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Sail Date: June 2015
Me and my sister have just returned from this cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was my sisters first cruise and she is definitely going to do it again. Flights were good but very early. When we arrived at the ship it was all very ... Read More
Me and my sister have just returned from this cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was my sisters first cruise and she is definitely going to do it again. Flights were good but very early. When we arrived at the ship it was all very organised and we didnt have to wait too long for cabin and luggage, just wish we had packed bikinis in our hand luggage. The inside cabin was quite small but storage was good and very clean. Wish there had been more sockets. We had Freedom Dining which was great and we shared tables of 8 all week, so met some lovely people. Food and service was excellent. We went for lunch at Marco Pierre Whites once but werent at all impressed apart from the lovely cakes! The entertainment was really good especially Tina Turner, The Headliners and Jim McGee. The excursions to Florence and Pompeii were good, but needed much longer at Pompeii. Would make my own way next time. I would have liked to have a singles meeting in the afternoon as in the morning most people are on trips. Upon leaving the ship everything was extremely well organised - well done. All in all The Oceana is a lovely ship with great staff and good entertainment. I was interested in how well people/children with disabilities or in a wheelchair were catered for - this seemed ok but there was no access to any pools or childrens area. I am thinking of taking my 5 year grandchild who is in a wheelchair on a cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Thomson flights and P&O organisation into/out of airports and cruise terminals was very good. But we got on board at 12pm and didn't see our cases until 8:30pm after we'd eaten. We had to spend all day in the clothes we ... Read More
Thomson flights and P&O organisation into/out of airports and cruise terminals was very good. But we got on board at 12pm and didn't see our cases until 8:30pm after we'd eaten. We had to spend all day in the clothes we travelled in and didn't see Venice because our suncream was in the cases with our shorts/sandals etc. Our mistake to some extent for not packing a change of clothes in hand luggage, but an eight hour wait for cases was bad. Cynically, we wondered if we were being penalised for having paid the 'saver' fare for our cabin (which also excludes some shuttle buses.) I'd hate to think this was true, but we know that other people on our coach from the airport had their cases quickly. Also, the inside cabins seemed to get theirs more slowly. I hope that's not deliberate. The plaza buffet was chaos on embarkation day because some passengers' flights were not leaving until late afternoon, so although they'd had to leave their cabins early, they were still aboard and in the eateries - the pools were quiet though, so put your swimwear in your hand luggage. Food was generally good but not great. Nothing I would complain about but not fantastic. However, it seemed to go down well with my very traditional in-laws. Presentation and inspiration was lacking in the buffet, and space was tight, particularly as everybody seemed to wander around aimlessly with trays rather than just a plate, taking up more elbow room. In the Adriatic restaurant, it was better but there could have been a little more variation in the menu. Table service was friendly and up to par with other ships. Cakes and pastries were not up to the level of Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean. It was hard to find a lounger on deck on sea days - but we always found somewhere eventually, even if it was a chair round the side of the deck in part-shade. Pools were good - the rear shade-covered one very cold, but a nice alternative to the sun-baked main one. Quieter at the back too. I've only been on three cruises, the last in heavy seas in Asia, so I was pleasantly surprised that you couldn't tell this ship was moving at all - helped by the calm Mediterannean. Not even engine vibrations through the floor. Ports were good. Kotor small but pretty and scenic, with cheap bars (£3.50 for a jug of lager and a tonic water). In Corfu we did a boat & beach trip, simple but decent BBQ and salad lunch, very friendly and helpful local staff. We didn't get off in Rome, but in Monaco we got a train to Nice for lunch on the beach and back in time for an hour at the Cafe de Paris and the most expensive Banana Split you'll ever see! Our inside cabin was compact but functional with good storage. Only downside was the lightswitch for the bathroom on the 'wrong' side of the door - you had to close the door to reach it and/or use the built-in hairdryer. First time we'd had an inside cabin - we missed the daylight in the mornings of course, but I suppose it made us spend less time inside and more on deck. The bed was very comfortable. The TV service was pretty appalling - no service in certain ports, bar the on-board info channels, and just a couple of movie channels showing the same two films all day. At least it made us go to the cinema in the theatre. Inside the ship, the atrium was impressive with very good shops, including one where you could buy 'normal' stuff rather than just designer watches and handbags. You know, Pringles and sun cream and books! A benefit of the British customer profile perhaps. The bars were good and spread out with plenty of seating, and the casino was next to the bar showing sports, but was smaller than some. Photographers were not too intrusive and sold via digital screens rather than prints everywhere, but still very expensive - this is something cruising as a whole needs to take a good look at. In-laws loved the shows, but they're not our thing. We went to the cinema and/or people watched in the bars and atrium. Entertainment guy Paul was very good on sailaway days - something I would have avoided if I hadn't found myself on deck in the middle of it, with a Margherita in my hand. Actually enjoyed it as we sailed out of Montenegro. Overall we enjoyed our holiday at the price we paid (£700), but felt that at the full price (nearer £900) instead of the 'saver', it would have been slightly disappointing. If we were to go with P&O again it would probably only be if it was a bargain, or to try out the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Just returned from 7 night cruise from Venice to Genoa Very well organised from airport to ship sadly waited 5 hours for luggage to arrive at cabin. Ports very good, entertainment quite good . 3 good acts on twice, could not get into ... Read More
Just returned from 7 night cruise from Venice to Genoa Very well organised from airport to ship sadly waited 5 hours for luggage to arrive at cabin. Ports very good, entertainment quite good . 3 good acts on twice, could not get into Headliners show, not enough seats. Main complaint was the food. plaza buffet the worse selection and worst presentation I have ever seen in 20 cruises very poor,unappetising salads the same every day. Main dining room food better but waiters attitude and wine waiter could have been better. Ate in Marco Pierre White once for breakfast and once for lunch Also very poor experience ,food cold ,lunchtime quiche lacking in filling and salmon fish cakes ful of potato and hardly any salmon! Service terribly slow.MP White needs to revisit and reasses. p & O need to improve considerably before I would consider another cruise with them. Many other passengers felt the same way. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
The other half and I have sailed with P and O a few times now and each time we come away feeling that things need to change! We booked this cruise around 10 days before we sailed as we thought the itinerary was great and the last minute ... Read More
The other half and I have sailed with P and O a few times now and each time we come away feeling that things need to change! We booked this cruise around 10 days before we sailed as we thought the itinerary was great and the last minute saver fare was a bargain. We did have trouble with the central booking line as when I tried to book this cruise over the phone, I was told that there were no flights for the cruise left and they would only sell me the cruise at the same cost but I had to sort my own flights out. I actually then went online and within 10 minutes had booked the cruise including flights for the same cost - not great P and O! Anyway, we were put onto a scheduled British Airways flight from Gatwick where check-in was smooth and the flight was brilliant. We landed in Venice, where we collected our baggage, which was put onto a van and we next saw it a couple of hours later inside our cabin. There was a P and O rep at the airport and a coach waiting to take us on the 20 minute or so journey to the ship. The flight didn't get into Venice until around 3pm and we had to have the mandatory muster drill at 5:30pm. After this, it left us a couple of hours to pop into Venice before the ship set sail at around 10pm. We had been to Venice before so just a quick walk into St Mark's Square and over to the Rialto Bridge for a quick photo and back to the ship. We got back to the ship at 9pm and had missed our 8:30pm dinner sitting so tired our luck with the freedom dining restaurant and was told no. It could only be the buffet - more on the buffet food later. The next day was a sea day which was great - a chance to relax after the hectic traveling from the day before. We didn't struggle to get a sun lounger, in fact we managed to find two stray ones dotted inbetween a few people so we pulled them out into the sun to get our dose of vitamin D. We didn't expect too much from the sea days, especially as last year we did a transatlantic cruise on Azura and the 3, then 5 days in a row at sea were made up of not a lot. But there was a nice surprise of a crew vs passengers around the pool, which resembled some of the pool activities that we saw on the Ruby Princess a couple of years ago. This was fun and the passengers had the vast majority of people around the pool cheering them on - More like this please P and O! Day 3 we arrived in Kotor - Montenegro. WOW! Neither of us had been here before and we were pleasantly surprised. It was also our first experience of tendering to shore which went smoothly - other passengers commented on that it was a smooth operation compared to others they'd experienced. Kotor was very pretty and we climbed the fortress and were rewarded with the gorgeous views of the city and Oceana from the top. After our descent, we stopped off at a couple of different bars and found the people of Kotor friendly. Day 4 saw us docked along side Arcadia in Corfu. We have been here before a couple of years ago so caught the bus to the beach which cost us 3Euros each return - we heard people being quoted 80 Euros each way in a taxi to the same place! Our next day was another sea day and although no pool activities, we were treated to the open deck barbecue - good selection of food which was held long enough for everyone to grab a bite to eat. Day 6 we were Civitavecchia for Rome. Although many passengers were booked onto an excursion, we got the train - 12 euros return each, into Rome which took around about an hour. Even though we did end up queuing for a couple of hours to get into the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, we still managed to go into St Peter's Basilica, see the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and obviously the Sistine Chapel. Very busy day but felt like we got through a lot - disappointing we didn't have time for the Colosseum - but there's always next time and as far as we're aware the passengers on the excursions only saw it from the coach. Day 7 we were tendered in Monte Carlo, again a smooth tender service. Monte Carlo was a brilliant port of call and the perfect last port on the itinerary. We spent the day walking round the harbour wishing the life of luxury choosing our favourite super yacht, walking the F1 track, which they were still dismantling and walking up the hills to the palace and cathedral. We were late leaving Monte Carlo due to an issue with one of the tender platforms, but this was sorted and we were on our way by dinner time. Day 8 saw us catch our flight home from Genoa, We felt fairly lucky as as we were on a later flight, we had time to go into Genoa and have a wander round - was pretty sad when we saw the new passengers excitedly starting their holiday as ours was coming to an end though. Overall, itinerary wise, I have to say this was a fantastic choice by P and O. Although itinerary and the price of this cruise were a factor, the fact that the cruise was on the Oceana was another deciding factor when booking this. (we have cruised on both Azura and Ventura and the Ruby Princess which are all very similar ships). The atrium on the Oceana was nice with what I'd call a classic wow factor, but you can tell that this is getting on to being an older ship. For example, leaks in ceilings, problems with the toilets flushing in cabins, our bathroom was actually flooded one morning from the loo overflowing. But all of these problems were attended to and fixed. The food in the dining was of good standard and hasn't changed in quality since we last cruised with P and O, last November, although this time I did sometimes find myself struggling with the menu options and I wouldn't class myself as a fussy eater. Saying that I never came away hungry. We only ate in the buffet in the evening once and I have to say I was disappointed, in fact I was disappointed with the buffet as a whole. I felt that the food quality wasn't great and there certainly wasn't a lot of choice. If you didn't like curry or macaroni cheese then you were screwed for a hot meal at lunch time. Breakfast was ok at best but no mushrooms - until we found out you had to ask for them and they were produced from a locked hot cupboard being the food servery - why?!? The dining room staff always seemed rushed and I feel we didn't get the high service that we had on our last cruise. The wine waiter was almost useless, not receiving a bottle of wine until after starters had been eaten and cleared away is unacceptable, maybe his section was too big and he had too many people to look after, but his attitude wasn't great either. Our wine waiter on our last cruise took the time to learn our names, what we liked and was extremely efficient - HUGE contrast. Our cabin steward knocked on our door as if to hurry us out so he could turn down our room most evenings which began to get on our nerves and the constant asking if we wanted our cabin cleaned wasn't great either. The above staff did seem to be lacking in service unlike the staff in Le Club - they were excellent and always had a smile on their faces. We even bumped into a bartender that we met in November on Azura who recognised us and even remembered what I liked to drink - which as a nice surprise, lovely, friendly chap, an asset to P and O. Our inside cabin on deck 5 forward was more spacious than expected, especially once we'd pushed the bed against the wall to give more usable floor space and clean, although the room was starting to look tired. The entertainment has in someways improved but in someways not. We didn't even know the cruise director/entertainment manger's name until about day 3 as he wasn't always seen but when he was he did seem to be friendly. The entertainment team were nice but the chap from Northern Ireland (i think his name was Paul) is fantastic! He knew how to get people involved, how to entertain and was quick witted. The 'pub' night in the Yacht and Compass hosted by him and another member of the entertainment team was brilliantly entertaining and wasn't taken too seriously - just a bit of light hearted fun, where the whole room got involved - More like this P and O. The entertainment teamed hosted a 'staff' show with staff from around the ship showcasing their talents in aid of Macmillan - which raised a good amount - great work. Although it would have been nice to have a bit more variety instead of just singing, all the staff involved worked hard and made a brilliant effort and the 'if I was not on the sea' song at the end was brilliant and doesn't get old. Overall, we feel we got good value for money on this cruise especially due to the fact of the places we've seen vs the price we paid. Although, had we have paid full brochure price I feel I would have been very disappointed. It's a shame as we were planning on going on Britannia early next year and my other half feels that there are too many downfalls due to cost cutting and now he's looking at other lines. P and O does have the potential to be a great cruise line but isn't quite there yet. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The food in the plaza is the worst food I have ever had and the main dining rooms are not much better and I would give Marco Pierre White's a miss, prawns still had poo sack. The boat is old and rusty, our balcony was very bad with ... Read More
The food in the plaza is the worst food I have ever had and the main dining rooms are not much better and I would give Marco Pierre White's a miss, prawns still had poo sack. The boat is old and rusty, our balcony was very bad with rust. The good point was our cabin steward John he was great. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great ... Read More
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great way to start your holiday. The flight was chartered via Thomson and the check in was so smooth, the next time we saw our luggage was in our cabin. P&O have this part of your holiat off to a fine art. We were kep't informed of our pre cruise travel really well and love the cruise personaliser. We researched our shore ex trips and booked them all before boarding. Once landed in Genoa the journey to the trip is relatively quick and getting through customs was super quick. The check in and embarkation once again was really good, very friendly check in staff, then the usual photo as you are about to board. Once on board, there was no cabin staff to show you to your cabin, just pointed in the right direction and find your own way. The last time we were on board, we were informed the ship was going into dry dock for a refit, we were intrigued to see what changes had been done. That will be none then, nothing has changed and the ship is looking really, really tired. We registered our son for the Reef and the team here are great, the activities are really good and he loved going on an evening, whilst we we dined as preferred to go to the children's tea. The reef team really engage with the children and also know how to converse at all levels. Our first evening we dined as a family in the Horizon Grill, the food was nice, the cover charge to eat here is quite expensive for the choices and sizes, the service was terrible and considering the restaurant wasn't full, the food did take a long time to come out. The restuarant staff were more bothered about people walking through. The migration of passengers is very confusing. We travelled to Pisa on the next day whilst docked in Livorno, our local guide was really good and we were escorted by one of the ships photographers whom decided to fall asleep on the back seat and then badgered everyone for photographs. Day at sea was very relaxing, the crew once again were stretched and more bothered about throwing people of their sunbeds than actually servicing the decks. It was quicker and easier to go to the bar than wait for a waiter. On this evening we started to eat in the Adriatic Restaurant, once again the restaurant hasn't changed, we had a table of 8 with 3 other couples. Our table was really pleasant and we looked forward to our evening meal. However we were on a second sitting and have to say, I have never experienced such bad service, no engagement from the waiters and no choice, meals were more or less thrown down and none of the great service we had received previously with P&O. To be honest the same service was replicated across the ship, it wasn't suprising to hear other passengers commenting on the same topics. We would always pop to Cafe Le Jardin and once again the crew are more worried about passengers walking in through the rear doors than observing the passengers. The food options has dramatically reduced and is very evident to see, there are no labels informing you of what is available. Our next shore ex was the island hopping in Croatia, this was excellent, the tour guide, the trip, the weathe the reason we took this itinerary. The shore ex guide from the ship however was more interested in speaking with the local guide about her bulgarian boyfriend and gossiping, something I personally don't want to hear. Which continued on the returned trip to the Ship, including the local guide then telling her all about her life? Our last shore ex was a Gondola trip in Venice, it was a great experience apart from our local guide, who's english was so bad, no-one could understand what she was trying to say, the walk from the tender to the Gondola was a good 30 mins and to be honest if we had known would have probably made our own way in and sorted it ourselves. The Entertainment is probably the worst I have seen from a cruise ship standard, there was no Cruise Director on board, events cancelled with no alternatives, the cast just didn't want PR or speak with you. Which is a must for those all important CSQ's, however Paul Lau the host was brilliant, a real professional. The visiting attractions were great Roy Walker, The Octaves and Tony Adams. The sailaway parties are very dated with put a flag in your hand and pump, the conga and dated party dances. The constant hounding of photographers get's on your nerves after a while and it is very expensive for what you get. All in all we had a relaxing week on an itinerary that we had wanted, the ship is tired and the service in not good. The crew did mention that there had just been a crew change and it was evident. In their words all the good ones have been pulled onto the Britannia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first cruise and we went with an open mind but really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as we did. We normally stay in five star hotels and thought we might be disappointed with cruising. We did a cruise and stay ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we went with an open mind but really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as we did. We normally stay in five star hotels and thought we might be disappointed with cruising. We did a cruise and stay holiday and they were great from start to finish. We stayed for three days in Lake Garda and then travelled to the ship by coach. Our baggage was off loaded and we walked straight through and were checked in immediately with no delay at all. The staff were all pleasant and friendly. When we got aboard we were told that our cabins were not ready yet but we could go to the buffet on Deck 14. We went and had some lunch and this was better than I expected, having read lots of forums and reviews I expected to be falling over people with carry on luggage and fighting my way to the food but this was not the case! We then decided to have a look around the ship and unexpectedly found ourselves entering our deck from outside. We decided to find our cabin and spotted our luggage outside. A young cabin steward asked if she could help us and we said we were just finding our cabin and we asked if it was ready and she said it was so we went in and settled in. Our cabin was better than expected as again I had read lots of things about rusty balconies, small and tired cabins etc. Yes, Oceana is getting old and the bathroom was a little tired but very clean and functional. I was also pleased that there was more hanging and drawer space than I expected (and I take a lot of clothes and toiletries). We got to like our cabin a lot and got used to the fact that only one person can walk past the bottom of the bed at a time! We were on Freedom dining and we never had a problem getting a table for two. If there was not one available they just gave us a bleep and we would get a drink and it was never long before we were called back. We found the food in the Ligurian restaurant very good and service mostly good and friendly. We also ate in The Marco Pierre White restaurant twice for a supplement. I am vegetarian and always found a good choice of food. We liked Le Jardin for lunch, we sometimes went to the buffet for breakfast and once to the Ligurian. I loved watching the ship going into a new port and sailing away. We did two excursions, one to Florence and Pisa and a guided tour of Naples with pizza lunch. We have done the Amalfi Coast several times including Pompei so thought it would be good to see Naples properly. We did our own thing in Dubrovnik after getting the P&O shuttle bus and also in Venice as we have also visited those places before. I didn't enjoy the first sea day very much as we hadn't realised that all the sun beds would get taken so early so never managed to get one. We managed to entertain ourselves and did some reading on the balcony. The second sea day we managed to get a sun bed and it was a glorious day and it was very relaxing. We liked all the public areas on Oceana and enjoyed listening to Pete Brew who sang and played the sort of music that we like. The only thing I thought was a bit odd and after speaking to someone who has recently Benin on Britannia it is not just on Oceana it happens is that on disembarkation day the steward goes into your cabin while you are at breakfast and strips the bed and makes it up for the next people. I think this is unhygienic as the current passengers are still using the room. Disembarkation was very efficient and we were off the boat by 9am and reunited with our luggage and met by our rep. We enjoyed our cruise so much that we have come back and booked a Carribean cruise on Britannia. I hope we enjoy that as much as we enjoyed our cruise on Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Our 2nd cruise, and first with our adult children, son aged 21 and daughter 20 - and their first cruise. Booked reasonably last minute as a request to visit Italy and have some sunshine. This was achieved spectacularly - Italy was ... Read More
Our 2nd cruise, and first with our adult children, son aged 21 and daughter 20 - and their first cruise. Booked reasonably last minute as a request to visit Italy and have some sunshine. This was achieved spectacularly - Italy was brilliant, the sun shone and the seas were so calm as to be unbelievable. We were somewhat thoughtful of what to expect, having only cruised once before, on a smaller ship - Azamara Quest last year - which is a more boutique style ship with excellent service. However overall we have to say that this was a fantastic cruise - brilliant value for money - and visited excellent ports that made it so enjoyable including 2 sea days that were very relaxing. The ship is now 15 years old and that does come through a bit - but she was spotlessly clean. She may not have the mod cons of a new ship but all the kids we saw on board were thoroughly enjoying the pools, and deck areas. We were on Freedom Dining - which suited us perfectly - and the Ligurian Restaurant was always good quality - it is not Michelin starred - but rather very good, varied food, with something for everyone. Cleverly they have the standard fare on one side of the menu - such as Chicken/Steak etc available every evening, and a set of daily specials on the other. All was hot or cold when served as appropriate. Service in the restaurant was polite and effective. Perhaps my only suggestion is that the cheese board (British and Continental Cheeses) was somewhat unimaginative and focussed on British standard cheeses and didn't seem to take advantage of the fact we were cruising around Italy. However given the clientele were nearly 100% British maybe this is preferred by the rest. We had a balcony cabin and an inside cabin, only a few doors away from each other on Deck 10, starboard side, at the aft. Both were fine, with excellent cabin stewards (Anabelle was our one). Balcony is quite small - and our plan for all 4 of us to sit out together was not achievable. Bathroom was spotlessly clean - excellent job. Plumbing for the toilet played up once or twice but was sorted swiftly each time. Bed was very comfortable. TV channels looked good - though we didn't actually watch anything until almost the last day! Flight out, transfer and embarkation went very smoothly. Other eating places we tried included The Plaza - usually for breakfast and maybe lunch, The Grill on the sundeck for burgers and chips at lunch, and Café Jardin for a special occasion - good Italian fare and actually worth the surcharge. Also ate in the Café for breakfast as a way of getting away from the more frantic Plaza. Two formal nights were fun - my son enjoyed dressing up in a Diner Suit and bow tie. I thought the evenings might be contrived but actually it was good fun. Sunloungers - perhaps the one disappointment - P&O state a policy of not hogging/reserving these and that they will remove towels etc to enforce this - however didn't see any attempt to do this over the 7 days and you know what I mean - people would simply abandon these loungers leaving them with their books/bags etc on so no one could use them - and the amazing thing is we moan about the Germans grabbing sunloungers and yet I don't think there were any on board - we Brits are just as bad. Waiter service on decks was evident and attentive. The Spa is actually really rather good and not expensive - I realised I needed a haircut and that was done for £20 (including short head massage and wash/dry) so not too bad. The girls had their nails done - again at no more expensive that UK high street prices. Drinks - were reasonably priced - certainly no more expensive than London - indeed soft drinks were cheaper than most UK bars/pubs. Beer selection was actually ok - with some decent British ale (bottled) but served cold - Old Thumper and Speckled Hen are to be drunk at room temperature - not cold - that is for lager! Wine list was good - with a reasonable bottle of wine costing from around £15 upwards - not ridiculous really. Tips - P&O's rate of £5 pppn was actually very reasonable - quite happy with that. Entertainment - we watched one of main attractions - SkoolDaze - by Highlights Company and that was good standard - fast and fun. Also attended a couple of talks on WW2 (well us boys did) which was ok though the speaker was a bit too generalist in his approach and so swept pass important moments - but he did do a very good impersonation of Churchill! We attended the Cruise Syndicate Quiz as a family every night - and so nearly won on the last night - good fun. Hygiene was good - but interestingly not as enforced so rigorously as on Azamara - no mention of not shaking hands with crew etc. Atrium and public spaces were good. Comfortable seats. We even purchased a photo - actually reasonable value - we didn't go for one of the expensive sets. Gym - was ok - but at least two machines were broken. Should be water available - rather in the Spa area. Jacuzzis were good. Shops - general stores was good place for those forgotten items - such as toothbrush! Didn't really look at other swanky shops - don't really go on a cruise to buy a watch/designer gear etc.... Did not avail ourselves of the excursions - these always seem a bit expensive for a group of 4 - so we did our own thing - and this worked fine at all the ports we called at. Like being able to bring own wine on for drinking in cabin. Livorno - needed to take the courtesy bus to the town to get out of the very large industrial port. Worked well both ways. Naples - fantastic - moored up literally by the city and walked to a bus stop and then caught a train to Pompeii. We then went onto Sorrento before returning by boat to the port across the bay. Dubrovnik - transfer bus a bit steep at £5 each one way - whereas taxis waiting with clearly fixed price of 13 euros (less than £10) without hassle. We needlessly to say used the taxi. Venice - wow this is the way to enter Venice - brilliant arriving at midday - and whilst the walk from the ship to the People Mover is a good 15 minutes it is worth it. Disembarkation was simply brilliant - leave your big bag outside your cabin by 11pm the night before and you see it next at the airport, just yards from the check-in desks. Summary - great value for money cruise, honest cooking (not cordon bleu) that was better than we were led to believe from the reviews - on a ship with good crew - visiting very interesting ports. Definitely go on P&O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Having been Cruise virgins we did not know what to expect. We hadn't even been abroad for 20 years so we were both a bit apprehensive - we booked the cruise as a present to each other for our 25th Anniversary. From the moment we ... Read More
Having been Cruise virgins we did not know what to expect. We hadn't even been abroad for 20 years so we were both a bit apprehensive - we booked the cruise as a present to each other for our 25th Anniversary. From the moment we stepped off the plane in Venice it was clear that this was a well organised affair. There were a number of people with placards telling us which way to go so there was no confusion at all. When we got to the ship (Oceana) we were greeted and had our photo's taken (even though we'd been up since 2am)!! We sat in the Yacht & Compass (traditional English bar) and waited until our cabin was ready. Our balcony cabin was lovely and we were glad we'd splashed out for a view. From that moment on our experience of the Oceana got better and better. All week we had absolutely no problems with staff or other guests. The staff couldn't do enough for us and our Steward left us lovely towel animals every evening. The food was gorgeous and I had to stop myself from gorging after day 2!!! The evening meal was in the Adriatic Restaurant where, yet again the staff were lovely and couldn't do enough. We were on a table of 8 and our dinner guests were all very interesting and we got on well. The first port of call was Montenegro - it was raining and it was a tender stop but we went anyway. The queue to return to the ship was about an hour long so we wandered about in the rain until five minutes before the last tender and got straight on. Corfu was amazing and our tour guide in Rome was a lovely Italian girl who had us all in stitches. The tour guide in Monaco wasn't as engaging but she knew her stuff. The Atrium gave a real WOW factor and the Swarovski shop was a nice touch (for me anyway)!! All in all we had a wonderful week and didn't want to come home. I would recommend P&O to anyone and the Oceana if you don't mind a bit of rust on the balcony. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was ... Read More
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was the many and varied entertainment...paul and micheala are brilliant...the theatre troupe were also brilliant particularly grant who should be acting in way bigger productions or films but all tge singers and dancers were of a really high calibre.....i thought i may be bored i was way wrong...the whole thing is great..id go every year if i could..ports also were anazing as was our tour of pompei...ive run out of expletives but if ur reading this wondering whether to go like i was...go..its amazing Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Just back from a wonderful two week cruise on Oceana to/from Venice via Corfu, Kotor, Naples, MonteCarlo, Livorno, Genoa, Civitavecchia and of course Venice. Overall highly impressed with the ship, not too big, very clean, wonderfully ... Read More
Just back from a wonderful two week cruise on Oceana to/from Venice via Corfu, Kotor, Naples, MonteCarlo, Livorno, Genoa, Civitavecchia and of course Venice. Overall highly impressed with the ship, not too big, very clean, wonderfully friendly and efficient staff and crew. Cabin steward, restaurant and bar staff were all keen to help and provide excellent service with a very warm and ready smile. Plenty of places to sit on deck, easy to order food and drinks from frequently passing staff. The Horizon Grill dinner, at a supplement, was excellent. Good variety of entertainment, from West End musicals to Queen tribute, ventriloquist, mind reader, cabaret singers, comedians. I really liked the fact they waited outside after a performance to meet and greet the audience and for feedback, a lovely idea. Live music played around the ship in cocktail style, jazz trio, vocalist with backing. Something for everyone. There is a little shop on board for day to day items but it did not provide a huge choice; there is the Regent Street and Bond Street area selling bags, jewellery, perfumes etc too. Port excursion team cannot be praised highly enough, extremely helpful and friendly staff, very well organised tours which whilst not cheap provide fantastic value for money with quality guides, comfortable transport and they ensure you get a really good idea of the places you are visiting. Don't miss the St Marks Basilica by night if you get the chance, a very special chance to see the place in peace and quiet, illuminated for you, with detailed explanation of the art and history of the building. A magical end to our holiday. Point 1) We were on Arcadia deck, port side and there was not a night during the cruise when water was not dripping in the corridor into one or more buckets or piles of towels. This is really unacceptable and I was shocked to learn that some passengers had water dripping into their bathrooms too. Luckily we were not among them! Quite apart from the inconvenience of negotiating buckets in narrow spaces, I cannot understand how for two weeks nobody was able to source the leak(s) and fix them. This is after all a 4/5 star hotel on the water! We also had a fire alert in the small hours during the cruise, due to water dripping on a junction box in the galley. We had no rain during the cruise so I don't understand why akk the leaks. Point 2) We were unable to get into Dubrovnik due to high winds and turbulent air in the port, so had an extra sea day and the Captain managed to get us into Venice a few hours early so we had a whole day instead of half a day. This was a minor disappointment to us, but other passengers told of this being a regular issue with the port and one lady had chosen this cruise for Dubrovnik especially and it was her 4th attempt to get in by sea! It is clear there are issues with the access to the port for a very large ship, perhaps P&O should be honest and mention this difficulty in the brochure to manage the expectation of passengers. There were lots of very disappointed passengers on our cruise. Of course the decision not to go in was not taken lightly and the underlying reasons of safety for both ship and passengers is not in dispute and was clearly communicated by the Captain. Point 3) Special dietary needs are a nightmare on a cruise ship of this size. They serve 12,000 meals a day and the whole system is streamlined and geared to speed and efficiency. This is a real challenge for those with special needs as there is no way, really, to cope with them. Vegetarians are ok, but for example the need to eat gluten free throws a real spanner in the works. All gluten free food has to be ordered 24 hours ahead, removing not only spontaneity of choice but also where on the ship you might want to eat - the food has to be delivered to you by prior arrangement. On embarkation you have not had the 24 hours and thus there is very little to eat at all at first! The reason is that all this food has to be prepared by one special diet chef in a special area, and he needs time. There was only GF cereal available on a few days, otherwise the breakfast choice was nuts and seeds or cooked. The buffet is a no-no for fear of cross contamination, so choice of menu, location and restaurant are all severely limited. Full marks to the waiting staff who did their very best to help but as quite a lot of food is bought in prepped, their ability to be flexible is limited. It was a real disappointment to find such difficulty especially in view of the high cost of the holiday. Point 4) For those with mobility issues, every effort is made to help but tender landings are difficult not least as the disembarkation point is on deck 3 which is not served by the lifts. This is worth bearing in mind. There was usually a choice of leaving the ship on deck 5 (gangway with steps) or deck 4 (gangway with ramp) which was very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
2 nights in Venice at Hilton Garden Inn just 5 mins.bus ride to Venice. Borded quickly and were slightly disappointed having previously sailed on Cunard Elizabeth. Oceana is showing her age a little with worn wood and signs of rust. We ... Read More
2 nights in Venice at Hilton Garden Inn just 5 mins.bus ride to Venice. Borded quickly and were slightly disappointed having previously sailed on Cunard Elizabeth. Oceana is showing her age a little with worn wood and signs of rust. We had a balcony cabin close to the lift area but did not suffer noise etc. Cabin is a bit small also bathroom a squeeze. Soon settled in though and it became a comfortable home from home. All public areas are elegant and pleasing. We sat on a table for 8 and enjoyed good company-the talk is always on past holidays and you can pick up lots of tips on where to try next. Weather all week was warm and sunny with very smooth sailing. Ports visited including Kotor in Montenegro-super cruising through deep Fijord-then onto Corfu ,always great. Through the Messina straight seeing Mount Etna on Sicily and the island of Stromboli. Rome came next( we took the train stopping at St Peters 9 euros return-quick and cheap avoiding expensive rushed tours). Lastly stopped in Monte Carlo and visited Nice and Cannes-our old favorites. Disembarked at Genoa having booked an extra night and was upgraded to Hotel Grande Savoia. Enjoyed all shore days greatly. Entertainment on board was first class-enjoyed Mr Roy Walker who packed out the room everytime he performed. Went to the cinema-listened to a classical piano concert-there is always plenty going on for all tastes. We found all the public rooms elegant and stylish with comfortable seating -interesting decor-music playing etc. We must compliment all the crew from the waiters and stewards upwards for a first class service supplied always with a smile. We recommend this ship unreservedly for quality and good value. Meals are British oriented and the Bar prices very affordable. We would sail with PO and Oceana in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Ist time with P&O Last time with P&O Poor food, frozen peas and carrots every night. Oceana was fine, no issues there. Ship lacked atmosphere, average age on board was high. Entertainment was below average with the ... Read More
Ist time with P&O Last time with P&O Poor food, frozen peas and carrots every night. Oceana was fine, no issues there. Ship lacked atmosphere, average age on board was high. Entertainment was below average with the exception of comedian and four piece group. Drinks were a disgrace. short measures, no taste. Prosecco was measured out to half a glass? Staff were miserable apart from the filipinos. Officers failed to make eye contact with guests. The famous sail-away was an embarrassment.(place flag in left hand and pump your right fist) Cabin fine. embarkation fine. fine dining options were poor. one shared table space in the buffet? All in all just very ordinary, lacked the international flavor and atmosphere of Royal Caribbean who's staff seem far more motivated. Logistically P&O have this spot on, getting you on and off without the hassle of lugging cases was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just finished a superb cruise aboard Oceana and was once again delighted with all round standard. Cruised on Ventura last year on same itinery but must state that the food on board Oceans was much much better. Nothing wrong with ... Read More
Just finished a superb cruise aboard Oceana and was once again delighted with all round standard. Cruised on Ventura last year on same itinery but must state that the food on board Oceans was much much better. Nothing wrong with Ventura's but Oceana provided an excellent choice of menus and standard. Beautiful public areas although cabins starting to show age. We had cabin C406 mid ships and was very clean. Balcony was smaller than Ventura's and was in need of lick of paint. Entertainment was excellent with the Tenor Boys who we saw twice and julian Smith the alto sax player who came third on Britain's got talent. Headliners quite good as well long with female vocalist Giselle Summers . this provided good variety in both ships theatres which were very comfortable. Itinery was fabulous as we had a full day in Venice before a 10 pm sailing. Kotor beautiful despite rain. Corfu as beautiful and friendly as ever . Trip to Rome canceled as we were unable to dock due to high winds. Disappointing as our first time cruising companions were looking forward to Rome. Monte Carlo is Monte Carlo. Fab. All in all a great trip with boarding and embarking very efficient. Staff friendly and helpful and table staff excellent. All In all brilliant cruise and thanks to P&O once again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Lima up the western coast of South America, through the Panama, up the Hudson River (New York City) at sunrise. Just doesn't get much better than that. Came early and spent 2 nights in Lima, wish I had made more time for exploring ... Read More
Lima up the western coast of South America, through the Panama, up the Hudson River (New York City) at sunrise. Just doesn't get much better than that. Came early and spent 2 nights in Lima, wish I had made more time for exploring the area. This is my first time on a 5+* ship. Have lots of cruises under my keel in 3 - 4 star lines. Food, staff, and most of all fellow passengers on Oceana all outstanding. One of the things I love most about sailing is meeting some many people with interesting backgrounds. Arranged all my shore excursions off the ship, either beforehand with Roll Call and Mix n Mingle on Cruise Critic or fellow passengers whom I met on board. Additionally, did research on Trip Advisor. They all worked out very well, but you must be flexible. I believe "O" shore excursions are a bit too pricey. Gym was clean and equipment kept in top shape. I usually went for early morning coffee in the quiet of the observation deck. One drawback, being a recently retired single male.... just did not find many single woman to meet and mingle with. Would I go again.... you betcha! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
7 days on the Oceana.. We (5 adults from the ages of 28-60) sailed on the Oceana on the 15th April for 7 nights, I have reviewed the different aspects of the ship below. Embarkation – we flew to Genoa with Thomson from Manchester, ... Read More
7 days on the Oceana.. We (5 adults from the ages of 28-60) sailed on the Oceana on the 15th April for 7 nights, I have reviewed the different aspects of the ship below. Embarkation – we flew to Genoa with Thomson from Manchester, nice enough flight if not a very small plane but fine for 2 hours. Once off the plane we went through passport control and out to meet our rep.. this was chaotic to say the least. We had a very long wait in a very, very small airport. There were approx. 4 other flights that landed within the space of 15 minutes of each other, why these were not spread out I don’t know. The reps were not organised and had great big groups of people standing around which they didn’t speak to, after almost an hour we were sent to the buses outside which took us to the Ship. On arrival at the port it wasn’t anything to write home about, just a typical freight port really.. nothing to see! Check in for the ship was again ridiculously busy with little organisation, there were big queues and we were told to sit down as we would be called, this never happened and after more and more people descending on the queues we thought we had better move, thank fully we joined the queue too as otherwise I think we may still be sat there. Ships Appearance – the ship reminded me of a larger version of P&Os ferry’s that go from Hull to Bruges etc. it was pretty small with not much to do. The reception and atrium area was very nice with the glass lifts and the casino was lovely, the furniture in there was really nice and the club was also comfortable. The remaining areas were very dark and on the ship days I sometimes felt like jumping over! The day time activities were non-existent and the amount of people who must have been in there late 70’s and 80’s sleeping upright in the bars with their mouth open made me feel like I was in a nursing home than on holiday. It was eerily quiet in some areas and we found ourselves pacing around trying to find something, anything, to occupy our time. I never saw any of the entertainment staff apart from at sail away from Croatia.. I am not sure how they fill their days but their diaries definatley need checking! Cabin – we were allocated an inside cabin, A612, which was nice, it had a double bed, plenty of wardrobe space and a bathroom large enough for two. It was well cleaned by our steward with plenty of fresh towel and biscuits. Food – on whole the food was very good in the main restaurant – Liguarian and Adriatic – not sure why there are two names as this is the same restaurant with the same menu, the only difference is you enter on different floors. It had a set menu that ran every night with a daily special option for main. Alongside this there was A new menu that changed daily, there was always something on there and we never had a bad meal. In hindsight I would have gone there every night rather than book and pay the supplement for Café Jardin and the Horizon Grill. Café Jardin – we went for breakfast and they did nice smoothies however the menu is limited and the portions very small so not ideal for the men in our party as it did not really fill them up. We had lunch there twice and on both occasions it was pretty poor to be honest. The sandwiches consisted of the driest bread and filling known to man, the filling couldn’t even stay on it was that dry. I asked if I could have granary bread instead of white but because that was on the 10.30pm menu and it was only 2pm they would not let me have it, which I must say was just ridiculous and came across as being arkward just for the sake of it, I cannot eat white bread so how they cope with serious food allergies I dont know. The waiters in there at that time were also very slow and somewhat miserable, they looked like they couldn’t be bothered. One item, the mushroom croissant was nice, the other items we had were very basic and the time it took to get served was painful. We waited almost 40 minutes for a ploughman’s, when it arrived it consisted of one spoonful of pickle, 3 small pieces of cheese and a very small crusty roll, it wasn’t worth the wait. We dined there in the evening, Marco Pierre White Menu, thankfully the food was of a different class however the place lacked atmosphere and didn’t look any different to when It was open to the public. We did enjoy the food on this evening though so if you do fancy a change to the main restaurant then go here. The Horizon Grill on the other hand I would avoid at all costs. I was really looking forward to this as on P&Os website it looks very nice with the outdoor seating and lights, this was not the case though, we were seated in a long line of tables inside against the window in what is normally the buffet area. There was no music, it was painfully silent and the food was not good. The steak was just fat and the dessert resembled blancmange. The only items I enjoyed where the prawns and scallops I had to pay a further charge for. in total it came to less than £20 for two of us which Isn’t a great deal of money but when compared to the main restaurant it was a waste. The poor atmosphere also made us rush our meal so we could get out of there. Drinks – the drink prices I thought were reasonable, the waiters however were very slow and in a lot of places they took so long to come over, take the order then deliver them that you Would struggle getting tipsy! There was one waiter however who was so lovely, he was called Gerald. A real credit to the ship and someone who has the right attitude to be in the hospitality Industry. Along with Peter from Liguarian restaurant and the cabin stewards they were the only people who genuinely looked happy and pleased to have a quick chat. The other members of staff seemed dis interested and fed up, they were not eager to take orders and seemed to avoid you at all costs at times. This I found very strange. Staff – not the best if I’m totally honest, they were neither engaging themselves or wanting to engage with passengers, other than those mentioned above I found them to be quite poor. We rarely saw the entertainment staff, a lot of the bar tenders were painfully slow even when it was not busy and The reception staff seemed in a daze most days. Although polite the lady on there didn’t seem to know what day it was. They weren’t very helpful nor accommodating and you were left to sort things out yourself. One example of poor customer service was at 10.30pm with a queue snaking around the ship there was just one person on reception whilst said lady was stood nearby. We had just 30 minutes to get to our cabin and put out or luggage but yet again our key card decided not to work. As the time ticked by my husband approached and explained the situation as was told on this occasion only would she help! Not what you should be hearing I’m afraid! Entertainment – hmmm, very hit and miss and if I’m honest I was only entertained when off the ship. The main entertainment team consisted of about 8 dancers and 4 singers, they all looked very young And the shows they put on reminded me of a school production. They were only on a handful of nights at 8.30 and 10.30 for just 45 minutes which I found odd, on a few of the nights they just seemed to be dressed up occupying the club. There was no fancy sets or back drops, the costumes they had were poor and they didn’t seem to perform in time with each other. One show called Back to School was probably the best, it helped that it was in the larger of the theatres so it was much more comfortable. The Queen show they did however was awful! They just couldn’t reach the notes so at times it sounded like howling. I really think they need to invest in this area and take note from the other cruise liners that put a lot of effort into their shows. There was a comedian on called Fogwell Flax, he was very old school but very enjoyable to all in our party, we also caught a Neil Diamond tribute singer who won stars in their eyes apparently.. my only wish was that he had walked through Matthew Kelly’s doors and on to another ship as he was absolutely dreadful!! Again there was no stage sets just him on stage killing these songs whilst barely moving, it also didn’t help that some drunken loud mouth woman was slagging everyone in the theatre off because they refused to shriek and dance in the aisles like she. Ports – I picked this cruise for us (I’m 28 yrs old) due to the ports visited, luckily we were off the ship most days with only two sea days (maybe two too many) we visited Florence and Pisa whilst at Livorno On the ships excursion, we loved this trip along the guide and felt it was worth money. Next we went to Sorrento and Pompeii again on a trip, this was also nice but Sorrento wasn’t as I imagined so I would probably not go back, the guide however was incredibly funny and the meal we had in Sorrento was just beautiful, as was the surroundings of the restaurant. Pompeii was interesting and our guide really brought it to life so without her it wouldn’t have been half as good as we wouldn’t know what we were looking at. On this trip however they did take you to a jewellery factory and a furniture factory which I found annoying as it was a blatant attempt to get you to buy expensive items, usually when you go to these things the trips are free yet this one cost us over £70 each. Next up and my favourite was Dubrovnik, only one word can sum this place up and its stunning! The area is absolutely breath taking and a place we are already planning on going back to. We walked the walls, went up to the cable car and generally explored. We did this ourselves rather than paying for a trip. We did get the shuttle from the port which was expensive at £5.00 each. It cost £25.00 in total however when sat on the coach we saw taxis in to the centre at just 13 euros. We got the bus back which cost just a euro or two, this was easier than trying to locate the airport shuttle as we were not given any info on timings or pick-ups. Venice was our last stop and although beautiful, after Croatia it just didn’t compare. We docked at 1pm and by the time we were let off and put on the motor launch it was after 2pm, if you were on the 2 week cruise this would be fine as you didn’t have to be back on board until approx. 11pm the following evening. It cost £15 each return by tender to St Mark’s Square and there was a P&O station dock side so you could find your way back. we explored the city as much as we could and enjoyed a gondola ride, we did this ourselves as because there was a few of us it was much cheaper at 80 euros than paying Thomson £47 each. Once divided up it cost 16 euros per person, it is the one thing you have to do whilst in Venice. In addition to this we took pictures on Rialto bridge and in St Mark’s Square and enjoyed a nice bottle of red in an outside café overlooking the Grand Canal. The one thing P&O really need to do is provide up to information and maps for their trips, I asked numerous questions about Croatia and was told they no longer accept Euros as its against the law in that country. This is simply not true, with the exception of the walls and possibly the cable car, everything and I mean EVERYTHING was in euros. The prices the reps gave me for the cables cars etc. were also way off the mark. They said it was approx. 35 euros oer person for the cable cars, this was not true it was about 15 if that! I can only assume they do this so you book it with them, again with the maps, they do not give out details of getting around which makes me think they want you to rely on them which isn’t right, especially as the trips they were selling all seemed to be sold out. Overall Opinion – the Holiday was enjoyable due to the great places we cruised to, the food was also very good which is always important when you go on Holiday. I probably wouldn’t cruise again with P&O as if the Oceana is anything to go by I think it is much more geared towards older clientele. They really need to overhaul the entertainment before I would consider using them again as at the moment there isn’t much to do when on the Ship. I also prefer to be on a ship or use at Hotel that has the Wow factor, sadly this doesn’t and isn’t particularly fancy. For those cruisers who like it quiet then this is the cruise for them.. happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at ... Read More
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at Gatwick airport and handed over our cases we didn't have to worry about them till we landed in our rooms. I can honestly say it was the best holiday i had in a long time, I loved everything about it from the 5 star dining to the buffet dinners and the afternoon tea. I loved the entertainment. First night we took part in a fun quiz, to the theatre shows which were so well done and entertaining, The comedian was hilarious and the band were also very good. I also came away with a beautiful photo to remind me of my holiday and got to go on a gondola in Venice which ended the week of nicely. There wasn't one thing i didn't like about this holiday as everyone was so professional and nice from the staff to the passengers. Our room was inside cabin which suited us just fine, I know now having done one that i would love to do another one in the future with my husband and four boys. Well done p and O for giving me a holiday i will never forget. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
After a few years away from P&O we tried again, and were very disappointed by the seven days The flight to Venice was delayed by the French air-traffic controllers, so that resulted in a late arrival at the ship, with very little of ... Read More
After a few years away from P&O we tried again, and were very disappointed by the seven days The flight to Venice was delayed by the French air-traffic controllers, so that resulted in a late arrival at the ship, with very little of a welcome by the ships crew, with no chance to visit Venice at all (not P&O's problem)! We were not able to get changed before dinner as the suit cases only turned up at as we were going to dinner. After the first evening we were surprised with the good level of food in the main restaurant, but that went down hill very quickly! The following evening one of the table party had to send the roasted pork back, as it was all fat! The next evening wrong steaks were brought, accompanied by the waiter saying three steaks ordered, here are three steaks!. The hat-trick happened the very next evening - and out last in that restaurant, one persons lamb was just fat, while another persons, could not be cut!! The plaza was no better, the comedian joked it was like a service station feeding station, and he summed that up right. The themed nights we tried, were nothing to write home about! The indian theme night had just three main courses, a korma, rogan josh and a vindaloo! All were more sauce than meat! The hot food for the British night had been pre-cooked some way in advance, gammons were hard, sausages been kept warm for a while, roast potatoes soft, and choice of vegetables was only courgettes and broccoli - typical British! The only decent food was in the 'le jardin' restaurant, for which you had to pay a premium for the evening meal Cabin was fine and well looked after by 'Elvis' - he could not do more to look after the room, and to keep us informed! Maybe it was only because it was a week long, there was only one lecturer on board, but we were not able to get to either of her lectures! Excursions were booked online, before we left, and it was just as well we did not wait to hear about the places we were visiting on board ship, as there was nothing other than a pre-recorded looped message about each port, but nothing at all to enhance the visit by talking about the excursions, or about the port! There was not even a mention about the special tradition that happens in Corfu, at 11am on Easter Saturday - the Orthodox Easter Saturday. Many people missed it, others were caught up in it water bottle throwing and sustaining slight injuries! We thoroughly enjoyed our day in Corfu, but can understand the frustrations by others We booked two tours, one from Kotor and the other for Rome. The one from Kotor was a great introduction to Montenegro. The one to Rome, classed as an introduction to Rome. took us to the Colosseum and the surrounding area, and one stop at the Vatican, before allowing 3 hours free time. It was hardly an introduction! We did our own thing in Corfu and Monte Carlo/Monaco. We also wondered what the Head of Entertainment did on board, other than introduce some of the evening acts, it seemed to be left to his deputy and the rest of the team to deal with the other areas, such as the sail aways and daily activities. We did enjoy the show company as well as the comedian, and 'mind reader'. The other evening entertainment were male and female singers The ship however we felt was lovely and clean, both inside and out! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We treated ourselves to a 7 day cruise from 8th April to 15th in the Med. We sailed from Venice and visited Kotor, Corfu, sailed through the Messina Straits, Rome and Monte Carlo. How would we sum up the week in one word? BRILLIANT. ... Read More
We treated ourselves to a 7 day cruise from 8th April to 15th in the Med. We sailed from Venice and visited Kotor, Corfu, sailed through the Messina Straits, Rome and Monte Carlo. How would we sum up the week in one word? BRILLIANT. Infact, it has to be one of the best cruise breaks we’ve ever had. The pros and cons are as follows: Pros: • Having never done a fly / cruise with P&O we were extremely impressed with the flight (well done Thomas Cook) and the organisation with the cases. I.e. we left them at Manchester and the next time we saw them they were sitting outside our cabin early afternoon. • The cabin was ready as soon as we boarded – 12 noon. • The cabin steward was super – a lovely lady named Mardolyn who was a credit to P&O. Thanks for a lovely cruise and clean cabin. • The cabin was B227 – a balcony cabin on the starboard side. First impressions were good and having sailed on Oceana before we knew what to expect. Ok they are on the small side, as are the balconies, but if you do your homework then you should know what to expect. It was comfortable and very quiet – we did wonder if there was anyone else on the cruise at times! Great views of the Bridge and a haven of peace on sea days when you could sit with your feet up, glass in hand as the sea went by. • Tip: For this week of the cruise we found that starboard is the side to be on as we had the sun most days and great sunsets. • The timing re the sailaway from Venice was great. We arrived at noon, had the chance to visit St Mark’s Square for 2 hours or so, return, unpack, attend muster drill, change for our meal and the hit the open decks for the 10 pm sailaway. Brilliant. In effect we felt like we gained an extra day’s holiday. • Freedom Dining works well for us and the Ligurian Restaurant was our assigned dining room. I have to admit that this was hit and miss – see below – but at its best it was great. Thanks to Peter and David who served us most night at our special request – true stars – our wine waitress and Restaurant Manager. Yes we had to wait on occasions, but we expected this as we tend to go down at about 7.30pm. We just take the pager and enjoy a cocktail in Tiffany’s. • The food was hit and miss at times to be honest – not sure if we put this in a pro or a con! I found the starters to be good and the desserts – some of the main courses lacked flavour. • As others note there is no more silver service but our Peter / David sometimes gave us additional vegetables or 2 / 3 desserts to make up for it. They made sure that hubby was well looked after and he always came away from the dining room smiling! • We enjoy the formal nights and the vast majority of passengers joined in. To be honest we thought those in shorts and t shirts wandering through looked really awkward, but their choice I suppose. • I have to say that the weather was perfect – we couldn’t believe our good fortune! It was in the late teens / mid 20s every day of the cruise and the sea was like a mill pond. The ports of call were very special – the sailaway in Kotor was excellent and one we will always remember. • Our fellow passengers were a real mix from babes in arms to elderly passengers in wheelchairs. It made for a nice mix • The toiletries in the bathroom are provided and very good • There are tea and coffee making facilities with great biscuits replenished twice a day and a nightly turndown service with pillow chocolate. • The photographers were very good. Normally we don’t buy photos, but these were particularly good and very tempting. • Disembarkation was handled well. We were allowed to stay in the cabin until 9am which is a good time and we were off and in our coaches quickly. We were home by about 2.30pm. • The transfer back to Genoa Airport was good, though the airport itself isn’t great. We didn’t have to wait long though for the flight home and P&O looked after us throughout. Very different from a fly / cruise with Celebrity when, on each occasion we have been left at Rome airport with as much as 5 hours before check in has opened….. • The excursion to Kotor and the Mountain area was excellent. The excursion - a day in Corfu was excellent value. It was lovely visiting the northern part of Corfu and the meal at the farm house midday was superb – real home cooking. • We were pleased that they did the Parade of the Chefs, but a shame that there was no napkin waving. We love the tradition • The waiter service around the pools and decks was excellent. Drinks are a decent price, not like the American cruise lines. • The staff were extremely friendly. Last year we felt they were quite miserable and it was nice to see them back at their best as on our first P&O cruise. • Finally, we have to mention the service at Tiffany’s – it was great – thank you. Cons: • Sadly the service from all waiters during Freedom Dining was not as good as Peter and David. This made the meal slow; bread was missed; they forgot to return to give hubby some wine despite us asking someone twice - third time was lucky, but he had more or less finished his meal by then. If we’d had that service all week we wouldn’t have been as happy – hence the fact that we found 2 great people and asked for them every night and were prepared to wait for the table as a result. • The selection in the buffet restaurant is limited and tends to get repetitive. Breakfast is a bit manic when busy and service for drinks in there was often very slow. • I felt that the balcony needed cleaning more. It looked worn due to rust (which I can understand) but the floor had flaky paint on it. Looking back perhaps we should have asked them to give it a clean. I do think it needs a lick of paint as well. • There don’t seem to be enough select dining options, but I suppose we could have tried Café Jardin. On our first cruise we enjoyed the meal here, but last year it was terrible so that’s put us off slightly. • It is sad that they no longer do the Champagne Fountain – a great tradition that you had to see to understand why it is a sad loss. • I do wish that P&O would have fly / cruises to the Eastern Med in the future to complement this cruise. To end, just to say that we enjoyed the week so much that once we had returned home we booked the 2 week version of the fly / cruise on Oceana next August 2016. (This was rather than do Britannia for 2 weeks or the Celebrity Reflection so she was up against tough competition). Oceana may not be the newest ship, but we are more than happy to return again as part of a fly / cruise. We did meet some ‘moaners’ at the airport, but I do find that people have unrealistic expectations and need to do their homework before they book a holiday. We had a fabulous time – thank you P&O. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
An excellent start to cruising. The flight from Manchester was ridiculously early which meant our first day was a bit of a washout as we were to tired to see Venice. This was made up for by the views from the balcony leaving port ... Read More
An excellent start to cruising. The flight from Manchester was ridiculously early which meant our first day was a bit of a washout as we were to tired to see Venice. This was made up for by the views from the balcony leaving port absolutely fantastic and made better by the free champagne. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our cabin was lovely. Tours were very informative but the Monte Carlo tour is not really suitable for wheelchairs, neither is the Rome trip as we were rushed though the Vatican museum without seeing anything in order to meet the rest of the tour having used a lift and the roads were cobbled as you would expect. Monte Carlo can be done by yourself either by walking from the port or getting on the tour bus which is at the port. Montenegro was beautiful and can be experienced by yourself with the walled town just yards away from the ship however the tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. Corfu was the highlight for us having arrived during a festival which made the trip but regardless, the town is beautiful and easily accessed on foot. The shops are lovely with a good range of leather and lace items. The monastery was just a small chapel and if you are an animal lover you too will be upset by the site of the cats with various injuries and the smell was unbearable. The trip to the vineyard was informative but the only thing we saw was a warehouse/shed full of wine. The food and wine provided was delicious but having bought 6 bottles of wine we didn't realise they sold us wine of a different vintage which was undrinkable and not what we had tasted. We had freedom dining which suited us fine being able to dine when we wanted. We found the food to be of a very good standard and the staff, polite, efficient, helpful and friendly.The plaza was a bit of a free for all and while the food was acceptable it is nowhere near the same experience as dining in the restaurants. The staff were of the same standard as everywhere else but a lot of the clientele lacked manners with people pushing in, grabbing food with their hands and little or no patience. It was a bit of a bun fight. The bar staff ensured our glasses were never empty. My husband bought a wine deal which had a good range of wines and I tried the cocktails, the pina coladas are delicious. Tips, Do any washing on days in port don't save it till sea days, you will spend most of the day checking for empty laundries. Machines take tablets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! ... Read More
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! Can't thank them both enough! Amazing people. Also the on board medical staff who helped us resolve issues with an older relative quickly and with great professionalism meant that we could stay on board. The doctor and two nurses we met were among the best I've known and as a long serving nurse I've known a few ;) - these guys were the tops! Made our Dad feel better, safe and secure and made sure that we could enjoy our holiday! Excellent people! Sadly that's where the great service from P&O ended. Our cabin steward was nice, discreet and kept us well topped up with stuff and towels. But our shower didn't work, it just dribbled cold water. I reported it twice to reception, the same pleasantly smiling vacuum of personality took my concerns on both occasions. Nothing happened, no shower fix. After three days of cold trickled showers an engineer arrived. Twisted something and left, the shower was no better. I reported it again to the reception lady with no response (just a smile). We have had seven days of cold showers and no one cared. The food has taken a sharp down turn in quality and there is no longer silver service in the main restaurant. On two nights my soup was Luke warm, the lamb shank inedible and puddings are just a different coloured blamanche mix arranged differently on a cold plate. Sadly it seems that the best dining on the high seas has sailed to another brand. On our second sea day I fancied some coffee with actual coffee in it, so we popped to the on board Costa bar. For twenty minutes four bar staff stood chatting and laughing while making eye contact with me, I had to approach them and ask to order a drink. One of the female bar stewards told me to take a seat and she would come over. Ten minutes later (once the conversation was finished I assume) she took my order. Our coffees that arrived were cold. No one was around at this point to ask for a hot one. Afternoon tea was the next cracker!! And now I'm home I can be amused by it; we entered and asked to sit just the two of us and we're asked "do you have to?" I said yes and we sat by a window! Nice I thought! Until a raw crumpet and some anaemic tea was thrust upon us. Followed by a stale finger sandwich (I kid you not)! Then no cakes, the other tables got a whole cake stand, we were told to wait. After ten mins we buggered off and went up stairs! Which leads nicely to the motor way service station that seems to have been installed on deck 14! Tray after tray of slop! 50 shades of beige is the perfect description for the plaza buffet. Day trips! More Positive bits now! As usual P&O pulled it out the bag, great days in Pisa, Pompeii and Venice. Don't listen to it he nay Sayers, I've seen the signs yesterday and P&O defiantly book you a cheaper gondola ride! Also, you then get to arrive in St marks square by water taxi which is fun and included otherwise it would be €15 return. There is a monorail from the port to the town centre and that costs €1.60 each way, we had a go on it just for fun! In Dubrovnik we did our own thing, free shuttle to old town. Walk to cable car and then at the top hired dune buggies and went on a guided tour of a battle field. Amazing guy took us, we saw a lot. Then he said we were driving round a mine field but not to worried as it's been cleared four times... Still not sure if he was joking or not! But an amazing experience for less than €20 each! One not to be missed! On board entertainment spot on as usual! Headliners continue to be awesome and the elton John act was wonderful. Entertainment manager had no get up and go though! Compared to others we've had, he seemed tired and not bothered. This is not intended as a rant at P&O, I'll save that for my formal letter lol We did have a lovely time, but just not the usual level of on board service were used too. We feel quite sad about it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We sailed with Oceana for the first time after cruising Regent, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity and Carnival, and found this the perfect fit! We were on the Marina, which had the perfect combination of understated elegance, high style ... Read More
We sailed with Oceana for the first time after cruising Regent, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity and Carnival, and found this the perfect fit! We were on the Marina, which had the perfect combination of understated elegance, high style and intimacy. The penthouse suite was just the right size for us...very spacious walk in closet, elegant bathroom with separate tub and shower and marble floors and counters. The suite had an extra 4-5ft in width which allowed for additional window by sofa (in addition to the sliding door to balcony), and allowed for dining table for two and large long credenza along the right side of the room Compare this to the Conceirge/Veranda which didn't have this extra width. The balcony was also extra wide, and had very comfortable lounge chairs that leaned back. You can go out the balcony thru the sliding door and have plenty of room to enter and exit without having to move anything (this isn't possible in concierge and veranda suites). Beds were very comfortable and the ac worked the best we ever had (which really helped with the humid South Pacific). The 4 specialty dining options were excellent (our favorites were Red Ginger, Jacques and Toscana...the Polo Grill was a bit disappointing). The shows were horrible so we skipped them after watching two, but I have found all but Carnival to have very disappointing shows. The food was the best we found yet, but the Grand Dining Room paled in comparison to the specialty options. We found the Terrace Café and the Waves Poolside to be the perfect on the go options for all 4 of us. The standouts on the ship were the library, the barrista, the culinary classes (we did one Italian cooking which was perfection), and the Artist loft (we painted our own plates for and exciting souvenir which could have been sold in an artist studio and didn't cost a dime extra). We did 6 excursions and were thrilled by all of them. Exceptional in every way. The Penthouse suites have a butler, but we could've done without one (didn't use much at all). The floor we were on did have the added advantage of a Executive Concierge Lounge, where you can get expresso, oj, snacks, and sodas at all hours of the day at no fee. Oceana does offer all water and non alcoholic beverages at no fee, but you do have to pay extra for alcohol (unlike Regent where it is all inclusive including all excursions). Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I Suppose you get what you pay for. Our experience of cruising is limited and entirely related to late booking saver fares involving allocated interior cabins. Presumably, any responses to complaints (and any sympathy) is likely to be ... Read More
I Suppose you get what you pay for. Our experience of cruising is limited and entirely related to late booking saver fares involving allocated interior cabins. Presumably, any responses to complaints (and any sympathy) is likely to be viewed on that basis. However, our previous two cruises were with Cunard (QM2 and QV) on these arrangements and we would rate both of these as excellent. These cruises are, therefore, our benchmark and we approached our first P&O cruise expecting something similar (we paid slightly more, on a per day basis, than on the Cunard cruises). Firstly, there were some positives. The Oceana is a comfortable, clean and generally attractive ship, comparable, in many ways, to the Cunard QV. The embarkation procedures were highly efficient and the allocated cabin was exactly what we expected. The Cabin steward was a smiling, friendly and efficient young man on his first cruise. The itinerary was attractive and the weather was fine. The staff was generally polite and friendly and the entertainment was generally very good (Vernon Lewis was outstanding). A major problem became apparent on the first night. The allocated cabin was on Deck 6 below the Yacht & Compass pub which featured live music until 12.15am. This was apparent in the loud transmission of bass sounds (you know what I mean – you can’t hear the music – just a continuous thumping sound). This drowned out the television and made any attempt at sleep impossible – we are early risers and prefer to be in bed and asleep by before 11pm. We naturally complained but with little result – apparently no other cabins were available although we were offered an upgrade, for around £400, but with no guarantee of peace and quiet. Anyway, the P&O representative assured us that it would not occur every night (it did!). Thus we were obliged to keep out of the cabin until after midnight, going to the late shows and amusing ourselves in the ship until then. The other major disappointment was the food. We were allocated to Freedom dining which generally worked well apart from a chaotic evening when other passengers boarded at Genoa – we abandoned the long queues that evening and ate (I hesitate to say dined !) in the Plaza buffet. The food in the Ligurian restaurant was pretty standard fare for the first few nights then appeared to deteriorate rapidly until some of the food toward the end of the 17 day cruise can only fairly be described as awful. Examples were two chicken dishes consisting mainly of chicken wings and skin, lobster consisting of shell with virtually nothing in it and a desert (Bananas Foster) which seemed like tasteless black substance with a few flakes of pastry and a little syrup. The omnipresent curry dishes were virtually all the same flavour (the naan bread was like rubber) and the Wednesday breakfast special, kedgeree, turned out be a curry with a few egg slices in it. Fine dining? I don’t think so! The service in the restaurant also deteriorated with menus being snatched away and obvious signs of impatience when making selections from usually quite unattractive menus. The Plaza buffet was best avoided most of the time, particular to avoid that small, but growing, number of cruise passengers who have never been introduced to any concept of good manners and respect for other people. This group, of course, ignored all dress codes and, presumably because of political correctness, these were not enforced. In contrast, the great majority of the many children embarking in Genoa were well dressed and extremely well behaved and a credit to their parents. We were informed by a fellow passenger that a lot of the problems could be attributed to a transfer of experienced staff to the new Britannia. Certainly many of the dining room staff seemed awkward and poorly trained and the attitude of the reception staff could be much improved. Well, as we say, you probably get what you pay for and cruising is generally quite attractively priced. We largely enjoyed it because it is always our intention to do so - concentrate on the good points and try to live with the bad. Every cloud has a silver lining – weight gain (for two) after the last Cunard cruise was 11lbs whereas we lost 2lbs during this one. We never say never but a further cruise on P&O in highly unlikely unless there is no realistic alternative. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, entertainment good. Weather was perfect apart from showers in the afternoon in Naples. Sail in to Venice with a very good commentary was wonderful. Our only complaint and it was a big one: Lack of communication regarding transfer back to Southampton from Gatwick. We booked online following an email about the cruise and checked to see how we would get back to Southampton from Gatwick. No problem, there would be a coach transfer. No there wasn't! We only found out by talking to someone at dinner (freedom dinning is great) We asked at reception about a coach and were passed to future cruise desk. The lady didn't know but said she would look into it and to come back next day. When we returned the next day we were told by a very smug man Lee Mudkins that there wasn't a coach and that their contract with us ended at Gatwick, end of story, however he knew straight away the cost of a taxi £150. No help, advice, assistance given whatsoever. We were not the only ones in this position and one poor lady only found out as we disembarded. Poor show P & O. Lesson learned....phone and check everything! We eventually got back to Southampton at just gone 11pm and I cannot praise the parking people at "Meet and Greet" enough. After we phoned them to say we would be arriving at Southampton Central Station at gone 11pm the lady said not to worry they would bring the car to us at the station. They saved us a taxi trip to the port. Well done Meet and Greet. To rub salt into the wounds...people had phone calls or emails to say that they could leave their cars at Gatwick and a shuttle would be there to take them to Southampton. We didn't get a phone call or email. It would have been much easier for us to park at Gatwick which is 2 hours drive from us and we had to pass it on our way to Southampton. As it was a four hour drive to get home and it was so late getting to Southampton we spent the night in a Hotel and drove home next day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our third cruise, and the first on Oceana, which sailed from Southampton, calling at Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Cannes and Livorno, flying us back to Manchester from Genoa after 10 nights on board. Food was terrific ... Read More
This was our third cruise, and the first on Oceana, which sailed from Southampton, calling at Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Cannes and Livorno, flying us back to Manchester from Genoa after 10 nights on board. Food was terrific in the main restaurants - we were allocated second sitting, which meant not getting out of the restaurant until around 10-30pm, so we asked to go on the first sitting, and this was arranged after five nights. The waiters were brilliant and the "Captains" wine pack of four bottles costing £65, proved to be great value and quality wine. Entertainment was very good overall - the guest speaker talked about the murderer Dr Crippen but he was disjointed, his presentation poor, and he kept looking at his watch. The house bands were good, particularly "Superstition", a four piece doing a lot of blues numbers. We had an outside cabin with big window (D236), which had a shower (no bath) plus kettle/drinks tray and fridge, and at £606 each including coach from Manchester and flight back, the holiday was unbelievable value for money. There was a continuous leak from the ceiling in the corridor, and each day, you had to dodge a plastic bucket put there to catch the drips, but apart from that, things ran like clockwork. Tips are deducted of £3.90 per day per person, and sadly, some guests boasted of cancelling as soon as they got on board. We paid it and gave extra cash to the Cabin Steward, our two waiters and our wine waiter, as their service couldn't be faulted. Shame they charge 50p per minute for Wi-Fi, but it was available free in a lot of the ports visited. TV channels include films and BBC/Sky News and Sky Sports. The laundry is free but take some washing tablets as they are expensive from the ship shop. My wife used the spa and found it far superior than the Azurra. Most guests were in the 60+ age range, so there were plenty of shades of grey and walking sticks, but the ones we shared tables with were mostly friendly and enjoying the cruise. 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

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