Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Day Visit to P&O Oceana
180 people found this review helpful
This was my first visit to Oceana since her refit earlier in the year. Unlike other ships in the P&O fleet Oceana was built for the American market and first sailed in 2000 as Ocean Princess for Princess Cruises. Since joining the P&O fleet in 2002 Oceana has become very popular with a loyal following. Weighing in at over 77,000 tonnes Oceana is classed as a large resort ship but in today’s world with mega builds of 225,000 tonnes she is of medium size. However at 857 feet long and 105 feet wide Oceana is still large. When full she can carry nearly 2,300 passengers who are accommodated in 372 inside cabins, 603 outside view cabins and 410 balcony cabins. There are also 19 wheelchair accessible cabins. The ship is operated by a crew of 850 and the 10 main passenger decks are serviced by 11 lifts.
Today the ship was berthed at Ocean Terminal, Southampton. For those who have not been to the Ocean terminal it is a modern building with a vast waiting area and check in desks similar to any large airport you may visit. There is however just one small counter that sells coffee, tea, wine etc. Checked in, next was security and onto the ship.
Boarding on deck 5 immediately takes you to the lowest level of a beautiful 4 deck high Atrium. This area is very much in keeping with ships of American origin which takes us back to the origins of Oceana. Extensive use has been made of white marble, chrome, sparkling glass and varnished hand rails. The stairs have yellow diode lighting on the treads and glass lifts travel between the various levels. Palm Trees adorn the area giving it a distinct Caribbean feel and you can’t help but notice the looks of amazement of people who have never travelled on the ship before. This deck is also home to the Ligurian Restaurant, one of the ships main dining rooms as well as the Reception and Shore Excursions areas.
Into the lift and then, as is normal for me, up to the top deck, Sky Deck, where is housed the sports area, a splash pool and the Pennant Bar. One deck down brings you to Sun Deck where sun loungers adorn the outer edges of the ship and the front is taken up by The Plaza, the buffet restaurant and the Horizon Grill. The Plaza offers good food choice and it was impressive to see that staff were at both entrances ensuring that passengers used the hand gel prior to entering the food section. The Horizon Grill, as it name suggests does burgers, steaks, seafood etc. At the opposite end of this deck are the Terrace Bar and the Whirlpool Spa.
Down one to Lido Deck where the two main swimming pools are located along with two whirlpools and the Riviera Bar. Adequate sun bathing area surrounds the pools. To the rear of this deck is what I term ‘The make you look good zone’. This comprises the gym, hairdressers, spa treatment and massage rooms, sauna, a spa pool with two spa whirlpools and several other areas to make you look or feel good.
Deck 8 known as ‘D Deck’ houses the Monte Carlo Club. A well appointed lounge with a small stage that is ideal for singers, musical duo and the like. The seats in mauve, purple, grey and maroon blend well and give the area a luxury feel. On the other side of the ship is Winners, a small casino with tables for, 3 Card Poker, Blackjack etc and slot machines for the less adventurous.
Deck 7, Promenade Deck features a promenade that extends the distance around the ship so for those more energetic than me it can be used for exercise. This deck is also home to the main entertainment venues. At the front of the ship is Footlights Theatre, at the stern is Starlight’s. ‘Footlights’ is a large single deck theatre venue, tiered seating for over 500 passengers and the side walls are draped with large paintings. There are no pillars so sight lines are excellent from all seats. Many passengers will be delighted with the no drinks service policy in this venue allowing you to enjoy the show without being constantly pestered by waiters. Starlight’s in many ways is the complete opposite in that it is a brightly lit venue with windows on two sides. The seats are blue and cream in alternating rows and the gold ceiling is full of sparkling stars. At the sides are separate seating areas with red velour settees. This is a venue where I would be happy to sit and be entertained. The ships library is located on this deck. Lots of books beautifully housed in wall mounted illuminated bookcases. Great selection of subjects and authors. . Deck 6, E Deck, is home to the two shopping areas, Bond Street and Regent Street. Here you can enjoy browsing in the shops selling everything from clothing to jewellery and of course the obligatory shop selling souvenirs with ‘Oceana’ on them together with one selling the usual array of cigarettes and bottles of alcohol at ship board prices which on P&O are very reasonable. This deck also houses the Adriatic restaurant. This is the other main dining room and covers conventional dining times of 6.30pm and 8pm seating’s.
Now to what many people consider one of the most important aspects of a ship, the cabins. All the cabins on this ship are of decent size ranging from 137 sq.ft. for an inside no view through the various categories to suites of over 600 sq.ft. All cabins are very well appointed and even the lowest category has TV, Radio, Telephone, Hairdryer, Safe, Tea/Coffee making facilities and Air conditioning. All cabins are very tastefully furnished and will give you a good night’s sleep.
Now for the big question, would I sail on this ship? I personally preferred this ship to some of the other P&O ships as it was brighter with a beautiful atrium and lots of sun bathing space. There are other bars like Magnums, Le Club and the fabulous Yacht and Compass. The facilities are definitely impressive for a ship of this size. When I cruise I want good food, a nice size cabin and room to sun bathe together with a variety of entertainment venues. Casinos do not interest me but a nice venue to enjoy an after dinner or pre bed time drink does. My wife enjoys P&O because she likes to be able make a cup of tea in the cabin in the morning. Not every cruise line supplies tea/coffee making facilities with a choice of biscuits. P&O also have free laundries on their ships so that you can press shirts and trousers especially for the formal nights. In a nutshell Oceana ticks all the right boxes for me. I could enjoy a cruise on this ship and I know that many people will.
180 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.