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.