Our journey started at Manchester Airport (UK). For this trip we had upgraded to Premium Class. - Slight hassle, we were not offered the express security route by the Servisair Air Check in person, fortunately the queues were not long so no delays. Boarding the aircraft - no so good, despite being in Premium Class we were held back until all the main cabin was boarded - (for safety reasons). P&O as charterers of the aircraft need to get hold of this type of activity, it this lack of attention to detail that lowers the production and enjoyment.
The flight was however good - Thomson, and Premium worth paying the extra for.
The Airport to Ship transfer was very tedious, a half hour enforced wait on the aircraft, due to no busses being available, and again premium passengers not afforded an early exit from the aircraft.
Anyway finally on board Oceana,all was well.The cabin was as I expected,a good size complete with a huge window virtually ceiling to floor. The cabin steward appeared within five minutes, and was eager to help. All was well.
As I noted earlier the ship was in excellent condition, the crew extremely helpful and happy. Certainly Oceana has a soul, not like Arcadia. The other passengers were the usual mixed bag of age, and all mixed very well indeed.
The Caribbean ports of call all went well, although my personal choice would be to bin Dominica, having been to all the ports before we did our own thing - St Lucia, St Maartin, and Antigua all fine.
So to my first Eastbound crossing - very good.
The on board food was to the usual high P&O standard, although one little niggle was the lack of hot tea and coffee in the Restaurant at both Breakfast and Dinner, something that RCL and HAL would not allow.
We eat out in the Horizon Grill on 2 occasions - at UK£7.50 per person great value. We considered the Peirre White Jardan, sadly 2 not so good experiences with slow service at Breakfast put us off.
Entertainment was very good,the stage shows and single performers all excellent. although I have encountered better on board speakers, and excellent ex Captain giving sea themed lectures, and the a poorly presented series on the BBC by and ex Manager, not so good
And so to Southampton, embarkation at the City Cruise Terminal (Ventura was alongside Mayflower) was slick, we were off by 09:15, and on route to Manchester in a Eveasway Coach by 09:45