Hello No company just let their ships deteriorate for any reason. They are a valuable asset and maintained as such. They have a routine for "Spring cleaning" which is planned with great precision so that they get the most from the valuable fixtures and fittings and machinery. Oriana had one a little while ago and when I was on her prior to that you were very well aware that a refit was due. If, as you say, you like Britishness over the American style then you are probably right to stay with P & O. I hesitate to comment further on that issue. Anyway go and enjoy the cruise and let P & O worry about a bit of fraying of the carpets Heathe.
Definitely getting 'tired' - enjoyed our first cruise aboard the Oceana in January 2008 - the cruise was great but we were disappointed with the small cabins and tired decor. Not even somewhere to sit and enjoy room service in your cabin - we have been a bit spoiled with Royal Caribbean and Carnival - Ventura in November - hopefully that will be 'bigger'.
Oceana was of course built as Ocean Princess for the American market, even after the refit for the British market it definately does not have the feel of Oriana or Aurora. And yes with all the cut backs Carnival are making i would expect the older vessels to suffer.
I've been on 4 P&O ships and the Oceana is my least preferred. I was on it at Christmas 2007 and the entertainment was poor, the wine was warm and the service very average. Even so, we managed to have a really good holiday. In my opinion, P&O have definitely gone more down market in recent month.
We went on the Oceana in February this year and have still to write about experience. We thought the ship was wonderful and it is going to be refit in April. We did not think it was that bad to really need this so soon. It was one of the best holidays we have ever had and we could not find anything to complain about and have been on many cruises. Do not let other peoples remarks put you off.