1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Oceana Review
  5. Oceana Cruise Reviews
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise manly because of the itinerary and we weren't disappointed Embarkation was log winded with flights, security checks etc but went as smoothly as possible. Disembarkation was very good, our bags were taken from our ... Read More
We chose this cruise manly because of the itinerary and we weren't disappointed Embarkation was log winded with flights, security checks etc but went as smoothly as possible. Disembarkation was very good, our bags were taken from our cabin & next time we saw them was at Gatwick, we were able to stay on the ship until a few hours before our flights, compare this with Royal Caribbean who chuck you off the ship at 8:30am regardless of the time of your flight It's fair to say that Oceana is ready for her refit in December, some areas were refurbished on the last refit but a lot of the décor is dated, there is a lot of fake brown wood, lots of lights not working in various venues, saying that we found that the ship was friendly and comfortable, we could always find somewhere to sit inside and on deck our inside cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our lovely steward, again the décor was very dated but the bed was comfortable and there is lots of storage The food was excellent, we enjoyed our meals in the restaurant where I had the most amount of vegetarian dishes to choose from I've ever seen, the buffet was also good with lots of fresh salads, we also eat in Le Jardin and the Beachouse which again was excellent The resident headliners on Oceana are the best we've seen, the lady comedian and magician was very funny, the singer Anna Hawkins was absolutely brilliant. Both guest speakers were interesting and my wife enjoyed her art class, there are lots of quizzes and activities to take part in if you want to The crew were friendly and worked hard, no complaints about the service We didn't do any excursions so can't comment on those Dubrovnik- used the free shuttle bus to the old town and took the cable car for amazing views over the city and bay, the old city is interesting but very busy Venice- took the ferry service straight to St Marks Square then followed the yellow & white signs back to Piazzale Roma where you can get the people mover back to the ship Hvar- beautiful place, tender boat from the ship, picturesque harbour and town, walked up to the castle where the views are stunning Split- another lovely port, spent some time in the walled city and climbed the tower where you are rewarded with views of the city, then spent some time on the beach not much sand but good for a paddle and had a nice lunch overlooking the sea Valletta- Is a lovely city built out of warm sun coloured limestone, we caught a public bus to the ancient city of Mdina which was very interesting, cost a couple of euros on the bus Civitavecchia- port for Rome which we have done before so had a look around not much to see and a bit scruffy Ajaccio- went to the beach and swam in the clear blue sea! it's round the headland from the ship, the town it's self is pretty with interesting squares and streets Naples- big and busy city with mad drivers! took a ferry to Sorrento which took about 40mins, you get the ferry from the dock to the left of the ship Messina- you need to go out of Messina to see a better side of Sicily, there is a square with a clock tower but it's not an attractive place with a lot of graffiti and rubbish We really enjoyed our cruise and would like to sail on Oceana again after her refit, there was the right amount of shore time and time to relax on the ship Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We really enjoyed our two weeks on the Oceana. It is a beautiful ship both inside and out, and contrary to some of the other reviews the food was excellent and the service first class. The Café Jardin was very good value at only ... Read More
We really enjoyed our two weeks on the Oceana. It is a beautiful ship both inside and out, and contrary to some of the other reviews the food was excellent and the service first class. The Café Jardin was very good value at only £7.50 extra per head. Outstanding were the Headliners theatre company - other reviewers must have seen a different cast - their shows were remarkably well done. The talks by the lady pilot were most interesting. The ship layout is a bit quirky - not all the lifts go to all decks which takes some getting used to; and a few things were out of order. We did however notice that standards were slipping a bit in terms of the dress people were allowed to getaway with in the evening. But the overall feeling was that it is a happy ship. The tours were very good, and gave an interesting introduction to countries which we had no yet visited. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were attracted by the itinerary and reasonable pricing but the cruise was a bit of a let down. The ship (and some of the staff) seemed tired and the entertainment was modest when compared to other cruise lines. The Cafe Jardin was ... Read More
We were attracted by the itinerary and reasonable pricing but the cruise was a bit of a let down. The ship (and some of the staff) seemed tired and the entertainment was modest when compared to other cruise lines. The Cafe Jardin was a big dissapointment. Not worth paying extra for and in all honesty best avoided. This cruise line seems stuck in the past. The staff were polite enough but no one seemed to have any zip about them. Embarkation in Malta was quick and efficient. Staff in casino were friendly enough and the couple of tournaments organised were good value, well run, and not intimidating for novices like me. However, the casino is small and the slot machines (like the rest of the ship) were very dated. If you pick a cruise which includes Sibenik please note you need to get a tender and a coach to get there. Not really worth the effort and P&O should look at other ports in the area instead e.g. Split. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise ... Read More
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise was a completely different experience to our last one! This was a 7 day cruise out of Malta, travelling up the Croatian coast to Venice and return. The itinerary was interesting, and in spite of some inclement weather, we enjoyed our ports of call and the overall cruise experience. Green beans were still the vegetable of choice in the dining room, but at least there was a slight change in that they mixed the beans with peas, but having said that, food in the dining room and buffet were improved from our last cruise in February 2016. Entertainment this time was great, with good variety and a positive attitude by the entertainment staff. The overall age of guests was much younger than on our last trip, and so we learned that an extended cruise out of Southampton is not for us, but we may even return to Malta next year and continue where we left off. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Cruise chosen because P&O treat passengers like adults, ports of call, variety of reasonably priced trips, `live' performers, bonded luggage scheme and a few new ports for us to visit. Oceania is due her refit and it was slightly ... Read More
Cruise chosen because P&O treat passengers like adults, ports of call, variety of reasonably priced trips, `live' performers, bonded luggage scheme and a few new ports for us to visit. Oceania is due her refit and it was slightly noticeable but did not detract from the top rate service. A beers and standard drinks package would have been welcome in addition to the soft drinks, coffee and wine schemes. The Headliners show team were top of any teams that we have seen over many years of cruising and mostly sang live where possible. We never felt pressured into buying stuff that we were not interested in, although there were plenty of add on's and specials for people who like that sort of thing. The three paid trips we made (Butraint national park, Spinalonga and Cetina river) were very good in terms of interest, timetable, tour guide information and historical facts. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
A fly-cruise is the only logical way to get to more-distant destinations if many additional ‘sea-days’ are to be avoided. Despite all of the hassle involved with flights from and to Gatwick, this turned out to be a ... Read More
A fly-cruise is the only logical way to get to more-distant destinations if many additional ‘sea-days’ are to be avoided. Despite all of the hassle involved with flights from and to Gatwick, this turned out to be a highly-enjoyable seven-night cruise from and to Malta, taking in some fantastic destinations. It was our first time in Valletta and likewise the four further ports of call – Piraeus (for Athens), Heraklion (Crete), Katakolon (for Olympia) and Sarande (Albania). The weather was exactly as one would expect for late August in the Mediterranean – consistently hot and sunny. Excursions to the Acropolis and Olympia were the highlights for us. Sarande was hardly in the same league as the other ports of call and although close to Corfu (which would have been a far preferable destination), apparently the ship had called there in the preceding week (many of the passengers on our cruise being in the second week of a two week cruise; P&O offering ‘back to back’ cruises taking in either seven or fourteen nights around the Mediterranean). The ship was full and age-ranges ‘across the board’, but with perhaps an emphasis on ‘middle-aged without children’, even though the cruise was in school holiday time. ‘Oceana’ itself remains a generally very pleasant experience. We last cruised on her in 2014 and I would imagine that there has been no interim refit. This must certainly now be close, assuming our cabin (and especially the ‘bathroom area’) to be typical of all on the ship. There was nothing really too wrong with our midships balcony-cabin, but it was perhaps beginning to look a bit tired here and there. It does have to be said that the cold running water was never cold and the shower was hardly ‘gushing’ – as we had very recently experienced on ‘Adonia’. At the next refit, fixed-head showers should be replaced with showers on a flexible hose – for obvious reasons. Since P&O have apparently re-negotiated the contract for the supply of tea, it’s a pity that the in-cabin caddies bear logos which are a throw-back to better times when everything was supplied by the acknowledged up-market producer. We considered the food to be consistently excellent and cannot really understand the need to even think about booking one of the ‘select dining’ experiences (with their additional cover-charges). We were on a table of four (second sitting) in the ‘Adriatic’ restaurant – the fixed seating being far more to our liking than ‘freedom dining’, which I believe was the case for those allocated to the ‘Ligurian’ restaurant No complaints either about the self-service arrangements in the ‘Plaza’. This time, we did not take in any of the on-board entertainments (there was really no need; out all day –other than on sea days – and then the pleasurable experience of an unhurried dinner), so no comment can be made in this regard. TWO TIPS: (1) Whereas when cruising we usually have (at least!) a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s comprehensive wine-list at dinner, this time we preferred longer cold drinks (beers and soft alternatives). Do not buy these in the restaurant as they will only offer small bottled options (requiring two at a time). Buy your long drinks from one of the bars (we used ‘Winners’) at half-the price for the same quantity and simply take them in with you. (2) If you are new to fly-cruising (as we were), make sure that you establish on day one (even if only in broad principle) what the arrangements will be when it comes time to leave the ship. This turned out to be an important lesson for us as we had a late flight from Gatwick and a similarly late flight back. We had (wrongly as it happened) assumed that we would be invited to vacate our cabins early on the last day and similarly vacate the ship early. In fact, for those departing in the late afternoon the requirement to vacate the cabin early remain, but it is then possible to come and go from the ship as you like on the final day, enjoying all of the usual amenities. Before we left home, we had pre-booked the excursion ‘Farewell to Malta’ as we thought this would be a good use of our time and get us to the airport. There was no need. Coach transfers are arranged for all departing passengers at a sensible time and so we would have effectively ‘wasted’ the free-transfer if we had gone ahead with the tour. However, the arrangements for departing passengers were only issued on the last but one night – and that meant when we came to try and cancel the tour (which was no longer relevant), P&O looked to invoke ‘the small print’ which says that no refunds for tours can be given for tours cancelled within 48 hours of departure’. To their credit, P&O did acknowledge that we had a fair point, since none of this is evident from the website when you are ‘encouraged’ to book your excursions early, and accordingly found a way of refunding 90% of the cost of the tour. Be warned! Overall, a great cruise. Would we take another fly-cruise and on this ship? Yes. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this as we had one week to spare and wanted hot weather. On embarkation we weren't sure of having chosen a smaller and older ship. The buffet food on that day wasn't great but after that the best freedom dining food we had ... Read More
We chose this as we had one week to spare and wanted hot weather. On embarkation we weren't sure of having chosen a smaller and older ship. The buffet food on that day wasn't great but after that the best freedom dining food we had experienced on any of the other ships. Michelin standard every night and we are fussy eaters. Crew were wonderful and service 100% Amazing and perfect week. Didn't like the port of Sarande much but apart from that couldn't fault it. The disembarkation was impeccable as was the organisation throughout our stay. Fantastic value for money even though we paid more than a lot of other cruisers for the same holiday.Thank you so much P&O for another amazing memory. Just sad to say goodbye! Next off to the Caribbean and counting days already. With regards to the entertainment Ukebox were super as was The Michael Buble tribute. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We booked this late as they were offering a good price and we thought it covered Verna’s birthday. We flew from Manchester on a P&O charter flight, which was well organised, the luggage was taken off us and we didn’t see it ... Read More
We booked this late as they were offering a good price and we thought it covered Verna’s birthday. We flew from Manchester on a P&O charter flight, which was well organised, the luggage was taken off us and we didn’t see it until we got to our cabin. The flight was smooth and uneventful landing about six thirty the coaches were waiting and with one of the most speedy booking-in I’ve known. By the time we reached our cabin our cases were there waiting for us. Being an older, smaller ship there was the odd patch of rust about the worst being the state of the windows, they looked as though they needed a scrape rather than just a wash, they were filthy. The cabin was smaller than we were used to and the layout was more cramped, when you used the toilet your knees were in the doorway or so it seemed. We had anytime dining in the liguane restaurant this was at times very slow although we did have one set of waiters which were very speedy. The other restaurant was the Adriatic which had set dinning. The Buffet in the Plaza was strange it only had one section right in the front half of which was commandeered at night to form the beachcombers’ specialty dining room, so it made it very busy in the evening with lots of jostling for seats. The food was good on the occasional night we didn’t find anything to our liking so we went to the plaza which had a bigger choice. When we were on the Oceana on previous cruise we found the service especially in the plaza to be bad with tables still with dirty plates, I’m glad to say this time they were brilliant and they appeared as if by magic at your elbow the moment you finished. The entertainment was geared to music, you could have any type you wanted it was everywhere. They told us that the entertainment team was two members down this was why there were few quizzes and the like this was disappointing to us being in the ‘ancient’ class. They had the ‘house’ dancers and singers who did a really good job, but why did the put them on in the lounge where the stage was small and there was very few props. Having traveled the med before we were only interested in three ports, Sarande Albania, Sibenik and Zadar Croatia which are apparently new to the cruise circuit. All three places were attractive and interesting the people were friendly but the names and signs were a tongue twister to try to pronounce. Our best stop was Venice, having been before and knew our way around, this time we found a mass people mover just outside the dock gates which took us to the bus station which is the beginning of Venice and only one fifteen euros. Before we went we had heard that the weather was hot, when we got there it seemed impossibly hot, although the ship had air-conditioning it was a struggle to cool down and we had to sleep on top of the bed in attempt to keep cool. I’m glad to say after a few days the temperature dropped to a cool’ twenty nine Celsius which made life a bit bearable. As our P&O charter flight was not until the evening we were allowed to stay on board unlike other companies which dump you at the airport hours before your flight. And another slick operation bused us to the airport, I must give praise to the Malta immigration people for the slick way they got us through passport control, having heard about huge queues in European airports I was a bit worried this might happen here. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Just back from our 7 day holiday on P & O Oceana from Malta to Venice and back. We travelled with our 2 daughters and son and his wife and were in 3 cabins next to each other. This was all their first experience of cruising. Oceana is ... Read More
Just back from our 7 day holiday on P & O Oceana from Malta to Venice and back. We travelled with our 2 daughters and son and his wife and were in 3 cabins next to each other. This was all their first experience of cruising. Oceana is an older ship but don't let that put you off from travelling on her. All I can say is we had a wonderful time together and the holiday exceeded our expectations. The ship is lovely and it is difficult to fault the food on board and in the main restaurants. The service is excellent. We all had balcony cabins and had these all opened up so we could be together. The balconies are a little on the small side but that is really being picky. As previous comments have stated the beds are awesome. All the family enjoyed themselves and want me to book again for next year. Will do finances permitting. Read Less
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
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

Find a Cruise