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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Ocean Village Holidays

MV Ocean Village

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: Andrew Chrysler
# previous cruises: 6
Date of Trip: July 22, 2003
Itinerary: Mediterranean

Ocean Village is exactly what it says on the tin. The slogan "the cruise for people who don't do cruising" is halfway there: we do do cruising, but we also love Ocean Village.

The laid back atmosphere is great; there is no rush for dinner, no need to dress for dinner, just lay back and chill.....

Public Areas
Previously P&O's Arcadia, Ocean Village has masses and masses of space inside and outside, putting some newer and larger ships to shame. You can't praise P&O for this though: the ship was originally commissioned by Sitmar who were bought out by Princess whilst this ship was under construction.

The cinema is popular with the teenagers: much more so than any organised club can be for those at a "difficult age" (too big to smack, too small to move out from home!)

The Marquee (Theatre) has comfortable seating and a good size stage. Refurbished, it is much lighter and more colourful than it used to be, and it has a good size bar area.

The Oval (sports bar) could be made more use of..... it is used for the odd quiz (without prizes; even a pen or key ring would be better) and has some large plasma screen tv's, but all the tv's show is adverts for shore excursions; what a waste.

Connexions bar is ultra modern and hosts comedians. Shame its so small and views are limited. Maybe knocking through into the adjacent "Oval" would be a good idea at refit.......

Splash bar is great.... you can sit on a stool in the pool and have a cold beer.........paradise.

Drinks prices are sensible, draught beer is available in some bars, and spirits and cocktails are generous.

Ocean Village is in port 6 days out of 7; during these days, if you can resist the temptation of several hours on a bus, you have the entire ship almost to yourself. My ideal cruise: pretend that Italy does not exist and stay on board. Its just like sea days without the movement of the ship or the crowds.

Food and Service
Unless you pay extra, all food on Ocean Village is buffet style.

The Waterfront Restaurant, (Deck 7) is smarter than Plantation (Deck 14) but food at Plantation was better.

La Luna on Deck 14 serves salad and pizza at lunchtime (good, but small portions) but in the evening it serves steaks (#5 cover charge)

Star of the ship is "The Bistro" on deck 7. Jamie Martin is the celebrity chef to congratulate on an inventive menu that is well worth the #10 cover charge.

My ideal cruise dining: the teenage daughter will be eating with her friends in Plantation morning, noon and night. I'll have a self service breakfast in Plantation, pizza for lunch on deck on the tables just outside La Luna and spend a couple of hours over dinner in The Bistro. Repeat 14 times for the ideal vacation.

Cabins on Ocean Village are immense. Anyone used to the "shoe box" cabins on certain other ships (Sea Princess, Sun Princess, Adonia, Oceana etc) will be delighted.

Even the cheap inside cabins are spacious. 188 square feet!

Just don't expect massive suites: What were mini-suites on Arcadia are called suites on Ocean Village. Then again, people who would pay fro the large suites on other lines probably wouldn't want the Ocean Village product.

You don't get butler service, either; the room cleaning is more like a hotel: once a day, no "turn-down" and no chocolates on the pillows.

It would be a shame if all cruise ships were this way, but Ocean Village does a very good job providing exactly what it's intended to. For a summer cruise, do you really want to take a dinner suit or evening gown?

Good shows in the theatre, some brilliant comedians in the Bar, great fun with Karaoke in the disco, and the evening deck show is just astounding: just don't miss it.

These ports are from 2 separate cruises on Ocean Village in 2003 and 2004.

Malta. The ship doesn't go there any more.

Tunisia. What a dump. Dont bother getting off: if you have to stretch your legs, just walk around the promenade deck. Its twenty minutes walk from the ship to anywhere, and when you're there it's still nowhere. No bars. Shame that the ship still goes there, but at least its only for a morning.

Civitaveccia. Quite a walk from the ship to the town. Good market for fake sports gear and "guaranteed genuine" Rolex watches for #50 sold to you whilst you sip the local beer at a pavement bar...............

Naples. Increase your life insurance before even thinking about crossing the road. Then increase it again. Still don't cross. A "green man" means absolutely nothing here. Red traffic lights mean "keep going, but blow your horn as well" Stay on board with a cold beer......................

Cannes. Beautiful resort. Take a stroll along the promenade, then stop off for a Kronenbourg or seven......... just make sure that you catch the last tender back......

Barcelona. Interesting trip to the champagne caves, but not enough tasting afterwards (only one glass; we were hoping for a bottle each.........)

Menorca. There's enough to see in Ciutadela to save bothering with a trip. Nice old harbour, shops, bars, more bars, more bars................. (are you getting the theme here?)

Ibiza. If you can't find a bar on Ibiza..........................

Who Goes
Great for families. If you like decent quality package holidays, you'll recognise the product, its just that your hotel keeps moving each night.

Ocean Village cruises are sold as fly-cruise packages from the UK only, so a completely UK crowd on board.

Not a cruise for the 70-somethings who put on jewellery for breakfast and expect to dine at the Captain's Table (there isn't one)

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