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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports in Japan and China. we had been on Oceania, Nautica only months ago cruising around the British isles. (a lovely trip excluding Nautica)). The trip to China and Japan highlighted all the failures ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports in Japan and China. we had been on Oceania, Nautica only months ago cruising around the British isles. (a lovely trip excluding Nautica)). The trip to China and Japan highlighted all the failures of this cruise company and the confines of the ship along with seriously limited worthwhile lectures, entertainment (kabuki, Chinese music,) and any aspect of these Asian cultures. As for the meals, they reflected the capability of the French head chef but not Chinese and/or Japanese cuisine. When attempted it was awful and served buffet style so it sat out, overcooked, unoriginal, and Americanized. The cruise director should find another avocation. The newsletters delivered to each room described each port as if we were reading Expedia excerpts. Could be because the so-called concierge had never been to any of the ports. Any help from him was straight off the web with absolutely no suggestions since he hadn't been to the ports before. He was defensive except for the bottle of wine he sent to me over the font on the newsletter which I couldn't read even with my 3X reading specs. He argued the font was the same as always (it was not) and when I tromped down to his desk in my robe, furious that he argued with me, he was able to confirm that I had been totally correct. Now, the worst aspect of the trip: the ports are long long way from the port visitor entry to any transportation to the city. Since we don't speak the language to hail a cab it was frustrating in that Nautica hospitality employees are not allowed to help guests hail a cab. The concierge claimed it was absolutely NOT the responsibility of Nautica to help guests once off the ship. Actually some of us decided that Oceania didn't want us out on our own, rather to take the pedestrian expeditions the cruise offered at outrageous prices thereby enabling Oceania to make more $$$. Now the pluses: the cleaning staff was exceptional om both cruises. Even helpful when we were sick. The wait staff is remarkable in their orchestrated ability to care for the dining room guests. In as much as many are actually more educated then some of the guests but cannot earn a decent wage in their own country of origin, they are really remarkably modest, hard working, and easily engaged if one is interested in them. Believe it or not, while the cruise company throws out the food not eaten, the lesser crew including the waiters must eat different food. The waste is beyond belief and was certainly a strong reason for us to give up on cruising. There is an obvious "white" pecking order of the staff. Don't worry if your hungry. You can eat 4-5 times a day and incessantly. If you want to learn you better make lots of arrangements and not count on Oceania. Watch your alcohol choices, the sommelier was delightful and always right. The prices by the glass is exorbitant and one guest said the wine plan was of ordinary wines. One caveat: we turned in our off shore trips through Oceania after one and took $$ on board credit which on reflection was very very smart as long as you can travel ashore on your own. Don't let this review keep you from visiting this part of the world. It is amazing and the people we met wonderful. Unfailingly helpful to us and if you look hard enough, you can find someone who speaks English and is excited about practicing speaking with an American. Unfortunately the horrible cruise newsletter (straight out of google) about the port lacked times museums were open, what museums might be superior, what food markets were around (we found them), how to ride the subway and buses (which we did), restaurants, etc. etc. It did however, tell you about the Broadway review they were having in the evening, or the comedian who wasn't funny, or about the movie they were showing without a real movie screen (you do get popcorn) If we had to do it again, we would certainly take the trip but with another cruise company. 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
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 chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call and they did not disappoint. Japan bonus: Cherry blossoms came early, just in time for our visits to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. This was our first time on Nautica; the fact of this ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call and they did not disappoint. Japan bonus: Cherry blossoms came early, just in time for our visits to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. This was our first time on Nautica; the fact of this being a smaller ship was a big advantage in certain ports, especially in Hong Kong, where we docked right in Tsim Sha Tsui and could walk to Kowloon. At night, we had a wonderful view from our balcony across the harbour to the magnificent skyline of HK, the light show and the ferry boats. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Small size also made embarkation & disembarkation a breeze. As alway, staff and officers on Oceania are amazing. The level of service is top notch Food was very good. Despite not having Jaques or Red Ginger, the Grand Dining Room often featured special menu items from these two favorite specialty restaurants which we have frequented on other Oceania ships. Extra sessions @ Toscana and Polo Grill were bookable, which was a treat in the case of Toscana and not so much in Polo (not our fave). Barista's has a place of honour in this ship in a dedicated lounge near the main dining room. We appreciated the classy atmosphere there and the extended hours. We enjoyed the enrichment lectures throughout the cruise. Some of the entertainment was very good: Classical pianist, comedians. Others we avoided, not being fans of the broadway show type revues. But a lot of our entertainment comes from the internet and that has had a huge improvement. No delays logging on; uninterrupted service. Kudos for the improved service! All in all, we are happy with the Oceania experience on this cruise, as well as all the previous ones we have taken with O. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Second Cruise on Nautica and both have been great. The staff is great and do their best to make sure you enjoy the experience. As usual on any Oceania ship the food was well above any other line. While they do not prohibit children, I ... Read More
Second Cruise on Nautica and both have been great. The staff is great and do their best to make sure you enjoy the experience. As usual on any Oceania ship the food was well above any other line. While they do not prohibit children, I do not believe they would enjoy this ship. The ship is small and has no activities for children. Seniors will especially enjoy this ship as it is easy to get around. The ship is small which has advantages and disadvantages. In most cases you disembark very close to the city centers. Since a little over 600 passengers are on board you will have ample opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. I highly recommend a sharing table early in the cruise. On the down side, small ships have limited entertainment. I found the cast shows very entertaining, but they are not Broadway productions. Also, the bathrooms are very small, so very tall or large folks will have an issue with that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our pre-cruise with Oceania to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors was wonderful. Oceania took care of every detail. Our hotel in Shanghai and Xian were both excellent. The airport transfers with the pre-cruise was smooth and ... Read More
Our pre-cruise with Oceania to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors was wonderful. Oceania took care of every detail. Our hotel in Shanghai and Xian were both excellent. The airport transfers with the pre-cruise was smooth and uneventful. Our guide traveled with us to from Shanghai to Xian and back. He spoke English very well and was a wonderful guide in Shanghai when we toured Old Town Shanghai before generation. We had another tour guide for Xian, who was very knowledgeable about the Terracotta Warriors and in the museum. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. My TA told Oceania that I was allergic to down feathers and my preference for diet cokes. We were in our cabin only a few minutes when our cabin attendant welcomed us and assured us the down feathers were removed from our cabin and to assure me the diet cokes would be checked to make sure we would not run out! Our cabin attendant and her assistant were excellent. My husband and I both thought the cuisine was outstanding at the informal Terrace, Waves, Grand Dining Room, and Specialty restaurants. We were also very happy with the cappuccino bar. We had a mixture of private tours and Oceania shore excursions. All in all, we were happy with the Oceania shore excursions. We only had one tour guide in Okinawa, Japan that was hard to understand. We loved all the ports we visited and even spent one night off the ship in Kyoto. We will definitely cruise on Oceania again especially the smaller ships like Nautica and Insignia. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary, however the weather spoilt the first part of the trip as it was freezing in China and Japan. We had previously travelled on the Nautica in the Baltic and in hindsight we should have learnt ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary, however the weather spoilt the first part of the trip as it was freezing in China and Japan. We had previously travelled on the Nautica in the Baltic and in hindsight we should have learnt from that experience, and avoided the Nautica this time. The ship is tired and out of date. One elevator (out of four) was out of service for the whole cruise. The entertainment was poor so we watched DVDs in our cabin a lot of the time. A few good movies were screened but the lounge is not really appropriate for watching movies. The television movies and those on DVD were old and third rate. The excursions were poor with a few exceptions. One in Hong Kong was so bad because we sat in the bus for two hours, because of the traffic, but when I complained they said there was nothing they could do about it.... a complete waste of money and time. The Concierge was rude and arrogant and couldn't wait to get rid of us. The medical office was very disceptive, explaining the initial charge for a consultation, which was fine, and then having you come back for follow ups, signing a blank form, and not knowing what the cost was until you got your account at the end of the cruise. Their charges for drugs were exorbitant. The front office staff were a little off hand at times. It wasn't all bad ; the cabin stewards were excellent and the wait staff good, but the wine stewards were a little hard to find at times. Overall a disappointing cruise and our last on Oceania....we will revert back to Holland America, where all of the crew, including the Concierge care about you Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Had traveled on Oceania in the past, including Nautica. Loved the cruises but this last cruise was a true nightmare. Moldy shower curtains. Dirty dinning room curtains. Food offerings were limited as compared to past cruises. Staff was ... Read More
Had traveled on Oceania in the past, including Nautica. Loved the cruises but this last cruise was a true nightmare. Moldy shower curtains. Dirty dinning room curtains. Food offerings were limited as compared to past cruises. Staff was trying to do its best, but passenger/crew ratio, I would guess, was lower than usual. Room service was awful. One shore excursion was scheduled for 3 hours duration and tour guide "decided" to extend the tour one additional hour even though most folks on bus wanted to get back based upon the scheduled time. Excursions was expensive for the value and sights seen. Entertainment was as to be expected on a smaller ship. Overall, the ship is really getting long in the tooth and needs to be refurbished or taken out of service. When we discussed the situation with the concierge, he agreed and we received a $2,000.00 credit toward another cruise. Oceania would not have offered the credit if it did not agree with our assessment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which started in china and included japan,vietnam,cambodia and thailand. Initially the weather was cold,nearly freezing but warmed up as we headed south finishing at 97 in bangkok. There was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which started in china and included japan,vietnam,cambodia and thailand. Initially the weather was cold,nearly freezing but warmed up as we headed south finishing at 97 in bangkok. There was a lot more security than on previous trips, so check in took 20 minutes even though there were only a handful of people in front of us. We had our chinese visa before we boarded but the ship arranged for the cambodia one and charged our onboard account. Unlike us citizens we did not need one for vietnam. as usual on oceania the food was excellent. We were able to book into the speciality restaurants as many times as we liked even though we had an outside cabin. We much enjoyed the grand dining room and toscana but thought the food in polo was not quite as good as on previous cruises. There seemed to be a lot of new staff in the restaurants and the service was consequently patchy. The cabin service on the first night was dreadful but improvrd to very good for the rest of the cruise. the impression of the chinese ports was of the shear size of the cities with huge numbers of tower blocks. Vietnam and cambodia in contrast were poor and primitive. The on board lectures were excellent in explaining such things as the chinese one child policy and its consequences.the advantage of a small ship is that it can get to the centre of ports when larger ones dock way out. This was helpful in shanghai,saigon and bangkok but we were disappointed in hong kong to be at the new cruise terminal which was wholly inappropriate for a small ship. We had to walk 3/4mile just to get out of the terminal and no shuttle was provided. Ha long bay was a highlight and the excursion boats were docked at the ship's tender platform which saved an extra journey. The method of despatching the excusions resulted in unnecessary long lines in the nautica lounge. Marina does it better.the overpriced ship's excursions were of reasonable quality but the tour guides did not speak very good english. In chan may the guide gave a lecture on the history of vietnam which droned on far too long. The ship was generally in good condition except that one of the four elevators was out of service for the whole cruise. Oceania have drastically raised their prices recently and the standard of service does not justify these new prices although it is a lot better than large mass market ships. We benefitted from the very generous loyalty programme which covered the costs of all the excursions we wished to take. Overall an enjoyable and educational experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Asia Itinerary On the positive side it is amazing as to how the crew expertly handles all the various countries seemingly complicated immigration requirements and inspections. The cruise did not get ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Asia Itinerary On the positive side it is amazing as to how the crew expertly handles all the various countries seemingly complicated immigration requirements and inspections. The cruise did not get off to a good start after a long flight to Shanghai the transfer from airport to ship was pretty disorganized When arriving at the ship we were required to fill out Jaanese and more Chinese immigration forms in the freezing cold When then learned that the Shanghai tour had been moved to an unearthly hour earlier We were already well passed any cancellation time so we just did not go as we were wiped from all the going on the get on the ship The dining was as good as always except for a few minor issues We have breakfast in the room on tour days.On several than is more than one the breakfast was not correct to the point when we ordered 2 breakfast we received one The lectures were excellent and informative The entertainment was inconsistent ranging from very good to lame but it was less than the previous cruises The tours were a function of our tour guides ranging from excellent to very poor Bottom line we did book another Oceania cruise for 2018 Read Less
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