2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2012
The July 3, 2012 London to London Viking Expeditions Cruise did not live up to our expectations. When we completed this cruise, we had sailed on Nautica for 85 days. Each time, Oceania seems to have lowered the bar. On the positive ... Read More
The July 3, 2012 London to London Viking Expeditions Cruise did not live up to our expectations. When we completed this cruise, we had sailed on Nautica for 85 days. Each time, Oceania seems to have lowered the bar. On the positive side, the food continued to be excellent perhaps because of the the skill of Anthony, the Executive Chef and his staff, even better than our prior cruises. Along those lines, the High Tea and the string quartet were very good. The staterooms were as expected - small but comfortable - and our stateroom attendants did a great job. The cruise had a wonderful itinerary which included Iceland with an overnight in Reykjavik, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Dublin, Belfast and several other wonderful ports. So how could Oceania turn gold into straw? Very simply, if you can't wait for a large dose of trivia, bridge and snowball bingo (whatever that is) an Oceania cruise with six sea days in cold weather (too cold for pool for most normal people) is the cruise line for you. If you expect something better, look for a different cruise line. The cruise had an enrichment speaker and the destination speaker. Their lectures can best be described as painful. The Destination Manager served as the destination speaker and spent most of her lecture reading Oceania's shore excursion descriptions from its printed material. Consider that Oceania offered a 5 hour tour and a 7 hour tour that were identical except for a small component. She read both descriptions even though they were the same word for word except for the added 2 hour component. Bad, but the Enrichment Speaker, a retired coast guard officer, did a poorer job showing he got most of his local knowledge from Wikipedia. What happened Oceania, did you sell the rooms usually reserved for the naturalist (this was a cruise to Iceland and Greenland) and the professor of European History? We normally do private or independent tours. On this cruise did 5 private tours and 8 Oceania excursions. We chose the Oceania excursions because Oceania discounted the tours if you bought and paid 8 in advance and some of the ports had poor tourist infrastructure. Despite the discount, the Oceania excursions cost $115 per person per excursion. I would rate 5 of the 8 as good to excellent; 3 as poor or worse. However, my final conclusion, which shouldn't shock anyone who has sailed on Oceania, is that the Oceania excursions did not offer great value even when discounted 25%. Finally, the crew. This is the first Oceania cruise where we felt the crew seemed disinterested. We think it started from the top down. The Captain, General Manager and Cruise Director seemed distant and uninvolved. In fact, having cruised with Dotty and Willie Ames previously, we dubbed Leslie Jon, our Cruise Director, as the invisible man - hard to do but we saw him once in 13 disembarkations for excursions and for the entertainment he typically never appeared on stage. The Captain and GM were even less involved. Below this level, the crew seemed very inexperienced with many on their first contract. It seemed to us that Oceania has transferred most of its experienced staff to Riviera and Marina. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2011
We recently travelled on a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong on the Oceania's Cruise Line Ship Nautica. This is a 6 star ship which did not quite live up to the hype.Firstly this ship is strangely a class ship. If you have a cabin on ... Read More
We recently travelled on a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong on the Oceania's Cruise Line Ship Nautica. This is a 6 star ship which did not quite live up to the hype.Firstly this ship is strangely a class ship. If you have a cabin on decks 7 and 8 you have butler service and excellent suites and are able to eat in the 2 excellent speciality restaurants almost at will. Also you appear to have identification which is different from the rest and of course you pay the premium. This top level is perhaps just 6 star provided the clients do not use the rest of the ship, the rest is anything but and is far worse than the same sized Ocean Princess and not in the same league as Crystal Cruises. The lower decks get one opportunity at each of the specialty restaurants but the rest of the time you eat in the Grand Dining room or the Tapas restaurant. The food in all is generally good but having said that we both had food poisoning which lasted for nearly a week. I was unable to eat at all for some 3 days and came back 5 pounds lighter. We ate or drank nothing that was not supplied by the ship but I believe the problem was probably from eating out on shore excursions arranged by the ship. I politely talked to the reception as I thought they may wish to check their kitchens because although I suspected the food from the shore excursions (Raffles, Pnom Penn and a luxury restaurant on the Mekong Delta) I could not be certain. I was rung by the Concierge minutes later with the words that nobody else had the problem and we must have licked our fingers whilst out. This was an unfortunate lie as my wife was sitting behind a similar patient in the doctors and we met at least 14 other suffers (all from the same trips) and a crew member had told me that there were many with my problem. Unfortunately this is a cruise line that is extremely difficult if you want to do your own thing on shore and you have to do the shore excursions. Unfortunately I like to do a mixture with excursions so that I do not have to eat out or go to the obligatory souvenir shops but the choice of landing times and cruise ports make this difficult and mostly impossible. This ship should have landed at Da Nang but landed at a jetty 30 miles from it with only a dirt road to it and absolutely nothing else for miles, in Guangzhou it landed 40 miles from the city in the industrial port and in Hong Kong it landed at the end of the island where there were no taxi's or anything else. With great opportunism the cruise line offered to take people to the airport in a bus at a cost of 107$ each instead of a taxi at 40$ total. It was claimed that the ship was bumped out of the main dock by the Star ferry but the Ocean Princess, Seabourn and Aquarious had no trouble and there was one completely empty cruise dock. Ports seemed to change regularly at the last minute. The cost of excursions was excessive even in the cruise world for trips that included the usual souvenir shop visits. The young crew are excellent throughout always with a smile and very efficient. Officers and managers often seemed to have a major problem and whilst they worked hard they smiled little and the atmosphere was not good and I guess they were at the end of a long stint although the assistant cruise director and chef were excellent and they did at least say hello without the typical fixed smile through gritted teeth. The Cruise Director was banging on about departure 6 days from the start. The accommodation was good and stewards superb and unfortunately we saw too much of the cabin. Entertainment is OK but limited, lectures were solely on American finance, politics and Wikileaks effect in the USA by a lovely Professor but of limited interest to non Americans (probably50%) or to anybody who came to get away from this. I would have loved to have heard about the region and places we visited. There was a USA pilot who spent 6 years in prison in the "Hanoi Hilton" who gave a talk to a few US friends but they were not allowed to publish it. We would have liked to go for a drink before dinner but as everybody goes to dinner at the same time it is impossible to get a seat in really the only useable Martini's bar (It only usually holds 30 maximum and usually 20) but only managed to get a seat once so stayed in our room. After the meal the same problem occurred and most people wandered off to bed before the show. It was like a ghost ship from around 9.00pm. Most times the show had a hardy 70 souls attending although one or two were better attended and the crew party was the highlight. The whole of deck 5 needs a rethink as a superb quartet played by the staircase but there were a few chairs to sit on and the position was uncomfortable. The rest is occupied by a sad looking casino and 2 equally sad boutiques. It would have been nice to have had a good coffee bar and a comfortable bar or bars. I unfortunately expected that people would at least dress up smartly for the Grand Dining Room but basically a pair of trousers and a Polo shirt was good enough and people generally came in as dressed on the tours or from the deck and the Tapas casual restaurant was strangely better dressed. The sun deck only had about 15 loungers each side not in the sun and these were booked (by books) although rarely were many used. There were only a few on the promenade decks and I actually retreated to my room on some occasions a balcony is essential on this cruise line. I finally gave up on the pretence when a Sommelier explained the finer merits of a bottle of wine that came out at 45$ which I had bought in Tesco for 6$ (£4.50) a few weeks previously. If you charge good prices at least give good product. Maybe the line has lost sight of its present cash generator in its rush to get its new cruise ship going but I was fed up of meeting people with a complaint that had been upset further by the ships attitude to it. The cruise is poor in comparison to the other cruises that we have been on (double figures) except for the food and might just be 3 star for those in the lower class( Somebody we met actually said that it did not stand up to a Thompson Cruise). We enjoyed our holiday in spite of Oceania as we saw the places we wanted to see and they should be credited for that. We were invited to join some N. American friends(not on this cruise) on an Oceania cruise next year just prior to going on this one but we fortunately waited to see what this was like and have now said no and they will no doubt are having second thoughts. This line could offer so much and they get A for effort and Z for application. If they were not bringing on new ships I would honestly have thought they had money troubles such was the level of "Nickel and Diming" as some Americans put it. Seabourn may have been a better option and I doubt if it would be more expensive all in but Princess or any of the others are a much better bet. I wrote to the line but unsurprisingly have not had a reply. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2006
Sister-in-law and I took this cruise mainly for the itinerary - we view cruises as a good way to get a quick look-see of an area. If we like what we see, we return. We are in our 50s and VERY independent. We didn't think we'd ... Read More
Sister-in-law and I took this cruise mainly for the itinerary - we view cruises as a good way to get a quick look-see of an area. If we like what we see, we return. We are in our 50s and VERY independent. We didn't think we'd like a big ship and we were right. We went to Athens a couple days early on our own and had a great visit and a better stay at the lovely Hera Hotel. Post cruise we had a few days in Rome at the lovely Hotel Ponte Sixto. We arranged all transfers via email based on recommendations found on this and other websites. Embarkation was easy enough - we were concierge level but that brought few,if any, perks. The cabin and its balcony were very clean and very small! Two women bumping around is not a pretty sight at times. As soon as we got organized we went straight to the library to get tour books for Greece and Italy - imagine our surprise when there were ZERO available. All they had were for Asian ports, the ship having just repositioned from there. Then we went to see Concierge who told us there weren't any. Now, call me compulsive but a good concierge would have gotten on the phone and called the head office and had DHL provision the ship. Didn't happen. We don't like group travel so shore excursions on buses really don't work for us. Imagine our surprise when we discovered the destinations staff was really only interested in getting tours booked. They had no information on the ports and no one came aboard to give talks - local people came aboard after we were at anchor/port. And, speaking of anchoring, that meant tenders and the shore excursion folks were given priority over disembarking. This lasted about 3 days before I made an appointment with the hotel manager and discussed our displeasure over having our shore days significantly shortened because we couldn't get off the ship. Things got better after that. Finding a willing taxi driver to take us from ship to where we wanted to go was never a problem. The food was pretty but boring. There was a marked degree of inflexibility with the meals. Since I do not like buffets I was happy to eat breakfast in the main dining room. We ate a great many of our meals ashore, however. Entertainment was pretty lame, I am afraid. We didn't go to the casino and the shops were overpriced for stuff we didn't want/need anyway. The ship itself was clean and most of the staff (esp. cabin) was great. The overall decor, we thought, was a bit over the top (flocked wallpaper and brocade). The internet cafe was very pricey. Best thing about the ship - NO SMOKING! We like Windstar, Cruise West, etc. We won't do a big, factory ship again because we are too Type A to enjoy so much organization/inflexibility. 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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