2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
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
10 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
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 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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