17 Southampton Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

REVIEW. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4 We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Nautica. I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without ... Read More
REVIEW. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4 We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Nautica. I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without fire I thought. Nautica does need a refit. She is a bit tired and old fashioned. However everything worked except the fridge which was replaced within hours of reporting it. GENERAL We live only two hours from Southampton. At 2.10pm we checked in at the terminal and were in our PH Stateroom 8049 by 2.45pm The bags were waiting outside the door. No complaints there. The Stewardess introduced herself soon after we arrived and I requested a foam pillow instead of a feather one. (This was on the bed when we returned from dinner) Mani, the Butler, was soon at the door and we were able to ask him to bring morning tea each day. He was charming and professional. Tea came as requested each day. Boat drill was at 4.15 . This took a slightly different form from what we remembered, as we were taken out on deck to our lifeboat. Previously we were only instructed in the muster station. It seems a good idea to show the guests exactly how the safety drill works. You are not required to take your life jacket. On returning to our stateroom, we phoned Mani and requested tea and cookies. Ten minutes later he was there with the order. Perfect. He also got us a table in the speciality restaurant when we asked him. Oh and replaced the ailing fridge within hours. and brought lunch one day. And breakfast a couple of days too. DRESS. ( I hesitate to mention this contentious issue!) My husband wore a linen jacket every night for dinner because he likes to and I wore a nice dress or smart trousers and a pretty top. Gentlemen frequently wore a jacket in the speciality restaurants and the ladies always looked good to me. We did see guests going to the Terrace who were not quite so formally attired but we did not eat there in the evening so don’t know what the general look was. FOOD AND DINING SERVICE. Waiters were attentive and the sommelier was prompt, the wine poured before any food was served and glasses topped up frequently. We had an included wine package. I am at a loss to understand the comments about slow and lax service in the GDR that some recent reviewers mentioned. We were always greeted by name and when we asked for a table for two that’s what we got. Sometimes we shared. We do feel, however, that the menu is not as extensive as on previous cruises and did not change as often. (our last cruise was two years ago on the same ship) Only one meal did not meet expectations. It was duck a l’orange. I mentioned it to the restaurant manager. He wrote it down but I did not hear any more about it. All the desserts were delicious. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Three meals in Polo and two in Toscana. Some on our own and some shared. I had shrimps and lamb in Polo and Dover sole in Toscana. We always enjoyed the company of our companions in fact we sat with the same people on two different occasions quite by accident! In Toscana we requested a special dessert a couple of days before we went. It was Zabaglione. This has to be made and served immediately. That is why it has to be requested. The chef came to see us at our very special forward table to make sure we enjoyed his dessert. We did. TOURS For the first time we took Oceania tours as they were included in our fare. The guides were charming and spoke good English. The tours were well organised and did what we expected. The guests were “well behaved” and always returned to the bus on time. Except once, but that was a genuine mistake by the guest and she was mortified so we forgave her!!!!!!! ENTERTAINMENT… What we went to see we enjoyed. True there are no big presentation shows. The singers were good and they also did duty as Entertainment Officers. I am really not sure what is expected from these shows that guests say they are disappointed with. Last but not least I must mention the CD. Shawn Carter. Excellent. Enthusiastic. Friendly. Kept us informed. Just right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
: enjoyed this cruise, However, there is room for improvement; (1) Most of the excursions were low quality. Except the tour guides in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage, modst of the other tour guides were below standard. The tourduide ... Read More
: enjoyed this cruise, However, there is room for improvement; (1) Most of the excursions were low quality. Except the tour guides in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage, modst of the other tour guides were below standard. The tourduide in Bruge was too old and could hardly talk. It seems that physically this was too much for him. The tour guide in Stockholm was a catastrophy. He just walked us through the royal palace and had very poor knowledge of the subject. Terrible waste of time. The guide tour in Helsinki was superficial and just wanted to have it over with. There was no air condition in the bus and when the bus driver was confronted by one of the group members, she answered that this how the bus was constructed by Volvo, and did nothing to improve the situation. We were reimbursed 20% of the excursion fee, but this did not make up for the damage. When I returned from this excursion, the third one in a row, I considered to cancel all the remaining excursions. Fortunately, the tour guises in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage were good. This was just a temporary relief, as the tour guides in Estonia and in Lithuania were bad again. The one in Lithuania was really really bad. The tour guide we had today in Gdansk was above average but stretched the time and gave a lot of free time which lowered the quality of the excursions. I complained several time to various people in the cruise about these excursions, and suggested that at the end of each excursion the members of the group will complete a questionnaire. This will help to eliminate the bad tour guides, once repeated bad reviews will prompt the cruise line to request the agency to not hire these tour guides in the future. I was always told that I will be asked to complete a review but nobody bothered to talk to me and listen to my suggestions. In the university where I taught, the students completed a questionnaire after each lecture and each clinical rotation, and if they were not happy, the teacher was removed from teaching. (2) the level of entertainment was not satisfactory. The highlight was every evening at 9:30 pm fpr 45 minutes. This is too short. Also, except Michelle and the Ukrainian dancers, the group of the young 6 permanent singers/dancers were at the amateur level only, and not good enough to be the center of the entertainment most of the evenings. The cruise ship should have more guest entertainers and for longer time, since this is the highlight of the evening. Also, variety can help: for example in another cruise I participated there were stand-up comedians and laughter always help. I suggest to add stand-up comedians and generally speaking to extend the evening entertainment to 3 hrs every evening. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But while on board Oceania announced their revamp. For the first time the shows actually contained some music from the 50 and 60. The last show was amazing. I was amazed to hear that a Florida had decided to can it. I hope they don’t go back to Broadway and Frank Sinantra (more my mothers era). Another positive was a focus on the solo travellers. I have asked before why Oceania don’t value their solo travellers only to be told the economic model is two people per cabin not one. This time they hosted 4 events for us and we were very grateful. John the cruise director was very friendly and efficient. Very focused on the US guests but they are the majority I suppose. Captain Max was also amazing with his talks and updates. He made us feel included and his talks were funny and educational. Great to have the free shuttles in port for those organising their own shore activities. The dress code was very casual. John kept asking people to comply with code but many ignored it. I did see a specialty restaurant turn away a guest dressed in track pants and joggers once. On the negative side, the food in the terrace cafe left a lot to be desired. Breakfast was just what one would expect. The other meal times were very ordinary. The Grand dining room was ok but after 20 days one was just eating much the same. The polo grill and Tuscany were top. The Ambassador was very abrupt. Maybe it was her culture. However previous cruise Ambassadors were more helpful. Her attitude was “ look in the books and handout and when u have decided come back. Otherwise don’t waste my time”. The internet is very poor. One connection per cabin. My travel companions had to have one person log off before the other one could use it!!! I had to keep logging off and on devices. Let’s hope this is included in Oceania Next!!! The beverage package is very expensive for what one gets. We went to a couple of wine tastings. The last one we paid $50 to drink what was included in our beverage package!!! Activities were limited but they flew in from US two bridge masters as they had about 300 people playing bridge. If u did not play trivia or bridge there was not much else to do on sea days but rest ( maybe that is an idea). Finally I must say how wonderful all the staff are. From the Captain to the dr and nurse ( very rough seas resulted in a visit to the dr) through to the cabin staff. No one said goodbye as we left the ship. Well with over 80% of return guests I guess that is not important. The trip has made me rethink if I should not explore some other lines ( have only been on Holland America) Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the ... Read More
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the dining room. Great entertainment. John's magic show during happy hour was the best. The speakers were outstanding. Enjoyed Black Jack tournaments. Some couples really wanted to play Poker but not enough players. I can't say enough about the staff. Very helpful and kind. The best. Julio at the concierge desk was so helpful with all. I mostly booked my own excursions. Love the Orkney Islands. Our favorite stop. Did a walking tour in Londonderry and that was on the spot 4 GBP so great value. Being able to get a special coffee anytime, an ice cream etc. was great. Service at the dining room was very efficient. Loved showing up and being seated so quickly. The buffet was good but often crowded as the weather did not lend itself to dining outdoors so they brought those seats in. Prefer the dining room and personalize service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only disappointment. It was more of the shuttle service company’s misinformation rather than Destination Services fault. The information the shuttle company gave to the ship was incorrect, so we decide to stay at Castlegreen, visit a local pub, rather than wait for the shuttle to take us to Londonderry. If we had waited, by the time we would have arrived, everything would have been closed. Now, the wow factor. The production team was the best I have ever had on an Oceania cruise or any other cruise line I have been on. All of the singers had strong voices and blended well together and the dancers were great. The whole team was strong and you sensed and saw that they worked together as a team. They were also highly visible when not performing. It would be nice if they had a few more desserts on each menu that did not have nuts, but that is my personal choice. I enjoyed the surf and turf in Waves but skipped the Terrace cafe, not because of the food but because people were hogging tables. The weather was not nice enough to be able to eat outside and because the water was so rough, the outer decks were closed several sea days. That is to be expected, so no complaints from me. If you are a poor sailer I would not recommend this particular cruise as the majority of the passengers were feeling poorly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had anticipated. Desserts were the most disappointing aspect of the food train. They seemed bland and unimaginative. I heard several complaints about the lack of or taste of the "chocolate" desserts. The behind the counter servers in the buffet area were attentive and accommodating, but the wait staff (coffee and incidentals) in that area were somewhat less so. Service and accommodation in the main dinning room was first rate. Food and service in both of the specialty restaurants was first rate. The entertainment on board was very good. We greatly enjoyed the young performers. Interacting with the cruise director, Julie, was a treat. Room attendants and their service was excellent. The entire ship's company with exceptions noted were very responsive. Midway through the cruise we filled out a questionnaire critiquing our experience. Almost all issues we noted were addressed within 24 hours. Once the response was simply an explanation of why things were as they were, but they did get back to us on the issues. Largest single disappointment in the cruise was the inconsistency of the shore excursions. Some were good to excellent and others were not so much. This seemed to result from lack of proper planning on the tour operator's (management) part and perhaps not so much on the individual tour guides. Overall I considered the cruise a success and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was two ports in Scotland, three in Ireland plus Iceland and Greenland and Fareo islands. The North Atlantic was rough but we endured. We knew the smaller 55 thousand ton ship would have pluses and minuses, so our expectations were ... Read More
This was two ports in Scotland, three in Ireland plus Iceland and Greenland and Fareo islands. The North Atlantic was rough but we endured. We knew the smaller 55 thousand ton ship would have pluses and minuses, so our expectations were met. PLUSES: No crowded decks. Easy on and off. Well organized excursions. Open seating. Excellent food service. Helpful crew and staff. MINUSES: Limited entertainment. Smaller cabin. Plenty of bouncing in the seas. Do the pluses outweigh the minuses? IN general ... Yes , but then there is the value question, and Oceania is not inexpensive . I will leave it at that ... Where the cruise goes is highly important to us at this point in our experience. If this dominates then consider Oceania for sure. If other factors are more important check out alternatives. We met many who were multi repeats on Oceania. It certainly appeals to a certain crushing set ... But maybe not others. We are into retirement years and have 100 countries visited. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Recognizing that at any given time, the Wait Staff on a cruise ship is almost always in flux, we got the feeling many of the staff had just reported in for their first contract. HMCSBN nailed it on the crush for a table and the problems in ... Read More
Recognizing that at any given time, the Wait Staff on a cruise ship is almost always in flux, we got the feeling many of the staff had just reported in for their first contract. HMCSBN nailed it on the crush for a table and the problems in the main dining room. The two specialty restaurants were outstanding with the Italian one the better of the two. The cleaning staff was impeccable, timely and and very friendly. The best we've seen in our 15 or so cruises across 5 cruise lines. It was our first Oceania cruise & if we do another with them, it'll be on one of their bigger ships. The lone launderette was adequate, but cramped & crowded. The non-staff entertainers left a bit to be desired. A comic, the mandatory violinist, a magician, all reminded us of why we'd never heard of them. If on-board shopping is your thing, or if you left your favorite deodorant at home, forget it on Nautica. There are the obligatory watches, a limited choice of logo apparel items, etc., but you quickly find out where you can find a Tesco or other retailer when you hit your next port. Excursions: In a word, expensive. Many other folks found their own whale-watching adventures, or glacier & iceberg boats, at far cheaper prices than Oceania's. Lectures: Outstanding presentations by one of the two men to ever go to Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, CAPT Don Walsh, USN (Retired), and ones about Broadway and West End theater productions by a Broadway producer. If we go on Oceania again, it'll be because of the port visits, not because of the Nautica experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I choose the Baltic Sea cruise on Oceania Nautica because of the itinerary and the relatively small size of the ship. We spent 3 days in London (not enough time) before boarding the ship at Southampton and 2 days in Copenhagen following ... Read More
I choose the Baltic Sea cruise on Oceania Nautica because of the itinerary and the relatively small size of the ship. We spent 3 days in London (not enough time) before boarding the ship at Southampton and 2 days in Copenhagen following the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation were quick and easy. Our C-1 cabin had plenty of storage for clothes and other items; in fact I was amazed that with 2 ladies travelling together we did not fill all the available space! The dining choices were good - plenty to choose from. I was disappointment that for our one reservation at Polo Grill I was served a chewy steak with little flavor and another person at my table had a poor quality steak as well. Toscano was outstanding! The Grand Dining Room had many good choices as did the buffet. I would have liked more flavor in several dishes though. The fresh berries were a real treat - the best I've ever had. Service was outstanding, our cabin steward almost looked hurt if we didn't want her to straighten up in the evening. We had room service bring breakfast several times as we had early tours and they were always prompt and with the correct order. I did go on 2 of the Oceania excursions - both were fine but had 30 - 35 people on the tour. I prefer smaller groups so we either did our own walking tour, joined a local walking tour, or joined a small group tour (less than 12 people). I thought this was a great experience and a very good itinerary, but I would probably not go on a cruise again as I felt we just didn't have enough time in port and had to stop what we were doing to get back to the ship on time. But if I did go on another cruise, I would be happy to sail on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost ... Read More
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost un-noticable the night we had them. The ship was very comfortable through that night. The captain was among the best in keeping all well informed throughout the cruise. He was very approachable and explained everything. One day as we were disembarking we saw him leaving the ship with his bike for a ride around the port. The food on board was terrific as usual on Oceania. The food on board is the main reason we frequently look at the itineraries that Oceania offers. We always meet very interesting people on board. This trip was no exception. Exploring out of the way places in Dublin and the Beatles tour was a highlight. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second Oceania cruise. We had pretty high expectations and most of them were met. It's true that the ship is getting a little tired looking: railings that needed refinishing, paint that was chipped. However, it was ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We had pretty high expectations and most of them were met. It's true that the ship is getting a little tired looking: railings that needed refinishing, paint that was chipped. However, it was meticulously clean and our concierge level cabin was very nice. Dining is always a highlight. The Grand Dining room is lovely and the food terrific. There were times that it was pretty full and service slowed significantly. The two evening specialty restaurants are a mixed bag. Polo was the best, immediate attention, great food, not a bad table in the place. Toscana was not as successful. We had a reservation, but had to wait for our table. Then we had to wait and wait and wait for service. We cancelled our second reservation and went to the main dining room. Too bad Waves restaurant is only open until 4:00. It has great casual food. Honestly, we didn't attend any of the entertainment activities. Either we were off the ship during the day or went to bed early to be ready for the next day. If you get nothing else from this review, please take this to heart - Oceania excursions are ridiculously overpriced and often limited in scope. We found hiring a local guide was more cost effective and we saw much, much more. Internet service was probably the worst part of the trip. It worked intermittently and when it did work, it was SLOW!!! Would I use Oceania again? Sure. Staff onboard are lovely and we had a good time. We know what to expect and take the good with the bad. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We really enjoyed this Baltic cruise on the Nautica. We like the way we are treated by Oceania and we especially enjoy the food onboard. This cruise was port intensive with only one sea day, so we knew that there would be plenty of ... Read More
We really enjoyed this Baltic cruise on the Nautica. We like the way we are treated by Oceania and we especially enjoy the food onboard. This cruise was port intensive with only one sea day, so we knew that there would be plenty of activity outside and little onboard, but then Oceania is not known for its entertainment. However, this was a Verne Lundquist cruise, and I must say he was most enjoyable. I'm not much of a sports fan, but his stories were great fun and his video clips really were a highlight of our time onboard. The Grand Dining Room service was excellent, and the food was generally really good. However, there were some dishes that missed the mark - I think Oceania is trying too hard to impress with some fancy titles that don't taste that good! Also, there was a definite lack of presentation of the food. Too bad. Specialty Restaurants were excellent. The Terrace Café was very good but often too crowded to be enjoyed, so we started avoiding it. Waves Grill was so wonderful that we started gaining weight just walking by! Loved the Surf and Turf and Jon really enjoyed the Kobe Beef Burger. The ports were fabulous, although the weather was not always friendly. Since we generally find our own excursions, our ship excursion experience was very limited. The service of the staff was terrific with smiling faces and attention to detail. One complaint: the "stripes" (officers) seemed to go out of their way to be Unfriendly! The captain seemed competent and communicated with us more than most captains, but the others were stand offish. Very unusual for such a fine ship. Overall another enjoyable experience on Oceania!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a last minute cruise deal that our neighbors were already booked on this cruise and it satisfied one of my cruising goals of seeing St Petersburg, Copenhagen, etc. Ship accommodations and staff were excellent. Food and liquor ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise deal that our neighbors were already booked on this cruise and it satisfied one of my cruising goals of seeing St Petersburg, Copenhagen, etc. Ship accommodations and staff were excellent. Food and liquor offered were top of the line. Being a beer drinker I was disappointed in the beer selection made up of Corona, Sam Adams, Amstel light, etc. These are not top of the line premium beers I would expect along with the liquor selection that was offered. There was confusion on the wine offered one night at the table. I was on a unlimited drink package but was offered a select wine list that was not. I ordered the wine and was charged $116. I suggested to wine steward that they charge me only 50% due to the mistake was mine but the ship bore some responsibility and was denied. Again the cruise was excellent and woould cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary. We had been to Iceland and Faroes 3 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to go back, also this cruise featured 2 stops in Greenland which we wanted to see. The last time we sailed on ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary. We had been to Iceland and Faroes 3 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to go back, also this cruise featured 2 stops in Greenland which we wanted to see. The last time we sailed on Oceania (Regatta & Insignia) was 2005 and 2007 respectively. We were interested to see how ship experience has change in these years and the (possible) effect of the influence of the new parent company NCL has on the cruise experience. It is important to say that we went on the cruise with a very bitter taste as we had booked in October 2015 and paid in full in February 2016 at a so called special offer only to find that in May 2016 Oceania had reduced our equivalent cabin category by a whopping 48%. It took me and my travel agent nearly a month to try and resolve this situation. Oceania UK were most unhelpful in doing anything to compensate us for this. Eventually, I wrote to Frank del Rio (CEO Oceania) and Jason Montague (President NCL) and they got the UK office, Bernard Carter MD, to offer us many extra packages which we had to take instead of getting any cash refund. Because they had so many issues regarding this type of pricing offer Oceania have introduced their price promise called BPG, best price guarantee. My advice is to check that they will honour the BPG when yo book or better still wait for the price to drop nearer to sailing date and get a "last minute deal". Despite the above our cruise overall was very good. Never rate anything or anyone excellent as they have nothing left to achieve. The downside of Nautica and the other R ships in the fleet is that the bathrooms are very small. Our outside view cabin was good although the decorations are showing signs of ageing. We were on Deck 4 which is very convenient for the main dining room and Nautica Lounge. Oceania lacks a lot of daytime activities that are offered on larger ships. The entertainment team of 4 have to organise the so called "sporting" activities and also perform their evening production shows. The only lecture was fairly interesting but seemed to think that passengers (his shipmates) were only going to visit the local pubs in every port of call. Oceania is noted for it's dining (food) experience and overall this was very good. The main criticism was the limited variety of vegetarian dishes on offer. They seem to give fancy names for every menu item. The service in the Grand Dining Room was slow on a number of occasions. The Polo Grill and Toscana were very nice. If you like your food hot, as we do, be sure to ask and remind your waiter as at most meals we had to send our soup and main course back as it was only cool in temperature. The entertainment was quite good but again very limited. The Cruise Director Julie James was excellent and apologised that because the cruise was oversold there was not the availability of cabins for more entertainers. The Wi-Fi internet on the ship was very,very,very poor. Luckily we had an unlimited package because if we had to pay for it we would have needed a mortgage at their prices. The shore excursions were well organised but very poor value for money, Again we had 5 shore excursions included in our extras package so if we would have paid for them they were an expensive rip off. My advice is to book your tours independently. All the ports were very good and apart from Dublin, where only one shuttle bus ran on the hour, we enjoyed the tendering and shuttle service/ Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have taken two previous Oceania Cruises and have very much enjoyed cruising with Oceania both on their larger ships and smaller one. Although the Nautica is small,it was comfortable. My husband refuses to take a cruise serving ... Read More
We have taken two previous Oceania Cruises and have very much enjoyed cruising with Oceania both on their larger ships and smaller one. Although the Nautica is small,it was comfortable. My husband refuses to take a cruise serving thousands at a time and prefers the smaller ships as offered on Oceania and the River Cruises. As for the size of our stateroom, it was small, but there was sufficient storage space in the room and the bathroom was extremely efficient. The food has been consistently good, the staff excellent, the cabins comfortable, the linens and beds comfortable. We stay on the Concierge level because we enjoy the balcony and other services provided on this level. We enjoyed the food served in all areas on the ship. The Terrace Grille is crowded during prime times in the morning. However, we found that eating Breakfast in the Grand Dining Room was best for us because we love being able to sit by a window and order off the menu. Breakfast in the Terrace Grille was used only when we were up early missing the crowds, or needed to eat within 15 minutes. We enjoyed the Happy Hour where where we met many lovely people from all over the world. Happy Hour is very reasonable, two for one, approx $5.00 for a standard drink. However, we spent $$$ by ordering the ship's wine. Next time, we will bring our own wine and pay the standard $25.00 corkage fee. NOW FOR THE NEGATIVE: There is one thing that we learned the first cruise, the second cruise, and AGAIN this third cruise. PROVIDE YOUR OWN EXCURSIONS AND TRANSPORTATION. I kept telling myself that I would never use Oceania's Excursions again. Yet we did again, because we were nervous about the possibility of having problems in Russia. Transportation to/from ship is outrageous. My advice, use a cab. If you want an organized tour, use one but not Oceania's. The excursions are a major negative for us. Excursions are a big moneymaker for Oceania. Consider paying $20-$30 (cab) for transportation to/from port rather than Oceania's organized transport fee. Also, I would suggest that you never take a cruise without staying a few extra days on either end. However, do not use their hotel and transport packet. Use a travel agent or book a hotel through the internet for the additional days. Unfortunately, Oceania realizes that many seniors and first time cruisers are unfamiliar with the ability to book excursions through outside agencies. Hope this information helps. And, YES, we definitely enjoyed our cruise and will not hesitate to use them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on board, including the GM, CD and many of the officers and staff. Putting Insignia back in service with the company going from 3 ships to 5 ships and a doubling of the capacity has put a strain on staff and management. Embarkation: Was smooth an efficient. At 1pm, we were on the ship and in our cabin in 15 minutes from reaching the port. Safety Drill: Muster stations are in the GDR and Lounge. The first drill (we had two) was total CHAOS. After the drill we complained and had a one on one with the ships safety officer. The 2nd one was better organized. Stateroom: We had a PH2 category and have had this several times. The cabin is rather small for a PH but was adequate. The new decor was definitely an improvement (lighter colors). Of course the bed and linens on Oceania are the best of any cruise line. Food: We ate at all of the venues. The GDR was good and service was acceptable. Toscana was also good. However POLO was the worse. All of the steaks we had were horrible. Tasteless lumps of meat. We complained several times and there was no improvement. The Terrace was actually the best we had on on many cruises. The addition of the Grill is a plus. We did have an issue at the beginning -- no Lamp Chops, but Head Chef Maarten quickly resolved that. The coffee in the Terrace was just plain horrible. The espresso/cappuccino machine was constantly broken. Eventually about 2/3 into the cruise they put a Barista machine and were making the espresso's manually for those that wanted them. Service: Service was spotty in the GDR. However otherwise service throughout the ship was excellent. Our housekeeper was friendly and efficient. Our Butler Janos was the best we have had! CD: As some others posted O is having issues with their CD's. Many have left and the new hires like "Bob" did not work out and was fired in mid cruise. So we were left without a CD until the end when Nolan Dean came aboard in Iceland. Nolan was first class.and we liked his English sense of humor. Tours: We only took one "O" tour as we like our private tours. The one we did take the "Titanic Trail" was poorly organized and overpriced. We had a tour scheduled at the pump house in Belfast shipyard and the guide was 45 minutes late. Baristas: The new coffee bar in former Grand Bar area was definitely a hit. The Baristas generally knew in mid cruise what we were going to order. Disembarkation: We had an early departure from Gatwick so need to get off the ship by 9AM. We did at the head of the queue to leave and was delayed until all of the luggage was unloaded. Sort of defeats the idea or need to do a n early departure with towing our own luggage. We made our flight with time to spare. Overall gave the cruise 4* --if Polo was better it would have gotten *5. Oceania needs to fix these specialty restaurant issues (We were not the only ones to complain). Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We love Oceania, especially the smaller ships so we were excited to embark on this cruise - we were not disappointed, We had never been to Portugal, nor Spain and could not think of a better way to visit than by cruising. We went by ... Read More
We love Oceania, especially the smaller ships so we were excited to embark on this cruise - we were not disappointed, We had never been to Portugal, nor Spain and could not think of a better way to visit than by cruising. We went by train from London to Southampton - this was a breeze, spent a night there pre cruise and the cab fare to the port was quite cheap. Embarkation was a bit slow but we were allowed into our cabin not long after boarding and everything after that went without a hitch, The food was up to Oceania's usual high standard, we were offered an extra night's dinner at Toscana which is one of our favourite speciality restaurants. We thoroughly enjoyed the meals we ate at this restaurant - yum! We loved our cabin, bed so comfortable and we really loved sitting on our veranda with a glass of wine at sail away and with a coffee in the mornings. The bathroom was a bit cramped but we were expecting this and it was really no bother. The excursions we took with Oceania were okay but some did not quite live up to their advertised descriptions - our travelling companions sometimes got a better deal using the local "hop on hop off " bus. A couple of the ports of call seemed a waste of time and I notice one is not included in any similar 2016 cruises. We only went to one show, A Salute to Edith Piaf, we enjoyed it very much but were often too tired to bother with the onboard entertainment preferring to snuggle up with a good book or simply sit on our veranda after dinner. Service was excellent, our cabin stewards were absolutely brilliant but we did have reason to complain about one of the waiters and were satisfied with the response. Internet was expensive - free on our next cruise thank goodness. I hate disembarkment - always feel they can't wait to get rid of us. Overall we had a great cruise, and have already booked a 23 day cruise for early 2017. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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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