4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (21+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba and India, the ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (21+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba and India, the Middle East and Europe . The 15-day South African Explorer Cruise started in Cape Town on January 5, 2019. Our trip actually started on December 31, with our flight landing in Cape Town on January 2. Our pre cruise Eastern Cape Safari started with a flight to Port Elizabeth and a two hour land drive to the Shamwari Game Reserve. This is a privately owned reserve. The Reserve Lodge was fantastic while the Reserve was primarily open range with little water and almost no trees; primarily big bushes. We saw the big five up close and personal, and many other wild animals. The Reserve isn't lush, but that's where the animals are living. A great pre cruise trip. We then flew back to Cape Town to start the cruise. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the rear of the ship on deck 7, room 7121. This was a good location as we were near the primary sources of food; decks 5 and 9. 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 is a few years old but was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was 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 provided information about basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics on Africa and apartheid. 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; they are a little pricey. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned almost 300 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. MOSSEL BAY – Our first port was located just east of Cape Town, Mossel Bay, a nice modern and clean city. We took the Discover Oudtshoorn and its Ostrich Heritage tour. This was a much more interesting tour than expected. We learned a lot about raising Ostriches and saw new born chicks through adult birds. RICHARDS BAY– We took the Dumazulu Cultural Village tour. The drive out to the village was very nice and the Village interesting. The Zulu people were very friendly and helpful in attempting to teaching us the Zulu language. They explained their heritage and customs very nicely. The tour ended with a dance program. MAPUTO – Maputo is located in Mozambique; visa required. We took the Glimpse of Maputo tour. This was primarily a tour of the city. It included a brief tour of a steel house designed by Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), a visit to a few markets, a Natural History Museum and a Fort. This really was a nice tour, much more interesting than it sounds. DURBAN – We are back in South Africa for two days in Durban. Our first tour was the Durban City Tour. The tour included a very nice market (good place to purchase locally made goods) and a visit to a beautiful botanical garden. By the time we got back to the ship, it was dark. Interesting tour. On the second day, we took the Valley of a Thousand Hills tour. This tour included a visit to a Zulu exhibit/show located on a beautiful mountain top. The views are out of this world. The Zulu show was entertaining and very well done. The people were friendly and open for questions and photographs. The local gift shop was outstanding and the tour included a snack. EAST LONDON – In East London, we took the Natural History tour. The museum tour was given by the curator and was very good. He highlighted the most interesting and valuable exhibits in the museum; some of which were very significant. This tour also included a drive along the coast to some beautiful areas. The museum tour was great. PORT ELIZABETH – We took the Local Townships and, Arts and Craft Center tour. The tour through the various neighborhoods was fantastic. We learned what apartheid meant to the various races and/or cultures. The tour included a visit to a craft shop in one of the metal clad building neighborhoods. The handcrafts were very nice and inexpensive. We also visited a private school and met with the principal. The visit included snacks and refreshments in addition to a brief concert by a singing group. This is a don't miss tour. WALVIS BAY – Walvis Bay, Namibia has a beautiful protected harbor that is very significant. We took the Dolphin and Seal Cruise with around 20 other people. We saw hundreds of seals, probably a dozen dolphins and a few jackles. One seal, a very friendly one, actually jumped up into the boat and allowed us to pet it. The cruise included beer and other refreshments and very nicely prepared snacks. The mini cruise was actually very nice …. we learned a lot about the area. Our second day in Namibia included a tour to the Swakopmund Township. This was an interesting tour of the desert, the country side and the various types of housing in Swakopmund. We also had a very nice lunch in Swakopmund at a local restaurant where a local singing group performed. This area of Namibia is mostly sandy desert. The tour stopped at a local sand dune (#7) to provide the opportunity to climb to the top. Some people did. This was again, a real education about life in Namibia. CAPE TOWN – We took two tours in Cape Town. The first one was the Cape Town and Table Mountain tour. This tour took us to the cable car to ride up to the top of Table Mountain. We were lucky that the weather was very nice, although a bit windy and cool at the top of the mountain. We had around two hours to walk around the area. It was an interesting walk. The mountain top is very beautiful and much more developed with plant life than expected. The tour also included a brief tour of the city. Our second tour was the Panoramic Cape Town by Night. This tour sort of repeated parts the earlier tour but in the dark (not Table Mountain). The darkness provided beautiful views of the city. Cape Town is impressive by night. We also extended our stay in Southern Africa by taking the Victoria Falls and Chobe Chilwero tour. This required leaving the ship around 5:30 am to fly to Johannesburg (Joburg), then connect to a flight to Victoria Falls. The drive from Victoria Falls airport to the Falls took around an hour. The Falls are in Zimbabwe which requires a visa ($45 US cash per person for a US citizen). Getting the visa took time, probably a hour or so. Things move slowly. You will get wet at the Falls; be prepared. The mist is warm. After the tour of the Falls, we continued on to the Sanctuary Lodge near the Chobe Game Reserve. This trip required leaving Zimbabwe to Botswana. Crossing the borders and driving to the Lodge is interesting and entertaining. Animals cross the two lane road along the way and border crossings will provide many new stamps in your passport. The Sanctuary Lodge is impressive. It is in a beautiful location just outside the National Park. On our first trip out to the Park, just as we entered the two lane highway, we spotted a herd of elephants crossing the road. We drove up to them and got many great photographs … up close and personal. We then entered the Chobe National Park which is located just south of a finger of Namibia and Zambia, and west of Zimbabwe. You have to see this on a map. The park is full of impalas, hippos, baboons, cape buffalo and many different types of birds. The Park was like a Garden of Eden. A beautiful and picturesque area. We took two game drives and a boat drive along the Chobe River. One of the game drives was on the morning we left, so it was a bit short. The previous drive was probably five hours long. The evening drives always appear to include wine, gin and tonics, and snacks. This tour should have had one more day at the Lodge. The time went by too quickly. We left the Sanctuary Lodge around 9 am, drove to Victoria Falls airport and flew to Joburg. The hotel in Joburg was very nice and in a great location. The hotel stay included a very nice dinner and also, breakfast. The next day we took the Hop on Hop Off bus to tour the city and also, Soweto. This is a great way to tour the city. The Soweto portion included a guide. That evening we flew to Germany and then the US. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. The in country flights were a major step up from flights in the US. We always got a hot meal and drinks; even when the flight was only 90 minutes or so. On this cruise, you will learn a lot about apartheid, Nelson Mandela, the Zulu, the languages, the local governments and about the Southern African people. It was educational and enlightening … no security concerns. Overall, the cruise was great and the pre and post trips fantastic. You will see many metal clad houses and poor areas but the people are friendly and well dressed. You will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the cruise and also, during the pre and post trips. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had a balcony suite, 6017, on the starboard side, which we enjoyed. Overall, it was an excellent cruise experience, with an enjoyable itinerary. There were some bumpy seas on the coast of South Africa on the Atlantic side, so ... Read More
We had a balcony suite, 6017, on the starboard side, which we enjoyed. Overall, it was an excellent cruise experience, with an enjoyable itinerary. There were some bumpy seas on the coast of South Africa on the Atlantic side, so anti-nausea seabands or medications are recommended (the ship was kind enough to have some available). We had a combination of ship shore excursions (selected as a perk--they are expensive!), and independent excursions (found through Tripadvisor). The ship was delayed at more than one port, in part due to Customs in one instance. Embarkation was lovely. Service was excellent, with friendly staff: even the buffet Terrace Cafe was mostly not self-serve, which was a change from my experiences on larger ships and smaller riverboats. Pros: --sleep quality outstanding--best bed ever! --guest laundry facilities ($4 USD per load)-- value and convenience, detergent supplied --a well-stocked gym--machines, free weights, some complimentary classes --a decent room safe (fits a chromebook or small laptop) --in-room fridge with included soft drinks and water --nice Bvlargari shower toiletries and plush towels --shuttles to the shopping areas in many ports--convenient and comfortable --the friendly staff --electrical outlets including 3-pronged North American and 2-holed European --wonderful food! No added sugar options were available. Canyon Ranch spa cuisine choices included calorie and fat information. Cons: --a tiny shower (2 feet wide!) with a fabric curtain (unexpected for a luxury cruise) --smoking areas mostly for cigarette smokers (cigar smokers confined to an area on the pool deck shared with smokers), smoke enters the ship near the exit from the gym --expensive drinks packages (but did allow 6 bottles of wine per stateroom to be brought on board) --Canyon Ranch spa cuisine did not always follow the original health recommendations, in my opinion (often heavy on red meat, for eg., and included veal at times) Overall, if the opportunity to travel on Oceania arose again, I would likely go. But I prefer the larger and more value-conscious Celebrity cruises instead. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the ... Read More
My husband & I chose this trip so he could take some CE and do a safari!. We booked the pre-cruise safari at Lion Sands River Lodge. While Oceania did not really do a good job with communicating our hotel info or flight info to the bush, it all worked out & the Lodge was amazing! We had 4 game drives and 1 bush walk. Pre-Safari, we booked a night at the Residence Boutique Hotel. The Residence is a beautiful, intimate hotel that used to be the Chinese Embassy. It is in a gated compound, very safe. They arranged for their driver to pick us us from the airport, gave us a driving tour of Johannesburg the next day, and delivered us safely to 54th of Bath Hotel booked by Oceania. 54th on Bath is a very nice hotel basic. I think it is part of the Omni Group. Breakfast was included and we all had omelettes. There were 8 from the Nautica going on Safari. Flight was quick and soon we were on our way to Lion Sands. Our time there was the highlight of our trip! We wished it was longer. Soon we were on a flight to Cape Town. we did not have time to see any of CapeTown precruise. We sailed roughly 1 hour after boarding. We were tired! We were in a "penthouse" cabin 8065. It was of course very small compared to the Marina penthouse cabins. I wanted to upgrade all along but the reasonable price upgrade was not offered until we were on safari & my travel agent said it was gone within minutes. Our butler, Vinod was a Gem! He helped with some dining problems and was just overall the best we have ever had. The food was very good in the main dining. My favorite thing was in Toscana, the Carbonara, but you have to eat it quickly because it seems to harden up. We had to request escargot in the MD. It was perfect. The escargot in Polo is soupy and neither of us cared for it. I not sure when it asks about excursions, aside from the Pre-Cruise safari, we booked everything privately because I do not like tour buses or large groups. If you do this cruise and you feel the same consider booking something through the ship while in East London (a place I will be blocking from my memory soon). We booked through Kevin Agram. We did not have him as our driver. Our driver knew nothing and insisted on taking us to the "townships" for 2 hours and then segregated beaches! It was the lowlight of our trip, having already seen them in every town we visited in South Africa. We did do great excursion through Red Dunes safari in Namibia, but if you want to see seals, book a catamaran tour. I heard they jump right on the boat! Richard's Bay & Durban we used Trinity Tours, Brian High. We went to several game reserves and same things as the ship but cheaper and we had a lovely dinner at the Oyster Box Hotel in Durban - don't miss the curry bar. Also do not eat Curry unless you at the Pot & Kettle in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Very good wine at Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc. $7 per bottle! In Mossel Bay, we used Tours for South Africa and went to Botlierskop Game Reserve (same as the ship) but much cheaper and included lunch. In Port Elizabeth, we used Afroventures Tours and had a wonderful day safari where we actually saw 3 lions!! When we came back to Cape Town we had a day tour to Stellenbosch to taste wines. It was late get started because of immigration problems or something. So we only got to see 1winery (Waterford - Excellent) and then we had dinner at the Wijnhose. I kept saying the winehouse & no one understood me! Excellent food and flights of wine. I would definitely go back to Stellenbosch. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on Oceania. My husband and I have wanted to travel to Africa for some time and felt this cruise was a good way to see quite a bit in 2 weeks. We flew into Cape Town on 1/1 and spent four nights there before ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on Oceania. My husband and I have wanted to travel to Africa for some time and felt this cruise was a good way to see quite a bit in 2 weeks. We flew into Cape Town on 1/1 and spent four nights there before boarding the ship (we stayed at the Cape Hollow Boutique Hotel). We felt this was a good amount of time to see all the highlights of the area (we used PG Tops tours). Boarding the ship was very easy and took about 15 minutes (at most). We were in a PH1 cabin (8030) and loved the size (we had the same on our previous Oceania cruise) and location. Our ports of call were Mossel Bay, Maputo - Mozambique, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Walvis Bay - Namibia. I booked all private excursions except for a city tour of Durban the afternoon we arrived. I highly recommend booking private excursions - you will save money and be in much smaller groups - the most people we had in one tour was 8. Just do your research ahead of time and then go to your CC roll call board to find some people to join you on your private excursions. We did not get off the ship in Maputo and did not hear anything positive from anyone who did. But, be forewarned - you will be charged for a visa regardless of whether you get off the ship or not. If you go to guest services ahead of time and specifically request it being removed they will do so - but we did not find this out until it was too late. They do not readily/easily share this information. This was truly the only thing that bothered me while on the ship for 2 weeks. We enjoyed joining other passengers for dinners in the main dining room and found the food to be very good. We also ate quite a few of our meals at the Terrace Cafe (buffet). We felt there was always a good selection and although I only ordered it once, grilled lobster was available every night. The only negative I have to say about the restaurants/food was that service was rather spotty in the Waves grill. It often took a long time for someone to come over to take our drink order and burger orders weren't always correct. We also ate in Toscana twice and Polo Grill once. We were going to go a second time but the seas were so rough I did not want a big meal that night. Overall - no complaints regarding food. We went to the afternoon high tea once and it was very nice with a varied and abundant selection of food and tea. It was also very well attended. I cannot comment on any shows because we always went to bed early - though we heard from other people that they really enjoyed them. We were definitely on the young side of the demographics. We are 52 and I'd say the average age was around 70. But, this did not bother us at all and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to everyone we met. We thought we were well traveled but the passengers on this ship have been just about everywhere! I could not find many reviews on African cruises before we left and one thing that surprised me was that I was expecting it to be much warmer. It was the middle of summer but because we were always near the shore, temperatures remained fairly mild - with high temps reaching upper 70's and maybe a couple days in the low 80's. We did have a few days of rough seas - mainly around the Cape of Good Hope. We actually left the ship the day we arrived back in Cape Town - though disembarkation wasn't until the next day. We then spent a night at the Cape Verde Hotel by the airport because we were headed to Victoria Falls the next morning for two nights and then on to Botswana for 3 nights for safari. In total we were gone for 28 days. It was a wonderful trip and highly recommended. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda ... Read More
We are destination driven cruisers and were excited to see this itinerary offered by Oceania. Overall our experience aboard the Nautica was very good. We did need a cabin change, and luckily one was available in our concierge veranda category, as 6001 is above the theatre which vibrated and sounded through our floor & walls. The new cabin was fine and saved the cruise. The staff was wonderful in our opinion as was the dinning and food experience. The workout facility (an important part of our daily regimen) was well stocked, clean and open early enough for our needs as well. The public areas were very nice and always attended by super sweet staff. The entertainment and daily activities were terrific and we enjoyed quite a few throughout the cruise...kudos to social director, Annabelle & her morning ”chat over coffee and needlepoint”. We did not utilize the shore excursions offered by Oceania as we prefer to do on our own and save $$ as ship excursions tend to be too expensive in our opinion. The only bad experiences on our cruise were a miscommunication about the “free unlimited internet package” and a faulty toilet flusher. We decided to upgrade our cabin when an offer was made via email from the cruise line which promised certain additional amenities, among which was this internet package. This was a must as my husband was on a working holiday. In addition, one other extra was access to the concierge club (and their daily world newspapers) which did not exist on this smaller vessel. This was also a huge disappointment and inconvenience. Our experience with the ship’s concierge was wonderful though. She was professional, very good at her job as well as friendly & a delight to deal with when we needed additional questions answered or help with other issues. All in all, we would recommend Oceania Cruises and the Nautica but would emphasize these small negatives. PattiG Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. ... Read More
This was the longest cruise I have ever taken, and I never traveled as a solo traveler (age 52) before. From 650 guests on board, 450 knew my name during my adventure. I have met endless wonderful people who I exchanged e-mails with. Giuseppe, the general manager, solved an issue I had with my cabin and resolved this matter quickly and to my absolute satisfaction. The food was excellent, but the wine selection could use some improvement. I chose the "magic card" which allowed me to drink any alcohol beverages. Knowing that each glass of wine plus an 18% gratuity on top of it was "not knowing the price" well worth it for me. However, some wines I could not choose with my unlimited beverage card because it did not allow for bottled wines, only the ones by glass. Otherwise, I enjoyed 99% of all excursions I had chosen. The entertainment was wonderful even though I think it could improve a little. What I missed was yoga or meditation classes. I would have been perfect offering those for sunrise or sunsets. I loved this cruise so much that I booked the world cruise directly on board and I am looking forward to many more adventures. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers, 30 completed to date. We chose this Cape Town-Cape Town cruise because we are destination driven. What a disappointment! Because of weather issues, we did not dock at 3 ports in a 15 day cruise. Although weather is not in Oceania's control, the response and alternative planning is, which they failed to do. They COULD have added more game drives in the ports we did manage to reach but instead we just sat there, bored to tears. They also COULD have left some ports an hour or two earlier to make up for slowed sail times due to rough seas so that we could have arrived earlier at ports, but instead we just sat there. And our biggest complaint is about the "inclusive" air program. NEVER SUCKER FOR THIS!! When the airlines they book have delay issues, Oceania refuses to try to accommodate you on other flights, thus we missed one whole day of our pre-cruise tours. Their response?? Put in a claim on our travel insurance. They disavow any responsibility for the extreme disappointment of most of the passengers on this cruise. They had a free cocktail party to "compensate" us-big deal. Found Nautica disappointing as well, especially compared to Marina. We "upgraded" to Concierge, again a sucker bet. No Concierge lounge, as on Marina, small cabin, very little benefit to upgrading-don't do it. In fairness, the staff and officers are great, with the exception of the staff at the poolside cafe who are indifferent and slow. Found the food in the specialty restaurants very good, especially Toscana. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the chance to see some animals and to see South Africa. Chance is the operative word here. Before we even got on the ship we were handed a letter saying we would miss our first port, Mossel Bay. We had a safari booked and were disappointed but we made a beeline for the shore excursion desk and booked another game Reserve at another port. If you have an excursion canceled don’t wait, book something else quick as they sale out fast. Now we have 5 sees days instead of four. This change was due to predicted bad weather. I’ll make this short, we missed Mossel Bay, Maputo-Mozambique, Port Elizabeth and were 4 hours late returning to Cape Town we missed our shore excursion to Robben Island. Two were missed due to rough seas, Maputo was due to immigration arriving too late and their equipment failed so we could not get off the ship and the late return to Cape Town was due to strong currents...That’s 4 shore excursion we missed, one being the elephant sanctuary I really wanted to see. We had a package that included 5 shore excursion each, the free ones were refunded as ship credit and the paid ones were refunded with cash. We had to buy stuff on the ship to use up the ship credit and left $50 credit on the ship. They had a cocktail party to make it up to us but as we’re not drinkers we declined to go. Not sure how they could make all these missed excursions.... So now we had 8 seadays counting the late arrival in Cape Town. With the weather bad the exterior areas were closed. And we found the common areas all busy thus we were in our cabin more than we thought. The ship is smaller and didn’t seem as stable as the bigger ships. My husband was sick 3 days. This was our 17th cruise and we’ve never had such bad winds and swell. Even the seasick meds didn’t work. Be warned, the coast can be rough. The ship was a great small ship. As I first got on I thought, ‘this is small’ but I soon grew to like it. No long lines anywhere on the ship. Only lines were at the MANY passport control stops in every country, face to face. Get off the ship, line up for immigration, and get back on the ship to wait for shore excursions. Could that be handled better I wondered... The ships decor is very rich. Lots of dark wood and seemed formal. Lots of beautiful art work on board. The library was my favorite spot. Lots of good books too. The entertainment was adequate. The string quartet was exceptional as was the classical pianist they had on board at the time. The speaker was also adequate but her slides were lacking. Oceania missed a great chance to feature Africa on this sailing, needed more cultural events, African dance or even an African movie on the many sea days we had. The main dining room was perfect. We ate at a single table for lunch and a shared table at dinner. We had lovely table mates. There were plenty of choice on the menus. Food was pretty good but expected more from the hype. Specialty restaurants had even more choices and were located in prime viewing areas. Very well appointed and service excellent in all dining areas. Don’t miss the afternoon tea. And try the South African pineapples, they are small and delicious. Ate breakfast in our cabin most mornings and service was good and quick. Only ate at the buffet a couple of times and it was just ok. Our cabin, 6077, was very nice. Decor was dark wood again. Sofa was by the balcony. It was a bit small but there was plenty of room for us. Lots of drawers and closet space. Bed was very comfy. I didn’t care for the giant mirror across from the bed but oh well. The bathroom was were the ship showed her age. Tiny shower, you can sit on toilet and wash your hands at the same time but we managed. Thank goodness for the support bar in the shower for the rough sea days... Not much shopping on the ship, just two small shops. Shopping in ports was iffy too. Only a couple of ports had locals at the ship. I was looking for local typical souvenirs. Found some at Howick Falls on an excursion out of Durban. Then more in Walvis Bay, Namibia. There is always some at the airport. Service was great on the ship. We were remembered by most of the crew as time went on. Everyone was friendly and were eager to meet our needs. Cabin attendant was excellent! We were on the precruise 3 day Cape Town tour. We stayed at The Southern Sun Cullinan. It was very near Victoria and Albert shopping center and the ferry to Robben Island. They have a shuttle that drops you off every half an hour. Very handy. The tours included a trip to Stellenbosch and to the Boschendale Winery where we had a lovely picnic lunch under the trees along with wine tasting. Great time. The drive there was very scenic. We also went to Aquila game Reserve for lunch and animals. Lots of springboks, zebras, a few rhinos and hippos. The lions were in a separate enclosure so they don’t eat the other animals. They are trying to reintroduce the animals in the reserves. Most of the animals come as rescued animals. The lions were from a hunting farm, sad. We saw 2 elephants. What they lacked in numbers they made up for with their antics. Play fighting, spraying each other with water from the hippo pond. It was amazing to see these animals up close. The last day of the Cape Town tour we drove out to the Cape of Good Hope, traveled up the funicular to the top. It was amazing to be standing on top of the tip of Africa! It’s not the southern most point but was spectacular. We also visited Boulder Beach and saw the penguins. The one place we didn’t have on the tour was Table Mountain. We arrived a day before the tour and since it was sunny and no clouds were on top of the mountain we took a cab to the incline. It’s a must do if the weather cooperates. Beautiful view, nice trails, a coffee shop and lots of dassies to see, a small guinea pig like animal. I recommend going a day early to see everything and getting settled. It’s a long flight from Canada. In Richards Bay we went to the Dumazulu Cultural Center. The tribesmen take turns living in the village. They treat you to some of their ways of living there, show spear making, basket weaving and offer you a taste of their beer, everyone drinks from the same cup, so be first. It tasted like beer, my husband said. It was interesting and again the drive was good. In Durban we did a city tour the first afternoon and a trip to the Nelson Mandela Capture site the next day. City tour was just that. Capture site was interesting and they are building a new museum which they dearly need. The monument was spectacular! In East London we did another game Reserve, Inkwenkwezi. We saw the same animals here and a few more. The lions were tawny and white lions. One mom had a toddler. So neat to see so close, maybe 10 feet away. I sat in the Jeep and talked to the lioness. I told her how beautiful she was and she thought about lunch. We also saw a herd of giraffes which I loved. They ran across the path in front of us. Amazing! Some of them were in the trees and all you could see were their heads sticking up. We had another 2 elephants here too but only a peek a boo sighting. Our next stop was Walvis Bay Namibia. The landscape was very different here with the desert going to the Ocean. I loved it. We went to Dune 7, the largest dune nearby. You can climb up and roll down. Talk about sand everywhere... We saw flamingos at the seawalk. There were only a hundred or so as it was off season when thousands arrive. The desert drive to see the Welwitschia plant, the two leaf never die plant. Can live 500 years. Desert was fun... Another seaday and we arrive late to Cape Town. Last night on the ship was relaxing, no show just packing. Embarking and disembarking were pretty easy. We took a cab to the airport for about a quarter of the ship transfer. We didn’t have enough time before our flight so we went. Absolutely nothing to do at the airport so if you have time do something in Cape Town. Flight time home 30 hours. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this ... Read More
We are aboard the Nautica right now on the Cape Town to Cape Town trip. I wanted to let you all know a few things so you may not be as crushed as I am feeling right now. First, the pre-cruise tour has been the absolute highlight of this trip. Otherwise, I am feeling cheated by a line that we have loved in the past. Cheated out of the holidays as there isn't a single decoration on the ship (a first for a Christmas cruise for us....the ships are usually wonderful) which we had looked forward to in lieu of having anything up at home. Cheated out of money....promises were made about concierge class when we upgraded and the amenities they promised do not exist on this ship. We could have stayed with oceanview and been fine....can't use the balcony as they seas have been rough. The hot tubs are not hot. The food is beyond bland even in the specialty restaurants. Jacques Pepin should be embarrassed to have his name on this. Entertainment is the worst of any Oceania ship we have been on....we don't expect much but this has been terrible and exacerbated by several ports being cancelled. We missed Mossel Bay because the seas were too rough to tender in yet somehow despite having all that extra sailing time we were late to Richards Bay so our game drive was cut short and our guide took the fact that he waited all morning for us out on us by talking to everyone he passed on the road, stopping to watch dung beetles, stopping for a potty break nobody wanted or needed given that we has less time to tour and then said "You could have seen more if you had been on time". Seriously??? Like we had any say in the matter? Then we got to Maputo, where the last time they called there it took 5 hours to clear the ship through immigration (they want to fingerprint and photograph everyone on the ship), the customs people showed up late and then couldn't process people so we left. This appears to be an ongoing problem so I am not sure why Oceania keeps going to this port. Got to Durbin about 1.5 hours early (again, despite having extra sailing time) and went on our scheduled coastal and city tour which was driving in a bus down the highways and interstates with no views to have a 5 minute stop at a beach and a 5 minute stop at a vacant lot in a neighborhood overlooking the city to take pictures of the city through a barb wire fence and then drove through the slums of Durbin. If you scheduled this tour, I suggest you skip it and take a shuttle to the marine park/shopping area. You cannot walk out of the port...must have a bus or taxi though there were few of those around so we couldn't go out in the evening. The tour of Tala Game Reserve was wonderful! Do this! So, that brings us to now. Last night they announced that bad weather is expected so we will overnight in New London and miss Port Elizabeth....don't know why we couldn't stay at New London all day the second day so we could do another excursion or go shopping....anything off the ship but we will leave at 10 a.m.. So, we get one more day on land and three more excruciating days at sea. If you booked your excursions via O Life, you do not get any credit for ones you miss due to cancellations of ports so you cannot even use credits to drink or spa. Our much anticipated African adventure has become a feeling of being held hostage at sea. We started with Oceania on our honeymoon when then the line was new. 15 years later, this will be our last trip with them. I thought this would be a luxurious way to sample Africa but all we are seeing is the inside of a ship. Maybe we will get to see Namibia but I am not holding my breath. Read Less
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

Find a Nautica Cruise