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Howard Leipzig

Age: 79

Occupation:Realtor

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Oceania

Ship: Nautica

Sailing Date: 2013-09-28

Itinerary: Accent On Antiquities Istanbul to Athens

My worst experience related to this cruise was with the Oceania Cruise Line headquarters. I wrote a letter to the President who passed it down to the Guest Relations Administrator concerning the conduct of our tour guide on the Island of Delos Tour. The tour was conducted in very heavy rain, strong gusty wind and dangerous lightning - while on a hill, no less.. I felt, as did all the others, that our guide exercised bad judgement in wanting to press on even when we were drenched. The only place on Deos that had cover was the Museum. The other tour groups were taken there but by the time the guide brought us there, we were literally soaked to the skin including the money and documents in my wallet. We were so chilled that we needed to take a hot shower on returning to the ship and our shoes were so wet that we spent that evening in the ships laundry room using the dryers to dry them.

While we were on the Delos tour, the Nautica Captain used better judgement when he suspended the shore tender service because of the frequent lightning! This was a bad day in all regards and amounted to a lost day on our cruise. My Canon camera, an ELPF 500 HS was damaged from getting soaked even in its pouch. In the days afterward, the camera display was only partly visible making it very hard to compose further pictures and the shutter cover would not open properly causing cutoff pictures. As far as my camera was concerned, I asked that Guest Relations see to it that the Tour company repaired or replaced my camera. It has a used value of about $150.00. I also asked for a refund for the cost of the Tour. (I wish they were able to replace the day we lost being so miserable.).

I felt the reply I did receive from Guest Relations was insulting in that she referred to "my perception" as being not the reality and that she had done an investigation that did not support my description of the events on Delos. I know that almost everyone on the tour wrote about that bad experience on the mid cruise comment form. She closed her letter by saying “We hope your actual cruise experience aboard Nautica met or exceeded your expectations.” Did this person read my letter? NO - it did NOT meet and it did NOT exceed my expectations! I contacted another person on that tour and they wrote a letter confirming everything I described and sent another letter along with this additional support to both the company president and Guest Relations management on Nov. 26,2013. To date neither has chosen to reply. I am very disappointed with the brush off and I know that their dismissal of my experience will be uppermost in my mind when I plan our next cruise or when someone asks about our trip with Oceania.

Food was OK but much better in the specialty dining rooms.

Adequate. Nothing fancy.

Entertainment was OK for a small ship - 600+ passengers.

Every stop had must see sites.

My Oceania "Accent on Antiquities" cruise, Istanbul to Athens September 28, 2013 was NOT the experience I had expected.

I delayed posting this in hopes that Guest Relations would see fit to respond to my second letter.

The good:

The crew aboard the Nautica was everything I had read in on line reviews. Everyone onboard was courteous and very attentive always anxious to make our trip the best possible.

The bad:

On this Itinerary, The Nautica spends the first two days at dock in Istanbul. A terrific city to explore and I would encourage everyone who has not been there, to come several days earlier as there is so much to see and do and the people were very friendly and charming.

Our cabin number was 8008 a PH-2 Penthouse Suite located somewhat forward of midship on the port (left) side of the ship. The Salipazari Port Terminal is an old building and there is nothing appealing about it. What made our two days aboard very miserable, is that there is a large fuel barge parked there to refuel the ships and it was right next to our ship and our stateroom. There was no way we could enjoy our veranda as the view was “Industrial” at best and there was a constant smell of fuel oil anytime we tried going outside. My advice, DO NOT accept a Port side cabin if you plan to do Istanbul aboard this ship.

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