We have just returned from a fantastic cruise from Cape Town to Singapore on-board the Oceania Nautica ship. The cruise was superb and one of the best we have ever done and we are seasoned cruises. This was our 5th Oceania cruise and yet again they did not disappoint and we are not the easiest of people to please. We booked a full packaged trip through six star cruises so everything was taken care off and sorted well in advance of departure. Here is a summary of the various elements of our trip
We flew with British Airways business class as this was the best option for out itinerary. Flights were both on time and comfortable and the service was as always very good. We flew to Cape town and transferred to the hotel and flew back on the same day we arrived from Singapore
We stayed for 4 nights pre cruises in Cape town at the One and Only which is an ideal location near the Waterfront. We found this hotel an excellent base to explore this vibrant and lively city, the hotel also felt very secure. The hotel has a real African feel to it yet is also of a deluxe standard with all the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this standard. Our agent booked us in a Island Superior room which was well worth the little extra it cost, the room was spacious with a lovely balcony and to our surprise even had tea and coffee making facilities which is a rarity nowadays. We ate at the hotel a couple of times and the hotel offers excellent dining options and the inclusive breakfast was also of a high standard. Overall an excellent hotel which we would use again.
We had private transfers booked for us by our agent, these went very well and the drivers and cars were all very good, it was nice to arrive after a long flight and be met at arrivals rather than trying to find transfer desks.
We had booked a Penthouse suite so had the benefit of embarking early, this was great and everything went smoothly, our suite was not quite ready so we had some lunch and after about an hour they advised our suite was ready and out luggage was waiting for us
Our suite was located mid-ship on deck 8, the location was ideal and not to near the lift so was nice and quiet most of the time. We insisten on having a bath tub for such a long voyage and the bathroom delivered in all our requirements, it was a great size and very luxurious The Bulgari toiletries are also a nice touch. The suite was a good size and I would compare this to Silversea and Seabourn in terms of space and amenities. As we had a Penthouse we also got priority restaurant reservations which we did through out concierge and this also worked very well. The balcony was also a good size and the suite was very clean and kept so throughout our voyage.
The main dining venue is the Grand dining room, this was excellent and the food really good throughout, the atmosphere and service were most enjoyable and we had no complaints at all. Each evening we were seated immediately where we dined alone or with other guests we met. We ate in both speciality restaurants, the Polo Grill was perhaps our favourite and the New York Strip was to die for and I am not normally a steak lover but it just melted in my mouth, my husband had the Lamb once which he said was also superb. The Italian themed restaurant Toscana was also excellent quality and the Linguine was superb and made a nice change. The Waves Grill made a nice change with a more casual Ambiance however we only dined there once but it was good and a little more relaxed. The Terrace Café was also ideal for those lazy lunches when you just want to grab a quick snack.
Bars & Drinks:
Drinks are pricey however always of a high standard and excellent choice, the wine list is very diverse and each Sommelier had an excellent understand of the best pairings. We did also decide on-board to upgrade to the all inclusive drinks package which included the many high quality choice we chose, I found this good value for money as did my husband. We also thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere in the Horizons bar and we met some lovely people there, the cocktail list was extensive we enjoyed several evenings working our way through the many options, My husband made a point that the Manhattan was the best he had ever had!!
I visited the Canyan Ranch Spa twice during my trip (not my husbands thing) I found it to be very good and good value for the quality and ambiance. The Canyon Stone Massage was excellent and I enjoyed the hour or so in there and found it a wonderful way to escape the sun and break up the sea days. The variety of treatments available is extensive and I only heard glowing reports from other guests about the various options.
This was fairly low key however all acts were very good and this is how we like it. My husband enjoyed the casino on the off occasion and commented that the atmosphere was good. Horizons was our favourite spot of an evening as already mentioned. My husband also enjoyed an hour or two in the library on a few occasions, a nice touch to help pass the time.
All exceptional, how they keep the level of service throughout and a long trip is beyond me. Always happy, smiling and extremely attentive to our needs I simply can not speak highly enough of any of them. Well worth a tip!! The suite was kept immaculate in all aspects. The waiters were swift and knowledgeable, the concierge helped with dining reservations with no fuss I could go on and on. We genuinely had no issues with service at all.
If I had to find one negative it would be the charge the internet which is excessive, however we do not go away to work and only used it a couple of times so no real issue. Excursions are also pricey however always very good with great guides and clearly only very good quality is all ports, it is cheaper to book pre departure however we like to arrange on-board in case we change out minds. They will charge gratuities to you cabin which was fine with us however a couple of guests on-board did ask to have this amended which I think they did but like I say the service was so exceptional we had no problem in paying it.
Overall a truly excellent trip organised from start to finish with wonderful efficiency. I am very much looking forward to our next trip to the South Pacific and New Zealand and have no worries at all that it will be just as good. Oceania are a fantastic 5 star luxury cruise line and the size of the ship and service level is ideal if you want to avoid the massive mass market cruise lines. The price level also represents good value for the quality you actually get. Great job all round and 10/10!!