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Cruise Ship Information

MS Nautica is a cruise ship, built by Renaissance cruises as part of their R class. Nautica is now owned and operated by Oceania Cruises, where she is part of their Regatta Class. She was built in 2000 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France for Renaissance Cruises as MS R Five. Between 2002 and 2004 she sailed for Pullmantur Cruises before entering service with her current owners in 2005.

On 30 November 2008 while sailing on the Gulf of Aden the Nautica came under attack by Somalian pirates, but was able to escape without any injuries to passenger or crew.

Atmosphere on board

After a 14-hour shore excursion in Cairo -- and the long, hard slog to Alexandria, where Oceania's Nautica was docked -- everyone was pretty worn out. You could visibly see the exhaustion of the more than 500 folks (of the 650-plus sailing) as they straggled back to the ship from a sea of motor coaches. They were, to be sure, thinking longingly of a relaxing cocktail, a quick buffet dinner ... and then bed.

But just as passengers approached a red carpet that snaked out onto the dock from the gangway, they heard the strains of "When the Saints Come Marching In," by the Nautica Orchestra, tucked up on Deck 5's promenade. A banner hung above the ship's entrance saying "Welcome Home." Passengers were offered fresh juices and hot towels. There was an immediate change in mood as the passengers stood up straighter, smiled genuinely and shook off their weariness. They were jazzed by the reception -- and so were the staffers on hand lining the red carpet saying hello. Christopher, a member of the ship's entertainment team, occasionally broke out into a jig; Bruno, the ship's concierge, broke ranks to greet a familiar passenger with a warm handshake.

This was the most moving of many, many wonderful moments, big and small, that were experienced on a recent Mediterranean cruise aboard Nautica, Oceania's newest ship. Others included the joie de vivre of officers and staff who competed in putting, Ping-Pong and shuffleboard with passengers in a rousing "Officers Challenge Day" tournament. I overheard a guest ask cruise director Leslie Jon what events were planned for the day -- and appreciated the gentle kindness with which he detailed them (he could have just told her to read the daily program). No matter how intense the dinner table conversation, we always enjoyed an interruption by the nightly "Pascal and Andrea" meet-and-greet, in which the ship's chef and restaurant manager visited most, if not all, tables, chatting and laughing. Mind you, these represent just a sampling of special moments.

Family with Kids/Teens

Sorry, wrong ship. Most activities are geared to grownups on Marina, and there's no daycare center, teen club or arcade to keep the younger ones occupied.

Past Passenger Programs

Recreation onboard Oceania Cruises Marina offers a great variety of past times. You can relax by the pool with a cocktail or your favourite book, enjoy the quiet surroundings of the English-style library, or participate on one of the enrichment classes.

Try your luck in the Casino, relax in one of the eight lounges bars or investigate the boutique shopping. From wine tasting to Yoga there is bound to be something for everyone.

Fitness And Spa

Canyon Ranch SpaClub is the spa onboard Oceania ships. All Concierge Level and Suite passengers receive free unlimited access to the Spa Terrace, which includes a steam room, small Jacuzzi pool and lounge chairs. The spa center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and offers a host of therapeutic, beauty and salon treatments.

Marina's fitness facility is located within the Canyon Ranch spa. A range of 25- or 50-minute classes for fitness and wellness are offered, as well as personal training sessions, for a fee. Most classes cost $11 unless otherwise specified. Educational workshops and some classes are complimentary but are not scheduled until the voyage takes place.

Food & Dining

Specialty dining is included as part of the fare on Marina. In addition to the ship's Grand Dining Room, it features two specialty restaurants, a buffet and a poolside cafe. In the Grand Dining Room, where the cuisine is French-inspired Continental, frescoes adorn the ceiling. Specialty restaurant Toscana features Tuscan cuisine. Sommeliers are on hand to suggest wine pairings. Don't miss the olive oil menu. Polo Grill, the second specialty restaurant, is an upscale steakhouse. Terrace Cafe is Marina's breakfast and lunch buffet, which offers the chance to dine indoors or alfresco on the pool deck or aft terrace. Waves Grill offers lunchtime options like barbecue, seafood, salads, ice cream, gelato or milkshakes for Marinabathers and poolside loungers.

At 4 p.m. each day, you can partake in an English tea service, complete with a classical string quartet and pastries, in Horizons lounge.

Entertainment

During sea days onboard Marina, activities are limited to the pool area, lounges and a few other select venues. Play a hand of cards in the Card Room, or brush up on your knowledge of vino with wine tastings and a discussion with the head sommelier.

Shows and general entertainment onboard Marina feature a live classical orchestra, magicians, comedians and other headliners that vary by sailing.

The ship has a casino that features table games and slot machines, two shops and martini tastings at Martini's.

Fellow Passengers

Travelers tend to fall into the older age ranges (50 and up), are well traveled and hail mostly from the U.S. and Canada, with Brits and Australians making up the balance.

Tipping

Marina radiates her own unique warmth and character. Her distinctive personality shines through from the moment you first step into her newly redesigned, neo-classical lobby or Toscana, resplendent in rich new fabrics and furnishings that reflect the charisma of Tuscany. Marina boasts decks and verandas graced with the finest teak and exquisite custom stone and tile work. To ensure the elegance shines throughout the entire experience, there is all new Villeroy & Boch china, the finest silver and crystal, and a distinctive museum-quality art collection that is an eclectic melding of traditional and contemporary, with a touch of whimsy.

Our recommendation

Overall very impressed with the cabin. Housekeeping team very professional, polite and we always come back to a clean and freshened room. Kept up their promise as a luxury cruise line.