The itinerary was the main reason for selecting this cruise. Also the boat is identical to an Azamara cruise we went on in the past which we absolutely loved. Plus Oceania was rated 1/2 star more "luxurious" than Azamara. I thought we couldn't go wrong. Post cruise: I feel the ratings are reversed. Azamara outshines Oceania for several reasons. First: Oceania charges for alcohol. OK, great. Seems cheap to me to charge for the basic package. Sure, charge for premium spirits and high-end wines, but rail pours or basic beers and wines you charge? So I emailed Oceania from their "contact us" link on their website a month before sailing to ask questions about the beverage package options posted on their website. Oceania did not respond to my message. OK great, their customer service is also lacking and I haven't even embarked yet. Second: Sometimes the customer service on board was just as lacking as the customer service prior to embarking. Several times when we dined at Terrace Cafe or Waves Grille, we sat for a long time before being greeted by the wait staff. Service there was hit or miss. Examples of some of the more frustrating incidents (there were many, many more but these are the highlights): (1) At Waves Grille we sat at a table that was recently vacated by another couple so the table was dirty - but all the other tables were taken and dirty table was the only choice. We sat there for several minutes and no wait staff helped us. Another table next to us vacated and another couple sat at that dirty table. Immediately wait staff helped the other couple at the other table. So, after a 3rd table near us vacated and we still weren't helped, I started clearing the dirty dishes from our table and placed them on the recently vacated table and a waiter finally approached us to get us clean dishes, silverware and beverages. It's as if we were invisible for a good 10 minutes. (2) In Terrace Cafe we had the worst time on several occasions getting wait staff to provide us with beverages. This is a buffet for food only - all beverages must be provided by wait staff. If that's the case, put more staff on shift during dining hours. The current level of staff is not adequate. How are you going to sell more alcoholic beverages (since you don't have all-inclusive pricing) if your staff is not attentive? And when we'd finally flag down someone to ask if we could place a drink order, there were a couple wait staff who seemed downright frustrated we'd dare to pester them for beverages. I think they might have been managers because I often saw them standing around telling other people to do things and then the staff would be so focused on rearranging chairs for empty tables than focused on customers sitting there needing help from wait staff. Then if our iced tea or wine or beer was empty, no one was coming around to ask if we'd like more even though we were dining there with clearly empty beverages. Again, we'd have to flag down staff to request more. (3) We finally gave up on the "seat yourself" dining venues and decided the Grand Dining Room would be better because then we'd have a dedicated waiter who would help us. Fantastic. Well, we had completed the mid-cruise feedback survey and as soon as we sat down in the Grand Dining Room someone came to our table to say, "Thank you for the feedback, I'm so sorry about your experience. Can I get you a glass of wine for the trouble?" Sure - we'll each take a glass of wine since you're charging for it normally. This is a kind gesture. As expected, dinner at the Grand Dining Room was much better because of a dedicated waiter. And then at the end of the meal the waiter charged us for the wine anyway. OK, so whomever greeted us and thanked us for our feedback didn't communicate to the waiter that he offered us this wine as a "sorry for the poor service" gesture. We did not argue with the bill because we were just....done. Then there was the late night entertainment, or lack thereof. They had a singing and dancing troupe which was talented. However, they were not diverse. I mean, how can you have a Motown themed night and not have one diverse member of the troupe? Take a look at the real artists who made Motown famous - not a single singer/dancer on board had any ethnic diversity resembling Motown. Get my drift? Then the 10th floor Horizons bar was DEAD every night. Hire a DJ. That's my best advice. Not everyone on this cruise is retired or asleep by 9pm. Hire a DJ and the people who are not retired (and even some who are) will be out on that dance floor till bar close. This is where Azamara outshines Oceania BY FAR. We were in the bar every night on our Azamara cruise dancing till bar close to a DJ. The "jukebox" thing they have on Oceania is like an iPad itunes list. Oh, and they have a sub woofer in front of it so it's difficult to access. We were immensely disappointed in the "night" scene. We had an inside stateroom and we felt the bed should be positioned differently OR should not be positioned IN FRONT OF the mirrors on the wall. Mirrors in small spaces make the space feel bigger. Think about how that's configured and I bet you can come up with something a bit better. Positives about the cruise: our stateroom attendant, Sunil, was amazing. The bartender at the pool bar, Jasmina, was fantastic. There were waiters and waitresses at the pool bar that were also fantastic (cannot remember all their names). The Destination Services team were GREAT! We were on a couple excursions where they also attended and it was fun getting to talk with them a little bit. They were very down to earth and respectful. The Reception staff was always well informed and helpful. And I have to say the cruise director, David, was always on point. All in all, we decided we will not cruise Oceania again. It's OK. But there's better. Azamara will be getting our cruising business going forward.

Service was hit or miss, and entertainment was lame

Nautica Cruise Review by kdkosmo@hotmail.com

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Asia
The itinerary was the main reason for selecting this cruise. Also the boat is identical to an Azamara cruise we went on in the past which we absolutely loved. Plus Oceania was rated 1/2 star more "luxurious" than Azamara. I thought we couldn't go wrong. Post cruise: I feel the ratings are reversed. Azamara outshines Oceania for several reasons.

First: Oceania charges for alcohol. OK, great. Seems cheap to me to charge for the basic package. Sure, charge for premium spirits and high-end wines, but rail pours or basic beers and wines you charge? So I emailed Oceania from their "contact us" link on their website a month before sailing to ask questions about the beverage package options posted on their website. Oceania did not respond to my message. OK great, their customer service is also lacking and I haven't even embarked yet.

Second: Sometimes the customer service on board was just as lacking as the customer service prior to embarking. Several times when we dined at Terrace Cafe or Waves Grille, we sat for a long time before being greeted by the wait staff. Service there was hit or miss. Examples of some of the more frustrating incidents (there were many, many more but these are the highlights):

(1) At Waves Grille we sat at a table that was recently vacated by another couple so the table was dirty - but all the other tables were taken and dirty table was the only choice. We sat there for several minutes and no wait staff helped us. Another table next to us vacated and another couple sat at that dirty table. Immediately wait staff helped the other couple at the other table. So, after a 3rd table near us vacated and we still weren't helped, I started clearing the dirty dishes from our table and placed them on the recently vacated table and a waiter finally approached us to get us clean dishes, silverware and beverages. It's as if we were invisible for a good 10 minutes.

(2) In Terrace Cafe we had the worst time on several occasions getting wait staff to provide us with beverages. This is a buffet for food only - all beverages must be provided by wait staff. If that's the case, put more staff on shift during dining hours. The current level of staff is not adequate. How are you going to sell more alcoholic beverages (since you don't have all-inclusive pricing) if your staff is not attentive? And when we'd finally flag down someone to ask if we could place a drink order, there were a couple wait staff who seemed downright frustrated we'd dare to pester them for beverages. I think they might have been managers because I often saw them standing around telling other people to do things and then the staff would be so focused on rearranging chairs for empty tables than focused on customers sitting there needing help from wait staff. Then if our iced tea or wine or beer was empty, no one was coming around to ask if we'd like more even though we were dining there with clearly empty beverages. Again, we'd have to flag down staff to request more.

(3) We finally gave up on the "seat yourself" dining venues and decided the Grand Dining Room would be better because then we'd have a dedicated waiter who would help us. Fantastic. Well, we had completed the mid-cruise feedback survey and as soon as we sat down in the Grand Dining Room someone came to our table to say, "Thank you for the feedback, I'm so sorry about your experience. Can I get you a glass of wine for the trouble?" Sure - we'll each take a glass of wine since you're charging for it normally. This is a kind gesture. As expected, dinner at the Grand Dining Room was much better because of a dedicated waiter. And then at the end of the meal the waiter charged us for the wine anyway. OK, so whomever greeted us and thanked us for our feedback didn't communicate to the waiter that he offered us this wine as a "sorry for the poor service" gesture. We did not argue with the bill because we were just....done.

Then there was the late night entertainment, or lack thereof. They had a singing and dancing troupe which was talented. However, they were not diverse. I mean, how can you have a Motown themed night and not have one diverse member of the troupe? Take a look at the real artists who made Motown famous - not a single singer/dancer on board had any ethnic diversity resembling Motown. Get my drift?

Then the 10th floor Horizons bar was DEAD every night. Hire a DJ. That's my best advice. Not everyone on this cruise is retired or asleep by 9pm. Hire a DJ and the people who are not retired (and even some who are) will be out on that dance floor till bar close. This is where Azamara outshines Oceania BY FAR. We were in the bar every night on our Azamara cruise dancing till bar close to a DJ. The "jukebox" thing they have on Oceania is like an iPad itunes list. Oh, and they have a sub woofer in front of it so it's difficult to access. We were immensely disappointed in the "night" scene.

We had an inside stateroom and we felt the bed should be positioned differently OR should not be positioned IN FRONT OF the mirrors on the wall. Mirrors in small spaces make the space feel bigger. Think about how that's configured and I bet you can come up with something a bit better.

Positives about the cruise: our stateroom attendant, Sunil, was amazing. The bartender at the pool bar, Jasmina, was fantastic. There were waiters and waitresses at the pool bar that were also fantastic (cannot remember all their names).

The Destination Services team were GREAT! We were on a couple excursions where they also attended and it was fun getting to talk with them a little bit. They were very down to earth and respectful. The Reception staff was always well informed and helpful. And I have to say the cruise director, David, was always on point.

All in all, we decided we will not cruise Oceania again. It's OK. But there's better. Azamara will be getting our cruising business going forward.
kdkosmo@hotmail.com’s Full Rating Summary
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