Oceania’s Nautica is a very good luxury cruise ship. It has a club-like atmosphere where everybody gets to know your name. Nautica also has great dining and stylish bars, as well as refurbished staterooms and suites. This Oceania Nautica review explains it all.
However, it’s worth noting there are pros and cons to a cruise vacation on Nautica. The cruise ship is smaller than most, so there are fewer restaurants. On the other hand, Nautica’s intimate size tends to enhance the level of service – something that can make a big difference to your cruise experience.
Alcoholic beverages not included.
Oceania Nautica review ratings
About Oceania Cruises Nautica
The Nautica is an R-class cruise ship in the Oceania Cruises fleet. Built in France, it first entered service in the year 2000 for Renaissance Cruises. However, within two years Nautica was only sailing charter voyages because Renaissance Cruises ceased operations. Nautica was subsequently acquired by Oceania Cruises in 2005.
Oceania Nautica is 180 m. / 593 ft. long with room for 656 guests (double occupancy). Nautica was entirely refurbished in 2022 as part of the OceaniaNEXT fleet enhancement program. Indeed, Oceania Cruises like to say Nautica is now ‘better than new’ and we agree.
All the public spaces and guest rooms have been reimagined with a smart new decor inspired by the palette of the ever-changing ocean. It strikes just the right balance between luxury and easy relaxation.
Food on Oceania Nautica – our review
The restaurants on Nautica are among the main reasons for choosing a cruise vacation on board. While few in number, they are big on taste. However, as this Nautica review explains some dining options are better than others.
Nautica has two speciality restaurants, a main dining room and a buffet restaurant, as well as a poolside grill and a cafe.
We rate the Italian-inspired Toscana as the best restaurant on board. The Fritto di Calamari is divine with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and the home made pasta is not to be missed. The Polo Grill steakhouse serves an elegant Roasted Beetroot & Garlic Goats Cheese Napoleon as well as a mouthwatering Bone-in Veal Chop. The Grand Dining Room is the main restaurant on Nautica, serving delightful dishes like Fresh Local Mussels with Coconut & Lemongrass. We especially enjoyed the Thai Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms & Cashews.
There is also surprisingly good buffet dining in the Terrace Cafe where the Chef’s Market Dinner showcases cuisine from select ports of call.
In addition, Waves Grill serves casual poolside pleasers like hotdogs and burgers cooked-to-order. There is also the popular Baristas cafe on deck 5.
Nightlife on the Nautica cruise ship
Nautica offers a good selection of nightlife entertainment. There is a popular string quartet in the Upper Hall most evenings and a pianist plays in Martinis bar. We really enjoyed the ambiance he added to the venue.
There are also cast shows in the Nautica Lounge theatre. Though on my review voyage these productions were somewhat underwhelming, in spite of the obvious talent of some cast members. There is also late-night entertainment in Horizons bar with performances by the Nautica band as well as karaoke and a Jukester Jukebox.
Staterooms and suites on Oceania’s Nautica
All the staterooms and suites on Nautica were entirely refurbished in 2022. They are bright and airy with a decor that reflects the tone and palette of the sea.
There are inside staterooms without a view – these are the least expensive rooms on board. Nautica also has Ocean View Staterooms that have a porthole or picture window, as well as 18 staterooms for solo cruisers. These rooms also have a picture window, however the view can be obstructed by lifeboats.
Veranda Staterooms are the most popular type of accommodation. They are modest in size, but thanks to clever design they feel bigger. It’s worth noting that the bathrooms in these staterooms have been entirely remodelled and now include a glass shower door.
For those who like more space there are also large suites on Nautica. We stayed in a Penthouse Suite on our Oceania Nautica review voyage and loved the big veranda, not to mention the combined living/dining area. There are also Vista and Owner’s Suites with separate bedrooms and living areas.
Every suite has a butler, which is a real treat. The butler can manage restaurant reservations, shore excursions or even serve dinner in your suite course-by-course. Also, suite guests get other perks like afternoon canapés and a free laundry allowance, as well as a packing and unpacking service.
Fitness on Nautica
In spite of its size, Nautica has a great range of fitness and recreation options. In fact, the well equipped gym is bursting with space. There is also a jogging track, a putting green and shuffleboard on the open air decks.
A small pool is surrounded by a glorious teak deck with lots of comfortable sun loungers. In addition, there are wellness treatments in the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center as well as a steam room, a spa terrace and a full service salon.
Oceania Cruises’ Nautica has the usual shipboard activities including lectures from guest speakers, bridge, trivia, mar jongg, table tennis and the Mensa Daily Quiz. There are other activities too, like dance classes, a free Captains Cocktail Celebration, Diamond Parties in the boutique and Wine Tasting (for a fee).
There are also get-togethers for friends of Dorothy, friends of Bill W and solo cruisers. They are great ways to strike up new friendships. All these activities are posted in the daily Currents newsletter.
Nautica also has a well stocked library with a magnificently painted vaulted ceiling. It’s a popular place to read and relax, especially on sea days. The library also has board games like chess, backgammon, Scrabble and Monopoly.
There are boutiques on Nautica as well. They sell jewellery, designer clothing and travel essentials.
What’s included on Oceania Cruises Nautica
A basic Nautica cruise fare includes all meals, even in the specialty restaurants. Soft drinks, bottled water, coffee, tea and juices are also included.
However, alcoholic beverages are not part of the cruise fare. So if you fancy a tipple we recommend buying an Oceania Cruises beverage package. This can be better value than purchasing drinks individually.
At the time of writing, Oceania Cruises O’Life Choice fares included free pre-paid gratuities as well as a choice of either Shore Excursions, a Beverage Package or a Shipboard Credit.
In addition, Nautica usually has a free shuttle bus service between the port and downtown.
There is also a self-service laundry, although guests staying in Concierge Level rooms and Suites get a free laundry allowance.
The Nautica dress code
The Oceania Nautica dress code is country club casual. During the day guests wear shorts, jeans and T-shirts. However, it’s important to note that tank tops or swimsuits are not appropriate in any of the restaurants.
After 6:00pm the Nautica dress code is more dressy. Men wear slacks and a shirt (jacket optional). Women wear slacks or a skirt, and a blouse.
It’s worth noting that Nautica does not have formal nights.
Fellow guests on Nautica
Nautica is one of the most popular Oceania Cruises ships. Indeed, on my review voyage many guests had sailed on Nautica before.
Most guests range in age from 35 to 75-years old. Indeed, Nautica is not especially child-friendly.
Most guests come from the USA, but there are usually Britons, Canadians and Australians as well.
Oceania Nautica is gay-friendly.
Oceania Nautica review conclusion
Nautica is an excellent choice for those who like attentive service and a small-ship atmosphere. The quality of the food on board makes that choice even easier, although some may find the limited number of dining venues off-putting. All-in-all we think Nautica offers a great cruise vacation experience.
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