Just come back from a 15 night Med Cruise on the Oceana departing from Malta. The ports we went to were amazing, if a little busy especially Santorini, which was so busy you could not move in the streets of Oia (The lovely village in all the photos of this island) or Thera, where the cruise ships dock. There was only one other cruise ship in that day besides us. But we were told that there can be up to 12 cruise ships a day in that little port, five were due in the day after the Oceana’s visit.
Although we mainly enjoyed the cruise our biggest issue was with the food on the ship, which was not very good, especially in the Plaza (self service ) on deck 14. Most of the time it was inedible. The meals in the Adriatic (one of sitting dinner restaurants), was okay some nights but not very good most evenings. The gala dinner was not very special only a sorbet course added on. We dined in the Cafe Jardin (Cover Charge) a few times and it was good
We have been on the Oceana before and two other P&O Ships, the Ventura and the Britannia , as far as we can remember and we had no issue with the food before, so I don’t know what is going on now. P&O seem to have cut back on the staff on the Oceana. They also seem to be concentrating on selling their new mega ship the Iona. Maybe that is where the staff have all gone to! Or it could be that because they are not adding gratuities on their bills anymore that the can’t afford the staff.
The entertainment was good, if you could get a seat in the Theatre, or peace to watch the show, as people were bringing in there very young children to the 10:30 p.m. performances.
My husband was so disappointed with the Oceana, that he says he does not want to sail with P&O again. I would like to try one of the smaller adult only ships, but he is adamant that he will not go on another P&O Ship as the standards have dropped so much.
The best bit about the ship what our Room Steward, Linet, she was such a helpful and lovely person. We had no issue with the cleanliness of the ship, except there was no policing by staff in the The Plaza (self-service restaurant) of guests using the sanitizers as they went into the buffet area to get food. They made sure you used the sanitizer in the main restaurants, where on the whole you were using only your own cutlery to eat. However, in the Buffet loads of people would be handling the tongs and serving spoons. We noticed lots of people just walking in and not bothering about their hands. We caught a very bad cold on board and I noticed a lot of other passengers were coughing like we were.
The excursions were very good and the Excursion team on board headed by Mo were very helpful. People say the ship’s excursions are expensive but we found that those we took on this cruise were good value for money.
Just another comment, my husband is in a wheelchair and we found that there were no extra staff around to carry trays in the Plaza for the disabled and elderly. We got the feeling that they only wanted young people on board and disabled people were a bit of a nuisance.
Overall, we think the standards on P&O ships must be declining as they concentrate on their new Mega Ships