I fell in love with Oceania in 2013 on the Marina going from Sydney to Papeete (and have never seen that same itinerary again); which was glorious. The staff knew our names within the first few days, the rooms were spacious (granted, we ... Read More
I fell in love with Oceania in 2013 on the Marina going from Sydney to Papeete (and have never seen that same itinerary again); which was glorious. The staff knew our names within the first few days, the rooms were spacious (granted, we had concierge level with normal sized bathrooms with tubs; as I said, it was glorious).
The following year, we went on the Riviera to the Caribbean. Still enjoyed the rooms, most of the staff knew us in the first week...
Then we went on a Mayan cruise, again on the Riviera... staff never knew our names...
Not sure when ownership has changed, or what has made each trip slightly more disappointing, but this last trip is likely our last with Oceania for awhile. Nothing terrible, but for what we pay, for what we were treated to the first cruise, it's time to try other lines and see. And book our own guides; without question. NEVER will we book excursions through Oceania (just like we will NEVER book our flights through Oceania either - learned the very hard way).
Yes, the Nautical is smaller than the Riviera and Marina... and it felt like it. The cabin space was much tighter (Concierge, Deck 7), the bathroom was shockingly tiny - barely bigger than an airline toilet, except stick a one person shower in.
Fewer passengers, more attention by staff? No, not really. Very hit and miss. The first few days, we wondered if we were on the same line as we'd been before, as we were frequently ignored by staff, particularly in the Terrace Cafe (which is often very crowded, and as it's smaller, you are forced to push through the middle to get anywhere) as we would sit and sit, waiting to be approached, and then once we finished our food, our plates sat for some time. At one point someone in our party asked the server if she could please get a smoothie that we saw someone else had at another table. "You have to go outside to Waves Grill to get a smoothie; we don't have them here." Huh? We know where they're made; and not to sound spoiled, but again, the level of service which we were treated to initially ("of course I will get one for you; which flavor would you like?"), this was a bit shocking. One elderly member of our party, who had been helped instantly in the past with carrying her plates from the buffet to her table, was frequently brushed by staff hurrying to get by.
On occasion in the dining room (the GRAND DINING ROOM!!), we literally set our timers to see how long it would take the waiters to remove our dishes from our finished main courses. 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes, we sat, as waiters and assistants bustled around us, filling glasses at the tables around us, as well as changing the table clothes at the other TWO EMPTY tables near us. The maitre d' even passed by, asking all the OTHER tables how their meal was... and turned his head as he passed by us. We figured we were in the invisible zone. It was bizarre.
THEN. We complained. We expressed our disappointment, and frankly, surprise, at the low level of service. We were not angry, merely saddened by the decline in service.
Like a magic wand had been waved (or, a memo went out to everyone?), BAM! From that point on, we were greeted by name, someone appeared to help with carrying plates, asked if we would like this or that... it was a complete 180; it was lovely. And it was much appreciated. But - why did it take us complaining?
I can only say great things about the housekeeping and room service staff; always they were delightful and followed through on any request.
The shows? Meh. Not my type. Again, I get it's not a big ship. I'm not interested in a Broadway or Vegas show, but I'm also not interested in cheesy glitz and spotlight singers (not much depth). Again, the first cruise, the comedians in particular, were fantastic. This time, old jokes, tried and ... acceptable. No big laughs. Talented singers and dancers, but, felt like I was watching a grad revue.
Excursions - from ok to awful. Too much of a costly risk to ever do again. The best, was our guide in Kusadasi, who actually did what I asked... to have patience with some of us, as we might be a bit slow, but we will do what we can to keep up, and she made sure she went at a reasonable pace that we could, but more so, frequently asked if we were ok, if the pace was ok, and if we had any questions or could here ok. Much appreciated.
The worst? Getting on a brand new bus in Cyprus, the guide, whom again I asked to please keep an eye out for our slower group etc., only to realize hours later that the A/C on the bus did not work. Never. Did our guide call for another bus? No. Did she wait for those of us in my party? No. She didn't wait for anyone. Some could not make the steps into the amphitheater at one of the ruins, so they waited in a shady spot while the rest of us went. As we left the site, the person who hadn't gone asked, "what is that building?" as we passed by the other side of the amphitheater, and over the mic for all to hear, the guide snapped "it's the AMPHITHEATER!? Where we JUST WERE?!" Um, not all of us were, including the person who just asked that question. When we arrived at the old village, she popped off the bus and starting walking briskly, never pointing out the bathrooms that many of us needed. The bus driver showed me. I yelled out to another member of my party who was practically running to catch her to ask about the bathrooms, to let him know they were back here... I caught up to them, and the guide said, "Did something happen? I heard yelling." I replied "I was trying to get yours and others' attention to point out the bathrooms that you just walked by, as I know some of us need them." She responded, "Oh. Is that it? Can I go on then?" "Yeah, sure. You go on." And off she went. We sat around on our own, doing a bit of wandering, but not too much as to get lost... very disappointing.
Overall: Ok. And if I'm paying this much, to go away for this long, I want better than OK. Read Less