40 Southampton Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

We decided on this particular cruise as my friend had not been to Spain. The ports were wonderful! As always, everything about Oceania was terrific. Meals, service accommodations - just EVERYTHING! Embarkation took less than 30 minutes. ... Read More
We decided on this particular cruise as my friend had not been to Spain. The ports were wonderful! As always, everything about Oceania was terrific. Meals, service accommodations - just EVERYTHING! Embarkation took less than 30 minutes. Our room was ready on schedule, after we enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch in the Terrace Cafe. Every interaction with crew and staff was a pleasant experience. Beds in our cabin were too comfortable and we really wanted to take the pillows with us as they were so wonderful. Oceania never fails to exceed expectations with their cuisine. The variety is amazing. My friend has a strange allergy and their efforts to accommodate her were terrific. Most of our shore excursions were arranged privately as we prefer the smaller groups that are available through cruise critic. We had a stop in Guernsey which was interesting as I had read the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". Unfortunately, most of the WWII emplacements were no longer available. All in all, a wonderful cruise with Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting ... Read More
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting major cities like, Berlin, Helsinki and Copenhagen, Stockholm, St Petersburg whilst also visiting quieter destinations such as Kristiansand, Klapeida, Tallinn, Karlskrona, Riga (listed in order of increasing preference). • 1- 2 more sea day would be relaxing but we had to fly out. There were scammers who attempted to scam us at London and Berlin. • Mostly smooth sailing with minor waves at night time in the Baltic seas. We do appreciate good stabilisation system with deep hull in the ships. EMBARKATION – No lines, straight through at the later part of the day. ROOMS – Very neatly appointed, the smaller bathroom meant a larger ratio of living space. • The showers are small but have been told they will refurbish in the near future. • The cabin is kept clean and stewardess Rosario was nice. I personally like the current bed style a lot and find the new design of the proposed refurbishment a bit tacky. • The bed and pillows are very comfortable, probably the best I have had at sea. PUBLIC SPACE – Spacious, lots of elegant seating in different decks. A few other cruises I have been on, felt like you must buy a drink to sit in the bar area, or must purchase this to lounge at a corner, i.e. less inviting. This ship had a lot more “free” space that you can comfortably sit and have a chat with friends. Dining alfresco in the Terrace café is great when warm; the sunset view (quick photo) is worth the chilly wind! OTHER PASSENGERS – most demographics lean towards retirees from North America, Europe Australia etc. • Some passengers are very warm and friendly, some others were very discerning, a few were ageist and slightly chauvinistic towards non Anglos because there is hardly any non Anglo passenger on board – no wonder other Asian male passengers were mistaken for crew and there were lots of staring. • In Australia, we see a variety of nationalities like Middle East, East and South East Asia, Africa, South American people. Perhaps with a few of the passengers, they don’t see much of the greater world as much and developed more curiosity as such, hmm. • I have also witnessed a few passengers been rather rude to the crew and are quite demanding, my guess is there is a correlation between more luxury cruises with more discerning cruisers. Contrastingly, I have witnessed people pushing in lines at buffet…but you probably expected this on any cruise. • Passengers on other mass and premium lines saw happier looking passengers who are on holiday, Nautica passengers appears that this is the everyday life (probably because they cruised with Oceania a lot and this became their normal home). CREW – Mostly excellent and friendly: only some very minor hiccups with some waiter and lady at the bar near the casino area. John the cruise director was amazing and the chef (not sure of the name) grilling lobsters, steak and fish in the terrace cafe for most part of the cruise is a master, the best grilled lobsters I have ever tasted. The chef changed on the last two days, the lobster quality dropped significantly and not cleaned properly (accidental slice of the excretory glands by the chef when cutting the lobster meant a unique taste…). FOOD - Having cruised with Celebrity (same menu in different ships rotating), RCL, Carnival, Princess, this line has the best food out of the above. Celebrity and princess are still decent and I enjoyed my meals with them. Carnival was good value for money and fun, but RCL was cost cutting. 1. If food is important to you, as it is for me, you are likely to enjoy this cruise. 2. The only comment I will make is that the sashimi is not that great, i.e. powdery and breakfast was getting boring after 2 weeks of continental breakfast. This is likely because I am spoiled in Australia where the café brunch options are excellent and access to other cultures like Chinese dumplings, dim sums with congee and fresh sashimi etc. I am not sure how adventurous the other passengers are with trying “non-western” style breakfast. .. 3. The fruit options for breakfast are impeccable and fresh. I can’t rave enough about the grilled lobster done by that particular Chef in the buffet, simply the best, he needs a bonus. 4. The main dining room is mostly great, tip: the daily menus are better than the Pepin inspired ones. Miso glazed Sea Bass was delicious. 5. The Russian evening buffet was outstanding with lots of choices and interesting dishes. We really appreciated trying other cuisines and the culture, especially when the food is made nicely. 6. Desserts – I have not had a bad dessert on board and have gotten seconds, very nicely presented and produced. You will be eating with nice silverware and plates. Afternoon tea with string quartet is very good but often hard to find a seat. SHORE EXCURSIONS – • Did a private tour for SPB for Catherine palace + Peterhof and it was great. • The complimentary shore excursion to Hermitage was disappointing, I could only look and take pictures of the ceiling because it is too crowded to see artworks on the side. Perhaps I needed to grow a few inches taller. Good thing that the ceilings were intricately beautiful. Because of the massive crowds, I did not see the peacock clock. Your face is literally up behind someone’s back. It was like a battle against time and the 50-60k people per day to take a quick peak of some highlights and get out ASAP. Don’t get me wrong though, the rooms within the hermitage were very opulent. • The local guide who gets on board at the ports Is quite good – provides a local maps with tips and answers. Also the shuttle to city centre, both very nice touches added by Oceania. • The complimentary tours for the 3 cathedrals however, were very good. See the ports info below for tips. • In general the ship excursions and transfers are very expensive for what they offer. ENTERTAINMENT The lectures on history of the ports were interesting and John’s magic show and talks were excellent. You are more or less expected to entertain yourself on board, which is perfectly fine given the intensive itinerary. Take the extra time to recharge, read a book and relax somewhere. I will be more than happy if Oceania spends the money on other things to improve vacation experience. There was minigolf and a shuffle board. Summary of tips: take naps in the very comfy bed and deck chairs with good cushions, try the afternoon tea listening to strings, try Toscana, try the miso glazed sea bass, eat the desserts, relax in the public areas, read in the library and relax after a long day (30k steps per day sometimes) of sightseeing ! Baltic cruises are definitely not only for the retirees. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and ... Read More
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and live around two hours’ drive from Southampton. We arrived at around 2.30 pm at the terminal. Check in was pretty straight forward as there were no guests waiting and we were soon on board and in the Terrace Cafe having a bite to eat. Our bags were waiting when we got to our stateroom at 3pm. THE ITINERARY Nautica was sailing from Southampton UK and visiting Newcastle, UK, Edinburg and Glasgow Scotland, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool UK, Holyhead, Wales , Waterford, Ireland, Portland, UK and finally returning to Southampton. There were two sea days. We had not been to these Cities before. THE SHIP Nautica is very “old fashioned” in the best possible way. Her decor is comfortable and inviting. No glitz. No loud music. Just cosy. There are two sets of lifts and they all face the same direction so you never turn the wrong way to get to your stateroom (well hardly ever), There were only 580 guests on board, short by nearly 100. The majority of guests were American, with the rest made up of Canadians, Australians and Brits with a few Italians, Germans and French. All the British guests we met on board had not visited the ports before! THE STATEROOM We were in Veranda Stateroom 6084. This is the very last stateroom before the Owners Suits on the aft of deck six. The accommodation is small compared with Riviera. There is adequate drawer and wardrobe space, but the entrance, wardrobe and bathroom doors all open onto each other and when you exit the bathroom, you can easily “loose” your travelling companion inside the wardrobe!! The bathroom is tiny and the shower cubicle even tinier. You learn to live with it, but it is not ideal. Bed and bedding is wonderful, but bedside cupboard is ridiculously low and inaccessible. The general lighting needs modernising as it is quite gloomy. At certain speeds and/or wind direction this room is subject to quite lot of engine noise and vibration. I do not recommend it for that reason, even though most of the time it was quiet and comfortable. SERVICE I have read on here that service in the restaurant is not up to scratch; that there are queues at reception and long waits for room service. None of this happened to us. Restaurant service was exemplary. Jacqueline on the desk at the MDR remembered our name and room number within a couple of days. She was always charming. We always got a window table at breakfast. Alan a senior waiter was excellent. Irene was always smiling. There were others who impressed us, but I do not remember all the names. Room service was astonishing. We counted two minutes from ordering our tea in the morning to it arriving in the stateroom……. every morning. The terrace cafe was never full. The cruise was not full to capacity, perhaps that helped. PORTS We enjoyed every port but one. We did not take Oceania’s tours they are much too expensive and not value for money, in our opinion. We used the shuttle bus sometimes and arranged private tours on other occasions. Surprisingly the least enjoyable port was Dublin. After the shuttle bus we took a Hop on Hop off ride. Dreadful traffic, cold and windy quite “run down” in many areas. Nowhere we wanted to have a closer look at. Disappointing. Everywhere else we found interesting and absorbing. We are so pleased we took this cruise. The sea was kind. with only one lumpy day. ENTERTAINMENT This was mediocre. We only tried three shows and walked away from two of them. Tuxedo was the only good one, and it was great. Generally our entertainment was a long leisurely dinner with interesting new friends. We were last in the dining room more than once!! I am sure the waiters were not amused, but of course, they never let us know. To sum up. Excellent trip. Good weather. Oceania did not let us down. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise had a good itinerary and went to cities we really wanted to see. The staff were wonderful, so polite and accomodating; the meals, especially in the Grand dining room and two specialty restaurants were all delicious and ... Read More
This cruise had a good itinerary and went to cities we really wanted to see. The staff were wonderful, so polite and accomodating; the meals, especially in the Grand dining room and two specialty restaurants were all delicious and beautifully presented. We had the O life package which included free internet (slow, but it worked OK) and $600 cabin credit. The bed linen and towels were of very good quality, as were the toiletries. Complimentary bottled water was supplied each day in our room and handed out on leaving the ship for day excursions. We only took one ship sponsored excursion, from Vlissingen to Brugge, it was well organised and enjoyable. In other cities we either did our own excursion or went with a local tour company which worked out very well. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Nautica, especially liked the afternoon high teas with the string quartet playing, we will definitely look to cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I was stunned to read the poor reviews from the passengers on Nautica in May. It is hard to believe it is the same ship I boarded just weeks later, in Southampton, on June 1. We saw or heard none of the issues indicated as a problem on ... Read More
I was stunned to read the poor reviews from the passengers on Nautica in May. It is hard to believe it is the same ship I boarded just weeks later, in Southampton, on June 1. We saw or heard none of the issues indicated as a problem on our cruise. We continued to experience the outstanding service, in all restaurants, abundant gourmet food, cooked and served to perfection and delightful entertainment for which Oceania is known. The negative reviews may have been due to a group of 150 traveling together on their cruise, and requiring specialized services. I can see where that could become a huge issue for the other passengers. Our very competent captain, Maksym Melnikov, was one of THE best, as far as communication to the passengers, personality and great sense of humor. He talked us through his amazing maneuvering of Nautica , into a very narrow lock, with only a few feet allowance on each side. We will definitely sail on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
W e chose this cruise because of the itinerary-particularly Latvia and Lithuania, which are two countries that my wife and i had never been to. It has also been 16 years since our previous Baltic cruise, so we were curious about potential ... Read More
W e chose this cruise because of the itinerary-particularly Latvia and Lithuania, which are two countries that my wife and i had never been to. It has also been 16 years since our previous Baltic cruise, so we were curious about potential changes. A third deciding factor was the three day stop in St. Petersburg, which allowed us time to visit Moscow, where we had not been previously. The highlights of the cruise for us were, in fact: the three days we spent in Russia; our stops in Riga, Latvia and Klapeda, Lithuania; and the food on the Nautica. The stop in Russia was terrific, largely because of our SPB tour guide, Kate, who showed us the amazing sites of St. Petersburg for two full days. The middle day of our stop in Russia we took a high speed train 4 hours each way to Moscow, which was also an excellent experience thanks to SPB. The food on our ship was superb in all thee dining rooms plus the buffet and the Waves grill (which is where they make the milkshakes and smoothies). Our captain did a fine job dealing with some unusual circumstances. First, he cancelled a scheduled stop in northern Denmark due to high winds; then we rescued five people off a yacht in distress; and finally, he went back to pick up two guests who were late returning to the ship in Helsinki. One final observation about the Nautica is, in my opinion, do not go for the nightlife. We only went to two of the shows at night and the casino was dead. On the other hand, CBS sports announcer Vern Lundquist gave two talks that were both highly entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
While having cruised about 25-30 times on various popular lines, this was our first cruise on an Oceania ship. We chose this one for it's itinerary which included Scotland, Shetland and Faroe Islands, Ireland, Greenland, and Iceland ... Read More
While having cruised about 25-30 times on various popular lines, this was our first cruise on an Oceania ship. We chose this one for it's itinerary which included Scotland, Shetland and Faroe Islands, Ireland, Greenland, and Iceland (multiple ports). We met many lovely fellow cruisers. The ship is richly elegant, not glitzy like the more popular lines. The room was pleasant (veranda), but the shower was quite small! The one disappointment was the food, which Oceania makes a big deal about. We found it to be good, but no better than Celebrity, Royal Carib, or others. While the cruise was more expensive , we found the OLife incentives to be quite worthwhile. Taking this into consideration, the price difference was not that much to be concerned about. Would we travel on Oceania again? Absolutely! What we found particularly interesting was that the breakfast and lunch buffets were served to us. We did not handle the serving pieces ourselves. Therefor the passing of germs from one person to another was greatly diminsihed. The was an absence of sickness and coughing, so prevalent on other lines. Very nice! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise was beautiful and interesting, far more so than we expected. It was a Southampton round trip, themed around the Vikings. The itinerary was: Edinburgh, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Akureyri and Isafjordur in northern ... Read More
This cruise was beautiful and interesting, far more so than we expected. It was a Southampton round trip, themed around the Vikings. The itinerary was: Edinburgh, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Akureyri and Isafjordur in northern Iceland, an all day navigation of the staggeringly beautiful Prince Kristian Fjord in Greenland, followed by Paamiut and Qaqortoq in Greenland, then back to Reykjavik for two days, then Derry, Belfast, and Dublin Ireland. That is a lot of ocean to cover so there are 5-6 sea days. We loved the natural beauty, it was like witnessing a very new Earth, with evidence of volcanoes, glaciers, earth quakes, and seismic plates(we put one foot on the Eur-Asian plate and the other on the American, while they were venting steam and slowly separating!) Culturally and historically the trip was fascinating. We love the Oceania smaller ships. We particularly appreciate the friendly and competent staff. The dining options aren't vast, but the Grand Dining room is pleasant and the selection is broad enough to not be boring after three weeks. The two specialty dining rooms are Toscana, Italian, obviously, and Polo, a steak house; they require reservations but no extra fees. We do not go to the entertainment, enrichment activities, or the buffet venue, so we can't give information about those things. We are too busy researching the next destination or reading our books. We always book private guides with our cruise critic "friends" and then it is such fun to finally meet on the ship. The only drawback is the glacially slow internet, but it was recently announced that Oceania is updating the capacity and speed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Have done many cruises on the Nautica. Love the small ship atmosphere and the\of the ability of the ship to stop in smaller ports. The ship is beautifully decorated and easy to negotiate. There is a great selection of dining choices ... Read More
Have done many cruises on the Nautica. Love the small ship atmosphere and the\of the ability of the ship to stop in smaller ports. The ship is beautifully decorated and easy to negotiate. There is a great selection of dining choices and all are delicious. The speciality restaurants are especially nice and they are included. We downgraded to a obstructed view cabin and were not bothered by the loss of square footage. Still had a good sized window. The service on the ship has always been first class. The cruise director and staff did a wonderful job keeping passengers informed. The ports were interesting but don't expect sunbathing weather. The ship offered a wide variety of tours and excursions. We were able to do several of the ports on our own and didn't use the ship's tours. Dublin was a fun port. Will not hesitate to cruise on the Nautica in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We originally chose a cruise of New England and Canada, but Oceania offered us an upgrade to a Penthouse suite to change to a Scandinavian Cruise on the Baltic Sea-Southampton, England to Copenhagen, Denmark (12 days). We arrived a day ... Read More
We originally chose a cruise of New England and Canada, but Oceania offered us an upgrade to a Penthouse suite to change to a Scandinavian Cruise on the Baltic Sea-Southampton, England to Copenhagen, Denmark (12 days). We arrived a day early and stayed at the Rubens Hotel in London, directly across the street from Buckingham Palace. The location was great but the room was very small and the staff was not very welcoming. At $489.00 per person per night (including transfers from the airport and from the hotel to the ship) we felt this was over-priced. Our transfers from the ship to the airport in Copenhagen were $119.00 each for a 1/2 hour ride. This too seemed expensive. We loved our large suite with Butler service. We especially liked canapes in the afternoon and a champagne welcome and breakfast. The food was the best of any cruise and any restaurant we have enjoyed! It was like eating at Ruth Chris every night! After some rainy, cold days the sun came out in time for us to enjoy a working horse farm in Finland and Catherine's Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Our tour, The evening of the Tsars was just magical-the palace was closed to everyone else and we enjoyed a guided tour complete with champagne, music and a traditional dance. Dinner was then served, and a band of "gypsies danced and sang. Stockholm, Sweden was nice but cold and rainy. We would have liked more time in Copenhagen and could have skipped Klaipeda, Lithuania and Gdansk, Poland. My only complaint is the "penny, nickel, diming" on a cruise for which we paid a lot of money. The tours, wine and drinks were very pricey and a gratuity of 18% was added to all drinks. This is standard for cruises, but on a high end cruise it felt a little petty. We had some errors on our ship board bill, but they did work with us to get the errors fixed, even though we still felt a little cheated on the tours. The entertainment was great and the small ship offered plenty of one-on-one service. We love cruises, but would probably opt for Viking Cruise lines, which includes most everything in the price. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We have sailed several times before, but this our first on Oceania. We were offered a great deal to change our Oceania South American cruise to this one, so we took it. We were given a penthouse suite with a butler. It also entitled us to ... Read More
We have sailed several times before, but this our first on Oceania. We were offered a great deal to change our Oceania South American cruise to this one, so we took it. We were given a penthouse suite with a butler. It also entitled us to 3 nights in each specialty restaurant. The room was spacious and had a tub shower. What a treat! We sailed from Southampton to Edinburgh, then to the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands and to Akureryi, Iceland. Things went well until we were headed to Greenland for two stops. Because of ice floes (in late June) we were unable to go to our planned locations. Instead, we went around Greenland to Nuuk, Greenland's capitol. We all made the best of it. Unfortunately, because of the change in plans and the slower sailing due to icebergs in the area, we missed time in Reykjavic and missed Londonderry all together. We added three days at sea, but we were safe. We stopped at Belfast, Liverpool and Dublin before returning to Southampton. We did not take any Oceania shore excursions, but booked private ones ourselves. They all turned out well. Oceania provided two wonderful lecturers. Because of the extra sea days, more lectures were presented. That really helped. Also, there were games throughout the day. The trivia team contests were very competitive. The other entertainment ranged between very good and so-so. The staff was wonderful. They always had good attitudes and made us feel welcome. Ray, the cruise director, was a hoot. The food was great in all venues. We usually do not frequent the buffet, except at lunch, but it was so good and plentiful, we had breakfast there too. The specialty restaurants were good as was the main dining room. The passengers, as a group, were older. But we met some of the most wonderful people. Because the amount of passengers is relatively small (under 700), we got to know so many interesting people with great stories. It was a lovely cruise and well worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
1. Ship size - just right. Considered the small end of a mid-size ship. Very clean. 2. Crew to passenger ratio - not 1 t 1 but close. 3. Crew/steward/waiter service - absolutely marvelous. Alway a smile and greeting from someone ... Read More
1. Ship size - just right. Considered the small end of a mid-size ship. Very clean. 2. Crew to passenger ratio - not 1 t 1 but close. 3. Crew/steward/waiter service - absolutely marvelous. Alway a smile and greeting from someone on the crew anytime, anywhere. Somewhat offputting at first. We are never are used to customer service like this. Just outstanding. 4. Tips - figured into your invoice. Only have to add to steward, waiter, etc if you think you rec'd exceptional service. 5. Depart/Arrival - easy; painless. Well organized. You get early boarding with a concierge level booking or better. 6. Food - every "best" you have ever heard about a top cruise ship. With a little will power, you can actually eat better and more selectively than another other place you might go. You can gorge or eat positively; take your choice. Buffet was alway overflowing w/vegetables, fish/shrimp/lobster tails, beef of some sort, main courses, sushi, desserts and on and on. Main dining room had food and service equal to the two (2) specialty restaurants on board. With concierge level booking, you get two meals at each of the specialty restaurants. Absolutely the best, most courteous service imaginable; any food selection was "to die for". Don't know much about wine? Just ask the wine steward. It may cost A LOT, but you'll have wine of a quality and taste you might never have experienced before. A real education given right at the table. Just plain fun. 7. Drink costs - really, really high. Drink programs were 'ouch' expensive, and you would have to drink yourself to death to make it worthwhile. Stay away if you can. A bottle of champagne and a red in your room on arrival. You can take these bottles to any of places you can eat. Will uncork for you and serve graciously. No charge. You can bring a bottle back on board. However, if you do this, there will probably be a charge to open. 8. Room - splendid! Good room to move around; good storage space for unpacking for the duration of the cruise. Very clean. IF you have any concern, they will take care of it for you yesterday. 9. Excursions - just as you have ever been warned before. Expensive. Some good; some not so good. Nothing that just blows your mind. Lots of city drive thrus enroute to a destination that were literally "drive-bys". Our trip to Loch Lomond dropped us at a small beach and cove that looked like anywhere USA. Had large mall area, so you know what the setup was for. Unless you are good at booking separate tours off the economy/off the boat, you are kind of caught. In retrospect, I would go to TripAdvisor, etc to see what I could find. Had to motor in at only one docking; easy and fun for something different. 10. Nightly shows and cruise director - cruise director was a hoot. Personable, overboard a little but just a fun guy. Shows were generally very good. Boat band/orchestra was above average. Ship's performers - some standouts; some should just sign harmony in the background. But worth attending most every night., 11. Misc - PM tea time; snack shack. Great and great again. You could eat breakfast and lunch or snack time here anytime if you just wanted some alone time away from the buffet or main dining room. Did not use the pool or spa. Workout area was well equipped for a ship. Watch out for the trainer - very nice guy who could get you to spend a fortune for most anything you might do at a regular gym/fitness center for free. Shopping - not a chance. No gambling either. Lots of folks were into it tho. OVERALL: High cost of drinks; high cost of excursions - nothing new. Rated five stars just because all the other things outranked these two downers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Thursday 15 August 2013 We had been given an official boarding time of 1pm but thought it wouldn't hurt to arrive early and we didn't mind waiting in the terminal if necessary. When we arrived at the terminal, very few other ... Read More
Thursday 15 August 2013 We had been given an official boarding time of 1pm but thought it wouldn't hurt to arrive early and we didn't mind waiting in the terminal if necessary. When we arrived at the terminal, very few other people were arriving and we walked straight in to check-in. Nice touches included the blue carpet at the entrance with Nautica and Oceania Cruises on and a table with complimentary orange juice and iced water. After check-in - passports were kept - and the usual credit card swipe, we were given our cruise cards (World Cards in Oceania speak) and a letter to say boarding would begin at 1pm and cabins would be ready at 3pm. As we went through security and I headed for the embarkation lounge, we were called and invited to board the ship. The ship's card machine was set up on the Promenade deck and crew were stationed at various points to direct us straight to the Terrace Restaurant (buffet). As we crossed the main pool deck I was impressed by rows of sun loungers, steamer chairs and twin steamer chairs, all with thick cushions and white towelling covers. We found a table on the open deck at the stern of the Terrace Cafe and then went to choose food. In the buffet all food is served to you at all times. Plates were also given to you from behind the counters and cutlery was on the tables, which were laid properly as at dinner. I chose a delicious vegetable lasagne followed by a strawberry concoction. I don't know what it was called but was heavenly - my first introduction to the renowned Oceania food. It was also very nice to be able to order any soft drink or sparkling water - it is all included on Nautica. My plates were carried to the table by a waiter. After lunch we wandered down to Reception to pick up the daily programme and then found a sunbed each and lazed until 2.30 when an announcement told us the cabins were ready. We had a standard twin outside stateroom on Deck 3 with a porthole. Unfortunately the bed was made up as a double though! A quick call to reception soon got it sorted with no fuss or bother. The mattresses are pocket sprung, and covered two inches of memory foam. The bedding is 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton linen and a down comforter. They were certainly the most comfortable I have had on a cruise ship. Cabin amenities include bath robes, slippers, soft drinks and small bottles of water in the fridge, two large bottles of water on a tray with glasses and bottle opener, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, hand soap, bath soap (for the shower), shower cap, cotton wool, cotton buds, umbrella, shoe horn, shoe shine cloth, two hairdryers - one fixed in the bathroom and a hand held one, plug-in nightlight, TV and DVD player (DVD's available free from reception, catalogue in cabin). Best of all, the bedside lights had an ordinary lamp and an additional reading light on a flexible stalk, which could be switched independently so as not to disturb your cabin mate. Storage is not wonderful - one large double wardrobe, and one half robe with half hanging and four drawers. One side of the dressing table/desk is a cupboard with four more small drawers and the other side a cupboard with one shelf. Under the flatscreen TV is a corner cupboard with shelf and safe. We had a sofa, very comfy padded headboard and huge mirrors. Attention to detail was such that as you pushed the toilet lid down, it closed itself quietly - like soft-closing kitchen drawers! Having unpacked, we set off to explore the ship. As another R ship like P&O's Adonia, we were familiar with the layout and much seemed to be identical even down to the tartan carpet in Horizons (Crows Nest on Adonia). However, there was a huge casino (for the size of ship) and the buffet is very different indeed - more of that later. Muster drill was at 5.15. We assembled in Muster Station A, were checked off a list at the door and were assigned Lifeboat No.1. We were asked to wear our lifejackets and after the usual announcements were led, in boat groups, to our lifeboat so we knew exactly where we had to be in the event of an emergency. British are in the minority at around 10% but this just made a refreshing change and everyone was friendly. By then it was 7pm and time to go change for dinner (Nautica has no formal nights, but I wanted to freshen up). We headed for the Grand Dining Room and joined the short queue. When we got to the Maitre D' he asked if we would like to go to the Polo Grill as there was spare capacity there while we would have to wait for the MDR. All other dining venues are free/included but you are normally only allowed to book once per cruise so we had no problem heading up to Deck 10. I chose beetroot and Goats cheese starter, Caesar Salad, Jumbo Shrimp Scampi and New York Cheesecake with caramelised top! Dessert was accompanied by home-made jellies and coffee. Dinner ended about 10.30 and the ship died - we thought many were probably jet-lagged but this was normal throughout the cruise. As it was so port-heavy, most people rose early. Often we were in port until 8pm so it was natural we were all tired by 10.30. Friday 16 August - At sea This was one of our two sea days. We had breakfast in the Terrace Cafe - the plates carried to my seat by waiters who also served coffee and fresh orange juice (with bits). The range of fresh fruit alone was amazing - every day three different type of melon, papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. It was lovely and warm outside in the sun, overlooking the wake. I went to the Destination desk to book a tour (the only official ship's tour I took) and pick up quiz sheets. After a browse around the library (open 24/7 - just take what you want within reason as there are other guests to consider, and return before end of cruise) I sat on deck in sun and did a puzzle. We had lunch on deck at Waves Grill - burgers, paninis, sandwiches and wonderful icecreams, smoothies and milkshakes. After lunch I was dozing in the cabin but was woken by an announcement from the captain. He said some of us may have noticed our change of course due west as we needed a helicopter evacuation for crew member with head injury. We stood and the watched the whole operation from the pool deck where we were allowed to stand. After lowering a paramedic etc the RAF Sea King flew alongside the ship and the pilot and winchman waved to us all. He circled a few times and then came back in to collect everything and everyone. We then had our first Oceania afternoon tea in Horizons - this was better than Cunard IMO - string quartet, sandwiches brought round on tray, three-tier cake trolley and a stunning all-round view to boot. Hot water arrived in a teapot, with another waiter holding a wooden box containing a huge selection of different teas from which to choose! By then it was time to go to cabin to get ready for the captain's welcome party. This was the only time the deck officers mixed with passengers. Drinks were free-flowing. We had dinner in the GDR and I still feel this was the best meal of my life so far - starter of caviar on blinis, the miso-glazed sea bass and a cappuccino dessert served in a chocolate cup. Went to see the Show before bed. There were five entertainment staff on board. The Cruise Director, Nolan Dean, was from the UK and probably the best CD I have had- always around the ship chatting etc. As on CMV, it was the CD who made all passenger announcements about going ashore etc. All five of the team not only ran sports tournaments, quizzes, needlepoint classes etc, but were also the show troupe, both singing and dancing in the shows. Nolan also did two one-man comedy and singing shows. Additionally we had Rick Thomas -an Illusionist. The cruise was a Music Festival at Sea to celebrate Oceania's 10 year anniversary and on board were the Fjord Cadenza Ensemble - a wonderful classical group. There was also the on-board show band, a cocktail pianist in Martinis and a string quartet who played at teatime and in the Atrium at cocktails. Saturday 16 August - Edinburgh I woke very early and got dressed to go up on deck to see my first ever glimpse of the Forth Bridge as we sailed under it into Rosyth. After breakfast (outside on the terrace) we prepared for a day in Edinburgh. The Tattoo was still on, as was the Fringe Festival. There was a free shuttle bus to Inverkeithing Station so we waited on the dockside and chatted with others in order to get the first bus and ashore quickly. At the station, we bought a £5.50 return ticket from the machine and crossed over the line to the far platform almost as soon as the train arrived. It took about 25 minutes into Waverley Station. Unfortunately it was drizzly so we found a taxi to take us up to the Castle where we started our day. The queue was not too bad so after buying our tickets we headed up to the Castle. The road slowly got windier and quite rough as we climbed up into the Castle Keep and joined the short queue to see the Scottish Crown Jewels. There was lots to see and worth the entrance money overall, but the jewels were probably not worth it if it meant a long wait. After working our way down again, we walked down the Royal Mile, filled with souvenir shops, mostly selling kilts, whisky and items with Scottie dogs on. We had a sandwich and a drink in the Festival Hub Cafe. Lots of Fringe entertainment happening on Market Street, and Cannon Gate etc. Went into St Giles Cathedral where a lovely concert was in progress - piano and saxophone. We got back to Waverley Station about 2.15 and then took ages to find out which platform we were supposed to be on. First told 11 (wrong), then 17 (wrong), then finally 2 so managed the 2.27 train to Aberdeen via Inverkeithing. We had a short wait for the shuttle bus but the sun was now out and quite hot! On our return to the ship I quickly changed before we went up for the wonderful afternoon tea again (I cannot make a habit of this - too much food!). Sailaway was very delayed presumably by the fierce gusting wind. A tug arrived and attached first at the bow, then moved to the stern. It took ages to slowly move the stern out and edge away from the berth before retracing our route under the two bridges. As Nautica sailed under each bridge the captain sounded the horn three times. Then it was time to go back down for a shower and to change for dinner. Sunday 17th August - Invergordon, We were not arriving until 12 noon so had a leisurely breakfast and then went to the Stitch & Chat. Oceania provide free needlepoint kits to make small items such as a spectacle case or bag. If you complete one during the cruise you can choose another. By 10.30 we thought it time to grab a bite to eat as Nigel, our private tour guide ( www.shorexcursions.co.uk) wanted us to be off the ship as soon as possible. Four of us were first off and we waited a short time for two more and then set off in Nigel's silver VW people-carrier towards Dunrobin Castle. Once there (amid a vintage car rally), Nigel spoke with Alistair, Lord Strathnaver, who directed us round the back into the private grounds. We walked through a tiny gate into the area where falcons and hawks were kept, guarded at the entrance by a beautiful, huge owl sitting on a flower pot! we wandered through the stunning grounds for around 40 mins before meeting everyone back at the falconry area. Alan, the falconer, then gave a public demonstration using three birds. An hour later we went up to the main castle and toured through some of its many rooms. At 3.45 we set off back towards the ship, driving along Loch Fleet in the hope of seeing seals (all on the opposite bank). We did see an osprey nest, swans, cormorants etc and then stopped at Millionaire's Viewpoint. Back in Invergordon we were driven past a number of murals and then back to Nautica, via a gift shop of course. Can thoroughly recommend the tour however, which was tailored to our time available. We were on board just in time to watch a show of Scottish song and dance put on by locals in the Nautica Lounge. At 7.30 we also had a marching pipe band on the quayside to send us on our way towards Lerwick. By now it was 8pm so we decided to eat dinner in the Terrace Cafe. I have always said I would not eat dinner in the buffet restaurants but on Nautica is was more akin to a proper dining room, serving the same dishes in fact. Monday 19th August - Lerwick Got the 9am free shuttle from the container dock (Holmsgarth) into Lerwick. Just after breakfast there was a torrential rain shower so it was not looking good, but after that it cleared dramatically and the sun came out making a nice day in the end. It was interesting to watch the crew of the oilrig supply ship berthed behind us go up onto their helipad to take photos of Nautica! As we went into the Tourist Information Centre we saw an advert for a boat trip - this was a cruise ship special (2 hours instead of their normal 3), so we booked. There were just six of us, plus skipper Alan and his wife Robbie - a marine biologist, who live on the boat throughout the summer. We first sailed round the harbour looking at the buildings (and a female seal who popped her head to look at us!), then set off through the main channel. Saw terns, common and grey seals, an Arctic Skua, cormorants, shags, eider drakes, guillemots, ravens and lots of gannets fishing. Later the boat was anchored over a wreck and they sent down an ROV and set up a TV screen so we could see what was under the boat. Robbie explained things in detail. Finally after 2 fascinating hours, we were dropped off at the pier and set off walking. Back on board, we went to the Trivia Quiz and joined with another team - all Americans so we were warmly welcomed for our UK knowledge! We came joint second so I got my first 2 Big O points! These are built up throughout the cruise and exchanged on the last day for various gifts - bookmarks, hats, t-shorts etc! We went back down to the cabin to wash and change for the dinner we had booked in the Polo Grill. We were not late going to bed as clocks went forward an hour that night. Tuesday 20th August - Alesund We arrived early and I rushed up on deck to watch us berth. I don't think I've ever seen a ship docked so fast - we appeared to race up towards the berth and then dead slow, a sideways thrust and we were there. I have to say the berthing and departures were all very sleek, swift and timely throughout the cruise. We never saw a queue to get off the ship - it was all efficient and quick. Our plan was to take the HoHo Bus - 200 NK - to the Sunnmore Museum. We did the full round trip first - the views from the high mountain viewpoint at Aksla were fabulous - then went round again as far as the Museum. Here were lots of turf-roofed old Norwegian country houses of various periods, boat houses etc. in a lovely woodland setting with streams. We had coffee and apple cake and then went back to wait for the HoHo bus. As we went back up to Aksla again I saw that while we were gone, Adventure of the Seas had arrived! We got off in town and wandered the shops. Back on board, we got up to Horizons just in time for afternoon tea. At 8.05, during dinner, we felt the engines power up and saw Nautica edging out from the quayside and swinging 180 degrees to sail back down the fjord. Wednesday 21st August - Geiranger I set the alarm for 5.45 am to watch the sail into Geiranger but we were already well into the Fjord by then. I made it up on deck just in time to see us sail past the Seven Sisters Falls and about 20 mins later we were there. The tendering operation was like any other - as independents we had to get tender tickets and wait in the Nautica Lounge, but we were called to board almost immediately. I got the Sightseeing bus to Flydal, and the two famous view points, wandered around, bought souvenirs, and then tendered back to ship. I had a quick lunch at Waves Grill as I wanted to watch our sail back down the fjord to pick up the overland tour passengers at Hellesylt. I wondered why one tender remained afloat as we hauled up our anchor but it soon became clear. Captain Ressa was going to give every passenger an amazing view of the Seven Sisters and the Suitors falls. With the tender acting as a range-finder for the ship, the captain did a slow 360 turn in the fjord. In the middle of the turn, we paused to one side to allow Artania and the Hurtigruten steamer Nordlys, to sail past us then continued to turn another 180 degrees before sailing to Hellesylt to pick up our tour people. Unfortunately it was very wet but standing on deck staring up at the huge mountains, with the wonderful music of Grieg coming through the speakers on deck - total magic. Thursday 22nd August - at sea. Our second and last sea day and it was lovely to finally get a lie in. It was warm enough to take advantage of the sun deck. As it became chilly, I asked for and was brought a thick woollen blanket by the pool boy and tucked in on the soft sun beds. A deck stewardess brought a cappuccino to complete the pampered feeling. We had lunch in Terrace Cafe before changing and going up to play shuffleboard. Since only six of us were playing anyway I won another Big O point for coming third! It was a lazy afternoon. Went to the Trivia quiz at 4.30 and our team won, then got dressed for dinner early as we wanted to go to the final recital by the Fjord Cadenza Ensemble. It was wonderful listening to the music of Grieg while remembering our sail through the fjords yesterday. Tomorrow the Platters are joining Nautica. We were then at a bit of a loose end as we had booked Toscana but not until 8.30 so we sat in the Library and watched us sail between the Inner and Outer Hebrides, before joining our table of six for a fabulous Italian meal - huge selection of breads, an olive oil menu etc. By the time we completed our meal it was 11pm so bed. Friday 23rd August - Belfast. We had a leisurely morning since Nautica wasn't due to berth until noon. Had breakfast and then went to needlepoint and chat. By then we were well in sight of Belfast docks so went up on deck. We had a good sight of the new Titanic Museum and the Harland & Wolff Gantries as well as an old WWI battleship. The day before I had filled in the mid-cruise comment sheet and as we went back to the cabin this morning, a knock at the door revealed the Asst. Housekeeping Manager regarding my comment that the cabin needed hooks for wet coats! Impressive! We berthed about 20 mins early so were ready and off the ship to meet Paddy as we had booked one of his Black Cab Tours of Belfast and the Giants Causeway. We had a short chat about what we wanted to see (happy to skip the Bushmills Distillery in favour of Dunluce Castle) and then set off into Belfast City. Our driver explained that, as a Catholic, there were areas he could not go. I was quite shocked as to how divided the city still was. The Protestant areas were adorned with flags, bunting and even the kerbstones were painted red, white and blue! A huge wall still divided the city into two. I asked why it was so high and was told to stop missiles! We drove along the Crumlin and Shankhill Roads where huge political murals had been painted onto houses, commemorating events various events. In one area the back gardens of the houses were all encased in wire to protect the inhabitants - horrendous. At checkpoints in the wall were heavy gates, closed at dusk in a kind of curfew. There were even Protestant and Catholic taxis, which could not travel in each other's areas! If you want to travel from one side of Belfast to another you have to change cabs! I had no idea it was still so segregated in the city. After this depressing start, we set off into the Antrim countryside - very English looking - up to a viewpoint to see the Carrick a Rede rope bridge. Unfortunately the weather had turned drizzly but we still had great views. Then to a little beach to see what is the smallest church in Ireland -St Gobbans. It is licensed for weddings - as long as you don't want more than 5 people! Next to it is a small cottage with portholes and steamer chairs that were spares intended for Titanic and her sisters. Next we drove to my highlight - the Giant's Causeway. After an hour there we went to Dunluce Castle. We just managed a few pictures before the rain set in in earnest and we repaired to the tea shop opposite for warm home-made scones, cream, jam and raspberries with tea. By then it was time to return to the docks. We made it back at 7pm so after a quick wash and change - to Martini's for a drink and their delicious nibbles - crisps, nuts etc. we decided on The Terrace Cafe for a light dinner (after the tea!). Saturday 24th August - Dublin I am not sure now if I have described breakfast properly. Having chosen a table, waiters bring coffee, juices, water etc. They also often carry your plate for you. The choices are large - lots of fresh fruit, a range of hot food - sausages, pancakes, scrambled eggs etc., cereals with hot, cold, whole or skim milk. Smoked salmon, cheeses and pastries to die for. You can have any coffee you like - latte, cappuccino etc. As we were doing our own thing in Dublin we didn't get up too early. I was up first so went up on deck to see where we were and was surprised to see we were berthed at the mouth of the Liffey, right beside the o2 arena. The ship couldn't get any closer if they tried. This was my second time in Dublin this year, but as the first was very wet we had only done the DUKW tour then. We caught the free shuttle bus into Kildare Street and had a stroll past the gift shops etc, to the statue of Molly Malone and the Tourist Information Centre, through Temple Bar and over the Ha'penny Bridge before catching the Hoho bus in Connell Street doing one complete circuit before getting off at Trinity College to see inside the buildings. I decided the queues were too long to see the Book of Kells so we then had a homemade soup and a Guinness in a nearby pub before picking up the HoHo bus again to Dublin Castle. After a quick walk around we got the Yellow Route HoHo back to the centre, a look around again and then the shuttle back to Nautica. Back on the ship, three Guarda officers were watching everyone come back on board. Went to Trivia before changing for cocktails in Horizons - there were choices of three different cocktails of the day each night at $5 (plus 18% gratuity). Otherwise cocktails were priced from $10, other drinks from around $8 although there was a Happy Hour between 5 and 6pm - buy one, get one free. All were accompanied by a little stand holding three different types of nibbles, plus canapes. We headed down to the Grand Dining Room for dinner where we were taken to table for 8 by the window. Sunday 25th August - Cork Woke up early as this was the one day I was taking a tour. I was ready just in time to watch us sail past Cobh and over the river to Ringaskiddy where Nautica was to berth. This was because Balmoral was supposed to be berthing in Cobh but in the event she arrived just as we left and we passed in the channel - Nautica blowing her whistle but no reply from Balmoral - which looked rather down at heel and a bit rusty. After breakfast I went to the Nautica Lounge for 8.45 and exchanged my tour ticket to Kinsale for a tour bus pass No.4. Tours on Nautica are rather like tendering operations in that respect. We were soon called and filed down to deck 4 and out to the waiting coaches. It was not long before we were on our way with guide Mary and driver Pat. We drove through rolling countryside not unlike Britain to Fort Charles overlooking Kinsale Harbour, and from where you could see the Old Head of Kinsale where Lusitania sank. Then to Kinsale itself where we went into a hotel for scones and tea before having 2 free hours to explore. It is a pretty town of coloured houses and narrow lanes. It was Sunday but most were open as the town was hosting the International Disabled Sailors Championships. As I sat by the harbour a seal popped its head up to see what was available to eat. We took a different route back, alongside the Bandon River where we had a brief stop for photos. We got back to the ship at 1.30 and I dashed up to Waves for a veggie burger before Shuffleboard - three more Big O points for winning! Nautica was put through a hard swing to starboard to clear the pier and then it was back downriver past Cobh again. We sailed very close to the town and hoards of people lined the waterfront to watch and wave at us and a fair was in full swing in the small seafront park. In the distance by the lighthouse, Balmoral was just arriving and we passed very close to each other. It is the big finale tonight, entertainment wise so headed up for cocktails in before dinner. I chose caviar on potato, chicken consomme and lobster tail followed by pistachio tartlet topped with orange and grapefruit segments. We finished at 9pm and went to get seats in the Nautica Lounge to watch The Platters. Their show was followed by the whole crew filing into the lounge so they could all be thanked - from Captain to cabin steward, and on the way out of the lounge they all lined the corridors. Monday 26th August - Portland Our last day! Since we were not arriving until 10am at Portland we had a leisurely breakfast and were able to watch us dock. Once we were ready we set off in the free shuttle to Weymouth. It is many years since I was last here and the town was, to all intents and purposes, new to me. Back on board I had a quick lunch outdoors in the Terrace Grill before going up to play shuffleboard. The weather was beautiful so it was a sun lounger in the sun for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for the Trivia Quiz where our team - The Bruins (UCLA) came joint first - again. So, I ended up with 20 Big O points - enough to redeem for a T shirt with 5 over! Back in the cabin I finished packing and changed for dinner. We had a cocktail each in Martinis before going out onto the promenade deck to watch the Weymouth Brass Band and some soldiers fire a three gun salute for us. Tuesday 27th August - Southampton Around the middle of the cruise we had been asked to complete a disembarkation form with onward travel arrangements and asking what time we wished to disembark - any time between 7am and 9am. We chose 8.30 then, but as independents it turned out we could disembark whenever we wished. The whole operation was very civilised and easy. Those travelling on airport transfers were directed to specific lounges so there was no-one hanging around the gangway as on most ships. After a nice breakfast out on the stern deck we collected our hand luggage and just disembarked. All in all, an interesting and enjoyable cruise - although I can't say relaxing! I am not a fan really of these very port-intensive cruises but Americans don't like sea days! The service and food, with a few exceptions, was excellent. Waves Grill became very busy especially if a tour had just returned and a burger could take 25 mins to come. For some odd reason, both we both felt we had just had a really long cruise, even though it was only 12 nights. Usually the time flies past when you are having fun, and we did have fun. My friend's theory is that, in some ports we arrived between 10am - noon so the morning was like a sea day, and then we had our port day from noon until 8pm - effectively two days for every one! Would we go again - like a shot, given the right itinerary and a similar bargain price. I think we would both like to try their two larger ships - Marina and Riviera, with 1100 pax, purely as there are more on-board activities like cooking and painting classes. Highly recommended!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
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
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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