The mistakes of first time cruisers: Oceana Cruise Review by Christine Thomas

Oceana 5
Christine Thomas

Overall Member Rating

The mistakes of first time cruisers

Sail Date: July 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
This was our first cruise, arrived to check in at 2:00pm long queues took around 3/4 hour to check in but once we were finally in most of our suitcases were ready and waiting for us outside our Cabin (Some were still being sorted.) Once we were more or less sorted after the safety drill we had a wander around the ship trying to get our bearings, it was quite confusing we saw well more heard than saw the band playing us off from down below on land.

We had chosen freedom dining which meant we could eat at any time we wanted between 6-9 pm provided there was a table free We generally had a table to ourselves, sometimes we shared with others. The restaurant staff were excellent! The food was lovely - plenty of choice!

Sun beds were not easily available as the same people were reserving beds early on in the morning despite the fact that they were not meant to. There are 2 main pools and a few jacuzzi's dotted around the place there was also a pool for 16+ The pools were More rather disappointing as they were so small.

The entertainment was good and the Star Caberets were mostly excellent. Some nights though with certain popular performers you needed to get in early or you'd end up standing for the show - which was not so good for the 2nd seating diners.

Our daughter (13) didn't bother with the kids club too much, but there is a good variety of activities for children.

The photographers were good bu a bit of a pain every evening trying to take your picture. Less

Published 08/16/10

Cabin review: CC426

We were in a cabin on deck C (3 floors down)we were inside cabin people there were 3 of us and there was sufficient storage space for all of our clothes and belongings although to make more space we stored our suitcases under the beds. We had a very good Cabin steward and our room was kept very clean, our towels were replaced morning and evening and we were provided with a small chocolate before bed a nice touch! Our deck was more or less quiet apart from a few children running around now and again not enough to complain. The cabin was a bit outdated, the television was old fashioned and could do with replacing but the signal on channels was reasonable, but the variety of programmes was limited. The toilet seat in our room was well worn but clean, also the hair dryer and kettle could have done with replacing as they were old, and the hair dryer was not powerful enough. Our daughter had a pull down bed and she found the mattress a little too thin but comfy enough, but overall our cabin was very satisfactory.

Port and Shore Excursions

We had a half day trip in Barcelona, the guide was good but it was a little tedious. The Gaudi building were interesting to look at but the Church was too busy to get into the queues were 3 hours long.

We also stopped in Cadiz but we didn't have another box so... We travelled from Cadiz to Seville for the whole day, we had a very good guide, the city was very clean and friendly but very hot! We had an hour to ourselves for lunch as it took a hour and a half to get back to Cadiz. Cadiz seemed well worth a visit itself.

Read 1755 Barcelona Reviews

Again we hadn't booked a guided tour in Cartagena, as we knew the surrounding area well enough. We took the 10 minutes walk into town, there wasn't a lot - a roman wall and a few shops - it was quite pleasant but not very exciting if you have young kids.

We enjoyed Florence we walked on our own but we had docked in Livorno so we had a bus into Florence which took around a hour and a half. Florence was very pretty and we enjoyed our visit, if we had known what time we were arriving we would have booked ticket to get into the Uffizi Gallery as the queue would have taken at least an hour! We'll know better next time.

We had visited Gibraltar previously by car, so we hadn't booked any guided tour. We walked along the main street - full of shops - it took us around 20 minutes to reach the main street from the port. We decided to buy a few bottles of water on the way back to the ship as water on board was expensive. There isn't really a lot to see within walking distance in Gibraltar, but the shops are tax free!

We took the half day trip in Monte Carlo, we had a good guide bus and walking the scenery was very pretty and we saw Prince Albert. We had to travel in a Tender to get to shore from the ship a bit rough but at least we got to shore.

We docked in Cittavechia and it was a hour and a half bus journey to Rome, we had a full day guided tour with free time in between, it was rather exhausting! We were taken to see the Colloseum and the Roman Forum, then we were left in St Peter's square with 3 hours free time to do as we pleased, we managed to get into the Basilica but everywhere was massed with long queues! We were rather dissapointed and we didn't think it was value for money.

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Christine Thomas
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