“ A UK-based cruise operator and subsidiary of Carnival. Western and Eastern Meditteranean, Transatlantic, and Carribean „
You remember a couple of summers ago when we had rain in the UK day after day followed by flooding? well, thanks to my kind & generous older daughter treating me, we were cruising around the Med having a superb time!
It was early July & we really fancied going away so looked online for last minute offers & found Ocean Village were offering cruises around Eastern Europe, the Caribbean etc but decided on a 7 night Med cruise. The total cost was around £1000 which included flights to/ from Palma, a week onboard including all meals & travel insurance for both of us.
I've always wanted to go cruising & liked the idea that OV market themselves as being less formal than P&O etc as neither my daughter nor I fancied dressing up every evening in the heat. We both wanted a relaxing & interesting break which was exactly what we got.
From Palma we were taken by coach to the ship for embarkation where I gave an imprint of my credit card so there was no need to carry a purse around unless offshore.
- it was very large (sorry, I can't remember the tonnage) & although the ship was almost full it didn't seem at all crowded.
- not long after unpacking we were told we needed to go to the Muster Station to go through lifebelt procedures etc. Obviously health & safety onboard is of parampunt importance & the staff made quite sure that each & every passenger attended.
- not having been on a large ship before I'd expected to feel as if I was on the sea but it was more like a floating hotel - very smooth.
- we'd booked a twin, outer cabin & were promised an upgrade if it became available. It was really well designed & had everything we needed including 2 really comfy beds, drawers, a TV (we only used this to get updates from the captain) a clean & efficient toilet, shower & handbasin, enough wardrobe space, a safe, fridge & a lovely sea view.
- we had a really friendly guy who cleaned our cabin & said to ask him if we needed anything at all.
- everyone we met whether at reception, in the shops, bars, restaurants, laundry etc were all friendly & helpful & language was not a problem.
- there were 2 restaurants where we could eat for free - both had a fantastic selection of food & I was surprised how much fresh fruit & salad was available. They seemed to cater for all tastes, there was plenty of it & I never heard anyone complain.
- there was also an a a carte restaurant which we meant to try but never had the time. I guess this would appeal more to those who like to dress for dinner & be waited on.
- also onboard there was a small ice-cream shop which also sold teas, coffees & shakes.
- although this wasn't really important to my daughter & I there seemed to be a lot going on in the way of cabarets & live entertainment. We enjoyed a fantastic evening on the top deck watching a truly wonderful circus-type show & had fun watching the dancing & comic acts.
- there seemed to be a room with gentle tones of a solo pianist as well as card rooms & reading rooms for those who wanted peace & quiet whilst there were areas which were more lively.
- on daily schedule we were also informed of special events such as cookery classes, health & fitness, ice sculpture etc.
- we had a good look around the casino which looked great.
- a small pool on the topdeck ( but rarely saw anyone using it).
- a well-equipped gym.
- internet (but expensive to use).
- a variety of shops (gifts & jewellery) plus a 'general shop' where you could pick up treats, essentails plus well-priced duty free goods.
There were plenty of off-shore excursions to choose from which could be booked via reception. We decided to pay for a guided tour around Nice & Port Grimaud but made our own way around Tunis, Rome & Barcelona super!
- It was the BEST holiday I've ever had & would thoroughly recommend OV as everything was so easy & relaxed.
- I wish I'd stwed away for the summer though as 7 nights wasn't long enough for me!
Ocean Village is part of the Carnival Cruise line, by the end of 2010 its ships will have moved to P&O Austaralia where the cruise market is expected to rise. Theses cruises target the 30-40 year old market and families.
Ocean Village market themselves as the "Cruise for People who Don't do Cruises". Feeling that as a family we would feel restricted on a traditional cruise line we decided to take our first steps into the world of cruising using Ocean Village. We travelled on the original Ocean Village but they also have another ship called Ocean Village Two (how is that for original naming!) which is a bit newer but very similar in size.
One week cruising in the Mediterranean was booked and the anticipation mounted. We booked flights with Ocean rather than booking independently for peace of mind. This proved very useful as our flight was delayed by several hours so the boat was kept in port until our plane arrived. If we had been independent it would have left and we would have been responsible for getting ourselves to the next port for embarkation.
Arrival at the port was straightforward, passports were checked, photographs taken and a credit card imprint was also obligatory for shipboard expenses. The luggage was taken separately from the coach on to the ship. We were given directions to our cabin and we easily found it. One steward is allocated to just a few cabins and he immediately appeared to show us around the cabin and asked if we wished him to set up the sofa bed for us due to our late arrival. He was very pleasant and all general tipping is included so you are not to tip staff for each activity. The ship takes up to about 1800 guests at full capacity.
The cabin (called a stateroom) was larger than I had anticipated with a large double bed and a good size double sofa bed. An immaculately clean bathroom and large dressing area were nice to. Some of the fittings in the cabin were looking a little tired but in general we were very pleased with the standard. The problems arose when I opened the doors to access the balcony. This ship does not have glass balcony walls it only had bars with very large gaps between them. I immediately felt that they were not at all safe. My son was 10 but very slim and also very active and I had visions of him falling straight through. I immediately retreated back inside, shut the doors and later told the steward of my concerns. He explained that for children under 10 they automatically put up safety netting and if I wanted he could do that for us. True to his word the netting was put up within a couple of hours and made me feel much more secure although it did not look terribly attractive. The room had a safe and also a fridge which was great for keeping bottled water cool ready for shore excursions. Having looked at other cruise lines since our return we now realise that Oceans staterooms are a generous size for each grade.
Life jackets are stored in your cabins and the next morning we had to go to a demonstration about ship safety and evacuation. I believe this is a legal requirement for all cruise ships.
The next day was spent at sea so we set about exploring the ship and we were extremely happy with what we found.
---What about the Food?---
Restaurants- buffet food was available 24hrs a day in the Plantation restaurant and then the Waterfront Buffet restaurant opened at meal times. La Luna was a restaurant on the deck with pizza available at lunchtime. In the evening La Luna and the Bistro were available for an extra charge with full service. We never visited restaurants that required an extra fee as we enjoyed eating as a family and we found the choice and amount of food was excellent. The buffet system suits us well as it is much easier to encourage the children to try something new if they are able to just have a small amount and to choose something different if they don't like it. The ship was full when we were sailing but we never had a problem getting a table. It was always possible to get snack food as well as proper meals.
There is no formal dress code on Ocean Village at all but most people dressed up a little in the evening for their meal.
---What about Drinks?---
Bars- there were 8 bars in total. The Sun weavers on the deck was great for ice creams and soft drinks. We purchased passes for the children so that they could go and get ice-creams and soft drinks without our signature and they knew how many they could have over the holiday, they got a nice sports bottle with their drinks pass which was useful on day trips too. The other bars varied between quiet, late-night and comedy venues so there was a good selection. Drinks are signed to your room bill; children's room keys prohibit them from buying alcohol which is useful for parents with older teens.
---What about the Evenings?---
Evening entertainment consisted of the cinema, casino or the Marque theatre so there was usually something going on. We saw some good tribute acts and a great trapeze show up on the deck under the stars. There was also a nightclub which was adults only with a brilliant view over the sea.
The children also spent some time in the Kids club which I believe ran to quite late at night and babysitting can be arraged for smaller children.
---Can you Enjoy the Weather?---
On deck there were two swimming pools; one was adults only with Jacuzzis. There were also a couple of shuffleboard courts, my son particularly liked those. A golf driving net and a football/volleyball court were also available to use, sometimes activities were organised here but the rest of the time they were freely available. There were also a huge number of deckchairs so you could usually find somewhere to sit when the ship was at sea. When the ship was in port the pools etc were quite quiet.
For those wanting to look their best there was a spa, a hairdressers and a gym. I must admit I didn't venture into any of these.
---What happens when you Dock?---
The most exciting part of a cruise is opening the curtains in the morning and being greeted by a completely new view of your next destination. We visited the Eastern Med, a place I had never been so it was great to get a taster of different places. It certainly opened our eyes to places we would like to visit again when we would be able to spend more time but also alerted us to places we would rather not go to again!
When in port the ship arranges lots of "Action Ashore" excursions. These can be expensive but are good when the area of interest is a long way from the port e.g. in Athens. The ship newsletter gives you details of the excursions and also local areas of interest that you can walk to. We booked our excursions before we went on holiday so we never had to queue at the activities desk which seemed to get quite busy. The ship also carries a lot of mountain bikes and there are guided cycling tours in port too. Leaving the ship when it arrived in port could take a little while. People booked on excursions have priority on leaving. On return you have your passport and ticket scanned to ensure you are the right passenger. Alcohol can be bought in port but has to be kept by the cruise line until you end your cruise.
A couple of days before disembarkation we recieved information in our cabin about the procedure. We had to state how many bags we would be checking in at the airport and the system was all very straightforward. You do have to think about your packing as your bags are collected the night before and you are left with your hand-luggage which you can store in the day whilst enjoying the ship until your departure time. We had a very late flight so we were able to take an excursion on our last day before coming back and having a meal and using the pool before our flight. We did not see our bags again until we arrived at Luton, it was all very easy.
---Would we go again?---
We found everything about cruising suited us. The staff were all pleasant, nothing was too much trouble. Although we had originally thought this quite an expensive holiday we found that because we did not have to provide too much entertainment and the food was all-inclusive it wasn't too bad. I think alcohol may be expensive but since I only had a Pimms at night it didn't mount up to much for us. Seeing new places everyday without any effort to get there was so relaxing and meals available when we wanted them made for such an easy holiday that now we are cruise converts!
Sailing the seas on a cruise holiday was one thing on my wish list, but i knew i would never go on this type of holiday unless they let me just be me and wear what i wanted (within reason). I always viewed crusing as a middle to upper class holiday, full of stuffed shirts and overbearing waiters waiting for tips on shiny silver trays.
Hearing that Ocean Village was 'for people who don't do cruising', and with the help of an offer of £829 each for a weeks stay in Alcudia, followed by a weeks med cruise, the offer was one not to be missed.
Although we opted to stay in Alcudia for the first week, we also had the choice of other resorts in Majorca. Our hotel was right on the beach and was half board. We had a clean, spacious room with a balcony big enough to ice skate on (if there was ice in Majorca!). The food was of good quality and we had some great days out, and some wonderful days by the beach.
The cruise on Ocean Village was the highlight of our holiday. We were picked up from the hotel and our cases loaded on to the coach and that was the last we saw of them until we got to our room on the ship, were they were waiting outside our cabin.
Seeing the ship awaiting us in Palma, made my stomach go into knots of pure excitement at what was laying ahead. When we boarded, we were made so welcome and found our cabin (free upgrade to outside cabin) was much more spacious than we imagined. The bed was large, comfortable and there was more than ample wardrobe space. A large dressing table with seat and a huge porthole, gave a very good first impression.
We decided to venture onto the decks to discover the wonders that Ocean Village had to offer. On deck, we were greeted by a lovely barbecue of burgers, steak, jacket potatoes and salad and offered a glass of Sangria which was much needed. We discovered a spacious pool and jacuzzi and a great on deck bar with the most helpful staff you will ever care to meet.
On the same deck was a fabulous 24 hour restaurant which served food of many countries. The choice was magnificient and was good quality, served in clean and comfortable surroundings. There was also a similar restaurant at the other end of the ship. James Martin has a restaurant on the ship which is chargeable but the other restaurants are free, free, free all day and night.
The entertainment was top class. An evening, on deck show, featuring acrobats, trapeze artists and a myriad of laser lighting was amazing. Knowing you are out in the middle of the Ocean, watching this stupendous show was awesome. There were many bars, a cinema, night club, casino, theatre, gymnasium and so much more.
We visited Rome, Tunisia, Palma, Cannes, Monaco & Monte Carlo, Ibiza and Barcelona on our cruise and i never wanted the experience to end. Although the excursions can be a little costly, you can stay on board if you wish as there is plenty to do.
All in all this was a 5 star cruise for 2 star money and if you want to see more of the world then go for it because it is worth every penny and more. Oh and you dont use any money on board. All drinks and anything else you buy is added to your room bill at the end of the cruise. They also supply a daily cruise paper to your cabin each day to let you know what is happening. I take my hat off to Ocean Village for giving me memories i will never forget. The best holiday ever by far. Thanks Ocean Village. See you soon again i hope.
From beginning to end, our Mediterranean cruise on Ocean Village 2 was a great family experience. Booking is easy and can be done online, over the telephone or with your local travel agent. There is an online booking discount available of 5% however you are unable to book online if travelling with an infant, so will therefore need to call an Ocean Village representative, who, if you ask nicely will still honour the discount for you so you don't miss out.
The flight to our cruise was from Manchester and was provided by Thomson Fly. Ocean Village charter this plane so all passengers have their own luggage allowance of 25kg and their own seat including infants. This meant we could easily take all our child's necessities in her own suitcase without having the worry of exceeding our baggage allowance. An in-flight meal was also provided for all passengers. The cabin crew were very courteous and helpful and due to being pregnant at the time of travelling, and suffering from SPD, they contacted the ground staff in Majorca and arranged transportation for me and family to save us a twenty minute walk to baggage reclaim, and this was done without asking.
At baggage reclaim there were numerous Ocean Village staff on hand to assist and guide passengers to the coaches waiting outside. Luggage is all labelled up with your cabin number and so once you have loaded your bags onto the coach, you don't see them again until you get your cabin, they are all transported for you. A short twenty minute coach journey is all it takes to get to the ship from the airport which is fantastic when travelling with children.
On arrival at the boat, the check in process is quick and easy. Ocean Village offer a no cash onboard service, so instead you are provided with cruise cards, which you use throughout your holiday to bill your drinks and onboard shopping to your room. This is then settled at the end of your holiday by cash, cheque or credit card, so there is no need to worry about carrying large amounts of money around with you. The good news is that if you do choose to use cash, they provide free in room safety deposit boxes which you set to your own code. These are also really useful for storing your passports and travel documents in.
The facilities onboard Ocean Village 2 are fantastic. They offer an array of activities for all passengers during the day and provide excellent shows and entertainment in the evenings. The onboard children centre is called Base Camp and they offer various childrens activity programmes throughout the day aswel as a soft play area for children. The activities offered do vary dependent on your child's age and they have a dedicated team of qualified staff on hand to answer any questions you have. They also offer a night crèche which is free of charge to use until midnight and then a small charge is made per hour after that. Although we personally didn't use this service, many people did take advantage of it so that they could thoroughly enjoy all that the boat had to offer. From bars, restaurants, games room, swimming pools, casino and the largest onboard spa there currently is at sea, there is certainly something for everyone.
The Karma Spa offers a wide range of treatments at reasonable prices, and they offer a professional service. Massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and a teeth whitening service are all available as well as hair consultations. The spa and gym both regularly hold free seminars on various health care topics throughout the day also.
There are several restaurants onboard, which all have highchairs available and offer free reputable brand baby food. There is food to cater for all tastes and the Plantations restaurant on the top deck also holds theme nights such as Indian, Italian and Chinese banquets. They also offer 24 hour dining which is great if you suddenly get a craving for a curry at 2am!!
The cabins onboard the ship are very spacious. We booked a suite for our cruise which was 375sq feet which is large compared to what other ships offer. There was a seating area, a large dressing table area, walk in wardrobe, private balcony, queen sized bed, sofa bed and ample room for a cot. On arrival to our room the cot had been assembled for us and was made up with blankets. A bottle steriliser had also been placed in our room and there were also bottle warmers available.
Overall, this ship offered everything a family could need to enjoy a great holiday. The staff all work so hard to make your holiday enjoyable and comfortable. We will definitely be booking again next year.
This is my own review and is featured on other review websites.
We had got back from the Coral and Coconuts and Rum and Reggae Cruise for our Honeymoon in April 2005, now since then they change the itinary each year.
I know lots of people have done reviews, but the reviews helped me a lot, so hopefully our review can help too.
We have only previously been on the Island Escape so this is all we can compare to.
I would definitely recommend OV to those who DON'T like formal cruises.
FLIGHTS: We were on the 9.45am flight from Manchester, which was the Thomas Cook A330 airbus. You have to check in 3 hours before whether you are sitting in Premium or Economy. However Premium get called first from the departure gate to board first.
There were plenty of films to choose from, I can't remember which ones, we watched Mr & Mrs Smith, which we wanted to see but haven't got round to seeing.
Premium seats were very comfy and well worth the extra money. They were starting to look a little grebby though, and could probably do with a re-vamp. The foot rest kept falling down by itself, and it doesn't help if you have an annoying woman in front who is inconsiderate and puts her chair fully down!
In premium you get a travel pack which was useful on the last night as we could pack our toothbrushes and use the disposable one. In all seats a pillow, blanket and bottle of water are on your seat waiting.
In premium there is plenty of free booze if you want it. The veggie food was very nice too.
EMBARKATION: When we arrived at Barbados airport, we were straight off the plane to an air conditioned bus which is parked by the plane. It took about 20 mins to get to the port. We had to queue up at the relevant desk with the letters for your surname to receive your cruise card. Straight forward.
CABINS: I knew it was supposed to be bigger than other ships, but it was bigger than I expected. We were on Deck 6, in cabin E201. There is ample storage space for your suitcases, there are drawers, and hanging space, and extra drawers by the bed. The bathroom is bigger than I expected too. Tea and coffee making facilities are available, and a fridge. There is a TV which shows some great films.
SHIPS NEWSPAPER: Has everything you need in it, if you go off shore or stay on board. It gives you info about the next port, and shows on the ship etc. Delivered each evening.
SAFETY DRILL: You only need to attend this on your first week. It's at 7pm, and you have to get your life jacket and go to the muster station stated on the back of your cabin door.
LAUNDRETTE: £2 a wash and £1 a dry, very good too. We took our own tablets with us, or you can buy some in the kiosk. The wash takes about 20mins and the dryer depends on how much you put in there.
INTERNET: I wasn't going to buy any credit for the internet as I was going to look for some in the ports, but we didn't have time. You can buy and hour for £12 instead of £15. It goes slow but still got a lot out of it.
PHOTOGRAPHER: they were there when you embark and they are usually outside the restaurants and when you get off each day in a new port. We got some really nice photos done. We went to the Nouveau portraits in our combats and t "swear", we wanted a really casual relaxed look, and the results were fantastic. They were £16.95 each, but great and worth the money.
BARS: There is something for everyone, there is Charlies bar by reception where you can get alcoholic drinks but it is mainly a café sort of bar.
Sunweaver and the splash bar are on deck 12 by the pools. Connexions always got busy early as the comedians do their acts here. The oval is based on a British pub and is fab; we watched the footie here, played cards and also took part in the quiz each day.
ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was good; we watched ABBA and Robbie Williams in the marquee. Some of the other acts were good too. There is plenty for all age ranges. The moon show is well worth seeing.
RESTAURANTS: I was worried with me being a vegetarian. There was plenty of food. The plantations is 24 hours and they have a themed night each night which changes every day. The only night I wasn't impressed was the Mexican and Chinese night as there was nothing I liked or it was too spicy. We ate our breakfast here a couple of time and our tea, or sometimes snacked here. The food was lovely and hot, a couple of times it could have been a little warmer.
Waterfront has one menu and is open for breakfast and tea. We ate here a lot of the times too. Again the food lovely and hot. People moan its luke warm, but the problem is they would get their starter, main and dessert all together, so by the time they finished their starter, the main would be cold. We got ours one at a time.
La Luna, we ate here a couple of times and had the pizza at lunch. We also ate here on my birthday. The food was nice but not as nice as the Bistro.
Bistro, went here to celebrate our honeymoon, the food was out of this world, well worth paying for. We enjoyed it so much we went back again!
OTHER PASSANGERS: the only problem with this ship is the passengers. Some are so rude, and give you a funny look if you use your manners. The rest were lovely. We met couples of different ages, and met a few couple on their honeymoon too.
FLIGHTS BACK: we were a little annoyed by OV here. We were supposed to leave at 12.30 to get to the airport for our flight at 3.45pm. It was announced that we weren't getting picked up till 5pm. I went to reception and asked what time our flight would be, they couldn't tell us. I told them I need to know, because it will be getting late in England and they guy who was picking us up might not be able to pick us up. They were useless, once you have paid you bill, they don't want to know you. This is the only let down. In the end we had 5 ½ hour delay, which I am writing a letter to OV about, our friend had to take half a day off work, we had to pay for the kennels for an extra day, and no one was helpful. This is the only thing which spoilt our holiday.
TORTOLA: we took the OV swimming with dolphins in the morning. It's absolutely chucked it down. It was okay, something I have always wanted to do; loved the dolphins the staff were a let down. You could hardly understand them, and our group and the deep part, Mark cant swim, so I told them and asked if he could join the group standing on the ledge, all I got was, 'I cant I have to ask my supervisor'. Mark stood there like a lemon.
Eventually they took Mark to the ledge, then our group followed and we had some more interactive time with the dolphins, in the end we had longer. Definitely not worth £95 each but glad I have done it. In the afternoon we headed for Pussers Pub, wow, the cocktails were strong! It took me and hour and a half to drink my strawberry daiquiris!
ST MAARTEN: nothing booked here; we planned to go to Maho beach in the afternoon. We went to the beach by the port in the morning as it was Good Friday and everywhere was shut. It then chucked it down again, so we went back on board for a bit. You couldn't see anything the fog was that thick, we left Maho beach. The USS George Washington was in, which I knew before we left, so we had plenty of time to film and get photos.
The celebrity constellation was in, she was huge but I wasn't impressed with her!
ST KITTS: OV tour booked here; Scenic Railway. Went down to the quayside and waited for ages, eventually we told there were problems with the train which they were trying to fix. They said we can get our money back or come on the 12.15 trip. We wanted to do this trip so looked round the town first and then came back for the trip later. We went to Independence square, and the circus roundabout, and guess what, it rained heavily again. We had lunch on the ship and went to the quayside again. The trip was well worth waiting for. We had a good tour of the island and all the kids waved at us on the train. It's a shame seeing them in their shanty houses. We had free drinks; I had a fruit punch as I had learnt the rum punches were too strong. I had a pina colada as well which was nice. St Kitts seemed to be one of the poorest of the islands.
ST LUCIA: In the morning I spotted the spotted dolphin out of our cabin window. When I went up top deck, we spotted whales. There was a mummy with her baby and a guardian. It was fantastic. Good time to see whales when there are young, as the young can't stay down for a long time. OV tour booked, sail sightsee and swim! This was fab. We picked up a catamaran near where we docked. We sailed past Marigot bay, an exclusive resort, the place where they made Indiana Jones and eventually we arrived at the Pitons. There are free drinks all day, The Rum punch you could smell a mile away, I stuck with Fruit Punch, Mark had the rum punch. We picked up buses to go to the sulphur springs; it was quite cool up here. We have been to a volcano before so we were used to the 'eggy' sulphur smell. We then went to the botanical gardens, it was nice to see different and weird plants, I'm not usually into these things, but this was interesting. We also seen diamond falls. We then got back on the catamaran where a buffet was served. I was worried about the veggie food, but they had macaroni cheese, rice and veg.
We sailed back to our boat. We spotted to Hawkesbill turtles swim past us, they were huge. We stopped off at a beach which was dirty so they took us to another. I didn't go in the water, it wasn't very nice. It was a long day but well worth it.
MAYREAU: Small little private island. We got on one of the first tenders, to sit in the morning sun. There was a funny smell by where the tenders dropped us off. We went right down the far end, it was perfect. We went in the sea, and there were loads of fish swimming by us. It was far too hot, so we got on a tender and stayed on the ship in the afternoon.
BARBADOS: In the morning we shared a taxi to Malibu visitors centre and factory. It was really interesting to see how it was made, and of course sample it. You then have free access to the beach, which was lovely. I had my hair braided here. At midday we went back to the ship. We were going to get a taxi to the animal reserve but he said $55, and I thought no way.
ANTIGUA: OV excursion, Best of Antigua without lunch. This was well wroth doing. We visited Shirley's heights, couldn't see Montserrat though. The view was wonderful. Then we went to Dow's Hill to the Fort. This was nice to. We could see Eric Clapton's house on the hill. After this we headed to Nelsons Dockyard. It was wonderful. Pity we didn't have longer here. It was really hot though, had to find some shade. On the way back we stopped at the Cheers bar near the port for a drink.
DOMINICA: OV excursion again, whale and dolphin watching. We got on to a reasonable catamaran. I went up top and within 20mins, I spotted a whale, they were really pleased, it was a humpback whale which they have not spotted in over a year. Unfortunately that is all we seen! We then stopped by a fisherman's boat. He caught a malpin (tuna like fish, can't remember the name). I was filming and I didn't realise he was bashing it on the head, so I stopped when I did. They do that so it doesn't move in the boat. It was horrible, and then they cut of his fin. Looking for more whales and dolphins, the captain put the catamaran at 14 knots! It was good fun up top getting wet; apparently there were loads of people being sick downstairs! We heard that a lady had her camera stolen, funny how she had her camera case and memory card. The captain had no choice but to phone the police. He was so annoyed; he said in the 11 years he's done this, this is the first time to happen. When we got back the police were waiting. They searched the boat before us, everyone was annoyed. Everyone on OV were looking at us as we were next to her! They didn't find anything.
GRENADA: OV excursion, OV mountain biking. I was getting worried, I hadn't been on a bike in years, and luckily others were the same. Mark was okay with the bike, I was a little wobbly at first, but soon got used to it. It was scary riding with the cars round bends as they try and over take you. We had a stop to look at the carneage (sp) It was lovely. We then carried onto Grand Anse Beach, it was beautiful. Chris took a photo of mark and I with the ship in the distance. This was a quick stop, and we carried onto another beach. We had one hill; everyone had to walk up it. My hip was hurting by this point, Chris our guide offered to take the bike off me, I said I needed it to help me up! We passed really poor house which were damaged badly by the hurricane. Eventually we go to our beach, all we had to do was ride down a lovely hill to get to it! The beach was fantastic, with one or two locals, we had tow hours here. We had a dip in the sea, and then cooled off in the bar. I said to Mark, that hill we rode down, we have to ride up it!!!! Well we walked up it.
Eventually we got back to the ship. My bum was hurting, and my hands from braking.
When we got back to the ship I cancelled our Tobago bike ride, as my hip was hurting and we were told it was as hilly as Grenada, so I wasn't taking any chances with my hip.
It was a good day though.
ISLA DE MARGARITA: we booked independently with a couple recommended to us on the message boards. We had a 15min walk out of the port to meet them. The day was fab.
We went to a place where locals go on an evening to see the sunset, we had a view of two bays, I think it was called 'Juangriego'. We then stopped at 'La Casa de las Munecas' where Queen of Spain has visited for her pearls. I brought a lovely saltwater pearl bracelet and some pottery items. Then we stopped to look at a spider monkey who was adamant he was going to have my camera as he walked on me. We stopped and looked at 'El Agua' beach, the most popular on the island. From there we stopped at 'La Asuncion' which was beautiful. I took a few photos of the square and Catholic Church and we stopped at the castle.
Our next stop was a drive to the highest point on the mountains you could drive, 'Sierra El Copey', again there were shanty houses here which were sad. We had a fantastic view of 'Polamar'. From there we visited a newish church I think it was in 'La Sierra'.
We drove past 'Polamar and 'Pampatar' and Mark picked up some rum he had tried for £1.50! We stopped at 'El Yaque' beach where windsurfers come from all over the world. There were loads of them, but I can understand why, it was so windy. On the way back to the ship we passed the airport, and then got dropped off. An excellent day.
TOBAGO: There was nothing we fancied as we had cancelled the bike ride. We stayed on the ship and actually sunbathed. It was my Birthday, so I was allowed! In the evening we went to La Luna for my birthday.
Since then we went on the olives and ouzo cruise around Greece and Croatia, and although the weather was rubbish it was a fab holiday and our last as a couple as I was 23weeks pregnant then.
The only thing that spoilt it for us was some of the rude Brits
Ocean Village offers many different choices of cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean travelling to many different places. You can choose from 7 or 14 night cruises or a 14 night stay and cruise where you stay on land for one week and then cruise the next. Prices are reasonable for a cruise starting at roughly £480 for the Med or £700 for the Caribbean for 7 nights ranging up to over £2,000. Ocean Village do offer a lot of deals every so often though and these are always really good. We recently got a deal on 4 people for the price of 2 so that cut the cost in half for each one of us.
Whether you plan to hop off the boat at every place you stop for an adventurous holiday or stay on the boat for a relaxing holiday, either way you will not get bored. Ocean Village offers Action Ashore trips and activities which you can book in advance of the holiday or once you're on the boat. These range from activities such as biking, jeep driving through the mountains, swimming with the dolphins, scuba diving/snorkelling and river tubing, to trips such as 'The Best of ...', city visits, shopping sprees, historic monument visits, etc. On one of our trips in St Vincent we visited part of the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. Some of these trips can be quite pricey but you do get a lot included - i.e. transport to and from the ship, lunch and refreshments, guided tour, etc. Or if you don't fancy any of the trips you can simply get off the boat and have a walk around town yourself. Or, if you'd prefer to stay on board throughout the day the top deck has two swimming pools, two jacuzzis and plenty of sunbeds to relax on.
Entertainment on the boat is brilliant with a stage show every night in the Marquee and various other things going on in other bars around the boat, including comedians, dancing and singing shows and different types of acrobat shows. However, if you just want to stay in your room they show some great new films on TV.
If you like your food you will not be disappointed with 24/7 all inclusive catering. Waterfront - generally British food, open at set times throughout the day; Plantation - open 24/7 has a themed dinner each night such as Chinese, Mexican, etc., provides snacky foods and foods for kids; La Luna - mainly a pizza restaurant that offers certain pizzas at no cost and some other items on the menu are great value; The Bistro - a more formal dining restaurant that has charges for all of the meals.
We stayed in a suite which was quite a bit more expensive than a normal cabin but I would definitely recommend upgrading if you can afford it. We had 2 single beds, a sofa bed, coffee table, big TV, tea and coffee making facilities, bath and shower, walk in wardrobe, safe, and the best thing was the balcony. The cabins only have a small port hole window which doesn't open or some don't even have windows at all so the balcony was fab! We left the door open at night and could hear the waves just outside and it was great when we were coming into port as we could see all of the town. The smaller cabins usually have 2 single beds on either side of the room with 2 beds above those which pull out from the wall. The boat also has a small shop selling all the essential items you might need when out in the middle of the ocean, plus other clothes and perfume shops, etc., as well as an onboard doctor and dentist.
When you arrive at the boat your photo is taken and credit/debit card information is stored to your name and each passenger gets a swipe card. You use this card whenever you want to buy something on board and they simply swipe the card, your picture comes up to check it's you who's using it and you sign for it. At the end of the trip they deliver a statement to your room and the amount is automatically deducted so you don't need to worry about it at all and you don't need any money on board.
Our trip was on the Ocean Village Two boat but my mum and sister have also been on Ocean Village and said it was practically the same just bigger and newer.
If you're looking to go on a cruise I would definitely recommend Ocean Village but they're moving over to P&O Australia at the end of this year so you'd better be quick!