Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Oceania's Nautica: An elegant meld of traditional & contemporary
Nautica, Oceania Cruises' sister ship to Regatta and Insignia, radiates her own unique warmth and character. From the ship's neo-classical lobby to its furnishings inside its Toscana restaurant, Nautica's elegant touches stand out. After a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2014, the ship now features all-new Villeroy & Boch china, silver and crystal, and a distinctive museum-quality art collection that is an eclectic melding of traditional and contemporary with a touch of whimsy.
I was on board Oceania Nautica recently for a day visit and I have to say that she is a stunning vessel. She offers 342 superb suites for a maximum of 684 guests, along with a casino, several dining options, swimming pool and whirlpools, boutiques, fitness center and spa and eight lounges.
She is small but perfectly formed and feels noticeably bigger than she looks. Her mid-ships pool area was certainly my favorite place on board, featuring large day beds, comfortable striped loungers and an inviting pool bar — what more could you ask for?
Who will like sailing on Oceania Nautica
Oceania Nautica is attractive for many people, especially those looking for smart, inventive itineraries that avoid the crush of the masses. Do note that Nautica is not designed to cater to families with young children. There were several children on board during my visit, but she does not have the kids' club facilities that many other ships have. I would recommend her especially to couples, groups of friends and those looking to cruise on their own.
Where Nautica sails
Oceania Nautica sails in and around Europe, Asia and Africa. During my visit she was sailing a British Isles itinerary.
Dining on Nautica
With four open seating restaurants on board along with bars and lounges, Oceania Nautica offers several different options when it comes to fine dining.
The Grand Dining Room offers approachable luxury on a grand scale. With multiple courses of French-inspired Continental dishes, the Grand Dining Room is certainly the place for a lavish silver-service meal.
During my time on board I dined in this restaurant and the food was superb, heightened by the fine Versace china from which we ate. I had lobster risotto followed by spinach and ricotta crepes, and they were both delicious.
With Tuscan recipes straight from the Italian culinary staff, this restaurant looks to create an authentic Tuscan experience. Toscana prepares its dishes with flavors balanced and rooted in family traditions, while sommeliers recommend the right vintage for each dish.
Inspired by the Hollywood legends whose pictures adorn the walls, the Polo Grill offers an old-school atmosphere of a classic steakhouse. This intimate restaurant offers guests an ambience that matches its dishes, coupled at night with a romantic moonlit view. The Polo Bar inside the restaurant also offers visitors a large variety of single-malt Scotch and full-grain whiskeys.
Polo Grill is also home to the famous 32-ounce King’s Cut Prime-rib, which you can order free of charge. (Watch out, dieters!) Also on the menu, a 16-ounce Queen’s Cut.
Other dining options
Breakfast and lunch buffets at the Terrace Cafe offer an informal option for dining. Guests can dine indoors or outdoors, since the cafe opens onto both the teak-lined pool deck or aft onto the Terrace. Waves Grill is near the swimming pool and offers gourmet burgers, barbecue and seafood. The open galley allows you to observe the chefs in action, cooking to order while you sample fresh salads or hand-cut fries on the side. Desserts include gelato, a bowl of homemade ice cream or a made-to-order milkshake.
After a day of shore excursions or onboard activities, you may dine in your suite or stateroom, with a menu available around the clock. Guests in the Owner's Vista and Penthouse Suites have butler service with course-by-course dining with dishes from the Grand Dining Room.
One of cruising's most time-honored traditions, High Tea aboard Oceania Nautica is served promptly at 4 pm each day in the Horizons observation lounge. Pastry chefs take create a collection of English-style finger sandwiches, scones and other treats. Guests may also enjoy live entertainment during afternoon High Tea.
Nautica bars & lounges
Martinis serves numerous incarnations of this popular cocktail in an intimate atmosphere with live piano music, while the Grand Bar offers guests the opportunity to enjoy conversation with friends over a rare vintage wines or handcrafted cocktails.
The Horizons Lounge was a wonderful space, obscured somewhat by the dance floor area in the center. If you went behind this, you had impressive views out across the front of the ship.
The ship's theater was also an impressive space with a rich, dark décor that sat perfectly against the lemon chairs and drapes.
Entertainment & enrichment
Canyon Ranch, the U.S.-based resort and health spa, has joined Oceania Cruises to set up an outpost for its famous spas on board, called SpaClub. Canyon Ranch brings its 30-year track record in skin care, acupuncture, salon services and body treatments to Oceania guests without any of the heavy sales tactics for the products.
The beautifully decorated Card Room is an inviting and tranquil oasis. Stay at the top of your game and try your hand at bridge, either in tournament format or with newfound friends. Or gather around one of our many tables for a quiet afternoon or evening of board games.
Two stylish boutiques feature a bounty of items ranging from sundries to designer casual wear. Browse through an array of duty-free merchandise including fine jewelry, fragrances and Oceania Cruises logo wear.
Guests can take one of the Nautica's slot machines for a spin or join a rousing game of blackjack, poker, or roulette inside the ship's Monte Carlo-style casino.
Nautica's library is one of the finest that I have seen aboard any ship, a large space spanning right across the deck and featuring a large, open imitation fireplace and beautifully painted ceiling. It is certainly the ideal place onboard to relax with your book.
Aficionados of the arts will discover ample opportunity aboard Nautica to attend live classical concerts under the stars, or marvel at the magicians, comedians and other headliners. Evenings aboard Nautica can include chatting with newfound friends over a cocktail in one of the ship's eight lounges. Dance the night away in Horizons to the sounds of a marvelous musical group.
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Have you sailed on Oceania Nautica? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight? I'd love to hear about your experience!
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Top highlights on this ship
- Sail around Europe, Asia and Africa on Nautica's "Best of the Old World cruise."
- Indulge in as many relaxing treatments as you like inside Nautica's SpaClub, by the American-based Canyon Ranch resort.
- Monte-Carlo style casino
- 32-ounce King's Cut prime-rib steak offered in the Polo Grill
- Several suite options
- Intimate small-ship cruising