We chose Oceania thinking it would be a step up from HollandAmericaLine, we were very wrong. The cabin, a balcony state room was smaller than the smallest HAL ocean view cabin we have ever had.
The cruise director, David, is past burned out. What passes for activities on this ship is what you would find in a day care centre. It was indoor shuffle board, bean bag toss and putting everyday. Forget anything as adult as flower arranging, art classes, computer classes, etc.
David also has his own take on the daily quiz. He eschews set questions for ones he thinks up himself. This included one question about Adolf Hitler, which he obviously thought was funny, but which upset more than a few Jewish passengers. I guess poor David has been on the ship so long he hadn't heard about the problems encountered by Pewdiepie. David is also the only quiz master I've ever encountered who does not trust teams to mark each other's answers, he has to mark them all. Some people liked his approach, I found it overbearing and certainly not conducive to shipboard fun.
The food on the Nautica ranges from barely adequate to inedible. How does anyone make fish chewy and cook pork to the consistency of a brick? Vegetables are few and poorly cooked. We complained about the food in our first week and were offered extra seatings in their specialty restaurants. We thought it not possible, but the food at both Toscana and the Polo Grill was worse than that in the main dining room.
The inadequacy of the food is matched by the inconsistency of the wait staff. We have been spoiled by the superb Indonesian staff on HAL ships, the wait staff on the Nautica is poorly trained and moved around so frequently that few of them have mastered how to serve food quickly and unobtrusively. You can't blame the staff. They are constantly moved from assignment to assignment. One meal they're a head waiter in a specialty restaurant, next meal they're busing tables in the buffet restaurant, next meal they are assistant waiters.
The only person who never changed positions was the most unpleasant person I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. This was the female hostess at the dining room who took turns assigning tables with various male hosts. She seemed to take great pride in seeing how long she could make certain passengers wait to be seated, while others were greeted enthusiastically. We never took any of this personally, as the passengers ignored seemed to outnumber the passengers welcomed. It got us to wondering if the Nautica works on some kind of its own baksheesh.
Not to be totally negative, because nothing is all bad, our cabin steward was a lovely, very professional and very friendly lady. She and her assistant were a joy. There were also a few excellent wait staff.
Overall, the Nautica offers very little value for money. We thought we had moved up a step from HAL, but in comparison to the Prinsendam, or the Amesterdam, the Natica fails miserably.
Very small with little storage space. We had to ask for a chair as it was very uncomfortable to sit on the couch.