13 Rome (Civitavecchia) Oceania Nautica Cruise Reviews

We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten prior occasions. The Nautica is a small ship – 684 total passengers with a staff of 400. We came away feeling that the overall experience was at the bottom of our list. There were a few good points – a) The crew is well trained to be very friendly; b) Cabin and public spaces were kept very clean. c) There was an ample choice of shore excursions. d) The breakfast and lunch buffet always had a large assortment of food choices. Unfortunately, there were far more bad points – a) Any cabin below deck 8 is too small to be comfortably habitable. Below the 8th deck, the largest cabin is 216 square feet. Bathroom is so tiny it was difficult to shower. There was not enough proper space to put away clothing or store suitcases. b) Main dining room: Poor to fair. About five or six main course choices available at each meal – several were the same every night. c) Specialty dining rooms (2): Very nice. Problem is that reservations must be made well in advance of the cruise. Otherwise, tables are not available. d) Entertainment: poor to fair. A comedian performed twice. He was very ‘off color’ and not very funny. Entertainment director sang one night – just okay performance. A group of five very young, inexperienced people performed on all other nights. Would expect a better performance from high school students. e) Excursions: All guides apparently local to area. Many were very well versed and provided a lot of information. Some walked too quickly, not allowing for anyone to take in local sites. On most occasions, the bus windows were filthy. There was plenty of time for the driver to clean the windows while waiting for passengers to assemble and board. To summarize – I have no idea how much better Oceania’s other boats might be, or if the above negative points flow throughout their fleet. That being said, based on our experience I cannot recommend this cruise line, or at least not this particular boat. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ship the service wold be even one notch higher. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. However we were a little disappointed with our experience on the Nautica. We thought the service on our previous cruises on the Riviera was more personal and friendly, the staterooms were nicer, there was a better selection of facilities and entertainment and even the food was better. For this cruise on the Nautica there were a number of things we liked, however, as well as some things we didn't like. The main positives and negatives were.... Positives: - ports (overall) - being on a smaller ship generally gives you direct access to smaller ports without having to tender - travelling in low season, at the end of the Fall in Europe - often we were the only ship in port, which meant smaller crowds everywhere. The weather is obviously more of a risk, however..... - embarkation & disembarkation were wonderful - we were on & off the ship in under 15 minutes. - transfers from the airport to the ship & back from the ship to the airport, which we took with Oceania, were well organized & efficient - of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania, 2 were very good - our room stewards were excellent - the folks at Destination Services, who had to scramble because of missed and changed ports at the beginning of the cruise, were cheerful and helpful. - overall the ship was immaculately maintained even if the decor is dated & the ship is due for a major reno - the High Teas at 4 pm each day were very enjoyable & the string quartet was very good - we had excellent meals at Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant - the presentation of dishes in general was excellent and the quality of the dinners in the Grand Dining Room was generally very good; we had a couple of exceptional/memorable dishes during the cruise but a few disappointments as well - eating al fresco on the terrace of the Terrace Café at lunch time on sunny days when we were in port was lovely - I can't think of a nicer setting - salads and hamburgers at Waves Grill were great - specialty coffees from Baristas Bar (in front of the Grand Dining Room) were excellent. - even though the Internet was slow & balky, at least it was free - on cruises we took on other cruise lines it was also slow & balky but you had to pay for it! Negatives: - port of Durrès - no idea why we stopped in Albania as there was very little of interest to see and do in this port and the surrounding area. - one of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania (Secret Corners of Venice) was a complete waste of time - entertainment choices are limited and geared to a much older crowd - we had a poor dining experience in the Polo Grill, the steakhouse specialty restaurant, which was very disappointing - servers in the Grand Dining Room (GDR) seemed under pressure at dinner time, were having difficulty dealing with the large number of guests at peak times - even though we were "concierge", our friends and us were given less-than-desirable tables at dinner in the GDR on a number of occasions (e.g. next to the noisy waiter sections) even when there were tables available nearer to the windows. In one instance our friends specifically asked for a table in a better location and we were assigned a table next to a waiter station, even though there were numerous better tables available. Grrrrrr..... - lack of variety of dishes at the Terrace Café for breakfast and particularly at lunch (as compared to the Terrace Café on the Riviera) - service in the Terrace Café was hit and miss; there were some nice servers but others seemed glum and disinterested in serving guests - Concierge Services - we asked the Concierge once for help making a change to dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant and were told to call Dining Services ourselves later - we found that "concierge" verandah on the Nautica was not good value for money - the things we appreciated the most as "concierge" guests on the Riviera, i.e. the concierge lounge, help from the concierge, access to a nice area at the front of the ship (with cold non-alcoholic drinks) were either unavailable or limited on the Nautica. - Oceania (the captain & crew) did nothing to acknowledge the rough start to the cruise - we missed the key port on the 1st day (Amalfi) and had to change the port on the 2nd day as we experienced very rough seas and bad weather during the 1st 2 days of the cruise. We had missed ports occasionally on other cruises but this was pretty exceptional. Nothing was said about this, nothing was offered to the guests - a small token/acknowledgement would have been appreciated. If this cruise on the Nautica had been our first Oceania cruise I am not sure we would sail with Oceania again. However, given our earlier morte positive experiences on the Riviera, we had already booked a cruise on the Marina next Fall and we are looking forward to that. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was ... Read More
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was extremely well-trained and helpful. However, I was very disappointed in the shore excursions. They were very touristy, and lacking in depth. I have cruised with Seabourne, Silversea and Windstar, and their shore excursions were much more in depth and immersive--with VIP special arrangements for getting around the crowds and into the sights around all of the other tourists. The descriptions were often not in keeping with the actual excursion. Oceania also nickels and dimes for everything--beverage packages, service charges added to the fare, etc. Competitor cruises charge a higher flat fee, but then you are not charged for anything else, the fare is all-inclusive. Also, the internet service offered by the ship was low-grade, and the crew member assigned to assist with this was unhelpful. I don't think I will said with Oceania again, having had better experiences with competitors. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended in Southhampton, from which we were bused to Heathrow. The very beginning of our cruise was also the worst part of it. I thought it would make things easier to let Oceania book the flights and airport transfers. The flight from Seattle to Heathrow was long but not too bad. We paid extra for premium economy. Then it was a couple-hour flight to Rome. We were supposed to be met by Oceania representatives once we cleared customs and retrieved our checked bags. We did find the people, but they accused us of being "late" and said the bus had already left. Believe me, we had come through as quickly as we could, not even stopping to use the bathroom. We and one other hapless couple were told we would have to wait until there were more people for a fuller bus. By this time we were exhausted, hungry and getting very irritated. After about two hours, just when we were about to find private transportation, we were told we could get on the bus. Ninety minutes later we were on board, sipping Champagne in our stateroom. We found the ship quite stately and attractive, especially the artwork that was everywhere. The public rooms were beautiful and pleasant. We particularly enjoyed Martinis Bar and Horizons at the top of the ship. It was fairly warm for our first couple of days in Spain, and I did get a chance to enjoy the very small swimming pool. But for most of the cruise, the pool and all the lovely lounges around it sat empty. It was too cold and windy even to sit outside, much less swim. I loved the weightlifting equipment in the gym and spent a fair amount of time on the treadmills and stationary bikes. Although Oceania boasts it has the finest cuisine at sea, I found the food uneven. For example, one evening, at the buffet I had sliced roast turkey, which was moist and quite good. Another day I tried the roast beef, which was tough and inedible. The main dining room featured many choices, but some were disappointing. For example, I sometimes like to order Eggs Benedict, but these were way overcooked, more like hard-boiled than poached. Possibly the best food was at the grill, which mostly served simple burgers and the like. But since it was partly open to the air, and it was so cold much of time, we couldn't eat there very often. I did appreciate the 24/7 "coffee bar" at Horizons. We didn't go to any of the evening shows, but my husband and I really enjoyed the string quartet that played for afternoon tea at Horizons and at other times. We also liked the jazz piano player in Martinis. Best of all was the lecturer, Dr. Stephen Wesley. He did a good job of preparing us for the many architectural styles to be found in Barcelona and for the classical underpinnings of so much of modern Europe. Service was excellent. Our room was made up promptly twice a day and was always immaculate. The only problem was keeping it that way since it was so small our stuff tended to get strewn about. This was a good itinerary. We especially loved Cartagena, Oporto, Bilbao and Bordeaux. Probably our best single day was our first day in Bordeaux. We got there a little before noon, got off the ship and walked into the town. Even though it was raining we found it quite beautiful and soon found a little place to have lunch. That evening we had a very special excursion to a chateau in the Haut-Medoc. The winery owner led us on a tour of the cellars, including the "secret cellar" where the best wine was hidden during the Nazi occupation during World War II. Then she escorted us to the dining room of her chateau, where we had a very French dinner (including foie gras) with appropriate wines throughout. Would I go again? Probably not on Oceania. For the approximately $20,000 we spent (including $500 each for that tour and dinner at the chateau), I think I could do better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
October perfect weather for a ten-day Malta, Sicily, and Greek Isles. The spacious 288 penthouse cabin 8010 was a super location - slightly away from the elevator but close enough to be convenient. Our traveling companions were next door ... Read More
October perfect weather for a ten-day Malta, Sicily, and Greek Isles. The spacious 288 penthouse cabin 8010 was a super location - slightly away from the elevator but close enough to be convenient. Our traveling companions were next door and we had the obliging staff remove the separating balcony panel allowing us to have one large balcony. We enjoyed the two specialty restaurants, The Polo Grill and Toscana, with outstanding presentations and the expected delicious food from start to finish. I had been told Oceania's food was great for foodies and it did not disappoint. Allowing the sommelier to choose some excellent wines each night complemented our meals perfectly. The piano bar is a relaxing place before and after dinner to enjoy smooth jazz from a musician who played familiar tunes with a great style. Late afternoon drinks at the Horizons bar made for spectacular departure vistas before going down to the piano bar. My readback of this all sounds like an ad agency I know, but of all our cruises over the years this ranks in the top two. I don't see how you could be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We enjoyed everything about our cruise which was booked through Go Next travel agency through the Brown University travelers. Our verandah state room was very nice although the bathroom was a little tight, especially the shower. We booked ... Read More
We enjoyed everything about our cruise which was booked through Go Next travel agency through the Brown University travelers. Our verandah state room was very nice although the bathroom was a little tight, especially the shower. We booked two more cruises on Oceania while on the ship. My wife enjoyed the spa. The food was plentiful and excellent with great variety. Internet service was good as were the shore excursions. Staff was very nice. We were two adults traveling without children. We did not attend any of the entertainment but heard it was good. Two of the ports of call-Gythion and Volos-were not very interesting but the others were-especially Malta, Rhodes, Capri and Santorini. The Oceania ambassador on board was very helpful and booking two more cruises for 2017 and 2018. The restaurants and snack areas were great. Dress was casual but service was excellent in all restaurants. The desserts were especially good and low calorie and healthy items were available in the main dining room. Non alcoholic drinks were free in the bar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have cruised many times with mid-size ships primarily on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and wanted to see if we'd enjoy the "lite" luxury of Oceania. Pros: Small ship experience, no crowds. No art sales, photos ... Read More
We have cruised many times with mid-size ships primarily on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and wanted to see if we'd enjoy the "lite" luxury of Oceania. Pros: Small ship experience, no crowds. No art sales, photos & photos to buy/or not, no formal nights as found on mass-market cruises, which was very refreshing. Country club casual is not at the high end, versus Oceania's brochure ware. Everyone dressed nicely, just not too fancy. Majority of men did not wear sports jackets to dinner, usually long sleeve shirts (no ties), and slacks. Didn't see too many fancy cocktail dresses on women either. The crew was friendly and service was attentive, even at breakfast or lunch buffet. Again, no crowds. Tours are very expensive, however, the guides and companies are better than experienced on other cruise lines. There was a mix of passenger types as you would find on other cruise lines, most from America, with a smattering from other English speaking countries. Everyone friend. Disappointments: Oceania is often touted as a foodie line. However, it did not live up to all the hype. My wife had high expectations because of Jacques Pépin, and we were disappointed. The food on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean is just as good. The specialty restaurant Toscana was the one bright exception! A side note: Wine by the bottle is exceptionally expensive (especially considering the wine list). If wine is important to you I'd bring on your own and pay the corking fee. Summary: I would cruise Oceania again for the small ship experience, itinerary, and good service (not for the food). Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We picked this cruise because of the destination as well as the discounted price that included airfare. Air arrangements and first night's hotel in Rome we booked independently. We also booked our own transfer from our hotel in Rome, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the destination as well as the discounted price that included airfare. Air arrangements and first night's hotel in Rome we booked independently. We also booked our own transfer from our hotel in Rome, which was expensive (110 euro for a private car) but much less than if we had booked through Oceania. Embarkation at Civitavecchia was the smoothest of any of the 18 cruises we have taken—just walked on about 1:30pm and checked in. Within 30 minutes we were able to access our cabin and our luggage arrived in a timely fashion, too. We had been on a similar vessel (R-2) when previously owned by Renaissance which went bankrupt after 9-11, 2001, so we were basically familiar with the ship. The size is ideal—large enough to have a variety of entertainment but small enough to avoid lines or any wait whatsoever. Another feature we really appreciated was NO photographer constantly intruding to snap a picture. Nor, was there the constant selling of merchandise and extras. Oceania understands its guests! Passengers tend to be older adults and there were very few children aboard. Therefore, there are few programs specifically for children. Because we enjoy ballroom dancing, we look for ships that provide this option. On Nautica we were not disappointed. There were multiple opportunities for dancing but very few passengers took advantage of them. First, there was a duo that played in the Horizon lounge from 6:00-6:45 and again from 7:00 to 7:45. Then after dinner, the show orchestra played in the theater with its own dance floor prior to the evening's main entertainment so we could dance from about 8:45 to 9:30. We also enjoyed a 4-piece string quartet that played several times an evening, particularly the classic set from 8:00 to 8:45. We rarely attend the production review shows but did see the comedian who performed twice during our cruise; his routine was entertaining. As this was a port-intensive cruise with no sea days, there was only one lecture about a port. Instead, one of the TV channels described each shore excursion in detail. Several movies played each day, plus you could check out DVD's free from a list of literally hundreds. My problem was there was really no time to watch them between going ashore during the day and eating and dancing at night. The ports were generally well chosen and the shore excursions we signed up for were generally good. My favorites were The Walled City of Carcassone (a place I have always wanted to visit), Aix-en-Provence, and Monaco/Monte Carlo on your own. For half of the ports, we went ashore and explored on our own made easy by my pre-planning at home. The one excursion we did not particularly enjoy was the Costa Smeralda for our Sardinia stop. Service was variable. Our cabin stewardess was great. She introduced herself and told us how to reach her on the first day of our cruise but then was hardly seen. However, our cabin was always made up with fresh towels whenever we were out. If we happened to be in the cabin when she came, she always made arrangements to come back later. Service in the two free specialty restaurants (Polo Grill and Toscana) was impeccable but sometimes very slow in the main dining room. In addition, waiters got our orders wrong several times. And in the buffet cafe, service could be very attentive to the point of being intrusive or totally indifferent. I had expected better dining service so we adjusted our tips. Paying $12.50 per person per day for mediocre service seemed excessive. Our dining experiences were likewise variable. The best meals were in the Polo Grill and Toscana but we were allowed only one reservation in each based on our cabin category. We especially enjoyed Waves, the informal pool-deck grill and ice cream parlor. Whenever we did a half-day excursion, we returned here for lunch. Offerings included salads and sandwiches such as paninis, hamburgers, grilled chicken, and Reubens. You could get gelato, milk shakes, or a variety of smoothies. All were delicious. One of our favorite activities was to finish lunch then lounge in the shade on the pool deck with a smoothie, reading or listening to our MP3 players. Food in the dining room was fair to good but despite great presentation, flavor often fell short. However, the breads were always excellent. The weakest link in the menu choices was dessert. The cabin was adequate, a premium oceanview (no balcony). Storage space was ample, too. While both shampoo and conditioner were provided, when we ran out of conditioner the replacement was a different color and did not even feel like conditioner. Luckily the cabin stewardess' assistant had a supply of the original conditioner which we eagerly accepted. The bed was super comfortable but we did not need a down comforter, which was the only top covering offered, for this cruise in a hot climate. Free bottled water was provided both in the cabin and each day when we left the ship. Plus, the refrigerator in the cabin was stocked with free soft drinks. Non-alcoholic drinks throughout the ship were free as well—an added bonus compared to other cruises. Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation. We were asked to be out of our cabins by 8:00am and off the ship at 9:00. Early breakfasts were provided so we had time to shower, eat, finish packing our carry-on bags and we were off the ship by 8:15. We then took a taxi to our independently booked hotel in Barcelona, a fascinating city. In summary, Oceania is the perfect ship for individuals who like some entertainment but are more interested in the ports-of-call. Due to its smaller size there were no lines or waiting. No photographer and sales pitches made this cruise especially enjoyable. If you like music or dancing there are many opportunities but not much in the way of educational lectures. Providing unlimited water, soft drinks, juice, ice cream, etc. was another plus. However, quality of food and service was variable and could be improved. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We were on the Yacht Havens cruise that departed Rome on 8/05. Boarding was smooth. Cabin was at front of ship and slightly larger than cabins around the sides. But, the view might be better at the sides because the verandas are more open. ... Read More
We were on the Yacht Havens cruise that departed Rome on 8/05. Boarding was smooth. Cabin was at front of ship and slightly larger than cabins around the sides. But, the view might be better at the sides because the verandas are more open. In general, pleasant voyage. Dining satisfactory. Crew friendly and hardworking. Most ports interesting. We liked the ports where we tendered much more than the ones where we docked. Walking from the piers was not ever pleasant. Marseilles was a particularly smelly, distant, and unpleasant pier. Very disappointed that itinerary was changed from Sanary sur Mer to Toloun. Quite a let down from previous ports. Especially annoyed because little guidance was offered on what to do or how to get around at this port. Oceania intended to keep us safe. I understand that. But little was done to keep up the quality of the itinerary. One of the fitness machines was broken for the entire voyage. In general, we liked Oceania and Nautica. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We sailed on 10 day Rome to Barcelona cruise that departed on August 5th. The Nautica is a lovely ship that carries just under 700 passengers so the atmosphere was intimate and country club casual just as they had promised. Men did not ... Read More
We sailed on 10 day Rome to Barcelona cruise that departed on August 5th. The Nautica is a lovely ship that carries just under 700 passengers so the atmosphere was intimate and country club casual just as they had promised. Men did not need to wear jackets to dinner. We had a cabin with balcony which was very nice. Being able to sit outside is a real plus. The food is generally very good on the ship. The two specialty restaurants that require reservations are quite good. The Dover sole at Toscana is really good. Having a concierge level room allows you to dine at these restaurants 4 times during the voyage. Tapas on the Terrace, another restaurant, open breakfast,lunch and dinner is not great. Sitting outside is nice, but the cafeteria like food is unfortunate on a ship of this caliber. Tapas on the Terrace needs a complete overhaul and needs to offer better food (better quality). The Wave Grill by the pool is also in need of higher quality meat for the burgers and more salads. While dessert is available during the lunch hour, only ice cream is available after lunch. Being able to get a cookie with to enjoy with a latte or a fresh piece of fruit would be nice. Afternoon tea should be available by the pool so that those of us in a swimsuit could also enjoy it. I never did make it to the Horizons cafe for afternoon tea because we were always at the pool around 4p.m. It took me a few days to realize that you can order practically anything to your room. That is, you don't have to stick to what's on the menu. I enjoyed a fresh bowl of mixed berries on more than one occasion. The staff on the Nautica are very friendly, helpful and professional. Dinner service can be a little slow, but being on vacation you don't really mind the wait. Getting on and off the ship is very we(i.e., Marseille) a shuttle into town would have helpful. You can't get a taxi at the port and the walk into town to the bus or train station took just under an hour in the scorching heat. One area for improvement for Oceania is the quality of information provided to passengers about the ports. You get the feeling that they really want you to take one of their tours. Asking for information at the Destination desk is a waste of time as the staff don't have a clue about the ports or the surrounding towns, etc. The evening edition of the Currents provides little useful information for people going ashore (no map, no suggestions how to get to the center of town, no listings of suggested lunch spots, shopping areas, etc.). Evening entertainment is ok. The comedian was enjoyable and the music provided at different venues was also pretty good. This is a cruise that creates a very relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy great ports, a nice pool area and deck, good food and opportunity to meet some very nice people. We enjoyed every port with the exception of Sete France and Cinque Terre. We thought the cruise was good value for the money and we would sail with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
In reading this review you might think we are being paid by the ship because of all the pluses. Not true, we are somewhat reluctant cruisers but this itinerary was ideal for an extended journey thru the festive season We planned to make ... Read More
In reading this review you might think we are being paid by the ship because of all the pluses. Not true, we are somewhat reluctant cruisers but this itinerary was ideal for an extended journey thru the festive season We planned to make the most of the entire trip as it is such a long way from Australia to Rome to start, so we flew to Singapore, had a 5 day stop over in that fab city, then up to Kuala Lumpur for 4 days & back to Singapore for the flight to Istanbul. Spent 5 nights in Istanbul & did all the tourist sites & markets then flew across to Rome for 4 nights. This made getting to the ship a journey of its own. Ship day we took the train to the port & walked the short distance from the station to the dock, a cost of only E12 per person !st. cl. Big saving on buying a shuttle to the port. Dockside check in was a blur, bags were taken at the curb, we were ushered into the embarkation building & in minutes were on board heading for the buffet for lunch, never seen such efficiency & speed. By the time we had had a snack & went to the cabin our bags had beaten us there, another speed service. We were totally overcome with the beauty of the ship interior, it was immaculate in every way The decor was mind blowing, the lounges & dining room were works of art compared to some other ships we had been on. Every member of the crew had a smile & a greeting whenever they passed you & all wanted to know if they could do something for us. The attention was almost embarrassing but we loved it. The food---first night we went to the Polo Grille & made a big mistake we both ordered the appetizer, soup, salad then the prime rib. It was shameful to send back to the kitchen 1/2 of the rib. It was so huge I just couldn't eat more than 1/2 of it. Quality, taste, & presentation were excellent.This set the tone for the entire cruise of 41 nights in all the restaurants incl the Grand Dining Room, there was no repetition for us as there were so many options for food. BTW don't have b/fast get a thick shake from Waves at 11.30am. Apart from flavor which was excellent it was a lunch on its own. The only down side I found was the over attentiveness of the table waiters, they often barged into one's conversation to offer pepper or ask if one wanted anything or to place or take plates; this was a bit off-putting. There have been comments on the entertainment not being up to standard, I totally disagree, the entertainment in the theatre by the various musical groups was a very high standard. Sure there wasn't a Las Vegas style dance group but the entertainers were the BEST. The M.C who did a puppet show was unbelievable in his performance. I've never been a fan of pantomine but went to several of his performances. There were 2 female vocalists who were of international standard & these girls doubled up as hostesses during the day.   Shore excursions area personal issue, we rarely ever use the ship's excursions as we prefer to do "our own thing" & usually at a 1/4 of the ship pricing. One exception here is to use the ship in Port Said to Cairo & Safaga to Luxor. The taxis in Egypt have a definite death wish whenever they get behind the wheel. If you go it alone always find out where the gate out of the port is 'cause that's where you will find a horde of cabs waiting to do a deal.You might have to walk 2-300 metre but its worth saving over $100 for the day. Oceania go out of their way to give you a good time we made friends with many of the crew including of all people one of the chefs who would make us any meal our heart desired & then he would watch over you to ensure it was what you wanted, many waiters, the maitre de Carlos who fussed over you the whole time in his domain. Drink waiters soon learned your name & preferences & had drinks in front of you as quick as a wink. Can't comment on disembarkation as we got off in Brisbane & that was a casual stroll down to the reception, pay the account, say our goodbyes & just go home. The trip on the ship could have been 10 days less but that would have interfered with the Xmas period, I think the ideal is around 30 days to really have a shipboard experience. I met many people who flew to the ship , were transferred from airport to ship & then did the reverse going home which I think is a terrible shame as they went 1/2 round the world but didn't take advantage of either Italy or Australia Footnote---We have had to go on a serious crash diet program after 41 days on Nautica I've still got to loose 6 kilos. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
Wonders Rare and Familiar Nov. 15-28th 2006 Our excellent adventure started with reading a brochure from Oceania Cruise Lines, about Mediterranean cruises available in 2006. One immediately drew my attention, as it included Alexandria ... Read More
Wonders Rare and Familiar Nov. 15-28th 2006 Our excellent adventure started with reading a brochure from Oceania Cruise Lines, about Mediterranean cruises available in 2006. One immediately drew my attention, as it included Alexandria Egypt, which is a gateway to Cairo and the pyramids. Since I was a child I wanted to travel , a song was Far Away Places...With strange sounding names... calling to me, and they did.. Over the last few years Mike & I have visited many of those places. But this one was all places I have always wanted to see and none we've been to. The cruise was rather pricey so we debated, and Mike finally said Go for it.. So I signed up for the cheapest room available, and was on a wait list for an inside room, cheaper still...more money for tours we felt. Then I decided after reading posts on a Chat room..dedicated to Oceania cruises, to do extra days stays before and after, so refused their Free Air and got a credit, did my own air arrangements and 2 days in Rome at the beginning, and 1 day in Istanbul at the end for pretty much our air credit. Thus began my adventure into being my own, and ultimately others, travel agent for the trip. The Cruise Itinerary was : Rome (2 days before there), and Naples Italy (for trip to Pompeii), Tunisia , Malta, Crete (for the Minoan Palace of the Minotaur), Alexandria Egypt, Athens Greece, and Kusadasi, Turkey and ending in Istanbul Turkey, with an extra day there. Prices for the ships tours we very high I felt we must do tours there, so started my quest to get cheaper tours. It's amazing what you can do online! By feeling my way, and advice from the Chat room I decided to go with some ships tours, as some places port times were very short, and felt safer getting back in time to sail, and were not quite as pricey. In some ports though I found several alternatives , private guides, taxis etc. Using again chat room information, over the months arranged several tours, and advertised them on this Chat room, and soon had a whole group, going with us. Then someone else set up one when I'd finally said Enough, but asked if we'd like to be included. Finally we had some 16 of us sharing various tours, never more than 12 on any one. We made up a family in the long run. All done online through Cruise Critic message board for Oceania. Our air flight left O'Hare airport, Chicago 11/12/06 on British Air. Seats are fairly far apart, food was decent and you have your own Entertainment Screen with multi choices for movies etc. in back of seat ahead. nice flight, next one from Heathrow to Rome..very tight seating etc. But short thankfully. Our time in Rome was NOT the best, with tours from Viator, Greenline Bus Co. Bored guides, and the Trolley we chose to ride breaking down and leaving us standing for 2 hrs after their pick-up time, then they went to lunch. All in all we only saw the Coliseum (Italian Sp.) close up, drove by many other spots . Our transfer to the ship was 1 ½ hrs. and got a better tour from the driver , who was a tour guide also. Our Cabin was as remembered from the cruises we took with the Renaissance Cruise line that ran these same small ships (680 passengers). BUT a big difference was that we had a BALCONY!!. How this came about was another great story. We received our downgrade to inside at some point, as we had requested, to save money(400$ each), but then received a free upgrade to an outside room. Well, our travel agent called 3 wks before sail date, said he had a great deal, for us..for 200$ PP. We could go into ,not only a balcony, but the Concierge Class, (special perks for them over reg. Balcony). WOW we said yes naturally. In the long run we paid less than our original amount for the porthole cabin! (We paid 1200 pp under the price normally paid) We were really spoiled by that balcony!! Room service coffee (with warm milk! Daily), viewing these wonderful ports (well some of them were just shipping ports) Sunrises and Sunsets off our own rooms deck, small as it was (app.10x5). Not room for a party but didn't need it for that. Check-in went very smoothly, as by 2pm half the people were aboard, no lines, headed to our room to see that balcony!! Champagne was waiting for us, unpacking came next and watching further arrivals leave buses and climb aboard from our balcony with bubbly in hand (Meds. say NO so I sipped a little) next trip to set reservations for Specialty restaurants, 4 in all, plus they talked us into that evening for the Polo in addition. Food was excellent BUT too much...16oz of Prime Rib! Could have shared and had enough. First Port was Naples, which was our base for tour to Pompeii. (This was our ruin vacation) We left on the bus really early, as we only had 5-6 hrs. in Port. Pompeii was just a fascinating as I expected, but also much larger. We only explored less than 1/4 of the area already excavated, but then had to rush faster than I could walk on very uneven pavement which had been buried under 40-50' of ash for nearly 2,000 years, but was an old city before the Vesuvius eruption, streets deeply rutted. Some things are very well preserved. It was just as interesting as expected, the guide very knowledgeable, the trip back the ship interrupted by a stop at a Cameo shop which was rather interesting, but could have been done without! I was exhausted, as walking with cane was difficult there. In the afternoon we had a meeting of our touring group and had the additional pleasure of welcoming Carolyn, the Cruise Critic editor reviewing the Nautica. Dinner at the main dining room, again food was great, and meeting fellow passengers, new ones every evening, was wonderful. Some were to be friends for entire trip. The early departure was to make our trip to Tunisia possible, overnight. It was not a favorite port for most of us. I changed our tour to Tunis and the Bardo Museum, from Carthage ruins, as information stated all the best from there was now in the museum. The Mosaics were the best collection in the world, both wall and floor, from several eras, Roman occupation, Greek, Byzantine Christian, and then Moslem , all of whom did the mosaics. Best were the Roman. Took many photos here. The next stop were the Souks or bazaar, and carpet shop, which need be on the 3rd floor, with much huffing & puffing, I did the climb, as they said a panorama on rooftop was available above. Well, if you call ugly tops of other buildings a panorama, so be it! Carpets very expensive and we dont do carpets, but a short trip into the Souk was a foretaste of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Wild and persistent salesmen, and saying NO NO NO. Next an At sea day. Sleep in, and started a new tradition, coffee and warm milk on the balcony from room service, wonderful prompt service with a smile, always! All the staff on the Nautica were happy and friendly. First dinner at the Toscana. Wonderful Italian food. Low key entertainment but just right for people who are tired from touring. Cruise Director Leslie Jon was simply the BEST, from first thing in the morning announcements, to Trivia, to Hosting the evening in the showroom! Our next stop was Valletta Malta, a very historic island, founded by Sulieman the Turk, during 500 yrs ago. The sail in to port is spectacular, as the whole port is surrounded by fortifications dating back to the Knights of St John (Crusaders). This island in WW2 was daily bombarded by Italy and Germany later, as it was a part of the British Commonwealth, and in a very strategic part of the Mediterranean. They never broke, though suffering great loss and hardship. It is a beautiful island,as is the Old Capitol, Medina, the Silent City, no cars except by residents allowed. It's built of warm yellow-red color, very Italian in style, not surprising as its off the coast of Sicily and Italy's Boot. We got lovely pictures there, then moved on to the Cliffs of Dingl, which had a great view and another Photo op. Had also visited a lovely church, the Mosta, with an unsupported Dome, 3rd largest in the world, inside was very beautiful.. We did all this with a couple from our tour group, by taxi. Back at the ship (Other couple toured a bit farther) we enjoyed a quiet time, a late lunch and the view of the wonderful buildings surrounding the port, from our balcony. After the trivia in afternoon, a nap! Old fogies us! Later attempts to picture take of our sail away in the dark ,with all the buildings lit ,only a couple are any good, (need anti shake on the camera!) But it was beautiful. Iraklion , Crete (Greece) was our next Port. Our day again was short, so we took ships tour to the Knossos Palace,a Minoan palace, supposed to be the palace of Minos, Legend has it to be the Minotaur's labyrinth, dated some 2,000 yrs. BC. Buried for much of the time since. Restoration has gone a long way, still ongoing. Some do NOT care for the fact that Wall Murals, Pillars, and other things were repainted to look like they did in the time of Minos, with VERY bright paint. Purists say it should have been left as it was, as was Pompeii, Ephesus, etc.. Regardless it is a HUGE place, with multi levels, and many small rooms on the lower level, the source of the Tales of the Labyrinth! The wall murals are very lovely and colorful, regardless of the controversy.Another early departure, so time again for Trivia, (got hooked)Leslie had HARD questions! Early in the day we were again underway on our way to Alexandria Egypt. The harbor there wasn't the nicest, all commercial ships and ferries, far out of town. This is the stop that we, and 8 other passengers had a private tour set up. As the ship arrived at 2pm ,and stayed overnight. The tours from the ship drove to and from Cairo/Giza in the one day, on the road for 5-6 hrs. Our tour took us off the ship ,and overnight in the Oasis Hotel in Giza. Our trip was hair-raising to say the least, with an armed security guard on the bus, and with us at all times during tours. We were escorted in by a police car with flashing blue lights, who PUSHED our way through rush hour traffic. (You ain't seen rush hour until you're in an urban area with 17 million people!!)We felt that we were attracting WAY too much attention, and counter productive to getting in safely. Traffic and drivers in themselves are scary when the white lines on the road are something to follow, not make lanes, and 4 lanes make 6 if you crowd. None the less we arrived to our Hotel in one piece! That night we attended the Light & Sound Show at the Pyramids, again pushing through traffic with escort. We enjoyed the show, tried to take Photos (no flash of course, which people didn'tt realize would just ruin their photos).Again only a few turned out. Bright and early the next morning, (before 7) we were on our way to the Pyramids again, as most people wished to climb up inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops, (I knew with my walking problems, I couldn't go) I instead choose the Solar Boat Museum, exhibiting a boat found in a pit next to the Great Pyramid, in pieces, and re-assembled over many years (No instructions included!)It was for the Pharaoh to sail to the afterworld. It is in amazing condition, made of Cedar from Lebanon. Pit was well sealed. After this we went to the Sphinx. The Guide ,a girl nicknamed Sue, said we had 20 min. or so to climb up to the plateau above, I decided not to go, but then changed my mind, she said she'd wait for me..the 20min. Was for those poky ones that already had made us late. So the security guy stayed with me all the time, as I was slow and alone sometimes, (too vulnerable) and helped me over the very rough ground, up steep inclines and steps. For some reason, I thought it was my cane that made people polite, but they made way for me all the time, and the persistent vendors faded away from me. A guard asked for my Ticket, which Mike had, as I hadn't been going up, and I tried to explain that, but then the guard backed off, said Go Go...into the mortuary temple, then a crowd came down a steep ramp, and my Guide/guard stepped in front of me, gave the crowd a LOOK, but they kept coming, so he casually pushed back his suit coat on the right side, and showed the AUTOMATIC PISTOL on his hip (with extra sized clip). All of the deference, and politeness was explained in that moment! He was handsome and my own personal bodyguard, must have made people think I was some celebrity (Yeah right!). Mike took some great photos up there and mine weren't too bad either. Then to the museum to see Tut's treasures. The items are fabulous but VERY poorly displayed, and dirty too, but wonderful to see even so. The 3 shrines that nested inside each other around the coffin, and that solid gold coffin and also the mask that is so famous. Wonderful. No photos allowed! Then we quickly (well in 3 hrs) returned to the ship (do you know cars sometimes drive without lights at night in Egypt??), to be welcomed back with the ships band playing (not just US but all that had traveled to Cairo, about 10 buses), cool towels, juice and officers shaking hands in welcome. Part of usual greetings, but also celebrating the date...Nautica's 1st birthday! Late supper,in the Tapas on the Terrace, the weather held enough that we could eat outside, and it became a favorite place to eat, waitstaff were same as other venues, seem to circulate around. Entertainment... then to bed. Next day was an At Sea Day, time to wash clothes, rest up from Cairo. Also Thanksgiving, strange to be away. My DH also found out that his brother had died the day before, so we were subdued for that day and to a great extent the rest of the trip, but we couldn't go home, made no sense, and so he carried on. Let me say here, that I wouldn't have lasted from the first day without him, he was my strength, my Pull Up when needed, or Boost to get into the buses we always were boarding, the waiting for me to rest, when my legs wouldn't go further.. One of our tour group wrote to the Chat Room, He's an amazing man...A Hero. I know he's my hero! He had our older camera and took some great photos, half our yearly calendar are his pictures! He's gotten a great eye over the years.. Thanksgiving...well the ship tried ,but those european chefs don't do it well! Should have taken the advice from CC members. Our next port is Athens. This was one of the tours I arranged for, a full day with taxi driver Paul, at much reduced rate over ships tours, we were 9 in all, as one wasn'tt feeling well. First we climbed the Acropolis. The time of year meant very few people were there, especially that early, 9am. I decided to try to climb the steps even though there was an elevator, Paul said they usually only take wheelchairs, so I climbed. DH got a photo of me coming over the top of the stairs,and it ain't a pretty sight, but I made it, then found a wet place to sit, yes rain in Athens, first and only bad weather on the trip..a light misty rain. Temperatures had been above normal most places, which meant comfortable,( in summer its unbearably hot there.) The Parthenon is in very poor repair, scaffolding and cranes everywhere, but the Majesty and beauty shows through. Same with the whole Acropolis. The Temple of the 7 Virgins, statues are replaced with copies. Pieces of pillars are stacked, waiting re-assembly. Sad really. The museum was interesting but small, only to do with the Acropolis. The sun arrived, so we got some extra good pictures with blue skies above. On to the remains of the Temple of Zeus, the largest ever built in the world, now only a few pillars remain, but they are huge. Then to the changing of the guard, done hourly, a very interesting routine. Guards wear those short kilts over white leggings, since it wasn'tt a special holiday, they were in black not the white pleated kilt. Pompons on their shoes. All these things have a meaning but do NOT remember what. Very stylized routine to march. While there DH decided to feed the birds, pigeons around the Unknown Soldier monument and was attacked and buried under birds. I kept trying to take a picture, but some Japanese tourist kept getting in my way, he was taking photos of DH, so I only got a couple. After this we had lunch at a open air restaurant next to the Archeological Museum, which has many of the beautiful sculptures ancient Greece is known for, and beautiful pottery. No flash inside building, but I got some marvelous photos anyway. Then we voted to go to the Ancient Agora, near the Acropolis, ruins and a fairly intact temple, BUT we never found it, walked the wrong way from the Taxi /mini bus. But we did go back to the beautiful old church viewed across Cemetery City ruins, (driver didn't know where name came from). The photo DH took of the church, (I was too tired and sat in the bus ) looks like a painting. Then rush hour again and long trip through narrow streets to Piraeus, the port for Athens. We had a wonderful tour, I was SOOO relieved, as Id planned it and was afraid it might not go well, and have 7 people upset with me! Now to sail away at 5pm to Kusadasi Turkey. Evenings are usually spent at the entertainment, except if we talk too long at dinner and miss it! We never watched a TV movie, or took out the DVD's we could have had in our cabin. Again a tour I'd arranged for, but things had kind of gone awry near the end, with changing guides back & forth. I'd gotten a very well respected guide to agree to tour us to Ephesus ,but then a previous commitment came up...and still in the end he took us on the tour, to his favorite place. Nejat Incedogan is from Izmir, nearby, but lives in Kusadasi now. When he picked us up from the ship, We were about 10 of us, 2 having not shown up. Nejat had to use 2 canes to walk!! Finally a guide who walked MY SPEED. It was great, to stop and rest often while he explained what we were, and would be seeing. The city of Ephesus was a very important Roman Port, until the river (Meander of all things, and it does, hence the word) silted up and the sea is now 5 miles away. So the decline of the city. It is considered to be among the best Roman ruins anywhere in the world. The Library of Celsus is beautiful and very complete. We really enjoyed Nejats talks and the city is amazing, the Marble road is ,as stated all marble. New discoveries, now under a roof to protect it,are the Terrace Houses. They cost extra but he paid for those who wanted to go to them, (but with the 56 stairs, this late in trip I wasn't up to it) so DH went ,camera in hand so I could ,in a small way visit them also. They were rich Romans' villas, (condos really), and the wall paintings, mosaic floors etc. are in incredible condition. Work continues on it today. Earlier in the day we visited Mary's House where legend has Mary and her son John, so named by Jesus on the cross, lived out their lives. Some credence is given to the story, as Paul the Apostle spent time preaching in Ephesus (hence the letter to them in the bible). The museum isn't much. Before Ephesus we did a short stop at the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the world,(Cheops Pyramid being another so we saw 2 of them, and should have passed a 3rd, the Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria ,but didn't see what is left of it). The temple has 1 standing pillar, and Nejat said it wasn't really from the temple, but foundations were there. Karaoke in late evening, contest for the Oceania Idol, DH didn't win! Now on to Istanbul. Nejat had asked another guide to take us on our 3 tours in Istanbul, his friend Levent Solmez. He is even more respected than Nejat. We arrived at 1pm, and he picked us up to take us to the Aya Sofia Museum (St Sophia) (not open the next day for our long tour) which has the 2nd largest dome in the world. It had been a Byzantine Church, converted to Mosque when Islam came into Istanbul. Beautiful Gold trimmed Mosaics of Jesus and Mary and other Christian figures of the time were covered over by the Moslems with plaster. It was thought they were destroyed, but found later to be under the plaster. Many years has gone into removing this plaster ,some 6" thick Underneath the Mosaics are beautiful. One of Christ was partially destroyed, by Crusaders looking to loot the gold tiles. When it was discovered the gold was only a glaze they stopped. That one, the face of Jesus is remarkable. Also toured us to the far side of Istanbul, the Asian side. We actually were on 3 continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia on this cruise. Next day was our disembarkation day, luggage packed, taken to dock. Levent picked us and Luggage up 8am, to go with us all day while we WALKED the whole of the Sultanamet district, including :the Hippodrome (now a road, once the largest, longest racecourse in the roman world)The Blue Mosque (Actually called the Sultanamet Mosque)where I climbed a 3 story ramp to the top floor to view things from there..I was crazy (and now completely washed up!), to the Topkapi Palace Museum to view famous jewels, and other treasures of the Sultanate Era. The Palace Hareem appropriately houses those jewels, jeweled couches, beds of gold and jewels etc..That evening we went to a dinner theater to watch a Folkloric show including Belly Dancers Found out their star was same one we had at the ship the last night! Lastly we got locked into our hotel, not the room, the whole hotel,and had to call the desk to get out!! So we could call taxi to go to the Airport! Some 14 hrs later back in Chicago.. exhausted but filled with great memories, and 1000 photos! Read Less
Sail Date November 2006
We were just on the Rome to Istanbul cruise on the Nautica. The itinerary was fabulous and we can't wait to go back to some of the places we visited and spend more time there. We spent 4 nights pre-cruise in Rome and 2 nights ... Read More
We were just on the Rome to Istanbul cruise on the Nautica. The itinerary was fabulous and we can't wait to go back to some of the places we visited and spend more time there. We spent 4 nights pre-cruise in Rome and 2 nights post-cruise in Istanbul. Service - The ship's staff was excellent and we had wonderful service from everyone we encountered. Every staff member we came across took a moment and greeted us with a smile and were all very good at making sure we had everything we needed to have a good cruise. Food - Grand Dining room food was very good, we only had slow service there one night. Tapas/Terrace food was also very good and the best buffet we've experienced on our cruises. Toscana was very good but make sure you have an empty stomach when you get there. Polo had excellent grilled food, make sure you ask them about what they consider rare, medium rare and well done. We ordered medium to get what we usually consider medium rare. Entertainment - so-so, we knew the entertainment would be low key ahead of time and it was. Shows aren't important to us and we only saw a few. The violinist they had was ok in her playing but her personality turned us off and we left since she annoyed us so much. Others thought she was great. Art auctioneer was terrible, completely unprepared and unprofessional which probably saved us money since we just couldn't get excited about any of the pieces she showed. Shore excursions - we only did one ship sponsored excursion and it was a good value for the money. The rest of the ports we did on our own. Cabin - Cabin was about the equivalent size of the cabins we have been on in past cruises, we thought the storage was very good and had no trouble storing our 3 weeks worth of clothes. 7116 is an aft cabin and has a deeper balcony, we had a great time with the other "back of the ship" folks watching the sail aways. Embarkation/debarkation - We arrived at the ship at about 3:30 or so, and were on the ship and at our cabin within 20 minutes. Debarkation was also very easy and smooth. Overall we had a fantastic cruise experience and would sail the Nautica and Oceania again. It was a very intensive port schedule and we enjoyed all the ports we saw, Rome to Istanbul cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 3.9

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