E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Reports about cruises on Oceana

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Mad4cruising
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E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Mad4cruising » 10 Jul 2013, 14:00

Sunday 30 June 2013 Embarkation

Left Premier Inn at 10500 and arrived at Mayflower Terminal around 1120. Luggage disappeared, and a swift check-in, slight hold up through security check and then the photographers insisting on photos at the entrance to the seating area caused a bottleneck.

We received the 2nd letter of the distributed cards. Around 100 pax were already present in the hall. First letter cards called out at 1140 and a mad scramble for the door by the eager pax. Our letter was called out around 5 minutes later, a steady walk onto the ship and into the Atrium. We had made a decision to eat in Cafe Jardin for the first night so promptly booked straight away at the stand, quite a queue formed as the front pax had a million & one questions to ask(not enough staff around to deal with queries and only one laptop to record bookings). Another queue formed for the booking of spa treatments.

For the first 3 nights there is a promotional charge of £4.95 for dining in CJ, normally £6.25.

Made our way up onto the open decks to the Riviera Bar as the sun was shining so brightly. By 12noon we were sitting enjoying our first drink of the cruise.

A barbq was being set up on deck and as the band started playing by the bar, we headed for a table near Horizon Grill area and sampled the barbq food.

Ater eating and then meeting with a bar steward Shri who we remember from the Retreat on Azura in 2011, we decided to have a wander around the decks. This is our fourth time on Oceana and amazingly we found parts we had never seen, probably because we have never been on her in good weather. First cruise June 2011, 7 day Atlantic Coast (awful weather all week); 2nd July 2012 GE cruise, upgraded to mini suite and spent time on balcony; 3rd cruise Dec 2012, the 4 night NY cruise to nowhere! It certainly makes a big difference when the sun is shining like today.

A wander to find our cabin at 1345 on A deck. All looking good, but had forgotten just how small the balconies were, and the cabins seem remarkably smaller than on the bigger ships, (been spoilt with a mini suite last year).

Met our cabin steward Daniel and presented him with a piece of left clothing from the top of the wardrobe, apart from that all appears fine. Muster at 4pm, which was well attended and a welcome talk from Captain Vago, not so much emphasis on the dreaded Norovirus as previously. We dropped off our lifejackets and headed for the Explorers desk to book a couple of excursions, as we booked this on Vantage last year, we have received a considerable amount of extra OBC - we normally DIY but have chosen the beach break to La Manga and a visit to St Tropez. Both tours were still available, beach break £9 each cheaper than previously quoted and the St Tropez 99 pence dearer! Bizarre!

Out on deck for the Sailaway and our complimentary champagne, the weather was lovely and plenty of singing and flag waving - first time seen a Sailaway on here, and it seems strange with no main focal stage. Queen Victoria followed us down the Solent albeit rather steadily.

We enjoyed our meal in Cafe Jardin and decided we would book again in a couple of nights to try other things on the menu A, it alternates every 4 days with menu B.

An early night beckoned as we felt exhausted after the busy few days before we had.

Monday 1st July 2013 Sea Day

After being woken at around 4am with some movement from the ship, we realised we had rounded Ushant and were heading into the BoB. It looked like things were not going to be too pleasant.

We had room service breakfast delivered and then proceeded for a gym session, much needed after lack of excercise over last few days. It was very misty out at sea and not looking good at all. We returned to our cabins and after showering etc, went on walkabout for a quite area to have a read.

Called at reception to view the account and ensure the OBC was present, wish it was interactive on the TV like on Bigger ships, then found a quiet spot in Le Club to have a read, until a photographer arrived with a very excited bride & groom to discus their wedding arrangements for next week.

By now the mist had cleared and the sun was trying to poke through, the BoB was like a millpond - aren't we lucky?

12 noon, and an early lunch was the order of the day in CJ, (you will perhaps note we are not lovers of the lunch time buffet!) and we enjoyed a lovely relaxed lunch before returning to the cabin for some chill time.

After our rest it was time to get ready for our first Formal night, there was a female singer Jessica Lloyd on in Footlights at 2030 so we decided to eat early in the Ligurian (Freedom dining). The meal was really excellent with choice of mains - lobster, duck, rack of lamb or roast beef, plus sea bass and a vegetarian option. We enjoyed 4 courses plus cheese board for OH then coffee and truffles to end.

The singer was very good for a young 24 year old, although a lot of her songs were of unknown singers to us, perhaps the older pax (Eva Cassidy?). It was enjoyable, and her second show tomorrow will feature country & western music.

Two delightful towel swans greeted us on the bed on our return to the cabin.

Tuesday 2nd July 2013 Sea Day

After our morning gym session and room service breakfast we ventured out for a sunbed on deck as the sun was beating down, the decks were very full by 1030 and we managed to secure two beds within a row on the port side, but by 1115 people were wandering aimlessly desperate to find anywhere to plonk their body.

We enjoyed our lunch at the Horizon Grill where finding a table was the hardest part as many pax were sat reading or just having a drink at the tables.

By 1630, a long refreshing drink was calling and we sat in the Terrace Bar enjoying a cocktail as the sun went down. We could have been in the Caribbean today, the weather was so warm.

The new Headliners cast who joined in Southampton are showing for the first time tonight, we are booked in Cafe Jardin for 1900 but decided to go down a little earlier in order to be in the theatre to get seats for the 2030 show. They were most obliging and ensured we left with sufficient time.

I chose the Halibut tonight and it was for me of the most beautiful pieces I have ever eaten, so fresh & white and cooked perfectly. After having the trio of desserts before, we decided that only one would be sufficient and chose the Tiramasu, which was lovely.

By 2005 we had our seats in the Theatre, the show was Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, which we could not recall seeing, thought may be a new one, although some of the songs and routines we had seen before. It would be nice and refreshing to see a totally new show. Mr Invisible CD was at the entrance to welcome pax and did appear on stage at the end of the show.

Wednesday 3rd July 2013 Sea Day

We decided the decks would be even busier today, so for the first time OH reserved two sunbeds before he went into the gym, after my session I quickly showered, went straight to the beds, whilst he came up a little later, it is a shame to have to do it, but we do feel that we do stay on them for a most of the day (apart from lunch) and vacate them fully when we have had enough. It is already full up before 10am by the Terrace Bar and Pool. I think many people are ready for our first port of Cartegena, Spain tomorrow.

Captain Vago has just made his daily announcement that we shall be entering the Straits of Gibralter at around 1500 and we also have a wedding onboard today. Mr I the CD has also made a couple of announcements as a mistake was made in today's Horizon regarding a show time.

Lunch was braved in the Plaza at 1345 and fortunately the rush had gone and we did secure a table outside, we felt the choice of food was not as good as on the Azura earlier this year.

The wind seemed to get up as the morning went on and some pax were all wrapped up in towels and others braved the wind. A walk around all the decks showed it was affecting all deck areas. I decided to retreat to the cabin and from the balcony had a great view of Gibralter as we passed through the Straits.

Dining this evening for us is the Horizon Grill, think OH is ready for a good steak tonight so will see how it fares, last time we ate there was after leaving one of the Fjord ports and was lovely until the ship altered course to the Port side, blankets were provided to warm us, and eventually all pax had to move tables to the inside.

At around 5pm the Captain announced that we would not be calling at St Raphael as the tender berth allocated would be unsuitable for us, and we would calling at St Tropez instead, also using tenders. All excursions would be cancelled and information on new ones would be delivered to cabins overnight. Our trip to St Tropez included (saved us £100) but we have now decided to do a beach break in Alghero, Sardinia. (Got to use the OBC up somehow!)

Formal dining tonight, and the sun was shining warmly on the Horizon Grill so we sat over in the shade on the starboard side, along with some musicians who were dining.

The Food was delicious, OH having the T bone Steak (an extra £7), and we also chose the sizzling strawberries for dessert which were an extra £3.50 pp it was a lovely meal and glad we shall be returning later in the cruise.

Captain Vago and the Ship's doctor also dined in the H Grill and we were also treated to a large school of dolphins close by the ship, announced from the Bridge.

Thursday 4th July Cartegena, Spain

First port day today, and due to arrive alongside at 0830, as we are on tour, we popped down to Cafe Jardin at 0730 for breakfast, first ones in and we enjoyed a very good warm muffin topped with smoked salmon and a poached egg, was delicious. There was also a good buffet selection of cereals, fruit juices, smoothie, fresh fruit, cheeses & meats.

We joined our coach at 0845 and within minutes were well on our way to La Manga Beach, this took around 30 minutes, and then were dropped in a rather scruffy car park, walked along by some garages and onto the open beach, where a beach bar with sunbeds & umbrellas awaited us. It was €5 per bed (umbrella included) and the beers were €2 each, very reasonable. There was a very clean toilet, and by 10am the beach really began to fill up with locals & tourists alike.

You could walk the length of the beach if you wished and swimming in the sea was also good.

At 1345 we returned to the coach for the journey back, and with the heat we were certainly ready. Some of the main streets in Cartegena were pointed out as we returned to the port. We decided on a quick walk into town to attain some free wifi but not easy to find.

Back on board, after a cool drink (subject to 10% Spanish Tax) we found sunbeds out on deck to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Dom (Asst CD) did an excellent Sailaway, as we left at 1600.

It was Indian Buffet in the Plaza tonight and then we enjoyed Peter Piper who we saw on Azura last cruise, he was in Starlights and although some sketches were repeated he was very funny. He will be leaving us tomorrow along with Jessica Lloyd.

Friday 5th July Barcelona

I was woken at around 2am to hear an emergency announcement in the corridor Tango Alpha (or is it Alpha Tango?) and then when we were alongside by 8am I saw a lady being taken in an ambulance along with her husband. P&O staff seemed to be looking after them well before they left for the hospital. Do hope she is doing OK.

We decided to have an early gym session and then catch the shuttle bus to the drop off point, which we did at 10.30 ish. The Horizon stated there would be limited port shuttle buses, and there would be some P&O blue buses which would be €2.50 one way or €3.50 return. As we walked through the terminal we just proceeded to the Intercruises port shuttles and were straight on our way. Certainly didn't see or hear of any one using any pay buses, is this a trial for the future?

After leaving the bus we walked along to left and went over the bridge to a new complex called Marmagnum(!) it houses the aquarium, a cinema and some shops, all built on a jetty. Had a lovely coffee in Starbucks, but wifi was no good so then walked along the front and up into town.

When on La Ramblas we visited an Australian bar just near the entrance to the market, which has excellent wifi (they give you the code) it also does good tapas snacks too. As we called there on a previous cruise the wifi connected straight away. Did all our catching up with home and then went into the market to purchase some lovely cashew nuts at €1.95 for 100g - really first class nuts. Bought some other fresh snacks and fruit smoothies to drink at only €1 each.

It was a really hot day and we wandered back down La Ramblas watching all the performing street artists who were excellent. Caught the shuttle bus back about 3pm and then enjoyed a spot of sunbathing around the Terrace Bar. Just after Sailaway the Captain announced that the two centre pools would nave to be netted, drained and refilled as someone had been sick in them, hope there is not Norovirus onboard! Although the ship does appear very clean, the majority using the hand gels all the time. Staff were seen wiping the handrails of the gangway down during the day.

We have a table booked for 7pm in Cafe Jardin tonight to try menu B, but on checking Horizon there is entertainment on at 8.30 in Footlights, we arrived a few minutes early and did manage to get seats it the theatre in time. The food was excellent again, we had a seafood sharing platter to start which was superb, OH had the special pizza of the day Bolognaise, which was really meaty and he said very tasty. I had fresh salmon which was also delicious. We chose two desserts each, the chocolate mouse being very heavy and rich, we are finding only one dessert is really sufficient.

The four male singers who were The Octaves were in Footlights and they were really excellent, singing a variety of songs, Overtones, Acapello and Franki Valli, they are on their first cruise and they had a very responsive audience and we are sure they will go down very well once they are have got settled into the cruises more.

Saturday 6th July St Tropez, France

As it was a tender operation today, the busy times were stated to be 9 till 11am, we had our usual gym session and room service continental breakfast. We followed an Azamara ship into the anchorage also, so there was plenty of activity into the harbour from the lifeboats and tenders. We went down at 1030 to obtain our tickets from the desk in Tiffanys. Only 6 boats to go before our number, and they were calling 3 numbers at a time. We must have hit a bad spot as it was nearly 45minutes till we were called. We sat out on Prom Deck awaiting our turn, along with some rather moaning pax with no patience. As we were waiting I decided I would just call in the WC and thought there was one handy by the entrance to Starlights & by the Photo Gallery (well there is on Azura!) and could only see a Disabled Toilet as it was very quiet about I decided to nip in, till I found the lock jammed and I could not get out. Luckily there was a telephone in there where you can either ring for medical assistance or reception. I rang reception and explained, and they said someone would come up. I felt sure they would have no problem opening it from the other side, was more concerned what the OH would be thinking and especially if our tender number was called. Fortunately someone came within a couple of minutes and with a key soon had the door open. The lock appeared to turn quite normally after that - will teach me to nip in a disabled toilet in a hurry again! And at least the OH had begun to wonder where I had got too and the number was still to be called.

There were two tendering boats as well as 3 lifeboats, and they did an excellent job getting everyone ashore and back, it was very busy in the town, market day and all the lovely shops open too.

Really enjoyed our wander round, had a couple of beers in a noisy bar where the rugby was on. We wandered back passed all the big yachts and plenty of Oceana staff were getting all the pax back onto the tenders as quickly as possible as well as handing out drinks of cold water. It was very well organised.

A couple of hours a glorious sunshine up on deck as we sailed away for Livorno at 5pm.

We had dinner in the main dining room tonight, we arrived at 7.15, were handed a pager and asked to wait around 10-15 minutes. We went off to Tiffanys for a drink, and before the drinks were delivered the pager was buzzing. Our dinner was excellent and we went through all the courses - thoroughly relaxing meal.

We discovered tonigh from the Horizon that the themed dining arrangements for the initial cruise overview have been changed, tonight was Tropical instead of tomorrow, italian and French buffet nights appear to be different nights, this has made us relook at our chosen dining arrangements for the rest of the cruise. We decided to cancel Cafe Jardin booking for tomorrow only to be told that we were booked in Horizon Grill, it transpires the bookings we made at the start of the cruise over the phone were all mixed up, this happened to us last time on here, we turned up to our booking to be told it was for the next night which was New Years Eve, when we had booked in MDR for then - we suggested they send out confirmation cards for bookings like on Azura, XVII and Sindhu.

Sunday 7th July Livorno, Italy

We were alongside and tied up by 0730 this morning, and we counted 28 buses along the quayside. As we have been to Pisa and Florence on city breaks last year, we chose to have a wander around Livorno today, not expecting too much, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of shops, bars and cafes around the main area. Only downside being it was a Sunday and many were not open or only after 1100. The shuttle bus was very efficient we left the ship at 1030 and after 10 minute ride we were in the centre. The journey back at 2pm was just as good.

We managed to get some wifi in a cafe/bar and they provided crisps and sandwich snacks complimentary (Dollys Bar) a few of the crew were in there too.

A couple of showers out on deck in the afternoon cooled us down, but didn't mean we had to go inside. We left Livorno at 1800 and on our way to Sardinia.

Showered and changed and off up to the Plaza for the Italian Buffet, one of the best buffets we have seen on here, most enjoyable.

Our entertainment tonight was between the Octaves again and a magician called Steven Garcia in Starlights. We went for the magician, who was good, but not really our scene, he like audience participation and said he had been on Saga ships, probably more suited to the older clientele.

Monday 8th July Alghero, Sardinia

We were at anchor by 8am, and as we were on tour we had breakfast in Cafe Jardin as our meet for the tender was not until 0930 in the Liguarian Restaurant. At 0900 we found a sofa in Tiffanys to wait and be able to hear the announcements. For some reason only announcements from the bridge can be heard through the TV in the cabin, none from the reception. Whilst waiting we noticed that the tender operation had obviously started very well and there was no wait at all. A 0920 we went into the Waiting area in the restaurant and found there to be around 100 people in there all on various tours. Stickers were handed out accordingly. First group went at 0930, our number was silver 7 which was the 2nd bus for the Palm Beach break. At around 0940 we were told to proceed to deck 4 to board the tender at the pontoon, a rather large white tender was awaiting us, we obtained seats on the top deck and all looked great. By 1000 we were joined by other pax off the ship and so many boarded that there was people standing on both decks and it was looking very uncomfortable. We did arrive on the quayside at 1015 and two buses were soon boarded for our tour. Not a pleasant start to the day. A member of the P&O tour team joined us along with an English tour guide called Dominic who gave an excellent commentary about the island along the 25 minute journey. After the bus had negotiated a very narrow bridge, which had very little spare concrete either side of the wheels (and I am not joking!) we continued down a dirt track to the beach. A lovely wide beach with an area roped off with it's own sunbeds, umbrellas with tables attached, a bar/cafe with shaded area, toilet and changing facilities. It was very well run, but the staff spoke no English and the tour guides assisted. We had a couple of bottled Italian beers at €3 each. The tour cost £32 each which we felt was a tad expensive compared to La Manga Beach, although the cost of the sunbeds was included today, (to pay as a visitor it was €8 each) and with a taxi on top it could possible be done DIY quite cheaply. It was a lovely beach with safe bathing and a life guard present. Just before we left at 1400 the sky darkened, wind got up and it appeared a storm was brewing. We did not encounter any rain, but an arrival back Alghero they had had some rain, and a lightning had been seen.

We were originally told the last elder back would be at 1530 so we made our way to the lifeboat that was in, only to find out that Sailing time had been changed and last tender back was now 1700. We decided to have a wander around the old part of the town through the city walls. We were really surprised and found lovely old cobbled streets, with plenty of shops, bars, cafes and ice cream parlours. Definitely one to explore more in future visits.

On arrival back on the ship around 1630 for us, we realised the sun was not really goingtomcome out again, so we called in the Pennant Bar and enjoyed a cocktail of the day along with an ice cream for the pool boy who wanders around with his cool bag full of Magnums etc. £1.70 each. The extra OBC is going down nicely, bought duty free perfumes for Xmas presents last night too.

We got changed ready for dinner tonight and called for an early drink in Tiffanys before sadly joining the queue for the 1800 opening of the Liguarian Restaurant. We discovered they do not hand pagers to anyone in the queue on opening. We had a lovely dinner, was out by 1930 had a stroll on the prom deck before going to Footlights Theatre at 2000 to get our seats for the next Headliners show 'Motown' - it was a show we had not seen before, not sure if finally they have a new one or if we have just not seen it, but it was refreshing to see something different, and they were amazing as ever, there energy and enthusiasm was fantastic. As usual there is always the few that have to leave as soon as the show ends, and before the lights come on, but the crew all ran through the theatre to appear at the doors which made a few scuttle to the sides quickly before they got mown over.

The ventriloquist Gareth Oliver was on in Starlights tonight, heard many pax saying how good he is, will see if he is on again.

Sea day tomorrow, and we are homeward bound now, hope for a good sunny day tomorrow although getting sunbeds on deck will be interesting. Will be nice to chill out for the day.

Tuesday 9th July Sea Day

Routine early morning gym session, and then straight out onto the sun beds for 0930, as the sun was coming through nicely and hardly a cloud in the sky. We were situated near the Terrace Bar and there was hardly a bed spare by 1100. A couple of fresh orange juices from the bar helped to keep us cool along with a dip in the cool water of the shaded adult only pool. The three jacuzzis nearby were like stepping into a bath the water was so warm in them.

We had lunch from the Horizon Grill and found a table outside in the shade to enjoy a drink, fetching iced water from the Plaza.

There was quite a bit of entertainment around the main pools, Protocol and some games with Dom the deputy CD.

We enjoyed a cocktail of the day 'Madras Sunset' before going back down to the cabin to prepare for dinner. It is Black/White Formal night tonight. We had a table reservation in Cafe Jardin for 1900 and wanted to call in Magnums pre-dinner. A glass of Peller Ice was enjoyed and alongside a few snacks we were served a canapé each.

Our meal was very good as usual, but so quiet, whilst we were in only 4 other couples arrived up to 2045. The dress code was well adhered to, and I have never seen so many wearing black and white dresses, probably 99% and there was some beautiful dresses around both long and cocktail.

We called in at the shop after our meal as OH is thinking of purchasing a Tuxedo and wanted to try on with the Dinner suit, after trying one on with his T shirt and shorts earlier in the cruise, of course by now they did not have the size left to fit him properly, only in a longer length, never mind more OBC for me to spend!

Entertainment tonight was a classical concert or a violinist, neither appealed so it was a chill on the bed with our Kindles.

Wednesday 10th July Gibralter pm

Arrived alongside in Gib for 1230 today. Managed to get some wifi, and finally connect to the cruise community site so hopefully can post to share.

At questions on Oceana let me know and I will try to answer/find out for you. We are in La Coruna on Friday And I should buy able to pick wifi up there.

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Gill W
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Gill W » 10 Jul 2013, 17:15

Thanks for posting, it sounds like you are having a good time, except about getting stuck in the loo.... I've got a bit of a phobia about that ! I doubt if I'd have been so calm !
Gill


rogerrovers
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by rogerrovers » 10 Jul 2013, 22:49

Many thanks for the report . Enjoy the rest of your cruise

Jenny.

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Suekersh
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Suekersh » 11 Jul 2013, 05:41

Thanks for posing your report so far. Sounds like you are having a fabulous time.

Sue

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Kendhni
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Kendhni » 11 Jul 2013, 06:49

Thanks for the report M4C.

The violinist if it is Gary something-or-other he is worth watching. He had a funny characteristic that made me laugh ... every song he lead up to the big finish in the same way ... you could see him positioning himself on the stage getting ready for it than as he hit the last few notes he would go down on one knee and do a large exaggerated final swipe of the bow on the violin ending up with arms outstretched. I think someone must have told him it would look good at the end of a song ... but actually gets comical when he does it on every song.

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davecttr
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by davecttr » 11 Jul 2013, 15:09

Thanks for the report

sorry to read that you missed St Raphael. My upcoming Oceana cruise is scheduled to call there so i am concerned that we will not be calling there if tendering for a ship the size of Oceana is impossible.

Nice to see the are opening the embarkation check in desks soon after 11.30 so leaving the hotel at around 11am looks a good plan.

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Belle53
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Belle53 » 11 Jul 2013, 15:56

Really good report thank you, looking forward to hearing about La Coruna as we are stopping there on our cruise in August and this is a new port for us


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Mad4cruising
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Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Mad4cruising » 14 Jul 2013, 14:58

Wednesday 10th July Gibralter pm

Our stay in Gib was longer than expected, after a few hours ashore in blistering heat we were all back on board by 1800, and sailed by 1830. We navigated through the tankers as anchor, the pilot left us and we increased speed and began to turn to starboard, when we appeared to loose power and another ship passing through the strait began to overtake us. It was 1915, and we decided to return to the cabin and prepare for dinner, it was Tandoori Indian buffet in the Plaza tonight so no pressure time wise. It was then the captain announced we had slowed right down as we had a medical emergency onboard and would be returning to Gib, that deck 7 was to be avoided as the man would be taken ashore by lifeboat tender and onto hospital, as we got further back in the bay captain announced the port authorities had agreed we would now go back alongside, far less traumatic for the patient. By 2100 we were all tied up back at the berth, departing again by 2130, around a 3 hour time loss which I am sure we will catch up at a higher speed through the night.

I was really pleased to see so many dolphin pods around over the last couple of days, many of them jumping high up.

The buffet was good again last night, and busy, queuing out the door at one stage. They only open one side of the Plaza for dinner and 2/3 of the seating available, most tables are laid with napkins & cutlery, which is nice and I am sure we have not seen it on the larger ships.

Entertainment tonight is Stephen Garcia - Comedy/magic show, we decided to give it a miss tonight. There was also 60/70s night fever party, only saw one person dressed up in
'The gear', it was a lovely calm warm evening out on deck for a party.

Thursday 11th July Sea Day

Woke up to a very hazy morning, which did not move throughout the day, due to the low pressure over Spain, according to the Officer of the Watch. We had a lender gym session than normal, to help shed a few more pounds. After showering and our light breakfast we went on wander whilst the cabin was attended to. The Atrium was heaving as all the tables were outside the shops selling the usual discontinued/out of season goods. We picked up a Britain Today and then made our way to Le Club where we found two comfy window seats and enjoyed the peace and quiet in there till 12 noon. This area was a major part of the last refit and it has made a very nice comfy area especially useful on Seadays. We have also commented on how good all the carpets and furnishings are all around the ship, for a ship that has been in service over 10 years, it is more noticeable there is wear and tear on the furniture in the cabins. One day we returned from ashore to a workman in out cabin cleaning and maintaining the patio door, which was running along quite difficult, now it is fine.

At 12noon we went to Cafe Jardin for lunch and by 1230 all tables were occcupied and numbered cards were handed out, and you were asked to wait in Winners Bar next door and they fetched you when ready. We had the sweet potato soup, then a steak baguette for me and the 'special' Macaroni Cheese for OH, a dessert and coffee. We left by 1240 and retreated back to our cabin for a chill out and before we knew it was 1500.

I managed to do a load of washing/drying. OH went up to the gym for a session and some deck walking. It is the final Black Tie evening tonight and after a glass of Peller Ice in Magnums, out pager went off and the table for 2 was ready in the Liguarian (around 1920), the meal was superb, I had shrimp cocktail, asparagus soup, champagne sorbet, fillet beef Wellington, baked Alaska and then coffee and truffles, the beef was just right and a generous portion, the Alaska was flamed at the table by the chef. We also had the Chef's parade during the meal.

Entertainment did not appeal again this evening, it is the Ventriloquist again and a Shirley Bassey tribute act.

Hoping for sunshine tomorrow in La Coruna, after all the super weather we have had all cruise we are hoping it was just a blip today. We are due to arrive there at 1100.

Friday 12th July La Coruna

We were woken around 0500 by some movement as we turned the corner to go into the BoB to sail into La Coruna later in the morning.

Normal gym routine, and after we had our shower and breakfast, we were alongside and time to go ashore. We went down to deck 5 in the Atrium, where it was packed with two massive snaking queues for the gangways. Once they started to move it was cleared quite quickly and the captain announced later that nearly 2000 pax were disembarked within 27 minutes, and he was quite proud of that.

We wandered over to a bar where we last picked up some wifi, but was unable to connect again, so we moved onto a further bar, with lovely A/C and after a beer, some delicious Spanish omelette snacks we had connected and touched base with the family etc. I was unable to get onto the cruise community site and so will have to complete my report once back home now.

The weather was lovely and hot again, we had a wander along the front, and enjoyed a snack before returning to the ship to find some sunbeds and enjoy the some sunshine just in case we do not see anymore tomorrow.

There is quite a bit of construction works on to the right of the harbour, which I think will make a lovely prom area for walking around. The actual path around the edge does look completed for some distance, I am sure in 12 months time it will look different again. There is a large shopping centre next to the port gate called Los Cantones, with a variety of shops, very quiet though whenever we have called in. There are any nice shops bars and restaurants quite close in the town, which is lovely to walk around.

We stayed up on deck by the Terrace Bar until after 1800 enjoying the cocktail of the day Summers Love. The British Sailaway was in full swing, we did have a GB sail-in arriving In Gibralter.

Tonight we had booked Horizon Grill for 1930, now we were back at sea the breeze had got up so we were prepared for it to be a little chilly. It was a pleasant surprise when we we arrived and found that one side of the Plaza had been set out very similar to the Verona on Azura. If you wished to sit outside you could but nobody did. The food was really good, beautifully cooked fillet and T bone steak (extra supplement) and OH had Tiger Prawns for starter. By the time we had finished we were too late for the show in Footlights which was Headliners 'Encore' which we have seen before or the Entertainment Team & Crew Show in Starlights, in aid of Macmillan Cancer charity, for which over £1000 was raised.

Saturday 13th July Sea day

The BoB was very kind to us again with a very slight swell, the sun did manage to burn through but due to the sea breeze, sunbathing out on deck was only for the bravest. I did manage a load of washing, a bit of shopping, picked up the account, (wish it was interactive on the TV as on other ships!).

We had an early lunch in Cafe Jardin, amazing how many pax thought you still had to pay for breakfast or lunch in there. We had some lovely soup, then the special 'fish pie' with veg. A nice desert and coffee. Then it was packing time, we managed two cases, then decided time for a chill with a read to try and finish the books on our kindles. No time to read when back home.

We had a pre-dinner drink in Magnums and then got table for two in the MDR. The menu was not the most exciting but we both enjoyed the Gressingham Duck, and the rum bananas with clotted cream ice cream, delicious.

A little more packing and then we went down to Footlights for the final show, a singer called Melissa Rodway-Vooght, she did the Shirley Bassey Tribute show a couple of nights ago. She had a tremendous voice and sang some good songs.

There was the classical concert with Ronan Magill in Starlights and then the Passenger Talent Show on later.

As we returned to our cabin, the English Channel was like a millpond and we saw the most fantastic sunset as we lay on the bed - what cruising is all about!

Sunday 14th July Southampton

Ship's clocks were put back an hour in the night, which meant we were awake early to see our arrival into Southampton, Ocean Terminal. We were in the car by 0730, and back home in Derbyshire for lunchtime.

The end of a fantastic cruise, the Oceana staff seem to have really upped their game since last year, we were well impressed with their attitude, the cleanliness around the ship was much improved, and with the refit just before Christmas she is really looking well, the cabins are starting to show wear & tear now, but it has been in service now for over 10 years so can be expected. Just wish they were slightly bigger like the Azura/Ventura ones. It is the first time we have been on her in nice summer weather and we really enjoyed the space available on the open decks, as well as the different bars!

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my report and hope it helps any future cruisers on Oceana.

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Silver_Shiney
Deputy Captain
Deputy Captain
Posts: 6399
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bradley Stoke

Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by Silver_Shiney » 12 Aug 2013, 07:35

Excellent report, M4C
Alan

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sunseeker16
Second Officer
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Joined: June 2016

Re: E315 Oceana West Med 30/06/13-14/07/2013

Post by sunseeker16 » 12 Aug 2013, 09:30

Nice report - thank you
Glad you had a good time

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