Booked for Itinerary; Smaller Ship, Food Quality Down

Nautica Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review

12 Night Cloisters & Courtyards (Barcelona To London)

Sail date: May 20, 2016

Ship: Nautica

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 6074

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Review summary

After cruising on Oceania Riviera in 2015, we booked Oceania again for the Iberian. The Nautica ship is much smaller (about 700 guests & 1/1.7 staff/guest ratio)- but I found the service not as good on the smaller ship in spite of the better ratio. The smaller ship does allow better access to places like Bordeaux, where we went up river and docked overnight AT the city center (awesome!) & similar in Lisbon. 


The food was good, but the quality is going down. There are only two speciality restaurants (Polo & Toscana), the Grand Dining room was very good, and the buffet (where we ate most nights) was good but got boring after a week.


The 2017 itinerary for this route is better than our 2016; One extra stop at Cartagena. Our cruise had a sea day at the beginning and one at the end which was nice. All of these ports were docked, so no worries about if the seas are too rough for tender service. I always say we are going to go back to the mid-range cruise lines but Oceania itineraries are so good, I'm sure we'll cruise them again.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Going downhill; used to be top rated. Grand Dining room w/ anytime seating is the best bet. 24hr room service (limited menu) is nice. All food spots were closed when we returned from shore.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Put-put and shuffleboard. Pool and a couple hot tubs. They tend to put stuff away too early though.


We really didn't participate enough to rate.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
The cruise is expensive enough to keep most children off the boat (which is perfect for me!).

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Great ratio but service not as good. Most are friendly but only a couple went out of their way.

Ship Quality

You can tell it was built in 2000. Clean inside after a remodel though. No major issues and it floated fine.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Nice room. A little smaller than the Concierge Class from last cruise but was clean and comfortable with plenty of storage. The bathroom is small. The cabin cleaning staff were amazing!

Ship tip

Not a big ship. Bow or Aft is not a long walk.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
Been there before. If you have a short time- go up to Castle Montjuic

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
Alhambra at Granada tour.

Cadiz (Seville), Spain

5 out of 5
We rented a car to Gibraltar for the day (1.5hr drive each way).

Lisbon, Portugal

5 out of 5
Docked near city sites because of small ship. Tour to Obidos was a highlight of the cruise.

Oporto, Portugal

3 out of 5
Ship docks about 15 minutes away from city. What a pain! Taxis are cheap though.

La Coruna, Spain

3 out of 5
Ship tour was full day so we didn't get any time in the city. Lots to do right near the dock.

Bilbao, Spain

3 out of 5
Ship docks about 20 minutes away. Taxis were about €25 each way! Ship offered free shuttles though.

Bordeaux, France

5 out of 5
I felt they should have left a midnight the 2nd day (another high tide).

Honfleur, France

3 out of 5
Due to strikes in France, our tour to Rouen was cancelled. Honfleur was a quaint town with good shopping and eateries.

Southampton (London), England

3 out of 5
From the ship to the plane.

Traveler Photos

6074: Lower row, 3rd from left. Relaxing on balcony while under way. From balcony. Towards balcony.
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