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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, ... Read More
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, more leasurely pace. I felt rushed as there was a need to cram many sites in limited time. Have been to Rio before- never attempted to do Sugerloaf and Christ the Redeemer the same day. Tours used all the time, very little time for shopping. Food was wonderful, but this length of cruise was long enough to tire of it. The ship started to decorate for Christmas, but the major construction was still hidden under a curtain when I left. Weather was warm, Rio was over 100. All the Brazilian stops were hot. New port of Praia was interesting, terribly poor country. Well, time to start my diet, scheduled doctor visit Friday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all the amenities great. We especially liked the Terrace Cafe just because of its variety of selection and casual atmosphere. We did enjoy Toscanas food as well, but did find the Polo fell short of our expectations. The entertainment in the evening was energetic and we were so impressed with the takent of the young enetertainers on the ship. The enrichment lectures were really informative and we tried not to miss any of them. We enjoyed the small ship atmosphere and the friendly staff. Our housekeeping staff went above and beyond any requests we had. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and we were quick to get off and on the boat to meet up with our tour groups. We will definitely use Oceania again. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (19+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our second cruise with Oceania; the previous cruise was to Bermuda. The 28-day Timeless Wonders Cruise started with ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (19+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our second cruise with Oceania; the previous cruise was to Bermuda. The 28-day Timeless Wonders Cruise started with the India Taj Mahal Extension on April 25, 2018. Our flight from Florida was arranged by Oceania and flew through Newark, then to Delhi. No problems. The Oceania representative was waiting for us at the airport in Delhi. The Taj Mahal Extension was great, the JW Marriott Hotel in Delhi was at the airport and was outstanding. The trip to Agra started with a quickie tour of Delhi before driving south. On the way to Agra we saw a developing area of India. The bus trip was around 3 hours or so, in a very nice bus. We stopped a few times for restroom breaks. We had to get up very early to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise. We returned in the evening to see it again at sunset. The next morning we got up early again to drive to the airport to fly to Mumbai and board the ship. When in Mumbai, the driver gave us another quickie tour of the city. Mumbai is quite a bit different from Delhi. India was HOT. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was towards the front of the ship on deck 6, room 6014. This was a good location because we were near the areas of the ship we used the most. 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 was a few years old and was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, were 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, Julie, provided information about tours and timing and basically everything you need to know on a timely basis. She even provided entertainment one evening. The ship had a cast of wonderful entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided two speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics. Both needed to use larger print on their PowerPoint presentations. This was a 28 day cruise plus a few additional days for the Taj Mahal. That seemed like a long time but the time went by quickly. 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. The prices are ridiculous for what you get. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned almost 600 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. DUBAI, UAE – We took the Discover Dubai tour and the Sharjah Heritage tour. The tours cover the city. You will see lots of gold and more gold ….. and more gold … and spices. The weather was very hot. Dubai is a beautiful new city and is a bit over the top. We learned a lot about the Muslim religion and saw very large Mosques. FUJAIRAH, UAE – We took the East Coast City tour. Fujairah is a developing area. It is hot and dusty. The mountains in the background make it considerably different from Dubai. You will see more Mosques and more gold and spices. MUSCAT, OMAN – We took the Mystical Muscat tour. Muscat is a beautiful city of old and new architecture. You will see a Mosque and more gold and spices. It's still hot. SALALAH, OMAN – In Salalah, we took the Scenic Salalah tour. This is the place to buy Frankincense. The good stuff is very light in color and can be purchased in liquid or solid forms. This was an interesting place. …. still hot. FOUR DAYS AT SEA – We received Pirate Training and Navy Seals boarded the ship! AQABA, JORDAN – After the Taj Mahal, Petra is the reason we are on this cruise. We took the Magnificent Petra tour. The tour required a lot of walking through a beautiful slot canyon. This was one of the high points of the trip. …... It was actually cool in the morning but, it got HOT. The walk to the main attractions was generally downhill, but uphill coming back. Horses and carts were available to rent; both were a little questionable. The tour included a nice lunch. SAFAGA (LUXOR), EGYPT – On the first day we took the all day trip (Ancient Luxor tour) to Luxor to see the Valley of Kings and other ancient stuff. Most of the drive was through desert! When we finally got near Luxor, the driving was very slow. We were in Luxor previously on a Viking Cruise so we probably could have passed on this tour and spent more time in Safaga. But Luxor is special if you have never been there. On the second day we went on the Snorkeling in the Red Sea tour. This was fantastic. The Red Sea is full of interesting fish. The area along the Red Sea is a resort area that is very dead. Not much going on. THE SUEZ CANAL – The canal was another reason this cruise looked interesting. The history behind it is interesting … covered by the speakers. The canal is basically a big ditch, parts of it is only one way traffic. While cruising through it, an all day trip, you will basically be in Egypt with Africa to the west and Asia to the east. A nice relaxing day surrounded by sand. HAIFA (JERUSALEM), ISRAEL – This stop was another reason we were on this cruise. We took the A Day in Jerusalem and Bethlehem tour. Jerusalem was a zoo …. very crowded and busy. Besides all the people that live in Jerusalem, it is full of tourists and shops. Bethlehem appeared to be more reverent and enjoyable. We stopped at a nice place to shop in Bethlehem. On the second day in Israel, we took the Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee tour. This was out in the country and very enjoyable … but very, very HOT … in fact, the HOTTEST. The heat was a real problem. LIMASSOL, CYPRUS – In Cyprus, we took the Pafos & Kourion tour. Cyprus is a beautiful island with an interesting history. The included lunch was very good. This is a nice place to visit. RHODES, GREECE – The Highlights of Rhodes tour was very nice. The island is beautiful with a great harbor and market. KUSADASI (EPHESUS), TURKEY – We visited Ephesus, the Virgin Mary House and a local museum. The Virgin Mary House is special … it feels holy. Of course, Ephesus and the museum are world class. We also visited a carpet factory! The weather is much better. The lunch was great. SANTORINI, GREECE – We took the Santorini Winery & Oia tour. The winery included a small glass of three different wines. We were in and out in 30 minutes. You can miss this! Oia is what you expect Santorini to be like. The only problem was that four ships were in port. People everywhere. Up to this point, we really didn't see another cruise ship. The line to go back to the four ships was a joke … we never found the end. Fortunately, there are many restaurants in Thira to kill time. The food is good, as is the beer and wine. VALLETTA, MALTA – We took the Scenic Sights of Malta tour which included a tour of the island. The port is beautiful and very active. Malta has beautiful churches and is a great place to shop … good prices. We may not have needed a tour in Malta. It looks very walkable to most points of interest. PALERMO (SICILY), ITALY – We took the Mysterious Palermo tour. We probably should have just walked around the city. In fact, we did when the tour was heading back to the ship. One interesting stop in the tour was a catacomb with hundreds if not thousands of exposed skeletons; aka mummies. SORRENTO (CAPRI), ITALY – We took the cruise to Capri. This was one of the highlights of the cruise. We had time to just walk around the island and visit too many high end shops, sample Lemoncello and other treats. Its nice to just have a drink and watch the world go by in Capri. The scenery is outstanding. Capri was warm! All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. Overall, the cruise was wonderful. You will see too many churches and mosques, markets, gold, spices … but you will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. You will also walk …. a lot. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the trip. They really seemed to care. A great trip. If they only reduced the price of alcoholic drinks. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I sailed on Nautica from Barcelona to Dubai October / November 2017 This was our 3rd time with Oceania, having already sailed on Riviera and Marina. This was our first time on one of Oceania’s smaller ships but we knew ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Nautica from Barcelona to Dubai October / November 2017 This was our 3rd time with Oceania, having already sailed on Riviera and Marina. This was our first time on one of Oceania’s smaller ships but we knew what to expect in terms of size and layout as we had previously sailed with Azamara on Quest, which also being one of the original Renaissance ships, is the same design and layout. On balance we preferred the added intimacy of these smaller ships Standard cabins are not large but adequate and the en-suite is it has to be admitted a bit on the small side. They are however beautifully furnished with very nice bedding and toiletries From start to finish we had a great time. The ports of call were mostly very interesting, the highlights being Israel for Jerusalem, Egypt for The Temples of Karnack and Jordan for Petra, amazing The things though that make this so enjoyable were the ship’s staff, who were without exception so very friendly and helpful. We do not remember a single moment when we were not greeted with a warm smile and a hello, even when just passing the staff in one of the corridors And then there was the food. The Terrace buffet restaurant was good if not excellent, but we did enjoy taking our breakfast and lunch out on the open rear deck most days. We did actually eat here on two occasions in the evening and were quite happy with the food But it was the main restaurant and the two speciality restaurants where the ship excelled. I saw a couple of past reviews where folk complained about the food which makes me wonder what ship they were really on, have they got mixed up ? My wife and I eat regularly in some top London restaurants and on all three cruises we have done with Oceania, the food and the restaurant service compares very favourably and can only be described as excellent. In fact it is indeed like dining in a top notch restaurant every evening The main restaurant served consistently good food with excellent service. We avoided eating too early as the queue was quite long due to the theatre show times creating a rush to eat early. We preferred to eat later after a quick pre-dinner drink in Martini’s Bar so we never had a problem and basically were able to get a table straight away. This ship only has two speciality restaurants (Polo Grill & Toscana) whereas the large ships Riviera and Marina have four, Polo Grill, Toscana, Red Ginger and Jacques. Hence we were delighted that Nautica’s main restaurant menu often featured some of our favourite dishes that we had previously enjoyed while on our earlier cruises on both Riviera and Marina. For example, the fantastic Miso Glazed Sea Bass we had enjoyed in Red Ginger We had three superb meals in the Polo Grill, the Rack of Lamb was my favourite, while Toscana was also memorable. Four times we ate here and I have to say for me the Veal Chop with Porcini was just so, so good, I had to have it again, three times in fact ! Also well worth the cost is the Prestige drinks package if you like a glass of wine or two and may be a Martini before or a Cognac after dinner. An excellent range and again the bar staff were so very friendly Our fellow guests were mainly very friendly and interesting so we struck up a few friendships with several couples which made for many a convivial evening If we have any issues with Oceania it’s the cost of the ship’s shore excursions, they can be very expensive Apart from that, we had a fabulous holiday Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Started in Mumbai, India and then stopped in Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini before ending in Athens, Greece. We had two days in both Egypt and Israel. All ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Started in Mumbai, India and then stopped in Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini before ending in Athens, Greece. We had two days in both Egypt and Israel. All the port tours were very good and the ship was friendly with great service. Our balcony cabin was very small but was fine as we spent very little time in it. And of course the food was outstanding, as Oceania is known for its delicious food. We are used to bigger ships with better entertainment, but this group was very nice and they were lots of fun in helping with the shipboard games. Spending a day going through the Suez Canal was another interesting experience. The captain of the Nautica was extremely personable and gave us lots of good information; we even had a pirate drill. Would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The itinerary was fantastic. As usual, Oceania provided a wonderfully relaxed and luxurious environment. The crew are really the stars of this luxury ship. The service and cuisine is faultless. This is not a family cruise suitable for ... Read More
The itinerary was fantastic. As usual, Oceania provided a wonderfully relaxed and luxurious environment. The crew are really the stars of this luxury ship. The service and cuisine is faultless. This is not a family cruise suitable for children. Its a luxury line. The ports for this trip were unique and should be on everyone's bucket list. However it was a busy itinerary with lots of walking, climbing and stairs. A quick summary: Oman - interesting but half day tour was more than enough for the local sites Jordan - Petra - speaks for itself - magical but not for those who have mobility issues. Its a long, hard work to the treasury in the heat Luxor, Egypt - so much to see. We stayed overnight in Luxor due to the 4 hour journey from the ship. Its a long 4 hours with not much change of scenery. Luxor was reasonably clean and I never felt unsafe. We had a private tour and that was fantastic as we did only what interested us which included a sail on the Nile. Cypress - Pretty marina area to wander around and a break from ruins Israel - 2 days not enough. Glad the ship overnighted which allowed much more time. So interesting but Jerusalum very busy. We swam in the dead sea on a private tour. A must-do. Patmos Greece - gorgeous little port village. Picture perfect Rhodes, Greece - so much to see. Full day tours are a must and highlight was the acropolis. Santorini - lost of ships in but really didn't notice the volume of people. Simply stunning and a must. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. Our Akron transport did not arrive at Cape Town. We were advised by other workers at the terminal to wait. After 30 minutes of waiting we walked out to the front of the airport to seek further help ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. Our Akron transport did not arrive at Cape Town. We were advised by other workers at the terminal to wait. After 30 minutes of waiting we walked out to the front of the airport to seek further help . We talked to the information booth and they helped in getting a rep to us. After another 30 minute wait a car arrived for us. When arriving at the ship we informed reception...no response received. No what we expected, especially since it was now 9:30 pm...we had lost a complete day in Cape Town... disappointing as we have traveled 36 other cruises and not encountered this type of transport service. Room service was great. Bathroom size was the usual small size for a concierge suite. The ship was very clean. Dining menu was repeated too much for a 30-day voyage. Selection of lunch could include diversification of sandwiches with the meals in the buffet. We some some issues with undercook steals and cold potatoes and slow service Toscana. When the manager questioned us on the meal we expressed service for our main entree was extremely slow. His explanation was that it takes 15-20 minutes for the entree to be served. We then explained we had been there two other times and that was not the case...same meal. We unfortunately feel it was a cover up for a mistake made by the waiter Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was out third Ocean crossing. This time from Cape Town to Rio. We have been cruising since 2006 but have done a lot of independent traveling over the years. We flew from JFK through Paris to Cape Town. The connection we ... Read More
This was out third Ocean crossing. This time from Cape Town to Rio. We have been cruising since 2006 but have done a lot of independent traveling over the years. We flew from JFK through Paris to Cape Town. The connection we booked allowed for a 15 hour layover in Paris. We took the train into Paris, had lunch and then visited the D'orsay and returned to CDG. Arrived the next day in Cape Town. Checked into our hotel. The next day, Friday, we took a private excursion to Wine Country. On Saturday we connected with a couple we met on the cruise roll call. We shared a van for a sightseeing trip to the Cape and then were dropped off at the ship. We did want to visit Table Mountain on Sunday morning but it was clouded over and there was about a 3 hour wait to get to the top. The Marina is a very comfortable ship. We had book a concierge level veranda suite but our travel agent called offering a nominal cost for an upgrade to a penthouse. We took the upgrade and enjoyed the extra space. The ports the ship stopped in West Africa were not great. WE did make arrangements for a whale/dolphin boat trip rather then taking the ships excursion. We boarded the boat and shortly after that a baby seal climbed on board. He allowed everyone who wanted to pet him to do so. When the boat left the pier, a pair of pelicans came aboard. They to allowed those aboard to touch them. Although we did not see any whales or dolphins everyone enjoyed the trip as we saw lots of seals and were able to get close to them when w few came on board. These seals knew they would be fed. The crossing was uneventful. The service aboard was excellent. We did book 3 hands on cooking classes which were educational and fun. As an aside, I ran into the parents of our daughter's first boyfriend from kindergarten. Dining: We ate a number of meals in the main dining room where we opted to sit with others. e met a lot of nice people this way. The food selection was very good and the service attentive. We also found that we could book the specialty restaurants more frequently the advertised since on many nights they were not fully booked. Embarkation: Quick and easy as we boarded late on Saturday. the ship was doing an overnight in Cape Town. Disembarkation: Rio - We had arranged for transportation to our hotel, the Copacabana Palace and were able to get off the ship fairly early. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise on the Marina. However, we do like smaller ships like the Nautica. Yes, I would book another Oceania cruise if the itinerary was of interest Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Looking for a different place to visit on ship that I had been on before. Received an E-mail from Oceania Cruise Line on their cruise from Capetown to Rio 14 days. The cruise line included a three day land tour including hotel in South ... Read More
Looking for a different place to visit on ship that I had been on before. Received an E-mail from Oceania Cruise Line on their cruise from Capetown to Rio 14 days. The cruise line included a three day land tour including hotel in South Africa. The cabin was large the bathroom had a tub the counter top was small but there was additional room for personal items on the shelves on the sides of the mirror. The refrigerator was stocked with water, beer and soft drinks. The room was a good size for a ship with a sofa and desk with chair. The Internet service was poor. The TV had some of the major news and business channels. There are four specialty restaurants. The main dining room and the buffet dinning area. The food was always very good. The staff was outstanding. The Entertainment was very good. There were several activities during the day. The ship carries about eleven hundred passengers. There is no movie theatre aboard. There is a casino, library and several bar on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We chose this cruise called Sultans to Safaris because of the diversity of the ports and the length of the cruise. It really did sail from Borneo's home of the Sultan of Brunei to the opportunity for safaris in Africa. The cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise called Sultans to Safaris because of the diversity of the ports and the length of the cruise. It really did sail from Borneo's home of the Sultan of Brunei to the opportunity for safaris in Africa. The cruise was a portion of a world 6 month cruise on the beautiful Insignia. We came onboard in Hong Kong after a long flight and a short shore excursion to see a few sights of this gorgeous city. The embarkation was unusual because the ship was actually docked at a shopping center! Imagine our surprise when our guide drove us up to a shipping bay at a shopping center to unload us and our luggage. It was easy, breezy from there to sign in and go onboard. Then we actually went back out into the shopping to find a wine store to bring a few bottles onboard for later consumption. The first few ports were full of mosques, palaces, temples, etc. Lots to see in Manila, Malaysia, Brunei, Sri Lanka. We had arranged for private guides in most ports but sometimes just went with taxi drivers. Lots to see and do. Starting westward we also stopped in the gorgeous Seychelles with its granite strewn beaches, and then onward to the African continent. Highlight of the cruise were the day safaris in Kenya and South Africa. We had booked these in advance, and each one was a marvel. Loved all the animals. So, the cruise was fantastic. I have to add that the food on the ship was absolutely fantastic, no matter which restaurant we chose. Insignia is one of the smaller ships (fewer than 700 passengers), so it has only 2 specialty restaurants - Italian and steakhouse at the time of our cruise. We enjoyed each of these several times, but the main dining room and buffet are fabulous, too. Room service was a bit slow but food generally very good, too. The entertainment was only nominal, but the cruise director and the social director were top notch - best we have encountered during our 39 cruises, so far. After the cruise we stayed for a 3 day Oceania stay in Cape Town, So. Africa. Enjoyed a shore excursion each day, including one to a private game preserve, and we fell in love with the city. The transfer from ship to hotel included a nice preview of the city and the beaches surrounding it. Kudos to Oceania for a fabulous cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a ... Read More
Throughly enjoyed the ship, the destinations, the cruise and the staff were fabulous. We were fortunate enough to have the wonderful Willie Aames as our Cruise Director and he went above and beyond to engage with all the passengers from a simple hello whilst eating in breakfast at Waves by the pool to being at the end of the steps when leaving the ship to go on shore and ensuring we didn't trip. No other cruise director ever since then has done so much to engage with people and ensure a safe and happy trip. I only wish we could have him as a cruise director on every ship. This was magnificent cruise in terms of destinations and experiences. We embarked in Barcelona which is a beautiful city and port with the port being right in the city. We then sailed quickly across the Mediterranean overnight to Rome - it was quite rough at sea as there were storms about and it felt like being in a washing machine - I was filled with some dread that the entire cruise would be the same but the rough weather only lasted that first night. We then visited Naples and Pompei, Patmos Greece, Ephesus in Turkey and it was wonderful time of year to go there as the weather was mild. Then followed Rhodes in Greece where we encountered a rainy day and then Limassol in Cyprus which was so interesting and I have fond memories of sitting in the square having coffee. Then an amazing 3 days in Israel where we visited Haifa, Jaffa and Caesaria. The Suex Canal transit was beyond amazing and we saw some incredible ships travelling back and forth and enjoyed the Egyptians waving to us from shore. Cruising the Red Sea we then sailed to Jordan and spent two days in Aqaba. Then we cruised the Red Sea for 3 peaceful days of smooth sailing before beginning the cruise of the Gulf of Aden and spent our time trying to spot the pirates - we found none. The Captain has reassured us that he was in touch with international forces all the way. Salalah in Oman was the next port of call followed by Muscat in Oman and we visited the Sultan's palace. The cruise ended in Dubai in the UAE and we did an amazing troy from dawn till dusk of Dubai covering so much of the city. We disembarked in Dubai the next day after experiencing an incredibly memorable journey. Unlike some other Oceania cruises the entertainment on this cruise was quite good with some solo performers. Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. ... Read More
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. Instead, I will discuss a few deficiencies aboard Nautica and suggest some ways to overcome them so that they will not interfere with your enjoyment of the cruise. The final week After seeing Petra, there are 4 days a sea, then a ½ day stop in Salalah, Oman, and then another day at sea before stopping for a day in Muscat, Oman. Salalah is a dead-zone as far as tourism is concerned. There is nothing to see in the industrial area that surrounds the gigantic port. Moreover, the taxi drivers’ union does not allow the ship to offer its usual free shuttle into the town. We heard numerous complaints from other passengers about the boring tours of Salalah offered by Nautica (at outrageous prices). On that day, we stayed onboard the ship even though it meant we went 6 full days without going ashore. My advice: Take some good books and projects to help fill the hours in that final week. Shore excursions Because we paid O-Life fares, we received 4 excursions each, which we used for tours that were only accessible by the ship's buses. We found the main problem on these excursions with 30+ people was that it was difficult to hear the guide unless you were standing right beside him or her. Oceania needs to take a lesson from Viking and provide Vox machines for all passengers on all tours. We found that for half the price of Nautica's shore excursions we could easily book better, small group tours using top-rated companies that we found on Tripadvisor. Then everybody could hear the guide and ask lots of questions. We used Love Egypt Tours in Luxor and Jordan Horizons for Petra. Specialty restaurants reservations Oceania does not reward loyalty; instead they give perks to passengers based on how much they pay for their staterooms. For example, someone who is a first time Oceania guest who buys a stateroom for $25000 gets to reserve specialty restaurants at least a month before someone who has been on several Oceania cruises and has spent over $50000 in total, but always on porthole staterooms on level 3. That's not fair. I booked the minute I was allowed to reserve specialty restaurants and did not get a single one of my choices because people in more expensive staterooms had taken all the available tables. However, when I embarked, I went immediately to the dining room and they exchanged all my (bad) specialty restaurant reservations for the times I wanted. Lesson learned: Oceania holds back a lot of times to satisfy unhappy customers like me who request changes when they are onboard. It's also worth noting that we received better meals and equal service in the Grand Dining Room. We will likely not bother reserving in the specialty restaurants on our next cruise. WiFi and Nautica’s computer lab With the O-Life fare, you get free WiFi. However, it’s not their premium WiFi and it’s slow. I can't understand why Oceania offers a service such as WiFi when it is clearly substandard. The two hours before dinner seem to be the worst. Moreover, if you go to the computer lab you may find that some external drives cannot be read by the ship’s computers. I suspect it’s because those computers are PCs and don’t read files that are made on Apple machines. Before you leave home, if you’re a Mac user, test your external drives to make sure they can be read by a PC (eg. at your local library). Also make sure all your files are saved in PDF or .doc format. Food Although the meals are generally excellent, we experienced 2 problems. First, chicken breasts or thighs were raw inside on 2 occasions. We sent them back and got well-cooked replacements. Make sure if you order chicken that you specify you want it well done. Undercooked chicken can be dangerous! A second problem is that the Terrace Grill (the buffet restaurant that you will probably use for most breakfasts and lunches) has the worst design of any cruise ship we have been on. Why? -- 90% of the food is crammed onto counter-tops on both sides of a very narrow aisle, about 50 feet long. You’re continually banging into other guests who are shoulder-to-shoulder trying to get food. The solution: Go very early or very late. Canyon Spa I listened to one of the hour-long health seminars given by the fitness trainer. It was about all the “terrible” health problems caused by the accumulation of toxins in the body. Since I have a biology degree, it soon became obvious that although there was some accurate anatomical and physiological information given out, the majority of the “facts” simply involved vague, misleading half-truths. The objective was to sell several months’ supply of Canyon Spa teas and a seaweed bath product that would supposedly rid the body of toxins. (The cost: over $1000 for a six month supply delivered to your home) It was the worst example of quackery and “snake oil” sales I have ever seen, with not a shred of valid medical research to support the use of those products. Oceania should be ashamed of allowing that kind of misinformation to be foisted on passengers, most of whom have low scientific literacy. My advice: Use the spa for massages if you want to pay their ridiculous prices, -- but skip the seminars. In summary, none of these problems affected our enjoyment of the cruise. I simply offer them as a warning to future passengers on Nautica or her sister ships. No cruise ship is perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our third Oceania cruise and overall we enjoyed it very much. We chose it because we wanted to experience a trans-oceanic crossing. The Cruise Director, Peter Roberts, and his team were excellent and the shows amazing given the ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise and overall we enjoyed it very much. We chose it because we wanted to experience a trans-oceanic crossing. The Cruise Director, Peter Roberts, and his team were excellent and the shows amazing given the smallish cast. It was also good to see the cast members participating in other activities – even just meeting and greeting in the Marina Lounge. It made up for an initial lack of visibility of the senior officers, though that did improve. I don’t understand why the officers are not simply instructed to move about the ship using the public areas. The staff were as always friendly, helpful and efficient, though the standard of spoken English of some of them was less than expected. At times the staff numbers assigned to the Terrace Café seemed not to match demand; though this must have been a challenging cruise in this respect as it was by no means full and the interest shown by passengers to go, and stay, ashore varied considerably by port. The ship, including our cabin, was very clean. Following a problem on the previous cruise the ship was almost paranoid about cleanliness with hand sanitisers everywhere and frequent reminders from the Cruise Director. We welcomed this though, amazingly, some passengers still took no heed. On previous Oceania cruises we thought that they took a rather relaxed approach to this compared, for example, with Celebrity where staff squeeze into your hand as you enter the self service restaurant! We liked our cabin very much, particularly the large bathroom with both bath and separate shower; but the wardrobe can be difficult to access. Inevitably, with an ocean crossing, there was a large build up of salt on the balcony and balcony furniture and we were surprised that this was not regularly washed down. It made it very unpleasant to sit on the chairs. The talks by the two speakers, each with a very different style, were interesting and relevant. We didn’t use the ship’s tours which as ever seemed ridiculously expensive, but took advantage of three excellent private tours – many thanks to those who made the arrangements. Now, the food. Oceania has a very inflated view of its culinary expertise, comparing the speciality restaurants to 5 star onshore restaurants. Sometimes they reach this standard (notably in Red Ginger, often in Jacques) but frequently they don’t, and we found the food in the Main Dining Room particularly unimpressive. I do not understand why this should be. The line claims to spend much more on food per passenger than others and this seems to be born out by the menus, and the quality of the ingredients is clearly very high. The only explanations I can think of are that they are losing concentration on achieving first class food on every plate served and have been simply resting on their laurels. Also, it must be incredibly boring producing the same dishes night after night, cruise after cruise. Given the number of repeat cruisers its time Oceania refreshed the menus in the speciality restaurants; and why aren’t there more dishes of the day? Three particular irritations of mine were the dreadful “mass produced style” bread at breakfast in the Terrace Café. The kitchens are capable of preparing wonderful breads, and indeed the croissants are excellent, so why not for breakfast too. Although one could ask specially for English bacon it arrived looking and tasting very unappetising. I don’t know how it was cooked but it certainly wasn’t grilled (broiled). Finally, why can’t they cook decent soft boiled eggs? The ones at the counter which were said to be soft boiled were hard. The ones they cooked to order were almost raw after allegedly having been boiled for five minutes. Some training is needed here. Finally, in the Terrace Café each evening they offered a cook to order service for steak, lobster, salmon and lamb chops. They could introduce more variety, and I wish they would do away with the stomach turning, dried up examples which are left on display. Enough of my moans. Oceania offers very civilised cruises which are a cut above some other popular lines, attracting an interesting mix of clients in a relaxed but never sloppy style. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We are taken many cruises and this was our first experience with Oceania. A wonderful experience and we will definitely sail with this company again. Of course the occasional hiccup but this did not cause us to dislike the cruise. 1. ... Read More
We are taken many cruises and this was our first experience with Oceania. A wonderful experience and we will definitely sail with this company again. Of course the occasional hiccup but this did not cause us to dislike the cruise. 1. Embarkment was fast and easy. Buffet luncheon was exceptional and we then toured the ship on our own. Public rooms are all well appointed and much polished wood and brass. The decor is Edwardian/Traditional and very appealing. 2. Stateroom - We were in Concierge level but rooms were the same as the Veranda and much smaller then Regent Seven Seas. The bathroom was tiny. To be blunt, we never got used to sitting "sidesaddle" on the toilet! But again the room was appointed nicely, our stewardess, Aida was outstanding and wonderful. Everything was perfectly cleaned daily including the balcony and the windows. When we left for breakfast each morning she was in the corridor with a warm "good morning" and a smile. Our room was cleaned while we were at breakfast every day. (Oh by the way, all the staff are friendly, professional and make you feel like family. 3. Luggage - Our luggage didn't arrive till after the fire drill, about 5:30 pm. And only in the corridors. All the guests had to walk up and down the corridor looking for their luggage and lug it back to the cabin. Weird to say the least. 4. Food - With just one or two exceptions the food and menus were wonderful. We couldn't understand the Jacque Pepin thing in the dining room. Three of his dishes was posted on the menu every night, the same three. But there was such an abundance and variety on the menu why is he even listed? The head chef and all his assistants did a great job and Pepin isn't necessary at all. The main dining room is well appointed and the staff were great. We made a point of only sitting at Judaidi's work station. He and his staff are amazing and helped to make each evening wonderful. We usually had a table for two but many nights sat with friends at table for 4. Service was always great. But I do understand some reviewers that complained about bad service at large tables. 6 or more at a table and there were many complaints about long waits. The alternative venues, Polo and Toscana were small and intimate, each maitre d and his staff did a wonderful job each every night we were there. 5. Terrace Cafe - We found this daily buffet venue good but also odd. The two maitre d's from Polo and Toscana were supervising the serving in specific areas of the Cafe and service was outstanding. These two gentlemen also served and cleaning up when their areas were busy. They were hands on and you could see the staff loved these guys. But if you couldn't find a table at their stations then you had to sit with the supervisors that we dubbed: Mutt & Jeff. They constantly were yelling at each other, talking on the phone or yelling at staff. If I needed a cup of coffee I would ask one of them and they went around the room looking for someone to give it to me instead of realizing his staff were busy and just get it himself. 3, 4 or more tables would be dirty and these two would never think to clean up and set up for more guests. They yelled at staff to drop what they were doing and clean up, even if the server was getting coffee, water or assisting a guest already. For the entire 36 days these two unprofessionals got away with treating us guest shabbily and treating the staff deplorably. In the real world these two jerks would have been fired after the 1st week. 6. Entertainment - Two wonderful comedians was about it. There were several vocalists or musicians but for the life of me I can't remember their names or even anything about their performances. The Entertainment Dept. uses their own staff, one at a time, for many entertainments night. Our asst. Cruise Dir. John, was a wonderful magician and comedian.Other then that nothing memorable. And many nights just a movie in the main lounge. So Oceania is like most other companies and spend very little on entertainment. They had a great little band but only one set at noon each day at the pool. Why not several more sets, they don't show up again under after-dinner dancing. It took longer to set up the band at the pool then the actual musical set! 7. Excursions - Like most other cruise lines, the excursions are way, way overpriced for what you get. After the Caribbean ports of call (we did our own thing), all ports were new to us so we booked the ships excursions. The ports were depressing. Poverty everywhere and not many cruise ships even stop at them (as we found out later). Little to see but we sure tried to educate ourselves to these new places. We never had head sets and with large groups they were necessary so for the most part, walking tours were a waste of time unless you stood next to the guide. As we have found from other cruise companies, do you own research and do your own tours. You will save hundreds and enjoy them more. 8. Enrichment - Two lectures but we would have loved one lecturer at least to speak about the countries we were to visit. Not about the stars and celestial navigation. There was an Artist Loft and Pat was the instructor. She had standing room only for her classes. 9. Spa - Canyon Ranch is here too. Overpriced and fair service. Overall: The cruise was all new experiences for us and we met so many wonderful people on board. A friendly crowd of 600 guests. The staff went out of their way to insure us all a great cruise. Although many of the ports were depressing and poverty severe, we learned much about these developing countries and we are so thankful that we are Americans. We have booked our second cruise with Oceania for next Jan. 2017, Cape Town to Singapore and look forward to many years of enjoying cruising with them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife and I chose Oceania for the interesting itinerary - Bangkok to Athens via some exotic ports. Top on our list was Petra, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. We were on Deck 6 near the front on the Starboard side. The cabin itself ... Read More
My wife and I chose Oceania for the interesting itinerary - Bangkok to Athens via some exotic ports. Top on our list was Petra, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. We were on Deck 6 near the front on the Starboard side. The cabin itself was quite tiny and the bathroom even more starved of room. We did have a balcony so there was a little more breathing space but generally, we were surprised and disappointed with the size of the cabin. Our cabin stewards were excellent and kept the place clean and tidy. We had a fair number of sea days on this voyage and unfortunately the activities on board were sadly lacking. The two male speakers lacked academic qualifications and their talks were predictably dull, lacking an overall theme. One of these gentlemen giving a talk on the Red Sea used diagrams straight from Google and tellingly pronounced Port Said as Port Siad! Activities during the day included such things as bean bag toss, ping pong and golf putting. The library on the top floor is a nice feature - it's quiet and has a fair selection of books including a paperback exchange. There was a daily quiz and all these activities revolved around Big 'O' points awarded to winners. At the end of each cruise segment, passengers could trade their points for anything from luggage tags to an Oceania top (90 points required). Having been on less expensive cruises, I expected better and was disappointed. Food was another major disappointment. The specialty restaurants are limited but free. We tried these once and cancelled our other reservations. The Maitre d' of the Italian restaurant, Polo suggested to my wife that, "Maybe madam doesn't like Italian food". My wife being Italian told him that she did like Italian food and that was the problem. The main dining room had overall very good service but as in the specialty restaurants, the food was pretentious and lacking in flavour. The mashed potatoes were good though. Waiters still have to bother you to ask if you want ground pepper. Speaking of grinders, the buffet in the Terrace Cafe had salt grinders that would either fail to work or scatter large crunchy chunks of salt onto the food. We usually had our breakfast in the Terrace Cafe. Luckily, the passenger load was substantially down and so line-ups were rare. Even so, organizing toast eggs bacon, hash browns etc involved stations on either side of the aisle. Yoghurt was low fat only. The dining room is lovely and tables for two are by the windows so were usually able to score one of these which was nice. We liked that there were no formal nights although many passengers clearly enjoyed getting gussied up for the evening. We tried the limited room service menu a couple of times and it was promptly delivered and well presented. We didn't bother much with the entertainment on board or the TV. In summary, we paid quite a lot more than an equivalent Holland America cruise for a smaller room, poorer activities and bland food. Some individual staff members were outstanding but were let down by others. We did mention our concerns after the first segment but other than an apology, nothing changed or could change. Would we cruise with Oceania again? No. In fact this cruise will be our last for a while as this experience brought home to us what we dislike about cruising. In a way, Oceania did us a favour. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We arranged our own travel, so no input on Oceania's air scheduling. We enjoyed the ship, the size of the stateroom (Penthouse Suite) and the tub in the bath. The food was good in all venues, service was not. Red Ginger was our ... Read More
We arranged our own travel, so no input on Oceania's air scheduling. We enjoyed the ship, the size of the stateroom (Penthouse Suite) and the tub in the bath. The food was good in all venues, service was not. Red Ginger was our favorite for the service and food. The service in the buffet was always immediate. We only ate in the main dining room twice and service was repeated at a level that we never ate there again during the entire trip. It was very slow an hour wait for the first course and even after asking repeatedly for ordered side dishes, they were not delivered. Advising restaurant management did not improve the service or the receipt of the dishes, but did solicit a apologies. This was our first time with butler service and did not particularly care for it. To us, and this may be our butler, it felt intrusive. One day, in spite of noting a "do not disturb" sign being out, the butler felt it necessary to call and comment that, in spite of the sign, he had hors d'oeuvres for us. The sign was out because I was feeling seasick and wanted to rest; food was not a welcome offer. Our room steward was great and always so pleasant and efficient. We were very disappointed to not be allowed to go ashore on Easter Island, and though we understood the rough seas presenting a problem, it was frustrating to discover, post cruise that Oceania is often unable to take passengers ashore at this stop. Had there been a reference to "weather/seas permitting" we would have done more research and probably skipped this cruise altogether, as Easter Island was to be the highlight of the trip. We know there is a general caveat for all ports about potential shore excursion cancellations, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence, passengers ought to be alerted during booking or note it on the itinerary, as they did with Pitcairn. The disembarkation was very well managed and efficient, which cannot be said of the chaos at the hotel to which we were transferred, to await our transfer to the airport. The "holding area" consisted of a lobby off of the hotel's conference rooms and one conference room, with seating for initially about 40-50. Doesn't sound bad, but there were several hundred of us for 6 to 10 hours and they seemed unable to arrange for sufficient chairs. Too many seniors were having to sit on the floor. Then as the morning progressed more luggage arrived and all of it had to go into the conference room; by this time, you could barely work your way through the room. Whatever company Oceania contracted to manage the transfer services, failed miserably!! . This was our first and, for sure, last cruise on Oceania.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
The itinerary was outstanding. The cruise had two legs, Miami to Barbados, and Barbados to Cape Town, all part of a 180-day around-the-world cruise. On the first leg, we went from Miami through much of the Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, ... Read More
The itinerary was outstanding. The cruise had two legs, Miami to Barbados, and Barbados to Cape Town, all part of a 180-day around-the-world cruise. On the first leg, we went from Miami through much of the Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Devil's Island, Martinique,St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago, Barbados). On the second leg, we went to Brazil (Belem, Forteleza, Recife, Natal), then transatlantic to Sao Tome, Benin, Togo, Uganda, Namibia, ending at Cape Town, South Africa. The food was very good, better quality than Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian. The stateroom, an outside Deluxe Ocean View with a porthole was pleasant and a good value for the money. The evening entertainment was week, with several comedians doing ancient sexist material. (Wonder how the many gay and lesbian cruisers liked it.) The enrichment staff was good!. The geologist on the first leg was great, as was the photographer. Both were very helpful and interacted with the passengers. On the second leg, we had a former naval Commander, who lectured on naval and historical issues, then lectured on all the exotic ports of call. The astronomer was interesting and well prepared, and on nights with any kind of visibility, arranged for evening viewing, with nearly all lights on the top deck turned off. We had the same photographer on the second leg and, unfortunately, there was a lot of repetition from the first leg. All in all, the enrichment staff was helpful. All the staff on board were helpful and pleasant. Andy and Tammy Heard were wonderful, as was John, who worked for Tammy. The person in charge of the Internet was wonderful, the best I have seen on any ship. The systems were managed very well, and I am particular about network performance, having been a Computer Science department chair. (Unfortunately, In forgot her name.) Unfortunately, the shore excursion staff was not well trained and the front office staff need some work also. The problems seem worse in the headquarters in Miami. It took forever to get materials sent to us from HQ and the initial arrangements were absurd. We were met at the Miami airport and told to wait in a particular area. We waited for about two hours, with no food, and there was no food at the waiting area at the ship terminal, where we waited a considerable time. This delay can be difficult for older passengers, like many of the ones on this cruise. The entertainment in the waiting area was nice, however. There were quality issues also with the shore excursions. While we were warned in both orally and in writing that tour guides in Africa would not be certified and buses were of limited quality, we only encountered one bus without AC. In Belem, Brazil, a double-decker tour bus had only static on its speakers. No refund was given, even when I played a few minutes of static for the excursion manager. The tenders from Belem could not tie up back at the ship due to high tides on the Amazon (which I understand are typical in the area in the early afternoon). When we got back to the dock, we were asked to get on a much larger "party boat" that tried to take us back. The cheap plastic chairs kept tipping over, and I had to keep many people from falling. The "party boat" left the dock with a gunwale left wide open, and I was glad to get back uninjured. One passenger was hit in the head when a flimsy lock on a flimsier door opened and the door hit her head. She was hospitalized for several days but was able to rejoin the ship soon after. It is clear that the safety of water travel in Belem was never examined by Oceania staff when planning this itinerary. (Lots of robberies in Belem - I know three people who were pushed to the ground by muggers wanting jewelry, purses, and purses. I would never go back to Belem, although I really liked the other stops in Brazil, Fortaleza, Natal, and Recife. (In Bonaire, we encountered a bus with only jump seats available. Ridiculous, especially given the age of many on the cruise. The money for that one was refunded.) To add insult to injury, we were never able to get the advertised discount for the "Your World Collection shore excursion package." The shore excursion manager said we could only sign up for excursions on the first leg, with excursions on the second leg from Barbados to Cape Town only available during that leg. We took more than the advertised minimum of 10 excursions but their leg-by-leg policy led to us not getting the advertised reduced price. My preferred credit card, which I have used tor 30+ cruises previously was repeatedly denied because the onboard spending for gratuities et al keep getting rejected because bills came in to my bank from Ireland and several other locations that I had not informed my bank that I would be traveling to. The front office staff seemed unconcerned about resubmitting charges and keeping me informed of the status of the payment. They then got nasty, treating me as a deadbeat. Finally, I used another credit card, at great inconvenience to myself. Guest Relations at Oceania did respond lamely to my written complaint. I am still waiting for a response from the cruise line president - it has only been six months. The good news is that I am getting lots of Oceania ads! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We went on the Oceania Insignia 35 day cruise from Cape Town (depart 30 Nov 2015) to Miami (arrived 4 Jan 2016). Here is the list of our opinions as to what was good, below expectations and bad. We had concierge level cabins with ... Read More
We went on the Oceania Insignia 35 day cruise from Cape Town (depart 30 Nov 2015) to Miami (arrived 4 Jan 2016). Here is the list of our opinions as to what was good, below expectations and bad. We had concierge level cabins with balcony. This was our 11th cruise across 6 lines and our first cruise on Oceania. 1. Bad - Cancellation of Ports. We booked this cruise for the interesting ports in West Africa that were very hard to visit otherwise. We had no interest in the conventional Caribbean ports at the end of the cruise we had been to multiple times before. Overall there were 12 ports that we wanted to visit and these ports were the reason for selecting this cruise. We only got to 10 of the 12. Isla Marguerita was a port we wanted to go to that was cancelled well before departure. It was replaced with yet another day at sea. Bom Bom Island in Principe was cancelled 2 days before we were due to arrive at that port. The explanation was little short of offensive – “operational reasons” - when there was no obvious reason - the seas were calm. This meant we missed what we had expected to be a highlight of the trip. Instead we had an extra and pointless day in São Tomé. We paid US$56,000 for this cruise to go to 12 ports - missing one sixth of them was a big disappointment as was the failure to replace them with other ports of equal interest, especially in the absence of any explanation. 2. Bad - the Deal. We booked very early and paid by the due date. Later many other guests got much cheaper deals and also got internet included in their package whereas we paid about $1000 extra for internet for only one person. The ship was full of people boasting of the deals they had obtained. Overall we paid about US$8000 more than if we had waited and booked late. I would never book early again with Oceania. Oceania needs to provide a price guarantee. 3. Excellent – Wait Staff and Cabin Attendants. The wait staff, cabin attendants and crew were the most delightful of any ship we have sailed on. Preferences were noted and anticipated. We rate this aspect of the cruise very highly. 4. Variable – Food. Overall the cuisine on board was very good, through perhaps not up to the hype, and the service was generally excellent. You could eat very well on the ship once you managed to align its strengths and weaknesses to your preferences. While for us this resulted in many disappointing meals we also had some excellent dishes. As a general rule beef, lamb and lobster dishes were excellent, Indian meals excellent, pasta, chicken and fish dishes disappointing and anything described as “a taste of red ginger” was just awful with no balance of flavour and often just meat doused in soy sauce. The specialty restaurants followed this pattern too – excellent beef and lobster dishes – but were far superior to that served in the Grand Dining room. 5. Good - Cabin Servicing. Cabin attendants were efficient and delightful. There were plenty of towels and the mini bar was kept supplied with the soft drinks we requested. The staff seemed to be responsible for a lot of cabins and to work long hours but still generally endeavoured to accommodate our preferred servicing times. 6. Good - Shuttle Buses. The shuttles into town for independent visitors in African ports generally worked very well with few delays (except in Dakar and Mindelo where the first shuttles were scheduled to leave about an hour after disembarkation commenced meaning we had to walk into town in both ports). 7. Bad - The Bed. Oceania advertises its beds as very comfortable. One half of our bed was. The other half sagged and was at a level lower than the good half. Attempts to fix it failed. This meant for 35 nights we slept at different levels and one person slept on a saggy bed. This bed should not have been in service. Attempts to fix our pillows were also unsuccessful. If doing the trip again we would have purchased our own pillows in Cape Town. 8. Good - The Fitness Track. Most cruise lines advertise walking tracks that do not work because they become blocked by patrons of bars or recliners used for sunbathing. Insignia's worked because it, whilst short, did not run through other public areas. It also had a surface that gave walkers excellent grip even when wet. The provision of iced water next to the walking track was also an excellent idea. 9. Bad - Airconditioning. A long trip through the tropics meant the AC needed to work. In one cabin it did. In one cabin even on full cooling function it could not get the cabin cool enough until we reached cooler weather. 9. Good - Cleanliness. The ship was always kept impeccably clean. 10. Bad - Construction Site. For one week during the cruise there were scheduled maintenance construction works on the top deck. This was not urgent work. If you liked time by the pool or on the walking track listening to the screech of a metal grinder this was the cruise for you. If you liked the smell of oxy welding permeating lifts and public areas this was the cruise for you. 11. Good - Visas. Oceania, for a fee, arranged all the visas need for the ports visited in Africa. This service worked very well. 12. Good - Tenders. Due to Bom Bom being cancelled tenders were only required in São Tomé. On most cruise lines tenders means huge delays but Insignia launched 3 lifeboats that provided a speedy service without delays. 13. Bad - Smoking. On a regular basis cigarette smoke came through the ventilation from somewhere into our cabin even though smoking is banned in cabins and on balconies. One or two times a day we had to air our cabin to remove the smell. 14. Bad – Muzak. The dreadful muzak blaring in public areas including the pool deck made reading and relaxing difficult. Take headphones. We knew from other reviews the entertainment was not a reason to book. So it turned out but because our expectations were low some of the shows we went to were a bonus. The range of TV and movie channels to occupy time in days at sea is very limited. The library is well stocked and comfortable. We did not go on any organised excursions due to their prohibitive pricing structure but greatly enjoyed our own excursions whether or foot, by hire car or by taxi. Embarkation was quick and well handled. We had to queue for one hour in Miami to disembark inexplicably late. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to try a new line (we've cruised more than 20 times on Celebrity/Azamara) and Oceania had a cruise from French Polynesia to Peru. The selling point was a stop at Easter Island and then a post-tour of Machu Picchu. The ... Read More
We wanted to try a new line (we've cruised more than 20 times on Celebrity/Azamara) and Oceania had a cruise from French Polynesia to Peru. The selling point was a stop at Easter Island and then a post-tour of Machu Picchu. The ship itself was good. Our suite was spacious. The food was excellent in the specialty restaurants, average in the main dining area. Entertainment was hit and miss. There was a good comedian, a great pianist, a great magician and a terrible female singer. The on ship song and dance group was okay. We had two shows from each performer. Service was wonderful. The butler and room stewards were top notch and very attentive. Our butler knew I wanted Sprite Zero and when it was no longer available on the ship found some at one of our stops. That's over and above! We began on a bad note. The ship was scheduled to leave Tahiti at 9 p.m. Our Delta flight didn't arrive until 10 (they said not to worry, the bulk of the flight was passengers). That in itself says they expected us to arrive late. They took off immediately after and we didn't get our luggage until 3 a.m. To say that the first day was Tahiti and to spend one hour there in the dark isn't a great way to start. The stops in Raitea and Bora Bora were great, but I question 2 days in Bora Bora. There really wasn't much you could do at night in Bora Bora, so I question the overnight there. The stop in Fakarava was a joke. When there are no tours available at all--you got off to get a bit of exercise but that was it. The biggest disappointment, and the reason I gave this a bad rating was that we never got to Easter Island. It was called Pearls and Moai, indicating Polynesia and Easter Island, right? Wrong. We got to Easter Island and it was 'too rough' to send in the tenders (but we saw some boats circle our ship and part of others' groups. We circled the island, the pointed out some Moai from a distance and that was that. It was the reason we took the entire trip! I don't understand why we didn't know there was even a possibility of not getting to shore. I didn't think of checking the reliability of getting to shore. Why would you if that was one of the purposes of the cruise? It would have made more sense to spend one day on Bora Bora, and have two days at Easter Island. That way if you didn't make it to land on one day, you'd be able to the next. Sooooo disappointing. The closest we got to an apology was the captain announcing that he knew many of us were disappointed. Duh. Nothing added (like a free drink, or a discount on another cruise...) which leads me to believe that this is a common occurrence. When we left comments at the end of the cruise, there was no follow up, nothing in communication with us. Because we didn't stop at Easter Island we spent 11 days in a row at sea. Not acceptable. We took advantage of signing up for six of the cooking classes in their Culinary Center. That was worth the money! Stations for 24 people (2 per station) allowed us to learn about a specific type of food then prepare three dishes and eat them. We took advantage of the Roman, Sicilian, Greek, Spanish, pasta and Asian classes. It was our first time making fettucini! We are heading back to Celebrity. We would NEVER recommend Oceania to anyone. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
SLOPPY SERVICE--meal service was slow and very poor. Christmas day dinner took nearly 3 hours to complete for eight people--only two had wine. There were only a few servers who seemed interested. On disembarcation day there were only two ... Read More
SLOPPY SERVICE--meal service was slow and very poor. Christmas day dinner took nearly 3 hours to complete for eight people--only two had wine. There were only a few servers who seemed interested. On disembarcation day there were only two servers to handle 40+ tables on our side of the Cafe! We went up the west Africa coast (banana country) yet there were only a few bananas in the Cafe. The travel and Pursers Departments were poorly run with few english speakers available. The entertainment wasn't. The string quartet sawed away--poor arrangements, poorly played. Wonder whose Daddy was in Corporate. The only excellent service was Housekeeping. The ship's nurse was also very good. Enrichment was very good. Kudos to the Operations Dept as we docked as scheduled. I wonder if the Captain retiring had to do with this horrible cruise. I can cruise on the same hull with much better service for 3/4 the price on Azamara. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia ... Read More
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia is quite an old vessel completely refurbished with some sort of lavish splendor in their many sprawling, but almost always empty common areas. This is sadly and ironically paired with what was found in the living quarters, which gave the impression of being a more suitable size for the crew. I had in fact opted for a special cabin on the 8th floor, which Oceania labels a luxury suite, but this was a blatant case of misrepresentation, as for example the shower was so small that it was not even possible for me to stand completely upright. After spending over $35,000 for this cruise, from Barcelona to Dubai, I could not believe that Oceania would charge you for each time you would need to use the washer & dryer machines. The so-called suites, were also provided with in-room “free” Wi-Fi internet service. But it was so intermittent and erratic, that during the entire cruise a vast crowd of passengers would line-up daily at the ship’s communication center asking for assistance. In order to have a second internet line in our suite, the charge was $26 dollars/day. I would in no way call that a “deal.” Furthermore, Blackberry and cell phone service was disabled by the cruise scrambler and you had no choice but to use Insignia’s over-priced telephone service of at least $5/minute. Additionally, the over-priced costs continued with a simple visit to the on-board doctor for over $700. Also, after being used to free, decent wine and drinks on Regent, I was quite shocked to find out that the wine offered aboard Insignia, which would warrant a retail price of $10/bottle in U.S. or Europe, was sold aboard for over $40/bottle. During the weeks spent on-board, the Captain and other officers never arranged to join the passengers during meals, as is customary on the other cruise chips including Regent. In fact, while the general service aboard the Insignia was commendable, the management personnel in charge of the ship was not easily accessible, aloof, detached and impersonal. It was required to to make a special appointment, in order to speak with anyone of higher management or distinction on the ship. Lastly, compared with Regent Cruises, the lectures and entertainment offered on Insignia was at best modest to borderline mediocre. This was quite obvious by how many passengers would leave in the middle of the lectures. In many instances, I found out that the lecturer was highlighting the destinations where the excursions where offered, but without the lecturer having ever been there! After this very odd overall experience, where I felt that every minute I was taken for a very unpleasant ride, I doubt very much that I will ever return to the Insignia or any other vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first time on Oceania, recommended by our travel agent, we have cruised approx 20 times on 7 different cruise lines, including Crystal, Seabourn, Ponant, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Azamera & Star line, .This was by far ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania, recommended by our travel agent, we have cruised approx 20 times on 7 different cruise lines, including Crystal, Seabourn, Ponant, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Azamera & Star line, .This was by far the worst cruise ever, food was dreadful in all outlets accept the speciality restaurants,,except for a few staff members, service was poor, the crew are obviously unhappy with there deal & are not interested, the food handlers have had little training & have no idea concerning food presentation, food is thrown on your plate at the Terrace, it also very noticeable that some supervisors don't interact with junior staff nicely. Prices of drinks are expensive, therefore the bars are empty with no atmosphere, everyone brings drinks on board & consumes them in their cabin. The Nautical entertainers were also below par for a cruise this long 30 days. The two speciality restaurants were very good, but not good enough to bring us back to Oceania. In the long run all inclusive cruises are far better value, the charges never stop on Oceania 2$ for the use of washing machine, another 2$ for the use of the dryer, 11$ for Yoga class, 9$ for head phones for the tread mill, this is before you have a drink. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary, but also because we had heard good things about the Oceania line. Let me preface this review by saying it was the most expensive cruise we had ever booked! We looked forward to this ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary, but also because we had heard good things about the Oceania line. Let me preface this review by saying it was the most expensive cruise we had ever booked! We looked forward to this cruise for months. But sadly we have felt entirely screwed from the moment we arrived on board. The ship is quite small compared to others we have been on. The interior is stuffy old world style (think smaller Titanic) elegance. We are used to dining later in the evening but had to learn to adjust our eating schedule to accommodate the closing of the restaurants at 9:00-9:30pm. We were specifically looking forward to the good food we heard so much about. What a HUGE disappointment! The food has been mediocre at best. Even the specialty restaurants have left us scratching our heads. My Partner celebrated his 50th Birthday in the Tuscan steak house, where they presented him a cake with somebody else's name on it! There is no ship board activities other than bridge or shuffleboard. We have been to funerals that are more livelier than the Sirena. The entertainment is like watching bad karaoke. There is no broadway type shows. It's mainly either medicare singers or an orchestra. What really did it for me however was the itineraries. We chose this particular cruise because of the ports of calls on the second half of the cruise, mainly Cairo and Alexandria Egypt. For days we had asked the destinations desk for the shore excursion list for Egypt,which we were told was being downloaded. Until the last night of the first half of the cruise when we received the updated itinerary, which showed a totally different itinerary leaving off Egypt all together and adding more ports in Greece which I had had enough of at this point. We were told we were welcome to disembark in Athens but would not be given a refund on the second half of the cruise because Oceania reserves the right to cancel or change ports at their whim. This is TOTALLY unnacceotabe to us. It's like a bait and switch. They claim it's because of unrest in Alexandria, which there is no mention ANYWHERE of being any unrest in the area. They knew for weeks they were never going there. They just suckered people in on the premise of going there and then changing it at the last minute! This was our first and our last cruise on Oceania! Save your money, Celebrity is a much better line and a better value for your money. Read Less
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