P&O Cruises Oceana: Norwegian Fjords – Chapter 10

Our travelling pharmacist Dave Harcombe, a cruise virgin, has chosen P&O Cruises for his first expedition on the high seas accompanied by his wife Babs. Dave’s first-timer blog is not to be missed.


FlamThe last day of any good holiday is inevitably filled with tinges of sadness. It is always great to get home but over the last week we have had such a wonderful time.One of the best holidays we have ever had. We never thought cruising would be so much fun.These two cruise virgins have been well and truly seduced!

Babs and I have met some wonderful people, interesting and charming. At the other end of the scale, as is life, some people have been seen and very quickly forgotten.

A year ago you would have had to drag me screaming and kicking onto a boat, sorry, ship. Not anymore. Starboard and portside seem as natural to us now as everyday breathing! Thankfully queues were very rare. With almost 2000 passengers on board we did expect some. On the last day there was an almost continuous one at the photographic counter. Everyone eager to purchase and collect their colour prints. There was a lady in front of us who spent a jaw dropping £384! On photos! For that I would expect a private sitting with David Bailey and worldwide exclusive rights. But I am from Yorkshire!

So what is available on our last day at sea? Food of course. Food glorious food. Well presented, always, and cooked to perfection. And served impeccably by the waiters. Onal in our restaurant deserves a special mention. Charming, pleasant and always there with a smile.

P&O have key values which all staff adhere to. They are worth listing.

•  Always be friendly and welcoming
•  Go the extra mile
•  Share what you know with others
•  Keep your promises
•  Make it happen
•  Learn today to do better tomorrow
•  Remember, everyone is an individual

StavangerIf all service industries especially restaurants and shops followed these values, then the world would be a better place.

The food has been amazing. We have not over indulged, but have paced ourselves. Rich food followed by copious amounts of salads, cold meats, fresh fruit and fibre. Naughty but nice, especially the desserts. The cooked breakfasts have been a constant joy. A wonderful start to the  day.

Line dancing was quickly followed by a dance class with Linda and Stephen. A brisk one mile walk around the deck. Then a drink. We chose Hobson Choice, the mocktail of the day – a blend of apple and orange juice with lime and Grenadine. And then more food. And then a bit of retail therapy.Then a coffee and another walk.

The film of the day was Les Miserables. We passed on this because for us Les Miz without Alfie Boe is like strawberries without the cream. We sat and read and people watched. And chatted to fellow travellers. Babs read and I had a snooze. It’s such a hard life.

Oceana travelled a total of 2050 nautical miles. We experienced all four seasons of weather on the trip. The Stugeron tablets and Seabands have worked. The scenery has been awe inspiring. Memories to savour for years to come. We have made new friends and have promised to keep in touch.

This mighty ship has been wonderful. A floating palace.New destinations everyday. I can see why cruising can become addictive.

Oceana - P&O CruisesDisembarkation was easy and efficiently carried out. No mindless queuing here, no moaning about how slow the queue is moving – as happens in every airport. Streamlined and quick. As we enter our “middle years” airports never hold the same awe and excitement that they did in our youth. They irritate me now and I can see why cruising is becoming more and more popular. Stress free and “easy to handle”

Thanks to P&O Cruises and Captain Simon Terry and his crew. And to Ian and Janys and Dave and Sue, back in sunny Doncaster for persuading us to try a cruise. Holidays will never be the same again.

And to all at Silver Travel Advisor, especially Debbie for allowing me to put down my thoughts on paper.

PS. We have already booked our selves onto our next cruise!

•  Read Chapter 1
•  Read Chapter 2
•  Read Chapter 3
•  Read Chapter 4
•  Read Chapter 5
•  Read Chapter 6
•  Read Chapter 7
•  Read Chapter 8
•  Read Chapter 9

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Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

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