Oceana 7 Day Malta, Split, Venice, Ravenna and Dubrovnik cruise diary
During our recent 7 Night Malta, Italy and Croatia cruise I posted blog or diary updates about how our trip was going.
I had a fantastic response (Thank you everyone – 1,464 likes and 507 comments), so have put them all together on this one page. I have tried to improve it slightly by adding links / further info where I can remember people asking questions.
Click here for a full overview of Oceana and check out www.youtube.com/holidaysatsea for our videos.
Now let the cruise commence…
Day 1 – Malta
We’ve arrived onboard Oceana! Ship looks a beautiful but we’ve spent our time so far running around Malta looking for clothes as my case was left in Bristol due to around 20 cases having to be removed for ‘operational reasons’.
We had muster about 8:15, so everyone was on freedom dining. Early evening we spent exploring the ship and sinking several G&T’s. We have a Facebook meet tomorrow, so will that’s something to look forward too. After that it will be a relaxing day at sea.
After our muster we headed for the main dining room – no allocated tables so we joined two other couples, they were lovely and we shared a few laughs.
The food was very nice, Luke had the Prawn Cocktail and Lamb and I had the Crab Pasties and Lamb. The portions were very generous – could have been mistaken for a whole leg, it was a beautiful!
Post dinner it was cocktails… we explored the bars and settled in Explorers Bar just off the main atrium. Here we were served by Bosco at the bar, a great guy and spent time chatting to us – he’s worked with P&O for 15 years he told us. He’d been working in Sindhu bar on Azura, so we asked him if he could mix up a Baneres which he managed to remember and get spot on, this wasn’t to be the last visit.
After that it gets a bit patchy, think it was a visit to the casino bar Winners before grabbing a midnight snack – yes eating again!
Day 2 – At Sea
Woke up early craving water (seem to drink loads of it when cruising), not too hung over after all the gins last night. It was a great evening, Luke allowed me to use his spare shirt, so I think I looked presentable enough.
Headed to the gym to cross-train and run, great views out aft! After 20 minutes I left in a sweaty mess! Shower and then out to get some sun before the Facebook meet.
Tip for anyone looking at cabins, look for cabins far aft on deck 11, there is a terrace deck at the back, ideal for those with an inside room or don’t like to travel far to find a sunbed.
There were about a dozen of us at the Facebook meet (thank you for coming) and James and Jane from the entertainment team joined us too for a nice chat. Met your folks Angelina – they were lovely.
Lunch was Pizza and Steak sandwich at Cafe Jardin – followed by a slab of Nutella cake! There is no cover charge for lunch and the food and service were top notch.
This evenings tux is provided curtesy of reception – along with some on board credit which will go on gin! James from entertainment offered me his spare jacket, but thankfully the reception one fits! Nick, the Customer Service Manager had been keeping us up to date and we’ve been told the case should arrive in Split and that Thomas Cook have taken responsibility due to the flight being overweight, so they’ll be receiving a bunch of receipts!
Now on to Gala night!
The usual free drink (we’ll drinks) at the Captain’s welcome party, followed by dinner. Very nice dinner – have to say the portions are big which is good.
After dinner drinks in Explorers Bar – Bosco was able to sort us a Barners (or two) which was excellent!
It was soon 1am and we had a Krka excursion booked in Split departing at 8:30 – so time for bed.
Day 3 – Split
Today was our first port day, Split. Alarm set for 7, got out of bed at 7:30!
We headed to the buffet and grabbed a bacon roll, we had to meet our bus at 8:30. The buffet was busy, but we were able to grab food and a table without any fuss, I guess an advantage of a smaller ship.
We booked the Krka National Park tour via P&O, it was about £50 per person and worth every penny! Our local guide was called Suzie, she was amazing. It was about 1.5-2 hours bus ride to the park and she spoke on the bus about the history, the sights and everything in between. She was a great guide.
At the waterfalls we had about 2 hours, so we did the walk, took a load of selfies and then had the meat and cheese sharing plate which Suzie recommended from the restaurant – with a local beer of course!
We then took a boat down the river to meet our bus before making our way back to Split.
Krka National Park Info:
The bus dropped us off next to the promenade in Split – we were given the choice to get off here or return to the ship, as we wanted to explore old town, this was ideal.
We left the coach and walked through the markets and down the streets. Luke found an iron throne from Game of Thrones, so we got our picture taken on that.
We walked back to the ship – this took about 20 minutes but was easy as you can see the ship all the way.
Tonight, was tropical night – oh and good news, my case has arrived so I had suitable clothing including my Honolulu thingy 🙂 We called by reception to drop back our jackets and chargers they had lent us and to thank Nick for his help.
We’d booked Cafe Jardin this evening – excellent meal! Luke couldn’t eat it all, so we had some take away pizza for our room. The food here is worth the cover charge of £8.50pp. I had the Salmon pasta dish, hot and full of flavour – mopped up the lovely sauce with extra bread.
We then headed to yacht and compass bar for a drink or two, spoke to Suzanne from our Facebook meet for a while, time flew by! We headed down to Explorers Bar to see Bosco to get our cocktail, they were closing but he sorted us a drink and spoke to us for a while. He’s told us he gets a small amount of short time in Venice. He also spoke about his little son and family back home – we love chatting to the staff and learning about them and their families.
It’s an early start tomorrow, 6am sail in to Venice, so at 1:30 it’s best to call it a night.
I’m aware we haven’t really mentioned the entertainment- this is because we haven’t had the chance to see any because the nights are going so fast! Could be the gin to blame for that!
Day 4 – Venice
Today Oceana delivered us to Venice. We were up on deck by 6am and it was already packed. We managed to squeeze in to get a good view and the commentary started. If you are doing this port, its best to get up there before 6 if you can.
It’s was a beautiful sail in, calm and warm. We got some photos and videos before making our way to the buffet for breakfast.
We were really tired so took a power nap before making our way down the gangway and to our motor launch at around 10am. Tickets for this are sold onboard, £16 return – there are cheaper ways such as the ‘People Mover’ but as this was our first visit, this was nice and convenient. At the motor launch there was a wait of about 15 minutes but it was shaded from the blisteringly hot sun thankfully. Aida blu, Costa Deliosa and MSC Musica were also in port.
On arrival in Venice, the crowds overwhelmed us – hot, sticky and very busy, but absolutely beautiful. We pre-booked the bell tower, good job too as the queue was huge – pre-booking allows you to enter ‘around back’ and jump the line.
St Marks Bell tower info:
Cost: 13 Euro (inc queue jump)
After the bell tower we got lost for an hour or two. We hit 20k steps today – lots of walking!
We had lunch by the Rialto bridge before heading to the view point above the mall (book it on the iPads they have on the top floor).
DFS View point info:
Website and booking: https://www.dfs.com/en/venice/t-fondaco-rooftop-terrace
Further info: Pre book you free 15 minute slot in advance for a great view
We then headed back to the ship on the motor launch shuttle and headed straight to the hot tub to relax. Tonight dinner was in the beach house – we sat outside which was nice, overlooking the port.
At about 9:30 we departed Venice, we watched this from ‘our balcony’ (aft terrace) after which I decided to have a coffee as I was so tired – it was a liquor one mind!
We popped our head in to watch the comedian for a short while and then to the theatre to catch a bit of the show there – neither really entertained us that much, so being able to pop in and pop out was good.
After a walk on the prom to wake up we headed to Winners Bar where I had the Celtic collection beer flight – yum! Took in the atmosphere – live music on stage before heading to bed, via the buffet of course!
Early night and a lie in is needed! Oceana has ruined us and it’s been amazing so far!
Day 5 – Ravenna
Was awake by 8, so we thought we’d hit the gym to get moving a little. On the way back, we grabbed some yogurt for a light breakfast in the room.
By 10:30 we were on the shuttle in to town. We were thinking of not bothering but thought we best had. The shuttle takes 15-20 minutes and wasn’t the most interesting journey.
We walked around for about an hour, some great religious buildings but it wasn’t really our kind of thing, so we headed for the shuttle back to the ship.
Once back on the ship we spent an hour or two collecting film footage for our ship tour video which we will post in a week or so.
For lunch today, we went to the MDR, we didn’t go for the 3 courses, just soup and a light main.
Sail away was at 3:30, it was the Great British sail away – you may have seen my live stream of this. Great time, sailing away in the beautiful warmth.
After getting ready for dinner we spent some time in Rivera Bar having pre dinner cocktails and had a lovely meal in the MDR – tonight it was the roast beef sirloin for Luke and the Steak and chips for me, followed by a selection of cheese.
Post dinner we needed a walk on the prom before heading to Explorers for a Benares – yum!
We then headed to the Yacht and Compass where we stayed and chatted until closing time – by which time was well passed our bed time, so the compulsory buffet run before bed.
Day 6, Part 1 Dubrovnik
Just a quick post, as I wanted to get this up before setting sail at 6:30-7 as we have a sea day tomorrow.
Woke up with a bit of a sore head after drinking quite a bit last night but there was no time to hang about, we wanted to be at reception ready to disembark as soon as the gangway opened at about 9. We were not the only ones with this idea.
Costa Riviera, Tui Mein Shiff 2 and NCL Something were in port today – think it was 10,000 cruise passengers. Was expecting it to be busier, but it was still very busy.
The P&O shuttle (£5 for non ‘Select Booking’ customers) dropped us off at Pile Gate so we headed straight for the cable car. There was a good 30-minute wait – even excursions seemed to be waiting. And wow, it was worth the wait – stunning views.
Cable car info:
Cost: 150 Kuna return
At the top we sat in the shaded bar, taking in the views over a small beer (it had not long gone 11, so thought a small was the respectable option).
After taking the cable car back down we headed back to pile gate to get our tickets to walk the walls. Tickets cost 150 kuna and were available just inside the gates to the right – this took us over an hour as we kept stopping for pictures, so many wow moments!
Highly recommend doing both these, easy to do on your own without the need of an excursion.
We had a wonder around to seek out some Game of Thrones locations and before we knew it, it was gone 3pm! There was a big queue for the shuttle back but P&O were handing out water as it was hot hot hot!
Have to say Dubrovnik has been amazing, loved every second of it and can’t wait to share the videos and pictures. We WILL be back!!
Day 6, Part 2
We departed Dubrovnik shortly after 7pm, so we quickly got in to our tux’s and watched it from the viewing area above the bridge before heading to the aft terrace to have a few drinks and watch the sun set. You really can’t beat a sunset at sea!
While getting ready for dinner, we had a phone call from reception saying we could visit the bridge the following day – we were over the moon by this, our first visit to a ships bridge!
We headed to the MDR for our dinner, another excellent meal – we both had the Bass fillet! All the food we’ve had has been outstanding – we finished with cheese and port! Some have said they are tight with the cheese, we’ve not found this and if you think they are, ask for more – the waiters have always been happy to oblige!
We then headed to the Yacht and Compass and then on to Explorers, our favourite bar.
At around 1am we went in search of some night life, but it seemed everyone had gone to bed with only a few in Le Club – so we called it a night too…
Tomorrow, a sea day.
Day 7 – At Sea
Woken up by the sun beds being put out around 6:30 – first time I’ve noticed this but then snoozed for a couple of hours (doesn’t bother us, but if you stay in A738 or thereabouts, worth noting if a light sleeper – always check out the deck plans).
Luke started packing – flight labels arrived for our cases yesterday so they need to be out tonight and we won’t see them until Bristol. It’s not a chartered flight, but a ‘bonded flight’. You check in with Tomas Cook at Bristol, collect your luggage at Mala and then wheel to the bus – it then magically appears outside your cabin. When you go home you put the case outside your room on the final night and you’ll next see it in Bristol. They give you all the details and reception can help if you are unsure.
We headed to the buffet at 10am – this has to be the only buffet that isn’t a bun fight – quite small but so easy to navigate with enough seating.
Last night when we returned to the cabin there was a card confirming our booking for the Asian lunch today – we couldn’t remember booking this?! It’s the kind of food we like (wish there was a Sindhu on here tbh) so every chance we did and we were just too drunk to remember! Anyhow, it was stunning! Came out stuffed and was only £10 per person.
It’s quite windy today, so everybody it at the back, all decks from the terrace bar down are full of sun worshipers – even our giant balcony is littered with bodies! We found a chair eventually and had a 30min snooze!
Lots of sad faces today as it’s the final day. Apparently around 1500 are coming off tomorrow and 500 are staying on – lucky devils!
At 3pm we headed to the Bridge for a visit. We were shown around by an officer and this was very interesting! After that we returned to our room for a G&T – still quite a bit left so that needed drinking! No photos were allowed to be taken on the bridge.
There was a Macmillan afternoon tea on today but we were far too stuffed to attend! I think this was the regular tea but with donations towards the charity being collected by the Ents team.
After that we sat on the Terrace bar and bumped in to Charlotte who had attended the Facebook meet and greet – great to hear she’d been enjoying her first P&O cruise.
Tonight, was a night of farewells, so after dinner we worked our way around finishing with a Benares at Explorers bar.
It’s been an amazing cruise, it may have started on the dodgy side due to the missing case but it’s exceeded all our expectations since – can’t thank the reception team enough for their help. I can see why Oceana and her staff have such a loyal following, they really do make the holiday.
Finally, thank you to everyone who’s liked and commented on these posts – hope you have found them useful. I will put them together in a blog at some point and we’ll have a video up to which we will share. But first we need to get home and sleep!
I will write up a full review in the coming weeks, but for now, happy cruising everyone 🙂