2 Malta (Valletta) First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two ... Read More
To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two a year. Alnong with two other very close friends we all decided that we would go on a cruise and selected Oceana for our maiden voyage together. We opted for a fly cruise for seven nights, flying out to Malta to pick up the ship. Our air transport was provided by TUI the newly branded Thomson airline. Even the cabin crew were getting confused with the change. Sadly this is where the cattle truck system does not make for comfortable travel. Myself, being almost 6ft and not too slim could just about squeeze into the seat. There was no legroom, fortunately I was able to change seats to an aisle seat where I could at least squeeze in with an arm rest placed in the upright position. As to being able to drop the table to a flat position, that was impossible. The upshot of this was that every time the trolleys went past my shoulders and elbows bore the brunt of the collision. It was no different on the return flight. Anyway, I’ve always believed that the flight forms part of the holiday so I would score this a poor 2 out of 5. On a brighter note our arrival at Malta was on time and we were swiftly directed out of the airport by a myriad of helpers brandishing P&O signs and on to coaches. Sadly these coaches had their seats crammed in to maximise the discomfort of tall or not so slim passengers. Some 20 minutes later we got off the coaches and stood in line whilst we all went through the process of being photographed and processed. This procedure seemed to take some time and the standing around in the heat was starting to wear thin by the time we actually arrived under our own steam onto the dock where the Oceana was tied up. We had been travelling for over 14 hours and I for one was getting tired at this time. Our ascent up the gangway onto the ship was very smooth and it was great to be able to sit in a comfy chair and grab a drink before finding our cabin. Initial impressions of the atrium and its lighting seemed to pick me up a little and i thought that if the rest of the ship is as welcoming as this then perhaps it might not be too bad. Drink, Drunk and we moved off to locate our respective cabins, directions were well signed and we soon entered the corridors for A deck. On arrival at our cabin our luggage was outside waiting for us. Brilliant! On opening the door and entering my first impressions were very good. Nice size for two of us with basically all that you need. On drawing the curtains and opening the balcony door there was ample room to sit and chill. Now it’s starting to impress me a little. We planned to meet by the lifts then go up to the sun deck for a drink or two before grabbing a light snack from the buffet. The sun deck was impressive although some fixtures and fitting looked as thought they had seen better days but I’m sure they were on the list of jobs to do. Dinner that evening was casual and the menu was very interesting. I chose for my main course Whole Wytch Sole, which when it arrived was not whole but de-headed, skinned and very over cooked to the point where it was inedible. I had no option but to send this back and chose a lamb dish which when it arrived was excellent. In order to keep this somewhat short as a review, the meals throughout the week in the Buffet and the Ligurian Restaurant were very good to excellent. The formal nights we all enjoyed and even got time to chat to one of the senior officers. Drinks were priced at hotel prices which was not too bad. The service throughout was very good. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. I for one used the gym a couple of times and was quite impressed with the available equipment. We spent plenty of time on deck either walking round the promenade deck or just leaning on the rail watching the world go by. Going in and out of the ports we visited would find us up on deck of on our balcony watching the procedures. We also did a couple of trips off the ship which we enjoyed but these really are documented by many that have gone before us. We went to a couple of shows which we all enjoyed and all in all spent a very enjoyable week. Needless to say I have now changed my mind about cruising. Would I do it again? Let me think? Yes of course! In fact we have already booked our second cruise on Britannia for 14 nights out of Southampton. No more fly cruises though! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We thought the ship was magnificent and the crew first class.Special mention should be made of the cabin steward and the waiting staff in the Velvet Lounge who were exceptional.The food we found was not as good as expected and the helpings ... Read More
We thought the ship was magnificent and the crew first class.Special mention should be made of the cabin steward and the waiting staff in the Velvet Lounge who were exceptional.The food we found was not as good as expected and the helpings were small.Saying this you could have as many courses as you wanted and we did not leave the table hungry.Our main criticism was concerning the tour staff. We had booked tours at every port but we're only told the Monday before we sailed that the tour to Portfino had been cancelled. We asked how we were to be refunded but they were no help at all and we are still awaiting the refund.The two members of staff thought it was a big joke and one of them was chewing gum.We later found out that the tour operators wear MSC livery but work for some faceless company.The tour to Capri was really enjoyable but we were not told anything about the island by the tour guides. No mention was made of famous people who had resided there such as Axel Munthe and Gracie Fields.The ferry to Capri was not particularly clean and the toilets on the island were a disgrace. The tour was about an hour too long because towards the end it was dark. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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