This cruise was booked as a transfer booking from an earlier cruise that had to be cancelled, whilst being able to transfer the booking it did mean we lost the little extras like free parking. Still retained the chosen dining option, and the free shuttle bus options. Embarkation was a touch slow due to having to wait for my partner to have assistance with boarding, following an operation that affected her mobility, all pre arranged prior to arrival. She was added to the list of People with Mobility Issues and allocated a wheelchair helper. Hold onto the fact that pre booking had been completed and documented prior to boarding. Weather in December across the Bay of Biscay is all you dreamed of, if you often have nightmares, but it added to the excitement. Out and back it was bumpy, the old gal was groaning at times, and the toll was telling as she shed some ceiling tiles, glassware, china, and Christmas Trees. Motion Discomfort (Sea Sick) Bags were deployed at the stairwells. The further south we went the calmer it got, Lisbon was nothing to really get excited about, Cadiz was better, Gibralta a one street shopping arcade, with Cartagena and Malaga just as one would expect, however the Chocolate and Churos were fabulous in Cartagena, almost a meal. Casablanca was a bit of a manic mystery, we had booked a shore excursion with the ship, and before arrival had a note about Foreign Office advice on Casablanca with a rider of there was nothing to worry about. Slightly later before arrival there was a notice of a change in the trips itinerary due to parking restrictions ! The trip was uneventful, though having a Driver, an 'Assistant' a Guide, and two of the ships crew posing as tourists make me think that perhaps Casablanca are not taking chances with tourists. All that said, it was a charming place and so different from what was expected, thoughts of Bergman and Bogey were way off, the place is a massive built-up city with manic traffic, you get a real buzz. Funchal was magical and just made the whole cruise, I understand that New Year is something else, I'd go back there for December again. Food was as you would expect, and service was generally acceptable, the speciality restaurants were noting special, there again the cover charge was only £5 a head, food was fine but service a touch off. Wine waiter delivered the bottle never to be seen again, sweets delivered to the wrong table, and LED candles. Not earth shattering but hardly special ! Cabin service was reasonable, though I did resent being lobbied for an excellent rating at the end considering the acceptable not outstanding service received. On arrival we had a flower in a vase, after it wilted and shrunk daily as the stem was trimmed, it eventually went, with nothing to take its place, I finished making up one from the daily 'what's on sheet' just to fill the vase, and the sweeties were never replenished. I know that all this is trivial, but if an attempt at being special is going to be made, at least make an effort, not half an attempt. Disembarkation was the ruination, I appreciate shifting and re-loading customers has to be organised, but having registered as needing assistance on, there was no trace of needing assistance off from Mrs Clipboard, despite the ships staff knowing of the reduced mobility. The guys wheeling the wheelchairs were brilliant, just Mrs Clipboard who would only recognise her list which I suspect was blank when she walked on board ! In conclusion, was it worth it, just about, would I go again, yes if the fare was right, did I enjoy myself, yes, there were great moment and not so great moments, but all in all enjoyable, would I go with P & O again, yes, again at the right price, but from this trip I'd suggest that they are no different from other package holidays, not quite as special as they once were. I have sailed a good few times with various lines, all have something good and something not quite so good, just book and enjoy.

A Fortnight Away

Oceana Cruise Review by willie.bobalong

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom with Shower
This cruise was booked as a transfer booking from an earlier cruise that had to be cancelled, whilst being able to transfer the booking it did mean we lost the little extras like free parking. Still retained the chosen dining option, and the free shuttle bus options.

Embarkation was a touch slow due to having to wait for my partner to have assistance with boarding, following an operation that affected her mobility, all pre arranged prior to arrival. She was added to the list of People with Mobility Issues and allocated a wheelchair helper. Hold onto the fact that pre booking had been completed and documented prior to boarding.

Weather in December across the Bay of Biscay is all you dreamed of, if you often have nightmares, but it added to the excitement. Out and back it was bumpy, the old gal was groaning at times, and the toll was telling as she shed some ceiling tiles, glassware, china, and Christmas Trees. Motion Discomfort (Sea Sick) Bags were deployed at the stairwells.

The further south we went the calmer it got, Lisbon was nothing to really get excited about, Cadiz was better, Gibralta a one street shopping arcade, with Cartagena and Malaga just as one would expect, however the Chocolate and Churos were fabulous in Cartagena, almost a meal.

Casablanca was a bit of a manic mystery, we had booked a shore excursion with the ship, and before arrival had a note about Foreign Office advice on Casablanca with a rider of there was nothing to worry about. Slightly later before arrival there was a notice of a change in the trips itinerary due to parking restrictions !

The trip was uneventful, though having a Driver, an 'Assistant' a Guide, and two of the ships crew posing as tourists make me think that perhaps Casablanca are not taking chances with tourists. All that said, it was a charming place and so different from what was expected, thoughts of Bergman and Bogey were way off, the place is a massive built-up city with manic traffic, you get a real buzz.

Funchal was magical and just made the whole cruise, I understand that New Year is something else, I'd go back there for December again.

Food was as you would expect, and service was generally acceptable, the speciality restaurants were noting special, there again the cover charge was only £5 a head, food was fine but service a touch off. Wine waiter delivered the bottle never to be seen again, sweets delivered to the wrong table, and LED candles. Not earth shattering but hardly special !

Cabin service was reasonable, though I did resent being lobbied for an excellent rating at the end considering the acceptable not outstanding service received. On arrival we had a flower in a vase, after it wilted and shrunk daily as the stem was trimmed, it eventually went, with nothing to take its place, I finished making up one from the daily 'what's on sheet' just to fill the vase, and the sweeties were never replenished.

I know that all this is trivial, but if an attempt at being special is going to be made, at least make an effort, not half an attempt.

Disembarkation was the ruination, I appreciate shifting and re-loading customers has to be organised, but having registered as needing assistance on, there was no trace of needing assistance off from Mrs Clipboard, despite the ships staff knowing of the reduced mobility.

The guys wheeling the wheelchairs were brilliant, just Mrs Clipboard who would only recognise her list which I suspect was blank when she walked on board !

In conclusion, was it worth it, just about, would I go again, yes if the fare was right, did I enjoy myself, yes, there were great moment and not so great moments, but all in all enjoyable, would I go with P & O again, yes, again at the right price, but from this trip I'd suggest that they are no different from other package holidays, not quite as special as they once were. I have sailed a good few times with various lines, all have something good and something not quite so good, just book and enjoy.
willie.bobalong’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Outside Stateroom with Shower
Cabin LA C632
Door closed and window didn't leak, shower worked, and the bed kept me cosy. Job done !
Close to lifts but no excess noises, a bugbear was having no direct route from cabin to dining room, only access to dining rooms from the Atrium, so down along / up along, and down, and during the evening Cafe Jardin blocked off one access route. Not a deal breaker just a bug bear for the less mobile, but overcome with the quest for food !
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