Ocean Village Cruises, Ocean Village Transatlantic Reviews

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Ocean Village Cruises, Ocean Village Transatlantic
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“great family holiday,well entertained by the events...”


written by on 26/08/2010

great family holiday,well entertained by the events team,-made you feel welcome and relaxed,thanks to james kosa, jon radcliffe, tom forniss, donna randless, claire,and the lovely jo osmand.had a belly ache of laughter from the fantastic comedian and impressionist fogwell flax,robbie williams tribute was brilliant as well as the ships dancers and the columbian acrobats...good size cabin with good storage and well maintained by romeo.abundance of choice with food in all restaurants, you pay a little bit extra for the james martin bistro but well worth it.ships local singers keep you entertained.there is always something to do on all decks,we had one bad day of weather,so we took a film in at the cinema,its like a big family because you are all in the same place, so everyone got on and made new friends,its the first holiday were my children and us did not want to come home.normaly we are ready at the end of our fortnight.the only down side is the ships photographs are a bit pricey and you feel obliged to buy them because of memories of your holiday.again i stress a big thankyou to the events team, miss them all.

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“Great cruise and the kids club was exceptional....”


written by on 02/02/2010

Great cruise and the kids club was exceptional. Although the shows in the evenings were the same as when we cruised with ocean village, 6 months prior to our recent cruise.

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“Very disappointing all round on the Ocean Village. ...”


written by anthonyhartley on 13/05/2008

Very disappointing all round on the Ocean Village. Entertainment poor, theatre seating extremely uncomfortable. Information and help and advice re shore excursions very poor. Whole atmosphere of ship was old fashioned and dull. Ports visited were good, but always left far too early so unable to enjoy an evening ashore. Too much smoking allowed in public areas, effectively preventing non smokers from enjoying all the facilities in the casino and late night bar. Surprisingly smoking allowed in cabins,.

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written by SYD598 on 27/02/2007


The following is a day to day summary of the cruising experience of our group (three couples and one single) on the Ocean Village:


Smooth & seamless transfer from airport to ship in Majorca, hundreds arriving all at the same time but efficiently dealt with by Ocean Village (OV) staff, who managed to get everyone on board with the minimum of fuss. We had taken the opportunity of providing information on-line, which no doubt helped this process.

We waited on Deck 12 by the pool for the announcement at 3pm that all cabins were now ready for occupancy, ours were actually ready earlier than this and the luggage delivered promptly but we were busy relaxing and enjoying a glass of beer in the warm Majorcan sunshine. Later on, after a couple of hours rest and the mandatory safety demonstration, we headed for the James Martin Bistro Restaurant where we enjoyed a truly fabulous meal. We were delighted to hear that the Bistro price was to be £9.50 a head all this week as La Luna restaurant was closed for refurbishment. In fact, we later discovered that £9.50 was the standard price if you booked a table before 7.30pm, after which the price went up to £12.50 per head. We were told that the menu was due to change in a few days time, as soon as James Martin gets a break from his Strictly Come Dancing competition.

Great entertainment followed in the Marquee Showbar with Elliott Frisby, an up & coming singer guitarist. Looking forward to two days at sea but most of all, a good night's rest.


Relaxed on deck, reading and sunbathing after which we enjoyed an evening meal in the Waterfront dining area. Out on top deck at 8.20pm to see the Rock of Gibraltar and the Moroccan coastline as we glided through the Straits of Gibraltar en route to the Atlantic.

Later in the Connexions Bar the stand up comic show was good (John Ryan) and then on to the Marquee to watch the excellent Neil Diamond tribute star (Nick McCullock) whom we had met the previous day on the plane over from Manchester. Nick told us that this was his 29th gig on Ocean Village when his career was launched after winning Stars in Their Eyes.

It might be worth a mention that smokers and non-smokers are divided on OV, the left side of the ship is non-smoking and this includes cabins, so it is worth remembering this when booking. We weren't informed of this when we booked our cabins and we actually ended up on the smoking side but fortunately there was no stale cigarette smell in the cabin but we may just have been lucky. There is TV and music entertainment in the cabins with news and film channels, something for the whole family to enjoy but the films do get repeated throughout the time on board.


Day at sea which began with a pleasant sunbathe on Panorama Deck until lunchtime but then the weather deteriorated and it started to rain, which sent us indoors to the Oval Bar to join in the pub quiz, followed by a game of cards. Dinner in the Bistro followed by Connexions Bar where comedian / impressionist Fogwell Flax entertained. The sea was rather choppy between Gibraltar and Madeira and we were worried that this might be a sign of things to come but we were eventually pleasantly surprised by the calmness of the Atlantic Ocean.


Land Ahoy! Madeira today, shortly after breakfast our group of 7 went ashore, booked a minibus at a cost of 30 Euros each, which took us on a 5 hour tour of the island taking in all of the tourist places, the best of which was the toboggan run, costs 25 Euros for 2 people or 15 Euros for 1 person. This is a must for anyone who visits Madeira and Dave, who incidentally sang You Are Always on My Mind very well at the karaoke later that night, took his 73 year old mum on the toboggan run and she loved it, we did too!

After dinner in the Waterfront Restaurant we spent a very enjoyable evening at Connexions taking part in a 70's quiz and karaoke.


La Luna Restaurant was now open after its refurb, although I don't particularly like Italian food and have no plans to go there yet. Day at sea, very calm water and a smooth crossing so far with plenty of warm sunshine, it was 22 degrees, so we lazed about on deck with a good book, only interrupted every couple of hours by a spell in the Jacuzzi. We were informed by the entertainments team that we will be acknowledging Bonfire Night, nearly forgot it is 5th November today, by having a fire juggling performance on Top Deck at 5pm but there won't be any fireworks as this could be misrepresented for a distress signal to other ships that may be in the area.

A word on entertainment, I have noticed that quite a few passengers seem too ready to complain about the entertainment. On further questioning it becomes obvious that the problem isn't that they don't enjoy what's on offer, which is your typical Friday night pub sort of stuff. It's because there aren't any glitzy cabaret shows, so if this sort of thing is high on your particular list of holiday desirables then this cruise is possibly not for you. In that case perhaps you ought to be thinking about booking yourself on one of the more stuffy, organized cruises where you are told what to wear, when to eat and where to sit. That type of cruise does entertain with some great cabaret shows but Ocean Village doesn't.

Anyway, tonight's star turn in the Marquee was the Rod Stewart tribute by Jack Danson, again from Stars in Their Eyes. The warm-up act was Kev Moore, I didn't like the look of him but he sang okay. On our way back to the cabin via the Village Square, Chris Sullivan from Freedom 2 Move was singing a few chilled out melodies, which stopped most people in their tracks.


Definitely getting hotter! Sunbathing on Deck 14 with occasional dips in and out of the Jacuzzi and listening to live music courtesy of Elliott Frisby and his guitar, nothing too strenuous. An early dinner in the Waterfront restaurant, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as good as I can make at home, and then on to Connexions to get a good seat to watch Fogwell Flax, which was totally brilliant. The lead-up act was also very good, the vocalist Anthony Ward on keyboards too, possibly still a little worse for wear following the staff party the previous night. Another bonus for this cruise is that each night we have to turn the clock back by one hour, so just when you think you need another hour in bed, there it is! Two of our group ate in La Luna tonight and were full of praise about the food.

Cap-i-tan Speaking, is how our Greek captain introduced himself over the tannoy at 12 noon each day. He said it will be 26 degrees tomorrow, so mental note to get up to Top Deck by 9am and choose the optimum spot for sunbeds, claim possession by throwing towel and book on it, although you won't find any Germans on this cruise anyway so this may not be necessary, and then have breakfast.

Drinks advice, of the alcoholic kind, Stella and Boddingtons sell at comparable pub prices to home which is good. Also if you, like us, enjoy an aperitif in your cabin you can pack a bottle in your case and get away with it but you would be unlikely to get this through hand luggage inspection. It is possible to buy spirits in the Duty Free shop on board and pay £5 surcharge per bottle which allows you the privilege of drinking this in your cabin. This works out at normal supermarket prices at home so it's not too bad. Word of warning about the bar waiters, they continually ask if you want to order a drink. This is where there commission lies but a polite no thank you will send them on their way but you need to repeat this every ten minutes on average! We saw one passenger working his way through the cocktail list and the waiters were round him like bees round a honey pot, so they must rely heavily on commission from bar sales.


Continuing to get warmer out on deck, Cap-i-tan Speaking, says we are moving at 20 knots in a south westerly direction and will cross the Tropic of Cancer tomorrow. Tan is now coming along nicely. Got very hot in the afternoon, glad there was some entertainment that we wanted to see to take us indoors into the Marquee. Fogwell Flax were doing an 'Up Close and Personal' interview on Mike Read, the Radio DJ. That is, not the one from Eastenders, who has apparently done this transatlantic crossing with OV a couple of times now, on his way to stay in Cliff Richards' holiday pad in Barbados. The interview turned out to be very interesting and the Marquee was packed out. Mike and Fogwell were joined on stage by Elliott Frisby who sang a couple of songs from an album which he and Mike Read are currently putting together. Mike is writing the music to words from famous poems and Elliott is doing the vocals, sounded rather good. The album will be complete during the next few months. Fogwell and Mike had a musical few minutes, playing their guitars and singing.

The evening's entertainment was the Illinois Blues Brothers, they were very, very good.


Found a spot on Top Deck where there was a bit of a breeze, Cap-i-tan Speaking, says it's now 28 degrees but someone said it was 38 degrees out on deck yesterday and I can well believe that. Yet another day of lying in the sun, reading, with a regular supply of food and drink. The crossing since Madeira has so far been very calm, which we didn't expect. The only other ship we have seen for the past four days was yesterday lunchtime, when a yacht with a 9 man crew came quite close to us with everyone on board waving and shouting hello. They gave a little toot to say hi and OV gave three deafening replies, this all happened during Cap-i-tan Speaking's daily log at Noon.

Anyway, back to today. We ate in shifts in order to try and keep seats in Connexions in readiness for Mike Read's Pop Quiz, which we correctly anticipated would be popular. The Connexions bar needs to be twice it's size, it is by far the most popular bar. I had a chat with one of the Blues Brothers while waiting to be served at the bar and he told me they do a week on and week off while the OV is in the Med. He said they often have to compete with events taking place in Connexions, I would have thought OV entertainments staff would want to spread the popular events out a bit better than they do, tonight we had to miss the George Michael tribute which apparently was excellent.

After the Pop Quiz, at which we didn't do very well, the majority of the crowd left Connexions but they should have stayed because we were treated to a duo of guitars and singing by Elliott Frisby. He was joined by the chap from the Blues Brothers who I had been speaking to earlier. They then invited Mike Read to join them on stage and there followed an impromptu singalong, brilliant entertainment!

DAY NINE (last day at sea before the Caribbean)

Hottest yet! Tried to sunbathe at the front of the ship where there was a breeze but soon had to seek some shade. Little else to report! We all really enjoyed our five days at sea, totally relaxing break from routine. Enjoyed it so much that we are doing the trip the opposite way round in April 07, Barbados to Crete.

DAY TEN (Thursday 10th November) St Martin / St Maarten

Our group split today, half going on a self driven jeep safari, which they reported to us later to be excellent and they enjoyed exploring much of the island in nice, roomy jeeps.

The remainder of us, except one who had a bad tummy, were heading out on a mountain bike ride, which should have been starting at 8am but changed to 12 noon. This was because the bike team needed to do a reckie to ensure that nothing untoward had happened to the route over the previous 6 months, since OV was last in port. This was disappointing news to us because we would not have willingly booked a bike ride during the heat of the afternoon. We spent the morning shopping in the plentiful duty / tax free shops just a water taxi away from where OV was docked.

At 12 noon we went and got ourselves kitted out with bikes and helmets. St Martin is a bit too much of a hilly place for biking novices such as us and we ended up walking quite a bit of the way. The roads were very busy with traffic, none of your nice safe cycle paths like there are in the UK! We would certainly not contemplate doing this again in the Caribbean or anywhere where it is likely to be hotter than 26 degrees. Having said that, we did enjoy the day overall and our batteries certainly got recharged after all that lying about on deck for five days.

We stopped at a beach for an hour but a sudden tropical rainstorm brewed up, forcing us to shelter under a beach umbrella. We then rode our bikes back to the ship through the town, through great big puddles, arriving back at the ship soaking wet but with a good feeling of having achieved something nonetheless.


Glorious sunny day. We were booked on the Sage Mountain Trail and we were out on deck and into our open sided bus by 9.15am. Tortola is very pretty and, as yet, unspoiled by tourism. Totally unlike St Martin where everyone is out for every dollar they can prise out of the tourists. Tortola is just 3 miles wide so any sightseeing tour won't take long, so it is better to do something and the Sage Mountain Trail is perfect as it involves an hour's walk through the rainforest. We had the additional entertainment of the trails being very muddy and slippery due to the overnight rain. This resulted in three of our party of 11 ending up on their bottoms during the first five minutes, which caused our guide to re-think the route. He took us on a flatter, less muddy trail through the Sage Mountain Park. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, though this trip may not be for the olds as only the fitter of the over 65's would be able to contemplate this and in fact we did see some having to turn back. Our group's average age was 50 and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The walk was followed by a cup of punch, which became rum punch if you chose to pay one dollar.

Then there was an extremely quick journey down the rollercoaster bends, back to the coast for a well earned dip in the glorious turquoise sea. We were back at the ship by 1.30pm with time for a wander round the town to purchase a few Caribbean spices that will no doubt warm up our winter casseroles when we get back home.

Tonight's entertainment was by a new face on board, comedian Brian Higgins who was pretty awful and went down like a lead balloon. Never mind, 8am start tomorrow so it was a good excuse to turn in early for a change. We will make sure we don't see him again during this trip.

DAY TWELVE - 12 November - ST KITTS

All 7 of our group were booked on the St Kitts Scenic Railway trip, this was our most expensive trip at £50 per head for just 3 hours. Please note, if you are part of a group and wish to stay together, make sure you arrive at the transport minibuses at the same time. Otherwise you will get herded up with no option of waiting for the rest of your group. This turned out to be a very enjoyable trip, it is worth taking a map of St Kitts as it's nice to be able to follow the route as the train trundles through the island. The rum was poured freely and there was live singing, plus music tapes to help the trip along very nicely. Rail carriage number 5 derailed about 10 minutes from the final destination but the train only travels at around 5 mph. This was the carriage we had been allocated originally, until we managed to get past the railway guard and join our friends in carriage number 3. However they had everything back on the rails within about 20 minutes which made us think this was probably a regular occurrence!

After getting back we had a walk into town, there is not much there though and the bars were very few and far between. We ended up having a bottle of Carib, the local beer, which costs one dollar a bottle, with a few locals in the bus station. This suited us fine as they were selling exactly the same beer at a bar at the ship terminal for 4 dollars a bottle!

We returned to our cabin for a well earned nap and then to the Waterfront for our evening meal at 7.30pm, followed by the early showing of a Shirley Bassey tribute, excellent! On to Connexions to see Elliott Frisby, Duncan from Blues Brothers and Mike Read, who entertained everyone for two full hours with good singalong stuff from the 60's and 70's, absolutely brilliant!


We awoke in St Lucia and it was raining! We were all booked on the Land & Sea Adventure today which is either by minibus for the first half and then catamaran for the second half or vice versa. As there is unlimited rum punch and other drinks available on the catamaran we thought it would be important to try and do this part of the trip during the afternoon rather than the morning, for obvious reasons. We asked about this possibility as soon as we got to the quayside and were informed that they had had two groups of people requesting to do the trip this way round. A group of ten and our group of seven. He did what he could and we got our preference, which goes to show that if you don't ask you don't get! We all agreed that this was the best trip of the holiday, very informative, great Caribbean food plus a drive-in volcano, a walk round some spectacular rainforest gardens, a catamaran trip and swim, albeit in the rain, which didn't matter one bit and plenty of free rum punch.

The much talked about Moon Show was planned for this evening but it was still raining quite heavily at 5.30pm and it was, as expected, cancelled. Oh well, might catch this the next time we cruise with Ocean Village.

LAST DAY - Mayreux

It rained solid all day and we didn't actually get to see Mayreux. Played cards on deck under cover all day. However because Cap-i-tan Speaking decided not to dock, this meant that we did get a full refund on the trips we had booked, which we were pleased about as it wouldn't have been much fun in the rain.


We managed to get in a short sightseeing trip by taxi in the morning and purchase a few bottles of Mountgay Rum before we had to head off to the airport for our return journey back to Manchester.


We have been on cruises where we have been told what to wear, when to eat and where to sit and the Ocean Village was a refreshing change from all that stuffy protocol. I was a bit concerned before going on this cruise that this relaxation of the rules would mean loads of people turning up for the evening meal in shorts but thankfully this didn't happen. Each night was like a Friday or Saturday night at home with everyone dressing up smart but casual. We all really enjoyed the experience and the fact that we have booked another Repositioning cruise with Ocean Village in April 2007 says everything really.

If you decide to give this a go then enjoy yourselves like we did!

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“Ocean Village: Excellent food, good variety of trips,...”


written by jakmal on 30/09/2004

Ocean Village: Excellent food, good variety of trips, roomy cabins in comparison to other ships in price bracket, more laid back -as the advert says for people who "don't do cruises"! I will be going again early 2005 just because we love the informality of this ship.

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