Having thoroughly enjoyed last years cruise on Oceana we certainly felt things had changed this year. The Thomson flights were acceptable, transfers and embarkation all very good as usual with P+O. As we had saver fare we got our cabin allocated (A715) and dining which was (again) fixed at 8.30pm, so for the second year with didn't bother with the MDR which is no loss to us. Our cabin was high, starboard at the rear, so more movement felt this year but nothing untoward, the balcony a first for us was welcome but small and tbh we didn't sit on it much, more of a viewing platform ! it was under the Lido deck and the only noise from above was the odd heavy footed passenger during the day. The cabin itself was functional but tired, small tv and limited channels, the cabin was kept tidy though by the pleasant stewardess. Beds and pillows we're very comfy. As i said we don't use the MDR, so the buffet is our haunt, food very much canteen style, heavy on Indian and Chinese we thought, too much so. Food is acceptable but nothing special (watery custard, watery mash, poor meat joints spring to mind) as a buffet its quite small and limited, lets say in comparison to the huge Egyptian spreads in hotels we visit. The desserts are generally tasty though. As with any buffet it can look a bit untidy at times and picked over, more front of house staff needed we thought. Service in the buffet for drinks and table clearing etc is apathetic and lackluster, staff seemed unmotivated, more so than last year. Oh and the dress code is now not enforced in the buffet, t-shirts, shorts flip flops all now allowed, i did ask the manager directly and he said said it was because of customer back lash on challenge ! The rest of the ship as we know is old and tired now but still fully functional and P+O do a great job of sectioning off areas to suit all tastes, the quiet promenade deck for reading and snoozing, front of ship for quiet sunbathing, center of ship for you party folks and the adult rear section for peace and quiet, the odd kid did stray to the rear and unfortunately wasn't advised by staff. Ports of call we're all very nice and well handled, shame as with all cruises excursions are over priced, just one tender port, Sarande. Entertainment and the theaters all excellent as last year with some good shows as usual. So the main point of change for us, STAFF, on the whole just so apathetic and un-engaging, so different from what we remember. Examples, no drinks offered for 2 hours round pool, approached bar for water told "over there ! ", served at Horizon Grill with not a single word, plates left on breakfast tables 30 mins+, staff passed in corridors in silence, served at meat station in buffet again in silence etc etc, all on there own small things but as a whole do not really equate to any form of "service". We filled in the on board questionnaire and reduced our "auto gratuity" by 50 % as we really felt we received little to no service above semi acceptable, where as last year it would never have crossed our mind to do so. So overall we did enjoy the cruise i promise ! P+0 still do well in a lot of areas but this ship desperately needs its anticipated re-fit and for me P+O need to decide where in the market they want to be as at the moment they seem unsure. This year we went straight to P+O for our second cruise without thought next ...sorry P+O i think we may try elsewhere.

Not as good as last year

Oceana Cruise Review by wazza99

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Having thoroughly enjoyed last years cruise on Oceana we certainly felt things had changed this year.

The Thomson flights were acceptable, transfers and embarkation all very good as usual with P+O. As we had saver fare we got our cabin allocated (A715) and dining which was (again) fixed at 8.30pm, so for the second year with didn't bother with the MDR which is no loss to us.

Our cabin was high, starboard at the rear, so more movement felt this year but nothing untoward, the balcony a first for us was welcome but small and tbh we didn't sit on it much, more of a viewing platform ! it was under the Lido deck and the only noise from above was the odd heavy footed passenger during the day. The cabin itself was functional but tired, small tv and limited channels, the cabin was kept tidy though by the pleasant stewardess.

Beds and pillows we're very comfy.

As i said we don't use the MDR, so the buffet is our haunt, food very much canteen style, heavy on Indian and Chinese we thought, too much so. Food is acceptable but nothing special (watery custard, watery mash, poor meat joints spring to mind) as a buffet its quite small and limited, lets say in comparison to the huge Egyptian spreads in hotels we visit. The desserts are generally tasty though. As with any buffet it can look a bit untidy at times and picked over, more front of house staff needed we thought. Service in the buffet for drinks and table clearing etc is apathetic and lackluster, staff seemed unmotivated, more so than last year.

Oh and the dress code is now not enforced in the buffet, t-shirts, shorts flip flops all now allowed, i did ask the manager directly and he said said it was because of customer back lash on challenge !

The rest of the ship as we know is old and tired now but still fully functional and P+O do a great job of sectioning off areas to suit all tastes, the quiet promenade deck for reading and snoozing, front of ship for quiet sunbathing, center of ship for you party folks and the adult rear section for peace and quiet, the odd kid did stray to the rear and unfortunately wasn't advised by staff.

Ports of call we're all very nice and well handled, shame as with all cruises excursions are over priced, just one tender port, Sarande.

Entertainment and the theaters all excellent as last year with some good shows as usual.

So the main point of change for us, STAFF, on the whole just so apathetic and un-engaging, so different from what we remember. Examples, no drinks offered for 2 hours round pool, approached bar for water told "over there ! ", served at Horizon Grill with not a single word, plates left on breakfast tables 30 mins+, staff passed in corridors in silence, served at meat station in buffet again in silence etc etc, all on there own small things but as a whole do not really equate to any form of "service".

We filled in the on board questionnaire and reduced our "auto gratuity" by 50 % as we really felt we received little to no service above semi acceptable, where as last year it would never have crossed our mind to do so.

So overall we did enjoy the cruise i promise ! P+0 still do well in a lot of areas but this ship desperately needs its anticipated re-fit and for me P+O need to decide where in the market they want to be as at the moment they seem unsure.

This year we went straight to P+O for our second cruise without thought next ...sorry P+O i think we may try elsewhere.
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom with Shower
Cabin JA A715
Nothing wrong really, no noise from public areas apart from odd heavy footstep off Lido desk, close to adult area for sunbathing but a long way from the buffet.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews