We chose this cruise because of the ports in Japan and China. we had been on Oceania, Nautica only months ago cruising around the British isles. (a lovely trip excluding Nautica)). The trip to China and Japan highlighted all the failures of this cruise company and the confines of the ship along with seriously limited worthwhile lectures, entertainment (kabuki, Chinese music,) and any aspect of these Asian cultures. As for the meals, they reflected the capability of the French head chef but not Chinese and/or Japanese cuisine. When attempted it was awful and served buffet style so it sat out, overcooked, unoriginal, and Americanized. The cruise director should find another avocation. The newsletters delivered to each room described each port as if we were reading Expedia excerpts. Could be because the so-called concierge had never been to any of the ports. Any help from him was straight off the web with absolutely no suggestions since he hadn't been to the ports before. He was defensive except for the bottle of wine he sent to me over the font on the newsletter which I couldn't read even with my 3X reading specs. He argued the font was the same as always (it was not) and when I tromped down to his desk in my robe, furious that he argued with me, he was able to confirm that I had been totally correct. Now, the worst aspect of the trip: the ports are long long way from the port visitor entry to any transportation to the city. Since we don't speak the language to hail a cab it was frustrating in that Nautica hospitality employees are not allowed to help guests hail a cab. The concierge claimed it was absolutely NOT the responsibility of Nautica to help guests once off the ship. Actually some of us decided that Oceania didn't want us out on our own, rather to take the pedestrian expeditions the cruise offered at outrageous prices thereby enabling Oceania to make more $$$. Now the pluses: the cleaning staff was exceptional om both cruises. Even helpful when we were sick. The wait staff is remarkable in their orchestrated ability to care for the dining room guests. In as much as many are actually more educated then some of the guests but cannot earn a decent wage in their own country of origin, they are really remarkably modest, hard working, and easily engaged if one is interested in them. Believe it or not, while the cruise company throws out the food not eaten, the lesser crew including the waiters must eat different food. The waste is beyond belief and was certainly a strong reason for us to give up on cruising. There is an obvious "white" pecking order of the staff. Don't worry if your hungry. You can eat 4-5 times a day and incessantly. If you want to learn you better make lots of arrangements and not count on Oceania. Watch your alcohol choices, the sommelier was delightful and always right. The prices by the glass is exorbitant and one guest said the wine plan was of ordinary wines. One caveat: we turned in our off shore trips through Oceania after one and took $$ on board credit which on reflection was very very smart as long as you can travel ashore on your own. Don't let this review keep you from visiting this part of the world. It is amazing and the people we met wonderful. Unfailingly helpful to us and if you look hard enough, you can find someone who speaks English and is excited about practicing speaking with an American. Unfortunately the horrible cruise newsletter (straight out of google) about the port lacked times museums were open, what museums might be superior, what food markets were around (we found them), how to ride the subway and buses (which we did), restaurants, etc. etc. It did however, tell you about the Broadway review they were having in the evening, or the comedian who wasn't funny, or about the movie they were showing without a real movie screen (you do get popcorn) If we had to do it again, we would certainly take the trip but with another cruise company.

Tow the boat and cruise director to shore

Nautica Cruise Review by wanderlust(er)

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
We chose this cruise because of the ports in Japan and China. we had been on Oceania, Nautica only months ago cruising around the British isles. (a lovely trip excluding Nautica)). The trip to China and Japan highlighted all the failures of this cruise company and the confines of the ship along with seriously limited worthwhile lectures, entertainment (kabuki, Chinese music,) and any aspect of these Asian cultures. As for the meals, they reflected the capability of the French head chef but not Chinese and/or Japanese cuisine. When attempted it was awful and served buffet style so it sat out, overcooked, unoriginal, and Americanized. The cruise director should find another avocation. The newsletters delivered to each room described each port as if we were reading Expedia excerpts. Could be because the so-called concierge had never been to any of the ports. Any help from him was straight off the web with absolutely no suggestions since he hadn't been to the ports before. He was defensive except for the bottle of wine he sent to me over the font on the newsletter which I couldn't read even with my 3X reading specs. He argued the font was the same as always (it was not) and when I tromped down to his desk in my robe, furious that he argued with me, he was able to confirm that I had been totally correct. Now, the worst aspect of the trip: the ports are long long way from the port visitor entry to any transportation to the city. Since we don't speak the language to hail a cab it was frustrating in that Nautica hospitality employees are not allowed to help guests hail a cab. The concierge claimed it was absolutely NOT the responsibility of Nautica to help guests once off the ship. Actually some of us decided that Oceania didn't want us out on our own, rather to take the pedestrian expeditions the cruise offered at outrageous prices thereby enabling Oceania to make more $$$.

Now the pluses: the cleaning staff was exceptional om both cruises. Even helpful when we were sick. The wait staff is remarkable in their orchestrated ability to care for the dining room guests. In as much as many are actually more educated then some of the guests but cannot earn a decent wage in their own country of origin, they are really remarkably modest, hard working, and easily engaged if one is interested in them. Believe it or not, while the cruise company throws out the food not eaten, the lesser crew including the waiters must eat different food. The waste is beyond belief and was certainly a strong reason for us to give up on cruising. There is an obvious "white" pecking order of the staff.

Don't worry if your hungry. You can eat 4-5 times a day and incessantly. If you want to learn you better make lots of arrangements and not count on Oceania. Watch your alcohol choices, the sommelier was delightful and always right. The prices by the glass is exorbitant and one guest said the wine plan was of ordinary wines.

One caveat: we turned in our off shore trips through Oceania after one and took $$ on board credit which on reflection was very very smart as long as you can travel ashore on your own.
Don't let this review keep you from visiting this part of the world. It is amazing and the people we met wonderful. Unfailingly helpful to us and if you look hard enough, you can find someone who speaks English and is excited about practicing speaking with an American. Unfortunately the horrible cruise newsletter (straight out of google) about the port lacked times museums were open, what museums might be superior, what food markets were around (we found them), how to ride the subway and buses (which we did), restaurants, etc. etc. It did however, tell you about the Broadway review they were having in the evening, or the comedian who wasn't funny, or about the movie they were showing without a real movie screen (you do get popcorn)

If we had to do it again, we would certainly take the trip but with another cruise company.
wanderlust(er)’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin D 4024
Same size as level 6 where we "lived"during the Brtish Isles trip. Carpets well worn and look dirty. Tiny bathrooms. But not spending the extra thousands for a balcony was the right move since there wasn't much to see on the shoreline and it was cold. We spend a lot of time at the front of the boat in Horizons which was just fine except when Oceania used part of the room to entertain corporate clients from Asia thereby limiting the amount of space for guests to sit. So if you don't need a lot of fru fru like a butler and a bar, skip upgrading. The furniture even in the stateroom to which we were invited had old, scratched ugly furniture. It did have a bigger footprint but that's about it except for the obsequious butler for whom I felt badly. He happened to be from India so maybe he was used to the caste system. He really really really tried. The mattress is divided by half under the sheets and you can feel that. As well the duvet was overwhelming and we had to ask for a lighter blanket which was readily provided.
The bathroom is tiny and you can multitask in it. A guests on the 8th level said she couldn't get hot water in the shower. On 4 we had plenty. The ice bucket always filled and the fridge had water and pop on the house.Room service was prompt and very courteous. As expected the food came not very hot but that was understandable. It is a 24 hour service.
The furniture is old, ugly, and needs to be replaced. The furniture having been sat upon by the masses is soft and uncomfortable. Reupholstering is in order in the room and all over the boat.
If you are a reasonable packer there was enough room for clothing and not having a balcony actually gave more storage room which was a boon that we hadn't anticipated (shoes, binocs, maps, extra carry-ons, cameras, etc. all went on this extra shelving) and we didn't need glass doors or a balcony on this trip. (in the British Isles it's worth the $$$. Gorgeous skies, gorgeous rough waters, gorgeous clouds, etc)
Deck 3 Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Nara
    Touristy but the shrine is very interesting as are the grounds. There are actually more Asian tourists on the shopping street eating authentic street food which we dived into. Don't heed the warning about the food here. Go for it.
    View All 4 Nara Reviews
  • The Atomic Bomb Museum
    Obviously from a Japanese point of view but the one short talk on the boat was American point of view. Expected. Museum modern, English explanations, gut wrenching but if you want to learn about the bombing and the impact on the Japanese people, the land, their forward thinking and driving mentality now, this is the place for you.
    View All 22 The Atomic Bomb Museum Reviews