Nautica was an elegant ship, nice layout, super easy/fast embarkation and debarkation. We love Oceania’s relaxed attitude on alcohol – we brought a bottle or two on from multiple ports, and got jokes about how heavy our bag was, with the wine handed back to us. The 2-for-1 daily happy hour is straightforward, and a nice way to take advantage of pre-dinner drinks in a lounge.
Itinerary & Excursions
We chose the cruise due to the itinerary, so we obviously loved it. Venice to Athens, with ports every day. Ancona, Italy was a nice surprise; Split, Croatia was disappointing. All of the cities were very walkable with tons of information available, and we did our own planning and excursions.
No balcony meant we had extra square footage, plus a huge window. Spacious, nicely decorated, tons of storage space. The only downside was the tired bathroom.
Two days in port in Venice. The weather cleared and the sights were spectacular. The port is about a 40 minute zig zag walk from St. Marks, and you can easily skip taking the People Mover, as it's only 1 stop.
Charming, small, with random ruins everywhere. Walk, explore - it's lovely.
Not a nice walk from the port to Diocletian's Palace, on the edge of the water, very busy. Found the town lacking in charm, and the market full of hustlers and junk. Not our favourite.
We took a private tour and drove into Bosnia (20min away, not available in summer due to long border lineups) and to nearby Trebinje and its charming market, plus a monastery/winery. Still had time to walk around Dubrovnik's walls on our own - you need to be in reasonable shape to do this, or just walk half of it and exit. Stunning location and history.
Very cool walled city, though the locals were aggressive to say the least. The hill climb is very strenuous and requires good footwear and good health. Check online for maps - easier to just go as far as the Church of Our lady of Good Health and then turn around.
Lots to see here. We went to the old Venetian fortress (as opposed to the new Venetian fortress!) and walked around the old town. In summer, would definitely be worth exploring more of the island to see the beaches.
We went to the Diros Caves, which was rather disappointing since the time in the boats was very very short, plus they don't take care of the cave formations in the same way we've seen in other locations (e.g. they let the public walk through unescorted, stalactites are broken off, etc). Gythion itself was fairly small, tons of restaurants, pretty low key.
This place is all about tourists, even in low season, and it's busy. We heard MANY people say that Santorini wasn't what they expected from pictures, and that's because they hadn't done a second of research to realize that in order to see the famous blue domed churches, you have to go to Oia (don't be that person!!). We recommend getting off the tender and then taking a boat to Oia - well-marked, several options, 18 EUR if I remember correctly; your fare includes a bus ride up to Oia, as well as a bus from Oia to Thira where the ship is tendered.
In Oia, you'll have to go down some narrow, twisty walkways to find the views you seek, and will likely encounter smelly donkey poop on the way - it's everywhere. Oia really is stunning, so find a place with great views for a drink (Thalami was nice) to savour. Keep an eye on the clock so you make the bus back. You'll have to walk a fair ways through Thira, as the bus can't drive on the narrow lanes. Souvenir shops line the pathways.
Eventually you'll find yourself at the top of a steep hill. Either take the gondola or walk down - please don't add to the torture of those poor donkeys. Walking was fine - take it slowly, stop along the way for a picture.
Such an easy port - the walled city was steps from the ship, with a beautiful beach in between. Fun to explore old Rhodes. Very picturesque, with roads made of beach stones set on their sides, and bougainvillea everywhere. Lovely, relaxed port.