1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Oceana Review
  5. Oceana Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: March 2011
Transfer to the ship was very interesting going through Barbados, there was a mix of cultures and properties throughout the journey and would have loved to have stayed longer on the island to try out some of the local haunts. Luggage was ... Read More
Transfer to the ship was very interesting going through Barbados, there was a mix of cultures and properties throughout the journey and would have loved to have stayed longer on the island to try out some of the local haunts. Luggage was delayed getting to our cabin, which meant we had to go for our first dinner in the clothes we had been in since 2am that morning. Not a good start but didnt spoil our evening as we could see the staff putting all stops out to get this sorted for the 1800 passengers on board.       Childrens club looked like it was closed when we were enquiring, and a bit daunting for us as we were not sure who to contact as it was our first cruise. However once our son joined and was introduced to the team, they were so friendly and down to earth, he wanted to go there all the time. There was only 14 children on the cruise, most of the children under 5 which was disappointing for our 7 year old, but he enjoyed nevertheless. Our fault really for going out of season.       The service was fantastic in all areas of the ship, the staff always gave a smile and welcome whenever we bumped into them. They couldnt do enough for us. Thanks to our waiters for amazing service and attentiveness, well done.       We were on first sitting for evening dining, which we were not sure of because it was much too early to when we normally dine, so we decided to try the 6.30pm, and too be honest it worked out brilliantly for the varied age groups in our party. The choice of menu was fantastic, with up to 7 courses available. The food was always presented well, and cooked to perfection. For the amount of choice and the amount of diners that had to be served, I take my hat off to all the teams involved.       The plaza on Deck 14 was disappointing at breakfast time, too many people pushing and panicking, not the ships fault, just a lot of greedy and ignorant tourists. In the evenings it had everything there, good choice of food with great salads, main meals and desserts, but the quality of the food on the themed evenings was very disappointing especially the seafood evening.       The sailaway party themes were a little over the top, and a bit tacky, but my parents thoroughly enjoyed, along with a good percentage of guests. There is plenty of space to move away from this if it is not your thing, and I really enjoyed watching the views of the idyllic islands as we sailed away into the sunset, in a little more serence ambience which suited me. The staff and entertainment team worked really hard to try to encourage all types of customers to enjoy themselves. Was disappointed with the Assistant Entertainment Director, who never had a smile on his face, I think I smiled to him more than I got back........I thought he was in entertainment, could have fooled us!       The spa had a good choice of treatments, but found it to be quite expensive. Nevertheless we opted for the top to toe massage and it was fantastic. There was a few exercise classes arranged from 8am to 9am, but as this was to be a relaxing holiday and as I was a younger traveller on the ship, felt we could have had a bit flexibility on class times to suit all, not just the early risers.       Decor on the ship was dated, but everything was clean, tidy and I did not see any major issues as in previous posts. It is definately due for a refurbishment but it wouldnt stop us travelling again on the ship.       All in all we had a great holiday, everything was well organised. Thanks to all on the Oceana who worked exceptionally hard - we appreciated it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We agreed to join some friends on this cruise from Barbados back to Southampton as we hadn't tried a relocation cruise before with its many days at sea. We were slightly concerned by some of the comments about the ship looking tired ... Read More
We agreed to join some friends on this cruise from Barbados back to Southampton as we hadn't tried a relocation cruise before with its many days at sea. We were slightly concerned by some of the comments about the ship looking tired and in need of a refit but need not have been. It sounded from some of the views to be like a floating shed but honestly there were no threadbare carpets or second rate feel to it but was lovely throughout. Probably the most obvious area is the carpet in The Plaza restaurant area which was stained in many places and needed a deep clean though when it can be done would be difficult as this area is in use about 18 hours a day. Indeed, we thought that this was probably the best designed and run ship we have ever been on.The flight out using Thomson in Premium seating was very good (except they ran out of a choice of meals which is one of the features of Premium) and we arrived at Barbados totally relaxed having had the extra legroom, though the temperature was a bit of a shock having been scraping ice of the windscreen in the morning. Bags went straight to the cabin with no queuing for immigration only an amazingly efficient boarding system and we were onboard in no time and off to find a drink until our cases arrived.We only had an inside cabin but it had plenty of room for us, sparkling clean en-suite and a lovely steward, Grazie. Once I worked out that the corner shelves in the wardrobe folded up, there was plenty of hanging space and so many drawers in the beside cabinet and desk unit that we did not fill them all. The cabin was quiet as far as ship noise was concerned though the air conditioning unit had air flow noise and the thermostat needed to be put up as it was chilly.We would have rated the ship excellent but for the draughty and erratic air conditioning in the public parts of the ship. It tended to blow cold air down on you (one day the lady in front was wearing her NorthFace fleece in the theatre) and this could be in the restaurants or other venues, but another day it would be off and hot. It also seemed to me to be obtrusively noisy in Starlight or Footlights for lecturers and piano concerts so the AC is an aspect that needs attention. Remember that it can be cold and take a wrap.There seemed to be an amazing number of spaces on the ship to sit, not quite all with a bar attached. The library was small, no doubt to make space for the cyberspace area. Deck space was also large and split up into many smaller areas with lots of loungers. Despite some very hot days early on, I never saw all the areas full though there was competition around the central area. This was the area used for the sailaway party which seemed to me was something out of Butlins but I happily accept that it is not my thing and on the ship of its size easily avoided. This brings me to the entertainment. The Headliners, the ships song and dance company of 13 very fit boys and girls performed routines of a good standard and were enjoyable. However, the other cabaret acts were less good. Andre, the comedy magician, had some inappropriate material for the age range in the audience and you can always tell when the audience is not happy with it by the slightly nervous laughter. The age of material was largely ancient - I could not believe he used the gag of a message for Joe who is 111 - Oh no, he's ill. That must be circa 1956. He also used some Tommy Cooper routines eg the wooden duck choosing a card but he does not come near to Tommy Cooper but sounds like Jim Davidson mucking about with old tricks.It did not get better with the singer Rob Linacre. I sat spellbound as to how anyone could be so bad and be paid. It was like watching Adrian Chiles singing with his face screwed up with his eyes like slits with someone holding his privates to get the higher notes - indeed as he tastefully put it "To reach those notes my bum cheeks were so clenched you couldn't get a credit card between them". I couldn't take much of the female singer Jessica Lloyd either though part of that was the sheer volume that was coming at me. The classical pianist Simon Weale was competent and pleasant giving perhaps rather perfunctory performances some of which did not even manage 45mins. The guest lecturers were Professors, one specializing in Conspiracy theories and cover-ups who was good and popular and the other going into the history and structure of crime fiction who was interesting but a minority taste. I did not see Eddie the Eagle's after dinner talk. These are of course only my opinions and to others the acts were obviously popular.The weather stayed generally calm for the crossing and indeed the ship rode well up to the Force 7 we had, though there was more cloud and rain than we hoped. The sea days passed easily and the holiday did what we intended it to be as a relaxing break and back for spring. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Oceana at 10 years old is a well founded and maintained ship, cabins are beautifully appointed and our steward Pankaj was telepathic, always on hand when we needed him, worked hard and always smiling. We were waited on hand and foot ... Read More
Oceana at 10 years old is a well founded and maintained ship, cabins are beautifully appointed and our steward Pankaj was telepathic, always on hand when we needed him, worked hard and always smiling. We were waited on hand and foot - didn't even have to collect our luggage in Barbados it was delivered from plane to cabin and were made to feel welcome on arrival. The food, standard of catering and organisation was for the most part faultless (minor complaint about hot plates for cold food on the buffet and the coffee not great). Lunches were superb in all venues and our dinners in the Ligurian (Freedom Dining) were awesome. Dinner at Cafe Jardin was not worth paying the extra for - lunches there were excellent but the dinner menu was the same for two weeks and the service poor in comparison to the main restaurants. Sightseeing was superb although in EVERY destination you would do better going ashore and taking one of the many tours on offer at half the price - most people like an easy life and Oceana's staff certainly provided that. Entertainment on board included Fogwell Flax (so very funny), a brilliant concert pianist, after dinner speaker Tommy Docherty (who was amazing and fielded questions from the audience with a true sense of humour), with shows and high octane dancing - they did really well. Daytime at sea there was so much to do we found ourselves racing from ballroom dancing classes to windows 7 seminar, go-yoga, how to improve your photography to talks and films on the Panama Canal. Which brings me to the highlight of the tour - The Panama Canal. Oceana had an expert historian on board with a wealth of knowledge, he kept us enthralled all day with his commentaries - a really fantastic experience. Now comes the downside of our trip Ionithermie: I went along to one of the many seminars 'how to deal with those troublesome fatty areas on your body' The answer was Ionithermie currently not available in the UK, it's a treatment with special clay and electrodes and you can lose up to 8" Too good to be true? I signed up for the free consultation and Stephanie told me I needed 3 treatments on board and she would give me a simple regime to follow at home. If I booked all three appointments there and then with the discounts it would cost only £189.00 - "wow" I said "that is a serious amount of money are you really sure it works with long term results"? She was very confident and said she would measure me before and after. I booked my three appointments. After the first treatment Stephanie displayed the items needed for the simple regime at home the cost...£200.00+ I queried why this wasn't disclosed prior to the treatments, she wanted to know why I thought it so expensive, she said some passengers had spent over £3,000.00 on stuff to take home. I felt very pressured and said I need to think it over. Afterward I cancelled my next two appoints (losing the discount and had to pay £89.00) I did lose 4" - I was measured in 8 places and the losses were aggregated IT LASTED ALL OF one day. Having got home I goggled Ionithermie and was so grateful I didn't spend any more money on it. I will be writing with my concerns to P and O. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our ... Read More
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our first holiday for five years and we were sold on the wonderful brochure rhetoric about Oceana and the Panama Canal cruise Jan 2011. A mini suite seemed perfect for us to view all from the stern. Once aboard, after unecessary security worse than Gatwick, we waited 6 hours for our cases to be delivered to our cabin. 5 hours! A very bad start with no apology or satisfactory explanation. Everyone was fuming. Oceana is a tatty ship, carpet torn, stuck down with Duck Tape. Carpet edges lifting, rust coming through paintwork, unchanged duff lightbulbs, low pressure hot water, muck in the bottom of the pools and jacuzzi etc. If P and O spent as much money refurbishing this faded hulk as they do on glossy brochures it could be quite good again. OK, let's be more specific...... This was a very expensive cruise and we expected the luxury to reflect the price. Sad error here! This can only be described as Butlins at Sea. In fact the facilites, entertainment, food and ambience are probably better at Butlins for a fraction of the price. The prices on board for alchohol are an outrage. One cannot compare with UK prices. Remember, this a Bahama registered vessel and buys it's alchohol locally paying no UK excise. So, one is shafted twice over, the profit margins are obscene. Smokers are treated like lepers. EU(UK) law should not apply to a Bahaman registered ship in international waters with a mainly foreign and Asian crew. The full spectrum xray security measures coming back on board from ashore are not designed to protect but to confiscate any booze one buys ashore at sensible prices. They want a totally captive market. The entertainment team must have come straight from school, lacking any talent, childish and immature, all giggles, hyena laughs and corny. Not a pro amongst them. The cruise director? Lost for words here, where did they drag her from? The food, well, think Butlins, bland and average. The Plaza? Think 1970s Motorway Services at Newport Pagnell! The signature restaurants charge outrageous cover charges for food that is no better than your average town eaterie. Just remember, this cruise was advertised and sold at high prices!!!!!!! We are always happy to spend but want value for money, when you pay top dollar you expect top dollar. All in all, total rubbish, never again. Sorry P and O, everything about this ship is a disgrace. A two star experience for a five star price. A total miss sell! The only highlight, The Canal, amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We flew in from Manchester and had a bit of a delay getting off the flight and also at the port actually getting off the bus. A bit of a delay booking in but they must had got more people on the desks as this queue soon went down. ... Read More
We flew in from Manchester and had a bit of a delay getting off the flight and also at the port actually getting off the bus. A bit of a delay booking in but they must had got more people on the desks as this queue soon went down. On board around 6pm but cases not arrived so checked out where we could get dinner which was in the Lingurian Restaurant (normally used for flexi dining) and had a very good meal before returning to our cabin to find the cases had now arrived. Cabin was a reasonable size we were in an outside on Deck 8, starboard side near the front. The bathroom was extremely small but adequate and there was a good selection of toiletries from the "White Company" which I assumed was the Luxurious Pamper Package. Had a wander round the ship to find our bearings and ended up on the top deck having a drink in one of the many bars and pleasantly surprised with the price of the drinks which were comparable to English bar prices and no service charge. I have covered our port destinations of St Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Punta Arenas & Acapulco separately. We also visited Zihuatanejo in Mexico before going on to Acapulco. This was by tender and we just got a local water taxi (around US$5 each way) to the Playa Las Gatos which was excellent plenty of space and we used the sunloungers and umbrella of a local restaurant on the understanding we had lunch at the restaurant, very fair deal as the food was excellent and drinks cold and a good price. You can snorkel here as there is a small reef a little distance from the beach and this makes the water quite calm. There were a number of talks whilst on board about the Panama Canal and navigation which my husband attended and he enjoyed them and found them very informative. The highlight of the holiday was going through the Panama Canal and we were very fortunate in having just a couple of showers of rain on the day but well worth it. The entertainment on the ship was very good in some respects, Steve Larkins (Freddy Mercury tribute), Dain Cordean (magician and comedian), Fogwell Flax (impressionist and comedian) and the shows put on by the Headliners which we went to were also very good. Some of the other acts not so good but you don't have to listen as there are other places to go. Disappointing though that there wasn't more on lots of things repeated. The entertainment team were a bit of a mixed bag and some things went really well and others not so. Mainly attended the quizzes just to while away sea days. If you could manage to get a teak sunlounger or chair on Deck 7 to us this was an excellent place to watch the world go by and read your book and watch the odd turtle pass by. We did not really attempt to go on the sun deck as we had heard so many passengers complaining about being able to get a chair and it was very hot up there anyway. Note that port side of Deck 7 allows smoking. We opted for first seating dining and shared a table with a lovely couple from Wales and had an enjoyable two weeks with them. The food although not as good as expected was still very good and there was no issues with having extra portions or a different meal if you didn't like the one you had chosen. We also opted for a wine package at the beginning of the cruise which averaged out the cost of the various wines to about £12 a bottle the usual price of the house wine. Overall we found the cruise to be very good and better than expected having read reviews of Oceana before we left. The ship is a little tired but maintenance was ongoing whilst we were onboard which didn't affect us at all. We were advised though that the Oceana is going in for a £5million refit some time in the next year so hopefully it will be back to it's former glory. As our last cruise was on Royal Caribbean on a Baltic Cruise, we found this a much cheaper cruise whilst on board and would certainly go on another P&O cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Oceana was the second cruise ship we sailed on, the first being her sister ship Adonia, which went back to Princess Cruises after a couple of seasons. We have been on Oceana 4 times now. We love the theatre and and the starlights lounge ... Read More
Oceana was the second cruise ship we sailed on, the first being her sister ship Adonia, which went back to Princess Cruises after a couple of seasons. We have been on Oceana 4 times now. We love the theatre and and the starlights lounge on Oceana. The staff always seem happy and friendly. Cabins are smaller than some ships, but perfectly adequate for a 14 night cruise. The public rooms and bars are good, and it is easy to find your way around the ship as you can walk all the way round on most decks. The best feature of the ship is the Atrium, which is much more attractive than on other ships. Overall, plenty of positives and no negatives I can think of. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Have cruised with Celebrity, R Caribbean, Costa and Princess, so have some reference points - ship is a bit tired, passengers almost entirely Brits, and although my wife and I had a great holiday, the frills were definitely missing. Some ... Read More
Have cruised with Celebrity, R Caribbean, Costa and Princess, so have some reference points - ship is a bit tired, passengers almost entirely Brits, and although my wife and I had a great holiday, the frills were definitely missing. Some good points - smooth crossing and reasonable weather; main dining room food and service excellent; usual stuff like newsletter of daily activities provided and quite a lot to do (essential of course for transatlantic) Lots of minor reservations on quality - self service food choice limited; speciality restaurant not impressive - more of a bistro; entertainment patchy in quality, and choreography/costumes for shows not up to competitors; staff attentive but glum; room service limited, often with extra charges; some localised maintenance lacking such as torn seats, toilet fittings and lights not operational, rusty spots on bulkheads on balcony, unvarnished handrails Just to add to things, there was a norovirus outbreak on board, with rigorous quarantine and sterilisation programmes from day one - all passengers in affected cabins (not just ill person)strictly quarantined to cabin for days - self service closed for several days. Anyone who had to visit the ship`s doctor was quick to express surprise at the level of (immediate)charges, and sometimes also the overzealous diagosis/treatment. This is not necessarily a criticism - better safe than sorry - but be aware. Computer system broke down for boarding, so long queues in a warehouse in the heat, after a wait in the bus due to multiple simultaneous flight arrivals. Balcony limited in size and is hole in bulkhead rather than glass like more modern ships. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
P&0 Oceana, Caribbean, 5/2/10. When we booked,(3 couples) we thought we were booking an upmarket cruise, having cruised with Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, and MSC. Sadly we were wrong, compared with the Sea Princess it was a ... Read More
P&0 Oceana, Caribbean, 5/2/10. When we booked,(3 couples) we thought we were booking an upmarket cruise, having cruised with Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, and MSC. Sadly we were wrong, compared with the Sea Princess it was a down market ship. At first glance it seemed ok but after a while you would start to notice the general upkeep of the ship was not up to the standards of other cruise lines, eg ripped carpets with yellow tape holding the carpet together, scratched and damaged panels on the lifts, cracked tiles, pealing varnish on the hand rails, the ship is in need of a facelift. Entertainment in the evening was disappointing, other than the shows put on by the entertainments team which were excellent. During the cruise we had 4 nights of piano recitals with only a handful of people in the Starlight's bar. If you like to dance on a small 15ft dia dance floor along with the sequence dancers then the Atrium is the place for you. Although Ron & Pat would put different music on for different styles of dancing if requested. We found that the Yacht and Compass dance floor was taken up with tables and chairs to accommodate the quiz night, but was not cleared after the quiz, more for the convenience of the crew, and not the enjoyment of the dancers. We did complain but found that the next night more tables on the dance floor (so why have a dance floor?) After a more strongly put complaint the tables and chairs were cleared. So should we have had to complain in the first place? The band Illusions in the Yacht & Compass was very good. The buffet on deck 14 was poor out of the 7 nights we went to eat only 4 were good. Breakfast and lunch was excellent, with plenty of choice. The restaurant was ok, but not excellent, one night I had lamb with the blood still coming out of the meat, which ruined my appetite for the evening. I would give it 3 stars. The crew were ok but not happy, would say hello but with no smiles. On the plus side the captain Hamish Reid was excellent, he would talk over the intercom every morning, and most evenings with his Scottish whit, which was nice to hear and keep you informed as to what was happening that day or evening and give advice about the sun ect. He was regularly seen walking around talking to the passengers. When we disembarked at Barbados he was at the bottom of the gang plank shaking hands and saying goodbye.The comments above is also that of our friends that was with us on the cruise. If I was asked to rate our cruises I would say P&O 6/10. Carnival MSC & Princess 9/10, Royal Caribbean 10/10. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Our journey started at Manchester Airport (UK). For this trip we had upgraded to Premium Class. - Slight hassle, we were not offered the express security route by the Servisair Air Check in person, fortunately the queues were not long so ... Read More
Our journey started at Manchester Airport (UK). For this trip we had upgraded to Premium Class. - Slight hassle, we were not offered the express security route by the Servisair Air Check in person, fortunately the queues were not long so no delays. Boarding the aircraft - no so good, despite being in Premium Class we were held back until all the main cabin was boarded - (for safety reasons). P&O as charterers of the aircraft need to get hold of this type of activity, it this lack of attention to detail that lowers the production and enjoyment. The flight was however good - Thomson, and Premium worth paying the extra for. The Airport to Ship transfer was very tedious, a half hour enforced wait on the aircraft, due to no busses being available, and again premium passengers not afforded an early exit from the aircraft. Anyway finally on board Oceana,all was well.The cabin was as I expected,a good size complete with a huge window virtually ceiling to floor. The cabin steward appeared within five minutes, and was eager to help. All was well. As I noted earlier the ship was in excellent condition, the crew extremely helpful and happy. Certainly Oceana has a soul, not like Arcadia. The other passengers were the usual mixed bag of age, and all mixed very well indeed. The Caribbean ports of call all went well, although my personal choice would be to bin Dominica, having been to all the ports before we did our own thing - St Lucia, St Maartin, and Antigua all fine. So to my first Eastbound crossing - very good. The on board food was to the usual high P&O standard, although one little niggle was the lack of hot tea and coffee in the Restaurant at both Breakfast and Dinner, something that RCL and HAL would not allow. We eat out in the Horizon Grill on 2 occasions - at UK£7.50 per person great value. We considered the Peirre White Jardan, sadly 2 not so good experiences with slow service at Breakfast put us off. Entertainment was very good,the stage shows and single performers all excellent. although I have encountered better on board speakers, and excellent ex Captain giving sea themed lectures, and the a poorly presented series on the BBC by and ex Manager, not so good And so to Southampton, embarkation at the City Cruise Terminal (Ventura was alongside Mayflower) was slick, we were off by 09:15, and on route to Manchester in a Eveasway Coach by 09:45 Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
OCEANA CRUISE E906 A CARIBBEAN ODYSSEY 20TH MARCH 2009 TO 3RD APRIL 2009 We booked this cruise less than one month before sailing, this was the transatlantic bring Oceana back from the Caribbean. Barbados to Southampton 14 ... Read More
OCEANA CRUISE E906 A CARIBBEAN ODYSSEY 20TH MARCH 2009 TO 3RD APRIL 2009 We booked this cruise less than one month before sailing, this was the transatlantic bring Oceana back from the Caribbean. Barbados to Southampton 14 nights. We checked in early for our flight on Thomas Cook Airlines, no problem getting seats together or asking for window seats. Soon we were on our way and all the negative comments about Thomas Cook Airlines were soon blown away. The flight and the service were really good. Soon we were landing at Barbados and the coaches were pulled up to the aircraft steps and we were on our way to Barbados docks. Once there the check in was so smooth, not a queue in site. We have sailed on Oceana 4 times so the WOW!! Factor is not there anymore. The ship though is kept spotlessly clean and soon we were in our cabin and meeting our Cabin Steward and very smiley young man called Xavier. We had tried to book 2nd seating for dinner but were told that we had been allocated Freedom Dining. Never had this before and we did try to change it once onboard. Alan Carr the Maitre'd said that they had so many passengers trying to get 2nd that he thought we had no chance to change. We went along the first night, and each night after, to Freedom dining and choose which time we went we did not have to wait for a table. As long as you are willing to share then we had no problem. We eat at different times each night from 6.45pm to 8.15pm on table of 8 or 6 people. All the people we spoke to said that this was their first time on Freedom but like us they will definitely try it again. Soon it was 9pm and we were sailing from Barbados to St. Lucia. In St. Lucia we decided to go to Marigot Bay we took a taxi to Doolittle's Hotel, this was very pleasant in that you took a small ferry to get their which was 2 dollars return. We stayed on the beach for the morning and returned to the ship around 1.30pm. We then sailed that evening to Dominica where we snorkeled at Champagne Reef. Again a very memorable day with lots to see at the reef. That evening we sailed to St. Maarten, one of our favorite islands and here we took a taxi to Little Bay, Divi Beach Resort. Last year around October this beach was hit by a large amount of water and the beach bar is no more. The staff said that the beach is now larger than before. They still allow you to have beach chairs and umbrellas for a fee. -2- We returned in the afternoon to the shops for a little retail therapy. That evening we sailed to Antigua our last Caribbean island before our transatlantic crossing. In Antigua we took a long taxi journey to Pineapple Beach resort and had some very interesting snorkeling along the two reefs. Anyone going here please remember to haggle for the chairs, they at first wanted 8 dollars per chair but we got them for 4 dollars per chair in the end. One of the good things about this beach is that it has a fabulous beach bar called Mamma Pasta, you must go and try their Rum Punch!!!!!!!!! We then had 5 sea days before our arrival in Madeira. Then another 3 sea days before our home port of Southampton. Overall Oceana is still looking good, we found that the food had improve, in our opinion, since the last time we were on her. Cafe Jardin is now Marco Pierre Whites restaurant in the evening, with a supplement of £4.99, well worth the money!! We also had breakfast and lunch in here most days and found the food and service to be tip top. I must mention The Headliners Theatre Company, in our opinion they were the best troupe of singers and dancers we have seen on any cruise ship. It is hope that P&O will renew their contracts if they so wish. The After dinner speakers were also excellent, we had George Layton, the actor, Derek Redmond for sports and Johnny Breerling on the BBC. A very enjoyable cruise all round. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
After a nightmare journey getting to east midlands airport through blizzards on the morning of 6th February, we boarded the flight to barbados and the holiday started then. Plenty of room on the A330 thomas cook flight no need to upgrade ... Read More
After a nightmare journey getting to east midlands airport through blizzards on the morning of 6th February, we boarded the flight to barbados and the holiday started then. Plenty of room on the A330 thomas cook flight no need to upgrade as plenty of leg room. Complimentary drinks and plenty of food. Took 8 hours and arrived 30 minutes early into barbados. Transfer to ship brilliant, cases took about 2 hours to arrive. Cabin was inside and was OK but could do with an update in the shower room. As flights were coming in late because of operational problems we had to stay in barbados an extra night and we had to miss our first island of Mayreau where we were looking forward to a restful day on the beach. Next we were of to Grenada and took a local taxi around the island, We would never book a trip with the Ship as these tours are simply brilliant as we did the same one 10 years ago. Next we were off to Margarita in Ven, this was made via tender and although described as mosquito hell it was your typical tropical island, people who visited inland said it was a dump with rubbish all over the place and not very nice, should have stayed on the lovely white beach and enjoyed a swim - not a mosquito in sight. next off to Curacao a dutch island that looks like amsterdam, lovely for photos. Day at sea then arrived at Colon, this was one time when everyone should take an organized trip as Colon and Panama City are very dangerous places to walk around. We went in a mini bus with 5 other passengers and was dumped in the middle of dock area and everyone had guns. We had wanted to go to the local mall but was taken to the warehouse quarter where you could only buy in bulk no less than a dozen items a time. Early the next day we started our transit through the Panama canal and I can only describe this as truly breath taking, it was fantastic, I will never never forget the experience, through the locks and into the gatun lake was unbelievable wow, wow, wow. A helicopter went around the ship and took photos and film which we could buy as a DVD for £16 it was well worth it as we could see ourselves at the front of the ship waving. Tell family that they can watch you transit the canal either via the ships web cam or the one on the side of the canal (panama web cam). Some mobile phones did not work while we were in Panama or the pacific. Someone said that the Panama authorities blocked them. My vodafone did not work until I was back in the UK. Then at sea and off to Puntarenas in Costa Rica. This was truly wonderful as we went on an organized trip to the jungle and went skywalking across several rope bridges (like the one in I'm a celebrity) fantastic and worth the £32 which the trip cost. Day at sea and onto Porto Quetzal in Guatemala more jungle trips if you wanted. Day at sea and off to Acapulco we berthed right by the beach and the town. we were looking forwarding to spending a day and night there but we were told that we had to move back out to sea for the night as the ship had to take on sea water for processing into drinking water. This caused some problems as people wanted to spend the evening in Acapulco and had to be back on board by 10.30, we got the letter telling us about this change after we arrived home. Don't do the trip Amazing Acapulco as it is the same trip that takes you back/from the airport. We went on a trip to see the divers and you could do this by hiring a taxi for a few dollars as it is only around the corner. Oh I forgot to mention Oceana, it was a very clean comfortable ship but is beginning to look its age and a passenger said she had heard that it was being downgraded to an Ocean Village but it may be just a rumor. Food was excellent and a good choice was available although I have had just as good on a Thomson cruise. Weather and sea conditions were perfect as one officers said it was the best weather he had every had in all the years he had been cruising, sunny and very hot especially in Acapulco. Diana Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
We only booked this Cruise at short notice as it was advertised as having Direct Flights from Leeds Bradford to Barbados and same on Rtn from Acapulco. Two wks before we were due to leave we were informed that our Flt to Barbados would ... Read More
We only booked this Cruise at short notice as it was advertised as having Direct Flights from Leeds Bradford to Barbados and same on Rtn from Acapulco. Two wks before we were due to leave we were informed that our Flt to Barbados would need to make a Technical Stop to refuel(Runway at LB too short to take off with full fuel load), we had a 20min Flt to Manchester where we sat on the Aircraft for 1hr 10mins whilst they refueled it. During the Flt we had free drinks and reasonable meals compliments of P&O served very well by Thomsons Staff, the Flt was operated by Thomsonfly on behalf of P&O. We arrived in Barbados on time and within 20mins were on a bus on the way to the Ship, Traffic was heavy and our Driver thought he knew a quicker way to the Ship/port, we eventually arrived 2hrs Later(normal time for rest of Buses was 1hr) we ended up in a queue of buses and sat for another 30mins before being allowed off the bus, just what you need after a 10hr+ flt. Check in when we eventually got there was quick and we boarded the ship and were shown to our cabin on A deck our luggage arrived 1hr Later. The ship itself was fine but did some signs of wear and tear but nothing untoward, we were allocated Freedom Dining which did work out quite well as we like to eat early and managed to get the same table every night, our 2 Waiters(Ved & Jo) were excellent. The food in the MDR was varied with lots of choices and quality was excellent. However our cabin A506 which was directly below the pool deck was very noisy with banging and scraping when the staff were arranging the sunbeds late at night and early morning, there was also some sort of machinery starting up on a regular basis which kept us awake, after bringing this to P&Os attention we were eventually moved to another cabin on the same deck A437 which was quiet while in Port but as soon as we sailed there was a constant Tapping from the bulkhead/ceiling, this was investigated and as it could not be fixed we were moved to B542, this cabin was fine with no noise other than normal ship noises. Entertainment was good with the CD being Mr Rob Boyd who in our view is one of the best CDs around, the Singers and Dancers were terrific with their shows and full of energy, guest entertainers were Ok and did 2-3 shows each wk of the cruise, John Sergent did a talk and that was very well received. We did miss Mayreau due to bad sea conditions but did get into St Vincent instead, we didn't find St Vincent to good, all other ports of call were completed and the weather was fine and hot everyday except for Colon when we had a Tropical Thunderstorm in the afternoon, so we can say we really enjoyed the cruise. Our highlight was a visit to a Embara Village with "My Friend Mario Tours" highly recommended. Now the Ugly, our rtn flt from Acapulco, we were informed on the ship that once again we had to stop to refuel this time in Miami, we took off on time then once airbourne we were then informed that due to the crew that was taking us from Miami to LB not having had enough rest, we would have a 2hr wait on the plane in Miami, however the 2hrs turned into 3hrs 50 mins as they did not to start to refuel the aircraft until 30mins after the new staff had got onboard, we had been told that with the 2 hr delay the air-crew would look after us however this consisted of 1 cup of tea or Coffee or a glass of water during the 3hr 50min wait, not what you would call being looked after, to complete the rtn flt misery when we were 20 mins from landing, we were told that due to LB being Fog bound we had to divert to Manchester and were then then taken by coach to LB. Not the best rtn flt from what had been a good holiday, all in all it took us 19hrs 30mins to rtn back to LB. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2007
This was our first time on Oceana although we have been on Adonia when she was with P&O so we knew what to expect. Flight: The one aspect of the trip that most people hate. We travelled with Monarch and upgraded to Premium seating - ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceana although we have been on Adonia when she was with P&O so we knew what to expect. Flight: The one aspect of the trip that most people hate. We travelled with Monarch and upgraded to Premium seating - worth it for extra luggage allowance and a little extra room. Flights both ways on time, going out good flight. Arrived at Barbados, straight down steps and onto coaches - fantastic. Arrival: On arrival at port check in, receive cruise card and register credit card at same time. Cabin: We were in the same aft minisuite on Adonia so we knew what to expect. It's a great cabin, huge balcony, 4 upright teak chairs, a table, 2 teak steamer chairs, 2 loungers all with new fireproof cushions. Large seating area in cabin, wet bar, two tvs, DVD player. Large bathroom, marble surround, jacuzzi bath. Extras, champagne, chocs and flowers on arrival, nightly canapes, priority boarding on tenders. Very efficient and friendly steward, Karl, who has worked for P&O for 10 years. Dining: 2nd sitting table for 8, we always choose that. Have always been lucky with table companions and this time very much so. Met up with them for drinks, went to shows etc. Food: First experience of plated meals, we thought them good; food always hot and well presented. Had alternative choice of steak twice, excellent, tender meat. Gala dinners were exceptional. Alternative dining: Booked on day of arrival for Horizon grill for Tropical evening. Don't know what happened but when we arrived waiter had no record of booking. Head waiter soon appeared and found us a table overlooking pool. Unfortunately it then rained so had to move to side. Food excellent, fillet steak fantastic. Worth extra cost. Plaza: Buffet, I don't like it my husband does. We went there for breakfast on some days, don't like plastic mugs and awful plastic water glasses. Food quite good. Had breakfast in restaurant twice, much better for me, husband likes choice of buffet. Cafe Jardin: Often had breakfast there, somewhere we both liked. Good choice of cereals and fruit. Had lunch there once - good. Much nicer atmosphere than Plaza. Bars: We don't frequent bars much as we tend to have pre-dinner drinks on our balcony. When we did, used Tiffanys good service, liked cocktails. Entertainment: Mixed. Good comedian, Mike Doyle, saw his two shows. Stadium Theatre company good musicals. Illusionist, Van Buren, was like being taken back to Sunday Night at London Palladium! Didn't see female singer/comedienne. Theatre full most nights. On night of deck party they showed Helen Mirren in "The Queen" in theatre, not full but nice alternative. Ports of call: Enjoyed all. Tortola: beautiful, been before did Beautiful BVI trip, part land part sea. Good land trip, motor boat trip not so good. Didn't see as much of coast line as I'd hope, still worth doing. St. Maarten: Husband did Americas Cup trip. Fantastic time - he has done racing before so was able to be active on board but plenty of things for newcomers. Wandered into Philipsburg, husband had haircut! Very good. Lovely drink by water. Antigua: Did jeep trip, off road, very good, excellent chatty drivers. Ended up at beach hotel for drinks. Lovely to see interior of island. St. Kitts: Railway trip, best trip of cruise. Do it if you have change. Double decker train, up opensided, comfortable seating, below airconditioned. Free drinks all the way, choir singing good commentary. It was lovely. 8 miles an hour, round 3/4 of island, rest of trip by bus. Dominica: I didn't do trip, husband went river tubing really enjoyed it. Friend on table did aerial tram trip and thought it was great. St. Lucia: did the Land and Sea trip, fantastic, lovely lunch at restaurant, saw volcano, gardens, then catamaran trip back. Worthwhile. St. Vincent: Best of St. Vincent, fort, gardens then across island to beach hotel, free drinks on balcony overlooking beach. Very good. Grenada: We'd been there before so did not do trip. Went round spice market, husband went to fort. Barbados, had whole day and night there. Husband did Bike trip which he enjoyed. We tend to do ship's tours because we like the security of knowing we'll be back at ship on time and if not it will wait for us. We thought apart from the Tortola trip all were worth the money. However, some people did their own thing very successfully. Overall: We like travelling with P&O and any criticisms are very minor. We believe we got value for money. As we have Portunus points we got discount on most things we bought on board, including all drinks. Drink prices, we think are good. We love the layout of Oceana and think the aft minisuites are exceptional. Don't think I'd pay the extra for a full suite. Most of the staff are efficient and friendly, no complaints there. The restaurant manager kept coming round to see that everything was ok. Children: We saw children around the ship but were not really conscious of them very much. They looked great all dressed up for formal nights. Cannot comment on kids' clubs. It was not school holiday time so not too many on board, a few babies. Spa: Didn't use it. Had one blow dry which was ok but not great. Probably wouldn't do it again. Pools: We don't use the loungers by the pool as we use our balcony. People on our table seemed to be able to get loungers although we did hear the occasional moans about people bagging loungers and then disappearing. We are going on Arcadia next year, inspite of all the anti comments so we will travel with an open mind. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2007
For our 1st ever cruise which was a birthday surprise for my wife I decided on the Caribbean. Was not sure if she could take the long flight. After having a some turbulence on the way over we were happy to get on the ground and more that ... Read More
For our 1st ever cruise which was a birthday surprise for my wife I decided on the Caribbean. Was not sure if she could take the long flight. After having a some turbulence on the way over we were happy to get on the ground and more that glad not to have to go through customs, but straight on a bus and straight to the ship. Overwhelmed by the size. getting on board was a breeze, no hassle, unlike the queuing you go through at the airports. Cabins were more than adequate for there purpose, as you only used them to get dressed and sleep in. Dressing up for dinner was a joy for us both as it was a gentle reminder of regimental dinners from an earlier time, meeting like minded people at meal times was also a bonus. The onboard facilities were very good and the trips were well worth the money, unlike a package holiday there was no pressure on board to take them. The entertainment was for the most of the cruise was very good quality and mixed. Our only minus was on the day of departure when you get the feeling you are no longer part of the ship, but that is the same on any holiday. One of the bonuses about cruising is the value for money. When you consider the many different places you visit and to visit them all separately, the cost would be very high. We are looking forward to our next one which is in 11 weeks time again to the Caribbean with friends on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
OCEANA - (23 December 2005  6 January 2006). Not having sailed with P & O Cruises over the Christmas and New Year Period before, I chose P&O`s ship the `Oceana`, for my `holiday` cruise in 2005. Oceana was built in 2000, of ... Read More
OCEANA - (23 December 2005  6 January 2006). Not having sailed with P & O Cruises over the Christmas and New Year Period before, I chose P&O`s ship the `Oceana`, for my `holiday` cruise in 2005. Oceana was built in 2000, of 77,000 tons; she has a maximum operating capacity of 2272 passengers and 870 crew. The ship has 12 passenger decks, 2 swimming pools (fresh water) a couple of splash pools and 5 Jacuzzis. There are 2 main restaurants; currently offering two sittings for dinner, but this, I understand is due to change in April, when one of the restaurants will become `open seating`. There is also the Plaza restaurant for casual dining, and in the evening, this restaurant transforms, together with the Horizon Grill, into alternative dining venues, with reservations required and at a supplement (currently £6.75 or USD$11.00) per person. The Cafe Jardin on deck 8 provides food 24 hours a day. There are two primary show lounges, no fewer than 10 bars/lounges serving alcohol and coffees, a casino, a well-stocked library, a cyber study facility, an avenue of shops, a photo gallery, an art gallery and a number of launderettes for use by passengers (washers and driers are free, but guests must supply their own soap, available for purchase from the shop onboard). There is also a very active club with a highly energetic and enthusiastic staff, catering for the needs of children and teenagers. P & O, now part of the Carnival Corporation, operates a fleet of 5 ships. The homeport for their ships is Southampton, England and P & O have a sea-going tradition since 1837, -some 169 years experience. Each year, during the winter months, three of its ships depart on World Cruises, whilst the remaining two ships are based in the Caribbean. During the other seasons, the fleet operates to and from Southampton on cruises of varying durations, offering a wide choice of itineraries. The company claim that they operate a service of `Traditional British Cruising`. The currency on board is the pound sterling (£). Documentation for this cruise was factual, informative and correct and arrived in good time prior to sailing. The full programme of shore excursions was also provided and these could be booked in advance. On this particular cruise, there was a wide range in the ages of passengers, from children in `buggies` to elderly grand parents. All seemed to mix well and there was a relaxed holiday mood on board. The ship had been skillfully and beautifully decorated and it was evident that Christmas was just around the corner. The cruise had been named the `Calypso Island Christmas Cruise`. It was of 14 days duration, sailing to and from Barbados. There were 10 ports of call and 3 days at sea, Christmas Day and Boxing Day being two of the days spent `at sea`. It was a `port intensive` cruise, especially in the latter stages and most passengers, would have liked a `sea day` at some stage in between these ports of call. Consideration should be given to perhaps re-thinking future itineraries, after a long flight from the UK, most passengers would appreciate the first day, being a sea day, to get over the four hour time difference and to take time to relax and get into the `cruise mode`, or perhaps have the overnight stay in Barbados at the beginning of the cruise, rather than at the end. Additionally, a further suggestion being - New Years Day  after the activities of New Years Eve  a day at sea, rather than St Kitts, especially on a Sunday (and a public holiday at that) would have been welcomed. In order to transport passengers to and from the embarkation port, P&O charters a number of aircrafts which depart from various UK airports. Unfortunately all best plans can encounter difficulties and a number of the flights were late in arriving in Barbados, thus delaying our ships departure time by 2 hours. As with all charter airlines, there is very limited seat space and legroom on such flights, in-flight catering was basic to say the least, but the airline did offer a free bar service. One of the convenient things in regard to these flights, is that when you check-in your luggage in the UK, it is transported in sealed units directly to the ship and is delivered directly to your cabin. This saves the hassle of having to claim your baggage at the arrival airport and transfer it to a coach to take you to the ship. Additionally, coaches meet the flight at the airport steps, and passengers are transferred directly to the ship, thus avoiding long lines for Immigration Procedures to take place. P & O Cruises do offer guests, the option of using the service of scheduled flights to and from Barbados at hefty supplements. Similar arrangements are in place for the return flights. Check-in procedures for the cruise, is carried out in a shed adjacent to the ship. These were friendly, quick, and professionally carried out. On boarding the ship, members of the crew were available to escort or direct guests to their cabins. For this cruise, we had chosen an outside cabin with balcony (JD) Grade. . There are 23 grades of cabins on the Oceana, ranging from inside twins to suites. There are no single cabins, but the company do offer solo guests the opportunity of purchasing a twin for sole use at a supplement. These supplements vary, depending of the cruise, the date and duration of the cruise. P & O also offer a `share cabin` programme for solo travellers. On arrival at our cabin, we were disappointed at the size (178 sq feet, including balcony)  the smallest size for this type of cabin throughout P&O`s fleet. However it was well furnished and comfortable. There is also excellent privacy on the balconies. The balconies are best described as another cruise company so describes them as `sheltered balcony cabins` as they are not the traditional balconies, but rather, balconies within the ships hull. Facilities in the cabins include a remote control television, tea and coffee making facilities, a safe, hairdryer, air-conditioning, en-suite shower room and a refrigerator. Storage space was limited. The balcony accommodated two recliner chairs and a small table. The net curtains on the window, which lead to the balcony were stained and contained a number of holes (probably resulting in being caught in the sliding balcony door). The en-suite was tiny (I was able to spread my arms and touch both walls, and there was very little space between my knees, when sitting on the `throne` and the door of the unit). Luxury toiletries available, but no bathrobes or slippers or fresh fruit are provided. Towels were, on occasions hard and thread borne. The shower curtain was also badly stained. The shower worked, although noisy, with varying water pressures but with an abundant supply of piping hot water. The water from the taps in this unit is safe for drinking. The cabin was spotlessly clean and was kept in this condition throughout the cruise. Each cabin is equipped with a standard 13-amp plug (British style socket) and a 110-volt American style socket. In the en-suite, there are 110/230-volt plugs for electric shavers. There is a good room service menu available during the day until late evening and then this becomes very limited. Full breakfast is not available via room service only Continental breakfast. The cabin steward, shortly after arrival, came to the cabin, introduced himself and did show us how the cabin facilities operated. He also showed us where our life jackets were located, where our Muster Station were located, and asked that we spend some time, watching the video presentation currently being shown on the television, in advance of the Muster Drill. I requested additional towels, ice and feather pillows and was advised that he would have to request these, and that they would be delivered the next day, with the exception of the ice which he provided. When we retired to bed that first evening, we were surprised to find that there were two separate single duvets on the double bed, this somehow seemed strange. We asked the cabin steward for a double duvet, who advised us that none were available, but when we spoke with his supervisor, one was supplied within 24 hours (a point worth remembering  double duvets are available). Lots of things on this ship appear to be `on request`. The ship itself is well appointed with soft furnishings, interesting art works, comfortable sofas and sympathetic lighting in public areas. The ship is relatively easy to negotiate and is well signed  one things of note, especially for guests who may have walking difficulties, is that only the elevators at the front of the ship, serve all passengers decks. The elevators to the rear only serve 7 of the decks and the glass elevators in the Atrium only serve 4 passenger decks. The ship was full for this sailing, but didnt feel `crowded`. On sea days the area around the main swimming pools did get packed and sun loungers were at a premium. However space and any number of sun loungers could be found in other deck areas around the ship. The Atrium in mid-ships, spans 4 passenger decks, and is a wonderful place for `people watching`. On the ground floor, are the reception desk (open 24 hours), shore excursions office, future cruise sales desk and The Portunus Club Representative (P&O`s loyalty club). One of the first things that one notices on this ship is the immaculate turnout of the staff in all departments (from the middle ranking officers to the deck stewards, from the waiters to the all too important guys who work on their knees polishing the brasses and keeping the ship clean). All seem to be happy and enjoy their work, and almost all had smiles on their faces and greeted and acknowledged guests presence with a simple Good Morning or Good Evening Sir  a feature unfortunately lacking nowadays on so many ships. On previous cruises with P&O, it was common to see senior officers walk around the ship and converse with passengers, not on this ship  the absence of senior officers seen in public areas was very noticeable, in fact it was a rarity and many of the guests were so disappointed - this topic seemed to come up in most conversations, especially among past passengers and first time cruisers were amazed that there was no opportunity to have their picture taken with either the Captain or Staff Captain. ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME The Entertainment Programme on this ship can only be described as excellent in all regards. There was something for everyone! West End or Hollywood style shows, specialist entertainers, guest lecturers, music of all kinds  a full and varied programme, details of which were clearly outlined in the ships on-board information bulletin `Oceana Today` which was delivered to cabins daily. The highly talented Cruise Director and staff were always visible throughout the ship and again distinguishable by their smart turnout and coordinated dress. A nice touch on board, is that this line really do want single passengers travelling alone to feel welcome and `inclusive` without `intrusion`. Early on in the cruise there was a meeting for such travellers, and each day, it was advertised that a member of the Cruise Staff would be available to meet solos for coffee and a chat at a given venue and time. On the night of the Captains Formal Reception, the group met some 15 minutes prior to the commencement of this reception. Some of the ladies travelling solo indicated to me that this arrangement was excellent, as many felt embarrassed at attending such events on previous cruise ships by themselves. The only adverse comment that I would make in respect of the entertainment on board is in relation to their scheduling of programmes  on some occasions major events did overlap which caused disappointment. On other occasions, one had to make the difficult choice between a featured production show or celebrity entertainment. Guests on 2nd seating dining lost out in this regard, whereas if one of the shows had have been scheduled as a pre-dinner show, we could have then had the benefit of attending each. With the wealth of entertainment at P&O`s disposal on board, it was disappointing at their programme choices on both Christmas night and New Years Eve. The entertainment offered on Christmas night was exactly the same as on offer on Christmas Eve  the same shows and featured entertainment, whilst on New Years Eve, the choice was a deck party or listening to a pianist or attending a church service. On `holiday cruises`, guests pay `over the odds` for the cruise and on each of these evenings, we expect, not only with P&O but with other cruise companies, to pull out all the stops on these festive nights. The late start of some of the events/shows/lectures was annoying. In cabin television options and programming too was excellent, with a wide range and choice of programmes and films for viewing. I particularly liked the `Christmas Channel` - which showed both old and modern Christmas Films  these brought back many childhood memories. RESTAURANT AND FOOD SERVICE. There are two main restaurants onboard Oceana  the Adriatic and Ligurian, both are similar. We were allocated the Adriatic, where the restaurant manager endeavoured to accommodate all of the guests requirements. Totally professional, it amazed me as to how he remembered most peoples names. He was ably assisted by a number of Headwaiters. Tables are very close together in both of the main restaurants; most seating- 4,6 or 8 guests  there were a few tables for 2. The majority of tables are rectangular in shape and we find that there can be difficulty in communicating with all `tablemates` on tables of this design and find that round or oval shaped tables are more user-friendly in this regard. The ceiling in both restaurants is low, thus the noise levels within the restaurants tends to be high. Food service in the main restaurants was excellent. Our regular waiter and assistant waiter at dinner were particularly proficient in this regard. However presentation was very disappointing, except at the Gala Dinners. Food was wholesome, plentiful, varied and tasty. It was `packing` food  it was good - no pretty pictures on the plate here! Currently the vegetables are served `Silver Service`, but unfortunately from April this practice is going to stop and meals served will be plated  this is unfortunate. Breakfast and lunch are `open seating`, whereby dinner is currently by assigned tables. We found that cooked breakfasts in the restaurant would have tasted better if they had have been served hot, rather than lukewarm. There is a `special` on the breakfast menu each day. The breakfast menus were typically traditional British breakfast fare. The selection and variety of bread served at dinner, as did the choice of Danish Pastries at breakfast left a lot to be desired  very little in the way of choice and mostly the same variety each evening -often they were stale. The choice of juices at breakfast in both the formal and casual restaurants was limited. I requested Cranberry juice and was advised that this would have to come from a bar and would be chargeable. One of the things that I enjoy on cruises, is the array and taste of the fresh fruit usually available, not on this cruise  just the basics, melon, pineapple, apples, pears, oranges, bananas and grapes  nothing exotic at all. I found most of the time that the fruits served were not ripe (although this did improved a little as the cruise progressed) and lacked any sort of taste. I usually enjoy a fruit platter for starters both at breakfast and dinner. On the first evening, I asked if I could have such a platter and was refused, melon only being available. The next evening I was advised, that such a platter is available, but only available through ` Special Order` and requested though the Headwaiter. I made these requests and received my fruit platters, but no thought had gone into their presentation (which is so important on a cruise), just slices of fruit dumped on a plate. The choice of cheeses available was excellent. There are no salad courses on the dinner menus  these are  yes you have guessed it - `by request`. Caesar Salads were however available daily as a main course dish, as was chicken, salmon and sirloin steak. The Gala Dinner served on Christmas Day was however outstanding, in regards to choice, presentation, quality and quantity. Lots of thought, time, and care had obviously been taken into making this particular dinner one of the highlights of the cruise. The Yuletide buffet lunch served in a formal restaurant on Boxing Day was spectacular both in looks and presentation and tasted every bit as good. A chocoholics buffet served one afternoon was most popular and it was pleasing that the needs of diabetics were cater for. In relation to The Plaza  the Casual Dining Restaurant, the first thing that is noticed, is that there are no trays, on which to carry plates, utensils and glasses or cups to the tables - these are needed  especially for those in ripper years, and would also save the need for guests to keep returning to the buffet areas for each course thus avoiding congestions in this area. Food here was reasonably varied and hot food was hot. This venue was the home of rich, fattening and appealing desserts. Unfortunately there was little evidence of the use of `real cream` on these desserts; mostly it was synthetic, as was the cream to accompany the scones in the afternoon in The Plaza. Real cream while more `naughty` does give an enriched taste. Unlike other ships, fruit juices are only available during breakfast service, at other times they have to be purchased from the adjacent bar. Traditional Afternoon Tea (P&O style) is served, is on most days in one of the dining rooms. Throughout the P&O fleet, there are three set dress codes for the evening - Formal  a dinner jacket, white tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and long or short evening wear for ladies. Informal  jacket, shirt and tie, or smart shirts which do not require a tie when worn with a linen or blazer-style jacket for men and for the ladies the option ranges from tailored trousers to cocktail dresses. Casual  stylish resort or leisure wear for both men and women. Shorts are not permitted in any of the main or specialty restaurants for dinner. On this cruise, there were 4 formal nights and the remainder were casual. It was pleasing to see that almost every passenger did comply with the dress code. Indeed, many passengers chose on the casual nights to `up dress` (to the dress that is suggested for informal nights  it was obvious that these guests were seasoned P&O cruisers who recalled the days when the dress code onboard P&O ships was either formal or inform only. SHORE EXCURSION PROGRAMME. A wide selection of shore excursions were available at each of the ports of call. The staff in the shore excursions office were most knowledgeable. These were keenly priced and offered value for money. TENDER SERVICE. At ports where tender service was in operation, this transfer procedure was carried out swiftly and smoothly. SECURITY STAFF. Particular mention must be made in relation to the Security Staff on this vessel. They carried out their various duties in a totally proficient and competent manner. No scowls here  pleasant, always a smile on their faces and courteous at all times. BAR SERVICES. A wide range of drinks and cocktails were available from bars throughout the ship. Costs of these beverages were reasonable. Drinks were of good quality and had a kick to them. There was no pressure put on guests to purchase drinks and it was pleasing that there was no 15% gratuity automatically added to the price of these drinks. Gratuities are already been included in the costs. There is a good wine list in the dining rooms, again - these wines are keenly priced. Another pleasing aspect of the bar and beverage service is that the staff are not aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other cruise lines, where staff have targets to meet. GRATUITIES. P & O Cruises suggest that a gratuity of £1.40 (USD$2.31) per day be given to your cabin steward and the sum of £1.50 (USD$2.59) per day to be shared between you waiter and assistant waiter- £2.90 (USD$4.90) a day in total  making the sum of £40.60 (USD$70.00) for a 14 night cruise. * Conversion rates approximate * Most passengers put the gratuity or tip into an envelope and give it to their steward and waiters on the last night of the cruise. Others are known to have skipped dinner on the last night so as not to have to give any gratuities, and these guests usually occupy the most expensive cabins or suits on ships). Yes it does happen and often. INTERNET ACCESS. Internet access is available on the ship, when satellite reception is available, although it is not cheap. The basic time charge is £0.30p(USD$0.51) per minute with a one-time activation cost of £1.95 (USD$3.32). Packages can be purchased when can reduce these costs substantially. THE LITTLE EXTRAS. Each guest on this cruise, received a Christmas card and an extremely up-market Christmas present, wrapped in Christmas paper and delivered to their cabin on Christmas Eve  a nice seasonal touch. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CRUISE. The genuine friendliness of all the crew. The entertainment on-board. The spectacular, Christmas Day dinner menu. The Boxing Day Yule Tide Buffet. The Human touches  like the Officers Choir who treated us to Carols in the Atrium on Christmas Eve. Being treated as if one of an `extended family`  not as a guest or a passenger  but something more than that  the personalisation. The sail-away party on New Years Eve from Antigua, when Oriana (another ship of the P&O fleet) was berthed next to us.  British tradition at its best). DISAPPOINTMENTS. The standard and variety of fruits and breads available. The scheduling of entertainment on board. Entertainment provided on both Christmas Night (this was a repeat of Christmas Eves programme) and New Years Eve. The decision, to transfer the Captains Gala Cocktail Party from the 1st sea day (Christmas night) to the penultimate sailing night. Also the Atrium, which is used for this party, lacks atmosphere for events of this nature. The inconsiderate fellow passengers whose mobile phones ring during dinner or a show and they then proceed to carry out a full conversation with the caller. These devices of modern technology should be banned from cruise ships and not encouraged by installing systems to enhance reception qualities. SUMMARY A good solid product, which caters for all - the Oceana would appear to be P&O`s `party ship` with a less formal and more relaxed atmosphere on board. On a cruise with P&O  there is something for everyone - No-one should be disappointed. A bit more expensive, than some others in the same class, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A few niggly complaints  (but thats me)  nothing so seriousness to spoil the overall enjoyment of the cruise. Traditional British Cruising in a warm and extremely friendly environment. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
OCEANA - (23 December 2005  6 January 2006). Not having sailed with P & O Cruises over the Christmas and New Year Period before, I chose P&O`s ship the `Oceana`, for my `holiday` cruise in 2005. Oceana was built in 2000, of ... Read More
OCEANA - (23 December 2005  6 January 2006). Not having sailed with P & O Cruises over the Christmas and New Year Period before, I chose P&O`s ship the `Oceana`, for my `holiday` cruise in 2005. Oceana was built in 2000, of 77,000 tons; she has a maximum operating capacity of 2272 passengers and 870 crew. The ship has 12 passenger decks, 2 swimming pools (fresh water) a couple of splash pools and 5 Jacuzzis. There are 2 main restaurants; currently offering two sittings for dinner, but this, I understand is due to change in April, when one of the restaurants will become `open seating`. There is also the Plaza restaurant for casual dining, and in the evening, this restaurant transforms, together with the Horizon Grill, into alternative dining venues, with reservations required and at a supplement (currently £6.75 or USD$11.00) per person. The Cafe Jardin on deck 8 provides food 24 hours a day. There are two primary show lounges, no fewer than 10 bars/lounges serving alcohol and coffees, a casino, a well-stocked library, a cyber study facility, an avenue of shops, a photo gallery, an art gallery and a number of launderettes for use by passengers (washers and driers are free, but guests must supply their own soap, available for purchase from the shop onboard). There is also a very active club with a highly energetic and enthusiastic staff, catering for the needs of children and teenagers. P & O, now part of the Carnival Corporation, operates a fleet of 5 ships. The homeport for their ships is Southampton, England and P & O have a sea-going tradition since 1837, -some 169 years experience. Each year, during the winter months, three of its ships depart on World Cruises, whilst the remaining two ships are based in the Caribbean. During the other seasons, the fleet operates to and from Southampton on cruises of varying durations, offering a wide choice of itineraries. The company claim that they operate a service of `Traditional British Cruising`. The currency on board is the pound sterling (£). Documentation for this cruise was factual, informative and correct and arrived in good time prior to sailing. The full programme of shore excursions was also provided and these could be booked in advance. On this particular cruise, there was a wide range in the ages of passengers, from children in `buggies` to elderly grand parents. All seemed to mix well and there was a relaxed holiday mood on board. The ship had been skillfully and beautifully decorated and it was evident that Christmas was just around the corner. The cruise had been named the `Calypso Island Christmas Cruise`. It was of 14 days duration, sailing to and from Barbados. There were 10 ports of call and 3 days at sea, Christmas Day and Boxing Day being two of the days spent `at sea`. It was a `port intensive` cruise, especially in the latter stages and most passengers, would have liked a `sea day` at some stage in between these ports of call. Consideration should be given to perhaps re-thinking future itineraries, after a long flight from the UK, most passengers would appreciate the first day, being a sea day, to get over the four hour time difference and to take time to relax and get into the `cruise mode`, or perhaps have the overnight stay in Barbados at the beginning of the cruise, rather than at the end. Additionally, a further suggestion being - New Years Day  after the activities of New Years Eve  a day at sea, rather than St Kitts, especially on a Sunday (and a public holiday at that) would have been welcomed. In order to transport passengers to and from the embarkation port, P&O charters a number of aircrafts which depart from various UK airports. Unfortunately all best plans can encounter difficulties and a number of the flights were late in arriving in Barbados, thus delaying our ships departure time by 2 hours. As with all charter airlines, there is very limited seat space and legroom on such flights, in-flight catering was basic to say the least, but the airline did offer a free bar service. One of the convenient things in regard to these flights, is that when you check-in your luggage in the UK, it is transported in sealed units directly to the ship and is delivered directly to your cabin. This saves the hassle of having to claim your baggage at the arrival airport and transfer it to a coach to take you to the ship. Additionally, coaches meet the flight at the airport steps, and passengers are transferred directly to the ship, thus avoiding long lines for Immigration Procedures to take place. P & O Cruises do offer guests, the option of using the service of scheduled flights to and from Barbados at hefty supplements. Similar arrangements are in place for the return flights. Check-in procedures for the cruise, is carried out in a shed adjacent to the ship. These were friendly, quick, and professionally carried out. On boarding the ship, members of the crew were available to escort or direct guests to their cabins. For this cruise, we had chosen an outside cabin with balcony (JD) Grade. . There are 23 grades of cabins on the Oceana, ranging from inside twins to suites. There are no single cabins, but the company do offer solo guests the opportunity of purchasing a twin for sole use at a supplement. These supplements vary, depending of the cruise, the date and duration of the cruise. P & O also offer a `share cabin` programme for solo travellers. On arrival at our cabin, we were disappointed at the size (178 sq feet, including balcony)  the smallest size for this type of cabin throughout P&O`s fleet. However it was well furnished and comfortable. There is also excellent privacy on the balconies. The balconies are best described as another cruise company so describes them as `sheltered balcony cabins` as they are not the traditional balconies, but rather, balconies within the ships hull. Facilities in the cabins include a remote control television, tea and coffee making facilities, a safe, hairdryer, air-conditioning, en-suite shower room and a refrigerator. Storage space was limited. The balcony accommodated two recliner chairs and a small table. The net curtains on the window, which lead to the balcony were stained and contained a number of holes (probably resulting in being caught in the sliding balcony door). The en-suite was tiny (I was able to spread my arms and touch both walls, and there was very little space between my knees, when sitting on the `throne` and the door of the unit). Luxury toiletries available, but no bathrobes or slippers or fresh fruit are provided. Towels were, on occasions hard and thread borne. The shower curtain was also badly stained. The shower worked, although noisy, with varying water pressures but with an abundant supply of piping hot water. The water from the taps in this unit is safe for drinking. The cabin was spotlessly clean and was kept in this condition throughout the cruise. Each cabin is equipped with a standard 13-amp plug (British style socket) and a 110-volt American style socket. In the en-suite, there are 110/230-volt plugs for electric shavers. There is a good room service menu available during the day until late evening and then this becomes very limited. Full breakfast is not available via room service only Continental breakfast. The cabin steward, shortly after arrival, came to the cabin, introduced himself and did show us how the cabin facilities operated. He also showed us where our life jackets were located, where our Muster Station were located, and asked that we spend some time, watching the video presentation currently being shown on the television, in advance of the Muster Drill. I requested additional towels, ice and feather pillows and was advised that he would have to request these, and that they would be delivered the next day, with the exception of the ice which he provided. When we retired to bed that first evening, we were surprised to find that there were two separate single duvets on the double bed, this somehow seemed strange. We asked the cabin steward for a double duvet, who advised us that none were available, but when we spoke with his supervisor, one was supplied within 24 hours (a point worth remembering  double duvets are available). Lots of things on this ship appear to be `on request`. The ship itself is well appointed with soft furnishings, interesting art works, comfortable sofas and sympathetic lighting in public areas. The ship is relatively easy to negotiate and is well signed  one things of note, especially for guests who may have walking difficulties, is that only the elevators at the front of the ship, serve all passengers decks. The elevators to the rear only serve 7 of the decks and the glass elevators in the Atrium only serve 4 passenger decks. The ship was full for this sailing, but didnt feel `crowded`. On sea days the area around the main swimming pools did get packed and sun loungers were at a premium. However space and any number of sun loungers could be found in other deck areas around the ship. The Atrium in mid-ships, spans 4 passenger decks, and is a wonderful place for `people watching`. On the ground floor, are the reception desk (open 24 hours), shore excursions office, future cruise sales desk and The Portunus Club Representative (P&O`s loyalty club). One of the first things that one notices on this ship is the immaculate turnout of the staff in all departments (from the middle ranking officers to the deck stewards, from the waiters to the all too important guys who work on their knees polishing the brasses and keeping the ship clean). All seem to be happy and enjoy their work, and almost all had smiles on their faces and greeted and acknowledged guests presence with a simple Good Morning or Good Evening Sir  a feature unfortunately lacking nowadays on so many ships. On previous cruises with P&O, it was common to see senior officers walk around the ship and converse with passengers, not on this ship  the absence of senior officers seen in public areas was very noticeable, in fact it was a rarity and many of the guests were so disappointed - this topic seemed to come up in most conversations, especially among past passengers and first time cruisers were amazed that there was no opportunity to have their picture taken with either the Captain or Staff Captain. ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME The Entertainment Programme on this ship can only be described as excellent in all regards. There was something for everyone! West End or Hollywood style shows, specialist entertainers, guest lecturers, music of all kinds  a full and varied programme, details of which were clearly outlined in the ships on-board information bulletin `Oceana Today` which was delivered to cabins daily. The highly talented Cruise Director and staff were always visible throughout the ship and again distinguishable by their smart turnout and coordinated dress. A nice touch on board, is that this line really do want single passengers travelling alone to feel welcome and `inclusive` without `intrusion`. Early on in the cruise there was a meeting for such travellers, and each day, it was advertised that a member of the Cruise Staff would be available to meet solos for coffee and a chat at a given venue and time. On the night of the Captains Formal Reception, the group met some 15 minutes prior to the commencement of this reception. Some of the ladies travelling solo indicated to me that this arrangement was excellent, as many felt embarrassed at attending such events on previous cruise ships by themselves. The only adverse comment that I would make in respect of the entertainment on board is in relation to their scheduling of programmes  on some occasions major events did overlap which caused disappointment. On other occasions, one had to make the difficult choice between a featured production show or celebrity entertainment. Guests on 2nd seating dining lost out in this regard, whereas if one of the shows had have been scheduled as a pre-dinner show, we could have then had the benefit of attending each. With the wealth of entertainment at P&O`s disposal on board, it was disappointing at their programme choices on both Christmas night and New Years Eve. The entertainment offered on Christmas night was exactly the same as on offer on Christmas Eve  the same shows and featured entertainment, whilst on New Years Eve, the choice was a deck party or listening to a pianist or attending a church service. On `holiday cruises`, guests pay `over the odds` for the cruise and on each of these evenings, we expect, not only with P&O but with other cruise companies, to pull out all the stops on these festive nights. The late start of some of the events/shows/lectures was annoying. In cabin television options and programming too was excellent, with a wide range and choice of programmes and films for viewing. I particularly liked the `Christmas Channel` - which showed both old and modern Christmas Films  these brought back many childhood memories. RESTAURANT AND FOOD SERVICE. There are two main restaurants onboard Oceana  the Adriatic and Ligurian, both are similar. We were allocated the Adriatic, where the restaurant manager endeavoured to accommodate all of the guests requirements. Totally professional, it amazed me as to how he remembered most peoples names. He was ably assisted by a number of Headwaiters. Tables are very close together in both of the main restaurants; most seating- 4,6 or 8 guests  there were a few tables for 2. The majority of tables are rectangular in shape and we find that there can be difficulty in communicating with all `tablemates` on tables of this design and find that round or oval shaped tables are more user-friendly in this regard. The ceiling in both restaurants is low, thus the noise levels within the restaurants tends to be high. Food service in the main restaurants was excellent. Our regular waiter and assistant waiter at dinner were particularly proficient in this regard. However presentation was very disappointing, except at the Gala Dinners. Food was wholesome, plentiful, varied and tasty. It was `packing` food  it was good - no pretty pictures on the plate here! Currently the vegetables are served `Silver Service`, but unfortunately from April this practice is going to stop and meals served will be plated  this is unfortunate. Breakfast and lunch are `open seating`, whereby dinner is currently by assigned tables. We found that cooked breakfasts in the restaurant would have tasted better if they had have been served hot, rather than luke-warm. There is a `special` on the breakfast menu each day. The breakfast menus were typically traditional British breakfast fare. The selection and variety of bread served at dinner, as did the choice of Danish Pastries at breakfast left a lot to be desired  very little in the way of choice and mostly the same variety each evening -often they were stale. The choice of juices at breakfast in both the formal and casual restaurants was limited. I requested Cranberry juice and was advised that this would have to come from a bar and would be chargeable. One of the things that I enjoy on cruises, is the array and taste of the fresh fruit usually available, not on this cruise  just the basics, melon, pineapple, apples, pears, oranges, bananas and grapes  nothing exotic at all. I found most of the time that the fruits served were not ripe (although this did improved a little as the cruise progressed) and lacked any sort of taste. I usually enjoy a fruit platter for starters both at breakfast and dinner. On the first evening, I asked if I could have such a platter and was refused, melon only being available. The next evening I was advised, that such a platter is available, but only available through ` Special Order` and requested though the Headwaiter. I made these requests and received my fruit platters, but no thought had gone into their presentation (which is so important on a cruise), just slices of fruit dumped on a plate. The choice of cheeses available was excellent. There are no salad courses on the dinner menus  these are  yes you have guessed it - `by request`. Caesar Salads were however available daily as a main course dish, as was chicken, salmon and sirloin steak. The Gala Dinner served on Christmas Day was however outstanding, in regards to choice, presentation, quality and quantity. Lots of thought, time, and care had obviously been taken into making this particular dinner one of the highlights of the cruise. The Yuletide buffet lunch served in a formal restaurant on Boxing Day was spectacular both in looks and presentation and tasted every bit as good. A chocoholics buffet served one afternoon was most popular and it was pleasing that the needs of diabetics were cater for. In relation to The Plaza  the Casual Dining Restaurant, the first thing that is noticed, is that there are no trays, on which to carry plates, utensils and glasses or cups to the tables - these are needed  especially for those in ripper years, and would also save the need for guests to keep returning to the buffet areas for each course thus avoiding congestions in this area. Food here was reasonably varied and hot food was hot. This venue was the home of rich, fattening and appealing desserts. Unfortunately there was little evidence of the use of `real cream` on these desserts; mostly it was synthetic, as was the cream to accompany the scones in the afternoon in The Plaza. Real cream while more `naughty` does give an enriched taste. Unlike other ships, fruit juices are only available during breakfast service, at other times they have to be purchased from the adjacent bar. Traditional Afternoon Tea (P&O style) is served, is on most days in one of the dining rooms. Throughout the P&O fleet, there are three set dress codes for the evening - Formal  a dinner jacket, white tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and long or short evening wear for ladies. Informal  jacket, shirt and tie, or smart shirts which do not require a tie when worn with a linen or blazer-style jacket for men and for the ladies the option ranges from tailored trousers to cocktail dresses. Casual  stylish resort or leisure wear for both men and women. Shorts are not permitted in any of the main or specialty restaurants for dinner. On this cruise, there were 4 formal nights and the remainder were casual. It was pleasing to see that almost every passenger did comply with the dress code. Indeed, many passengers chose on the casual nights to `up dress` (to the dress that is suggested for informal nights  it was obvious that these guests were seasoned P&O cruisers who recalled the days when the dress code onboard P&O ships was either formal or inform only. SHORE EXCURSION PROGRAMME. A wide selection of shore excursions were available at each of the ports of call. The staff in the shore excursions office were most knowledgeable. These were keenly priced and offered value for money. TENDER SERVICE. At ports where tender service was in operation, this transfer procedure was carried out swiftly and smoothly. SECURITY STAFF. Particular mention must be made in relation to the Security Staff on this vessel. They carried out their various duties in a totally proficient and competent manner. No scowls here  pleasant, always a smile on their faces and courteous at all times. BAR SERVICES. A wide range of drinks and cocktails were available from bars throughout the ship. Costs of these beverages were reasonable. Drinks were of good quality and had a kick to them. There was no pressure put on guests to purchase drinks and it was pleasing that there was no 15% gratuity automatically added to the price of these drinks. Gratuities are already been included in the costs. There is a good wine list in the dining rooms, again - these wines are keenly priced. Another pleasing aspect of the bar and beverage service is that the staff are not aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other cruise lines, where staff have targets to meet. GRATUITIES. P & O Cruises suggest that a gratuity of £1.40 (USD$2.31) per day be given to your cabin steward and the sum of £1.50 (USD$2.59) per day to be shared between you waiter and assistant waiter- £2.90 (USD$4.90) a day in total  making the sum of £40.60 (USD$70.00) for a 14 night cruise. * Conversion rates approximate * Most passengers put the gratuity or tip into an envelope and give it to their steward and waiters on the last night of the cruise. Others are known to have skipped dinner on the last night so as not to have to give any gratuities, and these guests usually occupy the most expensive cabins or suits on ships). Yes it does happen and often. INTERNET ACCESS. Internet access is available on the ship, when satellite reception is available, although it is not cheap. The basic time charge is £0.30p(USD$0.51) per minute with a one-time activation cost of £1.95 (USD$3.32). Packages can be purchased when can reduce these costs substantially. THE LITTLE EXTRAS. Each guest on this cruise, received a Christmas card and an extremely up-market Christmas present, wrapped in Christmas paper and delivered to their cabin on Christmas Eve  a nice seasonal touch. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CRUISE. The genuine friendliness of all the crew. The entertainment on-board. The spectacular, Christmas Day dinner menu. The Boxing Day Yule Tide Buffet. The Human touches  like the Officers Choir who treated us to Carols in the Atrium on Christmas Eve. Being treated as if one of an `extended family`  not as a guest or a passenger  but something more than that  the personalisation. The sail-away party on New Years Eve from Antigua, when Oriana (another ship of the P&O fleet) was berthed next to us.  British tradition at its best). DISAPPOINTMENTS. The standard and variety of fruits and breads available. The scheduling of entertainment on board. Entertainment provided on both Christmas Night (this was a repeat of Christmas Eves programme) and New Years Eve. The decision, to transfer the Captains Gala Cocktail Party from the 1st sea day (Christmas night) to the penultimate sailing night. Also the Atrium, which is used for this party, lacks atmosphere for events of this nature. The inconsiderate fellow passengers whose mobile phones ring during dinner or a show and they then proceed to carry out a full conversation with the caller. These devices of modern technology should be banned from cruise ships and not encouraged by installing systems to enhance reception qualities. SUMMARY A good solid product, which caters for all - the Oceana would appear to be P&O`s `party ship` with a less formal and more relaxed atmosphere on board. On a cruise with P&O  there is something for everyone - No-one should be disappointed. A bit more expensive, than some others in the same class, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A few niggly complaints  (but thats me)  nothing so seriousness to spoil the overall enjoyment of the cruise. Traditional British Cruising in a warm and extremely friendly environment. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
We arrived in Barbados to a quick and speedy departure from the airport and straight to the ship. Didn't have to go through customs or anything, straight onto the bus and straight to the ship, this was a bonus and not what we had been ... Read More
We arrived in Barbados to a quick and speedy departure from the airport and straight to the ship. Didn't have to go through customs or anything, straight onto the bus and straight to the ship, this was a bonus and not what we had been used to. Quite a queue when we got to the ship but to be expected as we had all just got off the plane. For first time cruisers it was spectacular going through the atrium to get to their cabins. Unfortunately on arrival at our cabin we were terribly disappointed, the bathroom and the cabin were dirty and also the fridge. We had to ring housekeeping for our cabin steward to come and clean our cabin - we could not have stayed in this cabin if it had not been thoroughly cleaned. Even when it had been re-cleaned we cleaned door handles etc., ourselves as we couldn't be sure. Our first experience of the Plaza buffet was also disappointing as there were only minimal dishes and food available and thought if this was the state of things to come it was going to be very disappointing after our last 4 cruises (all on Princess) and not what we were used to. We went along to our safety drill and then retired to bed as the whole family were really tired (2 children also). The next day things looked rather better apart from the weather (raining) in Mayreau. We went to the restaurant for the first time and had a wonderful first class meal. We had actually been on this ship before when it was Ocean Princess a couple of years ago, so knew our way fairly well around the ship. The children joined the Children's Centre which was excellent and all the staff. This year they were in two separate groups (aged 11 and 8) so their clubs finished at different times. Our whole experience of the children's centre was fantastic. They were entertained, dined, taken to the theatre etc,. etc., all in all they had a magnificent time on the ship the whole 2 weeks. Our restaurant was the Adriatic dining room and every meal we took there was fantastic as well as our two waiters Joe and Chan - they could not have made our experience any better than they did. The Plaza did improve after the first nights experience and we put that down to the fact that it was the first night. The themed buffets that we attended (ie. seafood, chocolate and Mexican and Indian) were all magnificent and we truly enjoyed them. All in all we had a fantastic holiday. We have been used to cruising with Princess and this was the first time with P&O. The themed buffets were excellent, meals excellent, children's facilities excellent. The poolside and ship hygiene was not in the same league as the Princess ships and this was very noticeable to us. It was wonderful not having to pay 15% tax on all drinks etc. but we did miss the children's drink voucher enabling children to unlimited soft drinks - perhaps this is something P&O should think about. Might I just mention that Thomas Cook airlines who transported us on our flights were excellent. There were a few experiences with illness on our flight home and they looked after passengers in a fantastic and professional way. Cafe Jardin (snack bar) we used a lot especially with the children and found it a great experience. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me about the ship. All in all a wonderful holiday. Read Less
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise