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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The itinerary was good with some varied and interesting ports. As usual some of the excursions were quite expensive and it is always advisable to try to book your own if possible. The reviews we read before the cruise did put us off a ... Read More
The itinerary was good with some varied and interesting ports. As usual some of the excursions were quite expensive and it is always advisable to try to book your own if possible. The reviews we read before the cruise did put us off a bit but. The actual experience was better than we expected. The ship is a bit old but the food, entertainment and general ambiance was about the best we have experienced with P and O. We had a balcony cabin on c deck which was on the small side. After looking at an outside cabin next to ours this was probably better and more space inside the cabin. If you really want a balcony better off making sure about the size, probably on a or b deck. All the staff were friendly and could not be faulted. We did try the Marco Pierre dining option which was disappointing both in terms of the food and location which lacked atmosphere and was noisy. The usual complaint about passengers reserving sunbeds despite notices requesting people not to place towels etc. nothing done about it Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We have cruised many times with P & O, preferring Azura for Caribbean holidays, but decided to try a smaller ship, i.e. Oceana. The price was reasonable and as a seven night cruise was a good way of deciding whether we would like the ... Read More
We have cruised many times with P & O, preferring Azura for Caribbean holidays, but decided to try a smaller ship, i.e. Oceana. The price was reasonable and as a seven night cruise was a good way of deciding whether we would like the ship, we booked it - Genoa to Venice. However, on reading some of the reviews before leaving, we were wondering just what to expect as some were very off-putting. Flying from Newcastle (which is rare for P & O), on the plus side we never saw our luggage until it appeared outside the cabin. Transfer to the port was ok but there was confusion at check-in when they said the cabin we were booked into, wasn't assigned to us on their database, so we had to chase this up with Reception on the ship. Eventually it was sorted and we received a note apologising for the error. We had an outside cabin on D deck, which, for a week, was fine. There were no problems with noise and was within easy reach of the lifts, theatre and shops. On longer trips we would book a balcony. It was clean and adequate, although the shower area is too small but serves the purpose. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are supplied. After previously doing a Thomson cruise where the towels are grey and thin and the shower area was in need of maintenance, this was luxury! As for the ship, we were amazed at how nice it was - it was well preserved and clean; the Atrium is beautiful. After reading all the comments about rust, we were actually looking for it, but all ships have a little bit of rust on the outside and this ship was no different. It is a very homely ship and the buffet area is the best I have seen for comfort and space. Food was acceptable, maybe not the best we have had on a cruise ship, but you didn't starve and there was usually something to suit all tastes, both in the buffet and the restaurant. My husband eats vegetarian food and he managed to find something to suit his tastes. We like Indian food but thought they served it probably too often in the buffet. The Asian and Oriental night in the buffet was really good. One of the reasons we ate more in the buffet on this cruise in the evening was to eat quicker so that we could see both shows - one at 8.30 and the other at 10.30. Eating in the restaurant can take two hours. The staff were very efficient in clearing the tables and polite. Some reviews criticised the entertainment but we would give it a high rating, both for the resident singing and dancing group and the visiting acts. Thoroughly enjoyed all the entertainment, including the speaker and the art talks. Disembarkation was fine from the ship but poor when leaving the coach for the airport in Venice. It was raining and we had a long walk to reach the airport. Bad planning! Overall, this is one of the nicest ships we have been on and we have done 29 cruises. We wouldn't hesitate to book another cruise on the Oceana. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I read reviews prior to going on Oceana and went with an open mind. From getting on the transfer bus to embark and returning to the uk we found the whole experience a joy to behold. The inside cabin A727 was ideal for us and the steward ... Read More
I read reviews prior to going on Oceana and went with an open mind. From getting on the transfer bus to embark and returning to the uk we found the whole experience a joy to behold. The inside cabin A727 was ideal for us and the steward Radesh was an absolute star keeping the cabin clean and stocked up with the necessities. We decided to pay extra to dine in the Beach House and Le Jardin for the entire trip and we had no complaints and the service was superb. We loved sitting and listening to the piano players prior to going to dinner. We took a trip to Florence and walked about ourselves, lovely city worth a long break here. Our next trip off the boat was to Pompeii. It was over 50 minutes waiting to buy tickets with just one person at one till. Group leaders continually barged in to get their tickets. Do not go without getting your tickets before you arrive! We got caught in the most horrific thunderstorm and were soaked to the skin and had to wade through 10 inches of water, but, we still thought that it is an incredible place to visit and worth re-visiting. Our next visit ashore was in Dubrovnik, Croatia we paid to walk the walls £12 equivalent each. This was well worth doing showing the city off at its best. Dubrovnik is a very clean port and very inexpensive with plenty of good tourist shops and restaurants. We were charged £20 for our bus transfers (£5 each way per person) that was a fair price and very convenient. Without doubt the highlight was arriving by Oceana into Venice absolutely incredible! We decided to walk from the ship to St Marks Square, most people took the water taxi or water buses at a charge. We loved the walk through the side streets and the feel of the place. We have visited before and will certainly visit again. The highlight on board ship for us was the Martini tasting by Mel, Sam and the team. It is limited to just 20 people. You get 4 great cocktails and a wheelchair return to your cabin. Mel's adult humour and the whole experience is worth the £10 a head that we paid. We had a fantastic holiday on this lovely cruise ship and the staff are exceptional, kind, polite and caring. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We took a late booking for this trip around Italy (Venice to Genoa) and the first time on Oceana. Having read some negative reviews I was slightly apprehensive but was soon won over by the quiet and elegant charm of this ship. While it ... Read More
We took a late booking for this trip around Italy (Venice to Genoa) and the first time on Oceana. Having read some negative reviews I was slightly apprehensive but was soon won over by the quiet and elegant charm of this ship. While it carries over 2000 guests it still has an unhurried feel about compared to the larger (3000 plus) ships and is ideal for a relaxed holiday with the right level of optional activities in a stylish venue. Public areas are elegant and well kept, with a good range of bars and entertainment areas. Unlike on the larger P and O ships where you need to grab a seat in the theatre 45 mins before a show, on Oceana, with less passengers but similar sized venues, you can turn up 5-10mins before a show. Even on sea days you can get a sun lounger on deck if you make the effort to look. Cabin - we had an outside (first time) and was impressed with the window size which gave a light feel. Other features - bathroom/shower, storage, bed, were all to the standard of the major lines. A larger TV would be an improvement and a more powerful AC system, but otherwise we were satisfied with the quality and presentation. Dining - we had Freedom dining and alternated between having a table for 2 and sharing on a table for 6 or 8, depending on whether we wanted to wait or not. Even if we waited it was only for 10 minutes. Food was to a good standard with a varied selection on the menu. In the buffet, for breakfast or lunch, the selection was again varied covering most tastes. Entertainment: the shows were very good and specialty acts also provide options each night. With effectively 2 venues - main theatre (Footlights) and the night club stage (Spotlights) - there is plenty of seating available for either option. One suggestion would be to increase some of the daytime activities on sea days. While the guest speaker was interesting on 2 days, there could have been more activities (other than the quizzes). Stops: Venice: what more can be said Kotor - pretty medieval town with narrow streets. We didn't do the climb to the castle on the top of the hill (1000 steps) as it was too hot (30 degs). It seems that the large amount of bees/wasps we encountered in 2011 are still there so beware when having a drink in the outside bars in the main square. Corfu: we did a 2 stop excursion ( beach and resort) which gave a feel to the island as well as views of Albania. Rome: having been many times, we chose to go to the beach at the nearby town of Santa Marabella. (train fare €4 return) This has a sandy beach and is a clean resort but be prepared to rent an umbrella and 2 chairs for the day at €30 - - still cheaper than an official excursion. Monte Carlo - good to walk the F1 track and view the casino. I have never seen so many Ferraris as well as 2 Bugattis on a normal street. I would certainly recommend Oceana for a relaxed holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Just back from a lovely cruise round Italy and Croatia. Dont know what all the poor reviews on this ship are about - she is just as good now as she was 10 years ago! We had a family cabin with bunk beds but they were quite adequate for ... Read More
Just back from a lovely cruise round Italy and Croatia. Dont know what all the poor reviews on this ship are about - she is just as good now as she was 10 years ago! We had a family cabin with bunk beds but they were quite adequate for two teenagers with enough space for all of us (most of the time). The food was good with a choice of "posh" dining or buffet and in fact you could eat all day long (and some people did). One little niggle - on the sail days it was a job to find sunbeds for four if you didnt get by the pool early enough and definitely not allowed to reserve beds as after 20 minutes your belongings were removed so beware! We only did one excursion to Venice as I know from previous experience that to ride on a gondola is expensive if you do it yourself and the water taxis are too so that was good value at £46 each. We saw Pisa on the local bus and Pompei by taxi. It was very hot and very crowded and quite a way to walk if you have any difficulties in this area. Dubrovik is lovely - where we went for a boat ride. We opt out of paying the daily gratuity fee as this would have worked out really expensive for 4 of us so we did it ourselves at the end of the cruise. All in all we had a great time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We have recently returned from a two week fly cruise on P and O’s Oceana, beginning and ending our holiday in Genoa. The first thing to highlight in this review is that it is impossible to fault P and O’s organisation of the cruise; ... Read More
We have recently returned from a two week fly cruise on P and O’s Oceana, beginning and ending our holiday in Genoa. The first thing to highlight in this review is that it is impossible to fault P and O’s organisation of the cruise; from start to finish it was excellent. Given the logistics and numbers, it is very impressive that we were never kept waiting, whether embarking, disembarking, going on trips etc. This was despite the fact that the ship appeared full both weeks (the main changeover happening in Venice half way through). The daily onboard news sheet, Horizon, was very useful to inform of everything going on the next day. In addition there was a daily round up of world news in the form of a news sheet and Sudoku/crossword available in the well stocked library. We booked a Select Price deal some time ago and we were very happy to be upgraded to a balcony cabin a week or so before departure. The cabin was located on deck 12 close to the bridge on the port side and was in a very good position. It was great being on the port side when we docked in different places, in terms of having plenty to look at. The cabin was compact and comfortable, and our cabin attendant did a grand job of keeping it very clean and supplying towels etc. The complimentary toiletries by the White company are good too. The only disadvantage was that the cabin was located beneath the Plaza buffet. During the night, there was noise disturbance from overhead when staff were presumably moving furniture etc to clean. Obviously the only time they could do this was overnight when the restaurant was closed, and the level of disturbance was not major but it was sufficient to disrupt our sleep some nights. Don’t miss the important muster when you first board, it is well organised, does not take too long and is essential for you to know what to do in case of emergency. We were impressed with standards of hygiene and cleanliness throughout the ship and hand gels were much in evidence – always near food and also when getting on or off the ship in port. The ship is comfortable rather than luxurious in terms of fittings and décor. We opted for Freedom dining, and had most of our meals in the Ligurian restaurant. This was very busy at peak times as you would expect, but it was no problem to be given a buzzer that would let us know when a table was free and we could go and have a drink while we waited. We chose to either have a table for two or to share, and this meant we met and chatted to other people, which was very pleasant. The service in the bar nearest the restaurant – the Piano bar, was patchy at best and excruciatingly slow at worst. A way round it, we learned, was to get a drink elsewhere before heading for the restaurant; or wait until we were seated. We grew fond of Tiffany’s bar and the bar steward, a delightful lady called Monirose Armamento, ensured we never waited long for our aperitif. We found the selection of food on the ship to be very good. Everyone has their own view on what is good food – or not – and you will be disappointed if you expect fine gourmet dining at every mealtime. But we certainly never went hungry, the food was always plentiful, hot and fresh. There are minor niggles, such as it would have been nice to have more local cheeses than the mainly English options on offer, but overall the choices were very good. The Plaza is the main area for buffet service and the options continue through the day: Breakfast: All the elements for a full English or continental breakfast are available. Toast tended to be dry and leathery. Croissants variable too from doughy to crispy! Omelettes were available on request but if you asked for one, you had to stand and wait until it was brought out from the kitchen, could be a bit slow. Lunch: A good selection of both hot and cold dishes. I particularly liked the salads, the salmon/cold fish was good as was the ham. Afternoon tea: if you got your timing slightly wrong and were a bit late for lunch, you might find yourself choosing sandwiches/scones/teacakes for an early tea. Alternatively, burgers and hot dogs were available from the Horizon Grill seemingly from early lunchtime through the afternoon. A barbecue buffet was also set up some days by the main pool and this offered very nice choices too. Dinner: The Plaza had a theme for dinner each evening and the Curry night was particularly good. The Ligurian (and I imagine the Adriatic is the same) had a more formal menu and could be a bit hit and miss. Note to P and O: Undercooked green beans and carrots with every main course are not a good idea! Desserts were lovely. The themed dinners on formal nights were good overall although the starters and desserts tended to be better than the main courses. Service was always good. The drinks prices were reasonable also. Select Dining: Marco Pierre White’s Café Jardin was very good for dinner, we ate there one night and it was well worth the small cover charge. We also lunched there a few times (no extra charge) and it made a change from the more hectic atmosphere of the Plaza. There is a good range of salads on the buffet and you can also order paninis, sandwiches etc. Also a lovely selection of desserts. We did not get a chance to try the Horizon Grill in the evening which has just been revamped and renamed the Beach House. During our cruise we met and chatted with Steve the Food and Beverages Manager and Jamie, the Bar Manager one evening, up in the Pennant bar. They were very keen for our feedback, whether positive or negative, and we definitely felt that P and O are trying their best to cater for all tastes. The officers were approachable and friendly when we saw them and we felt that had we any issues to raise, it would not be difficult to find someone to talk to about them. Our first sea day was a bit of an eye opener. Unfortunately the reserving of sunbeds around the main pool started around breakfast time and had the potential to cause bad feeling. It has to be remembered that a cruise ship is NOT the same as a hotel resort with unlimited space. The selfish minority can easily spoil things for everyone else. We learned on sea days that it was better (for us at least) to head for quieter areas on the ship. The ‘relaxation’ of being by the main pool tended to be a bit elusive. The music, either recorded or live, that blasted out from early lunchtime was overly intrusive and the atmosphere became all a bit too hectic. I would point out here that we are not geriatrics! – but like a bit of peace and quiet now and then. The entertainment on the ship is excellent and we really enjoyed the shows. The two venues, Footlights (theatre) and Starlights (lounge) are always popular and it was a good idea to get there early. The ship’s own theatre group, Headliners, were fantastic – professional choreography, great singing and dancing – these were a joy to watch. We liked being able to say hello to the performers afterwards too, a nice touch. We also saw the Brit Tones, the Opera Boys and Elektra during our time on board and they were all very good indeed. The formal nights were enjoyable. Although the ship’s photographers were evident, we did not see any ‘hard sell’ going on and did not feel obliged to buy any photos. The Captain’s speech was interesting and informative. The itinerary for this cruise is excellent and I will summarise briefly all our stops: Livorno – for Florence, Pisa etc. We had a half day tour arranged – it was our first day after arriving on board. Florence was hot, busy and certainly to be sure of accessing the main attractions, prior booking would be needed. But we were happy to wander round and see the sights from the outside. That evening was our only poor dining experience. We opted to go to the Plaza and felt as though we had chosen the invisible table as far as ordering a drink goes – in the end we ate a starter, gave up and went to the Ligurian for the remainder of our meal! We docked next at Naples and chose to go to Herculaneum on an organised tour. Our guide was a charming Italian called Luca, who was informative as well as decorative! Herculaneum was interesting but I would choose Pompeii next time, I think. There are many excursions to choose from and in the end it comes down to personal choice. After another sea day, we had a stunning morning arrival at Dubrovnik. We used the free (for select price passengers) shuttle bus into the city which took a short time – perhaps twenty minutes. Dubrovnik was an absolute delight – beautiful churches, museums, atmosphere and streets. Many restaurants and bars were tucked away up the little alleys and we were made very welcome when we stopped for a cold drink. It is possible to walk the old city walls but this looked pretty challenging in the heat of the day, so we opted to take the cable car (30 euros return) which took us high above the city and afforded brilliant views for photos. An added bonus was a large area of lavender planting which was smothered in butterflies, quite beautiful to see. On our way back,we bought some water and a bottle of white wine at the port and there was no trouble taking it on board. There was a sing-song sailaway from Dubrovnik. The next day we sailed into Venice around mid-day and it was an amazing but very hot sail in. We had booked a half day tour – a walking tour of ‘hidden Venice’. This was very interesting but quite challenging and if your mobility is less than perfect you might struggle, as I did, to keep up with the guide. We were provided with a neat audio system which ensured we didn’t miss any commentary, a great idea. We learned a lot about the buildings and avoided the most crowded and famous sites, which we would choose to revisit out of season (if there is such a time in Venice!). The following morning we went in under our own steam, taking the shuttle boat from the ship (chargeable) and enjoyed getting lost in the maze of alleys and bridges. What a fascinating place. If you are adept at more independent travel, you can access Venice by the monorail/vaporetto, but we went for the soft option. Following another sea day, we docked at the visually stunning Kotor, in Montenegro early in the morning. Kotor sits in its own fjord and is beautiful. We walked up the ancient fortress trail, and managed about a third of the way up to the church, which was very challenging but the views made it worthwhile. We enjoyed lunch for 4 euros each – quite honestly we should have ordered one plate between two because the portions were extremely generous and we had only anticipated a snack! During the cruise we had noticed two very bright stars at night and I asked the Hotel manager if he knew what they were – he said he would ask the Captain and I was rather delighted to find a handwritten note telling us that we were looking at Saturn and Jupiter, not stars at all. This is another way in which I think P and O go the extra mile to satisfy passenger whims! The following day we arrived in Greece, and visited Corfu town. There was a free shuttle bus from the ship to the terminal building and another bus into town,, both well organised. We enjoyed a wander round town and when it became really hot, we retreated to the Palace which had (oddly) an exhibition of Asian art. So we didn’t learn much about Greek history but are now well versed in Asian art! Drinks by the cricket pitch at St Spiridion square were predictably expensive but it was nice to sit there and watch the world go by. When we were ready to go back another couple asked us if we would like to share a taxi, which only cost 10 euros and was a smoother option than the two shuttle buses. Our last sea day we relaxed aft near the plunge pool adjacent to the gym. It is worth noting that there is a sauna and steam room tucked away here, accessible from the far side of the spa. This doesn’t seem to be particularly well advertised perhaps because it is intended to be accessed as part of a spa visit. We arrived in Civitavecchia, the port for Rome etc, the following day. Due to the heat we opted to change our all day walking tour of the city to a mainly coach bound trip. This gave us a taste of the sights, and we were glad not to be tramping round as the temp touched nearly 40 degrees …. Would love to go back to Rome out of the main summer season. Monte Carlo was our last port of call, and it was interesting to see all the vastly valuable yachts. We didn’t push ourselves hard here, just wandered around and people-watched. I am quite convinced that George Clooney drove past me in a Porsche … well, it sounds likely, doesn’t it! On our final evening we left our packed cases outside our cabin and the next time we saw them was the following afternoon at Gatwick. Fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great ... Read More
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great way to start your holiday. The flight was chartered via Thomson and the check in was so smooth, the next time we saw our luggage was in our cabin. P&O have this part of your holiat off to a fine art. We were kep't informed of our pre cruise travel really well and love the cruise personaliser. We researched our shore ex trips and booked them all before boarding. Once landed in Genoa the journey to the trip is relatively quick and getting through customs was super quick. The check in and embarkation once again was really good, very friendly check in staff, then the usual photo as you are about to board. Once on board, there was no cabin staff to show you to your cabin, just pointed in the right direction and find your own way. The last time we were on board, we were informed the ship was going into dry dock for a refit, we were intrigued to see what changes had been done. That will be none then, nothing has changed and the ship is looking really, really tired. We registered our son for the Reef and the team here are great, the activities are really good and he loved going on an evening, whilst we we dined as preferred to go to the children's tea. The reef team really engage with the children and also know how to converse at all levels. Our first evening we dined as a family in the Horizon Grill, the food was nice, the cover charge to eat here is quite expensive for the choices and sizes, the service was terrible and considering the restaurant wasn't full, the food did take a long time to come out. The restuarant staff were more bothered about people walking through. The migration of passengers is very confusing. We travelled to Pisa on the next day whilst docked in Livorno, our local guide was really good and we were escorted by one of the ships photographers whom decided to fall asleep on the back seat and then badgered everyone for photographs. Day at sea was very relaxing, the crew once again were stretched and more bothered about throwing people of their sunbeds than actually servicing the decks. It was quicker and easier to go to the bar than wait for a waiter. On this evening we started to eat in the Adriatic Restaurant, once again the restaurant hasn't changed, we had a table of 8 with 3 other couples. Our table was really pleasant and we looked forward to our evening meal. However we were on a second sitting and have to say, I have never experienced such bad service, no engagement from the waiters and no choice, meals were more or less thrown down and none of the great service we had received previously with P&O. To be honest the same service was replicated across the ship, it wasn't suprising to hear other passengers commenting on the same topics. We would always pop to Cafe Le Jardin and once again the crew are more worried about passengers walking in through the rear doors than observing the passengers. The food options has dramatically reduced and is very evident to see, there are no labels informing you of what is available. Our next shore ex was the island hopping in Croatia, this was excellent, the tour guide, the trip, the weathe the reason we took this itinerary. The shore ex guide from the ship however was more interested in speaking with the local guide about her bulgarian boyfriend and gossiping, something I personally don't want to hear. Which continued on the returned trip to the Ship, including the local guide then telling her all about her life? Our last shore ex was a Gondola trip in Venice, it was a great experience apart from our local guide, who's english was so bad, no-one could understand what she was trying to say, the walk from the tender to the Gondola was a good 30 mins and to be honest if we had known would have probably made our own way in and sorted it ourselves. The Entertainment is probably the worst I have seen from a cruise ship standard, there was no Cruise Director on board, events cancelled with no alternatives, the cast just didn't want PR or speak with you. Which is a must for those all important CSQ's, however Paul Lau the host was brilliant, a real professional. The visiting attractions were great Roy Walker, The Octaves and Tony Adams. The sailaway parties are very dated with put a flag in your hand and pump, the conga and dated party dances. The constant hounding of photographers get's on your nerves after a while and it is very expensive for what you get. All in all we had a relaxing week on an itinerary that we had wanted, the ship is tired and the service in not good. The crew did mention that there had just been a crew change and it was evident. In their words all the good ones have been pulled onto the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was ... Read More
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was the many and varied entertainment...paul and micheala are brilliant...the theatre troupe were also brilliant particularly grant who should be acting in way bigger productions or films but all tge singers and dancers were of a really high calibre.....i thought i may be bored i was way wrong...the whole thing is great..id go every year if i could..ports also were anazing as was our tour of pompei...ive run out of expletives but if ur reading this wondering whether to go like i was...go..its amazing Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at ... Read More
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at Gatwick airport and handed over our cases we didn't have to worry about them till we landed in our rooms. I can honestly say it was the best holiday i had in a long time, I loved everything about it from the 5 star dining to the buffet dinners and the afternoon tea. I loved the entertainment. First night we took part in a fun quiz, to the theatre shows which were so well done and entertaining, The comedian was hilarious and the band were also very good. I also came away with a beautiful photo to remind me of my holiday and got to go on a gondola in Venice which ended the week of nicely. There wasn't one thing i didn't like about this holiday as everyone was so professional and nice from the staff to the passengers. Our room was inside cabin which suited us just fine, I know now having done one that i would love to do another one in the future with my husband and four boys. Well done p and O for giving me a holiday i will never forget. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! ... Read More
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! Can't thank them both enough! Amazing people. Also the on board medical staff who helped us resolve issues with an older relative quickly and with great professionalism meant that we could stay on board. The doctor and two nurses we met were among the best I've known and as a long serving nurse I've known a few ;) - these guys were the tops! Made our Dad feel better, safe and secure and made sure that we could enjoy our holiday! Excellent people! Sadly that's where the great service from P&O ended. Our cabin steward was nice, discreet and kept us well topped up with stuff and towels. But our shower didn't work, it just dribbled cold water. I reported it twice to reception, the same pleasantly smiling vacuum of personality took my concerns on both occasions. Nothing happened, no shower fix. After three days of cold trickled showers an engineer arrived. Twisted something and left, the shower was no better. I reported it again to the reception lady with no response (just a smile). We have had seven days of cold showers and no one cared. The food has taken a sharp down turn in quality and there is no longer silver service in the main restaurant. On two nights my soup was Luke warm, the lamb shank inedible and puddings are just a different coloured blamanche mix arranged differently on a cold plate. Sadly it seems that the best dining on the high seas has sailed to another brand. On our second sea day I fancied some coffee with actual coffee in it, so we popped to the on board Costa bar. For twenty minutes four bar staff stood chatting and laughing while making eye contact with me, I had to approach them and ask to order a drink. One of the female bar stewards told me to take a seat and she would come over. Ten minutes later (once the conversation was finished I assume) she took my order. Our coffees that arrived were cold. No one was around at this point to ask for a hot one. Afternoon tea was the next cracker!! And now I'm home I can be amused by it; we entered and asked to sit just the two of us and we're asked "do you have to?" I said yes and we sat by a window! Nice I thought! Until a raw crumpet and some anaemic tea was thrust upon us. Followed by a stale finger sandwich (I kid you not)! Then no cakes, the other tables got a whole cake stand, we were told to wait. After ten mins we buggered off and went up stairs! Which leads nicely to the motor way service station that seems to have been installed on deck 14! Tray after tray of slop! 50 shades of beige is the perfect description for the plaza buffet. Day trips! More Positive bits now! As usual P&O pulled it out the bag, great days in Pisa, Pompeii and Venice. Don't listen to it he nay Sayers, I've seen the signs yesterday and P&O defiantly book you a cheaper gondola ride! Also, you then get to arrive in St marks square by water taxi which is fun and included otherwise it would be €15 return. There is a monorail from the port to the town centre and that costs €1.60 each way, we had a go on it just for fun! In Dubrovnik we did our own thing, free shuttle to old town. Walk to cable car and then at the top hired dune buggies and went on a guided tour of a battle field. Amazing guy took us, we saw a lot. Then he said we were driving round a mine field but not to worried as it's been cleared four times... Still not sure if he was joking or not! But an amazing experience for less than €20 each! One not to be missed! On board entertainment spot on as usual! Headliners continue to be awesome and the elton John act was wonderful. Entertainment manager had no get up and go though! Compared to others we've had, he seemed tired and not bothered. This is not intended as a rant at P&O, I'll save that for my formal letter lol We did have a lovely time, but just not the usual level of on board service were used too. We feel quite sad about it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, entertainment good. Weather was perfect apart from showers in the afternoon in Naples. Sail in to Venice with a very good commentary was wonderful. Our only complaint and it was a big one: Lack of communication regarding transfer back to Southampton from Gatwick. We booked online following an email about the cruise and checked to see how we would get back to Southampton from Gatwick. No problem, there would be a coach transfer. No there wasn't! We only found out by talking to someone at dinner (freedom dinning is great) We asked at reception about a coach and were passed to future cruise desk. The lady didn't know but said she would look into it and to come back next day. When we returned the next day we were told by a very smug man Lee Mudkins that there wasn't a coach and that their contract with us ended at Gatwick, end of story, however he knew straight away the cost of a taxi £150. No help, advice, assistance given whatsoever. We were not the only ones in this position and one poor lady only found out as we disembarded. Poor show P & O. Lesson learned....phone and check everything! We eventually got back to Southampton at just gone 11pm and I cannot praise the parking people at "Meet and Greet" enough. After we phoned them to say we would be arriving at Southampton Central Station at gone 11pm the lady said not to worry they would bring the car to us at the station. They saved us a taxi trip to the port. Well done Meet and Greet. To rub salt into the wounds...people had phone calls or emails to say that they could leave their cars at Gatwick and a shuttle would be there to take them to Southampton. We didn't get a phone call or email. It would have been much easier for us to park at Gatwick which is 2 hours drive from us and we had to pass it on our way to Southampton. As it was a four hour drive to get home and it was so late getting to Southampton we spent the night in a Hotel and drove home next day. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We were a group of 4 ladies celebrating our friend's 70'th birthday week on our first cruise. This cruise was brilliant, the ship was clean and well decorated, we had Freedom Dining which was great as we could eat where and when ... Read More
We were a group of 4 ladies celebrating our friend's 70'th birthday week on our first cruise. This cruise was brilliant, the ship was clean and well decorated, we had Freedom Dining which was great as we could eat where and when we wanted, we found the Saffron and Cinnamon restaurants and they were first class and our favourite.  We shared a table some nights and others were on our own, met some lovely people, only had to wait a couple of times when busy but not a problem. The staff in the restaurants and all around the ship were brilliant and very friendly and helpful. they made the holiday for us. They seemed to be mostly from India and were very friendly and work very hard. I hope the tips we all had to pay each day are evenly handed out to them and not taken to be part of their wage. They deserve to be tipped fairly. Everyone on the ship was very friendly and there was no snobbishness and luckily as we went in Sept there were no children, only a couple here and there, otherwise we would not have enjoyed having children running around and making a noise. we wanted an adults only holiday which is what we got. also there was a good age range, it was not full of old people, just a few here and there. We thought we would come home with a huge hill for drinks but were very pleasantly surprised, we had wine with dinner every night and jugs of Pimms during the day, it was very reasonable. The trips we booked were a bit expensive, glad we did them, but next time we would do our own thing as at most of the ports we were very close to the town so could easily have walked or got a taxi in. We would definitely go again and can't wait. Everything was very efficient with good organisation picking us up and taking us to airport, on trips, etc, so no worries there. We had an inside cabin which was adequate as we only slept there and got ready to go out for the day, would prefer a window next time, but definitely an adequate room for the amount of time you spend in there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
The basics of life on the Ventura were well organised by P and O. The essentials of cabin management, feeding and entertaining the passengers were all well organised. All facilities seemed to function well, in particular the warm clean ... Read More
The basics of life on the Ventura were well organised by P and O. The essentials of cabin management, feeding and entertaining the passengers were all well organised. All facilities seemed to function well, in particular the warm clean swimming pools were much appreciated. General cleanliness around the vessel was impressive. Staff were enthusiastic and efficient in carrying out their tasks. However the sea passage from Dubrovnik to Venice was something else. I am amazed that my wife slept through the whole episode! I say that because she is prone to motion sickness, and if she had been awake she would almost certainly have been ill! As far as I am concerned this started around 1.30am, when I awoke as the ship was swaying badly and pitching hard up and down into obviously a heavy sea. I guess we were lucky with a cabin close to the bow so that we did not suffer from the pronounced swaying or leaning that others have reported elsewhere. I can recall the thunderstorms and lightning we had observed before retiring the night before, but had no idea of the mayhem they would cause in the middle of the night. I tried to get out of bed and found it hard to stand up, as since we were in an inside cabin we had no reference as to what was level! I was never aware of the apparent broadcast by the Captain at about 2,30am, which has been widely reported elsewhere. I only know that my last recollection of being awake and bouncing was about 3.30am. Although the captain toured the dining rooms the following morning to reassure passengers, his answers to my questions were largely humorous jibes which I did not find entirely helpful. AS an experienced traveller I asked him to confirm that such storms were unusual in the Mediterranean. He replied that "we certainly found one last night." I then asked if he had been on the bridge at the time? His reply was 'Not initially but I was straight after the phone rang." I am afraid that I find the response inadequate. This captain was always full of flippant apparently humorous remarks during his broadcasts especially as we were about to leave port. His standard phrase was something like, "the chief engineer assures me that the rubber bands have been fully wound to enable us to leave port on way to 'X'." I didn't find that funny, and anything he is reported to have said in the early hours of the morning as we were bounced around like a cork, I would probably have dismissed as well. As a retired airline pilot we were always advised don't try to be humorous with passengers during public address announcements as the passengers need to be assured that calls from the captain are responsible instructions particularly when emergency procedures may subsequently be required. I find it even more worrying that as far as I am aware there has been no official statement from P & O at all. Other reports on the internet, confirm what I observed that night, and indeed some suggest that the Ventura was built with a shallow draught which it seems is likely to lead to instability when adverse weather strikes. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We love cruising, but I wouldn't cruise with Ventura again. We had a lovely holiday, but we had great expectations sine we have been cruising for years. I took my 21 yr old daughter and my 3 yr old granddaughter with me. Flew from ... Read More
We love cruising, but I wouldn't cruise with Ventura again. We had a lovely holiday, but we had great expectations sine we have been cruising for years. I took my 21 yr old daughter and my 3 yr old granddaughter with me. Flew from manchester to Venice was fine, they took cases at airport and they arrived straight into our cabin. check in was easy and fine. Cabin with balcony was fine but the bunk bed for a 3 yr old not suitable as she fell out, it is too open and also rattled all night, so I spend a cramped week with her in my bed. I am used the great service on P&O cruises sadly not on the Ventura. We were given Freedom dining - given a pager and waited ages for table - got too late to eat, waiters looked harrased and hurried us, forgot our bread, service was bad. Childs food was like something from Mcdonalds but not as good, & arrived when We were having our desert. Quality of food and service were not good. TRy the East restaurant ..you have to pay but it was excellent, Beach hut is also very good but you have to pay-if you want the quality and service you have to pay extra. Theatre was good, pools around kids area although very deep and you need to be with them all the time, are nice and warm, but you need to get early for a sun bed, Kids thought kids club too boring..hence no kids in there - which was one reason for taking our little one. Venice was lovely - you need to pay for boat to get there, but was lovely, as were most of the ports. Instead of waiting and trying to find table at the buffet - we just took trays back to cabin it was easier. British sail away was good fun. Beach hut and East for food although it costs. if you have a small child be aware of the bunks. Don't expect 5 star - you won't get it. TRy Oriana instead although adults only. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our first cruise with P&O and it was a bit of a curate's egg, after a series of little disappointments, we came away feeling rather underwhelmed. This is a fly cruise but we got the full budget airline experience, being ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O and it was a bit of a curate's egg, after a series of little disappointments, we came away feeling rather underwhelmed. This is a fly cruise but we got the full budget airline experience, being charged extra to sit with the person you are going with is a real bugbear, the charge could just as easily be made upfront. Our plane got changed and although we had booked seats with extra legroom, we did not get them in the change. We had a very easy processing, with pretty much everything to schedule. P&O want you to be at the airport three hours before the flight which for us appears excessive, perhaps they have had enough problems in the past to make this necessary. The luggage found its way to and from our cabin with no problems. Perhaps the only issue was the embarkation procedure. There were around 20 check in desks, and once you got to them it all went very smoothly, however everyone had to queue up to put their bags on a table, decide if they wanted a photograph taken and then collect their bags. Considering there could be three photographers waiting at a gangplank trying to take your photograph when you were going into a port but only one photographer on the way in for processing, this could have been thought out more carefully. The room was very nice, well decorated with a decent sized shower, though see our cabin comments. Our cabin steward did a good job of keeping the room under control when she could. Of the seven nights and six full days we were there, there was no time for the turndown service on three nights, one day the room was not cleaned and on a second we had to vacate the room to get things done. This certainly was not because the stewardess was not working hard, perhaps this was her first week and she had not got the routine down but it seems more likely that the ship is understaffed with too many people being asked to do just a bit too much. You could see the same issues elsewhere. One of the security computers seemed to be off all week. When over three thousand people could be trying to get off the ship you would think that that is would have been a high priority (it is just a couple of extra computers as back up). The reception staff were always on edge, and while the waiting staff did there jobs courteously and efficiently, there was no question of 'going the extra mile'. Smiles not forced but the were few and far between. There is no attempt to hide the fact that we are there to buy things, Almost any event that was unlikely to lead to somebody making a purchase seemed to be 'unhosted', the days events that were strongly advertised (apart from the shows) were basically spa treatments or photography purchases and while the captain's announcements were not broadcast into the rooms, the entertainments director did 'push' his events. To be fair the cinema's options were up to date films which critically acclaimed. But the biggest let down was the food. We were on freedom dining and as long as you were not too concerned about table size this seemed to work okay. The restaurant was surprisingly noisy and on a large table you could only comfortably talk to near neighbours. The food was disappointing. Some of it was the menu, soup with say paprika and croutons came without, cheese and biscuits with... came without. Sometimes it was the waiters, if you did not mention something on the menu you would not be reminded, so salad without salad dressing. But most of the time it seemed to be the ingredients, custard without milk, scones without butter, devilled kidneys without mustard. Sometimes it was just the lack of cooking time (scones again). There was something wrong on almost every plate. There are the upgrade restaurants that Carnival seem to like but we did not try them (and by the number of special offers that were being pushed perhaps no one was). Our solution was the themed buffets. Careful selection of what was on offer did not always work of course but you could avoid the more obvious disasters. Of course, it was possible to find some quite good food, the dal on Tandoor night was very good for example. (Another trick was to go for obviously bought in stuff). We did go on one excursion, this of itself was reasonably executed but one of the sites chosen was in the throes of restoration and the other had us arriving when the area we had come to visit had just about closed down, so another let down on the planning. Despite the size of the ship it did not seem all that difficult to move about and there never seemed to be long queues. No deck plans were provided but you were given a side on plan, most of the time this works okay. Reading back over this review, I appreciate that some people will feel that this is a bit nitpicking. Some people on the cruise seemed to share our views, others were having a good time. I suppose that it all depends upon what you have experienced elsewhere and what you are used to. There is no doubt with more investment in the people, both staff and passengers, the Ventura has the makings of being a very good cruising experience, but it has not made it yet. Whether that is where Carnival want to take the brand or not we will have to wait and see. Perhaps just bobbing along is where they want to be.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I've been a fan of P&O all my life, much of it is nostalgia, my first P&O ship was either the Canton or Carthage when I was a baby en route to Singapore. Many many ships later we went off on the latest trip on board Ventura. ... Read More
I've been a fan of P&O all my life, much of it is nostalgia, my first P&O ship was either the Canton or Carthage when I was a baby en route to Singapore. Many many ships later we went off on the latest trip on board Ventura. Very similar to Azura which we did last year and equally as nice. I did feel there have been a few cut-backs and some corner cutting but as prices are now so low I can understand that. Something has to give.... Embarkation via Gatwick and Genoa was easy though I do prefer Southampton. Disembarkation was equally trouble free. Cabin was adequate with a small balcony, our steward was brilliant but not intrusive. We weren't too keen to be allocated Freedom dining but it worked really well and we were always allocated tables with cruisers who 'matched' us. A special mention here to Head Waiter in Saffron, Colin, who went out of his way to make sure our vegetarianism was catered for. We had a hic-cup on the first night and from then on he was there all the time to make sure all was well! Food was good.... no complaints on menu either in the dining room or in the buffet upstairs. We didn't go to much entertainment, I'm always happy to take to my balcony with a good book and maybe a glass of wine. I love being on a ship and just enjoying the feeling of being at sea. Personal choice but the feedback on the entertainment from dinner companions was usually good. I often read reviews on here and wonder at the expectations of passengers..... so many seem to expect the facilities of a 6* cruise for a 3* price. and complaints about selling? Don't buy! Easy..... I never found them a problem. I did succumb to a cut-price massage in the spa and it was good value for money IMO. Very interesting was the morning in the Atrium when crew from every department were there to demonstrate and explain. very educational.... My biggest complaint would be reserved for the staff on the reception desk who seemed to work on the lines of 'the answer is no, now what's the question....' One particular young lady who shall remain nameless although I did make a note for a formal complaint, was downright rude and patronising. Twice. Oh and it also bugs me that all my previous years of P&O plus multi thousands of miles don't count towards points so we don't get blue slippers! :( But apart from that.... it was a good cruise to fab destinations for a very reasonable cost. Go P&O. We'll be back......   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Having previously cruised with P&O (our last occasion August 2013 on the Azura) we booked a 7 night fly/cruise on the Ventura over Easter. The high standards which P&O usually deliver unfortunately was missing on this Ventura ... Read More
Having previously cruised with P&O (our last occasion August 2013 on the Azura) we booked a 7 night fly/cruise on the Ventura over Easter. The high standards which P&O usually deliver unfortunately was missing on this Ventura cruise - the ship lacked atmosphere, the staff seemed bored, the food was bland and the service varied from excellent to poor. The entertainments team was the worse I have ever seen during my 14 years of cruising, from being uninterested, dis-organised, to faces of boredom, a cruise director who I think must be a phantom as apart from the first night was never seen again. We booked a shore excursion to Pompeilli, which wasn't bad value, but the organisation of disembarking the ship was chaos and upon return the same chaos (long queues with an average waiting time of over 50 minutes with some guests becoming very irritablle). Also as the Ventura is in Italian seas for these 7 cruising days there is a 22% tax on all goods/gifts (the ship shops) and services (spa), apparently during the following 7 days the ship docks in Montenogro and the tax then isn't applied. A good point was the transfers to/from the airports this was excellent service although it was an early start on our return having to vacant our cabin by 7am. I hope P&O aren't lowering or letting slip their standards, as the Ventura was DISAPPOINTING!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our second trip on the Ventura and already had two cruises on the Azura. Ships are the same layout but still managed to take wrong turnings. On the whole though the ships easy to find your way around. Flew from Manchester, flight ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Ventura and already had two cruises on the Azura. Ships are the same layout but still managed to take wrong turnings. On the whole though the ships easy to find your way around. Flew from Manchester, flight P & O Thomson charter which was fine, all run to times. Airport to Cruise Terminal and Embarkation seamless, though had a wait of 20 minutes for Italian Police to show re embarkation. Accessed our cabin relatively quickly, luggage soon after. Greeted by a smiley Vijaya, very pleasant cabin steward who kept the cabin spotless. We were allocated second dining and our waiters were excellent, very friendly and efficient, no problems there, food was good with enough choices for all courses. We never used the alternative dining venues on this cruise, though have in the past and would say they are excellent. Used the dining rooms for all meals and found everything to our liking. Not too many problems finding somewhere to sit in the sun, when it was out, but then the ship was not full. Have been on the ship full and struggled to find sunbeds, so many reserved with towels. We never used the ships shore excursions, find them quite pricey in the Med, did our own thing. Our needs are relatively simple, overall had a really nice cruise, good food, nice bars, excellent entertainment, and really nice fellow cruisers. Shame about most of the weather. This is our second time at the Med round about the same time April/May, been told we were unlucky !! Won't try again at this time. Off to the sunny Caribbean again in February and on this same ship, which for us speaks for itself.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We have just come back off a cruise on the ventura the actual cruise was excellent,the cabin steward kept the cabin spotless,we was lucky enough to be on board when the opera boys sang,they did 4 shows all full houses,what amazing singers ... Read More
We have just come back off a cruise on the ventura the actual cruise was excellent,the cabin steward kept the cabin spotless,we was lucky enough to be on board when the opera boys sang,they did 4 shows all full houses,what amazing singers a fantastic show,overall the entertainment on board was excellent the headliner dancers was west end standard,we was on freedom dining which suited us the only drawback was if we wanted a table for 2 we had to have dinner at 18.00 or wait about 1to 2 hours but had no waiting to sit on larger tables,such a shame the restaurant staff was not keen with the hand sanitizer people was walking in without sanitizing there hands with staff watching not only the saffron but other eating places,come on p and o get this health issue sorted. The disembarkation of the ship we found was stressful not enough time ieaving ship to flight time,not enough time if any delays,the coach had accident on ramp leading to departures,Genoa airport is not the best very busy and small,overall a great holiday and enjoyed very much,we have booked 13 night cruise next year on the ventura transatlantic. Read Less
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