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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I'm writing this because I've tried to put it on the P&O Website but both times it says "an error has occurred" !! Overall: Oceana has a small-ship feel about her. She is beautiful in her own way, not overly ... Read More
I'm writing this because I've tried to put it on the P&O Website but both times it says "an error has occurred" !! Overall: Oceana has a small-ship feel about her. She is beautiful in her own way, not overly glitzy and quite elegant. The Atrium is a really nice spot to sit and watch the world go by. There are plenty of outdoor spaces to escape the crowds on sea days, especially at the forward and aft upper decks. Magnums is a lovely bar for pre and post-dinner drinks. This was our first P & O cruise and we had already booked to go on Brittania before we embarked on this one. We have tried to change this to another Carnival brand, i.e. Cunard or Holland America but have been told that we cannot do this without losing our deposit. We both really hope Britannia is a better experience! Overall, nothing really awful but could have been a much higher standard, which we were expecting. Dining: We had freedom dining in the Ligurian restaurant, which on the whole was disappointing, there was nothing actually wrong with it other than being mediocre and a long long way from fine dining. Gala evenings' menus proved slightly better but this really should have been the minimum standard on offer. The dress code was largely ignored, again disappointing when you want to dress for dinner to make it an occasion . Restaurant service was far too rushed too, one evening we had a three course meal with coffee and were in and out in 45 minutes! Waiters had a tendency to clear away plates whilst others were still eating, which is unacceptable. We didn't eat in the buffet so can't comment, the food in the Horizon Grill was adequate, fried fish, fried burgers, fried chicken with, you guessed it, fries. We ate in both speciality dining venues, The Beach House was good as was Cafe Jardin although the latter lacked intimacy and atmosphere. Entertainment: Cant really comment as we only saw a couple of performances, but fellow passengers seemed to be very impressed with all the variety on offer. Service: We couldn't help but feel that many members of staff in the bars and restaurants really didn't want to be on the ship, their attitude was indifferent at best and rude at worst. Of course, there were exceptions and they were delightful. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Our friends invited us to come on this cruise with them and I'm glad they did. I was a little worried before coming on the cruise, having read some of the comments but I do not agree with most of the negative comments. Once or twice, ... Read More
Our friends invited us to come on this cruise with them and I'm glad they did. I was a little worried before coming on the cruise, having read some of the comments but I do not agree with most of the negative comments. Once or twice, I saw railings being painted or a dehumidifier at work but it was not a common experience. The public areas all looked great. Our cabin was fine, clean with plenty of storage although our friends thought the shower very small and there wasn't much storage in the bathroom. The meals was a little variable in quality on one or two occasions in the Adriatic Restaurant and you could never depend on the potato wedges to be cooked all the way through anywhere, but on the whole it was fine, there was plenty of choice and our waiter, Peter, instantly offered to change anything if not to our liking and gave us extra portions of sides on request. One thing about the Le Cafe Jardin, it's a part of a deck and not a separate room, which seemed a little strange. The food was good and portions very generous there. The food in the Marco Pierre White restaurant was not quite as good as I expected. The coconut prawns did not taste of coconut and I couldn't taste the horseradish mash We enjoyed the entertainment. The in-house troupe was full of enthusiasm (as was every performer) although I thought a little let down by their material in the "Stage Door" production. The magician, Mark, was particularly good (and funny). We thought the live music in the bars was good too. Overall, we had a great holiday. One important thing to note, is that if you have a spending allowance, you can't use it on a drinks package. Visit to Villas & Wine Tasting, Naples This was a great tour although not that many people came. (I think we missed it being cancelled by a cat's whisker). The guide Pierluigi, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and droll. The villas were fascinating and the wine tasting a great reward. You really needed to be able to cope with steps and unsteady terrain for the villas. The wine tasting included some food, which we hadn't expected and was very good. We got to try reds, a white, a rose, a sparkling rose and a liquor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
This cruise went everywhere we wanted to go the trip was amazing loads of ports. Staff were very friendly . Food on fixed dinning first class.entertainment brill. The headliners dance troop excellent . The norovirus appeared on week two ... Read More
This cruise went everywhere we wanted to go the trip was amazing loads of ports. Staff were very friendly . Food on fixed dinning first class.entertainment brill. The headliners dance troop excellent . The norovirus appeared on week two this was dealt with although it took a week to get clear of. Not helped by passengers late reporting. I can't name all the places went as there were two many. All trips were great. Would recommend this trip. Rome and Venice were great . Kotor Montenegro beautiful . Gebraltar was amazing in the caves and tunnels. Duty free shopping like no we're else. Half price of any were else. If you want to take gifts home. What I liked was if you put a towel on a sun bed then left .there was some one walking round and leaving you a note. Not to do it. Glade someone has the guts to do that. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had a great time on this cruise the Ocean is a lovely ship we had no complaints . The restaurants where very good in our opinion food was plenty and waiters worked very well. The entertainment was good the guest acts were very ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise the Ocean is a lovely ship we had no complaints . The restaurants where very good in our opinion food was plenty and waiters worked very well. The entertainment was good the guest acts were very good need maybe to sort out the times of the shows . Entertainment team could have been better in our opinion but that is us We loved the destinations on this cruise had been to some ports before Venice for a day /half was fantastic .We used the Vaporetto we got a 24 hour ticket so you can go all over just keep getting on and off that way you can see a lot more We got the train to rome and used the underground no problem at all the only thing i will say is don't try and do everything in Rome we just did the colosseum,trevi fountain ,spanish steps plus a walk round was very good.We got the tube back to the train station from the top of the spanish steps when you get to the train station it is a long walk to the train allow at least 10 mins Kotor is a great place to sail into . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
we choose this cruise for the itinerary. The ship was good no complaints everything ran smooth. The shows could have been better but then that is down to taste the guest artists where fantastic as was some of the bands. Restaurant ... Read More
we choose this cruise for the itinerary. The ship was good no complaints everything ran smooth. The shows could have been better but then that is down to taste the guest artists where fantastic as was some of the bands. Restaurant was very good service was excellent as was the food always asked if you wanted more and if everything was ok.The wine waiter was very efficient We found the ship very clean and tidy our cabin guy was excellent . The only problem was the one problem all cruise liners have sunbeds on a sea day dont know what the answer is maybe some one could invent a color changing one if you are off for more than 40 mins. The places we went to where excellent Genoa,Livorno,Naples,Dubrovnik,Venice day half ,Kotor,Corfu,Civitavecchia, Ajaccio. We did Rome by train and underground was very easy to do but dont think you can get to see everything just set yourself certain places to see. Venice get a 24 hour ticket for the Vaporetto you can then hop on hop off and see more of the real venice and is very cheap . Keith Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Not been with P & O before. Ship looked tired. This ship was the sister ship to Sea Princess when it was with Princess Cruises and was called Ocean Princess, and is 16 years old. I've been on Sea Princess and it was a lot better. ... Read More
Not been with P & O before. Ship looked tired. This ship was the sister ship to Sea Princess when it was with Princess Cruises and was called Ocean Princess, and is 16 years old. I've been on Sea Princess and it was a lot better. P & O seem to be economising. The choice of food in the buffet was not as good as other ships and some of the food in the restaurant was not wonderful. However, the breakfasts were excellent, as we're the shows and all the staff. I'd go again with them but on one of the newer ships next time. The cruise itinerary was good and we'll organised. The ice cream was only free for 30 minutes a day, but I can live with that. Entertainment around the pool was a bit Hi de Hi! I wonder if the other lines which belongs to Carnival, have also cut back?. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
As a first time cruiser we chose a one week fly cruise which took in four off our top 100 places to visit. On arrival at Genoa airport we were met by the P&O team who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port we went through ... Read More
As a first time cruiser we chose a one week fly cruise which took in four off our top 100 places to visit. On arrival at Genoa airport we were met by the P&O team who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port we went through a quick & smoothly operated embarkation & then onto the ship. I couldn't believe that it was only 10am and we were directed to the ships buffet restaurant for breakfast. I have read several other reviews about The Oceana and found that some of them were wide of the mark. We had an indoor cabin. It was the cheapest that they sold but then we didn't spend much time in there. But it was exceptional clean and excellently stewarded. We'd opted for the fixed dining (next time we'll go freedom). Again the service was excellent. However we found the menu a bit samey. For a change we tried the Cafe Jardin restaurant and although the choice of food was better the restaurant lacked atmosphere. Many of the dinners made the decision to use the self service option of The Plaza buffet. This was our choice for breakfast and light lunches, and is mostly responsible for my gain in weight. We awarded top marks for the ships entertainment. Whilst we were on board we say great singers, an extremely funny comedian and a top talented magician / ventriliquist. And there were numerious to top review shows by The Oceana's own Headliners performers. There were other adequate performances by groups and duets. There was even a pianist who must have been trained by Les Dawson as he was an expert at hit at least a dozen bum notes per record. The only disappointment was that there was a charge to use the Wifi. So to sum up the holiday, we had a great time, lots of fun and made many friends. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We have been on other cruises and this is the worst we have experienced. We made management aware several times during our stay of the issues on board, but these were never resolved. All the points in this review were told to management ... Read More
We have been on other cruises and this is the worst we have experienced. We made management aware several times during our stay of the issues on board, but these were never resolved. All the points in this review were told to management with little or no action being taken. We kept being told our comments would be sent to HQ, but to date we have heard nothing back. The Customer Service Manager onboard , who we only met on the last day of the trip, told us she doesn't read online reviews as 'people only ever leave negative comments'; we'll be copying this review to as many sites as possible to ensure that those who do bother to look at feedback are fully aware of how unsatisfactory P&O's customer service really is. Hygiene: • Oceana has included a leaflet in the cabin explaining adherence to CDC standards. Yet in the most recent, 2016, assessment the ship failed hygiene compliance (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-35968912) . Oceana was in the bottom 5 of over 200 ships from across the world that were assessed. Months later is it clear why. • There is dirt everywhere that has clearly been there for weeks, including at restaurant areas. We observed staff ‘mopping’ the floor with a pool towel at the end of a stick during breakfast. • During 14 nights on board, we observed one member of staff using alcohol gel once. They do not appear to wash hands between handling different foods or dirty plates. • We watched the waiter at Explorers Bar idly handling all the red Costa Coffee Straws and running them through his hands. • The plates and glasses in the Plaza Buffet are still dirty and wet from the dishwasher. It was a daily occurrence that some piece of cutlery / crockery that day would be dirty and need to be replaced. • During sea days rubbish and empty glasses / mugs etc. Are not cleared away from seating areas on deck. When you do eventually find a sun lounger, you need to spend time cleaning the area up yourself before sitting down. Food: • There are small, lukewarm portions in the ‘fine dining’ restaurant. For example, the chicken (rubbery and dry) came with 4 potato wedges, 1 potato cube (presumably from another dish), 5 slices of roasted carrot and parsnip. This isn’t for fancy presentation...but is more reminiscent of a micro-waved school dinner. • When we booked the cruise, we had paid extra for club dining at a table alone. However we were seated at a table with another couple who had also requested dining alone at a table for two. As part of the complaints we made, the Senior Restaurant Manager provided us with a table for two in the Freedom dining restaurant instead. • There is limited choice due to the themed menus every day, i.e. if you don’t like Italian / Indian / Asian etc. You’ll back nothing to eat that day on board. Menus appear to be tailored more towards feeding the staff rather than the appetite of passengers from the UK. The standard response is, ‘you can eat steak, chicken or salmon in the fine dining restaurant’; all of which are overcooked the same way every day. • At breakfast, the cool station with the yoghurts and smoothies doesn’t work resulting in warm dairy items. • In the evening, the buffet hot plate doesn’t work. For example, we sent back the cold lasagne, pasta and pizza. The senior waitress did not offer an apology, she just ‘thanked us for the feedback’ and offered more food from the cold buffet. On several nights we had to resort to protein bars for dinner. • F&B outlets aren’t open when they are meant to be according to the daily Horizon magazine. The Plaza was closed during ‘brunch’ on Thursday, the Horizon grill was 40 mins late in having food ready to serve. • There are random charges for food which be in high demand on the room service menu such as a ham & cheese toastie or a burger whereas Bruschetta or salmon is free? • We both LOST approx half a stone in weight each from this cruise as the food was so bad. Maintenance • Whilst you would expect some maintenance, there is constant banging / scraping of rust. • The smell of paint was overwhelming at times. • There are life boats secured by duct tape where the rope has frayed (visible when you look up from Deck 7). • Lifts, toilets and sinks were constantly out of order throughout the ship. • The ladies toilets on Deck 5 next to the loyalty desk has a fan drying out the sodden, sewage soaked carpet for over a week. Customer Service • The staff are clearly disengaged and have no interest in providing a professional service. They use guest areas for smoking, eating and travelling throughout the ship rather than using back of house areas. They rarely said hello, smiled or even made eye contact. • The fact that a comment card was placed for us to complete rather than speaking to us directly about the issues we had faced showed a lack of professionalism. • At approx 10:30pm we had to sit by while the Plaza Manager sat and ate his dinner, whilst he sat he was clearly disciplining a member of staff. It was very uncomfortable to watch a junior team member practically begging to get his side of the story across whilst this manager sat and ate his dinner as if scolding a child. It was simply disgusting treatment of another human being. • We had an early morning excursion, as the Plaza Buffet had ran out of bread type items and was overcrowded we decided to just grab a Costa Coffee. We arrived at Explorer’s Bar at approx 07:40 and were told they would not serve us until 8am as they were setting out the liquors for the bar. We waited on a sofa next to the bar until we saw the F&B Manager, Paul Rowe approach the bar and ask for a Cappucino. He didn’t acknowledge we were there waiting. Whilst the waiting staff served their manager (before the passengers) they agreed to take our order while waiting making his coffee. I approached Paul and said I was ‘so glad he arrived as we had just been told we couldn’t be served, but now clearly service was possible!’ All he said in response was ‘quite, indeed’. If this is the leader of all of F&B, is it any wonder the staff have no idea what service is?! • Despite having booked excursions months in advance online, we were informed by email the day before we arrived in Venice that the evening gondola ride had been cancelled and we would be refunded. When we went to the excursions desk they said they were planning to put notes in the cabins later that night to inform guests of the cancellation and that they were within their rights as it was in the terms and conditions. We were offered no apology or alternatives; simply told to go on our own gondola ride. What was the point of booking an excursion? We will never return to P&O, not even to catch the ferry. The fact that there isn’t even a customer service email address, nor has any P&O rep attempted to contact us about the issues we raised speaks volumes about how they regard their customers. We had booked this through Thomas Cook and was assured that it was every bit as good as any of the other leading cruise companies – again we will never use Thomas Cook again as they washed their hands of our concerns over the CDC failures and just referred us to the non-existent P&O customer services. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our first time on a cruise, so we were apprehensive about it but was impressed from start to finish. We boarded the plane at Cardiff with minimum fuss & next saw our cases at our cabin door. Embarkation to the ship was effortless (as ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise, so we were apprehensive about it but was impressed from start to finish. We boarded the plane at Cardiff with minimum fuss & next saw our cases at our cabin door. Embarkation to the ship was effortless (as was disembarkation) & the ship was spotless in all areas that we saw. I cannot praise enough all the hard working crew members from Francisco our cabin steward to the bar/waiting/entertainment staff. The bar staff/waiters were very attentive without being pushy & the food really was 'top notch'. We saw the Mike Doyle show, who was superb along with the equally wonderful Roy Locke. The ships headliner acts were also very good as were the various duo's/poolside band. All in all a great first time experience, so much so that we want to try another for new year. Next time we will have a cabin with at least a window as the inside cabin was obviously very dark & so comfy that you were in danger of sleeping in until lunch time!! We chose to do the P&O guided tour excursions to Pisa with a superb guide which was great & Pompeii which is mind blowing, again the guide was excellent. Also we spent most of the day in Dubrovnik (the best place of all for me) just using the shuttle bus. Last off we spent quite a few hrs in Venice, which disappointed me as the locals are only interested in ripping money off tourists 170 euro's for 30min gondola ride & asking for an extra 10 to sing!! Cafe's that charge (not displayed of course) 5 euro's just for sitting down, and all without a smile!! You have to go there, seeing as the ship was in port, but having done it, we won't bother doing it again Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Well, just got back from our latest cruise on P&O’s Oceana and couldn’t wait to write a review. As 2 50 yrs + cruisers we tend to pick our cruise based on the itinerary as well as the ship, and have to travel in school holidays. We ... Read More
Well, just got back from our latest cruise on P&O’s Oceana and couldn’t wait to write a review. As 2 50 yrs + cruisers we tend to pick our cruise based on the itinerary as well as the ship, and have to travel in school holidays. We don’t tend to bother with the shows or entertainment, so can’t comment on this aspect of the cruise. This was our 10th cruise, having sailed on Oceana 3 times in the past, Britannia once, the Celebrity Silhouette 3 times, RCI once and the Ocean Village 2. The organisation of this fly cruise was excellent. Both embarkation and disembarkation were handled like a military operation. Once checked in we didn’t see our luggage until it appeared outside our cabin at 3pm, having boarded the ship at 11.30am. On the way home we left our luggage outside our cabin at 11 pm and were reacquainted with it at Manchester Airport. The organisation was impressive and the flight times excellent – e.g. we left the cabin at 8.30am, the ship at 9.40 am, flew at 11.40am and were home by 2.30pm. Yes, the ship is showing her age, but we still loved every moment aboard. The atrium is still stunning and has a wonderful atmosphere throughout the day and evening – something that her big sister Britannia did not manage. We did notice some rust on the platform used for crew to clean the high windows, but over the 2 weeks we saw staff removing this and painting. OK, there was some knocking on days when the overwhelming majority of people had got off the ship, but it was easy to avoid this and repairs have got to be done at some point. We reckon that in another 2 weeks those areas of rust noticed on our arrival will all be repaired. The inside of the ship was beautiful and staff were constantly cleaning and polishing her. For those worried about norovirus, we had no issue whatsoever and did not hear of any problems. Everyone we met seemed to use the hand gels and were sensible with the food ‘handling’ in the buffet, so we have no idea how some people can say that everyone is not careful enough! That certainly was not our experience and staff positioned by the buffet doors ensured that you cleaned your hands. The buffet area was very busy on some mornings, but that tended to be on sea days when people had had a lie in! Our fellow passengers were brilliant and credit goes to everyone for making our cruise special. Everyone we met was friendly, polite and obviously having a great time. If this is ‘Butlin’s at Sea’ then I’ll book up to go to Butlin’s (on land) any day!! The joy of a cruise like this is that you can make what you want of it. The formal nights were well attended and the over whelming majority of people chose to dress in formal gear (something that surprised us on a fly cruise). Our cabin was smaller than we remembered, but once we had got used to it we were more than happy. We had a balcony cabin on A deck. The beds are just the most comfortable ever and with the blackout curtains and rocking of the ship we slept like logs for the whole 2 weeks. Our cabin steward, Joe, was wonderfully attentive without being intrusive. He kept the cabin spotlessly clean and always seemed to know what we needed before we asked. OK, the T.V. is rather small and is not interactive, but it was ok for us and did not detract from the enjoyment of our cruise. That brings us to the crew. We often read that P&O crew are not friendly. Well, if this is the case then they must have been on a different cruise line. We found the crew on Oceana to be genuinely lovely people and we left feeling like we had made some great friends. We tend to find that, if you treat the crew with respect, are happy to chat with them and treat them like human beings then they will respond in kind. Every one of them that we met, or walked past, always greeted us with a ‘hello’ or a smile. The staff in the Ligurian Restaurant were exceptionally good - thanks go to Bernard, Yashdeep, Edward and Sunny around tables 12 and 14. The Captain, Andrew Willard, is a real gem – he was forever present around the ship, chatting to passengers and every crew member we met had nothing but good things to say about him. We had met him briefly in April 2014 and were amazed that he remembered us as soon as he saw us. We also had a few crew members say hello as they had met us before – one on another ship. We aren’t sure if this was a good or bad thing, but it was impressive and did make for a lovely, friendly atmosphere. The food quality was much as it had been the previous 2 cruises, and though there was a new menu we were still able to order a starter and soup if we so wished. On reflection I would say that the food was not as impressive as it had been on our first cruise in 2010, but we preferred the menu to those found on American cruise lines. The food in the buffet seemed to have improved, though Oceana does not have as big a choice as some of the larger ships we have been on. Having said that, we enjoyed what we had and there was plenty of choice for breakfast and afternoon snacks. We ate in the Buffet Restaurant on our first evening and the food was ‘ok’. The select dining options were a real treat. The new Beach House is excellent and in a lovely outdoor location by the pool. The food and service was excellent. Similarly, we loved our formal night in the Café Jardin, with a lovely atmosphere above the atrium as the sound of a tinkling piano drifted up to us. Again the service and food was super. At a supplement of just £5 we found the value for money 2nd to none. On a similar note, we still appreciated P&O’s alcohol policy and were able to take on a box of wine to enjoy in our cabin. A bottle of wine was about £15 and bottle water about £1.50. Anyone who has been on an American cruise line will know just how reasonable that was! The bar service around the ship – i.e. on the open decks during the day – was very good. We enjoyed many cocktails and agree with anyone who says that they are not as strong as on American cruise lines. This may be to do with the fact that an American measure is double one of ours. We found the ports of call for this cruise to be excellent and we have come home with happy memories of perfect days. We tend to do the ship’s excursions and had booked them in advance. Annoyingly, we had 2 of the ones for Venice cancelled, but in the end it did us a favour as we did our own thing and had a great 2 days. The ports were as follows: Livorno We did a wine tasting tour which was very enjoyable and as it was an afternoon tour it gave us the chance to catch up on some sleep on our first real day. Naples We have stayed in this area in the past so chose to visit Herculaneum. It was an excellent afternoon tour and the guide was very knowledgeable. Dubrovnik We did a half day excursion which covered the cable car, with the most amazing views of Dubrovnik and a short stay in a local port Cavtat. It was a lovely way to see the local scenery and it gave us plenty of time to see the old town in the afternoon. We walked the walls and had the chance for a meal in the old harbour area. A fabulous day. Venice As stunning as ever. After a lovely sail-in we stayed on the ship to relax and then went in to the town using the ship’s water shuttle for about 5pm. We went up the old Bell Tower in St Mark’s Square, which is well worth the 9 euros entrance fee. The views were incredible. We then enjoyed a meal just off St Mark’s Square that cost us just 70 euros. We then had the evening strolling around. Simply magical! The next morning we decided to go back in to the town to visit the Doge’s Palace. Again, this was spectacular and we were able to spend most of our time strolling around and getting lost! Lots of time for real pizza and ice-cream  The sail-away was a little disappointing – the music played just dire! Apparently, there is a restriction regarding the noise that can be made by ships, but silence would have been better than the music we had to endure going out of port. Whoever chose those tracks must have been the same person responsible for playing the British Classics at breakfast that included the Last Post and Abide with Me (I joke not!) Kotor Words can not describe how beautiful this place is. The mountains take your breath away and despite being a little edgy about it, we managed to complete the 90 minutes hike up the mountain to the fort. Well worth the effort – especially at 3 euros each! The old town is beautiful and we had a massive, beautiful salad and beer each for just 14 euros in the Harbour Pub – a lovely ‘eatery’ in a small square in the old town. The sailaway that evening was stunning and something never to be forgotten. Corfu We had done this port last April and decided to do something different. We booked a Cruise and Swim excursion which was excellent. We had a 90 minutes sail to a small harbour town of Kassiopi before an hour’s swim in the crystal clear water of a small, quiet beach nearby. We then had a meal out to sea by a small island before another chance to have a swim before returning to the port. It was an incredible day, made even more enjoyable by the fact the Aurora was docked up by the side of us. The sailaway was brilliant, with a super ‘horn battle’ between the two ships. Again, a day to remember. We chose to stay on the ship in Civitavecchia as we had visited Rome recently, so enjoyed the peace and quiet lacking on a normal sea day. (More of that later). Ventura was docked by us here which gave us the chance to check her out. Ajaccio Probably our least favourite port out of all – it really didn’t do much for us at all and we wished that we had booked an excursion as this was our last day. We went for a walk for about 2 hours along the promenade and noticed that a lot of cruisers were on the lovely sandy beach. We also took the small train for a short tour – good value at 8 euros for 45 minutes. Having said that, we would have preferred Monte Carlo. Looking back on our cruise the only thing that we found frustrating was the sunbed situation. It seems that this problem never seems to go away! Unless you were up at the crack of dawn it was almost impossible to find a sunbed and on all 4 sea days we saw people having to sit on the deck while other beds sat with their blue towels (but no people). I do wish that P&O would have a system where the crew noted the sunbeds not being used with some marker and then removing possessions if people do not return. There were regular messages in the Horizon News and announcements, but they fell on deaf ears and were a waste of time. Thankfully, we had a balcony cabin and could retreat there at times, but the whole situation did cause ill feeling. As a result, we chose to spend some of our time enjoying the ship when she was quiet – and it gave us the chance to enjoy a swim in the pool/s. Finally, 2 things that we loved were the chance to just sit on our balcony at sailaway, glass in hand, watching the sea go by. Similarly, sitting on there at the end of an evening watching the moon shine across the sea. We also enjoyed our evening strolls around the Promenade Deck. Simple things I know, but it was magical. Finally, to sum up our last 14 days on Oceana. The words fabulous, fantastic and wonderful come to mind. It has been one of the best cruises we have ever done and we are very sad to be home. We did not speak to anyone who had anything other than good things to say about their cruise. We would return to those stunning locations, on this beautiful ship, with its super crew and same great fellow cruisers in a heartbeat. 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
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We (family of four) booked the cruise on the Oceana as it had the itinerary we wanted (Genoa, Florence, Naples, Dubrovnik and Venice). Having booked the cruise I then looked at some of the reviews which were not that great so was ... Read More
We (family of four) booked the cruise on the Oceana as it had the itinerary we wanted (Genoa, Florence, Naples, Dubrovnik and Venice). Having booked the cruise I then looked at some of the reviews which were not that great so was concerned that we may have made a big mistake. I know everyone has there own opinion and we have no other cruise experience to go on but we had an absolutely fantastic time and cannot fault anything about the ship or staff. Embarkation - this was really quick and efficient with P&O staff guiding you through every step of the way. We had an early flight so arrived about 10.00am so maybe were lucky that it wasn't busy. On board all staff were polite, smiling and helpful. The theatre area was set up to leave hand luggage so you could explore the ship without carrying it around. We had packed swimwear/change of clothes in hand luggage so were able to swim/relax (towels provided) prior to being able to get into our cabin. Cabin - we had an outside cabin with a large window set up with queensize bed which was very comfortable! My daughters had an equal cabin with twin beds.There was plenty of storage areas and space to move around comfortably. There is only one socket so worth taking an adaptor if you are likely to need to charge gadgets at the same time. The bathroom is very 'compact' but has everything you need, again with adequate storage. Our cabin steward kept the room clean and tidy, replacing used items and came in at least twice a day. Dining - you will never be hungry on board! We had 'freedom dining' so could dine at what time we wanted. If you were happy to share a table with other diners you could usually be seated quickly. If a table of choice was not available (if really busy) they would give you a 'bleeper' so you could go for a drink/walk and be called back when it was ready which didn't really take long. The food was delicious with a reasonably varied menu containing starter, main, dessert, cheese and biscuits, coffee and mints! If you were still hungry you could use the Plaza for midnight evening snacks and our girls loved the hot chocolate. Afternoon tea was delicious with plenty of sandwiches, cakes and warm crumpets/scones etc. Entertainment - activities on board seemed to cater for all age groups - you pick what interests you. The gym had all the usual equipment you would expect to find and it was lovely to work out to a sea view. Evening entertainment was varied. We enjoyed some shows and others we thought could do with a boost but that's just our opinion! Ship - other reviews reported how tired the ship looked - yes there were some areas of rust on the outside metalwork but the ship sails in salty water so to be expected! In port we saw maintenance crews painting bits of the ship away from passengers. All inside areas of the ship were clean and tidy and hygiene is obviously very important and you are expected to use hand gel when entering the restaurants. All staff were polite and happy to help with any queries. Excursions - we booked some in advance and our tickets were waiting in our cabin on our first day. All were well organised with P&O staff guiding you to coaches and our tour guides were very informative. In Dubrovnik we used the free shuttle bus and explored on our own (recommend the cable car for amazing views) and in Venice used the ships water shuttle bus to go back/forth.. Disembarkation - again this was well organised with staff guiding you through every step of the way. Not having to deal with suitcases was a nice change and plane seats were allocated before check in so that was a quick process. Overall - perfect weather, could do as little or as much as you want, friendly staff, excellent on board service, relaxing and yummy food! Would definitely book again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was a once in a lifetime holiday with lots of family to get together (6 children aged 7 and under) and was chosen for the family friendly option. I have been put off cruising with P&O and cannot believe the standard of the ... Read More
This was a once in a lifetime holiday with lots of family to get together (6 children aged 7 and under) and was chosen for the family friendly option. I have been put off cruising with P&O and cannot believe the standard of the ship for cruising the med. The captain is ignorant, completely ignored our children who were waiting to say hello to him. the staff do not seem interested in the passengers and are not interested in building good relationships with us to enable a good friendly environment, I suspect this is due to the automatic tip they add to the account, so the staff feel they do not need to try to make it a good place to go. The ship is very old and tired and needs to be completely refurbished, one of the parties cabins flooded twice throughout the holiday and she could not use the cabin from 08.30 to 20.30 each time, a child was in the cabin which was appalling, no other arrangements were made to resolve the major inconvenience that this caused. The food was appalling, there was no food at lunch time or general evening buffet for children to have, the children's tea laid out was of poor standard and weird combinations and half an hour was not enough time to be able to get food and eat it before it was shut. my husband experienced hairs in the ice cream from the main restaurant. the children's pirate pool, had to be closed 2-3 times throughout the holiday and one of the days the water was contaminated during the time we were using the pool from the filters, turning the water brown. the entertainment was a shocking experience and had nothing that attracted us to it. the food hygiene was appalling and the standard of hygiene from the staff was rubbish, we found dirty plates/cups/cutlery too. the telly in the cabin just had reruns of 3 programmes for children (Frozen, Annie and Cinderella), there was no variety or nothing that my son was able to enjoy. the shuttle service was an absolute joke and cannot believe it was called a shuttle service to be charged extortionate amounts of money to use, this should be a free service especially as the cruise is so expensive. the ports were mainly ok and better than the ship. I thought the ship was supposed to have stabilisers but did not seem the case as you could feel the ship constantly move even in calm areas. I will never pay again to go for such appalling service/standards and can't believe we paid to go and get ill. this has been a holiday from hell and not one I wish to experience again. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I cannot begin to express how appalling this cruise was. We embarked, school day style in Genoa on the 13th July and were released, thankfully, on the 20th July. The onboard experience was awful from the start. Another queue was ... Read More
I cannot begin to express how appalling this cruise was. We embarked, school day style in Genoa on the 13th July and were released, thankfully, on the 20th July. The onboard experience was awful from the start. Another queue was created on embarkation by each person/party getting dragged by a photographer to pose with some of the ship's staff. We were shocked by the standard of the food in the plaza (which was our first meal). The trays were scalding hot, as were the plates so eating almost any cold food was a no-no. The selection on both hot and cold sides was poor, with the only water being available lukewarm (in the obligatory red hot plastic glass) which tasted of chlorine. The formal dining experience was extremely poor. The staff seemed to resent our presence and the food was laughably bad, from ice cold poached eggs, to green beans that poured with water when held at the wrong angle to eat. On the formal dress nights, the organisation was so bad that everyone stood, in black tie, in a supermarket style queue winding round and round the atrium. Everything in the shops seemed hugely overpriced, despite the price match guarantee plastered everywhere (T+Cs - Price match excludes the internet, or any shop you can't provide a written price quotation for). Our cabin was dingy and hot, with paint flakes all over the balcony, an intermittent toilet, loose electrics and a barely functional fridge. We could just could not believe how bad the standards were on this ship. I was going to list more about awful food, water pouring everywhere, disinterested miserable staff, even more overpriced everything, being herded around like cattle, naff cabins with electrical sockets that fall out of walls, bars that close randomly, dreadful entertainment, appalling hygiene standards, toilets that go off at random - not to mention what everyone was calling room service cluedo (you have to be on the right boat, at the right time to get most things on the menu). However, as I have been told repeatedly, P and O don't take any notice of reviews, or Cruise Critic or any complaints. They have a customer service line on which no-one answers, and let's face it folks, once you've paid they don't seem to care. I would avoid Oceana and most definitely anything to do with P and O in the future. On disembarkation day I received a text from a friend saying 'just watching the first batch of escapees', followed by 'whooping and cheering is being discouraged' Do not be deceived by any marketing or brochures - this is hell on water. Pontins without even the most basic B+B standards. AVOID Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First time with p&o having cruised twice before. We chose the cruise for the itenary and the price point. Well we were extremely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise, quality of the food the staff and the price of the drinks. The ... Read More
First time with p&o having cruised twice before. We chose the cruise for the itenary and the price point. Well we were extremely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise, quality of the food the staff and the price of the drinks. The ship was really clean and tidy and we found it very easy to navigate round as it was just the right size. We only used the p&o organised excursions once, as we do prefer to do our own thing, however I don't think they were to expensive and I wouldn't put anyone off if they chose pre organised trips. We cruised the eastern med and adriatic, stopping at 10 ports in all, I won't bore you with all, needless to say that they were all fantastic. We had an inside cabin which was on deck 12, nice size comfortable and met all our needs, we have had balconies previously but we're not disappointed with our room. Entertainment was varied and suitable for all, we did find the pool in the middle of the ship to be very loud and busy so opted for the back of the boat in the adult section. In all we only had a couple of gripes. Lack of sunbeds, which was particularly apparent on sea days, get a bed by 0930. Water taxi's organised by p&o in Venice, only 4 boats so expect to wait up to an hour at least. Get the private water taxi's that go from the same point and at the same price. All in all I would definitely cruise with p&o again Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Nothing but praise for P&O from start to finish. I've read some negative reviews and I started to wonder if these people are on the same planet as me??? I guess some people have a downer on life and look for someone or something ... Read More
Nothing but praise for P&O from start to finish. I've read some negative reviews and I started to wonder if these people are on the same planet as me??? I guess some people have a downer on life and look for someone or something to lift them and if it doesn't happen they criticise. Cabin, Staff, Food and prices on board all excellent and will definitely be booking again. We booked Freedom Dining because it does exactly that - give you freedom to dine. All of the eating places are superb. Even the Buffet Bar has an excellent selection of hot and cold food. Loved it during the day when we needed a snack of wonderful cream assortments. TRIPS:- Yes you can book them all direct yourself with firms outside of P&O but don't think you will save a fortune. Yes you can do it for less but you have to ask yourself if the £20 you save is worth the hassle. That is up to you... but if you do go on the Oceana and there is something you are not happy about see somebody - because I am certain they will sort it. Bon voyage. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
As first time cruisers and my wife in particular not 100% behind the idea, we decided on a 7 night taster around Italy and touching Dubrovnik. P&O were recommended to me by family and friends and we selected Oceana as it was the only ... Read More
As first time cruisers and my wife in particular not 100% behind the idea, we decided on a 7 night taster around Italy and touching Dubrovnik. P&O were recommended to me by family and friends and we selected Oceana as it was the only ship sailing out of a port away from Southampton meaning less sea days. I admit to being a little worried having read some of the reviews, however having experienced Oceana without wishing to disrespect other, probably more experienced cruisers than us I find it impossible to imagine they were on the same ship as us. EVERYTHING from embarkation to disembarkation was in my view perfect. The cabin had everything we needed. We only had a standard inside cabin, however it was perfectly adequate with plenty of space for storage and a lovely comfy bed. The shower was brilliant, easily controllable and powerful. The food was amazing with something to suit everyone's taste. We had freedom dining and were fortunate enough to meet some fabulous shipmates across the week. I was relieved not to come across the cruise snobbery I was warned could befall us. The 'James Bond' nights were fab particularly the Captain's Gala Dinner. Every crew member on this ship seems committed to making sure you are looked after and that you have a great time. They work so hard in the bars and restaurants and the cabin stewards are just amazing. Special mention to our steward Efigenie. What a lovely,lovely lady. The entertainment team don't stop and I personally loved the in your face Britishness of the Great British Sailaway. I don't care if some snobby types think it's a bit "holiday camp". You're on holiday for gods sake....lighten up. The shows were great including the Bruno Mars tribute, Fogwell Flax (what a great voice range), Roy Locke a fine West End and Opera singer and of course the ships own Headliners troop. P&O are unashamedly British. Oceana is a lovely ship, big without being overwhelming. When docked in Dubrovnik next to the Costa Mediterranea and Norwegian Spirit I felt proud that our ship was the "standout" vessel in the port. And most of all it converted a cruise skeptical lady into a commited cruiser who is already scouring the brochures to see where we go next. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Had a great time, was abit nervous after a few reviews but the ship was great. The food was good, our cabin was clean. The ship was similar to the Royal Caribbean we sailed on. Parts of the ship were been restored but it never ... Read More
Had a great time, was abit nervous after a few reviews but the ship was great. The food was good, our cabin was clean. The ship was similar to the Royal Caribbean we sailed on. Parts of the ship were been restored but it never affected us or anyone else and was just painting etc... The excursions were well organised and entertainment was really good, including elektra, a theatre company, wine tasting and sports shown on tv screens. The food was good and cafe jardin worth a visit!!! All staff that we met were very polite. Cons were the windows could have been cleaner in the plaza and on sailing days there should be more sunbeds. These are not needed everyday, when in port it was often easy to find one. When we arrived there was a delay before our cabins were ready, but there was a bbq on and entertainment which was nice. We then went straight to our cabin. It was a decent size. We will sail again, oceana was nice with a relaxed atmosphere. 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The food, shore excursions,travel arrangements and staff were excellent, our problem was lack of sunbeds it ruined the cruise. To blame passengers for keeping their towels on the beds seemed wrong they must provide enough beds. Until ... Read More
The food, shore excursions,travel arrangements and staff were excellent, our problem was lack of sunbeds it ruined the cruise. To blame passengers for keeping their towels on the beds seemed wrong they must provide enough beds. Until that problem is addressed we will not use oceana. The cabin had large areas of rust on the balcony. Delays leaving Naples seemed to involve divers going under the ship no explanation was given. glad it was a seven day cruise The cabin next to ours was worked on while the passengers were ashore to get rid of their rust on the balcony, in the evening when we returned our balcony was covered with white dry sheets of paint and dust.The ship had paint removal and repainting going on so you had to avoid being down wind because of the smell and noise.They emailed us about the works two weeks prior to the cruise.The above might seem petty but there is no need for any of these problems.P&O need to pull their socks up because its not a cheap cruise. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Avoid this cruise with Oceana with all your might as we have just diembarked thankfully 48 hrs ago !!!!!!!! P&O should be prosecuted for the hygene levels and food standards on this ship . We booked this cruise on 9th April 2016 and ... Read More
Avoid this cruise with Oceana with all your might as we have just diembarked thankfully 48 hrs ago !!!!!!!! P&O should be prosecuted for the hygene levels and food standards on this ship . We booked this cruise on 9th April 2016 and really looked forward to our cruise on Oceana and come the day June 8th 2016 flew from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Venice to board Oceana and then it all went wrong !!!!!!!! No luggage arrived till later in the evening but had to use the Adriatic resturant in our travelling clothes , the cabin was around 8ft by 8ft but even less than that with the cupboards etc reduced the area to around 6ft by 4ft for a cabin with 3 men aged 83 and 67 and 59 !!!!!!! . Then one of our party got food poisoning on day 3 after eating half cooked roast lamb which we complained about but got no response too , resulting in being cabin confined for 36hrs !!!!!! To which we missed the Corfu visit completely . Others too complained of stomach problems but dont know whether anything became of their situations , And we were made to pay £50 before any medical team member would look at our friend and on the last day we went down to medical centre to enquire about a reimbursment of this charge the waiting area was full of kitchen staff being diagnosed with Gastrointeritis !!!!!!!!!! So please be warned that this ship is a sailing disaster and P&O need to address the fact that the public need to know that this ship lost its CDC licence for disease control in Mid April this year and things have not improved at all ----- You have been warned . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
There was three of us sharing a balcony cabin on our first cruise. Two adults and a child. Staff on board the ship can't do enough for you. They must work so very hard at making it look so easy. Dining was excellent, lots of ... Read More
There was three of us sharing a balcony cabin on our first cruise. Two adults and a child. Staff on board the ship can't do enough for you. They must work so very hard at making it look so easy. Dining was excellent, lots of different choices, but if you want to go to one of the restaurants where you have to book, then make sure you arrange it on the first day of your holiday as they get booked up very quickly. The barbecue on deck was wonderful. Also if you want to go and see a show on board then you need to get there early or you won't find a seat. We got married on the ship and the Captain, crew and photographer made us feel as if we were the only ones on the cruise. Thank you to Cady who made it so special for us. What an asset she is to P and O cruises. Our 6 year old absolutely loved the children's club. We couldn't keep her out of there - the guilt about putting her in the children's club in there soon passed! And she thought sleeping in the Pullman bed was great fun. Our cabin steward was wonderful, very helpful, turning down the beds each evening, leaving us little treats in our cabin every day. The only downside perhaps is that being inexperienced cruises we chose a cabin at the backend of the ship, which meant we had a long walk every time we went off the ship or to go to the restaurants. At this end of the ship the lifts don't go to all the floors, so we had to change lifts, walk along the corridors to get another lift to go up or down to the restaurants. We know how the ships plans work now so won't make that mistake again. Gatwick airport is a pain - despite paying extra to go in the fast track queue, we were left standing in the queue for over 90 minutes! No passenger should have to wait that long whether they are paying extra or not. The return airport was just as bad. On disembarking from the ship, there was a coach pre-arranged by P & O, which dumped us at the airport 2 hours before check in, - no seats and toilets near the queue out of order. Would I go again: of course! I have already booked the next two cruises. Booked into a mini-suite this time. Cruising is the only way to travel. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having recently become disabled I wanted a hassle free holiday. My first in 4 years The cabin was filthy and took two days to correct all the negatives. We photographed the stained and soiled beds. There was dust everywhere and ... Read More
Having recently become disabled I wanted a hassle free holiday. My first in 4 years The cabin was filthy and took two days to correct all the negatives. We photographed the stained and soiled beds. There was dust everywhere and the cabin window was so dirty you could not properly see out the window. We spent hours on the cruise personaliser booking excursions, only to be told once on board. All of that effort was futile ( no guarantee !). Then the steward in charge of excursions was replaced in Livorgno and suddenly everything was possible after all. Absolutely stupid ! The aircon in the cabin was stuck on a noisy mode and fluctuated between hot and cold. We ended up spending as much time on deck as possible simply to escape the unbearable temperature fluctuations. I ended up having to buy an inhaler due to a dust allergy which hadn't surfaced in 20 years. The flights which P&O provided us with were another complete joke. I spent hours on the phone going through disability questions. Only for them to post things in triplicate whether through loss or ineptitude ? In the end we turned up in Birmingham airport to discover the seats allocated were not the ones arranged. I work for an airline so I know the excuses offered were a pack of lies. Then in Genoa because everyone had left the aircraft and caught their P& O coach connection. I was left very uncomfortably waiting for a wheelchair taxi to go to the ship. In the process of this stupidity my carer had her phone knocked out her hands and broken. Which we then spent a large amount of shore time trying to fix. Basically because none of the crew wanted to go out of their way to sort out. The restaurants we had booked were an open dining plan. In theory then we should have turned up and because of the flexible nature of dining hours have eaten as and when we wanted. The aircon in the dining room was unbearable. Cold and loud. The food was ok but because of the aircon unenjoyable. The actual CRUISING experience was very enjoyable watching islands like Corsica and Sardinnia drift by. Sailing past Capri or viewing Vesuvius. Entering the Messina strait or getting a glimpse of Mt Etna. Being escorted by dolphins or seeing turtles. But in terms of value for money. Extremely disappointing. In the end Croatia sums it all up. We were told "you won't be able to go ashore in Dubrovnik !". Well guess what I did. Unfortunately we had missed any chance of taking a taxi. If you want to see or experience the madness which is on board entertainment. P & O style then the departure from Croatia has to be seen to be believed Union Jack flag waving and a medley of extremely badly sung songs. On arrival in Venice most of me was glad to get off. The majority of the crew were great. We ended up eating in the self service spread restaurants. Mainly because the air con didn't get up there so much. We didn't take the package flights back mainly because of how P & O handled the outbound. So in summary. P& O made a complete fist of my 50th birthday celebrations. The care of wheelchair pax is lamentable. The only positives were the shore excursions. I ended up on the floor after falling out my wheelchair because some bright spark inadvertainly pushed me against a door swell.The lifts with supposed exclusivity for disabled were a free for all. It has taken me a few months to digest this trip I would advise anyone thinking of making this journey to get concrete guarantees from P& O around any issues to do with wheelchair travel. Because of the damage to my carers phone and the time spent trying to sort out issues my 7 night cruise is one nobody deserves Read Less
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