We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this trip. Otherwise, I am feeling cheated by a line that we have loved in the past. Cheated out of the holidays as there isn't a single decoration on the ship (a first for a Christmas cruise for us....the ships are usually wonderful) which we had looked forward to in lieu of having anything up at home. Cheated out of money....promises were made about concierge class when we upgraded and the amenities they promised do not exist on this ship. We could have stayed with oceanview and been fine....can't use the balcony as they seas have been rough. The hot tubs are not hot. The food is beyond bland even in the specialty restaurants. Jacques Pepin should be embarrassed to have his name on this. Entertainment is the worst of any Oceania ship we have been on....we don't expect much but this has been terrible and exacerbated by several ports being cancelled. We missed Mossel Bay because the seas were too rough to tender in yet somehow despite having all that extra sailing time we were late to Richards Bay so our game drive was cut short and our guide took the fact that he waited all morning for us out on us by talking to everyone he passed on the road, stopping to watch dung beetles, stopping for a potty break nobody wanted or needed given that we has less time to tour and then said "You could have seen more if you had been on time". Seriously??? Like we had any say in the matter? Then we got to Maputo, where the last time they called there it took 5 hours to clear the ship through immigration (they want to fingerprint and photograph everyone on the ship), the customs people showed up late and then couldn't process people so we left. This appears to be an ongoing problem so I am not sure why Oceania keeps going to this port. Got to Durbin about 1.5 hours early (again, despite having extra sailing time) and went on our scheduled coastal and city tour which was driving in a bus down the highways and interstates with no views to have a 5 minute stop at a beach and a 5 minute stop at a vacant lot in a neighborhood overlooking the city to take pictures of the city through a barb wire fence and then drove through the slums of Durbin. If you scheduled this tour, I suggest you skip it and take a shuttle to the marine park/shopping area. You cannot walk out of the port...must have a bus or taxi though there were few of those around so we couldn't go out in the evening. The tour of Tala Game Reserve was wonderful! Do this! So, that brings us to now. Last night they announced that bad weather is expected so we will overnight in New London and miss Port Elizabeth....don't know why we couldn't stay at New London all day the second day so we could do another excursion or go shopping....anything off the ship but we will leave at 10 a.m.. So, we get one more day on land and three more excruciating days at sea. If you booked your excursions via O Life, you do not get any credit for ones you miss due to cancellations of ports so you cannot even use credits to drink or spa. Our much anticipated African adventure has become a feeling of being held hostage at sea. We started with Oceania on our honeymoon when then the line was new. 15 years later, this will be our last trip with them. I thought this would be a luxurious way to sample Africa but all we are seeing is the inside of a ship. Maybe we will get to see Namibia but I am not holding my breath.
Ok cabin....did not have the concierge amenities we were promised when we upgraded.