Oceana Cruise Review by Mary Nicholls: Relaxation at sea
Relaxation at sea
We have just returned from a 7 day cruise around Northern France and Spain on Oceana.
As always, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves; the weather was better than expected and even though it is so early in the year we still managed to spend some time sunbathing - an unexpected bonus.
This was our first time on Oceana; we have cruised on Aurora before with P&O, so knew the standard we would find. Oceana is a smaller, older ship and although it was very comfortable we felt it was not as good as Aurora in some respects.
We had a balcony cabin on B Deck, which was very comfortable, if somewhat smaller than we have had in the past. The bathroom in particular was quite small and could be challenging for larger people (happily we are not!). Our steward always kept things clean and tidy, although we hardly ever saw him (possibly a good thing) and, unusually, there were no towel art creations left in our room this time. We were left with the impression that he was More prepared to do no more than his job and would not be putting himself out for us. In fact we had to ask twice for some body lotion when the bottle was empty before he renewed it; previously this kind of thing was taken care of automatically.
The food was always tasty although the choice was not as good as on Aurora, vegetables in particular were few and far between. The Plaza buffet restaurant had the feel of a cafe, and people had to queue to get their food in one area (Royal Caribbean does this much better with different types of dishes available in various areas). No effort was made in the evenings to make it feel any different so we never had any evening meals in the Plaza.
The thing which upset us most was the fact that as we were second sitting in Club dining we never managed to get a seat in the theatre. Once we stood at the back throughout the performance but afterwards we just gave it a miss. This has never happened to us on any cruise before. I can only assume that because it is a mixture of Club and Freedom dining everyone decides to go to the late show. It is quite a small theatre so P&O need to address this problem - we were not the only people to be affected. The show we did see was very good incidently.
All in all we had a very enjoyable cruise. All the ports of call were worth visiting and the free shuttle bus provided is a nice touch by P&O. We never took any organised trips as we had been to all these places before - we just did our own thing, so can't comment on their quality. I would certainly cruise with P&O again, but perhaps not on Oceana. Less
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