This was our third cruise with Oceania. We have also cruised with Azamara, Windstar, HAL, NCL, Louis, Katarina and some river cruise operators. This cruise was 18 nights, from Shanghai to Yokohama. We flew into Shanghai, arriving the night before. We stayed at the Sofitel, which was easy to get to via train from Pudong Airport. Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal. This terminal is very conveniently placed not far from the Bund area of Shanghai. The Nautica was looking fine. We had an inside cabin on deck 8. We are happy with an inside cabin, as we spend little time in the cabin, and deck 8 is a convenient position. Our room stewards did a good job. We do not understand why people rave about the excellent food on Oceania. We ate in both the MDR and the Terrace Café and found the food to be consistently bland and unexciting. This was on a par with previous Oceania cruises. The best night was the Asian evening in the buffet. We were supposed to have 2 dinners each in the speciality restaurants Toscana and Polo Grill. I tried to book these online as soon as bookings were available to us, but it is virtually impossible to get any early booking for a table for 2. I was only able to book for Polo Grill on embarkation day prior to sailing. I regularly tried for cancellations on board and eventually got a booking in Toscana for the last night. Any second bookings were impossible. In our opinion the meals in the speciality restaurants are tastier than those in the MDR and The Terrace. We like the space called Horizons. This is where we sometimes sat in our free time. There were 2 lecturers. One did 2 lectures on People Watching, neither of which we attended. The other lecturer did a few destination related lectures. We went to the first one, but did not find it particularly interesting so did not attend any more. We attended a few of the concerts, which were okay. Many we knew would not be to our taste. There was just one sitting, at 9.30pm, which was a bit late for our liking. We did enjoy the string quartet which played in the Upper Hall each evening and we regularly attended these. The Oceania excursions are overpriced. We had some included in our cruise price. Sometimes, depending on the port and the public transport, it is just convenient to use one of the cruise line excursions. We did several ports on our own, and enjoy doing what we want to do at our own pace. Disembarkation was straightforward. The Osanbashi terminal at Yokohama has luggage lockers and we made use of them before using public transport to get to Narita Airport. Oceania is not our preferred cruise line, but they have some interesting itineraries. Itinerary and timing are always our major consideration when choosing a cruise. There was a lot of new territory for us in this cruise, which we enjoyed. Ports: Shanghai: We had an overnight and then a day in Shanghai following embarkation. There was a shuttle operating to the Bund, making it easy to do things in that central area on your own. The subway in Shanghai is also very easy to use. Xiamen: One day in this port is really enough, but we had an overnight stop, and 2 days. We did 2 Oceania shore excursions. We had been warned that the guides may not have very good English, but that was not the case. The first woman was young with excellent English. The second was a bit older and had more of an accent which was harder to follow. They both did a good job. The first day in Xiamen we went to Quanzhou, which is about a 90 minute drive from Xiamen. We visited the Kaiyuan Temple, which is quite extensive, and has 2 impressive stone pagodas. There are also several museums adjacent to the temple. We visited the Quanzhou Song Dynasty Shipwreck Hall. After a Chinese multi course lunch at a local hotel we went for a walk down one of the main streets, Tumen Jie. Here we saw the Qingjing Mosque and the Taoist Tonghuai Temple. The tour was okay, but we felt it was quite a long drive there and back for nothing particularly outstanding. The second day we did a tour called Tong’An Treasures. It was about an hour’s drive from the port in Xiamen to the Confucian Temple in Tong’An. After that we went to the Fantian Buddhist Temple. These were both interesting sites and we felt this tour, while shorter, was more worthwhile than the trip to Quanzhou. We were back at the cruise terminal about 1pm. Hong Kong: We had 2 half days here, each side of an overnight. Hong Kong public transport is easy to use and we have been there before, so we just did a few sites on our own. Kaohsiung: We docked about 10am. There was a shuttle which ran to the centre of town, but the timings did not suit us, to fit with our tour. Our Oceania tour did not depart until 12.30pm, so we had some wasted time waiting for it, but there was nothing much to see close to the dock. Our excursion was called Glimpses of Kaohsiung. Our first stop was Lotus Pond, a man-made lake with many temples and pagodas around it. Very touristy and a little tacky. Next stop was the Confucius Temple, then a drive to the Cijin (Qijin) district, which is the oldest part of the city. We walked along the uninspiring beachfront then down the main street, which was lined with mainly food stalls. Keelung: We did an Oceania excursion into Taipei. It included far too much time in the Palace Museum, leaving little time to see much else in Taipei. If we ever returned to this port we would probably catch the train into Taipei on our own. The cruise port is right in Keelung, a short walk from the centre of the town and the railway station. Ishigaki: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a drive around the island. Not much here to see. There was a shuttle from the ship which went a short distance to a ferry terminal – not sure how useful it would have been. Okinawa (Naha): We went into Naha on our own, using the monorail system. It is easy to get up the Shurijo castle using this public transport. It is about a 20 minute walk from the port terminal to the nearest Yui Rail station. The Oceania excursion to the castle was an exorbitant price. We checked out the main shopping area (Kokusai Dori Street) on our way back to the ship. Also stopped at the Fukushuen Garden which is near the cruise port, and well worth visiting. Nagasaki: The cruise port is close to the city. There is a tram system, but we just walked and covered quite a lot of ground including the Peace Park, churches, temples, cathedrals, Spectacles Bridge. Had a great day and saw a lot at our own pace. Hiroshima: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a fast ferry to the island of Miyajima. The ferry was just for cruise passengers and left from next to where the ship was berthed, so it was convenient, if expensive. Despite the fact it rained all day this was a highlight of our trip. We were just disappointed that the ship didn’t arrive earlier in the morning so we could have gone into the Peace Park as well as doing Miyajima. There was a shuttle that ran from the ship to a shopping centre and into the centre of Hiroshima. Kobe: We had 2 days here. The first day we did an Oceania excursion Highlights of Kyoto. It was about 100 minutes drive from the port to the Kinkakugi (Golden) Temple. We were given 90 minutes here, which was too long. There is not actually much here. You cannot go in the temple – you just walk past it, through the gardens. Then there are lots of souvenir shops. We were then taken to a Japanese Restaurant for lunch. Nice restaurant in a pleasant garden setting. Meal nicely presented, but not too our taste, with a lot of raw fish. The afternoon stop was Nijo Castle. We were only given 80 minutes here, which was not long enough. There is not much to see in the “castle” itself, though the building is quite impressive. The grounds are extensive and the cherry blossom was just beginning to bloom. There was minimal time for the gardens, but we dashed through them and covered quite a lot before a quick stop in the souvenir shop. Our second day in Kobe we did Oceania’s Panoramic Osaka tour. It took a little under an hour for the drive from the port to Osaka. It was a public holiday so the roads were quiet. We visited Osaka Castle, just the outside. It was quite a long walk from the bus park to the castle and we were only given 45 minutes here, which was too short. There are lots of photo opportunities in the grounds, as the castle is quite picturesque. Next we went to the Umeda Sky Tower, where we went up to the open rooftop on the 41st floor for great views over Osaka. After the quick look at Osaka we were back at the ship about 1.30pm, so we used the ship shuttle to go into Kobe. Went to the observation deck on floor 24 of the City Hall for the views, then to the impressive Ikuta Jinja Shrine. Wandered the streets and shops a bit before returning to the ship about 5pm, in deteriorating weather. Yokohama: We did an Oceania Highlights of Tokyo tour. Traffic was dreadful and it took 2 hours on the bus to reach the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo. Very busy, impressive temple. Adjacent is the Nakamisedori shopping street. Then we had lunch in a Japanese barbecue restaurant, which was quite pleasant. Next we went to the Meiji Shrine. There are extensive grounds around this shrine. We just had time to take the shortest route through the forest and the shrine. Because some people got lost returning to the bus, which delayed our departure from Meiji, we had the 50 minutes we were supposed to have at our next stop cut in half. So at Tokyo Tower the 25 minutes we were given was barely long enough to get to the top of the tower, take a few photos, and get straight back down. We could have had a bit longer, as the traffic returning to Yokohama was much lighter and we got back to the ship in less than one hour. I think you really need to stay right in Tokyo for a few days to do it justice, but we had no time to extend our holiday beyond the end of the cruise. After an overnight we disembarked in Yokohama. There are luggage lockers in the Osanbashi terminal building and we used them so we could spend the morning exploring the port area of Yokohama. They have really made an effort in this town, with pleasant gardens along the waterfront. We also walked through Chinatown and went up to the observation deck in the Landmark Tower. We had an evening flight from Narita, so in the afternoon we collected our luggage, and walked up to the Nihon-dori Station to catch a train to Yokohama, then the Narita Express to the airport.

Another average Oceania experience

Nautica Cruise Review by roaming_kiwi58

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Inside
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We have also cruised with Azamara, Windstar, HAL, NCL, Louis, Katarina and some river cruise operators. This cruise was 18 nights, from Shanghai to Yokohama.

We flew into Shanghai, arriving the night before. We stayed at the Sofitel, which was easy to get to via train from Pudong Airport. Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal. This terminal is very conveniently placed not far from the Bund area of Shanghai.

The Nautica was looking fine. We had an inside cabin on deck 8. We are happy with an inside cabin, as we spend little time in the cabin, and deck 8 is a convenient position. Our room stewards did a good job.

We do not understand why people rave about the excellent food on Oceania. We ate in both the MDR and the Terrace Café and found the food to be consistently bland and unexciting. This was on a par with previous Oceania cruises. The best night was the Asian evening in the buffet.

We were supposed to have 2 dinners each in the speciality restaurants Toscana and Polo Grill. I tried to book these online as soon as bookings were available to us, but it is virtually impossible to get any early booking for a table for 2. I was only able to book for Polo Grill on embarkation day prior to sailing. I regularly tried for cancellations on board and eventually got a booking in Toscana for the last night. Any second bookings were impossible. In our opinion the meals in the speciality restaurants are tastier than those in the MDR and The Terrace.

We like the space called Horizons. This is where we sometimes sat in our free time.

There were 2 lecturers. One did 2 lectures on People Watching, neither of which we attended. The other lecturer did a few destination related lectures. We went to the first one, but did not find it particularly interesting so did not attend any more.

We attended a few of the concerts, which were okay. Many we knew would not be to our taste. There was just one sitting, at 9.30pm, which was a bit late for our liking. We did enjoy the string quartet which played in the Upper Hall each evening and we regularly attended these.

The Oceania excursions are overpriced. We had some included in our cruise price. Sometimes, depending on the port and the public transport, it is just convenient to use one of the cruise line excursions. We did several ports on our own, and enjoy doing what we want to do at our own pace.

Disembarkation was straightforward. The Osanbashi terminal at Yokohama has luggage lockers and we made use of them before using public transport to get to Narita Airport.

Oceania is not our preferred cruise line, but they have some interesting itineraries. Itinerary and timing are always our major consideration when choosing a cruise. There was a lot of new territory for us in this cruise, which we enjoyed.

Ports:

Shanghai: We had an overnight and then a day in Shanghai following embarkation. There was a shuttle operating to the Bund, making it easy to do things in that central area on your own. The subway in Shanghai is also very easy to use.

Xiamen: One day in this port is really enough, but we had an overnight stop, and 2 days. We did 2 Oceania shore excursions. We had been warned that the guides may not have very good English, but that was not the case. The first woman was young with excellent English. The second was a bit older and had more of an accent which was harder to follow. They both did a good job.

The first day in Xiamen we went to Quanzhou, which is about a 90 minute drive from Xiamen. We visited the Kaiyuan Temple, which is quite extensive, and has 2 impressive stone pagodas. There are also several museums adjacent to the temple. We visited the Quanzhou Song Dynasty Shipwreck Hall. After a Chinese multi course lunch at a local hotel we went for a walk down one of the main streets, Tumen Jie. Here we saw the Qingjing Mosque and the Taoist Tonghuai Temple. The tour was okay, but we felt it was quite a long drive there and back for nothing particularly outstanding.

The second day we did a tour called Tong’An Treasures. It was about an hour’s drive from the port in Xiamen to the Confucian Temple in Tong’An. After that we went to the Fantian Buddhist Temple. These were both interesting sites and we felt this tour, while shorter, was more worthwhile than the trip to Quanzhou. We were back at the cruise terminal about 1pm.

Hong Kong: We had 2 half days here, each side of an overnight. Hong Kong public transport is easy to use and we have been there before, so we just did a few sites on our own.

Kaohsiung: We docked about 10am. There was a shuttle which ran to the centre of town, but the timings did not suit us, to fit with our tour. Our Oceania tour did not depart until 12.30pm, so we had some wasted time waiting for it, but there was nothing much to see close to the dock. Our excursion was called Glimpses of Kaohsiung. Our first stop was Lotus Pond, a man-made lake with many temples and pagodas around it. Very touristy and a little tacky. Next stop was the Confucius Temple, then a drive to the Cijin (Qijin) district, which is the oldest part of the city. We walked along the uninspiring beachfront then down the main street, which was lined with mainly food stalls.

Keelung: We did an Oceania excursion into Taipei. It included far too much time in the Palace Museum, leaving little time to see much else in Taipei. If we ever returned to this port we would probably catch the train into Taipei on our own. The cruise port is right in Keelung, a short walk from the centre of the town and the railway station.

Ishigaki: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a drive around the island. Not much here to see. There was a shuttle from the ship which went a short distance to a ferry terminal – not sure how useful it would have been.

Okinawa (Naha): We went into Naha on our own, using the monorail system. It is easy to get up the Shurijo castle using this public transport. It is about a 20 minute walk from the port terminal to the nearest Yui Rail station. The Oceania excursion to the castle was an exorbitant price. We checked out the main shopping area (Kokusai Dori Street) on our way back to the ship. Also stopped at the Fukushuen Garden which is near the cruise port, and well worth visiting.

Nagasaki: The cruise port is close to the city. There is a tram system, but we just walked and covered quite a lot of ground including the Peace Park, churches, temples, cathedrals, Spectacles Bridge. Had a great day and saw a lot at our own pace.

Hiroshima: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a fast ferry to the island of Miyajima. The ferry was just for cruise passengers and left from next to where the ship was berthed, so it was convenient, if expensive. Despite the fact it rained all day this was a highlight of our trip. We were just disappointed that the ship didn’t arrive earlier in the morning so we could have gone into the Peace Park as well as doing Miyajima. There was a shuttle that ran from the ship to a shopping centre and into the centre of Hiroshima.

Kobe: We had 2 days here. The first day we did an Oceania excursion Highlights of Kyoto. It was about 100 minutes drive from the port to the Kinkakugi (Golden) Temple. We were given 90 minutes here, which was too long. There is not actually much here. You cannot go in the temple – you just walk past it, through the gardens. Then there are lots of souvenir shops. We were then taken to a Japanese Restaurant for lunch. Nice restaurant in a pleasant garden setting. Meal nicely presented, but not too our taste, with a lot of raw fish. The afternoon stop was Nijo Castle. We were only given 80 minutes here, which was not long enough. There is not much to see in the “castle” itself, though the building is quite impressive. The grounds are extensive and the cherry blossom was just beginning to bloom. There was minimal time for the gardens, but we dashed through them and covered quite a lot before a quick stop in the souvenir shop.

Our second day in Kobe we did Oceania’s Panoramic Osaka tour. It took a little under an hour for the drive from the port to Osaka. It was a public holiday so the roads were quiet. We visited Osaka Castle, just the outside. It was quite a long walk from the bus park to the castle and we were only given 45 minutes here, which was too short. There are lots of photo opportunities in the grounds, as the castle is quite picturesque. Next we went to the Umeda Sky Tower, where we went up to the open rooftop on the 41st floor for great views over Osaka.

After the quick look at Osaka we were back at the ship about 1.30pm, so we used the ship shuttle to go into Kobe. Went to the observation deck on floor 24 of the City Hall for the views, then to the impressive Ikuta Jinja Shrine. Wandered the streets and shops a bit before returning to the ship about 5pm, in deteriorating weather.

Yokohama: We did an Oceania Highlights of Tokyo tour. Traffic was dreadful and it took 2 hours on the bus to reach the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo. Very busy, impressive temple. Adjacent is the Nakamisedori shopping street. Then we had lunch in a Japanese barbecue restaurant, which was quite pleasant. Next we went to the Meiji Shrine. There are extensive grounds around this shrine. We just had time to take the shortest route through the forest and the shrine. Because some people got lost returning to the bus, which delayed our departure from Meiji, we had the 50 minutes we were supposed to have at our next stop cut in half. So at Tokyo Tower the 25 minutes we were given was barely long enough to get to the top of the tower, take a few photos, and get straight back down. We could have had a bit longer, as the traffic returning to Yokohama was much lighter and we got back to the ship in less than one hour.

I think you really need to stay right in Tokyo for a few days to do it justice, but we had no time to extend our holiday beyond the end of the cruise.

After an overnight we disembarked in Yokohama. There are luggage lockers in the Osanbashi terminal building and we used them so we could spend the morning exploring the port area of Yokohama. They have really made an effort in this town, with pleasant gardens along the waterfront. We also walked through Chinatown and went up to the observation deck in the Landmark Tower. We had an evening flight from Narita, so in the afternoon we collected our luggage, and walked up to the Nihon-dori Station to catch a train to Yokohama, then the Narita Express to the airport.
roaming_kiwi58’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin F 8037
Comfortable. We have no issues with inside cabins, as we spend little time in them! Deck 8 was a convenient position.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Miyajima Island Tour
    We did an Oceania excursion, which was a fast ferry to the island of Miyajima. The ferry was just for cruise passengers and left from next to where the ship was berthed, so it was convenient, if expensive. Despite the fact it rained all day this was a highlight of our trip. We were just disappointed that the ship didn’t arrive earlier in the morning so we could have gone into the Peace Park as well as doing Miyajima. There was a shuttle that ran from the ship to a shopping centre and into the centre of Hiroshima.
    View All 4 Miyajima Island Tour Reviews
  • Hong Kong
    We had 2 half days here, each side of an overnight. We were berthed at the Ocean Terminal, which is much more convenient than the Kai Tak Terminal. Hong Kong public transport is easy to use and we have been there before, so we just did a few sites on our own. Went up the Sky100 Observation Tower, which gives you great views and is well worth doing.
    View All 314 Hong Kong Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Hong Kong Cruise Port Review
  • Kyoto
    We had 2 days here. The first day we did an Oceania excursion Highlights of Kyoto. It was about 100 minutes drive from the port to the Kinkakugi (Golden) Temple. We were given 90 minutes here, which was too long. There is not actually much here. You cannot go in the temple – you just walk past it, through the gardens. Then there are lots of souvenir shops. We were then taken to a Japanese Restaurant for lunch. Nice restaurant in a pleasant garden setting. Meal nicely presented, but not too our taste, with a lot of raw fish. The afternoon stop was Nijo Castle. We were only given 80 minutes here, which was not long enough. There is not much to see in the “castle” itself, though the building is quite impressive. The grounds are extensive and the cherry blossom was just beginning to bloom. There was minimal time for the gardens, but we dashed through them and covered quite a lot before a quick stop in the souvenir shop.
    View All 6 Kyoto Reviews
  • Osaka
    Our second day in Kobe we did Oceania’s Panoramic Osaka tour. It took a little under an hour for the drive from the port to Osaka. It was a public holiday so the roads were quiet. We visited Osaka Castle, just the outside. It was quite a long walk from the bus park to the castle and we were only given 45 minutes here, which was too short. There are lots of photo opportunities in the grounds, as the castle is quite picturesque. Next we went to the Umeda Sky Tower, where we went up to the open rooftop on the 41st floor for great views over Osaka.
    After the quick look at Osaka we were back at the ship about 1.30pm, so we used the ship shuttle to go into Kobe. Went to the observation deck on floor 24 of the City Hall for the views, then to the impressive Ikuta Jinja Shrine. Wandered the streets and shops a bit before returning to the ship about 5pm, in deteriorating weather.
    View All 5 Osaka Reviews
  • Nagasaki
    The cruise port is close to the city. There is a tram system, but we just walked and covered quite a lot of ground including the Peace Park, churches, temples, cathedrals, Spectacles Bridge. Had a great day and saw a lot at our own pace.
    View All 71 Nagasaki Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Nagasaki Cruise Port Review
  • Shanghai
    We had an overnight and then a day in Shanghai following embarkation. There was a shuttle operating from the ship to the Bund, making it easy to do things in that central area on your own. The subway in Shanghai is also very easy to use. We had been to Shanghai before so we were happy to wander on our own. Having arrived the night before embarkation, we were able to see the Bund by night. Then the morning before we embarked we went up the Shanghai Tower, which is well worth doing (in good weather!) and then the next day we just wandered around the Bund and the Nanjing East Road area.
    Shanghai is a good start point for a cruise.
    View All 109 Shanghai Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Shanghai Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    We did an Oceania excursion into Taipei. It included far too much time in the Palace Museum, leaving little time to see much else in Taipei. If we ever returned to this port we would probably catch the train into Taipei on our own. The cruise port is right in Keelung, a short walk from the railway station.
    View All 20 City Tour Reviews