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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this for the itinerary not the ship as we have been on it 3 times before. Flights with Virgin we're acceptable and embarkation not as slick as before but we put this mainly down to UAE customs regulations. Cabin was ready ... Read More
We choose this for the itinerary not the ship as we have been on it 3 times before. Flights with Virgin we're acceptable and embarkation not as slick as before but we put this mainly down to UAE customs regulations. Cabin was ready by 12 so that was good, cabin steward was polite and friendly. The ship is unchanged really still old , tired but functional, can't say anything was ever out of action but as others state its seriously showing age related wear, in the whole thought kept clean and tidy i thought. Food is also the same, buffet is small and old school and seems to suffer curry as ever most days but on the whole the food tastes fine and is restocked quickly. Drinks service as ever is very slow in the buffet and invariably arrives after you've eaten ! MDR is a pleasant space, menus varied and again on the occasions we used it food was hot and tasty with a good choice. Entertainment is a bit hit and miss, poorer this time we thought but we still enjoyed some good shows, a/c in Starlight's is fierce ! and the tub chairs too close for comfort. We used predominately organised tours due to never having been to these countries, as expected overpriced but delivered as advertised. On the whole for the price and itinerary a good solid cruise but dont expect any frills or glamour , budget cruise for a budget price, shame about the cabin noise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been cruising with smaller ships for the last few years - Viking and Oceania - but really liked the itinerary on this cruise and felt it was very good value for money. We really enjoyed our experience and loved Dubai and the UAE ... Read More
We have been cruising with smaller ships for the last few years - Viking and Oceania - but really liked the itinerary on this cruise and felt it was very good value for money. We really enjoyed our experience and loved Dubai and the UAE so much that we are going again next year. We were busy on this cruise with an excursion every port day and had booked most activities via P&O. Two, in particular, were very memorable - the Bahraini food trail in Manama and the day at Al Ain from Abu Dhabi. I had a very funny close encounter with a camel which was caught on camera and amuses me every time I look at it. We also loved the fjord dhow cruise to see dolphins and The Frame in Dubai is incredible. For those like us who had pre-booked excursions, the whole process was very organised. We wanted to go up the Burj Khalifa but didn’t want to queue so we booked high tea at the Atmosphere Lounge on Floor 123 in the Armani Hotel. Whisked straight up and had a window table all to ourselves with amazing views. Pricey of course but a unique experience. We were on second sitting so after dinner and a nightcap, we were usually ready for bed by 11 pm and therefore didn’t see many shows or talks but what we did see was very good. There was good music around the ship. For us, the food in the MDR for breakfast, lunch and dinner was consistently good with lots of choice and excellent service. We are not so keen on buffet eating but, when we did, it was again a wide choice and food was generally good. I can understand the choices wouldn’t be to everybody’s taste but it suited us as we like to eat a diverse range of foods. Oceana is one of P&O’s smaller ships and her atrium is beautiful. We found the officers and crew very efficient and friendly. The sun deck was very crowded as so many people had chosen this cruise for winter sun and sunbathed for long periods. As we don’t sunbathe, this didn’t bother us. We did hear some people moaning or just being generally negative but really couldn’t find fault with anything ourselves. It would be nice to have lobster on offer every day as Oceania Cruises do but then we would have to pay a lot more. All in all, we feel that we had an amazing time in an area we hadn’t visited before and met some lovely people whose company we enjoyed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". Nonesense. The Oceana is a tired, smallish vessel, and P & O expects their clients to want to go to bed early, and indeed many do. By 11 p.m. the ship was quite deserted. We were (eventually) given first sitting and we had a nice table for 8. The service was good, but the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. I do believe they had a glut of squash, asparagus and mushrooms, because that was on the menu all the time. The buffet is small, but never much of a queue, except when the tours returned. However the food was poor and repetitive. The onboard Headlines were awful! Two of the lady singers couldn't "sing". One struggled to find a tune and the other just screamed down the microphone. The dancing looked more like an old-school PE session, with lots of jumping about with lots of energy, but no finesse. The visiting acts were mediocre, the comedians were telling jokes from the 60's. Again all past their sell by date. The magician was good but dragged out his performances. There was a pianist in the atrium, and without actually checking, he either had 6 fingers on each hand, or only 2. He was dreadful. However people sat in rows, like an old folks home, listening to him. Can't for the life of me think why. The seating in the show lounges was poor. In the Starlight theatre there were bucket seats crammed together and behind them were a sofa seating. The buckets seats were higher than the softas, and the distance between them was so tiny, that people were climbing over the backs of the sofas to get to their seats. The Footlights theatre seating was all sloping forwards, so not very comfortable. We had an inside guarantee cabin which was perfectly adequate, B624. No complaints there. However there were sequins on the floor when we arrived, and still there when we left. Obviously never vacuumed. The price of alcohol is expensive. A 250ml glass of house red/white wine was £5.65. A Peroni on draft was £4.80 a pint. Can't comment on any other drinks. The ship was always cold, from the air conditioning. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to ... Read More
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to the F1 Track. Second Stop was 2 days in Abu Dhabi - first day Shuttle bus took us to a newly finished Mall on the outskirts of town, quite disappointing as there was no way of walking to the main part of town, bit of a wasted day really. Second day we went on a cruise excursion to Grand Mosque- a visit to a traditional handmadecrafts village, great opportunity to buy local crafts - trade in Diram, Euro's and Dollars. Very friendly and look out for the man that does weaving really worth a visit.A drive around the sites of Abu Dhabi and then a final visit was to a Fort .. this was a superb tour and I would really recommend it as we saw lots and it was good value at £40 each. A day at sea followed . Our next visit was to Muscat , here the shuttle bus took us to a market and we explored the town and the harbour. It was a little confusing at the port we had to get off the bus and go through a security check before re-boarding the bus to get to the town. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous there is a beautiful beach a short taxi ride from the port. We then visited Kushab, a lovely little town where goats roamed the streets and there was a wealth of electronic shops selling allsorts... My daughters bought a pair of airpods that work great for £20, from a shop in the square where the shuttle bus dropped us off. We also found a beautiful beach just next to the port and the sea was really warm, there is no pavement to get there so you need to bear right out of the port and follow the track ..walk behind the crash barrier to the beach , it's less than 1/2 a mile walk. We then enjoyed a fun day on the beach at Sir Ban Yas Island- The ship provided a great packed lunch and drinks on the beach. Our final stop was a return to Dubai, where we arranged our own excursion through Arabian Nights Tours, we had a great great time our guide was called Ramzan and he took us camel riding ( just a quick walk around a pen but good photo opportunities), Sand boarding and Dune Bashing these were both brilliant. He also told us loads about Dubai and its culture. We then took a taxi to the Miracle Gardens, this is a must see for anyone visiting Dubai. The shuttle bus took us to the Dubai Mall where we walked to the burj khalifa and the dancing fountains - we also saw the amazing huge fish tank in the Mall with sharks, stingrays and dozens of amazing fish. Our final day a thick cloud descended on the whole area so it scuppered our plans to visit the palm as we would not have been able to see anything- but we feel this is a good excuse to visit again. Great holiday, excellent value with P&O , having sailed with Princess, Celebrity, Cunard and Royal Caribbean in the past, I would have no hesitation in sailing with P&O again , the Oceana was very friendly and offered really good food. We traveled as a family of 6 with 2 teenage girls, we felt extremely safe throughout our holiday and everyone was very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Wanted to give P&O another try after a really bad experience on Britannia. Oceana used to be Ocean Princess so, as our first ever cruise was on her sister, Sea Princess, we were familiar with the ship, layout and facilities. ... Read More
Wanted to give P&O another try after a really bad experience on Britannia. Oceana used to be Ocean Princess so, as our first ever cruise was on her sister, Sea Princess, we were familiar with the ship, layout and facilities. Embarkation in Dubai was simple and stress free with the usual pre authoristation on my credit card (more of that later). Yet again we found the food to be very average and actually quite boring; perks of being aimed at the older British market I suppose but I don't go to hot parts of the world to have things like shepherds pie for lunch! The staff were okay but again, being predominantly from the Indian sub continent, they tend to be very straight laced to the point of appearing uninterested. We only used the main restaurant twice as the meals did not excite us, thankfully the themed buffets were generally very good. The entertainment was, on the whole pretty good with guest entertainers of a Gary Barlow tribute and a Soul / Mowtown act that was that good we saw on all of their shows. The house entertainment was okay, the Killer Queen theatre show was entertaining without being spectacular. House bands / musicians kept people entertained around the ship The UAE is a strange place to visit, blatant oppulance tempered by a very low paid workforce, a wide chasm of have and have nots which makes for a fascinating visit. Sir Bin Yassi Island was the only place we were disappointed with as there is nothing there so why bother. You take your chances with all ships excursions and these were no different really, not exactly exciting but something different to do. Post cruise is where it all went wrong and highlighted the poor service from the company. On every other cruise I have done, I have received my post cruise email with questionnaire before I have got to the airport or home, here I am three weeks later still waiting for it! Also, the pre authorisation of my credit card is still showing on my account and all I get from them is a standard reply, it's as if they don't even read the original message properly. Can't say I'll be rushing back to P&O Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship ... Read More
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship by 11am having had an overnight flight from Glasgow and the cabins were released at 12pm. Our cabin was L343 on deck 12. The cabin was a wee bit dated but clean and tidy and always tidied up very quickly in the morning. Because we had a corner cabin the shower was quite big, i was initially a bit concerned when i noticed that we had a service corridor backing on to our cabin but you only heard a bit of noise just after 8am apart from that it was great. We ate in the main dining room the food was excellent and always piping hot, I found the buffet for breakfast and lunch very good and had no problem getting a table at any time. Ports were good and trips from the ship were of a reasonable price and standard, the free shuttle buses at the ports were a real plus. Found that if you were going to the starlights theatre you had to get there really early to get a seat as people were reluctant to move along the rows which was quite annoying. The comedians were good as were the musicians and dancers although i felt that some of the singers voices werent strong enough for some of the songs that they sung. All in all a first cruise with P+O and found it really good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Refit has improved Oceana, a ship we like. CRUISE SPOILT BY NOISE AT NIGHT If you want a good nights sleep and the ability to get to sleep before midnight DO NOT BOOK CABIN C510. For whatever reason the noise from from lower deck ... Read More
Refit has improved Oceana, a ship we like. CRUISE SPOILT BY NOISE AT NIGHT If you want a good nights sleep and the ability to get to sleep before midnight DO NOT BOOK CABIN C510. For whatever reason the noise from from lower deck venues comes up through 2 decks into the cabin, this carries on until midnight and beyond. Loud cheers of guests watching sporting events, entertainers singing and shouting etc. NEVER BOOK C510. 2 days in Dubai, 2 days in Abu Dhabi and visits to other UAE states and the Oman. Free shuttle buses in all ports of call were very good. Overall Oceana has benefited from her 2017/18 refit and does not look as tired as she did before. We dined in the Beach House twice and found the food and service excellent, food in the self service was adequate but nothing special although the staff were friendly and helpful, only blip was the very poor omelette station at breakfast. The entertainment by the Headliners Theatre Company was outstanding, good singers and excellent dancers made their shows well worth seeing. Overall a good cruise spoilt by a Noisy Cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We were going to Dubai anyway so tagged on the cruise. We have done this with other cruise lines and have actually done the same cruise 4 times before. We usually book a balcony cabin as we like to sit on the balcony in the evening with a ... Read More
We were going to Dubai anyway so tagged on the cruise. We have done this with other cruise lines and have actually done the same cruise 4 times before. We usually book a balcony cabin as we like to sit on the balcony in the evening with a drink but we know from visiting this part of the world many times that it can be chilly in the evenings. So we booked a large outside cabin and were not disappointed. It was very large with a window not a port hole. Lots of storage space, drawers, shelves etc but the safe was tiny, likewise the bathroom. But it was clean and everything worked so we were well happy. The hairdryer was pretty efficient but in entirely the wrong position if you are right handed, We were freedom dining. The food was fine but the service rather slow. We also ate in Cafe Jardin which was surprisingly good and portions huge. We also ate in the Beach House which was up to the same standard as the Beach Houss on other P&O ships. The Plaza buffet has the most awful layout, similar to the Ventura and Azura buffets. A very stressful experience going to the Plaza. Food was OK but not the variety that you get on Britannia. The ship has lots of small bars but we went to Winners on deck 8 and struck up a friendly association with the staff there. We sat at the front of the ship which was OK even on the one sea day we had. If you wanted to sit around the pool then you had to be content to be a sardine as there was no space between the beds. Sunbeds were large and sturdy but were roped down every night and not released until nearly 9am the next morning. We managed to release a couple for ourselves before this but otherwise I thought the general release time was ridiculously late. The crew swilled down the sun deck most nights which meant that the deck surface was very slippery. The ship felt cramped, the atrium very small and a lot of the floors were uneven which can catch you out especially in the Plaza buffet. Likewise the gangways to get on and off the ship were basic and not very sturdy which was a bit disconcerting. Could not fault the staff and even the reception desk was efficient!! We met some nice people, the weather (apart from one day in Abu Dhabi) was near perfect. We were not on a fly cruise but were travelling independently so we were not subjected to the overnight flight to and from Dubai. I would not advocate doing the fly cruise. Make your own arrangements and use Emirates. All in all a good trip. Don't think I will be going back on Oceana again as I prefer the bigger ships where I don't feel hemmed in so much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The smoothest cruise I’ve ever had according to our captain, and he was right there was hardly a ripple from start to finish. We boarded Oceana in Southampton on a cold January morning at the “Queens terminal” which was not very ... Read More
The smoothest cruise I’ve ever had according to our captain, and he was right there was hardly a ripple from start to finish. We boarded Oceana in Southampton on a cold January morning at the “Queens terminal” which was not very royal, and we embarked in no time at all for our 20 night journey to Dubai. The whole of the cruise was a flat as a pancake, with excellent smooth seas all the way. For economic reasons we had an inside cabin this time, C525, which was al little compact but comfortable & kept clean and tidy by Bruno our steward. We were allocated 1st sitting on a table for four which was ideal for us. Food was up to the usual excellent standards with first class service from our waiters in the dining room. With plenty of other dining options available, we enjoyed using the Cafe Jardin for lunch. I’ve forgotten just how comfortable and easy to get around Oceana is, a lovely intimate ship, and one I would certainly travel on again. We had seen most of the guest speakers before so did not attend their sessions, Entertainment was very good, with actor Robert Daws hosting a series of talks and question and answer sessions, which were very good indeed. We are not great Headliner fans, but saw a couple of their shows. We stopped at Cadiz, Malta, transit of the Suez Canal, Salalah & Muscat in Oman, then onto Dubai. We did our own thing in Cadiz and Malta, but opted for P&O organised trips in Salalah and Muscat, as these were new destinations for us. In our only day in Dubai we went on the BBQ under the stars trip, which I can highly recommend, we had a fantastic time. The whole experience was very enjoyable, and a great way to escape the January weather. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and Dubai. To celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was a good size with ample storage, and lots of mirrors. Take an extension lead as ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and Dubai. To celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was a good size with ample storage, and lots of mirrors. Take an extension lead as there was only one British socket which was on the far side of the dressing table. The bathroom was tiny and you need to dry off in the shower, which only had over head shower. Room was quite dated and very small TV, good selection of channels. Balcony was dated as it is an old ship, but I would recommend having one if you enjoy time on your own. For breakfast we preferred to eat in cafe Jardin on deck 8 top of the atrium, limited choice but served to you and quiet. There are only 2 speciality restaurants for evening dining one is the beach house which is part of horizon buffet in the evening. If you are hoping to dine on your own on a table for 2 without overhearing conversations within arms reach this is not the ship for you. Tables for 2 in both set dinning 6.30 and 8.30 and freedom dining 6pm til 9.30pm are very limited. We were in freedom dining on deck 5 the only evening we were seated imidiately was when we went at 5.40pm every other evening we were given a pager and sat in the bar on deck 8 for 10 to 50 min waiting for our table for 2, if we would have been happy to share a table then most likely we would have been seated straight away. The food and service was usually excellent. The entertainment was also excellent but limited seating so get in the venue early. Sauna and steam rooms are in the changing rooms so no joint male/female one. Quiet area on deck 14 at back of the ship was our favourite place to spend sea days, 3 jacuzzis and a pool. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was ... Read More
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was good and had a different good lunch experience in the Ligurian, rather than the Buffet or the "suite lunch". Didn't get priority boarding as we had expected (mini suite) but as we were there at 12.30 we didn't wait long. Oceana's Atrium is lovely and all trimmed up, dance floor a touch small but we all coped, even on very rough stormy night. Quite how people complain of limited choice at lunch/dinner is beyond me. I wonder if people visit all the counters in the buffet, there is always lots of additional choices (hot & cold) to the curry (v good) and stir fry, including usually a roast. At dinner I counted eleven main course choices and a similar number of vegetables. MDR waiters were very good and friendly, our Wine Steward was exceptional. Food was fine, and offered more if we wanted without asking, soups are particularly good, we could not mange any more though. Only a short cruise so perhaps entertainment was more limited. Only one visiting speaker (I think) although the dated WW2 talks seem to have gone, which is good really. Queen show in Footlights was good although we have seen before, but hey ho I play the CD again and again. Headliners in Starlights was very good. This lounge and its equivalent on the "older" ships are in my view better than the newer ones, with more theatre style seating than tables and chairs it was not a problem getting a seat. Mama Mia Here We Go Again was showing in the theatre and on cabin TV, good. Nice mix of fellow passengers all well dressed be it formal or smart casual, and if P&O's embargo has resulted in no football shirts hooray, only saw one smart "tucked in" discrete logo football shirt, and there was plenty of footie on the bar TV's. We met some nice friendly people. Our mini suite B573 was excellent, bigger than some suites we have had, and I think allowing for a smaller balcony (but still big) the actual cabin was bigger than the adjacent suite. Some engine noise/vibration when docking/departing but only for 5-10 minutes at most, not a problem. Usual issues of some people steadfastly refusing to use the hand gels, and "table hoggers" at the Buffet claiming seats and then going off individually to get food - why, there are plenty of seats? Wheelchair users were given consideration and also they were considerate to others with the odd exceptions. Why two men expected to be seated in Freedom immediately just because they are in wheelchairs is beyond me, fortunately it was beyond the Maitre D as well and he gave them a pager like everyone else. A good cruise and was not as frenetic on the first night as it can sometimes be, everyone seemed to drop into their own routines very quickly, few queues therefore. Disembarkation was excellent, had breakfast in MDR by which time it was 9am and we joined our scheduled leaving time and we were in the car heading out of Southampton by 9.30am. Well Done P&O Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We fancied an Xmas cruise so we would not need to cook this year, and also for a little chance of winter sunshine. I and my wife have now completed some 16 or so cruises, but this is our second one with P&O, the first being a year or ... Read More
We fancied an Xmas cruise so we would not need to cook this year, and also for a little chance of winter sunshine. I and my wife have now completed some 16 or so cruises, but this is our second one with P&O, the first being a year or two ago on the Ventura, which was just 'OK'. Our choice was based upon destination and price, and the Oceana fitted the bill, it was going to the Canaries and Madeira over the festive period. We had never visited the Canaries, so it was an opportunity to see if we liked them, and would go back and to get some sun. We had an evening at the Holiday Inn Southampton prior to the cruise with inclusive parking for up to 15 days and two-way ship transfers, which we booked ourselves. This turned out to be good value and close to the Mayflower Terminal. The morning of departure was a breeze. We were due to board at 1 pm, but arrived about 12 pm in an early taxi. No problem check in was very fast and we simply walked on the ship after depositing our cases. Our first cruise with P&O had a quick check in and this was no different, probably better and faster than any other company we have been with. This speed and efficiency on disembarking and boarding continued throughout our trip and at the destinations. Very easy and stress-free, and on our final disembark at Southampton. Wewll done P&O Our cabin was soon ready, within the hour in fact, and the buffet of course was open!. ( See points on cabin below ) First impressions were good, and overall the staff were attentive, and as my wife was diabetic they helped her with the diabetic meal choices. Food everywhere was of a good standard ( we did not each much in the buffet as we prefer the main dining room ). over the 12 days there were recurring 'favourites', ie steak, chicken etc but overall a good choice. Meals were well presented and hot which is vital for me. We heard someone moaning about the poor standard, but to be honest what do they want ?. There was a wide choice at every meal, so something for everyone. Again,service was good and we had no complaints. The restaurant staff work very hard as do the wine waiters. I had pre ordered a wine package of 6 bottles, and this suited us fine as we had about half a bottle per evening. We also had drinks in the bar, a gin, or Martini in the evenings and the odd beer. Prices are UK pub prices as I dont think they do a specific drinks package. However we both got £115 cabin credit as part of the deal and this was great, as we did not spend much in total. A bit of a moan though. More than once they did not have the advertised drink, particularly the selection of beers, and beware of the 'cocktails'. One guy asked for extra alcohol in his as to be fair, some taste very weak!. I think the bar managment need to get their act together, as it could be improved in the bars. We also found the ship busy,. but it was Xmas, but there was often a lack of a quiet space to have a drink. The Yacht and Compass Puib was always noisy with some activity going on, so no quiet drink in there. Most nights we opted for Magnums bar which was OK The voyage was fine, but for 24-36 Hrs we hit a force 9-10 in the Bay of Biscay on the outbound leg. No effect on myself and my wife who dont get seasick, but a massive shock to some first time cruisers and many of the passengers who wewre ill. In fact we heard a couple complain at reception about the weather !!!. I think folks need to realise that if they book a cruise, particularly in December, and it the Atlantic then this is a chance you take!. Its not P&O's fault. Once we got through it conditions were calm for the rest of the cruise and all the way back to the UK, although I think a few passengers got off at Madeira and flew home !. Ports of call were fine, as was the weather. We missed Lanzarote due to winds and tidal conditions so had two nights in Tenerife which was fine by us. We love Madeira, but we were not too impressed by the Canaries, but that is a personal thing and we would not go back, although we got the nice weather. We only had one excursion ( only as we had two days in Santa Cruz and I had not planned on another day ) to mount Tede, which was very good and we enjoyed it. Overpriced as always, but we did end up spending less than we thought. Lisbon was nice, but it was colder than the UK !! The entertainment overall was varied and quite good, we varied our shows each night which is something we like doing; so there was something for everyone. I did not like the magician, and normaly I do, but he did not impress me at all. The crew dancers were great and there was plenty to do all over the ship. Guest speakers ( one on planets and space, and the other on showbusiness ) were both entertaining. The ship, well, OK but I am not keen on the Fincantieri ships, dont know what it is, but just not my scene. That said we felt very safe with a first class crew. One issue though. we are not old yet, but I thought we had got on a Fred Olsen ship!!. The number of passengers with walkers, wheelchairs and chronic problems ( which they loved talking about ) must have kept the sick bay busy. Far from being a booze cruise at times I thought I was in a rest home...Well perhaps its Xmas, but we would prefer a somewhat younger crowd, but again maybee its the ship. Overall a nice cruise, better than our first P&O experioence, so we would probably book with them again on a different ship Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My sister and I needed to do something different this Christmas and decided on a cruise, our first. We chose a small ship and warmer climate. The Oceana didn't have the most modern interior, but was beautifully maintained and had ... Read More
My sister and I needed to do something different this Christmas and decided on a cruise, our first. We chose a small ship and warmer climate. The Oceana didn't have the most modern interior, but was beautifully maintained and had an air of quiet elegance about her. She was spotless, and the Christmas decorations were spectacular. We had a twin cabin with balcony, and although it was small there was plenty of storage (thank goodness as my sister took the kitchen sink along)! The bathroom really was small, but when we hit the Bay of Biscay we were grateful! Our Cabin Steward was delightful, and the cabin was always serviced on our return from breakfast. For the most part we decided to eat in the main dining room (Free Dining). Lots of shiny wood, white table linen etc., very elegant. The menus offered plenty of choice for all meals; the food was good, though not excellent. Presentation was poor in that the plates could have been 'dressed'. The Waiters worked so hard, nothing was too much trouble, they were fast, efficient and extremely pleasant. I was impressed that some actually remembered our names. Excellent touch. The entertainment was good, with two shows an evening there was usually something to see, the quizzes were great fun too. Daytime activities were a little thin, several of the 'talks' were given by 'experts' who appeared to be there to sell their product. Oceana is a smaller vessel, but even so the shops were poor, expensive, and didn't have simple thing that passengers might run out of, or might have forgotten to take with them. Staff throughout the ship were a credit to P&O, always on hand, always polite, smiling, and always ready to help. In Madeira we took the motorbike and sidecar excursion which was worth every penny, Three hours with a personal guide who was so knowledgeable about the City and its history. Highly recommend it. By contrast the Tuk Tuk tour of Lisbon was hugely overpriced at almost £45 more, there were two panaramic photo stops, a visit to the Se de Lisboa Cathedral, and two stops to taste locally produced food. The driver either had no knowledge of the area, or couldn't speak English. Not recommeded. Embarkation and disembarkation were so incredibily easy that neither my sister or I will ever fly again if there is the option to sail! The only down side was a distinct lack of 50-60 year old passengers, but that might have been due to it being Christmas. I hope so because we enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller ship - our first cruise was a blast and we will certainly join P&O again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted some sunny weather and a Christmas cruise and had expected younger guests with families. 90% of the guests were 70 years old + and infirm in a multitude of ways. There were few children on board. Oceana is a relatively ... Read More
We wanted some sunny weather and a Christmas cruise and had expected younger guests with families. 90% of the guests were 70 years old + and infirm in a multitude of ways. There were few children on board. Oceana is a relatively small ship. The lifts are very poor and the central group do not cover all the floors. The computer control of stopping was useless. The decor is dull and tired, mostly dull wood finish. Conversely the ship must be congratulated on their superb Christmas decorations all over the ship. The entertainment dancers and singers were superb and put on performances every other night. The two theatres - front and back of the ship made for a good choice of entertainers. Meals in the restaurant were good, but not excellent. Those in the 14th Floor plaza cafe were poor. The destinations were Madeira, 3 islands in the Canaries and Lisbon. We have visited them all before, and so did our own thing. We cannot comment on the ship excursions. We were unaware of any pre-port information talks - it could have been useful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Price, convenience. As they say, you get what you pay for, and well we did. The main public area was recently overhauled, beautiful, but once you move away from there it's like you've gone down the rabbit hole. The cabin ... Read More
Price, convenience. As they say, you get what you pay for, and well we did. The main public area was recently overhauled, beautiful, but once you move away from there it's like you've gone down the rabbit hole. The cabin (ours) was so far in the back of the ship, we felt like we needed a break before we reached the first elevator. That was a joke, as the first elevator only took you to the deck were the Arcadia restaurant was on. First time we got off the elevator, started walking toward the dining area, we were stopped and asked if we had a reservation, told them 'no', and we were very rudely told to leave. The Café needs major refurbishment, the food had no taste, and the middle section where they would have a selection of shrimp etc., did not look appetizing. The fruit looked and tasted like it had been on that ship for a few weeks, it needed throwing out. Cabins so small and too much furniture in them. Balconies, nasty, small, dirty and rust dripping from the pipes running across them. It took two of us to get the balcony door open, the sliding area was so packed with debris, looked like it had never been cleaned. Paint drippings on the floor, chairs out there too big and the ship was never cleaned the entire week, usually, you get a notice that balconies will be cleaned so you can remove any towels or clothing. Captain too busy entertaining his family to worry about how clean his ship was. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Lunchtime menu in sit down restaurant poor. If you dont want a curry or a stir fry very little choice. Waiting staff polite and did their best during all meals. Parts of vessel dirty. We had an outside cabin and window was dirty on ... Read More
Lunchtime menu in sit down restaurant poor. If you dont want a curry or a stir fry very little choice. Waiting staff polite and did their best during all meals. Parts of vessel dirty. We had an outside cabin and window was dirty on inside. Cabin carpet hadnt been successfully cleaned after the previous occupant (black fluff and hair on floor). Saw a member of staff attempt to vacuum carpet near the atrium staircase, either plug or machine didnt work, he didnt return to try again. Didnt attend any entertainment, nothing caught our attention. Excursions were over expensive. If you do your homework about the ports most can be visited much cheaper, eg buses in Gibraltar, get a hopper ticket, can use it all day on all routes. Shops expensive on board, useful only if you cant get what you need in port or to use on board credit. Didnt buy a soft drink or alcohol package, rarely drink alcohol and the tea and coffee available all day free of charge is absolutely fine. Embarkation very easy and quick. Disembarkation more chaotic. Suitcases were all over the place in the luggage collection area. Swimming pools were being 'maintained' for three days so unavailable. Probably wont cruise with p and o again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Cruise from Southampton to Lisbon, Canary Islands, Madeira back to Southampton Nov 9th to 21st 2018 Wonderful cruise from beginning to end. 2 days at sea at start weather a bit rough but had plenty of reassurance from captain. The ... Read More
Cruise from Southampton to Lisbon, Canary Islands, Madeira back to Southampton Nov 9th to 21st 2018 Wonderful cruise from beginning to end. 2 days at sea at start weather a bit rough but had plenty of reassurance from captain. The food was excellent with plenty of choice. Service also excellent the staff were wonderful could not do enough for us. Always greeted us with a smile and "have a good day". Plenty to do on board ship something for everyone. Dancing classes were excellent and entertainment very good with a variety of shows, musicals, comedy and singers. Excellent band The Waves played up to date music as well as some from our era, 60s and 70s. Art talks were good too also art displays which were changed daily, classical guitar music very enjoyable too.. Tours ashore offered good variety and were very enjoyable with good guides. Would recommend this cruise to friends. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We've cruised with a few mainstream lines and P&O's Oceana recent cruise to the Canaries was okay but a little disappointing. The weather being against us added to the disappointment but we can't hold that against them. ... Read More
We've cruised with a few mainstream lines and P&O's Oceana recent cruise to the Canaries was okay but a little disappointing. The weather being against us added to the disappointment but we can't hold that against them. Oceana is a few years old now and in places the wear and tear is showing through, the cabins were presentable but the bathroom was small and the shower was looking a little rough round the edges with peeling paint and broken fittings. Our steward George was excellent as were most of the staff, some were a little po-faced but the long hours they do must take their toll. The main criticism would have to be the catering, in the MDR everything seemed bland and lacking any form of seasoning, apart from chips and mash every other potato consumed was under cooked, salads washed to the point of tasteless, the only saving grace was the always available fall-back choice of Sirloin steak...I did make that choice a couple of times when the other options looked or sounded un-appetising. Cafe Jardin on deck 8 was a good alternative for breakfast if you didn't want to put up with the Plaza bun fight, likewise for a light lunch and nice salad it was quite pleasant. The usual mix of quizzes, films and life enhancing lectures were on offer during the day and well attended as the weather prevented use of the outside spaces on the trip down and back from the Canaries. The evening shows were okay, the Headliner company do a reasonably good job of putting on a show. The first comedy/singer act was Josh Adams(?) not a bad singer....can't remember laughing at all though. The second comedian Micky Zany had us rolling in the aisles with his first show, the second not so good, maybe our expectations were too high. Due to high winds in Madeira the change of act didn't make it to the ship so the in house entertainers had to step in, Chris the cruise director did a reasonable job as an Elvis act but he was seriously bettered by Andy Jones who did an hour's singing and got a well deserved standing ovation in both shows! Overall we had an enjoyable time, the ship, itinerary and departure port are particularly well suited to an older demographic and in general it showed in all of their offerings...would We do it again? Probably not, despite the convenience of driving to Southampton and walking on, next time we'll fly direct to somewhere else and choose something 'younger at heart' Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people ... Read More
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people expect, the crew are fantastic, the food good to very good and the overall experience excellent. We flew from B’ham having travelled from the SE and waved goodbye to our bags to be reunited with them once onboard. Boarding and checkin was very efficient and we were in our cabin within 30 mins of getting off the coach at Valetta Cruise Port. Our bags were with us within a further 10 mins. Food was good to very good, but always a good choice and the waiting staff attentive and as the cruise went on becoming friends in our adventures. One evening my wife and I were doused in baileys from a passing waiter and the immediate response could not have been better. Accidents happen and the issue is how they are resolved, thank you everyone, you did yourselves proud in this respect. Entertainment was variable but I expect no more, when at home we select what we go and see. We did the same onboard and enjoyed the piano recitals, the sax player, but were less enamoured with the Headliners group who whilst enthusiastic lacked polish in some areas. That said many did enjoy these show and we do not feel that we have been shortchanged due to our preferences. A highlight was the art shop, the display changed regularly and there were some interesting pieces, so much so we now have one hanging at home. Overall, the ambiance is good, we are not great ones for sitting around the pool and listening to the music but there are plenty of other spaces on the upper decks to go and enjoy the sun. Many thanks all, we appreciated all your effort and enjoyed our time with you. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I have cruised 1/2 dozen times. P&O, RCI, Princess, and Celebrity. We booked this cruise a couple of months back as an extra holiday this year. There were some poor reviews, negative comments like, old ship, bad smells, ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 1/2 dozen times. P&O, RCI, Princess, and Celebrity. We booked this cruise a couple of months back as an extra holiday this year. There were some poor reviews, negative comments like, old ship, bad smells, poor food, miserable staff. What a load of old rubbish people come out with. I’ve even read stuff about flight delayed. As if that’s P&Os fault. Or bad weather. (Our captain even diverted the ship to find us sun) I say to most of those people “Get a life” our flight was delayed 2 hours due to fog. I’d much would rather sit on an aircraft and wait than take a chance and take off. In fact an announcement was given on the aircraft saying not to worry the ship wouldn’t leave without us. The food was lovely with lots of choice. Did I like everything all of the time? Of course not. But it was well presented and most of the time suited my own taste buds perfectly. The staff in ALL of the restaurants were immaculately dressed. The tables were always clean and very quickly cleared away too. There was rightly, maintenance being carried out constantly to keep the standards high. I read reviews about Rule Britannia and such like being constantly played. I could hear it in the background occasionally but I certainly didn’t find it overpowering. There was differing music being played throughout the ship for everyone's taste. Once on a sail away union flags were given out and I can honestly say that everyone around the pool deck thoroughly enjoyed singing along to English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh songs waving their flags, as did other nationalities. The headliners shows didn’t do it for me but they worked really hard. I just felt that their singing skills were poor. Nevertheless I watched and sang along. The other entertainers I enjoyed. If you don’t do excursions as we don’t, do some research and do your own thing. Some ports in the U.K. are not very nice but, move away a little and there is often so much to enjoy. I’m sure that there are some genuine complaints, there are bound to be,,,,,,,do things ever go right at home all of the time, is your gutter and facia sparkling clean on your house? Nothing ever broken down? Blocked up? I dropped my luggage at Gatwick and it arrived outside my cabin door and on the way back, I left it outside my cabin and next saw it at Gatwick on the conveyor reclaim belt. So, to everyone I say, Ignor the moaners, chill, and do what I firmly believe P&O want you to do and will help you to,,,,,relax and have a lovely cruise. My wife and I sure did. Our cruise was a 7 Day on 4/10/18 From/To Valetta. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We ended up on Oceana because the cruise fitted in with our available time slot and we couldn't be more pleased. It didn't start well, with a 2 and a half hour delay at Gatwick due to fog so did not get to ship until around ... Read More
We ended up on Oceana because the cruise fitted in with our available time slot and we couldn't be more pleased. It didn't start well, with a 2 and a half hour delay at Gatwick due to fog so did not get to ship until around 10:30pm. Check in was well organised and quick - they dealt with 200+ tired and stressed people very quickly and efficiently. After some food and liquid refreshment in the Buffet while watching the ship leave Valletta we went and found our cabin. We were a bit worried as it was opposite the lifts but we heard no noise all cruise. Very pleased with cabin, decent size with a very private balcony, comfortable bed, shower worked, loo flushed, no problems at all. The next day we met our Cabin Steward, Kathy, and knew all would be good - she's marvellous. Most days we were out on trips but on Sea Days we joined in with as many activities as we could fit in....even played Bingo for the first time ever and won £45, which was nice! Enjoyed the quizzes, especially the pre-dinner quiz in the pub where we always met new people. We were also a bit concerned that we had set Dining on a table of 8 at 8:30. We were lucky though because we couldn't have wished for nicer table companions and our Waiters were friendly and efficient. Food was far better than I expected, even my husband, who is a very fussy eater, had only one complaint - not enough salt in his soup, which was easily remedied! If you are a fish lover like me you'll be very happy. Thoroughly enjoyed every meal. I must mention the Great British Sail Away. I don't like the flag waving, jingoistic type of thing and refused to go but my husband (who is of West Indian heritage and definitely not a flag waver) went to have a look and came back to get me. I was completely wrong, it was great fun! Yes, everyone waves a flag and yes, there was Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and the National Anthem, but there was also 'Rockin All Over the World', 'We Will Rock You' and 'One Step Beyond'. There were Welsh songs (which I, half Welsh, missed by being stubborn!), Scottish, Irish and English songs. The Entertainment is what it is, you're on a Cruise Ship not in the West End. We went to a show every night and enjoyed them all for what they were. I must put in a word here for Angela Grace Brown who sang and played guitar by the pool every day, she was excellent and I made a point of listening to her on the days that we were on board at that time. We had no issues with Service at all. Everyone we came into contact with was friendly and efficient. We felt comfortable and well looked after by everyone on board. Oceana is a lovely ship. Yes, she's 'old' in cruise ship terms but she has an elegance and charm that many newer vessels lack. When you get back to a port and you see her moored up between 2 'blocks of flats' you can't help but feel a bit proud that she's 'yours'. I can easily overlook a bit of rust on the balcony for the sheer joy of being there. She's a ship with a 'soul' and I hope it didn't hurt when she took an almighty hit of lightning (that was 'exciting'!). The only grumble I would have would be with a small minority of our fellow passengers. Some people seem to have forgotten that it's not still the 1920s and that you don't speak to 'Staff' as if they're the dirt under your foot. Also, if you want West End standard entertainment then pay West End prices every night! - don't go to a 'Headliners' show and then tell one of the young performers on the way out that they 'weren't up to scratch', that's unnecessary and rude. Finally, go with an open mind and the intent to enjoy. Don't go intending to find fault with everything and you'll have a much happier time. We arrived home very late Thursday night and by Friday evening we'd booked our next one, see you on 21st November, Oceana xx Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise simply because it went where we wanted to go. Embarkation was good, very easy. The balcony cabin on deck C was of adequate size, the bathroom a little on the small side. We are not big but some of the guests on board ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply because it went where we wanted to go. Embarkation was good, very easy. The balcony cabin on deck C was of adequate size, the bathroom a little on the small side. We are not big but some of the guests on board would have struggled. They give you the option of hanging your towels if not needing replacement, but they replaced them daily anyhow, but not the sheets. We were on a two week cruise and not sure that we even had one change, definitely only one if any. The door to the balcony needed almost superhuman strength to move. We ate both at the free dining restaurant, which was quite good, and at the buffet restaurant, which was just ok. Breakfast could have had a little more variety...the "english breakfast" became monotonous. The British themed music constantly being pushed was galling too. If we never hear "Rule Brittania" and "Land of Hope and Glory" again it'll be too soon.The service staff were polite but need to understand that they should move aside for guests, not vice versa, especially when the guest has a tray with multiple items on it. There was only one of the staff, Nikko, who always had a smile and never stopped working. We found from the moment we boarded we had our hands in our pockets. The drinks programme meant exorbitant prices, £2.95 for a 330ml Coke!! OTT in anyone's language! Even if you bought a package they only gave you 10%off!! The coffee machine was very basic, and they ran out of full cream milk halfway through the cruise. Breakfast was the only time you could get anything other than water without exorbitant charge! Not being interested in swimming, the pool area or constant loud music, we found it impossible to find a quiet, shady, outdoor area where we could relax and read so therefore had to spend our "at sea" days indoors, unfortunately, because our weather was beautiful. We found the entertainment on board to be of high quality, and seemed to be something for everyone's taste. The musical theatre group appealed to us, but they do need to understand that The Bee Gees, even though maybe born in the UK, chose Australia as their home and it was Oz that made them great! P & O need to be more upfront when sailing from Malta, and make sure guests are informed of the 18% VAT charged on purchases from onboard shops. Also we were irritated that reception staff were not familiar with guests options of reclaiming that VAT from the airport, and if able to, what was the procedure. They have to charge the VAT but they should also know the details. Would we travel P & O again......no. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Cant really go wrong with P & O they are a good company. This ship is quite an old girl but very charming. The public areas are really nice, plenty of small niches to sit and relax and plenty of areas if you want to join in any of ... Read More
Cant really go wrong with P & O they are a good company. This ship is quite an old girl but very charming. The public areas are really nice, plenty of small niches to sit and relax and plenty of areas if you want to join in any of the programs. The decks have plenty of sunbeds/chairs we had no problem finding one at all. The evening shows were excellent, we worked out if you go for dinner early you can easily pull in both shows as they have two different venues with good acts on every night. Food was of good quality tasty and varied, we ate in the main restaurant every evening but one, when we tried Restaurant Jardin, which we didn't think was particularly special. We had a balcony cabin which was fine and the bed was very comfortable but the bathroom was rather small. The cabin stewards were very good and the rooms were cleaned to a high standard, we liked having tea/coffee facilities and they were replenished biscuits every day. Thoroughly enjoyable cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
our holiday was way beyond all expectations we saved hard for this holiday and we were not disappointed in anyway, we had a fabulous time so much so that we have booked another, holiday with you we are going on the Oceana again in ... Read More
our holiday was way beyond all expectations we saved hard for this holiday and we were not disappointed in anyway, we had a fabulous time so much so that we have booked another, holiday with you we are going on the Oceana again in 2020 flying to Dubai for 15 nights on board. our head waiter was Sohall solenky he was very attentive at all times and a pleasure to talk to. the bar waiter Chris Aclan was also very pleasant and attentive. Daryl Estevan looked after me with great care he met me every morning and assisted me with breakfast and lunch. also evening dinning Aleno and Antonio were very attentive. the staff when we were boarding and going off to spend a few hours of ship the staff were also really good I cannot praise everyone enough . all the saving was well worth the trip. thanking all the team oh I nearly forgot our cabin man Kevin brilliant Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Probably our last tip with P&O. It used to be the small details that made the difference with them, now they seem to be disappearing. The little dish of sweets in the cabin have gone, the nice biscuits have been replaced with cheap ... Read More
Probably our last tip with P&O. It used to be the small details that made the difference with them, now they seem to be disappearing. The little dish of sweets in the cabin have gone, the nice biscuits have been replaced with cheap rubbish, buffet food has gone downhill badly and the new alcohol policy just smacks of penny pinching. Oceana herself is a lovely old ship but she is old and clearly cutbacks are being made on the maintenance side of things as well, despite the recent refit she does look shabby. Fortunately most of the crew are still excellent, bar, waiting and cabin staff, you always get the odd one but generally very good. Apparently next year P&O are scrapping the service charge so you as they are giving all their staff a pay rise, so expect prices to go up pretty soon to reflect this! I expected more from P&O but every year we travel with them the standards seem to slip even further, how a couple of the feature acts got gigs on there is beyond me. With prices constantly increasing, as much fun as it is to cruise, I think we will think long and hard about another one and will certainly be looking beyond P&O 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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