Transfer to the ship was very interesting going through Barbados, there was a mix of cultures and properties throughout the journey and would have loved to have stayed longer on the island to try out some of the local haunts. Luggage was delayed getting to our cabin, which meant we had to go for our first dinner in the clothes we had been in since 2am that morning. Not a good start but didnt spoil our evening as we could see the staff putting all stops out to get this sorted for the 1800 passengers on board.
Childrens club looked like it was closed when we were enquiring, and a bit daunting for us as we were not sure who to contact as it was our first cruise. However once our son joined and was introduced to the team, they were so friendly and down to earth, he wanted to go there all the time. There was only 14 children on the cruise, most of the children under 5 which was disappointing for our 7 year old, but he enjoyed nevertheless. Our fault really for going out of season.
The service was fantastic in all areas of the ship, the staff always gave a smile and welcome whenever we bumped into them. They couldnt do enough for us. Thanks to our waiters for amazing service and attentiveness, well done.
We were on first sitting for evening dining, which we were not sure of because it was much too early to when we normally dine, so we decided to try the 6.30pm, and too be honest it worked out brilliantly for the varied age groups in our party. The choice of menu was fantastic, with up to 7 courses available. The food was always presented well, and cooked to perfection. For the amount of choice and the amount of diners that had to be served, I take my hat off to all the teams involved.
The plaza on Deck 14 was disappointing at breakfast time, too many people pushing and panicking, not the ships fault, just a lot of greedy and ignorant tourists. In the evenings it had everything there, good choice of food with great salads, main meals and desserts, but the quality of the food on the themed evenings was very disappointing especially the seafood evening.
The sailaway party themes were a little over the top, and a bit tacky, but my parents thoroughly enjoyed, along with a good percentage of guests. There is plenty of space to move away from this if it is not your thing, and I really enjoyed watching the views of the idyllic islands as we sailed away into the sunset, in a little more serence ambience which suited me. The staff and entertainment team worked really hard to try to encourage all types of customers to enjoy themselves. Was disappointed with the Assistant Entertainment Director, who never had a smile on his face, I think I smiled to him more than I got back........I thought he was in entertainment, could have fooled us!
The spa had a good choice of treatments, but found it to be quite expensive. Nevertheless we opted for the top to toe massage and it was fantastic. There was a few exercise classes arranged from 8am to 9am, but as this was to be a relaxing holiday and as I was a younger traveller on the ship, felt we could have had a bit flexibility on class times to suit all, not just the early risers.
Decor on the ship was dated, but everything was clean, tidy and I did not see any major issues as in previous posts. It is definately due for a refurbishment but it wouldnt stop us travelling again on the ship.
All in all we had a great holiday, everything was well organised. Thanks to all on the Oceana who worked exceptionally hard - we appreciated it.