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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! ... Read More
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! Recommend Nautica overnights in Stockholm Amsterdam and Copenhagen and to include a port in Norway to see the fjords.. Oceania does offer best cuisine at sea. Carlos the Maitre'D from Portugal and his gracious assistant from Thailand always greeted us by name and remembered our seating preferences in the Grand Dining Room, Breakfast Buffet Service and choices were well presented and tastefully prepared. Fine dining excelled in the specialty restaurant venues although reserving a time before 8:30 was difficult. Disappointed that Polo Grill had run out of prime rib, however the ribeye steak substituted was delicious. Adolfo from Milan was charming in Toscana. Off hours we appreciated 24/hr limited room service menu and/ casual Waves. Loved the small ship, but Nautica does need a QM2 solarium/ covered outside pool . Like verandas, outdoor pool was useless for Baltic/North Seas. Nautica band, vocalists and dancers were talented. Horizon happy hours and afternoon tea were wonderful. Having customs agent for UK on board for passport control was expeditious. It was delightful not to be pursued by omnipresent ship photographers. Overall/service attentive staff were excellent, gracious and accommodating. Except for challenges convincing Lisiam to accept our time preferences. Bundled laundry service was terrible, he returned clothes dirty and wet so I ended up redoing all in Deck 7 guest laundry. Ship excursions promotions on TV were $$$$$, inferior, laden w disclaimers. Dr. Roger Cartwright's port talks were anecdotal, boring, off topic. We used local onboard agent to plan our port visits with great independent guide experiences. Shore excursion staff was helpful, but Oceanic Club Ambassador was curt. Cruise director marketed ship activities zealously. Free internet was nearly useless despite the best effort of the IT professional on staff who was often confronted by unhappy frustrated guests. Email messages could be received but not sent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Three days in St Petersburg is what drew us to this particular cruise. From the moment we stepped on board, we felt like family. Everyone was so pleasant -- the crew and the passengers! Our cabin attendant was very pleasant and knew ... Read More
Three days in St Petersburg is what drew us to this particular cruise. From the moment we stepped on board, we felt like family. Everyone was so pleasant -- the crew and the passengers! Our cabin attendant was very pleasant and knew our names and faces from the get-go; she often greeted us by name as we went down the hallways. We were disappointed that we didn't get to Riga due to rough seas but we spent a lovely day "at sea" when the crew easily adapted from expecting folks to go ashore to having everyone aboard. I love the smaller ship as it makes embarkation and debarkation so easy! And being close to town so you can come and go as you please is very nice! The singers and dancers on board were okay but nothing spectacular. We did have special entertainment that was very good --Oli Nez and Diane Cousins. Oli is a multi-instrumentalist (primarily saxophone) from Wales who was exceptional. Diane is a Welsh comedienne-singer who was funny and had a good routine. The ship's excursions were nice (we used a private tour company for St.P's though) and gave us a nice taste for the various locations. Overall, it was a very pleasant cruise experience! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I have gone on numerous cruise lines, and this was our second on Oceania. Our first Oceania experience was on the larger Marina, and this time we chose the smaller Nautica. We had a wonderful experience. The ship had been ... Read More
My wife and I have gone on numerous cruise lines, and this was our second on Oceania. Our first Oceania experience was on the larger Marina, and this time we chose the smaller Nautica. We had a wonderful experience. The ship had been refurbished a year earlier, and it was like a new ship. Relative to the larger Marina, there were some plusses and minuses. On the plus side, it was more relaxed, with absolutely no crowds or lines anywhere. We liked the more intimate feel...it was like a Four Seasons Hotel. On the other hand, we missed having four specialty restaurants, as was available on the Marina. Marina also had a full theater, while it was somewhat smaller but still nice on the Nautica. Net, we found the two size boats to be a wash. The service on the Nautica was probably the best we have ever experienced, not only on a cruise, but anywhere. It was absolutely, consistently, perfect. We loved the food on the Marina, and that was the primary reason we chose to do another Oceania cruise. On the first night, we had an okay, but not remarkable experience in the dining room. The other meals were terrific, like we had come to expect on Oceania. Interestingly, my wife did a mid-cruise evaluation, and said (coming off her first night experience) that while the food was very good, it wasn't quite as good as the Marina. She got a phone call from someone in the ship's management, who wanted details on her experience so they could assure it was good for the remainder of the cruise. By that time, things were fine and they continued that way. But that's the Oceania service...very attentive. We splurged and got a Penthouse 3 suite. The room was lovely. Very roomy, tasteful and just nice to be there. We got room 8000, which was great. It was in the cheapest Penthouse class, but wasn't quite at the end of the ship. It was very quiet, as it abutted against the executives' rooms. Baltic itinerary was extraordinary. Tallinn Estonia was our favorite stop on any cruise we've been on. So now we're home, talking up a storm about how much we loved our experience. We'll likely do another Oceania cruise. We've been on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Holland America. Other than Holland America, we liked them all. But Oceania was something special! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
Oceania has the most comprehensive itinerary for the Baltic, so be prepared to be tired. Every day but one, you are in port. But that was why we chose the cruise. Who would think we would visit places like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania ... Read More
Oceania has the most comprehensive itinerary for the Baltic, so be prepared to be tired. Every day but one, you are in port. But that was why we chose the cruise. Who would think we would visit places like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that so recently could reclaim their independence from Russia. Oceania's Nautica is such a comfortable ship . We had sailed on sister ship, Insignia and because they are identical, we immediately felt at home. Our stateroom was fine, clean, good bed, all the necessary items. It wasn't large but we were rarely in it except to sleep. There are so many lovely lounges and places to read, talk, etc. Food was excellent, Loved the wonderful fresh fruit, exciting appetizers and desserts. They get kudos for the terrific ice cream too. Being early to bedders, we can't comment on evening entertainment. However, listening to others, the shows were well received. We only booked 2 shore excursions through the ship. Unfortunately, their tours are expensive and groups too large. Found we got better value from using SPB tours and ToursbyLocals. Also, charges for Internet service are outrageous. There is no reason to charge so much. But we hope to cruise with Oceania again. Service is terrific; staff friendly and willing to go out of their way to help. Well organized too, embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Hubby and I decided to do this at the last minute to celebrate my birthday. We had been looking at various cruise lines who included St. Petersburg in the itinerary for months, thinking of doing it next spring, when we found this trip on ... Read More
Hubby and I decided to do this at the last minute to celebrate my birthday. We had been looking at various cruise lines who included St. Petersburg in the itinerary for months, thinking of doing it next spring, when we found this trip on the internet on Oceania. They are the only ones we found that gave us a full two nights and (almost) three full days in St. Petersburg. We only booked this 10 days prior to sailing date, so did not have time to get visas and knew we would only be able to take ship excurions without one. We had some misgivings but decided to just go for it. Oceania did not disappoint us!! Their excursions turned out to include things we could never have scheduled on our own. The first morning, we visited Peter the Great Palace in Peterhof, which was pretty much a standard tour with thousands of other people filing through the palace at the same time (but still incredible). We returned to the ship, had lunch, took a nap, then went on our evening tour. This one, title "Grand Imperial Evening with the Tsars", was an excursion to Catherine's Palace in Pushkin. We were totally stunned to find out that somehow the Palace was opened afterhours just for our group, which turned out to be about two busloads (probably 60 people)!! After walking through the carriage house (which was also incredible) our little group was greeted at the Palace entrance by about a 10-piece brass band, and as we walked through all the gorgeous rooms, they had a flutist in one room, and a musician playing a vintage keyboard (maybe a clavichord?) wearing vintage costume in another room. After touring all the rooms, we were seated in a grand ballroom, where we were served champagne while a string orchestra played, then two people dressed as the tsar and tsarina entered, and the orchestra played while two more costumed dancers danced for us. We did indeed feel like royalty! After this we walked a short distance to a restaurant on the grounds and were served a Russian dinner while costumed musicians played Russian folk music while we clapped along with the music and shared a vodka toast. We returned to the ship around midnight totally awed by the incredible evening we had experienced. The next morning we took an excursion named "Highlights of St. Petersburg, which was enjoyable. That evening we had booked an excursion named "Musical Evening at the Hermitage" and were delighted to find that the Hermitage had been reopened just for our ship excursion group (about 75 people), so we again had a virtually private tour without the crowds. At the end, we were again treated to champagne then escorted into the beautiful The Majolica Room filled with more priceless artwork where we were seated and the State Orchestra of St. Petersburg performed a full concert for us. We returned to the ship around midnight again still in disbelief that we had been able to visit both Catherine's Palace and the Hermmitage without the crowds. Everyone we talked to later on the ship that visited these places during the day experienced the same huge crowds we experienced at Peter the Great Palace. Thank you, Oceania--I don't know how you pulled it off, but the two nighttime excursions we had in St. Petersburg were sosmething we could never have experienced any other way, and were worth the price of the entire cruise!! On the third day we slept in then took an afternoon excursion named "St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral & Spilled Blood Cathedral" which was also very good. This was our second cruise on Oceania and were already impressed by the high levels of service, courtesy, and friendliness of all the staff. We were particularly impressed by our waiters at the bar in the Horizon and in Tapas on the Terrace, the friendly guy who was always at the customer service desk, and the excursion staff. We like the port-intensive itineraries offered by Oceania and the smaller size ships that can go into places usually only seen from riverboats. We previously sailed on the Insignia and were delighted to find the Nautica had an identical layout. We loved all the teak wood furniture and decks. We alternated most of our time onboard the ship between Tapas on the Terrace for the great views from the back of the ship and Horizons to enjoy the panoramic views from the front of the ship. I am so happy that we were lucky enough to book this cruise at the last minute and don't think we could have possibly seen more if we had planned our excurions and books months ahead of time!!!! Read Less
Nautica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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