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14 P&O Cruises Oceana Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise for the advertised Panama Canal cruise. The ship had just returned from a refit. The cabinet drawers and wardrobe doors ‘danced’ in any rough seas. A large wooden plank, the full width of the cabin, it was the ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the advertised Panama Canal cruise. The ship had just returned from a refit. The cabinet drawers and wardrobe doors ‘danced’ in any rough seas. A large wooden plank, the full width of the cabin, it was the curtain pelmet, crashed down, had either of us been sitting in the single chair under it we would at the very least been seriously injured. There was one port where the lifeboats were being used as tenders. Two lifeboats were not operational, due to pressure of people going ashore we had to stay on board instead of exploring Grand Cayman. We entered the Panama Canal, passed through the first three, combined, locks, sailed 800 metres, turned round and stayed in the same place for four hours before exiting through the same locks. We did not complain about any of these, but answered a questionnaire. We were then ‘summoned’ to a meeting with the Customer Relations Officer. His first action was to look at his computer and highlight a legitimate complaint we made in 2012 while on a Cunard cruise. What relevance that had to the cabin falling to pieces or the lifeboats not working is beyond our understanding. We were treated like errant schoolchildren on ‘the naughty step’ instead of adults. We wrote to P&O, did not have any written response except when we advised our booking company. P&O then produced a letter they said had been sent to us, but mysteriously never arrived, We did receive what P&O grandly describe as ‘a hamper’, four items, a bottle of Merlot, 100 grams of cheese, 75 grams of cheese wafers and 198 grams of Yorkshire Relish. Waitrose, less than £10, Aldi, less than £5. There were good aspects of the cruise, the downside and lasting memories of this cruise continues to leave a bad taste. We have cruised for more than 150 days with Carnival. Luckily there are other cruise lines, perhaps they treat their customers in a proper manner Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Lima up the western coast of South America, through the Panama, up the Hudson River (New York City) at sunrise. Just doesn't get much better than that. Came early and spent 2 nights in Lima, wish I had made more time for exploring ... Read More
Lima up the western coast of South America, through the Panama, up the Hudson River (New York City) at sunrise. Just doesn't get much better than that. Came early and spent 2 nights in Lima, wish I had made more time for exploring the area. This is my first time on a 5+* ship. Have lots of cruises under my keel in 3 - 4 star lines. Food, staff, and most of all fellow passengers on Oceana all outstanding. One of the things I love most about sailing is meeting some many people with interesting backgrounds. Arranged all my shore excursions off the ship, either beforehand with Roll Call and Mix n Mingle on Cruise Critic or fellow passengers whom I met on board. Additionally, did research on Trip Advisor. They all worked out very well, but you must be flexible. I believe "O" shore excursions are a bit too pricey. Gym was clean and equipment kept in top shape. I usually went for early morning coffee in the quiet of the observation deck. One drawback, being a recently retired single male.... just did not find many single woman to meet and mingle with. Would I go again.... you betcha! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The cruise on P & O's Oceana appeared to have it all. Flying from Glasgow to Acapulco with Thomson Airlines and boarding the ship in this romantic spot (on Valentine's day) Thereafter sailing south on the Pacific Ocean before ... Read More
The cruise on P & O's Oceana appeared to have it all. Flying from Glasgow to Acapulco with Thomson Airlines and boarding the ship in this romantic spot (on Valentine's day) Thereafter sailing south on the Pacific Ocean before a daytime transit of one of mankind's historic engineering feats through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. Followed by visits to four romantic and exotic Caribbean Islands. My wife and I were not to be disappointed. It was a dream come true. The flights from and return to Glasgow were on time and comfortable. Pre-booking seats took alot of stress out of the flights. Having read previous reviews with some discordant notes in relation to Oceana, we wondered what to expect as this was our first cruise with P&O. We had chosen freedom dining and had a balcony cabin on "A" deck. The freedom dining was excellent and allowed us to choose when and where to dine, at the same time enjoying the four formal nights immensely. Looking out or relaxing on our balcony was an absolute pleasure, especially with a malt whisky in my hand! We found Oceana and her staff to be first class and that includes, ship, staff, food and entertainment. As this was our first visit to this part of the world, we booked trips for every port except Barbados, where because of an afternoon flight we chose to walk into Bridgetown which we fell in love with. A wonderful experience all round. Well done P&O. In each of the ports of Acapulco, Huatulco, San Juan del Sur, Curacao, Tortola, St Marten,and Antigua, we found the trips to be interesting,colourful, and good value for money. The rum punch's were wonderful. Well done Oceana and staff, and well done P&O. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Oceana at 10 years old is a well founded and maintained ship, cabins are beautifully appointed and our steward Pankaj was telepathic, always on hand when we needed him, worked hard and always smiling. We were waited on hand and foot ... Read More
Oceana at 10 years old is a well founded and maintained ship, cabins are beautifully appointed and our steward Pankaj was telepathic, always on hand when we needed him, worked hard and always smiling. We were waited on hand and foot - didn't even have to collect our luggage in Barbados it was delivered from plane to cabin and were made to feel welcome on arrival. The food, standard of catering and organisation was for the most part faultless (minor complaint about hot plates for cold food on the buffet and the coffee not great). Lunches were superb in all venues and our dinners in the Ligurian (Freedom Dining) were awesome. Dinner at Cafe Jardin was not worth paying the extra for - lunches there were excellent but the dinner menu was the same for two weeks and the service poor in comparison to the main restaurants. Sightseeing was superb although in EVERY destination you would do better going ashore and taking one of the many tours on offer at half the price - most people like an easy life and Oceana's staff certainly provided that. Entertainment on board included Fogwell Flax (so very funny), a brilliant concert pianist, after dinner speaker Tommy Docherty (who was amazing and fielded questions from the audience with a true sense of humour), with shows and high octane dancing - they did really well. Daytime at sea there was so much to do we found ourselves racing from ballroom dancing classes to windows 7 seminar, go-yoga, how to improve your photography to talks and films on the Panama Canal. Which brings me to the highlight of the tour - The Panama Canal. Oceana had an expert historian on board with a wealth of knowledge, he kept us enthralled all day with his commentaries - a really fantastic experience. Now comes the downside of our trip Ionithermie: I went along to one of the many seminars 'how to deal with those troublesome fatty areas on your body' The answer was Ionithermie currently not available in the UK, it's a treatment with special clay and electrodes and you can lose up to 8" Too good to be true? I signed up for the free consultation and Stephanie told me I needed 3 treatments on board and she would give me a simple regime to follow at home. If I booked all three appointments there and then with the discounts it would cost only £189.00 - "wow" I said "that is a serious amount of money are you really sure it works with long term results"? She was very confident and said she would measure me before and after. I booked my three appointments. After the first treatment Stephanie displayed the items needed for the simple regime at home the cost...£200.00+ I queried why this wasn't disclosed prior to the treatments, she wanted to know why I thought it so expensive, she said some passengers had spent over £3,000.00 on stuff to take home. I felt very pressured and said I need to think it over. Afterward I cancelled my next two appoints (losing the discount and had to pay £89.00) I did lose 4" - I was measured in 8 places and the losses were aggregated IT LASTED ALL OF one day. Having got home I goggled Ionithermie and was so grateful I didn't spend any more money on it. I will be writing with my concerns to P and O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our ... Read More
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our first holiday for five years and we were sold on the wonderful brochure rhetoric about Oceana and the Panama Canal cruise Jan 2011. A mini suite seemed perfect for us to view all from the stern. Once aboard, after unecessary security worse than Gatwick, we waited 6 hours for our cases to be delivered to our cabin. 5 hours! A very bad start with no apology or satisfactory explanation. Everyone was fuming. Oceana is a tatty ship, carpet torn, stuck down with Duck Tape. Carpet edges lifting, rust coming through paintwork, unchanged duff lightbulbs, low pressure hot water, muck in the bottom of the pools and jacuzzi etc. If P and O spent as much money refurbishing this faded hulk as they do on glossy brochures it could be quite good again. OK, let's be more specific...... This was a very expensive cruise and we expected the luxury to reflect the price. Sad error here! This can only be described as Butlins at Sea. In fact the facilites, entertainment, food and ambience are probably better at Butlins for a fraction of the price. The prices on board for alchohol are an outrage. One cannot compare with UK prices. Remember, this a Bahama registered vessel and buys it's alchohol locally paying no UK excise. So, one is shafted twice over, the profit margins are obscene. Smokers are treated like lepers. EU(UK) law should not apply to a Bahaman registered ship in international waters with a mainly foreign and Asian crew. The full spectrum xray security measures coming back on board from ashore are not designed to protect but to confiscate any booze one buys ashore at sensible prices. They want a totally captive market. The entertainment team must have come straight from school, lacking any talent, childish and immature, all giggles, hyena laughs and corny. Not a pro amongst them. The cruise director? Lost for words here, where did they drag her from? The food, well, think Butlins, bland and average. The Plaza? Think 1970s Motorway Services at Newport Pagnell! The signature restaurants charge outrageous cover charges for food that is no better than your average town eaterie. Just remember, this cruise was advertised and sold at high prices!!!!!!! We are always happy to spend but want value for money, when you pay top dollar you expect top dollar. All in all, total rubbish, never again. Sorry P and O, everything about this ship is a disgrace. A two star experience for a five star price. A total miss sell! The only highlight, The Canal, amazing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We flew in from Manchester and had a bit of a delay getting off the flight and also at the port actually getting off the bus. A bit of a delay booking in but they must had got more people on the desks as this queue soon went down. ... Read More
We flew in from Manchester and had a bit of a delay getting off the flight and also at the port actually getting off the bus. A bit of a delay booking in but they must had got more people on the desks as this queue soon went down. On board around 6pm but cases not arrived so checked out where we could get dinner which was in the Lingurian Restaurant (normally used for flexi dining) and had a very good meal before returning to our cabin to find the cases had now arrived. Cabin was a reasonable size we were in an outside on Deck 8, starboard side near the front. The bathroom was extremely small but adequate and there was a good selection of toiletries from the "White Company" which I assumed was the Luxurious Pamper Package. Had a wander round the ship to find our bearings and ended up on the top deck having a drink in one of the many bars and pleasantly surprised with the price of the drinks which were comparable to English bar prices and no service charge. I have covered our port destinations of St Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Punta Arenas & Acapulco separately. We also visited Zihuatanejo in Mexico before going on to Acapulco. This was by tender and we just got a local water taxi (around US$5 each way) to the Playa Las Gatos which was excellent plenty of space and we used the sunloungers and umbrella of a local restaurant on the understanding we had lunch at the restaurant, very fair deal as the food was excellent and drinks cold and a good price. You can snorkel here as there is a small reef a little distance from the beach and this makes the water quite calm. There were a number of talks whilst on board about the Panama Canal and navigation which my husband attended and he enjoyed them and found them very informative. The highlight of the holiday was going through the Panama Canal and we were very fortunate in having just a couple of showers of rain on the day but well worth it. The entertainment on the ship was very good in some respects, Steve Larkins (Freddy Mercury tribute), Dain Cordean (magician and comedian), Fogwell Flax (impressionist and comedian) and the shows put on by the Headliners which we went to were also very good. Some of the other acts not so good but you don't have to listen as there are other places to go. Disappointing though that there wasn't more on lots of things repeated. The entertainment team were a bit of a mixed bag and some things went really well and others not so. Mainly attended the quizzes just to while away sea days. If you could manage to get a teak sunlounger or chair on Deck 7 to us this was an excellent place to watch the world go by and read your book and watch the odd turtle pass by. We did not really attempt to go on the sun deck as we had heard so many passengers complaining about being able to get a chair and it was very hot up there anyway. Note that port side of Deck 7 allows smoking. We opted for first seating dining and shared a table with a lovely couple from Wales and had an enjoyable two weeks with them. The food although not as good as expected was still very good and there was no issues with having extra portions or a different meal if you didn't like the one you had chosen. We also opted for a wine package at the beginning of the cruise which averaged out the cost of the various wines to about £12 a bottle the usual price of the house wine. Overall we found the cruise to be very good and better than expected having read reviews of Oceana before we left. The ship is a little tired but maintenance was ongoing whilst we were onboard which didn't affect us at all. We were advised though that the Oceana is going in for a £5million refit some time in the next year so hopefully it will be back to it's former glory. As our last cruise was on Royal Caribbean on a Baltic Cruise, we found this a much cheaper cruise whilst on board and would certainly go on another P&O cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
What a fantastic holiday we had aboard the Oceana..Staff were helpful and friendly nothing was to much trouble,our waiters Lucas and Dismish were wonderful and went out of their way to look after us nothing was to much trouble..Drinks were ... Read More
What a fantastic holiday we had aboard the Oceana..Staff were helpful and friendly nothing was to much trouble,our waiters Lucas and Dismish were wonderful and went out of their way to look after us nothing was to much trouble..Drinks were the same price as at home no rip offs.Tips were down to the individual.Cabins were comfortable with plenty of storage space, and the cabin steward always kept it clean for us.It was nice to be able to dress up on the formal nights as we don't seem to do that at home any more as things now are more casual.The one disappointment we had was after our 8.30 meal we could not get in to see one of the shows as many of the first sitting stayed to watch the comedian for the second show leaving not enough seats for the second seating.We were very disappointed as he was really good.This was noted and hopefully will be sorted out for further cruises. The highlight of the cruise was of cause sailing through the Panama Canal (which we were up at 5pm to get a good viewing spot) we had gone earlier to listen to the history of the Panama Canal so we could understand what it was all about, this was very interesting and we found it useful as we went through the locks, we could imagine the hundreds of men so many years before many who had lost their lives working on it.It is a truely a amazing piece of History. We also visited Acapulco (where we landed from Gatwick)Huatulaco,San Juan Del Su,Curacao,St Maarten,Tortola,Antigua,and finally Barbados for our flight home.Each place had its own places of interrest and we enjoyed each one very much. We highly recommend P&O Oceana and we are hoping to sail with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Supposed to leave Gatwick on 20th December, however Thomas Cook plane delayed for 24 hours due to major technical problem, so put in hotel overnight and given chicken curry for dinner. On boarding plane on 21st they gave us for dinner, yes ... Read More
Supposed to leave Gatwick on 20th December, however Thomas Cook plane delayed for 24 hours due to major technical problem, so put in hotel overnight and given chicken curry for dinner. On boarding plane on 21st they gave us for dinner, yes chicken - unfortunately I hate chicken so now hadn't had decent meal for 24 hours, the snack was a cheese paninni which was awful. Entertainment on board flight dire, please P&O if you want repeat bookings don't use Thomas Cook again. We had booked emergency exit seats but found large people next to us - in fact I was unable to sit in my seat on the return journey due to lack of room - not pleasant and suffered backache for days afterwards. Eventually arrived in Acapulco and immediately left for Huatalco, cannot fault the arrival system at Acapulco or the on-board check-in, very good. However one day during the cruise my husband spilt a small amount of tea on the sheet which was still there 4 days later, this would never have happened 2 years ago. Entertainment (with the exception of Jimmy James on New Years Eve and Tony Guppa) not very good, on-board theatre company very amateurish and entertainments staff seemed more concerned with children than anything else. The Cruise Director was hardly seen apart from one night when he did "Call My Bluff" as a substitute entertainment for the dance troupe as one of them was ill. For instance, one afternoon we went to play Whist, however no member of staff from Entertainments was there - ergo no cards! We were given 1 days cruise back as "on-board credit" however nobody was told that if we didn't use it, it could be refunded, resulting in many people booking spa treatments etc. they really didn't want. It really wasn't good enough P&O - to be delayed 24 hours is bad enough, this was the holiday of a limetime for us, and was a treat for my 60th birthday. It took 3 days to get over the 24-hour delay and jet-lag, plus where our suitcases had been left on the tarmac at Gatwick, our clothes were all damp, meaning I had to spend quite a lot of time washing/ironing. I could have gone anywhere in the world for £4,500 but chose to have a P&O cruise due to the great time I had 2 years ago, but I won't be repeating the experience. My idea of holiday entertainment is not "Oceana's Got Talent" - this was not a 4-star ship, more Butlins, however the food was good and the service in the restaurants was good too. Please sharpen up your act P&O - on the basis of our cruise 2 years ago, I have actually recommended you to friends who are going on Oceana this summer for which I feel dreadful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I wont re-iterate other reviews about our 24 hour delay due to Thomas Cook, but I would like to say that the organisation of the Arora Hotel in Crawley was fantastic. However, we waited almost 2 hours to retrieve our luggage at Gatwick and ... Read More
I wont re-iterate other reviews about our 24 hour delay due to Thomas Cook, but I would like to say that the organisation of the Arora Hotel in Crawley was fantastic. However, we waited almost 2 hours to retrieve our luggage at Gatwick and many of the cases were inexplicably wet! Having waited at the airport for nearly 12 hours everyone was exhausted. We finally got on our way having had a 4am call at the hotel and the plane was delayed another 2hrs 20 mins from what we had been told when checking in. When we finally arrived at the ship we set sail immediately and were sent to the Buffet dining for something to eat - nothing very appetising was available. Also, we were not taken to our cabins on arrival by staff and were just told to go to our level by the lift, which it turned out was not on our side of the ship, so we had to go back to the Atrium to find out where the appropriate lift was. I have to say that it took about 3 or 4 days to get over the journey and I slept for hours (which isn't usual). We booked cabins with limited view due to lifeboats being in the way, so no complaints there; as long as we had light to wake up to each day. We saw our cabin steward that evening and only saw him once more for the whole of the cruise. Cabin a bit small. There were no bed side tables but a 3 drawer chest of drawers on one side which was difficult to open and nothing on the other. I used the dressing table seat (all wood) next to my side. You couldn't walk round the end of my side of the bed, but I had to climb over the bed in order to get out. Otherwise cleanliness, toiletries etc were good. I was disappointed with the food and I think P&O are trying to cut corners. On previous cruises with other companies, if you want a main course as a starter portion you could have it. You could also have a second portion of anything if you wished. The Christmas Day meal was very disappointing. I think nearly all the Brussels Sprouts were sent back as you could not cut them with a knife let alone eat them. A lot of the food was tasteless - very disappointing. I actually lost weight on this cruise! We enjoyed afternoon tea, but they cannot prepare crumpets, they are just shown the grill and not toasted at all! Very limp and pale. The entertainment was mediocre - Jimmy James, The Fortunes and Tony Gubba were good. The show team were a bit amateur but what I couldn't understand was that each show was repeated the following night. Therefore we didn't get many shows. One night the show was cancelled as one of the cast was ill. What happened to "The Show Must go on"? I once went to see the skater Robin Cousins, he was ill and the understudy skated in his place. We had a fantastic night and booked to go again when Robin was better! We were not impressed with Marco Pierre White's Restaurant. Although we only went to lunch one day the food was not good. Also, I didn't like the idea that passengers trying to get from one side of the ship to another walk through the restaurant. It was just like a motorway service station. We didn't go on any trips organised by P&O and we had a good time in every port taking trips or booking taxis ourselves. Next time I book a cruise it will more than likely be with Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Oceana was the second cruise ship we sailed on, the first being her sister ship Adonia, which went back to Princess Cruises after a couple of seasons. We have been on Oceana 4 times now. We love the theatre and and the starlights lounge ... Read More
Oceana was the second cruise ship we sailed on, the first being her sister ship Adonia, which went back to Princess Cruises after a couple of seasons. We have been on Oceana 4 times now. We love the theatre and and the starlights lounge on Oceana. The staff always seem happy and friendly. Cabins are smaller than some ships, but perfectly adequate for a 14 night cruise. The public rooms and bars are good, and it is easy to find your way around the ship as you can walk all the way round on most decks. The best feature of the ship is the Atrium, which is much more attractive than on other ships. Overall, plenty of positives and no negatives I can think of. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
After a nightmare journey getting to east midlands airport through blizzards on the morning of 6th February, we boarded the flight to barbados and the holiday started then. Plenty of room on the A330 thomas cook flight no need to upgrade ... Read More
After a nightmare journey getting to east midlands airport through blizzards on the morning of 6th February, we boarded the flight to barbados and the holiday started then. Plenty of room on the A330 thomas cook flight no need to upgrade as plenty of leg room. Complimentary drinks and plenty of food. Took 8 hours and arrived 30 minutes early into barbados. Transfer to ship brilliant, cases took about 2 hours to arrive. Cabin was inside and was OK but could do with an update in the shower room. As flights were coming in late because of operational problems we had to stay in barbados an extra night and we had to miss our first island of Mayreau where we were looking forward to a restful day on the beach. Next we were of to Grenada and took a local taxi around the island, We would never book a trip with the Ship as these tours are simply brilliant as we did the same one 10 years ago. Next we were off to Margarita in Ven, this was made via tender and although described as mosquito hell it was your typical tropical island, people who visited inland said it was a dump with rubbish all over the place and not very nice, should have stayed on the lovely white beach and enjoyed a swim - not a mosquito in sight. next off to Curacao a dutch island that looks like amsterdam, lovely for photos. Day at sea then arrived at Colon, this was one time when everyone should take an organized trip as Colon and Panama City are very dangerous places to walk around. We went in a mini bus with 5 other passengers and was dumped in the middle of dock area and everyone had guns. We had wanted to go to the local mall but was taken to the warehouse quarter where you could only buy in bulk no less than a dozen items a time. Early the next day we started our transit through the Panama canal and I can only describe this as truly breath taking, it was fantastic, I will never never forget the experience, through the locks and into the gatun lake was unbelievable wow, wow, wow. A helicopter went around the ship and took photos and film which we could buy as a DVD for £16 it was well worth it as we could see ourselves at the front of the ship waving. Tell family that they can watch you transit the canal either via the ships web cam or the one on the side of the canal (panama web cam). Some mobile phones did not work while we were in Panama or the pacific. Someone said that the Panama authorities blocked them. My vodafone did not work until I was back in the UK. Then at sea and off to Puntarenas in Costa Rica. This was truly wonderful as we went on an organized trip to the jungle and went skywalking across several rope bridges (like the one in I'm a celebrity) fantastic and worth the £32 which the trip cost. Day at sea and onto Porto Quetzal in Guatemala more jungle trips if you wanted. Day at sea and off to Acapulco we berthed right by the beach and the town. we were looking forwarding to spending a day and night there but we were told that we had to move back out to sea for the night as the ship had to take on sea water for processing into drinking water. This caused some problems as people wanted to spend the evening in Acapulco and had to be back on board by 10.30, we got the letter telling us about this change after we arrived home. Don't do the trip Amazing Acapulco as it is the same trip that takes you back/from the airport. We went on a trip to see the divers and you could do this by hiring a taxi for a few dollars as it is only around the corner. Oh I forgot to mention Oceana, it was a very clean comfortable ship but is beginning to look its age and a passenger said she had heard that it was being downgraded to an Ocean Village but it may be just a rumor. Food was excellent and a good choice was available although I have had just as good on a Thomson cruise. Weather and sea conditions were perfect as one officers said it was the best weather he had every had in all the years he had been cruising, sunny and very hot especially in Acapulco. Diana Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
The dreaded flight to Acapulco. We left home for the drive to Gatwick at 11 pm on Thursday and arrived at the drop off point for the car at 3 am. We were first at the check in desk and only waited half an hour before they opened at 4 am. ... Read More
The dreaded flight to Acapulco. We left home for the drive to Gatwick at 11 pm on Thursday and arrived at the drop off point for the car at 3 am. We were first at the check in desk and only waited half an hour before they opened at 4 am. My case was a couple of kg over but nothing was said so a very relieved me headed to the departure lounge! The flight was just over an hour late leaving Gatwick then well over an hour delay at the refuel stop - Sanford FL for us. I must say I was so dreading this flight but to be fair it was not as bad as I expected. It was not pleasant by any means being so long, but we did get there in one piece, just so very, very tired! After talking to others I think our Thomson flights were the best. By all accounts the Thomas Cook flights were much worse. The journey to Oceana was a bit hair raising! The driving in Acapulco is certainly interesting!! I must say, nothing we saw on the drive made me want to explore Acapulco further. Then we saw her, as magnificent as ever - our 18th month wait was over and our cruise had started. We arrived just after 8.30 pm. Our friends who had flown from Manchester had arrived at 11am so they had had plenty of time to settle in. I was so shattered I just wanted a shower and my bed so retired without going for a meal. I was in the shower when our cabin steward Camillo arrived to welcome us - much embarrassment followed and he disappeared until the following day! My hubby went for a quick drink and a snack with our friends but we were all unpacked and tucked in by 10.30pm! I had forgotten how small the cabins on Oceana were. Small but perfectly formed!! We spent our day in Acapulco recovering from the long journey (nearly 16 hours!) Spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around Acapulco but then spent an even more pleasant time 'chilling out' around the pool. Our first port of call was Huatulco in Mexico. No tour planned so walked around the shops and spent the morning on the beach. We thought it a lovely place with friendly locals and a charming open sided chapel on the beach. To sit in a pew and see the Pacific and Oceana 'parked' was certainly different! Back on board in the afternoon and another swim in the pool. I love swimming so spent a lot of time around the pool area! The only time my hubby got wet was on the white water rafting tour! San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. We just walked to the beach here and had a beer. Not much to see apart from dreadful poverty. You know, I'm not sure what I think about visiting such places. Are we helping their economy by our visits or are we rubbing their noses in it? I'm really not sure. That evening we sat with a gentleman who was robbed at knifepoint!!! He lost his watch and camera and according to him $500 - why on earth he was carrying so much money beats me! We had been warned not to wander off and on his own admission he did just that. Fuerte Amador. Nothing to say about this port as we had a lazy day on board. Panama Canal. What can you say about this? This was what we had come to see and we were not disappointed. A memorable day. Limon, Costa Rica. Really enjoyed this port. After reading Cap'n Jack's report Chris and I did the Sloth Sanctuary tour. I was not disappointed! Sloths are lovely creatures, we really enjoyed everything on this tour and would recommend it. Cost Rica, we found interesting and would like to see more of this country. Aruba. Another ok place if you like wonderful beaches, lots of hotels and lots of Americans! Wish we had done a tour here. I'm sure the island had lots more to offer than we actually saw! St Lucia. Followed Cap'n Jack again here and did the St Lucia Land and Sea tour. Another good one! The volcano - interesting and very smelly! The Botanical Gardens are lovely, especially if you like gardening. It was so hot and we were so tired, we really didn't appreciate them. The ride on the catamaran was amazing, we loved it! We stopped for 40 minutes at a lovely small beach for a swim. I loved that. Then the best of all - around 50 dolphins gave us the most amazing show that was such a privilege to see. The captain of the catamaran said he had been doing this job for 13 years and this was only the second time he had seen dolphins in this area. A memory that will stay with me for a long time! St Vincent. We had been told by lots of people that St Vincent was one island to miss. It was 'seedy' and there was nothing much to see!!! So we enjoyed our last day on Oceana. In retrospect this could have been a mistake! We had to be out of our cabin by 9 am on Friday, we were leaving for the airport at 2 pm so only had a few hours to pass. An hour of this was passed having a 'nosey' around deck 10 to see how the 'other half lives'!! We promised not to touch anything! So were given permission to look at the suites and mini suites. Wow! They are lovely. I thought at first, the mini suite was a suite!! Until we saw the suites of course! Another hour spent imagining ourselves in a suite and it was time to leave for the airport! The flight home was only 7 ½ hours and once again better than I expected. Overview This cruise on Oceana was certainly our best to date. She is still looking good and still the friendly ship we remember from our first cruise in 2006. I saw all the Headliners shows and the classical pianist both were excellent. Husband and our friends saw the comedian and enjoyed him. Over the 2 weeks our initial disappointment at not being on club dining soon went and found our first time on freedom dining worked very well. As we were always willing to share a table we never had to wait and quite enjoyed meeting new people each evening. I can now see the benefits of freedom dining and if we could have the same waiters each time would be quite happy with it. Though I still think club is still more of an 'occasion' and would choose it for our next cruise. The food and service was as good as expected. They were especially good at giving me a lovely dessert suitable for a diabetic. We spoke with a few who had diet problems and all spoke very highly of P&O. Dress code was kept by 99% I only saw a couple of people not in formal gear and they were not in the restaurant. To be honest, I found the slightly relaxed dress code to be great. Hubby especially liked not having to wear a suit. I did not wear anything different to what I would wear on other more formal ships - it's just that I didn't worry about it!! Everybody still looked very smart and apart from the men not wearing suits it didn't look very different. Digital Living. I had 3 computer lessons. Computer Maintenance, Digital Photography and All about Wireless - all were excellent and Simon the instructor was extremely good. All in all good value for money (£50). I learned such a lot. Being fairly new to cruising I cannot say if standards have dropped - I just know we had a wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship and enjoyed every minute of it. We are hoping to do a segment of the 2011 worldie for our next cruise. San Franciso - Hong Kong 38 nights. It will mean having to go next year with no cruise as we will have to save hard - I wonder if we saved hard enough could we manage a mini suite???!!! Me thinks its going to be a 'be nice to hubby few months'!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
We only booked this Cruise at short notice as it was advertised as having Direct Flights from Leeds Bradford to Barbados and same on Rtn from Acapulco. Two wks before we were due to leave we were informed that our Flt to Barbados would ... Read More
We only booked this Cruise at short notice as it was advertised as having Direct Flights from Leeds Bradford to Barbados and same on Rtn from Acapulco. Two wks before we were due to leave we were informed that our Flt to Barbados would need to make a Technical Stop to refuel(Runway at LB too short to take off with full fuel load), we had a 20min Flt to Manchester where we sat on the Aircraft for 1hr 10mins whilst they refueled it. During the Flt we had free drinks and reasonable meals compliments of P&O served very well by Thomsons Staff, the Flt was operated by Thomsonfly on behalf of P&O. We arrived in Barbados on time and within 20mins were on a bus on the way to the Ship, Traffic was heavy and our Driver thought he knew a quicker way to the Ship/port, we eventually arrived 2hrs Later(normal time for rest of Buses was 1hr) we ended up in a queue of buses and sat for another 30mins before being allowed off the bus, just what you need after a 10hr+ flt. Check in when we eventually got there was quick and we boarded the ship and were shown to our cabin on A deck our luggage arrived 1hr Later. The ship itself was fine but did some signs of wear and tear but nothing untoward, we were allocated Freedom Dining which did work out quite well as we like to eat early and managed to get the same table every night, our 2 Waiters(Ved & Jo) were excellent. The food in the MDR was varied with lots of choices and quality was excellent. However our cabin A506 which was directly below the pool deck was very noisy with banging and scraping when the staff were arranging the sunbeds late at night and early morning, there was also some sort of machinery starting up on a regular basis which kept us awake, after bringing this to P&Os attention we were eventually moved to another cabin on the same deck A437 which was quiet while in Port but as soon as we sailed there was a constant Tapping from the bulkhead/ceiling, this was investigated and as it could not be fixed we were moved to B542, this cabin was fine with no noise other than normal ship noises. Entertainment was good with the CD being Mr Rob Boyd who in our view is one of the best CDs around, the Singers and Dancers were terrific with their shows and full of energy, guest entertainers were Ok and did 2-3 shows each wk of the cruise, John Sergent did a talk and that was very well received. We did miss Mayreau due to bad sea conditions but did get into St Vincent instead, we didn't find St Vincent to good, all other ports of call were completed and the weather was fine and hot everyday except for Colon when we had a Tropical Thunderstorm in the afternoon, so we can say we really enjoyed the cruise. Our highlight was a visit to a Embara Village with "My Friend Mario Tours" highly recommended. Now the Ugly, our rtn flt from Acapulco, we were informed on the ship that once again we had to stop to refuel this time in Miami, we took off on time then once airbourne we were then informed that due to the crew that was taking us from Miami to LB not having had enough rest, we would have a 2hr wait on the plane in Miami, however the 2hrs turned into 3hrs 50 mins as they did not to start to refuel the aircraft until 30mins after the new staff had got onboard, we had been told that with the 2 hr delay the air-crew would look after us however this consisted of 1 cup of tea or Coffee or a glass of water during the 3hr 50min wait, not what you would call being looked after, to complete the rtn flt misery when we were 20 mins from landing, we were told that due to LB being Fog bound we had to divert to Manchester and were then then taken by coach to LB. Not the best rtn flt from what had been a good holiday, all in all it took us 19hrs 30mins to rtn back to LB. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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