• Ahoy there! Why not join the UK’s largest cruising forum? The Cruise.co.uk forum is the perfect place to meet and interact with likeminded cruisers to have invaluable conversations. Whether you're a veteran cruiser or looking to set sail on the sea for the first time, everyone is welcome on our forum to participate in the hottest conversations in the cruising world. So, what are you waiting for? Join the forum today by clicking here to register!

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Oceania Nautica - An Ocean Going Country Club

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Oceania Nautica - An Ocean Going Country Club

    Your World, Your way...

    .

    My wife and I have recently completed a 21 night cruise on board elegant Oceania Cruises ship, Nautica. With a mere 684 passengers this qualified as the smallest cruise ship we have sailed on by a just small margin.

    Nautica exudes the definite ambiance of a private 'Country Club': casual yet elegant, refined, intimate and friendly, and with a very healthy passenger/staff ratio. Oceania Cruises major promotional selling point is that they provide the finest food at sea.

    We had booked a Penthouse Suite for this cruise which was scheduled to sail from Istanbul to Dubai with overnight stops at Haifa, Ashdod, Safaga, Aqaba and Dubai with single day visits to Kusadasi, Salalah and Muscat. Tension between Israel and Gaza meant that first Ashdod, and then the Haifa visit, were cancelled and Oceania, much to their credit, quickly substituted visits to Piraeus, Mykonos, Rhodes and Limassol, Cyprus.

    Check in was efficient and photographer free and we were delighted with the bottle of champagne that awaited our arrival in our Penthouse Suite on Deck 8...


    .

    Little is left to chance on the quality of everything a passenger encounters, whether it be the sun beds...

    .


    ...the Library...




    ...or the Grand Dining Room Bar...



    Even the ship's Laundrette was the poshest we have experienced, with carpets, fashionable seating and a flat-screen TV.




    There are two speciality restaurants on Nautica, Polo Grill and Toscana, the latter serving traditional Tuscan cuisine. My particular favourite dish at Tuscana was the, so good I returned for more...

    Milk Fed Veal Chop served with a wild Porcini mushroom sauce....


    .



    Both speciality restaurants offer a wide choice of gourmet style dishes in a relaxed environment and high quality of service. We made maximum use of these restaurants on a total of 10 occasions.


    Two further dining venues are also available. The Terrace Cafe and Waves Grill.

    Waves Grill was very popular.To all intents and purposes these last two are buffet style venues though in practice there is little self service in either: such was the staff manning and service level.

    The Terrace Cafe as Nautica passes under The Suez Bridge...





    Waves Grill Menu Board...



    Oceania Cruises guests enjoy complimentary and unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, speciality coffees, teas and juices. In addition there was a ' Happy Hour' each evening.

    Entertainment is not a strong point on this size of ship. No great problem for us as we found we were able to linger both enjoy longer pre-dinner drinks and a more relaxing dinner experience, without the need to rush to the Nautica show lounge for the single evening shows.The shows we did see were acceptable for this size of ship and two visiting guest entertainers we found excellent: Alan and Lisa of La Musica and the great Nat 'King' Cole impersonator, Paul Emmanuel. Both being British we enjoyed their post show company in Horizons Lounge.




    Without any doubt highlight of our port visits was Aqaba. Having, in the not too distant past, visited Petra we arranged a private full day visit to Wadi Rum. Sourced through the Internet we chose to use the services of Saleh, a Bedouin whose home was in Rum Village.

    Home

    We had a fascinating day of 4x4 sightseeing, camel rides, sand boarding, a dessert picnic lunch and a climb to the famous Lawrence Spring. All followed by the opportunity to witness the dessert sunset from Saleh's own dessert Bedouin camp and a Bedouin dinner which will be a future feature in my 'one way to do...' series.

    Looking down on Rum Village from the site of Lawrence's (of Arabia fame) Spring...




    Oceania cruises is not for the financially challenged or faint hearted, nor those with a disposition against paying gratuities. Gratuities were amongst the highest we have experienced, suite guests paying $18.50 per person per day while non suite guests was $13.00 per person per day. The automatic gratuity on all alcohol purchases was 18%. Oceania cruises reserves the right to confiscate alcohol being brought onto the ship.

    Countering this is the fact that speciality restaurants carry no cover charge, shuttle bus services are complimentary and, another first for us, Oceania arrange a local tourist representative to be in attendance on the ship the morning of arrival, the old adage really applies: you get what you pay for.

    Ship's excursions were very popular on this visit intense cruise, fellow passengers obviously accepting their value and being intent on seeing what was on offer with little concern as to cost.


    Summary.

    My wife and I had a most enjoyable cruise and thought the experience good value for money. We all have our individual requirements from a cruise and in this respect Oceania Nautica didn't quite deliver for us. That is not to take anything from Oceania Cruises. The ship, the ambiance and the food certainly met our expectations and we were impressed with the high quality of almost everything we found. The food and service was certainly well above that found in ships where dining is not dependant on a passengers accommodation level. Freedom dining is not our particular scene, neither do we yearn for the seclusion of a table for two while cruising. Perhaps we would have found the Oceania experience more satisfying had we taken a shorter cruise with a less intensive itinerary. Food for thought.

    A full and more detailed review of this cruise can be read at...

    Travel Reviews, Hotel Reviews, Mature Travel Advice, Silver Travel Forum

    #2
    There was to be one big bonus to the ship's cancelled visit to Israel. One of the alternatively scheduled ports was to be Limassol in Cyprus. Thanks to the internet we were able to arrange a meeting and get together with the Forum's most famous Cyprus resident MaggieMou.


    Thank you most sincerely Maggie and John for the outstanding hospitality and hosting at such short notice and for the great tour of Nicosia. We even managed a picture at the border crossing between the Greek and Turkish sectors - CD badges included...







    My wife and I shall look forward to returning your kindness early next month.

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome Back Richard.

      Interesting reading your comments of this cruise.

      I'm sure you enjoyed it and the weather must have been better than we have been experiencing here.

      Vinny
      sigpic

      Comment


        #4
        A well presented, thoughtful and mostly objective overview of an interesting ship.

        Thanks for the insight.

        Oh and welcome back.
        Mrs M

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mrs M View Post
          A well presented, thoughtful and mostly objective overview of an interesting ship.

          Thanks for the insight.

          Oh and welcome back.
          Mrs M
          Thank you Mrs M.

          I thought you might like to see how Woody the Toscana Sommelier gained his high score in the review...







          The Chianti was a 2006 Badia A Passignano Reserva. Well worth the money and fully complemented the Filet Mignon topped with a Gorgonzola and Garlic Spinach Crust, set on grilled Polenta...



          Makes your mouth water doesn't it?

          Comment


            #6
            Welcome home Richard, great photo's it sounded as though yo had a great cruise, also nice to meet up with Maggie.CG
            sigpic

            Comment


              #7
              The photos really confirm the title of this thread = it all looks really splendid.
              I always wonder why this luxury line doesn't have Formal nights. Do people dress casually for dinner ?
              You said you don't really like a table for two or Freedom dining - I presume that's because you miss the rapport built by dining with the same people each night.

              Comment


                #8
                Those photos are brilliant Richard, they look like they came straight out of the brochure, fab-u-luss.........Wilba
                Wilba

                Comment


                  #9
                  Nice to meet you, to meet you nice!

                  I had an unexpected meeting with Richard and his charming wife when they arrived in Limassol on Nautica. It was lovely to meet a forum member as I have not met many members before. So we had a good day out and the weather was kind to us. I am pleased you enjoyed the rest of your cruise Richard and welcome back home. Here are few photos I took. Not as good as Richards super photos, but happy memories all the same.
                  Nautica makes her way into Limassol harbour.

                  Docking .

                  We spot a man waving a banner!

                  Soon recoginised each other from the forum.

                  Good day was had by all.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great pictures Maggie.

                    Its good when a last minute plan comes together and with such kind weather. Magic.

                    Vinny
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Welcome back Richard, that certainly looks like an excellent itinerary on a lovely ship and they reacted well to the problems with the Israeli ports. Great photos.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MAGGIEMOU, CYPRUS View Post
                        I had an unexpected meeting with Richard and his charming wife when they arrived in Limassol on Nautica. It was lovely to meet a forum member as I have not met many members before. So we had a good day out and the weather was kind to us. I am pleased you enjoyed the rest of your cruise Richard and welcome back home. Here are few photos I took. Not as good as Richards super photos, but happy memories all the same.
                        Nautica makes her way into Limassol harbour.

                        Docking .

                        We spot a man waving a banner!

                        Soon recoginised each other from the forum.

                        Good day was had by all.
                        Certainly was Maggie and thanks again for a wonderful day...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Some more food for thought, what other cruise line will have this size Parmigiano Reggiano readily available...



                          or a selection of 12 Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars to choose from...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Superb photos and how lucky to meet another member in a far away land.

                            I saw an Oceania ship in Dover earlier this year. Can't remember which one though.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Let there be drums!

                              Lovely photos again Richard. Here is another one of our great day out in the last divided city in the world.
                              Nicosia Cyprus.
                              Richard is stood in the buffer zone on what is known as "the green line" that divides this sunshine island in the Eastern corner of the Mediterranean. A few old oil drums and a bit of barb wire is all that is needed to separate the two sides of the City.

                              Comment


                              We use cookies to give you the
                              best experience possible.


                              By continuing to use our website you
                              agree to our cookie policy

                              Working...
                              X