We have cruised many times with P & O, preferring Azura for Caribbean holidays, but decided to try a smaller ship, i.e. Oceana. The price was reasonable and as a seven night cruise was a good way of deciding whether we would like the ... Read More
We have cruised many times with P & O, preferring Azura for Caribbean holidays, but decided to try a smaller ship, i.e. Oceana. The price was reasonable and as a seven night cruise was a good way of deciding whether we would like the ship, we booked it - Genoa to Venice. However, on reading some of the reviews before leaving, we were wondering just what to expect as some were very off-putting.
Flying from Newcastle (which is rare for P & O), on the plus side we never saw our luggage until it appeared outside the cabin. Transfer to the port was ok but there was confusion at check-in when they said the cabin we were booked into, wasn't assigned to us on their database, so we had to chase this up with Reception on the ship. Eventually it was sorted and we received a note apologising for the error.
We had an outside cabin on D deck, which, for a week, was fine. There were no problems with noise and was within easy reach of the lifts, theatre and shops. On longer trips we would book a balcony. It was clean and adequate, although the shower area is too small but serves the purpose. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are supplied. After previously doing a Thomson cruise where the towels are grey and thin and the shower area was in need of maintenance, this was luxury!
As for the ship, we were amazed at how nice it was - it was well preserved and clean; the Atrium is beautiful. After reading all the comments about rust, we were actually looking for it, but all ships have a little bit of rust on the outside and this ship was no different. It is a very homely ship and the buffet area is the best I have seen for comfort and space.
Food was acceptable, maybe not the best we have had on a cruise ship, but you didn't starve and there was usually something to suit all tastes, both in the buffet and the restaurant. My husband eats vegetarian food and he managed to find something to suit his tastes. We like Indian food but thought they served it probably too often in the buffet. The Asian and Oriental night in the buffet was really good. One of the reasons we ate more in the buffet on this cruise in the evening was to eat quicker so that we could see both shows - one at 8.30 and the other at 10.30. Eating in the restaurant can take two hours. The staff were very efficient in clearing the tables and polite.
Some reviews criticised the entertainment but we would give it a high rating, both for the resident singing and dancing group and the visiting acts. Thoroughly enjoyed all the entertainment, including the speaker and the art talks.
Disembarkation was fine from the ship but poor when leaving the coach for the airport in Venice. It was raining and we had a long walk to reach the airport. Bad planning!
Overall, this is one of the nicest ships we have been on and we have done 29 cruises. We wouldn't hesitate to book another cruise on the Oceana. Read Less