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Click here for Naming Ceremony Program

 

 
 
 

Click here for Nautica Naming Luncheon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Nautica cruise review

Ah, there she is! Nautica looks immaculate on this sunny Monday afternoon. While porters run around with luggage carts, our passports are taken in by friendly Oceania staff. After being handed our Oceania World Card, which doubles as our stateroom key, our photo is taken by the ship’s photographer. Welcome on board!

When Renaissance Cruises ordered eight sister vessels in the late nineties, the cruise line appointed John McNeece as principal interior designer and told him to style the ships classically and luxuriously, like a British country club. McNeece succeeded admirably, making much use of dark wood paneling, thick ruby red carpeting and plush, comfortable furniture. With Nautica spending the last couple of years catering to the Spanish cruise market, Oceania had to replace all smoke-infested carpets and furnishings, albeit without changing anything to the look and feel of the vessel.  The result of this operation that Nautica feels like a brand new ship.

Our stateroom happens to be just around the corner from the Grand Lobby. Cabin 4404 measures 165 sq ft (15.3 sq m), has a picture window, two beds that can be converted into a double, a sitting area plus a small bathroom with shower. The Oceania fleet is not exactly known for their lavish accommodations and while perfectly adequate and elegantly appointed, only the largest suites on board really qualify for the term “stateroom”. To increase the appeal of the cabins, Oceania was one of the first cruise lines to invest in sleeping comfort. They introduced the “Tranquility Bed”, featuring the best in bedding with 350-thread  cotton linens and high-quality mattresses. This proved to be a brilliant move as guests cannot stop raving about the beds and seem to forget all about the claustrophobic bathrooms. Since my last Oceania cruise, TV programming has been improved considerably, with four channels of quality feature films. And, in all fairness, who needs a big bathroom if you can stretch out on a Tranquility Bed watching a great movie?

On Nautica's naming day the sun shines from a clear blue sky. Despite a bitterly cold wind, conditions seem perfect for a festive ceremony as all of Oceania’s Friends & Family venture ashore to listen to a seemingly endless parade of speeches, music and prayers. Then finally, Nautica officially receives her name as Godmother Fana Holtz wishes the vessel Godspeed. The champagne bottle crashes on the vessel’s hull, confetti fills the air and horns blow. And to top it all off, a mind-boggling gourmet lunch is awaiting us back on board.

That evening, at precisely 11.00 PM, all of the Istanbul's waterfront slowly comes into view as Nautica makes a gracious pirouette in the Golden Horn to allow guests an unrivalled view of that fabulous Turkish city. Our cruise has officially started!

Reception Hall

Reception Hall
Outside stateroom

Tranquility Beds!

Reception Hall

Stairwell art
Cabin corridor
Bathrooms are small but well equipped

Officers on the bridge watching the naming ceremony

Nautica naming ceremony
Sailing from Istanbul

Nautica naming ceremony

Sailing from Istanbul
 

 

Photos and text: © 2005-2006 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on March  5, 2006

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