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Nautica Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
360 Reviews

Oceania does not measure up to their puffery

Nautica Cruise Review by 7notrump7

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Inside

We chose this cruise for its itinerary, and that was great. But arriving late 6 times at ports caused problems on tours (never Oceania's fault). Oceania claims to have "the finest cuisine at sea"--NOT TRUE! There were many problems with the cuisine. The coffee does not taste like coffee; we tried every conceivable way to get a good cup of coffee, but it would not happen; it tasted burnt and was strong and bitter. We switched to cappuccinos or lattes and they were palatable. Pizza crust was so hard you could not cut it or chew it; many very tough cuts of meat--lamb rack twice, leg of lamb, rib-eye steak in Polo Grill--all were so tough one could not chew them. The desserts were always similar--an excellent cheese cake every night, several mouses that varied but always mouse, a tartlet of some sort. We prefer eating our dinner in the dining room, but service there was so slow we ended up most times in the Terrace Cafe. Both of these venues are very crowded with each table almost touching adjacent tables.

The cabin is advertised as having down pillows; they were not down but feather. The Blue Book says we have a spacious shower--it was the smallest we have ever had on any cruise ship, and we have cruised over 400 days. This ship is old and tired; it is due for refit in 2020, and certainly needs that!

The entertainment was usually excellent. Activities on board were the usual as on any other line. We took 4 Oceania Shore Excursions. Two were good, and two were not. All of their shore excursions are about 3 times the price of private ones that also have a smaller group, so usually that is what we did.

Oceania is exhibiting a strong desire to make money, but not deliver on services. For instance, they repeatedly denied any possibility of having a Bridge Director for games and lessons. They wanted to sell the cabin. But on the day of the cruise, they phoned the Bridge Director from their previous cruise who was already at the airport and asked her to return. She had 13 days at sea for bridge, with 117 people involved in a day! This does not make money for them, so they would rather sell the cabin than provide a service that people enjoy. Also, we missed the port of Mombasa; however, Oceania has kept the port charges and fees that everyone paid. It was our money that paid for these port charges, so why should Oceania get to keep about $50,000? Each person on that cruise paid $1607 in taxes, fees, port charges.

The staff were excellent. They were attentive, friendly and willing to overcome the problems we faced. But some things did not go away! We will be happy to cruise again on Princess, Holland America and Celebrity where the money spent reflects the value received. This was definitely not the case with Oceania!!

7notrump7's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin F 7040

Cabin was as expected, except for NO DOWN pillow as advertised in the Blue Book. And the "spacious shower stall" turned out to be the smallest ever!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Cape Town

Table Mountain, coast drive to Cape Point and Lighthouse, Lunch at Simon's Town and penguins.

Port Elizabeth

Addo Elephant Park with Alan Tours--FANTASTIC!

Richards Bay

Oceania Tour to Zulu Croc Reptile Park--over one hour to get there and then only snakes in cages, a long boring lecture, and watch crocs in enclosures. Very poor


Arrived 5 hours late, so no tours available.

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