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15 Oceania Cape Town Cruise Reviews

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
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
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 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
We chose this cruise as we have already sailed on the Oceania line (Riviera). An added bonus was the fact that the departure port was in our home city of Cape Town. We also wanted a longer cruise and 30 days was wonderful. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have already sailed on the Oceania line (Riviera). An added bonus was the fact that the departure port was in our home city of Cape Town. We also wanted a longer cruise and 30 days was wonderful. The Nautica was an ideal size with only about 600 passengers and there was never any inconvenience when trying to dine in any of the restaurants. The food was really good and varied and I never heard any complaints from any other diners. We had a change in Executive Chef mid way through the cruise and I have to say that, whilst the previous Exec Chef was great, we noticed an added standard of excellence when Chef Gary Potiphar took over. Compliments to all of the staff involved for the most amazing Christmas decorations. They were beautiful. The Xmas and New Year festivities were totally celebrated and there was a lovely spirit of friendship and goodwill all over. The Cruise Director, Ray Carr, was outstanding. A man with a great sense of humour and a very good rapport with his staff. We didn't attend any of the evening shows but those who did said they were very good. The ports along the coast of Africa were 'ok'. I feel that Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, and Richards Bay could have been avoided altogether and more time spent possibly in the Seychelles. A pity we had to miss Madagascar due to the plague there. We were notified of this well in advance of sailing and it crossed my mind that we could possibly have taken in Mauritius instead of having the couple of extra sea days. We took none of the ships' tours as they are vastly overpriced. Mainly we took advantage of Tours by Locals. We would certainly travel on the Nautica again were we to find an itinerary that suits us. Read Less
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
Sail Date December 2017
This was a destination specific cruise. Lecturer Mike Boll was fabulous giving histories of the countries visited. All nationalities were onboard which was a great mix. Entertainment was average & the so called "pool deck ... Read More
This was a destination specific cruise. Lecturer Mike Boll was fabulous giving histories of the countries visited. All nationalities were onboard which was a great mix. Entertainment was average & the so called "pool deck party" was a real disappointment - lacked food, poor music selection & no ambience or time given in setup. NCL takeover of Oceania is evident...cost cutting....toiletries not replaced in concierge room & had to be requested, room not serviced appropriately upon embarkation & wine prices (+18% gratuity!) expensive, wait service thin. The Horizon room was empty usually by 9:30-10 pm! Shore excursions were overpriced as usual. Food was above average, particularly in the specialty restaurants. The whirlpool private area available to concierge & above staterooms lacked lounges & chairs for those wanting to visit, & were taken by the same people regularly, as were the lack, & hogging, of lounges on deck 5. Concierge rooms are not worth the extra money on the smaller Renaissance class ships. The cruise director was corporate in presentation & too formal, & lacked the necessary social interaction for all levels of clientele. The most appealing aspect of the cruise was that staff recognised returning passengers & were very friendly & obliging. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
1. We sailed on Oceania Insignia last January, Miami to Cape Town. We did this because of the itinerary. While onboard we found this 2017 cruise and bought for the same reason. We will probably not sail with Oceania again. 2. The ... Read More
1. We sailed on Oceania Insignia last January, Miami to Cape Town. We did this because of the itinerary. While onboard we found this 2017 cruise and bought for the same reason. We will probably not sail with Oceania again. 2. The staff are wonderful. Our stewardess, Sladjana was great and our cabin was maintained beautifully early every day. Most days our cabin was cleaned by the time we got back from breakfast. Melroy & Todo our great bartenders in Martinis, these guys were professional and added to a great cocktail hour. 3. The officers are aloof and just hang out with each other. Try to even get "hello" ! 4. The cruise director was a talking suit with 0 personality and he never spoke with anyone unless he had to. Never remembered anyone's name. Most Cruise Directors are charming and vivacious, not this guy. If he had an assistance the guy was hiding in the office. 5. The food is by and far not bad. The specialty dining rooms are wonderful and we got to enjoy 12 nights of great meals/service. If you got to the dining room when they opened and had a table for 2 service was great and dinner was fine. But arrive any later with a table of 4 or 6 or God forbid 8 then service was run at a snails pace, orders incorrect and if you wanted to see the show, then you skipped dessert/coffee to get a seat in the lounge. 6. The cabin - Last yr. we did the concierge and found out that balcony and concierge are exactly the same rooms. SMALL. So we knew what to expect on the Nautica and sitting "sidesaddle" on the toilet isn't fun. Love small ships but this was miniscule. 7. The excursions - are pretty much the same with cruise companies now. Way overpriced and when you compare the company's review of the excursion and what you actually experience you realize they have very creative fiction writers. Let's just say that our 2 days in the Maldives (and why???) the tours were so disgusting I demanded my money make. And I got it. But they refunded monies only to those who complained. I was told that 86 folks complained, so it was probably more because usually only one person per couple complains. 8. So overall, we saw places we never dreamed of seeing and we met many fun people and had a nice month traveling. But going forward, we will stick with Regent Seven Seas, Seaborne, Silver Seas and Crystal for our small ship experiences. They might be more expensive but in the long run they are not. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Review of cruise Cape Town to Singapore - Insignia Feb 9, 2016 Three years ago we were on an Oceania cruise from Istanbul to Cape Town. That was, by far, the longest cruise we'd taken, thirty days. I worried at the time that I ... Read More
Review of cruise Cape Town to Singapore - Insignia Feb 9, 2016 Three years ago we were on an Oceania cruise from Istanbul to Cape Town. That was, by far, the longest cruise we'd taken, thirty days. I worried at the time that I would get cabin fever, stuck on a boat that long. The itinerary was across the Mediterranean and down the west coast of Africa, with stops in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Namibia.  We loved it, and were sad t o leave the ship in Cape Town since it was next headed for Singapore. When last year's round-the-world cruise was advertised, we signed up fore the Cape Town to Singapore leg right away. When that leg was cancelled due to mechanical difficulties, we signed up for this year.  The itinerary was very attractive, around the Cape of Good Hope and up the East coast of Africa to Mombasa, then across to India, then Burma (a new addition), then Maylaysia and Singapore.  Cochin, India was the only place I'd been before between Cape Town and Kuala Lumpur, and Burma was transitioning to an elected government. Burma was the highlight, but Zanzibar, Madagascar, the Seychelles and the Maldives were also new and interesting.  There were a few ports I didn't understand.  Richards Bay, South Africa, our fourth stop in South Africa, was a wasted day, with a free shuttle bus to a mall that could have been in New Jersey.  Mangalore, India was not a major attraction - compared to Mumbai, Goa, or Cochin. We went around Sri Lanka without stopping. Burma was a country just opening up to major tourism growth, with fascinating culture and stupendous sites. The people were excited about the transition and filled with hope.   We used mostly Oceania arranged excursions, booking enough to qualify for the 25% discount, which made them comparable to the privately booked tours, without the option of customizing.  Some were excellent, others were duds.  Comparing our introduction to Zulu culture in Durban with the introduction we got to Masai culture in the Serengeti,  was a major disappointment. Bored dancers, confined crocodiles, and an extensive gift shop, with the major message that brides cost nineteen cattle.   Onboard activity included a variety of guest lectures, some very specific to the next port, some totally off base.  There were several one or two night entertainers, backed up by the onboard band, with mixed results.  Only a couple worth the second show. We had two sets of three days at sea between stops, which are very relaxing. Major reading opportunities, and the Oceania library did not disappoint. My wife took the art classes offered on sea days and loved it.  Our friends played bridge. There was an active Ma Jong group. This was a leg of the 181 day round-the-world cruise, and 200 of the passengers were RTW. They had already been on board for sixty days when we arrived, but we're very friendly and welcoming. We had long conversations with several, but I'm still not enamored with the itinerary as a unit.  Food, as expected, was a highlight. The Grand Dining Room has an ever changing menu with everything from a hamburger and fries to a six course dinner, and the two specialty restaurants have fixed menus with reliable old favorites.  We are experienced cruisers and fans of Oceania, especially their food and service. Our last cruise was on the Riviera.  We especially enjoyed the two new speciality restaurants, and were promised there would be items from the menus in the main dining room.   They kept the promise, but I didn't read the fine print.  They had three of the specialties,from Jaques, rotated every three days. Similarly with Red Ginger. It was a disappointment.  Service was extraordinary, with several waiters learning our names and preference for Diet Coke.   Cabins were as expected, having sailed on sister ships.  Storage was adequate, bathroom was cramped, and the bed was no longer the most comfortable ever. The balcony was ideal for sea days as a place to read.   Arrival and departure were seamless.  Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our third cruise with Oceania and having experienced Riviera we were a little concerned at how we would enjoy such a long cruise on a small ship. Overall we had a great time, with the food outstanding as ever in the Grand Dining ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania and having experienced Riviera we were a little concerned at how we would enjoy such a long cruise on a small ship. Overall we had a great time, with the food outstanding as ever in the Grand Dining Room, Toscana, Polo Grill and the wonderful Terrace Cafe. The staff were outstanding, and they really made our trip. We loved the itinerary, too, though there were too many ports in South Africa (East London and Richards Bay should be dropped, surely only there to sell more of their second rate excursions) and I would like more ports in wonderful Madagascar to replace them. The best entertainment consisted of four culinary demonstrations led by Executive Chef Joerg Becker which were great fun. Entertainment was otherwise mediocre, though the Nautica Singers were wonderful, not only putting on a number of live shows but also ever present throughout the ship and interested in all the passengers. The Cruise Director I felt could have been a lot more effective, he was more an organiser than a people person and was rarely seen around the ship. The "enrichment" lecturers were on board for the whole cruise and did 5 lectures each. One was on astronomy (interesting, but not what we came on a cruise to learn about) and the other on Africa in general - quite interesting but not very well delivered. The real disappointment was the Destination Services department. Oceania excursions are extremely overpriced, and by all accounts from those that had booked a package, very mediocre in content. What was completely lacking was any information on ports for those that did not book excursions. With Princess we have always enjoyed presentation on each port a couple of days before arrival, however Oceania seem to have a policy that if you don't book with them we don't tell you anything at all. So my advice here is not to book the excursions, and to do your homework on ports in advance. Pretty well everywhere you can find a decent taxi driver on arrival to do a 4-5 hour tour for between $60 and $100 US dollars per car. Oceania excursions range typically from about $150 - $300 per person, though there are some cheaper and some more expensive. Our (concierge veranda) cabin was well appointed but small (and the shower tiny). We were fine with it, though a few people we met did complain. The service from our room attendant was impeccable. Laundry was rather expensive for a cruise ship, though on this longer cruise they twice offered a special deal of up to 24 items washed and folded (not ironed) for $24.95 which was great value. Had we known in advance we would have avoided our first (expensive) laundry wash. One last tip - avoid the stern when booking a cabin and also when eating in the Grand Dining Room - the ship vibrates and judders quite a lot on the lower decks when underway. Overall - we will cruise Oceania again, but hope for better entertainment and enrichment, beware of their excursions and do our homework on ports in advance. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
It is almost as if we were in a different universe than the "Not what I paid for" cruiser. We are frequent Oceania cruisers and found the food and the service on Insignia very good. Yes, we were unhappy about the ... Read More
It is almost as if we were in a different universe than the "Not what I paid for" cruiser. We are frequent Oceania cruisers and found the food and the service on Insignia very good. Yes, we were unhappy about the "deals" since we had booked early and paid top dollar. But as the deals were announced our agent went to bat for us and we did get some compensation in the form of ship credit. There were no production shows but there were many guest entertainers who were on board for a brief stay. This provided for diverse programs which we felt were better quality than the cruises where there was an in house team of entertainers. The orchestra was excellent and there was dancing in Horizons every evening before dinner as well as before the show in the Insignia lounge. West Africa is probably not for first time cruisers, but we found the ports interesting and we learned a lot about the history and cultures of the region. Two improvements over our previous Oceania cruises: we found the destination staff to be extremely helpful to those not using the ship excursions and the lecturers, especially Dr. John Freedman, were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers, always at a "luxury level" ie. Regent or Silversea. Due to unexpected health issues we had to change a spring Regent Cruise to the fall. This itinerary stood out but Mariner did not have any ... Read More
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers, always at a "luxury level" ie. Regent or Silversea. Due to unexpected health issues we had to change a spring Regent Cruise to the fall. This itinerary stood out but Mariner did not have any PH available. My TA suggested we try Oceania and we are glad we did. It is important to understand that to get maximum enjoyment on O you need to take a little more personal responsibility. All is not handed to you as on RSSC or SS. I'll elaborate a little later. We were extremely fortunate to be able to upgrade from a PH3 to an OS at a discount. I will keep the process between my TA and Prestige confidential, but the offer was made by me, enough said. Since this was an R class ship this upgrade made a huge difference in our enjoyment of the cruise. The extra space and enhanced perks can't be beat. Not to say that the space available in a PH is too small--but close. Positives: Embarkation well done all though after our upgrade we did not have new baggage tags and therefore we waited till late afternoon to see our luggage. Food, I can't say enough good things about the food. We were able to eat basically where ever we wanted. We slightly preferred the MDR to Toscana, Polo was excellent but not our style. Never tried Terrace at dinner, although excellent at lunch. Waves was disappointing due to the ambience. The food was so much better than our last RSSC cruise that we booked on board for a 24 day cruise in the future. Service, Outstanding and with a smile. What an attitude, the crew had an esprit de corps that was almost palpable. Don't know who the hotel director was but a big BZ to him/her. Itinerary fascinating and we made into all our ports. Mariner missed a crucial stop. So what were the problems? Shore excursions were way overpriced and poor into the bargain. We were fortunate that we had been forewarned and joined up with others to do private tours. In our opinion Mozambique should not be on the trip. Dirty and more importantly dangerous. The whole entertainment-enrichment part of the cruise was a bust, too bad because we love port lectures and in a proper theater shows can be fun. Kudos, however to the Romantica String Quartet lovely ladies who performed after dinner each night. We liked the cruise so much that our loyalty moved from RSSC to O. Décor is personal taste but we prefer the European style of O to the neutrality of RSSC. Too bad O can't figure out what to do with their excursions. A serious problem. Personal responsibility, You need to know what you want and when. As stated the excursions are a problem, from an enjoyment perspective having a drink card makes sense; not necessarily financially. For the first time in our cruising career we saw lines to open the MDR. If you wanted a table for two in a certain area you had to plan ahead. Was not a problem for us because we were OS, but certainly raised our eyebrows. Remember as you read this we loved our two weeks. We are not fussy and very private, suited us perfectly! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I just returned from a 30 day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore. I liked the itinerary, but I don't know how they decided what to included and what to skip. I was sorry they skipped Mauritius and the Comoros, I would say that the ... Read More
I just returned from a 30 day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore. I liked the itinerary, but I don't know how they decided what to included and what to skip. I was sorry they skipped Mauritius and the Comoros, I would say that the food, service, and decor were above average, but the excursions and entertainment were below average. Excursions were very expensive, yet it appeared they hired the lowest bidder without any control for quality. Buses were often broken down and lacking in air conditioning. Selections of excursions was poor--it appeared that the main consideration was profit margin. I was on the concierge level, with a veranda, yet the stateroom, bathroom, closet, etc. were really tiny. There was price gouging for use of the Internet--$600 for the 30 days. Corkage for wine was $25, as opposed to the $15 it is on other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
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