12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I chose this cruise line due its reputation for providing the finest cuisine at sea, and its reputed service provided by the high crew to staff ratio. We sailed from Piraeus Greece to Dubai on a 20 day cruise and were really looking ... Read More
I chose this cruise line due its reputation for providing the finest cuisine at sea, and its reputed service provided by the high crew to staff ratio. We sailed from Piraeus Greece to Dubai on a 20 day cruise and were really looking forward to our concierge balcony stateroom which was our first disappointment. The cabin furniture had seen better days and was covered in a dark varnish which gave the room a gloomy feel. The carpet badly needed a shampoo as it had a stained and dirty appearance. The bathroom was very small and god help you if you dropped the soap whilst in the shower cubicle. We have had better cabins on other cruise lines and wonder how Oceania can label it concierge and price it as such. On the plus side, were the efficient and friendly cabin staff. The two speciality dining venues whilst imposing no surcharge failed to impress. The steaks in the Pole Grill were overcooked (my medium rare steak came well done) and was as tough as old boots The grand dining room was probably the best choice for evening meals as It provided adequate fare on a consistent basis and occasionally provided excellent meals. The terrace cafe was simply a disgrace. Food that should have been served hot was barely warm. Food hygiene was poor. Whilst in some ports, the food was left uncovered and much enjoyed by the large number of flies that chose to settle on it.. When asked why the food was not covered, I was told that it should be!! I then asked why it wasn't, I was given a shrug. Little things like warm milk being served with breakfast cereals or pots of tea filled with water that clearly wasn't hot enough to make a proper cup of tea are examples of the lack of detail one wouldn't expect on a ship of this class. Food overall fell short of the boast that Oceania provides the best cuisine at sea. The coffee shop was serviced by the most surly of staff who clearly didn't want to be there Entertainment and guest speakers were second rate at best Excursion were overpriced as were the drinks on board. I have enjoyed cruising on many different lines and can say in all honesty that Oceania Nautica's cuisine, entertainment and service fell short of all of them. In short Nautica was overpriced and overrated. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The destinations of Iceland and Greenland were new to us and were as hoped for. We had sailed with Oceania before on Insignia and thoroughly enjoyed it with good shows and lectures. This one was different as the shows were poor ... Read More
The destinations of Iceland and Greenland were new to us and were as hoped for. We had sailed with Oceania before on Insignia and thoroughly enjoyed it with good shows and lectures. This one was different as the shows were poor (although did improve at the end of the trip) and the excuse of all cabins booked so no room for entertainers did not wash! And the single lecturer was, in our opinion, awful. The library was OK but seemed to be based on the NY times bestsellers. There are much better libraries on other ships. The food was fine, the wine list better than expected and the service was excellent. We will need to go on an extended diet as the sweets were perhaps too sweet! We particularly liked the daily updates from the captain, entertaining and informative. Would we go again? Only if the itinerary was really good and the main competition did not offer a similar deal. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We have cruised many times with mid-size ships primarily on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and wanted to see if we'd enjoy the "lite" luxury of Oceania. Pros: Small ship experience, no crowds. No art sales, photos ... Read More
We have cruised many times with mid-size ships primarily on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and wanted to see if we'd enjoy the "lite" luxury of Oceania. Pros: Small ship experience, no crowds. No art sales, photos & photos to buy/or not, no formal nights as found on mass-market cruises, which was very refreshing. Country club casual is not at the high end, versus Oceania's brochure ware. Everyone dressed nicely, just not too fancy. Majority of men did not wear sports jackets to dinner, usually long sleeve shirts (no ties), and slacks. Didn't see too many fancy cocktail dresses on women either. The crew was friendly and service was attentive, even at breakfast or lunch buffet. Again, no crowds. Tours are very expensive, however, the guides and companies are better than experienced on other cruise lines. There was a mix of passenger types as you would find on other cruise lines, most from America, with a smattering from other English speaking countries. Everyone friend. Disappointments: Oceania is often touted as a foodie line. However, it did not live up to all the hype. My wife had high expectations because of Jacques Pépin, and we were disappointed. The food on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean is just as good. The specialty restaurant Toscana was the one bright exception! A side note: Wine by the bottle is exceptionally expensive (especially considering the wine list). If wine is important to you I'd bring on your own and pay the corking fee. Summary: I would cruise Oceania again for the small ship experience, itinerary, and good service (not for the food). Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have completed 5 cruises, 3 on Nautica back to back and 2 on Marina back to back in the last 18 months. Chose to return to Nautica for our 6th cruise of 18 nights as we found Marina impersonal and lacking the atmosphere of Nautica. ... Read More
We have completed 5 cruises, 3 on Nautica back to back and 2 on Marina back to back in the last 18 months. Chose to return to Nautica for our 6th cruise of 18 nights as we found Marina impersonal and lacking the atmosphere of Nautica. We had immediate problems with Internet access and speed. We both run businesses so Internet access is very important consideration. We had free wifi access package for one device at a time which I think many many other passengers also had. We would have paid double the charged price if wifi to have slow but reliable connection. That apparently doesn't matter. No how much you are prepared to pay apparently you get nothing more. We accept the explanation that satellite internet is far slower than on shore but in he past Nautica and Marina offered speeds which were just tolerable. This last cruise on Nautica Internet access was unacceptable in this day and age. The explanation from the IT manager is simply 600 guests and crew using Internet make it slow. It is even slower and at times non existent when docked. I even tried setting my alarm and trying log in at 3.00am as most of the oldies would be in bed. It didn't help speed just as slow at this time also. We also had an issue with our Indian visa due to receiving an email with important information meaning I applied for one that was not valid for sea port arrival. Not the ships fault but their attitude when we asked for help was to say they would see what they could do perhaps a group visa. It turned out after having to ask twice again that they knew hey couldn't help but hadn't told us. There answer was for us to get off at either Phuket or Yangon the next stops after Singapore. The two issues both of which seemed were unsolvable, Internet access and visa, made us decide to disembark at Singapore after 6 nights. We could not afford for our businesses the hopelessness of the Internet. It was costing us more than we lost leaving early. When we appeared at Reception to say we were leaving they were nonplussed and after some ten minutes of radio class to the Chief Purser Second Purser and god knows who else we finalised our account and left. It seemed to be of little interest to management staff. One highlight not to be missed on Nautica the is the ability to watch the much revered Jacqueline Pepin,who Oceania puts much faith in for their food offering, age through threats from young man to middle aged to senior. The never ending loop is hilarious but not as hilarious as the extortionate liquor prices on board. Still they do let you bring your own alcohol on board which helps. So that's it for us and Oceania and their much touted food offering. Until they are able to upgrade and offer better connectivity for younger passengers which is required in this modern world I don't see any hope of us returning for our Big O points anytime soon. The one thing that makes Nautica, and my hat off to them, are the cabin attendants, food servers, wait people. You know, all the staff that are paid less that Management or Officers. They are great. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later ... Read More
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later groups to wait. Group after group added to the crowd. The ship was lovely, the cabin spacious, though we had a penthouse suite, which was actually a room with a sitting area, not a suite. The food was mostly above average, desserts were excellent, service was wonderful. Service in general was extraordinary, from wait staff to cleaning staff to butlers. Ports were interesting. Entertainment was poor in general. The cruise director, "Julie," I think, was friendly, but awful. Once she announced that she had nothing planned and ship's personnel saved her life by doing a show. Another time she announced the entertainment only cost a few hundred dollars. A local show was awful. A passenger talent show was low end--and not good. The comedian/magician was very good. The female singer was very good with a dated repertoire. The orchestra's repertoire was also dated. Before shows the orchestra played for dancing. Two couples, both with probably an average of 1000 dance lessons, were the only people dancing. Everyone else was intimidated. I know because I tried to get people to get up and dance. Where was Julie? Why didn't she ask people to dance, turn them over to spouses and get more people on the floor? She made TV announcements and appeared to have no clue what she was talking about. The list of daily activities is deceiving since virtually no one showed up for anything--beside bridge. Even bridge was disappointing because a normal session is 3 1/2 hours. These sessions were two hours, though there was more than enough time to extend them, and only on afternoons at sea, never on port days and never in the evenings. Clearly, Julie knows nothing about bridge. That said, the bridge director was very good. Mah jongg at 11 a.m.? Not a single soul showed up, which I know because I was in the game room playing with friends at 10:30. Julie never even stopped in. There were sets, but no cards, indicating that Julie hadn't taken the time to find out about the game. Bingo? We were lucky to get the minimum of 12 players. Ping pong, etc.? Virtually no one showed up. There were many days at sea and without bridge we would have been bored. I did not go to hear the speaker, who spoke on topics unrelated to the cruise, but was reportedly good. We had no health issues, but those that did were ripped off by the doctor--$185 to wash off a skinned knee and apply a band aid plus another $185 for the same the next day. A woman had a stomach ache, was given 5 kinds of pills and charged $2000. A woman felt ill during the G.I. epidemic after we left the ship--and was charged. We were advised in advance that Oceania's tours were 2 to 3 times the cost of privately arranged tours, and mostly arranged our own, all of which we enjoyed. The three we took with Oceania were terrible. The Cochin guide couldn't really be a licensed guide. She had nothing to say and half the trip was riding to and from a boat to cruise and watch people bathe, wash pots and do laundry. The Phuket Thailand trip was a disgrace. We took this because we were supposed to ride elephants. We weren't told until on board that we could not ride and it was too late to make other plans. Instead we got ox cart rides. Yes, climb up, ride a block, see nothing, do nothing, turn around, ride a block, get off. This day was a waste. The Singapore tour could have been so much and yet was so little. And yet, we were able to find excellent guides on our own with no knowledge of the areas whatsoever. One thing that struck me was that, in contrast to a Regent cruise we took, there was constant conversation about money. People felt nickeled and dimed because alcohol was not included (drinks were costly), and tours were not included (and were costly). I don't know if we would return. We might if there were more bridge to keep us occupied and a very appealing itinerary. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We were very disappointed in the Concierge veranda room on the Nautica. After a prior cruise on the Marina, we expected a quality experience. It was a very small room, little closet space, a very small bathroom ( difficult to use) and the ... Read More
We were very disappointed in the Concierge veranda room on the Nautica. After a prior cruise on the Marina, we expected a quality experience. It was a very small room, little closet space, a very small bathroom ( difficult to use) and the concierge feature was useless (just early boarding). Food service was very good and staff were pleasant (with the exception of Excursion desk staff). It was a tired ship and most of our shipmates also were disappointed with the experience. This was not a premium ship by any measure. I became ill on the 16th day of the cruise and had to leave the ship by tug for a hospital in Kochi, India. the medical staff on the Nautica just dumped us with no support and has never gotten back to us on our welfare. The Marina was a premium ship, the Nautica was a third tier ship and we would not use Oceania in the future given our experience. Staff seemed apologetic for the condition of rooms. The concierge status was a fraud - no benefits. Unlike the Marina, with a laundry on each level, there was one laundry for the entire ship. The charges by the ship doctor were outrageous. Just for medicine for a sinus infection - over $350. I did have a cardiac event that required hospitalization for several days. Oceania just dumped us in Kochi. fortunately we were able to handle things ourselves. The Nautica was recently rehabbed, but the rooms were out od date and old. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
we chose the cruise because we had been on the Oceania marina a year before and the cruise was excellent (New Zealand to Tahiti). Also, the countries visited (China to India) were new to us. We selected a concierge veranda room, but there ... Read More
we chose the cruise because we had been on the Oceania marina a year before and the cruise was excellent (New Zealand to Tahiti). Also, the countries visited (China to India) were new to us. We selected a concierge veranda room, but there was virtually ne concierge service - no concierge lounge, just early boarding. Also, the room was very small and the closet space was minimal. the bathroom was very small and poorly designed. They said the ship had just been refurbished, but certainly not the rooms!. Service and dinning were fine, but excursions were overpriced and the excursion desk was not well run. I had to use the ship doctor and prices were outrageous - $350 for sinus medicine. The most popular topic of guests was the poor quality of rooms and the high costs of wine and drinks. This will probably be our last trip on Oceania. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Difficult weather conditions were compounded by Nautica Purser staff struggling to efficiently deal with immigration requirements and made for a chaotic cruise. It is as if Oceania did not cruise to these ports (in China, Korea and Japan) ... Read More
Difficult weather conditions were compounded by Nautica Purser staff struggling to efficiently deal with immigration requirements and made for a chaotic cruise. It is as if Oceania did not cruise to these ports (in China, Korea and Japan) several times each year! Many hours were required to process all passengers before they could disembark. Plus the fact that if you have not bought an Oceania tour, you are sent to the end of the line and treated almost as a "second-class" citizen. A bit of planning and process would no doubt have helped. Added to all this is Oceania unfortunate practice of having to speak to "Head Office" to make any decisions that would be best made locally (this is assuming that ship staff is customer-centric which is not always the case). Food was very good. Some "appellation" somewhat suspect however. The Surf & Turf in Polo was a disgrace. Dining room staff was in the most part excellent. Thanks in particular to Ludmilla and Maria. Stateroom was kept in good shape. Thanks to Jemillie. Excellent Cruise Director (Nolan) without a doubt helped focus the ship staff on passenger needs. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us ... Read More
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us what was going on. Had we been able to have some communication explaining that fog had delayed the docking of the vessel and we would board the following morning it would have made the situation much better. Food on board was excellent, the wait staff were outstanding and nothing was too much bother, As we were in cooler climes we were confined to indoors, with the exception of one sunny morning. Do not travel on this cruise ship if you are looking for great entertainment. Singers and dancers number four, the magician and the comedian we had were sub-standard. We chose a cabin without balcony as we knew that we would not be able to sit outside because of the cooler weather. Our cabin, although small had adequate storage for all our belongings. Cabins were clean and no shortage of towels. With two days before disembarkation my wife had a persistent cough. She went to the medical facility saw the nurse and doctor. In the opinion of two doctor friends of ours on board she was over-serviced, with totally unnecessary tests and unnecessary medication. In fact some of the medication was contra-indicated for her diabetes. Total cost USD$1781. We felt ripped off. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are new to Oceania and had booked what we considered to be a great N. Asia port programme. In the end so much of it just didn't happen. I guess they tried hard to overcome the problems that beset this cruise but the first ... Read More
We are new to Oceania and had booked what we considered to be a great N. Asia port programme. In the end so much of it just didn't happen. I guess they tried hard to overcome the problems that beset this cruise but the first requirement in crisis management should always be talk to and listen to your customers. For a large part of this cruise that just didn't seem to happen! We arrived at the Tianjin terminal about noon to be greeted by NO SHIP and the request to drop our luggage, except carry ons, for loading when it did berth. after about an hour we were loaded onto a bus and ferried to the Sheraton Hotel, supposedly for a meal. Herded into the conference room and supplied with a sandwich in a plastic bag and a bottle of water. That's when the information service started. A white board with "Next Update at 3pm" appeared. This became the subject of some humour or frustration as the only thing that changed was that the 3pm was changed progressively to 4 then 5 then 6. Information overload. Meanwhile the whisper went round that the ship was off the port which had been closed by fog. The grapevine as usual was more informative than the whiteboard. Eventually around 6pm a group of us were herded onto another bus where we sat for about an hour waiting for something to happen. We were told then that we would be transferred to the Hilton for dinner and accommodation. Hilarious trip with the bus drivers getting lost, having to stop and work out if we were going to fit under overpasses and other adventures. Arrived at the Hilton to be greeted by a superb suite, a rather good Chinese banquet meal, a comfortable night and a very good breakfast. At last the logistics clicked but we still didn't really have any info on when we would board, and in fact had to suffer another hour sitting in a bus waiting before we were at last transferred to the ship about 3pm. Not a great start. Captain opened the bar as some sort of recompense. Generously timed to coincide with happy hour and most passengers had a drinks package anyway. Sailed for Seoul where we had our first experience with the mixed quality of the Oceania tour offering. Not good. While we enjoyed the On your own part of "Seoul on your own" being earbashed by a misogynistic loud mouthed guide both ways was not a good experience. Certainly not at Oceania tour prices. Back aboard we were told that because Kim Jong Il was chucking missiles around and the US and Korean forces were engaged in war games we would stay in port for the night and miss the scheduled stop at Cheju for safety reasons. Not sure of the risk assessment that says sitting in the strategic Incheon harbour within artillery and short range missile distance of Kim's army was the safer option. Oh well on to Hiroshima, what could possibly go wrong? Not sure of the reason but the Japanese immigration people went through the full passport face to face and copying procedure. 2hours of shore time lost and a lot of queuing and congestion. With the passengers becoming increasingly frustrated with the problems there was some breakdown in civility. Hiroshima was a good experience as was Kobe. Shimizu was a delight. We were blessed with a clear day and fresh snow on Mt Fuji, an awesome sight. Tokyo was marred by a very wet day on arrival but the tour was good even if it did rate with the Ginza shops for price inflation. The second day was fine and very enjoyable wandering round the markets and the upscale Ginza Department stores. Between the time we booked and sailing our scheduled time in Shanghai had been cut from 2 days to 2 half days. The dreaded fog/smog combination was about to cut this further as the port was closed on arrival. At last a stroke of decisive genius. The decision was made to extend our stay to 2 full days and drop Xiamen as it was fogged in as well. What can you say about Shanghai. You just have to see it to believe it. The skyline, the lights, the river traffic and the hustle a bustle of the huge diversified population are amazing. Ride a Sampan in the Water Village or experience 431kmh on the Maglev. Walk the historic Bund or wonder at the Pudong high rise towers. Another sea day then Hong Kong for a day before disembarking. There is an old Chinese curse which says "May you live in interesting times" . This cruise was certainly full of interesting times. It will make for great dinner conversations but I'm not sure if Oceania will get too many compliments. Nautica is an R ship. Just the right size even if you do have to put the shower on rather than step into it. Clean and well decorated. Food was mostly excellent if a little over complicated. But I guess that's what many prefer. Service was good if a little over efficient. Sometimes it is good to savour a meal before the plate is whisked away. And when the saucer goas while you are still drinking your coffee it reaches a slightly crazy level. Entertainment and activities was patchy. The on board singers and dancers and Nolan the cruise director did a great job. The guest entertainment was either good or very bad. It is very noticeable that the cruise director is about the only regular contact between senior staff and passengers. Captain and officers just do not seem to circulate or converse. The big fail for Oceania is the high priced and poor quality shore excursion programme. The dearest, and the poorest quality we have ever experienced. If you are cruising Oceania don't book with them it is far cheaper and mostly better to make your own arrangements. Just to add insult to injury if you have a tour cancelled because you skip a port the refund is in US$ rather than the AUD$ we paid in costing another exchange loss Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Interesting Itinerary Hong Kong/Bangkok. Cabin on Deck 7 with Balcony. Small cabin compared to other Cruise lines we have been on. As you enter, Wardrobes on left , Bathroom on right. When W 'robe doors are open, light is obscured , ... Read More
Interesting Itinerary Hong Kong/Bangkok. Cabin on Deck 7 with Balcony. Small cabin compared to other Cruise lines we have been on. As you enter, Wardrobes on left , Bathroom on right. When W 'robe doors are open, light is obscured , therefore no light. Coming out of bathroom if your partner is at w 'robe you may knock him flying. We had to announce we were leaving B 'room to save having to dash to medical centre. Once you got past these two obstructions the Room was small but manageable. Food OK, sometimes tasteless. Entertainment with the resident singers was woeful, perhaps the fact that only one or two of the four could sing. Embarrassing . However the acts who joined throughout the cruise were excellent. Cruise Director who had no personality that I can't even remember his name. Had been with the company in this position and in Head Office for over 20 yrs SPEECHLESS . I mean words fail me. When he took Trivia he was the School Teacher and we the pupils . When he gave out the paper / pens and collected same at end of game . He counted them out and counted them in, if he was short he went on and on. Honestly you would have thought they were made of gold instead of cheap plastic. Come Singapore he was off on vacation and on came Noel Dean as replacement who was talented and great personality. Shore excursions much too expensive and not really very good. We went on at least one per port and were most disappointed in all bar one. Guides were again the worst we had encountered on our travels. However the cruise line are in the driving seat as we took this cruise because we wanted to visit the countries so they charge what they like. We also noted at no time did a member of Oceania staff accompany us on our excursions in case of emergency. We [and other people on tour ] had an incident which we had to sort out with guide ourselves. This should not have happened. Senior Staff well spot them. Announcements made and then later retracted. Really felt the passengers were a inconvenience. Overall Management and Staff require retraining. Ship requires modernisation, even though it was in a few yrs ago ,its still old fashioned, even allowing for the country house feel. Oceania , well what does it do right ? Itineraries, everyone agreed and commented we have to comprise with the rest. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Previous experience with this cruise line was extremely enjoyable. We were anxious to have repeat experience. This cruise line is a bit pricier than many other choices, however, this cruise was most disappointing. The food was mediocre ... Read More
Previous experience with this cruise line was extremely enjoyable. We were anxious to have repeat experience. This cruise line is a bit pricier than many other choices, however, this cruise was most disappointing. The food was mediocre at best. Entertainment was painfully absent. I realize it is a small ship and in unusual ports, but aside from scheduled tours (of which many were cancelled) next to nothing for entertainment while on-board. Let me say, the staff was excellent (with few exceptions) and the land tour operators (Akorn Destination Management Company) were wonderful. Extremely efficient and accommodating. We had an unusual experience. One of our party was admitted to the hospital in Cape Town, for a 4 day stay, due to unexpected illness. We were unable to sail with the ship. The Hospital, Doctor's, hotel, and Akorn assisted us beyond expectations. When discharged, Oceania team offered to arrange transportation home, allowing less than two hours to pack, travel to airport and board plane to home or travel forward and pick up the ship in a port which the ship had determined unsafe to stop. (weather or political reasons unknown). Oceania advised me we would have to travel to Maupoto, Mozambique a day before the ship was to arrive and make our own arrangements to stay overnight at a hotel. They also advised we had two hours to decide as it was Dec. 23 and they intended to close the office and go home for the holidays. In the meantime, Akorn was in communication with us and had advised us the ship was not going to Mozambique. It would stay an extra night in Richard Bay. After some discussion with Oceania, they advised us to work with Akorn, as they had JUST received word of the ship's altered destinations. I was halfway around the world from home, and Oceania had no idea what was going on. This was a very scary experience. I cannot begin to consider sailing with Oceania again, anytime soon. As per ratings below: Aside from our unexpected situation, the ship is very small. The cabin, although Concierge Veranda, was extremely small, Dining in Grand Dining room was lovely and staff was very accommodating most of the time. Embarkation from all ports visited was efficient. One of very few enrichment experience offered was Cruise Director offering Photo Experience of his stops to orphanages, while traveling. Commendable but three sessions of this was a bit much. Overall Entertainment was weak. Only one show per evening. If you wished to see it, you needed to have early dining which is quite crowded and this is where we had the less than great experience. (most cruises offered two showings). The casino was not open all of the time the ship was at sea. I was shocked to have the casino manager come to me at midnight to advise the casino was closing within 5 minutes. The shops opened within 30 minutes of leaving port but not the casino. What little public space remained, aside from the pool area, should be reconfigured. Very truly yours, Scroamers Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We were very disappointed in two aspects of this cruise. One, the staterooms were old, small and outdated. We paid for a concierge-level verandah, which we do on all cruises we take. The room was smaller than we are used to, and the ... Read More
We were very disappointed in two aspects of this cruise. One, the staterooms were old, small and outdated. We paid for a concierge-level verandah, which we do on all cruises we take. The room was smaller than we are used to, and the bathroom was awful. The bathroom was similar to airplane bathrooms with the addition of a small shower which was nearly impossible to turn around in and not possible to dry oneself in. In addition, it often had a mild sewage smell. We paid for what we thought was a luxury cruise, but I do not rate it as such. Oceania advertises its cruises as being for "foodies." This is so untrue! The food in the main dining room was very uneven. Some was fairly good, but not of gourmet quality. Some was inedible. I complained on the mid-cruise evaluation and was called by the chef. When I specified exactly what was wrong, he became rather defensive, saying that some people like the food. I will say that the two upscale dining rooms were quite good and much more consistent. We ate there whenever we could get reservations. We liked that there is not an uncharge for these restaurants. Oceania is a little sneaky and unclear about just what expenses are covered in the cruise price and what are not. We were told that our service charges were included, but we had to renegotiate this once onboard. We knew in advance that alcohol was not included, but we were appalled at the prices of wine and the "service charge" added to each bottle. In addition, the Canyon Ranch Spa is VERY expensive for low quality service and facilities. When I had a massage, I found NO clean bath mats, only dirty, used ones on the floor outside the showers and no attendants to take care of these things. The spa seemed very understaffed and poorly managed. I paid $90 + 18% service charge for an absolutely horrendous manicure. I went back to have it removed, and they did give me a refund. In short, Oceania needs to decide whether it is a luxury, smaller boat cruise line or just an average, run of the mill line. It really isn't either, and it suffers from this. The cruise fares are high enough that it should be classified as luxury, all-inclusive. Yet, the company adds on this charge and that, stooping to the practices of the lower-fare lines. While we selected this cruise for the itinerary, we were disappointed enough in the ship and the cruise line that we would be unlikely to cruise with Oceania again. I should add a few positives, as it was not all bad. The beds were VERY comfortable, the lectures about the ports were academic and engaging, and the cruise director was a very nice and interesting person. The library was well-stocked. The staff, in general, worked very hard and were attentive and pleasant. The service in the restaurants could be improved by better training of the staff. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This is a very personal view of the cruise based on our previous experiences. This cruise ship is very smart. Very well looked after and spotless clean. Posh. Upper class. Pretentious. It seemed to me that it was trying very hard to be ... Read More
This is a very personal view of the cruise based on our previous experiences. This cruise ship is very smart. Very well looked after and spotless clean. Posh. Upper class. Pretentious. It seemed to me that it was trying very hard to be something it is not. Everything is very, very expensive. For instance: Bus shuttle from port to airport. $109. (Taxi. $20)! Small bottle beer. 330ml. $7.5 Single spirit. $11 Small glass cheap wine. $11 (Including the 18% service charge) Etc.etc. Staff were the best I have come across. They seemed genuinely cheerfull and very helpful. Service was excellent. The food, as advertised by Oceania, is the best at sea! I agree, it is generally excellent. Particularly in the main restaurants. However the buffet I found disagreeable in its content. The breakfast was particularly poor, well, for a Brit anyway! The desserts seemed to be mushy, and very small. All food is given to you by buffet staff. You cannot help yourself! All tea, coffee and soft drinks were free. However I only saw one coffee machine on the whole ship. Also, restaurant times were quite short. The buffet servery area was poorly laid out with poor passenger flow, scrum. Often waiting for a table. How come a GPS based computer system can guide the 27000 ton ship to all of its ports automatically, yet they can't build a machine that can provide decent toast. Eggs cooked to order by a person using just two small pans. Not a griddle. 15 mins wait for an egg some mornings. The ports of call all looked fantastic on paper. In reality some of them were quite poor, almost a waste of a day! If you were to arrange tours in all these ports, particularly to the myriad of "game reserves", then ok. But the decision to explore the ports themselves sometimes led to a tedious few hours ashore. This was very evident when the shuttle buses provided by Oceania took all passengers using them to a shopping mall in most ports. These malls were mostly in urban fringe. We arranged private tours via internet in 4 of the ports and had a great time. We did not leave the ship in Maputo!! Right, now for the entertainment. Concert Flautist twice. Virtuoso Mandolin player twice. String quartet every evening and afternoon. 2 Film shows, both on port days? Comedy musician twice. Another comedy musician twice. Zzzzzzzz. Enrichment lectures. Zzzzzzzzzz. Photo show. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pretentious. Too posh to have a good time. Everything aimed at a demographic with musical taste, fine gourmet foodies, wine buffs, and money! Almost forgot the "piped music". Very quite, everywhere, all the time. The same music tracks everyday. Zzzzzzzz. Free style jazz. Zzzzzzz. Rat pack. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Freestyle piano. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I could go on, and on. But I must learn from my experience! We did not really enjoy the experience of Oceania cruising. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any ... Read More
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any evacuation of the thousands of the tourists in the country) and the most beautiful of the Seychelles islands, La Digue and Praslin, according to the captain because of the state of the sea (apparently the sea was flat but the landing was made in longboats and Oceania did not want to take any risk at all, in my opinion). We missed also Richard´s Bay, maybe the largest port of South Africa, officially due to the strong winds that prevented the arrival of the pilot by helicopter and we lost a precious afternoon in Cape Town, because of the rough seas that delayed our departure from Durban for four hour . Actually we arrived to CP at 9.00 PM and I expected to go to the Waterfront or to Long Street by night but Nautica just docked about 4.00 AM of the next day, surely to save expenses. Then we were putted out of the ship before 9.00 AM. More negative points: the extravagant prices and the bad quality of the shore excursions, the dubious level of most of the night shows, the quite expensive and low speed internet (it should be free, taking in account the price that the passengers were paying). Some positive points however: good food, especially in the main dining room, very comfortable veranda stateroom, staff attentive and pleasant. Final balance: I have no intentions to return to Oceania cruises, there are more exciting and cheaper alternatives. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We looked at a 40-page description of excursions and selected one for Glasgow that included a residence and a tea room designed by an architect named Macintosh. We weren't all that excited about it, but at least it took us on a bus ... Read More
We looked at a 40-page description of excursions and selected one for Glasgow that included a residence and a tea room designed by an architect named Macintosh. We weren't all that excited about it, but at least it took us on a bus to Glasgow so it was better than the other options. Then when we got the printed itinerary, we checked the description again, and it still included Glasgow. When we got on the ship, there was a 5 page leaflet that highlighted all the excursions, in case you wanted to add one or two more. The leaflet had an insert that highlighted the changes (they were all “this one is for 4 hours instead of 3 ½” and similar notations. A couple were cancelled for lack of interest, but none of our excursions were on the “changed” insert.) When we went to the residence, we were told we had 2 hours to look around because that was our only stop. We asked about the trip into Glasgow, but were told that was not on the guide’s itinerary. When we got back to the ship (never making it into Glasgow) we complained about it. (Imagine having the ship go to a port and never seeing the main town.) We never got an answer. One of the other people in our party was told that we all were advised of the change because the new description was in our 5 page leaflet that was in our stateroom when we arrived. So, let’s see how this works. We pour over the 40 page descriptions, pick what we want, check the descriptions in our printed itinerary to make sure it is correct, and then get switched to something else because we should have read the new leaflet when we got on the boat to discover it had been changed. We are used to the excursions being disappointing (last year’s full-day excursions to Florence and Rome felt like they were designed and executed by Larry Darrel and Darrel), but we didn’t expect this. The food was, as always, excellent, as long as you stay out of the Italian Restaurant. (I would suggest swapping it out on the Nautica for a Red Ginger.) We solved the disappointing problem of dealing with poor flight connections that Oceania draws up (and charges you more for) by driving to Chicago to get a direct flight. And unlike the Marina, where there is value to a concierge level veranda suite, the Nautica has no concierge lounge. So except for a bottle of Champaign that we didn’t drink, I have no idea what we received for the extra charge. Maybe I was getting spoiled by sailing on the Marina, but I don’t think we will try the smaller ships again, and I am concerned about the bait and switch, and then being blown off when we asked for some kind of an explanation. It makes me wonder if the sale of the line means less attention to guests concerns. The experience left a bad taste, especially for a loyal customer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We took the June cruise on Nautica circumnavigating the British Isles in a veranda room. This was our first trip on Oceania and there were many good points: check-in was the smoothest I can recall on a cruise, and so was debarkation. The ... Read More
We took the June cruise on Nautica circumnavigating the British Isles in a veranda room. This was our first trip on Oceania and there were many good points: check-in was the smoothest I can recall on a cruise, and so was debarkation. The staff were uniformly friendly and attentive. Food in the main dining room was excellent throughout. Vegetarian choices abound but there are plenty of real food dishes to eat! Bars provided good service. Those of us who have cruised for many years can remember when liquor and wine at sea were a bargain, but no longer. There were two periods each day when all food service shut down for a couple of hours, which is not a terrible imposition, but the question is why? Life on board was not uniformly excellent. Culture on this ten night cruise turned out to be 4 lectures each 45 minutes long about cities we would visit. And that was that. Excursions were very pricey; we took five and were not always pleased. On the up side, there is a good library of dvds and players in the staterooms. This ship is clean and well maintained, especially for its age (roughly 17). Next time we are trying one of Oceania's two newer ships (and trying to ignore the excursions). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one else offers this specific itinerary. We do not feel that we received the value commensurate with what we paid for this cruise. The reservation agents rarely returned our calls and when they did they did not have the answers to our questions. The most important question was how the prepaid Visa service worked. And they charge more than if you just went directly through CIBT. This biggest disappointment of the whole cruise was the food in the dining room at dinner. The entrees were never hot, barely lukewarm. And the dining room wasn't that busy because a lot of guest ate in the Terrace Café (buffet) because the selection was better and it was hot. Also, the lattes ordered after dinner were warm - not hot. We sent them back several times and still never got hot coffee. Sadly the service in the dining room was inconsistent. You quickly learned which area to ask to be seated. There were several times we would sit at our table for close to 10 minutes before we were even acknowledged. We jokingly called it the Invisibility of Two because we were a table for 2. One very pleasant surprise was that within a week the maitre' D knew our names. We finally felt like we mattered to the staff. The two alternative restaurants, Toscana and Polo Grill, were excellent and the service was exceptional. We had a cabin on deck 3 which was perfect because it's not a through deck so the only people down there are the guests in those cabins. We met our neighbors and they always request Deck 3 just because it is so quiet. The shore excursions are quite expensive and we did feel we got a very good value for the money. Because we were in such different locations we didn't feel comfortable going it on our own. Thank heavens they had DVDs to borrow because the evenings entertainment was not to our liking. They had a string quartet that played classical music several nights, 4 production shows, a couple of male singers and a flautist. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
This was our 7th Oceania cruise and this is the first time we have been somewhat disappointed. I could go through everything day by day, but the bottom line is that the quality of the food was not what we have become accustomed to. They ... Read More
This was our 7th Oceania cruise and this is the first time we have been somewhat disappointed. I could go through everything day by day, but the bottom line is that the quality of the food was not what we have become accustomed to. They had the usual choices in the dining room, but while we raved about every meal after our prior cruises, this time we would look at each other and say, "That wasn't as good as last time." Deserts at TeaTime were definitely not up to par, for the most part being dry. It was as if they forgot oil eggs or whatever liquid the recipe called for. I know there was a cruise director on board, but we didn't see him until the Captain's party, and then only one time after that. We are used to seeing cruise directors everywhere on the ship. We had a PH, and running along the wall was an extension cord duct-taped to the wall which kept coming undone. In the past, I always felt like crew were eager to help, but this time I felt like I was imposing if I needed something. The worst was when my husband ordered a very expensive bottle of wine which usually would last him 3 nights. He asked our assistant waiter to make sure the bottle was put away for the next night since the sommelier was nowhere to be found. The next night when he asked for the bottle, he was told there wasn't one. After arguing with the supervisor, he asked the assistant waiter if he remembered my husband asking him to put the bottle away and whether there was any wine in it. Even after the assistant waiter verified my husband's story, the supervisor refused to replace the bottle and told my husband there was nothing that could be done. They gave him a glass of house wine which was a far cry from the $94 bottle of wine he had purchased. This is not the Oceania we are used to. We booked private excursions since Oceania's shore excursions are way over-priced and we have not used them in years. They need to look at the cost of these and do something about them or else everyone is going to skip the ship's tours. We did one in Norway in July for $37 and the ship charged $315 for the identical tour. We have loved every cruise we have done on Oceania before this and just felt that everything had dropped down a few notches. We are hoping after the Nautica comes out of dry dock, things are better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
The Ship caters to the elderly in respect to entertainment and music on board. Music from the 1930-50. War time songs and big band sounds. This resulted in a negative experience for us. It was like being in a senior citizens home. The ... Read More
The Ship caters to the elderly in respect to entertainment and music on board. Music from the 1930-50. War time songs and big band sounds. This resulted in a negative experience for us. It was like being in a senior citizens home. The Shore excursions were overpriced and didn't provide the description. We booked ten tours prior to departure. 50% of these tours failed to deliver. Wrong venue in Mumbai not the 100 year old Regal Movie Theatre. Cochin we were supposed to have one about and fifteen minutes to explore Jew Town we had 10 minutes so were not able to visit a heritage site. The tour bus in Kenya described as a tour in comfort, had leaking air conditioning was unsafe and had a collision. The ship arrived in the Maldives late, it was 4.15 by the time we got to the second rate resort and travelled back by boat in the dark arriving at 7.15 pm. The following day we had to leave very early for Kudos Bandos as the ship was sailing. Although the itinerary is exceptional we would have had a better experience if we had arranged our own tours as did many of the passengers. The guest entertainers were good but the programming was wrong. Some nights no entertainment and many performances were by the ships on board musicians. The gym was excellent. The staff excellent. The food as expected on a ship of this class. The Concierge excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
Oceania Cruises M/S Nautica Athens to Dubai Review How many ways can one cruise go wrong? Theoretically, an infinite number, but ours fell just slightly short. To coin a word, the "lowlights" consisted of the following: A ... Read More
Oceania Cruises M/S Nautica Athens to Dubai Review How many ways can one cruise go wrong? Theoretically, an infinite number, but ours fell just slightly short. To coin a word, the "lowlights" consisted of the following: A cruise director who never did much more than read from "Currents" - the daily ship's information paper. His bearing, manner, monotone delivery and overall personality were dull, uninspiring and impersonal to the point of detachment. If it is his job to set the tone, he was successful in that every day we heard it- the kind of dull thud that could only be a bell without a clapper being struck by a toy doll's head wrapped in a towel. To avoid him, one would have to turn off the TV- because he appeared at too many times, just after a far too loud NBC-type chime. But that was not much of a sacrifice- the TV offerings- including the DVD library were years out of date, and all 6 news shows were about as good as each other- which was not very. One could try to seek refuge in the library, if one could find one recent novel from hundreds of ancient ones and cast-offs from departed guests. The room staff was good, but the wait-staff seemed poorly organized. Often, I had to have my order brought to me by a second waiter. I have the feeling that the seasoned staff was transferred to Oceania's new ship, the The Marina, leaving Nautica with a bunch of newbies. So many different people asked me if I wanted fresh-ground pepper at the same meals, that I considered getting it as an entre'! In any event, all the food (which was good) could be washed down with beer and wine offered ala carte. (Azamara Cruises gives all the ber and wine you want free). The onboard "entertainment" which was all the ship offered during the extremely lengthy stretches at sea, consisted of not much more than the old standbys of shuffleboard, bingo, pingpong, putting contests,needlepoint and flower making and a few other less-than stellar offerings. Nighttime entertainment fared little better- the ships band didn't make it to high-school quality, and the "shows" were all amateurish to a high degree. A magician performed, but all his tricks were off-the-rack old standbys. (The cut-and-restored idiot could have been used, but I don't believe the Cruise Director had the intelligence to participate). Thankfully, there was no art auction with dr's office junk. The casino was small but probably adequate for the few who used it. There was one lecturer on world history whio was quite good - for those who enjoy this sort of thing. The pianist played nightly, and was fine if you enjoy upgraded elevator music. All drinks and wine when purchased, had an 18% gratuity was added to their already inflated costs. An flat $20 corkage fee applied to any alcohol brought aboard for personal consumption in public areas. The daily "gratuity" for the staff was an automatic $27 per day per couple Upon questioning the staff, I was told that it was not a gratuity, but in fact was their actual salary! I had independent corroboration of this from 3 different staffers. Of course, the Concierge claimed everyone had a base salary. I believe he was talking about room and board. But then, given his demeanor, I think the Israelis missed him when they captured Eichmann. Excursions deserve a special treatment here. The ideal epithet-given the penny-pinching attitude of this cruiseline toward it's guests, would be "sewage disposal" . In all our years of travel, we have never seen such poor planning or treatment of guests. After touring the Holocaust Museum and having a buffet-style lunch, we were bussed to a commercial diamond store with probable kick-back ties to Oceania, where we were forced to spend upwards of an hour of our precious time. We were then taken to the old section where we made about a 100 yard loop, while our self-absorbed guide wasted our time with historical minutiae of no interest. We could have shopped and seen much more during this utter waste. Other excursions (some of which exceeded $800 for one day for 2) included Petra (a high-point); Dubai by bus with high tea at a 5 star hotel and a trip in Israel to Masada and the Dead Sea where we could float away some of our general dissatisfaction with this over-priced (total with excursions, base costs and "gratuities was near $1000/day for 2) rip-off. Final word: AVOID Oceania at all costs and use Azamara instead if you like smaller ships. Or at least, use any other line (except Carnival). You will at least get most of your money's worth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
The M/S Nautica This 684 passenger ship is well appointed, very clean, and well maintained with a crew and staff that are extremely helpful, friendly, and competent. With its dark paneling and heavy raised moldings it has the feel of an ... Read More
The M/S Nautica This 684 passenger ship is well appointed, very clean, and well maintained with a crew and staff that are extremely helpful, friendly, and competent. With its dark paneling and heavy raised moldings it has the feel of an elegant 19th century hotel. Oceania caters to an affluent and mature group of travelers so that there are no children running around. It sometimes feels, however, like a home for the aged. The staterooms seem a bit cramped and bathrooms are very small. This is particularly true of the space devoted to the shower. There are no "paparazzi" aboard with their intrusive cameras. No formal nights and a casual dress code makes packing for a long cruise much less burdensome. Itinerary From the perspective of the traveler, the itinerary on both legs of the cruise was very good. They could be excellent with some minor changes. The stop at Salalah, Oman, during the first leg could be eliminated since that port of call offers very little for the traveller. Much more significant was the very short time available in Cape Town, South Africa. Arriving mid-afternoon and disembarking before 9:00 am the next morning leaves little time to explore. A relatively simple fix would be to eliminate the stop at Fujairah, Oman, and add the time saved to Cape Town. Dining Dining experience in the Grand Dining Room was disappointing. Although the food itself was very good and nicely presented, it seems that the wait staff and galley are understaffed. Often there were long delays between courses. Many times maitre d's and sommeliers were used to help serve and clear tables when the wait staff fell behind. On occasion, diner's requests were misinterpreted or galley errors made because of the rush. The dining staff works extremely hard, but in their attempt to serve 24 guests per waiter, they were forced to rush about in ways that did not contribute to the relaxed and elegant dining experience expected. During the final week of the cruise, the situation in the Grand Dining Room improved somewhat. The dining experience in other venues on the ship was much better. Non-alcoholic beverages, bottled water, and most specialty coffees are free, but wine, beer, and all alcoholic beverages are very expensive. Entertainment While I fully appreciate the limitations of space on a small ship, the Nautica Lounge with its poor sight lines is not a very good venue for entertainment. Except for the two violin soloists, the quality of evening acts was acceptable but, in most cases, far from remarkable. On the other hand, the two enrichment speakers, Don Campbell and Terry Bishop, were excellent and added greatly to the cruise experience. The attempt to bring native and local entertainment aboard the ship was laudable, but more care should be taken in the selection of performers. At the very least an interpreter should be present to explain the performances of singers and dancers. The group from Reunion Island was most entertaining, the others much less so. Medical Service There were several complaints among guests about the high cost of medical treatment aboard. For example, our visit to the medical center for a minor bronchial infection resulted in charges of $1221.00. Others complained of unneeded and high priced medications. There was also some question as to the current credentials of the Doctor on board, since in 2009 his medical license was revoked by the State of Tennessee. As of December 19, 2011, neither the Doctor nor Oceania Cruises had produced evidence of a current license to practice medicine. Over 40 passengers concerned with this issue submitted a written protest to Oceania to which the Company has not responded. Until this question is resolved, many passengers who received medical services on board plan to dispute the charges made to their credit card on the basis that the charges are based on fraud. Despite Oceania's stated concern for the health and safety of their guests, they did not, it seems, sufficiently examine the credentials and background of the only person on board whose primary job is, indeed, the health of guests and crew. Internet Services The Wi-Fi service is much slower and much more expensive than comparable services on other cruise ships. It makes more sense to use the free, and considerably faster, internet service found in some cruise terminals (e.g. Dubai) or ashore at internet cafes. Tours promoted by the ship A number of sightseeing tours finished after sunset. They were very disappointing. It was difficult enough to view sights from a moving bus, and next to impossible to see anything of value after dark. Taking photographs at "photo stops" occurring after dark was futile. Tours sponsored by the ship are becoming prohibitively expensive, particularly those that are popular or have a unique or special destination. Pre-Cruise Information While the individualized Cruise Vacation Guide sent to passengers was very complete and useful, pre-cruise info was confusing and inconsistent even to travel agents. This was particularly true in regard to the need for yellow fever shots. On three pre-cruise calls to Oceania, I received three different answers. Oceania's use of an Irish bank resulted in a foreign transaction fee charged to my credit card when I made payments for the cruise. Nowhere does Oceania make mention of its off-shore bank and, in fact, the only business address given is in Miami, Florida. Summary It appears that Oceania Cruises is attempting to reduce its operating costs in many areas in order to cover its expenses and still remain competitive. The result is that the quality of its cruise experience has been diminished and it is no longer what one typically expects from a luxury cruise line. I would not recommend sailing with Oceania unless the projected itinerary was extremely compelling. There are many other cruise lines that provide more value for the dollar. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Fans of Oceania Cruises won't like this review, of our first with this line after more than 30 cruises with other companies. My opinion: Oceania is for people who want to pay a significant premium for a pretty standard product in ... Read More
Fans of Oceania Cruises won't like this review, of our first with this line after more than 30 cruises with other companies. My opinion: Oceania is for people who want to pay a significant premium for a pretty standard product in exchange for the ability to say they cruised with a higher class of company. For them, it's worth it. This itinerary, close to perfect, took us to a number of places on our bucket list: Israel, Suez Canal, Upper Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Dubai. When the price was reduced from astronomical to merely very expensive, we signed up. Since we don't expect to come to these places again and wanted a quality experience, we also signed up for overnight ship's tours in Israel and Egypt and a two-night package in Dubai at an added cost of $3,994 for two. So we paid a whole lot and expected a whole lot. Some Oceania devotees we met swear up and down that they hate big-ship cruising. Well and good, but they also ruefully acknowledge that the Nautica's small size (we had 637 passengers in all) means there is much less variety of things to do and places to be than on a larger ship. Lineups aren't common but we had a number of them. Nautica has small cabins and the tiniest shower compartment I've seen on a cruise ship. Public spaces are poorly planned and even more poorly used: the pre-dinner bar has but 50 seats; the only lounge with a panoramic view is tied up daily for bingo and afternoon tea; the show lounge has terrible sight lines; there are very few good places to sit and read; as someone on CC commented, a balcony is almost a necessity on this ship. Nautica is very nicely decorated, however: it really does feel like the English country-house the line aspires to emulate. The beds were very comfortable, the bedside reading lights excellent, the in-cabin hair dryer ditto, and the presence of hand-sanitizer stations all over the ship most welcome. However, activities seemed limited in scope and badly scheduled, entertainment was summer-stock-style enthusiastic but not compelling; as we'd read here on CC, the ship pretty much goes to sleep after nine p.m., no real surprise when Happy Hour stops at 6 p.m. and video rentals are free. The crew ratio (1.7) is high; sometimes so high that they bumped into each other. Friendliest crew we've sailed with, though. Unfortunately, the service itself failed to match: we avoided the whole central section of the dining room because the service there was so slow. Our stateroom attendant was willing enough but never seemed to comprehend our daily routine; she kept interrupting us doing one thing or another. Front-desk staff were intelligent and helpful. Bar and wine service was uneven, but always provided with a smile. The food, we were told, would be outstanding. It wasn't. Overall, fairly standard. The no-extra-cost alternative restaurants were good, but not good enough to rave about them. Open-sitting dining meant a larger dining room than the ship needs plus the requirement to introduce yourself to new people meal after meal. And the prices! Bottles of wine ran about 30 per cent higher than we've paid recently on other cruise lines, laundry service was of good quality but outrageously expensive; likewise virtually everything else you could buy on board. The automatic daily gratuity was $13.50 and the bar tab added 18 per cent. Surprisingly, we met a number of people on board who either thought this kind of thing was normal or hadn't thought about it at all. Either they were rich enough not to be concerned about value or not quite as sophisticated as some might imagine. Most egregious prices of all: shore excursions. Not physically comfortable going to Petra with its miles of walking, I reserved an Aqaba city tour, thinking that at $115 for a half-day, it must be pretty special. Not so: just a standard tour available from local operators for less than $50. A ripoff, basically. The Petra-plus-Wadi Rum tour offered by the ship cost a staggering $415 per person; my wife went with a group organized on CC and paid $199, though the dinner in a Bedouin camp provided on the ship's version wasn't included. The excursion manager seemed to have a script from which she never deviated. Information about tours was sketchy and not very helpful. Warnings about uneven ground or steps were enough to scare you off but not detailed enough to give real guidance. Our overland tour in Israel, for which we paid $699 each, was outstanding -â€" great guide, nice bus, fascinating places, opportunity to gain insight -â€" until we checked in at the Crowne Plaza in Jerusalem. Our room, like those of others in the group, was a complete disaster. When I book an overland tour with a cruise line I expect to pay more than I would doing it on my own; for that I want to have a thoroughly positive experience. I expect good quality in the hotels where we stay. On this count, Oceania failed miserably; reason enough by itself to avoid trusting this company in future. My outraged letter of complaint, demanding a rebate, has so far yielded nothing beyond some pretty words from the onboard manager. I have to say, though, that our overnight tours in Egypt and Dubai were excellent, just what I expected. The itinerary attracted us and it was just great. So, overall, wonderful places but a cruise line which failed to live up to its reputation. I doubt very much we'll be back. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order ... Read More
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order doubles to taste the booze.On the plus side, the staff was very attentive (though only one or two staff took the time to learn our names in two weeks, remember our desires (like real creamas we sat at the same tables with the same wait staff).  Destination staff was really lacking in attentiveness, responsiveness to problems with tours and general demeanor.Polo and Toscana were saviors as the dining room was at best hit or miss.  HAL and Princess do a better job at mass dining with no special orders allowed:  not even shrimp cocktail when not on the menue.Itineraries seem to be the saving grace for Oceania.   They are unique compared to others and the ship size for the money (though not cheap by any means) allows docking at smaller ports.Sea Dream II docked along side in Kusadasi.  A breath of fresh air.  I took some friends for a tour (having sailed SD many times, I knew the Captain, Christophe, Frank, and others).  Christophe took us on the tour and while in the spa treated us to a 10 minute massage.  I honkered down at the Top of the Yacht for at least one complimentary champagne (it was noon somewhere).  We almost jumped ship as there were a few cabins available and they were on their day 2 of 9.  Alas, the dog would not have appreciated us.  SD II....now we are talking small and wonderful!!Having done a few two week and longer curises, this was the first that I could not wait to get home.  Enough was enough.OH!!  We received a gift early in our cruise on our bed one evening:  a small tube of sanitizer....was that a clue or what.  No other notification from the ship but several cruisers had to have IV's due to dehydration.  I think the greatest profit center on our cruise was the doctors office!!OH!! The internet computer program on Oceania "sucks".  At amost a $1.00 per minute and slow as mollasses.  Silversea is only 40 cents a minute and twice as fast.  Oh, Well there is a Starbucks at almost every port with free WiFi.And to my predecessor's comment about the magician, Harry Maurer and the "lovely" Carol Ann, they were delightful and entertaining.  Besides, I wanted to see the 3 ring trick and the rope trick again and again.  The certainly outshined the social hostess singing (good voice lousy program).Speaking of quality, the cruise director Dotti, was always entertaining except for her growner joke about the 3 legged dog...(I gave that to her and she used it !!!) and her husband Tom, the comedian, were spectacular.  OK!  That should be enough flavor for one cruise and one review.ASHDOD AND HAIFA Israel is one of the most interesting countries I have sailed to. A full day walking tour of Jerusalem didn't even scratch the surface. When you go a local guide on a personal tour is an absolute necessity. Haifa is the gateway to the Golan Heights. GO GO GO! We actually left the ship in Ashdod overnighted at the Crown Plaza in Haifa and rejoined the next night. The local color in Haifa and the added touring time was well worth the cost of the hotel. Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt were overkill. They both are about 3 hours from Cairo and the National Museum (a must) and Giza to see the pyramids (once is enough and once is necessary). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2007
My sister and I took this cruise together and she lives in Mississippi and I in Texas. From the beginning, Oceania sent everything to me. My sister never received one thing directly from the cruise line. I had to email or mail her ... Read More
My sister and I took this cruise together and she lives in Mississippi and I in Texas. From the beginning, Oceania sent everything to me. My sister never received one thing directly from the cruise line. I had to email or mail her everything which was extremely irritating considering how much we paid for the cruise. I have been on several cruises and each time it was with someone who lived in a different town, but all of those line were able to get info to each passenger individually. We had a terrible time getting to Istanbul - cancelled flights, etc. and we did not arrive at the ship until almost 2:00 a.m. We were completely exhausted when we boarded and the reception didn't give the escort our card keys so we had to wait for her to go back to the front desk and retrieve the key. We had a penthouse level suite and from the pictures on the website, we expected more than we got. The room was not very big and we were definitely disappointed. I thought the bathroom was a decent size as was the bathtub. I loved the size of the verandah, but the panels separating each verandah gave very little privacy and they rattled terribly during windy nights at sea. We called up someone from maintenance and they couldn't eliminate the noise which was very distracting. When we were getting settled in the room, my sister called to get one of the hypo-allergenic pillows that they advertise on their website only to be told that they did not have any. My sister is very allergic to down so we never went to bed that night which was approximately 72 hours without sleep. She was able to get one the next day. The other thing that bothered us was the noise from level 9 (the pool deck) when they moved the chairs around every morning at 5ish. It doesn't seem to be the brightest move to have the suites right under that level. After reading all of the rave reviews about the food on Oceania, we were so excited about trying the food. I can't say that I thought that it was better than other ships that I have been on. It was fine, but that is about all I can say. The only outstanding meal that I had was in Polo Grill - the rack of lamb was cooked to perfection and it was truly the best lamb that I have ever eaten. Pretty much everything else was mediocre. I did enjoy the pasta of the day prepared at Tapas on the Terrace. One of the guys made it to order each night. The sandwiches at Waves were also very good and the lemonade was excellent. The personnel on the ships were for the most part excellent. Our butler, Dimitry, was wonderful and our cabin stewardess, Maria, was outstanding. Nipat, one of the pool waiters, was so sweet that we wanted to bring him back with us. The security officers who check people on and off of the ship bordered on rude. I can't forget to mention Philippe, the reception manager. He was so nice and helpful and I really enjoyed getting to know him. The tender situation sucked! I have never been on a cruise where they make you get a ticket so by the time that we figured out that we needed a ticket, they stopped the tenders going to mykonos because of the rough seas. We found out later that this was the third time in the last three cruises that this had occurred. Seems like they should figure out some other alternative if it happens so often. That was the one place that I most wanted to return to since I know several people there and I wanted to visit. It was very disappointing. They also do not enforce the policy about saving deck chairs on the pool level. We only had two sea days since the itinerary was so port intensive. On one of those days, they opened the upper level sun deck and we went up there to sun, but on the second day, it was too windy for them to open that deck. We watched several chairs that had personal effects on them and no one sat in them for over three hours. My sister and I were not able to get a chair next to each other. I also hated the nickel and dimeing they do on board. I think it is ridiculous that they charge for soft drinks. You would think that at a minimum guests in a suite should get one a day. I don't have a problem with a charge for alcohol, but soft drinks? Especially considering how few children sail on this line. I love that the cruise is non-smoking, but we were able to smell the smoke from level 9 on the starboard side (one of the designated smoking areas) when we sat on our verandah at night since the window to that area was right above us. We knew that entertainment was not the strong suit of this cruise line so we didn't have very high expectations. We only went to one night's program and it was so bad that we never went to anything else. The string quartet at high tea was very good and we did enjoy listening to them. High tea was also very nice. We only had one spa service and that was a facial. It was very relaxing and the technician was very professional. We also enjoyed using the thesolatherapy pool that is in the spa area. The ship also has a decent workout facility and library. One final word on the cruise - the passengers. This was by far the rudest group of traveler that I have ever encountered. I thought that maybe we felt that way since we were not "a couple", but we talked to our neighbors, L and J, and they felt the same way. They spoke with one of the ship's employees (I won't mention any names in case it might cause the person trouble), and he/she said that it was the rudest group that had been on the ship since he/she had been employed there. If these people were as rude in port, then I know where the term "ugly American" comes from. The only thing that was entice me to sail with Oceania again would be the size of the ship, the no-smoking policy, and the staff and crew on the ship. Read Less
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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