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Living it up on Oceana


From sunrise to lights out, enthusiastic guest Nicky Stitchman reveals how she makes the most of every minute on board a P&O Cruises ship, and seeks out new experiences at every port of call

P&O Cruises passenger Nicky Stitchman at a line dancing class

‘My first cruise was in 1993 and I’ve been addicted ever since. Sometimes I go with my husband and two children, sometimes with friends and sometimes with my mother, Rosemarie, who recently turned 75. Mum and I enjoy cruising together, so to celebrate her birthday I took her on a Mediterranean Fly-cruise on Oceana.


‘The thing I love about cruising is that there’s always so much to do. A typical sea day for me begins with a gym session or exercise class, followed by a swim and sauna. Then it’s up to the Horizon Grill for breakfast with Mum while I check the ship’s daily newspaper to see what’s scheduled for the day.


‘One of the things I’ll look out for is the line dancing class. I’m usually too busy to dance at home, but on board there’s plenty of time and line dancing is perfect because you don’t need a partner. The classes are all ages and abilities – everyone just goes for it and has a really good laugh. It’s an easy way to get to know other guests.


‘While I’m dancing, Mum will take a three-mile stroll around the promenade deck. She’ll meet me for a coffee and a wander around the shops, and if there’s time we might even squeeze in an art talk or lecture before lunch. When my son is with us, I’ll often find them both at bingo, where they always seem to win something!


‘At lunch, I can’t resist the P&O Cruises curries, and in the afternoon we might watch a film in the theatre, listen to some live music or go to a guest lecture. Later, I’ll do a yoga class or have a massage, followed by another dip in one of the pools before heading to my cabin to change for drinks and dinner. In the evening, we’ll usually see a show – the Headliners Theatre Company is the best I’ve seen on a ship – or dance the night away at a deck party.


‘At the ports of call, we’ll usually book on to a Shore Excursion. On this trip, we snorkelled in Dubrovnik’s warm, crystal clear waters, and in Florence we took a rowing boat tour down the Arno.


‘It can sound quite exhausting when you write it down, but it really isn’t – there’s plenty of time to relax and just take in the views, or sit and have a drink with old or new friends. The lovely thing about P&O Cruises is that everything is so easy. The crew can’t do enough for you and now many crew members recognise and remember us, even though they see so many people every day.’


Nicky Stitchman

Nicky is a mother of two from Kent, who runs a Murder Mystery company with her husband Keith, performing plays all over the country. She is also part of the visitor services team at Penshurst Place, a local stately home.

Serious sun-seekers will know that a winter cruise is THE way to top up that glorious tan while taking in the sights, and if you have the luxury of extended leisure time, an Exotic Fly-cruise holiday to Australasia, the Far East or the Americas is the way to go. Get your groove on in the party atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro, shop till you drop in Hong Kong, experience the variety of life on Sydney’s Bondi Beach or just float in bliss in the Seychelles.


You’ll never be far from a relaxing beach, but we can guarantee action, culture and awesome sights, too. And when you want to escape the heat, your ship will be your haven.