My husband and I just returned from a 10 night cruise aboard Oceania's Nautica in the Mediterranean. We went on the cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had been to about half of the ports previously, but neither of us had been to Greece or Spain before.
First, the pluses. The size of the ship was perfect for us, not too big or too small. The staff, with the exception of the "destination services" staff were wonderful. We dined in all of the restaurants and they were all fabulous. Our favorite was Toscana. Our stateroom was very nice. It was well laid out with ample storage. The bed was extremely comfortable. The outlets in the room accommodated standard plugs from the US, so we did not need to use converters or adapters. We loved the itinerary and the idea that we woke up each morning in a new place.
We had three issues that prospective passengers should be aware of regarding the Internet, the excursions and the pre- and post-cruise arrangements.
The Internet was important for us because my husband had to keep in touch with his office while we were gone. Using your cell phone is very expensive, especially when they add on maritime charges, so we thought that emails would be better. The Internet is very expensive and does not work well. We bought a package, so the cost was only 70 cents a minute. Unfortunately, many minutes were wasted trying to get to websites. The staff member in charge was very nice and credited us with some minutes to compensate, but it is still a ripoff based on what you get.
You should look very carefully at the excursions. Most of them don't involve any real activities. Most of them involve you sitting on a bus with an occasional stop for a photo opportunity. They were very hit and miss. Some were fabulous and others a complete ripoff. We brought this up to the staff and they acted like they could care less. One of the biggest complaints we had was in Turkey. We paid $99 per person for a tour of Kusadasi. At the end of ALL of the excursions in Turkey was a "rug demonstration". The rug demonstration only took about five minutes, then they began to use high pressure sales tactics, similar to those you would get during a time share sales pitch, to try to sell you a rug. Mind you, the rugs were EXPENSIVE! They probably had some that were less, but most of them ranged in price from $10,000 to $40,000! I couldn't believe that we paid money to go on the excursion only to be lead to the rug merchants. My hunch is that Oceania gets a kickback on any rugs sold to their passengers.
The last issue was with regards to the pre and post cruise hotel arrangements. Oceania charges WAY more than the hotel charges. Save your money and make your own arrangements. We made our reservations for the cruise and pre and post packages a year in advance. They only use two hotels in each city that we planned to stay in. We researched them before deciding. Long story short, when we arrived at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, where we had pre-paid $2798 for three nights at club level, they did not have our reservation. The other four parties from our ship also had no reservations. The hotel was fully booked and we were taken elsewhere. This was after sitting for more than four hours waiting for the hotel and Oceania to try to sort it out. They told us the hotel they were taking us to was an equivalent five star hotel, though it is not one that they ordinarily use, but it wasn't. It paled in comparison. It wasn't near the beach, it didn't have a swimming pool and the lobby had not been updated since the hotel was built in 1919. I checked the rates through Expedia for the dates we were there. The junior suite we were in went for $426 per night. The club level room at Hotel Arts was $606 per night. We paid about $933 per night.
The last comment I will make is regarding air arrangements. Oceania uses Delta for most of their passengers. Delta was horrible. They cancelled a flight when we were leaving Barcelona on a Tuesday morning. The flight we had the following day left three hours late because the crew was "stuck in traffic", therefore we and about 200 other passengers missed our connecting flights in Atlanta. We didn't get home until Thursday afternoon. Make your own arrangements and don't use Delta.
Lots of storage in the bathroom. Nice sized closet. Lots of other storage. In room safe. TV channels okay. Nice balcony. Quiet location. Near the laundry room, which was convenient.
I wouldn't get off the ship if I had it to do over.
We loved Santorini. The people were nice, the food was great and the sites were incredible.
We liked Marseille. Took an excursion to Aix en Provence that was very nice.
Even given all of the negative things that happened to us in Barcelona (see review) we still really liked it here. The beach and the architecture are wonderful. Nice people, great food. We ate at a couple of restaurants on the beach and they were fabulous. One was called Bestial and the other was Agua. Not very expensive, great views, nice staff and great food.