Number of Cruises: 10
Cruise Line: Oceania
Sailing Date: June 19th, 2006
Nautica Cruise Review
This was our 10th cruise but first on Oceania. We previously cruised on Norwegian, RCL, Orient,and Princess.
We have just returned from a 12 day Nautica trip to the Mediterranean that began on June 19. We loved the ship, the atmosphere and the crew. Most surprising was the 20 or so children on board. This is really not a ship for children as there is not much for them to do. We actually felt sorry for them and we heard that comment from other passengers. Our fellow passengers were mostly seniors but there were also many young couples as well as young singles. It was a great mix.
The staff on the Nautica couldn't be
more attentive. No matter which dining space we used, the staff was
always there to bring our drinks, take away used plates or even get
something from the buffet that we wished to try. We ate in all the
restaurants and while we did not discover Tapas (the Terrace Cafe, which
is the buffet breakfast and lunch facility turned into Tapas in the
evening) for dinner until many days had passed it became our favorite.
The evening menu in Tapas followed the Grand dining room very closely,
the choices were excellent, the quality very good to excellent and we
could eat either in or outside. The open seating and times for dining is
an advantage and a disadvantage. After the first two nights of being
seated at a table for two we requested a larger table so we might meet
and enjoy conversation with some of our fellow passengers. We saw many
couples eating every meal alone and felt that some of them were just too
shy or felt they would be intruding if they asked to join a party
already seated. We however, felt comfortable asking if another couple if
they wished to have company and therefore met some very nice people. The
Polo Grill and Toscana are alternate restaurants and since we were
upgraded to concierge level 7, when we had booked level 6, we were
allowed to make two reservations for each of those instead of just one.
There is no additional charge at all for those restaurants but the menu
does not change, and while we had two good meals in the Polo Grill we
chose not to use the second night at Toscana because we didn't feel
there was anything on the menu we wanted for the second visit. The Grand
dining room was great for dinner but we only ate there once for lunch
and never for breakfast. While we don't drink very much we did have a
few mixed cocktails and one or two beers. Cocktails averaged $7.00,
house wine by the glass $5.50 and some beers $3.75 plus the added
gratuity of 18%. Ice cream is a plus on this ship at no additional
The cabins are average size with more than adequate storage and the beds and pillows are the best we have ever had on a cruise. Room attendants are wonderful and so efficient. We bought our own water at the first port of call as we did not wish to pay $2.00 or $3.00 per bottle.
We had a horrible trip over as we
missed every connection because of a weather delay on the first leg and
therefore arrived 13 hours later than expected and no luggage until 1
hour before the ship left port. Fortunately this cruise started on
Tuesday officially but the ship didn't leave until 11 p.m. Wednesday. We
feel this is a real plus and if possible always like to arrive a day
early. However, being on the ship makes it so much easier than having to
book a hotel for that extra night. The cruise line was kind enough to
launder our clothes each evening and return them at 6:30 a.m. The
airlines on the other hand showed no concern and offered no help. It was
the concierge on the ship who made repeated calls to track our luggage
and until the minute it arrived at the pier he was never told where it
was or when it would arrive.
We generally do not book shore excursions through the cruise line and this was a good decision. In Kusadasi we used Meander travel to take us to Ephesus. I arranged this in advance over the net and our guide turned out to be a archeologist who works at Ephesus in the winter and does tours in the summer. We paid $60.00 each for the guide and a driver but that drops to $39.00 per person with 4 people. The ship charged about the same but we had the advantage of individual attention as we were the only ones in a van for ten or more. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot on our entire trip and we found that to be a definite problem. I would suggest going in September or October. We had been on a similar cruise 5 years ago however, and the weather was much more pleasant. The last 5 or 6 days the temperature was in the upper 90's and we found this affected our ability to enjoy some of the ports. We were not able to get off the ship in Mykonos because of high winds and the fact that we had to tender so that was a big disappointment. The other ports were very good but I can't say much excursions because we chose to stay in town both because of the heat and because we had visited almost all of these ports before.
To sum it up, we loved the ship and would definitely choose Oceania again. The internet room was very helpful in allowing us to keep in touch with our family and they only charged $2.00 to send or receive an e mail. Each guest is assigned an e mail account by the cruise line before you leave home. The library was also very well stocked and a beautiful room. The exchange rate to buy Euro's was a disadvantage and while the ship would exchange currency it was done through your ship board account with an additional 5% commission. $100. netted $71.00.
The pool was small but we loved the
quiet around the pool. No loud music, pool games etc. No obtrusive
announcements in your cabin. Very small casino, low key entertainment
but good. There was an art auction but it was not in your face. You have
to know what you want from a cruise and this one fit us perfectly. After
having been on several large ships and some small we most definitely
prefer this. However, next year we will celebrate our 50th anniversary
by taking our family on a cruise. This will include 3 generations and so
we will book a mega ship to satisfy everyone. The two of us will only go
on ships of the size of Nautica.