Oceana Cruise Review by riza22
- Sail Date: February 2016
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom with Shower
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.
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