My wife and I booked this cruise for our honeymoon earlier this year. We couldn't have been more disappointed by both the ship and P&O as a company. There were numerous issues with the ship, including a break down which meant missing a significant part of the itinerary and five solid days at sea for a return journey on a 14 night cruise. The ship looks tired, shabby and in need of a major refurbishment. There were a few areas of the ship which smelt strongly of sewage throughout the cruise which was very off-putting. We were so disappointed with the cruise and with P&O, that we decided to leave the cruise early and fly home. Having raised various issues with P&O both on board and after returning home, they have been unhelpful and unwilling to put things right. Please don’t spend your hard earned money with P&O, they simply don’t care about their customers or their ships.
Having been on a number of other cruises with other lines, we were really looking forward to the food on board Oceana. We found ourselves consistently disappointed by the poor quality of food on board. The main restaurants level of quality was around that you would expect from a reasonable pub, certainly not restaurant quality at all. The self-service restaurant was absolutely unbelievable; I can honestly say I have had nicer hospital food. I find it difficult to believe P&O would offer such poor quality food to their customers. Overall I would say that the quality of food on board Oceana was the lowest I’ve ever experienced on board a cruise ship.
Entertainment on board Oceana was average to poor. We walked out half way through one performance from the on-board theatre company as it was bordering on embarrassing. To say that the entertainment is on a par with a West End show is an insult to professional performers. The ‘comedy’ show that we watched on board was also cringe worthy. Some of the bar areas had pianists playing which we found very enjoyable.
We stayed in a balcony stateroom which was quite small (but all Oceana cabins are on the small side, so this was not an issue). The room had everything we needed, but did look tired and dated. It was also not particularly clean. I don’t think this is a reflection on the staff as they have such a short amount of time to clean rooms as new passengers arrive. We also found that the room was noisy, with music disturbing us until around 1am every night. Overall the stateroom was functional but definitely somewhere to spend as little time as possible.
Service from staff on board was varied. Our cabin steward was efficient, friendly and helpful. Staff in the restaurants were a different story - offhand, unhelpful and at some points plain rude. The Maître d' even once commented to me “can you believe it takes 2 hours for some people to eat?!”. To be honest – yes I think 2 hours is a reasonable time for a five course meal! Not on Oceana though as your plate will be removed within seconds of your cutlery touching it.
Service from reception was not much better. My wife and I decided to leave the ship as we were so disappointed with the cruise. We were offered the bare minimum of assistance and basically dumped at the quayside in Monte Carlo. We even had to pay the extortionate on-board internet costs (approx. £10 for 15 minutes!) to book ourselves a hire car and return flights home.
Upon returning home, we wrote to P&O in order to give them the opportunity to put things right. I’m disappointed to say that they did not take this opportunity, but rather sent letter after letter containing excuses for their inability to live up to customer expectations.