351 Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a ... Read More
Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a simple hello whilst eating in breakfast at Waves by the pool to being at the end of the steps when leaving the ship to go on shore and ensuring we didn't trip. No other cruise director ever since then has done so much to engage with people and ensure a safe and happy trip. I only wish we could have him as a cruise director on every ship. This was magnificent cruise in terms of destinations and experiences. We embarked in Barcelona which is a beautiful city and port with the port being right in the city. We then sailed quickly across the Mediterranean overnight to Rome - it was quite rough at sea as there were storms about and it felt like being in a washing machine - I was filled with some dread that the entire cruise would be the same but the rough weather only lasted that first night. We then visited Naples and Pompei, Patmos Greece, Ephesus in Turkey and it was wonderful time of year to go there as the weather was mild. Then followed Rhodes in Greece where we encountered a rainy day and then Limassol in Cyprus which was so interesting and I have fond memories of sitting in the square having coffee. Then an amazing 3 days in Israel where we visited Haifa, Jaffa and Caesaria. The Suex Canal transit was beyond amazing and we saw some incredible ships travelling back and forth and enjoyed the Egyptians waving to us from shore. Cruising the Red Sea we then sailed to Jordan and spent two days in Aqaba. Then we cruised the Red Sea for 3 peaceful days of smooth sailing before beginning the cruise of the Gulf of Aden and spent our time trying to spot the pirates - we found none. The Captain has reassured us that he was in touch with international forces all the way. Salalah in Oman was the next port of call followed by Muscat in Oman and we visited the Sultan's palace. The cruise ended in Dubai in the UAE and we did an amazing troy from dawn till dusk of Dubai covering so much of the city. We disembarked in Dubai the next day after experiencing an incredibly memorable journey. Unlike some other Oceania cruises the entertainment on this cruise was quite good with some solo performers. Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Firstly, there was a lot of talk on our board, prior to the cruise regarding whether to have a Yellow Fever jab. It was a no brainer for us. Had the shot, only reaction was a sore arm. We were asked to show our International Vaccination ... Read More
Firstly, there was a lot of talk on our board, prior to the cruise regarding whether to have a Yellow Fever jab. It was a no brainer for us. Had the shot, only reaction was a sore arm. We were asked to show our International Vaccination Certificate as we boarded the ship, then again in South Africa and Australia on our return. A few notes that might help planning the 2014 cruise. Good luck. We had a fantastic time Dec 2013. Dubai. Complimentary shuttle from the ship to Dubai Mall which is huge and has an amazing aquarium in the centre. The drive from the port is also interesting. Fujairah. Complimentary shuttle to the City Center Mall. Interesting drive. Nothing special Muscat. Complimentary shuttle from the pier to the Muttrah Souq which was amazing. Well worth doing. Wall to wall schools on the drive to the Souq. Education of the young is top priority in Muscat. Mumbai. Shuttle between the ship and the port gate only. Didnt do the Taj trip. Have been there before. Some people did the independant trip and others went on the ship excursion. From what we heard, some positive comments from the ship tour. As always you get what you pay for. The independant people didnt have as much time at the Taj and stayed in Delhi instead of Agra, missing the early morning viewing. Goa. No shuttle We did the ships tour HIghlights of Goa for the morning. Very interesting. Mangalore. We used the complimentary ships shuttle to the City Center Mall 10 kl away. That was an interesting drive. Cochin. No shuttle. Did the ships day tour to Kerala Backwaters which was a beautiful part of India. The tour was excellent and value for money. Saw the fishing nets on the way back to the ship. Maldives. Tender into town. Try to get to one of the island resorts which you would have to organise before leaving home. There is nothing in the capital Male. Have stayed there at Club Med in the past. Beautiful. Some people did the ships tour to Kuda Bandos and were very dissappointed. Lots of coral inshore. Cut feet etc. Seychelles. No shuttle. Went snorkling. A waste of time. Water cloudy with poor visibility, probably due to the weather. Had visited a couple of years ago and did the drive around the island which is well worth doing. Mombasa. Complimentary shuttle. Visa cost from ship $50USD pp. We did an independant tour to Tsavo East national Park. Zanzibar. Tender into shore. Then complimentary shuttle to Kelele Square, where we walked into Stone Town. Picked up a guide for US10 who took us up to the Slave Market and local markets. Visa cost from ship $99USD pp Dar Es Salaam. There was a complimentary shuttle into town. We did an independant City Tour - Full Day. Very interesting. Visited the Tinga Tinga Co Operative Centre and came away with a small painting. Nosy B. Tendered in. Not much there unless you want to go to Nosy Komba to see the Lemurs. Ship has a complimentary shuttle up to the old town. Lots of canoes came out to greet us when we dropped anchor. They wanted to trade with you from the tender pick up. All good fun. Maputo. Complimentary shuttle to the Feima Craft Market. Visa charged to ship account $169pp if you want to leave the ship. Nice place. Richards Bay. Complimentary shuttle from the Pier to the Boardwalk Mall. We had organized a private overnight safari up to Hlulhewe which was excellent. Really enjoyed seeing all the big animals in the cool of the evening and early morning. The drive back down to Durban was beautiful. Just like northern Queensland. Sugar cane, rolling hills. Durban. Complimentary shuttle from the Pier to the UShaka Marine World. Lots went to the Tala Game Reserve by private safari. Cape Town. The ship docks right at the V and A Waterfront, a fantastic location. We organized with Sean Casey to take 6 pax up to Stellenbosch that afternoon. He then gave us a city tour on the way back to the ship. The next day he took four of us down to the Cape for a full day. Beautiful. Stayed at the V and A Hotel.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We just returned from our fourth Oceania cruise, this one aboard Nautica, which was also our first "O" ship back in 2008. Things are only getting better. The ship, built in 2000 and refurbished in 2010, is due to go into dry ... Read More
We just returned from our fourth Oceania cruise, this one aboard Nautica, which was also our first "O" ship back in 2008. Things are only getting better. The ship, built in 2000 and refurbished in 2010, is due to go into dry dock next spring for major refurbishment to bring her to the more contemporary theme from the nearly-new Marina and Riviera, but she has been immaculately maintained and is still in excellent condition. Yes, she does look a bit dated by today's ship standards, and, yes, there minor wear is visible here and there, but the continuous maintenance on the ship has kept her in immaculate condition. All hard surfaces in both the public areas and in our penthouse cabin were clean and polished, and all soft surfaces were in excellent condition and comfortable. This cruise was a 24-day repositioning cruise running from Barcelona to Dubai, the longest we have ever taken. Since Nautica hosts only 684 passengers, I thought we might get bored. However, O provided many onboard activities, including enrichment lectures by two very competent speakers (discussing the oceans of the world and the Middle East), and the extended length of the cruise made it easy to meet and get to know many wonderful people (both passengers and crew), and to relax fully during 9 sea days. Passengers on this cruise skewed older than other O cruises we've taken (probably the average age was north of 70), but that's to be expected due to the length of the cruise and its cost. Fellow passengers were well travelled, congenial and most were quite active despite not being young anymore. Ports included Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Haifa (Holy Land), Aqaba, Salalah, Muscat and Dubai. The best ports/sites to visit, in my opinion were Rome, the Holy Land and Aqaba. Rome (visited Vatican this time) is always amazing, and is easy and inexpensive to access via train from Civitavecchia, Petra (accessible via a 2-hour ride from Aqaba) is amazing due to its scope (the well-known Treasury is only the tip of the iceberg), and 3 days in Haifa provide excellent access to Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Nazareth, and other emotionally powerful historic and religious sites. Because of the continuing political troubles in Egypt, we missed Egypt, one of my top "bucket list" sites, but O let us know well in advance and added an additional day in both Israel and Aqaba, which provided a more leisurely tour schedule, so the loss of Egypt was amply made up. O is known for its food, and this cruise did not disappoint. The quality and variety of the products were excellent, and preparations were usually creative and properly prepared. I've been on a diet, and there were always plenty of healthy low-calorie options, as well as the more elaborate preparations with buttery and creamy sauces, up to 32 oz. prime rib dinners, etc. The Terrace Café buffet has added two a-la-minute cooking stations, as well as a fresh pasta station since our last cruise on Nautica. Sushi was available every night, and there were several themed meals several days during the cruises (ie., Italian, Mideastern, Thanksgiving, etc.). Breakfast was a special pleasure due to the variety of fresh fruits and berries, but of course the more typical eggs, bacon/sausage, etc. were also available (eggs freshly cooked to order if you chose). O's excellent bread was made daily was almost impossible to pass up, but because of the variety of other options, I managed to only gain 3 pounds during a 24-day cruise! Yahoo!!! Toscana, which serves Italian food, was our favorite specialty restaurant, but Polo, which serves steaks/seafood was also very good. The quality of meats was high, up to O's claim they serve only dry-aged premium cuts in the specialty restaurants. Waves Grill near the pool has been upgraded to include the menu originated aboard Marina, including a Koby beef hamburger and a surf/turf sandwich with alternating slices of filet and lobster. The ice cream bar includes a yummy selection of healthy smoothies with just fruit and ice blended if you wish to go low-cal. The malt I allowed myself the last day of the cruise was wonderful too (it was a good thing I hadn't given in earlier, or I'd have gained several more pounds). The menu did repeat after about two weeks, but the variety was wide enough you could avoid repetition, or enjoy a previous favorite, if you chose. If I have a criticism of the food, it is that it was under-seasoned for my taste. However, since we live in an area where spicy food is the norm, I expect that is criticism is just my taste, since a few passengers complained that dishes we found very mild were over-spiced. Given the fact they serve about 650 meals during each meal, I am impressed with the high quality of the food. Is it as good as a 5-star restaurant on land? No. But it is the best food I've tasted at sea. We upgraded to a penthouse cabin for this cruise, from the verandah cabins from our previous cruises, and it was worth the money we spent. The Nautica penthouse cabins are 1.5 times the size of the standard verandah cabins and include a marble bath with a tub/shower, instead of just the shower in the standard verandah cabins, and the bath is nearly double the size of the verandah cabins. There was plenty of storage space, a mini-frig which the staff will stock with your preferred non-alcoholic beverages upon request, and O has stopped stocking them with the expensive alcohol minis no one ever uses. In penthouse level cabins a variety of hot and cold canapés were offered in the afternoon, but they were the one food option item I found to be less than stellar quality; they tasted pre-made and not particularly fresh. Our butler was wonderful; he was well trained and professional; while he took his job seriously, he had a good sense of humor and congenial attitude. Our cabin stewards were equally well trained, competent and friendly. Cabins were promptly serviced morning and afternoon, and beds were turned down when we returned from dinner. O's crew was almost universally good natured, and smiles and "good morning, Madam/Sir" were always present. O's alcohol policy is liberal, as long as people do not abuse alcohol, and we had no problems bringing both wine and spirits aboard at embarkation and after port visits later; the butler/cabin steward were happy to provide additional ice, wine glasses, and even limes as we asked. The only caveat is alcohol brought aboard must be consumed in the cabin, or there is a corkage fee if wine is consumed in the restaurants with meals. Premium drinks in the public lounges started at around $10, but with a half price happy hour and daily specials every day, we found no need to buy the alcohol package offered. Entertainment, which is not one of O's areas of excellence, was certainly adequate if not great. The classical quartet was excellent, the 8-piece band generally quite good and the staff and specialty entertainers competent, if not great. The staff entertainers were better than the material they were given; the Gary Musack productions were often pretty corny and were over-choreographed, resulting in stiff variety productions. Something about entertainers in their 20's singing and dancing material from the 1930's to 1970's is just a little off-kilter. Overall, my impression is that O has maintained its high standard of service and product since our first cruise five years ago. We were sad to leave, knowing we were seeing Nautica in her current "clothes" for the last time, but looking forward to the improvements which are coming after her refurbishment next year. This was the best cruise we've ever taken, truly the trip of a lifetime. Thanks O! We'll book again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I just returned from a 30 day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore. I liked the itinerary, but I don't know how they decided what to included and what to skip. I was sorry they skipped Mauritius and the Comoros, I would say that the ... Read More
I just returned from a 30 day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore. I liked the itinerary, but I don't know how they decided what to included and what to skip. I was sorry they skipped Mauritius and the Comoros, I would say that the food, service, and decor were above average, but the excursions and entertainment were below average. Excursions were very expensive, yet it appeared they hired the lowest bidder without any control for quality. Buses were often broken down and lacking in air conditioning. Selections of excursions was poor--it appeared that the main consideration was profit margin. I was on the concierge level, with a veranda, yet the stateroom, bathroom, closet, etc. were really tiny. There was price gouging for use of the Internet--$600 for the 30 days. Corkage for wine was $25, as opposed to the $15 it is on other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Went with Oceania from Capetown to Singapore . Don't do it sounds exotic but African ports other than Capetown not worth doing . Maldives and Seychelles were good but not enough to warrant this expense and time . As far as Oceania ... Read More
Went with Oceania from Capetown to Singapore . Don't do it sounds exotic but African ports other than Capetown not worth doing . Maldives and Seychelles were good but not enough to warrant this expense and time . As far as Oceania goes the food was very good and the general staff were excellent , but that's as far as it went . The cruise director was terrible as was the lack of entertainment and activities . The seas were rough which was not the ship's fault but being smaller it moved a lot and I don't believe stablerlizers were used . We paid $900 US for tips but had no say in how they were distributed . To make matters worse , their baggage handlers managed to break a full bottle of rum securely wrapped in the middle of my suitcase just moving it from our cabin to the dock . How is beyond me they must have thrown it from the deck . I didn't realize until we got to our hotel and I had rum through everything as well as broken pieces of glass . Two letters that we paid the ship to post never arrived to our relatives . . A letter to their so called customer service has gone unanswered .I hopoe this report helps other people to not make the mistake we did .All this is fact and the first time I have ever written a complaint about a cruise line . Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Enjoyed the cruise but felt that Oceania kept up to its usual lacklustre entertainment. No surprises there at all. Specialty restaurants, particularly Toscana were not up to Oceania's usual standards. Orders were mixed up, table ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise but felt that Oceania kept up to its usual lacklustre entertainment. No surprises there at all. Specialty restaurants, particularly Toscana were not up to Oceania's usual standards. Orders were mixed up, table ignored until all smaller tables had been waited on, and the desserts just were not as well prepared as on previous cruises. Terrace Cafe was excellent and the GDR staff performed better than the specialty restaurants as long as you were sitting at a table for 6 or less. Tables or 8 or more simply don't work in the GDR or in the specialty restaurants. Cruise staff was excellent and Willie Aames did an excellent job of running Trivia. He made it more international as this was truly an international crowd on this particular cruise. I was quite surprised to find out that the American contingent was only 50% of the passengers. The other games run by the other cruise staff were done very well and quite entertaining to watch. Some passengers were very serious about winning each contest and it got quite funny to watch when others struck it lucky and won. This was the best distribution of Big O prizes that I have seen while aboard a ship. We did not do any Oceania tours and listening to my Trivia teammates were glad that we did not. Half of our Trivia team did private tours and the other half took Oceania tours, so we did a lot of comparisons. Maputo was my least favourite port. This was the port where I felt hassled by the locals trying to get me to buy souvenirs . This made me back off. Kenya had the worst drivers. I was surprised by the time I got back to the ship that my hair had not turned white from all the near misses. It was just not our driver, but the way all drive here. Neptune ceremony was different. The poor passengers who had the goo poured over them had great difficulties washing it off. The deck took a long time to clean up after the ceremony was over even though they had put down plastic to protect the deck. In general I liked the ports, but wished we could have had more time at some and better arrival and departure times so that we could have seen the animals in the reserves at the best viewing times. I have now caught the Africa bug and will return, but not to cruise, but instead take a land tour so that I can see more of this great continent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We just completed our second cruise with Oceania, having previously sailed on Riviera in the Meditteranean. This time, we chose Asia. We had done some of China before, but wanted to see how it was changed. We also had not been to Japan, ... Read More
We just completed our second cruise with Oceania, having previously sailed on Riviera in the Meditteranean. This time, we chose Asia. We had done some of China before, but wanted to see how it was changed. We also had not been to Japan, and the Pearls of the Orient itinerary aboard Nautica offered a couple destinations that were of interest, but which we thought might be too out of the way to get to otherwise. Embarkation: This was fairly smooth. Our family arrived on 2 different flights. One group of us arrived on a flight that arrived in the morning. As a bonus, since the cabins were not ready yet, a bonus tour of Hong Kong was provided, which was most welcome with almost everyone. Better to see some of the city than to sit around waiting for the stateroom to be ready. This was included in the airport transfer fee. A few guests had a similar tour of the city booked for the next day, and had to get that canceled, but this was definitely a bonus. Once on board the ship, things went very smoothly. Service: To me, this is Oceania's greatest strength. Everyone aims to please, is tremendously polite, seemingly happy, and hard working. There is seemingly nothing you ask for that cannot be arranged. This extends from stateroom stewards, dining staff, sommeliers, concierge, destination services, to maintenance folks and the officers on board. The staff is phenomenal, friendly, and really makes cruising with Oceania a great experience. Dining: The food on board is fantastic. On board is the Grand Dining room, which offers open seating, meaning you can go when you like. The menu varies daily, and on a 16 day cruise, only a couple, very popular menu items repeated. The food is fantastic and consistent. There are two specialty restaurants on board, Toscana and Polo Grill. Reservations are necessary, but we got 2 meals at each. I honestly prefer the Grand Dining Room to the specialty restaurants as there is more variety, but they are fun for just mixing things up a bit. There is also a buffet restaurant, which we used only for breakfast on days that began early. There was a bit more self-service than we had experienced on Riviera, and we were not big fans of that for sanitation reasons. It also tended to be crowded at breakfast time, and tables were hard to get. There is a burger place by the pool, which was great for days we got back to the ship a bit late. Generally speaking, the food service is, after the service, a major selling point for choosing Oceania. Beverages: Beverage service is a la carte. There are a couple options for per diem all you can drink packages if you are into that sort of thing. The wine list at the restaurants is solid, if not a bit overpriced. There is a team of friendly sommeliers that know the list well. You can bring wine and other beverages on board, provided you consume them in your stateroom, which we took full advantage of in some of the ports of call where the weather was nice and we could enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony looking out over Shanghai or Hong Kong. If you choose to bring a bottle to a restaurant or lounge, the corkage fee is $25. We are mostly wine drinkers, so I am not sure about the pricing of cocktails and other beverages. Stateroom: We had a standard veranda room. It was a big smaller than on Riviera, but cozy. The bathroom is shower only, and small, but you're on a ship. Furnishings were great, and towels, soft drinks, and water were replenished constantly. During warmer weather, we made good use of the veranda. The room serviced twice daily, in the morning and at turndown. A couple times we got back during servicing, and found our stewardess, fluffing curtains, sanitizing all surfaces. Just phenomenal service. Public Areas: We spent a lot of time in Horizon's Lounge, which offers a great panoramic view in front of the ship. Tea is served there, and is a lot of fun if you can handle more food. Later in the evening, it becomes more of a lounge atmosphere. The only downside is that it is the only place smoking is allowed indoors on the ship (albeit in one corner). They have a ventilation system that helps keep the smell out, but it's not always effective, and sometimes the smell permeated throughout Horizons and into the stairwells. I'd prefer they keep smoking to outdoors only. The Nautica Lounge is used for lectures, shows, and receptions. There is a casino on board as well as a couple bar areas, which we did not utilize. There are two shops as well offering luxury items, which we also did not use. Entertainment: The string quartet and the band on board were quite good. We did not get to any of the shows. They had a couple cooking demonstrations with the head chef which were fun, and wine tastings which were expensive but fun on days at sea. Also they had lectures on board which were fantastic about history and issues relating to upcoming ports of call. Fellow Cruisers: This is an older crowd. I would not recommend taking kids on an Oceania cruise, as entertainment options are limited. The people who travel on Oceania are mostly experienced and well traveled people. I am in my 30s, and enjoyed it just fine. There were a few of people who were quite elderly and debilitated, which is of no concern except that it can slow you down on excursions. Destinations: Oceania bills itself as creating destination-oriented cruises. While they offer plenty of Caribbean cruises, they also offer lots of cruises to off the beaten path destinations or destinations that one would not typically associate with cruising. Our cruise stopped at Hong Kong, Keelung Taiwan (30 minutes from Taipei), Naha in Okinawa, Kobe (an hour from Osaka and Kyoto), Hiroshima, Shanghai, Incheon (45 minutes from Seoul), Dalian, China, and Tianjin (2 hours from Beijing which is inland). There were overnight stays in Hong Kong, Kobe, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Dalian was not exactly a tourist destination, but it was fascinating to see a mushrooming Chinese city that is not tourist oriented. All other destinations offered plenty of things to do. Excursions: My main criticism of this cruise was that the excursions were mediocre. Often, groups on excursions were quite large (30+). My family is relatively young and energetic, and sometimes it felt like significant time was wasted in shuffling the large group around. I wish more options were available for more fit people. Most of the excursions lay out what degree of stairs and walking will have to be navigated. I would love it if each destination offered an excursion or two which are sort of "If you have to ask how many stairs there are, choose something else". In other words, something a little more fast-paced and agile. Our excursion in Taipei was not the best. We went to the National Palace Museum, which houses some of the great treasures of ancient China. To say it is a crowded place is an understatement, but with a group of 30+ people, significant time was wasted just herding the group around. We did Shanghai on our own, which was quite doable. We were able to do much more than one would have been able to do with any of the excursions Oceania offered. Additionally, in Kobe, we booked an independent tour of Kyoto, which saw more of the city using public transportation than the excursions did, and avoiding long bus rides and the herding issue. To top it off, this was a far cheaper option. The only issue with independent arrangements is that you may not get priority in going through immigration procedures and disembarkment at various ports, and if you get delayed for any reason, the ship may not wait for you. Nevertheless, in the future, we will lean towards independent arrangements. Pricing: I believe the cruise itself was priced fairly, and may even be a bit of a bargain. It's not a Carnival sort of pricing, as you get a heck of a lot more service, but for the length of the trip, I thought it was priced well (booked with 2 for 1 and airfare included). Internet costs are simply outrageous, and from those who used it, I was told it was slow. The spa and gym services were also priced stiffly. Excursions are quite pricey as well, and in my opinion, overpriced. At the end of the trip, you'll get a bill for a service charge, but I actually appreciate this, as you don't have to spend a bunch of time deciding how much to tip. In short, the cruise is fairly priced, but they hit you hard for anything extra you do, which is often more than you are getting. I suppose this is the business model of the cruise industry. Flight Arrangements: I added this category here because this is a common criticism I heard from fellow cruisers. My flight arrangements were quite reasonable, but for some, the air itineraries were quite absurd. Some fellow family members from Chicago were sent to LA (2 days before the first day of the cruise, which is admittedly a bit complicated in light of the long flights and time zone issues) despite there being a couple of daily direct flights available to Hong Kong from Chicago. Several cruisers I spoke with take a credit and make their own flight arrangements independently to avoid situations like these. Were I to have had a similar itinerary to the rest of my family, I would have been in trouble and either had to cancel or have a big mess in arranging extra vacation time at work. Summary: There are a few hassles, but overall, this was a second fantastic experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, and have learned a bit in terms of how to optimize the experience further for the next one. From Oceania, you will get reasonably priced luxury, excellent food, and intriguing destinations that offer you an opportunity to "travel" and not just cruise. Even days at sea were highly enjoyable. The staff makes this work more than anything else. I would highly recommend Oceania. Read Less
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 February 2014
Our first Oceania cruise but 'seasoned' cruisers, we would sum up the experience as wonderful. First, the itinerary, because we know you are likely just like us, choosing the cruise company based on the itinerary. We wanted an ... Read More
Our first Oceania cruise but 'seasoned' cruisers, we would sum up the experience as wonderful. First, the itinerary, because we know you are likely just like us, choosing the cruise company based on the itinerary. We wanted an over-view of Asia and that's what we got in spades! This itinerary took us to China, S.Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand. Excursions is our second consideration. Do they offer experiences rather than sight-seeing? We like to do, not just look. Oceania does this. We went on home visits where we met and shared food and conversation with actual families in S.Korea and China. We took a calligraphy class from a university prof, watched as potters created from clay in their backyard studio, took a relaxation class from Buddhist nuns in their home, met farmer who first discovered the terracotta warriors, canoed down the narrow canals around the Mekong river delta. It's important to read the descriptions carefully so you don't end up slogging through museum after museum and returning to the ship every night exhausted and bored. Living history is so much more interesting than looking at cold hard history behind glass. Don't pay the extra for the smaller group. excursions. You don't need to. No tour had more than 28 people. Secondly, because Nautica is a mid-sized ship, we could dock right in town so we had much better access than companies with huge ships that are forced to dock as much as 2 hours outside a city. A third distinction of Oceania, are the two-night stays that meant we could see so much more in one area and be ashore in the evenings, unlike so many itineraries that leave port by early evening. Fourth, the ship itself rides smoothly and quietly through rough China Seas. There none of that odd smell ships sometimes have as you walk the long hall back to your room or open the bathroom door and are hit with that sour odor. It was always fresh and airy. Fifth standout was the dining seating policy. The open seating goes a step beyond other companies by encouraging people to share tables. This means that by the end of the trip, you've shared meals with many of the 680 or so fellow-travellers, meeting really interesting individuals from all over the world. Within 3 days, we had developed a friendship with 2 other couples and ended up basically travelling together the rest of the tour. But if you wanted to, you could always choose to sit alone. Afternoon tea sounded rather stuffy but on sea days it was a great time to meet up with friends and enjoy the china and goodies. The main dining room had good variety, flavours and service. It was gourmet quality but not over the top avant garde 5-star cuisine. The 2 specialty restaurants had limited availability and required reservations which made for a nice change from time to time. The services and food were not that different from the main dining room - just a more intimate atmosphere. So now that we've discussed the itinerary and ship in general, what about the cabins? We were on the concierge level balcony room, down scale from the butler-assisted suites but up from the basic balcony rooms, in price. What we got for that 'upgrade' was pretty minimal and I am not sure worth the extra cost. The cabin was identical to any number of balcony cabins we'd had on other large ship cruise lines. Bathroom was small, storage was good, bed was really comfortable (I wish I could have it at home), maid service was usual, amenities were okay (Bulgari products didn't impress me). Our room needed a new couch and some repairs done to the cabinetry. We heard Nautica was heading for a refit within a month. As I said earlier, we never had that odd wet bathroom smell (as if we were smelling the sewage treatment or something) we'd had on many other ships. Entertainment was varied, with many people coming aboard for a day or two to do a couple shows and then leaving. Four talented singer/dancers did 3 full shows (well choreographed and sung wonderfully) and some solo nights. They need to work on their chat between songs but the actually singing was great. Unadvertised but of great value was the lecturer, Terry Bishop. He talked on sea-days about the history of the areas we were visiting in a most entertaining manner. They also used him for evening entertainment on a few occasions that wasn't quite as successful. His wife led card making classes on sea days which were very good and needed ! Every trip needs some sort of hand-craft, I think. One disappointment was the Canyon Ranch spa. It was ridiculously over-priced. Their services were very basic, without any of the little extras I would expect for the prices they were charging. $171 for a for rejuvenation massage? I didn't go back. Oceania needs to reconsider out-sourcing their spa services. There's more I could say but this is too long already. I hope it helps you make you choice. Oceania is a good line if not the up-scale, luxury line they seem to want to portray. They are good. They offer good product. They attract 'well-heeled' 60+ aged people used to good service, wanting accessible adventure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My wife and I just completed your Ode To The Emperors cruise 3/10 to 3/31 on the Nautica. Cabin 4049. We have taken earlier cruises with Oceania and Nautica which were great experiences. Needless to say the disappointments on this 3 week ... Read More
My wife and I just completed your Ode To The Emperors cruise 3/10 to 3/31 on the Nautica. Cabin 4049. We have taken earlier cruises with Oceania and Nautica which were great experiences. Needless to say the disappointments on this 3 week cruise needed to be addressed as we are not sure all the problems were documented by the crew and staff. I don’t mean this letter to be picky as we all know everything doesn’t go right all the time but when the problems repeat themselves they need to be addressed. I’m sure your aware we boarded the Nautica with a note on our bed that the ship had docked with a major case of N. virus on board. This problem was spread through out the ship for the first 10 days. For sure you did not plan this but knowing this at time of sailing made the experience very uncomfortable. However, the condition of the room could be avoided. Many of the doors on the closets were falling off their hinges and generally a very tired room. (the fact that you were going to refurbish the Nautica after our cruise did not make it right.) One of the best things Oceania does (till now) is give their guests a wine and dining experience to be proud of. On this cruise something happened that again you must be aware of as many of the guests had similar experiences. It started off with the first days (re Virus) where a decision was made ,(and guests were not advised) to over cook all food. Rather than remove some items from the menu that should not be over cooked we order Aahi Tuna in Polo and was served well done Tuna. All the meals that were bad I documented with your head of restaurant services Morresimo. At least a third of the dinners we had warranted comments to the chief. Example sliced duck so badly prepared you could not cut it with a knife. I called the chief out of the kitchen to slice the duck , he could not, picked up the dish and left. Grizzly steak and pork chops so bad I had to remove food from my mouth and put on my plate. How embarrassing with other guests at the table. To be sure the staff was very apologetic and tried to correct the situation but in most cases they made it worse. Example there was Coq Au Vin on the menu one evening (I love Coq Au Vin) so I convinced all the guests at our shared table to order it. The dish was served room temperature. I call the head waiter over explained the problem , he apologized took all the servings back to the kitchen , returned with a new order in very hot dishes but alas the food was still room temperature. Rack of lamb turned out to be 2 baby chops not a reasonable serving. I think I’ve made my point cold food bad preparation etc. Just a word about your tours. Example highlights of Nagasaki $135 a person turned out to be a bus ride to the peace park (15 minutes) 2 hours their and back to the ship. What highlights? Tours over priced surly leaves a bad taste. In closing, the sailing was nice (captain knew his way) ports of call get thumbs up. Staff adequate, earlier cruises we thought seemed better trained. We have cruised enough to know a difference and surely Oceania has their opinion as well. If you think we are much to picky for Oceania we would like know that as well. Hope there will be a next time.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My Wife and I travelled on this cruise which went from Beijing to Bangkok. Reading over the reviews posted I do think reviewers have homed in on minor dissatisfactions and to make a more balanced review I decided to write this. With regard ... Read More
My Wife and I travelled on this cruise which went from Beijing to Bangkok. Reading over the reviews posted I do think reviewers have homed in on minor dissatisfactions and to make a more balanced review I decided to write this. With regard to the 'outbreak of norovirus we certainly not aware of this. I understand if an ship has a very small number of cases then they must notify the passengers but that hardly constitutes an epidemic! We were on the 6th deck and our cabin was lovely. The bathroom was smaller than on the Marina but on that ship we certainly did not use the bath tub which had been provided. The real advantage of this ship was that it was small taking just over 700 passengers, and hence it could get up all the rivers to dock right in the centre of ports such as Saigon, Shanghai, and Bangkock. In Hong Kong we docked at the Ocean Terminal right in the centre of the city. I spoke to someone who had just done a similar cruise on a larger liner which could not get up the rivers. He said it took a 2 hour bus journey to get from the terminal to the centre of Saigon, whereas we could just walk off the ship into town. In Hong Kong they tied up at the Kai Tack terminal that was a long way from the centre of the city. I would agree that excursions were expensive but we had pre booked most of ours on Cruise Critic with small groups that various very generous people had arranged and hence visited all the sights with groups of 10 or 12, and our own personal guide. Hence we met up with a great bunch of people that really made this cruise the best we have ever been on. So the message is if you are going to Asia go on a small boat and you will see much more of the country, and book your trips through Cruise Critic for great value and company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I arrived in Bangkok a week before the cruise to take advantage of a pre-cruise land excursion (Oceania's) to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The next day the Concierge arranged for a cab for the day, which took me to several temples I wanted ... Read More
I arrived in Bangkok a week before the cruise to take advantage of a pre-cruise land excursion (Oceania's) to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The next day the Concierge arranged for a cab for the day, which took me to several temples I wanted to see - 5 hours for $50 (plus a generous tip, of course). The Angkor Wat trip was very interesting. There were 18 of us who took advantage of it. We returned to Bangkok to board the ship, and left for Singapore that night. I can't describe the entire trip, but we visited Phuket, Rangoon (with another great side trip to Bagan in central Burma), several stops in India, Salalah Oman, Aqaba Jordan (with a side trip to Petra), through the Suez canal to Haifa Israel where we spent three days, and finally Crete. We disembarked in Rome. Since I've been to Rome many times I came straight home. In total it was a six week trip, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was my first Oceania cruise, and was hands-down the best cruise I have taken since my first cruise in 1996. The service was superb and the food excellent. I can honestly say I didn't meet a single grumpy crew member. As a whole they went out of their way to serve me. If I had to name weak spots it would be the entertainment, but I expected that since it's a relatively small ship without facilities or budget for Las Vegas style shows, and the price of shore excursions. I enjoyed myself so much that I'm about to take another Oceania cruise on the Insignia. Take this cruise if you can! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first cruise with Oceania, after a few more 'family' orientated cruises in years past. Where to start! Embarkation: A little slow - but letting us board and going straight to lunch was a good start. Cabin: We had a ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania, after a few more 'family' orientated cruises in years past. Where to start! Embarkation: A little slow - but letting us board and going straight to lunch was a good start. Cabin: We had a cabin with a balcony. It was very comfortable, well furnished, spotlessly clean. The bathroom with shower was on the tiny side - but OK. Food: Everything was brilliant. Choices were from the pool deck and a selection of burgers and salads right up to the 5 star Polo Grill. Different themed lunches on the back deck every day. Staff: This is where the ship excelled. They were happy, smiling, efficient and seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs. Nothing was too much trouble, there was time to chat with guests. Staff seemed to move around every type of job - from bartending, to baristas, to waiting staff - so it wasn't long before staff members could remember your name, how you liked your coffee etc. Brilliant.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Enjoyed a wonderful 10 days aboard Nautica. Could not find fault with any aspect of the ship. Cabins clean and very comfortable, food in all the restaurants was great, although Polo was a bit of a disappointment on our final night. The ... Read More
Enjoyed a wonderful 10 days aboard Nautica. Could not find fault with any aspect of the ship. Cabins clean and very comfortable, food in all the restaurants was great, although Polo was a bit of a disappointment on our final night. The Grand Dining Room was worth a visit every night, and was every bit as good as either Toscana or Polo. The latter two pride themselves on requiring a higher standard of dress code, but we found that this was not enforced, so that some guests were allowed to enter in tee shirts and jeans.We did wonder why my husband had brought his dinner jacket all the way from Australia! We docked in a different country every day, which did prove to be a bit exhausting, and next time we would look at a cruise with a few days at sea to catch up on some rest! Most ports were very good, but Durres ( Albania) was a complete waste of time. Not sure why a place like this is included on the tour. Would have been better to have an extra day in either Corfu or Sorrento. The cruise director assured us that we would be welcomed, but we did not find this was the case. And several crew members warned us about watching our possessions and not going in to any backstreets! Lovely pool area. Would definitely travel with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
(I´m Swedish. More of a 2*-man, than 5*) Cruising ranks low, when I plan holidays. Nevertheless I now and then cruise. Hithertho always with different lines (RCCL,HAL, Costa, NCL). Oceania was a step up. In many aspects. From outside ... Read More
(I´m Swedish. More of a 2*-man, than 5*) Cruising ranks low, when I plan holidays. Nevertheless I now and then cruise. Hithertho always with different lines (RCCL,HAL, Costa, NCL). Oceania was a step up. In many aspects. From outside Nautica looks rather plain. Inside impressing. Beautiful public areas, cabins, and dining rooms. I was very surprised that on this little ship had more space for myself outside my cabin, than on any of the three to five times larger ships I have been on. You could always find place to sit wherever you wanted. Now bit for bit: 1. Standard balcony cabin. Very, very attractive. I loved it. Really not large, but enough for us. Especially the bathroom gave limited space. But I prefer that than an even smaller cabin. The beds 110%. From hell to heaven compared to NCL, with their sweaty pillows. Free non-alcoholic in the fridge. The TV was an example of the opposite to HD. But that I count out. A tip: Try to get a cabin where you move forward sitting in the sofa. Not for example our 6025. 2. Public areas gave astonishing space. Used to crowded rooms on other ships. Elegant everywhere. 3. Sundeck: Lots of extremly comfortable sunbeds. Always empty available. Pool very small. The 2 bubble-pools very popular. 4. Walking-track very short. But it was so wide, that you could even jogg, same time lots of walkers were there. Strange: All the much larger ships I cruised on, gave less opportunity for jogging. 5. Gym. Super. 6. Dining: The dishes always served hot. And tasty. Especially in Toscana. Our favorite. The only dissappointment was the steaks in Polo-grill. But perhaps americans like that kind of meat. Thick and absolutely non-tasting. Second to Toscana, we prefered the self-service Terrace-café. Nice to see what you put on your plate. Wines: The cheap ones were not cheap, neither good. The more expensive were ok, but far too expensive. And the offered packages were also very high-priced. Stay sober on Nautica. Or drink in yuor cabin. (Bottles allowed to bring aboard.) 7. Bars: drinks very expensive, and contained only ice and soft drinks. Perhaps a hint of alcoholic. I took one, and just laughed. 8. Evening-shows: Very high standard for such a small ship. And varied. 9. Day-lectures in the theatre: Don Campell talked around the history in ports to arrive. For me, and I believe for many others, this was the best hours on the cruise. I will never forget him. And his lectures. 10. Excursions. We took 5. That was exactly 5 too many. Guides, dull, duller, or even duller. We envy those smart people who went out on their own in every port. 11. Staff: On former cruises they have been very nice. Here they were fantactic. As I began, I´m not a cruiser. But if I cruise again, it will be on a ship of this size. Worth every extra buck you pay. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on board, including the GM, CD and many of the officers and staff. Putting Insignia back in service with the company going from 3 ships to 5 ships and a doubling of the capacity has put a strain on staff and management. Embarkation: Was smooth an efficient. At 1pm, we were on the ship and in our cabin in 15 minutes from reaching the port. Safety Drill: Muster stations are in the GDR and Lounge. The first drill (we had two) was total CHAOS. After the drill we complained and had a one on one with the ships safety officer. The 2nd one was better organized. Stateroom: We had a PH2 category and have had this several times. The cabin is rather small for a PH but was adequate. The new decor was definitely an improvement (lighter colors). Of course the bed and linens on Oceania are the best of any cruise line. Food: We ate at all of the venues. The GDR was good and service was acceptable. Toscana was also good. However POLO was the worse. All of the steaks we had were horrible. Tasteless lumps of meat. We complained several times and there was no improvement. The Terrace was actually the best we had on on many cruises. The addition of the Grill is a plus. We did have an issue at the beginning -- no Lamp Chops, but Head Chef Maarten quickly resolved that. The coffee in the Terrace was just plain horrible. The espresso/cappuccino machine was constantly broken. Eventually about 2/3 into the cruise they put a Barista machine and were making the espresso's manually for those that wanted them. Service: Service was spotty in the GDR. However otherwise service throughout the ship was excellent. Our housekeeper was friendly and efficient. Our Butler Janos was the best we have had! CD: As some others posted O is having issues with their CD's. Many have left and the new hires like "Bob" did not work out and was fired in mid cruise. So we were left without a CD until the end when Nolan Dean came aboard in Iceland. Nolan was first class.and we liked his English sense of humor. Tours: We only took one "O" tour as we like our private tours. The one we did take the "Titanic Trail" was poorly organized and overpriced. We had a tour scheduled at the pump house in Belfast shipyard and the guide was 45 minutes late. Baristas: The new coffee bar in former Grand Bar area was definitely a hit. The Baristas generally knew in mid cruise what we were going to order. Disembarkation: We had an early departure from Gatwick so need to get off the ship by 9AM. We did at the head of the queue to leave and was delayed until all of the luggage was unloaded. Sort of defeats the idea or need to do a n early departure with towing our own luggage. We made our flight with time to spare. Overall gave the cruise 4* --if Polo was better it would have gotten *5. Oceania needs to fix these specialty restaurant issues (We were not the only ones to complain). Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
After many cruises with Oceania, this cruise was a large disappointment. To summarize: This cruise being 20 days with 8 days at sea plus another day with port arrival at 4 pm, we were assured by Oceania there would be a bridge director on ... Read More
After many cruises with Oceania, this cruise was a large disappointment. To summarize: This cruise being 20 days with 8 days at sea plus another day with port arrival at 4 pm, we were assured by Oceania there would be a bridge director on board, with instruction and duplicate play. It turned out they did not deliver on a firm promise. There were 30 to 40 irate bridge players on the ship the first day at sea. The food was generally good but not nearly up to what we experienced on Oceania before. Wait staff was inexperienced and untrained to the point of being comical at times. The cruise director was either fired or quit shortly after sailing off, so about half the cruise there was no cruise director. The lectures were not at all related to the itinerary. Shore excursion were terribly overpriced. After over 20 odd cruises, I have never been on a cruise where there were so many disgruntled passengers.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were traveling a two mature couples who have taken twelve cruises in the last 10 or so years. We booked with Oceania because we were told they had wonderful food and great service but were a little less expensive than Seabourn. As it ... Read More
We were traveling a two mature couples who have taken twelve cruises in the last 10 or so years. We booked with Oceania because we were told they had wonderful food and great service but were a little less expensive than Seabourn. As it turned out it wasn't any less expensive. I am writing this review without comparing it to our other experiences but based on what I would expect at a reasonably good hotel or restaurant. Everyday in your Currents they give you a menu for the next days dining. So all day you think about what you're going to have for dinner, then you get to the Grand Dining room and it turns out they put the wrong menu in the newsletter. This happened more than once! More often than not the food was luke warm to cool when it arrived at the table. Lunch or Dinner in the Terrace Café was like eating in a cafeteria and the food wasn't very good except for the soups. The scrambled eggs were awful! One night when everyone was to come to the show before dinner they only had one bartender for 400 people. The waiters and bartenders were pleasant but under staffed in general. We had purchased the unlimited drink package because we didn't want to deal with signing tickets all the time. In Toscana we offered our cards to the wine steward as soon as we ordered a glass of wine and she said she didn't need them but then It was a issue and she was rude at the end of the meal because she had accounted for our wine in the wrong way. It was our traveling companions 40th anniversary which our travel agent had noted on the reservation and nothing was done for it until we were so disappointed when they didn't have lamb (the menu in the Currents listed lamb as an entrée) the night we were celebrating. The waiter brought out a cake and a couple of them sang. Our ports of call were wonderful and the tours were very good and well run. All of the guides were pleasant, easy to understand and informative. The entertainment was nice but not memorable. We didn't do any spa services because you can't book prior to boarding the ship. Possibly you can if you are in a very expensive cabin. On this ship I truly did feel like there was a "class" system". We opted to take a taxi to our hotel in Stockholm instead of using the ships expensive transportation. It was obvious that a lot of us chose that option, there were hundreds of us in a confusing snaking line waiting for a taxi. Instead of telling us we could leave anytime before 9:00 they had everyone who was taking a taxi leave at the same time. Lots of unhappy people! In summary the ports were wonderful, but the four of us won't be cruising with Oceania again, we're going back to Viking, Holland American and Seabourn.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East Africa to Capetown. I've read some of the very unflattering reviews of the restaurants, that was not our experience at all. It's tough not to repeat some menu items over a 30 day period in part of third world countries. Fresh giant tuna were bought fresh on the pier in the Maldives, we saw them bringing them in. Cold food was never a concern. We rarely ate at the buffet, why would you when the dining room service was very good, if not at times excellent. The Senior staff knew our names within a few days, Marina one of the captains had our decaf lattes ready at the drop of a hat. I honestly would say that there are probably going to be changes in the food once NCL get up and running with the line. That could be a problem. The staffing did seem a little my shy than usual on Oceania. One review called the dining room breakfast boring, how can Eggs Benedict be boring every day??? Just the fact it was available everyday was joy! And there was a different special every morning. But the pastries were heaven, baked fresh every day, I wish I knew where in the US to get a chocolate croissant like those. And the poolside grill with Surf & Turf sandwiches with truffle fries were great! I am in the food and wine business, so critical. The wine list is poor at best, and overpriced regarding quality. Our room was another matter. It was very large as it was a "Handicap Accessible" room. It could have used a little facelift. But considering the ocean temp was 88 degrees, the humidity was unbelieveable. People didn't use their balcony's, it was too hot. Not Oceanias fault. Last one in the category, inside. the aircon ran 24/7, and it never got above 69 degrees in the room. I did come down with a bronchial issue. But our stewardess Alexsandra was amazing. Always ice and our preferred sodas. What is never mentioned is Oceania looks the other way about bringing on your own alcohol. We never took the Oceania excursions, they are expensive. I worked with great travelers on Cruise Critic and we arranged super tours on our own, and made great friends that I'm sure we'll see again. We did have to bypass Mombasa, it too was on the bucket list, but there were terrorist threats, and the American Embassy closed, not a good sign. so we spent an extra day in the Seychelles, a great trade off. They were very unspoiled, with beautiful beaches. We brought our own snorkel gear so we were very flexible. Nautica is a small ship, no big theatre. No big production shows. The staff entertainment were great, and you got to know them, they also ran all the activities onboard. They were great fun, we won lots of points for prizes at the end. My husband also did quite well at the Texas Hold'm games on sea days, kept him happy! I did Trivia with a raucous bunch. The Cruise Director Julie James was one of the best directors ever!! all in all it was a long trip. What is the hardest was the 40 hour door to door return from Capetown, but there's no other way to go that far. Our biggest complaint was Emirates Air, won't fly them again!! Ever!! It was an 8800 mile sea voyage, smooth for the most part, and the best time of year to go. It wasn't cheap, but I am afraid what will happen with the NCL takeover. Eastern Africa is not ready for tourism yet. Mozambique and Madagascar are big, crowded Third world cities. 60% unemployment, 7th grade free education. No cute animal running around. People looked at us differently, like all tourists are wealthy, and they looked envious at our cameras that were common to Americans as costing a year wages for some of them. We did see some amazing sights, Zebras roaming a winery pasture. A half day safari in Richards Bay. Beautiful fish seen from standing on the pier, the water as so clear. So read between the lines of all reviews, did we get what we paid for? Maybe...but we were safe where we needed to be safe, and the food was good. Read Less
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
Sail Date November 2014
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's ... Read More
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's sale quality is gone & they are penny pinching. The one constant was the high quality meat brought in from USA. The menu repeated many times & desserts were ordinarily awful,food served cold.Very difficult to get restaurant RSV & then shocked to see they were usually only 1/2 full or had no turnover. The breakfasts were boring same buffet -they even lied to me & told me I have been eating chicken or beef sausage when it was pork which I can't eat ! They have a platter of umpteen kinds of herring but only 1 choice of cheese.Some got sick from hollandaise.Free juices were a cheap sugary or watered down premix.Boring old style low end lunches from the 60's. Excursions were double the cost & terribly organized. Many mistakes & they don't refund even when they break the contract. One tour we had a broken down bus with broken mike so no air or commentary. People got sick yet they did nothing. The staff was disgusting-same unprofessional male tour staffer Bus 11 or others never even offering elderly their seat in another bus.Brazilian guy at tour desk even yelled at me when they charged me for a tour I never ordered. Check your statements.Even when they knew about error the onus is on you w no apologies.Don't expect service or kindness if you are disabled. One friend in wheelchair was bowled over even though he was the 1st waiting for shuttle-they did nothing,bus filled & it went without him. If u ask for reserved seating no one checks & regular folks sit in rsv without being told to move. One man with 2 walking sticks was pushed to back of the bus.There were no activities, culture shows, history lectures,local entertainment. Night shows very average & cheap out dated programs with minimal costumes.Best were 4 nights of 2 broadway actors.The lighting was unprofessional & minimum band opportunities for passengers to dance. Social Staff also clueless-no variety or imagination. The pool deck party had NO decorations or food. Dead ship, no fun, no one in casino or lounges. The only good thing was the wonderful hard working staff, Without them they have a ghost ship ! Try Princess for better value .organization,professionalism & fun activities, Choose Seaborne in same price bracket with more class,food creative quality fine modern dining & amazing caring tour operators. They even reimbursed us for our private tour because they arrived late in port & we missed the train to town.There was no PA commentary on interesting things when arriving or departing a port. no music or siting info.One night the captain didn't warn that we were entering current yet he was dining when the boat made a huge tilted lurch-staff were even caught off guard. Very scary yet no one cared to calm nerves.They never had water or juice, cold towels at gangplank upon return in 90-100degree temp or welcome at embarkation..Not one flower on any dining table. No colourful decorations on buffet or serving counters.This company thinks highly educated affluent won't notice this minimalism. Don't waste your money because Oceania isn't using it for much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Other than being disappointed by Oceania once again taking two ports off the cruise as we were cruising the trip was amazing! We were supposed to stop in Cyprus and one additional stop in Egypt. VERY disappointed that we didn't. The ... Read More
Other than being disappointed by Oceania once again taking two ports off the cruise as we were cruising the trip was amazing! We were supposed to stop in Cyprus and one additional stop in Egypt. VERY disappointed that we didn't. The cruise line told us it was due to weather but we know that over 30 guests missed flights and so the ship stayed another night in Istanbul to save themselves money. I'm certain that guests would have understood had they told the truth. Had I been one of the people who had our flight delayed I would have appreciated the cruise line waiting. Knowing that we were lied to put a damper on the beginning of the cruise then later when we were again told that we wouldn't stop at a port in Egypt we wondered what the real reason was. This isn't the first time Oceania has done this. Every cruise we have been on with them they have eliminated at least one port....to save money?? When you sign up with a cruise line you expect to stop at all the ports you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My ... Read More
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My mother usually travelled the higher class cruise lines so Oceania I felt would be OK. FIRST: The first day on the ship I like to get everything in order like the internet set up, extra dinners and check on excursions. I booked our trip directly with an Oceania representative who had told me my mother and I had 200 free minutes each. The internet girl on the ship was very nice, but said I had to talk to the front desk. The front desk said I had to talk to the Concierge desk. I spoke to the Concierge and he informs me there is nothing he can do. I asked him if he would let me check my e-mail and I could give him the name of the Oceania representative. He told me I could not use his computer and would have to pay the internet center to check my e-mail. He spoke to me insisting that there was nothing he could do and he would check with the home office on Monday and this was Friday. He did not raise his voice, but he was extremely arrogant. He told me how long he had been with Oceania and basically I was out of luck. I had never been treated like this before. I was tired and got teary eyed which is very unlike me. When I got back to the room, my mother said she was surprised someone would treat a passenger this way. The next day I went to the internet department and the girl allowed me to use her computer to check to see who my Oceania Representative was. I then went down to the Concierge and told him her name and he had already found it and sent her an email. He never bothered to call my stateroom to let me know. He e-mailed her and she said she did not give us any free internet minutes. I was upset and asked to see her e-mail. He would not show it to me. This man lacked any form of customer service. I then asked him to leave a message for the General Manager. The GM called me 2 days later and only after I said something to the front desk. The GM said he would have to check with the home office who said NO, but after 4 days the GM decided to give us the internet minutes. Why would anyone let a customer go through this ordeal. I did write the Oceania Representative and the Oceania main e-mail line. The representative said she had not given us 200 minutes. I could not believe it. SECOND: When we were on the pre tour in Dubai my mother and I were suppose to have 2 beds. They told us they did not have any available. Keep in mind we booked this trip in July 2014. They said they would give me a roll a away bed which was so uncomfortable and an upgraded room that included a larger closet. Why would we need a bigger closet when we were there for 3 nights and lived out of our suitcase?? We did have a king bed in the room, but my mother likes to sleep alone. Meanwhile when I got on the ship, I was exhausted. THIRD: It took my mother and I two hours to eat at a two person table. The servers we had acted like they did not know what they were doing. The food was cold most of time so we decided to eat in the Café most nights. The Café was excellent and the food was hot. FOURTH: The excursion desk/personnel were not organized. They did not solve our issues and many other peoples issues. This was the talk on the ship. They just said they had to check with the Home Office and then nothing was done. There were times the excursions were just bad. FIFTH: Before the cruise our Oceania Representative suggested we book a hotel room in Capetown because there were no excursions set up yet. My mother is 86 years old so waiting in the airport all day was not an option. The Oceania Representative said we could change it after they posted excursions. I asked the excursion desk about Capetown excursions and they said they would know sometime in the middle of the cruise. When the excursions came out, I tried to book one and was told I had to cancel the hotel 45 days before the cruise began. I was never told this. In fact, I was told the opposite. They said they would check with the Home Office and they said NO. Meanwhile we paid over $300 each for the hotel room. We had met a nice couple who had booked a private car through Oceania. They asked us to join them, but we would now need a van to accommodate all the luggage. We paid $200 each for this 4 hour excursion in Capetown. The excursion desk said it would be easier for them if we would pay the couple we met directly and they would charge them the full price. This is what we did. SIXTH: The ship had been remodeled, but the bathrooms were not. All they did in our stateroom was caulk over the mildew. After a few showers, the caulking started to drop off. The drain in the bathroom constantly smelled. They said they tried to do something, but it did not work. On a thirty day cruise this is unacceptable. OVERALL my experience on Oceania's Nautica was not worth the expense of what is suppose to be an upscale cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the cars getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? They did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the car getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? It did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
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

Find a Nautica Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click