On Tuesday I spent a good part of the day aboard Oceania Cruises Nautica during her time in Newcastle. My last visit to Port of Tyne was a complete washout, but for Nautica the sun shone brightly and there was barely a cloud in the sky – perfect ship visit weather!
I explored as many places as possible onboard, but there were a few places that really got my attention, so I wanted to highlight those for you in my blog today.
First of all, the open decks. Everyone must know by now that the open deck can be a deal breaker for me. If it’s not right, then we are going to have a pretty big problem. I don’t mean that I need every deck to be perfect, but I must be able to find at least one outdoor space where I am content – mid-ships was that space for me on Nautica. As soon as I walked through the door and out onto Deck 9 I was in love. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Right in the middle there was a large inviting pool, to the sides were crisp white sun loungers and at either end there were large day beds. I could have quite happily stayed there all day. The only thing missing was a cocktail, but saying as the bar was only a few feet away, that issue could easily have been resolved.
The Grand Dining Room was stunning, definitely my favourite of all the restaurants onboard. It was large – actually much bigger than I had expected given the size of the ship – and decorated in neutral tones with just a subtle hint here and there of gold. The Versace dinner settings finished it off perfectly. The Grand Dining Room was also the venue for our onboard lunch. I had lobster risotto to start followed by spinach and ricotta crepes, and for dessert we were served A La Minute Poached Floating Island. I had no idea what this was going to be if I am honest, but it turned out to be one of the nicest and lightest desserts that I have ever had, it also looked amazing!
I also liked the Polo Grill. The décor was very different to that of the Grand Dining Room – imagine a steakhouse with a hint of black and white Hollywood – and the menu left me speechless. I wanted to eat everything on it! I scanned from top to bottom and there was Florida lobster tail and filet mignon, grilled jumbo shrimp scampi, New York strip, creamed spinach, Kobe beef, truffle mashed potatoes, and then, my eyes came to it – the Kings Cut 32oz Prime-rib. A 32oz steak!! I just stood looking at it on the menu for a while, trying to imagine what it must be like. I mean, someone could actually eat a 32oz steak? Surely that’s the equivalent of a whole cow!!! 😉
Moving on from the torment of steak and prawns that I couldn’t have, we passed through the ships library, and it was beautiful. I always have a look in the library onboard, but it’s not a place I spend any time, this one, however, I could have quite happily spent a few hours engrossed in a book. The ceiling reminded me of an old fashioned conservatory, like you would see attached to the back of a grand manor house, it even had painted birds on it for extra effect. There was a large imitation fireplace in the centre, several fabric covered sofas and large oversized leather chairs, and all the books were tucked away in beautiful wooden cabinets.
The atrium onboard was also rather impressive. Red and beige carpet set against rich, dark wood panelling and a black and gold metal staircase – It had a certain charm about it and definitely gave a feeling of traditional cruising.
I was only onboard for a few hours, so I didn’t get to experience everything that she has to offer, but what I did see was very impressive. I am hoping to pay a visit to Oceania Marina in July, so watch this space………………