_Oceania Nautica _
Country club chic perfectly describes the surroundings aboard Oceania Nautica — and many of the 684 passengers as well. Built in 2000, the ship underwent a major refurbishment in 2014, resulting in new cabin interiors and nice touches, like a no-fee espresso bar. Food is a big deal aboard, with vast menus (including items by affiliated Chef Jacques Pepin) served in the open-seating main dining room. The relatively small ship (just 342 cabins) carries big-ship amenities, like a Canyon Ranch Spa, a large heated pool, and a casino. Choose a Concierge Level cabin or suite for perks like early boarding, a Champagne welcome, access to the Spa Terrace, and 24-hour butler service.
What We Love
Fascinating Lectures: Nautica carries several onboard lecturers and packs sea days with excellent talks about destinations or other intriguing topics. We found the speakers to be a cut above those we've experienced elsewhere.
Sleep Tight: Good luck waking up for that early excursion. All of the mattresses have pillow-tops wrapped in chamomile fibers, plus 1,000-thread-count sheets.
Best Known For
The Food: It's one long feast, with outstanding onboard cuisine that's good enough to ensure some weight gain if you aren't careful.
Canyon Ranch Spa: The marble-clad spa — which offers a full menu of massages, facials, and body wraps — is gorgeous.
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Who It's Best For
Upscale Sophisticates: Passengers tend to be well-heeled, well-traveled, and well-read.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Cha-Ching: Shore excursions can be pricey, and some passengers organize their own onshore expeditions.
Suites Get Preference in Specialty Restaurants: The two specialty restaurants — the Polo Grill steakhouse and Toscana, an Italian venue — don't carry an extra tab, but there are some reservation restrictions depending on your cabin class. Tip: Get on the waitlist and you'll likely get in, especially if you don't mind dining late.
Gayle Keck is a San Francisco-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
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Oceania Nautica at a Glance
- Line: Oceania Cruises
- Class: Regatta
- Number of Passengers: 684
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 2000
- Refurbish Date: 2014