority. This ship had the best food I have ever had on a cruise and some of the best I have even had on land in the San Francisco Bay area, and elsewhere in our travels. Service was also excellent overall, though there is some room for improvement in a few areas ( see below). Everything seemed competently managed, and I could relax, recuperate, explore, feel taken pampered, and not worry about things going wrong. GENERAL ATMOSPHERE AND PASSENGERS: The ship is new, beautiful, comfortable, and contemporary, like an "elegant resort” , though unpretentious in overall atmosphere. Passengers ranged in age from small children to 80’s, averaging around 50, wide variance. There were reportedly 60 kids on board, an unusually high number, as this was a holiday cruise, but the next one was scheduled to have only 7. There were not too many extremely old people, definitely less than we have seen on Silver Sea cruises, and there were very few people in wheelchairs, though they can be accommodated. The ship was immaculate, and nothing we dealt with was broken. There were no formal nights, or tuxedos, but people dressed up smartly on Christmas and New Years, and most men chose to wear jackets to dinner in the main dining room and smaller dining rooms, but not in the most casual indoor/outdoor Yacht Club venue, (and even there no one dressed like a slob). Quiet elegance (except on New Year’s Eve) best describes the general ambience. The ship is also LGBT-friendly. Almost all of the 516 passengers on this full cruise were polite , and arrived early or at least punctually for performances and excursions, as is common for Germans in general. Most seemed to be reasonably fit, some were very fit, and almost all were from German-speaking countries. The international crew members that interact with passengers speak both German and English, but some speak English much better than others. EMBARKATION: everyone embarked at 16:00, the same time, took about 30-40 minutes to go through procedures. FOOD AND WINE, very important to us, was excellent, and there were only rare misses on minor things I tried at breakfast and the most casual though extensive and excellent Yacht Club buffet. Wine and other beverages are not included in the base fare, which some veteran luxury cruisers could find troubling, but there are literally hundreds of wines from many countries to choose from with fair markups so you can get exactly what you want, or explore, and you do not have to present your room card to order. There was a knowledgable sommelier who supervised an interesting formal wine tasting, there are good cocktails, many spirit selections (including a couple dozen gins) and several bars with friendly, pleasant and creative bartenders. There are many good wines by the glass, and you can often order portions as small as 0.1 liters. Food and wine quality are by far this ship's strongest feature. Not much expense was spared on this ship for special events food either, e.g., for the New Years Eve festivities, we had excellent caviar, jumbo prawns, Moet & Chandon, and the Dinner in the Desert complimentary event was fantastic, inspiring, and beautifully done. Goose liver pate is available to order to your room for room service every day, if you like, and both the main dining room Weltmeere and French Tarragon restaurants had beef tartar. (See my link for various menus I posted, and the food on them indeed tasted as good as it sounds). SERVICE in the suite was consistent, unobtrusive, and respectful of privacy. Room service arrived on time and properly prepared. Various fresh and juicy fruits, flowers, and canapes were routinely presented to us. Our complementary mini-bar contents, (plus the PH included hard liquor options), bedding and bath were customized as desired ( e.g., when I requested a foam topper for the bed a few days into the cruise, because I found the bed too hard, the topper arrived the same night). The bed adjusts at the head, feet, and center, a very nice option. Dialysis is supposed to be available, though I have no need for it and cannot comment on any potential problems there. Front desk personnel are on call 24/7 and are responsive. Food in all restaurants is available in two languages. Negative is that around 8 PM, the busiest time, with this full cruise, getting drink orders could take longer than ideal. The table drink ordering service in the Yacht Club casual venue at peak hours was also a little slow on this full cruise, and as there is no hostess greeting you when you come in, unlike on other luxury lines’ most casual venues, on busy evenings (at least until we learned the routine) at first it could be a little disorienting and stressful trying to figure out how to find a spot to sit, where to go, where what food is, etc. We quickly learned there always is a spot to sit, and a waitress to help, though it may not be clear the first night of embarkation, so ask when you come in to get oriented and make sure they know you speak English. Buffet items are labelled in both German and English. We saw a few delays in the clearing of dirty plates in the Yacht Club and I think at peak hours they could use another staff person or two there. The best routine, at least on a full ship, is to either go to dining venues for dinner either early when they open, or go late, or have a reservation at one of the smaller dining venues, where your table is guaranteed from 7 PM -9:30, as there is only one seating. It is most crowded, with service slowest around 8 pm, a phenomenon I have also seen on other lines. Small dining venues are also open at lunch without reservation, easy seating. PUBLIC AREAS — stunningly beautiful, comfortable, spacious. I read that this ship has the highest space per passenger ratio, and it shows. There was only one sunny day on which everyone was on board and almost all (but not all) outdoor deck chairs were taken, and it is not necessary to reserve” deck chairs. My one personal issue is that the ambient temperature in the air-conditioned public areas runs at least a couple degrees higher than on other lines, as Germans do not like air too cool, so I wished I’d brought more short-sleeved day and evening tops than I had. The GYM and SPA are well-equipped and have ocean views, personal trainers, frequent fitness sessions, and a bicycling excursion expert who leads biking excursions at appropriate ports. One negative is that the jacuzzi, on the highest deck, unfortunately, is set to under 30 degrees C, so it is not really a "hot” tub per se. The POOL, which you can conveniently use any time it is open (though closed during sea swells) is pleasant, warm, and has a reserved adults only hour in the morning and afternoon, and a KIDS time hour each half-day, other times everyone is welcome, but there are instructions daily in the program that at all times there should be no jumping into the pool, and "respect should be shown to all.” The other negative is that the music in the spa was overly peppy, rather than soft. KIDS: The Europa 2 is trying to be family-friendly, despite its high prices. It has some family suites with adjoining rooms, and has special areas for small kids play, a teen area, a kids dining area, and it offers nanny care and family-oriented excursion options. This cruise was a holiday cruise, so it had more kids on board than usual, Well-off parents who want to take a multigenerational trip and still have some luxury down time would likely find this ship to their liking. The assigned adults/kids pool times almost always worked well, and at other “all ages” times access was usually fine for adults (unlike what I have seen on Holland America, where kids take over the pool). However, there was one exceptional incident when two boys and their father continued to play with a ball in the pool after the kids afternoon hour ended, interfering with a lap swimmer's enjoyment (she had come after the kids hour ended, expecting peace). She was unhappy and complained to a hapless nearby bartender whose German was weak and who at first was unsure what to do (but within a half hour, the kids were somehow gone, so apparently he, or she, did something). At the risk of stereotyping, Germans are generally keen on keeping their kids well-behaved, though of course exceptions can occur on a holiday time cruise. Personally I am very sensitive to the noises of loud kids, and was surprisingly almost never bothered by them here. I would not hesitate to book another holiday cruise on the Europa 2 (possibly Australia next year) even if it has kids. ENTERTAINMENT: this was very good for a small ship, and there was something for varied tastes. I greatly enjoyed four of the five major performance style offerings. There were three extremely talented and known classical musicians on board who typically performed together (a concert soprano, concert violinist, and pianist); a charming female A Capella group; a flamboyant and talented pianist who did very nice, energetic Elton John tributes; and a dramatic Spanish flamenco ballet/dance group. The fifth was not at all to my taste, a German DJ and British pop singer who collaborated on performing old hard disco beat and (to me) somewhat crude and uninspiring hits from twenty or more years ago, including, unfortunately, on New Year's Eve. Each day there is a pianist at teatime, there is a jazz bar, a more energetic bar, and a beautiful bar at the reception area. Movies are also shown, English and/or German, in the movie room, or on your in-room TV. Suites are equipped with Samsung tablets with some games, ship email access, but we did not use them as we have our own iPADs and laptops. INTERNET was spotty, usually slow in this African location, and 0.19 Euro per minute, with no unlimited plan, unfortunately, though basic free ship email for messaging was offered to stay in touch with home for those who just need that (extra charge for bigger attachments, surfing, etc.) ENRICHMENT lecturers: two speakers were on board, each did several competent talks about the regions we visited and its flora and fauna, with slides in both English and German at separate times, no matter how few people there were to listen. EXCURSIONS: We did several, most were good (4x4 into the desert and Cango Caves and Ostrich Farm tour were very good), with comfortable seating, though bus AC on the excursions (and for that matter on the ship) is generally set to the warmer level Germans prefer. Some scheduled toilet and food stops could be earlier than they happened (especially when one is not allowed to take food off board in Africa), but unfortunately this is true for many excursions I have done through other lines, too, that have to use local contractors. One excursion turned out not as represented in the literature , and I politely complained to reception, but unfortunately it was on the last day so I do not yet know how the management will deal with my verbal and written complaints about it (I expect some reversal of charges). This was the only formal complaint I made on the ship as there was not much else to complain about! DISEMBARKATION -- quick, flawless, no problems, in Cape Town. Potential NEGATIVES for English based people specifically, depending on their orientations: 1. GERMANS: All major announcements, menus, enrichment lectures, and safety drills were available in English, crew speak English, and there is an international hostess you can call for help, but people who do not speak or understand any German at all, or are not with someone who does, *and* who also wish to extensively socialize might feel lonely or feel they are missing out if surrounded by so many Germans, many of whom speak either no or only weak English. Right now, this is not the ship on which to have complicated incidental discussions about local geopolitical issues or economics with fellow travelers, as sometimes evolved on Silver Sea, Regent, or Seabourn, in English after a bottle of wine. Indeed, a minority of benefits and entertainment can only be appreciated by German speakers, such as a few readings and humor sessions. Also, explanations of the details of most musical and performance numbers were only in German, other than the basics in the program (and, of course, music mostly speaks for itself in most cases, as does dance). Although there is a spectrum of personalities amongst all nationalities, as others have noted in their reviews I think it is fair to say that German travelers are in general more personally reserved and less likely to be keen on starting or being receptive to conversations with strangers, even if they speak English, or even amongst themselves in German, unlike on English-language lines where infectious sociability is typically routine. My husband missed having the easy spontaneity of talking in English that he liked on Silver Sea, and the approachability of most people there and on other luxury cruises. 2.SMOKING is allowed only in designated outdoor areas, and in the smoking lounge (Herrenzimmer), but beware that an occasional undesired encounter with small amounts of smoke may occur if someone does not fully close the door to the lounge, or at the outdoor bar, just like on Seabourn. The one time I saw specific smoking area rules violated was New Year’s Eve, when a few passengers lit up under the Magrodome after midnight where the pool party was and no crew told them to stop (but I’m not sure if anyone asked them to -- I certainly did not). It was not a problem for us, but though we are non-smokers, we are not allergic or vehemently anti-smoking. NON-INCLUSIVE — as noted, even base wines and beverages are extra charge, unlike on other luxury lines; so are excursions. IN SUM: The Europa 2 is a beautiful ship with fantastic food and wine, overall excellent service (with some room for improvement as noted), and extensive space per passenger. Though marketed to both German and English speaking passengers, right now almost everyone on board is German, which may not suit everybody, especially passengers who do not mostly just stick to themselves anyway on a cruise. I plan to sail on this ship again on the right itinerary, though her close competition is still Seabourn, as my husband prefers passengers to be primarily English speakers. It would be nice if more English speaking groups would try the Europa 2. Link to the more detailed thread about this trip: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2290219 Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many ... Read More
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many of the original ports of call due to the Ebola crisis. Since we didn't know of the original itinerary anyway, the trip and price were perfect for us. The Ocean Princess (nee Tahitian Princess) is on its last legs as a Princess cruise ship. It is being sold to MS Cruises in early 2016. Even still, the cabins and public areas were kept up and we very much enjoyed our time on this small ship. The staff and crew were marvelous, especially our cabin steward and the singers and dancers who doubled as the Cruise Director staff. Even with 16 sea days, we were never bored. Dining was excellent, but a little repetitive the last two weeks. The nitpicks are the nickle and diming that occurs now since Carnival took over. Many ports had shuttles that charged $8 or Euros to get from the port to the downtown area and another $8 to get back - ridiculous! These should be free or very minimal. Embarkation was difficult due the South African immigration checks that were needed, and some port stops (Namibia in particular) were ridiculous due to an inexperienced and overwhelmed immigration staff. The port stops were both interesting, adventurous and, in one case, down-right fascinating. Stops included Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia. For my money, we could have skipped Luderitz and made Walvis Bay an overnight stop so we could have experienced the Namib desert dunes at Sunset and Sunrise. The dunes are the draw here and they were more, much more, than i expected them to be. Our choice of Sandwich Harbour 4x4 (off ship tour company) was perfect and we had a wonderful time. Luanda, Angola was an adventurous stop. This was a first for the Princess line and, despite all the hype and warnings from the port lecture, we found it a nice place to visit. It is a former communist-aligned country and they were devastated by a very long civil war. Now it is an Oil Oligarchy and the downtown area is booming, slowly pushing the slum areas out of the city and building high-rises everywhere. There are not many colonial (it was a Portuguese colony) buildings left due tot he war, but the old fort (now a war museum) was very nice. I wouldn't return, but I found it a very interesting stop and enjoyed it. Sao Tome/Principe is another former Portuguese colony of the coast of West Coast of the African Congo area. When the Portuguese pulled out in 1975, the economy took a tumble and it is just now regaining its footing as a tourist destination. Still riddled with poverty, many eco-resorts are being built and the Taiwanese Government is investing heavily. The US maintains a (secretive) communications area on the island. A nice day stop and the only tender port. Our crossing the Equator ceremony was postponed due to rain, but they held it a few days later and it was a lot of fun. Cape Verde is a misnomer of an island nation as they have been suffering a drought for the last decade and the main island (Mindelo) hasn't had a drop of rain in 18 months - even the palms are dying. However, we had a wonderful (off ship0 tour and, like Sao Tome, they, with Dutch and Eurozone help, are bringing the island up to tourist standards. Water will be a problem, though. Tenerife in the Canary Islands was a very nice stop. We just flagged a cab and went for a ride around the island. Madeira is absolutely gorgeous! I'd stay a week here the next visit. Casablanca and Rabat in Morocco were great stops. Very enjoyable tour as well. Ceuta, Spain was our first ship excursion - overpriced and crowded with a couple silly stops (a waterpark, really???) But the guide was nice and after the non-walkers left us, we had a good tour of the fortress. Malaga is excellent and we highly recommend the "free" walking tour offered from the square. Lisbon is always a great port (we have been many times as we have friends who live near there), but Princess really needs to plan a longer stay there. However it is one of the best sail-aways you will ever experience. Rouen France was a fantastic treat as we sailed up the Seine and actually ported right in the City not at Le Havre, so we had a bonus river cruise on the way out. We again took a ship tour to Giverny and Monet's gardens and home. A great guide, but again an overpriced, overcrowded group function. We made port in Dover and went our separate ways. There are a lot of things to like about a small (800 passenger) ship - more ports and less tenders, getting to know your fellow passengers and crew. There are some things that don't work - 24-hour service is nearly non-existent. Less choices for activities, bars, snacks etc. Overall, this small ship experience was excellent and we will miss having this option in the Princess fleet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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