It's the perfect mix of adrenaline rush and relaxation - afloat and ashore where couples, groups of friends and individuals can mingle easily and families feel at home. For most of us, an Ocean Village holiday is for people who want to discover the best of the Mediterranean or Caribbean without having to lug their bags around with them. They sail to a new place each night so you only have to unpack once. Unconventional, individual, easy going - that's the whole philosophy of Ocean Village. Which is why everything on board and ashore is designed to set you as free from life's routines as possible.
There is great buffet-style food available day and night, so you can eat when it suits you. There are no formal dress codes, so casual wear is always fine. And whether you are a party animal or prefer to take things a little easier, you will find a hundred different ways to have a good time. You set the pace. Ocean Village simply give's you the same space to enjoy yourself.
At Sea and Ashore
+ What should I Pack?
The beauty of Ocean Village is that there are no set formal or semi-formal dress codes on board. Casual wear is always fine – all that is asked is that you cover-up when eating or drinking inside the cafes, bars and restaurants. The only place where you may want to dress up a bit on board is in The Bistro, where things are more smart casual and you may want to push the boat out for those special occasions.
Please note that if you are on a Stay and Cruise holiday you may be required to wear smart casual clothes/long trousers for dinner at some hotels.
All cabins have en suite facilities, tea and coffee making facilities, fridge, TV, telephone and hairdryer as standard. There is also a safe to keep your valuables secure, for which there is no charge.
Cabins are fitted with three pin standard British style sockets and the current on board is 220 volts AC at 60 cycles, so all British style hairdryers will operate normally (although we do provide hairdryers in the cabins). Additionally all bathrooms have razor sockets with 220/110 volt switchable sockets.
In the true spirit of Ocean Village, even the dining arrangements are informal. With 24-hour dining in the Plantation restaurant and a choice of three other dining venues, you can usually eat wherever you like, with whoever you like, at whatever time you like.
+ Buffet Breakfast Choices
Luxury Continental and full English breakfasts, plus fruit and healthy selections such as yoghurts and smoothies are available in the main Waterfront Restaurant, along with a wide range of fruit, herbal and traditional teas and coffee. The Plantation Restaurant also offers a range of popular breakfast choices plus a hot daily special.
+ Buffet Lunch Choices
There is an extensive salad bar with cold meats, fish and cheeses plus tempting desserts in the Waterfront or Plantation restaurants. There are also hot speciality dishes of the day such as Spanish Tortillas, Spaghetti Bolognese & Ribs. The Plantation also features dishes such as baked potatoes, corn on the cob, burgers and hotdogs plus there are deck barbecues and a range of snacks right around the clock. La Luna, the poolside Mediterranean style cafe, offers lighter bites such as pizza, salads and potato skins for lunch.
+ Dinner Choices
THE WATERFRONT restaurant offers daily themed buffets with both international and British menus. You can also watch speciality dishes being prepared and cooked in front of you at our cooking stations.
THE PLANTATION deck restaurant features buffet dining on an Asian and Oriental theme with items such as green Thai curry, noodles, stir-fries and Indian dishes with all the trimmings.
At LA LUNA you can dine by the pool and under the stars, with waiters serving a Mediterranean inspired menu featuring dishes such as seafood brochette, pan-fried chicken breast with mascarpone and a choice of pasts.
THE BISTRO offers a tempting array of choices, perfect for a special dinner or a big night out with friends or family. Endorsed by celebrity TV chef James Martin (who will also travel on board a number of times each year) The Bistro offers a menu packed with modern British and Mediterranean flavours. An extra charge up to £15 per person applies and booking is recommended.
Please note that all restaurants on the ship are non-smoking.
+ Special Diets
Passengers who are vegetarian or follow a low fat diet will be able to select dishes from the wide selection available on board. If you have a special dietary requirement resulting from a medical condition Ocean Village can accommodate low salt, strict vegan, lactose intolerant, diabetic, celiac and gluten free diets (but not kosher foods). Please note that Ocean Village cannot guarantee that dietary requests can be met if taking a Stay and Cruise holiday.
Ocean Village operate a ‘cash-free’ system on the ship – you sign for your purchases as you go then settle up at the end of your holiday. Simply register your credit/debit card in advance on the Holiday Information Form that you will receive 10-12 weeks before your holiday. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club and Delta are accepted– but not Switch. Please note that cash advances cannot be made against these cards. Alternatively, you can pay by personal cheque (supported by a cheque guarantee card), sterling travellers cheques or by cash, but please note that your check-out may be delayed if you pay in this way.
+ Foreign Currency
Although everything is ‘cash free’ when you are on the ship, when you are in port (or if you are on a Stay and Cruise holiday) you will need local currency. In the Med you will need Euros or local currency for Tunisia. In the Caribbean the US dollar is the most widely used currency.
You can exchange sterling for foreign currency at competitive rates at Reception on the ship. You can re-exchange notes when you get back on board – but cannot exchange foreign coins or notes of a higher denomination than those sold.
There is a wide range of Action Ashore activities available at each new destination, with everything from quad biking to beach days. As a guide, Action Ashore activities will cost from around £25 for a half day and from around £40 for a full day (sometimes including lunch) depending on the type of activity. Children’s prices for most activities are 50% of the adult price (except where an admission price to an attraction applies). Please note that the ship’s mountain bikes are not suitable for children.
Trips do sell out quickly so to avoid disappointment it’s a good idea to reserve your trips before you depart. No payment is required at this stage – you will receive written confirmation of your excursion bookings (which you must take with you), your tickets will be delivered direct to your cabin and the cost will be applied to your on board account. Alternatively, if you want to wait until you join the ship before booking your trips then you can do this at the Action Ashore desk on deck 5 – but please be aware that some activities may have already sold out.
If you would prefer to make your own arrangements while you are in port then you will find the information about each destination in the ships Out & About newspaper useful.
+ Going Ashore
Where possible, the ship will dock in port and you can come and go as you please via the ship’s gangway, However, in some ports the ship will anchor at sea and tenders/launches will transfer passengers to and from the port on a regular basis. In these cases passengers on Action Ashore trips will be transferred first, but you can usually expect to be ashore about an hour after arrival in port. Whilst in port, the ship’s restaurants, bars and other facilities (except the shops) will remain open.
In most instances, the main destination is the port itself. However, in some places the port is not the main destination – in which case it is listed in the itinerary (e.g. Rome, from Civitavecchia). At these ports and others where the ship berths some distance from the city centre, passengers who are not joining a shore excursion and wish to travel independently will usually find public transport links and private taxis close to the port.
Whether you are a shopaholic or just need some essentials, the shops on board have something for everyone. From everyday items in the Kiosk to the sparkly treats in Gems and duty free bargains in The Bazaar, you will find everything you need for your holiday.
+ Health and Wellbeing
With an ocean-view gym, fitness/yoga classes, swimming pools and mountain bikes for trips ashore, Ocean Village has everything you need to stay as active as you want to be on board. And for those moments of pure self-indulgence there is a fully equipped spa with sauna, steam and massage rooms and a range of tempting treatments.
Basic tips on board are included in the price of your holiday, but you are welcome to recognise great service with discretionary tips. For Stay and Cruise holidays, hotel tips are also left to your discretion.
+ Keeping In Touch
The ship has facilities on board to let you phone or fax friends and relatives while you are away. You can also send e-mails and internet postcards from the Cyber Cafe. If you want to drop pals a real postcard you can buy stamps at Reception – Ocean Village will also post mail for you at the next port.
+ Laundry Services
There is a reasonably priced, fast laundry and pressing service on board as well as self service laundrettes.
Please note that no alcohol bought ashore may be brought on board Ocean Village. Ocean Village reserve the right to check passenger bags and any alcohol found will be retained by the ship and returned to you at the end of your cruise.
For the comfort of all our passengers, smoking is allowed on deck within designated areas in most public rooms but is not permitted in dining areas or in the Bayside Club until after 8pm.
We want everyone to have a fantastic time aboard Ocean Village and Ocean Village know that for families, the best way to ensure that happens is to provide great children’s facilities and daily programmes that capture the imaginations of kids from tots to teens – especially in peak season.
At the start of the holiday families will be invited to an informal meeting where the Youth Team will tell you about the child facilities on board, the activities planned and the few restrictions we impose.
+ Children’s Centre
The Base Camp children’s centre on deck 11, where the enthusiastic and fully qualified staff will be keen to make your children feel instantly at home. Use of the centre is free while one parent/guardian stays on board. Parents must register each child at the children’s centre and complete a medical disclaimer.
The centre has a fully netted deck area and a paddling pool, and the children’s programme is scheduled daily from 9am-noon, 2-5pm and 6-10pm (6-11pm for 5-8 year olds, 6pm-midnight for over 9’s). Although children are grouped by age, occasionally they may join with other groups to participate in certain activities and events.
+ 6 months – under 2 years
Babies and toddlers are welcome at Base Camp during opening hours provided a parent stays with them at the centre. However, parents can enjoy a break on mornings when the ship is in port and can leave their child in good hands at the centre while they go ashore.
+ 2-8 years
(2-4 years and 5-8 years in peak periods)
Children aged 2-8 are sure to have a great time at the centre with an extensive programme of play, sport and entertainment to keep them fully occupied.
+ 9-17 years
(9-12s and 13-17s in peak periods)
The centre remains open until midnight for older children and during peak school holiday periods extended hours and extra arrangements are laid on for 13-17s. They also have their own Hideout zone on deck 2 and loads of cools stuff going on – including videos, karaoke, discos, competitions and more.
+ Going Ashore
Many of the Action Ashore activities are ideal for children and no doubt you will be looking forward to going ashore together as a family. But with so many great places to visit some parents may want to spend some time ashore alone during their holiday.
During school summer holidays, half term breaks, Christmas and Easter holidays parents/guardians wishing to go ashore alone can leave the kids on board in the care of the Youth Team at a rate of £3 per hour for the first child and £2 per hour for each brother or sister. This service is also available outside of these peak periods but places are very limited. Parents must register each child at the children’s centre and complete a medical disclaimer – children must not be left unaccompanied on board.
If parents/guardians book one of the half or full day shore excursions valued at over £30 each then Ocean Village will look after children at a reduced rate (up to a maximum of only £12 per child per day) for the duration of that excursion.
Places in the children’s centre are limited and preference will be given to people who have booked an Ocean Village shore excursion. Places cannot, however, be guaranteed. Please also note that children’s mountain bikes are not available and that a minimum height of 5ft applies for use of the ship’s mountain bikes ashore.
+ Children’s Meals
As Ocean Village offers 24 hour dining your children (just like you) can eat whenever it suits them, although children’s tea at 5.15pm each day is very popular. Ocean Village provide a selection of baby foods on request (please make sure to advise us early) and will try to meet any special dietary requirements although they cannot guarantee to meet all specific requests.
+ Night Nursery
The supervised night nursery is open every day from 6pm until 3am for children aged 6 months to 5 years. Children between 5 and 8 are also welcome if space permits. The nursery is free for the first child and £2 per hour for each brother or sister between midnight and 3am. Please note that all child places are limited and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. There is also an in-cabin baby listening facility available through the cabin telephone system that can be set up on request.
+ Special Needs
If your child has special needs you must advise at the time of booking. Please note that children requiring one-to-one care and assistance must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the children’s centre at all times.
+ Gym Use
Please note that children under 14 are not permitted to use the equipment in the gym unless accompanied by an adult, and those under 16 are not allowed to use the weight lifting equipment.
Although a ‘child-friendly’ ship, Ocean Village ask parents and/or guardians to respect other passengers on board and to note that at times some rooms are restricted to over 16s only. Please also note that passengers under the age of 18 must travel with a parent or companion over the age of 21 and that we are unable to carry babies under the age of 6 months.
+ Consecutive Cruises
You can create a 14 night cruise by combining two consecutive 7 night sailings.
+ Cabin Changes
There may be occasions where it is necessary for Ocean Village to change the cabins which were allocated at the time of booking. In this case you will be moved to a higher priced cabin at no extra charge. However, please note that cabin upgrades will only be given at the choice and discretion of Ocean Village.
For all Ocean Village holidays you MUST have full and valid passport which will be valid for 6 months after you return from your holiday. Do not forget that children under 16 need travel documents too – if not already included in a valid passport then they must have their own passport in order to travel.
At the time of writing no visas are required for holders of full British Citizen passports on any Ocean Village holiday.
If you do not like needles then the good news is that there are no compulsory vaccinations required before you travel with Ocean Village. However, requirements do change so you should check with your GP or see the Department of Health’s latest leaflet ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ (available from Post Offices) before you leave. You can also telephone MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad) on 0906 822 4100 for the latest news (calls are charged at 60p per minute).
For your own safety and well being – and that of other passengers – you must be fit and healthy to travel with Ocean Village and to undertake all the flights and excursions you have booked. Although there is a fully equipped Medical Centre on board, the facilities are not designed for extensive or continuing treatment of pre-existing conditions. Please note that all treatments are charged at private rates, although you should be able to claim most charges back through your holiday insurance after payment of any excess.
Please note that:
* You must notify the agent at the time of booking of any medical condition that requires special treatment whilst you are on holiday with Ocean Village. In particular Ocean Village must be advised if you will be taking a nebuliser, oxygen bottle or oxygen concentrator, required peritoneal dialysis, are an insulin dependent diabetic or will be taking a CPAP machine with you.
* Ocean Village are unable to carry passengers suffering from a contagious disease (eg measles, chicken pox etc).
* Passengers who normally require assistance in the activities of daily living are advised that they must be accompanied by a fit and able companion who will be responsible for their general care at all times during the holiday.
* Ocean Village cannot carry passengers who will be more than 28 weeks pregnant by the end of the cruise or children under the age of 6 months (12 months on transatlantic holidays).
* If the condition of your health as declared at the time of booking changes, you must inform us immediately.
If you have failed to advise Ocean Village of any condition that maybe considered to be harmful either to yourself or any other passenger during the course of your holiday you shall be refused boarding. Also, please note that, if in Ocean Village's reasonable opinion or that of the ship’s Doctor or Master, your condition is, or becomes, such that it is beyond the care that Ocean Village would be able to provide, Ocean Village reserve the right and entitlement to terminate your holiday. This may mean you will be landed at any port that the ship calls at and in this situation you will be fully responsible for any costs or expenditure incurred. Failure to disclose details of any specified or diagnosed condition may result in your insurance being invalidated.
It is essential that passengers who are not fully mobile and permanently or periodically use either a wheelchair or a motorised wheelchair or scooter (referred to collectively in this section as “wheelchairs”) let your Agent know at time of booking.
Although Ocean Village does its best to take the requirements of disabled passengers into consideration as much as is practicable, a ship is not the easiest place for a wheelchair and can only accept a limited number on each cruise. If you do use a wheelchair or expect to use one during your cruise, you must provide your own standard size wheelchair (Ocean Village reserve the right not to accept larger wheelchairs). If you use special mobility aids (e.g. zimmer frame) you must bring these with you. The ship has a number of cabins specially adapted for wheelchair confined passengers. If you do need a specially adapted cabin, Ocean Village will need a letter from your GP confirming your requirement. As access by wheelchair is only possible in the case of specially adapted cabins, your wheelchair must be collapsible if you are travelling in a standard cabin. Wheelchairs must be stored in Passengers’ cabins when not in use.
+ Going Ashore
At ports where the ship is unable to dock alongside the berth, passengers are usually taken ashore by the ship’s launches provided the conditions permit. Please note that for health and safety reasons, crew members are not permitted to lift wheelchair confined passengers into launches. Regrettably, therefore, unless passengers are able to bear their own weight so as to step in and out of the launches with assistance from their companion or, if necessary, from a crew member, passengers will be unable to travel ashore by launch. At most ports where the ship can dock, access to shore is often by the ship’s brow (a short gangway that is often level with, or just above the quayside). However, at ports where a large tidal range is experienced it may become necessary to use the ship’s accommodation ladder (a narrow gangway which pivots to take account of the tide). Due to the height and length of the accommodation ladder, if any passenger using a wheelchair is not sufficiently ambulant to walk with assistance from their companion or, if necessary, from a crew member, it may not be possible to go ashore.
In cases where passengers using wheelchairs are able to go ashore by launch or accommodation ladder, Ocean Village will transfer the wheelchair into the launch or onto the quayside, as appropriate, provided that each of the constituent parts of the wheelchair, when broken down, weighs no more than 32kgs. The passenger’s companion will be responsible for dismantling and assembling the wheelchair if requested, Ocean Village will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so. We would encourage you to carefully consider the issues above when choosing your cruise.
Delays to ships and flights, whilst very rare, do occur occasionally. In such situations Ocean Village (in liaison with its supplier of services where appropriate) will use its best efforts to ensure the comfort of its passengers during the course of any such delay. Depending on the particular circumstances, refreshments, meals and accommodation may be provided as appropriate, subject always to the facilities and services locally available. Ocean Village’s aim will always be to minimise the inconvenience of any delays.
+ Destination Safety
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice Unit may have issued information about your holiday destination. You can contact the ABTA Information Department on 0901 2015050 (calls are charged at 50p per minute).