5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the ... Read More
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the Irish ports of call. If I get obvious out of the way, Nautica is way overdue for an interior refit. In no way did the condition of the ship detract from our onboard experience. If I compare our Nautica experience with our cruise to Cuba on Sirena, this cruise better organized, and, the crew had a better focus on the total customer experience. The food service, the quality in Polo, Toscana and the GDR was very good, at times our dishes were the best we have ever had on an Oceania cruise. It’s true that ship excursions board tenders before independent travelers. We booked all of our excursions with our Cruise Critic members on our Roll Call board. At no time did we find that this delay was a problem on this cruise. Yes, the Oceania excursion product is way overpriced. Oceania needs to do better in this regard. We prefer the Oceanis cruise product, and, we have booked another cruise for next year. I believe the Nautica is one of Oceania’s best ships for the overall management and for the total cruise experience for the passenger. Once the refit is complete, I expect the Nautica will continue as a top choice for Oceania travelers old and new. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. ... Read More
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. Well....... They give you the embarkation berth number, but not the GATE at Southampton. Our driver had to ask around and take 20 extra minutes or more to get us to the ship. Embarkation was fairly easy. Immediately disappointed by the SIZE of the cabin. Paid extra for Concierge Level suite. Ha Ha, it is exactly the same as less expensive cabins on other decks, it's just on deck 7. What advantage does that give you??? NONE! No concierge service, no great perks, just a tiny cabin with a tiny bathroom that costs a lot of money. The food that they rave about as being BEST of any cruise line did not prove to be outstanding. Most dinners were good, a couple were POOR----tough meat, or extreme lack of seasoning. We liked Toscana much better than Polo Grill. Entertainment was pretty good. The singers had great voices. Service: hit and miss. Some good, some average, some poor. Shore Excursions: two good ones, two POOR ones, all expensive. One cancelled because we lost two ports due to bad weather! We had been on Oceania before. But we are not sure we will go with them again. Not a good value for the money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the ... Read More
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the dining room. Great entertainment. John's magic show during happy hour was the best. The speakers were outstanding. Enjoyed Black Jack tournaments. Some couples really wanted to play Poker but not enough players. I can't say enough about the staff. Very helpful and kind. The best. Julio at the concierge desk was so helpful with all. I mostly booked my own excursions. Love the Orkney Islands. Our favorite stop. Did a walking tour in Londonderry and that was on the spot 4 GBP so great value. Being able to get a special coffee anytime, an ice cream etc. was great. Service at the dining room was very efficient. Loved showing up and being seated so quickly. The buffet was good but often crowded as the weather did not lend itself to dining outdoors so they brought those seats in. Prefer the dining room and personalize service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended in Southhampton, from which we were bused to Heathrow. The very beginning of our cruise was also the worst part of it. I thought it would make things easier to let Oceania book the flights and airport transfers. The flight from Seattle to Heathrow was long but not too bad. We paid extra for premium economy. Then it was a couple-hour flight to Rome. We were supposed to be met by Oceania representatives once we cleared customs and retrieved our checked bags. We did find the people, but they accused us of being "late" and said the bus had already left. Believe me, we had come through as quickly as we could, not even stopping to use the bathroom. We and one other hapless couple were told we would have to wait until there were more people for a fuller bus. By this time we were exhausted, hungry and getting very irritated. After about two hours, just when we were about to find private transportation, we were told we could get on the bus. Ninety minutes later we were on board, sipping Champagne in our stateroom. We found the ship quite stately and attractive, especially the artwork that was everywhere. The public rooms were beautiful and pleasant. We particularly enjoyed Martinis Bar and Horizons at the top of the ship. It was fairly warm for our first couple of days in Spain, and I did get a chance to enjoy the very small swimming pool. But for most of the cruise, the pool and all the lovely lounges around it sat empty. It was too cold and windy even to sit outside, much less swim. I loved the weightlifting equipment in the gym and spent a fair amount of time on the treadmills and stationary bikes. Although Oceania boasts it has the finest cuisine at sea, I found the food uneven. For example, one evening, at the buffet I had sliced roast turkey, which was moist and quite good. Another day I tried the roast beef, which was tough and inedible. The main dining room featured many choices, but some were disappointing. For example, I sometimes like to order Eggs Benedict, but these were way overcooked, more like hard-boiled than poached. Possibly the best food was at the grill, which mostly served simple burgers and the like. But since it was partly open to the air, and it was so cold much of time, we couldn't eat there very often. I did appreciate the 24/7 "coffee bar" at Horizons. We didn't go to any of the evening shows, but my husband and I really enjoyed the string quartet that played for afternoon tea at Horizons and at other times. We also liked the jazz piano player in Martinis. Best of all was the lecturer, Dr. Stephen Wesley. He did a good job of preparing us for the many architectural styles to be found in Barcelona and for the classical underpinnings of so much of modern Europe. Service was excellent. Our room was made up promptly twice a day and was always immaculate. The only problem was keeping it that way since it was so small our stuff tended to get strewn about. This was a good itinerary. We especially loved Cartagena, Oporto, Bilbao and Bordeaux. Probably our best single day was our first day in Bordeaux. We got there a little before noon, got off the ship and walked into the town. Even though it was raining we found it quite beautiful and soon found a little place to have lunch. That evening we had a very special excursion to a chateau in the Haut-Medoc. The winery owner led us on a tour of the cellars, including the "secret cellar" where the best wine was hidden during the Nazi occupation during World War II. Then she escorted us to the dining room of her chateau, where we had a very French dinner (including foie gras) with appropriate wines throughout. Would I go again? Probably not on Oceania. For the approximately $20,000 we spent (including $500 each for that tour and dinner at the chateau), I think I could do better. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and ... Read More
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and live around two hours’ drive from Southampton. We arrived at around 2.30 pm at the terminal. Check in was pretty straight forward as there were no guests waiting and we were soon on board and in the Terrace Cafe having a bite to eat. Our bags were waiting when we got to our stateroom at 3pm. THE ITINERARY Nautica was sailing from Southampton UK and visiting Newcastle, UK, Edinburg and Glasgow Scotland, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool UK, Holyhead, Wales , Waterford, Ireland, Portland, UK and finally returning to Southampton. There were two sea days. We had not been to these Cities before. THE SHIP Nautica is very “old fashioned” in the best possible way. Her decor is comfortable and inviting. No glitz. No loud music. Just cosy. There are two sets of lifts and they all face the same direction so you never turn the wrong way to get to your stateroom (well hardly ever), There were only 580 guests on board, short by nearly 100. The majority of guests were American, with the rest made up of Canadians, Australians and Brits with a few Italians, Germans and French. All the British guests we met on board had not visited the ports before! THE STATEROOM We were in Veranda Stateroom 6084. This is the very last stateroom before the Owners Suits on the aft of deck six. The accommodation is small compared with Riviera. There is adequate drawer and wardrobe space, but the entrance, wardrobe and bathroom doors all open onto each other and when you exit the bathroom, you can easily “loose” your travelling companion inside the wardrobe!! The bathroom is tiny and the shower cubicle even tinier. You learn to live with it, but it is not ideal. Bed and bedding is wonderful, but bedside cupboard is ridiculously low and inaccessible. The general lighting needs modernising as it is quite gloomy. At certain speeds and/or wind direction this room is subject to quite lot of engine noise and vibration. I do not recommend it for that reason, even though most of the time it was quiet and comfortable. SERVICE I have read on here that service in the restaurant is not up to scratch; that there are queues at reception and long waits for room service. None of this happened to us. Restaurant service was exemplary. Jacqueline on the desk at the MDR remembered our name and room number within a couple of days. She was always charming. We always got a window table at breakfast. Alan a senior waiter was excellent. Irene was always smiling. There were others who impressed us, but I do not remember all the names. Room service was astonishing. We counted two minutes from ordering our tea in the morning to it arriving in the stateroom……. every morning. The terrace cafe was never full. The cruise was not full to capacity, perhaps that helped. PORTS We enjoyed every port but one. We did not take Oceania’s tours they are much too expensive and not value for money, in our opinion. We used the shuttle bus sometimes and arranged private tours on other occasions. Surprisingly the least enjoyable port was Dublin. After the shuttle bus we took a Hop on Hop off ride. Dreadful traffic, cold and windy quite “run down” in many areas. Nowhere we wanted to have a closer look at. Disappointing. Everywhere else we found interesting and absorbing. We are so pleased we took this cruise. The sea was kind. with only one lumpy day. ENTERTAINMENT This was mediocre. We only tried three shows and walked away from two of them. Tuxedo was the only good one, and it was great. Generally our entertainment was a long leisurely dinner with interesting new friends. We were last in the dining room more than once!! I am sure the waiters were not amused, but of course, they never let us know. To sum up. Excellent trip. Good weather. Oceania did not let us down. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose the cruise based on its itinerary. We wanted to go to the main ports of the UK and Ireland. The ship docked at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Holyhead, Waterford and the Isle of Portland. A similar ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on its itinerary. We wanted to go to the main ports of the UK and Ireland. The ship docked at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Holyhead, Waterford and the Isle of Portland. A similar cruise on the Caribbean Princess didn’t dock at Newcastle where we had friends living. It was a much smaller (mid-size) ship than the ones we had sailed on prior. We had a Veranda Stateroom. We were suprised at the small sized bathroom. If you disregard the small shower, the room was about the size of an airplane’s toilet. However, they had turned the toilet at an angle towards the wall, which meant you couldn’t use it without pressing your knees into the wall. It would be impossible for a tall person to use it. Other than that the stateroom and veranda were mostly as we had found on the Celebrity and HAL cruises. There was also a lot of noise from the engine when they were traveling around 16 knots. We were near the back of the ship where the engine room is. I guess when the ship was built soundproofing material was scarce. Our perks were a free beverage package, free internet and 6 free excursions. The agency also kicked in a $550 onboard credit. We found the excursions to be extremely expensive compared to celebrity and HAL offerings. Also the Nautica excursions were mostly a short half day in length. We decided to book our own tours directly with the tour companies through Viator etc. We saved a ton of money doing so and the tour content was much fuller than the Ship’s tours. Overall the food selection was excellent. Cabin staff were ok. We thought that being on a smaller ship would mean less wait times the main dining room and buffet but that was not the case. Entertainment was mainly individual singers. Because of the September weather, no one was using any of the outdoor amenities. The entertainment system in the stateroom was out of date with small screen TV and a DVD player for DVD’s obtained at the main reception desk. Overall, the ship got us to where we wanted to go. Food was above average. However, it needs a major refurbishment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost ... Read More
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost un-noticable the night we had them. The ship was very comfortable through that night. The captain was among the best in keeping all well informed throughout the cruise. He was very approachable and explained everything. One day as we were disembarking we saw him leaving the ship with his bike for a ride around the port. The food on board was terrific as usual on Oceania. The food on board is the main reason we frequently look at the itineraries that Oceania offers. We always meet very interesting people on board. This trip was no exception. Exploring out of the way places in Dublin and the Beatles tour was a highlight. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
As the saying goes, how many chances do you have to make a first impression? We have traveled on several cruise lines including Disney, Princess and some smaller ones. Oceania was the most non-caring in their treatment of the entire ... Read More
As the saying goes, how many chances do you have to make a first impression? We have traveled on several cruise lines including Disney, Princess and some smaller ones. Oceania was the most non-caring in their treatment of the entire cruise experience. The one I enjoyed the least. Boarding was a bad start: 45 minute wait standing in a "snake line" to register. This, after an all night flight and significant jet lag. You can't sit down when you're in a "snake line." Luggage delivery to stateroom: Incredibly poor. finally get on board, would like to unpack and decompress. No luggage. Luggage arrived much later than we did. Disembarking: Not bad. Travel arrangements: Awful. We disembark around 9 AM and Oceania books a 5PM flight home. Hours of waiting for our flight at the airport watching earlier flights leave that Oceania could have, but did not, book for us. And of course, their policies do not allow passengers to change travel arrangements. When we tried, the airline told us that arrangements were made through a "third party" and could not be changed. Dining was excellent...but the poorly thought out inconveniences spoiled it for us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The destinations of Iceland and Greenland were new to us and were as hoped for. We had sailed with Oceania before on Insignia and thoroughly enjoyed it with good shows and lectures. This one was different as the shows were poor ... Read More
The destinations of Iceland and Greenland were new to us and were as hoped for. We had sailed with Oceania before on Insignia and thoroughly enjoyed it with good shows and lectures. This one was different as the shows were poor (although did improve at the end of the trip) and the excuse of all cabins booked so no room for entertainers did not wash! And the single lecturer was, in our opinion, awful. The library was OK but seemed to be based on the NY times bestsellers. There are much better libraries on other ships. The food was fine, the wine list better than expected and the service was excellent. We will need to go on an extended diet as the sweets were perhaps too sweet! We particularly liked the daily updates from the captain, entertaining and informative. Would we go again? Only if the itinerary was really good and the main competition did not offer a similar deal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
While having cruised about 25-30 times on various popular lines, this was our first cruise on an Oceania ship. We chose this one for it's itinerary which included Scotland, Shetland and Faroe Islands, Ireland, Greenland, and Iceland ... Read More
While having cruised about 25-30 times on various popular lines, this was our first cruise on an Oceania ship. We chose this one for it's itinerary which included Scotland, Shetland and Faroe Islands, Ireland, Greenland, and Iceland (multiple ports). We met many lovely fellow cruisers. The ship is richly elegant, not glitzy like the more popular lines. The room was pleasant (veranda), but the shower was quite small! The one disappointment was the food, which Oceania makes a big deal about. We found it to be good, but no better than Celebrity, Royal Carib, or others. While the cruise was more expensive , we found the OLife incentives to be quite worthwhile. Taking this into consideration, the price difference was not that much to be concerned about. Would we travel on Oceania again? Absolutely! What we found particularly interesting was that the breakfast and lunch buffets were served to us. We did not handle the serving pieces ourselves. Therefor the passing of germs from one person to another was greatly diminsihed. The was an absence of sickness and coughing, so prevalent on other lines. Very nice! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was beautiful and interesting, far more so than we expected. It was a Southampton round trip, themed around the Vikings. The itinerary was: Edinburgh, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Akureyri and Isafjordur in northern ... Read More
This cruise was beautiful and interesting, far more so than we expected. It was a Southampton round trip, themed around the Vikings. The itinerary was: Edinburgh, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Akureyri and Isafjordur in northern Iceland, an all day navigation of the staggeringly beautiful Prince Kristian Fjord in Greenland, followed by Paamiut and Qaqortoq in Greenland, then back to Reykjavik for two days, then Derry, Belfast, and Dublin Ireland. That is a lot of ocean to cover so there are 5-6 sea days. We loved the natural beauty, it was like witnessing a very new Earth, with evidence of volcanoes, glaciers, earth quakes, and seismic plates(we put one foot on the Eur-Asian plate and the other on the American, while they were venting steam and slowly separating!) Culturally and historically the trip was fascinating. We love the Oceania smaller ships. We particularly appreciate the friendly and competent staff. The dining options aren't vast, but the Grand Dining room is pleasant and the selection is broad enough to not be boring after three weeks. The two specialty dining rooms are Toscana, Italian, obviously, and Polo, a steak house; they require reservations but no extra fees. We do not go to the entertainment, enrichment activities, or the buffet venue, so we can't give information about those things. We are too busy researching the next destination or reading our books. We always book private guides with our cruise critic "friends" and then it is such fun to finally meet on the ship. The only drawback is the glacially slow internet, but it was recently announced that Oceania is updating the capacity and speed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Have done many cruises on the Nautica. Love the small ship atmosphere and the\of the ability of the ship to stop in smaller ports. The ship is beautifully decorated and easy to negotiate. There is a great selection of dining choices ... Read More
Have done many cruises on the Nautica. Love the small ship atmosphere and the\of the ability of the ship to stop in smaller ports. The ship is beautifully decorated and easy to negotiate. There is a great selection of dining choices and all are delicious. The speciality restaurants are especially nice and they are included. We downgraded to a obstructed view cabin and were not bothered by the loss of square footage. Still had a good sized window. The service on the ship has always been first class. The cruise director and staff did a wonderful job keeping passengers informed. The ports were interesting but don't expect sunbathing weather. The ship offered a wide variety of tours and excursions. We were able to do several of the ports on our own and didn't use the ship's tours. Dublin was a fun port. Will not hesitate to cruise on the Nautica in the future. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary. We had been to Iceland and Faroes 3 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to go back, also this cruise featured 2 stops in Greenland which we wanted to see. The last time we sailed on ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary. We had been to Iceland and Faroes 3 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to go back, also this cruise featured 2 stops in Greenland which we wanted to see. The last time we sailed on Oceania (Regatta & Insignia) was 2005 and 2007 respectively. We were interested to see how ship experience has change in these years and the (possible) effect of the influence of the new parent company NCL has on the cruise experience. It is important to say that we went on the cruise with a very bitter taste as we had booked in October 2015 and paid in full in February 2016 at a so called special offer only to find that in May 2016 Oceania had reduced our equivalent cabin category by a whopping 48%. It took me and my travel agent nearly a month to try and resolve this situation. Oceania UK were most unhelpful in doing anything to compensate us for this. Eventually, I wrote to Frank del Rio (CEO Oceania) and Jason Montague (President NCL) and they got the UK office, Bernard Carter MD, to offer us many extra packages which we had to take instead of getting any cash refund. Because they had so many issues regarding this type of pricing offer Oceania have introduced their price promise called BPG, best price guarantee. My advice is to check that they will honour the BPG when yo book or better still wait for the price to drop nearer to sailing date and get a "last minute deal". Despite the above our cruise overall was very good. Never rate anything or anyone excellent as they have nothing left to achieve. The downside of Nautica and the other R ships in the fleet is that the bathrooms are very small. Our outside view cabin was good although the decorations are showing signs of ageing. We were on Deck 4 which is very convenient for the main dining room and Nautica Lounge. Oceania lacks a lot of daytime activities that are offered on larger ships. The entertainment team of 4 have to organise the so called "sporting" activities and also perform their evening production shows. The only lecture was fairly interesting but seemed to think that passengers (his shipmates) were only going to visit the local pubs in every port of call. Oceania is noted for it's dining (food) experience and overall this was very good. The main criticism was the limited variety of vegetarian dishes on offer. They seem to give fancy names for every menu item. The service in the Grand Dining Room was slow on a number of occasions. The Polo Grill and Toscana were very nice. If you like your food hot, as we do, be sure to ask and remind your waiter as at most meals we had to send our soup and main course back as it was only cool in temperature. The entertainment was quite good but again very limited. The Cruise Director Julie James was excellent and apologised that because the cruise was oversold there was not the availability of cabins for more entertainers. The Wi-Fi internet on the ship was very,very,very poor. Luckily we had an unlimited package because if we had to pay for it we would have needed a mortgage at their prices. The shore excursions were well organised but very poor value for money, Again we had 5 shore excursions included in our extras package so if we would have paid for them they were an expensive rip off. My advice is to book your tours independently. All the ports were very good and apart from Dublin, where only one shuttle bus ran on the hour, we enjoyed the tendering and shuttle service/ Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We have sailed several times before, but this our first on Oceania. We were offered a great deal to change our Oceania South American cruise to this one, so we took it. We were given a penthouse suite with a butler. It also entitled us to ... Read More
We have sailed several times before, but this our first on Oceania. We were offered a great deal to change our Oceania South American cruise to this one, so we took it. We were given a penthouse suite with a butler. It also entitled us to 3 nights in each specialty restaurant. The room was spacious and had a tub shower. What a treat! We sailed from Southampton to Edinburgh, then to the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands and to Akureryi, Iceland. Things went well until we were headed to Greenland for two stops. Because of ice floes (in late June) we were unable to go to our planned locations. Instead, we went around Greenland to Nuuk, Greenland's capitol. We all made the best of it. Unfortunately, because of the change in plans and the slower sailing due to icebergs in the area, we missed time in Reykjavic and missed Londonderry all together. We added three days at sea, but we were safe. We stopped at Belfast, Liverpool and Dublin before returning to Southampton. We did not take any Oceania shore excursions, but booked private ones ourselves. They all turned out well. Oceania provided two wonderful lecturers. Because of the extra sea days, more lectures were presented. That really helped. Also, there were games throughout the day. The trivia team contests were very competitive. The other entertainment ranged between very good and so-so. The staff was wonderful. They always had good attitudes and made us feel welcome. Ray, the cruise director, was a hoot. The food was great in all venues. We usually do not frequent the buffet, except at lunch, but it was so good and plentiful, we had breakfast there too. The specialty restaurants were good as was the main dining room. The passengers, as a group, were older. But we met some of the most wonderful people. Because the amount of passengers is relatively small (under 700), we got to know so many interesting people with great stories. It was a lovely cruise and well worth the money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We looked at a 40-page description of excursions and selected one for Glasgow that included a residence and a tea room designed by an architect named Macintosh. We weren't all that excited about it, but at least it took us on a bus ... Read More
We looked at a 40-page description of excursions and selected one for Glasgow that included a residence and a tea room designed by an architect named Macintosh. We weren't all that excited about it, but at least it took us on a bus to Glasgow so it was better than the other options. Then when we got the printed itinerary, we checked the description again, and it still included Glasgow. When we got on the ship, there was a 5 page leaflet that highlighted all the excursions, in case you wanted to add one or two more. The leaflet had an insert that highlighted the changes (they were all “this one is for 4 hours instead of 3 ½” and similar notations. A couple were cancelled for lack of interest, but none of our excursions were on the “changed” insert.) When we went to the residence, we were told we had 2 hours to look around because that was our only stop. We asked about the trip into Glasgow, but were told that was not on the guide’s itinerary. When we got back to the ship (never making it into Glasgow) we complained about it. (Imagine having the ship go to a port and never seeing the main town.) We never got an answer. One of the other people in our party was told that we all were advised of the change because the new description was in our 5 page leaflet that was in our stateroom when we arrived. So, let’s see how this works. We pour over the 40 page descriptions, pick what we want, check the descriptions in our printed itinerary to make sure it is correct, and then get switched to something else because we should have read the new leaflet when we got on the boat to discover it had been changed. We are used to the excursions being disappointing (last year’s full-day excursions to Florence and Rome felt like they were designed and executed by Larry Darrel and Darrel), but we didn’t expect this. The food was, as always, excellent, as long as you stay out of the Italian Restaurant. (I would suggest swapping it out on the Nautica for a Red Ginger.) We solved the disappointing problem of dealing with poor flight connections that Oceania draws up (and charges you more for) by driving to Chicago to get a direct flight. And unlike the Marina, where there is value to a concierge level veranda suite, the Nautica has no concierge lounge. So except for a bottle of Champaign that we didn’t drink, I have no idea what we received for the extra charge. Maybe I was getting spoiled by sailing on the Marina, but I don’t think we will try the smaller ships again, and I am concerned about the bait and switch, and then being blown off when we asked for some kind of an explanation. It makes me wonder if the sale of the line means less attention to guests concerns. The experience left a bad taste, especially for a loyal customer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
1. Ship size - just right. Considered the small end of a mid-size ship. Very clean. 2. Crew to passenger ratio - not 1 t 1 but close. 3. Crew/steward/waiter service - absolutely marvelous. Alway a smile and greeting from someone ... Read More
1. Ship size - just right. Considered the small end of a mid-size ship. Very clean. 2. Crew to passenger ratio - not 1 t 1 but close. 3. Crew/steward/waiter service - absolutely marvelous. Alway a smile and greeting from someone on the crew anytime, anywhere. Somewhat offputting at first. We are never are used to customer service like this. Just outstanding. 4. Tips - figured into your invoice. Only have to add to steward, waiter, etc if you think you rec'd exceptional service. 5. Depart/Arrival - easy; painless. Well organized. You get early boarding with a concierge level booking or better. 6. Food - every "best" you have ever heard about a top cruise ship. With a little will power, you can actually eat better and more selectively than another other place you might go. You can gorge or eat positively; take your choice. Buffet was alway overflowing w/vegetables, fish/shrimp/lobster tails, beef of some sort, main courses, sushi, desserts and on and on. Main dining room had food and service equal to the two (2) specialty restaurants on board. With concierge level booking, you get two meals at each of the specialty restaurants. Absolutely the best, most courteous service imaginable; any food selection was "to die for". Don't know much about wine? Just ask the wine steward. It may cost A LOT, but you'll have wine of a quality and taste you might never have experienced before. A real education given right at the table. Just plain fun. 7. Drink costs - really, really high. Drink programs were 'ouch' expensive, and you would have to drink yourself to death to make it worthwhile. Stay away if you can. A bottle of champagne and a red in your room on arrival. You can take these bottles to any of places you can eat. Will uncork for you and serve graciously. No charge. You can bring a bottle back on board. However, if you do this, there will probably be a charge to open. 8. Room - splendid! Good room to move around; good storage space for unpacking for the duration of the cruise. Very clean. IF you have any concern, they will take care of it for you yesterday. 9. Excursions - just as you have ever been warned before. Expensive. Some good; some not so good. Nothing that just blows your mind. Lots of city drive thrus enroute to a destination that were literally "drive-bys". Our trip to Loch Lomond dropped us at a small beach and cove that looked like anywhere USA. Had large mall area, so you know what the setup was for. Unless you are good at booking separate tours off the economy/off the boat, you are kind of caught. In retrospect, I would go to TripAdvisor, etc to see what I could find. Had to motor in at only one docking; easy and fun for something different. 10. Nightly shows and cruise director - cruise director was a hoot. Personable, overboard a little but just a fun guy. Shows were generally very good. Boat band/orchestra was above average. Ship's performers - some standouts; some should just sign harmony in the background. But worth attending most every night., 11. Misc - PM tea time; snack shack. Great and great again. You could eat breakfast and lunch or snack time here anytime if you just wanted some alone time away from the buffet or main dining room. Did not use the pool or spa. Workout area was well equipped for a ship. Watch out for the trainer - very nice guy who could get you to spend a fortune for most anything you might do at a regular gym/fitness center for free. Shopping - not a chance. No gambling either. Lots of folks were into it tho. OVERALL: High cost of drinks; high cost of excursions - nothing new. Rated five stars just because all the other things outranked these two downers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not. Obviously -- lots new staff on board, including the GM, CD and many of the officers and staff. Putting Insignia back in service with the company going from 3 ships to 5 ships and a doubling of the capacity has put a strain on staff and management. Embarkation: Was smooth an efficient. At 1pm, we were on the ship and in our cabin in 15 minutes from reaching the port. Safety Drill: Muster stations are in the GDR and Lounge. The first drill (we had two) was total CHAOS. After the drill we complained and had a one on one with the ships safety officer. The 2nd one was better organized. Stateroom: We had a PH2 category and have had this several times. The cabin is rather small for a PH but was adequate. The new decor was definitely an improvement (lighter colors). Of course the bed and linens on Oceania are the best of any cruise line. Food: We ate at all of the venues. The GDR was good and service was acceptable. Toscana was also good. However POLO was the worse. All of the steaks we had were horrible. Tasteless lumps of meat. We complained several times and there was no improvement. The Terrace was actually the best we had on on many cruises. The addition of the Grill is a plus. We did have an issue at the beginning -- no Lamp Chops, but Head Chef Maarten quickly resolved that. The coffee in the Terrace was just plain horrible. The espresso/cappuccino machine was constantly broken. Eventually about 2/3 into the cruise they put a Barista machine and were making the espresso's manually for those that wanted them. Service: Service was spotty in the GDR. However otherwise service throughout the ship was excellent. Our housekeeper was friendly and efficient. Our Butler Janos was the best we have had! CD: As some others posted O is having issues with their CD's. Many have left and the new hires like "Bob" did not work out and was fired in mid cruise. So we were left without a CD until the end when Nolan Dean came aboard in Iceland. Nolan was first class.and we liked his English sense of humor. Tours: We only took one "O" tour as we like our private tours. The one we did take the "Titanic Trail" was poorly organized and overpriced. We had a tour scheduled at the pump house in Belfast shipyard and the guide was 45 minutes late. Baristas: The new coffee bar in former Grand Bar area was definitely a hit. The Baristas generally knew in mid cruise what we were going to order. Disembarkation: We had an early departure from Gatwick so need to get off the ship by 9AM. We did at the head of the queue to leave and was delayed until all of the luggage was unloaded. Sort of defeats the idea or need to do a n early departure with towing our own luggage. We made our flight with time to spare. Overall gave the cruise 4* --if Polo was better it would have gotten *5. Oceania needs to fix these specialty restaurant issues (We were not the only ones to complain). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
After many cruises with Oceania, this cruise was a large disappointment. To summarize: This cruise being 20 days with 8 days at sea plus another day with port arrival at 4 pm, we were assured by Oceania there would be a bridge director on ... Read More
After many cruises with Oceania, this cruise was a large disappointment. To summarize: This cruise being 20 days with 8 days at sea plus another day with port arrival at 4 pm, we were assured by Oceania there would be a bridge director on board, with instruction and duplicate play. It turned out they did not deliver on a firm promise. There were 30 to 40 irate bridge players on the ship the first day at sea. The food was generally good but not nearly up to what we experienced on Oceania before. Wait staff was inexperienced and untrained to the point of being comical at times. The cruise director was either fired or quit shortly after sailing off, so about half the cruise there was no cruise director. The lectures were not at all related to the itinerary. Shore excursion were terribly overpriced. After over 20 odd cruises, I have never been on a cruise where there were so many disgruntled passengers.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
(I´m Swedish. More of a 2*-man, than 5*) Cruising ranks low, when I plan holidays. Nevertheless I now and then cruise. Hithertho always with different lines (RCCL,HAL, Costa, NCL). Oceania was a step up. In many aspects. From outside ... Read More
(I´m Swedish. More of a 2*-man, than 5*) Cruising ranks low, when I plan holidays. Nevertheless I now and then cruise. Hithertho always with different lines (RCCL,HAL, Costa, NCL). Oceania was a step up. In many aspects. From outside Nautica looks rather plain. Inside impressing. Beautiful public areas, cabins, and dining rooms. I was very surprised that on this little ship had more space for myself outside my cabin, than on any of the three to five times larger ships I have been on. You could always find place to sit wherever you wanted. Now bit for bit: 1. Standard balcony cabin. Very, very attractive. I loved it. Really not large, but enough for us. Especially the bathroom gave limited space. But I prefer that than an even smaller cabin. The beds 110%. From hell to heaven compared to NCL, with their sweaty pillows. Free non-alcoholic in the fridge. The TV was an example of the opposite to HD. But that I count out. A tip: Try to get a cabin where you move forward sitting in the sofa. Not for example our 6025. 2. Public areas gave astonishing space. Used to crowded rooms on other ships. Elegant everywhere. 3. Sundeck: Lots of extremly comfortable sunbeds. Always empty available. Pool very small. The 2 bubble-pools very popular. 4. Walking-track very short. But it was so wide, that you could even jogg, same time lots of walkers were there. Strange: All the much larger ships I cruised on, gave less opportunity for jogging. 5. Gym. Super. 6. Dining: The dishes always served hot. And tasty. Especially in Toscana. Our favorite. The only dissappointment was the steaks in Polo-grill. But perhaps americans like that kind of meat. Thick and absolutely non-tasting. Second to Toscana, we prefered the self-service Terrace-café. Nice to see what you put on your plate. Wines: The cheap ones were not cheap, neither good. The more expensive were ok, but far too expensive. And the offered packages were also very high-priced. Stay sober on Nautica. Or drink in yuor cabin. (Bottles allowed to bring aboard.) 7. Bars: drinks very expensive, and contained only ice and soft drinks. Perhaps a hint of alcoholic. I took one, and just laughed. 8. Evening-shows: Very high standard for such a small ship. And varied. 9. Day-lectures in the theatre: Don Campell talked around the history in ports to arrive. For me, and I believe for many others, this was the best hours on the cruise. I will never forget him. And his lectures. 10. Excursions. We took 5. That was exactly 5 too many. Guides, dull, duller, or even duller. We envy those smart people who went out on their own in every port. 11. Staff: On former cruises they have been very nice. Here they were fantactic. As I began, I´m not a cruiser. But if I cruise again, it will be on a ship of this size. Worth every extra buck you pay. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Thursday 15 August 2013 We had been given an official boarding time of 1pm but thought it wouldn't hurt to arrive early and we didn't mind waiting in the terminal if necessary. When we arrived at the terminal, very few other ... Read More
Thursday 15 August 2013 We had been given an official boarding time of 1pm but thought it wouldn't hurt to arrive early and we didn't mind waiting in the terminal if necessary. When we arrived at the terminal, very few other people were arriving and we walked straight in to check-in. Nice touches included the blue carpet at the entrance with Nautica and Oceania Cruises on and a table with complimentary orange juice and iced water. After check-in - passports were kept - and the usual credit card swipe, we were given our cruise cards (World Cards in Oceania speak) and a letter to say boarding would begin at 1pm and cabins would be ready at 3pm. As we went through security and I headed for the embarkation lounge, we were called and invited to board the ship. The ship's card machine was set up on the Promenade deck and crew were stationed at various points to direct us straight to the Terrace Restaurant (buffet). As we crossed the main pool deck I was impressed by rows of sun loungers, steamer chairs and twin steamer chairs, all with thick cushions and white towelling covers. We found a table on the open deck at the stern of the Terrace Cafe and then went to choose food. In the buffet all food is served to you at all times. Plates were also given to you from behind the counters and cutlery was on the tables, which were laid properly as at dinner. I chose a delicious vegetable lasagne followed by a strawberry concoction. I don't know what it was called but was heavenly - my first introduction to the renowned Oceania food. It was also very nice to be able to order any soft drink or sparkling water - it is all included on Nautica. My plates were carried to the table by a waiter. After lunch we wandered down to Reception to pick up the daily programme and then found a sunbed each and lazed until 2.30 when an announcement told us the cabins were ready. We had a standard twin outside stateroom on Deck 3 with a porthole. Unfortunately the bed was made up as a double though! A quick call to reception soon got it sorted with no fuss or bother. The mattresses are pocket sprung, and covered two inches of memory foam. The bedding is 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton linen and a down comforter. They were certainly the most comfortable I have had on a cruise ship. Cabin amenities include bath robes, slippers, soft drinks and small bottles of water in the fridge, two large bottles of water on a tray with glasses and bottle opener, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, hand soap, bath soap (for the shower), shower cap, cotton wool, cotton buds, umbrella, shoe horn, shoe shine cloth, two hairdryers - one fixed in the bathroom and a hand held one, plug-in nightlight, TV and DVD player (DVD's available free from reception, catalogue in cabin). Best of all, the bedside lights had an ordinary lamp and an additional reading light on a flexible stalk, which could be switched independently so as not to disturb your cabin mate. Storage is not wonderful - one large double wardrobe, and one half robe with half hanging and four drawers. One side of the dressing table/desk is a cupboard with four more small drawers and the other side a cupboard with one shelf. Under the flatscreen TV is a corner cupboard with shelf and safe. We had a sofa, very comfy padded headboard and huge mirrors. Attention to detail was such that as you pushed the toilet lid down, it closed itself quietly - like soft-closing kitchen drawers! Having unpacked, we set off to explore the ship. As another R ship like P&O's Adonia, we were familiar with the layout and much seemed to be identical even down to the tartan carpet in Horizons (Crows Nest on Adonia). However, there was a huge casino (for the size of ship) and the buffet is very different indeed - more of that later. Muster drill was at 5.15. We assembled in Muster Station A, were checked off a list at the door and were assigned Lifeboat No.1. We were asked to wear our lifejackets and after the usual announcements were led, in boat groups, to our lifeboat so we knew exactly where we had to be in the event of an emergency. British are in the minority at around 10% but this just made a refreshing change and everyone was friendly. By then it was 7pm and time to go change for dinner (Nautica has no formal nights, but I wanted to freshen up). We headed for the Grand Dining Room and joined the short queue. When we got to the Maitre D' he asked if we would like to go to the Polo Grill as there was spare capacity there while we would have to wait for the MDR. All other dining venues are free/included but you are normally only allowed to book once per cruise so we had no problem heading up to Deck 10. I chose beetroot and Goats cheese starter, Caesar Salad, Jumbo Shrimp Scampi and New York Cheesecake with caramelised top! Dessert was accompanied by home-made jellies and coffee. Dinner ended about 10.30 and the ship died - we thought many were probably jet-lagged but this was normal throughout the cruise. As it was so port-heavy, most people rose early. Often we were in port until 8pm so it was natural we were all tired by 10.30. Friday 16 August - At sea This was one of our two sea days. We had breakfast in the Terrace Cafe - the plates carried to my seat by waiters who also served coffee and fresh orange juice (with bits). The range of fresh fruit alone was amazing - every day three different type of melon, papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. It was lovely and warm outside in the sun, overlooking the wake. I went to the Destination desk to book a tour (the only official ship's tour I took) and pick up quiz sheets. After a browse around the library (open 24/7 - just take what you want within reason as there are other guests to consider, and return before end of cruise) I sat on deck in sun and did a puzzle. We had lunch on deck at Waves Grill - burgers, paninis, sandwiches and wonderful icecreams, smoothies and milkshakes. After lunch I was dozing in the cabin but was woken by an announcement from the captain. He said some of us may have noticed our change of course due west as we needed a helicopter evacuation for crew member with head injury. We stood and the watched the whole operation from the pool deck where we were allowed to stand. After lowering a paramedic etc the RAF Sea King flew alongside the ship and the pilot and winchman waved to us all. He circled a few times and then came back in to collect everything and everyone. We then had our first Oceania afternoon tea in Horizons - this was better than Cunard IMO - string quartet, sandwiches brought round on tray, three-tier cake trolley and a stunning all-round view to boot. Hot water arrived in a teapot, with another waiter holding a wooden box containing a huge selection of different teas from which to choose! By then it was time to go to cabin to get ready for the captain's welcome party. This was the only time the deck officers mixed with passengers. Drinks were free-flowing. We had dinner in the GDR and I still feel this was the best meal of my life so far - starter of caviar on blinis, the miso-glazed sea bass and a cappuccino dessert served in a chocolate cup. Went to see the Show before bed. There were five entertainment staff on board. The Cruise Director, Nolan Dean, was from the UK and probably the best CD I have had- always around the ship chatting etc. As on CMV, it was the CD who made all passenger announcements about going ashore etc. All five of the team not only ran sports tournaments, quizzes, needlepoint classes etc, but were also the show troupe, both singing and dancing in the shows. Nolan also did two one-man comedy and singing shows. Additionally we had Rick Thomas -an Illusionist. The cruise was a Music Festival at Sea to celebrate Oceania's 10 year anniversary and on board were the Fjord Cadenza Ensemble - a wonderful classical group. There was also the on-board show band, a cocktail pianist in Martinis and a string quartet who played at teatime and in the Atrium at cocktails. Saturday 16 August - Edinburgh I woke very early and got dressed to go up on deck to see my first ever glimpse of the Forth Bridge as we sailed under it into Rosyth. After breakfast (outside on the terrace) we prepared for a day in Edinburgh. The Tattoo was still on, as was the Fringe Festival. There was a free shuttle bus to Inverkeithing Station so we waited on the dockside and chatted with others in order to get the first bus and ashore quickly. At the station, we bought a £5.50 return ticket from the machine and crossed over the line to the far platform almost as soon as the train arrived. It took about 25 minutes into Waverley Station. Unfortunately it was drizzly so we found a taxi to take us up to the Castle where we started our day. The queue was not too bad so after buying our tickets we headed up to the Castle. The road slowly got windier and quite rough as we climbed up into the Castle Keep and joined the short queue to see the Scottish Crown Jewels. There was lots to see and worth the entrance money overall, but the jewels were probably not worth it if it meant a long wait. After working our way down again, we walked down the Royal Mile, filled with souvenir shops, mostly selling kilts, whisky and items with Scottie dogs on. We had a sandwich and a drink in the Festival Hub Cafe. Lots of Fringe entertainment happening on Market Street, and Cannon Gate etc. Went into St Giles Cathedral where a lovely concert was in progress - piano and saxophone. We got back to Waverley Station about 2.15 and then took ages to find out which platform we were supposed to be on. First told 11 (wrong), then 17 (wrong), then finally 2 so managed the 2.27 train to Aberdeen via Inverkeithing. We had a short wait for the shuttle bus but the sun was now out and quite hot! On our return to the ship I quickly changed before we went up for the wonderful afternoon tea again (I cannot make a habit of this - too much food!). Sailaway was very delayed presumably by the fierce gusting wind. A tug arrived and attached first at the bow, then moved to the stern. It took ages to slowly move the stern out and edge away from the berth before retracing our route under the two bridges. As Nautica sailed under each bridge the captain sounded the horn three times. Then it was time to go back down for a shower and to change for dinner. Sunday 17th August - Invergordon, We were not arriving until 12 noon so had a leisurely breakfast and then went to the Stitch & Chat. Oceania provide free needlepoint kits to make small items such as a spectacle case or bag. If you complete one during the cruise you can choose another. By 10.30 we thought it time to grab a bite to eat as Nigel, our private tour guide ( www.shorexcursions.co.uk) wanted us to be off the ship as soon as possible. Four of us were first off and we waited a short time for two more and then set off in Nigel's silver VW people-carrier towards Dunrobin Castle. Once there (amid a vintage car rally), Nigel spoke with Alistair, Lord Strathnaver, who directed us round the back into the private grounds. We walked through a tiny gate into the area where falcons and hawks were kept, guarded at the entrance by a beautiful, huge owl sitting on a flower pot! we wandered through the stunning grounds for around 40 mins before meeting everyone back at the falconry area. Alan, the falconer, then gave a public demonstration using three birds. An hour later we went up to the main castle and toured through some of its many rooms. At 3.45 we set off back towards the ship, driving along Loch Fleet in the hope of seeing seals (all on the opposite bank). We did see an osprey nest, swans, cormorants etc and then stopped at Millionaire's Viewpoint. Back in Invergordon we were driven past a number of murals and then back to Nautica, via a gift shop of course. Can thoroughly recommend the tour however, which was tailored to our time available. We were on board just in time to watch a show of Scottish song and dance put on by locals in the Nautica Lounge. At 7.30 we also had a marching pipe band on the quayside to send us on our way towards Lerwick. By now it was 8pm so we decided to eat dinner in the Terrace Cafe. I have always said I would not eat dinner in the buffet restaurants but on Nautica is was more akin to a proper dining room, serving the same dishes in fact. Monday 19th August - Lerwick Got the 9am free shuttle from the container dock (Holmsgarth) into Lerwick. Just after breakfast there was a torrential rain shower so it was not looking good, but after that it cleared dramatically and the sun came out making a nice day in the end. It was interesting to watch the crew of the oilrig supply ship berthed behind us go up onto their helipad to take photos of Nautica! As we went into the Tourist Information Centre we saw an advert for a boat trip - this was a cruise ship special (2 hours instead of their normal 3), so we booked. There were just six of us, plus skipper Alan and his wife Robbie - a marine biologist, who live on the boat throughout the summer. We first sailed round the harbour looking at the buildings (and a female seal who popped her head to look at us!), then set off through the main channel. Saw terns, common and grey seals, an Arctic Skua, cormorants, shags, eider drakes, guillemots, ravens and lots of gannets fishing. Later the boat was anchored over a wreck and they sent down an ROV and set up a TV screen so we could see what was under the boat. Robbie explained things in detail. Finally after 2 fascinating hours, we were dropped off at the pier and set off walking. Back on board, we went to the Trivia Quiz and joined with another team - all Americans so we were warmly welcomed for our UK knowledge! We came joint second so I got my first 2 Big O points! These are built up throughout the cruise and exchanged on the last day for various gifts - bookmarks, hats, t-shorts etc! We went back down to the cabin to wash and change for the dinner we had booked in the Polo Grill. We were not late going to bed as clocks went forward an hour that night. Tuesday 20th August - Alesund We arrived early and I rushed up on deck to watch us berth. I don't think I've ever seen a ship docked so fast - we appeared to race up towards the berth and then dead slow, a sideways thrust and we were there. I have to say the berthing and departures were all very sleek, swift and timely throughout the cruise. We never saw a queue to get off the ship - it was all efficient and quick. Our plan was to take the HoHo Bus - 200 NK - to the Sunnmore Museum. We did the full round trip first - the views from the high mountain viewpoint at Aksla were fabulous - then went round again as far as the Museum. Here were lots of turf-roofed old Norwegian country houses of various periods, boat houses etc. in a lovely woodland setting with streams. We had coffee and apple cake and then went back to wait for the HoHo bus. As we went back up to Aksla again I saw that while we were gone, Adventure of the Seas had arrived! We got off in town and wandered the shops. Back on board, we got up to Horizons just in time for afternoon tea. At 8.05, during dinner, we felt the engines power up and saw Nautica edging out from the quayside and swinging 180 degrees to sail back down the fjord. Wednesday 21st August - Geiranger I set the alarm for 5.45 am to watch the sail into Geiranger but we were already well into the Fjord by then. I made it up on deck just in time to see us sail past the Seven Sisters Falls and about 20 mins later we were there. The tendering operation was like any other - as independents we had to get tender tickets and wait in the Nautica Lounge, but we were called to board almost immediately. I got the Sightseeing bus to Flydal, and the two famous view points, wandered around, bought souvenirs, and then tendered back to ship. I had a quick lunch at Waves Grill as I wanted to watch our sail back down the fjord to pick up the overland tour passengers at Hellesylt. I wondered why one tender remained afloat as we hauled up our anchor but it soon became clear. Captain Ressa was going to give every passenger an amazing view of the Seven Sisters and the Suitors falls. With the tender acting as a range-finder for the ship, the captain did a slow 360 turn in the fjord. In the middle of the turn, we paused to one side to allow Artania and the Hurtigruten steamer Nordlys, to sail past us then continued to turn another 180 degrees before sailing to Hellesylt to pick up our tour people. Unfortunately it was very wet but standing on deck staring up at the huge mountains, with the wonderful music of Grieg coming through the speakers on deck - total magic. Thursday 22nd August - at sea. Our second and last sea day and it was lovely to finally get a lie in. It was warm enough to take advantage of the sun deck. As it became chilly, I asked for and was brought a thick woollen blanket by the pool boy and tucked in on the soft sun beds. A deck stewardess brought a cappuccino to complete the pampered feeling. We had lunch in Terrace Cafe before changing and going up to play shuffleboard. Since only six of us were playing anyway I won another Big O point for coming third! It was a lazy afternoon. Went to the Trivia quiz at 4.30 and our team won, then got dressed for dinner early as we wanted to go to the final recital by the Fjord Cadenza Ensemble. It was wonderful listening to the music of Grieg while remembering our sail through the fjords yesterday. Tomorrow the Platters are joining Nautica. We were then at a bit of a loose end as we had booked Toscana but not until 8.30 so we sat in the Library and watched us sail between the Inner and Outer Hebrides, before joining our table of six for a fabulous Italian meal - huge selection of breads, an olive oil menu etc. By the time we completed our meal it was 11pm so bed. Friday 23rd August - Belfast. We had a leisurely morning since Nautica wasn't due to berth until noon. Had breakfast and then went to needlepoint and chat. By then we were well in sight of Belfast docks so went up on deck. We had a good sight of the new Titanic Museum and the Harland & Wolff Gantries as well as an old WWI battleship. The day before I had filled in the mid-cruise comment sheet and as we went back to the cabin this morning, a knock at the door revealed the Asst. Housekeeping Manager regarding my comment that the cabin needed hooks for wet coats! Impressive! We berthed about 20 mins early so were ready and off the ship to meet Paddy as we had booked one of his Black Cab Tours of Belfast and the Giants Causeway. We had a short chat about what we wanted to see (happy to skip the Bushmills Distillery in favour of Dunluce Castle) and then set off into Belfast City. Our driver explained that, as a Catholic, there were areas he could not go. I was quite shocked as to how divided the city still was. The Protestant areas were adorned with flags, bunting and even the kerbstones were painted red, white and blue! A huge wall still divided the city into two. I asked why it was so high and was told to stop missiles! We drove along the Crumlin and Shankhill Roads where huge political murals had been painted onto houses, commemorating events various events. In one area the back gardens of the houses were all encased in wire to protect the inhabitants - horrendous. At checkpoints in the wall were heavy gates, closed at dusk in a kind of curfew. There were even Protestant and Catholic taxis, which could not travel in each other's areas! If you want to travel from one side of Belfast to another you have to change cabs! I had no idea it was still so segregated in the city. After this depressing start, we set off into the Antrim countryside - very English looking - up to a viewpoint to see the Carrick a Rede rope bridge. Unfortunately the weather had turned drizzly but we still had great views. Then to a little beach to see what is the smallest church in Ireland -St Gobbans. It is licensed for weddings - as long as you don't want more than 5 people! Next to it is a small cottage with portholes and steamer chairs that were spares intended for Titanic and her sisters. Next we drove to my highlight - the Giant's Causeway. After an hour there we went to Dunluce Castle. We just managed a few pictures before the rain set in in earnest and we repaired to the tea shop opposite for warm home-made scones, cream, jam and raspberries with tea. By then it was time to return to the docks. We made it back at 7pm so after a quick wash and change - to Martini's for a drink and their delicious nibbles - crisps, nuts etc. we decided on The Terrace Cafe for a light dinner (after the tea!). Saturday 24th August - Dublin I am not sure now if I have described breakfast properly. Having chosen a table, waiters bring coffee, juices, water etc. They also often carry your plate for you. The choices are large - lots of fresh fruit, a range of hot food - sausages, pancakes, scrambled eggs etc., cereals with hot, cold, whole or skim milk. Smoked salmon, cheeses and pastries to die for. You can have any coffee you like - latte, cappuccino etc. As we were doing our own thing in Dublin we didn't get up too early. I was up first so went up on deck to see where we were and was surprised to see we were berthed at the mouth of the Liffey, right beside the o2 arena. The ship couldn't get any closer if they tried. This was my second time in Dublin this year, but as the first was very wet we had only done the DUKW tour then. We caught the free shuttle bus into Kildare Street and had a stroll past the gift shops etc, to the statue of Molly Malone and the Tourist Information Centre, through Temple Bar and over the Ha'penny Bridge before catching the Hoho bus in Connell Street doing one complete circuit before getting off at Trinity College to see inside the buildings. I decided the queues were too long to see the Book of Kells so we then had a homemade soup and a Guinness in a nearby pub before picking up the HoHo bus again to Dublin Castle. After a quick walk around we got the Yellow Route HoHo back to the centre, a look around again and then the shuttle back to Nautica. Back on the ship, three Guarda officers were watching everyone come back on board. Went to Trivia before changing for cocktails in Horizons - there were choices of three different cocktails of the day each night at $5 (plus 18% gratuity). Otherwise cocktails were priced from $10, other drinks from around $8 although there was a Happy Hour between 5 and 6pm - buy one, get one free. All were accompanied by a little stand holding three different types of nibbles, plus canapes. We headed down to the Grand Dining Room for dinner where we were taken to table for 8 by the window. Sunday 25th August - Cork Woke up early as this was the one day I was taking a tour. I was ready just in time to watch us sail past Cobh and over the river to Ringaskiddy where Nautica was to berth. This was because Balmoral was supposed to be berthing in Cobh but in the event she arrived just as we left and we passed in the channel - Nautica blowing her whistle but no reply from Balmoral - which looked rather down at heel and a bit rusty. After breakfast I went to the Nautica Lounge for 8.45 and exchanged my tour ticket to Kinsale for a tour bus pass No.4. Tours on Nautica are rather like tendering operations in that respect. We were soon called and filed down to deck 4 and out to the waiting coaches. It was not long before we were on our way with guide Mary and driver Pat. We drove through rolling countryside not unlike Britain to Fort Charles overlooking Kinsale Harbour, and from where you could see the Old Head of Kinsale where Lusitania sank. Then to Kinsale itself where we went into a hotel for scones and tea before having 2 free hours to explore. It is a pretty town of coloured houses and narrow lanes. It was Sunday but most were open as the town was hosting the International Disabled Sailors Championships. As I sat by the harbour a seal popped its head up to see what was available to eat. We took a different route back, alongside the Bandon River where we had a brief stop for photos. We got back to the ship at 1.30 and I dashed up to Waves for a veggie burger before Shuffleboard - three more Big O points for winning! Nautica was put through a hard swing to starboard to clear the pier and then it was back downriver past Cobh again. We sailed very close to the town and hoards of people lined the waterfront to watch and wave at us and a fair was in full swing in the small seafront park. In the distance by the lighthouse, Balmoral was just arriving and we passed very close to each other. It is the big finale tonight, entertainment wise so headed up for cocktails in before dinner. I chose caviar on potato, chicken consomme and lobster tail followed by pistachio tartlet topped with orange and grapefruit segments. We finished at 9pm and went to get seats in the Nautica Lounge to watch The Platters. Their show was followed by the whole crew filing into the lounge so they could all be thanked - from Captain to cabin steward, and on the way out of the lounge they all lined the corridors. Monday 26th August - Portland Our last day! Since we were not arriving until 10am at Portland we had a leisurely breakfast and were able to watch us dock. Once we were ready we set off in the free shuttle to Weymouth. It is many years since I was last here and the town was, to all intents and purposes, new to me. Back on board I had a quick lunch outdoors in the Terrace Grill before going up to play shuffleboard. The weather was beautiful so it was a sun lounger in the sun for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for the Trivia Quiz where our team - The Bruins (UCLA) came joint first - again. So, I ended up with 20 Big O points - enough to redeem for a T shirt with 5 over! Back in the cabin I finished packing and changed for dinner. We had a cocktail each in Martinis before going out onto the promenade deck to watch the Weymouth Brass Band and some soldiers fire a three gun salute for us. Tuesday 27th August - Southampton Around the middle of the cruise we had been asked to complete a disembarkation form with onward travel arrangements and asking what time we wished to disembark - any time between 7am and 9am. We chose 8.30 then, but as independents it turned out we could disembark whenever we wished. The whole operation was very civilised and easy. Those travelling on airport transfers were directed to specific lounges so there was no-one hanging around the gangway as on most ships. After a nice breakfast out on the stern deck we collected our hand luggage and just disembarked. All in all, an interesting and enjoyable cruise - although I can't say relaxing! I am not a fan really of these very port-intensive cruises but Americans don't like sea days! The service and food, with a few exceptions, was excellent. Waves Grill became very busy especially if a tour had just returned and a burger could take 25 mins to come. For some odd reason, both we both felt we had just had a really long cruise, even though it was only 12 nights. Usually the time flies past when you are having fun, and we did have fun. My friend's theory is that, in some ports we arrived between 10am - noon so the morning was like a sea day, and then we had our port day from noon until 8pm - effectively two days for every one! Would we go again - like a shot, given the right itinerary and a similar bargain price. I think we would both like to try their two larger ships - Marina and Riviera, with 1100 pax, purely as there are more on-board activities like cooking and painting classes. Highly recommended!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
Last June my family and I took the Oceana Nautica from Lisbon to South Hampton. I think we could sum up the whole shipboard experience in one word: Disappointing. The prior year we took Silverseas from Athens to Rome and had such a ... Read More
Last June my family and I took the Oceana Nautica from Lisbon to South Hampton. I think we could sum up the whole shipboard experience in one word: Disappointing. The prior year we took Silverseas from Athens to Rome and had such a wonderful experience on a smaller ship that we were hoping to have a similar experience with Oceania. Unfortunately, the similarities between the two often compared cruise lines ended at the size of their ships. While this is a review of the Oceanic ship Nautica, it's hard not to compare it with our Silverseas experience. The Ship: The overall condition of the Nautica was tired and worn. The cabin was poorly laid out compared to our Silverseas cabin (same class of cabin). The hallways looked like they needed new carpet and reminded me of a cheap hotel every time we went to our cabin. The rest of the ship was ok though the pool deck furniture was weathered and well past its prime. The Food: The specialty restaurants were over-rated, though nearly impossible to book undoubtedly because, as we quickly discovered, the other two dining options: Main Dining Room and Buffet were respectively mediocre and bad. To make matters worse, they put the more surly crew members at the buffet line to plop the overcooked, flavor challenged food on your plate. As you carried your plate away you were left with the feeling that you had somehow been through this before and then you remember oh yeah, my high school cafeteria. The dining on the Nautica was more like what I would expect on a Carnival cruise. To summarize, I would say that Silverseas stood head and shoulders above Oceania in every aspect of the cruise  Condition of the ship, cleanliness and food. I personally would not waste my money on Oceana again!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2012
After our first Oceania-cruise to Antartica with Ms Insignia we decided never to sail with Oceania again. Many reasons for that: 1. officers were invisible. 2. the food was not of constant quality. 3. the admosphere at the ship was ... Read More
After our first Oceania-cruise to Antartica with Ms Insignia we decided never to sail with Oceania again. Many reasons for that: 1. officers were invisible. 2. the food was not of constant quality. 3. the admosphere at the ship was terrible. 4. we missed the scheduled stop at the Falklands. During seven days we were told, this was because of the severe winds. But then the truth came out: we lost the biggest part of an anchor! The general manager told this while the concierge had not yet stopped lying about it. We took pictures when the rest of the old anchor was replaced by a new one, to prove that the old anchor was incomplete. Despite of this, when we send an email to Oceania, they continued denying the loss of the anchor again! No compensation for the skipped port. Why do I write this? Well, just because nothing has changed. When getting an offer from our travel-agency which looked attractive, we decided to try it one more time, because of the great itinerary: England, Iceland, Greenland. That was a serious mistake. This cruise started with long waiting before we were allowed to enter the ship. Unbelievable, but true: nobody there, exept a girl at the elevator at a distance of about 15 meters. What a difference with other cruise-companies, where you hear: "welcome, nice you are here, would you like a glass of champagne?" With Oceania only a girl at the elevator, who shows you the way to your cabin. No fresh fruit there and no flowers during the entire cruise. Our luggage arrived about 16.45! Breakfast: the same bread as a year before. No whole yeast bread, the baguettes already sliced some hours before and always dry. When you ask for fresh, an unfriendly rude girl says, she has to ask her boss. But okay, then you can get it at the end. Leaving that girl with a face that makes me think about acetic acid. Fresh Orange-juice is only available when you ask for it and after they say that the juice from the machine is also fresh, which is a lie. Ofcourse they often forget to bring it to you, but you are not forbidden to ask it again. Most of the time the fresh fruit is of good quality, but sometimes it is not ripe. Lunch at the buffet-restaurant: every day almost the same food; quality like the fastfood-restaurants back home which you thought to have escaped. Dinner at all restaurants: quality like the luch menu. Sometimes friendly servants, sometimes very unfriendly. The meat was often overcooked. The vegetables (if any) are hardly cooked at all and must have been discovered by a dentist. Most of the time the soup is to cold and the icecream is already melted when served. One guest at my table ordered cod-fish but got salmon. Not by accident, but just because the cod was not available anymore. Not a word from the waiter! Icecream at dinner is bad, but most sorbets are exellent. It never occurred that dinner was excellent from the start to the end. Always 1 or more errors. When you read in the Oceania-brochure about their "best cuisine at sea" I can only smile a little. (Trying not to get angry) Because of my first cruise with them, I did not expect very much, but the quality has even decreased. The food, we were told, would be outstanding. It wasn't. Overall, at most standard. The wines are not included as on Azamara-ships. They are much to expensive. For instance, a Gerard-Bertrand-chardonnay was about 60 dollars here. At home, as a private client, I pay about 6.5 euro! I brought some own bottles and even after paying a huge corkfee of 25 dollar that's a much better deal. But some wine-waiters are friendly at least. Activities on board: not many. The first day, I asked at the reception "do you have a bridge-teacher on board" "Yes" was the answer. I had my doubts, so I asked: "what's his name?" The girl looked at her computer and said " can't see it here". The first answer was a lie. I do trust the 2d answer. But I liked the lectures. A pity that because of the absence of other activities the lounge was always very crowded. But when no seat was available a crew-member said to me "there you can get a chair". On an Azamara-ship the crew would surely bring it to you. The Nautica left Edinburg 2 hours earlier then originally scheduled: 15.00 and not 17.00. Ofcourse a disappointment. When I asked the concierge for the reason, the answer was "because of tidal conditions". These conditions are known years in advance. So I asked the concierge why Oceania does not know them. You will not be surprised that I'm still waiting for the answer, though I asked it a second time after some days. The cabins are small, but for me good enough. The beds are to small (80x190 cm) but of good quality. The waterpressure was not enough to get the shampoo removed from your hear. We asked for repair. Though they tried to fix it, there was no result. Our windows were cleaned only once after we asked for that, because, due to much dirt and salt we could hardly see anything. Cleaning of the cabin is at most fair. Ofcourse we never booked an excursion, organized by Oceania, because they are much to expensive. What to think about 3 hours only walking for 90 dollar? Many passengers must have been thinking the same, for several excursions were private, organized via the cruise-critic website by other travellers. They were good and about 1/3 of the Oceania-prize. Prized at Oceania are extreme high: the excursions, the wines, the gratuities, the spa; just everything what is not included. The automatic daily gratuity was $13.50 and the bar tab added 18 per cent. When comparing prizes take care that you take in account the gratuities and the wines at lunch and dinner. That makes a big difference! Announcements at the ship were hard to understand, except the irritating announcements for the bingo, where Oceania earns money. Safety on board is not really guaranteed. (see also my remarks about the anchor!) Many days our luggage was not controlled when coming back in the ship. Sometimes it was scanned, but then nobody was looking at it. After coming back we like to drink an expresso, but here we miss the exellent Azamara-coffee-bar with good coffee and some snacks. At the Nautica you can try to get it in the empty restaurant and then take it with you to the bar. Ofcourse nobody serves any drink in the large room around the atrium. That's a big difference with the Azamara- and Princess sister-ships which have the same size. No atmosphere at all here for that reason. At the bar they refuse to give you a seven-up-light, saying they are not allowed to serve it here. You can take it with you from your mini-bar....... Flexibility is yet to be discovered here. As you can read the medical service is extremely expensive and not all doctors have a 2012 lisence as you can read in earlier revievs about this ship. Internet was not always available and very slow. The evenin-shows are horrible. A vibrato-soprano who was allowed to return a second time, a mediocre jugler, a violin-player who seemed to have had lessons of famous world-class players but unfortunately without much result and to make it worse with an electric violin bbrrrrrr. The last evening a guest-show. I was afraid that the guest-singer who seemed to be escaped from the alzheimer-hospital was singing again, so I did not go there. This man was sometimes singing in the bar, so we were warned. Lesley, the cruise-director was good, especially when compared with "silly Willy" a year before at the Insignia. The captain said about 15 words at the captains party for repeaters and hardly knew how quickly he could give the microphone backto. He seems not to like this part of his job. Maybe he is better at a cargo-ship. Shuttle-service is insufficient at places where it's organized by Oceania. Result: angry passengers who, in time for a scheduled bus,were banging on the doors when not allowed to enter. I was not really surprised that the ship lost an anchor. Again! How is it possible. The same as with the Insignia a year before. This time the reception lying about it: "No we did NOT loose an anchor", but when I came back with the picture of the the broken thing, the concierge agreed with me: "yes we lost an anchor". Last year a lying concierge and an honest general manager, this time a lying reception and an honest concierge.......... Oceania's maintenance of the ship seems to be not accurate. At least you would think so. Are there any inspections? Or do they just sail until it goes wrong? This time only one skipped port. They said because of icebergs. Maybe it was the truth; you can never know. Many passengers had complaints about Oceania, the crew, the food, in fact about everything. Remarkable that the only satisfied guests did not cruise with other companies before. They should! It appears that Oceania Cruises is attempting to reduce its operating costs in many areas in order to cover its expenses and still remain competitive. The result is that the quality of its cruise experience has been diminished and it is not what one typically expects from a luxury cruise line. In fact it has nothing to do with luxury, unless you appreciate the free lessons in lying about everything. But I don't like them at all and for that reason my rating at this forum of the overall cruise-experience can't be higher then 1. (zero was not possible) I can add many other negative things, but this should be enough to warn every future guest: dont go here! At Azamara-ships I'm welcome. Here my money is welcome. Read Less
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 3.9

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