You should be able to get a table early on, around 6.30 pm, to make sure book at least the night before. The only smoking is in the lounge/bar just before the main theatre - I think it is called the Crown and Anchor.
PS - we also had freedom dining in January but we eventually opted to go up to the buffet restuarant most evenings - it was very quiet for the first hour after opening and we always got a nice window seat - the food was good there as well.
I went on the oceana with my husband and I cant eat late for medical reasons. We had a 14 ight cruise and never had a single night when we didnt eat at the 1st sitting.The freedom that gives is book in the morning, if you change yor mind and want he buffet up top then just tell the waiters early afternoon, and you can do that option also----there was a 9mnth old baby thro to a 98yr old and ALL ages of adults and children, teens ,in between -- the meal times and choice are EXCELLENT and the waiters great with young and old! You also get to sit on different tables so meet more folk and its great.Im sure youll have a brill time.Im a wheel chair user,also and nothing was to much trouble, be iit cabin staff to Captain.Have a great Time---we are off in May for a 7 night cruise on Ventura in May and plan 14 nihts again in SEPT on oceana ..... nuff said I think! Nicky L.
I took my 2 grandchildren last year on the Oceana and had no problem with eating early. You can book a table for 2 nights in a row we eat at 6.opm every day and requested the same table to get the same waiters. Also they do a childrens tea in the Horizon court at 5.0pm for the children only. My grandchildren joined th Kid's club and had a whale of a time and I am taking them on another cruise in October .
Don't know about the timings for the freedom dining. I am also booked on the same cruise albeit on a different date. It says on my documents( Why does it not on your's?) that all the restaurants are non smoking. One is allowed to smoke on one's own balcony and on designated areas out on deck as long as it is not near foodstuffs, and also designated smoking areas in some bars and lounges.
I cannot imagine that it will not be possible to get a table before 9pm.
We were on Oceania in August last year to Norway and it is a lovely ship and a very pleasant Captain Wells and staff. However, we had club dining and heard a lot of complaints about having to go down at 7 in the morning to book early tables. Re Smoking, they were allowing it on the deck and in some of the bars and the cabins, but I think cabins are being disallowed this year. I suggest you check with the staff at the office who are most helpful. Relax and have a lovely cruise. Dee Baviste.
You will need to book your table early that's all.
There is smoking on Oceana, but it is limited to one side of the ship on the open decks and is very limited inside although people can still smoke in the cabins.
With freedom dining it isntas free as you think and as you say sometimes you cant get a dinner table until late. Yes there is smoking on board in certain areas, but then again I would prefer to eat my dinner without other peoples kids around me, but we cant have it all.
We went on this ship last year and we had freedom dining, we booked a table for about 6.15pm and the dining was still fairly quiet, ideal if you have little ones. we went before they changed the smoking laws but on aurora in december it was restricted to a few public areas and in cabins, but i'm pleased to say that on ventura they have made all cabins non smoking and they have done this on at least one of the other p and o ships, here's to fresh air for us and our kids! i'm sure your 4 year old will love it our 4 and 6 year olds had a fantastic time and the youth crew and kids clubs were great.
Hi we went on Oceana in Nov 07 to the caribbean it was a cruise that was full and we never had problems getting a table on freedom dining.If you call from your room to book you can book up to 2 nights at a time.Smoking is allowed in the casino and in one of the bars also in certain places on deck.
We booked for freedom dining and only used it a couple of times. Cant understand why they call it freedom dining as you have to book it. It can only be booked after 9am and by this time we were on shore on trips. Telephone lines were always busy and if you went to the restaurant personally, the queues were always long so I found this most frustrating. Buffet restaurant was more than adequate though except they had about three "fish only" nights and if you don't like fish (like my partner) then that's too bad. You can opt for the Italian restaurant where you can have pizzas and pastas.