P&0 Oceana, Caribbean, 5/2/10. When we booked,(3 couples) we thought we were booking an upmarket cruise, having cruised with Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, and MSC. Sadly we were wrong, compared with the Sea Princess it was a down market ship. At first glance it seemed ok but after a while you would start to notice the general upkeep of the ship was not up to the standards of other cruise lines, eg ripped carpets with yellow tape holding the carpet together, scratched and damaged panels on the lifts, cracked tiles, pealing varnish on the hand rails, the ship is in need of a facelift.
Entertainment in the evening was disappointing, other than the shows put on by the entertainments team which were excellent. During the cruise we had 4 nights of piano recitals with only a handful of people in the Starlight’s bar. If you like to dance on a small 15ft dia dance floor along with the sequence dancers then the Atrium is the place for you. Although Ron & Pat would put different music on for different styles of dancing if requested. We found that the Yacht and Compass dance floor was taken up with tables and chairs to accommodate the quiz night, but was not cleared after the quiz, more for the convenience of the crew, and not the enjoyment of the dancers. We did complain but found that the next night more tables on the dance floor (so why have a dance floor?) After a more strongly put complaint the tables and chairs were cleared. So should we have had to complain in the first place? The band Illusions in the Yacht & Compass was very good.
The buffet on deck 14 was poor out of the 7 nights we went to eat only 4 were good. Breakfast and lunch was excellent, with plenty of choice. The restaurant was ok, but not excellent, one night I had lamb with the blood still coming out of the meat, which ruined my appetite for the evening. I would give it 3 stars. The crew were ok but not happy, would say hello but with no smiles. On the plus side the captain Hamish Reid was excellent, he would talk over the intercom every morning, and most evenings with his Scottish whit, which was nice to hear and keep you informed as to what was happening that day or evening and give advice about the sun ect. He was regularly seen walking around talking to the passengers.
When we disembarked at Barbados he was at the bottom of the gang plank shaking hands and saying goodbye.The comments above is also that of our friends that was with us on the cruise. If I was asked to rate our cruises I would say P&O 6/10. Carnival MSC & Princess 9/10, Royal Caribbean 10/10.