Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

An Iberian Odyssey On Oceana.

On the 9th December we found ourselves back in Southampton, but this time at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal where P&O Cruises' Oceana was berthed and awaiting our arrival.

Again we had used the fabulous Intercruises luxury coach service to bring us down, and to negate the need for me to negotiate the dreadful UK traffic these days.

This was to be a 12 night Iberian cruise with one main objective - to bring our P&O Cruises Peninsular Loyalty Club points over 2020 points, gained over 202 nights aboard P&O ships and therefore into their Caribbean tier which brings with it further benefits such as an increased % discount off on board spend, and priority boarding etc. We didn't expect any spectacular weather, but in the end we were rewarded with mainly clear blue skies and sunshine, if a little chilly at times.






Once on board we commenced our usual tour of exploration of another ship we had not yet cruised on. As is usual we found her to be a beautiful ship with a stunning atrium, which as it happened we later spent most of our leisure time before dinner, sipping a large Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic.

Our first port of call was Lisbon, somewhere we had not yet visited. The weather was stunning, and the town, with its trams and narrow streets was equally stunning.






Then it was on to Cadiz. Now Cadiz is a lovely port town, but we had made the decision to visit Seville from there - about an hour and a half drive - as we knew it held much historic interest. As it happened this was our only port day that gave us rain. Had we remained in Cadiz the weather there didn't deteriorate until the afternoon, but hey ho, we had a great day out even in the rain.








The day after Cadiz saw us in Malaga, a city we found to be absolutely beautiful. As most people only pass through its airport en-route to a beach destination, we would recommend a city visit, it is well worth it.









On to Gibraltar, where unusually we had the benefit of a full day visit. This allowed a beneficial visit to the local Morrison's Supermarket where we bought our duty free allowance of alcohol to be used over Christmas. Example prices were 1 X litre of Famous Grouse Scotch at just £6, and 1 X litre of Bombay Sapphire gin at just £9.50, both less than half the price of a UK Morrison's and all down to tax, or the lack of it on Gibraltar.





Our call after Gibraltar was scheduled to be Casablanca, but unfortunately during our early morning attempted entry into the harbour the sea swell was found to be too great to complete the manoeuvre safely, so it was abandoned. A slower, additional day at sea then ensued en-route to our last port - Vigo. Again a most interesting visit, and another destination ticked off our list.



We found some most unusual calm water days at sea in the Atlantic for this time of year.








All too soon we found ourselves back in Southampton boarding our coach home. Everything is so well organised on these cruises leaving the likes of us nothing much to think about. A most relaxing way to see the world, and extreme value for money.

And as an additional benefit I won the 1st raffle prize awarded at the Peninsular Loyalty club cocktail Party - awarded by Captain Willard, Master of Oceana.


However, as I mentioned in my last post about our recent cruise on Azura, I still noticed a significant number of people in the evening who could not be bothered to change out of their jeans, T shirts and trainers. I don't know what their problem is, but surely it can't be that difficult to wear a casual shirt, trousers and shoes so that you don't look completely out of place in the very luxurious surroundings of the ship, usually with live background music too.





It would appear to me the company have given up trying to convince the British public that it is smarter to change even into casual wear for the evening drinks in the lounges.

Such a pity, as the rest of this cruise was exceptional.