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72 Oceania Africa Cruise Reviews

My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in ... Read More
My husband and I usually cruise Celebrity but chose this cruise for its itinerary and the reputation of excellent food and service . Unfortunately we were disappointed by both . The embarkation was a disaster . Due to high winds in Cape Town the ship was late in arriving in dock . In fact over a day late but it did not warn passengers On the day , no one answered phone calls and there was no communication at all . On the dock side , passengers were left standing in v long warm queues without explanation or apology. Not a staff member in sight for several hours .Eventually on board after 3 hours and a bottle of water later , there were still no apologies . Due to late arrival , our departure was delayed until the following day and we missed a day at Walvis Bay .. still no apology but a statement ‘ force major ‘ .. ie not their responsibility The staff on the whole were ‘ miserable ‘ They never welcomed us back on board , never wished us a good day, never offered refreshments or towels on boarding .. in fact generally we felt as though we were an irritant and an inconvenience rather than a guest . It was not a warm nor welcoming atmosphere and there was not an officer in sight . The ship was generally clean and well kept although some of the sanitizers did not work. Ok .. it is a little warn and old fashioned but that wasn’t a problem .. The main Dinning room was disappointing. The food was rarely warm and often poor quality and was thrown at you in a cafeteria way rather than with the elegance as advertised . The staff were rushed off their feet and had no time for small talk . Lunch times were a better experience.The dress code was v relaxed throughout the cruise. with many t shirts and trainers in sight . The speciality restaurants were a much better standard but visits were limited. Communication was extremely poor and there was no interactive facility to check bills, book restaurants etc .. We struggled to find information and as this was our first cruise with Oceania ended up relying on other guests who had cruised with then before to help us , The room was comfortable but the air conditioning became warm at night ! In searching for something positive , I find it’s quite difficult . !!!! The happy hour between 5 and 6 was only in Horizons or the martini bar which is a very small lounge with limited space and extremely packed . We spilled over into an area where some musicians were playing and were told to be quiet !! During this time the glasses and hence quantity also shrank ! Illogical rules and regulations which the staff hid behind dogged the enjoyment of guests and dulled socialising ... hard to explain but readily realised when on board. The ship vibrates and kept us awake at night . We were mid ship but our friends in the owners suite at the back moved furniture and other items to limit the noise . Unfortunately we missed a second port Port Elizabeth due to high winds and this was again very disappointing for many guests . Some of the organised trips were good but expensive . Others were badly organised with guides not turning up etc .. and not running to time or schedule . I could go on but it is beginning to sound more like a rant than a review . ... The disembarkation went well . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, ... Read More
It is probably important for you to know my wife and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 25 years we’ve sailed a total of 31 times on Celebrity, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our first sailing with Oceania. We picked this cruise largely because of the itinerary and the price, which was moderate for an upscale line at $523 a day for both of us, not including air. From my research it seemed Oceania’s closest competitor in size of ship, amenities, and on-board experience is Azamara. Both lines appeal to the same type of passenger who is looking for an all-inclusive, upscale cruising experience. Having sailed Azamara before, I was curious how Oceania compared with them. Overview The Oceania Nautica is one of the smaller ships on which we’ve sailed holding around 680 passengers. One of the more noticeable differences in sailing on a small ship is the lack of public areas from which to choose, less entertainment choices, and smaller cabins. Those deficiencies were somewhat mitigated by the smaller ports the ship can dock at, flexibility, more personalized service, attention to detail, and inclusive amenities. I can’t really say there is any more or less feeling of crowdedness on the smaller ships than with a larger ship. It seems to be all relative to the space per person. Where we notice a difference from sailing on larger ships was embarking or disembarking the ship. The smaller number of passengers reduced the lines and wait times considerably. Also, the smaller ships are more nimble than their larger brethren allowing them to alter their itinerary or add a fresh local food to the menu. On this cruise, the chef added fresh Hake, which was amazingly delicious. They also featured an African night with a lot of local meats (crocodile being one) and produce. The public rooms are nicely done on the Nautica and have a feel of warmth and elegance. The ship was exceedingly clean and well maintained. There are four dining options aboard the Nautica making it equal to or a step above larger ships. While the state rooms are small, the appointments and linens are a step above what you would expect from the more major cruise lines. We missed not having any status on Oceania (as we do on other lines) so we received no discounts usually granted to more frequent travelers. However, there wasn’t much need for the Elite status as all guests enjoy the same privileges as Elite travelers on other lines, which include fancy coffees, a few free happy hours, a daily 2:1 happy hour, use of the steam sauna, and the best one -- no charge in the specialty restaurants. It appeared to me that Azamara includes more inclusive perks like some free shore excursions, well drinks, house wine, spa memberships, and laundry. By my calculations the inclusions on Oceania amount to an added value over non-inclusionary ships of $60 a day ($10 spa, $5 soft and juice drinks, $15 specialty restaurant costs, $20 internet, $10 coffee). I estimate the value of Azamara’s slightly higher because of the inclusive laundry, shore excursions and alcohol at $90 a day. Embarkation The embarkation experience was one of the best in our 31 sailings. It took about ten minutes from start to finish. There were no lines, no customs, no waits, and no hassle. I only wish all our embarkations were this easy (see my 2013 review of Celebrity’s Infinity). Evaluation This isn’t something I have ever included in a review, but the Nautica’s evaluation process was the strangest I’ve encountered at sea. The good news is that in an attempt to save trees and be up to date, it’s a digital evaluation. The bad news is that it’s very user unfriendly. It’s so unfriendly, the staff had to schedule a time to explain to passengers how to fill it out. There are three major issues with the form, all of which seem fairly easy to solve, but apparently the home office has turned a deaf ear to making improvements. I figured it out on my own, but not after some frustration. The Ship The ship has had minor refurbishing every three years, but no major refurbishing since it went into service in 2000. Even so, the public areas were well maintained, all the elevators worked continuously, and the décor was traditional with lots of wood. There were a lot of places to sit and read a book, or write a cruise review, while enjoying a cup of espresso or a drink. The Nautica is scheduled for a major two-week refurbishment in June 2020. The color scheme will go from traditional dark woods to modern cool gray and blue with a chandelier above the entry staircase. My art-loving wife is hoping they get rid of some of more dreadful modern art. The public decks were Decks 5, 9 and 10. Getting lost was not easily done! Deck 5 is the location of the show lounge, small casino, piano lounge, two small shops, coffee bar, and main dining room. Entrance on the ship was on Deck 4 and involved a gangway of very low steps making a bumpy ramp basically. This is easier than big steps on larger ships. There were many people on-board with mobility issues who seemed to be doing okay getting around. One benefit is that the elevators were usually available without a long wait. Dining If food is your thing, like it is mine, then you will be reasonably satisfied on the Nautica. The specialty restaurants offer passengers a specific cuisine apart from the main dining room with a quality of fare a slight step above the main dining room. Tuscana features Italian fare while Polo is a steakhouse. All of the dining rooms feature “anytime” seating. While the main dining room doesn’t accept reservations, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table for two. We tried to eat as much as possible in the specialty restaurants, Tuscana and Polo, but getting reservations was very difficult. I am guessing the huge demand is largely because there was no surcharge for them. It is very unusual for a specialty restaurant at sea not to charge a small fee, which is the good news. The bad news if since there is no charge, the demand is high and it’s difficult to get a table for two, or even sharing on sea days. Because of the demand, guests are only allowed to make one reservation in each ahead of time and then cue up daily for a cancellation. Personally, I would rather pay a surcharge and have more access to the specialty restaurants than to pay nothing and have limited access. All of the waiters and waitresses who served us were extremely personable, helpful, and attentive. We enjoyed the service in the main dining room as much as that in the specialty restaurants. However, finding a knowledgeable wine steward was difficult. Polo is set in the décor and menu of the 40’sand 50’s. The quality of this specialty restaurant wasn’t quite up to that of others we’ve dined in. The presentation of the food was excellent. The service was good. The item to eat here are the steaks. The two fillets I had were done to perfection. We were not as impressed with the starters, soups, or salads. We tried Polo twice and that was enough. Tuscano’s service and food seemed to be a bit better than Polo. The menu is extensive so it will take several visits to completely explore it. Everything we tried was very good. We tried to eat at Tuscano’s as much as possible, which meant dining there about four times in 14 days. Unlike most other cruise lines, Nautica didn’t offer any Chef’s dinners. With the talented chef’s aboard the Nautica, this was disappointing. I would have loved to have paid a significant surcharge for a unique dining experience. This is something that I hope Nautica will consider going forward. Some lines make free juice available only in the mornings and charge for all espresso and soda drinks. One thing we appreciate about Oceania is the fact that juice, sodas, and espresso coffee drinks are available anytime during the day at no charge. There was a happy hour every day from 5pm to 6 pm that allowed guests to buy 2:1 drinks. However, their policy is rather ridged in what 2:1 means, which is the second drink must be exactly the same drink as the first, not just the same price, and it cannot be shared by another person. We felt this strict policy didn’t make a lot of sense when a person may have wanted two different drinks costing exactly the same. It also encourages over consumption of alcohol, especially when there are two people just wanting one drink each. Speaking about over-consumption of alcohol, the “all you can drink” beverage packages also encourage over-consumption. I realize that “over consumption” is a relative term. Still, we have always found we do far better buying alcohol, wine, and beer by the glass or bottle than getting a beverage package. Wine I am an oenophile, so I am admittedly more interested in the wine experience on a ship than the average passenger. That said, there are much better wine experiences at sea than with Oceania. Unlike the Azamara, Oceania is not as friendly to oenophiles. The most notable wine friendly lines are Azamara and Princess, which encourage you to bring on you own wine and don’t penalize you with high corkage fees for bringing wine on board. Oceania limits how much of your own wine you can bring onboard and charges a stiff corkage fee of $25 per bottle, making it among the highest of any line at $25 a bottle. The more wine friendly lines only charge $10 per bottle. Another perennial complaint of mine on most cruise lines is the high price of their onboard wines, which are priced about 4x’s or more over retail. For example, a $15-$20 bottle of La Crema Chardonnay goes for $86. That’s simply unreasonable. They more wine friendly lines have mark ups of 2 ½ to 3 times. Because of the steep corkage and markups on the wine, we chose not to bring our bottles on board and limited our wine consumption to beer or wine “by the glass.” The Nautica had three wine tasting events during our 14 day cruise. The cost was $75 to $125 per person, which the highest charge of a wine tasting I’ve encountered at sea. We did attend two wine tastings and found them to be very informative. The bottles tasted were in the $80 to $200 range, but keep in mind of the significant mark up. While the presentation was certainly informative, I didn’t feel the cost of the tasting represented a good value. Fitness and Spa This is an area in which the Nautica is above average. They have a good selection of weight machines and free weights. There an adequate number of cardiovascular machines (stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills). They also had seven stationary bikes used for a spinning class on sea days. Be sure to sign up early for these as the classes fill quickly. I only had to wait for a machine once in 14 days. Notably, and unusual for most lines, every cardio machine was working for length of the cruise. Another pleasant abnormality, the men’s lockers worked perfectly and there were a sufficient number of lockers which were all keyed. There was always a locker available, never forcing you to leave your belongings unprotected. The men’s locker room featured a steam sauna that was reasonably hot and in perfect working order for the cruise. On many other cruise lines the saunas just don’t get hot enough to break much of a sweat, but this is not the case on the Nautica. And an extra bonus was the steam room did not have a daily charge, which can cost around $10 to $20 a day on other lines. The locker rooms are incredibly maintained and cleaned. Every time that I used the locker room and sauna there was an attendant cleaning it up. The Nautica does not have a spa bar featuring a lighter, healthier fare or fresh fruit juices and smoothies. This would be a wonderful addition to their spa area. You can get fruit smoothies, however, at the grill by the pool. Entertainment We thought the entertainment was a step below larger ships. This is more probably due to the lack of a theater than the talent of the entertainers. Generally speaking, the shows were not highly innovative and featured the normal array of comedians, singers, and instrumentalists. That said, we still found them worth attending and looked forward to most of them. The ships company featured some very good vocalists and dancers. It was refreshing that the Nautica had a a very good live orchestra rather than rely on sound tracks, which is becoming common on other cruise lines. The theater is not a theater at all, but rather a large lounge which unfortunately makes viewing the show especially challenging. If viewing the show is important, you will want to be sure to snag a front row seat. The on-board entertainment found in the lounges was adequate. There was a string quartet that was very good, the ships band, and a piano player. Enrichment The enrichment and port talks were disappointing. First, there simply were no port talks, which we found highly unusual. There was a delightful South African lady who told personal stories about growing up in South Africa and her world adventures. The second lecture was a Hollywood writer who gave talks on Hollywood, and while they were interesting, we much rather would have learned more about the history, religion, and politics of the countries we were visiting since one of our goals for traveling is learning about the world. I expected much more in this area from a luxury cruise line catering to a more upscale and informed clientele. Internet I run a small business and being connected to my staff is imperative, even on vacation. I depend on having a functioning Internet while on board any ship. Signing up was incredibly easy. Included in the fare was one free, unlimited Wi-Fi access. Additional devices were $25 a day. Between us we had four devices, so since we were unwilling to pay an additional $75 per day, we had to coordinate and share our login, which often was a logistical challenge. The Internet connectivity and speed was acceptable, but not great. I got access 70% of the times I attempted to get online. When I did get online I had chronic issues getting emails and websites to down load. In addition, the Wi-Fi signal is not consistent around the ship and there are many spots where you can’t get the Wi-Fi signal. Unfortunately Verizon did not have a repeater on board (unlike other lines) so using my smartphone for data while at sea was not possible. I have previously learned to forgo the expensive Internet packages and just go with my smartphone when there is a repeater on the ship and when there are a lot of days in port. Shopping The shopping experience is on par with most every other cruise line, boring! There is nothing exceptional to highlight here. Ports of Call, Port Talks and Shore Excursions Our cruise started and ended in Cape Town, stopping at Walvis Bay, Namibia, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, East London, South Africa, Richard’s Bay, South Africa, Maputo, Mozambique, and Durban, South Africa, debarking at Cape Town, South Africa. There were no port talks given on the Nautica. While there was some prerecorded information covering the excursion packages on the television, there wasn’t any useful information about the port if you wanted to go it alone. It would have been so helpful to know about the safety of taxis, availability of Uber, if walking to town through the port area is even allowed, best sights to see, what areas to avoid, etc. They also did not provide maps of the harbor or surrounding area, which is a first in our cruising experience. We found the hourly shuttle service helpful, but not frequent enough. We would have preferred a departure or pick up every 30 minutes As a result, we were totally on our own to gather whatever information we could from guests and the Internet. Had we been visiting ports in developed countries this probably would be more forgivable than when the ports are in a third world country. The lack of a port talk is a significant flaw in the Oceania experience and would keep me from booking with them in the future if a competing line was offering the same itinerary. If the strategy behind limiting information on the ports was to drive passengers to book the ship’s shore excursions, it worked. We uncharacteristically opted for the ships excursions. Typically we save 25 to 75% off the ship’s prices by making our own arrangements. On this cruise, we didn’t have time prior to the cruise to do our normal research. We also found that the African tour companies were unusually unresponsive by email. We typically have good luck using tour companies that are highly rated by www.TripAdvisor.com. Another great place to book private tours prior to departure is by looking under “Tours” and on the chat boards on www.CruiseCritic.com. We’ve never been disappointed following the advice of previous travelers. A new website to us is www.toursbylocals.com. We found this to be a very responsive and wonderful way to find independent guides. Walvis Bay is a difficult port to negotiate as the dock is a mile or more from the city center. The town can be easily done on your own. There isn’t a whole lot to see, so I suggest you book a tour to Sandwich Bay. The scenery of the dunes coming down to the ocean and the drive along the beach are unique. See if they will also take you out to Pelican Point to see the hundreds of thousands of seals. We overnighted here so we were also able to go visit Moon Valley, which is similar to the Badlands of South Dakota. We were able to climb Dune #7, which was the highlight of that outing. Port Elizabeth is a place with more touring options. There is a nice mall there if you want to stay in town. There are a number of day trips that can be taken to surrounding sites. We opted to visit Addo Elephant reserve. We found it to be a worthwhile excursion. If you are booking excursions off-ship, give yourself plenty of time to disembark. The local authorities insist on face-to-face immigration that can take up to an hour after docking to clear. East London is a pretty sleepy stop. We were warned about walking around much. There is a mall about 5 miles from the ship that is probably safe. We chose to visit a Xhosa village constructed for tourists. There they had women and children singing and dancing. They separated the men from the women and gave each group talks on the Xhosa culture and a taste of homemade beer, brandy, and a traditional meal. The food and drink were “interesting” and we were very grateful for getting back on the ship and having a meal and a beer more familiar to us. Durban is the third or second largest city in South Africa, depending on what source you reference. Getting around is very easy and secure as Uber operates there. We elected to go visit a replica Zulu village with some singing and dancing via a ship’s tour. While it was “ok”, the drive up to the village and the views from their coffee/tea shop were almost worth the trip alone. We had a very good guide who kept us entertained up and back with useful information on life in the city. The other point of entertainment is that the pilot which joins the ship to guide it in and out of port arrives and departs by helicopter. It was a show in itself. Richard’s Bay is a bit of a sleepy stop. I would recommend getting a guide and heading off to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park. It takes about 1:15 minutes each way, depending on traffic. We were able to spend about 4:30 hours in the park. Typically, going to game parks in the middle of the day is the absolute worst time to see the animals, but when you are on a cruise there are no other options. That said, we really were lucky. We saw several dozen elephants in the park, twice as many as we did at Addo and at closer range. We also saw seven grey rhinos, four water buffalo, four giraffes, and scores of impala and warthogs. It was certainly worth the $200 USD per person that we paid an off-ship tour company we booked through East Coast Safari (www.ecsafari@iafrica.com). Maputo About the only redeeming quality of visiting this port is that you get to say you’ve been to Mozambique. There is really nothing here. We took a city tour that could easily have been done individually at almost no expense. To support the local economy (which has a 50% unemployment rate), Oceania uses local people who are not trained tour guides. While we really applaud the company for their social concern, the quality of the tour is not surprisingly substandard. All the points worth seeing are within an easy walk of where the passenger ships dock. Those sights are the train station, the iron house, the botanical gardens, and the old fortress. Then if you want to shop for local crafts, the ship usually runs a shuttle out a market where there are several blocks of vendors. The local beer is 2M, which is worth a try. In Summary So, back to the question I posed earlier. How does the Oceania experience compare with Azamara? All things being equal in price and itinerary, the nod would go to Azamara. On the positive side for Oceania, the wonderful service and friendliness of the crew, the lack of a charge for the specialty restaurants and free Wi-Fi for one device was a definite plus and unique in my cruising experience. The entertainment was also very good for a small ship. The weaknesses with Oceania as compared to Azamara are the lack of informative and relevant port talks, the weakness of the enrichment talks, the lack of any included beverages like wine, beer, or well drinks, the high markup on wine, no chef’s table events, and the lack of any included shore excursions. Certainly, the Oceania is one of the better cruising experiences. The dining is undoubtedly one of the better at sea. The ability of a smaller ship to get into, or nearer, ports the large ships can’t may be reason enough to pay the extra fare. For me, I will certainly sail the Oceania Nautica again when I find an itinerary at a cost equal to or slightly higher than that of a larger ship. I figure the inclusions are on Oceania are worth about $60 a day, which brings the cost down in comparison to larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first time sailing on Oceania. We were concerned about going on this cruise given the Nautica is badly in need of renovations. And these renovations are not to occur until June of this year, when the ship is scheduled to go ... Read More
This was our first time sailing on Oceania. We were concerned about going on this cruise given the Nautica is badly in need of renovations. And these renovations are not to occur until June of this year, when the ship is scheduled to go into dry dock for a couple of weeks. However, considering the 30-day itinerary from Dubai to Cape Town, including the various stops in Oman, India, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion Island and several ports in South Africa, an itinerary that we really liked, we decided to overlook the ship’s tired physical condition. A second factor that swayed our decision was Oceania’s ‘reported’ longstanding reputation for serving some of the finest food of any of the cruise companies. Weighing these factors, we decided to proceed with booking this cruise. Our sailing experience on the Nautica clearly DID NOT measure up to Oceania’s longstanding high quality culinary reputation, nor our overall high expectations for this specific cruise. The cruise frankly was a sad disappointment for us. Here are some of our specific disappointments from our 30-day experience on board the Nautica. 1. Food Poisoning On Board The Nautica. My partner ordered a baked potato one evening for dinner and asked for sour cream to accompany it. The waiter brought a small serving urn with the sour cream. My partner put a lot of this sour cream on his potato. When he tried it, it did not taste right. I tried a small amount – it was NOT sour cream, rather milk and yogurt, and did not taste right. That evening my partner had significant diarrhea symptoms. We reported this to the Food and Beverage Director the following day. All she said was that she checked the original container and it said sour cream, but that the ingredients were a mix of milk and yogurt – and it was NOT sour cream. We told her that the sour cream that was served was not chilled / not at the correct temperature. My partner suffered with this diarrhea from this sour cream for four days when we finally went to see the on-board doctor. He was given medication – an antibiotic. Our issue with Nautica regarding this issue is three-fold: #1. Low(er) Quality Foods Are Now Served On Oceania. The sour cream served was not sour cream. It was a ‘faux’ sour cream - a mix of milk and yogurt, and not a high-quality sour cream. The Food and Beverage Director confirmed this fact. And another example of a lower quality product served was the horseradish to accompany grilled steaks. What was served as ‘horseradish had no taste, it was brown-colored mess – not ‘steakhouse quality’ white ground horseradish. This horseradish also was also reported to the Food and Beverage Director who simply reported back to us that this product is specified and sourced from Oceania’s Miami Headquarters office. It you go on Oceania, DO NOT ask for their horseradish – if you do, you will be disappointed! Other passengers we met on board the Nautica also expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the quality of the food that was served. Apparently, several passengers with a history of sailing with Oceania several times, also noticed a distinct difference in the food quality. Some speculated that this change maybe a result of the sale of Oceania to Norwegian Cruise Lines. #2. Food Safety - Temperature Control. My career has been in the food service business. Over the entire 30-day cruise, I NEVER saw anyone in any of the dining venues (dining rooms, buffet restaurant, nor at any of the other food servings) ever check temperatures. No one had a thermometer that was visible anywhere to even check temperatures. And in the Terrace Café, the buffet restaurant, they displayed foods that from a food safety perspective NEED to be held on ice, and not at room temperature. I even saw that they displayed ‘tartar sauce’ to accompany their fish and chips in a copper pot which was located under the heat lamps and right on the heated counter next to the heated pan holding the fish. I touched the side of this copper pot and it was HOT. I mentioned this tartar sauce holding issue to the Food and Beverage Director; however, no action was ever taken to hold the tartar sauce on ice at subsequent buffet servings of their fish and chips. Given our dining experience, be prepared to get food poisoning on the Nautica, and potentially on other Oceania cruises, as a result of their obvious lack of proper food safety protocols and procedures. #3. Oceania Would Not Refund Our Excursion Costs For Cancelled Excursions As A Result Of The Diarrhea That Nautica Caused. We were unable to go on several of the excursions that we had booked as a result of my partner’s diarrhea. We asked the on-board doctor if he could coordinate a refund of these specific excursions when we met with him to diagnose and treat the diarrhea. He was not able to get us any refunds from the Destinations Services Department for these specific excursions that we could not go on for reported health reasons. They did not and will not refund these excursions. We ask why not??? We found this Oceania policy to be inexcusable. To us it shows a ‘greed policy’ vs. a hospitality culture focused on ALL passengers’ well-being, personal safety and good health. 2. The Cabin Temperature – TOO Hot To Sleep In! The second night of our 30-day cruise, in the middle of the night, the temperature of the cabin got very hot. And we noticed on the floor and on our ‘white’ bed duvet cover directly below one of the ceiling vents, that there were small chunks of oily dust balls that left stains (black oil stains) on the carpet and on the rug. We reported the oily dust balls to our Butler and our Housekeeper – they had the rug cleaned, and each time dust balls fell, the next day they cleaned the area. We also reported the hot temperature issues and the falling oily dust balls to the Assistant Cruise Director and the General Manager. The cabin’s hot temperature issues in the middle of the night plagued us all through our entire 30-day cruise. We reported the issue to the Assistant Cruise Director and the General Manager six times. The engineers came to our cabin each time and on the third time we complained about the hot nighttime temperature of the cabin. During this in-cabin meeting, the Chief Engineer said that he can merely change the temperature of our cabin, that the in-room thermostat DID NOT control the cabin temperature, he did. And he further reported to us that the temperature of the cabins on the ship are in vertical zones, again that he and his engineering department controls centrally. After engineering turned the temperature down (to 20 degrees C at night), we thought the issue had been solved. Then about a week later, again the temperature at night climbed, and the cabin was uncomfortably hot. The next morning, we met with the Assistant Cruise Director, the General Manager and the Chief Engineer, AGAIN. The Chief Engineer admitted that his Assistant Engineer had changed the zone temperature (he increased the temperature) the prior evening. However, he promised us that he would personally control the nighttime temperature for the zone that our cabin was in for the remainder of the cruise. Overall, we had to complain six times about the cabin temperature. This should not be! One or two or three reported issues with the temperature should be enough to get the temperature under control. And…the black balls of oil-soaked dust continued to drop from the ceiling ventilation vent until the day we departed the cruise. This is another example of the disappointing experience we had on Oceania. 3. Some Employees Were Not Happy - Did Not Enjoy Working For Oceania On This Cruise. Here is one example of this situation. This was most surprising to us. One of the employees who served us for a couple of weeks, came up to us three days before our 30-day cruise ended. This person asked us how we were enjoying our cruise. We said – ‘not so much’ – we were disappointed in the food quality, and there were other issues that we have had on board. And this person then said…’well…me neither, I also am not happy, plus there are other employees on board, who are also disappointed in working for Oceania’. One of the disappointments this person told us is that Oceania provided NO training what-so-ever for how this person (and others) were to do their jobs. There also was another employee, an Italian who worked as a waiter. He was from Roma, Italy. He always looked so sad every time we saw him. And then about two weeks before the cruise ended, we did not see him on board again. He obviously quit his job and left the ship. As a result of this 30-day experience on Oceania’s Nautica, we will not book another Oceania cruise. Our advice – BUYER BEWARE! Oceania today is NOT what it had been according to former reviews of a reported high-quality cruise experience, and especially when it comes to their culinary reputation. From our experience, there simply are many other highly rated, consistent quality and much better cruise alternatives to Oceania. We recommend booking anything other than Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After all previous cruises we sailed, we select this one since it had an appropriate itinerary for us. Our cabin was well kept throughout the cruise. Excursion Destination Staff did a good job. Reception desk staff were friendly and ... Read More
After all previous cruises we sailed, we select this one since it had an appropriate itinerary for us. Our cabin was well kept throughout the cruise. Excursion Destination Staff did a good job. Reception desk staff were friendly and helpful. Medical clinic staff was professional and excellent. Food and beverage staff service was ok but management for this service must learn what to improved from Regent Seven Sea Cruise Management. On board Nautica, we had one and only one free Captain cocktail during the 31 day cruise. Cheap. For Christmas Day at sea and New Year, nothing from cheap Nautica Oceania. Even their cheap wines were expensive. Oceania Nautica has to improve on their "fine cuisine". Food was ok for the money we paid for. Toscana has a large menu but food is only good Italian food. I had to return my plate and the Chief Cook visited me. Polo Grill was fine. The Grand Dining Room was as just great and we appreciated the food there. The Staff was very friendly and provided an excellent service. (Vijay and Mady) What a chaotic experience during disembarking Nautica on the wharf in Cape Town. No Nautica staff to help.They had our money already...who cares! We and other passengers had to carry our luggages about 1500 feet from the terminal building to outside the terminal. No real taxi available at the terminal building for disembarking passengers, and they were many of us. Outside taxis were scum people. 50usd for a 15usd trip to a local Cape Town hotel.(total rip-off) Oceania staff let me suggest to you: "First impression is important but the last one is just as important". So we speak now to our friends about this rip-off rather the overall cruise. We would NOt recommend Oceania Cruises to any of our friends and have all ready informed our travel agent accordingly. Selecting an itinerary first with Oceania was a mistake for us and value for money was not there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise for the chef inspired dining and was very disappointed in what was served. Pepin's dishes were probably 3-4 entrees out of hundreds so I could only eat a couple of them compared to the other dining room options. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the chef inspired dining and was very disappointed in what was served. Pepin's dishes were probably 3-4 entrees out of hundreds so I could only eat a couple of them compared to the other dining room options. Other past Oceania cruisers had said that the food quality has gone downhill in the last few years and may not travel on the ship again. My cabin mate and I had stomach trouble off and on depending what we were served so we finally stuck to the simplest meats and soups to avoid stomach aches and gas. Ship needs a complete disinfection which will probably happen when it goes to dry dock. Ports were very exotic from UAE to India to the Indian Ocean Islands and South Africa. Many people didn't like a few ports with nothing to see such as Fujairah UAE, Mangalore, Male Maldives, Mozambique. The rest of the ports were very enjoyable. The ship is planned for a overhaul in 2020 I believe. The ship desperately needs it. Size of rooms and showers will always be a problem. Paint was peeling all over the ship, Espresso machines in the different areas didn't serve the best espresso except the Barrista area at the dining room. Pool tiles were always breaking off, jacuzzi without jets and jacuzzi in concierge area at front broken off and on. Entertainment we had to avoid as well as the late time schedule of 930pm. Not the best comedians, and entertainers compared to all other ships. Onboard games were fun but because the ship was so small and activities were very limited compared to larger ships it was very boring at times especially on sea days or days when the pool area is rained out. Going to the gym or eating are about the only active activities on the ship then. Some shore excursions very good. A few companies used on snorkeling in La Digue were very bad at service. Ships shuttles to a few city malls were pathetic in Fujairah, Mangalore and Mozambiques art fair (should have been to the city center). Madagascar Island would have been the best place to visit instead of the 3 listed above. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, and that was great. But arriving late 6 times at ports caused problems on tours (never Oceania's fault). Oceania claims to have "the finest cuisine at sea"--NOT TRUE! There were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, and that was great. But arriving late 6 times at ports caused problems on tours (never Oceania's fault). Oceania claims to have "the finest cuisine at sea"--NOT TRUE! There were many problems with the cuisine. The coffee does not taste like coffee; we tried every conceivable way to get a good cup of coffee, but it would not happen; it tasted burnt and was strong and bitter. We switched to cappuccinos or lattes and they were palatable. Pizza crust was so hard you could not cut it or chew it; many very tough cuts of meat--lamb rack twice, leg of lamb, rib-eye steak in Polo Grill--all were so tough one could not chew them. The desserts were always similar--an excellent cheese cake every night, several mouses that varied but always mouse, a tartlet of some sort. We prefer eating our dinner in the dining room, but service there was so slow we ended up most times in the Terrace Cafe. Both of these venues are very crowded with each table almost touching adjacent tables. The cabin is advertised as having down pillows; they were not down but feather. The Blue Book says we have a spacious shower--it was the smallest we have ever had on any cruise ship, and we have cruised over 400 days. This ship is old and tired; it is due for refit in 2020, and certainly needs that! The entertainment was usually excellent. Activities on board were the usual as on any other line. We took 4 Oceania Shore Excursions. Two were good, and two were not. All of their shore excursions are about 3 times the price of private ones that also have a smaller group, so usually that is what we did. Oceania is exhibiting a strong desire to make money, but not deliver on services. For instance, they repeatedly denied any possibility of having a Bridge Director for games and lessons. They wanted to sell the cabin. But on the day of the cruise, they phoned the Bridge Director from their previous cruise who was already at the airport and asked her to return. She had 13 days at sea for bridge, with 117 people involved in a day! This does not make money for them, so they would rather sell the cabin than provide a service that people enjoy. Also, we missed the port of Mombasa; however, Oceania has kept the port charges and fees that everyone paid. It was our money that paid for these port charges, so why should Oceania get to keep about $50,000? Each person on that cruise paid $1607 in taxes, fees, port charges. The staff were excellent. They were attentive, friendly and willing to overcome the problems we faced. But some things did not go away! We will be happy to cruise again on Princess, Holland America and Celebrity where the money spent reflects the value received. This was definitely not the case with Oceania!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due to the boring "party" band. Almost everyone on board was in bed by 9pm. Maybe 10pm if you count the uninspiring guest performers shows. Luke's show was an exception, very well done. Niko is a great piano entertainer. The crew were excellent. Food in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) was amazing. This and Waves Grill were the only places we ate. The activities staff did a great job with mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, trivia and other fun games. The itinerary was nice although we couldn't stop at Kenya for safety concerns. The South African stops are mainly safari starting points and don't offer much else to see. Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malayasia all proved to be excellent ports of call. We can't wait to go back to Seychelles for an extended trip. Singapore is always a great place to start or end a cruise a deserves a few days stay minimum to experience everything they have to offer. Overall we felt this cruise did not offer the value per dollar that other cruise lines offer. We don't see where our extra money was spent. Plus now that the itinerary is changing there are better and more economical options. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The cruise was an amazing adventure - from the cities of Cape Town, Colombo & Singapore to island countries of Seychelles & Maldives, being able to see 4 of the Big 5 (elephant, African buffalo, rhino, lion & leopard - only one ... Read More
The cruise was an amazing adventure - from the cities of Cape Town, Colombo & Singapore to island countries of Seychelles & Maldives, being able to see 4 of the Big 5 (elephant, African buffalo, rhino, lion & leopard - only one we didn't see was the leopard). Some amazing sights in the various ports - giant turtles of the Seychelles, the submarine ride in the Maldives, Freddy Mercury's birthplace in Zanzibar, the beautiful Buddhist temple in Colombo, among others. Singapore is beautiful. But we traveled over 8000 miles on a ship that was 20 years old & had been refurbished (i.e., changed the colors of the interior) 4 times. It was small & cramped. Internet service was terrible (e.g., no internet service in any of the restaurants or the buffet; logging in all the time, as only one device per cabin could be on at one time). Embarkation was a struggle - we had taken the pre-cruise excursion to Victoria Falls & Chobe National Park (highly recommend this excursion!). However, the trip back from this excursion included 2 air flights (Vic Falls --> Johannesburg --> Cape Town) with a 2-hour layover in Johannesburg to pick up luggage. By the time we got to the ship, it was 9 pm & the crew wasn't ready for us! No food (you can order room service), a struggle to get our luggage to our cabins, and a surprised attitude from the crew. To top it off, most of us had an early morning Cape Town excursion. So, between getting settled in our cramped (~215 sq foot) cabin, the long day of travel, and the time it took to be on-boarded, we didn't get to bed until midnight. UGH! Even though it's a 30-day cruise, pack light!!! The closet space is non-existent, very little space. Laundry was on our level but was constantly busy. The machines took tokens, which were sold out (how does that work?), so toward the end of the cruise, it was a crap-shoot as to whether you can launder your clothes. Also, best to use laundry on port days - everybody used the laundry on sea days. Onboard entertainment was OK; the shows in the evening were ehhh. There were enough activities onboard to keep most people busy. I liked the 4 pm tea service - nice selection of pastries to go with the teas. Food was pretty good. We usually ate at the buffet - it had plenty of variety as well a few standards. Loved the bread selection. The specialty restaurants were good, but had a fixed menu that didn't change over the entire cruise. Service was very good - everyone was nice, considerate and willing to assist you. The shore excursions, with a couple of exceptions, were top-notch. Overall, it was an enjoyable voyage, if only because we got to share with my wife's sisters & brothers-in-law. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, ... Read More
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, the currents are always there and the weather was not that bad. The itinerary was cut so fine. There was no give in the itinerary, at all, for conditions that are always going to be there. It felt like the cruise was cut short by one day in the initial planning. Oceania this trip, needs to have full days in port for the benefit of the guests. It felt at times that there was a rush and that we were shortchanged The ships entertainment troupe were fantastic, but the guest artists were tired and repetitive, with an occasional singer thrown in. They were not quality. Dining - The Grand Dining Room was a grand disappointment, cold food cold plates and tasteless food, many returned meals with no improvement. It felt like a cafeteria not Grand in anyway, except for the waitering staff, who make up for the quality of food. Tocannas and Polo shamed the GDR with their hot and flavoursome food Service - across the dining spectrum, the wait staff, were either brilliant and attentive or not. On observation, at many a meal, the supervisors stood aloof and were not attentive to what was not happening, leaving it to the good wait staff to try and rectify the poor service. Training was not as good as seen previous, an example, for 20 days we asked for spoons to be in “Waves” for breakfast and eventually it happened for the final 8-10 days. It seems if a guest suggests something you get treated as though you do not know what you are talking about, or know better than supervisor you spoke to. Finally, I would also like to make comment on the complaint process. It seems that complaints are always referred back to head office. A fellow traveler had an issue and wanted to see someone high In management, firstly to talk, before putting it in writing but was told that reception had to decide whether to forward the complaint. This is not a process, but a poor vetting system, where you get the feeling that we will wear you down, and then hope you will give up Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on ... Read More
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on this cruise was time and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Itinerary Planning - This is a shared responsibility between Oceania Corporate and the Captain of the ship. These itinerary’s are made years in advance and must be executed by the Captain at the helm. Durban - 3 hours late, Maldives - 5 hours late, Phuket - 5 hours late - Unacceptable. The reason given, currents were bad or wind was high. This tired ship can only do about 18,5 knots, we didn’t have high seas or storms to contend with, this was an example of poor planning and not having enough time reserve between ports of call. The skip of Mombasa for terrorist threat is understandable but could have been communicated sooner, the add of Praslin in the Seychelles deserves an “At a boy”. Ship - Loved the size of the ship and the old world charm but its time for an upgrade. The common areas were in good shape and are still receiving the TLC they deserve. Would like to see Toscana and Polo combined to make room for Red Ginger with the scheduled refurbishment. The Nautica Lounge has a nice layout to it but when the entertainment uses the dance floor instead of the stage it can be difficult to see what is going on. Didn’t see a lot of activity in the casino, this space could get better utilization. Enjoyed the spa deck on the front, a quiet space for reading, and the hot tub there was great. Dining - Ate in all the venues and service level was top notch. This was really evident in the Terrace Grill. During the morning rush there were countless “Good Mornings”, tables were reset quickly, and beverage servers ever present. Enjoyed the regional specialty nights especially the game night of Kudu, Springbock, Crocodile, and Impala. For the GDR did not experience the same quality as previous sailings, the deserts were routine. Saw the same menus in Toscana and Polo as year prior, shouldn’t these change a bit. Entertainment and Activities - You can’t expect the same performance level that is received on a 2500+ passenger ship. With that said this group or entertainers and dancers held there own and then some. You got to know these performers throughout the 30-day cruise as they were the ones hosting the various activity games onboard. I think you will see Paulina and Luke have their own headline acts soon. John’s comedy/magic show should become a regular act. He was pretty darn good at having fun at the daily trivia forum. Was glad to see bridge lessons being offered as corporate had said they wouldn’t prior to the cruise. Bridge should be expected on a cruise of this duration. The string quartet every evening in the atrium was well received and glad to see them get two headline shows. The off-board entertainers and lecturers were pretty good. Ports and Shore Excursions - Took this cruise mainly for the itinerary and was not disappointed. Arranged mostly private tours with the CC forum prior to embarkation. These were well done and received a more intimate experience than the Oceania sponsored trips. The tendering process was orderly with a sensitivity to private excursions. Oceania needs to cut their fees in half to be competitive. Met some interesting fellow travelers from various points of the world. By sharing evening dinner or Happy Hour you get to exchange in some great conversations. We enjoy Oceania and will return. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and ... Read More
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and service was very good. Ken Beattie was one of the best guest lecturers we have ever had. We did the Oceania precruise out of Johannesburg which included Victoria Falls, and Chobe Marina Reserve (2 game drives and one river experience). Had a great time. We are very glad that we got to visit/experience these ports. Most were not the usual tourist ports which meant they didn't have as much infrastructure, but that was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We have been to most of the typical tourist ports. It was great getting to interface with some of the locals and learn about totally different life styles. One of our best/favorite cruises (and we have cruised a lot (>800 days), due to the unusual/different nature of the ports, and the onboard experience. We have cruised most of the usual cruise lines, but this was our first on Oceania. We were very pleased and would be very pleased to cruise with them again. One item that was less than ideal was the showroom. Their are 8 sister ships of which this is one, and they were all built with a single deck/level showroom, which means most seats have a lousy/restricted view of the stage (especially frustrating for watching dancers). Lecturers, singers, etc. are not a problem since you can see the top half of the performer. Some evenings the entertainment was a movie. In my opinion they should have live entertainment every night. However, we still had a fabulous time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink ... Read More
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink package. Casino was very quiet slots extremely tight, but Manager explained Oceania has just taken contract back from previous independent operator and will be making improvements and changes... PROS: Superb food in all venues. Best shellfish and steaks at sea without question. Most nights a local or specialty offering available on top of regular menus. All desserts and home baked breads delicious. Service was tops. Bar, room, cabin, butlers, restaurants.... always a smile and a greeting, day after day... a happy and delightful team working connected by pride in their work. SUPERB Entertainment good, stand outs : the Bellissimo Quartet with classical strings, then did a wild rock show on strings too!! Cruise director, John E. With his own hilarious show, also extra crew shows such as Beat the Chef , party undet the stars in Seychelles. Clever, fun and innovative fresh ideas. Great team No more to say... back with Nautica, next we go! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We LOVED Oceania's ms Nautica! Only 650 passengers (maximum possible = 684), and a huge, very international crew. An older but well-maintained intimate ship, full of beautiful art; fabulous food (the best we have ever savoured ... Read More
We LOVED Oceania's ms Nautica! Only 650 passengers (maximum possible = 684), and a huge, very international crew. An older but well-maintained intimate ship, full of beautiful art; fabulous food (the best we have ever savoured afloat); excellent singers and dancers; a personable cruise director (he made up for the humourless captain); and great cabin/dining service in every respect. Very comfortable (if small) cabin and adequate (if miniscule) bathroom. Bellíssimo, a most talented Ukrainian string quartet (from the Putin-menaced Donets region) played classical and popular music for hours ever day; good evening entertainment, especially the specially invited singers and comedians; a daily MENSA quiz, puzzles, and challenging games of trivia and an art scavenger hunt; reasonable enrichment program, delivered by a knowledgeable astronomer and an egocentric Canadian biologist who attempted to introduce the history and culture of the ports of call, but was out of his depth whenever he strayed from his narrow speciality; FREE internet with superb connectivity; a good library (but lacking almanacs, a good dictionary, and an encyclopedia). All this comes at a cost which tests the limits of our cruising budget. However, it illustrates the old adage, "You get what you pay for." When we look back at about 60 nights of cruising with Celebrity; 300+ nights with Holland America; and single cruises with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Swan-Hellenic (now bankrupt), and MSC, we would say that Oceania is superior to all of them. When we did not purchased any of the rather high-priced (and often mediocre) ship-organized excursions, we simply took the shuttle bus, which the Shore Excursion desk almost always organized, and went to wherever it took us. They were always safe spots, even in Durban, from where we could walk without fear of being mugged. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had a balcony suite, 6017, on the starboard side, which we enjoyed. Overall, it was an excellent cruise experience, with an enjoyable itinerary. There were some bumpy seas on the coast of South Africa on the Atlantic side, so ... Read More
We had a balcony suite, 6017, on the starboard side, which we enjoyed. Overall, it was an excellent cruise experience, with an enjoyable itinerary. There were some bumpy seas on the coast of South Africa on the Atlantic side, so anti-nausea seabands or medications are recommended (the ship was kind enough to have some available). We had a combination of ship shore excursions (selected as a perk--they are expensive!), and independent excursions (found through Tripadvisor). The ship was delayed at more than one port, in part due to Customs in one instance. Embarkation was lovely. Service was excellent, with friendly staff: even the buffet Terrace Cafe was mostly not self-serve, which was a change from my experiences on larger ships and smaller riverboats. Pros: --sleep quality outstanding--best bed ever! --guest laundry facilities ($4 USD per load)-- value and convenience, detergent supplied --a well-stocked gym--machines, free weights, some complimentary classes --a decent room safe (fits a chromebook or small laptop) --in-room fridge with included soft drinks and water --nice Bvlargari shower toiletries and plush towels --shuttles to the shopping areas in many ports--convenient and comfortable --the friendly staff --electrical outlets including 3-pronged North American and 2-holed European --wonderful food! No added sugar options were available. Canyon Ranch spa cuisine choices included calorie and fat information. Cons: --a tiny shower (2 feet wide!) with a fabric curtain (unexpected for a luxury cruise) --smoking areas mostly for cigarette smokers (cigar smokers confined to an area on the pool deck shared with smokers), smoke enters the ship near the exit from the gym --expensive drinks packages (but did allow 6 bottles of wine per stateroom to be brought on board) --Canyon Ranch spa cuisine did not always follow the original health recommendations, in my opinion (often heavy on red meat, for eg., and included veal at times) Overall, if the opportunity to travel on Oceania arose again, I would likely go. But I prefer the larger and more value-conscious Celebrity cruises instead. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the ... Read More
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the bush, it all worked out & the Lodge was amazing! We had 4 game drives and 1 bush walk. Pre-Safari, we booked a night at the Residence Boutique Hotel. The Residence is a beautiful, intimate hotel that used to be the Chinese Embassy. It is in a gated compound, very safe. They arranged for their driver to pick us us from the airport, gave us a driving tour of Johannesburg the next day, and delivered us safely to 54th of Bath Hotel booked by Oceania. 54th on Bath is a very nice hotel basic. I think it is part of the Omni Group. Breakfast was included and we all had omelettes. There were 8 from the Nautica going on Safari. Flight was quick and soon we were on our way to Lion Sands. Our time there was the highlight of our trip! We wished it was longer. Soon we were on a flight to Cape Town. we did not have time to see any of CapeTown precruise. We sailed roughly 1 hour after boarding. We were tired! We were in a "penthouse" cabin 8065. It was of course very small compared to the Marina penthouse cabins. I wanted to upgrade all along but the reasonable price upgrade was not offered until we were on safari & my travel agent said it was gone within minutes. Our butler, Vinod was a Gem! He helped with some dining problems and was just overall the best we have ever had. The food was very good in the main dining. My favorite thing was in Toscana, the Carbonara, but you have to eat it quickly because it seems to harden up. We had to request escargot in the MD. It was perfect. The escargot in Polo is soupy and neither of us cared for it. I not sure when it asks about excursions, aside from the Pre-Cruise safari, we booked everything privately because I do not like tour buses or large groups. If you do this cruise and you feel the same consider booking something through the ship while in East London (a place I will be blocking from my memory soon). We booked through Kevin Agram. We did not have him as our driver. Our driver knew nothing and insisted on taking us to the "townships" for 2 hours and then segregated beaches! It was the lowlight of our trip, having already seen them in every town we visited in South Africa. We did do great excursion through Red Dunes safari in Namibia, but if you want to see seals, book a catamaran tour. I heard they jump right on the boat! Richard's Bay & Durban we used Trinity Tours, Brian High. We went to several game reserves and same things as the ship but cheaper and we had a lovely dinner at the Oyster Box Hotel in Durban - don't miss the curry bar. Also do not eat Curry unless you at the Pot & Kettle in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Very good wine at Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc. $7 per bottle! In Mossel Bay, we used Tours for South Africa and went to Botlierskop Game Reserve (same as the ship) but much cheaper and included lunch. In Port Elizabeth, we used Afroventures Tours and had a wonderful day safari where we actually saw 3 lions!! When we came back to Cape Town we had a day tour to Stellenbosch to taste wines. It was late get started because of immigration problems or something. So we only got to see 1winery (Waterford - Excellent) and then we had dinner at the Wijnhose. I kept saying the winehouse & no one understood me! Excellent food and flights of wine. I would definitely go back to Stellenbosch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (21+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba and India, the ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (21+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba and India, the Middle East and Europe . The 15-day South African Explorer Cruise started in Cape Town on January 5, 2019. Our trip actually started on December 31, with our flight landing in Cape Town on January 2. Our pre cruise Eastern Cape Safari started with a flight to Port Elizabeth and a two hour land drive to the Shamwari Game Reserve. This is a privately owned reserve. The Reserve Lodge was fantastic while the Reserve was primarily open range with little water and almost no trees; primarily big bushes. We saw the big five up close and personal, and many other wild animals. The Reserve isn't lush, but that's where the animals are living. A great pre cruise trip. We then flew back to Cape Town to start the cruise. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the rear of the ship on deck 7, room 7121. This was a good location as we were near the primary sources of food; decks 5 and 9. Most points of interest are on 5, dining room at the rear and the Nautica Lounge at the front. Deck 9 has the computer room, card room and spa. The ship is a few years old but was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was available 24/7 on Deck 10 front and also, during select hours on Deck 5 rear. The ship provided complimentary water and soft drinks. The Program Director provided information about basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics on Africa and apartheid. The passengers and the crew were all very nice people from all walks of life. The people on the ship made the cruise interesting and enjoyable. The only real negative was the price of alcoholic beverages; they are a little pricey. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned almost 300 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. MOSSEL BAY – Our first port was located just east of Cape Town, Mossel Bay, a nice modern and clean city. We took the Discover Oudtshoorn and its Ostrich Heritage tour. This was a much more interesting tour than expected. We learned a lot about raising Ostriches and saw new born chicks through adult birds. RICHARDS BAY– We took the Dumazulu Cultural Village tour. The drive out to the village was very nice and the Village interesting. The Zulu people were very friendly and helpful in attempting to teaching us the Zulu language. They explained their heritage and customs very nicely. The tour ended with a dance program. MAPUTO – Maputo is located in Mozambique; visa required. We took the Glimpse of Maputo tour. This was primarily a tour of the city. It included a brief tour of a steel house designed by Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), a visit to a few markets, a Natural History Museum and a Fort. This really was a nice tour, much more interesting than it sounds. DURBAN – We are back in South Africa for two days in Durban. Our first tour was the Durban City Tour. The tour included a very nice market (good place to purchase locally made goods) and a visit to a beautiful botanical garden. By the time we got back to the ship, it was dark. Interesting tour. On the second day, we took the Valley of a Thousand Hills tour. This tour included a visit to a Zulu exhibit/show located on a beautiful mountain top. The views are out of this world. The Zulu show was entertaining and very well done. The people were friendly and open for questions and photographs. The local gift shop was outstanding and the tour included a snack. EAST LONDON – In East London, we took the Natural History tour. The museum tour was given by the curator and was very good. He highlighted the most interesting and valuable exhibits in the museum; some of which were very significant. This tour also included a drive along the coast to some beautiful areas. The museum tour was great. PORT ELIZABETH – We took the Local Townships and, Arts and Craft Center tour. The tour through the various neighborhoods was fantastic. We learned what apartheid meant to the various races and/or cultures. The tour included a visit to a craft shop in one of the metal clad building neighborhoods. The handcrafts were very nice and inexpensive. We also visited a private school and met with the principal. The visit included snacks and refreshments in addition to a brief concert by a singing group. This is a don't miss tour. WALVIS BAY – Walvis Bay, Namibia has a beautiful protected harbor that is very significant. We took the Dolphin and Seal Cruise with around 20 other people. We saw hundreds of seals, probably a dozen dolphins and a few jackles. One seal, a very friendly one, actually jumped up into the boat and allowed us to pet it. The cruise included beer and other refreshments and very nicely prepared snacks. The mini cruise was actually very nice …. we learned a lot about the area. Our second day in Namibia included a tour to the Swakopmund Township. This was an interesting tour of the desert, the country side and the various types of housing in Swakopmund. We also had a very nice lunch in Swakopmund at a local restaurant where a local singing group performed. This area of Namibia is mostly sandy desert. The tour stopped at a local sand dune (#7) to provide the opportunity to climb to the top. Some people did. This was again, a real education about life in Namibia. CAPE TOWN – We took two tours in Cape Town. The first one was the Cape Town and Table Mountain tour. This tour took us to the cable car to ride up to the top of Table Mountain. We were lucky that the weather was very nice, although a bit windy and cool at the top of the mountain. We had around two hours to walk around the area. It was an interesting walk. The mountain top is very beautiful and much more developed with plant life than expected. The tour also included a brief tour of the city. Our second tour was the Panoramic Cape Town by Night. This tour sort of repeated parts the earlier tour but in the dark (not Table Mountain). The darkness provided beautiful views of the city. Cape Town is impressive by night. We also extended our stay in Southern Africa by taking the Victoria Falls and Chobe Chilwero tour. This required leaving the ship around 5:30 am to fly to Johannesburg (Joburg), then connect to a flight to Victoria Falls. The drive from Victoria Falls airport to the Falls took around an hour. The Falls are in Zimbabwe which requires a visa ($45 US cash per person for a US citizen). Getting the visa took time, probably a hour or so. Things move slowly. You will get wet at the Falls; be prepared. The mist is warm. After the tour of the Falls, we continued on to the Sanctuary Lodge near the Chobe Game Reserve. This trip required leaving Zimbabwe to Botswana. Crossing the borders and driving to the Lodge is interesting and entertaining. Animals cross the two lane road along the way and border crossings will provide many new stamps in your passport. The Sanctuary Lodge is impressive. It is in a beautiful location just outside the National Park. On our first trip out to the Park, just as we entered the two lane highway, we spotted a herd of elephants crossing the road. We drove up to them and got many great photographs … up close and personal. We then entered the Chobe National Park which is located just south of a finger of Namibia and Zambia, and west of Zimbabwe. You have to see this on a map. The park is full of impalas, hippos, baboons, cape buffalo and many different types of birds. The Park was like a Garden of Eden. A beautiful and picturesque area. We took two game drives and a boat drive along the Chobe River. One of the game drives was on the morning we left, so it was a bit short. The previous drive was probably five hours long. The evening drives always appear to include wine, gin and tonics, and snacks. This tour should have had one more day at the Lodge. The time went by too quickly. We left the Sanctuary Lodge around 9 am, drove to Victoria Falls airport and flew to Joburg. The hotel in Joburg was very nice and in a great location. The hotel stay included a very nice dinner and also, breakfast. The next day we took the Hop on Hop Off bus to tour the city and also, Soweto. This is a great way to tour the city. The Soweto portion included a guide. That evening we flew to Germany and then the US. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. The in country flights were a major step up from flights in the US. We always got a hot meal and drinks; even when the flight was only 90 minutes or so. On this cruise, you will learn a lot about apartheid, Nelson Mandela, the Zulu, the languages, the local governments and about the Southern African people. It was educational and enlightening … no security concerns. Overall, the cruise was great and the pre and post trips fantastic. You will see many metal clad houses and poor areas but the people are friendly and well dressed. You will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the cruise and also, during the pre and post trips. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on Oceania. My husband and I have wanted to travel to Africa for some time and felt this cruise was a good way to see quite a bit in 2 weeks. We flew into Cape Town on 1/1 and spent four nights there before ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on Oceania. My husband and I have wanted to travel to Africa for some time and felt this cruise was a good way to see quite a bit in 2 weeks. We flew into Cape Town on 1/1 and spent four nights there before boarding the ship (we stayed at the Cape Hollow Boutique Hotel). We felt this was a good amount of time to see all the highlights of the area (we used PG Tops tours). Boarding the ship was very easy and took about 15 minutes (at most). We were in a PH1 cabin (8030) and loved the size (we had the same on our previous Oceania cruise) and location. Our ports of call were Mossel Bay, Maputo - Mozambique, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Walvis Bay - Namibia. I booked all private excursions except for a city tour of Durban the afternoon we arrived. I highly recommend booking private excursions - you will save money and be in much smaller groups - the most people we had in one tour was 8. Just do your research ahead of time and then go to your CC roll call board to find some people to join you on your private excursions. We did not get off the ship in Maputo and did not hear anything positive from anyone who did. But, be forewarned - you will be charged for a visa regardless of whether you get off the ship or not. If you go to guest services ahead of time and specifically request it being removed they will do so - but we did not find this out until it was too late. They do not readily/easily share this information. This was truly the only thing that bothered me while on the ship for 2 weeks. We enjoyed joining other passengers for dinners in the main dining room and found the food to be very good. We also ate quite a few of our meals at the Terrace Cafe (buffet). We felt there was always a good selection and although I only ordered it once, grilled lobster was available every night. The only negative I have to say about the restaurants/food was that service was rather spotty in the Waves grill. It often took a long time for someone to come over to take our drink order and burger orders weren't always correct. We also ate in Toscana twice and Polo Grill once. We were going to go a second time but the seas were so rough I did not want a big meal that night. Overall - no complaints regarding food. We went to the afternoon high tea once and it was very nice with a varied and abundant selection of food and tea. It was also very well attended. I cannot comment on any shows because we always went to bed early - though we heard from other people that they really enjoyed them. We were definitely on the young side of the demographics. We are 52 and I'd say the average age was around 70. But, this did not bother us at all and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to everyone we met. We thought we were well traveled but the passengers on this ship have been just about everywhere! I could not find many reviews on African cruises before we left and one thing that surprised me was that I was expecting it to be much warmer. It was the middle of summer but because we were always near the shore, temperatures remained fairly mild - with high temps reaching upper 70's and maybe a couple days in the low 80's. We did have a few days of rough seas - mainly around the Cape of Good Hope. We actually left the ship the day we arrived back in Cape Town - though disembarkation wasn't until the next day. We then spent a night at the Cape Verde Hotel by the airport because we were headed to Victoria Falls the next morning for two nights and then on to Botswana for 3 nights for safari. In total we were gone for 28 days. It was a wonderful trip and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd world. We didn’t feel safe and was the only port that required us to take malaria medicine. We were surprised Oceania offered a 2 hour walking tour. DON’T TAKE IT! Street vendors aggressively follow you and pressure a sale. Streets are dirty. We were only allowed to take photos when given permission. Definitely not worth stopping. As for ship: Food and service were outstanding. Loved the “dine anytime” arrangement. It was fun to share a table and meet other guests but we always had the opportunity to dine alone. Being in the Owners Suite gave us special privileges and we were able to eat in specialty restaurants whenever we requested to do so. Stewards were exceptional! Entertainment not quite as elaborate as other cruises but I suppose that’s due to size of ship. On shore: the Belmont property, Mount Nelson Inn, is fabulous! If you are staying in land pre or post cruise, make a reservation! And don’t miss Table Mountain and The Cape. Two spectacular sites in Cape Town. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. The downtown area was completely shut down and our hop on/off bus driver had no idea what to do. We went around the same block three times and circled a round-about four times in succession. After an hour and a half, the bus stop at public toilets for us. Everyone was afraid to get off at the three stops he managed to get to for fear they'd never see another bus. Why did the shore excursion department not know about this and cancel this tour? In Nosy Be, Madagascar my shore excursion included a beach stop. Not a beach on the same side of the island as the pier (where other excursions went), but one that was 45 minutes down a crater filled road! By the time we got there, there was no time to swim (the beach had no changing or shower facilities) and the guide moved up departure time AFTER people headed to the shoreline. Almost every excursion included a "market" stop. How many times does a person need to smell fish and meat covered in flies while it rots in the sun? I chose an excursion to a Zulu "village" in South Africa expecting to visit a real residential village. An hour and a half ride to a hotel with a cultural entertainment area-a recreated "village." Heck, one of the women didn't even know the steps to the dance. In Durban, they didn't know the market would be closed on New Year's Day! So the guide tried to fill in time by taking us to the wealthy part of town and to the soccer stadium. Unfortunately, the tour bus didn't pull up on the stadium side of the street and one of the passengers was hit by a car crossing the street. I was a little surprised that none of the excursions on this cruise went anywhere near a jewelry store or upscale shopping area. Several of these countries are known for the gemstones they mine. The Nautica was fine and my cabin was good. I dined most of the time in the Buffet since the food was as good or better the the restaurant. I did try the restaurant once. The service was slow. My server replaced my standard silverware with a salad fork and a fish knife for a steamed salmon entree with green beans which I couldn't cut. I ate in both the alternative restaurants; food and service were excellent. The worst part of the cruise was embarkation. The documents said it was at 1pm so a lot of people showed up at 1pm. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Several hundred! They made no arrangements for the crowd-no chairs, no water, nothing! Like others, I stood in line for more than 2 hours while crew with gold bars on their shoulders smiled at us. I can understand that they might not know this could happen, but THEY COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING once it did. What would it take to have a crew member unstack the chairs that were leaning against the wall? They could have handed out number tags (the ones used for shore excursion buses) to group us and call us up when it was our turn. We still would have waited 2 hours, but we could have been seated while waiting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. ... Read More
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. We upgraded to concierge verandah cabin for this trip so were prepared for the level of accommodation; no complaints. We're still not sure what "concierge service" means, though. The service was good but we didn't know what to expect above and beyond what we got on our previous cruise. We found the food and service to be excellent, especially in Toscana. I have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, so after our first meal in the Grand Dining room, I learned to request seating just inside the entrance, away from the busy waiters' serving stations. The entertainment was of average quality. A couple of the professionals were extremely talented; a couple were not. Some of the scheduled entertainers were no-shows or delayed due to travel or visa problems. One such delay resulted in an impromptu Passenger Talent Show: mildly entertaining but not what we hoped for. The String quartet was excellent -- highly professional, and the ship's band was super talented. The six young on-board performers were equally talented. They put on several very entertaining Broadway-type shows as well as separate performances. No disappointment there! With a number of sea days, there were activities like bracelet-making, embroidery, bingo, and other parlour games -- not of interest to us. Two "Enrichment" speakers helped fill in the days: one was well-informed and entertaining while the other was rather pedantic and didn't hold our interest. Surprisingly, there were no "Destination" Speakers. Adequate information about upcoming ports was very lacking and very missed! Activities (e.g., more and varied speakers) and more substantive entertainment would have helped the long sea days pass. In retrospect, the cruise itinerary could have been better thought-out. One or two of the four stops in India could have been skipped, with the time added to other stops. Sailing for a day or two (or more?) just to spend a few hours in the next port, now seems like a waste of time. For instance, we sailed west for about two days from Seychelles to Mombassa, then part of a day to Zanzibar, and then a day and a half back east to Nosy Be (Madagascar) where we anchored for only six hours! In our case, Madagascar was of more interest than four stops in India. After an hour delay in tendering plus 40-minute boat rides to and from Nosy Komba to see lemurs (a couple hours) there was no time left to go ashore in Nosy Be or any other part of Madagascar! Very disappointing! Being rather inexperienced with shore excursions, and concerned with being left behind if we were delayed returning to the ship, we opted for the security of booking through Oceania. Never again! The excursions we chose (based on brief, sometimes inaccurate or misleading descriptions) were mostly disappointments. Expensive disappointments. As an example, an excursion in Durban was described as "panoramic", which, to me, suggests there will be stops where photos of interesting places can be taken. The actual excursion was a half-hour drive to "Umhlanga Rocks" ( apparently not a natural formation, but a high-end residential community instead), another half-hour drive to "Ballito" (apparently a small beach town, popular with locals) where the guide disappeared to apparently look for restroom facilities, leaving us to wander on our own for 15 minutes, then another hour-long drive back to Durban, where we drove non-stop through the downtown area, trying to snap pictures of places like "...the Theatre, where they have plays...". As another reviewer remarked, too many excursions are made up of too many people: the guides are often too far from most of the group to be heard clearly (both on the buses and on walks). And even guides in "third-world" excursions should understand not to let their charges get strung out for a hundred feet in unfamiliar narrow streets and pathways. These examples reflect our (and others') experiences on a large percentage of our excursions. Assuming we ever do cruise with Oceania again, it's very unlikely we'll use their excursions. Many people we met aboard (some had multiple Oceania cruises) were equally disappointed and expressed strong doubts about using Oceania again. The general opinion was that after Oceania was acquired by Norwegian, cost-cutting and short-term profit-taking have caused a noticeable reduction in the level of service. Unfortunately, our many good experiences on this cruise (especially with the crew and staff members) were offset by the excursions and other disappointments; we don't expect to use Oceania in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise was our longest, so far. Forty days total. We wondered if it might be too long on a small ship. When we booked, we were offered a "free" three-day pre-cruise. We enjoyed our tours of Cape Town and the surrounding ... Read More
The cruise was our longest, so far. Forty days total. We wondered if it might be too long on a small ship. When we booked, we were offered a "free" three-day pre-cruise. We enjoyed our tours of Cape Town and the surrounding area. While talking to the onboard Ambassador, we learned the Oceania took a major hit with the offer and will not be offering it again. I don't know about other freebie offers?? Embarkation was a breeze. We were settled into our P-3 cabin before we knew it. This cabin definatley needs some work. Carpeting needs to be replaced, chalking issues in bathtub, mold growing on the bottom of the sliding door. There were cleaning issues-peanuts on the balcony floor, toothpick on carpet between the cabinet and the large door that closes in front of the cabinets, also someone else's old luggage tags in a cabinet. I am not super fussy and did not report any of this, but I felt it was not up to O's standards. Two days after we sailed, the dreaded signs started to pop up. Plastic covers on the elevator buttons, salt shakers disappeared--you get the picture. We had a gastro virus on board, but not noro (sp??) according to the medical dept. The was also a cold and cough going around. O was on top of it the whole time. Two ports were cancelled which must have caused a major uprising upon passengers. A special meeting with the captain, chief engineer and GM was called. I think it was to try to explain the cancellations, while using the excuse that these officers would answer general questions about the ship, etc. Most people wanted better reasons as to why these ports were cancelled and the GM tried hard to redirect the type of questions. Reasons for the cancellations were weather on a sea day that slowed the ship down and tide related. This is the fourth O cruise that we have been on that ports have been cancelled. We did mostly ship excursions. They were ok. Overpriced as usual, but we are at a place in life where it is the easiest and safest way for us. We had been warned not to expect guides or transportation to be the best in Africa, so we were ok with that. Our highlight was the overland trip to Kariega Settlers Drift Game Reserve. Worth every penny! Entertainment was better than usual. Enrichment activites were interesting. There were two very good lectures to ease the sea days. Leslie, the cruise director did his best to keep things lively. In my opinion, unless you like to play blood-sport trivia, throw bean bags into wood with holes in it, learn how to dance, there's not a lot to do on sea days. The Spa was nice.. We had massages. Expect a bit of upselling. Food and service was excellent. Staff is super friendly and accommodating. Our butler, Grince, was on top of everything!! My husband mentioned, once, that he would like a glass of orange juice. There was a glass of fresh OJ in the fridge every day. All in all, this was a good cruise. A few less sea days would have been nice. Forty days went by in a flash. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were interested in getting to some of the countries in West Africa and this cruise included three stops (Togo, Benin, Sao Tome) as well as two countries in South Africa (Namibia & South Africa). The staff were very supportive. The ... Read More
We were interested in getting to some of the countries in West Africa and this cruise included three stops (Togo, Benin, Sao Tome) as well as two countries in South Africa (Namibia & South Africa). The staff were very supportive. The Cruise Director (Leslie) was Outstanding at managing the afternoon Trivia (best we've encountered in over 30 cruises). This was important because we had nine sea days. He was helped by an amazing group of guests who supported Leslie and each of the other teams which made it fun, friendly and definitely not a "blood sport". In terms of visibility, the Executive Chef (Farid) was also Outstanding in that he "was everywhere" checking on guests and pitching in to help if his team needed assistance. When we would comment to him about his visibility and helpfulness, he would always just say that it is his team that is doing all the work. The General Manager (Damien) was also very visible and one day when we happened to be riding in the elevator with him and said we wanted to book an appointment to see him about a problem, he got off with us and gave us our cabin number because he was already aware of the problem. He continued to monitor the problem and bring the resources he could to solve it (heat in the cabin). Our only problem was the heat (or lack of cooling) in the cabin while the outside temperature was above 20 C (68 F). The first night the cabin could not drop below 27 C (80.6 F). With multiple visits from the A/C engineer and intervention by the General Manager, they got it down to 21 C (70 F) even though the A/C that was coming out of the ceiling vent was 19.5 C (67 F). For some reason, the cold air could not fall down to the bed/chair level. I believe it is a challenge of the "R Class" ships that need a revamp of their HVAC system. The other thing that was interesting was that this cruise was the second leg of an Oceania "Around The World" (ATW) cruise. Out of the 640 guests, almost 200 were on the ATW. It was very interesting dining with a variety of guests, many of whom were ATW cruisers. We very much enjoyed the food in any of the dining rooms as we had expected with Oceania. However, while the Italian Specialty restaurant was run perfectly as you would expect of a Specialty restaurant, we found the steak house, Polo Grill, to be more of "another dining room with a Specialty Dining Menu". It was the small touches that were there in Toscana that were missing in Polo. We were fortunate in that Oceania had included three Enrichment Lecturers, each was very knowledgeable and had a large number of talks so that on many of the sea days we could actually get three lectures. One was on Photography, one on Destinations and History of Atlantic exploration and the third was an extremely capable lady who had lectures ranging from Food History to Music evolution (she is a professional Violist) to evolution based on skeleton finds in Africa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda ... Read More
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda category, as 6001 is above the theatre which vibrated and sounded through our floor & walls. The new cabin was fine and saved the cruise. The staff was wonderful in our opinion as was the dinning and food experience. The workout facility (an important part of our daily regimen) was well stocked, clean and open early enough for our needs as well. The public areas were very nice and always attended by super sweet staff. The entertainment and daily activities were terrific and we enjoyed quite a few throughout the cruise...kudos to social director, Annabelle & her morning ”chat over coffee and needlepoint”. We did not utilize the shore excursions offered by Oceania as we prefer to do on our own and save $$ as ship excursions tend to be too expensive in our opinion. The only bad experiences on our cruise were a miscommunication about the “free unlimited internet package” and a faulty toilet flusher. We decided to upgrade our cabin when an offer was made via email from the cruise line which promised certain additional amenities, among which was this internet package. This was a must as my husband was on a working holiday. In addition, one other extra was access to the concierge club (and their daily world newspapers) which did not exist on this smaller vessel. This was also a huge disappointment and inconvenience. Our experience with the ship’s concierge was wonderful though. She was professional, very good at her job as well as friendly & a delight to deal with when we needed additional questions answered or help with other issues. All in all, we would recommend Oceania Cruises and the Nautica but would emphasize these small negatives. PattiG Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. ... Read More
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. Giuseppe, the general manager, solved an issue I had with my cabin and resolved this matter quickly and to my absolute satisfaction. The food was excellent, but the wine selection could use some improvement. I chose the "magic card" which allowed me to drink any alcohol beverages. Knowing that each glass of wine plus an 18% gratuity on top of it was "not knowing the price" well worth it for me. However, some wines I could not choose with my unlimited beverage card because it did not allow for bottled wines, only the ones by glass. Otherwise, I enjoyed 99% of all excursions I had chosen. The entertainment was wonderful even though I think it could improve a little. What I missed was yoga or meditation classes. I would have been perfect offering those for sunrise or sunsets. I loved this cruise so much that I booked the world cruise directly on board and I am looking forward to many more adventures. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any ... Read More
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any other cruise ships that we have sailed on and this is no exaggeration. Although, not a reflection on the ship’s crew or staff, there were excursion experiences that did not measure up to our expectation. We would suggest that the cruise line staff place more attention on the planning and quality of the excursions to ensure they reflect the passenger expectations of a luxury cruise. Overall experiences on this vacation cruise, including add on three day excursions before and after the actual 30 day cruise were with a few exceptions first class. While there are probably parts of this itinerary we would not repeat, certainly there are others we would very much like to visit again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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