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18 Southampton to Caribbean - All P&O Cruises Oceana Cruise Reviews

Chose tgis cruise for 2 reasons....1 destination, 2 due to wife's fear of flying and this one left from Southampton. Cruise was excellent, destinations were as expected..gorgeous..with the exception of Guadaloupe...this was due to ... Read More
Chose tgis cruise for 2 reasons....1 destination, 2 due to wife's fear of flying and this one left from Southampton. Cruise was excellent, destinations were as expected..gorgeous..with the exception of Guadaloupe...this was due to the port city being very unwelcoming and quite run down All of the other islands were hugely friendly and we did not get the impression that the locals were out to "rob" anyone. Prices seemed fair for the most part. Highlights were Antigua where we swam with stingrays and St Kitts for its natural beauty. WE found the most social area of the ship to be the smokers areas where conversations were easily struck up, however when one band in particular were playing on the lido deck you coukd hardly hear yourself think never mind converse with others. Staff were always courteous and friendly... a special mention must go to Fernando a waiter in Tiffanys who was magnificently entertaining. Food was very good in the main. We were unfortunate enough to be placed at a table in the dining room with a couple who were overtly racist so we did not use that dining area too often. The watercolour art class was very poor as the instructor appeared to have a clique of people he seemed to know from previous cruises and he showed little or no interest in anyone other than those in the clique. Entertainment was at a standard one might expect. Talks....was put off attending more by the lady doing the talks on "communication"...her communication skills left a lot to be desired as she merely read from prepared script which appeared to be taken from magazines or other journals Overall, a great experience for our first cruise Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Caribbean and get some winter sun. During the first 4 sea days the sea was rough, everywhere we walked on ship we were staggering around. The captain commented in his midday address one ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Caribbean and get some winter sun. During the first 4 sea days the sea was rough, everywhere we walked on ship we were staggering around. The captain commented in his midday address one day that the ships decks were very quiet the previous evening. This was because a lot of people were either feeling sick or those with walking difficulties (of which there were many) had given up. In our cabin the wardrobe doors were swinging open, drawers were sliding out but more seriously was the fold away bunk bed on the wall which came crashing down during one big jolt of the boat. If one of us had been sitting on the bed it would have crashed down on our head. We alerted our cabin steward who removed a ladder and pillows from the bunk bed, he said that the pillows shouldn't have been in there. I informed reception what had happened because we were very concerned it would happen again. They sent up an engineer who stood looking at the fold away bed and said hopefully it wont happen again. Not very assuring so we requested to change cabin but they said the ship was full but they would let us know if another cabin became available, we never heard from them again. In future we will never stay in a cabin with a fold away bed on the wall. I realise that P&O cant do anything about the weather but having been on other cruises we found that Oceana was not stable enough to be crossing the Atlantic. It didn't take much of a swell to get the boat rocking about. In other respects we liked the layout of the boat and the position of our cabin close to the front lifts was ideal. The boat was kept very clean and in good order throughout which reflects that it has just been in for a refit. There were always plenty of sunbeds available at the top front of the boat. We chose freedom dining in the Ligurian and used this restaurant about 50% of the evenings. We normally requested a table for 6, always got seated immediately and enjoyed the company of other guests. The quality of the food varied and sometimes the portion sizes were very small. Unfortunately the food was rarely hot. Serviced was slow and there was no chance of making the 8.30 show unless you were seated by 6.30. Even arriving at 6.30 we often had to leave before coffee. We preferred evening meals in the Plaza which is a lovely large room at the front of the boat. The Philippine waitress girls who worked in the Plaza were an absolute delight and we enjoyed chatting to them. At least in the Plaza if you chose a dish which you didn't like or was not hot enough you could go back and choose something different. We found the food in the Plaza to be generally good. We also liked sitting in the outside horizon grill for a snack mid afternoon. Horlicks or hot chocolate in the Plaza around midnight also went down well. We love going to the shows and normally took in both the different shows at 8.30 and 10.30. Arriving 10 minutes before it started we never failed to get a seat. Obviously not every act was to our liking but generally we thought the entertainment including the headliners was very good. We also found a duo called Protocol were good fun and very entertaining and they appeared in the Winners bar most evenings. I enjoyed the Shuffleboard daily competition on the prom deck and we also both enjoyed the daily art classes run very competently by Mike Gaffney. On the way home the afternoon classical pianist and soprano shows were very good including the dramatic show where the piano slid across the stage in the force 12 hurricane wind. The entertainment team were amateurish compared to previous cruises. The entertainment manager was scruffy and completely lacking in confidence. The service by all staff throughout the cruise was good. The drink waiters must have been on commission because they were very keen. There were 8 black tie nights and 99% of guests kept to the dress code although it became laughable when some of the ladies wore high heals when it was difficult enough to keep your balance on flat shoes. Towards the end of the cruise although we still dressed appropriately we grew tired of the formal nights. We wouldn't cruise across the Atlantic again, it takes too long and the sea is too rough. It was a great adventure and we enjoyed visiting all the ports in the Caribbean but were a bit disappointed that it was often cloudy with light showers. The beaches were good but no better than what you can find in the Greek isles. Although we are in our mid sixties we were younger than most guests and I guess that's because a 35 nights cruise attracts more elderly guests who are retired. I am sure we will cruise again but probably choose a 14 night med cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Originally booked on the ill fated Oriana X801 cruise we elected to swop to ~ Oceana's E801 Caribbean Cruise in Jan 2018. One of the first things we noticed was the number of passengers coughing whilst awaiting to board. This ... Read More
Originally booked on the ill fated Oriana X801 cruise we elected to swop to ~ Oceana's E801 Caribbean Cruise in Jan 2018. One of the first things we noticed was the number of passengers coughing whilst awaiting to board. This seemed strange given that all passengers had signed a declaration minutes earlier that they did not have issues wiith coughs etc. Embarkation was itself smooth and efficient and soon in our cabin - an inside cabin on deck 10. The cabin initially appeared fine, however given the season of the year we did feel it was a little chilly. The next morning I reported the cold cabin to reception and they in turn notified Ventilation Services - or so they said. The next day it had not been sorted so it was reported again, and again on the following day. At this point I was told it had been fixed - my comments are not repeatable suffice to say I demanded an immediate ventilation engineer to my cabin. One arrived within 20 minutes and had to take the whole system apart to rectify the fault. As this took three days to resolve it gave us ample opportunity to tour the ship and witness men's urinals taped off, a rear lift under maintenance and the show lounge stage hydraulics broken. Now things can go wrong and I will be the first to admit this, but given the ship has recently come out of a 12 day refit these were things which should not have been wrong at the very start of the cruise, and in the case of the lift and the stage were never repaired for the duration of the cruise. Meals in the Ligurian Restaurant were generally good, although the service was often very poor and slow. It was not uncommon to sit for 15 minutes awaiting a table to be filled, and without being offered either menu or water. The buffet restaurant was often busy because a substantial number of passengers preferred to dine on an evening to save time. The food here was very average. If you liked curry then you were in for a treat - if you liked traditional British fayre it was available but often without a reasonable choice of vegetables. Sun beds were not a problem, although the laundrettes were. Most laundrettes had broken down washing machines during the cruise and the laundrettes themselves were tiny with only 2 washer/dryers in each. This often led to queues and friction. Ports of call were fine except for times in port and the fact that on three occasions port visits were either on a Sunday, or a Bank Hioliday. Despite cruise ships being in port - Aruba and Barbados come to mind the shopping centres were closed apart from a couple of tourist type shops. In fact in Barbados only Cave Shephard dept store was open but no coffee shop. Overall staff were excellent and hard working. Their were some exceptions but I think you will find this on most ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This is the second time we've opted for a long stay cruise on this ship. The embarkation and disembarkation procedure is first class. The ship is immaculately clean and every where you see bright, sparkling surfaces. We never look ... Read More
This is the second time we've opted for a long stay cruise on this ship. The embarkation and disembarkation procedure is first class. The ship is immaculately clean and every where you see bright, sparkling surfaces. We never look for anything other than a plain inside cabin as all we do is sleep in it. The entertainment staff excel in providing something for everyone, including football from the UK. I'm a picky eater but I never went hungry as there was always a multitude of eating options and dishes available. There was a good variety of tours available, being a wheelchair user I couldn't go on many but the two we did get on we're good La Caruna is a picturesque port with lots to see, the Iguana farm trip was fantastic (you can feed these vegetarians and be surrounded in seconds). The two speciality restaurants are very reasonably priced for a top class three course meal. Throughout this ship the staff are phenomenal them are unfailingly polite and professional, even in the face of some people who were an embarrassment. As the ship is only sailing for four weeks next year we're now considering the Ventura for next winter, if it's as good as the Oceana we'll be happy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We cruise a lot & don't normally write reviews but after reading so many poor ones about Oceana I thought I would do one. We picked the 35 night Caribbean and USA cruise on the itinerary. Have sailed Oceana before but as it was ... Read More
We cruise a lot & don't normally write reviews but after reading so many poor ones about Oceana I thought I would do one. We picked the 35 night Caribbean and USA cruise on the itinerary. Have sailed Oceana before but as it was 2009 can't really remember much about her so cannot do comparisons from 7 years ago. We were in a balcony on the roof (L324) and had been told it was under the buffet. We hadn't been told how small it was. Initial reaction was there wasn't enough space for 14 days, never mind 5 weeks, but everything did go in and I hadn't underpacked at all! The eateries, rather than food, were a problem and for the first few days we just didn't know quite how to deal with it. We had never before been on a ship were every piece of crockery and utensils in the Buffet ran out so quickly. By definition they have a high turn over of people so why wasn't there any plates....bowls... small plates... mugs? You name it they ran out of it repeatedly and the staff looked amazed when told. After seeing many people get (seriously)angry we decided the way to deal with it was to go with the flow and not be too proud. A grapefruit on a plate might look odd but it worked and so did tea made in a glass. They ran out of everything every day from start to finish and none of the staff seemed to know why. The Buffet does need a serious look at by senior management because huge amounts of food were prepared and left under lights. As the hours passed-literally-it just got more and more congealed so people wouldn't eat it. Wastage must have been huge. After three consecutive port days, all at different places, I went down to breakfast to find all crockery available and a ton of food just sitting there. On mentioning it I was told that "it was ready but nobody came". It doesn't take a mastermind to realise that folk would stay in bed a while longer after three intensive days. The main dining room (Club) was staffed by attentive and helpful waiters who just wanted to bring you extra anything; ice cream, vegetables, chips-you could have platefuls. Then there were the runner beans. The waiter (bless him) saw me laughing over runner beans yet again and carefully explained with a totally straight face that they were the harvest planted in the base of the ship for this voyage so they would appear many times. He was right. Again you had to go with the flow for the menus. What they said and what you ordered may or may not appear on the plate. Even on the gala dinner night the three chocolate dessert was only two. Oh yes for something different how about lobster and chips. Couldn't believe it when read but that was how it was served. The Headliners Theatre Company must be one of the most hard working around. Three shows a night and no repeats on the voyage. Take the hat off to them. Entertainment spaces are rather odd. There are two and they only hold 1100 people between them on a 2,000 passenger ship. Again go with the flow and learn to take a book or else get irritated that a seat can't be got. Well pleased with most of the entertainment and the Charleston singers whilst in port there were absolutely outstanding. On the voyage was a comedian that, that...well had the most people walk out of a performance that I've ever seen. I shan't mention his name as somebody may have liked him but all over the ship you could hear conversations going on as to how appalling he was. There was one lecturer who was truly outstanding. He held a large group of people totally in the palm of his hand as he talked about Ancient Greek trilogy plays. All his talks were equally well received, a masterclass in public speaking. The rest were just not up to his standard. Not into quizzes/bingo/drinking but there was a heck of a lot of them and all were very well subscribed so obviously enjoyed. Oceana was chosen for the ports and we generally weren't let down. Jamaica was the exception. Ended up in Tortola (BVI) on a Sunday-they were closed. Would have preferred to do Grand Cayman as the itinerary and forgotten the Virgin Islands. Shore excursions can't really comment about. The ship has a Promenade deck but it was roped off every day due to lifeboat work or something and, anyway, most of the time it was impossible to walk around due to deckchairs, loungers, shuffle board and quoits. All enthusiastically played by large numbers of the guests. Again we went with the flow and just moved up to deck 14 to walk. Oceana is going in for a "refresh" in November so we may look at her again. 4 stars have been given because we had a good time and the weather was truly exceptional (still sunbathing after the Azores on the way home). If we had allowed ourselves to get obsessed with small matters it would have only had three Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Overall, this was a very enjoyable cruise. It was our first time on the Oceana, it was a little dated ( refit in November 2017 ) but this added to the charm of this lovely ship. Built in Italy in 2000 you could see the Italian influence ... Read More
Overall, this was a very enjoyable cruise. It was our first time on the Oceana, it was a little dated ( refit in November 2017 ) but this added to the charm of this lovely ship. Built in Italy in 2000 you could see the Italian influence in the Decor. This was a 35 night cruise, so you are bound to have one or two minor gripes. But these were only minor and did not retract from the overall cruise experience. I will start with the very few negatives. 1, The cabins were built for small petite Italians. I found them rather small, but on the plus side it did make me more liable to take part in the many activities around the ship. 2, The entertainment at night could be a bit hit or miss. They seemed to put two similar acts on in the two venues, so if you liked one type of act you had a good night's entertainment. If you did n't you were stuck. 3, I have never been on a cruise with so many moaning people. Not P&O's fault I know, but some people aught to be thankful for the first class service on offer. Positives. Were can I start? The service offered by ALL staff was second to none. The waiters and Stewards seemed never to go to bed. The food on offer was first class, my waistline will confirm this. The entertainment was a very good standard, not many nights did we struggle to find something to watch. We were very lucky with the weather and spent most of the day on the lido deck, again with entertainment. I say forget any negatives you hear about this ship. This is a very friendly and well maintained vessel. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this particular cruise as it fitted in with other plans we have for 2017 and as we had not been on Oceana for many years, we thought it would be a nice change. We liked the itinerary. We went with another couple who are frequent ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise as it fitted in with other plans we have for 2017 and as we had not been on Oceana for many years, we thought it would be a nice change. We liked the itinerary. We went with another couple who are frequent cruisers like ourselves. Some aspects of the ship we enjoyed....the mid-evening disco, the quizzes and the excellent service from the crew. Our big disapppointment was the positioning of the quoits and shuffleboard . These took place on the promenade deck and it was a case of dodging the thoughtless passengers who took no notice of a game being played and just carried in walking through. There were also not enough seats on the promenade deck and quite often parts of this deck was closed for maintenance. The quality of,some of the food served in the dining room was also questionable. Fish was always excellent but steaks, beef and especially the lamb were of poor quality and badly cooked. We, and plenty others around us, were constantly sending food back. We did like the introduction of a daily sundae as an alternative to the main desserts. Another major problem on the ship was the air-conditioning which was very erratic. Some nights everywhere was freezing cold and other times too warm. They could not seem to regulate it. Apart from the rip-off currency exchange rates offered on board, the over-priced excursions and the inflated bar prices, there was little,else to,complain about. We enjoyed the fact that Captain Andy Willard participated in many onboard events. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our first time on Oceana and we found it to be a bright and well decorated ship. We particularly liked the Atrium open area which extends through 4 decks in the middle of the ship with glass fronted lifts gliding efficiently up and down. ... Read More
Our first time on Oceana and we found it to be a bright and well decorated ship. We particularly liked the Atrium open area which extends through 4 decks in the middle of the ship with glass fronted lifts gliding efficiently up and down. We enjoyed our early evening drinks on deck 7 there, entertained by a range of musicians, some more proficient than others. Our balcony cabin was small but acceptable, nicely appointed although our wall mounted hair drier never worked, despite being reported twice to reception. Fortunately we had a great cabin steward who found us a portable hair drier and proved to be most efficient throughout our cruise. The beds were very comfortable and the cabins well sound proofed. We slept very well. We opted for the fixed later dining option which did not always release us in time to find a seat in the most popular shows. The food was variable. My husband was very satisfied with the salmon option, (always available) and the desserts. I found the steaks to be tough, though the beef did seem to improve later in the cruise. Salads were often lacking in dressing. The best cooked food was the omelette at breakfast and we particularly appreciated the option to breakfast at a table for two. The food and wine waiters were very hard working and helpful. There were some good speakers on our sea days, notably Ann Widdecombe and a very good speaker on Theatrical history. The evening entertainment usually had at least one option which appealed to us. We also saw 4 recently released films in the Footlights theatre. Service from the mainly Indian staff could not be faulted, cheerful, friendly and anxious to please. We did quite a few of the organised excursions, highlights being New Orleans and Cape Canaveral. They were quite expensive but mostly enjoyable As we travelled in January the age profile of passengers was similar to ours (retired!) with just one small boy on board. We had many pleasant encounters with those we met. Our main complaint was the overamplification of the live music in the bars and round the pool. In small areas, does the piano really need to be amplified?. And round the pool, how nice it would have been to stretch out in the sun with no or gentle background music. Why do singers, drummers and guitarists feel they have to drown out conversation? Overall however, we enjoyed the ambience and friendliness and board and we are intending to do a similar cruise on they ship next year, we'll just have to bring our ear plugs! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We sailed on the Oceana to the Caribbean and America on a 35 night cruise and really had a wonderful time. Our first impressions of the Oceana was of a tired, older ship in need of a facelift, but if you weigh up the positives against ... Read More
We sailed on the Oceana to the Caribbean and America on a 35 night cruise and really had a wonderful time. Our first impressions of the Oceana was of a tired, older ship in need of a facelift, but if you weigh up the positives against the negatives it really is a lovely ship. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean, N C L ,Thomson and a few other P&O ships but must say this is the best for genuine staff interaction. The entertainment staff are second to none, they are so friendly and fun to be with. The visiting entertainment acts were mostly brilliant and varied, from singers to jugglers to ventriloquists, and although I did not attend the afternoon varied talks (well the sun was out), my husband thought they were great. Music quizes in the afternoons around the sunny pool were most enjoyable. The bar staff and waiters were lovely and I think because it was a fairly long cruise they enjoyed the interaction with the passengers. Our inside cabin was nice,, not huge, but big enough, We had great company in the dining room but we did not enjoy the food as much as with other cruise lines, so we often visited the cafeteria or had room service which was delicious and prompt. No problem. The alcohol prices were not overly expensive and there was a good variety. Most of the ports of call we loved, 3 days in New Orleans was the highlight for us, we did not like Montego Bay but that was our personal opinion. We went on a trip on the Everglades which was awful and we did complain about it to the excursion staff but did not find them helpful. A different trip to Cape Canaveral was fabulous and well worth the money. All in all I must say the cruise was such good value for money and a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Oceana. 8-2-16 – 14-3-16. We were offered a deal for this cruise and just couldn’t say no as the price was outstanding Our 1st cruise with P & O and we were looking forward to it expecting the usual with maybe a British feel. ... Read More
Oceana. 8-2-16 – 14-3-16. We were offered a deal for this cruise and just couldn’t say no as the price was outstanding Our 1st cruise with P & O and we were looking forward to it expecting the usual with maybe a British feel. We’ve always thoroughly enjoyed every previous cruise Embarkation at the Mayflower terminal was slow, when we arrived after our recommended time the terminal was completely full of passengers and the only place to sit was the floor (this was after travelling for almost seven hours). Two and a half hours later and we boarded Our cabin was ok, A414 the first cabin on the port side back from the front stairs/lifts. Loads of storage, a fridge and kettle. Had to chase the cabin attendant for toiletries and something for my side of the bed as there wasn’t any surface at all to put anything on, he found a stool which was fine. In time I found the cabin to be quite noisy, there is some sort of roaring behind the wall and at night this is a nuisance. The shower temperature had a mind of its own, we lost the use of the WC four times, the cold water was never cold at the sink, and the mattress wasn’t the most comfortable. But overall it served our needs We used the Plaza restaurant exclusively on deck 14 and couldn’t fault it. The menu was varied and the food superb, we could always find a table somewhere without a problem sometimes with a fabulous view. The waiting and serving staff were fantastic and incredibly efficient. We preferred the Plaza to the formal dining room as you can just turn up have your meal and leave if in your own time. We were “anytime dining” but you generally had to share a table or wait for a free table. That’s not a problem but the meal is then dictated by the slowest person on the table, so if you wanted to do something your stuck We enjoyed afternoon tea several times on deck 6 (4-4.45) and I think it was the best we’ve had on a cruise liner The ports of call were all fantastic and we were blessed with good weather throughout. The excursions booked through P & O were all well executed and the guides well informed. We also booked several independent tours and they also ran like clockwork The staff on Oceana are a real credit to P & O (with one exception on the excursion desk) they are more than helpful, I don’t think I’ve come across a better team on reception The entertainment left a lot to be desired. The daytime actives didn’t appeal to us at all and we found it all very flat (never experienced this before). The evenings were better with two shows at 8.30 and then repeated at 10.30 so you could do both shows if you wanted. We generally found to get seats you needed to be in place 45mins beforehand and even then on occasion you wouldn’t get a seat we missed several shows. Some of the shows were very good but a lot were average with some completely spoilt by the sound just being too loud (both theatres). Seats were hard to come by in the lounges The biggest niggle of the holiday was our fellow passengers, we found the majority of them just rude, if you moved out of their way on the stairs or in the corridors they just flounced on by, no manners at all! I’ve never heard a group of people moan and complain at every opportunity about the slightest thing. Some placing towels on sun beds before the sun even came up, then during the day disappearing for hours at a time again reserving the best sun beds with their towels! Most of them cruise exclusively with P & O and have done so for many years and constantly complain about slipping standards I felt that the formal nights were just too enforced, not especially by P & O but the passengers who just looked down their noses at anyone who didn’t follow the dress code. One evening I didn’t fancy dressing up and was told by a fellow passenger that “I had better stay in my cabin then”. So to eat in the Plaza restaurant and take in a show I followed the dress code, never come across this before. I agree that on formal nights maybe the Adriatic and Ligurian restaurants should ask for a dress code but come on we are all on holiday after all. On a couple of formal nights when I didn’t feel well I did stay in the cabin and ordered room service just to save the looks from other passengers Oceana does need a lot of TLC and could be described as tatty in places but it didn’t spoil our holiday one bit. I wouldn’t travel across the Atlantic on Oceana again as she rolls badly in the slightest swell, I don’t get sea sick at all but it’s not pleasant when you just can’t stand up without holding onto something structural. I would holiday on her again if in the Med or Caribbean We would cruise with P & O again but the price and destination would have to be something special to get us back. We feel that other cruise companies offer more Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just returned from a 35 day trip on Oceana 8th Feb - 14th March. Prior to setting off we had been advised that our overnight in Charleston was cancelled - no alternative was offered and of course no compensation. This ... Read More
We have just returned from a 35 day trip on Oceana 8th Feb - 14th March. Prior to setting off we had been advised that our overnight in Charleston was cancelled - no alternative was offered and of course no compensation. This resulted in 9 sea days travelling back across the Atlantic from the USA and 1 day in the Azores. During that crossing the ship developed an engine problem and we actually stopped in the ocean for a couple of hours while engineers fixed the problem. It resulted in slightly reduced speed and this combined with weather and channel issues meant we arrived back in Southampton at 10.35 a.m. and were not off the ship until around 2 p.m. Our window cabin was small but adequate but the shower room was very small and we did ask if we could change cabins. We were told the ship was full but they would advise us in 3 days if something was available. 10 days later we got a letter saying they were sorry nothing was available. During the cruise however we met people who, for various reasons, had managed to change cabins. The ship is in a very poor state and there was so much repair work going on throughout the cruise that it spoilt what should have been a nice relaxing cruise. Early on in the cruise we had a loud 'clanging' in our cabin from 8.30 a.m. for a few hours caused by workmen chipping off old paint prior to repainting. This happened a few more times during the cruise. Deck 7, the Promenade Deck and also the games deck (quoits and shuffleboard) was badly affected throughout the cruise with sections regularly sectioned off while repairs/painting was carried out. One night at 10 p.m. during a force 9 we witnessed a workman painting the railings on deck 7 - we could not believe that he was expected to carry out work in such appalling conditions. He did not have a safety line nor was he wearing a life jacket despite the rough weather! The food in the Adriatic restaurant was disappointing and the comments/jokes about the green beans were endless as they appeared somewhere virtually every night! Some steaks were very nice and some were very tough. The waiters were lovely and were very willing to change any meals that failed to impress and after some initial complaint about luke warm food matters improved and meals arrived on hot plates. There seems to be a lack of knowledge from Reception staff - we never seemed to get a valid reply from most. I wrote a letter to the Customer Services Manager two days before the end of the cruise and received no reply prior to leaving the ship and I doubt I'll hear from P & O. The feeling overall is that P & O standards are falling badly and they are not listening and don't even seem to care. Well, they better buck their ideas up as we will be looking elsewhere until we see a marked improvement. We have cruised on all the Cunard ships, two Royal Caribbean as well as Oriana, Adonia and Azura and this latest cruise has been the worst to date. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Friends of ours always travel P&O and had nothing but praise for them - until now. They asked us to join them on this 35 night cruise on the Oceana as they were celebrating their Golden Wedding and I would be celebrating my 70th ... Read More
Friends of ours always travel P&O and had nothing but praise for them - until now. They asked us to join them on this 35 night cruise on the Oceana as they were celebrating their Golden Wedding and I would be celebrating my 70th birthday shortly. The trouble started at embarkation. We were there on time for our embarkation time of 2.30pm. There was total chaos, nowhere to sit and the terminal was packed out - with people who should have been boarded before us. There were no apologies, no announcements and we finally boarded at 4.30pm only to immediately be called to lifeboat drill, which then left us struggling to get ready in time for dinner at 6.30pm only that had changed the time to 6pm and not thought to tell the passengers! I have to say after a lot of complaints, the times were changed by 15 minutes. The food I found was 90% good, our two waiters in the Adriatic restaurant were amazing. Our cabin was so small even though it was a balcony cabin, that we had to leave clothes in the suitcases as there wasn't enough room to hang them or put them away. The lounge areas furniture, what there was to sit on, was grubby, the cushions sagging and generally in a sorry state. There was continual maintenance going on so the boat smelt of varnish and/or paint, continual drilling and hammering most days, and decks were shut off so you couldn't even go outside for walk. There was also a strong smell of dampness on the boat generally. We stopped using our balcony as paint was continually flaking off and getting walked into the cabin or on a couple of occasions in our coffee. The public toilets kept overflowing and flooding, especially by the Starlights theatre and although they had dryers out there was no warnings about wet floors put out for the tiled areas. Lifts broke down several times, and there were a lot of disabled and infirm people aboard who couldn't use the stairs. In the Plaza restaurant, the carpets were taped together where they were worn which was a trip hazard for those carrying trays. On the way out the Bay of Biscay was so stormy three Windows broke in the Adriatic Dining room and one was still boarded up when we finally got to Southampton. At Port stops there was general disorganisation getting off the boat, and immigration at New Orleans was a joke! We lost half a day trying to get off the boat and through immigration. Two of our shore excursions were cut short by half an hour and places and stops missed out. They took a day off of our stay in Charleston causing a loss of enjoyment as we had arranged to meet friends there and stay overnight. One particular female on the shore excursions desk was particularly rude and unhelpful. At Montego Bay we were warned in no uncertain terms not to get off as it was too dangerous, and if we did, not to look like tourists! For heavens sake why stop there in the first place, there are plenty of other islands. The whole boat was certainly not fit for purpose for a 35 night cruise and I doubt even a 14night cruise. We stopped mid ocean for 4 hours because one of the engines went wrong and they could only get it working at 50% which mean as the engines weren't working at full capacity we had to reroute to Southampton arriving mid morning and another frustrating few wasted hours trying to disembark, we finally got off at 2pm instead of 9am. My husband and I saved hard to pay for this cruise which was a near total disaster and nowhere near value for money and we are writing to P&O outlining all of the problems and disappointment caused. We were even promised a bottle of wine in our cabin - guess what, it never appeared. Many people who had booked for next year have cancelled their bookings. Our friends now are totally embarrassed as they too were appalled by the conditions. No P&O never again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We sailed with P&O on the Oceana, leaving Southampton on 8th February (during storm Imogen) and returned on 14th March 2016. The ship is not too large and has reasonable facilities, with helpful staff. We had a balcony cabin on ... Read More
We sailed with P&O on the Oceana, leaving Southampton on 8th February (during storm Imogen) and returned on 14th March 2016. The ship is not too large and has reasonable facilities, with helpful staff. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11, right at the back of the ship, which is not to be recommended during stormy waters, as it moves quite a lot! We made the mistake of crossing the Atlantic in February/March, and found the crossings (3 days to Madeira and then a further 5 days to St Lucia) somewhat tedious, especially since we were unable to access the outside decks during the bad weather. On our return we had 6 days at sea to The Azores and then a further 3 days to Southampton. We decided quite early on that we would vote with our feet, and never book with P&O again! Having cruised on Oriana 3 years previously, we were amazed at the reduction of standards since our last cruise. Our first impression didn't help, when it took us 2.5 hours to check in at Southampton. Many apologies for the delay were given, but no explanations! When we eventually asked reception on the ship to tell us why we were delayed so long, they explained that it was their new system, and this was the third time they had tried it, and each time there had been delays! Having asked for a table for 2 in the dining room, we were seated at a table for 6, at which each couple had asked for a table for 2. However we were told that there were only 2 tables for 2 at each setting, and they are allocated to guests who book as soon as the new brochure is published. Perhaps P&O should look at providing more tables for 2 if there is such a demand! The choice of food in the dining room was disappointing with a lot of red meat, watery frozen vegetables, and stodgy potatoes that didn't look or taste like potatoes! Food in the Plaza was plentiful, if a bit repetitive, and of medium quality, certainly not something to look forward to each day. Seats in the theatres were often hard to come by as people made sure they had their seat at least an hour before a performance began, sitting, reading a book whilst waiting, with little conversation taking place. Getting off the ship was always a but fight, with people pushing and shoving to make sure they were first off! However the debacle of New Orleans had nothing to do with crotchety old people, but much to do with lack of forethought by ship's staff. We had been warned that it would take a while and that the process of face to face immigration in the USA is slow. When were told to collect poor passports and proceed to immigration half an hour earlier than we had been told to report, we were happy! Once we reached the area where we were to collect our passports the fun began! Hundreds of people queuing with no order, and we were told off for coming down too early, even though an announcement had been made! From being told to collect our passports to the time we exited the terminal took 1.5 hours, but other people took up to 6 hours. It would have been more sensible for us to have collected our passports the day before, during a sea day. We had been told that our overnight stay in Charleston had been cancelled due to a problem with the booking of the berth. We had a 5 day crossing to the Azores ahead of us, but the solution to the problem was to give us an extra day at sea! No understandable reason was given about this, just general mumblings from the inarticulate captain, who could not give a daily briefing without umming and erring! With an unfortunate engine problem on our last couple of days, we arrived late in Southampton and were happy to disembark, never to return! Once again this was a shambles because of the late arrival, more people were self-help disembarkation, but then the area we were told to gather in was inadequate for the number of people. Our impression was one of no proactive management and a general air of no supervision. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
oceana is to say the least tired. Our balcony was rusty the carpet in the cabin stained and old and the bathroom tap had a bit missing. The wardrobe space is small and useless on a cruise of this length. The staff in the breakfast buffet ... Read More
oceana is to say the least tired. Our balcony was rusty the carpet in the cabin stained and old and the bathroom tap had a bit missing. The wardrobe space is small and useless on a cruise of this length. The staff in the breakfast buffet were surly and verging on rude although in the main dining room they were lovely as you would expect. The food was poor and repetitive especially in the buffet. One day at breakfast they actually ran out of fresh fruit how can this happen in the Caribbean? We are seasoned cruisers many times with P&O to whom we have felt loyal but no more. We would NEVER choose this ship again and have to question whether we would choose P&O as they obviously think that this was good enough when clearly it wasn't. The positives on this cruise were the itinerary which was wonderful the excursions guy,Sam, who wasn't there to just persuade you to use the ships excursions but explained how you could see the sights independently and how much this would cost. His knowledge of the history of the islands made the port talks very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I have cruised many times, mainly with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. For a change, we decided to try P&O. We did not enjoy the cruise at all for the following reasons. The food in the main dining area was terrible and the ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times, mainly with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. For a change, we decided to try P&O. We did not enjoy the cruise at all for the following reasons. The food in the main dining area was terrible and the cabin was extremely small and our first cabin was flooded within two days from a burst pipe in the corridor. We had to move for this reason to another equally diabolical cabin. The shower cubicle was so small as was the entire bathroom. The TV was old and outdated, with a screen so small it was impossible to view or to read anything written upon it. Halfway through the cruise the sewerage came blocked on decks 5 and 6. The maintenance crew were continuously working replace badly worn areas on this sad ship. The staff in general tried their hardest to make our cruise enjoyable, however we would not recommend this ship to anyone as it is outdated and not up to modern standards. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was only our second cruise and the first with P&O. It was perhaps a little adventurous to do a 35 day cruise when so relatively inexperienced but absolutely no regrets. We took a "select price" fare which for the extra ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and the first with P&O. It was perhaps a little adventurous to do a 35 day cruise when so relatively inexperienced but absolutely no regrets. We took a "select price" fare which for the extra cost allowed us to choose our cabin from those available and to dine at flexible times and choose to either share a table or eat at a table for two. It also gave us additional on board spending money - all of which we were glad to have chosen. We picked a balcony cabin on deck 11 and were very pleased with it, although as other reviews have said, the balcony doors could be noisy when the wind was in a certain direction and at gale force. Other reviews have mentioned ongoing maintenance being carried out but I'm not sure what else these passengers would expect. The ship (as with most others) are on immediate turn round and by doing this, increase ship utility and keep costs down in a competitive market. The price we paid after allowing for on board spending etc. worked out about £200 per day (or £100 each). For a balcony cabin, this seems to be a good deal. For those paying less for an interior cabin, no doubt fantastic value. I would rate the quality and choice of food available as superb and if purchased in a reasonable restaurant at home would no doubt cost at least £50 per head per day i.e., at least half the fare. So with the other half for cabin and travel, not to mention entertainment etc., I think brilliant value. Other passengers have mentioned falling standards but I would guess prices have fallen also as competition increases. I look back on previous package holidays and over the years there is absolutely no doubt that prices have fallen despite inflation. The falling costs have opened up cruising to everyone whereas 20 years ago, it was probably only the rich and upper class who could afford it. To be attractive to all now, cruises have had to change in what they offer but P&O have succeeded in doing this well so that classical music is available alongside more down to earth comedians; bingo available alongside bridge classes; art classes alongside line dancing. Full marks for such diversity. The Oceana is a lovely ship - big enough to accommodate space for all the above activities and more but small enough to be able to fairly quickly find your bearings. The crew were efficient and friendly. They are human beings who respond to friendliness with friendliness. Some who criticise have presumably forgotten the basics of human interaction! The ports of call were mixed. Montego Bay and Bridgetown very disappointing; others very good. Excursions were reasonable value. I don't think £40 for a 4 hour tour is expensive - try taking a taxi for 4 hours! Embarkation and disembarkation were exceptionally efficient. Overall we cannot wait to cruise again on Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first cruise. So therefore we have nothing to measure it against. BUT, How disappointed we were with several areas of this cruise. The food provided was worse than school dinners at times, and in some cases unfit for ... Read More
This was our first cruise. So therefore we have nothing to measure it against. BUT, How disappointed we were with several areas of this cruise. The food provided was worse than school dinners at times, and in some cases unfit for human consumption. e.g rice in a hot tray which was so coagulated, when attempting to put some on my plate, the serving spoon bounced off! It was also luke warm. Prawn curry with no prawns! Chilli con carne with no chilli in it! Flavourless food, apart from some curry dishes. Bacon for breakfast which had more fat than meat on it. Yuk! Over cooked veg. I could go on! The so called billed equivalent "West end style entertainment" was actually no better than a hi de hi style Butlins holiday camp type of entertainment. The bar drinks were expensive, lacking in alcohol, and on one occasion served warm when I asked for ice. £4.50 for a can of Guinness is well over the top! The wine is a crazy price too! If P&O sold it at a sensible price, more would be purchased, so it would be win win for all! The bar furniture was utterly filthy with engrained sweat, and stickiness from where drinks were placed on the chair arms. Who on earth would sit in them whilst wearing an expensive suit?? The so called sail away parties are nothing more than a sales gimmic, trying to tempt new custom from other nearby cruise ships. DONT BE FOOLED!! The ship is in dire need of a referb. The cabins were tired, in need of new door seals, to stop the wind from howling. The bathroom was just like an old caravan type, and lacking in cool water. The TV was dated, no facility for teletext. We even lost the sky signal on the way home due to a fault. Rust in evidence all round the balcony area of our cabin too. Workmen were in evidence most days, knocking and sanding the rusty rails on several decks. I have to ask why when a handrail running the length of the ship, has to be varnished, beginning at the end where people were still eating breakfast? The air conditioning all over the ship needs updating. It is unable to cope with Caribbean temperatures, and we lost count of the people on board suffering with a bad cough. On a plus note, we did get to places we would never got to without going on this cruise, and enjoyed the shore excursions, even though they too were pricey. (We don't like flying) We also had a very nice meal in the beach house, but why do we have to pay an extra £5 supplement to get proper food? This should, and MUST BE THE NORMAL STANDARD, without extra charges! We overheard many other fellow passengers grumbling abous all of the above in some degree or other, some stating "if you don't like curry you have had it on here" If P&O are to remain in this business, they really are going to have to do much, much better! People will vote with their feet and go elsewhere! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The main purpose of taking this cruise was to escape January in the UK and this it did although we were repeatedly told that it was the worst crossing weatherwise for many a year. On the outward journey we experienced very rough seas with ... Read More
The main purpose of taking this cruise was to escape January in the UK and this it did although we were repeatedly told that it was the worst crossing weatherwise for many a year. On the outward journey we experienced very rough seas with a severe swell although Captain Bourne did his best to make a detour around the low pressure. The weather in the Caribbean in January is by no means continuous sunshine although the sea and land averaged 26 degrees. The captain left us in Barbados, presumably to take his leave but with the changeover of cruise director as well later it did mean there was a little lack of continuity. As many have reported, the ship is showing considerable wear and tear particularly on deck despite the brave efforts of the maintenance crew who were out in all weathers trying to deal with rust and worn hand rails.Unless the ship is taken out of service(apparently not due until Autumn 2017)problems will nodoubt continue to occur such as leaking pipes ,malfunctioning toilets,failing tv mast. This was probably more evident on a long cruise with many sea days. We had an inside cabin which was very tight especially when set up with a double bed. It was almost impossible to access chest of drawers alongside and tv the only chair had to be used as a bedside table on the other side. The tv was woeful,the screen very small,making it almost impossible to read script ,but even that failed for the last week when the transmitter broke. Allocated 2nd sitting we are in the main dining room for dinner where the food was acceptable and we quickly learnt to pick the dishes where the quality could be relied on. Some of the dishes were strange to say the least and the standing joke was the predominance of green beans. The entertainment was repetitive and of variable quality.High lights for us was the ventriloquist and the lady who played the flute. The classical music performers were frequently better than the others but were not so well attended,probably because of the timing of their appearances, eg 4pm 7pm. Numerous quizzes were almost always won by the same people which became a bit tedious. Spa talks were inevitably centred round extracting money at exhorbitant prices. The Atrium serves as a wonderful hub but I was reliably told is woefully inadequate as a dance floor. It is also used for spa talks(have your issues discussed in full view of all passengers ?) and shopping mall/coffee shops/shore excursions/cruise bookings which leads to a busy atmosphere. Ports of call Madeira walked around (free wi fi in shopping arcade and Mc D) Antigua taxi prices are fixed by state and we'll organised Barbados lovely beach within walking distance of ship St Lucia taxis Beach trip through ship was OK but did not like being lined up on sunbeds like sardines. Prefer to be independent but we learned for next time Grenada water taxi 4 dollars to beach byeater taxi Aruba Submarine trip enjoyed Panama great experience and beautiful clear hot day Roatan nice private beach short walk from ship. Shame there was a very cold wind Cozumel flat island did a tour OK Jamaica A number of passengers had bad experience here. Hassle by taxi drivers felt threatened. Tortola beautiful setting but town undergoing building works Would recommend the local bus tour 15 dollars St Maarten Very busy with several cruise ships in but good local beach and good for last minute shopping. Azores Trip across island to volcanic springs . A quiet pleasant island very green . Weather here was 15 degrees and damp but it was January. Then followed another stormy crossing of Bay of Biscay with captain trying to get ahead of Storm Imogen. In conclusion we enjoyed our trip mainly because of the price we paid made it excellent value for money and the staff and passengers with few exceptions were friendly, willing to have a go at most things and despite all the niggles were determined to enjoy themselves and be thankful they were out of the UK in January/early Feb Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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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