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.

Had a good time, but wouldn't do Africa again.

Nautica Cruise Review by CA Winediva

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Inside
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.
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin F 4028
We had an inside ADA cabin with a full bath tub. The room was larger than most with 36" ADA doors. The bathroom must have been 6X8...huge. It wan't a problem at all with no balcony because it was too hot and humid to use the balcony anyway.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins