We like small ships and river cruises so Oceania was a preference over larger ships to see these locations. Verandah stateroom was roomy enough although bathroom and shower were small (not a surprise if you follow Cruise Critic). MDR food was good although we could not say it was head & shoulders above everyone else, as some would have us believe. Both specialty restaurants were better - we enjoyed the extra attention and quality of food. Polo Grill was our preference over Toscana.
We found Nautica to be a good blend of the 'large ship' (specialty restaurants, casino, library, etc) and the 'small ship' (easy on and off at all times). However, other than the enrichment lectures, the rest of the on-board activities were the usual mundane mix - I would have expected better from Oceania. Staff was the usual multi-national mix. All were competent but only a few were genuinely engaging. Captain Max was excellent - personable, informative and funny. David was a competent but not terribly warm cruise director.
Oceania lived up to its reputation for having a relaxed attitude to bringing wine and beer on board for in-cabin consumption and we certainly appreciated this sensible approach compared to some of the large cruise lines.
The only Oceania shore excursion I thought was 'value for money' was to Ypres and Flanders Fields Museum and I recognize that has to be an individual interest. We used Alla Tours for their 2 day grand tour in St Petersburg and would recommend it to all. Thanks to our Cruise Critic roll call, we had set up private tours in both Tallinn and Visby. These were our highlights - great local guides and small groups of 12-14. This is the way to go if you are lucky enough to have a go-getter in your group (thanks, 2skis).
Evening entertainment was better than we had expected, both in quality and variety, for a ship this size - no complaints here. The 3 enrichment lectures by Brian Unger were excellent - too bad he couldn't stay on board for more.
Some guests swear by Oceania and were on their 6th cruise or more. We have no problems travelling with them again but were not sufficiently wowed to select Oceania to the exclusion of everyone else. Free shore excursions, ship board credits and internet made this one good value for money, but who knows next time.
Perfectly adequate living area, good beds, just enough balcony for 4 (if you are good friends).
Ship shows its age around the balcony doors, etc. - e.g. rust.
Cramped entrance way with bathroom door and closet doors. We found lots of drawer and cupboard space and also used suitcases under the bed.
Bathroom is cramped and shower stall would be very tight for larger people.
We arrived 2 days before embarkation and were lucky with excellent weather. Lots to see and do (boat cruises, hop-on, hop-off buses, Tivoli Gardens, etc.). I would highly recommend extra days in Copenhagen if you have the chance.
Quite forgettable other than the Rock Church.View All 193 City Tour Reviews
Small group of 16, excellent guide, well organized 2 days which allowed us to see everything in St Petersburg at better value than cruise line options.
Old Town was interesting but not memorable. After St Petersburg, you don't need to see any more royal palaces.View All 54 Stockholm Old Town Tour Reviews
A member of our Cruise Critic roll call arranged a private tour for 14 of us. This ended up being a highlight for all. Beautiful, picturesque old town and a remarkably good young woman as our tour guide. Then lunch on our own in the town square and a stroll back through the streets to the ship.
Fortunately, weather was excellent and Nautica docked in Visby rather than tendered as we expected. Another independent tour arranged through our Cruise Critic roll call group. Very good walking tour with lots of history, personal experiences and yarns along the way. An easy stroll to and from the ship to the town centre.
Bus ride there and back but frankly nothing much in Rostock. Not recommended.View All 25 Rostock Walking Tour Reviews
Quite comprehensive. Bus tour to start, including a windmill visit then a very good commentary on canal boat ride. We liked the opportunity to be dropped off in the city and make our own way back to the ship late afternoon.View All 148 City Tour Reviews
Ypres and Flanders Fields. For anyone with an interest in WW1, this was an excellent experience with a knowledgeable guide who spoke from the heart. Tyne Cot cemetery, Menin Gate, Flanders Field Museum, Essex Farm Cemetery and John McCrae memorial.