I recently embarked on a 35-night cruise to the Caribbean and USA with P&O Cruises and now that I am back I wanted to tell you ALL about it!!
I spent the first few days relaxing and just enjoying being back onboard Oceana, we all need a little rest and recreation sometimes and we had a lot of exciting ports ahead of us – now was the time to do absolutely nothing.
I had a balcony cabin on Deck 9 and I have to admit that it was nice to have a little extra space and to be able to roll out of bed and enjoy some fresh sea air every morning. I don’t mind an inside cabin, that’s usually what I would go for, but not having to check the webcam to see what the weather was like outside every morning really did make a refreshing change.
I managed to resist the temptation of dining in Café Jardin on the first evening and the second evening, but I was overcome by the need to have prawns by day 3. I had my usual dishes: prawns to start and the buffalo mozzarella pizza for main course. I do eat other things occasionally when I dine in Café Jardin, promise, but the two mentioned above are my favourite! I was so full that I had no space at all for dessert.
The journey starts on Madeira
Our first port was Madeira and finally we were blessed with warmer air and sunshine, it was a nice change given the weather that we have been faced with since departing the UK. I didn’t do much, it was one of the only places during this cruise that I didn’t actually have a plan for – sometimes you visit a port several times and simply just enjoy seeing where you end up – but I did enjoy a pizza at a restaurant on the marina and a few drinks before heading back to the ship.
I really was so happy to be back onboard Oceana. She may not be to everyone’s liking, but I absolutely adore her and when I stepped aboard in Southampton, I really felt like I was back home. Since I started cruising in 2007, I have spent more time aboard this ship than any other and every cruise is just as enjoyable as the last.
As we got closer to the Caribbean, the evenings became warmer, so I decided to pay a visit to the Beach House on sea day 4 – this used to be Oceana’s Horizon Grill in the evening. A £5 cover charge applies and you can pay extra for things like steak on a stone or the mixed-seafood kebab. The Beach House was one of my favourite dining venues on Ventura, so it’s been very nice to see it rolled out onto other ships within the P&O Cruises fleet. I went with the mushroom alfredo to start, which I followed with steak on a stone and then chocolate fudge cake. The food was delicious, although I do prefer the chips you get with the steak in The Glass House on Britannia.
And then, the Caribbean!
So, moving on to our islands! Our first Caribbean stop was St Lucia. It was hot and sunny, but the occasional rouge cloud would find its way above us and leave behind some liquid sunshine. I visited Rodney Bay and took a walk from one end of the beach to the other. It was perfect! It’s been 4 years since I last had the blessing of a Caribbean beach and I was definitely in my element. I also stopped for some local food and just at the right time because the heavens opened! That pretty much brought an end to that side of the day, but I returned to the port area and had a walk around Castries market before it was time to be back onboard.
St Kitts was next and my day here didn’t quite go to plan, but it was still fun. The original itinerary was to visit South Frigate Bay beach and enjoy the bars and atmosphere, however, it rained on and off for most of the day, so that stopped me in my tracks. Instead, I jumped on the shuttle bus to Port Zante and had a few hours looking in the shops before stopping for a Caribe beer. I also found a local food hut and devoured a chicken roti and passion fruit juice – it was SO good! Had the roti not been so big, I would have returned for more! It was incredibly cheap too, around $5USD.
My day in Tortola was also thrown off course, but only briefly. I had booked a tour to Jost Van Dyke, it was one of the places I was most looking forward to going as I had never been there before, but unfortunately Mother Nature was not on our side and the tour was cancelled because of strong winds. I left the ship and started walking into town, then decided a morning of endless wandering just wasn’t going to fulfil my visit there. So, I went back to the ship, changed my clothes and then grabbed a taxi to Cane Garden Bay. I was incredibly glad that I did decide to do that as the sun came out and it turned into the perfect beach day – sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct. I had visited Cane Garden very briefly on an island tour the last time I was in Tortola, so maybe going back there was meant to be.
The sea day that followed brought non-stop hot sunshine and the open decks were alive with people enjoying the sun and then cooling off in the pools.
We were sailing for a few more Caribbean island and then, America!
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