19 Dubai Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated soon. The staff is excellent. They knew our names after a few days. Service was great. Food was wonderful. Our favorite was Tuscano. This was a 21 day cruise and we did have quite a few sea days. Loved them. There were plenty of activities for us. We were with another couple and played a lot of cards. Our cabin was concierge level and this gave us free wifi for one item but we learned how to use multiple phones/ipads without too much trouble. We didn't do a lot of the entertainment in the evening but the ship's crew were very good the little we did see. We did use the casino, however not many people seem to enjoy the gaming. Did not really enjoy our cruise director but that is just a personal point. Our ports were fabulous. We booked all private tours so can not speak to the ship's excursions. It is an older crowd and there were no children on board. We met some very lovely people on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. The downtown area was completely shut down and our hop on/off bus driver had no idea what to do. We went around the same block three times and circled a round-about four times in succession. After an hour and a half, the bus stop at public toilets for us. Everyone was afraid to get off at the three stops he managed to get to for fear they'd never see another bus. Why did the shore excursion department not know about this and cancel this tour? In Nosy Be, Madagascar my shore excursion included a beach stop. Not a beach on the same side of the island as the pier (where other excursions went), but one that was 45 minutes down a crater filled road! By the time we got there, there was no time to swim (the beach had no changing or shower facilities) and the guide moved up departure time AFTER people headed to the shoreline. Almost every excursion included a "market" stop. How many times does a person need to smell fish and meat covered in flies while it rots in the sun? I chose an excursion to a Zulu "village" in South Africa expecting to visit a real residential village. An hour and a half ride to a hotel with a cultural entertainment area-a recreated "village." Heck, one of the women didn't even know the steps to the dance. In Durban, they didn't know the market would be closed on New Year's Day! So the guide tried to fill in time by taking us to the wealthy part of town and to the soccer stadium. Unfortunately, the tour bus didn't pull up on the stadium side of the street and one of the passengers was hit by a car crossing the street. I was a little surprised that none of the excursions on this cruise went anywhere near a jewelry store or upscale shopping area. Several of these countries are known for the gemstones they mine. The Nautica was fine and my cabin was good. I dined most of the time in the Buffet since the food was as good or better the the restaurant. I did try the restaurant once. The service was slow. My server replaced my standard silverware with a salad fork and a fish knife for a steamed salmon entree with green beans which I couldn't cut. I ate in both the alternative restaurants; food and service were excellent. The worst part of the cruise was embarkation. The documents said it was at 1pm so a lot of people showed up at 1pm. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Several hundred! They made no arrangements for the crowd-no chairs, no water, nothing! Like others, I stood in line for more than 2 hours while crew with gold bars on their shoulders smiled at us. I can understand that they might not know this could happen, but THEY COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING once it did. What would it take to have a crew member unstack the chairs that were leaning against the wall? They could have handed out number tags (the ones used for shore excursion buses) to group us and call us up when it was our turn. We still would have waited 2 hours, but we could have been seated while waiting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. ... Read More
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. We upgraded to concierge verandah cabin for this trip so were prepared for the level of accommodation; no complaints. We're still not sure what "concierge service" means, though. The service was good but we didn't know what to expect above and beyond what we got on our previous cruise. We found the food and service to be excellent, especially in Toscana. I have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, so after our first meal in the Grand Dining room, I learned to request seating just inside the entrance, away from the busy waiters' serving stations. The entertainment was of average quality. A couple of the professionals were extremely talented; a couple were not. Some of the scheduled entertainers were no-shows or delayed due to travel or visa problems. One such delay resulted in an impromptu Passenger Talent Show: mildly entertaining but not what we hoped for. The String quartet was excellent -- highly professional, and the ship's band was super talented. The six young on-board performers were equally talented. They put on several very entertaining Broadway-type shows as well as separate performances. No disappointment there! With a number of sea days, there were activities like bracelet-making, embroidery, bingo, and other parlour games -- not of interest to us. Two "Enrichment" speakers helped fill in the days: one was well-informed and entertaining while the other was rather pedantic and didn't hold our interest. Surprisingly, there were no "Destination" Speakers. Adequate information about upcoming ports was very lacking and very missed! Activities (e.g., more and varied speakers) and more substantive entertainment would have helped the long sea days pass. In retrospect, the cruise itinerary could have been better thought-out. One or two of the four stops in India could have been skipped, with the time added to other stops. Sailing for a day or two (or more?) just to spend a few hours in the next port, now seems like a waste of time. For instance, we sailed west for about two days from Seychelles to Mombassa, then part of a day to Zanzibar, and then a day and a half back east to Nosy Be (Madagascar) where we anchored for only six hours! In our case, Madagascar was of more interest than four stops in India. After an hour delay in tendering plus 40-minute boat rides to and from Nosy Komba to see lemurs (a couple hours) there was no time left to go ashore in Nosy Be or any other part of Madagascar! Very disappointing! Being rather inexperienced with shore excursions, and concerned with being left behind if we were delayed returning to the ship, we opted for the security of booking through Oceania. Never again! The excursions we chose (based on brief, sometimes inaccurate or misleading descriptions) were mostly disappointments. Expensive disappointments. As an example, an excursion in Durban was described as "panoramic", which, to me, suggests there will be stops where photos of interesting places can be taken. The actual excursion was a half-hour drive to "Umhlanga Rocks" ( apparently not a natural formation, but a high-end residential community instead), another half-hour drive to "Ballito" (apparently a small beach town, popular with locals) where the guide disappeared to apparently look for restroom facilities, leaving us to wander on our own for 15 minutes, then another hour-long drive back to Durban, where we drove non-stop through the downtown area, trying to snap pictures of places like "...the Theatre, where they have plays...". As another reviewer remarked, too many excursions are made up of too many people: the guides are often too far from most of the group to be heard clearly (both on the buses and on walks). And even guides in "third-world" excursions should understand not to let their charges get strung out for a hundred feet in unfamiliar narrow streets and pathways. These examples reflect our (and others') experiences on a large percentage of our excursions. Assuming we ever do cruise with Oceania again, it's very unlikely we'll use their excursions. Many people we met aboard (some had multiple Oceania cruises) were equally disappointed and expressed strong doubts about using Oceania again. The general opinion was that after Oceania was acquired by Norwegian, cost-cutting and short-term profit-taking have caused a noticeable reduction in the level of service. Unfortunately, our many good experiences on this cruise (especially with the crew and staff members) were offset by the excursions and other disappointments; we don't expect to use Oceania in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any ... Read More
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any other cruise ships that we have sailed on and this is no exaggeration. Although, not a reflection on the ship’s crew or staff, there were excursion experiences that did not measure up to our expectation. We would suggest that the cruise line staff place more attention on the planning and quality of the excursions to ensure they reflect the passenger expectations of a luxury cruise. Overall experiences on this vacation cruise, including add on three day excursions before and after the actual 30 day cruise were with a few exceptions first class. While there are probably parts of this itinerary we would not repeat, certainly there are others we would very much like to visit again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Second cruise with Oceania. First on Nautice. Chose the cruise because of itinerary which was great. We knew the smaller ship as we had been on Azamara. Oceania was better experience. Both embarkation and disembarking were trouble ... Read More
Second cruise with Oceania. First on Nautice. Chose the cruise because of itinerary which was great. We knew the smaller ship as we had been on Azamara. Oceania was better experience. Both embarkation and disembarking were trouble free. Negatives was there were little alternate activities during sea days but it gave you time to recover! , and late 9.30 show...but cruise for me is not for the entertainment, that is an additional option. only minor comments. Service was good ( although a little slow a the start of voyage...think the crew were new). Other negative was cost of wines. Cabin staff were helpful and pleasant. In fact when opportunity came to give nominated staff dining experience ...( at an auction) the cabin staff were chosen. Shore excursions we used were average, Used " Free excursion" which aren't really free! although given the ports were limited options. The other were pretty pricey. Staying with Oceania for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any ... Read More
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any evacuation of the thousands of the tourists in the country) and the most beautiful of the Seychelles islands, La Digue and Praslin, according to the captain because of the state of the sea (apparently the sea was flat but the landing was made in longboats and Oceania did not want to take any risk at all, in my opinion). We missed also Richard´s Bay, maybe the largest port of South Africa, officially due to the strong winds that prevented the arrival of the pilot by helicopter and we lost a precious afternoon in Cape Town, because of the rough seas that delayed our departure from Durban for four hour . Actually we arrived to CP at 9.00 PM and I expected to go to the Waterfront or to Long Street by night but Nautica just docked about 4.00 AM of the next day, surely to save expenses. Then we were putted out of the ship before 9.00 AM. More negative points: the extravagant prices and the bad quality of the shore excursions, the dubious level of most of the night shows, the quite expensive and low speed internet (it should be free, taking in account the price that the passengers were paying). Some positive points however: good food, especially in the main dining room, very comfortable veranda stateroom, staff attentive and pleasant. Final balance: I have no intentions to return to Oceania cruises, there are more exciting and cheaper alternatives. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
For our 5th cruise on Oceania we were really excited about the Dubai to Cape Town itinerary. Decided to upgrade to a Penthouse due to the length of the cruise - what a mistake!! Noise from the Terrace Café and kitchen/dish washing area ... Read More
For our 5th cruise on Oceania we were really excited about the Dubai to Cape Town itinerary. Decided to upgrade to a Penthouse due to the length of the cruise - what a mistake!! Noise from the Terrace Café and kitchen/dish washing area directly above us was constant from before breakfast to 1am to 2am at night. Only after I went upstairs at 1:15am and personally observed the staff banging dishes, shoveling ice into bins, washing big metal trays did the GM direct the staff to complete their work by 11pm. Despite promises to the contrary Oceania provided no compensation except for a token discount on a future cruise. Very, very disappointing. Unlike our prior Oceania cruises, the staff on the Insignia seemed tired, more interested in just doing their jobs rather than going the extra mile to provide cheerful service (the exception was our butler Andy who was outstanding). Personally observed the front desk staff being rude to guests. Lack of follow up on special requests and lots of passing the buck to someone else rather than seeing a matter to completion caused uncomfortable aggravation. My guess is that the growth of the cruise industry and/or Oceania has created a real shortage of trained staff and us passengers suffer as a consequence. Food, as always, is the big plus at Oceania. Had 10 dinners in the specialty restaurants but would rate only 1 as very good (none rated as outstanding), most as good but 4 with food or service issues that resulted in a below average or poor rating - something we had never experienced on our 4 prior Oceania cruises. Unlike prior Oceania cruises there seemed to be a directive to limit the size of portions. Wine selection and service is not Oceania's strong suit but to pour a 'corked' wine at a high end tasting seminar was a new low for us. Bottom line, Oceania appears to be slipping badly - not sure we will travel with them again and/or ever recommend them again (certainly don't waste the $ on a Penthouse stateroom) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the car getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? It did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the cars getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? They did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East Africa to Capetown. I've read some of the very unflattering reviews of the restaurants, that was not our experience at all. It's tough not to repeat some menu items over a 30 day period in part of third world countries. Fresh giant tuna were bought fresh on the pier in the Maldives, we saw them bringing them in. Cold food was never a concern. We rarely ate at the buffet, why would you when the dining room service was very good, if not at times excellent. The Senior staff knew our names within a few days, Marina one of the captains had our decaf lattes ready at the drop of a hat. I honestly would say that there are probably going to be changes in the food once NCL get up and running with the line. That could be a problem. The staffing did seem a little my shy than usual on Oceania. One review called the dining room breakfast boring, how can Eggs Benedict be boring every day??? Just the fact it was available everyday was joy! And there was a different special every morning. But the pastries were heaven, baked fresh every day, I wish I knew where in the US to get a chocolate croissant like those. And the poolside grill with Surf & Turf sandwiches with truffle fries were great! I am in the food and wine business, so critical. The wine list is poor at best, and overpriced regarding quality. Our room was another matter. It was very large as it was a "Handicap Accessible" room. It could have used a little facelift. But considering the ocean temp was 88 degrees, the humidity was unbelieveable. People didn't use their balcony's, it was too hot. Not Oceanias fault. Last one in the category, inside. the aircon ran 24/7, and it never got above 69 degrees in the room. I did come down with a bronchial issue. But our stewardess Alexsandra was amazing. Always ice and our preferred sodas. What is never mentioned is Oceania looks the other way about bringing on your own alcohol. We never took the Oceania excursions, they are expensive. I worked with great travelers on Cruise Critic and we arranged super tours on our own, and made great friends that I'm sure we'll see again. We did have to bypass Mombasa, it too was on the bucket list, but there were terrorist threats, and the American Embassy closed, not a good sign. so we spent an extra day in the Seychelles, a great trade off. They were very unspoiled, with beautiful beaches. We brought our own snorkel gear so we were very flexible. Nautica is a small ship, no big theatre. No big production shows. The staff entertainment were great, and you got to know them, they also ran all the activities onboard. They were great fun, we won lots of points for prizes at the end. My husband also did quite well at the Texas Hold'm games on sea days, kept him happy! I did Trivia with a raucous bunch. The Cruise Director Julie James was one of the best directors ever!! all in all it was a long trip. What is the hardest was the 40 hour door to door return from Capetown, but there's no other way to go that far. Our biggest complaint was Emirates Air, won't fly them again!! Ever!! It was an 8800 mile sea voyage, smooth for the most part, and the best time of year to go. It wasn't cheap, but I am afraid what will happen with the NCL takeover. Eastern Africa is not ready for tourism yet. Mozambique and Madagascar are big, crowded Third world cities. 60% unemployment, 7th grade free education. No cute animal running around. People looked at us differently, like all tourists are wealthy, and they looked envious at our cameras that were common to Americans as costing a year wages for some of them. We did see some amazing sights, Zebras roaming a winery pasture. A half day safari in Richards Bay. Beautiful fish seen from standing on the pier, the water as so clear. So read between the lines of all reviews, did we get what we paid for? Maybe...but we were safe where we needed to be safe, and the food was good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one else offers this specific itinerary. We do not feel that we received the value commensurate with what we paid for this cruise. The reservation agents rarely returned our calls and when they did they did not have the answers to our questions. The most important question was how the prepaid Visa service worked. And they charge more than if you just went directly through CIBT. This biggest disappointment of the whole cruise was the food in the dining room at dinner. The entrees were never hot, barely lukewarm. And the dining room wasn't that busy because a lot of guest ate in the Terrace Café (buffet) because the selection was better and it was hot. Also, the lattes ordered after dinner were warm - not hot. We sent them back several times and still never got hot coffee. Sadly the service in the dining room was inconsistent. You quickly learned which area to ask to be seated. There were several times we would sit at our table for close to 10 minutes before we were even acknowledged. We jokingly called it the Invisibility of Two because we were a table for 2. One very pleasant surprise was that within a week the maitre' D knew our names. We finally felt like we mattered to the staff. The two alternative restaurants, Toscana and Polo Grill, were excellent and the service was exceptional. We had a cabin on deck 3 which was perfect because it's not a through deck so the only people down there are the guests in those cabins. We met our neighbors and they always request Deck 3 just because it is so quiet. The shore excursions are quite expensive and we did feel we got a very good value for the money. Because we were in such different locations we didn't feel comfortable going it on our own. Thank heavens they had DVDs to borrow because the evenings entertainment was not to our liking. They had a string quartet that played classical music several nights, 4 production shows, a couple of male singers and a flautist. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's ... Read More
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's sale quality is gone & they are penny pinching. The one constant was the high quality meat brought in from USA. The menu repeated many times & desserts were ordinarily awful,food served cold.Very difficult to get restaurant RSV & then shocked to see they were usually only 1/2 full or had no turnover. The breakfasts were boring same buffet -they even lied to me & told me I have been eating chicken or beef sausage when it was pork which I can't eat ! They have a platter of umpteen kinds of herring but only 1 choice of cheese.Some got sick from hollandaise.Free juices were a cheap sugary or watered down premix.Boring old style low end lunches from the 60's. Excursions were double the cost & terribly organized. Many mistakes & they don't refund even when they break the contract. One tour we had a broken down bus with broken mike so no air or commentary. People got sick yet they did nothing. The staff was disgusting-same unprofessional male tour staffer Bus 11 or others never even offering elderly their seat in another bus.Brazilian guy at tour desk even yelled at me when they charged me for a tour I never ordered. Check your statements.Even when they knew about error the onus is on you w no apologies.Don't expect service or kindness if you are disabled. One friend in wheelchair was bowled over even though he was the 1st waiting for shuttle-they did nothing,bus filled & it went without him. If u ask for reserved seating no one checks & regular folks sit in rsv without being told to move. One man with 2 walking sticks was pushed to back of the bus.There were no activities, culture shows, history lectures,local entertainment. Night shows very average & cheap out dated programs with minimal costumes.Best were 4 nights of 2 broadway actors.The lighting was unprofessional & minimum band opportunities for passengers to dance. Social Staff also clueless-no variety or imagination. The pool deck party had NO decorations or food. Dead ship, no fun, no one in casino or lounges. The only good thing was the wonderful hard working staff, Without them they have a ghost ship ! Try Princess for better value .organization,professionalism & fun activities, Choose Seaborne in same price bracket with more class,food creative quality fine modern dining & amazing caring tour operators. They even reimbursed us for our private tour because they arrived late in port & we missed the train to town.There was no PA commentary on interesting things when arriving or departing a port. no music or siting info.One night the captain didn't warn that we were entering current yet he was dining when the boat made a huge tilted lurch-staff were even caught off guard. Very scary yet no one cared to calm nerves.They never had water or juice, cold towels at gangplank upon return in 90-100degree temp or welcome at embarkation..Not one flower on any dining table. No colourful decorations on buffet or serving counters.This company thinks highly educated affluent won't notice this minimalism. Don't waste your money because Oceania isn't using it for much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My ... Read More
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My mother usually travelled the higher class cruise lines so Oceania I felt would be OK. FIRST: The first day on the ship I like to get everything in order like the internet set up, extra dinners and check on excursions. I booked our trip directly with an Oceania representative who had told me my mother and I had 200 free minutes each. The internet girl on the ship was very nice, but said I had to talk to the front desk. The front desk said I had to talk to the Concierge desk. I spoke to the Concierge and he informs me there is nothing he can do. I asked him if he would let me check my e-mail and I could give him the name of the Oceania representative. He told me I could not use his computer and would have to pay the internet center to check my e-mail. He spoke to me insisting that there was nothing he could do and he would check with the home office on Monday and this was Friday. He did not raise his voice, but he was extremely arrogant. He told me how long he had been with Oceania and basically I was out of luck. I had never been treated like this before. I was tired and got teary eyed which is very unlike me. When I got back to the room, my mother said she was surprised someone would treat a passenger this way. The next day I went to the internet department and the girl allowed me to use her computer to check to see who my Oceania Representative was. I then went down to the Concierge and told him her name and he had already found it and sent her an email. He never bothered to call my stateroom to let me know. He e-mailed her and she said she did not give us any free internet minutes. I was upset and asked to see her e-mail. He would not show it to me. This man lacked any form of customer service. I then asked him to leave a message for the General Manager. The GM called me 2 days later and only after I said something to the front desk. The GM said he would have to check with the home office who said NO, but after 4 days the GM decided to give us the internet minutes. Why would anyone let a customer go through this ordeal. I did write the Oceania Representative and the Oceania main e-mail line. The representative said she had not given us 200 minutes. I could not believe it. SECOND: When we were on the pre tour in Dubai my mother and I were suppose to have 2 beds. They told us they did not have any available. Keep in mind we booked this trip in July 2014. They said they would give me a roll a away bed which was so uncomfortable and an upgraded room that included a larger closet. Why would we need a bigger closet when we were there for 3 nights and lived out of our suitcase?? We did have a king bed in the room, but my mother likes to sleep alone. Meanwhile when I got on the ship, I was exhausted. THIRD: It took my mother and I two hours to eat at a two person table. The servers we had acted like they did not know what they were doing. The food was cold most of time so we decided to eat in the Café most nights. The Café was excellent and the food was hot. FOURTH: The excursion desk/personnel were not organized. They did not solve our issues and many other peoples issues. This was the talk on the ship. They just said they had to check with the Home Office and then nothing was done. There were times the excursions were just bad. FIFTH: Before the cruise our Oceania Representative suggested we book a hotel room in Capetown because there were no excursions set up yet. My mother is 86 years old so waiting in the airport all day was not an option. The Oceania Representative said we could change it after they posted excursions. I asked the excursion desk about Capetown excursions and they said they would know sometime in the middle of the cruise. When the excursions came out, I tried to book one and was told I had to cancel the hotel 45 days before the cruise began. I was never told this. In fact, I was told the opposite. They said they would check with the Home Office and they said NO. Meanwhile we paid over $300 each for the hotel room. We had met a nice couple who had booked a private car through Oceania. They asked us to join them, but we would now need a van to accommodate all the luggage. We paid $200 each for this 4 hour excursion in Capetown. The excursion desk said it would be easier for them if we would pay the couple we met directly and they would charge them the full price. This is what we did. SIXTH: The ship had been remodeled, but the bathrooms were not. All they did in our stateroom was caulk over the mildew. After a few showers, the caulking started to drop off. The drain in the bathroom constantly smelled. They said they tried to do something, but it did not work. On a thirty day cruise this is unacceptable. OVERALL my experience on Oceania's Nautica was not worth the expense of what is suppose to be an upscale cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Firstly, there was a lot of talk on our board, prior to the cruise regarding whether to have a Yellow Fever jab. It was a no brainer for us. Had the shot, only reaction was a sore arm. We were asked to show our International Vaccination ... Read More
Firstly, there was a lot of talk on our board, prior to the cruise regarding whether to have a Yellow Fever jab. It was a no brainer for us. Had the shot, only reaction was a sore arm. We were asked to show our International Vaccination Certificate as we boarded the ship, then again in South Africa and Australia on our return. A few notes that might help planning the 2014 cruise. Good luck. We had a fantastic time Dec 2013. Dubai. Complimentary shuttle from the ship to Dubai Mall which is huge and has an amazing aquarium in the centre. The drive from the port is also interesting. Fujairah. Complimentary shuttle to the City Center Mall. Interesting drive. Nothing special Muscat. Complimentary shuttle from the pier to the Muttrah Souq which was amazing. Well worth doing. Wall to wall schools on the drive to the Souq. Education of the young is top priority in Muscat. Mumbai. Shuttle between the ship and the port gate only. Didnt do the Taj trip. Have been there before. Some people did the independant trip and others went on the ship excursion. From what we heard, some positive comments from the ship tour. As always you get what you pay for. The independant people didnt have as much time at the Taj and stayed in Delhi instead of Agra, missing the early morning viewing. Goa. No shuttle We did the ships tour HIghlights of Goa for the morning. Very interesting. Mangalore. We used the complimentary ships shuttle to the City Center Mall 10 kl away. That was an interesting drive. Cochin. No shuttle. Did the ships day tour to Kerala Backwaters which was a beautiful part of India. The tour was excellent and value for money. Saw the fishing nets on the way back to the ship. Maldives. Tender into town. Try to get to one of the island resorts which you would have to organise before leaving home. There is nothing in the capital Male. Have stayed there at Club Med in the past. Beautiful. Some people did the ships tour to Kuda Bandos and were very dissappointed. Lots of coral inshore. Cut feet etc. Seychelles. No shuttle. Went snorkling. A waste of time. Water cloudy with poor visibility, probably due to the weather. Had visited a couple of years ago and did the drive around the island which is well worth doing. Mombasa. Complimentary shuttle. Visa cost from ship $50USD pp. We did an independant tour to Tsavo East national Park. Zanzibar. Tender into shore. Then complimentary shuttle to Kelele Square, where we walked into Stone Town. Picked up a guide for US10 who took us up to the Slave Market and local markets. Visa cost from ship $99USD pp Dar Es Salaam. There was a complimentary shuttle into town. We did an independant City Tour - Full Day. Very interesting. Visited the Tinga Tinga Co Operative Centre and came away with a small painting. Nosy B. Tendered in. Not much there unless you want to go to Nosy Komba to see the Lemurs. Ship has a complimentary shuttle up to the old town. Lots of canoes came out to greet us when we dropped anchor. They wanted to trade with you from the tender pick up. All good fun. Maputo. Complimentary shuttle to the Feima Craft Market. Visa charged to ship account $169pp if you want to leave the ship. Nice place. Richards Bay. Complimentary shuttle from the Pier to the Boardwalk Mall. We had organized a private overnight safari up to Hlulhewe which was excellent. Really enjoyed seeing all the big animals in the cool of the evening and early morning. The drive back down to Durban was beautiful. Just like northern Queensland. Sugar cane, rolling hills. Durban. Complimentary shuttle from the Pier to the UShaka Marine World. Lots went to the Tala Game Reserve by private safari. Cape Town. The ship docks right at the V and A Waterfront, a fantastic location. We organized with Sean Casey to take 6 pax up to Stellenbosch that afternoon. He then gave us a city tour on the way back to the ship. The next day he took four of us down to the Cape for a full day. Beautiful. Stayed at the V and A Hotel.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The Ship caters to the elderly in respect to entertainment and music on board. Music from the 1930-50. War time songs and big band sounds. This resulted in a negative experience for us. It was like being in a senior citizens home. The ... Read More
The Ship caters to the elderly in respect to entertainment and music on board. Music from the 1930-50. War time songs and big band sounds. This resulted in a negative experience for us. It was like being in a senior citizens home. The Shore excursions were overpriced and didn't provide the description. We booked ten tours prior to departure. 50% of these tours failed to deliver. Wrong venue in Mumbai not the 100 year old Regal Movie Theatre. Cochin we were supposed to have one about and fifteen minutes to explore Jew Town we had 10 minutes so were not able to visit a heritage site. The tour bus in Kenya described as a tour in comfort, had leaking air conditioning was unsafe and had a collision. The ship arrived in the Maldives late, it was 4.15 by the time we got to the second rate resort and travelled back by boat in the dark arriving at 7.15 pm. The following day we had to leave very early for Kudos Bandos as the ship was sailing. Although the itinerary is exceptional we would have had a better experience if we had arranged our own tours as did many of the passengers. The guest entertainers were good but the programming was wrong. Some nights no entertainment and many performances were by the ships on board musicians. The gym was excellent. The staff excellent. The food as expected on a ship of this class. The Concierge excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The itinerary is outstanding with visits to exotic ports and beautiful islands. The Nautica is the perfect ship for this cruise. The cruise is long but the days go fast. The days at sea are welcome for relaxing and getting a tan. The ... Read More
The itinerary is outstanding with visits to exotic ports and beautiful islands. The Nautica is the perfect ship for this cruise. The cruise is long but the days go fast. The days at sea are welcome for relaxing and getting a tan. The weather was generally warm and sunny. The Nautica is known for great food and friendly service. The entertainment was adequate. The negatives which are common to most cruise lines include expensive wine, excursions and internet, The bathrooms are small. Oceania has addressed this problem on it's newer ships. The exercise room was very good. The ports are the stars of this cruise. The ship provided shuttle service in Dubai. There are lots of taxis. We took 3 excellent tours with Arabian Adventures. The shuttle in Fujairah is to the Center City Mall which is not in the center of the city. There are lots of taxis. The shuttle in Muscat is to the souk. There are lots of taxis. Mumbai is hectic. We took an excellent tour to the Kanheri Caves with Mumbai Magic. In Goa, Mangalore and Cochin there are lots of taxis. The ship anchored in the Maldives. We had hoped to snorkel but the seas were a little rough and the weather was overcast. In the Seychelles we took a taxis and snorkeled at the beautiful Anse Royale Beach. A shuttle was provided in Mombasa. Taxis and Tuk Tuks were available. Shuttle was provided in Zanzibar. It is not necessary as you can walk in to Stone Town. We got a boat for $50 and went snorkeling at a nearby island. In Dar es Salaam we took an excursion to historic Bagamoyo. It was a little disorganized but this is Africa. We anchored in Madagascar. We hired a boat at the tender pier and went to the Lemur island. There were a few taxis in Maputo, Mozambique. We to an excursion to the St Lucia Wetlands from Richard's Bay. We saw lots of Hippos but only 1 croc. The weather was poor. We took an excellent excursion to the Tala Game Reserve from Durban. You can get really close to the animals as they are use to the 4 X $s. We had very rough seas from Durban to Cape Town. We arrived 8 hours late. This was very disappointing for most of the passengers. Cape Town is beautiful. The ship docks right at the waterfront. We had been here before. I went on a great white shark cage dive 2 hours out of Cape Town in Kleinbaai. Very thrilling. My favorite ports were Dubai, Muscat, Mahe in the Seychelles, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Cape Town. This is a cruise of a life time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call first and then the size of ship. Of course one always has a preference to a known cruise company but our agent was certain we would enjoy what Oceania had to offer on board. Oceania did play around with the itinerary just before final payment was due and we had booked a back to back, so when Myanmar was slashed for "whatever" reason I did do a hmmmm but made the final payment and thought oh well, hopefully they don't slash any more ports. First Kenya, Tanzania and then Myanmar, basic reasons we did choose this cruise. They truly didn't "think about" the ports they put in place of those slashed, so corporate office get someone outside that little office to think about what to replace Myanmar with - not Trincomalee Sri Lanka! Anyhow on to the Nautica and I must say from the get-go the staff was excellent. Possibly one of the best bunch of crew we have had the privilege to sail with. Friendly, helpful always going out of their way to make sure our day was just that much better. From the Captain down each person was a pleasure to interact with. I have not come across a General Manager that was more human, helpful and thoughtful than Dominique a gem of a gentleman. If from here I continued to mention names of people that impressed me it would fill the page. The food fantastic! Imagine every day fresh berries (at least 2 varieties) and fresh tropical fruits like mangos and papayas alongside.. never missing a day. The Grand Dining room was just that, a slow, relaxed dining atmosphere. The 2 speciality restaurants and the management fantastic. The alfresco evening dinners in the Terrace were also a delight. Perhaps the best were the baguettes and French pastries, took me back to small bakeries in rural France, fresh out of the oven. The afternoon tea with the Florentines took me back to my younger days in Europe - thanks for the memories! There was a "situation" with the doctor, hired by Oceania, and eventually it could not be overlooked those in charge of the ship, brought it under control in a gentlemanly way as quick as they possibly could. It did mar the Dubai to Cape Town leg and gave for some worrisome times, I did even call Oceania's head office in Miami to lodge a personal complaint, which I never did hear anything from, another sweep under the corporate carpet. Before we sailed I had read 3 important/interesting things about Oceania. First, there are no activities for any child or even teen so don't expect to see many, if any, children on board. Second, Oceania is a port intensive cruise line so don't expect too much from the nightly entertainment, truly some of the entertainment sent by corporate office was questionable. Third expect the best beds in the cruise industry. True, true and true! The little touches of no charge on specialty coffees and non-alcoholic drinks and the free speciality restaurants were a nice touch. My only complaint was the lack of port talks. Yes we did get a verbal reading of what each port was like and what there was to see. But it was a "report" not a port talk. Nobody mentioned about the local dishes to try in different countries, or what to expect if we didn't take one of the very, very over priced tours. There are some people like my husband and myself, due to medical reasons, we cannot commit to the tours and then had to research or talk to others in order to glean something about the ports of call (remembering the speed and cost of the Internet we couldn't even search for ideas of what to do) Fortunately again the multi-country staff came to the rescue and gave us some ideas of what to expect. Other cruise lines I have sailed sell their ship tours but still give the independent traveler a lot of information and encouragement to enjoy the strange new countries they are about to see and experience. Many a passenger on this cruise had no idea of the poverty or the difficulties the countries were up against as that wasn't in the "manual". Perhaps some of the passengers would have appreciated things they saw more with a real port talk. On arrival in a port it was often heard, there is nothing to see here so guess we will go into port for a look-see. Even the names of the ports and important sights were so badly mispronounced it was hard to imagine what was being said. With the international crew on board one could have just asked around for correct pronunciations (that is what we did) to educate the passengers properly. With a little more enthusiasm during the port talks the guests would have been humming with delight for all the countries we were privileged visited. Will I cruise with Oceania again, hmm not sure. That is to say it is only the corporate office that is not getting my vote. Pricing of the cruise itself was very high. Pricing of the tours unreal. Spa prices hit the roof and the doctor prices (company quoted) were astronomical. I am writing this in comparison to the many other cruises we have taken. If I base it on my time spent on Nautica with the excellent staff - yes I'd sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I have taken many cruises on different lines, but had never cruised with Oceania before. The itinerary of the Nautica and the reduced fares enticed us to give this line a try. The cruise line organized our ... Read More
My husband and I have taken many cruises on different lines, but had never cruised with Oceania before. The itinerary of the Nautica and the reduced fares enticed us to give this line a try. The cruise line organized our flights from Vancouver B.C. to Dubai via Heathrow. We wanted to spend some time in Cape Town at the end of the cruise, so we did pay extra for this. We were pleased with our travel arrangements. We embarked from Dubai after spending a day there on board. Our stateroom was attractive and small, with limited storage space for a 30 day passage. Also the bathroom, especially the shower was very small. However, it was a small ship with 600 or so passengers and this was most appealing to us. Although the dining experience is not high on our list of considerations, we found that the food exceeded our expectations. In particular, we discovered that the speciality restaurants (which were not an extra fee), were not limited to 4 visits. We enjoyed the cruise activities on board, as the putting, table tennis and shuffleboard matches allowed us to meet a small group of delightful passengers. In addition, we had a chance to meet the ship's four entertainers, whom we found delightful. Of special note, was the county fair with all sorts of booths and an afternoon specialty tea, both of which were well planned and executed.One of the speakers was exceptional in discussing the history of the regions we were visiting; the other was average in talking about ships. We did not take any of the ship's shore excursions as they were overpriced for what was being offered. Instead, we explored on our own or with other passengers. I believe we had a better, much cheaper experience that way, The detinations were the draw for us and we certainly enjoyed Portuguese Goa region of India, the beautiful islands of the south Indian Ocean-Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar as well as our destination South Africa. In spite of all this, the trip was most seriously marred by the medical situation on board. My husband and I are both retired anaesthesiologists, licenced in British Columbia Canada and the state of California. We know about medical treatments and costs. Thus, we were appauled to hear of numerous cases in which passengers were given unnecessary tests and treatments for minor ailments. This resulted in bills of $2000 to $2500 per visit. Those who did not want such treatment were threatened with removal from the ship. Indeed, two healthy passengers were sent at their own expense and with no accompaying medical personnel to the local hospital in Mumbai as they were too ill to remain on board. When they returned to the ship with a letter of good health, they found their bags, security and the captain on the pier and only allowed to return when the letter was produced.As a result of this, a letter, signed by 30 of us, was sent to the Captain ,but this was ignored. Then we found that the doctor had had his licence revoked from the state of Tennessee in 2010. Another letter, signed by 40 passengers, was sent to the Captain and still no reply.After many days of protest about the lack of a licence, the doctor produced a "certificate" from a small college in India issued in 1979 as his "proof " of a licence.This is totally unsatisfactory by North American medical standards, particularly as he had malpractice suits awarded against him. We have written to Oceania customer services in Miami and have had no reply. In summary, this was a very good cruise if you avoided the shore excursions and the medical office. As a result of this, I can not recommend Oceania cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We enjoyed a lovely experience on board Oceania Nautica as we explored exotic destinations between Dubai and Capetown. This was our second time on the ship and she didn't disappoint. Our favorite thing about the ship is the lovely ... Read More
We enjoyed a lovely experience on board Oceania Nautica as we explored exotic destinations between Dubai and Capetown. This was our second time on the ship and she didn't disappoint. Our favorite thing about the ship is the lovely staff who are always smiling and never say no. They always do their best to please. We only took issue with the Food and Beverage Manager Kevin Bland, who always seemed as though he'd rather be anyplace else but working on the ship. I know he has a difficult job, but his disposition needs improvement. He rarely smiled and was constantly nit picking at the hard working crew for inconsequential things in front of the guests. Not once did I ever see him praise any of his staff for a job well done. This behavior is inconsistent with any of the other hard working managers I've met and observed on Oceania. While some other reviewers have complained about the ship's inconsistent service in the main dining room, they need to consider that at peak dining times, the kitchen is doing its best to keep up with the orders. Meals are made to order on Oceania and not prepared en mass and kept under heat lamps as is done on larger ships. This results in the meals arriving fresh and hot and in my opinion, always delicious. Dining on this ship is meant to be an unhurried, social affair. On evenings we didn't want to spend 2+ hours in the dining room, we ate upstairs at the Terraces Buffet, which always had fresh, delicious food as well. We found the quality of the meats in all dining venues to be of exceptional quality. The fresh fruits selection and berries everyday were another delight. We found plenty to do on board ship on sea days. For those who complain that activities are limited, they need to remember that small ship means fewer choices of things to do. However, we felt that the Cruise Director Leslie John and his staff did a great job of providing activities during the day. Expert guest lecturers did an excellent job of presenting topics on history, culture and politics of the areas we visited, on board sporting events were scheduled almost every hour, daily team trivia sessions, cooking demos by the Oceania Headquarters Executive Chef and outdoor activities such as the Country Fair, Officers Challenge and Equator Crossing ceremony were huge hits. We also found the library stocked with several new books and excellent reference resources. The shows were cabaret style entertainment and were put on by a cruise staff full of heart who really enjoy their jobs and a string quartet who played in various locations throughout the cruise. Jerry Blaine was at the piano who played soft, background music great for conversation in Martini's bar nightly and local entertainment troupes also came on in some ports. My only gripe was that on nights when the clock turned back an hour, there weren't always late night activities after the show other than the casino. The internet cafe has plenty of computers, however the satellite internet service on this cruise was way overpriced compared to other lines and rarely worked at all. I signed up for a $140.00 package for the 30-days that gave me 200 minutes plus a free 40-minute bonus. I tried logging on everyday, and most days it took 10 minutes just to connect to my gmail account. The service was so poor, I still had 65 minutes left on my account that went unused, and for which I did not receive any credit. The internet manager Igor, was not helpful at all. In fact, several guests I spoke to said they were afraid to ask him for help because he was so gruff. I had trouble connecting to the wi-fi one day and the only assistance he gave me was to tell me my computer was "broke", even though I was able to connect the day before and the day after on my own. With the majority of guests being in the senior age category, it might behoove Oceania to hire someone for that job who has more patience with the "computer challenged" guests. The Fitness Instructor, Maurizio, was fabulous. He offered several fitness classes a day and provided instruction in the proper use of the machines. The machines were new and in good working order. The pool area was always clean and spotless thanks to the tiring work of the deck stewards who were a delight. We thoroughly enjoyed the bar staff who were some of the smartest, funniest crew on the ship. The bar manager Siorban and Head Bartender Antonio did a great job of training their staff. A special shout out goes to "D" Demodar, I Made, Julie, Kathy, Sasa, Sai, Fillmore and Geoffrey from the bar department and Craig, the Cellar Master, and his excellent sommelier team. My only pet peeve with the bar is corporate's decision on how martinis are handled during Happy Hour. They tote Happy Hour as two for one, but when it comes to martinis, the 2 for 1 is offered in a glass half the size, or they will give you a "double" in the regular size martini glass. Simply put, martinis cost the same at Happy Hour as they do at other times. Overall, the ship is kept spotless by the unsung heroes of the house keeping team who usually go unnoticed. Our stateroom attendant Adithya did an outstanding job in servicing our cabin. We were in a category D porthole view stateroom on Deck 3. We loved our row of 15 cabins down there. The rest of the floor is crew areas. It was like our own private club, and one of the most stable areas of the ship since they are all located mid-ship, just above the water line. The stateroom layout was well designed and comfortable with adequate seating area and closet space. The beds were comfortable with pillow top mattresses and frette linens. A small, but adequate flat screen TV with news channels and cruise programming including movies, TV shows and documentaries. While the bathroom is tiny, it is functional. It would be nice to see them replace the "hugging" shower curtains, with sliding glass doors which is now prevalent on most of the other cruise line's newer ships. It was nice to see that Maia was recently promoted to Chief Purser. She and her staff did a great job of trying to be proactive with immigration forms for each port, mid-cruise billing portfolios and solving various problems presented to them by the guests. This resulted in flawless embarkation and disembarkation in each port. The shore excursions team were very helpful and friendly, but Oceania corporate really needs to reconsider the pricing on their tours. While cruise lines always charge more for tours than if you book on your own, I considered their offerings as price gouging for exotic ports where they knew many folks would be hesitant to book on their own. Charging 3 to 4 times more for the same tour arranged on your own was simply ridiculous. If they continue this practice, they will end up losing guests to Regent who include shore excursions in their pricing. When all is said and done, Regent turns out to be a better value if guests book Oceania's excursions in each port. This was a constant discussion among several guests. Ports visited on this itinerary were Dubai, Fujairah, Muscat, Mumbai, Mormugoa, Mangalore, Cochin, Maldives, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion Island, Richard's Bay, Durban and Capetown. It was fairly easy to arrange tours on your own in each port either before hand on-line, or at each port on arrival. The ship ran complimentary shuttle buses in each port except for Mumbai, Mormugoa, Maldives, Madagascar and Seychelles. The shuttle buses usually dropped you at a shopping mall area where you could arrange local taxi sightseeing or walk to other city sights. A local representative came on board in each port to provide maps and suggestions for things to see and do on your own. Some were very good, but a few offered little help or gave incorrect info. The ports that didn't run shuttle buses usually had local taxis available at the pier for tour hire. The shuttle buses usually ran well, except in a few ports where they needed additional buses during peak times, such as in Durban, Reunion Island, and Mauritius. I will provide a more extensive review under the port section for each port. Overall, we thought the cruise was a wonderful experience from start to finish with a few little hiccups as mentioned above. The staff were great, the service was very good and the food was fresh and delicious. The ports were exotic and the 30-days flew by too quickly. We will sail Oceania again and hope to see some of the same friendly staff . Ports of Call not covered below: Fujairah, UAE - shuttle bus dropped us at a mall where you could negotiate city tour rates with local taxis.. The city is quite new, so not much there to visit other than an old fort. We decided on a beach day at the Hilton hotel, but unfortunately, there were tar balls washing up on the beach. We were told by the hotel that this is a common occurrence due to the oil tankers that often flush their tanks off shore. Muscat, Oman - shuttle bus drops you at the old city souk which has some great shopping if you like to haggle prices. I got some great buys on Omani silver jewelry and hand embroidered silk shawls. There is a lovely waterfront promenade you can stroll along to the palace and the fish market. The souk is closed daily from noon to 4 PM and most of the day on Fridays. There are also taxis available at the souk you can negotiate with for a city tour and local museum visit. Mormugoa, India - There is no shuttle bus here, so it is a long walk to the gate entrance. There are several taxis there where you can negotiate for a tour of the surrounding areas. A friend of ours picked us up here and we toured Old Goa where they had an interesting festival taking place for St. Francis Xavier, and several of the beaches that have made Goa famous. We also had a delicious meal at one of the restaurants on the river near Mormugoa. Mangalore, India - shuttle bus drops you off at a shopping mall in the center of the city where there are several taxis and tuk-tuks. We hired a tuk-tuk for 5 hours for $15.00 per person to take us around the city to see the churches and temples. We had a great driver who explained all of the Hindu traditions at the temples and we even got to witness a couple of weddings which was very interesting. This is also the only shuttle bus stop in any of the ports that left us close to an internet cafe that cost less than 50 cents per 30 minutes computer use. Male, Maldives - We tendered here and got to spend an overnight. The tender dropped us in the center of town within walking distance of the large mosque, the very interesting fish market and local farmer's market. There were also several souvenir shops. The highlight of the Maldives, is the beautiful coral atolls and underwater sea life. It was easy to arrange a visit to one of the local islands or a snorkeling trip right at the tender pier for less than $50.00 per person. We were fortunate enough to have a friend at Sheraton, who sent a private boat to pick us up for a day trip at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and it was breathtaking with its white sand beach and azure turquoise waters. Mahe, Seychelles - We docked here and there were several taxis at the pier who were only interested in giving island tours for about $60.00 per person. We only wanted to go to one of the beaches, so we waited until the rush was over and managed to get a taxi to the beach for $15.00 for 4 people. You could also walk into the town in about 20-minutes where there were several shops, bars and restaurants. Praslin, Seychelles -- We tendered into the island and it was possible to catch a ferry here to La Dique which has some of the prettiest beaches in the world. Several guests did this excursion on their own by taking the ferry and hiring an ox cart for about $25.00 per person. I opted to do the very expensive ship's snorkeling tour to Coco Island. The trip was way over priced, but I had an amazing time on the beautiful white sand beaches with large boulders and the snorkeling was some of the best I've done. It was a good thing I signed up for this on the ship, because there was no on-site operators available to hire on your own. Nosy Be, Madagascar -- We tendered into the island where the ship ran a shuttle to the center of town which was very interesting. It had a nice local market, souvenir shops, restaurants and bars with free wi-fi. There were also boats and taxis for hire. Several guests hired a boat to go to Lemur Island for $15.00 per person, where those of us booked on the ship's tour paid $129.00 per person. While the tour was quite interesting, there were absolutely no safety standards practiced on these small boats and the small village where the lemurs are kept, is basically a tourist trap, albeit an interesting one. Some guests hired taxis for $20.00 per person and also got to see lemurs on the main island. Port Louis, Mauritius: Unfortunately, we had heavy rain here all day so opted to stick close to the downtown area. The ship ran a shuttle to the downtown shopping center or you can take a water taxi for $2.00. We opted to try the water taxi going into down town and it was quite the adventure. No safety standards whatsoever, and the step up from the boat to the pier at low tide was nearly impossible. This is not a trip to take if you are mobility impaired in even the slightest way. The downtown area was modern and filled with lots of shops, restaurants, bars and sidewalk cafes and had plenty of free wi-fi spots. There is also a large local crafts market that is worth a visit. A few blocks past the new shopping area, is an underground passage that takes you to the local's market that provided plenty of photo ops and lots of exotic spices for purchase. Point des Gallets, Reunion Island: The ship docks at the cruise terminal which is a distance from anything and there are few taxis and rental cars available. There is a local bus that stops right across from the cruise terminal that gets you into the central downtown area. Luckily, they did run a shuttle that either dropped you off at the local market or the main bus station. We decided to take a direct bus to St. Denis. The trip was scenic as it hugged the coast line for the 30-minute trip. We strolled through the main part of the town and pedestrian zone where most of the shops, restaurants and bars are located. Unfortunately, most of the shops were closed from noon to 4:00 PM for their lunch break, but we enjoyed strolling the streets and water front area. The entire day cost us less than $5.00 per person including a couple of local beers. Richards Bay, South Africa: The ship docks near a marina with cafes and bars and free wi-fi. It is a modern, scenic marina. They also ran a shuttle to a modern shopping mall. We pre-scheduled a private tour to the St. Lucia Wetlands Preserve located about 1 hour drive from the port. We were able to cruise through the Wetlands where we saw several hippo and birds, but were unable to get into the land reserve for a game drive because it was already full. There are several other private game reserves in the area within an hour's drive, but most of the tours occurred during the high heat of the day when most animals are out of sight. The schedule of tours would make more sense to do the game drives at dusk, especially since we were in port until 11 PM. Durban, South Africa The ship runs a shuttle to Shaka Marine Park which is close to the waterfront. It also offers an aquarium, water park, a shopping village and several bars and restaurants. You can also catch the local People Mover bus here to go to the Indian and Witch Doctor Markets. There are also taxis available you can negotiate with for a city tour. We opted to stroll along the waterfront and enjoy an alfresco lunch. Moya is a very nie restaurant that sits at the edge of the pier where you can enjoy a drink and watch the surfers. There also is a lovely waterfront promenade featuring street performers and is a great place to people watch. In the afternoon, before heading back to the ship, a local dance troupe put on a very interesting free display of Zulu Warrior Dancing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 3.9

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