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P&O Cruises: Oceana

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  • P&O Cruises
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Oceana Review

The family-friendly mid-sized Oceana is much like her cousins in the P&O fleet. The design and layout of bars, lounges, shops and dining areas promote a flowing, social atmosphere perfect for mingling and making new friends with or without children. Informal and

casually fun, the ship’s broad decks welcome passengers to splash in four pools and six whirlpools or burn energy on the sports court ingeniously housed in the funnel. While a champagne bar caters to the older set, the ice cream parlor will please little ones. Light and bright, colorful cabins are spacious enough to accommodate families comfortably. Refurbishments in 2013 will include new bedding, carpets, and furnishings, as well as enhanced technology in lighting and sound for entertainment venues. The Oasis Spa will also have renovated changing rooms and sauna.

Oceana was originally Princess Cruises’ Ocean Princess, but was transferred to P&O in 2003 and has sailed since then as one of their family-friendly ships. Although she retains her original layout and fixtures, the decor has been refined to suit the tastes of British passengers. The delicate circular staircase in the four-deck-high atrium seems to float above the palm trees below. Indoor decor is pleasant, with intimate spaces creating the illusion of a much smaller ship. Main public rooms are on a vertical arrangement on four lower decks, with cabins located forward and aft. The casino is positioned out of the way of lounges and dining rooms, so there’s little need for most passengers, especially children, to pass through unless they intend to gamble. A sports court is in the funnel, offering tennis, soccer, and basketball, as well as table tennis, a golf net, and a simulator with limited operating hours.

Since 1937, P&O Cruises (originally the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company) has been a force in passenger shipping. Although the company's suggestion that they invented leisure cruising cannot be proven, P&O is assuredly a pioneer of modern cruising. The company acquired Princess Cruises in 1974. P&O then purchased Sitmar Cruises and merged it with Princess in 1988, and the passenger-cruise business—known as P&O Princess—was spun off in 2000.

P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise in the world and remains Britain's leading cruise line, sailing the U.K.'s largest and most modern fleet. The ships are equipped with every traditional big-ship amenity, including swimming pools, stylish restaurants, spas, bars, casinos, theaters, and show rooms.

Seven ships in the P&O fleet offer a diverse range of venues for relaxation and entertainment, including cocktail bars, nightclubs, cinemas, games rooms, and cabaret lounges. Enjoy live bands, dramatic musicals, and deck parties, cabaret singers, comedians, specialty acts, classical recitals, and concerts. Theme evenings include tropical, 1960s and '70s, or Black and White Ball. Other activities include quizzes and panel games, with prizes awarded to winning teams. A select number of itineraries offer the opportunity to spend the evening, or even overnight, in port.

An abundance of balcony and outside cabins on P&O ships ensures that a view to the sea is never far away. Accommodations, from inside cabins to lavish suites, cater to a wide cross section of budgets and tastes. In the interest of passenger health and safety, smoking has been prohibited indoors, including in all cabins and suites and on private balconies. Outdoor smoking venues are published on board.

To offer passengers a variety of choices, P&O has adapted their fleet to match the preferences of their primary markets. Although most of the ships cater to families as well as couples and singles of all ages, Arcadia, Adonia, andOriana are adults-only ships. The Aurora, Azura, Oceana, and Ventura complete the P&O armada and welcome both adults and children. Following customer feedback, P&O announced major refurbishments for the Ventura, Oceana, and Arcadia in 2013.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Ship offers big-ship amenities but is still small enough to access smaller ports
  • Nearly half of cabins have balconies
  • There are self-service laundry facilities

Cons

  • All pools exposed to the outside, so cruising in cooler months can make swimming problematic
  • Restaurants can get overcrowded and fill up fast—advance booking is a must
  • Free ice cream is only available for 30 minutes a day
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 870
  • Entered Service 2000
  • Gross Tons 77,000
  • Length 857 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,008
  • Passenger Capacity 2,272
  • Width 106 feet

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