351 Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd world. We didn’t feel safe and was the only port that required us to take malaria medicine. We were surprised Oceania offered a 2 hour walking tour. DON’T TAKE IT! Street vendors aggressively follow you and pressure a sale. Streets are dirty. We were only allowed to take photos when given permission. Definitely not worth stopping. As for ship: Food and service were outstanding. Loved the “dine anytime” arrangement. It was fun to share a table and meet other guests but we always had the opportunity to dine alone. Being in the Owners Suite gave us special privileges and we were able to eat in specialty restaurants whenever we requested to do so. Stewards were exceptional! Entertainment not quite as elaborate as other cruises but I suppose that’s due to size of ship. On shore: the Belmont property, Mount Nelson Inn, is fabulous! If you are staying in land pre or post cruise, make a reservation! And don’t miss Table Mountain and The Cape. Two spectacular sites in Cape Town. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. The downtown area was completely shut down and our hop on/off bus driver had no idea what to do. We went around the same block three times and circled a round-about four times in succession. After an hour and a half, the bus stop at public toilets for us. Everyone was afraid to get off at the three stops he managed to get to for fear they'd never see another bus. Why did the shore excursion department not know about this and cancel this tour? In Nosy Be, Madagascar my shore excursion included a beach stop. Not a beach on the same side of the island as the pier (where other excursions went), but one that was 45 minutes down a crater filled road! By the time we got there, there was no time to swim (the beach had no changing or shower facilities) and the guide moved up departure time AFTER people headed to the shoreline. Almost every excursion included a "market" stop. How many times does a person need to smell fish and meat covered in flies while it rots in the sun? I chose an excursion to a Zulu "village" in South Africa expecting to visit a real residential village. An hour and a half ride to a hotel with a cultural entertainment area-a recreated "village." Heck, one of the women didn't even know the steps to the dance. In Durban, they didn't know the market would be closed on New Year's Day! So the guide tried to fill in time by taking us to the wealthy part of town and to the soccer stadium. Unfortunately, the tour bus didn't pull up on the stadium side of the street and one of the passengers was hit by a car crossing the street. I was a little surprised that none of the excursions on this cruise went anywhere near a jewelry store or upscale shopping area. Several of these countries are known for the gemstones they mine. The Nautica was fine and my cabin was good. I dined most of the time in the Buffet since the food was as good or better the the restaurant. I did try the restaurant once. The service was slow. My server replaced my standard silverware with a salad fork and a fish knife for a steamed salmon entree with green beans which I couldn't cut. I ate in both the alternative restaurants; food and service were excellent. The worst part of the cruise was embarkation. The documents said it was at 1pm so a lot of people showed up at 1pm. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Several hundred! They made no arrangements for the crowd-no chairs, no water, nothing! Like others, I stood in line for more than 2 hours while crew with gold bars on their shoulders smiled at us. I can understand that they might not know this could happen, but THEY COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING once it did. What would it take to have a crew member unstack the chairs that were leaning against the wall? They could have handed out number tags (the ones used for shore excursion buses) to group us and call us up when it was our turn. We still would have waited 2 hours, but we could have been seated while waiting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. ... Read More
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. We upgraded to concierge verandah cabin for this trip so were prepared for the level of accommodation; no complaints. We're still not sure what "concierge service" means, though. The service was good but we didn't know what to expect above and beyond what we got on our previous cruise. We found the food and service to be excellent, especially in Toscana. I have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, so after our first meal in the Grand Dining room, I learned to request seating just inside the entrance, away from the busy waiters' serving stations. The entertainment was of average quality. A couple of the professionals were extremely talented; a couple were not. Some of the scheduled entertainers were no-shows or delayed due to travel or visa problems. One such delay resulted in an impromptu Passenger Talent Show: mildly entertaining but not what we hoped for. The String quartet was excellent -- highly professional, and the ship's band was super talented. The six young on-board performers were equally talented. They put on several very entertaining Broadway-type shows as well as separate performances. No disappointment there! With a number of sea days, there were activities like bracelet-making, embroidery, bingo, and other parlour games -- not of interest to us. Two "Enrichment" speakers helped fill in the days: one was well-informed and entertaining while the other was rather pedantic and didn't hold our interest. Surprisingly, there were no "Destination" Speakers. Adequate information about upcoming ports was very lacking and very missed! Activities (e.g., more and varied speakers) and more substantive entertainment would have helped the long sea days pass. In retrospect, the cruise itinerary could have been better thought-out. One or two of the four stops in India could have been skipped, with the time added to other stops. Sailing for a day or two (or more?) just to spend a few hours in the next port, now seems like a waste of time. For instance, we sailed west for about two days from Seychelles to Mombassa, then part of a day to Zanzibar, and then a day and a half back east to Nosy Be (Madagascar) where we anchored for only six hours! In our case, Madagascar was of more interest than four stops in India. After an hour delay in tendering plus 40-minute boat rides to and from Nosy Komba to see lemurs (a couple hours) there was no time left to go ashore in Nosy Be or any other part of Madagascar! Very disappointing! Being rather inexperienced with shore excursions, and concerned with being left behind if we were delayed returning to the ship, we opted for the security of booking through Oceania. Never again! The excursions we chose (based on brief, sometimes inaccurate or misleading descriptions) were mostly disappointments. Expensive disappointments. As an example, an excursion in Durban was described as "panoramic", which, to me, suggests there will be stops where photos of interesting places can be taken. The actual excursion was a half-hour drive to "Umhlanga Rocks" ( apparently not a natural formation, but a high-end residential community instead), another half-hour drive to "Ballito" (apparently a small beach town, popular with locals) where the guide disappeared to apparently look for restroom facilities, leaving us to wander on our own for 15 minutes, then another hour-long drive back to Durban, where we drove non-stop through the downtown area, trying to snap pictures of places like "...the Theatre, where they have plays...". As another reviewer remarked, too many excursions are made up of too many people: the guides are often too far from most of the group to be heard clearly (both on the buses and on walks). And even guides in "third-world" excursions should understand not to let their charges get strung out for a hundred feet in unfamiliar narrow streets and pathways. These examples reflect our (and others') experiences on a large percentage of our excursions. Assuming we ever do cruise with Oceania again, it's very unlikely we'll use their excursions. Many people we met aboard (some had multiple Oceania cruises) were equally disappointed and expressed strong doubts about using Oceania again. The general opinion was that after Oceania was acquired by Norwegian, cost-cutting and short-term profit-taking have caused a noticeable reduction in the level of service. Unfortunately, our many good experiences on this cruise (especially with the crew and staff members) were offset by the excursions and other disappointments; we don't expect to use Oceania in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. ... Read More
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. Instead, I will discuss a few deficiencies aboard Nautica and suggest some ways to overcome them so that they will not interfere with your enjoyment of the cruise. The final week After seeing Petra, there are 4 days a sea, then a ½ day stop in Salalah, Oman, and then another day at sea before stopping for a day in Muscat, Oman. Salalah is a dead-zone as far as tourism is concerned. There is nothing to see in the industrial area that surrounds the gigantic port. Moreover, the taxi drivers’ union does not allow the ship to offer its usual free shuttle into the town. We heard numerous complaints from other passengers about the boring tours of Salalah offered by Nautica (at outrageous prices). On that day, we stayed onboard the ship even though it meant we went 6 full days without going ashore. My advice: Take some good books and projects to help fill the hours in that final week. Shore excursions Because we paid O-Life fares, we received 4 excursions each, which we used for tours that were only accessible by the ship's buses. We found the main problem on these excursions with 30+ people was that it was difficult to hear the guide unless you were standing right beside him or her. Oceania needs to take a lesson from Viking and provide Vox machines for all passengers on all tours. We found that for half the price of Nautica's shore excursions we could easily book better, small group tours using top-rated companies that we found on Tripadvisor. Then everybody could hear the guide and ask lots of questions. We used Love Egypt Tours in Luxor and Jordan Horizons for Petra. Specialty restaurants reservations Oceania does not reward loyalty; instead they give perks to passengers based on how much they pay for their staterooms. For example, someone who is a first time Oceania guest who buys a stateroom for $25000 gets to reserve specialty restaurants at least a month before someone who has been on several Oceania cruises and has spent over $50000 in total, but always on porthole staterooms on level 3. That's not fair. I booked the minute I was allowed to reserve specialty restaurants and did not get a single one of my choices because people in more expensive staterooms had taken all the available tables. However, when I embarked, I went immediately to the dining room and they exchanged all my (bad) specialty restaurant reservations for the times I wanted. Lesson learned: Oceania holds back a lot of times to satisfy unhappy customers like me who request changes when they are onboard. It's also worth noting that we received better meals and equal service in the Grand Dining Room. We will likely not bother reserving in the specialty restaurants on our next cruise. WiFi and Nautica’s computer lab With the O-Life fare, you get free WiFi. However, it’s not their premium WiFi and it’s slow. I can't understand why Oceania offers a service such as WiFi when it is clearly substandard. The two hours before dinner seem to be the worst. Moreover, if you go to the computer lab you may find that some external drives cannot be read by the ship’s computers. I suspect it’s because those computers are PCs and don’t read files that are made on Apple machines. Before you leave home, if you’re a Mac user, test your external drives to make sure they can be read by a PC (eg. at your local library). Also make sure all your files are saved in PDF or .doc format. Food Although the meals are generally excellent, we experienced 2 problems. First, chicken breasts or thighs were raw inside on 2 occasions. We sent them back and got well-cooked replacements. Make sure if you order chicken that you specify you want it well done. Undercooked chicken can be dangerous! A second problem is that the Terrace Grill (the buffet restaurant that you will probably use for most breakfasts and lunches) has the worst design of any cruise ship we have been on. Why? -- 90% of the food is crammed onto counter-tops on both sides of a very narrow aisle, about 50 feet long. You’re continually banging into other guests who are shoulder-to-shoulder trying to get food. The solution: Go very early or very late. Canyon Spa I listened to one of the hour-long health seminars given by the fitness trainer. It was about all the “terrible” health problems caused by the accumulation of toxins in the body. Since I have a biology degree, it soon became obvious that although there was some accurate anatomical and physiological information given out, the majority of the “facts” simply involved vague, misleading half-truths. The objective was to sell several months’ supply of Canyon Spa teas and a seaweed bath product that would supposedly rid the body of toxins. (The cost: over $1000 for a six month supply delivered to your home) It was the worst example of quackery and “snake oil” sales I have ever seen, with not a shred of valid medical research to support the use of those products. Oceania should be ashamed of allowing that kind of misinformation to be foisted on passengers, most of whom have low scientific literacy. My advice: Use the spa for massages if you want to pay their ridiculous prices, -- but skip the seminars. In summary, none of these problems affected our enjoyment of the cruise. I simply offer them as a warning to future passengers on Nautica or her sister ships. No cruise ship is perfect. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The cruise had a fabulous itinerary and we chose it for that. We were not disappointed. The cruise was amazing and the ports were phenomenal. Everything was interesting and easily explored. Sometimes we had to travel a distance from port ... Read More
The cruise had a fabulous itinerary and we chose it for that. We were not disappointed. The cruise was amazing and the ports were phenomenal. Everything was interesting and easily explored. Sometimes we had to travel a distance from port to the points of interest but that is often to be expected with a cruise. We could not have been more pleased with the choice of ports. We arranged for private shore excursions and were so happy we did. In 2 ports we took ship tours because there were no private tours available. In Limassol, Cyprus, the tour was OK - not great, but interesting. In Salalah, Oman, the tour was absolutely terrible. The ship should have given everyone a refund of the money they charged. The tour was to be 4 hours and it ended up being 2 1/2 hours because of immigration problems. However, the tour was terrible, uninteresting and not worth even $25. Just horrible. We complained, as did many other people. My recommendation is to stay away from ship tours if at all possible. The ship was lovely and it was kept very clean. We had a problem, however, with service in the Grand Dining Room and in Waves Grill. Both seemed to be short-staffed. Many times there were tables that needed to be bussed at Waves. Since this is an outdoor venue and the weather was lovely, many people wanted to sit outside but we had to bus our own tables sometimes. The staff just couldn't keep up with it. The service in the GDR was excruciatingly slow most nights. We didn't find the wait staff overly friendly - certainly not as it had been on other Oceania sailings. Something was off on this sailing and it was noticeable to many. The menu in the GDR was unspectacular and often plain boring. Several nights there was nothing that any of us wanted. The Jaques Pepin menu never changed and was very tired by the end of the cruise. The specialty restaurants were much better, with better service and food. We found Toscana a bit more to our liking than Polo Grill because the wait staff was better. The food was more inconsistent in Polo Grill, too, but both were FAR better than the GDR. We were able to eat 6 times in the specialty restaurants and we were very glad we could b/c the GDR was just not up to Oceania's normal standards. Add poor service to that on some nights - a 15 minute wait for a waiter to even come to the table!! - and it was a recipe for dissatisfaction. We always went to Happy Hour in Horizons and had one server who was outstanding, Beverly. She was attentive, knew our drink selections after the 2nd day and was always cheerful. If we didn't sit in her section, she would come to us and ask us why we weren't sitting in her section. She really cared about us and proved that good service is still possible on Oceania. She made our evenings so very enjoyable. Our cabin was always kept clean, however, when we first arrived, we did not see our cabin steward until the next day! This is unheard of. We knew the name of our attendant but we never saw him. I called for extra hangers and they took forever to arrive. Poor service there on the first day. When we finally saw our cabin steward the next morning, we found out it was not the one who had been assigned to us. The steward originally assigned to us had left the ship in the embarkation port. We figured that there had been some personnel problems b/c surely they would not have assigned him to our cabins had they known he was leaving. Still, no word of explanation nor was there an apology for the replacement. And we still would not have met our new steward if it hadn't been for the fact that he was in the hall when we left the cabin the next morning. Another "off" thing about this sailing. The Cruise Director, Julie James, is a bit tired and long in the tooth. She was our Cruise Director once before and we didn't think she was all that great. She is friendly and bubbly but that's about it. She doesn't expend a lot of energy getting to know her crowd. We have had CDs who are much more engaged with the passengers. The production entertainment staff was engaging and the kids worked really hard but they were not all that good. They were as cute as they could be but they didn't seem to be that skilled. Sometimes off key in the singing. The dancers were very good and far more skilled. The hired entertainers (magician, musician, flautist) were excellent. They could not have been better and we enjoyed them tremendously. The professional lecturers were outstanding and we enjoyed their presentations. Since we were seeing so many foreign ports, their input and information was extremely valuable and helpful. All in all, we have loved Oceania and are willing to give this cruise experience in the cabin and dining room areas a pass. Perhaps something was going on that we were not aware of as passengers. Certainly, we have experienced a much better Oceania in the past. We hope that this is not becoming the standard because if it is, we will be turning our allegiance elsewhere. An outstanding itinerary cannot make up for some of the issues we found. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all the amenities great. We especially liked the Terrace Cafe just because of its variety of selection and casual atmosphere. We did enjoy Toscanas food as well, but did find the Polo fell short of our expectations. The entertainment in the evening was energetic and we were so impressed with the takent of the young enetertainers on the ship. The enrichment lectures were really informative and we tried not to miss any of them. We enjoyed the small ship atmosphere and the friendly staff. Our housekeeping staff went above and beyond any requests we had. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and we were quick to get off and on the boat to meet up with our tour groups. We will definitely use Oceania again. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Nautica is one of 8 identical ships built for Rennaissance cruise line. Azamara have 3 and Oceania have 4. They are small enough to get into ports which larger ships cannot and therefor have better itineraries. the weather on this cruise ... Read More
Nautica is one of 8 identical ships built for Rennaissance cruise line. Azamara have 3 and Oceania have 4. They are small enough to get into ports which larger ships cannot and therefor have better itineraries. the weather on this cruise had several days of rough weather resulting in missing the first port which was changed to Naples. We did back to back cruises and the weather improved as we headed south. The food on this cruise was outstanding. The main dining room frequently produced meals the equal of the speciality restaurants. This included the lunch menu. Additional meals in the speciality restaurants could be booked at the desk in the terrace cafe every morning.The other outstanding feature was the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff from general manager to cabin steward. This attitude more than made up for the weather. We chose the excursions from the 3 choices of the "o" life choice before the cruise so we did not have to pay extra to the cruise fare. The excursions were standard and similar to what can be obtained on other cruise lines. If we had paid the prices extra we would have been overcharged by some margin. Similarly the prices for alcoholic beverages were very high. The cabins on the "r" class ships have small bathrooms. When the forthcoming upgrade of Oceania's ships takes place it would be money well spent if the shower cubicle were extended as well as putting on a folding door. This would be preferable to to cosmetic changes. We benefit from the excellent Oceania loyalty programme. We are disappointed that in November 2019 the higher grades may be penalised If the food service and itinerary are priorities Nautica is a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We decided on taking our first cruise and for sure this is the LAST one and for sure the LAST one on Oceania Nautica. Room was tight and two people cannot move in it. Food is TERRIBLE and it seems they rotate the same ingredients over ... Read More
We decided on taking our first cruise and for sure this is the LAST one and for sure the LAST one on Oceania Nautica. Room was tight and two people cannot move in it. Food is TERRIBLE and it seems they rotate the same ingredients over and over again. All seafood served is farmed and not wild caught. WAY too much hidden sodium in all the food, evidenced by the fact that we work up continuously every night to drink water. It's amazing folks don't have a heart attack eating the stuff they serve. Overly pretentious considering food is lousy. Out room maid was very nice though. Shore excursions are WAY over-priced and you can get the same thing on shore for a small fraction of the price they charge. Also, the management is constantly finding ways to squeeze more money out of you. For example, it's stated that there is free WIFI, however that applies to only ONE device. If you wish to connect a second device to your room's router, it's a charge of $250 per extra connection ... FROM THE SAME ROUTER! The management should be ASHAMED of themselves. We could not wait for the cruise to end. STAY AWAY!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had never been to the Adriatic and a small ship seemed the best way to go. Having been on Oceania the year before, we knew that the food would be amazing and we certainly weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent with more ... Read More
We had never been to the Adriatic and a small ship seemed the best way to go. Having been on Oceania the year before, we knew that the food would be amazing and we certainly weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent with more to see than we could possibly fit into 10 days. The sense of history is incredible. Highly recommend Venice, Ancona, Dubrovnik and Kotor if you have never been there. Rhodes and the Greek Coast were also enjoyable. Other stops were Santorini and Rhodes both of which we needed more time to explore. We had very rough weather in Santorini which made embarkation an adventure, but the crew were very diligent in keeping everyone safe. We highly recommend the old towns in Dubrovnik and Rhodes as the is literally dozens of things to see. Kotor is stunningly beautiful as is the Croation coast line. Everywhere we went, the people were friendly and helpful. As usual, the food was absolutely the best we have enjoyed at sea, whether in the MDR, Horizons, or the 2 specialty restaurants - Toscana and Polo Grill. Only regret is that Red Ginger is not found on the 4 smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Nautica was an elegant ship, nice layout, super easy/fast embarkation and debarkation. We love Oceania’s relaxed attitude on alcohol – we brought a bottle or two on from multiple ports, and got jokes about how heavy our bag was, with ... Read More
Nautica was an elegant ship, nice layout, super easy/fast embarkation and debarkation. We love Oceania’s relaxed attitude on alcohol – we brought a bottle or two on from multiple ports, and got jokes about how heavy our bag was, with the wine handed back to us. The 2-for-1 daily happy hour is straightforward, and a nice way to take advantage of pre-dinner drinks in a lounge. Itinerary & Excursions We chose the cruise due to the itinerary, so we obviously loved it. Venice to Athens, with ports every day. Ancona, Italy was a nice surprise; Split, Croatia was disappointing. All of the cities were very walkable with tons of information available, and we did our own planning and excursions. Stateroom and Ship in General Given the time of year, we didn’t want a balcony. Instead, we had an oceanview, and the lack of a balcony plus a GIANT window translated into a spacious stateroom – we loved it. Tons of space for all of our things. The bathroom was tired, and I hope it’s included in the upcoming refit. The ship overall is elegant and tastefully appointed, with beautiful art. Lovely. Food Our biggest disappointment of the cruise. Oceania is known as a ‘foodie’ cruise line. On a previous cruise, we were SO impressed by the baked goods that we were drooling just thinking of getting to eat them again. But the food – even in the specialty restaurants – was just good, not great. The baked goods (other than the amazing sticky buns) were consistently stale whether in the buffet or the restaurants, and were just okay. There was no wow factor, at all. What happened, Oceania? Entertainment & Enrichment The production staff were just okay. We also had an amazing pianist but playing sonatas for an hour is pretty low energy for a cruise. A saxophonist, Oli Nez, who was quite talented and smooth. Our cruise director had been a jazz singer in a former life so she sang one night. Overall, pretty good, but you didn’t feel bad if you missed a night’s show. The daily string quartet was fantastic. Disappointed that there wasn’t any enrichment on board as we’d have liked to hear about some local history, etc. but we were in port every day so I suspect that was the cause. Staff Amazing. Truly the most content, gracious, friendly, helpful, funny, sweet staff we’ve encountered on any cruise – a true testament to how Oceania and Nautica in particular treats people. Very impressed. Canyon Spa & Fitness Centre The Fitness Centre is quite well equipped and a good size. It was easy to pop in, find whatever equipment you wanted/needed, and spend some time offsetting the food! The spa itself was gorgeous – beautifully designed, with cucumber and lemon ice water always available. If you were concierge level and above, you could use the back deck and giant hot tub. However, all passengers could use the facilities and the steam room (just hand over your room card to get a locker key) for free – as on most cruises – which was a lovely bonus that we took advantage of almost daily. My husband did have a spa treatment on his birthday to use up some of our shipboard credits, and it was wonderful. Spa staff are also great. WiFi and Computer lab Wifi seems to be included now (in use on 1 device at a time), though we didn’t really want it as we enjoy the forced withdrawal from life of a cruise. Wifi was a decent speed…until you got to the computer lab. The computer lab is ridiculous – saran-wrapped keyboards (!) and the most painfully awfully slow internet I’ve experienced (and that includes dialup). It was virtually impossible to accomplish any task. I don’t understand why there was such a difference, given that we logged into wifi on both our phones and the computer lab with the same account, but there it was. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten prior occasions. The Nautica is a small ship – 684 total passengers with a staff of 400. We came away feeling that the overall experience was at the bottom of our list. There were a few good points – a) The crew is well trained to be very friendly; b) Cabin and public spaces were kept very clean. c) There was an ample choice of shore excursions. d) The breakfast and lunch buffet always had a large assortment of food choices. Unfortunately, there were far more bad points – a) Any cabin below deck 8 is too small to be comfortably habitable. Below the 8th deck, the largest cabin is 216 square feet. Bathroom is so tiny it was difficult to shower. There was not enough proper space to put away clothing or store suitcases. b) Main dining room: Poor to fair. About five or six main course choices available at each meal – several were the same every night. c) Specialty dining rooms (2): Very nice. Problem is that reservations must be made well in advance of the cruise. Otherwise, tables are not available. d) Entertainment: poor to fair. A comedian performed twice. He was very ‘off color’ and not very funny. Entertainment director sang one night – just okay performance. A group of five very young, inexperienced people performed on all other nights. Would expect a better performance from high school students. e) Excursions: All guides apparently local to area. Many were very well versed and provided a lot of information. Some walked too quickly, not allowing for anyone to take in local sites. On most occasions, the bus windows were filthy. There was plenty of time for the driver to clean the windows while waiting for passengers to assemble and board. To summarize – I have no idea how much better Oceania’s other boats might be, or if the above negative points flow throughout their fleet. That being said, based on our experience I cannot recommend this cruise line, or at least not this particular boat. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ship the service wold be even one notch higher. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. However we were a little disappointed with our experience on the Nautica. We thought the service on our previous cruises on the Riviera was more personal and friendly, the staterooms were nicer, there was a better selection of facilities and entertainment and even the food was better. For this cruise on the Nautica there were a number of things we liked, however, as well as some things we didn't like. The main positives and negatives were.... Positives: - ports (overall) - being on a smaller ship generally gives you direct access to smaller ports without having to tender - travelling in low season, at the end of the Fall in Europe - often we were the only ship in port, which meant smaller crowds everywhere. The weather is obviously more of a risk, however..... - embarkation & disembarkation were wonderful - we were on & off the ship in under 15 minutes. - transfers from the airport to the ship & back from the ship to the airport, which we took with Oceania, were well organized & efficient - of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania, 2 were very good - our room stewards were excellent - the folks at Destination Services, who had to scramble because of missed and changed ports at the beginning of the cruise, were cheerful and helpful. - overall the ship was immaculately maintained even if the decor is dated & the ship is due for a major reno - the High Teas at 4 pm each day were very enjoyable & the string quartet was very good - we had excellent meals at Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant - the presentation of dishes in general was excellent and the quality of the dinners in the Grand Dining Room was generally very good; we had a couple of exceptional/memorable dishes during the cruise but a few disappointments as well - eating al fresco on the terrace of the Terrace Café at lunch time on sunny days when we were in port was lovely - I can't think of a nicer setting - salads and hamburgers at Waves Grill were great - specialty coffees from Baristas Bar (in front of the Grand Dining Room) were excellent. - even though the Internet was slow & balky, at least it was free - on cruises we took on other cruise lines it was also slow & balky but you had to pay for it! Negatives: - port of Durrès - no idea why we stopped in Albania as there was very little of interest to see and do in this port and the surrounding area. - one of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania (Secret Corners of Venice) was a complete waste of time - entertainment choices are limited and geared to a much older crowd - we had a poor dining experience in the Polo Grill, the steakhouse specialty restaurant, which was very disappointing - servers in the Grand Dining Room (GDR) seemed under pressure at dinner time, were having difficulty dealing with the large number of guests at peak times - even though we were "concierge", our friends and us were given less-than-desirable tables at dinner in the GDR on a number of occasions (e.g. next to the noisy waiter sections) even when there were tables available nearer to the windows. In one instance our friends specifically asked for a table in a better location and we were assigned a table next to a waiter station, even though there were numerous better tables available. Grrrrrr..... - lack of variety of dishes at the Terrace Café for breakfast and particularly at lunch (as compared to the Terrace Café on the Riviera) - service in the Terrace Café was hit and miss; there were some nice servers but others seemed glum and disinterested in serving guests - Concierge Services - we asked the Concierge once for help making a change to dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant and were told to call Dining Services ourselves later - we found that "concierge" verandah on the Nautica was not good value for money - the things we appreciated the most as "concierge" guests on the Riviera, i.e. the concierge lounge, help from the concierge, access to a nice area at the front of the ship (with cold non-alcoholic drinks) were either unavailable or limited on the Nautica. - Oceania (the captain & crew) did nothing to acknowledge the rough start to the cruise - we missed the key port on the 1st day (Amalfi) and had to change the port on the 2nd day as we experienced very rough seas and bad weather during the 1st 2 days of the cruise. We had missed ports occasionally on other cruises but this was pretty exceptional. Nothing was said about this, nothing was offered to the guests - a small token/acknowledgement would have been appreciated. If this cruise on the Nautica had been our first Oceania cruise I am not sure we would sail with Oceania again. However, given our earlier morte positive experiences on the Riviera, we had already booked a cruise on the Marina next Fall and we are looking forward to that. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was ... Read More
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was extremely well-trained and helpful. However, I was very disappointed in the shore excursions. They were very touristy, and lacking in depth. I have cruised with Seabourne, Silversea and Windstar, and their shore excursions were much more in depth and immersive--with VIP special arrangements for getting around the crowds and into the sights around all of the other tourists. The descriptions were often not in keeping with the actual excursion. Oceania also nickels and dimes for everything--beverage packages, service charges added to the fare, etc. Competitor cruises charge a higher flat fee, but then you are not charged for anything else, the fare is all-inclusive. Also, the internet service offered by the ship was low-grade, and the crew member assigned to assist with this was unhelpful. I don't think I will said with Oceania again, having had better experiences with competitors. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. ... Read More
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. Unfortunately, the rest of the cruise was quite bland, including the food. We had one really great dinner in the steakhouse. Most of the other dinners were quite forgettable. More emphasis was put on the "presentation" instead of on the "substance". Buffet breakfast was okay, but they didn't seem to have enough servers to efficiently dish out the food during the buffet breakfast and lunch. I do have to admit that the hot cinnamon buns are incredibly addictive. Breakfast in the dining room was very good. Buffet lunches were very disappointing. We were fortunate to be off the ship for most lunches. "Tea time" was actually very nice to come back to the ship for after touring at 4:00. The string quartet music was very pleasant and the snacks were very nice. Entertainment in the evening was actually quite good. It only lasted about 45 minutes each night and this was fine, considering that we'd been touring during the day and likely had another early morning the next day. The entertainment was usually musical and humorous . Cabins were okay. We had a balcony cabin with about 215 square feet of space. Space was well used. We have been on a number of other cruise lines. This experience was not really any better overall than the others (Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean). Oceania promotes itself as an upscale cruise line. I pity the poor soul who paid full price for any of their cruises, considering they are almost always advertising 2 for 1 pricing. That practice in itself should be outlawed. This is just misleading advertising. In summary, the cruise was nice. Nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be ... Read More
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be opulent. We selected the upgrade to the concierge level veranda rooms and got a great cabin near the back...most of the remaining doors in the hallway went to much larger suites. We rarely ran into any other guests in the hallway. The boat is scheduled for an overhaul soon, so I think it's not as flashy right now, the bathroom and closets were not luxurious in any way, but we didn't really care. A super comfortable large bed, comfy couch, desk and private veranda were our requirements and it was great. Best features of the upgrade...3 days of free laundry service, 24 hour free room service, access to the canyon spa private deck area. We would order room service for a cheese and fruit tray to be delivered about the time we'd be returning to the ship. We'd buy local wines in port and drink a bottle nightly as we pulled out of port! The spa deck had a salt water jetted water spa kept at body temperature. I relaxed in it daily after touring and only once had another guest make use of it as well. I liked the fact that no one else was walking around looking at people sunbathing or in the hot tub! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. ... Read More
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. Well....... They give you the embarkation berth number, but not the GATE at Southampton. Our driver had to ask around and take 20 extra minutes or more to get us to the ship. Embarkation was fairly easy. Immediately disappointed by the SIZE of the cabin. Paid extra for Concierge Level suite. Ha Ha, it is exactly the same as less expensive cabins on other decks, it's just on deck 7. What advantage does that give you??? NONE! No concierge service, no great perks, just a tiny cabin with a tiny bathroom that costs a lot of money. The food that they rave about as being BEST of any cruise line did not prove to be outstanding. Most dinners were good, a couple were POOR----tough meat, or extreme lack of seasoning. We liked Toscana much better than Polo Grill. Entertainment was pretty good. The singers had great voices. Service: hit and miss. Some good, some average, some poor. Shore Excursions: two good ones, two POOR ones, all expensive. One cancelled because we lost two ports due to bad weather! We had been on Oceania before. But we are not sure we will go with them again. Not a good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! ... Read More
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! Recommend Nautica overnights in Stockholm Amsterdam and Copenhagen and to include a port in Norway to see the fjords.. Oceania does offer best cuisine at sea. Carlos the Maitre'D from Portugal and his gracious assistant from Thailand always greeted us by name and remembered our seating preferences in the Grand Dining Room, Breakfast Buffet Service and choices were well presented and tastefully prepared. Fine dining excelled in the specialty restaurant venues although reserving a time before 8:30 was difficult. Disappointed that Polo Grill had run out of prime rib, however the ribeye steak substituted was delicious. Adolfo from Milan was charming in Toscana. Off hours we appreciated 24/hr limited room service menu and/ casual Waves. Loved the small ship, but Nautica does need a QM2 solarium/ covered outside pool . Like verandas, outdoor pool was useless for Baltic/North Seas. Nautica band, vocalists and dancers were talented. Horizon happy hours and afternoon tea were wonderful. Having customs agent for UK on board for passport control was expeditious. It was delightful not to be pursued by omnipresent ship photographers. Overall/service attentive staff were excellent, gracious and accommodating. Except for challenges convincing Lisiam to accept our time preferences. Bundled laundry service was terrible, he returned clothes dirty and wet so I ended up redoing all in Deck 7 guest laundry. Ship excursions promotions on TV were $$$$$, inferior, laden w disclaimers. Dr. Roger Cartwright's port talks were anecdotal, boring, off topic. We used local onboard agent to plan our port visits with great independent guide experiences. Shore excursion staff was helpful, but Oceanic Club Ambassador was curt. Cruise director marketed ship activities zealously. Free internet was nearly useless despite the best effort of the IT professional on staff who was often confronted by unhappy frustrated guests. Email messages could be received but not sent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, ship size, and culinary reputation. Unfortunately the weather was rough--cloudy, windy and cool, which meant we couldn't spend much time eating outside or lounging poolside. Because of the heavy ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, ship size, and culinary reputation. Unfortunately the weather was rough--cloudy, windy and cool, which meant we couldn't spend much time eating outside or lounging poolside. Because of the heavy waves, we were unable to dock in Belfast, which, since we made the rookie mistake of not adding on additional travel time at the end of our tour, meant that we missed out entirely on Ireland. The service onboard was excellent; a very cheerful, friendly and attentive staff of waiters and cabin crew who made sure we were comfortable. We expected to enjoy dining in the specialty restaurants, which were very good, and at the coffee bar, which was also excellent. Because of the weather we only ordered from the poolside lunch counter twice, where we found excellent fish & burger choices, and a truly memorable chocolate malted milkshake. The Grand Dining Room was a disappointment, it took a long time to get the food, which was not hot, and more bland than we prefer. The Terrace Cafe had better food, more variety, and short waits. We appreciated the themed dinners, Pan-Asian, Italian, etc. Portions everywhere were on the smaller size, which meant we could try more things. Desserts were delicious, and we loved starting our mornings early at the Horizons lounge with a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant, with great views of coming into each port. Except for a few times, it never felt crowded on the ship. The library is a lovely spot to relax in. The entertainers were very young and energetic, seem to really enjoy being there. We saw just a few shows: an impressive ventriloquist, and a review later in the week. Not really our thing, so we appreciated the choice of DVDs which we could watch in our room. We also had fun with the daily trivia contests that they ran. Our package came with three excursions, the first, to Hadrian's Wall, was the best, very informative, beautiful scenery, learned leader. The next two were not as good, more pointing out the window at things whizzing past with guides who talked incessantly, saying things like, "and here is the second largest mortgage bank in Scotland." We will pick more carefully next time, or go off on our own, which worked out fine for us. And there will be a next time. We liked the comfort of the ship, the tasting menu of visiting many different ports for a day trip, seeing where we'll want to come back to and stay longer. The Isle of Man, Liverpool, Edinburgh all made that list for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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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