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Review of family holiday on Oceana

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The excitement was building – it was almost time for the school holidays. Not only were our grandchildren excited, so was our teacher daughter.

Why there such great anticipation? We were going, as a family on a P&O cruise – daughter, husband, 4 grandchildren, and the two of us.

We have cruised many times over the past 25 years but this was only their second experience.

From the moment we suggested it, almost 6 months before the sailing date, the preparations began. The boys had to buy new evening suits, especially the 10 year old who just loves getting dressed up. Our daughter and granddaughter searched the shops for suitable evening gowns and son-in-law opened his wallet to this end!


Oceana here we come………….

Eventually the big day arrived and we met at the airport for our flight to Venice. This went without a hitch. Check in was easy and the flight with Jet2 was excellent . We arrived in Venice on a HOT July day but were met by a team of very efficient , helpful P&O staff who directed us to comfortable , air-conditioned coaches for the journey to the ship.

Boarding was simplicity itself and we were directed straight to our cabins which were already prepared for us – no hanging around in lounges.


The 4 balcony cabins were adjacent and although we had considered opening up the balcony partitions, on reflection, we decided against this. Our cabin steward was very attentive to any needs but we did our best not to give him too much to do. We made a point of keeping our cabins tidy- not always easily achieved by teenagers.


We had requested, and been allocated, 1st sitting dinner with a table for 8. Our waiters were wonderful and went out of their way to ensure that every meal was a great experience. Especially for our 10 year old charmer who received special attention!!


All members of our party availed themselves of all appropriate facilities and reveled in the activities provided – particularly the Kids’ Club.

With 4 of our group involved in Theatre Productions at home, one in production, two in singing and acting and one a drummer, the shows were a highlight for them and the standard was extremely high. Special mention must go to “Five o’Clock Somewhere’ who were probably the most talented musicians we have seen on any ship.

We enjoyed the dance sessions in the evenings although the venue was not the best for this with the absence of live music and the recorded music not always suited to the genre of dance. A very minor point.


Of course, the sail out of Venice on the first evening was spectacular and the cameras were clicking.

Our first call was Kotor in Montenegro and we all enjoyed exploring the historic city in wonderful weather.

Next was Corfu, where, once again, we enjoyed amazing weather and exploring  the old town.

After a relaxing day at sea , the next stop was Rome. Here we took in some of the ‘must see’ sites including the Colloseum , the Trevi Fountain ( now fully opened up again) and the Pantheon. Our day in Rome was probably the hottest on the entire cruise.

Then onto Ajaccio. Here a ride on the “noddy train” was the highlight for some and a visit to Napoleon’s house for others.

Genoa was our next call and here some of our party used the HoHo bus to view the city as this was our first visit. The 'theatrical' members enjoyed a visit to the Film Museum and, of course, you can’t go to Italy and not have ICE CREAM.

Florence was our next port and everyone reveled in the history and grandeur of the buildings.

Another sea day to enjoy the ship and all she has to offer then it was on to Naples . As it was their first visit to the city our family took an excursion to Pompei and were very impressed.

Having been there on previous occasions we took the Hydrofoil to Capri where we spent a wonderful afternoon just strolling round the very busy streets. It might be nice to go there when there were not so many people like us round, i.e. tourists,…….. but that might be hard to find.

Dubrovnik was next on the list and here some went on the Game of Thrones excursion, voted a great hit, some walked the walls and some just enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere while watching the world go by and drinking coffee. On return to the ship our eldest grandson, who, for his age, is well travelled, declared that he had found his ‘ favourite place in all the World’

Sadly we were coming to an end of this voyage but we still had the opportunity for our daughter to tick off an item on her ’bucket list’  - a gondola trip- in Venice, then after dinner a trip back into the city at night as we had an overnight here before heading home.


Our thanks must go to Emily at Bolsover Cruise Club for the supremely efficient and helpful service she provided in the lead up to this family holiday and we will most certainly continue to use Bolsover for future bookings.


The whole experience was enjoyed by everyone and the children are already asking, ‘ When can we do it again, Grandad?”

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