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5 Acapulco to Panama Canal & Central America P&O Cruises Oceana Cruise Reviews

The cruise on P & O's Oceana appeared to have it all. Flying from Glasgow to Acapulco with Thomson Airlines and boarding the ship in this romantic spot (on Valentine's day) Thereafter sailing south on the Pacific Ocean before ... Read More
The cruise on P & O's Oceana appeared to have it all. Flying from Glasgow to Acapulco with Thomson Airlines and boarding the ship in this romantic spot (on Valentine's day) Thereafter sailing south on the Pacific Ocean before a daytime transit of one of mankind's historic engineering feats through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. Followed by visits to four romantic and exotic Caribbean Islands. My wife and I were not to be disappointed. It was a dream come true. The flights from and return to Glasgow were on time and comfortable. Pre-booking seats took alot of stress out of the flights. Having read previous reviews with some discordant notes in relation to Oceana, we wondered what to expect as this was our first cruise with P&O. We had chosen freedom dining and had a balcony cabin on "A" deck. The freedom dining was excellent and allowed us to choose when and where to dine, at the same time enjoying the four formal nights immensely. Looking out or relaxing on our balcony was an absolute pleasure, especially with a malt whisky in my hand! We found Oceana and her staff to be first class and that includes, ship, staff, food and entertainment. As this was our first visit to this part of the world, we booked trips for every port except Barbados, where because of an afternoon flight we chose to walk into Bridgetown which we fell in love with. A wonderful experience all round. Well done P&O. In each of the ports of Acapulco, Huatulco, San Juan del Sur, Curacao, Tortola, St Marten,and Antigua, we found the trips to be interesting,colourful, and good value for money. The rum punch's were wonderful. Well done Oceana and staff, and well done P&O. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
What a fantastic holiday we had aboard the Oceana..Staff were helpful and friendly nothing was to much trouble,our waiters Lucas and Dismish were wonderful and went out of their way to look after us nothing was to much trouble..Drinks were ... Read More
What a fantastic holiday we had aboard the Oceana..Staff were helpful and friendly nothing was to much trouble,our waiters Lucas and Dismish were wonderful and went out of their way to look after us nothing was to much trouble..Drinks were the same price as at home no rip offs.Tips were down to the individual.Cabins were comfortable with plenty of storage space, and the cabin steward always kept it clean for us.It was nice to be able to dress up on the formal nights as we don't seem to do that at home any more as things now are more casual.The one disappointment we had was after our 8.30 meal we could not get in to see one of the shows as many of the first sitting stayed to watch the comedian for the second show leaving not enough seats for the second seating.We were very disappointed as he was really good.This was noted and hopefully will be sorted out for further cruises. The highlight of the cruise was of cause sailing through the Panama Canal (which we were up at 5pm to get a good viewing spot) we had gone earlier to listen to the history of the Panama Canal so we could understand what it was all about, this was very interesting and we found it useful as we went through the locks, we could imagine the hundreds of men so many years before many who had lost their lives working on it.It is a truely a amazing piece of History. We also visited Acapulco (where we landed from Gatwick)Huatulaco,San Juan Del Su,Curacao,St Maarten,Tortola,Antigua,and finally Barbados for our flight home.Each place had its own places of interrest and we enjoyed each one very much. We highly recommend P&O Oceana and we are hoping to sail with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Supposed to leave Gatwick on 20th December, however Thomas Cook plane delayed for 24 hours due to major technical problem, so put in hotel overnight and given chicken curry for dinner. On boarding plane on 21st they gave us for dinner, yes ... Read More
Supposed to leave Gatwick on 20th December, however Thomas Cook plane delayed for 24 hours due to major technical problem, so put in hotel overnight and given chicken curry for dinner. On boarding plane on 21st they gave us for dinner, yes chicken - unfortunately I hate chicken so now hadn't had decent meal for 24 hours, the snack was a cheese paninni which was awful. Entertainment on board flight dire, please P&O if you want repeat bookings don't use Thomas Cook again. We had booked emergency exit seats but found large people next to us - in fact I was unable to sit in my seat on the return journey due to lack of room - not pleasant and suffered backache for days afterwards. Eventually arrived in Acapulco and immediately left for Huatalco, cannot fault the arrival system at Acapulco or the on-board check-in, very good. However one day during the cruise my husband spilt a small amount of tea on the sheet which was still there 4 days later, this would never have happened 2 years ago. Entertainment (with the exception of Jimmy James on New Years Eve and Tony Guppa) not very good, on-board theatre company very amateurish and entertainments staff seemed more concerned with children than anything else. The Cruise Director was hardly seen apart from one night when he did "Call My Bluff" as a substitute entertainment for the dance troupe as one of them was ill. For instance, one afternoon we went to play Whist, however no member of staff from Entertainments was there - ergo no cards! We were given 1 days cruise back as "on-board credit" however nobody was told that if we didn't use it, it could be refunded, resulting in many people booking spa treatments etc. they really didn't want. It really wasn't good enough P&O - to be delayed 24 hours is bad enough, this was the holiday of a limetime for us, and was a treat for my 60th birthday. It took 3 days to get over the 24-hour delay and jet-lag, plus where our suitcases had been left on the tarmac at Gatwick, our clothes were all damp, meaning I had to spend quite a lot of time washing/ironing. I could have gone anywhere in the world for £4,500 but chose to have a P&O cruise due to the great time I had 2 years ago, but I won't be repeating the experience. My idea of holiday entertainment is not "Oceana's Got Talent" - this was not a 4-star ship, more Butlins, however the food was good and the service in the restaurants was good too. Please sharpen up your act P&O - on the basis of our cruise 2 years ago, I have actually recommended you to friends who are going on Oceana this summer for which I feel dreadful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I wont re-iterate other reviews about our 24 hour delay due to Thomas Cook, but I would like to say that the organisation of the Arora Hotel in Crawley was fantastic. However, we waited almost 2 hours to retrieve our luggage at Gatwick and ... Read More
I wont re-iterate other reviews about our 24 hour delay due to Thomas Cook, but I would like to say that the organisation of the Arora Hotel in Crawley was fantastic. However, we waited almost 2 hours to retrieve our luggage at Gatwick and many of the cases were inexplicably wet! Having waited at the airport for nearly 12 hours everyone was exhausted. We finally got on our way having had a 4am call at the hotel and the plane was delayed another 2hrs 20 mins from what we had been told when checking in. When we finally arrived at the ship we set sail immediately and were sent to the Buffet dining for something to eat - nothing very appetising was available. Also, we were not taken to our cabins on arrival by staff and were just told to go to our level by the lift, which it turned out was not on our side of the ship, so we had to go back to the Atrium to find out where the appropriate lift was. I have to say that it took about 3 or 4 days to get over the journey and I slept for hours (which isn't usual). We booked cabins with limited view due to lifeboats being in the way, so no complaints there; as long as we had light to wake up to each day. We saw our cabin steward that evening and only saw him once more for the whole of the cruise. Cabin a bit small. There were no bed side tables but a 3 drawer chest of drawers on one side which was difficult to open and nothing on the other. I used the dressing table seat (all wood) next to my side. You couldn't walk round the end of my side of the bed, but I had to climb over the bed in order to get out. Otherwise cleanliness, toiletries etc were good. I was disappointed with the food and I think P&O are trying to cut corners. On previous cruises with other companies, if you want a main course as a starter portion you could have it. You could also have a second portion of anything if you wished. The Christmas Day meal was very disappointing. I think nearly all the Brussels Sprouts were sent back as you could not cut them with a knife let alone eat them. A lot of the food was tasteless - very disappointing. I actually lost weight on this cruise! We enjoyed afternoon tea, but they cannot prepare crumpets, they are just shown the grill and not toasted at all! Very limp and pale. The entertainment was mediocre - Jimmy James, The Fortunes and Tony Gubba were good. The show team were a bit amateur but what I couldn't understand was that each show was repeated the following night. Therefore we didn't get many shows. One night the show was cancelled as one of the cast was ill. What happened to "The Show Must go on"? I once went to see the skater Robin Cousins, he was ill and the understudy skated in his place. We had a fantastic night and booked to go again when Robin was better! We were not impressed with Marco Pierre White's Restaurant. Although we only went to lunch one day the food was not good. Also, I didn't like the idea that passengers trying to get from one side of the ship to another walk through the restaurant. It was just like a motorway service station. We didn't go on any trips organised by P&O and we had a good time in every port taking trips or booking taxis ourselves. Next time I book a cruise it will more than likely be with Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
The dreaded flight to Acapulco. We left home for the drive to Gatwick at 11 pm on Thursday and arrived at the drop off point for the car at 3 am. We were first at the check in desk and only waited half an hour before they opened at 4 am. ... Read More
The dreaded flight to Acapulco. We left home for the drive to Gatwick at 11 pm on Thursday and arrived at the drop off point for the car at 3 am. We were first at the check in desk and only waited half an hour before they opened at 4 am. My case was a couple of kg over but nothing was said so a very relieved me headed to the departure lounge! The flight was just over an hour late leaving Gatwick then well over an hour delay at the refuel stop - Sanford FL for us. I must say I was so dreading this flight but to be fair it was not as bad as I expected. It was not pleasant by any means being so long, but we did get there in one piece, just so very, very tired! After talking to others I think our Thomson flights were the best. By all accounts the Thomas Cook flights were much worse. The journey to Oceana was a bit hair raising! The driving in Acapulco is certainly interesting!! I must say, nothing we saw on the drive made me want to explore Acapulco further. Then we saw her, as magnificent as ever - our 18th month wait was over and our cruise had started. We arrived just after 8.30 pm. Our friends who had flown from Manchester had arrived at 11am so they had had plenty of time to settle in. I was so shattered I just wanted a shower and my bed so retired without going for a meal. I was in the shower when our cabin steward Camillo arrived to welcome us - much embarrassment followed and he disappeared until the following day! My hubby went for a quick drink and a snack with our friends but we were all unpacked and tucked in by 10.30pm! I had forgotten how small the cabins on Oceana were. Small but perfectly formed!! We spent our day in Acapulco recovering from the long journey (nearly 16 hours!) Spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around Acapulco but then spent an even more pleasant time 'chilling out' around the pool. Our first port of call was Huatulco in Mexico. No tour planned so walked around the shops and spent the morning on the beach. We thought it a lovely place with friendly locals and a charming open sided chapel on the beach. To sit in a pew and see the Pacific and Oceana 'parked' was certainly different! Back on board in the afternoon and another swim in the pool. I love swimming so spent a lot of time around the pool area! The only time my hubby got wet was on the white water rafting tour! San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. We just walked to the beach here and had a beer. Not much to see apart from dreadful poverty. You know, I'm not sure what I think about visiting such places. Are we helping their economy by our visits or are we rubbing their noses in it? I'm really not sure. That evening we sat with a gentleman who was robbed at knifepoint!!! He lost his watch and camera and according to him $500 - why on earth he was carrying so much money beats me! We had been warned not to wander off and on his own admission he did just that. Fuerte Amador. Nothing to say about this port as we had a lazy day on board. Panama Canal. What can you say about this? This was what we had come to see and we were not disappointed. A memorable day. Limon, Costa Rica. Really enjoyed this port. After reading Cap'n Jack's report Chris and I did the Sloth Sanctuary tour. I was not disappointed! Sloths are lovely creatures, we really enjoyed everything on this tour and would recommend it. Cost Rica, we found interesting and would like to see more of this country. Aruba. Another ok place if you like wonderful beaches, lots of hotels and lots of Americans! Wish we had done a tour here. I'm sure the island had lots more to offer than we actually saw! St Lucia. Followed Cap'n Jack again here and did the St Lucia Land and Sea tour. Another good one! The volcano - interesting and very smelly! The Botanical Gardens are lovely, especially if you like gardening. It was so hot and we were so tired, we really didn't appreciate them. The ride on the catamaran was amazing, we loved it! We stopped for 40 minutes at a lovely small beach for a swim. I loved that. Then the best of all - around 50 dolphins gave us the most amazing show that was such a privilege to see. The captain of the catamaran said he had been doing this job for 13 years and this was only the second time he had seen dolphins in this area. A memory that will stay with me for a long time! St Vincent. We had been told by lots of people that St Vincent was one island to miss. It was 'seedy' and there was nothing much to see!!! So we enjoyed our last day on Oceana. In retrospect this could have been a mistake! We had to be out of our cabin by 9 am on Friday, we were leaving for the airport at 2 pm so only had a few hours to pass. An hour of this was passed having a 'nosey' around deck 10 to see how the 'other half lives'!! We promised not to touch anything! So were given permission to look at the suites and mini suites. Wow! They are lovely. I thought at first, the mini suite was a suite!! Until we saw the suites of course! Another hour spent imagining ourselves in a suite and it was time to leave for the airport! The flight home was only 7 ½ hours and once again better than I expected. Overview This cruise on Oceana was certainly our best to date. She is still looking good and still the friendly ship we remember from our first cruise in 2006. I saw all the Headliners shows and the classical pianist both were excellent. Husband and our friends saw the comedian and enjoyed him. Over the 2 weeks our initial disappointment at not being on club dining soon went and found our first time on freedom dining worked very well. As we were always willing to share a table we never had to wait and quite enjoyed meeting new people each evening. I can now see the benefits of freedom dining and if we could have the same waiters each time would be quite happy with it. Though I still think club is still more of an 'occasion' and would choose it for our next cruise. The food and service was as good as expected. They were especially good at giving me a lovely dessert suitable for a diabetic. We spoke with a few who had diet problems and all spoke very highly of P&O. Dress code was kept by 99% I only saw a couple of people not in formal gear and they were not in the restaurant. To be honest, I found the slightly relaxed dress code to be great. Hubby especially liked not having to wear a suit. I did not wear anything different to what I would wear on other more formal ships - it's just that I didn't worry about it!! Everybody still looked very smart and apart from the men not wearing suits it didn't look very different. Digital Living. I had 3 computer lessons. Computer Maintenance, Digital Photography and All about Wireless - all were excellent and Simon the instructor was extremely good. All in all good value for money (£50). I learned such a lot. Being fairly new to cruising I cannot say if standards have dropped - I just know we had a wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship and enjoyed every minute of it. We are hoping to do a segment of the 2011 worldie for our next cruise. San Franciso - Hong Kong 38 nights. It will mean having to go next year with no cruise as we will have to save hard - I wonder if we saved hard enough could we manage a mini suite???!!! Me thinks its going to be a 'be nice to hubby few months'!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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