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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this ... Read More
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this trip. Otherwise, I am feeling cheated by a line that we have loved in the past. Cheated out of the holidays as there isn't a single decoration on the ship (a first for a Christmas cruise for us....the ships are usually wonderful) which we had looked forward to in lieu of having anything up at home. Cheated out of money....promises were made about concierge class when we upgraded and the amenities they promised do not exist on this ship. We could have stayed with oceanview and been fine....can't use the balcony as they seas have been rough. The hot tubs are not hot. The food is beyond bland even in the specialty restaurants. Jacques Pepin should be embarrassed to have his name on this. Entertainment is the worst of any Oceania ship we have been on....we don't expect much but this has been terrible and exacerbated by several ports being cancelled. We missed Mossel Bay because the seas were too rough to tender in yet somehow despite having all that extra sailing time we were late to Richards Bay so our game drive was cut short and our guide took the fact that he waited all morning for us out on us by talking to everyone he passed on the road, stopping to watch dung beetles, stopping for a potty break nobody wanted or needed given that we has less time to tour and then said "You could have seen more if you had been on time". Seriously??? Like we had any say in the matter? Then we got to Maputo, where the last time they called there it took 5 hours to clear the ship through immigration (they want to fingerprint and photograph everyone on the ship), the customs people showed up late and then couldn't process people so we left. This appears to be an ongoing problem so I am not sure why Oceania keeps going to this port. Got to Durbin about 1.5 hours early (again, despite having extra sailing time) and went on our scheduled coastal and city tour which was driving in a bus down the highways and interstates with no views to have a 5 minute stop at a beach and a 5 minute stop at a vacant lot in a neighborhood overlooking the city to take pictures of the city through a barb wire fence and then drove through the slums of Durbin. If you scheduled this tour, I suggest you skip it and take a shuttle to the marine park/shopping area. You cannot walk out of the port...must have a bus or taxi though there were few of those around so we couldn't go out in the evening. The tour of Tala Game Reserve was wonderful! Do this! So, that brings us to now. Last night they announced that bad weather is expected so we will overnight in New London and miss Port Elizabeth....don't know why we couldn't stay at New London all day the second day so we could do another excursion or go shopping....anything off the ship but we will leave at 10 a.m.. So, we get one more day on land and three more excruciating days at sea. If you booked your excursions via O Life, you do not get any credit for ones you miss due to cancellations of ports so you cannot even use credits to drink or spa. Our much anticipated African adventure has become a feeling of being held hostage at sea. We started with Oceania on our honeymoon when then the line was new. 15 years later, this will be our last trip with them. I thought this would be a luxurious way to sample Africa but all we are seeing is the inside of a ship. Maybe we will get to see Namibia but I am not holding my breath. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather is not in Oceania's control, the response and alternative planning is, which they failed to do. They COULD have added more game drives in the ports we did manage to reach but instead we just sat there, bored to tears. They also COULD have left some ports an hour or two earlier to make up for slowed sail times due to rough seas so that we could have arrived earlier at ports, but instead we just sat there. And our biggest complaint is about the "inclusive" air program. NEVER SUCKER FOR THIS!! When the airlines they book have delay issues, Oceania refuses to try to accommodate you on other flights, thus we missed one whole day of our pre-cruise tours. Their response?? Put in a claim on our travel insurance. They disavow any responsibility for the extreme disappointment of most of the passengers on this cruise. They had a free cocktail party to "compensate" us-big deal. Found Nautica disappointing as well, especially compared to Marina. We "upgraded" to Concierge, again a sucker bet. No Concierge lounge, as on Marina, small cabin, very little benefit to upgrading-don't do it. In fairness, the staff and officers are great, with the exception of the staff at the poolside cafe who are indifferent and slow. Found the food in the specialty restaurants very good, especially Toscana. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari booked and were disappointed but we made a beeline for the shore excursion desk and booked another game Reserve at another port. If you have an excursion canceled don’t wait, book something else quick as they sale out fast. Now we have 5 sees days instead of four. This change was due to predicted bad weather. I’ll make this short, we missed Mossel Bay, Maputo-Mozambique, Port Elizabeth and were 4 hours late returning to Cape Town we missed our shore excursion to Robben Island. Two were missed due to rough seas, Maputo was due to immigration arriving too late and their equipment failed so we could not get off the ship and the late return to Cape Town was due to strong currents...That’s 4 shore excursion we missed, one being the elephant sanctuary I really wanted to see. We had a package that included 5 shore excursion each, the free ones were refunded as ship credit and the paid ones were refunded with cash. We had to buy stuff on the ship to use up the ship credit and left $50 credit on the ship. They had a cocktail party to make it up to us but as we’re not drinkers we declined to go. Not sure how they could make all these missed excursions.... So now we had 8 seadays counting the late arrival in Cape Town. With the weather bad the exterior areas were closed. And we found the common areas all busy thus we were in our cabin more than we thought. The ship is smaller and didn’t seem as stable as the bigger ships. My husband was sick 3 days. This was our 17th cruise and we’ve never had such bad winds and swell. Even the seasick meds didn’t work. Be warned, the coast can be rough. The ship was a great small ship. As I first got on I thought, ‘this is small’ but I soon grew to like it. No long lines anywhere on the ship. Only lines were at the MANY passport control stops in every country, face to face. Get off the ship, line up for immigration, and get back on the ship to wait for shore excursions. Could that be handled better I wondered... The ships decor is very rich. Lots of dark wood and seemed formal. Lots of beautiful art work on board. The library was my favorite spot. Lots of good books too. The entertainment was adequate. The string quartet was exceptional as was the classical pianist they had on board at the time. The speaker was also adequate but her slides were lacking. Oceania missed a great chance to feature Africa on this sailing, needed more cultural events, African dance or even an African movie on the many sea days we had. The main dining room was perfect. We ate at a single table for lunch and a shared table at dinner. We had lovely table mates. There were plenty of choice on the menus. Food was pretty good but expected more from the hype. Specialty restaurants had even more choices and were located in prime viewing areas. Very well appointed and service excellent in all dining areas. Don’t miss the afternoon tea. And try the South African pineapples, they are small and delicious. Ate breakfast in our cabin most mornings and service was good and quick. Only ate at the buffet a couple of times and it was just ok. Our cabin, 6077, was very nice. Decor was dark wood again. Sofa was by the balcony. It was a bit small but there was plenty of room for us. Lots of drawers and closet space. Bed was very comfy. I didn’t care for the giant mirror across from the bed but oh well. The bathroom was were the ship showed her age. Tiny shower, you can sit on toilet and wash your hands at the same time but we managed. Thank goodness for the support bar in the shower for the rough sea days... Not much shopping on the ship, just two small shops. Shopping in ports was iffy too. Only a couple of ports had locals at the ship. I was looking for local typical souvenirs. Found some at Howick Falls on an excursion out of Durban. Then more in Walvis Bay, Namibia. There is always some at the airport. Service was great on the ship. We were remembered by most of the crew as time went on. Everyone was friendly and were eager to meet our needs. Cabin attendant was excellent! We were on the precruise 3 day Cape Town tour. We stayed at The Southern Sun Cullinan. It was very near Victoria and Albert shopping center and the ferry to Robben Island. They have a shuttle that drops you off every half an hour. Very handy. The tours included a trip to Stellenbosch and to the Boschendale Winery where we had a lovely picnic lunch under the trees along with wine tasting. Great time. The drive there was very scenic. We also went to Aquila game Reserve for lunch and animals. Lots of springboks, zebras, a few rhinos and hippos. The lions were in a separate enclosure so they don’t eat the other animals. They are trying to reintroduce the animals in the reserves. Most of the animals come as rescued animals. The lions were from a hunting farm, sad. We saw 2 elephants. What they lacked in numbers they made up for with their antics. Play fighting, spraying each other with water from the hippo pond. It was amazing to see these animals up close. The last day of the Cape Town tour we drove out to the Cape of Good Hope, traveled up the funicular to the top. It was amazing to be standing on top of the tip of Africa! It’s not the southern most point but was spectacular. We also visited Boulder Beach and saw the penguins. The one place we didn’t have on the tour was Table Mountain. We arrived a day before the tour and since it was sunny and no clouds were on top of the mountain we took a cab to the incline. It’s a must do if the weather cooperates. Beautiful view, nice trails, a coffee shop and lots of dassies to see, a small guinea pig like animal. I recommend going a day early to see everything and getting settled. It’s a long flight from Canada. In Richards Bay we went to the Dumazulu Cultural Center. The tribesmen take turns living in the village. They treat you to some of their ways of living there, show spear making, basket weaving and offer you a taste of their beer, everyone drinks from the same cup, so be first. It tasted like beer, my husband said. It was interesting and again the drive was good. In Durban we did a city tour the first afternoon and a trip to the Nelson Mandela Capture site the next day. City tour was just that. Capture site was interesting and they are building a new museum which they dearly need. The monument was spectacular! In East London we did another game Reserve, Inkwenkwezi. We saw the same animals here and a few more. The lions were tawny and white lions. One mom had a toddler. So neat to see so close, maybe 10 feet away. I sat in the Jeep and talked to the lioness. I told her how beautiful she was and she thought about lunch. We also saw a herd of giraffes which I loved. They ran across the path in front of us. Amazing! Some of them were in the trees and all you could see were their heads sticking up. We had another 2 elephants here too but only a peek a boo sighting. Our next stop was Walvis Bay Namibia. The landscape was very different here with the desert going to the Ocean. I loved it. We went to Dune 7, the largest dune nearby. You can climb up and roll down. Talk about sand everywhere... We saw flamingos at the seawalk. There were only a hundred or so as it was off season when thousands arrive. The desert drive to see the Welwitschia plant, the two leaf never die plant. Can live 500 years. Desert was fun... Another seaday and we arrive late to Cape Town. Last night on the ship was relaxing, no show just packing. Embarking and disembarking were pretty easy. We took a cab to the airport for about a quarter of the ship transfer. We didn’t have enough time before our flight so we went. Absolutely nothing to do at the airport so if you have time do something in Cape Town. Flight time home 30 hours. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruised on this vessel Dec 6, 2017 to Dec. 21 2017 off South Africa. 3 Ports were cancelled Service was sub par Food was sub par Maintenance was sub par Attitude of staff was sorry can,t help you We have spent over 55 ... Read More
Cruised on this vessel Dec 6, 2017 to Dec. 21 2017 off South Africa. 3 Ports were cancelled Service was sub par Food was sub par Maintenance was sub par Attitude of staff was sorry can,t help you We have spent over 55 days travelling on Insignia and Nautica and have never had Now we find that the information given to us on departure that the credit balance due to the cancellations would be applied to our credit cards was not correct after three attempts a cheque has not been issued. I would warn anyone thinking of using this firm or their parent company Norwegian to exercise great caution. Last year we took a 35 day cruise on the same ship from Hong Kong to Athens and had the finest cruise of our lives, what can possible change so drastically in an organization of this size that would lead to this kind of decline. As you can probably tell I Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Overall the cruise was excellent and all that I had expected and hoped for. I felt that the staff were excellent and accommodating. The food was good most of the time, and I appreciate that the buffet is high quality and an excellent ... Read More
Overall the cruise was excellent and all that I had expected and hoped for. I felt that the staff were excellent and accommodating. The food was good most of the time, and I appreciate that the buffet is high quality and an excellent alternative to the main dining room. The food is not your typical buffet pre-made food, and there are lots of healthy choices. The internet was terrible pretty much all of the time. Very slow (which is normal on satellite internet), but this was even worse than usual. You got kicked off all of the time, even if you made a connection. This happened in all areas of the ship, so it wasn't just a few places. The shore excursions with the ship were sub par. Alot of the guides spoke poor English, and some didn't really seem interested in educating us on the country, etc. They seemed more like escorts than actual guides. Going to Masada from Haifa, there was LOTS of time for the guide to enlighten us on politics, geography, culture, etc. It never happened. Luckily I have been to Israel many times and I ended up being the guide for my friends on the bus. There was really no good place to give your feedback to the ship on this either. We took some tours on our own, and had excellent guides, so they were available if the ship really wanted them. But, overall, I loved the cruise. Read Less
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