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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and the most disappointing. What we liked: The Atrium, reception area and the Costa coffee section was second to none. The shops were brilliant and my wife has no complaint there. The sun deck was good although crowded (not unusual for a day at sea etc). The cabin was spacious and wardrobe space more than adequate. What was wrong: the general points . . . 1. The ship decor was drab throughout 2. The lifts were unpredictable and extremely slow 3. We found the buffet food monotonous. Often we found there were no tea spoons available and we had to ask one of the officers in white to provide some. Once a female crew member who was responsible for providing a tray with cutlery repeatedly provided two forks without a knife or two knives without a fork etc. Twice during the voyage this happened to us. We found the crew to be rather sullen and didnt seem to want to interact with passengers. One actually made an inappropriate comment when the wife and I were making a decision on any pudding/sweet: I just joked with my wife saying they were fattening and this male commented: "Too late Sir". He then asked my wife and I had a twin brother (for what reason I do not know). The next time I saw him he rotated his eyes in different directions independently and he thought it was funny. I was not sure what his objective was. This occurred in the buffet by the way on two separate days. Specifically to us: 1. The bathroom was antiquated and particularly the toilet bowl had a black ring around it when we embarked which remained there throughout the voyage. The television was small and the programmes repetitive. There was only one three-pin socket to the entire cabin and that was used for tea making. The lack of sockets was very inconvenient. 2. I unfortunately cut my ankle slightly on the first day which bled overnight and which stained the lower sheet. That sheet remained on the bed and was not changed throughout the voyage. The cabin steward on a few occasions failed to replenish the coffee/tea making facilities and once failed to provide cups/mugs and we had to ask reception to get him to bring them along. 3. We were freedom dining: We often had to wait up to 45 minutes to get a table and this seemed to be case whenever we attended the Ligurian to dine. The service in the Ligurian was slow and often we had to attract attention that we were waiting another course. Again the waiting staff did not seem that interested in providing a good service. A factor which irritated us in particular was black tie nights. This was the first time I decided not to take a dinner suit or black tie. We were denied access during the two black tie nights in both the Ligurian and the Adriatic restaurants (on a 7 night cruise) and we had to eat in the buffet. This was not what we expected from P&O and has completely shattered our confidence. Frankly we were glad when we arrived at Malta so we could get off the ship. We are not going P&O again: Having written to them expressing our disappointment and pointing out our points we eventually received a wholly dismissive letter which implied either we were exaggerating or just a pair of natural complainers. that in itself was enough to put us off going with them again - this is the first time we have complained on any holiday (land or cruise) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Could not get a shore excursion as both my choices on wait list. So I put my name down for both. Rang up just before leaving and told no change so asked to come off wait list to book private. Told that not possible and it did not matter as ... Read More
Could not get a shore excursion as both my choices on wait list. So I put my name down for both. Rang up just before leaving and told no change so asked to come off wait list to book private. Told that not possible and it did not matter as I would be emailed and have 72 hours to reply if I did not reply it would just be dropped. Got on ship to find a ticket for one of the excursions, suddenly found seats only 36 hours after that call. But too late, I had booked privately. Went and stood in line, wasting my time, to give them their ticket back and they had to consult about cancelling it AND repaying the money to my onboard account. They then told me that I had another confirmed booking and been charged for the other wait list I had gone on the excursion was at the same time as the other one. They had to consult again to take me off and return my money and they had not even checked to see if we could do it. If you want this hassle then go on wait lists, but personally I was very cross that they had not told me anything a few hours before whilst on shore, that they refused to take me off the wait list, that they then booked me on both excursions WITHOUT asking me and took the money from my account and for all this gave me stress at the start of my holiday. Overshadowed and marred the whole experience., Dining was OK but I had to eat twice from the always menu rather than the daily one and two days of steak does not spell good food to me. Cabin was fine but we did have a mini-suite. Looked after well by Rosie. But all balconies are narrow in width and this was no exception, just that we had double the length. Just managed a chair. Entertainment was Ok but nothing outstanding. Thought the magician would be good, but whilst he got some very right he did a couple of tricks in such a way that gave them away. Did not do any day time activities and only one shore excursion, which was good, the issue was tendering, but that always can be a problem. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this ship/cruise because it was stopping over at the Monaco Grand Prix (although more of that later). The trip was out of Malta - a 1st for us - and arrival embarkation was faultless and well staffed. The ship is a bit ... Read More
We chose this ship/cruise because it was stopping over at the Monaco Grand Prix (although more of that later). The trip was out of Malta - a 1st for us - and arrival embarkation was faultless and well staffed. The ship is a bit 'tired' in parts but the cabins are of a good size (we were on C deck) and clean/tidy. So why only 2 points:- Drinks Package Unless you want to engage in a constant battle with staff my advise is stay well clear of the 'Ultimate Drinks Package'. Way too many rules and regulations. Diet Coke is not included but Diet Pepsi is (who makes these rules?). You can order a small bottle of water but not a large one. Don't try the "OK so can I have 2 small bottles then" because that will be met with "sorry I can provide one small bottle but you have to have drunk that one before I can supply another small bottle" (I guess that I should not blame the staff someone told them that this was a rule). You cannot order a large Pina Colada but you can get a small one and then order another when you have drunk that one........Really! Internet To be fair this is true on most cruises but only 2 words adequately describe the Internet access packages (there are 3 levels) and they are the words "rip off" Staff and Service Sorry P&O but your staff have to be amongst the most grumpy that we have ever encountered. Some exceptions of course but mostly in need of retraining in customer service and simply how to smile Activities Generally good. We went on some sort of adventure pretty much every day that we were not at sea. The only day that gave cause for complaint was ironically the day that mattered most. On the day of the Monaco GP the ship was docked in VilleFranche and therefore access to/from the port was via tender. The day before the daily newsletter announced that last tender back to ship would be at 5.30pm. Keep in mind that the GP didn't start until 3.15pm. There was very little chance that we could watch the entire race and get back to the tender for 5.30pm. I will acknowledge that we spoke to a number of officers and they all did the nod and wink thing and said don't worry I am sure that it will be OK; but no-one offered any sort of certainty. The only comfort that we drew was that the 'official P&O' trip to the GP was by coach (we were travelling by train) so we convinced ourselves that we would beat that trip. As it transpires the last tender was around 7pm; but really P&O; you promoted this cruise as one that offered an opportunity to attend the GP and then set the last tender return at 5.30pm and promptly gave rise to a worry (all day) that took the edge off the whole experience. Food I would rank the food as OK but the selection offered to casual diners at the restaurant on top deck (The Plaza) was pretty poor. I would include breakfast in this observation. Breakfast at Cafe Jarden on Deck 8 was waiter served, options limited but the poached eggs were excellent. We were 'free diners' for an evening so we were allocated a restaurant called the Liguarian. Wait times on a table for 4 was always around '1 hour' so we ended up sharing. I know lot's of people love sharing a table with strangers (my wife is one of them) but I would rather pull my teeth out with a pair of pliers. Hey ho. We spent most of the time at one of the extra fee paying restaurants which were fine (my personal favourite being the Beach House). Entertainment Good Disembarkation Was very good - probably the best we have encountered - they didn't insist upon you leaving cases outside of the cabin until mid-night - nice touch which meant that you could don your glad rags for one last evening of merriment and the whole trip to the airport - bags checked directly on to flight - staff at airport to point the way - was excellent - sadly in my case it did mean that I ended up sitting across the isle from my wife - who is not a good flyer - but this might have happened anyway. Smokers To be fair to P&O this is an issue that I could make of most cruises we have been on over the past few years - but do you have to make us smokers feel like 2nd class citizens. No smoking on balconies, few enough 'smoking areas' and those areas also had the crappy plastic garden furniture. Maybe the cruise we attended was the exception to the rule but of an evening the crappy furniture smoking permitted area was rammed and its sister area across the other side of the ship, an area with excellent furnishings was empty. Why make smokers feel so unwelcome and if that is the point then at least be honest and ban smoking altogether. Overall Not great and not sure that we will hold the provisional booking we have made on another P&O ship for next year Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The overall ship was fine perhaps a little tired food was great could have had a bit better entertainment on the pool but over all the ship was ok The entertainment wasn’t to great but ok Staff as usual on a cruise very attentive ... Read More
The overall ship was fine perhaps a little tired food was great could have had a bit better entertainment on the pool but over all the ship was ok The entertainment wasn’t to great but ok Staff as usual on a cruise very attentive no complaints with them at all The cabin was a different matter no paying passenger should endure the noise from the cabin every time we came into port or left the noise was terrible grinding noise and vibration there was no sleeping through it .the cabin was situated between a broom cupboard which was used at six in the morning and a crew staircase . and one morning in Athens we docked before four in the morning the first time it happened we thought we had run aground it was so bad, We were offered another cabin two days before we left the ship after Athens but at that point it wasn’t worth it as we are both in our seventies the upheaval would have been awful The receptionist said most people were up and about before eight so it would be ok They were selling off cabins at last minute cheaper then We both paid five months earlier Shame on you P&O in you won’t use them again 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, originally we wanted to sail on Queen Elizabeth to Venice, but that was full ! The only alternative on our dates was the Oceana, a ship we have never sailed in before, to say we were ... Read More
We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, originally we wanted to sail on Queen Elizabeth to Venice, but that was full ! The only alternative on our dates was the Oceana, a ship we have never sailed in before, to say we were 'disappointed' with this 20 year old ship (previously owned by Princess cruises) would be a gross over statement. If you like paying over £5 grand for a broom cupboard for two weeks, then, the Oceana should be YOUR first choice!!!. We appreciate the fact that Oceana had a £30 million refit last December in Germany but that money was spent on the general public areas, NOT in the TINY cabins (the smallest we have ever experienced in 18 years cruising).Our cabin was supposed to be an 'upgrade'!!!! we had asked for a double bed instead of two singles, when we opened the door for the first time we were greeted with a TINY cabin 'full' of a standard 5' double bed with another single bed hanging from the wall!!!!!!!!!!!!! This made access to one side of the bed impossible, the mattresses were very soft, old & in need of urgent replacement, we survived by me turning over the mattresses to find the firmer base side to lay on From day one our trip was constantly interrupted by the ships workmen who were conducting repairs all over the ship with resultant closures of walkways & awful paint smells. Due to 'some bad weather for one day', our intended port of call in Dubrovnik was cancelled & replaced with a lesser port in Zadar!!!!!!!!! (anyone heard of this place???) then, Ravenna & Mykonos were replaced with another obscure location in Katokolon! (anyone heard of this place,????) All have cheaper port charges to those advertised & for what we paid a huge The food served in Adriatic restaurant was constantly returned by fellow travellers as either tough/tasteless or had very hard undercooked vegetables. (Tomato soup smelt of burning gearbox oil). The Plaza buffet was the usual 'bunfight' at mealtimes, nothing changes with certain peoples disgusting eating habits. Entertainment, apart from Dean Stainsbury & Tucker, was way below previous expectations & in need of some serious investment. From our perspective & that of other guests, & in the light of P&O's latest creation Iona being launched shortly, Oceana is being tarted up for imminent disposal. In summary, I would certainly NOT invest my money buying accomodation in such a decrepid old ship, but, as I said at the beginning it was all that was available to me at that time for the ports we wished to sail into. Our cruise finally ended with a 3 hour departure delay at Malta airport, when we got back to Gatwick we found that our cases & their contents were ALL SOAKED through (ongoing claims) caused by the baggage handlers dumping our cases on the tarmac during heavy rain & walking away leaving them to get wet!!!!!!!!!! Bad experience, NEVER AGAIN.! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Unfortunately I didn’t notice that this was a ‘family friendly’ ship and unfortunately the families were definitely not friendly. Every meal we had there was a screaming baby nearby and the parents never attempted to stop them or ... Read More
Unfortunately I didn’t notice that this was a ‘family friendly’ ship and unfortunately the families were definitely not friendly. Every meal we had there was a screaming baby nearby and the parents never attempted to stop them or take them out of the restaurant. There were children jumping into the swimming pool all the time despite the ‘No jumping’ signs. The ship has a most peculiar layout with bars along the side of the ship and a nightclub in the centre of one part and a huge atrium in another – and everywhere there was loud pop music, dance music or modern jazz – there was music from 6 different venues which all merged into each other. There was constant movement past these bars all the time – I counted 60 people in 5 minutes so nowhere was restful. The only place to sit without music was the library which has a total of only 14 seats so usually they were all occupied – and the librarian spent a lot of time noisily sorting out computer/e-mail problems. Even at 10.30pm there were children making a noise in this small space. The food – neither of us eat fish or seafood and every day there were at least two main choices of fish and few meat choices. Surely more people eat meat than fish? Looking at the ‘sample menu’ on the website there is ‘pan fried chicken’ and ‘sirloin steak with thick cut chips’ but we never had anything like this. This is the only ship where I have lost weight. The entertainment was all geared to children. We went to two magician shows and both times the tricks were definitely aimed at the children. On other cruise lines we have had top class Magic Circle magicians. The list of films looked good – but the Oscar winning films were shown on days when we were on all day trips – not on the 8 days when we were stuck at sea. On those days we again had child centred films eg Superman. On one evening my husband found a man unconscious in the 14th floor toilets and we immediately alerted P&O staff who told us to contact Reception. I found 2 more uniformed P&O staff and asked them to contact Reception but they insisted they had to inspect the casualty before they could ring Reception. 15 and 25 minutes later there were calls for medical assistance – hopefully he hadn’t had a heart attack as he might have been dead by then. We will definitely be very careful before we book another cruise and it won’t be with P&O. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had cruised on Oceana back in 2015 and really enjoyed all aspects of the ship and the cruise itself. Our coach transfer from Newcastle airport was an hour late in leaving for Southampton due to an 'administrative error' ... Read More
We had cruised on Oceana back in 2015 and really enjoyed all aspects of the ship and the cruise itself. Our coach transfer from Newcastle airport was an hour late in leaving for Southampton due to an 'administrative error' which kept us waiting for eight passengers who were not booked on the coach. On arrival at Southampton at 4.15pm we checked in then boarded the ship, only to be directed straight to the safety drills, hungry, tired and expecting time to freshen up after our journey. Unable to book any tours on day two, as we wanted unaccompanied trips as we cannot keep up with the guides and were put on 'wait lists' which did not materialise. To top it all, the door staff in the Linguinian restaurant were rude, not only to our party of six, but to others waiting for tables. No gluten free options available in the Buffet restaurant (I am a coeliac) so we had no alternative but to dine there! Good points: Our junior suite was nice and the cabin steward very good. A member of staff (Andrew) in the buffet restaurant was very good and gave me assistance each time we visited there for teas etc. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Originally booked on the ill fated Oriana X801 cruise we elected to swop to ~ Oceana's E801 Caribbean Cruise in Jan 2018. One of the first things we noticed was the number of passengers coughing whilst awaiting to board. This ... Read More
Originally booked on the ill fated Oriana X801 cruise we elected to swop to ~ Oceana's E801 Caribbean Cruise in Jan 2018. One of the first things we noticed was the number of passengers coughing whilst awaiting to board. This seemed strange given that all passengers had signed a declaration minutes earlier that they did not have issues wiith coughs etc. Embarkation was itself smooth and efficient and soon in our cabin - an inside cabin on deck 10. The cabin initially appeared fine, however given the season of the year we did feel it was a little chilly. The next morning I reported the cold cabin to reception and they in turn notified Ventilation Services - or so they said. The next day it had not been sorted so it was reported again, and again on the following day. At this point I was told it had been fixed - my comments are not repeatable suffice to say I demanded an immediate ventilation engineer to my cabin. One arrived within 20 minutes and had to take the whole system apart to rectify the fault. As this took three days to resolve it gave us ample opportunity to tour the ship and witness men's urinals taped off, a rear lift under maintenance and the show lounge stage hydraulics broken. Now things can go wrong and I will be the first to admit this, but given the ship has recently come out of a 12 day refit these were things which should not have been wrong at the very start of the cruise, and in the case of the lift and the stage were never repaired for the duration of the cruise. Meals in the Ligurian Restaurant were generally good, although the service was often very poor and slow. It was not uncommon to sit for 15 minutes awaiting a table to be filled, and without being offered either menu or water. The buffet restaurant was often busy because a substantial number of passengers preferred to dine on an evening to save time. The food here was very average. If you liked curry then you were in for a treat - if you liked traditional British fayre it was available but often without a reasonable choice of vegetables. Sun beds were not a problem, although the laundrettes were. Most laundrettes had broken down washing machines during the cruise and the laundrettes themselves were tiny with only 2 washer/dryers in each. This often led to queues and friction. Ports of call were fine except for times in port and the fact that on three occasions port visits were either on a Sunday, or a Bank Hioliday. Despite cruise ships being in port - Aruba and Barbados come to mind the shopping centres were closed apart from a couple of tourist type shops. In fact in Barbados only Cave Shephard dept store was open but no coffee shop. Overall staff were excellent and hard working. Their were some exceptions but I think you will find this on most ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Great P&O cruises until Oceana two years ago - then poor food and badly over crowded. Last year we sailed on Brittania. Brittania was not much better, too big, food no better and not enough amenity space for nearly 4,000 passengers ... Read More
Great P&O cruises until Oceana two years ago - then poor food and badly over crowded. Last year we sailed on Brittania. Brittania was not much better, too big, food no better and not enough amenity space for nearly 4,000 passengers Meals very disappointing. Excusrisions over priced and boring. Definitely our last P&O cruise unless things change for the better! (After 14 cruises!) We travelled with a disabled friend, there were so many disabled, it took ages to get lifts and access to the needed spaces. Not a problem if the ship had eneough lifts etc but sadly Brittania did not. the extra price paid for the special meal dining was a worthwhile effort, sadly such meals were standard not too long ago. We booked a nice balcony cabin whic, unfortunately, our disabled friend could not visit since the doors were too narrow for his ir. He could only an inside cabin in the stern. P & O needs to try harder! O What happened,... price competition? Please bring back the old P (& O! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first ever cruise. The most expensive holiday we have ever taken - the holiday of a life time and highly recommended by friends who have cruised before. Staff on board were highly trained, professional and hard working - ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. The most expensive holiday we have ever taken - the holiday of a life time and highly recommended by friends who have cruised before. Staff on board were highly trained, professional and hard working - can't praise them highly enough - especially our cabin steward. We chose a Mediterranean cruise visiting Rome, Florence and Sicily as we desperately wanted to visit the iconic attractions (as shown in brochure) So upset when we attended the on board talk about the places we were to visit. Cagliari - Friday - Amazing!!! Brilliant guide. Great tour. Rome - Sunday when Vatican City Museum, Basillica, and Sistine Chapel closed to us. Also - this is first Sunday of the month where all major state owned attractions are free to visit (to allow local people to enjoy) great idea - but was explained to us that we stood 'no chance' of getting into any of them due to extra long queues. Florence - Monday when , we were told all major state owned museums etc were closed. Sicily - Wednesday. We were told that P&O allreay know that there was a bike race organized - but that this would not impact on our visit. Tuesday evening - an announcement over intercom that one of the roads to be closed for the bike race was between Oceana and the port (we could not leave the ship) we were supposed to cruise through the Messina Straits - we may well have done - early hours of the morning in pitch black, at break neck speed in order to get to the other side of the island where a hastily organized (stroppy) guide took us on a tour of another part of the island after telling us that she had had to get up very early to do this. She argued with another couple when they told her they were not confident about finding their way back to the meeting point. Chaotic. Some staff training needed when greeting (first time) passengers on board. We boarded around lunch time after a long day (1 am start for us to get the flight) given our pass card and went through security then - nothing...No staff to meet us. We had no idea where to go - how to find our cabin - except for an announcement that cabins would not be ready for us for another hour or so. Left to wander about looking for somewhere we could get something to eat and drink. Cabin was lovely - everything we needed SPOTLESSLY clean and couldn't have been better looked after. Balcony - covered in rust. One of the three large brackets securing the top rail of balcony completely missing. Rail below it rusted 3/4 of way through. We understand that Oceana is an older ship - and we understand that some things are out of the control of P&O - but Sundays and Mondays happen the same time every week - and staff clearly aware of how this impacts on tours. Why visit on these days? Balcony was a disgrace and would not have been allowed in any hotel on dry land - let alone over the Mediterranean. Plastic drinking glasses in Plaza Restaurant as well as plastic plates, mugs and bowls. This was not the holiday Mr. Brydon appears to be enjoying in the adverts.... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Not sure very tired ship and over worked staff Very tired ship, the entertainment was average, the Headliners singers were appalling had to leave the show as we couldn't stand the racket ( first time ever ) good dancers tho. ... Read More
Not sure very tired ship and over worked staff Very tired ship, the entertainment was average, the Headliners singers were appalling had to leave the show as we couldn't stand the racket ( first time ever ) good dancers tho. The food was excellent so were the cabin staff. All the crew were very polite and helpful. The daytime entertainment was totalling boring. Most of the passengers were very old grumpy and rude....They should rename the company to O P cruises Old People Cruises. Overpriced to say the least, Butlins on the sea, the seating in the entertainments areas all lean forward and are very uncomfortable ( Worn Out ) if you are a smoking you are treated as a 3rd rate passenger, The water in the jacuzzi was tepid and hardly used by people. The casino management didn't like paying out winnings and made you feel like you were on a fiddle our worst casino ever. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Have been on many cruises but none that come anywhere near as bad as this one, food mostly cold or Luke warm,over cooked slop. staff wondered around clearing plates never once offered to fetch something for us,unless in port near ... Read More
Have been on many cruises but none that come anywhere near as bad as this one, food mostly cold or Luke warm,over cooked slop. staff wondered around clearing plates never once offered to fetch something for us,unless in port near impossible to find seating,evenings were a little better thanks to the people we met food was just as bad, wine £18 a bottle or. Near 6 pounds a glass,tried the speciality restaurant were ok nothing to write home about,never made it to afternoon teas so can't comment. sitting out in the sun by the pool which was empty on one of the hottest days we had, loud blaring music,one could hardly hear oneself think, we end going into the covered area for a little peace,considering the average age had to be 65/70 I couldn't understand why the latest music was blaring out. we are both counting the days till we get of,had one booked on Arcadia in may,needless to say cancelled, p&o have gone from bad to worse,over 2£ for an ice cream on deck, whereas most ships it's free, any way never again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Boarding smooth with minimum waiting at Southampton, Once on board quick wash and upto the buffet (Plaza) while luggage arrived. Had a ham salad which was fresh then a scone which was anything but nice - just a blob of baked dough and has ... Read More
Boarding smooth with minimum waiting at Southampton, Once on board quick wash and upto the buffet (Plaza) while luggage arrived. Had a ham salad which was fresh then a scone which was anything but nice - just a blob of baked dough and has not improved. Meals at the Ligurian (free time dining) have been of a mixed standard and waiting staff very helpful and pleasant ready to replace dishes not up to standard, tried the Cafe Jardin for dinner which was worth the extra £7.50 each - but lunch there (no charge) was a mistake the tuna baguette was stale and soggy the quiche had its bottom burnt to a point of being uneatable we made our thoughts known and retreated to the Plaza buffet. Our state room cabin Grade H8 balcony was a real disappointment, small cramped and worn with little storage space, we lived out of our cases. Bathroom dated and in urgent need of a make over, blocked shower cleared quickly. Bar areas worn with faded cushions, staff are friendly, drinks reasonably priced - g&t £5.25, whiskey £3-£3.95 Costa coffee £2.10ish Americana always flat and never a crema but cracked it by ordering double expresso with hot water separate, beer £3.50/£4.50 pint, bottle 500ml £3.85. Wine plenty choice between £16 and £22.50 per bottle. No service charges on bar bills. 5 days onboard now. Dined at The Beach Club Christmas Eve paid a supplement of £7.50 excellent food with some dishes requiring a further charge. Plenty of choirs singing in various parts of the ship. Cabin annoyingly small as the cruise progresses. Friday the 30th now been onboard 9nights. Ligurian (free time dinning)food not of good quality and repeated dishes often, lots of moans and growns from fellow dinners, we have resorted to eating in the The Beach House and the Cafe Jardin for the rest of the nights aboard both have supplement charges but we feel its better to pay the supplement and enjoy the food, Entertainment is probably the least entertaining of any cruise we have been on with one or two exceptions- String Idols and Pete Brew. Ports of Call were the usual Caneries Ports we never took any ships tours as we like to do our own thing most of the berths the Oceana used were the farthest away from the town- shuttle buses were not always forthcoming or for invalid passengers only, at La Palma it was ship to town only no return - well over a km walk with no shelter from the weather. New Years Eve at Madeira spent a pleasant day ashore by far the best port of call and the midnight party/shore fireworks watched by 4 other cruise ships. Internet charges £7.50 to £25 per 24hrs depending on intended usage, no in and out once activated use it or lose it. Navagation information is minimal other that the Captains daily progress report the cabin tv channel is unreadable with the stupidest map on any cruise ship we have been on, the map on deck 12 is just that a map and is not update.Come on PO we live in a digital world. Finally feel conned to have paid. £3049k each in July - so called advance booking for a HE cabin when others paid less than £1000 each for better larger cabins on last minute deals. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I'm going to try to offer a fair and realistic account of our cruise, always mindful of the fact that cost cutting has resulted in a cruise costing around £60 PPPN. We have cruised 7 times previously, of which one was aboard ... Read More
I'm going to try to offer a fair and realistic account of our cruise, always mindful of the fact that cost cutting has resulted in a cruise costing around £60 PPPN. We have cruised 7 times previously, of which one was aboard P&O Arcadia, and this ship, the Oceana exactly two years ago. We were lucky with our parking, as we'd paid in advance for parking and shuttle transfer in Southampton, blissfully unaware that the company had folded, and that the service and booking was to be honored by a new company, so crisis averted there! Embarkation was speedy, polished and professional, as was the baggage arrival to our cabin...deck 10, B512. Our steward was friendly enough to my wife, but totally ignored me throughout the cruise to the point where I felt invisible. Staff targeted the ladies throughout, believing them to be solely responsible for the booking and gratuities. I believe in equality, and this annoyed me no end. The cabin and the ship as a whole was clean, tidy, and as it was the last time we sailed, although the refit next year will be a wise and timely move. Sadly though, standards have dropped dramatically since our last cruise. Gone are the chocolate feasts, end of cruise crew and staff farewell show, and although the Headliners troupe are still a joy to see, three of the shows were the same as the ones we saw two years ago...very disappointed. The rest of the entertainment revolved around one-person acts (pianist, flutist, male vocalist, female vocalist), and two dramatically unfunny comedians, and the usual half-hour quizzes, lectures, endless dance classes, Spanish language basics etc etc. We struggled to entertain ourselves throughout, and the sea days seemed to last an eternity. The food...oh boy, the food. Very good a couple of years ago, but now the portions are tiny, never more than lukewarm or cold, very little variety, and no longer the highlight of the day. We spent 3 nights in Le Jardin, a Marco Pierre White inspired premium dining option, very reasonably priced at £7.50 per person, and truly superb food. Cost cutting continued, with obviously powdered orange juice, canned veg at times, custard made with water, and the buffet breakfast featured poached eggs that would bounce higher than a superball. We met some really nice people onboard, and became good friends with more than a few, but pigheaded, arrogant and bullish people abounded, barging in front of us, pushing in front of queues, and the usual assortment of lower-middle classes with delusions of grandeur! Thankfully no real high pressure up-selling (except photographers determined to make you pose for photos their way. The constantly ramped-up dry heat around lunchtime and evenings in an attempt to get the bar tills ringing was at times unbearable, and the aircon in our cabin was broken, so no real escape apart from a walk on deck. Drinks:- A pint of drought lager starts from £3.90, a bottle of Coke £2.65, and a bottle of Chardonnay (they've discontinued the good value caraffes now) in the main dining room will start from £17.99 + service charge. Ships shops varied from acceptible to excessive (£62 for a polo shirt, £9.75 for a Toblerone) In the disco (Le Club) all drinks carry a 30% surcharge. Why? We visited Cadiz, Lisbon, Casablanca, Tangier and Gibraltar, with a very short stay in dock in Lisbon, and only 4 hours in Gibraltar (more cost-cutting) The old saying of 'you get what you pay for' has never been so apt, and sadly this will be our last P&O cruise, until they step up to the plate and stop relying on goodwill and the company brand reputation of old. Nothing bad or terrible, but I like to remember our holidays as something more than below average Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I booked this cruise due to the price P&O were offering which seemed a bit of a bargain. My mistake. Having now come home I see that the lower price is due to the many cutbacks P&O have made. I have traveled with them before and ... Read More
I booked this cruise due to the price P&O were offering which seemed a bit of a bargain. My mistake. Having now come home I see that the lower price is due to the many cutbacks P&O have made. I have traveled with them before and the difference on this cruise was so noticeable, many commented on it. If P&O don't watch out they will soon become the Butlins of the Sea. However perhaps this is the market they are now aiming at. Give a low basic price and them screw the passengers for every penny once on board with all the stuff that needs to be paid for. So I will find it difficult to review this cruise without sounding as if I am having a bit of a moan. However I will stick to the facts as I saw them and leave it to you to make up your own mind. Personally I would rather pay more at the outset and then enjoy facilities that haven't been cut back to the bone. First of all the ship is spotless and doesn't look it's age at all. Well done to P&O for managing to do this. This applies to public areas and especially the stateroom. Well done to the cabin steward. These guys just don't get paid enough for what they do. First negative point is about the bars. P&O don't like you buying your drinks at the bar and encourage you to use the waiters. Only trouble is all the waiters I used seemed to have a poor grasp of English and as a result , the wrong drinks were often brought back. Also it took too long to get your drink after you ordered. Our average wait time was about 15 minutes. Second bad point was the food and going forward this will keep me away from P&O for some considerable time, no matter how low their prices go. Hot food was always served cold, lukewarm at best in all food areas. The MDR took ages to bring the food and it was so cold I couldn't eat it. Each time this happened, they did offer to replace my meal but having waited so long I didn't wish to wait again. Portions were tiny. In the buffet the quality of the food was appalling. The chefs there regularly put food out up to 20 minutes before opening. As a result when by the time the buffet opened, this food had cooled to the point it was inedible. I pointed this out to the chefs on more than one occasion. All I got was a blank stare. At he burger grill one day, I was asked to wait 15 minutes as the burgers had just come out of the freezer. When I got my burger it was cooked on the outside but freezing cold in the middle. I told the cook that this could cause salmonella poisoning and asked her to stop serving these burgers to passengers. Again, the blank stare and she carried on regardless. Entertainment was OK, nothing special. Each headliner appeared twice and there was a certain amount of self plugging. For example when I go to see a singer who has performed in the West End, I expect to hear some West End stuff. Not unknown songs from their new CD which they then sell outside the theatre at the end of the show. And their own singers and dancers weren't much better. A singer to me is someone who actually sings, not someone who lip syncs badly to a backing tape. And it would be helpful if the girl doing the lip syncing knows the words to the song. The one we saw was so bad it was actually funny to watch. On board activities were as expected - lectures, line dancing, trivia etc. However on four separate occasions the subject matter of the trivia was identical - advertising logos. Surely the entertainment staff can come up with better subjects than that. The casino was very small , however it was hardly used so can't blame them there. Ports of call were as expected but to call into Lanzarote on a Sunday when everywhere was closed was a complete waste of time. Again, I would appeal to cruise lines to keep Sundays as a sea day. One other thing to point out is that P&O do many drills whilst the cruise is ongoing. Don't think about having a lie in. There is nothing like an early morning alarm call each day by the bridge crew conducting some drill or other. In summary, I will be avoiding P&O for some time, possibly altogether. There are too many other cruise lines offering a much better holiday experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were looking forward to this cruise as it stopped in Kotor and Corfu where we'd never been before. We had an early morning flight from Manchester to Venice so, as our cabin wasn't ready, we decided to go into Venice. A ... Read More
We were looking forward to this cruise as it stopped in Kotor and Corfu where we'd never been before. We had an early morning flight from Manchester to Venice so, as our cabin wasn't ready, we decided to go into Venice. A friend had advised going on the Grand Canal by water taxi or similar but when we spoke to a P&O rep when we got off the ship she said that we should catch the shuttle, then the people mover and then go on the canal. There were about 15 passengers discussing this and like sheep we all followed her instructions. To cut a story short we ended up walking into Venice and on our return saw the water taxis etc very close to where we'd got on the shuttle bus! Surely the rep should have known this. On our second evening we went to the Captain's welcome party. My husband and I both started to feel unwell before we'd had anything to eat or drink. There was nowhere to sit so we returned to our cabin. I was violently sick and not long after my husband had diarrhoea through the night. On phoning reception we were told to stay in our cabin and someone from the medical centre would phone us. We were told that we would have to stay in our cabin for a minimum of 24 hours - later this was changed to 48 hours. We were told we could order from the room service menu. We only ordered once.The food was inedible. It was so dry you couldn't cut it with the plastic utensils. Luckily we weren't hungry. Then we were charged for two bottles of water! Disgusting! So from brunch on 13th we pretty much ate nothing until breakfast on 16th. We missed Kotor and Corfu. When we were allowed out of our cabin at 9pm on 15th we went to reception and complained about the charge for water. The comment was that we could have drunk from the taps if we didn't want to pay. It wasn't the cost, it was the principle as water was all we could drink. Eventually we were told we wouldn't be charged. During those days confined to our cabin we had two phone calls each day from the medical centre to see how we were but that was all. When we had 'recovered' there wasn't even a courtesy call to see how we were progressing or to offer any support - we were just a number in a cabin. We were told we probably had Norovirus and we were obviously not the only ones. The Captain gave daily updates and a letter was sent to all cabins advising that Norovirus was onboard . The rest of the cruise was spoiled as we didn't have the energy to do much so at Civitavvechia and Ajaccio (where we'd been before) we took a half day tour each day as we couldn't face walking around a lot, especially in Rome. On the days we were at sea there wasn't a great deal of entertainment other than bingo and quizes. In the evening some of the shows were cancelled - perhaps the entertainers also had the virus. The food was ok but not as good as we've had on other cruises - Thomson's. The service in the restaurants was very slow. On the last evening we went to the restaurant at 6:30 and hadn't had our coffee at 8:15. We skipped coffee as we were hoping to go to our first show but found when we arrived that there was nowhere to sit. There was a second show at 10:30 but we had to be up early the following morning so we didn't bother. I enquired at reception whether we could receive any compensation and was told no. I later wrote to P&O saying how disappointed I was. I sent it by recorded delivery over three weeks ago and have received no reply. I think this is very bad mannered to not even acknowledge my letter. Needless to say we won't be cruising with P&O again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I picked this cruise as all the places it was visiting were where I have always wanted to visit. I was alone so thought that it was a safe way to travel and had heard from other people that it was a good way . I know it was my fault ... Read More
I picked this cruise as all the places it was visiting were where I have always wanted to visit. I was alone so thought that it was a safe way to travel and had heard from other people that it was a good way . I know it was my fault but I chose an inside cabin wow learnt on the first night that I have claustrophobia!!! Spent most of the night on deck... I met some very nice people on the trip but I found it bit like imagine butlins to be but only on the sea....wow what an experience....and not in a good way. The food was ok although the attitude of the staff was rather rude. The entertainment was good from some of the guests but the resident group were very lacking. All I really enjoyed were the places we visited which lived up to all my expectations and one or two I will visit again some time soon (but not on P &O) I wonder if all cruises are like this one if so then really not for me which is a great pity. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we have cruised Northern Europe in the last couple of years and my husband wanted some Sun. We had read some reviews of the Oceana before we left but as with anything you take these only as peoples opinnions ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have cruised Northern Europe in the last couple of years and my husband wanted some Sun. We had read some reviews of the Oceana before we left but as with anything you take these only as peoples opinnions and so set off excited to join our ship and explore new destinations. The check in at Manchester and embarkation onto the ship at Venice was excellent, we didn't see our bags until they arrived at our cabins which made it much more convenient than when travelling with Cunard a couple of years earlier and having to claim baggage at the carousel at the airport. This was the same on our return journey as is a credit to P and O. We had looked on cruise personaliser and the time of departure for the ship was given as the afternoon with no possibility of booking trips, so we assumed that we would get on the ship have the drills and soon be departing for Kotor. Unfortunately, this turned out to be inaccurate and we felt like we wasted the afternoon upon arrival as the ship didn't leave Venice until 10pm which would have left ample time to explore Venice had we not been called back for lifeboat drills at 5.30pm. Please don't misunderstand me, I absolutely appreciate the importance of these drills, but this is meant as an indication of the lack of clarity of instructions that we were to face for the rest of the trip. When booking our trip we chose the saver fare because we are generally not fussed about what time we eat or where in the ship our cabin is and requested a double bed arrangement. When we were printing off our documents to start our cruise we noticed that we had been given a single bed arrangement and so I tried to contact P and O to query this as it couldn't be changed online. After several failed attempts I contacted our travel agent who finally recieved a response after 4 days stating that when choosing the saver fare the bed arrangements could be chosen by P and O, apparently this is in the terms and conditions and they advised that we speak to reception once we embarked on the ship. Upon arrival we visited reception and was told very rudely that it was our fault for not reading the terms and conditions, and there was nothing they could do about it and P and O made a mistake by directing us to them. To make matters more frustrating the receptionist told us that even if there was a cabin available at our grade with a double bed arrangement we wouldn't be able to have it without paying for it? This was confusing especially when I showed them the written documentation from P and O stating that we had booked a double bed and obviously not the best start to our holiday. We later went on to find 2 other couples who were in the same predicament. For dining we were given second sitting Club Dining and we had two excellent waiters Glen and Raven who quickly learnt our preferences and were really good fun. The food in the Adriatic Resturant is generally good but is sometimes a little cold, particularly in side orders such as chips, something that is reflected in The Plaza Buffet Resturant. The main problem we found with eating at 8.30pm on Oceana was that there was only one show left of an evening to attend and very little after that. In previous ships that we have cruised on there have been at least 2 shows and sometimes a film after dinner, but on Oceana everything seems to end at midnight. This leads me on to the biggest disappointment of the trip, the entertainment. Now, I fully acept that everyone doesn't have the same tastes, but there seemed to be a general lack of organisation of the entertainment. I don't know if there has been a shift away from Cruise Directors and towards Entertainment Managers across the P and O line, but in this case it didn't work. There was no welcome onboard show, there was no charismatic character telling a few jokes and telling you what was left to do on an evening or on a sea day, there was nothing to keep your interest and as such the cruise didn't feel as pulled together as others we have been on. The booking of the special performers was strange, particularly the dismal 10.30pm performance of 2 people making shadow puppets with their hands. The timings were off as well, so there was generally two performances on at the same time which meant that if you ate on second sitting there was no opportunity for you to see them both. The only occaision where Nigel, the entertainment manager, actually appeared to do anything was on the arrival and sail through Venice. Other guests told us of the comprehensive program of events booked for children from balloon artists to BBC journalists and I can't help but think more effort had been put into them than the adults. Which is great if you have children travelling with you, but we didn't. The ports were really what made a difference to this cruise especially Naples, where we visited Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii and Florence and Pisa. There were a good range of shore excursions offered by the ship but we always book independently on Viatour as they have slightly different trips and can be up to £20 cheaper per person. If you are nervous about making it back to the ship though I can see why you would pay the extra. Finally, I would say that the first week was better in terms of our fellow passengers than the second. This is not meant to disrespect families in anyway, but there were a lot more children on the second week, which meant a fuller ship, this meant problems with sun loungers being reserved, a fact the Captain tried to resolve early on a sea day, and an incident in the Plaza where a group of teenagers entered into an altercation with a passenger about their repeated swearing. The mood of the ship was less sedate and relaxing. Overall when taking into account the upkeep of the ship, which requires a refit, the quality and temperature of the food and the entertainment I would say this ship is no more than a 3 star and as such not one that we would be eager to embark on again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise specifically with regard to the destinations it visited, after many people raved about the service, food and entertainment that cruises offered. Unfortunately this experience was marred from the outset. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically with regard to the destinations it visited, after many people raved about the service, food and entertainment that cruises offered. Unfortunately this experience was marred from the outset. The no-hassle transfer of cases to the ship and into your cabin took about 3 Hrs, meaning hanging around in the clothes traveled in. After finally getting cases and organized for the evening meal we joined 2000+ other people wanting to eat at the same time, and surprise surprise, then had to wait an hour for a table to be free (as we did on several other nights). Now it's understandable that timings would result in this on day one, but whilst waiting with the other herds of people in the adjoining lounge the least that could have been arranged was sufficient staff to get you a drink. But no, although this eventuality probably happens every two weeks no waiter appeared for a good 15 minutes, thus resulting in us going to the bar our self; and unfortunately this was the norm for the rest of the cruise (waiter service averaging about 20min), whether in the lounge areas, on deck or in the theater - score zero for that special service. On the plus the food was very good, even if the waiters were under some oath of solemness (smiles a rarity); the theater entertainment group brilliant, and the excursions good. However a lot of time was spent on board and the ship was 'tired' i.e. needed a major overhaul, tatty toilets, coffee makers not working, gym hi-fi faulty; rooms very poor and stinking (see comment below). Whilst at sea it was hard to get standing space on deck let alone a sun bed, and the ships policies - like removing towels from un-used beds were never followed through. The biggest disappointment was the room and room service, it wasn't cleaned properly, not stocked with three towels etc for thee adults, and when we complained we just got prevarication from our cabin boy, not an apology. We complained on board, on-line and have written to P&O, and we have had no response what so ever, let alone an apology. Maybe other cruise lines are better, but I would never recommend P&O, as their customer services doesn't exist. I've had better service from cheap budget holidays. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this as it was available! We thought P and O was a reputable company. The Oceana itself is very tired, and desperately in need of upgrading and modernising. Our first impression on embarking showed it to be dark and old ... Read More
We chose this as it was available! We thought P and O was a reputable company. The Oceana itself is very tired, and desperately in need of upgrading and modernising. Our first impression on embarking showed it to be dark and old fashioned inside. We had chosen a suite , so expected a few perks as we have had on other cruises when paying for a suite. But no Speedy boarding at either the airport ( it was a Fly Cruise) or the ship. The only benefit was breakfast where we had a quieter separate area for breakfast, and occasionally for dinner. Food was good n the whole. Wine list was good too.Staff were friendly and attentiveness on the whole. On other cruises perks had been reserved seating in the theatres too, not so here. However the entertainment was spectacular. We only used the tiny adult pool once. We don't enjoy busy tourist resorts, and the pool areas were just like this. They were heaving with noisy, beer drinking passengers. There should be larger pools, or perhaps one more? It was a bit like an upmarket Ibitha seaside resort i imagine . Our cabin suite was of reasonable size, though again, very tired. Furniture was dark and in need of upgrading. The balcony again, of reasonable size, needed freshening and making a bit more luxurious rather than functional. There wasn't a separate lounge area for Suite guests. We have enjoyed this on previous Cruises, being able to get snacks and drinks at any time of day. Any drinks or snacks on Oceana had to be paid for, after queuing . The lunchtime buffet, whilst looking to be quite good in selection and quality, was again heaving with people, with Butlin style queues. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Having travelled with P & O many times, I was aware that their quality had gone down in recent years but have been appalled with the service received on this last cruise. Things started badly when I booked direct with P & O ... Read More
Having travelled with P & O many times, I was aware that their quality had gone down in recent years but have been appalled with the service received on this last cruise. Things started badly when I booked direct with P & O several months before sailing. Living in the far north of england, manchester was the nearest airport they appeared to offer. NO, we were told, only flights left from Gatwick ( a 290 mile drive from home). I asked for a price that did not include the flight so that | could arrange my own flights but was told no discount would be provided and that the total cost would be the same, with or without flights. I reluctantly accepted a gatwick flight and booked hotel and parking which cost well over £200 only to find much later that flights were still available from Manchester as little as one week before and some people were given a £200 reduction in the cruise price for arranging their own flights. I even met one passenger who lived 5 minutes drive from Gatwick who was told the only flights available were from Manchester! On embarking the ship, we discovered that we had been given late sitting dinner. As I need to eat much earlier for medical reasons, I went to see the restaurant manager and asked if we could change sittings. His attitude was appalling and extremely rude and told me that as we had booked a saver fare no change was possible and if I needed to eat earlier, I should have either paid more money or I should eat upstairs in the buffet and my medical needs appeared to be irrelevant!. This despite the fact that 1st sitting had very many empty seats. Luckily, our cabin steward knew of 2 people in a nearby cabin who wanted to change so we did a swap. No thanks to P & O! We had decided on this cruise because of the stops and fewer sea days and this worked pretty well. On sea days, the deck was pretty busy but there seemed to be plenty of sunbeds. However, the 'deck police' were overkeen. on one day, we left our sunloungers for less than 10 minutes and on return found a note to the effect that they were about to remove our belongings. This note was timed 4 minutes after we left. Whilst I am all in favour of people not being allowed to reserve sunbeds for hours on end, this was ridiculous! We daren't even go for a cup of coffee together after that! More problems in Venice. We had booked the water bus transfer from the port to St Marks Square for unlimited use for 2 days at a cost of £56. My tickets did not arrive in my cabin until the end of the first day. Thanks for that P & O. When I complained, nobody seemed the slightest bit concerned. In corfu, they wanted to charge £5 for a transfer which they inferred took 20 mins, We took a taxi for the same fare and it took less that 5 minutes. Yet another problem was a booking in the Beach House Restaurant in which it is fair to say that the food is excellent provided you get what you ordered. I ordered Spicy Shrimp Sizzler but a Beef Sizzler was served. I pointed out this was not what I ordered whereupon the waiter simply turned, went back to the Kitchen and returned to tell me I had ordered Beef. My wife confirmed what I had ordered but it was not changed until the head waiter got involved. To add insult to injury, when I asked for the bill to sign, I was given the bill for another table. No apology. Overall, I found that standards have dramatically fallen and anyone paying the saver fare, seems to be treated as a second class citizen on board the ship. Drinks prices seem to have risen dramatically since last year and you cannot order, for example. a glass of wine without the waiters constantly pushing large or double measures. Food has also gone rapidly downhill with tough green beans served with almost everything. One Omelette I ordered for breakfast was so small,I thought it had been been made with a single quails egg! This was my 37th cruise many of which have been with p&o but sad]ly this will be my last and I would advise any reader of this review to think twice about booking a saver fare. it is about time they followed many other cruise lines and had one sensible price and not create a 2 tier system as the expense of passengers Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because it had a newcastle upon Tyne departure not a common occurrence. Flight was fine with jet2 but the mini suite was a disappointment - Very strange configuration - bathroom (Bath and shower in one room with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had a newcastle upon Tyne departure not a common occurrence. Flight was fine with jet2 but the mini suite was a disappointment - Very strange configuration - bathroom (Bath and shower in one room with a connecting door into the toilet and washbasin room (that's if you could squeeze in and both my husband and I are very slim and not very tall). The alternative was to walk round in a semi circle past the very small wardrobe room to get from one part of the bathroom to another. There was no shelf space in the toilet washbasin room so all toiletries had to be kept in the bath shower room (sounds weird but that's how it was. The toilet needed a deep clean, i.e under the rim was disgusting. The guy cleaning the room was hardworking but had far too much to do in the allotted time. The balcony was a sight to behold paintwork again was disgusting and a substance like putty had been used to seal up gaps,holes etc A 5 year old child could have done a better job. Wouldn't even sit out there. The linden on the bed was 2 shades of white or should I say the pillowcases seemed fairly new and we're white whereas the duvet cover had been washed and used so many times it was dirty white or cream (for want of a better description)! Some of the food in the restaurant was quite good but some was so mundane it was Untrue! The public spaces appeared to be well maintained and clean but for us this ship is a no Go! Incidentally we paid 3k for this week - was it value for money - certainly Not. Come on p & o you surely can do better than this or you should be able to. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any form of imagination in the menu and the poor food quality. It was bland, overcooked and invariably small portions. It felt that P&O were definitely counting the pennies and giving as little variety and keeping costs down. The dining staff worked very hard and no fault could be levelled on them. The Plaza buffet did offer a good selection at breakfast, but the dining room served scrambled eggs with an ice cream scoop to ensure exact portions. The best thing was the fact we had tea making facilities in the cabin. The cabins were a little tired, plenty of rust patches on the balcony, with numerous problems with their sewage system. Beds very comfortable though and the cabin staff were excellent. The entertainment was generally good, variety of events through the night, with some activities during the day. The "British" sail away was like a "holiday camp" event and, for us, embarrassing, which we apologised to friends who came from South Africa and Australia. The entertainment staff worked very hard to drum up support. The entertainment manager criticised other cruise lines which was uncalled for. We had repeats of the same films on the TV for the two weeks, with very limited other channels. More of the problem as we had two days at sea, with rain and heavy winds. The ship rolled even in light swells, so with strong winds and seas of two metres, we had an interesting dance class ! We have been on other cruises with other companies, with similar size ships, with nothing like this ship's lack of stability. Perhaps next refit they need to look seriously at their stabilisers. The ship's information newsletter gave much information about activities, which was good, but their weather forecast was always optimistic ! There were no port tours at all, even though we had four days at sea and so you had to do your own homework about future ports. We did much before we embarked. All cruises overcharge for shore excursions, so too any alcohol, the same here. But you were allowed to bring on some drinks for your room consumption. A good point. One of our main reasons for cruising is to sample excellent culinary fare each evening, with a flare of international cuisine. This was really absent and an anti-climax each night, but, if you like "canteen style" British food, then this cruise could be for you. It was aimed for the British cruise patron and not an international market. Overall a disappointment. Read Less
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I was very excited to go on this cruise. We had been on several other cruise lines and this was billed as pure luxury. I was curious to see how much better they were then previous lines we had enjoyed. To my surprise this was not as ... Read More
I was very excited to go on this cruise. We had been on several other cruise lines and this was billed as pure luxury. I was curious to see how much better they were then previous lines we had enjoyed. To my surprise this was not as luxurious as other cruises we had taken, less courteous customer service and generally a lack of concern when questions were asked of the Destinations staff and the dining room service personnel. The first two nights in the dining room were annoying. We repeatedly asked for bread and were not given it. Everything took forever, dinner took nearly three hours. The third night we sat in another section and the wait staff was wonderful, Ferdie was an enjoyable personality and tried to find the food that would make us happy. I will say we are a picky group of eaters, having said that, we have had wonderful meals on other cruise lines with much less hassle. The two specialty restaurants were a better experience. The food was for the most part good and the wait staff much more attentive. The two people taking care of the cabin were excellent, Nathalia and a man that I unfortunately can't name. These three people were the highlight of the cruise in terms of service. Our friends traveling with us had terrible service from the destinations staff and the internet staff. Not only were they surly, it was incomprehensible how nasty they were. Additionally, when we asked for the concierge we were told it wasn't available. Now the procedure was to call reception and every time we called there was no one available. We had to ask to be called back. Other times when a question was asked we were told to ask someone else, even at Home Depot the staff take you to the place or person that can help you! If I were to guess on the problem with this ship I would say employee moral is very poor. The shore excursions were a mix. There were two tour guides that could speak very poor English. Which made it difficult to get information. One of the guides in Florianoplis was very knowledgeable, however, he let one person monopolize him with conversation that didn't include the rest of the group. Our pre-cruise experience to Iguaçu was the highlight of the trip. A stunning place to visit. Unfortunately, Oceania also stated breakfast the day of departure was included, (I have the information from the cruise line) yet when we went for breakfast it was croissants and juice. Since we didn't get lunch until after 1pm this was a problem. The day of the cruise departure I understood they were still deep cleaning the ship from a GI breakout. However, several fellow passengers were very unhappy with getting dropped at a hotel with little to no information when they would be allowed on the ship. When we did finally get on the ship there was absolutely no hospitality, not even water available while we stood in line for over an hour to check in. Considering this was a luxury cruise line, I would have expected some snack and drinks. It was already 6 pm. My experience with other cruise lines lead me to expect a hospitality station plus an organized check in process. I've never waited that long on any of the other lines. The entertainment was average. What I most enjoyed was the string quartet that played daily and the classical piano concert. Having the Yalba Duo three times in twelve days was too much. The actual condition of the ship is poor maintenance. We were in the pool and found it to have rust in many places, additionally the drain at the bottom of pool was not attached which creates a safety hazard. The hot tub didn't work, the actual jets barely had any water moving. We reported it to the maintenance and it was never fixed. The cost of this cruise is twice as much as other cruises. How they justify this is beyond me. Go to another cruise line. The value for this cruise is terrible. 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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