Choice, presentation and quality in the two main restaurants are hard to fault and, crucially, remain consistent. The self service buffet The Plaza serves a good variety of dishes, catering to all tastes.
Ligurian Restaurant (Deck 5): Ligurian is Oceana's venue for Freedom dining, allowing passengers to arrive between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and sit with whomever they choose. The decor is reminiscent in design of an Angus Steak House, with plush red chairs and gold decor; fortunately, the food is significantly better. It is, as you would expect, traditional British fare such as fish and chips (with mushy peas), English loin of pork and roast saddle of lamb. Desserts (or puddings) also reflect the clientèle: baked apple, summer puddings and cherries jubilee all make an appearance. Service is consistent. The Ligurian has two sittings for breakfast, 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. and buffet lunch 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Open 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. for dinner.
Adriatic Restaurant (Deck 6): Decor and menus are similar to the Ligurian. Service is consistent. In addition to fee dining (see below) Marco Pierre White is also featured in the main restaurants, offering passengers a special menu on formal nights. These gala menus bring a sense of occasion to the table: fresh asparagus spears, cream of mushroom and white wine soup, New England split lobster in Mornay sauce, and Prosecco poached strawberries. Club dining in Adriatic has traditional set seating at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and is also where afternoon tea is served from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Cafe Jardin (Deck 8): although a fee dining venue (see below), Cafe Jardin is also open for breakfast and lunch free of charge -- but note it isn't a Marco Pierre White menu at these times. It's also open for pre-ordered kids' tea from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. when there are not many children on board. (During school holidays kids' tea moves to the Plaza at the same times.). Open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. free of charge.
Horizon Grill (Deck 14:) Oooking the pools. Great for hot dogs, fries and hamburgers at lunch time, the Horizon gives way to the Beach House in the evenings with its more extensive menu (see Fee Dining).
The Plaza (Deck 14): the ship's self-service buffet area, which takes up the whole of the front of Deck 14 and is open all day from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It serves a good variety of dishes, catering to all tastes, including a daily roast. Plus in the evenings there are themed meals, the standouts of which are the Indian-themed nights for delicious curries.
Room service: there is free room service from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., which has a limited menu of snacks including pizzas, pasta and sandwiches, and for once, arrives hot and on time before you've lost the will to live waiting for it.
There are two reservations-only venues: the Marco Pierre White inspired Cafe Jardin and the Beach House. It's easy to book a table in either of these small venues for the first few days of the cruise but, as word spreads, they start filling up fast. Book well ahead if you want a table for a special occasion.
Cafe Jardin (Deck 8): £7.25 per person cover charge. The restaurant is in a great spot looking down three floors into the Atrium. The Italian menu encourages sharing, certainly with the appetisers and desserts; we had a delicious plate of poached salmon, garlic mussels and tiger prawns to start and a trio of outstanding Italian desserts. The mains are predominantly pizza, with a couple of pasta options, and one or two fish dishes. There are two menus, changed every four or five days. (A tip: you will be offered a dedicated wine list of quite pricey Italian bottles but you are not obliged to choose from there. Ask for the main wine list and you have a choice of 86 wines starting at under £10). Open from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sundaes (Deck 12): £1.60 per scoop. Sundaes is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sells a variety of ice creams.
The Beach House (Deck 14): £10 cover charge per person -- plus a number of supplementary charges on top if you want certain dishes. It has a good range of starters, freshly cooked burgers, catch of the day, steaks and chicken fajitas, with some tempting desserts, including a hot fruit sizzler for £1.50. Open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the Sun Deck.