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Nautica Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
360 Reviews

Cape Town to Cape Town

Nautica Cruise Review by Tokyo Mom

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite

This was our 2nd cruise on Oceania. My husband and I have wanted to travel to Africa for some time and felt this cruise was a good way to see quite a bit in 2 weeks. We flew into Cape Town on 1/1 and spent four nights there before boarding the ship (we stayed at the Cape Hollow Boutique Hotel). We felt this was a good amount of time to see all the highlights of the area (we used PG Tops tours). Boarding the ship was very easy and took about 15 minutes (at most). We were in a PH1 cabin (8030) and loved the size (we had the same on our previous Oceania cruise) and location. Our ports of call were Mossel Bay, Maputo - Mozambique, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Walvis Bay - Namibia. I booked all private excursions except for a city tour of Durban the afternoon we arrived. I highly recommend booking private excursions - you will save money and be in much smaller groups - the most people we had in one tour was 8. Just do your research ahead of time and then go to your CC roll call board to find some people to join you on your private excursions. We did not get off the ship in Maputo and did not hear anything positive from anyone who did. But, be forewarned - you will be charged for a visa regardless of whether you get off the ship or not. If you go to guest services ahead of time and specifically request it being removed they will do so - but we did not find this out until it was too late. They do not readily/easily share this information. This was truly the only thing that bothered me while on the ship for 2 weeks. We enjoyed joining other passengers for dinners in the main dining room and found the food to be very good. We also ate quite a few of our meals at the Terrace Cafe (buffet). We felt there was always a good selection and although I only ordered it once, grilled lobster was available every night. The only negative I have to say about the restaurants/food was that service was rather spotty in the Waves grill. It often took a long time for someone to come over to take our drink order and burger orders weren't always correct. We also ate in Toscana twice and Polo Grill once. We were going to go a second time but the seas were so rough I did not want a big meal that night. Overall - no complaints regarding food. We went to the afternoon high tea once and it was very nice with a varied and abundant selection of food and tea. It was also very well attended. I cannot comment on any shows because we always went to bed early - though we heard from other people that they really enjoyed them. We were definitely on the young side of the demographics. We are 52 and I'd say the average age was around 70. But, this did not bother us at all and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to everyone we met. We thought we were well traveled but the passengers on this ship have been just about everywhere! I could not find many reviews on African cruises before we left and one thing that surprised me was that I was expecting it to be much warmer. It was the middle of summer but because we were always near the shore, temperatures remained fairly mild - with high temps reaching upper 70's and maybe a couple days in the low 80's. We did have a few days of rough seas - mainly around the Cape of Good Hope. We actually left the ship the day we arrived back in Cape Town - though disembarkation wasn't until the next day. We then spent a night at the Cape Verde Hotel by the airport because we were headed to Victoria Falls the next morning for two nights and then on to Botswana for 3 nights for safari. In total we were gone for 28 days. It was a wonderful trip and highly recommended.

Tokyo Mom's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite
Cabin PH1 8030

PHI cabins are a very nice size - you could forget you were on a ship. I enjoy having a full sized tub - though some older people mentioned that it was difficult for them to get in and out and I can understand that I might think the same thing in 20 years. Although we had a butler, we never really used him for anything. We like the PH1 cabins because they are bigger and have bigger bathrooms with tubs. We were just one flight of stairs below the Terrace Cafe so it was very convenient. Be forewarned that the sliding glass doors to the balcony slide shut very quickly/easily so do not get caught with a finger, or in my case, a thumb in the door!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Our city tour with Oceania was just okay - but what we were expecting for a ship's tour. Big bus, lots of people, stop at market (good prices for souvenirs), quick stop at stadium and botanical gardens.

We also took a private tour on our full day to the Tala Game Reserve and the Zulu Valley.

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Tokyo Mom
3 Reviews Written
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