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Sail Date: March 2019
We have been cruising with smaller ships for the last few years - Viking and Oceania - but really liked the itinerary on this cruise and felt it was very good value for money. We really enjoyed our experience and loved Dubai and the UAE ... Read More
We have been cruising with smaller ships for the last few years - Viking and Oceania - but really liked the itinerary on this cruise and felt it was very good value for money. We really enjoyed our experience and loved Dubai and the UAE so much that we are going again next year. We were busy on this cruise with an excursion every port day and had booked most activities via P&O. Two, in particular, were very memorable - the Bahraini food trail in Manama and the day at Al Ain from Abu Dhabi. I had a very funny close encounter with a camel which was caught on camera and amuses me every time I look at it. We also loved the fjord dhow cruise to see dolphins and The Frame in Dubai is incredible. For those like us who had pre-booked excursions, the whole process was very organised. We wanted to go up the Burj Khalifa but didn’t want to queue so we booked high tea at the Atmosphere Lounge on Floor 123 in the Armani Hotel. Whisked straight up and had a window table all to ourselves with amazing views. Pricey of course but a unique experience. We were on second sitting so after dinner and a nightcap, we were usually ready for bed by 11 pm and therefore didn’t see many shows or talks but what we did see was very good. There was good music around the ship. For us, the food in the MDR for breakfast, lunch and dinner was consistently good with lots of choice and excellent service. We are not so keen on buffet eating but, when we did, it was again a wide choice and food was generally good. I can understand the choices wouldn’t be to everybody’s taste but it suited us as we like to eat a diverse range of foods. Oceana is one of P&O’s smaller ships and her atrium is beautiful. We found the officers and crew very efficient and friendly. The sun deck was very crowded as so many people had chosen this cruise for winter sun and sunbathed for long periods. As we don’t sunbathe, this didn’t bother us. We did hear some people moaning or just being generally negative but really couldn’t find fault with anything ourselves. It would be nice to have lobster on offer every day as Oceania Cruises do but then we would have to pay a lot more. All in all, we feel that we had an amazing time in an area we hadn’t visited before and met some lovely people whose company we enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". Nonesense. The Oceana is a tired, smallish vessel, and P & O expects their clients to want to go to bed early, and indeed many do. By 11 p.m. the ship was quite deserted. We were (eventually) given first sitting and we had a nice table for 8. The service was good, but the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. I do believe they had a glut of squash, asparagus and mushrooms, because that was on the menu all the time. The buffet is small, but never much of a queue, except when the tours returned. However the food was poor and repetitive. The onboard Headlines were awful! Two of the lady singers couldn't "sing". One struggled to find a tune and the other just screamed down the microphone. The dancing looked more like an old-school PE session, with lots of jumping about with lots of energy, but no finesse. The visiting acts were mediocre, the comedians were telling jokes from the 60's. Again all past their sell by date. The magician was good but dragged out his performances. There was a pianist in the atrium, and without actually checking, he either had 6 fingers on each hand, or only 2. He was dreadful. However people sat in rows, like an old folks home, listening to him. Can't for the life of me think why. The seating in the show lounges was poor. In the Starlight theatre there were bucket seats crammed together and behind them were a sofa seating. The buckets seats were higher than the softas, and the distance between them was so tiny, that people were climbing over the backs of the sofas to get to their seats. The Footlights theatre seating was all sloping forwards, so not very comfortable. We had an inside guarantee cabin which was perfectly adequate, B624. No complaints there. However there were sequins on the floor when we arrived, and still there when we left. Obviously never vacuumed. The price of alcohol is expensive. A 250ml glass of house red/white wine was £5.65. A Peroni on draft was £4.80 a pint. Can't comment on any other drinks. The ship was always cold, from the air conditioning. Read Less
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Sail Date: February 2019
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to ... Read More
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to the F1 Track. Second Stop was 2 days in Abu Dhabi - first day Shuttle bus took us to a newly finished Mall on the outskirts of town, quite disappointing as there was no way of walking to the main part of town, bit of a wasted day really. Second day we went on a cruise excursion to Grand Mosque- a visit to a traditional handmadecrafts village, great opportunity to buy local crafts - trade in Diram, Euro's and Dollars. Very friendly and look out for the man that does weaving really worth a visit.A drive around the sites of Abu Dhabi and then a final visit was to a Fort .. this was a superb tour and I would really recommend it as we saw lots and it was good value at £40 each. A day at sea followed . Our next visit was to Muscat , here the shuttle bus took us to a market and we explored the town and the harbour. It was a little confusing at the port we had to get off the bus and go through a security check before re-boarding the bus to get to the town. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous there is a beautiful beach a short taxi ride from the port. We then visited Kushab, a lovely little town where goats roamed the streets and there was a wealth of electronic shops selling allsorts... My daughters bought a pair of airpods that work great for £20, from a shop in the square where the shuttle bus dropped us off. We also found a beautiful beach just next to the port and the sea was really warm, there is no pavement to get there so you need to bear right out of the port and follow the track ..walk behind the crash barrier to the beach , it's less than 1/2 a mile walk. We then enjoyed a fun day on the beach at Sir Ban Yas Island- The ship provided a great packed lunch and drinks on the beach. Our final stop was a return to Dubai, where we arranged our own excursion through Arabian Nights Tours, we had a great great time our guide was called Ramzan and he took us camel riding ( just a quick walk around a pen but good photo opportunities), Sand boarding and Dune Bashing these were both brilliant. He also told us loads about Dubai and its culture. We then took a taxi to the Miracle Gardens, this is a must see for anyone visiting Dubai. The shuttle bus took us to the Dubai Mall where we walked to the burj khalifa and the dancing fountains - we also saw the amazing huge fish tank in the Mall with sharks, stingrays and dozens of amazing fish. Our final day a thick cloud descended on the whole area so it scuppered our plans to visit the palm as we would not have been able to see anything- but we feel this is a good excuse to visit again. Great holiday, excellent value with P&O , having sailed with Princess, Celebrity, Cunard and Royal Caribbean in the past, I would have no hesitation in sailing with P&O again , the Oceana was very friendly and offered really good food. We traveled as a family of 6 with 2 teenage girls, we felt extremely safe throughout our holiday and everyone was very friendly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship ... Read More
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship by 11am having had an overnight flight from Glasgow and the cabins were released at 12pm. Our cabin was L343 on deck 12. The cabin was a wee bit dated but clean and tidy and always tidied up very quickly in the morning. Because we had a corner cabin the shower was quite big, i was initially a bit concerned when i noticed that we had a service corridor backing on to our cabin but you only heard a bit of noise just after 8am apart from that it was great. We ate in the main dining room the food was excellent and always piping hot, I found the buffet for breakfast and lunch very good and had no problem getting a table at any time. Ports were good and trips from the ship were of a reasonable price and standard, the free shuttle buses at the ports were a real plus. Found that if you were going to the starlights theatre you had to get there really early to get a seat as people were reluctant to move along the rows which was quite annoying. The comedians were good as were the musicians and dancers although i felt that some of the singers voices werent strong enough for some of the songs that they sung. All in all a first cruise with P+O and found it really good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Refit has improved Oceana, a ship we like. CRUISE SPOILT BY NOISE AT NIGHT If you want a good nights sleep and the ability to get to sleep before midnight DO NOT BOOK CABIN C510. For whatever reason the noise from from lower deck ... Read More
Refit has improved Oceana, a ship we like. CRUISE SPOILT BY NOISE AT NIGHT If you want a good nights sleep and the ability to get to sleep before midnight DO NOT BOOK CABIN C510. For whatever reason the noise from from lower deck venues comes up through 2 decks into the cabin, this carries on until midnight and beyond. Loud cheers of guests watching sporting events, entertainers singing and shouting etc. NEVER BOOK C510. 2 days in Dubai, 2 days in Abu Dhabi and visits to other UAE states and the Oman. Free shuttle buses in all ports of call were very good. Overall Oceana has benefited from her 2017/18 refit and does not look as tired as she did before. We dined in the Beach House twice and found the food and service excellent, food in the self service was adequate but nothing special although the staff were friendly and helpful, only blip was the very poor omelette station at breakfast. The entertainment by the Headliners Theatre Company was outstanding, good singers and excellent dancers made their shows well worth seeing. Overall a good cruise spoilt by a Noisy Cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We were going to Dubai anyway so tagged on the cruise. We have done this with other cruise lines and have actually done the same cruise 4 times before. We usually book a balcony cabin as we like to sit on the balcony in the evening with a ... Read More
We were going to Dubai anyway so tagged on the cruise. We have done this with other cruise lines and have actually done the same cruise 4 times before. We usually book a balcony cabin as we like to sit on the balcony in the evening with a drink but we know from visiting this part of the world many times that it can be chilly in the evenings. So we booked a large outside cabin and were not disappointed. It was very large with a window not a port hole. Lots of storage space, drawers, shelves etc but the safe was tiny, likewise the bathroom. But it was clean and everything worked so we were well happy. The hairdryer was pretty efficient but in entirely the wrong position if you are right handed, We were freedom dining. The food was fine but the service rather slow. We also ate in Cafe Jardin which was surprisingly good and portions huge. We also ate in the Beach House which was up to the same standard as the Beach Houss on other P&O ships. The Plaza buffet has the most awful layout, similar to the Ventura and Azura buffets. A very stressful experience going to the Plaza. Food was OK but not the variety that you get on Britannia. The ship has lots of small bars but we went to Winners on deck 8 and struck up a friendly association with the staff there. We sat at the front of the ship which was OK even on the one sea day we had. If you wanted to sit around the pool then you had to be content to be a sardine as there was no space between the beds. Sunbeds were large and sturdy but were roped down every night and not released until nearly 9am the next morning. We managed to release a couple for ourselves before this but otherwise I thought the general release time was ridiculously late. The crew swilled down the sun deck most nights which meant that the deck surface was very slippery. The ship felt cramped, the atrium very small and a lot of the floors were uneven which can catch you out especially in the Plaza buffet. Likewise the gangways to get on and off the ship were basic and not very sturdy which was a bit disconcerting. Could not fault the staff and even the reception desk was efficient!! We met some nice people, the weather (apart from one day in Abu Dhabi) was near perfect. We were not on a fly cruise but were travelling independently so we were not subjected to the overnight flight to and from Dubai. I would not advocate doing the fly cruise. Make your own arrangements and use Emirates. All in all a good trip. Don't think I will be going back on Oceana again as I prefer the bigger ships where I don't feel hemmed in so much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The smoothest cruise I’ve ever had according to our captain, and he was right there was hardly a ripple from start to finish. We boarded Oceana in Southampton on a cold January morning at the “Queens terminal” which was not very ... Read More
The smoothest cruise I’ve ever had according to our captain, and he was right there was hardly a ripple from start to finish. We boarded Oceana in Southampton on a cold January morning at the “Queens terminal” which was not very royal, and we embarked in no time at all for our 20 night journey to Dubai. The whole of the cruise was a flat as a pancake, with excellent smooth seas all the way. For economic reasons we had an inside cabin this time, C525, which was al little compact but comfortable & kept clean and tidy by Bruno our steward. We were allocated 1st sitting on a table for four which was ideal for us. Food was up to the usual excellent standards with first class service from our waiters in the dining room. With plenty of other dining options available, we enjoyed using the Cafe Jardin for lunch. I’ve forgotten just how comfortable and easy to get around Oceana is, a lovely intimate ship, and one I would certainly travel on again. We had seen most of the guest speakers before so did not attend their sessions, Entertainment was very good, with actor Robert Daws hosting a series of talks and question and answer sessions, which were very good indeed. We are not great Headliner fans, but saw a couple of their shows. We stopped at Cadiz, Malta, transit of the Suez Canal, Salalah & Muscat in Oman, then onto Dubai. We did our own thing in Cadiz and Malta, but opted for P&O organised trips in Salalah and Muscat, as these were new destinations for us. In our only day in Dubai we went on the BBQ under the stars trip, which I can highly recommend, we had a fantastic time. The whole experience was very enjoyable, and a great way to escape the January weather. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and Dubai. To celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was a good size with ample storage, and lots of mirrors. Take an extension lead as ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and Dubai. To celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was a good size with ample storage, and lots of mirrors. Take an extension lead as there was only one British socket which was on the far side of the dressing table. The bathroom was tiny and you need to dry off in the shower, which only had over head shower. Room was quite dated and very small TV, good selection of channels. Balcony was dated as it is an old ship, but I would recommend having one if you enjoy time on your own. For breakfast we preferred to eat in cafe Jardin on deck 8 top of the atrium, limited choice but served to you and quiet. There are only 2 speciality restaurants for evening dining one is the beach house which is part of horizon buffet in the evening. If you are hoping to dine on your own on a table for 2 without overhearing conversations within arms reach this is not the ship for you. Tables for 2 in both set dinning 6.30 and 8.30 and freedom dining 6pm til 9.30pm are very limited. We were in freedom dining on deck 5 the only evening we were seated imidiately was when we went at 5.40pm every other evening we were given a pager and sat in the bar on deck 8 for 10 to 50 min waiting for our table for 2, if we would have been happy to share a table then most likely we would have been seated straight away. The food and service was usually excellent. The entertainment was also excellent but limited seating so get in the venue early. Sauna and steam rooms are in the changing rooms so no joint male/female one. Quiet area on deck 14 at back of the ship was our favourite place to spend sea days, 3 jacuzzis and a pool. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was ... Read More
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was good and had a different good lunch experience in the Ligurian, rather than the Buffet or the "suite lunch". Didn't get priority boarding as we had expected (mini suite) but as we were there at 12.30 we didn't wait long. Oceana's Atrium is lovely and all trimmed up, dance floor a touch small but we all coped, even on very rough stormy night. Quite how people complain of limited choice at lunch/dinner is beyond me. I wonder if people visit all the counters in the buffet, there is always lots of additional choices (hot & cold) to the curry (v good) and stir fry, including usually a roast. At dinner I counted eleven main course choices and a similar number of vegetables. MDR waiters were very good and friendly, our Wine Steward was exceptional. Food was fine, and offered more if we wanted without asking, soups are particularly good, we could not mange any more though. Only a short cruise so perhaps entertainment was more limited. Only one visiting speaker (I think) although the dated WW2 talks seem to have gone, which is good really. Queen show in Footlights was good although we have seen before, but hey ho I play the CD again and again. Headliners in Starlights was very good. This lounge and its equivalent on the "older" ships are in my view better than the newer ones, with more theatre style seating than tables and chairs it was not a problem getting a seat. Mama Mia Here We Go Again was showing in the theatre and on cabin TV, good. Nice mix of fellow passengers all well dressed be it formal or smart casual, and if P&O's embargo has resulted in no football shirts hooray, only saw one smart "tucked in" discrete logo football shirt, and there was plenty of footie on the bar TV's. We met some nice friendly people. Our mini suite B573 was excellent, bigger than some suites we have had, and I think allowing for a smaller balcony (but still big) the actual cabin was bigger than the adjacent suite. Some engine noise/vibration when docking/departing but only for 5-10 minutes at most, not a problem. Usual issues of some people steadfastly refusing to use the hand gels, and "table hoggers" at the Buffet claiming seats and then going off individually to get food - why, there are plenty of seats? Wheelchair users were given consideration and also they were considerate to others with the odd exceptions. Why two men expected to be seated in Freedom immediately just because they are in wheelchairs is beyond me, fortunately it was beyond the Maitre D as well and he gave them a pager like everyone else. A good cruise and was not as frenetic on the first night as it can sometimes be, everyone seemed to drop into their own routines very quickly, few queues therefore. Disembarkation was excellent, had breakfast in MDR by which time it was 9am and we joined our scheduled leaving time and we were in the car heading out of Southampton by 9.30am. Well Done P&O Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We fancied an Xmas cruise so we would not need to cook this year, and also for a little chance of winter sunshine. I and my wife have now completed some 16 or so cruises, but this is our second one with P&O, the first being a year or ... Read More
We fancied an Xmas cruise so we would not need to cook this year, and also for a little chance of winter sunshine. I and my wife have now completed some 16 or so cruises, but this is our second one with P&O, the first being a year or two ago on the Ventura, which was just 'OK'. Our choice was based upon destination and price, and the Oceana fitted the bill, it was going to the Canaries and Madeira over the festive period. We had never visited the Canaries, so it was an opportunity to see if we liked them, and would go back and to get some sun. We had an evening at the Holiday Inn Southampton prior to the cruise with inclusive parking for up to 15 days and two-way ship transfers, which we booked ourselves. This turned out to be good value and close to the Mayflower Terminal. The morning of departure was a breeze. We were due to board at 1 pm, but arrived about 12 pm in an early taxi. No problem check in was very fast and we simply walked on the ship after depositing our cases. Our first cruise with P&O had a quick check in and this was no different, probably better and faster than any other company we have been with. This speed and efficiency on disembarking and boarding continued throughout our trip and at the destinations. Very easy and stress-free, and on our final disembark at Southampton. Wewll done P&O Our cabin was soon ready, within the hour in fact, and the buffet of course was open!. ( See points on cabin below ) First impressions were good, and overall the staff were attentive, and as my wife was diabetic they helped her with the diabetic meal choices. Food everywhere was of a good standard ( we did not each much in the buffet as we prefer the main dining room ). over the 12 days there were recurring 'favourites', ie steak, chicken etc but overall a good choice. Meals were well presented and hot which is vital for me. We heard someone moaning about the poor standard, but to be honest what do they want ?. There was a wide choice at every meal, so something for everyone. Again,service was good and we had no complaints. The restaurant staff work very hard as do the wine waiters. I had pre ordered a wine package of 6 bottles, and this suited us fine as we had about half a bottle per evening. We also had drinks in the bar, a gin, or Martini in the evenings and the odd beer. Prices are UK pub prices as I dont think they do a specific drinks package. However we both got £115 cabin credit as part of the deal and this was great, as we did not spend much in total. A bit of a moan though. More than once they did not have the advertised drink, particularly the selection of beers, and beware of the 'cocktails'. One guy asked for extra alcohol in his as to be fair, some taste very weak!. I think the bar managment need to get their act together, as it could be improved in the bars. We also found the ship busy,. but it was Xmas, but there was often a lack of a quiet space to have a drink. The Yacht and Compass Puib was always noisy with some activity going on, so no quiet drink in there. Most nights we opted for Magnums bar which was OK The voyage was fine, but for 24-36 Hrs we hit a force 9-10 in the Bay of Biscay on the outbound leg. No effect on myself and my wife who dont get seasick, but a massive shock to some first time cruisers and many of the passengers who wewre ill. In fact we heard a couple complain at reception about the weather !!!. I think folks need to realise that if they book a cruise, particularly in December, and it the Atlantic then this is a chance you take!. Its not P&O's fault. Once we got through it conditions were calm for the rest of the cruise and all the way back to the UK, although I think a few passengers got off at Madeira and flew home !. Ports of call were fine, as was the weather. We missed Lanzarote due to winds and tidal conditions so had two nights in Tenerife which was fine by us. We love Madeira, but we were not too impressed by the Canaries, but that is a personal thing and we would not go back, although we got the nice weather. We only had one excursion ( only as we had two days in Santa Cruz and I had not planned on another day ) to mount Tede, which was very good and we enjoyed it. Overpriced as always, but we did end up spending less than we thought. Lisbon was nice, but it was colder than the UK !! The entertainment overall was varied and quite good, we varied our shows each night which is something we like doing; so there was something for everyone. I did not like the magician, and normaly I do, but he did not impress me at all. The crew dancers were great and there was plenty to do all over the ship. Guest speakers ( one on planets and space, and the other on showbusiness ) were both entertaining. The ship, well, OK but I am not keen on the Fincantieri ships, dont know what it is, but just not my scene. That said we felt very safe with a first class crew. One issue though. we are not old yet, but I thought we had got on a Fred Olsen ship!!. The number of passengers with walkers, wheelchairs and chronic problems ( which they loved talking about ) must have kept the sick bay busy. Far from being a booze cruise at times I thought I was in a rest home...Well perhaps its Xmas, but we would prefer a somewhat younger crowd, but again maybee its the ship. Overall a nice cruise, better than our first P&O experioence, so we would probably book with them again on a different ship Read Less
Oceana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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