3 Oceania Nautica First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant ... Read More
Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant bookings. Drinks are expensive, however Oceania is lenient when bringing some alcohol for cabin consumption onboard. Mini bar is loaded with soft drinks of your choice. The dining venues are varied with much choice of superior food. Afternoon tea was also a highlight with fine quality offerings. To balance all this, there is a small but well equipped gymnasium with modern machines and a gym supervisor, Adamir, to assist. Staff service throughout the ship at all times was first class including, Jacques, who patiently assisted with any internet queries. The shore excursions and private transfers were exorbitantly priced and best avoided. Better to register with Cruise Critic Roll Call and prearrange tours with other passengers. We would certainly cruise with Oceania again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call first and then the size of ship. Of course one always has a preference to a known cruise company but our agent was certain we would enjoy what Oceania had to offer on board. Oceania did play around with the itinerary just before final payment was due and we had booked a back to back, so when Myanmar was slashed for "whatever" reason I did do a hmmmm but made the final payment and thought oh well, hopefully they don't slash any more ports. First Kenya, Tanzania and then Myanmar, basic reasons we did choose this cruise. They truly didn't "think about" the ports they put in place of those slashed, so corporate office get someone outside that little office to think about what to replace Myanmar with - not Trincomalee Sri Lanka! Anyhow on to the Nautica and I must say from the get-go the staff was excellent. Possibly one of the best bunch of crew we have had the privilege to sail with. Friendly, helpful always going out of their way to make sure our day was just that much better. From the Captain down each person was a pleasure to interact with. I have not come across a General Manager that was more human, helpful and thoughtful than Dominique a gem of a gentleman. If from here I continued to mention names of people that impressed me it would fill the page. The food fantastic! Imagine every day fresh berries (at least 2 varieties) and fresh tropical fruits like mangos and papayas alongside.. never missing a day. The Grand Dining room was just that, a slow, relaxed dining atmosphere. The 2 speciality restaurants and the management fantastic. The alfresco evening dinners in the Terrace were also a delight. Perhaps the best were the baguettes and French pastries, took me back to small bakeries in rural France, fresh out of the oven. The afternoon tea with the Florentines took me back to my younger days in Europe - thanks for the memories! There was a "situation" with the doctor, hired by Oceania, and eventually it could not be overlooked those in charge of the ship, brought it under control in a gentlemanly way as quick as they possibly could. It did mar the Dubai to Cape Town leg and gave for some worrisome times, I did even call Oceania's head office in Miami to lodge a personal complaint, which I never did hear anything from, another sweep under the corporate carpet. Before we sailed I had read 3 important/interesting things about Oceania. First, there are no activities for any child or even teen so don't expect to see many, if any, children on board. Second, Oceania is a port intensive cruise line so don't expect too much from the nightly entertainment, truly some of the entertainment sent by corporate office was questionable. Third expect the best beds in the cruise industry. True, true and true! The little touches of no charge on specialty coffees and non-alcoholic drinks and the free speciality restaurants were a nice touch. My only complaint was the lack of port talks. Yes we did get a verbal reading of what each port was like and what there was to see. But it was a "report" not a port talk. Nobody mentioned about the local dishes to try in different countries, or what to expect if we didn't take one of the very, very over priced tours. There are some people like my husband and myself, due to medical reasons, we cannot commit to the tours and then had to research or talk to others in order to glean something about the ports of call (remembering the speed and cost of the Internet we couldn't even search for ideas of what to do) Fortunately again the multi-country staff came to the rescue and gave us some ideas of what to expect. Other cruise lines I have sailed sell their ship tours but still give the independent traveler a lot of information and encouragement to enjoy the strange new countries they are about to see and experience. Many a passenger on this cruise had no idea of the poverty or the difficulties the countries were up against as that wasn't in the "manual". Perhaps some of the passengers would have appreciated things they saw more with a real port talk. On arrival in a port it was often heard, there is nothing to see here so guess we will go into port for a look-see. Even the names of the ports and important sights were so badly mispronounced it was hard to imagine what was being said. With the international crew on board one could have just asked around for correct pronunciations (that is what we did) to educate the passengers properly. With a little more enthusiasm during the port talks the guests would have been humming with delight for all the countries we were privileged visited. Will I cruise with Oceania again, hmm not sure. That is to say it is only the corporate office that is not getting my vote. Pricing of the cruise itself was very high. Pricing of the tours unreal. Spa prices hit the roof and the doctor prices (company quoted) were astronomical. I am writing this in comparison to the many other cruises we have taken. If I base it on my time spent on Nautica with the excellent staff - yes I'd sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Background Over the years we had fallen in love with the idea of cruising, and had initially decided on other cruise lines (Silversea, Crystal) but eventually settled on Oceania because we liked the idea of "Country Club ... Read More
Background Over the years we had fallen in love with the idea of cruising, and had initially decided on other cruise lines (Silversea, Crystal) but eventually settled on Oceania because we liked the idea of "Country Club casual" and felt that the mid-size ship was about right for us. We also wanted a chance to do some dancing (ballroom and latin) and the O ships seemed to have the biggest dance floors. This particular itinerary was not our dream list of ports, but it ticked enough boxes and the timing and duration were right for us. Pre-cruise we booked our own hotels (we actually stayed a few days in Milan before catching the train to Venice and staying a few extra days there as well). We arrived at the San Basilio dock via water taxi and were immediately greeted by Oceania staff and our luggage was whisked away. Embarkation was smooth and with a minimum of queuing and processing we found our way to our stateroom. Stateroom We were pleasantly surprised at the size of our stateroom - 6068 - a B1 balcony cabin. Other than the fact that there wasn't enough room to pass each other at the end of the bed, the layout was perfect and the amenities and facilities were great. Even the bathroom and shower were bigger than expected - it's amazing what they cram in to the available space. The balcony was fantastic. My wife had not been fussed on getting a balcony and we had tried to book a C1 window cabin but they had been sold out - what a blessing in disguise. We didn't spend a lot of time sitting out on the balcony but being able to throw open the doors and take in the fresh air, the views and the ambience adds an extra dimension to the whole experience - day and night. The bed was very comfortable - we both slept well right from the outset, and the stateroom was quiet, well located and efficiently serviced twice daily - I can't think of any negatives worth mentioning! Ship Info As mentioned above, for us the ship size / number of passengers was just right. The ship is small enough that you can become familiar with where everything is, but big enough that you still get lost trying to get to where you are going, and discover new areas. Every area of the ship was clean, well maintained and well staffed - nothing seemed too formal or too casual. We never experienced any real issues with over-crowding in any areas - not everyone wants to do the same thing at the same time. The daily newsletter ("Currents") was delivered to the stateroom each evening and gave a good summary of the activities for the following day, including timings for entertainment and special events, as well as the menu for the Grand Dining Room. We also enjoyed watching the Cruise Directors daily broadcast on one of the in-house channels each morning. Dining Expectations were fairly high as far as dining was concerned and were generally met although there were one or two disappointments. The Polo Grill (specialty restaurant) was a let-down, both from a service point of view (amateurish wait staff) and food wise (over-cooked lobster and mediocre steak). Our experience in the Polo Grill was echoed by other cruisers we had met via Cruise Critic. Tapas on the Terrace was a major disappointment. It was just a buffet (which was reasonable) with a few poorly executed and often mismatched tapas dishes each night. We had been looking forward to the tapas concept but quickly discovered it was one of the ship's few weak points and gave up on it. In contrast, Toscana (the Italian specialty restaurant) was a great experience (which we managed to arrange a second visit to). The maitre d' and head waiter, in particular, were so pleasant, and the food was great. Portions at all the restaurants were smallish, which enabled you to tackle three courses without having to waddle out of the room. But the real hero of the dining experiences was the Grand Dining Room. For some reason we avoided it until about the third day, only to discover that the food and service were of the highest standard - the execution and presentation was always spot on and the friendly wait staff operated with military precision. The Lunch and Dinner menu for the GDR was included in the daily "Currents" newsletter so you had plenty of time to make your mind up! Afternoon Tea (with the string quartet playing) was refined and relaxing and Room Service was also good. They were quite prompt (especially with Continental Breakfast) and all other items we ordered (e.g. Club Sandwich, Burger, Salmon main course etc) were well presented and fresh and clean flavours. Drinks were a little bit over-priced (Gin and Tonic for $8, featured wines by the glass for $9 and average wine by the bottle for $40). We took the opportunity to buy a bottle of spirits from a little duty free shop at Kotor to utilise for a few pre-dinner drinks. Your stateroom attendant will happily stock your bar fridge with your preferred mixer and ordering ice etc is not a problem. You can also buy wine and drink it in your stateroom but we preferred to have a drink at the bar or at the table in the restaurant so ended up with a small drinks bill at the end of the cruise. Activities We didn't find the time to participate in any of the organised on-board activities! Service The crew all wear badges which show their name, title and country of origin. The Nautica crew certainly were a "united nations" - with something like 45 countries represented (with surprisingly few from the USA). In general they were well trained, friendly and very eager to please - and there were many outstanding performers who really made you feel welcome. Some didn't really seem to have (yet) developed the right communication skills but you got the feeling it was a happy ship. Entertainment Everyone has heard the jokes about bad cruise ship entertainment and perhaps for these reasons expectations were fairly low but I have to say that many aspects of the onboard entertainment were a pleasant surprise. The resident band ("Marek") were very good and played two or three 45 minute sets a day as well as providing backing for any of the evening shows or sail away parties. When we got up to dance they were quick to ask for any requests and later on in the cruise they always threw in a Tango tune when they saw we were on the dancefloor. The string quartet were ok - neither particularly good or bad. The entertainment troupe (four of them), who doubled as "assistant cruise directors" were fun - no real standouts although JR's Phantom of the Opera during the "Showstoppers" production was simply outstanding. We could have done with more sail away entertainment up on the Pool Deck. The vegas style nightclub act, Perry Danos, was very good. He has a great voice and was very relaxed and seemingly enjoying the atmosphere himself. I'm not sure if the cruise director, Willie Aames, is supposed to be counted as an entertainer but my wife and I both found him both entertaining and endearing - although this opinion was not shared by all the cruisers we met! Port & Shore Excursions We didn't take any of the ships excursions. Instead we organised a number of small private tours via Cruise Critic which all worked out well - we saved money but that wasn't the prime motivator. We met some really great people and by travelling in a small group (up to 8) we felt like it was a private / personalised experience. We also used taxi drivers for ad-hoc tours at two ports (Kotor, Taormina) and they were both great experiences. Tendering is a necessary evil in some ports. The first day we had to tender was a bit of a disaster as they had a lot of trouble lower one of the life boats - thank goodness we weren't sinking at the time! After that everything went pretty smoothly, and in our experience we were able to get on an early tender even as "independents", simply by turning up early (before the first ship tours were due). Kotor (Montenegro) As this port is not listed in the port reviews menu I want to mention here what a surprise this place was. The views during the sail in and sail away for this port are simply stunning and the old town is nice. What a beautiful location. We took a chance on a taxi tour with one of the drivers touting for business at the customs gate and what a great decision it was. We spent 2 hours being shown many views and visited the town of Budva, which had a beautiful old town. Our driver gave us a very interesting talk on the royal family and Montenegro in general and told us about the "Wild Beauty" of his country. In the background we could see the mountains where they have ski resorts and there was vast swathes of land that looked like national park land but was simply "wild". They have beautiful lakes and rivers, idyllic beaches, medieval towns, modern resorts etc etc - something for everyone? Port Rating 4. Internet Access To be charged up to 95c for (slow) internet access in this day and age is simply not good enough. This is one aspect where Oceania has to lift its' game. The Oceania @ Sea room was often empty as no-one wants to pay through the nose for what many now take for granted as a basic necessity of life! We did spend a bit over $100 on internet access charges during the cruise - not a huge amount of money in the bigger scheme of things but it did feel like you were being taken advantage of. Disembarkation As we had our own plans (staying on in Rome for 4 nights) we opted for a late disembarkation and strolled off the ship around 8:30 AM to find the Cruise Director and the ship's captain waiting to farewell us personally, which was a nice touch. There were staff there to help us locate our luggage and take it to our transport - disembarkation was a breeze. Summary We will definitely be taking another cruise at some point in the future and as things stand we'll be sticking with Oceania and the R class ships. It's not really a cruise ship for children as there are no specific facilities for them, and most of the passengers seemed to be in the 60+ age bracket. If the thought of having to pack a penguin suit (tuxedo) turns you off and you feel comfortable at a nice golf / country club and you cringe at the thought of sharing your holiday with thousands of others then this is the right cruise line for you. There is a lot to do both on board and in port, and in our case barely enough time to do it all. It was a great all round experience and one that we thoroughly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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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