2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. The downtown area was completely shut down and our hop on/off bus driver had no idea what to do. We went around the same block three times and circled a round-about four times in succession. After an hour and a half, the bus stop at public toilets for us. Everyone was afraid to get off at the three stops he managed to get to for fear they'd never see another bus. Why did the shore excursion department not know about this and cancel this tour? In Nosy Be, Madagascar my shore excursion included a beach stop. Not a beach on the same side of the island as the pier (where other excursions went), but one that was 45 minutes down a crater filled road! By the time we got there, there was no time to swim (the beach had no changing or shower facilities) and the guide moved up departure time AFTER people headed to the shoreline. Almost every excursion included a "market" stop. How many times does a person need to smell fish and meat covered in flies while it rots in the sun? I chose an excursion to a Zulu "village" in South Africa expecting to visit a real residential village. An hour and a half ride to a hotel with a cultural entertainment area-a recreated "village." Heck, one of the women didn't even know the steps to the dance. In Durban, they didn't know the market would be closed on New Year's Day! So the guide tried to fill in time by taking us to the wealthy part of town and to the soccer stadium. Unfortunately, the tour bus didn't pull up on the stadium side of the street and one of the passengers was hit by a car crossing the street. I was a little surprised that none of the excursions on this cruise went anywhere near a jewelry store or upscale shopping area. Several of these countries are known for the gemstones they mine. The Nautica was fine and my cabin was good. I dined most of the time in the Buffet since the food was as good or better the the restaurant. I did try the restaurant once. The service was slow. My server replaced my standard silverware with a salad fork and a fish knife for a steamed salmon entree with green beans which I couldn't cut. I ate in both the alternative restaurants; food and service were excellent. The worst part of the cruise was embarkation. The documents said it was at 1pm so a lot of people showed up at 1pm. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Several hundred! They made no arrangements for the crowd-no chairs, no water, nothing! Like others, I stood in line for more than 2 hours while crew with gold bars on their shoulders smiled at us. I can understand that they might not know this could happen, but THEY COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING once it did. What would it take to have a crew member unstack the chairs that were leaning against the wall? They could have handed out number tags (the ones used for shore excursion buses) to group us and call us up when it was our turn. We still would have waited 2 hours, but we could have been seated while waiting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. ... Read More
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. We upgraded to concierge verandah cabin for this trip so were prepared for the level of accommodation; no complaints. We're still not sure what "concierge service" means, though. The service was good but we didn't know what to expect above and beyond what we got on our previous cruise. We found the food and service to be excellent, especially in Toscana. I have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, so after our first meal in the Grand Dining room, I learned to request seating just inside the entrance, away from the busy waiters' serving stations. The entertainment was of average quality. A couple of the professionals were extremely talented; a couple were not. Some of the scheduled entertainers were no-shows or delayed due to travel or visa problems. One such delay resulted in an impromptu Passenger Talent Show: mildly entertaining but not what we hoped for. The String quartet was excellent -- highly professional, and the ship's band was super talented. The six young on-board performers were equally talented. They put on several very entertaining Broadway-type shows as well as separate performances. No disappointment there! With a number of sea days, there were activities like bracelet-making, embroidery, bingo, and other parlour games -- not of interest to us. Two "Enrichment" speakers helped fill in the days: one was well-informed and entertaining while the other was rather pedantic and didn't hold our interest. Surprisingly, there were no "Destination" Speakers. Adequate information about upcoming ports was very lacking and very missed! Activities (e.g., more and varied speakers) and more substantive entertainment would have helped the long sea days pass. In retrospect, the cruise itinerary could have been better thought-out. One or two of the four stops in India could have been skipped, with the time added to other stops. Sailing for a day or two (or more?) just to spend a few hours in the next port, now seems like a waste of time. For instance, we sailed west for about two days from Seychelles to Mombassa, then part of a day to Zanzibar, and then a day and a half back east to Nosy Be (Madagascar) where we anchored for only six hours! In our case, Madagascar was of more interest than four stops in India. After an hour delay in tendering plus 40-minute boat rides to and from Nosy Komba to see lemurs (a couple hours) there was no time left to go ashore in Nosy Be or any other part of Madagascar! Very disappointing! Being rather inexperienced with shore excursions, and concerned with being left behind if we were delayed returning to the ship, we opted for the security of booking through Oceania. Never again! The excursions we chose (based on brief, sometimes inaccurate or misleading descriptions) were mostly disappointments. Expensive disappointments. As an example, an excursion in Durban was described as "panoramic", which, to me, suggests there will be stops where photos of interesting places can be taken. The actual excursion was a half-hour drive to "Umhlanga Rocks" ( apparently not a natural formation, but a high-end residential community instead), another half-hour drive to "Ballito" (apparently a small beach town, popular with locals) where the guide disappeared to apparently look for restroom facilities, leaving us to wander on our own for 15 minutes, then another hour-long drive back to Durban, where we drove non-stop through the downtown area, trying to snap pictures of places like "...the Theatre, where they have plays...". As another reviewer remarked, too many excursions are made up of too many people: the guides are often too far from most of the group to be heard clearly (both on the buses and on walks). And even guides in "third-world" excursions should understand not to let their charges get strung out for a hundred feet in unfamiliar narrow streets and pathways. These examples reflect our (and others') experiences on a large percentage of our excursions. Assuming we ever do cruise with Oceania again, it's very unlikely we'll use their excursions. Many people we met aboard (some had multiple Oceania cruises) were equally disappointed and expressed strong doubts about using Oceania again. The general opinion was that after Oceania was acquired by Norwegian, cost-cutting and short-term profit-taking have caused a noticeable reduction in the level of service. Unfortunately, our many good experiences on this cruise (especially with the crew and staff members) were offset by the excursions and other disappointments; we don't expect to use Oceania in future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. ... Read More
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. Unfortunately, the rest of the cruise was quite bland, including the food. We had one really great dinner in the steakhouse. Most of the other dinners were quite forgettable. More emphasis was put on the "presentation" instead of on the "substance". Buffet breakfast was okay, but they didn't seem to have enough servers to efficiently dish out the food during the buffet breakfast and lunch. I do have to admit that the hot cinnamon buns are incredibly addictive. Breakfast in the dining room was very good. Buffet lunches were very disappointing. We were fortunate to be off the ship for most lunches. "Tea time" was actually very nice to come back to the ship for after touring at 4:00. The string quartet music was very pleasant and the snacks were very nice. Entertainment in the evening was actually quite good. It only lasted about 45 minutes each night and this was fine, considering that we'd been touring during the day and likely had another early morning the next day. The entertainment was usually musical and humorous . Cabins were okay. We had a balcony cabin with about 215 square feet of space. Space was well used. We have been on a number of other cruise lines. This experience was not really any better overall than the others (Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean). Oceania promotes itself as an upscale cruise line. I pity the poor soul who paid full price for any of their cruises, considering they are almost always advertising 2 for 1 pricing. That practice in itself should be outlawed. This is just misleading advertising. In summary, the cruise was nice. Nothing special. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. ... Read More
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. Well....... They give you the embarkation berth number, but not the GATE at Southampton. Our driver had to ask around and take 20 extra minutes or more to get us to the ship. Embarkation was fairly easy. Immediately disappointed by the SIZE of the cabin. Paid extra for Concierge Level suite. Ha Ha, it is exactly the same as less expensive cabins on other decks, it's just on deck 7. What advantage does that give you??? NONE! No concierge service, no great perks, just a tiny cabin with a tiny bathroom that costs a lot of money. The food that they rave about as being BEST of any cruise line did not prove to be outstanding. Most dinners were good, a couple were POOR----tough meat, or extreme lack of seasoning. We liked Toscana much better than Polo Grill. Entertainment was pretty good. The singers had great voices. Service: hit and miss. Some good, some average, some poor. Shore Excursions: two good ones, two POOR ones, all expensive. One cancelled because we lost two ports due to bad weather! We had been on Oceania before. But we are not sure we will go with them again. Not a good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I fell in love with Oceania in 2013 on the Marina going from Sydney to Papeete (and have never seen that same itinerary again); which was glorious. The staff knew our names within the first few days, the rooms were spacious (granted, we ... Read More
I fell in love with Oceania in 2013 on the Marina going from Sydney to Papeete (and have never seen that same itinerary again); which was glorious. The staff knew our names within the first few days, the rooms were spacious (granted, we had concierge level with normal sized bathrooms with tubs; as I said, it was glorious). The following year, we went on the Riviera to the Caribbean. Still enjoyed the rooms, most of the staff knew us in the first week... Then we went on a Mayan cruise, again on the Riviera... staff never knew our names... Not sure when ownership has changed, or what has made each trip slightly more disappointing, but this last trip is likely our last with Oceania for awhile. Nothing terrible, but for what we pay, for what we were treated to the first cruise, it's time to try other lines and see. And book our own guides; without question. NEVER will we book excursions through Oceania (just like we will NEVER book our flights through Oceania either - learned the very hard way). Yes, the Nautical is smaller than the Riviera and Marina... and it felt like it. The cabin space was much tighter (Concierge, Deck 7), the bathroom was shockingly tiny - barely bigger than an airline toilet, except stick a one person shower in. Fewer passengers, more attention by staff? No, not really. Very hit and miss. The first few days, we wondered if we were on the same line as we'd been before, as we were frequently ignored by staff, particularly in the Terrace Cafe (which is often very crowded, and as it's smaller, you are forced to push through the middle to get anywhere) as we would sit and sit, waiting to be approached, and then once we finished our food, our plates sat for some time. At one point someone in our party asked the server if she could please get a smoothie that we saw someone else had at another table. "You have to go outside to Waves Grill to get a smoothie; we don't have them here." Huh? We know where they're made; and not to sound spoiled, but again, the level of service which we were treated to initially ("of course I will get one for you; which flavor would you like?"), this was a bit shocking. One elderly member of our party, who had been helped instantly in the past with carrying her plates from the buffet to her table, was frequently brushed by staff hurrying to get by. On occasion in the dining room (the GRAND DINING ROOM!!), we literally set our timers to see how long it would take the waiters to remove our dishes from our finished main courses. 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes, we sat, as waiters and assistants bustled around us, filling glasses at the tables around us, as well as changing the table clothes at the other TWO EMPTY tables near us. The maitre d' even passed by, asking all the OTHER tables how their meal was... and turned his head as he passed by us. We figured we were in the invisible zone. It was bizarre. THEN. We complained. We expressed our disappointment, and frankly, surprise, at the low level of service. We were not angry, merely saddened by the decline in service. Like a magic wand had been waved (or, a memo went out to everyone?), BAM! From that point on, we were greeted by name, someone appeared to help with carrying plates, asked if we would like this or that... it was a complete 180; it was lovely. And it was much appreciated. But - why did it take us complaining? I can only say great things about the housekeeping and room service staff; always they were delightful and followed through on any request. The shows? Meh. Not my type. Again, I get it's not a big ship. I'm not interested in a Broadway or Vegas show, but I'm also not interested in cheesy glitz and spotlight singers (not much depth). Again, the first cruise, the comedians in particular, were fantastic. This time, old jokes, tried and ... acceptable. No big laughs. Talented singers and dancers, but, felt like I was watching a grad revue. Excursions - from ok to awful. Too much of a costly risk to ever do again. The best, was our guide in Kusadasi, who actually did what I asked... to have patience with some of us, as we might be a bit slow, but we will do what we can to keep up, and she made sure she went at a reasonable pace that we could, but more so, frequently asked if we were ok, if the pace was ok, and if we had any questions or could here ok. Much appreciated. The worst? Getting on a brand new bus in Cyprus, the guide, whom again I asked to please keep an eye out for our slower group etc., only to realize hours later that the A/C on the bus did not work. Never. Did our guide call for another bus? No. Did she wait for those of us in my party? No. She didn't wait for anyone. Some could not make the steps into the amphitheater at one of the ruins, so they waited in a shady spot while the rest of us went. As we left the site, the person who hadn't gone asked, "what is that building?" as we passed by the other side of the amphitheater, and over the mic for all to hear, the guide snapped "it's the AMPHITHEATER!? Where we JUST WERE?!" Um, not all of us were, including the person who just asked that question. When we arrived at the old village, she popped off the bus and starting walking briskly, never pointing out the bathrooms that many of us needed. The bus driver showed me. I yelled out to another member of my party who was practically running to catch her to ask about the bathrooms, to let him know they were back here... I caught up to them, and the guide said, "Did something happen? I heard yelling." I replied "I was trying to get yours and others' attention to point out the bathrooms that you just walked by, as I know some of us need them." She responded, "Oh. Is that it? Can I go on then?" "Yeah, sure. You go on." And off she went. We sat around on our own, doing a bit of wandering, but not too much as to get lost... very disappointing. Overall: Ok. And if I'm paying this much, to go away for this long, I want better than OK. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We have also cruised with Azamara, Windstar, HAL, NCL, Louis, Katarina and some river cruise operators. This cruise was 18 nights, from Shanghai to Yokohama. We flew into Shanghai, arriving the ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We have also cruised with Azamara, Windstar, HAL, NCL, Louis, Katarina and some river cruise operators. This cruise was 18 nights, from Shanghai to Yokohama. We flew into Shanghai, arriving the night before. We stayed at the Sofitel, which was easy to get to via train from Pudong Airport. Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal. This terminal is very conveniently placed not far from the Bund area of Shanghai. The Nautica was looking fine. We had an inside cabin on deck 8. We are happy with an inside cabin, as we spend little time in the cabin, and deck 8 is a convenient position. Our room stewards did a good job. We do not understand why people rave about the excellent food on Oceania. We ate in both the MDR and the Terrace Café and found the food to be consistently bland and unexciting. This was on a par with previous Oceania cruises. The best night was the Asian evening in the buffet. We were supposed to have 2 dinners each in the speciality restaurants Toscana and Polo Grill. I tried to book these online as soon as bookings were available to us, but it is virtually impossible to get any early booking for a table for 2. I was only able to book for Polo Grill on embarkation day prior to sailing. I regularly tried for cancellations on board and eventually got a booking in Toscana for the last night. Any second bookings were impossible. In our opinion the meals in the speciality restaurants are tastier than those in the MDR and The Terrace. We like the space called Horizons. This is where we sometimes sat in our free time. There were 2 lecturers. One did 2 lectures on People Watching, neither of which we attended. The other lecturer did a few destination related lectures. We went to the first one, but did not find it particularly interesting so did not attend any more. We attended a few of the concerts, which were okay. Many we knew would not be to our taste. There was just one sitting, at 9.30pm, which was a bit late for our liking. We did enjoy the string quartet which played in the Upper Hall each evening and we regularly attended these. The Oceania excursions are overpriced. We had some included in our cruise price. Sometimes, depending on the port and the public transport, it is just convenient to use one of the cruise line excursions. We did several ports on our own, and enjoy doing what we want to do at our own pace. Disembarkation was straightforward. The Osanbashi terminal at Yokohama has luggage lockers and we made use of them before using public transport to get to Narita Airport. Oceania is not our preferred cruise line, but they have some interesting itineraries. Itinerary and timing are always our major consideration when choosing a cruise. There was a lot of new territory for us in this cruise, which we enjoyed. Ports: Shanghai: We had an overnight and then a day in Shanghai following embarkation. There was a shuttle operating to the Bund, making it easy to do things in that central area on your own. The subway in Shanghai is also very easy to use. Xiamen: One day in this port is really enough, but we had an overnight stop, and 2 days. We did 2 Oceania shore excursions. We had been warned that the guides may not have very good English, but that was not the case. The first woman was young with excellent English. The second was a bit older and had more of an accent which was harder to follow. They both did a good job. The first day in Xiamen we went to Quanzhou, which is about a 90 minute drive from Xiamen. We visited the Kaiyuan Temple, which is quite extensive, and has 2 impressive stone pagodas. There are also several museums adjacent to the temple. We visited the Quanzhou Song Dynasty Shipwreck Hall. After a Chinese multi course lunch at a local hotel we went for a walk down one of the main streets, Tumen Jie. Here we saw the Qingjing Mosque and the Taoist Tonghuai Temple. The tour was okay, but we felt it was quite a long drive there and back for nothing particularly outstanding. The second day we did a tour called Tong’An Treasures. It was about an hour’s drive from the port in Xiamen to the Confucian Temple in Tong’An. After that we went to the Fantian Buddhist Temple. These were both interesting sites and we felt this tour, while shorter, was more worthwhile than the trip to Quanzhou. We were back at the cruise terminal about 1pm. Hong Kong: We had 2 half days here, each side of an overnight. Hong Kong public transport is easy to use and we have been there before, so we just did a few sites on our own. Kaohsiung: We docked about 10am. There was a shuttle which ran to the centre of town, but the timings did not suit us, to fit with our tour. Our Oceania tour did not depart until 12.30pm, so we had some wasted time waiting for it, but there was nothing much to see close to the dock. Our excursion was called Glimpses of Kaohsiung. Our first stop was Lotus Pond, a man-made lake with many temples and pagodas around it. Very touristy and a little tacky. Next stop was the Confucius Temple, then a drive to the Cijin (Qijin) district, which is the oldest part of the city. We walked along the uninspiring beachfront then down the main street, which was lined with mainly food stalls. Keelung: We did an Oceania excursion into Taipei. It included far too much time in the Palace Museum, leaving little time to see much else in Taipei. If we ever returned to this port we would probably catch the train into Taipei on our own. The cruise port is right in Keelung, a short walk from the centre of the town and the railway station. Ishigaki: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a drive around the island. Not much here to see. There was a shuttle from the ship which went a short distance to a ferry terminal – not sure how useful it would have been. Okinawa (Naha): We went into Naha on our own, using the monorail system. It is easy to get up the Shurijo castle using this public transport. It is about a 20 minute walk from the port terminal to the nearest Yui Rail station. The Oceania excursion to the castle was an exorbitant price. We checked out the main shopping area (Kokusai Dori Street) on our way back to the ship. Also stopped at the Fukushuen Garden which is near the cruise port, and well worth visiting. Nagasaki: The cruise port is close to the city. There is a tram system, but we just walked and covered quite a lot of ground including the Peace Park, churches, temples, cathedrals, Spectacles Bridge. Had a great day and saw a lot at our own pace. Hiroshima: We did an Oceania excursion, which was a fast ferry to the island of Miyajima. The ferry was just for cruise passengers and left from next to where the ship was berthed, so it was convenient, if expensive. Despite the fact it rained all day this was a highlight of our trip. We were just disappointed that the ship didn’t arrive earlier in the morning so we could have gone into the Peace Park as well as doing Miyajima. There was a shuttle that ran from the ship to a shopping centre and into the centre of Hiroshima. Kobe: We had 2 days here. The first day we did an Oceania excursion Highlights of Kyoto. It was about 100 minutes drive from the port to the Kinkakugi (Golden) Temple. We were given 90 minutes here, which was too long. There is not actually much here. You cannot go in the temple – you just walk past it, through the gardens. Then there are lots of souvenir shops. We were then taken to a Japanese Restaurant for lunch. Nice restaurant in a pleasant garden setting. Meal nicely presented, but not too our taste, with a lot of raw fish. The afternoon stop was Nijo Castle. We were only given 80 minutes here, which was not long enough. There is not much to see in the “castle” itself, though the building is quite impressive. The grounds are extensive and the cherry blossom was just beginning to bloom. There was minimal time for the gardens, but we dashed through them and covered quite a lot before a quick stop in the souvenir shop. Our second day in Kobe we did Oceania’s Panoramic Osaka tour. It took a little under an hour for the drive from the port to Osaka. It was a public holiday so the roads were quiet. We visited Osaka Castle, just the outside. It was quite a long walk from the bus park to the castle and we were only given 45 minutes here, which was too short. There are lots of photo opportunities in the grounds, as the castle is quite picturesque. Next we went to the Umeda Sky Tower, where we went up to the open rooftop on the 41st floor for great views over Osaka. After the quick look at Osaka we were back at the ship about 1.30pm, so we used the ship shuttle to go into Kobe. Went to the observation deck on floor 24 of the City Hall for the views, then to the impressive Ikuta Jinja Shrine. Wandered the streets and shops a bit before returning to the ship about 5pm, in deteriorating weather. Yokohama: We did an Oceania Highlights of Tokyo tour. Traffic was dreadful and it took 2 hours on the bus to reach the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo. Very busy, impressive temple. Adjacent is the Nakamisedori shopping street. Then we had lunch in a Japanese barbecue restaurant, which was quite pleasant. Next we went to the Meiji Shrine. There are extensive grounds around this shrine. We just had time to take the shortest route through the forest and the shrine. Because some people got lost returning to the bus, which delayed our departure from Meiji, we had the 50 minutes we were supposed to have at our next stop cut in half. So at Tokyo Tower the 25 minutes we were given was barely long enough to get to the top of the tower, take a few photos, and get straight back down. We could have had a bit longer, as the traffic returning to Yokohama was much lighter and we got back to the ship in less than one hour. I think you really need to stay right in Tokyo for a few days to do it justice, but we had no time to extend our holiday beyond the end of the cruise. After an overnight we disembarked in Yokohama. There are luggage lockers in the Osanbashi terminal building and we used them so we could spend the morning exploring the port area of Yokohama. They have really made an effort in this town, with pleasant gardens along the waterfront. We also walked through Chinatown and went up to the observation deck in the Landmark Tower. We had an evening flight from Narita, so in the afternoon we collected our luggage, and walked up to the Nihon-dori Station to catch a train to Yokohama, then the Narita Express to the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We loved our previous cruise with Marina and wanted to try another Oceania cruise. We selected this particular cruise because it was exactly the itinerary we wanted. We had been to Japan before but wanted to spend time in Kyoto and ... Read More
We loved our previous cruise with Marina and wanted to try another Oceania cruise. We selected this particular cruise because it was exactly the itinerary we wanted. We had been to Japan before but wanted to spend time in Kyoto and Tokyo, and we wanted to return to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. It also helped knowing that this cruise line quite often provides transfer to the port city centers free of charge. After Marina, it was difficult for the Nautica to compete. The food was good, better than any of the other five or six cruise lines we have used before, but not Marina-quality. The service excelled. Far, far better than other cruise lines, and there is no "nickel and diming" which was the reason we stopped cruising previously. Our cabin was quite well-maintained. We will be cruising with Oceania Nautica again, in January, which tells the tale. However, I must agree with others that the Destinations planning, lack of shore information, and the tours needed a lot of work. Our ship excursions provided guides that did not speak English well, no hearing sets were provided although there were very large groups on the excursions, and the excursion groups bumped up against other excursion groups on the same ship. Although the execution of the excursions was poor, the planning was very good. The excursion destinations were very good. 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

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