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Sarah Trevillion

Age: 24


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: P & O Cruises

Ship: Oceana

Sailing Date: 03-31-2009

Itinerary: Caribbean

Oceana is an amazing ship. The atrium is spectacular. It is all lit up at night. The itinerary was great. The photograhers were fantastic and with the onboard photo packages, I didn't think the photos were that expensive either. The breakfasts were great. We had an English breakfast everyday followed by a smoothie. The choice of breakfast is very varied. On sea days we had lunch at the Plaza which was a buffet restaurant. There was salads, mussels, makerel, ham, chicken, beef etc. For dinner we went Freedom dining which i would recommend. We only waited once for a table and that was for 5 minutes.
The swimming pools and spas were fantastic although it was very hard on sea days to get a sunbed. You either had to get up at the crack of dawn and put your towel out (which we refused to do) or wait until 30 minutes was up and pull someones towel off their sunbed if they still had not returned. The sunbeds are a problem. Well, its not so much the sunbeds, but the people. Some people had 1 sunbed in the sun and 1 sunbed in the shade. Or they would put their towel on a sunbed and wouldn't be seen all day. This I find unacceptable. What my husband and I did was although the ship tells you to wait 20 minutes and then take a towel off a sunbed we waited for 1 hour which would give someone enough time to have lunch. We then put their towel on the floor and used the sunbeds.
There are 2 lounges that the shows are performed in - Footlights and Starlights. Both are at opposite ends of the ship. There are plenty of bars onboard also. Smoking is also a problem. Smokers can only smoke on SOME left hand sides of open decks. On deck 12 there were 4-5 tables i think that catered for smokers.

We went Freedom dining, as we did not want to get stuck at club dining with people we may not get on with. The food was exceptional. It was 5-6 courses. You had a choice of 3 of these starters - smoked salmon, prawns, mussels, pate, etc. then you had a choice of 2 soups. Then came the main course which varied. Sirloin steak and salmon was always a choice. I ate things that I would probably not have tried if I wasn't on a cruise - duck, pheasant, ostrich, wood pigeon, etc. The presentation of the food was first class. Then there was desert which could be anything from flambe pancakes to jack daniels brulee. Cheese and biscuits was always an option and the stilton was gorgeous.

We had an inside cabin as, we spend hardly any time in there at all - only used for sleeping! It was on Brittania deck B203. It was well laid out and bathroom was great. There was lots of shower gel, shampoo, body cream etc that you could use. The shower was fantastic.

Sailaways were fantastic but didn't happen every time you left a port. This I felt was a shame. I thought that at every port there should have been at least music playing in the background for the people that were on deck. Leaving Aruba they handed out Union Jack flags and they had "cocktail of the day" which was Pimms and it was fantastic. Everyone was waving their flags and very joyful.
They had a BBQ at midday onboard but it was a day that we couldn't leave the ship until 12:30 (tender so we left about 2:00) This I felt should have been done on a sea day so everybody could enjoy it. There was also an ice carving but we missed it as we went ashore.
The crew took part in games with some passengers in the pool. These were fun.

Ok here is where we went ashore. P&O excursions were expensive, so we arranged all our excursions ourselves. I had been to all of the countries before, so it helped that I knew where I was going.
In Curacao we went to Kontiki Beach which was fantastic. Drinks are expensive though. We just got off the ship and got a Taxi by the dock.
In Aruba we went to Palm Beach where we went jet skiing which was fantastic. This is by the Radisson Hotel which has wonderful gardens. We then explored the town centre which is in walking distance from the dock.
Costa Maya was fantastic. We spent the whole day in a bar called The Lighthouse. There was swings instead of stools around the bar. They put out hammocks for us on the beach and we went snorkelling. We also had luch there which was lovely. It was very native.
In Cozumel we went to a national park which was good for snorkelling. It began with a K. This was good fun and $16 each to get in.
In Grand Cayman, we went to Turtle Farm and held the turtles. It was very interesting as they look after the turtles and let some back. Others they carry out research on. We also went to a place called "HELL." This was dissapointing so my advice is not to go.
Ocho Rios in Jamaica was fantastic. We went to Dunn River Falls. Be careful here as you have the opportunity to climb the falls. A guy from our ship was disembarked as he broke his leg. Unless he had adventure sports on his insurance policy, he would not have been covered. We did climb the falls it was great. The ship docked at where they filmed Bond, Dr No.
A lot of people I spoke with were worried about going to Jamaica as they had heard bad reports about it. My husband got offered drugs 3 times. But they were very good about doing it. They didn't ask him in front of everyone they asked him to go over to where they were. They also don't ask anyone who has young children with them. Just say no and they are fine. The Jamaicans are very pushy by nature, but they are lovely people. The place has amazing scenery. Just say NO and it will be a lovely cruise stop.
Tortola was my husband's favourite place. This was where the snorkelling was the best. We went to Cane Garden Bay. It was spectacular and just how you imagine paradise to be.
St Maarten we went to Dawn Beach in Oyster Bay. Snorkelling was good here too (we done snorkelling on every island) We then looked round the markets which were in walking distance to the port. We found cigerettes cheapest here.
St. Lucia we went to Spinnakers. This was beautiful but cost the most to hirsunbeds at $20 for both of us. Snorkelling was impossible here as there was no visability.
Barbados we went to The Boatyard which I recommend everyone to do. It is a fun bar set on a lovely beach with floating trampolines. It cost us $30 for both of us to get in. For this you get return transport back to the ship, a choice of drink and hire of sunbed and using of their facilities.

What more can I say it was absolutley fantastic to the point where I have been back a week and I am going to book Ventura for next year. P&O is luxury. The little touches like leaving you a chocolate every night on your pillow adds to the magic that is the Oceana.
Tip - dont take towels as you can use the ships and you can take them ashore.
The only minor problems were the sunbeds, which is easily resolved, and the lack of smoking places. The Karaoke book was like an obituary and needed modernization.

In conclusion, this was the best cruise I have ever done and I can't wait to return onboard the Oceana.

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