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

Great cruise on a mediocre ship

Nautica Cruise Review by theTaxZombie

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom

The cruise was an amazing adventure - from the cities of Cape Town, Colombo & Singapore to island countries of Seychelles & Maldives, being able to see 4 of the Big 5 (elephant, African buffalo, rhino, lion & leopard - only one we didn't see was the leopard). Some amazing sights in the various ports - giant turtles of the Seychelles, the submarine ride in the Maldives, Freddy Mercury's birthplace in Zanzibar, the beautiful Buddhist temple in Colombo, among others. Singapore is beautiful.

But we traveled over 8000 miles on a ship that was 20 years old & had been refurbished (i.e., changed the colors of the interior) 4 times. It was small & cramped. Internet service was terrible (e.g., no internet service in any of the restaurants or the buffet; logging in all the time, as only one device per cabin could be on at one time).

Embarkation was a struggle - we had taken the pre-cruise excursion to Victoria Falls & Chobe National Park (highly recommend this excursion!). However, the trip back from this excursion included 2 air flights (Vic Falls --> Johannesburg --> Cape Town) with a 2-hour layover in Johannesburg to pick up luggage. By the time we got to the ship, it was 9 pm & the crew wasn't ready for us! No food (you can order room service), a struggle to get our luggage to our cabins, and a surprised attitude from the crew. To top it off, most of us had an early morning Cape Town excursion. So, between getting settled in our cramped (~215 sq foot) cabin, the long day of travel, and the time it took to be on-boarded, we didn't get to bed until midnight. UGH!

Even though it's a 30-day cruise, pack light!!! The closet space is non-existent, very little space. Laundry was on our level but was constantly busy. The machines took tokens, which were sold out (how does that work?), so toward the end of the cruise, it was a crap-shoot as to whether you can launder your clothes. Also, best to use laundry on port days - everybody used the laundry on sea days.

Onboard entertainment was OK; the shows in the evening were ehhh. There were enough activities onboard to keep most people busy. I liked the 4 pm tea service - nice selection of pastries to go with the teas.

Food was pretty good. We usually ate at the buffet - it had plenty of variety as well a few standards. Loved the bread selection. The specialty restaurants were good, but had a fixed menu that didn't change over the entire cruise.

Service was very good - everyone was nice, considerate and willing to assist you. The shore excursions, with a couple of exceptions, were top-notch.

Overall, it was an enjoyable voyage, if only because we got to share with my wife's sisters & brothers-in-law.

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

Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom
Cabin A2 733

SMALL ... less than 200 square feet; not much room to spread out for a cruise of 30+ days (including pre-cruise excursion)

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Shakaland Zulu Village

total waste of time -- most of the time was spent to/from Shakaland. Most of the time @ Shakaland was spent looking at penned up crocs & reptiles in glass cages

View All 6 Shakaland Zulu Village Reviews
Richards Bay

Rainy day - riverboat cruise looking at hippos

Cape of Good Hope

beautiful view from the lighthouse - penguins at Boulders Beach - long excursion after getting on ship late the night before

View All 2 Cape of Good Hope Reviews

Missed out on Phuket as ship ran into heavy currents & strong headwinds; 4 hours late getting into Phuket, so all shore excursions were canceled


Interesting city tour with Buddhist & Hindu temples & lots in between

Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)

Who knew that the Royal Selangor pewter factory & showroom would be the highlight here?


A wonderful way to end the cruise - amazing city/state

Cape Town

Who doesn't love penguins?!? At Boulders Beach, you get to see 100's of them up close and personal.

Cape Town

Beautiful gardens showing off the flora of South Africa

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