Nautica Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Booked for Itinerary; Smaller Ship, Food Quality Down

Sail Date: May 20, 2016

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Cabin: 6074

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.

Cruise Photos

Cabin / Stateroom
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!
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Fast and easy on both ends.
Ship Quality You can tell it was built in 2000. Clean inside after a remodel though. No major issues and it floated fine.
Destinations and Excursions
The itinerary is why I booked the cruise. Felt we could have stayed later at some ports though. Excursions were good but on one, the guide let 4 people out of 20 spend too much time at the 1st stop and we ran out of time later.
Onboard Activities
Put-put and shuffleboard. Pool and a couple hot tubs. They tend to put stuff away too early though.
Children's Programs
The cruise is expensive enough to keep most children off the boat (which is perfect for me!).
Entertainment We really didn't participate enough to rate.
Service and Staff
Great ratio but service not as good. Most are friendly but only a couple went out of their way.
Food and Dining
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.
Barcelona, Spain
Been there before. If you have a short time- go up to Castle Montjuic
Malaga, Spain
Alhambra at Granada tour.
Cadiz (Seville), Spain
We rented a car to Gibraltar for the day (1.5hr drive each way).
Lisbon, Portugal
Docked near city sites because of small ship. Tour to Obidos was a highlight of the cruise.
Oporto, Portugal
Ship docks about 15 minutes away from city. What a pain! Taxis are cheap though.
La Coruna, Spain
Ship tour was full day so we didn't get any time in the city. Lots to do right near the dock.
Bilbao, Spain
Ship docks about 20 minutes away. Taxis were about €25 each way! Ship offered free shuttles though.
Bordeaux, France
I felt they should have left a midnight the 2nd day (another high tide).
Honfleur, France
Due to strikes in France, our tour to Rouen was cancelled. Honfleur was a quaint town with good shopping and eateries.
Southampton (London), England
From the ship to the plane.


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

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