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

Complicated Drinks Package

Oceana Cruise Review by pmheaven

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Outside Twin with Shower
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
pmheaven’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin Review

Outside Twin with Shower
Cabin LC C604
Good size and clean - shower pressure not great but plenty of cupboard space
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