OCEANA CRUISE REPORT E627 27TH OCTOBER TO 10TH NOVEMBER, 2006.
Day 1. 27th October, 2006. Arrived at Manchester Airport at approx 8am with the buses waiting for us. We then set off at approx 830am and had two stops for breaks on our way down to Southampton. Arrived at approx 1.20pm but with all the buses coming at the same time the queue for check in was very very long. We finally made the lounge and had to wait another 1 hour before we were on the ship. The luggage had made it to our cabin before us!! We were disappointed to find that we were put on Freedom Dining but after a trip to see Alan Carr the Maitre'D he soon had us transferred to second seating dinner at 830pm.
After Emergency Drill at 4.15pm everything was made ready for sailaway from Southampton. We left our berth at approx 5.05pm and set sail down Southampton water with the band playing.
We then went to our cabin and unpacked and get ready for our dinner. We had a very good table and everyone seemed to get along very well, most of the passengers on our table had cruised with P & O many times.
We had an early night and got ourselves ready for the following two days at sea.
Day 2. 28th October, 2006. At Sea. Most of the day was rather cloudy with a slight sea. In the evening we went to see WestEnd a new show for P & O this was very enjoyable and the Stadium Theatre Company should be congratulated.
Day 3. 29th October, 2006. At Sea. Today the weather started to pick up and we were on deck most of the day sunning ourselves. In the afternoon it was announced from the bridge that in 5 minutes we would be passing Aurora on her way back to Southampton. We passed approx 1 mile from her and both ships gave the usual 3 blasts on the ships horn and everyone waved. In the evening the show was Gary T Thompson a Comedian, not to our taste so we left and went to listen to the Steel Band in the Atrium, this was very good.
Day 4. 30th October, 2006. Madeira. We arrived in port at approx 1.00pm and the ships already in port were Thomson Destiny and Aida Bleu, this was very strange in that we had sailed on both of these ships when they were Sunbird and Crown Princess. We spent the afternoon walking around Funchal and had a few bevies in our usual places. This evening the show a was cancelled due to the singer having lost his voice. The Stadium Theatre Company put on What a Feeling again a very enjoyable show.
Day 6 to 10 31st October, to 6th November, 2006. All at Sea. The temperatures had started to climb once we left Madeira and we had a very good crossing, not at all choppy in our opinion, but there were some people who felt the swell, so they said. In the five days at sea we had Susan Maughan the sixties singer, a Halloween Party in Starlight's, a show which was a tribute to Freddie Mercury.
On the last sea day we also had a Party Night on Deck with the Stadium Theatre Company performing Summer Sunshine. This was very well attended and the weather was very kind to us with balmy breezes across the open decks.
Day 11. 5th November, 2006. St. Maarten. Today was very hot and we went to a fantastic beach called Little Bay and Divi Resorts. The snorkeling along the reef was one of the best we have ever done. I could recommend this to anyone. The cost of chairs here were $5 dollars and the sun shades the same price. The staff at he hotel were excellent and the taxi fare to here from the dock was $10 return. Later that afternoon we took the water taxi into Phillipsburg and did some shopping. In the evening the Theatre Company performed Body Rockers.
Day 11. 6th November, 2006. Antigua. We arrived at 8am with blue blue skies and the temperature was rising also. Today we took a taxi to Long Bay and the Occidental Pineapple Beach Resort. Again about a 35 minute taxi ride across the island and to a marvellous beach, plenty of pelicans diving for fish and the snorkeling again was very good. The resort allowed you to use the washroom facilities and there were plenty of beach bars for the occasional tipple.!!! In the evening the entertainment was a 60 and 70's night out on deck again. One or two people had brought all the gear and looked the part.
Day 12. 7th November, 2006. St. Lucia. We arrived at 8am again and the weather was a little overcast but very warm. Again we teamed up with some of our table mates and took a taxi to Reduit Beach, no snorkeling here. In the afternoon we had a terrific storm and the skies were very black with torrential rain, we just sat under the umbrella and waited till the storm abated. Some people just sat in the sea it was all very amusing. In the evening we had our third party on deck this time it was Tropical Night with all the men in outlandish shirts. They had a Worst Shirt Competition.
Day 13. 8th November, 2006. Grenada. We docked again at 8am and the sun shone as usual. We did not recognize Grenada since our last visit due to the hurricane. Unfortunately this was our worst island in that we again went to the beach and we were hassled from the moment we hit the beach. In fact most people from the ship complained about this when we returned and said that they would stop on the ship if they ever went to Grenada again. Such a shame really. We did not venture off the again that day. In the evening the Stadium Theatre company performed Seven which is a show about the seven deadly sins, again enjoyable but with a few moaning about the content of the show. Also they had a show called Late and Live Comedy with Adult material.
Day 14. 9th November, 2006. Tobago.
We docked again at 8am again blue skies, we have been so lucky on this cruise. Today we went to the beach for snorkeling and found one called Mount Irvine Bay. This was a little off the beaten track but again shade and sun beds were to be had. The costs again were $5 per chair. This beach was just as the brochures, palm trees to the waters edge and a great reef for snorkeling. There were numerous fish of different kinds. The temperature rose to a high of 94 degrees. On our return the taxi driver took us on a roundabout tour and we ended up at his house to say hello to his family. We really loved Tobago, having never been here before, but would love to go back.
Day 15. 10th November, 2006. Arrived at Barbados to disembark at 1pm.
Unfortunately our plane had problems coming from Manchester and we were delayed 3 hours. On arriving at the plane we were informed that one of the navigational aids had broken and we needed to change route. This meant that an 8 and a half our flight turned into a 11 hour flight. Not that we need this after our initial 3 hour delay. We arrived in Manchester at 11 am and we should have arrived at 4.05am.
Good Points of the Cruise, The Company at our table. Meeting the many cc'ers and putting faces to names etc. P & O pulling the stops out for decorating the dining room for special nights. i.e. Halloween, Tropical Night etc.
Minus Points. Flight delays. Not P & O's fault. No Cruise Log at end of Cruise. Some, not all, moaning passengers. No Champagne Waterfall. Other little cut backs by P & O.