I travel with my daughter who was 17 at the time of this cruise. This was our 8th cruise. Our cruise experience is broad and we have sailed on ships ranging from moderate to luxury, from Alaska to the Baltics. This cruise embarked in Venice. We booked everything ourselves including airfare and hotels. We stayed at the Hotel American in Venice and it was great. We arrived 4 days early to see Venice and that was more than enough time. Very crowded and expensive but you've got to see it at least once. Food in Venice is outstanding everywhere. Embarkation was the first time we ever heard the phrase "they don't work for Oceania" and we heard it plenty of times through out the cruise as an excuse for poor service. embarkation was confusing, we were herded all over the cruise terminal for no apparent reason. ONce on board we were told 'they don't work for Oceania and we have no control.' Once on board, the ship is lovely. Our stateroom was clean but no featherbeds, etc. Stateroom service was excellent. They leave bottled water in your stateroom and charge for it. There were two bottles of wine in our cabin with no card. I called the steward and they had no idea why the wine was there. There was no corkscrew. Turns out the travel agent sent it. It was Oceanias label, and when we took it to the dining room the first night they wanted to charge a $15 corkage fee. The wine steward offered to open it if I took it immediately back to the room. Our waiter told me that the wine servers are a different company and don't work for Oceania, hence they won't do anything for free (or even for good will). Dining is fine aboard the Oceania and the steak house was the best. We ate one night in the italian restaurant and thought we would die of old age getting service. The food there was mediocre. Everyplace else was terrific and the waitstaff was very friendly and efficient. The best place to eat on the ship is the buffet and eat outside looking off the back of the ship. Ordering wine here was difficult, waiting forever for a glass of wine that comes at the end of the meal. I complained to the buffet manager and he said they have no control as the wine people are independent contractors. So, the pool was very nice and they have double loungers. Not enough loungers and it was always crowded. Lots of people go out in the morning and put their stuff on the loungers and my daughter and I were actually yelled at by a man was saving loungers for his family members who still had two hours of bingo before they would come out! The poolside bar was nice and there were plenty of waiters to bring you drinks. EXCEPT, if you want a beer and a water and a coke, they will only bring you the alcoholic drink and you have to get the coke and water from someone else because THEY ARE A SEPARATE COMPANY! Shore excursions: book your own ahead of time. There were three people working the shore excursion desk and with one exception they were the most surly people on the ship!! Guess what?? They are also a separate, independent contractor. At one stop, I pointed out the window to a small town on the shore that was a few miles away from where the tenders landed and asked what town that was. The shore excursion lady wouldn't turn to look out the window; she shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't know. The guy in line behind me laughed out loud and said how could she not, she sent a tour there. We have cruised enough to know that it is best to book our own excursions. Having said that, we had such fabulous tours when we cruised with Crystal in the Baltics that we thought we would have the same experience with Oceania. WRONG. We took the ships excursion to Rome; get yourself a private car and don't spend so much time in a bus and waiting around. On the drive to rome we spent nearly an hour at a roadside stop for a bathroom break, clearly the idea was to have people spend money there. We took the ship excursion to Pompeii; it was a half day tour and we spent exactly one hour touring the ruins. The tour guide was terrible; go yourself and spend more time because the ruins are extensive and there is more to see than the 3 places that every tour is trying to see at the same time.They did not offer a longer tour to Pompeii. If you go to Marseilles, do not stay in town. Take the train to Provence, or anywhere, but Marseilles is terrible. In Dubrovnik, take a taxi from the pier into town and do it yourself, was very easy. We were in Corfu for an afternoon and everything was shut down for the afternoon as usual. We hired a cabbie to drive us around the island; there is nothing to see there although there were some nice beach resorts that looked like they may be nice to come back to some time. As you leave the ship everyday, the crew tries to sell you water. Entertainment on the ship was much lower key than on other ships. This was fine with us because this cruise stopped every day except one and we were tired. There was also the most entertaining art auction I have ever seen!! This art company was apparently on its last cruise with Oceania and the lady running the show kept bitching about Oceania. They were taking the art off the walls all over the ship and trying to sell it. They took all the art off the staircases and left the wires and lighting dangling. What a mess! All over the ship, in the library and hall ways and dining rooms, the art was being stripped off the walls. So overall, it was a lovely ship with a great itinerary. Food was good and the wait staff was great. The wine people, the shore excursion people, the embarkation and disembarkation people and the art auction were all independent contractors and they were pretty much a big bunch of idiots. I have never paid that much for a cruise and I expected better. But now, let me tell you why I will never again sail with Oceania. They lost my luggage. I put our bags out the last night as we do on every cruise and the next day we were missing one of our bags; a medium duffel bag. We waited around for a couple of hours and were told by Oceania people on the dock that they would find it and deliver it to our hotel. We were spending the night in Barcelona and taking a flight out the next day. The luggage tags given to us by Oceania to put on our bags were marked with our hotel and our flight the next day. They said not to worry. The bag wasn't delivered to us at the hotel and to this day, 8 months later, we still don't have it. Do you know what Oceania headquarters said?? You got it!! 'They don't work for us and it's not our responsibility that your bag got lost.'They put me in touch with someone at the port in Barcelona that has our bag, but she stopped answering my emails. I have never had a cruise ship lose my luggage.

Nautica - Western Mediterranean

Nautica Cruise Review by ckh

Trip Details
I travel with my daughter who was 17 at the time of this cruise. This was our 8th cruise. Our cruise experience is broad and we have sailed on ships ranging from moderate to luxury, from Alaska to the Baltics. This cruise embarked in Venice. We booked everything ourselves including airfare and hotels. We stayed at the Hotel American in Venice and it was great. We arrived 4 days early to see Venice and that was more than enough time. Very crowded and expensive but you've got to see it at least once. Food in Venice is outstanding everywhere. Embarkation was the first time we ever heard the phrase "they don't work for Oceania" and we heard it plenty of times through out the cruise as an excuse for poor service. embarkation was confusing, we were herded all over the cruise terminal for no apparent reason. ONce on board we were told 'they don't work for Oceania and we have no control.' Once on board, the ship is lovely. Our stateroom was clean but no featherbeds, etc. Stateroom service was excellent. They leave bottled water in your stateroom and charge for it. There were two bottles of wine in our cabin with no card. I called the steward and they had no idea why the wine was there. There was no corkscrew. Turns out the travel agent sent it. It was Oceanias label, and when we took it to the dining room the first night they wanted to charge a $15 corkage fee. The wine steward offered to open it if I took it immediately back to the room. Our waiter told me that the wine servers are a different company and don't work for Oceania, hence they won't do anything for free (or even for good will). Dining is fine aboard the Oceania and the steak house was the best. We ate one night in the italian restaurant and thought we would die of old age getting service. The food there was mediocre. Everyplace else was terrific and the waitstaff was very friendly and efficient. The best place to eat on the ship is the buffet and eat outside looking off the back of the ship. Ordering wine here was difficult, waiting forever for a glass of wine that comes at the end of the meal. I complained to the buffet manager and he said they have no control as the wine people are independent contractors. So, the pool was very nice and they have double loungers. Not enough loungers and it was always crowded. Lots of people go out in the morning and put their stuff on the loungers and my daughter and I were actually yelled at by a man was saving loungers for his family members who still had two hours of bingo before they would come out! The poolside bar was nice and there were plenty of waiters to bring you drinks. EXCEPT, if you want a beer and a water and a coke, they will only bring you the alcoholic drink and you have to get the coke and water from someone else because THEY ARE A SEPARATE COMPANY! Shore excursions: book your own ahead of time. There were three people working the shore excursion desk and with one exception they were the most surly people on the ship!! Guess what?? They are also a separate, independent contractor. At one stop, I pointed out the window to a small town on the shore that was a few miles away from where the tenders landed and asked what town that was. The shore excursion lady wouldn't turn to look out the window; she shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't know. The guy in line behind me laughed out loud and said how could she not, she sent a tour there. We have cruised enough to know that it is best to book our own excursions. Having said that, we had such fabulous tours when we cruised with Crystal in the Baltics that we thought we would have the same experience with Oceania. WRONG. We took the ships excursion to Rome; get yourself a private car and don't spend so much time in a bus and waiting around. On the drive to rome we spent nearly an hour at a roadside stop for a bathroom break, clearly the idea was to have people spend money there. We took the ship excursion to Pompeii; it was a half day tour and we spent exactly one hour touring the ruins. The tour guide was terrible; go yourself and spend more time because the ruins are extensive and there is more to see than the 3 places that every tour is trying to see at the same time.They did not offer a longer tour to Pompeii. If you go to Marseilles, do not stay in town. Take the train to Provence, or anywhere, but Marseilles is terrible. In Dubrovnik, take a taxi from the pier into town and do it yourself, was very easy. We were in Corfu for an afternoon and everything was shut down for the afternoon as usual. We hired a cabbie to drive us around the island; there is nothing to see there although there were some nice beach resorts that looked like they may be nice to come back to some time. As you leave the ship everyday, the crew tries to sell you water. Entertainment on the ship was much lower key than on other ships. This was fine with us because this cruise stopped every day except one and we were tired. There was also the most entertaining art auction I have ever seen!! This art company was apparently on its last cruise with Oceania and the lady running the show kept bitching about Oceania. They were taking the art off the walls all over the ship and trying to sell it. They took all the art off the staircases and left the wires and lighting dangling. What a mess! All over the ship, in the library and hall ways and dining rooms, the art was being stripped off the walls. So overall, it was a lovely ship with a great itinerary. Food was good and the wait staff was great. The wine people, the shore excursion people, the embarkation and disembarkation people and the art auction were all independent contractors and they were pretty much a big bunch of idiots. I have never paid that much for a cruise and I expected better. But now, let me tell you why I will never again sail with Oceania. They lost my luggage. I put our bags out the last night as we do on every cruise and the next day we were missing one of our bags; a medium duffel bag. We waited around for a couple of hours and were told by Oceania people on the dock that they would find it and deliver it to our hotel. We were spending the night in Barcelona and taking a flight out the next day. The luggage tags given to us by Oceania to put on our bags were marked with our hotel and our flight the next day. They said not to worry. The bag wasn't delivered to us at the hotel and to this day, 8 months later, we still don't have it. Do you know what Oceania headquarters said?? You got it!! 'They don't work for us and it's not our responsibility that your bag got lost.'They put me in touch with someone at the port in Barcelona that has our bag, but she stopped answering my emails. I have never had a cruise ship lose my luggage.
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