360 Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

All staff and crew were brilliant - it was a nightmare situation for them to deal with. Everyone was behind them - they did all they could to keep us all safe and happy. A wonderful crew and we love Oceania anyway!!! Everyone is very ... Read More
All staff and crew were brilliant - it was a nightmare situation for them to deal with. Everyone was behind them - they did all they could to keep us all safe and happy. A wonderful crew and we love Oceania anyway!!! Everyone is very friendly, the crew relate so well to the guests, nothing is too much trouble and there is a general feeling of bonhomie. Even before the refurb of Nautica, we were quite happy with the ship! Will happily only ever cruise with Oceania and love all their ships but (haven't been on Serena) Keep up the good work Oceania !!! Loved all the entertainment and thought that Carson was the best cruise director we have come across on Oceania. Meanwhile, Abram did a terrific job having been dropped in the deep end when Julie was removed from the ship. Coronavirus created many problems but Oceania dealt with them admirably and sympathetically at all times. We felt safe. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in ... Read More
My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in Cape Town the ship was late in arriving in dock . In fact over a day late but it did not warn passengers On the day , no one answered phone calls and there was no communication at all . On the dock side , passengers were left standing in v long warm queues without explanation or apology. Not a staff member in sight for several hours .Eventually on board after 3 hours and a bottle of water later , there were still no apologies . Due to late arrival , our departure was delayed until the following day and we missed a day at Walvis Bay .. still no apology but a statement ‘ force major ‘ .. ie not their responsibility The staff on the whole were ‘ miserable ‘ They never welcomed us back on board , never wished us a good day, never offered refreshments or towels on boarding .. in fact generally we felt as though we were an irritant and an inconvenience rather than a guest . It was not a warm nor welcoming atmosphere and there was not an officer in sight . The ship was generally clean and well kept although some of the sanitizers did not work. Ok .. it is a little warn and old fashioned but that wasn’t a problem .. The main Dinning room was disappointing. The food was rarely warm and often poor quality and was thrown at you in a cafeteria way rather than with the elegance as advertised . The staff were rushed off their feet and had no time for small talk . Lunch times were a better experience.The dress code was v relaxed throughout the cruise. with many t shirts and trainers in sight . The speciality restaurants were a much better standard but visits were limited. Communication was extremely poor and there was no interactive facility to check bills, book restaurants etc .. We struggled to find information and as this was our first cruise with Oceania ended up relying on other guests who had cruised with then before to help us , The room was comfortable but the air conditioning became warm at night ! In searching for something positive , I find it’s quite difficult . !!!! The happy hour between 5 and 6 was only in Horizons or the martini bar which is a very small lounge with limited space and extremely packed . We spilled over into an area where some musicians were playing and were told to be quiet !! During this time the glasses and hence quantity also shrank ! Illogical rules and regulations which the staff hid behind dogged the enjoyment of guests and dulled socialising ... hard to explain but readily realised when on board. The ship vibrates and kept us awake at night . We were mid ship but our friends in the owners suite at the back moved furniture and other items to limit the noise . Unfortunately we missed a second port Port Elizabeth due to high winds and this was again very disappointing for many guests . Some of the organised trips were good but expensive . Others were badly organised with guides not turning up etc .. and not running to time or schedule . I could go on but it is beginning to sound more like a rant than a review . ... The disembarkation went well . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, ... Read More
It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our first sailing with Oceania. We picked this cruise largely because of the itinerary and the price, which was moderate for an upscale line at $523 a day for both of us, not including air. From my research it seemed Oceania’s closest competitor in size of ship, amenities, and on-board experience is Azamara. Both lines appeal to the same type of passenger who is looking for an all-inclusive, upscale cruising experience. Having sailed Azamara before, I was curious how Oceania compared with them. Overview The Oceania Nautica is one of the smaller ships on which we’ve sailed holding around 680 passengers. One of the more noticeable differences in sailing on a small ship is the lack of public areas from which to choose, less entertainment choices, and smaller cabins. Those deficiencies were somewhat mitigated by the smaller ports the ship can dock at, flexibility, more personalized service, attention to detail, and inclusive amenities. I can’t really say there is any more or less feeling of crowdedness on the smaller ships than with a larger ship. It seems to be all relative to the space per person. Where we notice a difference from sailing on larger ships was embarking or disembarking the ship. The smaller number of passengers reduced the lines and wait times considerably. Also, the smaller ships are more nimble than their larger brethren allowing them to alter their itinerary or add a fresh local food to the menu. On this cruise, the chef added fresh Hake, which was amazingly delicious. They also featured an African night with a lot of local meats (crocodile being one) and produce. The public rooms are nicely done on the Nautica and have a feel of warmth and elegance. The ship was exceedingly clean and well maintained. There are four dining options aboard the Nautica making it equal to or a step above larger ships. While the state rooms are small, the appointments and linens are a step above what you would expect from the more major cruise lines. We missed not having any status on Oceania (as we do on other lines) so we received no discounts usually granted to more frequent travelers. However, there wasn’t much need for the Elite status as all guests enjoy the same privileges as Elite travelers on other lines, which include fancy coffees, a few free happy hours, a daily 2:1 happy hour, use of the steam sauna, and the best one -- no charge in the specialty restaurants. It appeared to me that Azamara includes more inclusive perks like some free shore excursions, well drinks, house wine, spa memberships, and laundry. By my calculations the inclusions on Oceania amount to an added value over non-inclusionary ships of $60 a day ($10 spa, $5 soft and juice drinks, $15 specialty restaurant costs, $20 internet, $10 coffee). I estimate the value of Azamara’s slightly higher because of the inclusive laundry, shore excursions and alcohol at $90 a day. Embarkation The embarkation experience was one of the best in our 31 sailings. It took about ten minutes from start to finish. There were no lines, no customs, no waits, and no hassle. I only wish all our embarkations were this easy (see my 2013 review of Celebrity’s Infinity). Evaluation This isn’t something I have ever included in a review, but the Nautica’s evaluation process was the strangest I’ve encountered at sea. The good news is that in an attempt to save trees and be up to date, it’s a digital evaluation. The bad news is that it’s very user unfriendly. It’s so unfriendly, the staff had to schedule a time to explain to passengers how to fill it out. There are three major issues with the form, all of which seem fairly easy to solve, but apparently the home office has turned a deaf ear to making improvements. I figured it out on my own, but not after some frustration. The Ship The ship has had minor refurbishing every three years, but no major refurbishing since it went into service in 2000. Even so, the public areas were well maintained, all the elevators worked continuously, and the décor was traditional with lots of wood. There were a lot of places to sit and read a book, or write a cruise review, while enjoying a cup of espresso or a drink. The Nautica is scheduled for a major two-week refurbishment in June 2020. The color scheme will go from traditional dark woods to modern cool gray and blue with a chandelier above the entry staircase. My art-loving wife is hoping they get rid of some of more dreadful modern art. The public decks were Decks 5, 9 and 10. Getting lost was not easily done! Deck 5 is the location of the show lounge, small casino, piano lounge, two small shops, coffee bar, and main dining room. Entrance on the ship was on Deck 4 and involved a gangway of very low steps making a bumpy ramp basically. This is easier than big steps on larger ships. There were many people on-board with mobility issues who seemed to be doing okay getting around. One benefit is that the elevators were usually available without a long wait. Dining If food is your thing, like it is mine, then you will be reasonably satisfied on the Nautica. The specialty restaurants offer passengers a specific cuisine apart from the main dining room with a quality of fare a slight step above the main dining room. Tuscana features Italian fare while Polo is a steakhouse. All of the dining rooms feature “anytime” seating. While the main dining room doesn’t accept reservations, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table for two. We tried to eat as much as possible in the specialty restaurants, Tuscana and Polo, but getting reservations was very difficult. I am guessing the huge demand is largely because there was no surcharge for them. It is very unusual for a specialty restaurant at sea not to charge a small fee, which is the good news. The bad news if since there is no charge, the demand is high and it’s difficult to get a table for two, or even sharing on sea days. Because of the demand, guests are only allowed to make one reservation in each ahead of time and then cue up daily for a cancellation. Personally, I would rather pay a surcharge and have more access to the specialty restaurants than to pay nothing and have limited access. All of the waiters and waitresses who served us were extremely personable, helpful, and attentive. We enjoyed the service in the main dining room as much as that in the specialty restaurants. However, finding a knowledgeable wine steward was difficult. Polo is set in the décor and menu of the 40’sand 50’s. The quality of this specialty restaurant wasn’t quite up to that of others we’ve dined in. The presentation of the food was excellent. The service was good. The item to eat here are the steaks. The two fillets I had were done to perfection. We were not as impressed with the starters, soups, or salads. We tried Polo twice and that was enough. Tuscano’s service and food seemed to be a bit better than Polo. The menu is extensive so it will take several visits to completely explore it. Everything we tried was very good. We tried to eat at Tuscano’s as much as possible, which meant dining there about four times in 14 days. Unlike most other cruise lines, Nautica didn’t offer any Chef’s dinners. With the talented chef’s aboard the Nautica, this was disappointing. I would have loved to have paid a significant surcharge for a unique dining experience. This is something that I hope Nautica will consider going forward. Some lines make free juice available only in the mornings and charge for all espresso and soda drinks. One thing we appreciate about Oceania is the fact that juice, sodas, and espresso coffee drinks are available anytime during the day at no charge. There was a happy hour every day from 5pm to 6 pm that allowed guests to buy 2:1 drinks. However, their policy is rather ridged in what 2:1 means, which is the second drink must be exactly the same drink as the first, not just the same price, and it cannot be shared by another person. We felt this strict policy didn’t make a lot of sense when a person may have wanted two different drinks costing exactly the same. It also encourages over consumption of alcohol, especially when there are two people just wanting one drink each. Speaking about over-consumption of alcohol, the “all you can drink” beverage packages also encourage over-consumption. I realize that “over consumption” is a relative term. Still, we have always found we do far better buying alcohol, wine, and beer by the glass or bottle than getting a beverage package. Wine I am an oenophile, so I am admittedly more interested in the wine experience on a ship than the average passenger. That said, there are much better wine experiences at sea than with Oceania. Unlike the Azamara, Oceania is not as friendly to oenophiles. The most notable wine friendly lines are Azamara and Princess, which encourage you to bring on you own wine and don’t penalize you with high corkage fees for bringing wine on board. Oceania limits how much of your own wine you can bring onboard and charges a stiff corkage fee of $25 per bottle, making it among the highest of any line at $25 a bottle. The more wine friendly lines only charge $10 per bottle. Another perennial complaint of mine on most cruise lines is the high price of their onboard wines, which are priced about 4x’s or more over retail. For example, a $15-$20 bottle of La Crema Chardonnay goes for $86. That’s simply unreasonable. They more wine friendly lines have mark ups of 2 ½ to 3 times. Because of the steep corkage and markups on the wine, we chose not to bring our bottles on board and limited our wine consumption to beer or wine “by the glass.” The Nautica had three wine tasting events during our 14 day cruise. The cost was $75 to $125 per person, which the highest charge of a wine tasting I’ve encountered at sea. We did attend two wine tastings and found them to be very informative. The bottles tasted were in the $80 to $200 range, but keep in mind of the significant mark up. While the presentation was certainly informative, I didn’t feel the cost of the tasting represented a good value. Fitness and Spa This is an area in which the Nautica is above average. They have a good selection of weight machines and free weights. There an adequate number of cardiovascular machines (stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills). They also had seven stationary bikes used for a spinning class on sea days. Be sure to sign up early for these as the classes fill quickly. I only had to wait for a machine once in 14 days. Notably, and unusual for most lines, every cardio machine was working for length of the cruise. Another pleasant abnormality, the men’s lockers worked perfectly and there were a sufficient number of lockers which were all keyed. There was always a locker available, never forcing you to leave your belongings unprotected. The men’s locker room featured a steam sauna that was reasonably hot and in perfect working order for the cruise. On many other cruise lines the saunas just don’t get hot enough to break much of a sweat, but this is not the case on the Nautica. And an extra bonus was the steam room did not have a daily charge, which can cost around $10 to $20 a day on other lines. The locker rooms are incredibly maintained and cleaned. Every time that I used the locker room and sauna there was an attendant cleaning it up. The Nautica does not have a spa bar featuring a lighter, healthier fare or fresh fruit juices and smoothies. This would be a wonderful addition to their spa area. You can get fruit smoothies, however, at the grill by the pool. Entertainment We thought the entertainment was a step below larger ships. This is more probably due to the lack of a theater than the talent of the entertainers. Generally speaking, the shows were not highly innovative and featured the normal array of comedians, singers, and instrumentalists. That said, we still found them worth attending and looked forward to most of them. The ships company featured some very good vocalists and dancers. It was refreshing that the Nautica had a a very good live orchestra rather than rely on sound tracks, which is becoming common on other cruise lines. The theater is not a theater at all, but rather a large lounge which unfortunately makes viewing the show especially challenging. If viewing the show is important, you will want to be sure to snag a front row seat. The on-board entertainment found in the lounges was adequate. There was a string quartet that was very good, the ships band, and a piano player. Enrichment The enrichment and port talks were disappointing. First, there simply were no port talks, which we found highly unusual. There was a delightful South African lady who told personal stories about growing up in South Africa and her world adventures. The second lecture was a Hollywood writer who gave talks on Hollywood, and while they were interesting, we much rather would have learned more about the history, religion, and politics of the countries we were visiting since one of our goals for traveling is learning about the world. I expected much more in this area from a luxury cruise line catering to a more upscale and informed clientele. Internet I run a small business and being connected to my staff is imperative, even on vacation. I depend on having a functioning Internet while on board any ship. Signing up was incredibly easy. Included in the fare was one free, unlimited Wi-Fi access. Additional devices were $25 a day. Between us we had four devices, so since we were unwilling to pay an additional $75 per day, we had to coordinate and share our login, which often was a logistical challenge. The Internet connectivity and speed was acceptable, but not great. I got access 70% of the times I attempted to get online. When I did get online I had chronic issues getting emails and websites to down load. In addition, the Wi-Fi signal is not consistent around the ship and there are many spots where you can’t get the Wi-Fi signal. Unfortunately Verizon did not have a repeater on board (unlike other lines) so using my smartphone for data while at sea was not possible. I have previously learned to forgo the expensive Internet packages and just go with my smartphone when there is a repeater on the ship and when there are a lot of days in port. Shopping The shopping experience is on par with most every other cruise line, boring! There is nothing exceptional to highlight here. Ports of Call, Port Talks and Shore Excursions Our cruise started and ended in Cape Town, stopping at Walvis Bay, Namibia, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, East London, South Africa, Richard’s Bay, South Africa, Maputo, Mozambique, and Durban, South Africa, debarking at Cape Town, South Africa. There were no port talks given on the Nautica. While there was some prerecorded information covering the excursion packages on the television, there wasn’t any useful information about the port if you wanted to go it alone. It would have been so helpful to know about the safety of taxis, availability of Uber, if walking to town through the port area is even allowed, best sights to see, what areas to avoid, etc. They also did not provide maps of the harbor or surrounding area, which is a first in our cruising experience. We found the hourly shuttle service helpful, but not frequent enough. We would have preferred a departure or pick up every 30 minutes As a result, we were totally on our own to gather whatever information we could from guests and the Internet. Had we been visiting ports in developed countries this probably would be more forgivable than when the ports are in a third world country. The lack of a port talk is a significant flaw in the Oceania experience and would keep me from booking with them in the future if a competing line was offering the same itinerary. If the strategy behind limiting information on the ports was to drive passengers to book the ship’s shore excursions, it worked. We uncharacteristically opted for the ships excursions. Typically we save 25 to 75% off the ship’s prices by making our own arrangements. On this cruise, we didn’t have time prior to the cruise to do our normal research. We also found that the African tour companies were unusually unresponsive by email. We typically have good luck using tour companies that are highly rated by www.TripAdvisor.com. Another great place to book private tours prior to departure is by looking under “Tours” and on the chat boards on www.CruiseCritic.com. We’ve never been disappointed following the advice of previous travelers. A new website to us is www.toursbylocals.com. We found this to be a very responsive and wonderful way to find independent guides. Walvis Bay is a difficult port to negotiate as the dock is a mile or more from the city center. The town can be easily done on your own. There isn’t a whole lot to see, so I suggest you book a tour to Sandwich Bay. The scenery of the dunes coming down to the ocean and the drive along the beach are unique. See if they will also take you out to Pelican Point to see the hundreds of thousands of seals. We overnighted here so we were also able to go visit Moon Valley, which is similar to the Badlands of South Dakota. We were able to climb Dune #7, which was the highlight of that outing. Port Elizabeth is a place with more touring options. There is a nice mall there if you want to stay in town. There are a number of day trips that can be taken to surrounding sites. We opted to visit Addo Elephant reserve. We found it to be a worthwhile excursion. If you are booking excursions off-ship, give yourself plenty of time to disembark. The local authorities insist on face-to-face immigration that can take up to an hour after docking to clear. East London is a pretty sleepy stop. We were warned about walking around much. There is a mall about 5 miles from the ship that is probably safe. We chose to visit a Xhosa village constructed for tourists. There they had women and children singing and dancing. They separated the men from the women and gave each group talks on the Xhosa culture and a taste of homemade beer, brandy, and a traditional meal. The food and drink were “interesting” and we were very grateful for getting back on the ship and having a meal and a beer more familiar to us. Durban is the third or second largest city in South Africa, depending on what source you reference. Getting around is very easy and secure as Uber operates there. We elected to go visit a replica Zulu village with some singing and dancing via a ship’s tour. While it was “ok”, the drive up to the village and the views from their coffee/tea shop were almost worth the trip alone. We had a very good guide who kept us entertained up and back with useful information on life in the city. The other point of entertainment is that the pilot which joins the ship to guide it in and out of port arrives and departs by helicopter. It was a show in itself. Richard’s Bay is a bit of a sleepy stop. I would recommend getting a guide and heading off to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park. It takes about 1:15 minutes each way, depending on traffic. We were able to spend about 4:30 hours in the park. Typically, going to game parks in the middle of the day is the absolute worst time to see the animals, but when you are on a cruise there are no other options. That said, we really were lucky. We saw several dozen elephants in the park, twice as many as we did at Addo and at closer range. We also saw seven grey rhinos, four water buffalo, four giraffes, and scores of impala and warthogs. It was certainly worth the $200 USD per person that we paid an off-ship tour company we booked through East Coast Safari (www.ecsafari@iafrica.com). Maputo About the only redeeming quality of visiting this port is that you get to say you’ve been to Mozambique. There is really nothing here. We took a city tour that could easily have been done individually at almost no expense. To support the local economy (which has a 50% unemployment rate), Oceania uses local people who are not trained tour guides. While we really applaud the company for their social concern, the quality of the tour is not surprisingly substandard. All the points worth seeing are within an easy walk of where the passenger ships dock. Those sights are the train station, the iron house, the botanical gardens, and the old fortress. Then if you want to shop for local crafts, the ship usually runs a shuttle out a market where there are several blocks of vendors. The local beer is 2M, which is worth a try. In Summary So, back to the question I posed earlier. How does the Oceania experience compare with Azamara? All things being equal in price and itinerary, the nod would go to Azamara. On the positive side for Oceania, the wonderful service and friendliness of the crew, the lack of a charge for the specialty restaurants and free Wi-Fi for one device was a definite plus and unique in my cruising experience. The entertainment was also very good for a small ship. The weaknesses with Oceania as compared to Azamara are the lack of informative and relevant port talks, the weakness of the enrichment talks, the lack of any included beverages like wine, beer, or well drinks, the high markup on wine, no chef’s table events, and the lack of any included shore excursions. Certainly, the Oceania is one of the better cruising experiences. The dining is undoubtedly one of the better at sea. The ability of a smaller ship to get into, or nearer, ports the large ships can’t may be reason enough to pay the extra fare. For me, I will certainly sail the Oceania Nautica again when I find an itinerary at a cost equal to or slightly higher than that of a larger ship. I figure the inclusions are on Oceania are worth about $60 a day, which brings the cost down in comparison to larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After all previous cruises we sailed, we select this one since it had an appropriate itinerary for us. Our cabin was well kept throughout the cruise. Excursion Destination Staff did a good job. Reception desk staff were friendly and ... Read More
After all previous cruises we sailed, we select this one since it had an appropriate itinerary for us. Our cabin was well kept throughout the cruise. Excursion Destination Staff did a good job. Reception desk staff were friendly and helpful. Medical clinic staff was professional and excellent. Food and beverage staff service was ok but management for this service must learn what to improved from Regent Seven Sea Cruise Management. On board Nautica, we had one and only one free Captain cocktail during the 31 day cruise. Cheap. For Christmas Day at sea and New Year, nothing from cheap Nautica Oceania. Even their cheap wines were expensive. Oceania Nautica has to improve on their "fine cuisine". Food was ok for the money we paid for. Toscana has a large menu but food is only good Italian food. I had to return my plate and the Chief Cook visited me. Polo Grill was fine. The Grand Dining Room was as just great and we appreciated the food there. The Staff was very friendly and provided an excellent service. (Vijay and Mady) What a chaotic experience during disembarking Nautica on the wharf in Cape Town. No Nautica staff to help.They had our money already...who cares! We and other passengers had to carry our luggages about 1500 feet from the terminal building to outside the terminal. No real taxi available at the terminal building for disembarking passengers, and they were many of us. Outside taxis were scum people. 50usd for a 15usd trip to a local Cape Town hotel.(total rip-off) Oceania staff let me suggest to you: "First impression is important but the last one is just as important". So we speak now to our friends about this rip-off rather the overall cruise. We would NOt recommend Oceania Cruises to any of our friends and have all ready informed our travel agent accordingly. Selecting an itinerary first with Oceania was a mistake for us and value for money was not there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise for the chef inspired dining and was very disappointed in what was served. Pepin's dishes were probably 3-4 entrees out of hundreds so I could only eat a couple of them compared to the other dining room options. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the chef inspired dining and was very disappointed in what was served. Pepin's dishes were probably 3-4 entrees out of hundreds so I could only eat a couple of them compared to the other dining room options. Other past Oceania cruisers had said that the food quality has gone downhill in the last few years and may not travel on the ship again. My cabin mate and I had stomach trouble off and on depending what we were served so we finally stuck to the simplest meats and soups to avoid stomach aches and gas. Ship needs a complete disinfection which will probably happen when it goes to dry dock. Ports were very exotic from UAE to India to the Indian Ocean Islands and South Africa. Many people didn't like a few ports with nothing to see such as Fujairah UAE, Mangalore, Male Maldives, Mozambique. The rest of the ports were very enjoyable. The ship is planned for a overhaul in 2020 I believe. The ship desperately needs it. Size of rooms and showers will always be a problem. Paint was peeling all over the ship, Espresso machines in the different areas didn't serve the best espresso except the Barrista area at the dining room. Pool tiles were always breaking off, jacuzzi without jets and jacuzzi in concierge area at front broken off and on. Entertainment we had to avoid as well as the late time schedule of 930pm. Not the best comedians, and entertainers compared to all other ships. Onboard games were fun but because the ship was so small and activities were very limited compared to larger ships it was very boring at times especially on sea days or days when the pool area is rained out. Going to the gym or eating are about the only active activities on the ship then. Some shore excursions very good. A few companies used on snorkeling in La Digue were very bad at service. Ships shuttles to a few city malls were pathetic in Fujairah, Mangalore and Mozambiques art fair (should have been to the city center). Madagascar Island would have been the best place to visit instead of the 3 listed above. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first time sailing on Oceania. We were concerned about going on this cruise given the Nautica is badly in need of renovations. And these renovations are not to occur until June of this year, when the ship is scheduled to go ... Read More
This was our first time sailing on Oceania. We were concerned about going on this cruise given the Nautica is badly in need of renovations. And these renovations are not to occur until June of this year, when the ship is scheduled to go into dry dock for a couple of weeks. However, considering the 30-day itinerary from Dubai to Cape Town, including the various stops in Oman, India, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion Island and several ports in South Africa, an itinerary that we really liked, we decided to overlook the ship’s tired physical condition. A second factor that swayed our decision was Oceania’s ‘reported’ longstanding reputation for serving some of the finest food of any of the cruise companies. Weighing these factors, we decided to proceed with booking this cruise. Our sailing experience on the Nautica clearly DID NOT measure up to Oceania’s longstanding high quality culinary reputation, nor our overall high expectations for this specific cruise. The cruise frankly was a sad disappointment for us. Here are some of our specific disappointments from our 30-day experience on board the Nautica. 1. Food Poisoning On Board The Nautica. My partner ordered a baked potato one evening for dinner and asked for sour cream to accompany it. The waiter brought a small serving urn with the sour cream. My partner put a lot of this sour cream on his potato. When he tried it, it did not taste right. I tried a small amount – it was NOT sour cream, rather milk and yogurt, and did not taste right. That evening my partner had significant diarrhea symptoms. We reported this to the Food and Beverage Director the following day. All she said was that she checked the original container and it said sour cream, but that the ingredients were a mix of milk and yogurt – and it was NOT sour cream. We told her that the sour cream that was served was not chilled / not at the correct temperature. My partner suffered with this diarrhea from this sour cream for four days when we finally went to see the on-board doctor. He was given medication – an antibiotic. Our issue with Nautica regarding this issue is three-fold: #1. Low(er) Quality Foods Are Now Served On Oceania. The sour cream served was not sour cream. It was a ‘faux’ sour cream - a mix of milk and yogurt, and not a high-quality sour cream. The Food and Beverage Director confirmed this fact. And another example of a lower quality product served was the horseradish to accompany grilled steaks. What was served as ‘horseradish had no taste, it was brown-colored mess – not ‘steakhouse quality’ white ground horseradish. This horseradish also was also reported to the Food and Beverage Director who simply reported back to us that this product is specified and sourced from Oceania’s Miami Headquarters office. It you go on Oceania, DO NOT ask for their horseradish – if you do, you will be disappointed! Other passengers we met on board the Nautica also expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the quality of the food that was served. Apparently, several passengers with a history of sailing with Oceania several times, also noticed a distinct difference in the food quality. Some speculated that this change maybe a result of the sale of Oceania to Norwegian Cruise Lines. #2. Food Safety - Temperature Control. My career has been in the food service business. Over the entire 30-day cruise, I NEVER saw anyone in any of the dining venues (dining rooms, buffet restaurant, nor at any of the other food servings) ever check temperatures. No one had a thermometer that was visible anywhere to even check temperatures. And in the Terrace Café, the buffet restaurant, they displayed foods that from a food safety perspective NEED to be held on ice, and not at room temperature. I even saw that they displayed ‘tartar sauce’ to accompany their fish and chips in a copper pot which was located under the heat lamps and right on the heated counter next to the heated pan holding the fish. I touched the side of this copper pot and it was HOT. I mentioned this tartar sauce holding issue to the Food and Beverage Director; however, no action was ever taken to hold the tartar sauce on ice at subsequent buffet servings of their fish and chips. Given our dining experience, be prepared to get food poisoning on the Nautica, and potentially on other Oceania cruises, as a result of their obvious lack of proper food safety protocols and procedures. #3. Oceania Would Not Refund Our Excursion Costs For Cancelled Excursions As A Result Of The Diarrhea That Nautica Caused. We were unable to go on several of the excursions that we had booked as a result of my partner’s diarrhea. We asked the on-board doctor if he could coordinate a refund of these specific excursions when we met with him to diagnose and treat the diarrhea. He was not able to get us any refunds from the Destinations Services Department for these specific excursions that we could not go on for reported health reasons. They did not and will not refund these excursions. We ask why not??? We found this Oceania policy to be inexcusable. To us it shows a ‘greed policy’ vs. a hospitality culture focused on ALL passengers’ well-being, personal safety and good health. 2. The Cabin Temperature – TOO Hot To Sleep In! The second night of our 30-day cruise, in the middle of the night, the temperature of the cabin got very hot. And we noticed on the floor and on our ‘white’ bed duvet cover directly below one of the ceiling vents, that there were small chunks of oily dust balls that left stains (black oil stains) on the carpet and on the rug. We reported the oily dust balls to our Butler and our Housekeeper – they had the rug cleaned, and each time dust balls fell, the next day they cleaned the area. We also reported the hot temperature issues and the falling oily dust balls to the Assistant Cruise Director and the General Manager. The cabin’s hot temperature issues in the middle of the night plagued us all through our entire 30-day cruise. We reported the issue to the Assistant Cruise Director and the General Manager six times. The engineers came to our cabin each time and on the third time we complained about the hot nighttime temperature of the cabin. During this in-cabin meeting, the Chief Engineer said that he can merely change the temperature of our cabin, that the in-room thermostat DID NOT control the cabin temperature, he did. And he further reported to us that the temperature of the cabins on the ship are in vertical zones, again that he and his engineering department controls centrally. After engineering turned the temperature down (to 20 degrees C at night), we thought the issue had been solved. Then about a week later, again the temperature at night climbed, and the cabin was uncomfortably hot. The next morning, we met with the Assistant Cruise Director, the General Manager and the Chief Engineer, AGAIN. The Chief Engineer admitted that his Assistant Engineer had changed the zone temperature (he increased the temperature) the prior evening. However, he promised us that he would personally control the nighttime temperature for the zone that our cabin was in for the remainder of the cruise. Overall, we had to complain six times about the cabin temperature. This should not be! One or two or three reported issues with the temperature should be enough to get the temperature under control. And…the black balls of oil-soaked dust continued to drop from the ceiling ventilation vent until the day we departed the cruise. This is another example of the disappointing experience we had on Oceania. 3. Some Employees Were Not Happy - Did Not Enjoy Working For Oceania On This Cruise. Here is one example of this situation. This was most surprising to us. One of the employees who served us for a couple of weeks, came up to us three days before our 30-day cruise ended. This person asked us how we were enjoying our cruise. We said – ‘not so much’ – we were disappointed in the food quality, and there were other issues that we have had on board. And this person then said…’well…me neither, I also am not happy, plus there are other employees on board, who are also disappointed in working for Oceania’. One of the disappointments this person told us is that Oceania provided NO training what-so-ever for how this person (and others) were to do their jobs. There also was another employee, an Italian who worked as a waiter. He was from Roma, Italy. He always looked so sad every time we saw him. And then about two weeks before the cruise ended, we did not see him on board again. He obviously quit his job and left the ship. As a result of this 30-day experience on Oceania’s Nautica, we will not book another Oceania cruise. Our advice – BUYER BEWARE! Oceania today is NOT what it had been according to former reviews of a reported high-quality cruise experience, and especially when it comes to their culinary reputation. From our experience, there simply are many other highly rated, consistent quality and much better cruise alternatives to Oceania. We recommend booking anything other than Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were on what was actually the first ten days of a thirty day cruise. We embarked in Venice . We arrived in Venice three nights early on our own (infinitely cheaper than letting Oceania arrange it). There are two cruise terminals in ... Read More
We were on what was actually the first ten days of a thirty day cruise. We embarked in Venice . We arrived in Venice three nights early on our own (infinitely cheaper than letting Oceania arrange it). There are two cruise terminals in Venice, Martima and San Basilio. We hoped that the ship would be at Maritima since this would be close to our hotel (the excellent Hotel Moresco), but our cruise documents said San Basilio. The day before the cruise I called Oceania to find out where the ship was.and I was told by Oceania that ship was at San Basilio (we actually saw the ship from the Campanile).We met other passengers at our hotel so we arranged to go to the ship by (very expensive) water taxi. When the taxi dropped us off (and took off) we could see that the ship wasn't there. To make a long story short we walked over an hour dragging our luggage to find the ship. We couldn't reach anyone at Oceania by phone to get some help. Once we were on ship things seem to go smoothly under my wife found some pieces of bread under our bed when putting her suitcase away.We also had lousy service at dinner the first night. So our cruise didn't get off to a good start. After that, however things got much better. Our room steward Vincent provided for our every need.Non alcoholic beverages are included and are freely available in your in your stateroom fridge or at the many bars. The ship is the last of it's class that hasn't been gutted and refurbished. However it's very clean and well-maintained. It never felt crowded despite not being a large ship. There were about 680 passengers on board. We never had to wait for a table for any meal. The food was fabulous. At any meal there were numerous choices. There were always vegetarian, non-dairy and gluten-free options. The cleanliness and hygiene in the food areas exceptional. At the buffets, most food was out of reach and was handled by gloved staff. The only place I ever had to wait was at the grill where that made various meats, lobster tails and shrimp to order. The table service at the sit down restaurants was professional, attentive (usually). and friendly. Sommeliers take wine orders.and serve wine and other alcoholic drinks. Our cabin was a Concierge Level Veranda. It was a bit cramped. The bathroom is minuscule. A very large person would have a hard time with it.. It was kept quite clean except that after a maintenance guy came and fixed a cabinet magnet that we didn't know was broken and left a mess. Our itinerary got messed up due to weather. We missed one port (Messina) which were really looking forward to and instead of spending overnight in Livorno we left there after one night (so we missed Lucca) and spent overnight in Civitavecchia which gave us an unexpected day in Rome. We just went on our own by train and saw the overwhelming Vatican Museum including the Sistine Chapel. Was a long exhausting rainy day but well worth and we encountered some really interesting and nice people. We didn't take in much entertainmnt but we got into trivia contests and one points that we traded for t-shirts, a luggage tag, etc.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (wanted to visit Florence, Rome, Pompeii, and Venice) and time of year (not summer busy season). Oceania turned out to be a great choice. The ship is smaller than most. We never waited long for ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (wanted to visit Florence, Rome, Pompeii, and Venice) and time of year (not summer busy season). Oceania turned out to be a great choice. The ship is smaller than most. We never waited long for an elevator and could easily find seating at the pool or in the dining rooms, even though we were told it was fully booked. We enjoyed the 24-hour coffee service in Horizons Lounge. What a great place to watch entry into ports or just relax with a book! This is a VERY port-intensive cruise. Plan on being tired after busy days on shore. We had one scheduled full day of sailing, plus one more because weather prohibited docking at one port. The staff huddled to create activities for the extra sailing day. Embarkation was not as smooth as we hoped it would be. We had significant delays at the airport waiting for another couple and then waiting for the van. Not the best first impression. Re Ports: Monaco - Tender was difficult. Scheduled HOHO tour on my own; can also purchase from bus driver. We rode all the way around before deciding where to stop during second round. Check out side streets near the palace - enjoy gelato. Easy to find the bus, not too busy (but remember we were not there during peak season). Florence - Used an “included” tour for transfer only. You do not need a tour guide. Just download audio file from Rick Steve’s web site (pack headphones) and pre-order tickets to The Accadamia if you want to see The David. Lines to buy tickets are WAY too long. The statue is amazing, esp when compared to unfinished sculptures located in the same room (can even see chisel marks on those). Rome - After MUCH research, I scheduled a private tour with RomeInLimo. This was the ONLY company that said we could see BOTH the interior of the Coliseum and the Vatican. We did both of those and more by having a highly experienced driver and having pre-purchased tickets. Standing in line for ticket purchase would have taken hours. Find out when tickets go on sale for the date you need and mark your calendar. They sell out, even during the non-peak months. Using RomeInLimo was worth every penny! They even have a web site where you can advertise for others to join you (decreases your expense). And use your CruiseCritic Roll Call to share info. Naples/Pompeii - Used an Oceania tour that included tickets, transportation, and a guided tour. Tiring but so interesting. Not recommended if you have problems walking. Probably miserable during hot weather. Kotor - Could not dock due to high winds. Zadar - Oceania provided transportation into town. Sea Organ is unique. Koper - Not our favorite. Could have stayed on the ship. Venice - Oceania excursion that included Murano and gondola ride; quite memorable. Wanted more time in Venice, so took public ferry back to the terminal instead of returning with tour group. Convenient and inexpensive, but be sure you catch the last ferry to avoid $$$$ transportation expense. Oceania staff was very helpful with disembarkation. We bought transfers. As is undoubtedly true with other cruise lines, be sure to READ THE FINE PRINT, especially concerning cancellation of pre-cruise packages. We were unable make the flight due to a medical emergency. In spite of the reason, Oceania would not refund the hotel charge, because the date was too close to our embarkation date. My advice is to schedule such packages on your own. I think the hotel would have credited at least part of the fee if I had booked directly with them. I hope that our travel insurance will cover this, the cost of rebooking flights ($1600), and a tour we missed. Entertainment - Not their strong suit, but usually too tired to attend. Service was OUTSTANDING! Everyone was courteous and helpful. Our flights home were cancelled due to an airline strike, and Oceania made all rebooking arrangements for us. Dining - We went to the buffet most nights. We were surprised to see lobster and grilled shrimp offered every night. Offerings not as extensive as those on larger ships, but we always found menu items we liked. Favorite meal was the Osso Bucco and Tiramisu at Toscanna. Enrichment - I attended the cooking demo. Informative and entertaining! Educational programs re upcoming ports were recorded and could be viewed on tv. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary .....and also for St. Petersburg. This is our first cruise with Oceania and we have already booked another cruise for next year! So with that being said we can only say good things about Oceania ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary .....and also for St. Petersburg. This is our first cruise with Oceania and we have already booked another cruise for next year! So with that being said we can only say good things about Oceania Nautica. There is nothing negative to say....albeit the ship is being refurbished in a few months but the ship was still beautiful. Our stateroom was roomy, the bed very comfortable, the concierge level is fabulous. The crew is amazing and goes beyond to be of service to you. The food in the Grand Dining Room as well as Polo and Toscana was incredible. We did not really partake in Entertainment, Enrichment Activities or Fitness as we were busy doing other things. We did have some rough weather on this trip and were not able to dock in Riga or Visby but our Shore Excursions in Copenhagen and Bruges were great. We chose a personal tour in St. Petersburg for the two days we were there and it was beyond our expectations! We are looking forward to our cruise next year in Greece on a newly refurbished Nautica! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The price was good and the date fit our schedule. The cabins are in need of an update, but they are due for one shortly. The tv needs to be across from the bed, instead of at a weird angle. Our room attendant was very good, and we could ... Read More
The price was good and the date fit our schedule. The cabins are in need of an update, but they are due for one shortly. The tv needs to be across from the bed, instead of at a weird angle. Our room attendant was very good, and we could count on him to get it right. The restaurant servers were hit and miss. Some were excellent, and some clearly did not enjoy their jobs. The shows were pretty good. Not as good as our previous cruises, but smaller cast. The afternoon tea was great, but again scones were super dry and some of our waiters made sarcastic remarks about us eating too much, which was not professional. And this was asking for two items! The excursions were hit and miss. Partly, the rainy weather put a damper on our enjoyment of certain locations. I really liked Helsinki City Highlights and Bruges: A Medieval Gem. We missed out on going to RIga and Visby, because the ports were too rough to disembark. That meant an extra day in Tailynn, which wasn't that great of a location for two days. Wish we could've had 2 days in Copenhagen instead. Liked being able to do our laundry on the ship. The meals were overrated. I had to be sure to ask for the salmon to be cooked rare, or they would overcook it to the point of ruining it. I disliked all the buffet lunches, and ended up getting a salmon burger most every time. I wanted to get a massage, but I heard they charged $200, which is just excessive. And unfortunately, I got tonsilitus and had to see the ship doctor. Just to be seen, get a strep test and some antibiotics, they charged me $365! Way to take advantage of sick people. I don't know if this is the case on all cruises, but my mom had a fall on her ship and they charged her nothing. In summary, I don't think I will do Oceania again. Crystal was so much better in every way. Even Celebrity Cruises, which is comparable in price, had better service, food, and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To spend seven days on the Baltic as guests with the Nautica-crew as host is unique. It is the experience of a week in a floating five-star hotel. Everything, with a small exception, was perfect. The accomodation, the infrastructure, ... Read More
To spend seven days on the Baltic as guests with the Nautica-crew as host is unique. It is the experience of a week in a floating five-star hotel. Everything, with a small exception, was perfect. The accomodation, the infrastructure, the maintenance of the rooms and, last but not least, the great choice of excellent food, cannot be toppled. The major experience, nevertheless, is the disponibility and the kindness of the crew, from 41 different nations! All men and women, from the Captain to the single sailor, are kind, very attentive, helpful and friendly. The standard of the rooms is superior and the available space generous. The crew shows and lives an "esprit de corps" and a "unité de service". One point has to be improved by the management: it is not acceptable, nowadays, that a couple can only dispose of one free WLAN account and has to pay (a lot of) money for further accounts. A couple, today, has two cell phones and to tablets/computers. At least three accounts have therefore to be included in the basic offer! Please adapt this NOW. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
We chose this Baltic cruise for our Golden Wedding treat principally because it spent 3 days in St Petersburg, which I've never visited, and was a small ship. We flew to Copenhagen, a city we've both visited before, and spent the ... Read More
We chose this Baltic cruise for our Golden Wedding treat principally because it spent 3 days in St Petersburg, which I've never visited, and was a small ship. We flew to Copenhagen, a city we've both visited before, and spent the night there, giving us time to see several sights before our taxi arrived to take us to the port (via a delightful unscheduled whistle-stop tour of Copenhagen!) Embarkation was perfectly smooth, and we had a penthouse suite, on the 8th floor, which, though very expensive, was gorgeous - spacious, tasteful, soothing colours blending with the sea and sky outside, a lovely verandah, and extremely comfortable. The food throughout the trip was quite outstanding - we dined most evenings in the Grand Dining Room, where the menu (including at least 2 vegetarian options per course) changed each day, and every dish was beautifully cooked and prepared. We had breakfast on most days at the Terrace Cafe, which had a huge variety of delicious food, including masses of fresh fruit. Occasionally we had a meal in our room, elegantly served by our butler. Everything was kept spotlessly clean, and all the staff were unfailingly pleasant and polite. I was impressed with the attention to safety, and the fact that we had well-organised and thorough evacuation drill before we left Copenhagen. This also gave the comforting impression that other important and unseen matters were treated with similar care. I read comments about the Nautica being 'tired' and 'dated'. Perhaps. But it's like a grand hotel which has been very luxuriously fitted out in the first instance to high standards of craftsmanship and old-fashioned comfort, and scrupulously maintained thereafter. (OK - we're British. Perhaps we view things differently!) The public rooms were lovely - I particularly liked the sumptuously-furnished, panelled library with its splendid selection of interesting books; and we loved sitting in the lounge at the top of the grand staircase to listen to the brilliant string quartet each evening - their enormous repertoire wasn't repeated once during all the time we were on board, and they were stunningly good. In fairness, one disadvantage of a small ship is the pathetic size of the swimming pool! But there was plenty of room for sunbathers, even if enthusiastic swimmers might be disappointed. (I was, a little bit. But I coped ... ) As first-time cruisers we were very pleasantly surprised at the lack of queues. We never had to wait for more than a few moments for anything (apart from final disembarkation, where the ship was at the mercy of the customs authorities) and, amazingly, you could sometimes go on deck for a spot of sunset-viewing and find no-one else there - just like in the advertisements of cruises! This uncluttered ambiance was very unexpected - and that, despite the fact that the ship was absolutely booked up. The only real criticism I have is of the excursions, which were very, very expensive. In St Petersburg we took instead a 3-day independent Russian excursion for a small group, which was absolutely outstanding, and far better than anything Oceania had to offer, at half the price. We did in fact take some Oceania excursions because we had a deal that included free ones. Most were rather good, and included interesting insights into local life, but the Stockholm one was pretty pathetic (frankly I am NOT interested in having American-owned hotels pointed out to me at the expense of learning more about life in Sweden, and I'm not sure how thrilling even the Americans on the trip found it!). The onboard enrichment lectures were also variable in quality - we had a wonderful and fascinating one on amber, would you believe, and a couple of rather muddled ones on Stockholm and St Petersburg (historic dates, please, people, and clearer royal genealogies - it does so help to put things in context), so we stopped going to them after that, and relied on our guide books. My husband looked in on a couple of the evening entertainments, but reported raucous, rather flat singing, so we left this to those who enjoy that sort of thing (of which, I think, there were quite a few, so fair do's.) We didn't patronise the casino or card rooms; and deck shuffleboard didn't speak as an activity, but hey, that's fine. The few children on board seemed perfectly happy, but this is certainly not an ideal cruise for the average teenager (tho' the non-average one might like it!) It was, however, perfect for a well-travelled couple in their 70s who like comfort, good food, cleanliness, quiet, elegant surroundings - and meeting others who are similarly appreciative. Yes, it's very expensive; and I have nothing to compare it with in my experience. But as a treat it was really fabulous, even given the small caveats above, and it's a memory I shall treasure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this ... Read More
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: Norway and northern Russian ports. Oceania has considerably less merchandising pressure. There is no crew of photographers. The crew seems under less pressure to sell extras. There are no "cruise ship art" events. Speciality coffees and sparkling water are available without extra charge. Speciality restaurants are available without extra charge. On the other hand, the cheapest bottle of wine on Oceania is about $10 a bottle more than on Princess. That generally put wine above what I was willing to pay. The ship felt less crowded and there was never a problem finding outdoor seating (although the Northern itinerary may have had something to do with that). 650 passengers instead of thousands does make for a different (and pleasant) experience. Oceania does live up to its reputation for good food. The dining room food was consistently a notch better than Princess. The buffet food was also very good. However, the buffet was typically more crowded than I'm used to on Princess. Our cabin (C1 ocean view) was equivalent to what we'd expect on Princess. Surprisingly, the cabin steward was good, but not as good as is typical on Princess. There were two ship lecturers. We only went to the lectures by one, but she was outstanding (https://cruisethroughhistory.com}. I liked the smaller venue for ship shows, although the noise level (at times 90db or more) was louder than I'd like. Passenger demographics: Oceania is a bit older and fellow passengers are on average wealthier. They also have a tendency to provide lots of details on their previous exotic Oceania cruises. At first that was useful, since we've not been on Oceania before, but enough was enough.... Shore excursions are overpriced. We generally don't book ship excursions, but we took their tours to make life easier for the three Russian ports, and we booked the bird safari at North Cape (a mistake). In Lerwick we hired a cab for the day. I tried to rent a car, but waited too long. I'd recommend planning ahead and getting a car. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable driving in the UK, traffic on Shetland Island is thin. We walked around Bergen, a lovely port. Instead of the Oceania excursion to Mt. Floyen, we booked in advance on-line (https://www.floyen.no/en). Efficient and lots less money. In Kristiansund, there is a company that takes off from the cruise dock and heads up the local fjord for a lot less than Oceania. The Russian tours were fine, although private packages would have saved money. North Cape was a good tour — but we could have done it for less than half the Oceania price on our own. My advice is to rent a car (there is a company at the pier that will rent a car for 1500 NOK). That would allow both the bird safari and a drive up to North Cape, and save a whole lot of money. Thee is also a public bus, although an expensive one, from the pier to North Cape. The tourist office at the pier has the details. Although the cruise to Flam is spectacular, I can't say I'd recommend the railroad trip — but if you do take it, don't book with Oceania. You can either book on-line in advance or buy a ticket once you get there. Flam itself is a town of about 500 that absorbs thousands of cruise ship passengers, and is entirely uninteresting on its own. Cabs in Copenhagen (Uber withdrew from the city) are readily available at the cruise terminal and will set you back less than the Oceania transfer. In sum, Oceania is about twice the price (or more). If I had a choice between them I'd take Princess assuming identical itineraries. However, Oceania's smaller ships bring one to places Princess doesn't. I wouldn't hesitate to book Oceania again — but only if the itinerary was one that Princess could not match. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise as it was the only one of two for the year that goes to Arkhangelsk Russia. The idea was to follow the path of one of the characters in my wife's next novel, albeit 100 years later. We had a great time doing so ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it was the only one of two for the year that goes to Arkhangelsk Russia. The idea was to follow the path of one of the characters in my wife's next novel, albeit 100 years later. We had a great time doing so and she has been able to add detail to her writings. Personally I also had a great time, leaning more about northern Norway and Russia. It was also a white nights experience; seeing the sun at 2:00 am was strange, especially as it was in an "impossible" direction. The seas were only rough on one day and the only issue was that it was pretty cold in Shetland even in July, and I ended up buying a thick fleece jacket that proved useful for most of the trip. Having read about the horrors of the wartime convoys to Murmansk a few cool and rainy days did not seem all that bad. The Oceania shore excursions were adequate. The Suomi village and the Solovetskiy monastery tours were the best . We also had interesting experiences with a Blue-Puffin tour to the North Cape, and tours of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk with Kola. With only two cruise ships per year the Kola tours were a bit rough at times, but were ones we would do again. I particularly enjoyed the tour of the nuclear-powered icebreaker "Lenin". The Russian food was great, when and if it came. Sherry Hutt gave the enrichment lectures and they were super. Lots of stories, all arranged so we would appreciate the shore excursions. We missed the entertainment in the evening, preferring to stay on an early schedule. We usually ate in the Grand Dining Room as it was easier to ensure the food was gluten-free. The food and service were very good. I used the 24/7 self-serve coffee machine in Horizons a lot as I was up very early every day. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very ... Read More
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very large comparatively. BAD - Captain and officers were completely self-righteous and arrogant, to the point of being rude. The dining personnel in the "Polo Club" were incompetent and utterly unskilled in premier food service. We are not snobs and expect minor glitches in services, etc. However, the Polo Club is a "reservations only" establishment and one cannot simply enter at their leisure. The cruise was labeled "Gaelic Glory", but there was no glory about it. The theme was advertised as "Irish", but there wasn't an inkling of Irish theme aboard ship...no Irish food, music, or adornments...??? The entertainment was reminiscent of a theme park, with less than stellar performances. Shore excursions were offered by the cruise line at exorbitant prices, usually 3-4 times the amount charged by local companies at each port-of-call. If you did not book an excursion through the cruise line, you were not allowed to disembark the ship until all of those who purchased cruise line excursion packages had departed. This usually meant waiting 1-2 hours after arriving in port. The crew was extremely vigilant in enforcing this measure, to point of acting "Gestapo" like...very discourteous and unnecessary. I could list many more negative aspects about the cruise, but I think you get the picture. Overall...VERY DISAPPOINTED...!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the ... Read More
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the Irish ports of call. If I get obvious out of the way, Nautica is way overdue for an interior refit. In no way did the condition of the ship detract from our onboard experience. If I compare our Nautica experience with our cruise to Cuba on Sirena, this cruise better organized, and, the crew had a better focus on the total customer experience. The food service, the quality in Polo, Toscana and the GDR was very good, at times our dishes were the best we have ever had on an Oceania cruise. It’s true that ship excursions board tenders before independent travelers. We booked all of our excursions with our Cruise Critic members on our Roll Call board. At no time did we find that this delay was a problem on this cruise. Yes, the Oceania excursion product is way overpriced. Oceania needs to do better in this regard. We prefer the Oceanis cruise product, and, we have booked another cruise for next year. I believe the Nautica is one of Oceania’s best ships for the overall management and for the total cruise experience for the passenger. Once the refit is complete, I expect the Nautica will continue as a top choice for Oceania travelers old and new. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, ... Read More
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, the main reason we chose. Alas, the ship is a tub, well past its prime. Built in 2000, this almost two decade boat shows its age. Cabin furnishings are tattered. TV is tiny. WiFi didn't work and when it did you were limited to one device per cabin, and it was dicey to change devices without losing the WiFi. Ships colors are dull and lifeless. Casino has perhaps 10 slot machines, some out of order. Our Veranda chairs had to be replaced due to stains. Concierge class offers nothing over standard Veranda cabins (brochure highlights of Concierge benefits only apply to Oceania's larger ships...bait and switch). Food in main dining room average. For the premium price Oceania charges the experience is vastly overrated. jWE cruised on Oceania 7 years ago and found everything to be classy. Something has happened to lower their standards. To be fair, highpoints: cruise Director Carson is absolutely wonderful. Such a waste of talent to be assigned to the Nautica. Shows and fly-in talent were great. Avoid this ship till after 2020 June. If you book prior to that date Oceania should give you a big discount. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated soon. The staff is excellent. They knew our names after a few days. Service was great. Food was wonderful. Our favorite was Tuscano. This was a 21 day cruise and we did have quite a few sea days. Loved them. There were plenty of activities for us. We were with another couple and played a lot of cards. Our cabin was concierge level and this gave us free wifi for one item but we learned how to use multiple phones/ipads without too much trouble. We didn't do a lot of the entertainment in the evening but the ship's crew were very good the little we did see. We did use the casino, however not many people seem to enjoy the gaming. Did not really enjoy our cruise director but that is just a personal point. Our ports were fabulous. We booked all private tours so can not speak to the ship's excursions. It is an older crowd and there were no children on board. We met some very lovely people on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you are greeted cordially and made to feel special. We never had a bad meal. Our cabin attendant and her assistant took great care of us. The cabins provide plenty of storage space and are well laid out. If the bed frame were just an inch higher it would make storage of suitcases much easier. The bathroom in anything but the suites, to put it mildly, is compact but functional. The shower is especially tiny and is our only major complaint. The guest lecturer was excellent giving insight into the history and attractions of the area and the ports we were visiting. We were disappointed that Nagasaki was substituted for Incheon on our itinerary but understand that this was something beyond the control of Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The ... Read More
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The tours were conducted by good English speaking instructors (Dalian to Lushun prison and Beijing to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square). Internet was spotty. Room 6004 was a good size, beds comfortable with lovely sheets but the whole ship needs renovation. Do not reserve this cabin if you have any issue with motion sickness. It is in the forward part of the ship and it was awful in rough seas. It was also very noisy when the entertainment in the lounge was going on. Overall a good trip. The port agent in Kobe did a good job helping us to get back to the ship on time on one precarious occasion. The age range though really is 65-80. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on ... Read More
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on this cruise was time and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Itinerary Planning - This is a shared responsibility between Oceania Corporate and the Captain of the ship. These itinerary’s are made years in advance and must be executed by the Captain at the helm. Durban - 3 hours late, Maldives - 5 hours late, Phuket - 5 hours late - Unacceptable. The reason given, currents were bad or wind was high. This tired ship can only do about 18,5 knots, we didn’t have high seas or storms to contend with, this was an example of poor planning and not having enough time reserve between ports of call. The skip of Mombasa for terrorist threat is understandable but could have been communicated sooner, the add of Praslin in the Seychelles deserves an “At a boy”. Ship - Loved the size of the ship and the old world charm but its time for an upgrade. The common areas were in good shape and are still receiving the TLC they deserve. Would like to see Toscana and Polo combined to make room for Red Ginger with the scheduled refurbishment. The Nautica Lounge has a nice layout to it but when the entertainment uses the dance floor instead of the stage it can be difficult to see what is going on. Didn’t see a lot of activity in the casino, this space could get better utilization. Enjoyed the spa deck on the front, a quiet space for reading, and the hot tub there was great. Dining - Ate in all the venues and service level was top notch. This was really evident in the Terrace Grill. During the morning rush there were countless “Good Mornings”, tables were reset quickly, and beverage servers ever present. Enjoyed the regional specialty nights especially the game night of Kudu, Springbock, Crocodile, and Impala. For the GDR did not experience the same quality as previous sailings, the deserts were routine. Saw the same menus in Toscana and Polo as year prior, shouldn’t these change a bit. Entertainment and Activities - You can’t expect the same performance level that is received on a 2500+ passenger ship. With that said this group or entertainers and dancers held there own and then some. You got to know these performers throughout the 30-day cruise as they were the ones hosting the various activity games onboard. I think you will see Paulina and Luke have their own headline acts soon. John’s comedy/magic show should become a regular act. He was pretty darn good at having fun at the daily trivia forum. Was glad to see bridge lessons being offered as corporate had said they wouldn’t prior to the cruise. Bridge should be expected on a cruise of this duration. The string quartet every evening in the atrium was well received and glad to see them get two headline shows. The off-board entertainers and lecturers were pretty good. Ports and Shore Excursions - Took this cruise mainly for the itinerary and was not disappointed. Arranged mostly private tours with the CC forum prior to embarkation. These were well done and received a more intimate experience than the Oceania sponsored trips. The tendering process was orderly with a sensitivity to private excursions. Oceania needs to cut their fees in half to be competitive. Met some interesting fellow travelers from various points of the world. By sharing evening dinner or Happy Hour you get to exchange in some great conversations. We enjoy Oceania and will return. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and ... Read More
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and service was very good. Ken Beattie was one of the best guest lecturers we have ever had. We did the Oceania precruise out of Johannesburg which included Victoria Falls, and Chobe Marina Reserve (2 game drives and one river experience). Had a great time. We are very glad that we got to visit/experience these ports. Most were not the usual tourist ports which meant they didn't have as much infrastructure, but that was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We have been to most of the typical tourist ports. It was great getting to interface with some of the locals and learn about totally different life styles. One of our best/favorite cruises (and we have cruised a lot (>800 days), due to the unusual/different nature of the ports, and the onboard experience. We have cruised most of the usual cruise lines, but this was our first on Oceania. We were very pleased and would be very pleased to cruise with them again. One item that was less than ideal was the showroom. Their are 8 sister ships of which this is one, and they were all built with a single deck/level showroom, which means most seats have a lousy/restricted view of the stage (especially frustrating for watching dancers). Lecturers, singers, etc. are not a problem since you can see the top half of the performer. Some evenings the entertainment was a movie. In my opinion they should have live entertainment every night. However, we still had a fabulous time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, ... Read More
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, the currents are always there and the weather was not that bad. The itinerary was cut so fine. There was no give in the itinerary, at all, for conditions that are always going to be there. It felt like the cruise was cut short by one day in the initial planning. Oceania this trip, needs to have full days in port for the benefit of the guests. It felt at times that there was a rush and that we were shortchanged The ships entertainment troupe were fantastic, but the guest artists were tired and repetitive, with an occasional singer thrown in. They were not quality. Dining - The Grand Dining Room was a grand disappointment, cold food cold plates and tasteless food, many returned meals with no improvement. It felt like a cafeteria not Grand in anyway, except for the waitering staff, who make up for the quality of food. Tocannas and Polo shamed the GDR with their hot and flavoursome food Service - across the dining spectrum, the wait staff, were either brilliant and attentive or not. On observation, at many a meal, the supervisors stood aloof and were not attentive to what was not happening, leaving it to the good wait staff to try and rectify the poor service. Training was not as good as seen previous, an example, for 20 days we asked for spoons to be in “Waves” for breakfast and eventually it happened for the final 8-10 days. It seems if a guest suggests something you get treated as though you do not know what you are talking about, or know better than supervisor you spoke to. Finally, I would also like to make comment on the complaint process. It seems that complaints are always referred back to head office. A fellow traveler had an issue and wanted to see someone high In management, firstly to talk, before putting it in writing but was told that reception had to decide whether to forward the complaint. This is not a process, but a poor vetting system, where you get the feeling that we will wear you down, and then hope you will give up Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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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