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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Last year cruised on this ship and everything was first class. However, this year I felt something was missing!! The drinks package had changed and was very expensive and if you are only an occasional drinker , well too much. The ... Read More
Last year cruised on this ship and everything was first class. However, this year I felt something was missing!! The drinks package had changed and was very expensive and if you are only an occasional drinker , well too much. The entertainment was not very good compared with last year. Shows only 1/2 an hour long. However, enjoyed the lectures on forensic science - CSI on board ship. Cannot complain about the food and service they were of a very high standard. The prices of goods in the shops were too high and the market tables at night could have had a better selection of goods. The excursion was very good to Athens and I certainly had my monies worth as the courier never stopped talking. I had already booked another cruise on this ship to Dubai in November before going on this cruise so will write after to see if anything has changed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have visited Malta previously and had the opportunity to spend some time in Valetta before the cruise.We found everything to be well organised with regards embarkation and disembarkation although Malta airport seems to struggle with the ... Read More
We have visited Malta previously and had the opportunity to spend some time in Valetta before the cruise.We found everything to be well organised with regards embarkation and disembarkation although Malta airport seems to struggle with the volume of passengers. We will be revisting Croatia in the future - enjoyed the shore trips and would like to see more. The ship itself was impressive and we had no complaints about the food and all of the staff were pleasant and helpful. Cabin was comfortable but a bit tight for space with suitcases etc. The rule about not reserving sunloungers could be more rigorously enforced as it took a few tours of the ship to find one that did not have a towel on it most of which remained unoccupied for hours or even for the full day. The entertainment provided by the Headliners cast was excellent - The London West End on the high seas. The cast speaking to members of the audience at the exits after each show was a nice touch - a very talented group! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We first cruised on Oceana in October 2013 and were not that taken by her. We booked our recent cruise as it fitted time off over the Easter period. We didn’t have any expectations and we’re just grateful to be away. Well, 6 years ... Read More
We first cruised on Oceana in October 2013 and were not that taken by her. We booked our recent cruise as it fitted time off over the Easter period. We didn’t have any expectations and we’re just grateful to be away. Well, 6 years later, we are very much loving Oceana and can’t see what there was to dislike in the first place. We arrived in Malta and were transferred to the port. When we first saw her we were taken by her size and elegance. Embarkation was smooth and we were soon checked in and in the buffet by twelve thirty. She is a beautiful, elegant ship and we did not feel crowed in any area. We always managed to find a seat inside or out. The food was amazing in every dining venue, we ended up eating in the main dining room, buffet, cafe Jardin and of course the beach house. Every single meal was perfect, hot and tasty. There were people complaining about the food (each to their own but I’d like to know what they eat at home as the menus were full and varied. Staff were always more than willing to help and always cheerful. Captain Camby runs a smooth ship, very commendable. We had such a brilliant cruise, good shore times and great excursions. We loved her so much we have booked for October repositioning from Malta to Dubai and cannot wait. Well done to all Only sticking point is Malta airport after disembarkation, all I can say is its an absolute joke the airport cannot cope with the number of people coming through and this needs to be addressed soon!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle ... Read More
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle knitting and gossiping).The evening entertainment was just diabolical; the mediocre ship theatre group putting on mediocre shows,an irish comedian rehashing jokes from the ark and,wait for it, a harp player wtf. the food was nice but nothing special but the service was good. as for the cabin it was fine for the first week but then it was flooded by a burst pipe and the treatment we received from the deck manager and housekeeping manager was just unbelievable.i only hope they don't treat their mothers the way they treated mine. they wouldnt move us so we had 3 days in a damp smelly cabin (my mother was up all night being ill because of the smell) and all we got was a cheap bottle of p&o plonk (we don't drink) and a tiny box of p&o chocolates.needless to say we have made formal complaints this was our first and last cruise with p & o. next year its back to royal caribbean Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so ... Read More
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so didn’t have far to drive. At the terminal, check in was a swift process and they never mentioned us being early so within about twenty minutes we were in our cabin with our luggage arriving very quickly after us. The balcony cabin on B deck (Britannia) was very spacious with loads of storage space, which was a worry of my husband as I had 6 suitcases. There was a mini bar, with a range of drinks and snacks and we got two small free bottles of water. We took everything out of the fridge to put our own stuff in. There is an option which we also took which was buying 6 large bottles of water too for about £10. There was a beautiful flower in a vase which was really unusual and bloomed for the whole of the cruise. There was a seating area and the chairs on the balcony were nice. We had binoculars which were not that great, lucky we had our own, and a map book in the cabin too. The bathroom was adequate size, with a bath and shower over and lots of storage space again. There was one of those old fashion hairdryers on the wall in the bathroom which wasn’t very good but there was another in the cabin which was good. The room attendant came in and introduced herself to us which was nice. As we had two rooms next to each other (travelled with my sister and her husband) we asked the room attendant to ask for the adjoining balcony door to be removed. This did happen when we were next in port. As stated this was an adult only cruise and most of the people were very nice. Others however seemed to think they were more important than us and were rude. They didn’t queue for food or lifts and seemed to know the staff very well so most probably regulars. One thing that really bugged me was the sunbeds! They are supposed to be used within 30 or items removed. I spent many days by the pool and many days sunbeds were reserved and the ‘owners’ only returned for a few minutes at a time through the day. Leaving people waiting for a lounger. I would have, however, asked a member of staff if I could not find a single lounger. The ports on this cruise were amazing and the tours we bought with P&O were good value for money. Equally on some shore days we just jumped on the hop on hop off bus/boat. In Venice it was cheaper to buy the hop on hop off boat ticket than to pay P&O to take you into the city on their tender. The food was amazing on this cruise and as we were ‘trying to be good’ we mostly ate in the restaurant rather than the buffet as I think you tend to over eat there. Afternoon tea is not to be missed. (Yogi, our server was great, table 11 in freedom dinning) The cinema is great and we watched some good films and I also went to the gym for classes and use of the machines which was great too. I never found the sauna. There were lots of talks and activities for a range of people however, it was mostly not to our taste. I would have loved to learn to dance but hubby had a bad leg so couldn’t participate. There was bingo and quiz nights too which were fun. The men enjoyed the World Cup, well mostly because sometimes the system wasn’t tested and parts of games were missed and people had to move to other areas or own room to watch. One frustrating thing was buying pints of beer in different lounges/bars. The price booklets are the same in all venues but waiters are reluctant to go to another bar to get you a pint and try to sell you the bottles of beer which works out more expensive. There is tea and coffee available from the machine in the buffet or after a meal in the restaurant and these are also topped up every day in your cabin, you also get 2 packets of biscuits every day along with a chocolate on your pillow each nifght. The public areas were always clean and shorts were not allowed in any restaurant in the evening, nor was swimwear, which was nice. The staff at reception made us feel like it was an inconvenience to talk to them sometimes but the staff in the shops were friendly. The prices, as expected in the shops were steep so never really bought anything. The muster of the lifeboats seemed a little disorganised and we were all squeezed into a small area with the staff member not really having control of the passengers. The entertainment was ok, there were lots of things to choice from every day and evening, some of it wasn’t to our taste or liking, but we did enjoy the four tunes, and some other bands. The resident group were ok and I enjoyed the queen night. I also enjoyed the magician. Disembarking was crazy we chose to get off at 9 am and were told to go to the theatre and wait, but when we got of the ship our luggage was everywhere with no real organisation. On the whole I would consider going with P&O again but mainly due to the size of the cabin and the food. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first cruise and definitely not our last. Oceana is a beautiful ship. The Atrium is stunning, we thought. So many bars and niches. We dined mostly in Cafe Jardine and The Beach House. Great food although bar service a bit slow. We ... Read More
Our first cruise and definitely not our last. Oceana is a beautiful ship. The Atrium is stunning, we thought. So many bars and niches. We dined mostly in Cafe Jardine and The Beach House. Great food although bar service a bit slow. We also ate in The Plaza on the top deck, again great choice of food. But busy. Fantastic views up there but windows could do with a wash! We had a balcony cabin C401 which was spotless and quiet, slept really well. Very comfy bed. Had some lovely breakfasts on the balcony. And saw some dolphins on two occasions. Lovely! All in all it was an excellent week. We sailed from Valletta to Dubrovnik onto Venice and then Sibenick and Zadar. Very hot and busy in Dubrovnik and Venice but so worthwhile to visit. Got up early for the Venice sail in, no words. We walked Dubrovnik old walls in the afternoon which was a bit quieter after the other cruise liners had left. We also visited Krka National Park on excursion from Sibenick. It was the only excursion we did. It was beautiful. We booked it before we left. It as a few pounds cheaper. All other ports we used the shuttle buses. We were on a Select fare so they were included in the price. No complaints about embarkation and disembarkation. Very tight security leaving and coming back to the ship. And hand hygiene was very important on board. Hand cleansers near every restaurant. Staff and crew everywhere were brilliant and very friendly, we thought. The whole week far exceeded our expectations. We were sad to leave the ship, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Dubrovnik and Venice. We have visited both before and loved the view from the ship as we sailed into Venice. Dubrovnik is a facinating place and we took the lifts to the top to get a birds eye view ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Dubrovnik and Venice. We have visited both before and loved the view from the ship as we sailed into Venice. Dubrovnik is a facinating place and we took the lifts to the top to get a birds eye view of the place. The staff on this ship are fantastic always smiling always courteous and very helpful. We chose freedom dining and met some real characters and friendly fellow guests. We did our own thing at ports of call for the first time and enjoyed our walk-abouts. Oceana is a lovely ship with a great Atrium. The ships entertainment was fantastic with the Headliners enthusiastic singing and dancing being our favourite. The food was varied in offerings and the chosen food was delicious. We returned home wanting to book another cruise on this lovely ship. We dined early every evening in the Liguarian restaurant and found no waiting at any time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Wanted to try different cruise line, but sadly disappointed. The food in main dining room was very good and the breakfast in Sindhu (for suite guests). The lady in the library was unhelpful and quite rude when I asked for help registering ... Read More
Wanted to try different cruise line, but sadly disappointed. The food in main dining room was very good and the breakfast in Sindhu (for suite guests). The lady in the library was unhelpful and quite rude when I asked for help registering the internet. There was no dry cleaning service which was annoying as it was advertised, all other cruise lines I have used give dry cleaning facility, and Holland America give it free to suite guests. Very frustrating when your clothes are not washable. The canapés delivered to our room were awful, as was the food in the buffet, very sloppy. The entertainment was geared round the forties and fifties and even older as was the music. Arcadia May be an adult only ship but they should cater for a more diverse age range that pleases everyone. I have cruised 13 times now and I won’t be using p and o again. The could learn so much from Holland America and NCL which in my view are way in front in every department. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all departments and we found the ship in good condition and looks well after her refit. this was our first adult only cruise and it had its share of grumpy old people A couple of observations 1. I have never had to be in the theatre 45 mins before the performances to get a seat The entertainment team had there work cutout filling spare seats to pack everyone in. 2. Alot of queuing to get into freedom dining. I think it is getting more and more popular than fixed. 3. The position of the Costa near the cinema seems a waste of time. The entertainment team worked hard especially as the average age was 'elderly'. Overall a good cruise but personally prefer a bigger ship with more space and entertainment venues. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
To go with this review we have created a video that gives a full ships tour and goes in to detail about what we did every day, as well as write ups - to find these just search holidaysatsea on googleyoutube ... Read More
To go with this review we have created a video that gives a full ships tour and goes in to detail about what we did every day, as well as write ups - to find these just search holidaysatsea on googleyoutube www.youtube.com/holidaysatsea We have not long returned from a 7 night cruise in P&O Oceana. The cruise departed Malta and went to Split, Venice, Ravenna and Dubrovnik. Oceana is a 18 year old ship, recently undergone a refresh and she really does look beautiful. Her atrium is amazing, open a bright. There are a number of pools around the ship and ample room to sun bathe. We had an inside at the aft end of the ship, deck A. This was a convenient location as you could easily access the aft terrace. The room was standard, we asked for a twin configuration as this gave more space. It was kept clean and tidy by our steward Freddy. The food in the main dining room was very good. We opted for freedom dining and never had to wait much more than 30 minutes. We also had food in the beach house and Caf Jardin, both excellent. On the sea day we did an Asian Lunchon, st 10 per person this was excellent food for the small charge. The ports we visited were: Split - Here we did the Krka National Park excursion by P&O - well worth the money. Excellent guide and the park was beautiful. Venice - we used the P&O shuttle boat to take us to St Marks where we explored and climbed the Tower Ravenna - not the best port, had a walk around and got the shuttle back. Dubrovnik - our favourite port, we did the cable car and walked the walls. I hope that gives you a nice overview. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because friends had been to the Adriatic with another company and had visited the same destinations. We both had always wanted to see Venice. This was our second cruise we have previously been on Magellan with Cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends had been to the Adriatic with another company and had visited the same destinations. We both had always wanted to see Venice. This was our second cruise we have previously been on Magellan with Cruise and Maritime to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Liverpool. Oceana is a much bigger ship with a higher price tag so we were expecting this to be a more luxurious experience. Firstly travel to Malta with Tui was awful the plane was cramped with little space between the rows and my seat had a broken food tray. It was one of their older aircraft It was a better plane on the way back. Malta Airport was a complete tip with huge numbers of people trying to exit through one small pair of double doors. After a short bus journey where we once more stood in a long queue in the sun (not pleasant and seemed unnecessary, Embarkation was slow and tedious with lots of elderly passengers standing in a long queue. The cabin was of a good standard with a balcony but it was smaller than the one we had on Magellan. The dining experience was good but the food at dinner wasn't as good as we were expecting as the Menu's were supposedly designed by a top celebrity chef. The service was good. The Argentinian Malbec was excellent. The food was not as good as we had on Magellan. The lunch menus were dominated by food of an Indian Nature (curry with everything) which is ok if you like spicy food. There was always a selection of good salads but they did seem to run low on fresh fruit and it wasn't replenished fast enough. There was an excellent ice cream bar near the pool. Can't really comment on the entertainment we briefly visited the theatre one evening where a girl was having a reasonable stab at singing Adele impersonations. We don't go on cruises to spend time in gyms,theatres, bars and casinos! Our cabin steward was average and didn't seem at all on the ball. Our cases we found down the corridor outside someone else's cabin and his provision of information was tardy and in some cases inaccurate which was one criticism of the ship in general. We were often left floundering for information about excursions and on a couple of occasions were misinformed. Thankfully the bed was very comfortable. Tea and coffee making facilities were a bonus not provided on our first cruise. Room service was excellent and the mornings we chose to breakfast in our cabin were a highlight. It arrived promptly and was worth not having to push and shove and find a seat. Of the ports we visited and the excursions we booked:- 1. Dubrovnik the cable car trip was excellent with a lovely guide. 2. Split was not somewhere we would chose to visit again however the river boat trip was good apart from the lunch which was poor with wine like vinegar. Not too sure about the hygiene of the restaurant as my partner was decidedly queasy after we had eaten. 3. Venice was everything we were hoping for the boat trip we took had an excellent guide but unfortunately did not go down the Grand Canal but seemed to visit everywhere worth seeing in the lagoon. We would have loved a two day stay in Venice so we could see more of it. 4. Messina was well worth seeing just for the trip to the Cathedral and to watch the display of the clock tower at noon (not to be missed) Finally leaving Malta airport was a lot easier than arriving apart from the huge queues for the ladies toilets which wouldn't flush and stank to high heaven. To sum up we wouldn't book P&O again until it uses Liverpool as a home port as the whole flying and embarkation experience was not pleasant. Glad we chose a time when the ship wasn't full of children. Luckily those few on board were well behaved. We have another cruise booked on Magellan for later this year as we live in Liverpool embarkation without flying is just so much easier a 5 minute taxi ride away. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs apart from the location on A deck (too high especially on windy days) and too close to the bow. Our cabin steward was very good. I was disappointed in Aurora’s Atrium. It was very small compared to other ships I’ve been on. We chose freedom dining but only used it a few times for dinner. Breakfasts and lunches in the self serve restaurant were usually good. As the choices on offer for dinner in the formal restaurant were often not to our taste, we ate in the self service more often. However the meal themes were repeated far too often. For example Asian appeared three times. Only a few of the meals we ate in the formal restaurant were of good standard. Dry chicken and fish and tough steak were the worst. A lot of the meat in both venues was tough and poor quality. I’ve had better meals at our local Wetherspoons! Having to pay for ice creams was rather mean. Also Costa-lot coffee has been brought in forcing people to buy hot drinks and cakes. The cost of dining in the “special” restaurants wasn’t very transparent. They were omitted from all the promotional material. Very off putting. The single entertainment acts were good but were rolled out for two separate performances to pad out the entertainment schedule. There were no “well known” acts at all. Especially disappointing as I have been told by former passengers that people such as Brian Conley and Michael Ball have been booked in the past. The in house shows, apart from the dance themed one were absolutely dire. Poor singers and dancers, hammy “story led” shows with cringeworthy dialogue and acting to match. I personally hate these types of shows. Some of the costumes looked cheap too. They also had a strong American bias. This was worst in the show tribute to BRITISH service men and women which featured singers and dancers in American GI uniforms. So disrespectful. The production team should hang their heads in shame. We could not fault the staff in both restaurants. They were first class. The reception staff were not so good. The one excursion we booked was the highlight of the cruise. A trip to Krka National Park to see the beautiful waterfalls. However because of the over cautious description of the trip, many people were put off. The “1 1/2 hr walk over rough terrain” as described was actually an easy 45 min to one hour stroll over mostly flat boardwalks. The description mentioned 200 steps. There were 50-60 at most. We enjoyed all the ports of call, especially Croatia. What we were annoyed about was the hidden charges for shuttle buses in some ports. £5 per person each way. We were not told about these before the start of the cruise. Having to pay a “minimal” fee of £7 per session for yoga and Pilates was disappointing so I didn’t go to them. £7 is not minimal to me. The show business presentations by Ken Joy were brilliant. We also met some lovely people. Finding our cases in the luggage was difficult because they were all spread out and not placed together. I doubt if we would choose P and O again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly ... Read More
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly at UK customers, with tilts toward tradition and home spun culture which span restauration, on- board media, entertainments,announcements and excursions. We booked a de-luxe balcony which was well sized and adequately provided with storage. The table-top TV and the hairdryer were antiquated and the sofa was lacking any upholstery, with torn cushions.The bathroom was well designed, but old-fashioned with wall panels which groaned loudly on bad sea nights.The constant aircon fans were sometimes difficult to avoid.The only perk our cabin type benefiited from was an atlas which turned out to be older than the ship and contained not a single map of the whole Mediterranean Sea!Our invisible steward was superb at keeping things spic and span. We chose Freedom Dining and eat pretty well exclusively in the Medina restaurant. We alternated between mixing and sitting alone and took whatever seating was available.Some people claimed always to sit at the same table, but we could not be bothered to find out how that worked.The choice of food was good at breakfast, adequate at lunch, but seriously disappointed in the evenings.Most evening main dishes turned out to be meat and two veg, despite exotic menu descriptions.All courses were served at speed,ready-plated and generally hot. Condiments were off limits as we found out when asking for vinaigrette dressing! We used the Horizon self -service little, due to the limited,unappetising buffet options,shortages of seating (on clean chairs) and general pandemonium. Many people aboard were suffering from colds and coughs and we contracted a version of these which we decided to treat with honey and brandy. The carefully selected brandy however was confiscated on return from shore because it 'contravened regulations'! An announcement on the last evening advised that more than half the next day's departing passengers were leaving Southampton by coach. It was evident throughout that there were some quite large groups aboard, who teamed up for many events and sometimes comandeered large swathes of the public rooms, but did not seek to engage outside their groups. For us the six sea-days to get to Gibralter and back was time badly spent, but the shore destinations were pleasing, even if the duration of stay was mostly quite limited. The staff were generally very courteous and a special mention of commendation for the incredibly patient people on the front desk. We concluded that the trip was rewarding for the ports of call, but that most of the rest was below standard, given the price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, ... Read More
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, Sibenic and Mt Etna Sicily to name a few. The ship shows her age when compared to the facilities that are on the new Britannia, but this was to be expected. Being a person whom likes to read, relax and watch films on my tablet i didnt join in with the many activities that P & O placed during the day, but was more than happy with the evening entertainment, or relaxing with a beer in 'Champions', the on board pub, and the wide selection of real English beers, and not that Larger rubbish. The food in the main restaurant was of a high standard, but believe even with the large selection, there were still nights when it was a good choice to eat in the Horizon restaurant. The Beach Hut was of very high standard and brilliant quality, although disappointed the meat skewer has been taken off the revamped menu. Tiffany's is still my favourite location on the ship. Cabin was always clean and tidy and the steward did a great job. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having sailed on Oceana before I am happy with the size of ship and well aware of her age.That said P&O maintain their fleet well this one included ( a re fit is due in Dec 2017 this year ) , P&O keep tight lipped on what their ... Read More
Having sailed on Oceana before I am happy with the size of ship and well aware of her age.That said P&O maintain their fleet well this one included ( a re fit is due in Dec 2017 this year ) , P&O keep tight lipped on what their plan might be !!! Cabin no wear in the carpet or fittings everything worked, Cabin Steward Chhering was exemplary, the best we have had, she addressing us by name at each greeting. The Tui flight from Manchester departed early- well done Tui. Embarkation was swift and friendly at Malta. Lunch awaited, then cabin ready and luggage there too - so an afternoon in Valletta in the hot sunshine. Return flight on time too. We Always Always choose freedom dining- we had a table for two each evening ( our choice ), NO WAITING. Waiters and wine waiters, were excellent, with a smile. In fact all the team on board appeared very happy - a good sign. Same from the bar team in ' Magnums' bar which was our preferred choice for pre dinner drinks. Entertainment- Manager was very good, ( Neil Oliver who is mainly assigned to Britannia is though the top guy in the fleet !! ) Headliners shows of a high standard. We did not got to any others so cannot comment. Liked the Prom deck 7 good easy chairs to sit on, and shaded too, and quiet. Food - Dined in the Ligurian most evenings, and some Breakfasts. Choice really something to suit everyone, they are catering for large numbers - quality excellent. ( If you want further up the tree then R 7 S ) !!! Ports- No need for any excursions on this cruise - Split - easy 5 minute walk from the ship - Old quarter attractive. Dubrovnik - Free coach to the Old town ( If you booked ' select price ' ) Do walk the walls well worth £15 takes 2 hours- you need to be fit though) Ravenna - Free coach to the city 20 minutes - walk around town to see the Magnificent Mosaics - we were there 3 hours then back to the ship for lunch. A long sandy beach is by the ship port - a 5 minute walk !!!... looked inviting, many passengers did go. Venice - It's always busy, but quiet corners can be found !!!Tip - do buy the P&O boat extra £8 e way, takes you to the waterfront in St Marks Sq and saves a huge amount of time!!!and kept us dry on the return from the deluge. A previous review - noted as one member of the party was in a wheelchair, could not depart the ship!!!... I noted that some did !!!... That said VENICE is a no go for wheel chairs due to the bridge steps that abound. A good travel agent and the cruise line would be able to say what is best BEFORE ONE BOOKS the cruise !!!! I did not find at any time the lifts full - Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Sailed on P&O Oceana from June into July 2017. Fly cruise from Malta and sailed Central Med visiting Croatia, Italy and Greek Islands. I have sailed with P&O previously and was somewhat anxious having read some of the reviews about ... Read More
Sailed on P&O Oceana from June into July 2017. Fly cruise from Malta and sailed Central Med visiting Croatia, Italy and Greek Islands. I have sailed with P&O previously and was somewhat anxious having read some of the reviews about this ship before sailing. I had no reason to be. I joined the ship and despite a delayed flight the crew members got us on board as quickly as they could and without fuss. The itinerary was fine and although there were just two ports that I didn't enjoy, which I feel should not have been part of that itinerary it didn't spoil anything for me or for those those travelling in my party. I understand the ship is due for a re-fit later this year and that may be necessary in some areas but overall I found the ship to be very clean, furniture more than comfortable and the staff very hardworking, polite and professional. The reports of furniture being threadbare and the ship looking tired and rusty were without foundation. The atrium is majestic and I spent some time during the early hours of one morning taking photographs of the interior of the ship and it was at this time I saw the cleaning staff working very hard to maintain its high standard of cleanliness. The restaurant was well run and I had no complaints about the food, indeed it was excellent and the waiters were more than willing to accommodate the needs of passengers. The buffet area was well run and out of 14 days I experienced only one day when it became a bit congested. The Beach House is a must and the food served from there was splendid..a great experience at a small additional charge. I had one bad experience on this ship during my holiday that involved us missing an excursion, which was the fault of a crew member. It certainly messed up our day but it didn't spoil the cruise. I would certainly recommend this ship to anyone. Do not be put off by any negative reviews you may read the Oceana is a lovely ship and I would cruise on it again without hesitation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having used P&O before we chose this cruise because of the original advertised itinerary. A very important change was made deleting a port stop near Ephesus Turkey (supposedly because of the political situation in Turkey) and ... Read More
Having used P&O before we chose this cruise because of the original advertised itinerary. A very important change was made deleting a port stop near Ephesus Turkey (supposedly because of the political situation in Turkey) and instead visiting Sarande Albania. This has to be the worst place we have ever stopped at !!. After a tender trip ashore to find a grotty port full of beggars of all ages !!. We and most others didn't stop long !!! It can only be because of cheap anchorage fees for P&O. Rant over. Apart from that everything else was more or less "what it says on the tin" I believe the Oceana is due a refit shortly, although the Public Spaces were fine with the exception of the seating which all needs recushioning. Our balcony cabin B503 was beginning to show it's age and dated design especially the bathroom where the taps / shower controls need replacing. Having said that the cabin steward Daryl worked hard and kept the cabin clean and tidy. The food was usual P&O standard :- ok but not amazing. We chose freedom dining in the Ligerian restaurant, the serving staff were very pleasant, the choice of dishes good and the portion sizes avoid too much weight gain in a fortnight !!. Unless we have to, we avoid using the buffet scrums. This one, The Plaza seemed particularly poorly laid out and much smaller than on other P&O ships. The rest of the staff were very cheerful and helpful and a special mention goes to Dragana Cvetkovic on the reception desk for her very kind help. The evening entertainment was excellent The Headliners performances were superb equal to West End standards. The other acts were equally good , The Flyrites and The Base Tones in particular. A special mention for Pete Brew. The Singer / Guitarist who played in some of the bars in the evenings, he was fantastic. We tend to do our own thing on shore trips, the highlights of this cruise being :- Athens, Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Our first time in Croatia we vowed to return again very soon. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
we chose the cruise beacause it was a short flight to the sun. Ports read good but no beaches in Croatian stops of any quality. Venice was very good as we went to a few new islands. evening departure very good Harrys Bar has to be done ... Read More
we chose the cruise beacause it was a short flight to the sun. Ports read good but no beaches in Croatian stops of any quality. Venice was very good as we went to a few new islands. evening departure very good Harrys Bar has to be done each trip (silly money but I like it ! ) P an O food in main resturant was very poor .They seem to want to keep every thing secret vegatables to them can be 2 runner beans and a fried tomato as a veg with a roast dinner was a new on on me however if you ask you will get a selection only trouble the rest of the food in then not hot. cheese board is poor and not offerd Stilton is a guarded secret . Never once had a resturant manager asking how things were and I cant say I blame him . It needs middle managment running the resturants who have had experience out side cruise ship catering . Luckliy there were other places to eat where food and service was very good (if you could get in) It may not sound like it but we enjoyed ths cruise as much as any we have done its a good ship . Most of the staff are very good although I a did detect a certain amount of atitude from a couple of bar staff . Bands were very good Carnival please dont destroy the P AND O product . More Oceanas and less Britannias please but sort the food out. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our 10th cruise and the 3rd with P&O. The Oceana was selected because its a small ship by today's standards and the itinerary appealed to my wife and I because it would mean return visits to Valetta, Dubrovnik and ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and the 3rd with P&O. The Oceana was selected because its a small ship by today's standards and the itinerary appealed to my wife and I because it would mean return visits to Valetta, Dubrovnik and Venice together with two new destinations Sibenik and Zadar both in Croatia. Having studied many videos of the ship on the web the atrium looked spectacular and both of us like a central atrium to enjoy a coffee or a pre dinner cocktail. We were not disappointed. The Oceana's atrium is a lovely setting for people watching. The ship however is beginning to show its age. It was spotlessly clean and the public areas were well maintained but there were a few technical problems that arose during the cruise. The lifts were awful. There were not enough of them and we had to wait a long time for lifts to arrive and when they did the were usually full. One was out of action for half the cruise. The air conditioning broke down and the Captain had to take to the tannoy to say that it would take 4 hours to repair. Apparently there was a false fire alarm in the engine room one night that disturbed many people though it did not affect our deck and cabin. This again led to a public apology from the Captain. These problems however did not detract from our enjoyment of the cruise. Our cabin [B631 on Deck 9] was fine though not the best designed. The chair in front of the dressing table and its mirror had to be moved if someone wanted to enter or exit the shower and loo. The latter looked rather dated and in need of upgrading. The bed was excellent but the humming noise which we believe came from the air conditioning was quite disturbing. We were so tired however after our day ashore that it did not stop us falling asleep. We breakfasted in the Ligurian dining room and had dinner in the Adriatic at 6.30pm. The menu is formidably British. The service, choice and taste was excellent and the wine is always very reasonably priced on P&O when compared to Royal Caribbean. The Plaza buffet on the top deck seems very small compared to other comparably sized ships and the choice of food was restricted. The coffee as usual was rather tasteless but Costa coffee is available in the atrium at extra cost! Ice cream too has to be paid for. A word of warning. P&O operates a two tier pricing system. If you opt for the second option the cheaper priced one you do not get to choose your cabin, dining time or size of dining table though you can state your preferences. We got our first choice for dining - first sitting but were allocated a table of 8 instead of the 4 we had sought for us and our two travelling friends. It took a number of visits to the Restaurant Manager before we had a table for 4. The entertainment was acceptable. The Headliners singing and dancing group were most energetic and on the whole tuneful. There was piano and music for dancing in the atrium every evening and a good range of entertainment from quizzes to film shows. Shopping was severely restricted by Malta's outrageous 18% tax on everything sold aboard. This was applied not only when the ship was in Malta but anywhere in the EU even in Venice and Dubrovnik!!!! Not P&O's fault of course. We were surprised that there were no Peninsular Club invitations forthcoming. The itinerary was good with the ship docked in all ports except Sibenik where tenders were in operation. Sibenik may prove to be a little hilly for older people but Zadar was a delightful fortified city. As usual the P&O arranged shuttles proved to be more expensive than local taxis particularly if there were four of you. Their £16 ticket from the ship to St Mark's in Venice was expensive when you could get an all day unlimited vaporetto ticket for £18.Embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Cases were taken at 11.00pm on the last night and we next saw them on the carousel at our home airport. Full marks to P&O. On the whole a very enjoyable cruise and good value for money. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We went on a cruise to the Greek islands last week on the P&O ship Oceana. We boarded and disembarked in Valletta, Malta which was really handy as we live in Malta, just twenty minutes away from the port! The ship, though quite old by ... Read More
We went on a cruise to the Greek islands last week on the P&O ship Oceana. We boarded and disembarked in Valletta, Malta which was really handy as we live in Malta, just twenty minutes away from the port! The ship, though quite old by cruise ship standards, was perfect for us. We had a very comfortable balcony cabin which was more than adequate for our needs and the bed was incredibly comfortable. The food was excellent at all times and the customer service on board was generally great too, with the notable exception of the staff manning the embarkment and disembarkment desks, who were rude, unfriendly and unhelpful every time we got off and on the ship. P&O please take note and sort this out, it was shockingly bad. But that was the only compaint, everything else was exceptional. We will definitely be booking again and highly recommend others to try it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
It was a wonderful experience. We had been on 10 other Mediterranean cruises before, but this was by far the very best! We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary, but everything was just right, especially the friendly ... Read More
It was a wonderful experience. We had been on 10 other Mediterranean cruises before, but this was by far the very best! We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary, but everything was just right, especially the friendly service with a smile on every face. We had already planned what to do at every site visited but modified our plans according to the excellent opportunities provided at each country. Embarkation and disembarkation could not go more smoothly. The ship was wonderful and the cabin most comfortable. Dining was always delicious and well presented, and the entertainment most pleasant, especially for the shows by Jon Courteney. We are an elderly couple and we found help every time we needed it. So much so that we plan to go on another cruise on the Oceana 0n the 28th September 2017. A huge THANK YOU to all staff on board Oceana for the state of the art of the presentation and service. Mario and Doris Sammut (Malta) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were looking forward to this cruise as it stopped in Kotor and Corfu where we'd never been before. We had an early morning flight from Manchester to Venice so, as our cabin wasn't ready, we decided to go into Venice. A ... Read More
We were looking forward to this cruise as it stopped in Kotor and Corfu where we'd never been before. We had an early morning flight from Manchester to Venice so, as our cabin wasn't ready, we decided to go into Venice. A friend had advised going on the Grand Canal by water taxi or similar but when we spoke to a P&O rep when we got off the ship she said that we should catch the shuttle, then the people mover and then go on the canal. There were about 15 passengers discussing this and like sheep we all followed her instructions. To cut a story short we ended up walking into Venice and on our return saw the water taxis etc very close to where we'd got on the shuttle bus! Surely the rep should have known this. On our second evening we went to the Captain's welcome party. My husband and I both started to feel unwell before we'd had anything to eat or drink. There was nowhere to sit so we returned to our cabin. I was violently sick and not long after my husband had diarrhoea through the night. On phoning reception we were told to stay in our cabin and someone from the medical centre would phone us. We were told that we would have to stay in our cabin for a minimum of 24 hours - later this was changed to 48 hours. We were told we could order from the room service menu. We only ordered once.The food was inedible. It was so dry you couldn't cut it with the plastic utensils. Luckily we weren't hungry. Then we were charged for two bottles of water! Disgusting! So from brunch on 13th we pretty much ate nothing until breakfast on 16th. We missed Kotor and Corfu. When we were allowed out of our cabin at 9pm on 15th we went to reception and complained about the charge for water. The comment was that we could have drunk from the taps if we didn't want to pay. It wasn't the cost, it was the principle as water was all we could drink. Eventually we were told we wouldn't be charged. During those days confined to our cabin we had two phone calls each day from the medical centre to see how we were but that was all. When we had 'recovered' there wasn't even a courtesy call to see how we were progressing or to offer any support - we were just a number in a cabin. We were told we probably had Norovirus and we were obviously not the only ones. The Captain gave daily updates and a letter was sent to all cabins advising that Norovirus was onboard . The rest of the cruise was spoiled as we didn't have the energy to do much so at Civitavvechia and Ajaccio (where we'd been before) we took a half day tour each day as we couldn't face walking around a lot, especially in Rome. On the days we were at sea there wasn't a great deal of entertainment other than bingo and quizes. In the evening some of the shows were cancelled - perhaps the entertainers also had the virus. The food was ok but not as good as we've had on other cruises - Thomson's. The service in the restaurants was very slow. On the last evening we went to the restaurant at 6:30 and hadn't had our coffee at 8:15. We skipped coffee as we were hoping to go to our first show but found when we arrived that there was nowhere to sit. There was a second show at 10:30 but we had to be up early the following morning so we didn't bother. I enquired at reception whether we could receive any compensation and was told no. I later wrote to P&O saying how disappointed I was. I sent it by recorded delivery over three weeks ago and have received no reply. I think this is very bad mannered to not even acknowledge my letter. Needless to say we won't be cruising with P&O again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose the Oceana because she was a medium size ship, so not too big for a first voyage, as I was travelling on my own. I did a fly-cruise holiday as I love flying and flew from Manchester Airport to Venice where I boarded her. The ... Read More
I chose the Oceana because she was a medium size ship, so not too big for a first voyage, as I was travelling on my own. I did a fly-cruise holiday as I love flying and flew from Manchester Airport to Venice where I boarded her. The transition through the airport was fairly smooth and I boarded the plane and found my seat very easily. I really enjoyed my flight, and thought that the extra £10.00 I paid for my window seat, was exceptional value as I got a beautiful view of the sunrise (we had taken off at about 6.30 am BST, and I was seated on the port (or east side) of the aircraft as we flew south) and the Alps as we flew over them. The cabin staff couldn't be more helpful, and the drop down screens above some of the seats, showed a more or less continuous map of our flight, which I also enjoyed watching. When I reached Venice my transition from the aircraft to the coach (which took me to my ship) was very uneventful and my embarkation of Oceana went very smoothly as I was told what to do and where to go. My first meal on board was a bar-be-que style meal and very enjoyable (as were all the meals that I had on her). When I was told that my cabin was ready for me, I thought that my cases would be outside my it, but I had to wait a little while for them to arrive. I was pleased with the fact that for my first evening meal, the dress code was smart casual (which meant that, like most people, I was able to stay in the clothes that I had travelled in for it). The Black Tie evenings were all fairly low key affairs but I was pleased to see that many families made sure that their children also dressed up for them. Even though I was led to believe that black and white would be the main colours for these evenings, other, brighter, colours were acceptable. The only criticism that I have about the evening meals was that the menus tended to be very "samey" (i.e. there was not much difference in the choice each evening). I chose Freedom Dining so that I could sit at a different table each evening and meet new people. This was an experience that I enjoyed as I don't socialise very much at home. The ship herself was a lovely one for sailing on as her passage over the seas was mainly very smooth. There were a few nights and days when the sea was a bit "choppy" and she had to use her stabilisers, but that was at the end of the voyage when we entered the Bay of Biscay (which is known for its rougher seas) and because of the time of year (October). This meant that I felt the motion of her sailing through the sea a little bit more than for the rest of the trip, but it was still not enough to make me feel seasick. I knew when I booked my holiday that she was a family ship, but, due mainly, again to the time of the year, there were not many children on board, and the ones that were travelling with us, were either very young or kept under control most of the time. My cabin was very well looked after, especially during the 3 or 4 days that I was unfortunately confined to it, due to an outbreak of the Norovirus (which I unfortunately caught). My cabin steward came in about 3 or 4 times a day to clean it whilst I was ill. As soon as the outbreak was over, the captain ordered a deep clean of the ship, and the hygiene standards were maintained during the rest of the trip. I don't know how many of us suffered from it, but I think that it was quite a few. I was very glad that I had paid out the extra for a Balcony cabin, as I was able to sit out on it and watch what was going on in the ports. (My cabin was on the port (or left) side of the ship, which is the side she was mainly tied up on whilst she was in dock). Lucky for me the weather wasn't too bad so I was able to do some sunbathing as well. I found the bed to be very comfortable and, being a Queen sized one, very spacious. I could not hear any noise from outside my cabin or the cabins either side of it. I really enjoyed watching the on board tv channel which showed me where I was, the weather and sea conditions, our itinerary and our speed and direction of travel at all times (especially whilst I was ill). I only attended a couple of the entertainments, but this was due solely to my choice, and they were very good, also, I did not take part in many of the activities (again due to my choice). I did try to have a walk around the decks at least once a day, after my cabin confinement, depending on the weather, as well as I having a couple of swimming sessions in 2 of the pools which were situated on the Sundeck. I preferred the smaller one as it was a similar depth all over so I could put my feet down whenever I needed to, and the water was a bit warmer. I did think that the fact that there were no lifeguards on duty at any of the pools was wrong, but this did not prove to be too hazardous as most parents kept an eye on their children whilst they were bathing. The service in the self-service restaurant was very good and even though, during the Norovirus outbreak, the catering staff had to serve me the food that I chose, I found that this did not mean that I had less to eat, or that the variety of food on offer was deminished. The quality of this food was very good indeed and I enjoyed a full breakfast everyday (once I was allowed back in to the restaurant). When I was allowed to serve myself again, I did tend to over-eat, which meant that I chose to skip my lunches in favour of my evening meals. I decided not to go ashore on any of the excursions, as I cannot walk too far due to the fact that I get puffed out very easily. Also, my sense of direction is not very good and (because I was travelling on my own) I was afraid of getting lost and, maybe, being left in the port when the ship sailed (not that anyone was). I thought that the fact that the on board shops were shut whilst we were in port, was very disappointing as that is when I would have preferred to do my shopping. I also thought that some of the prices in the shops and bars were a bit dearer than I was originally lead to expect, but, in retrospect, I can understand that this was due to the fact that it was a case of "captive custom". As to the library I found this to be well stocked with a variety of authors and types of books. I also enjoyed reading the daily newsletter which told me about the next day's activities both on and off the ship, and was delivered to the cabins each evening. The captain kept us informed of the progress of the virus, and the hygiene suggestions and rules both before, during and after the outbreak. Finally, our transition from Oceana to the shore at Southampton was again very smooth. The only thing that went wrong (and this was not P&O's fault) was the fact that 3 of the passengers that our coach driver thought he was meant to be taking home, did not turn up to board the coach. He waited about an hour for them, and tried everything in his power to find them (he rang their mobiles, and someone went back into the luggage hall to see if they were still there) but they were not to be found. It turned out that they were booked on another coach as well as our one, and whether or not they managed to get on that one is anybody's guess, as we had to leave without them in the end. Our driver could not have been more helpful and accommodating and he made the drive to the dropping off point was very uneventful. All in all I had a very enjoyable and safe holiday (apart from the fact that most of the serving staff were foreigners whose accents I found hard to understand) thanks to P&O's ship Oceana and her crew, and would love to sail with P&O again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on ... Read More
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on board was second to none comedy from the likes of Tom OConner and Theatre shows of excellent quality and of course the excellently presented quizzes. We were booked in to Freedom Dining this gave us an opportunity to meet different people each night a great idea The food served up was of a British selection generally but on occasions an International dish was an alternative well presented delivered by well presented table stewards The Conservatory Buffet Restaurant had well presented food especially at breakfast and two stewards looking after we elder and infirm passengers I cannot praise them enough for the way they looked after me . A loving ship one which I will definitely return to, Read Less
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