Boarding smooth with minimum waiting at Southampton, Once on board quick wash and upto the buffet (Plaza) while luggage arrived. Had a ham salad which was fresh then a scone which was anything but nice - just a blob of baked dough and has not improved. Meals at the Ligurian (free time dining) have been of a mixed standard and waiting staff very helpful and pleasant ready to replace dishes not up to standard, tried the Cafe Jardin for dinner which was worth the extra £7.50 each - but lunch there (no charge) was a mistake the tuna baguette was stale and soggy the quiche had its bottom burnt to a point of being uneatable we made our thoughts known and retreated to the Plaza buffet.
Our state room cabin Grade H8 balcony was a real disappointment, small cramped and worn with little storage space, we lived out of our cases. Bathroom dated and in urgent need of a make over, blocked shower cleared quickly.
Bar areas worn with faded cushions, staff are friendly, drinks reasonably priced - g&t £5.25, whiskey £3-£3.95 Costa coffee £2.10ish Americana always flat and never a crema but cracked it by ordering double expresso with hot water separate, beer £3.50/£4.50 pint, bottle 500ml £3.85. Wine plenty choice between £16 and £22.50 per bottle. No service charges on bar bills.
5 days onboard now. Dined at The Beach Club Christmas Eve paid a supplement of £7.50 excellent food with some dishes requiring a further charge. Plenty of choirs singing in various parts of the ship. Cabin annoyingly small as the cruise progresses. Friday the 30th now been onboard 9nights. Ligurian (free time dinning)food not of good quality and repeated dishes often, lots of moans and growns from fellow dinners, we have resorted to eating in the The Beach House and the Cafe Jardin for the rest of the nights aboard both have supplement charges but we feel its better to pay the supplement and enjoy the food,
Entertainment is probably the least entertaining of any cruise we have been on with one or two exceptions- String Idols and Pete Brew.
Ports of Call were the usual Caneries Ports we never took any ships tours as we like to do our own thing most of the berths the Oceana used were the farthest away from the town- shuttle buses were not always forthcoming or for invalid passengers only, at La Palma it was ship to town only no return - well over a km walk with no shelter from the weather.
New Years Eve at Madeira spent a pleasant day ashore by far the best port of call and the midnight party/shore fireworks watched by 4 other cruise ships.
Internet charges £7.50 to £25 per 24hrs depending on intended usage, no in and out once activated use it or lose it.
Navagation information is minimal other that the Captains daily progress report the cabin tv channel is unreadable with the stupidest map on any cruise ship we have been on, the map on deck 12 is just that a map and is not update.Come on PO we live in a digital world.
Finally feel conned to have paid. £3049k each in July - so called advance booking for a HE cabin when others paid less than £1000 each for better larger cabins on last minute deals.
Great Port of Call, Plenty to do