REVIEW. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4
We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Nautica. I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without fire I thought. Nautica does need a refit. She is a bit tired and old fashioned. However everything worked except the fridge which was replaced within hours of reporting it.
GENERAL We live only two hours from Southampton. At 2.10pm we checked in at the terminal and were in our PH Stateroom 8049 by 2.45pm The bags were waiting outside the door. No complaints there.
The Stewardess introduced herself soon after we arrived and I requested a foam pillow instead of a feather one. (This was on the bed when we returned from dinner) Mani, the Butler, was soon at the door and we were able to ask him to bring morning tea each day. He was charming and professional. Tea came as requested each day.
Boat drill was at 4.15 . This took a slightly different form from what we remembered, as we were taken out on deck to our lifeboat. Previously we were only instructed in the muster station. It seems a good idea to show the guests exactly how the safety drill works. You are not required to take your life jacket. On returning to our stateroom, we phoned Mani and requested tea and cookies. Ten minutes later he was there with the order. Perfect. He also got us a table in the speciality restaurant when we asked him. Oh and replaced the ailing fridge within hours. and brought lunch one day. And breakfast a couple of days too.
DRESS. ( I hesitate to mention this contentious issue!) My husband wore a linen jacket every night for dinner because he likes to and I wore a nice dress or smart trousers and a pretty top. Gentlemen frequently wore a jacket in the speciality restaurants and the ladies always looked good to me. We did see guests going to the Terrace who were not quite so formally attired but we did not eat there in the evening so don’t know what the general look was.
FOOD AND DINING SERVICE. Waiters were attentive and the sommelier was prompt, the wine poured before any food was served and glasses topped up frequently. We had an included wine package. I am at a loss to understand the comments about slow and lax service in the GDR that some recent reviewers mentioned. We were always greeted by name and when we asked for a table for two that’s what we got. Sometimes we shared. We do feel, however, that the menu is not as extensive as on previous cruises and did not change as often. (our last cruise was two years ago on the same ship) Only one meal did not meet expectations. It was duck a l’orange. I mentioned it to the restaurant manager. He wrote it down but I did not hear any more about it. All the desserts were delicious.
SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Three meals in Polo and two in Toscana. Some on our own and some shared. I had shrimps and lamb in Polo and Dover sole in Toscana. We always enjoyed the company of our companions in fact we sat with the same people on two different occasions quite by accident! In Toscana we requested a special dessert a couple of days before we went. It was Zabaglione. This has to be made and served immediately. That is why it has to be requested. The chef came to see us at our very special forward table to make sure we enjoyed his dessert. We did.
TOURS For the first time we took Oceania tours as they were included in our fare. The guides were charming and spoke good English. The tours were well organised and did what we expected. The guests were “well behaved” and always returned to the bus on time. Except once, but that was a genuine mistake by the guest and she was mortified so we forgave her!!!!!!!
ENTERTAINMENT… What we went to see we enjoyed. True there are no big presentation shows. The singers were good and they also did duty as Entertainment Officers. I am really not sure what is expected from these shows that guests say they are disappointed with.
Last but not least I must mention the CD. Shawn Carter. Excellent. Enthusiastic. Friendly. Kept us informed. Just right.
Lighting very poor. Bathroom looking old but functioned perfectly. Veranda reasonable size. Closet dark ----- needs an auto light when the door opens. Bed very comfortable. Bedside table too low,,. Looking forward to the refit.
Very good guides. Interesting and informative. Nice Canal trip.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Shuttle bus. Very steep climb through old town. Cobbled streets.
Yusopov Palace is where Rasputin was murdered. Good guide. Much history was explained.View All 65 Yusupov Palace Reviews
Beautiful exhibits RecommendView All undefined undefined Reviews
Amber factory and museum very interesting and beautiful exhibits
It would have been better if we had had a commentary. It was quite a pleasant sail in.
Shuttle bus to town. Pleasant walk by the river in the old town. We had visited before so no tour.
Visited Sibelius's memorial park. Very goodView All 193 City Tour Reviews