Oceana, Feb 2020
Oceana Feb 2020
This was our third time on Oceana, but our first in colder climes in February. Obviously we weren’t going for the sun! Embarkation was a bit of a nightmare as the previous cruise had been delayed to Storm Denis and our embarkation times were put back – however, for our troubles, everyone was given an on board credit of £30. We finally got on board around 5 or so but it definitely wasn’t the smoothest embarkation though this was no-ones fault! Our bags, however, were actually waiting for us which was a plus. She has had a refit since we were last on her in 2017 and looks pretty good for her age!
We were a party of 3 adults, ourselves and our 21year old son, in an inside cabin. We were expecting cramped conditions but the cabin, D231, was actually spacious with more than ample storage for all three of us. Obviously this would have actually been an inside cabin for 4 and I think that might have been cramped, unless the others were children!
We had booked Café Jardin for the first night and were given the option to delay the meal or rebook as the muster didn’t take place until 8pm. We chose to have a later meal but we were very disappointed in the meal and the service. Perhaps the staff were still suffering from the effects of the rough journey to Southampton but it definitely was not a good experience. However, we subsequently ate breakfasts there and they were lovely.
The first day was a sea day and whilst fairly bumpy, it wasn’t too bad as the wind was behind us. Despite the ship being fully booked, and obviously it was cold on deck, the ship didn’t appear too busy. There were plenty of places to sit and chill!
The first port of call was Hamburg – we opted to take the shuttle to the city centre and hopped on the ho-ho bus which was very good. One of our party had been there before so we walked back to the ship via the St Pauli district.
Due to the increasingly poor weather, we were advised that the ship would be unable to dock in Zeebrugge and would head to Rotterdam for the overnight stop. This did mean changes to our plans for Amsterdam – whilst we have checked out transportation from Zeebrugge we knew nothing about Rotterdam! In the end we opted for the transfer from P&O, leaving at 9 am and, so we thought, heading back at 5, which fitted in with our plans. However, quite possibly due to miscommunication between the tour company and the ship, the actual time spent in Amsterdam was very short and meant we missed out on some pre-booked tours – a lesson learnt perhaps. We arrived back to the ship at 5 and opted to stay on board as the rain was quite heavy. However, the following day we explored Rotterdam and it is well worth a visit, and went a harbour trip. We did, however, get another voucher for spa treatments which was well appreciated!
Our last port of call should have been Bruges – however, prior to departure from Rotterdam, the captain announced it would not be possible to stop there as the weather was getting much worse! This was disappointing but just means we need to redo this itinerary again! Everyone received a bottle of P&O ‘champagne’ for this change. To be honest, it didn’t really matter! Our best meal was in the Beach House which was very popular and although we tried to get in for another meal it was fully booked!
As always, the crew and staff were brilliant and bearing in mind the conditions they were sailing under for the previous cruise, they worked extra hard getting us all onto the ship on the Sunday! There were some people complaining to the port staff which was inexcusable – the weather is no-ones fault!
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