This is our first cruise on an R-class ship. Our previous cruises were on the larger O-class. Pre-cruise communications from Oceania were abysmal. A lot of uncertainties and confusion with regards to things like yellow fever vaccination, Mozambique visa, the special discounted $99 pre-cruise tours, etc. And different travel agents have different and conflicting information from Oceania. Boarding was at the Cape Town Cruise Ship Terminal, which is a short walk from the V&A waterfront. The terminal resembles a warehouse without any real facilities to speak of. You leave your luggage at one end of the building and proceed to fill out health questionnaires and immigration forms. Need to fill out South Africa departure form and Namibia form...this is because the routing of the cruise was reversed (presumably to avoid having to compete for resources with the Regent ship which has the exact same itinerary). So we will be sailing away from South Africa and head towards Walvis Bay instead. As it turned out, this happen to be advantageous to us. The Regent was unable to dock nor tender at Richard's Bay and missed the port. In general, boarding went quite smoothly. After the face-to-face immigration with some really friendly immigration officers and security check, we took a really short shuttle to the Nautica. Once on-board, we were directed to the Nautica lounge to finish off the check-in process. As expected, the R-class ship is definitely a lot smaller. Layout of the ship felt familiar, just on a much smaller scale when compared to the O-class. The stateroom is comparable with an excellent bed, good pillows and lots of space for storage. The bathroom, however, is a bit on the cramped-side. Perhaps this is to be expected from a ship launched 15 years ago as it is indeed comparable to some of the older Royal Caribbean ships with its shower curtain, etc...or perhaps we are just spoiled by the really lovely O-class bathrooms as well as on the newer Celebrity Solstice-class ships. Food at Polo and Toscana were very good and since the menu is the same, we got to enjoy some of our favorite dishes again. The steaks at Polo were excellent and cooked to the temperatures that we had requested (rare and medium-rare). Portions were still huge though as the smallest piece of steak (filet mignon) is 7-oz and it looked much bigger than that when it came. The Maine lobsters were also gigantic with 3-4 inch claws and steamed perfectly. Service was excellent and proficient. We were also quite pleased with the food in the MDR. A lot of familiar dishes that were cooked and presented very well. Dishes were not stacked like a tower from the kitchen which can sometimes affect the presentation. There were also dishes from Red Ginger and Jacques every evening (one main course from each). The famous miso glazed sea bass from Red Ginger was available on several nights and it was prepared perfectly. It would be nice if we were also offered an appetizer choice from Red Ginger as well...would love to have the watermelon and duck salad on the Nautica...hint-hint-wink-wink. Service was generally really good and we were usually done with dinner in 1.5-2 hours (we usually dine at 6:30-7pm with 3-4 courses in a shared table of 4-6 persons). A quick note on the wine stewards as We also brought on-board a number of excellent wines from Stellenbosch. A couple of them seemed to be rather "unhappy" that we brought our own wines. Even though we were happy to pay the corkage fees, perhaps these two individuals felt insulted that we did not bother to consult with them on the proper pairing with the food based on the Oceania wine list... The addition of the Barista coffee bar was also great for coffee lovers and provided an excellent location for some quick snacks (pastry, cookies, finger sandwiches, etc...) We were also quite pleased that the Captain managed to get us to all the ports at the scheduled times and even managed to get us in port a few hours early in a few ports. We had heard stories from a similar itinerary in 2014 where the ship were very off-schedule in many of the ports. This made our privately-arrange game drives easier to manage. And we also did not missed our tee-times at a couple of ports where we went golfing. Perhaps it was a combination of the speed we were going, plus the relatively small size of Nautica and the generally more "turbulent" ocean in this part of the world, we did feel that there was a lot more motion when compared to the O-class...that is likely to be expected... Disembarkation was also excellent. We got off the ship at 9am, which we requested when we filled out the disembarkation questionnaire, collected our luggage from the really small "terminal" since we were docked at the jetty right across from the Table Bay Hotel and had a short walk to the gate to catch a taxi.

First Cruise on an R Class Ship

Nautica Cruise Review by ipoh

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2015
  • Destination: Africa
This is our first cruise on an R-class ship. Our previous cruises were on the larger O-class.

Pre-cruise communications from Oceania were abysmal. A lot of uncertainties and confusion with regards to things like yellow fever vaccination, Mozambique visa, the special discounted $99 pre-cruise tours, etc. And different travel agents have different and conflicting information from Oceania.

Boarding was at the Cape Town Cruise Ship Terminal, which is a short walk from the V&A waterfront. The terminal resembles a warehouse without any real facilities to speak of. You leave your luggage at one end of the building and proceed to fill out health questionnaires and immigration forms. Need to fill out South Africa departure form and Namibia form...this is because the routing of the cruise was reversed (presumably to avoid having to compete for resources with the Regent ship which has the exact same itinerary). So we will be sailing away from South Africa and head towards Walvis Bay instead. As it turned out, this happen to be advantageous to us. The Regent was unable to dock nor tender at Richard's Bay and missed the port. In general, boarding went quite smoothly. After the face-to-face immigration with some really friendly immigration officers and security check, we took a really short shuttle to the Nautica. Once on-board, we were directed to the Nautica lounge to finish off the check-in process.

As expected, the R-class ship is definitely a lot smaller. Layout of the ship felt familiar, just on a much smaller scale when compared to the O-class. The stateroom is comparable with an excellent bed, good pillows and lots of space for storage. The bathroom, however, is a bit on the cramped-side. Perhaps this is to be expected from a ship launched 15 years ago as it is indeed comparable to some of the older Royal Caribbean ships with its shower curtain, etc...or perhaps we are just spoiled by the really lovely O-class bathrooms as well as on the newer Celebrity Solstice-class ships.

Food at Polo and Toscana were very good and since the menu is the same, we got to enjoy some of our favorite dishes again. The steaks at Polo were excellent and cooked to the temperatures that we had requested (rare and medium-rare). Portions were still huge though as the smallest piece of steak (filet mignon) is 7-oz and it looked much bigger than that when it came. The Maine lobsters were also gigantic with 3-4 inch claws and steamed perfectly. Service was excellent and proficient.

We were also quite pleased with the food in the MDR. A lot of familiar dishes that were cooked and presented very well. Dishes were not stacked like a tower from the kitchen which can sometimes affect the presentation. There were also dishes from Red Ginger and Jacques every evening (one main course from each). The famous miso glazed sea bass from Red Ginger was available on several nights and it was prepared perfectly. It would be nice if we were also offered an appetizer choice from Red Ginger as well...would love to have the watermelon and duck salad on the Nautica...hint-hint-wink-wink. Service was generally really good and we were usually done with dinner in 1.5-2 hours (we usually dine at 6:30-7pm with 3-4 courses in a shared table of 4-6 persons).

A quick note on the wine stewards as We also brought on-board a number of excellent wines from Stellenbosch. A couple of them seemed to be rather "unhappy" that we brought our own wines. Even though we were happy to pay the corkage fees, perhaps these two individuals felt insulted that we did not bother to consult with them on the proper pairing with the food based on the Oceania wine list...

The addition of the Barista coffee bar was also great for coffee lovers and provided an excellent location for some quick snacks (pastry, cookies, finger sandwiches, etc...)

We were also quite pleased that the Captain managed to get us to all the ports at the scheduled times and even managed to get us in port a few hours early in a few ports. We had heard stories from a similar itinerary in 2014 where the ship were very off-schedule in many of the ports. This made our privately-arrange game drives easier to manage. And we also did not missed our tee-times at a couple of ports where we went golfing. Perhaps it was a combination of the speed we were going, plus the relatively small size of Nautica and the generally more "turbulent" ocean in this part of the world, we did feel that there was a lot more motion when compared to the O-class...that is likely to be expected...

Disembarkation was also excellent. We got off the ship at 9am, which we requested when we filled out the disembarkation questionnaire, collected our luggage from the really small "terminal" since we were docked at the jetty right across from the Table Bay Hotel and had a short walk to the gate to catch a taxi.
ipoh’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Oceania Nautica price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email