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Ship Review: P&O Oceana

Ben Hall


This is a mid size cruise ship with a laid back and contemporary feel and she has a good selection of bars and restaurants. After a major refurb in 2012, most of the cabins have been given a fresh new look and many of the common areas were also given a major makeover. Nearly all of of the guests on board are British, and the wine list also includes British wines. 

(We're giving you a chance to win a 14 night Mediterranean cruise aboard Oceana in a fabulous holiday competition.)

Fast Facts

Launched: 2000

Number of Passengers: 2016.

Crew: 875.

Staterooms: 975

Where she cruises: Mediterranean, Europe, Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands, Caribbean and USA.

Who Should Go?

Couples and families.

Things You Might Not Know

Although a laid back ship, on formal nights it is expected that you make an effort and dress up with a minimum of dark suit for men and long evening dress for women.   


The most spacious Suites have a king-size bed and a bathroom with a whirlpool bath, shower, dual sink vanity unit and luxurious amenities along with bathrobe & slippers. The Suites also have a separate dressing area, an iron & ironing board, trouser press and a hairdryer. There’s also a lounge with a sofa, chairs and table, TV and DVD player, mini stereo, plus radio and telephone, writing desk, refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities and the best feature is floor to ceiling sliding glass doors which opens onto a balcony with deck chars and chairs and tables.

The Mini-Suites are smaller than the Suites and don’t have the dressing area or deck chairs, while the popular Balcony Cabins are smaller and more basic still but comfortable with fresh contemporary decor. There’s no whirlpool bath or dressing areas but floor to ceiling glass doors open onto a smaller balcony. Outside cabins have either a window or porthole while the Inside Cabins are basic but well appointed with large mirrors and good lighting to create the impression of space.

The 975 cabins have all been spruced up in the 2012 refurb and around 450 of these have balconies. With the exception of the Suites and the Mini-Suites, the cabins are pretty basic but well appointed and the coffee-tea making facilities will be a big plus for many people.

Facilities and Entertainment 

  • There are four pools on board and six whirlpools, along with a golf driving range and mini-basketball court. 
  • There are 12 bars on board including the elegant Magnums and the outdoor Riviera Bar, along with a sports bar called Winners’ which shows English Premier League Football during the day. 
  • The Oasis Spa has been extensively done up and has seven treatment rooms and a good spa menu with offers and packages on most days. The gym is well equipped and has a separate aerobics room. 
  • The Atrium is the focal point of the ship and is a grand space over four floors with sweeping staircases and glass enclosed elevators and this is where you’ll find reception, the tour desk, live music throughout the day and the Explorer’s Bar. 
  • The Footlights Theatre plays movies during the day and is the cabaret and show venue at night. 
  • Le Club is the main nightclub which has undergone a major transformation in the refurbishment. It’s now more elegant with softer colours and is used more during the day for lectures and activities. 
  • The shopping area called the Emporium sells the usual assortment of fashion and jewellery and some essential items if you run out.


The food in the main restaurants is well presented and good quality and both of the specialty restaurants are a step up again and they can get quite busy so it’s worth booking early. The main dining room is separated into two sections - one of the restaurants is called Adriatic and the other Ligurian. Adriatic has set dining times at 6.30pm and 8.30pm while Ligurian is the open seating venue. Both venues serve traditional British fare such as roast pork and fish and chips. 

There are two specialty restaurants with a cover charge: Cafe Jardin by Marco-Pierre White and the Horizon Grill which is an outdoor venue. Cafe Jardin is an Italian inspired menu while the Horizon Grill is a steakhouse which also does burgers, fish and fajitas. 

The Plaza is the buffet restaurant which takes up much of deck 14 and is open all day until 9.30pm. Room service is from 11am to 11pm and is complementary with basic food like sandwiches and pasta.

The Low Down

An elegant cruise ship with a distinctive British feel, Oceana is great for couples but bear in mind, during school holidays there’ll be plenty of kids around as it’s geared up for childrens’ activities as well.

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