Choice, presentation and quality in the two main -- and almost identical -- restaurants (Ligurian and Adriatic) are hard to fault and, crucially, remain consistent. Club dining in Adriatic has traditional set seating at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and is also where Afternoon Tea is served from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 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. Both restaurants are reminiscent in design of an Angus Steak House, with plush red chairs and gold décor; fortunately, the food is significantly better. It is, as you would expect, traditional British fare such as fish & chips (with mushy peas), English loin of pork and roast saddle of lamb. Desserts (or puddings) also reflect the clientele: baked apple, summer puddings and cherries jubilee all make an appearance. Service is consistent in both.
There are two reservations-only venues: The Marco Pierre White-inspired Cafe Jardin and the Horizon Grill.
Cafe Jardin is in a great spot high up on Deck 8 looking down three floors into the Atrium. It is open in the evening from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for a £5.25 ($7.85) per person cover charge. The Italian menu encourages sharing, certainly with the appetizers 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'll 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/$15.)
Cafe Jardin is 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, but 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 onboard. (During school holidays kids' tea moves to The Plaza at the same times.)
The Horizon Grill is the ship's other for-fee eaterie, with an £8.50 ($12.50) cover charge per person -- plus a number of supplementary charges on top (for example if you want fillet steak). It has a good range of freshly cooked burgers, catch of the day, steaks and chicken fajitas, with suggested wines to go with each course.
It's worth knowing that the Horizon Grill is not a dedicated room, but rather a space. On a fine evening, tables are placed outside the Plaza on Deck 14; if the weather is bad, it moves inside, taking up a small area on the right-hand side of the Plaza. What this means is that you lack the intimacy and sense of occasion that you might expect with a formal restaurant.
A word of advice: It is 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.
The Plaza is 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 scrumptious curries.
Sundaes on Lido Deck 12 is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sells a variety of ice creams from £1.60 ($2.40) per scoop.
There is also 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.