Following major surgery in 2011 we changed from long haul flying and first started cruising in May 2012, and solely with P & O, sailing on Arcadia, Aurora, Adonia and Britannia, so this cruise was our eighth with P&O company in under four years and because of our total dissatisfaction with the way P & O is run and in particular, Oceana, this will be our last with P&O company. Our problems started on arrival at the terminal to check in, as we always stay at ‘The New Place’ Hotel the night before sailing the Hotel provides us with a taxi to the port which has always arrived at about 11.45, and normally we have been on board by 12.30 to 1.30 without any hassle whatsoever. This time it was a complete farce and we waited in excess of four hours to board the ship, when I inquired as to why we were having to wait so long I was informed that this was a ‘New System’!! We had made up our minds even then because of this debacle that we would never be putting ourselves through this experience again. The place was over crowded, people sitting on the floor and everybody getting uptight, just the sort of attitude that is required prior to a cruise of a life time. Having got to the cabin which was very nice, but let down by dirty carpet and a very scruffy small balcony the windows of which were not cleaned the whole time we were on board, in fact that was the watch word for the whole ship. The ship itself is very well designed, in fact quite beautiful, probably the best we have been on, however it has been left to rot, there was rust everywhere and in port it looked very much like the poor relation to any other ship. The area around the pool has a magnificent wooden structure which is drying out and looks totally neglected, how lovely it would all look with a coat of varnish. There was too much work going on around the ship, it was reminiscent of a building site with banging somewhere everyday. The ship needs taking out of service for two or three weeks and completely refurbished. I was particularly annoyed by the fact that deck 7 was blocked on several occasions as I do like to ‘deck walk’ and I complained to reception who’s excuse was that it was essential maintenance! Rubbish these jobs could be done when passengers do not want to use the facilities, because at the end of the day who is the ship for? Passengers or crew?? We had opted for 1st sitting and as on all previous ships (with exception of Adonia) and confirmed by a printed sheet from the cruise personaliser, we entered the dining room at 6.30 to find people on our allotted table already eating, having arrived at 6pm. There was no way that we were going to interrupt their meal, so we excused ourselves and went to the Plaza, and we only returned to the Adriatic twice more because A. We found the waiters rude and brusk B. The food was of a much lower standard than usual on P&O and C. The people on our table were not welcoming (something that we have never had a problem with before), so every night thereafter we ate in the Plaza. The Plaza is a wonderfully laid out restaurant, however it is spoilt by dirty carpets, filthy upholstery, and badly stained windows. The food is plentiful but very bland, even when it had oriental dishes, they were bland. We found the waiters, of which there seem to be far too many, to be very rude and unaware of table manners when collecting plates or trays. They would lean across instead of going round us, and most of them gave the attitude that they didn’t really want to be there, so different from our last Adonia cruise where the waiter would even ask if you would like a tea or coffee and then go and get it for you. Although we ate 95% of our meals in the Plaza we were generally disappointed. On one occasion we complained about too much salt in a hot pot type meal only to be told that that was the standard. The Plaza experience was yet another reason for not wanting to cruise with P&O again. The ships entertainment staff (not the dancers and singers – they were fantastic) left a lot to be desired, you are obviously employing a much lower (and probably cheaper) standard of staff especially the assistant entertainment manager who A could not speak properly, his annunciation was deplorable, B his stage presence was amateurish and he looked scruffy. The only things that we enjoyed were the ports of call, which is why we booked the cruise in the first place, however we did make a complaint to the shore excursion desk with regard to the visit to NASA where we were kept waiting for such a long time that we were forced to miss out on lunch and their answer was – tough. We fail to see why we only spent one day in Charleston which then meant we had nine days at sea with only one stop in the Azores, I’m sure that an extra call could have been made somewhere to compensate i.e. Bermuda, then to cap it all, one of the engines broke down, probably due to lack of regular maintenance, which then caused a complete cock-up in Southampton and caused us a severe delay in getting home. The Captain gave the impression that he didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t speak coherently without umming and erring all the time. Total disaster never to be repeated with P&O.

Disastrous cruise on a rust bucket!!

Oceana Cruise Review by The Ruskington Oldies

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2016
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom with Shower
Following major surgery in 2011 we changed from long haul flying and first started cruising in May 2012, and solely with P & O, sailing on Arcadia, Aurora, Adonia and Britannia, so this cruise was our eighth with P&O company in under four years and because of our total dissatisfaction with the way P & O is run and in particular, Oceana, this will be our last with P&O company.

Our problems started on arrival at the terminal to check in, as we always stay at ‘The New Place’ Hotel the night before sailing the Hotel provides us with a taxi to the port which has always arrived at about 11.45, and normally we have been on board by 12.30 to 1.30 without any hassle whatsoever. This time it was a complete farce and we waited in excess of four hours to board the ship, when I inquired as to why we were having to wait so long I was informed that this was a ‘New System’!! We had made up our minds even then because of this debacle that we would never be putting ourselves through this experience again. The place was over crowded, people sitting on the floor and everybody getting uptight, just the sort of attitude that is required prior to a cruise of a life time.

Having got to the cabin which was very nice, but let down by dirty carpet and a very scruffy small balcony the windows of which were not cleaned the whole time we were on board, in fact that was the watch word for the whole ship. The ship itself is very well designed, in fact quite beautiful, probably the best we have been on, however it has been left to rot, there was rust everywhere and in port it looked very much like the poor relation to any other ship. The area around the pool has a magnificent wooden structure which is drying out and looks totally neglected, how lovely it would all look with a coat of varnish. There was too much work going on around the ship, it was reminiscent of a building site with banging somewhere everyday. The ship needs taking out of service for two or three weeks and completely refurbished. I was particularly annoyed by the fact that deck 7 was blocked on several occasions as I do like to ‘deck walk’ and I complained to reception who’s excuse was that it was essential maintenance! Rubbish these jobs could be done when passengers do not want to use the facilities, because at the end of the day who is the ship for? Passengers or crew??

We had opted for 1st sitting and as on all previous ships (with exception of Adonia) and confirmed by a printed sheet from the cruise personaliser, we entered the dining room at 6.30 to find people on our allotted table already eating, having arrived at 6pm. There was no way that we were going to interrupt their meal, so we excused ourselves and went to the Plaza, and we only returned to the Adriatic twice more because A. We found the waiters rude and brusk B. The food was of a much lower standard than usual on P&O and C. The people on our table were not welcoming (something that we have never had a problem with before), so every night thereafter we ate in the Plaza.

The Plaza is a wonderfully laid out restaurant, however it is spoilt by dirty carpets, filthy upholstery, and badly stained windows. The food is plentiful but very bland, even when it had oriental dishes, they were bland. We found the waiters, of which there seem to be far too many, to be very rude and unaware of table manners when collecting plates or trays. They would lean across instead of going round us, and most of them gave the attitude that they didn’t really want to be there, so different from our last Adonia cruise where the waiter would even ask if you would like a tea or coffee and then go and get it for you. Although we ate 95% of our meals in the Plaza we were generally disappointed. On one occasion we complained about too much salt in a hot pot type meal only to be told that that was the standard. The Plaza experience was yet another reason for not wanting to cruise with P&O again. The ships entertainment staff (not the dancers and singers – they were fantastic) left a lot to be desired, you are obviously employing a much lower (and probably cheaper) standard of staff especially the assistant entertainment manager who A could not speak properly, his annunciation was deplorable, B his stage presence was amateurish and he looked scruffy.

The only things that we enjoyed were the ports of call, which is why we booked the cruise in the first place, however we did make a complaint to the shore excursion desk with regard to the visit to NASA where we were kept waiting for such a long time that we were forced to miss out on lunch and their answer was – tough. We fail to see why we only spent one day in Charleston which then meant we had nine days at sea with only one stop in the Azores, I’m sure that an extra call could have been made somewhere to compensate i.e. Bermuda, then to cap it all, one of the engines broke down, probably due to lack of regular maintenance, which then caused a complete cock-up in Southampton and caused us a severe delay in getting home. The Captain gave the impression that he didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t speak coherently without umming and erring all the time. Total disaster never to be repeated with P&O.
The Ruskington Oldies’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom with Shower
Cabin JA B722
Reasonable size, but not much drawer or shelf space for a 35 night cruise, the balcony was extremely scruffy, dirty windows
  Oceana Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews