Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Reports about cruises on Oceana

CaroleF
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by CaroleF » 27 Mar 2016, 10:37

I remember Rock Salmon and really like the flavour. I'm sure it used to be regarded as a less expensive fish than cod but I might be wrong. Really enjoying your reports Gill. We are on Oceana in May and will hope for a less dramatic start than you had but as we fly out to Genoa we avoid the Bay etc.

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Gill W
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 27 Mar 2016, 14:58

Quizzical Bob wrote:I'm loving your reports Gill. The change at Charleston doesn't surprise me but at least you did get to call in there, on Adonia last year they changed it for something completely different.

Huss is actually dogfish, sometime known as Rock Salmon but properly called Rock Eel. It's a mini shark. When I was a little boy living in Harwich we called it Nuss and it was quite popular. I remember it as coarse and strong flavoured. Not to be sniffed at.
CaroleF wrote:I remember Rock Salmon and really like the flavour. I'm sure it used to be regarded as a less expensive fish than cod but I might be wrong. Really enjoying your reports Gill. We are on Oceana in May and will hope for a less dramatic start than you had but as we fly out to Genoa we avoid the Bay etc.
Ahhh, THAT'S what huss is!

When I was a child I remember people asking for rock and chips at the chip shop.

Actually, I did have the huss and it was very nice, although I might not have ordered it if it'd been called dogfish on the menu
Gill

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by GillD46 » 27 Mar 2016, 15:30

I am interested in your comments re Port Canaveral and Charleston, as we are looking at a trip next year, on QV, that calls at both. We have visited the Kennedy Space Centre several times, but many years ago, and would like to see it again. Charleston is completely new to us.

Sorry to read your husband was unwell, I was similarly affected last year on QE - most unpleasant and very debilitating. Hope he's better now.
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 27 Mar 2016, 19:47

GillD46 wrote:I am interested in your comments re Port Canaveral and Charleston, as we are looking at a trip next year, on QV, that calls at both. We have visited the Kennedy Space Centre several times, but many years ago, and would like to see it again. Charleston is completely new to us.

Sorry to read your husband was unwell, I was similarly affected last year on QE - most unpleasant and very debilitating. Hope he's better now.
We went to Kennedy Space Center twice in the 90's and I felt that the tour we did was a nice combination of old favourites and new things, such as the Atlantis Space Shuttle.

If I'd known we were only going to have the one day in Charleston, I probably wouldn't have booked the Patriots Point tour, as Charleston has lots to offer within easy walking distance of the ship. But having said that, I don't regret doing the Patriots Point tour, in fact it was one of our highlights.

My husband got a little better while he was on the cruise, but then the virus either came back again, or he got another one, and when we got home he was quite ill for a week or so. Then, on the very last night of the cruise, I succumbed to the virus too, so I've been laid low as well.

But we've turned a corner now, we're both much better, and best of all we are no longer coughing all the time.

These coughs seem to be a high risk of winter cruises,
Gill

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 27 Mar 2016, 19:53

Day 32 - 10th March - Ponta Delgada

The six days at sea have passed, surprisingly quickly. But the weather hasn't been brilliant for our crossing. The first few days were cloudy, with fairly 'lumpy' seas. Mid Atlantic, the seas calmed for a while, but then whipped up again as we had force 9 to 10 winds, for a day and a half. The outside decks were closed off, and I felt a bit stir crazy that I couldn't get out for some fresh air. On the final day of the crossing, the winds finally died down and the sun came out. It wasn't hot, but pleasant in the sun.

I do like sea days, but prefer the hot sunny ones when you can sit outside. We passed the last few days reading, doing puzzles and going to talks and a couple of films - but these poor weather sea days always seem a bit of a 'waste' of a day.

The run of decent evening cabaret entertainment continues. Last night there was yet another act we hadn't seen before, a singer called Philip Browne. He got a well deserved standing ovation.

I think we'll mainly have Headliners shows on the way back to Southampton, as we've only seen them 4 times over the cruise. The troupe are as enthusiastic as ever, but maybe not the most talented group that I've seen.

The last time we were in Ponta Delgada was in 2005, and there have been some changes since then. A new cruise terminal has been built and several bars, restaurants and shops have sprung up. We had a good walk round the town and along the sea front.

At 4.30 this afternoon, shortly before we sailed, we had a passenger safety drill. This is apparently required as we've been on board for more than 30 days.

We went to the Cafe Jardin for dinner this evening. With a cover charge of only 5.25, this is still excellent value for money..... And probably why they want to change it to a Sindhu and/or Glasshouse, with their higher cover charges.

Had a traumatic experience just before I went to bed. I went to the loo, flushed, washed my hands, got in to bed and turned out the light. Then I was aware of the sound of rushing water. I thought I'd left the tap running, so went back to the bathroom, only to find the toilet overflowing with water!

After flushing, it didn't stop filling! It was only the quick thinking of my husband that stopped a major flood. He flushed it again, and this time, it flushed and filled normally.

The water was contained in the bathroom, and we had to mop it up with a towel. We mentioned it to our cabin steward the following morning, and it has behaved itself since, but it was a bit alarming at the time.
Gill

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 27 Mar 2016, 19:57

Day 33 - 35 - 11th March to 13th March - at sea

Once again, for these last sea days before Southampton, I'll just make a few comments and summing up notes.

On the 1st sea day, there was a 'fashion' sale in the shops. Honestly, I'd never seen anything like it - a storm of locusts has nothing on the bargain hungry passengers! They were literally grabbing things off the rails! I wasn't going to bother, but just as I was passing by the shops, there was a gap in the crowds, and I had a quick look on a rail. There was a nice striped t shirt in my size, at only £8, so I went ahead and bought it. Then I beat a hasty retreat, away from the sale crazed, elbowing throng!

Hopefully they are clearing the old stock for the decent stuff like Joules.

Just before dinner on the 2nd sea day, the captain announced that there was an electrical problem with the port side prop shaft. He advised that they would need to completely stop the ship so that the engineers could investigate. We stopped by 9.30pm. The following morning the captain stated that they re-started the engines at 1am, but the port engine is only running at 50% of capacity. This means that we're
going to be late into Southampton, by approximately 3.5 hours. We had free wine with dinner on the last evening, as a gesture to acknowledge the delay.

This will obviously have some impact on the next cruise, as they'll need to fully correct the prop issue.

So - time to sum up.

Although I was concerned that 5 weeks might be 'too long' for me to be away from home, it really has gone very quickly.

The US ports were the highlight of the cruise. It'd been 15 years since we'd last been to America, and it was brilliant to visit again.

Once the weather had picked up during the outward journey, the sea days to the Caribbean, and the Caribbean ports were a lovely laid back time.

The excursions that we did were excellent, and we've been very pleased with most of the evening entertainment. After a few initial issues, I've been very pleased with the way my dietary requirements have been handled. But general food quality wasn't the best that I have had. There were some instances of tough steaks and grey potatoes.

The crew, that is the cabin stewards and waiting staff have been excellent, and will go out of their way to help you. Regarding officers - never really saw any, so can't comment.

Just a word about the port presenter - he was excellent, and gave lots of detail for people going ashore independently. He wasn't just flogging the tours.

But the journey back has been long. Out of the last ten days, nine of them have been sea days. We've passed the time happily enough, but when the weather isn't good, virtually a week and a half of sea days is a long time.

There was an epidemic of 'Oceana cough'. People had terrible hacking coughs. My husband succumbed after three weeks (after someone coughed on him on our Miami tour coach) and I held out until the very last night. For the previous few evenings I had been surrounded in the theatre with people coughing, I'm sure that's how I got it. I suppose this sort of thing is to be expected in the winter, in a closed community of elderly people...... It's something to bear in mind if you are considering cruising at this time of the year.

I will be sending P&O feedback on some issues, such as the new menus in the dining room, the constant works on the prom deck. There were always two areas roped off for maintenance, which meant walkers and deck game players were constantly in each other's way. I accept that maintenance needs to be carried out - but this maintenance did adversely affect my cruise.

I'll also be letting P&O have my thoughts on the 'cloning' of ships. The latest indication is that Cafe Vivo on Arcadia is to become a Glasshouse!

But, on balance, I've had a lovely time, and the cruise gets a general thumbs up from me.

Now it's over, I'm happy to return home. But, if there were more ports to do, I'd be happy to stay. This is just as well, as next year we'll be away for seven weeks!
Gill

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Gill W
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 27 Mar 2016, 20:07

So, that was my cruise!

We've been home two weeks now, so it's been interesting to look back over my notes.

I would certainly do this itinerary again, maybe in 4 or 5 years time.

One thing that concerns me about these long winter cruises is how these cough viruses take hold amongst the passengers. We've both been quite ill since we've been back. We're on the mend now, but we are relatively healthy people. For people with underlying health issues, I'm not sure if a cruise ship is the best place to be in the winter.

I emailed Chris Edgington with my feedback yesterday, and bless him, he responded this evening (Easter Sunday). He says he's going to get his team to look into the points that I raised. It wasn't a complaint, only feedback - but it'll be interesting to see what response I get.

But, overall, I had a great time!
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GillD46
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by GillD46 » 27 Mar 2016, 21:00

Thanks for all your effort Gill, it's been very interesting. Glad to see you're both on the way back to full health again.
Gill

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Kenmo1 » 27 Mar 2016, 21:25

Thank you,Gill. I really enjoyed reading your report. Maureen.


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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by cleo1985 » 28 Mar 2016, 10:42

Thank you for a really interesting report. We are new to cruising and reading this has given us lots of ideas.

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by oldbluefox » 28 Mar 2016, 14:09

Welcome to the forum cleo. :wave:


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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by cleo1985 » 28 Mar 2016, 18:56

Thanks very much.

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by suespud » 29 Mar 2016, 08:58

Thank you Gill. Iv not cruised for quite a while and love reading the reviews.
Sue
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by oldbluefox » 29 Mar 2016, 09:05

suespud wrote:Thank you Gill. Iv not cruised for quite a while and love reading the reviews.
Sue
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Have you not got anything planned Sue? :lol: :lol:

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Dennis The Menace » 29 Mar 2016, 15:41

Thanks Gill, always fancied this cruise (had to cancel similar one in 2012) so interesting to see how much you enjoyed the various ports especially given all the sea days to get there/back. Cheers, enjoyable read :)

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by suespud » 01 Apr 2016, 08:45

oldbluefox wrote:
suespud wrote:Thank you Gill. Iv not cruised for quite a while and love reading the reviews.
Sue
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Have you not got anything planned Sue? :lol: :lol:

YEAH!!!! Have I not mentioned I'm going on a cruse in feb 2017 ????
SOOOOO EXCITED !!!!!
:D :D

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by oldbluefox » 01 Apr 2016, 09:09

suespud wrote:
oldbluefox wrote:
suespud wrote:Thank you Gill. Iv not cruised for quite a while and love reading the reviews.
Sue
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Have you not got anything planned Sue?

YEAH!!!! Have I not mentioned I'm going on a cruse in feb 2017 ????
SOOOOO EXCITED !!!!!
:D :D
You might have mentioned it in passing. It must have slipped my memory!!! :lol: :lol:

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by oldbluefox » 01 Apr 2016, 15:06

Thanks for your cruise diary Gill. It made interesting reading of an eventful cruise.

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Gill W
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 03 Apr 2016, 17:07

Just as a footnote, I've had a further reply from P & O about my feedback

The gist of the reply is

They acknowledge my suggestion that the 'always available' items should be reintroduced, and my comments have been passed to the appropriate management for information

They also acknowledge my comments about the constant maintenance - these have been passed to the manage responsible

With regard to the future of Café Jardin, the writer of the email doesn't personally know of any changes that'll be made, but my feedback is appreciated.

So - I played my part and let them know what I thought.

I'm passionate about my cruises, so I'd rather tell them what's in my mind instead of muttering about it under my breath.

I doubt if there'll be any changes as a result of my personal feedback, but the more people that take time to give feedback, they may listen a little bit..... we can but hope
Gill


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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Frank Manning » 06 Apr 2016, 09:34

Excellent reports Gill and very fair. We had two sets o friends on that cruise and they both reported much the same experience, and our near friends both had the cough virus and it has taken an age to get over it. I think sea days with rough weather are a factor, because everyone is inside and the aircon is going full chuff. In the light of today's news about the inspection on 1st March, and your preference for the buffet, I wonder what you make of it?

We have more friends on the Oceana current re positioning cruise. One of whom is a very experienced P&O cruiser addict, dating back to teenage trips on Canberra. We eagerly await her report. We have never had any problems with Oceana but we haven't been on her since 2014.
Thanks once again.

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Solent Richard » 07 Apr 2016, 13:13

Hopefully I'll be able to write a review on Oceania in the not too distant future.

Maybe a different perspective from one of her mini-suites.

It will be my first time on Oceania and that will complete all current P&O ships cruised on.

Thanks for the insight.

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Gill W » 07 Apr 2016, 14:36

Frank Manning wrote:Excellent reports Gill and very fair. We had two sets o friends on that cruise and they both reported much the same experience, and our near friends both had the cough virus and it has taken an age to get over it. I think sea days with rough weather are a factor, because everyone is inside and the aircon is going full chuff. In the light of today's news about the inspection on 1st March, and your preference for the buffet, I wonder what you make of it?

We have more friends on the Oceana current re positioning cruise. One of whom is a very experienced P&O cruiser addict, dating back to teenage trips on Canberra. We eagerly await her report. We have never had any problems with Oceana but we haven't been on her since 2014.
Thanks once again.
Yes, I was quite disturbed about the inspection report, particularly as I was on board when it happened!

We can hope that this is a wake up call, and fleet wide they'll be really 'pulling their socks up'.

I really like Oceana as a ship, so I hope she pulls though this rocky period
Solent Richard wrote:Hopefully I'll be able to write a review on Oceania in the not too distant future.

Maybe a different perspective from one of her mini-suites.

It will be my first time on Oceania and that will complete all current P&O ships cruised on.

Thanks for the insight.
I'll read your blog next year, and hope for reports that Oceana has upped her game.

But the itinerary is excellent, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it from that point of view
Gill

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by wolfie » 07 Apr 2016, 19:15

Our first cruise was on OCEANA, and the rest is history ;)

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Meg 50
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Meg 50 » 07 Apr 2016, 19:47

we've just booked Oceana ( as distinct from Oceania - different line entirely) for next year
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wolfie
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by wolfie » 07 Apr 2016, 19:50

You won't be disappointed Meg. A long time ago now but we still have great memories of that cruise.

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Meg 50
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by Meg 50 » 07 Apr 2016, 19:53

we've been on her twice before ( and once on the old Adonia who was identical).
We like Oceana a lot - particularly the Plaza viewing area
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by suespud » 07 Apr 2016, 20:09

We have been on Oceana twice too, in a lovely aft suite...loved it. Happy memories even though it was a good few years ago.... :D

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wolfie
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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by wolfie » 07 Apr 2016, 22:42

Years never dull the memories, memories are even more precious in years to come. Hold on to those memories.

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Re: Oceana E602 - A cruise diary

Post by wolfie » 07 Apr 2016, 23:11

I have thoroughly enjoyed your updates. A lovely reminder of ports visited on our long cruises to many of the same ports of call. If you loved 5 weeks, you will love 7 weeks even more, and twice that is a circumnavigation. ;)

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