September 27.

Oceana cruises in 2018

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CaroleF
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September 27.

Post by CaroleF » 29 Sep 2018, 15:24

After a tiring start - delayed at Gatwick for 90 minutes. We were told due to a fuel spillage by Thomas Cook. Very uncomfortable flight, so little leg room. Arrived Malta 7pm. Got luggage, went to coach. On arrival at the port went to amazing underground check in surrounded by rocky cliff. Then practically blown along the pier to get on ship. Told to go to the buffet for something to eat then special muster drill at 9.30 pm. We could wait and do it in the morning but wanted to get it over with. Then announcement from the Captain, sailing delayed due to high winds. In the morning when we woke about 6.30 we were still there. Eventually left about 7am. Very choppy - took Stugeron! Later Captain said itinerary had to change. Couldn’t go to Piraeus. Ventura had been there 3 days as too dangerous to get out due to tropical storm Medicane. The following hours were the worst we’ve met in 15 years of cruising. Force 9. Couldn’t walk across the cabin. As the afternoon went on the winds started to lessen. Captain said much better by midnight. Now on to Corfu, Mykonos and Gythion scrapped. This morning calm sea and sun in Corfu thank goodness. Now on to Katakolon, then Piraeus, Heraklion, sea Day then back to Malta. Hopefully second week will be as scheduled! What a trip. Has it put us off cruising - no!

Carole

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barney
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Re: September 27.

Post by barney » 29 Sep 2018, 15:48

The storm has been reported here Carole.
I said to Mrs b this morning I'm blooming glad we are not in Greece at the moment.
Hopefully the rest of your trip will be lovely.

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Happydays
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Re: September 27.

Post by Happydays » 29 Sep 2018, 15:48

Interesting Carole, you joined Oceana as we left our week round the Greek islands was lovely hot & sunny but the second week we had Dubrovnik cancelled and went to Messina instead hope you enjoy your cruise :)
Last edited by Happydays on 29 Sep 2018, 15:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenmo1
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Re: September 27.

Post by Kenmo1 » 29 Sep 2018, 17:32

The weather forecaster on BBC mentioned the Medicane this morning and said it is a rare hurricane type wind although on google it has been referred to as a cyclone but the word rare was used each time so you certainly have experienced something quite unusual. Glad to see it hasn't put you off cruising. Hopefully the weather will improve for the rest of your holiday.

Maureen


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CaroleF
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Re: September 27.

Post by CaroleF » 03 Oct 2018, 14:27

We come to the end of our first week tomorrow and since the debacle of our flight and the fairly horrendous day at sea things have definitely improved. We had really hot days in Corfu, Katakalon and yesterday in Heraklion - apparently it reached 31C yesterday according to the Captain. I haven't heard too many moans on board just resignation about the weather really. It was good that the Captain was able to find us other ports to go to. Today we are at sea, started off fairly grey, bit of a swell. The sun is now out but the sea is still a swell but nothing really to disturb people. I was surprised to discover how many first time cruisers seem not to have prepared for the possibility of poor weather and didn't bring any sea sickness tablets with them. We certainly used them on that first sea day and were fine. Oceana is one of our favourite ships mainly, I suppose because we love the aft mini suites and have our favourite on C deck at the moment. Certain things have been disappointing so far, mainly to do with food. We are Club Dining which we always choose and our waiters are great, keep offering, extra vegetables or extra anything really. The food in the main restaurant is, I think, of a good standard, plenty of choice. Stilton is on offer each evening and the cheeseboard seemed to have a good selection of reasonable size pieces of cheese - not the very tiny pieces I've seen on offer before.
Where things have been disappointing is in the buffet - Plaza - and in Cafe Jardin. I do my best to avoid the buffet but we've been there at least twice at lunch time - admittedly later in the lunch period but the choice has been pitiful I think, especially in the salad selection. There are no jacket potatoes any more, yesterday there were some tiny pieces of cooked chicken, some very tough looking pieces of mackerel, something that looked like Spam, although I'm sure it wasn't and that was it. No ham, no pork pie or other fish selections. It all just didn't look attractive. For desserts there was a choice of a mousse, a small pot of fruit salad and believe it or not five selections of creamy gateaux. Why they've suddenly got so keen on serving creamy looking gateaux I don't know.

Cafe Jardin has always been one of our favourite places, particularly for breakfast. Now the breakfast selection is very small. There are the usual pastries, croissants etc. and occasionally some Bircher Museli, none this morning though. We used to be able to get fruit compotes, yoghurts, fresh fruit, melon etc. It all seems to have disappeared. There were cheeses and some cold meats. At lunch time there is a choice of hot dishes and if you like cheese there's lots of choice. Puddings were again, lots of creamy gateaux. The salad selection was tiny. It just seems a shame when Cafe Jardin was such a great place to have breakfast. This is the first time that we've felt that things were on a downward slope. When people have said previously that standards were slipping I've always thought they were exaggerating but not this time.

We went to the Peninsular Cocktail party last night where the Deputy Captain was extolling the advantages of Iona. This was all received in relative silence, we haven't met anyone who says they are looking forward to the new ship, but obviously it's intended for the young up and coming cruisers. Several people we've met have started asking if we've been on the likes of Seabourn, Oceania etc. and it seems obvious some, particularly us older cruisers are starting to look at other companies.

Having said all that we've enjoyed ourselves so far, been to some of the entertainment and tomorrow we will eat with some of our table mates in Cafe Jardin so it will be interesting to see what it's like there in the evening. A good number of people who have completed either a two week cruise, or in some cases a week's cruise will be departing tomorrow. We're hoping the weather in Valetta will be better when we arrive than it was when we left and we'll get a chance to appreciate the sail in and out.

Carole

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oldbluefox
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Re: September 27.

Post by oldbluefox » 03 Oct 2018, 15:33

Thank you for your report Carole.
The last time we were on Oceana we were disappointed. We had always enjoyed Oceana as a ship but we felt she was starting to kook a bit dated and although she had undergone 'changes' we were not impressed with what they had done. They had not improved the experience.
As for Iona P&O have made it very clear they are building bigger ships which are more economical to run and are targeting young families. Along with many others I still look to see what P&O are offering but we are also casting an eye towards other cruise lines and got a brochure today for Riviera cruises to see what they are offering. Pity really because I do like P&O but it may not be for us for much longer.
Hope your weather improves and you get calmer seas.

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GillD46
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Re: September 27.

Post by GillD46 » 03 Oct 2018, 17:17

Interesting to read about the winds, we were in Cyprus at the same time and had nothing but temperatures of 35+. So disappointing when you expect good weather, to not get it.

We must be the odd ones because were the Iona cruises not all to the Fjords, where we went for the third time in June and had awgul weather, we’d be jumping at booking on her. Maybe if, and when, itineraries change.

Hope things improve for you.
Gill

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Manoverboard
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Re: September 27.

Post by Manoverboard » 03 Oct 2018, 17:43

Our very first cruise in 1997 was in the Med during a hurricane, now rechristened ' Medicane ' it seems.

Didn't put us off either but stabilisers would have helped :lol:

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david63
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Re: September 27.

Post by david63 » 09 Oct 2018, 07:26

CaroleF wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 14:27
we haven't met anyone who says they are looking forward to the new ship
I am :D

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