Oceana had never really interested me much as a cruise ship. I don’t know why but up until when I booked the 4 night trip on her, I just wasn’t too fussed about the ship. However, my doubts about the ship were unfounded and by the time I disembarked back in Southampton, I wanted to get straight back on board and off on the next cruise.
The trip on Oceana was a fairly last minute decision. My class mate at University had decided to book a cruise on for himself and his girlfriend. Little by little, other class mates were booking it too and my arm was twisted and so I decided to book on Oceana too.
Arrival at the Ocean Cruise Terminal and embarkation was very smooth. We checked in and were on board the ship with 30 minutes, now that was fast! Once we embarked we headed to the Plaza buffet to get some much needed food before exploring the ship. First impressions of Oceana were very favourable. She had a lovely atmosphere and the open plan feel of the public rooms added a different dimension. The atrium area was stunning and the Christmas tree and decorations made it feel that little bit more Christmassy!
Our ports of call were Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. Originally we were supposed to have gone to Amsterdam but unfortunately due to bad weather we couldn’t enter the locks to get up to Amsterdam. Instead the Captain informed us that we would be going to Rotterdam instead. I was pleased with this decision as I would be able to go and visit the old SS Rotterdam V which had been preserved as a floating hotel and conference centre and museum.
Zeebrugge was a day that was more relaxing and a short bus journey into Blankenberge meant that I was able to stock up on chocolates for people back home!
In terms of Oceana and the ship itself. It really is a wonderful ship. I enjoyed my four nights on board and just wished it was longer. The Freedom dining worked a treat so we were able to enjoy dinner at a time we wanted and that took the pressure of being at a set time. It worked very well and we got seated pretty much straight away each evening bar one when we were given a pager and told to relax in one of the bars until a space became available. We didn’t have to wait too long so I would recommend choosing the Freedom dining option.
The cabin I had was very nice indeed. Although an inside, there was more than enough room and the bathroom itself was very large with a good size walk in shower. Was really impressed. The cabin steward I had was extremely friendly, efficient and attentive and kudos to him as every time I saw him he had a smile on his face.
The staff on board worked extremely hard and I couldn’t fault anyone of them. They made the cruise feel that little bit more special and they did all they could to make it go as smooth as possible. They certainly exceeded expectations and were a credit to P&O Cruises.
I would certainly recommend Oceana to anyone who was thinking of sailing on her. You will fall in love with her charm.