Cruising the med

Suzanne Barney on 01 June 2018
This was a late deal. I wasn't planning to do a cruise, but this was such a bargain especially as the flights were from Birmingham I could hardly refuse. The itinerary included Rome and Florence, two places I had never been. The dates weren't ideal as it was the start of the summer season, so the weather could be mixed but perfect for sightseeing. A real feature was when we checked in our luggage we never saw it again until it turned up at our cabin.

Our ship 'Oceana' is 18 years old and in her day a glamorous ship. Today she has still retained her looks but a little tired here and there. She is loved by the passengers on board who have sailed with her many times. The atmosphere is welcoming, and it doesn't take long to find your way around. We opted for an inside cabin on deck 5 which was perfectly fine. The cabin is small, but it has everything you need plenty of cupboard space, a large bed, basic hairdryer, small TV, tea and coffee making facilities and a shower. The shower was a little tired, but the towels were fluffy and White Company provide the toiletries. The location on deck 5 was good as we were close to restaurants and entertainment venues. The ship is a lot smaller than the ones we have been on, so it was actually nice not to walk miles to the cabin.

We felt quite young as the people on board for our sailing were a lot older and the entertainment seemed geared to the older guest. There were a lot of singles and mothers with daughters on board. The food in the restaurants was nice and geared to the UK palate with four courses - plus a few different formal nights where guests did dress up.

The Beach House was lovely and did the most amazing seafood kebab. The breakfast buffet reminded me more of a Premier Inn style with less choice than you get on other cruise ships I have been on (so no smoked salmon). We kept fit doing the stairs and played tennis on the sports court. We didn't make the gym but walked for miles on the excursions and I actually feel slimmer than when I left the UK. You can buy a pre-pay for an internet package on board which was reasonable though it stops on the final evening. If you a workaholic like me, you can check your emails by the pool. Some cruise lines charge a fortune for this, so this was good value for money.