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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
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
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
2 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
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
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
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We could not disagree more with the reviewer Kimbaxter below, had she bothered to look at the deck plan she would have known that there was a lifeboat outside of the window. This was our first cruise. My wife had resisted it for years, ... Read More
We could not disagree more with the reviewer Kimbaxter below, had she bothered to look at the deck plan she would have known that there was a lifeboat outside of the window. This was our first cruise. My wife had resisted it for years, as she had imagined it would be populated by crusty old fossils rattling their jewellery (we are aged 72/68 ourselves but younger in outlook). She could not have been more wrong. We chose a midship mini suite which was everything we had hoped it would be, very comfortable beds, lots of storage space and a good size balcony. Among the clientele there was a full range of ages, tastes and backgrounds but everyone blended in. We were on freedom dining and chose to share tables in the Ligurian restaurant when we dined there; we were easily the oldest in the groups. We also like quizzes and joined much younger couples and met some lovely people. As to bars, The Yacht and Compass certainly is still busy at midnight, and several times there was live music and a disco up at the pool. But if major nightlife is what you want then Oceana is not for you. We thought the prices in the bars and the restaurants were just as you would expect. There is a range of bars/lounges to suit most tastes, with quick and amiable service. We found all staff, with only one minor exception, to be very friendly and helpful, especially our steward – and we were particularly impressed with our waiting staff in the Café Jardin. All staff work very hard and deserve praise. And so to the food – we found the standard in Café Jardin to be very high, (we went twice – ideal for us on Black Tie nights), and in no part of the ship did we encounter any problems with the quality of the food itself, from the English Breakfast, through afternoon tea to the evening meals. After being on an excursion or exploring on your own, the Afternoon snacks in the Plaza restaurant take a lot of beating. Another food highlight was the Room Service one afternoon - excellent quality. We did have a snack once after 10.30 –food is available up to 3.30 am some nights, but you need to check the Horizon newsletter daily for any timings. Entertainment-wise, I am afraid we did not rate the Headliners act at all – if you are used to West End standards you will be very disappointed, the rendition of “The Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity was so bad as to be laughable. The 4Tunes by contrast were excellent – but they work on more than one ship, not always on the Oceana. The two regular bands who perform in the Yacht and Compass and on the Lido deck were also both very good. We also enjoyed a fun Voice Workshop led by Andy Jones from the entertainment team, who was also a natural quizmaster. Like so many others we hated the continuous playing of patriotic/military music in the Plaza restaurant, we were totally sick of hearing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Nimrod etc. etc. at all hours of the day. This was compounded by the flag waving sail away party from Rhodes which we considered to be an insult to the people of Greece. Needless to say we did not attend. Overall, we found that the cruise experience far exceeded our expectations and we are sure to give P & O more of our custom. Read Less
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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